This week Dean & I have a great discussion about bridging topics. It's a must listen if you're looking for step by step pointers to decide how best to engage your audience and outline your content.
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Stuart: Hey everybody, welcome to another Book More Show, we have the pleasure of Dean with us today, and today we are going to run through the job of working the book. I think last week we were talking about James St Clair using his example of a book that wasn’t necessarily talking about his product or service, but it was certainly appealing to his audience. Then today we are going to expand on that a little bit, it’s a great example.
Dean: Well, that’s part of the thing, is really understanding sometimes the book doesn’t have to be directly, overtly connected to it is what it is that your business actually does. A couple of examples, or a couple of ideas we could talk about with that are related, but not specifically, and overtly. When I say outwardly I mean that they are not talking about how to do business with you type of book, where it’s about what to … Your service your service lets you offer.
When we talked about titles, one of the cool things was that we mentions what would be the title of the book that your ideal audience would definitely want to read. Sometimes, when you think about that, if your product, or your service is a gateway to something else that maybe they don’t know about your service yet, or know about it as a way to … That’s specifically what they are looking for. Sometimes you need and get to build a bridge, and that’s one of my favorite ways to use books, is to make a buck as a bridge to something.
Sometimes books can be sort of market data driven, where you are kind of looking at … It is something that’s a result. One of the ones that I think of it immediately when we talk with this is the book that we did with Luba Winter about the adult acne cure. That title, and that book is a example of something that it’s not talking about anything technical, not talking about her device, per se, which is a $900 device that combines LED lights and Galvanic waves, and is technically proven to eliminate or help cure adult acne. You don’t know how to kind of make that the topic of the book, because that’s not what people would be looking for.
When you take this approach of saying, “Well what would be the book that my audience would definitely want to have?” That would be a perfect example, the adult acne cure. You can’t really go wrong by focusing your book on the end result that somebody wants.
Dean: It feels like that’s the win.
Stuart: I think that’s the thing isn't it? Separating out the collection piece, the identifying the invisible leads, their giving people a way to raise their hand is broadly interested from the subject, separating that from the end result of converting into some business, and understanding that this is the beginning of a conversation, it’s a way to engage people, it’s not a sales brochure to sell them on a product, it’s a way to engage them in a conversation.
Dean: Right, and there’s the thing. You are absolutely right in the … I talk lot about this idea of compelling, and convincing. We talked I think in our title episode about how titles, if you can have a compelling title, that’s going to have … People are going to want your book in their collection, and sometimes just the fact that they’ve asked for your book, if you titled it right, and you are educating somebody the about a set of information, or beliefs, or something that they would have to understand and believe to be true in order to be ready here to hear your offer to help them do whatever it is that they want to do.
Stuart: Collecting the leads, and thinking about the end from their point of view, what is it they’re looking to get out of this interaction, what problem is it they’re looking to solve? Not necessarily thinking immediately about what it is that sort of jams your product and service into an audience’s mindset.
I think there’s definitely that separation from offering something to begin with to identify them, to help them to allow you to … Like we do with the real estate business, the Guide to Lake Front House Prices, understanding the user journey, knowing that a person who is likely to sell their house, one of the questions they can have is, “How much is my house worth?” Engaging with them at that early stage, I think it’s a great way of not necessarily limiting yourself to a technical conversation about your products or service, but really offering some of the good value first.
Dean: Right, and I met with Julie Matthews in Winter Haven right before I left, and we had been talking about this idea of a book called Willpower Shmillpower, why trying to lose weight almost never works, and what to do instead. You may not know what Julie does, by me describing that title, but she does hypnosis. That is kind of a misunderstood thing in the general population, people may have some loaded concerns about hypnosis. The fact that the book is a bridge to introduce and educate the person who can begin where they are, which is everybody can relate to the fact that willpower is tough, and that everybody … You’ve seen the cover for the book right?
The cover is a woman looking up over a table with a cupcake, she is looking kind of longingly at the cupcake off the side, and everybody who has ever tried to lose weight can relate to that image, and those words, Willpower Shmillpower. Everybody can relate that that doesn’t work, or only works for a very short period of time. When you can start where they are, start with that that is something that they can relate to that they tried to lose weight, or smoking, to stop smoking using willpower, and to have now the opportunity to build this elegant bridge of all of the things that somebody would need to know to be prepared for your services, to be prepared to have a conversation where you can offer your services to them. When we record the book, we will talk about starting right there, willpower does work, and why, and describing exactly how that happens.
