The phrase street team was a new one for me when I first embarked on the publishing journey. I had to ask a couple of seasoned authors what it meant, and though I received varying definitions, I got the gist.
A “street team” is the group of people who act as ambassadors for your book and your success as an author. These are the folks who eagerly await your book release and happily read and review it on all the appropriate platforms. They’ll comment on your posts, forward your newsletters to friends, become raving fans, and share your social media posts on their feeds. Sound too good to be true? Well, it kinda is. Your street team is composed of volunteers—not paid promoters. Still, you want to ensure you build a street team that aligns with you and one that you can support in kinds.
To help you better understand how to build and nurture a street team, I turned to my author friends for their experiences and expertise.
“One question, one presentation, one client engagement at a time. Being present with the current audience of one or many. Demonstrating commitment and resolve to help individuals overcome their challenges and achieve the next step toward their most meaningful goals and aspirations. It’s the series of such behaviors that have led the beneficiaries of my work to self-select and encourage and advocate for me. It’s on account of their personal experiences and growth that they have challenged me, contributed directly with their talents, and proactively reached out for the people and resources they determined would help the project. For them, and for me, the “project” has been to write and speak in ways that help others be irresistible and financially invincible.” ~ Renwick Brutus, Speaker & Consultant To Business Leaders.
“I’ve always said that when it comes to writing a book, covers can be a little misleading as they typically list just the author and publisher. However, read any acknowledgements section and you will see just how many people help bring a book to completion and to its readers. Building a street team starts with those closest to you: your family, spouse / sig other, children, parents or whoever is within your life’s inner circle. Next to you, their lives will be the most disrupted while you’re writing your book. You can greatly alleviate a lot of the stresses (theirs and yours) by involving them in the process. They can be your sounding board, your beta test readers, and your support center to encourage you when you need it. Get those who are closest to you to be as invested as you are in your book’s success.” ~ John Lim, TEDx speaker, executive producer and host of Moving Forward podcast, author of The Poshmark Guide for Individuals and Small Businesses: How We Achieved a Five-Figure Revenue Stream Within Our First Year, and co-creator of Corporate Cliches
“Being an author is a lonely business as you’re writing that book by yourself most of the time. Marketing the book is another story, though. It takes more effort to successfully market a book than to write it, and that’s why you need to build up a network of people who will assist you with that. I’ve joined a few online networking groups, some local and some overseas, and the people I meet there act as brand ambassadors for me, helping me to spread the word about my books.” ~ Chris Smith, author of the Steve Savage, Bounty Hunter series.
As you can see a street team is a two-way street—literally. You need to nurture and take care of the people who are taking care of you. Special promotions, readers’ gifts including advance copies, “meet and great” tickets, private groups, prizes for drawings, and challenges for your street team are just a few of the ways authors reward this loyal group of friends and fans.
Building and nurturing a healthy and proactive street team requires an investment of time and energy. They are doing the same for you. Keep that in mind as you think about the readers who elevate your platform each and every day.