Why You’ll Never Love Me Like Rihanna

This week the singer Rihanna became the world’s richest female musician with an estimated value of $1.7 billion. According to Forbes magazine $1.4 billion of that fortune comes from the singer’s 50% ownership of Fenty Beauty.

Launched in 2017 the Fenty makeup brand connected with Rihanna’s over 200 million social media followers to deliver massive company growth in only 4 years.

The content on these channels are everything you’d expect from a successful, talented, globe-hopping artist. Her hundreds of millions of fans love getting an insight into her world and imagining what it would be like. This gave the Fenty brand a perfect platform to promote their products. Fans want to emulate the Rihanna lifestyle and bought into the brand that helps them do that.

That’s not going to work for me.

I like a life that’s too quiet, calm, and routine to get traction on social media. I save all the emotional conflict, action, and drama for my writing. If I want a reader's attention, and I’m not going to perform on social media to get it then I have to pay.

Instead of stressing out on a daily basis over what to post on Facebook I invest in writing the best books possible, giving them an attention grabbing cover, and target them at urban fantasy fans looking for a new book to read. I put that all together as paid ads on Facebook to find the audience I’m looking for.

I'll sweeten the deal by giving the first book away for free in return for an email address, so I can have the measurable, repeatable process below.

  1. Run ads on Facebook giving away the first book in the series in exchange for an email address
  2. Send welcome emails encouraging the new subscriber to read the first book and share a review
  3. Send subscribers a weekly non-salesy email like this one
  4. Promote new, full price, books to my mailing list two to three times a year

I don’t have what it takes to be a social media sensation like Rihanna (fair play to her as it looks exhausting) so I have to pay to get the first book of a series into the hands of readers. It’s worth it because it’s not my lifestyle I’m trying to promote but my characters. If a reader buys into my story world the way Rihanna fans bought into Fenty they’ll keep coming back for the next book in the series.



P.S — If these posts feel a bit confessional of late it’s because they are. As I’m editing the first book ready for launch later this year I’m getting the whole process clear in my head so I’m not relearning with every new project. As I figure out what I’m doing I’m sharing it here. You don’t get more behind the scenes than this.

Copyright © Stephen Gordon 2021