Then going into a more detailed explanation of why that is happening, what is actually going on there. Willpower is a conscious effort that is happening in our conscious brain, but the reality is that our subconscious brain is what actually run the show. Giving examples of that to show how once we’re programs, our subconscious is set to stay on that path. The habits, the triggers, the behaviors that we’re always used to, are the ones that win in anytime of stress, it’s always leaning back towards the norm. As people understand that, then they are ready to hear that you can actually bypass the conscious brain and speak directly to the subconscious brain, and rewire the programming to support the behavior that you really want and need to have happen to successfully lose weight.
It happens effortlessly and magically, but you are ready to have that conversation only in the context of starting with and illustrating step-by-step why the current model doesn’t work. Then you are ready to make the offer, because the next question that people will then ask is, “Well, can I be hypnotized?” Wouldn’t it be great if Julie could say to people, “You are probably wondering if you could be hypnotized, not everybody can be hypnotized. I’ve set up a special recorded message where I will … You just call, listen to this recording message, and at the end of the message you will know exactly whether you can be hypnotized or not.”
Stuart: That is orchestrating the journey, thinking, spending a little bit more time about where the person is at the moment, and then what steps, what concerns they might have, what their internal monologue is going through the steps as they’re reading the book. As opposed to, you can imagine another book, the hypnosis solution, how to lose 50 pounds in 5 weeks through hypnosis. Which in and of itself isn’t the worst title, but it’s so… It’s not engaging people at that moment…
Dean: Yes, it’s exactly it, and that is why I talk about overt. That’s why they say that there is no mystery in that, or no … You are not building the common bridge. Because hypnosis is a loaded word, and people either have a ignorance about it, or a misconception about it, or a fear of it, or a aversion to it, they might not pick up a book that says, “Hypnosis.” Right on it, but they would be willing to join a conversation about willpower, because that is something that they can relate to right.
Stuart: Then as you say, it’s not loaded, there’s not as much emotional baggage or preconceptions, and you can imagine that the same in a lot of industries, so financial services or real estates, or weight loss more generally, there is a lot of industries that have baggage, and to be able to have a mechanism or device to start a conversation with people who might otherwise not necessarily be in tune with the message that you are trying to put out there, is an easy way of sifting and sorting or getting people to raise their hand, and then sifting and sorting those that are likely to ... Or more in tune with what you’re saying. Rather than being turned off at the start because of the … Where they are coming to the conversation from.
Stuart: I think that one's interesting as well because it comes from a … It’s almost coming from a negative point of view, of dealing with the negative side of the industry, or the negative side of … It’s addressing the concerns upfront.
An easy way to start the conversation by addressing concerns that people already have, and then leading to a more positive place, rather than the other side. There is another three or four books in now that deal with starting the conversation with a positive side on it.
The point I’m trying to make is just that it opens up … This isn’t a one book fits all solution, it’s opening up a audience in a small targeted segment who are likely to engage, and then go onto the next one.
Dean: Yeah, that’s it. I always look at a book like this as a bridge. I mentioned that that is a really great way to think about it, and one of the exercises that I will often do when outlining a book is I will get a big piece of paper, like from a sketchpad, or a big … Sometimes 18 x 24 paper, or 11 x 17, I mean you’ve seen them at my house, these big drawing pads, and I will at the top of the page I will write one sentence that describes where somebody is right now then at the bottom I will write where I wanted to be, or where they wanted to be. What do we want somebody to believe? Right? If we take Willpower Shmillpower as an example, you are overlying that book and this is exactly the process that we go through is at the top you describe the person, and where they are right now.
Somebody who has weight to lose, has struggled with losing weight in the past, and his try and depended on their willpower to stick to a diet or a exercise regimen. That’s the reality of where they are right now. Then at the very bottom, we want them to be at a point where they understand and realize that their subconscious mind currently is working against them, and if they can get their subconscious underside, that they would have an effortless and almost magical way to amplify whatever program they choose.
