We're back with this month's Q&A show. We've had some great questions over the last few weeks. If you have anything we haven't addressed yet, then reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll address it next time.
In this show we look at:
- Can I use a book at a trade show
- How can I leverage partners to promote my book
- Should I focus on the physical or digital version
- Should I bother with a Kindle version
- What are some questions I can use to write about
Transcript - Book More Show 011
Hey, welcome to another edition of the Book More Show. Stuart here with a Q,A session this week. We've had a lot of questions following on from the last couple of episodes so we've got a nice selection to run through. Were going to do Q&A shows every month to six weeks or so, depending on how many questions we've got coming through. If there's anything that you're sat there thinking about, we haven't answered or addressed in the show, then just drop us an email to podcast@90MinuteBooks.com and I'll make sure we add that to the list for next time.
Okay, so we've got six or seven to go through so diving straight in. Simon was asking how, best to use a book in a trade show type scenario? Trade shows provide a couple of unique opportunities or challenges and it depends on the individual setup of the show. That depends on how you best address it. The main difference with the show or physical environment compared to sending something some on digital is obliviously the ability to collect contact details. As you've probably heard us talk about enough now, the context in which we talk about a book is always to start a conversation. It's making invisible leads visible and enabling you to start a conversation, a dialogue that's in a non-threatening way. That then leads people towards a, hopefully a buying position or a solution that works out best for them in the end.
Depending on the trade show you may or may not be provided with peoples email addresses, the volume, depending on how many people at the show, it will impact how long you've got to talk to each person as they walk pass the booth. The best thing to think about what outcomes you want. Generally speaking, again, you'll want to be starting a conversation with someone, you want that opportunity to engage with them. If the volumes are low, if it's a relatively small show, you may well be able to have that engagement one on one with the person requesting a copy of the book at the time. Then you can use the book in the context of an authority building piece or reinforcing some of the points you make in that conversation. In that scenario you wouldn't necessarily want to ask the person for their details before giving it to them, you might want to just offer it as a kind of, as an extra element that you're giving with then and assume that they'll follow up afterwards because you've already made that connection.
It may be a very big show, lots of people passing. Not really practical to have a conversation with each person. In which case you really want to think then that it's just a volume game, in which case you're going to pass out enough books and if you get a 10% of people following up with you that's still worthwhile. Or it may be the case that you want to make sure that in the book, there is a way of you collecting leads. The cause of action, the next steps in the back, make sure that's set up in a way from a minimum commitment, without asking too much from them a minimum viable commitment next step. Then they'll often get to ask for follow on information and you've got the ability to capture their details at that point.
It may be the case that the organizers are passing you all of their email address details of attendees anyway, because it's a pre-registering event. Again now you don't necessarily want or need to collect all of their details because you can make the assumption that you'll have the persons contact details anyway. The limit or the challenge on that side is you're then just assuming that everyone's interested in the book, every there attended, rather than having a sifting and sorting mechanism whereby people are requesting something are often again, to gain that copy.
Think about where it sits in the funnel, the book itself, the trade show itself, those are specifics of the overall funnel. The overall funnel is at the top, you've got a broad interested group of people. You want to give them a non-committal, an easy way for them to get started and then overtime have the conversation and educate and motivate them to take the next step. Placing the actual events, the actual show itself, whether you're using the book as a mechanism or a video or something else, some other opt in, placing all of those into the funnel will help you decide which is the best way of using it. You can certainly use a physical book at a trade show environment, you can certainly use it as a authority building piece as well as just a lead generation piece. The only thing that we would always encourage people to remember is that unless you capture some details at some point, unless you give people the opportunity to raise their hand and then you can have the conversation with them, if you're not doing that then it's just a numbers game, it's just a case of pulling enough of them out there so that the ones who are the most motivated to take the next step will take it upon themselves to do it and follow through.