This is something that I’ve learned several years ago, did some work with a pretty famous hypnotist who would go around and do … They would advertise it on a radio, they'd come into the city, they would do a weight loss event in the evening, and weight loss at seven, and stop smoking at 8:30, so they would do two events in one night kind of thing, and what we found was that when somebody enters the process of trying to lose weight, they will make a choice on something. They kind of explore their options, they may have an affinity to one or another, they may, “Well, I’m going to join the gym, or I’m going to do crossfit, or I’m going to do the Zumba, or I’m going to do P90X, or I’m going to try Atkins or South Beach, or Palio, or whatever.”
They are going to choose something, and if all of the things that they are looking at are viewed as this for hypnosis, that they might choose something and let all the others go. If they, “Oh I’m going to do P90 X.” They might think that that’s instead of doing hypnosis, and so when we meet somebody where we’re picking up the journey that they’ve already tried one or several things, and it didn’t work, because they couldn’t stick it out. Now positioning, and being able to use and say … Use hypnosis as a tool that makes whatever you decide to do work better. Right?
Hypnosis on his own isn’t going to lose the weight, it has to be in support of a behavior, so you get to let somebody something that they are going to do, and this will amplify it. On that big piece of paper, if we start with where they are at the top, where ideally we would like to be at the bottom, where they are open and ready to take the, can you be hypnotized test, and then made into talking about maybe doing a hypnosis program to amplify whatever they are going to do to lose weight.
What are all of the territory that they have to cover to get from where they are to where we wanted to be? I just start brainstorming in no particular order, just randomly, while they would have to know about the subconscious, they have to know about examples of how that’s not working, we have to explain what hypnosis is, we have to talk about the programming that they already have, that’s working against them. You just start randomly getting everything up there, almost like brainstorming, and then what you can do is start circling things, or start putting them together in a path that kind of is, they would start here, and then we would talk with this, and at the end we kind of have a really great outline for the arc of what you want to explain to somebody.
Stuart: I think the challenge, the problem is there, just listening to what we were talking about there must have meant that even being around some of these conversations that have happened before, that one particular point of understanding that the hypnosis amplifies the other program, without being that attuned to it.
I’m one of those people who naturally turn down the finis root, but I know that when I’ve got a 6 AM crossfit class, there is quite a few occasions where my willpower is not as strong as it could be. Knowing that there would be someone who could amplify it, and for that to come out in a conversation which could then be counted in a book and take them on a journey, because some of us thought about the position of where someone like me is coming from.
Stuart: To put that in another book, to try and convince me of that, to have a title that kind of caught my attention just making that one particular point, very very difficult to do.
Just by thinking about it a little bit more I think we’ll, for the audience, we'll make sure that ... I’m not sure whether we’ve still got that outlined in the office anymore, but if we don’t we will recreate it from this conversation to give people an example, because I think in the last 10 minutes we probably just given people one of the best tools that they could ever have for outlining the thought of their book. I was listening to another podcast today, it was very apparent that product was a book-
Dean: There are other podcasts?
Stuart: I believe so, but this one wasn’t as good as ours... I wouldn't recommend it. It’s not like ours which are the most valuable. In that context the product was the book, so they were talking and concentrating very much on the writing process, and getting the story across which that had it’s moments.
To think about this in terms of, here’s the starting position where we expect them to be because we know our business, here’s the end point in order to bridge it into the next step which is kind of that minimum viable commitment to take that first step. Then what of each of the things job 1 is to get them all written down, job 2 is to put it in order, and then job 3 is to get it in the format that they can appreciate it.
Stuart: Yeah, a fantastic tool.
Dean: All very exciting.
Stuart: It is, very. I think this kind of orchestrated step of leading someone to a conversation, of having multiple ways. I've talked to quite a few authors recently who have written their first book, and are now thinking of their second or third.
As a straightforward tool to engage one particular conversation, to have a funnel on the back of it to support the journey that we’re talking about, taking them from where they are now to what we want them to do next. To have multiple funnels. You quiet often hear about people in industries, we hear it with some of the financial advisors quite a few times talking about a particularly dry subject, it’s difficult to write about without just getting drawn into technical language.
I think this example is perfect for industries like that where it may be challenging to write, or it could be seen as challenging to write very engaging conversations when you're thinking about in terms of just the technical content. I think there are always areas of their industry, or things changing in the world that bring a particular subject to the surface, and because this is a straightforward process, a quick process of being able to get something out there in front of people. I mean this really is a endless content stream.
Dean: Yeah, I agreed. You start thinking about the purpose, that would be sort of a before unit, or in the books, but when you start thinking about having a book that may be explains the journey that you are going to be going on with somebody if it’s a multi step, or a long-term project that may be it’s going to take 30 days, or 60, or 90 days, or an ongoing relationship to have a book that’s going to kind of outline the aspiration, the long-term view of what you are going to be working on together, and how that is going to go.
Stuart: I think we should definitely do a show in the future I’m just going to make a note of it on the before and after units kind of transitioning, orchestrating that journey further down the track, there’s the…
Dean: We’ve modeled it here, so we have the 900Minute Book, which is the lead generation, the introduction to the whole concept of a 90-Minute Book. We’ve got the preparing for you 90-Minute Book, which helps people in the process once they’ve decided once they are going to do one how to get ready for it, and then we have beyond the book. What to do now that you’ve got your book. It’s just such a versatile tool.
Stuart: That’s the thing isn't it? Think about it as a tool, it’s not … The book isn’t the product itself, it’s unlikely that however many book sales they get from selling the book in this context is going to equal the business that they will get from the book using it as a tool to orchestrate more business, and more customers within their business.
I think each stage is a opportunity to get a device in front of people, something in front of people that’s easy to consume, it’s got a feeling of authority around it because we still live in a world where printed material has some authority to it, and to be able to orchestrate that, that process, and really guide people and predispose them to take actions that you want to take further down the track, it’s kind of sowing the seeds lead to smooth the way for that journey, and it’s a great opportunity.
What we’ve talked about today in terms of the engaging people in a conversation that they're already having regardless of how fixated someone might be to begin with on the product or service themselves, this is to engage people to start a conversation and then lead those people.
Then the element that we didn’t mention is it’s kind of sifting and sorting, because the people who do call the recorded message number for the assessment to see if they are candidates. Julie has a process in place whereby she just needs to deal with the people who have found that number, it kind of presorts the-
Dean: Yes. Yeah exactly, that’s the whole thing is that when you look at what’s the outcome that we want to have happen as a result of reading the book, we meet somebody where they are, Willpower Shmillpower, we explain that whole situation, we go through that whole journey, we focus everything to conclude on one next step, which is to call this phone number to see if you can be hypnotized, and then as part of that explanation and explaining the whole thing, then inviting people while they are already on the phone to just go ahead and leave their contact information right there, and have something to send them as the next step.
Stuart: It’s pretty seamless isn’t it? It ties in nicely. One of the podcasts that we did a couple of … Last weeks call, we were talking about a Facebook campaign that one of the authors was running, they know what their numbers are, they’ve got ads that they know a conversion rate for, so they can just dial, turn up or down the Facebook campaign in a way … Julie spoke of that, it’s a perfect example again, because as people see that passing through in a stream, it’s not necessarily something that people would … A term that people would search, but they will certainly engage with it or resonate with it as they see it. Then there’s easy steps to take people through stage by stage.
Again, another example of pointing the book towards an audience that you think will engage with it, allowing them to read and then self select themselves through to the final stage, and then engage. You only need to personally engage at that last stage. It’s a fantastic way to leverage your time and attention into dealing with people who have really raised the handle and identified themselves as clients.
Dean: That’s it.
Stuart: That's it. Well that seems like the perfect place to end, we are just coming up on half an hour, so we are in tune with the podcast length. As I said before, we’re going to do … We've got transcripts of all the podcasts on the website, so head over to 90minutebooks.com/podcast for the latest episode. For this one in particular I’ll make sure that we’ve got some pretty detailed notes in there so people can follow along, and I really encourage people to think about the audience, or a first audience that they can engage with this approach, and then I’ll try and get a image up of the brainstorming piece of paper that people can think about for their own books.
Dean: That’s perfect. I was going to say where do people email to they want to write a book?
Stuart: Yeah, so if people can email those to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then we’ll … Betsy is over there waiting to speak to people, likewise if any people have got any questions about this process we’re always more than happy to talk to people about how it might best serve them. Email those at email@example.com and we’ll be there to get back to you and help you through this process.
Dean: Awesome. Perfect.
Stuart: Fantastic. Thanks Dean, we’ll catch you next time.
Dean: Thank you.