Okay, so the next one, Tanya was asking, how can I use the book with some partners? A couple of shows ago we were talking about the Dogs Don't Cry example, where it was a Vitamin, the company was providing dog vitamins but the book was more around identifying pain the dog might be suffering from. Helping you identify the pain the dog might be suffering from. There was an opportunity there to pass out to various different vet practitioner partners, or other complimentary but non-competing businesses. As a strategy, Tanya was asking how can that be leveraged?
If we look at the, again, look at the scenario. We've got a funnel that we want people to identify themselves as interested, then overtime educating, motivating, and engage them to take the next step. Working with non-competing complimentary businesses, is a great way to feed the top of the funnel in a way that doesn't necessarily rely on just yourself. You've got the opportunity to push the book out to people who know you, you can advertise the book in various channels, but using partners then leverages their audience. When we look at compliment non-competing businesses, whatever your industry is, I'm not, I don't think the email particularly specifies what industry Tanya's in, but whatever your business is, there are going to be, there is going to be a crossover with other businesses that are complimentary. It may be additional services, if you build swimming pools, it might be the filter manufactures or other garden landscaping professionals. If you're a bakery it might be a kitchenware manufacture.
Whatever industry you're in, there's usually always, in fact I can't think of an example where's there's not complimentary businesses, where their customers could benefit from the book and the information that you're sharing. By offering it in a way that is non-threatening, it's really piling on the information, it's a valuable piece in it's own right, then you've got the opportunity to speak to these people, these partners, these complimentary businesses. Say hey listen, I'd love to give your customers a book, I'd love to be able to give you the opportunity to give this to them, it's nothing to do with me it's all you adding value to your customers.
Then the contraction towards the back of the book as we've talked about in the past. If people don't have a copy of their Hot Prospects book that we wrote specifically for that particular funnel, then I'll link to it in the show notes. That talks about constructing funnels in way that really adds value to the book and a minimum viable commitment next step. The step that you're expecting the reader to take at the end of it, isn't coming to my office for a consultation. It's a small step that's easy to take. The benefit particularly in this context that you yet don't have any emotional capital with these readers, there's no relationship. If it's coming from a third party audience, they don't necessarily yet know or trust you. If the contraction at the end is a minim viable commitment step, it's an easy step for them to take, then more people are likely to do it which again reveals invisible prospects in a way that you an then engage with them. Working with competing, working with competing, sorry. Working with complimentary non-competing businesses is a great way of leveraging someone else's audience.
Now the other option you've got is to take that to the next step and really create something that provides even more benefit for them. If we take the example of, I'm sat at a friends place just quickly recording the show. Looking out they've got a beautifully manicured lawn here, so if you were a landscaping company you're very interested in getting the business of people who are looking at redesigning their yards. You might be able to work with a complimentary company which is a water feature manufacturer or a swimming pool manufacturer. Imagine now going to that complimentary company and saying hey listen, we've got a bit of a crossover in our audience, we've got a shared interest, I'd love to write a book with you that specifically talks about how swimming pools can add value to your property. Rather than then writing it entirely focused on just the benefits that you can provide, write it on the benefits they can provide. It will then be far more valuable, they will be far more likely to want it to promote it to there audience because it's adding value, it's making them look good.
You've got the opportunity of including your message, including a compelling next step, a compelling call to action. Which the details might need to vary slightly, the call to action might need to be a little bit something that's of value to both of you in that scenario. All you're trying to do is identify invisible prospects and have the opportunity of starting a conversation with them. It doesn't necessarily need to be all about you, it doesn't necessarily even, we were talking in the show, I think it was last week or the week before with Dean about bridging topics. There's a conversation going on in the head of your ideal prospect out there at the moment, how do you intersect that and allow them to identify themselves as interested? Working with complimentary businesses really gives the opportunity for it to be a win win for both businesses. You're sat listening to this podcast about creating a book, they're not, it's not something that's an unique available for them. You can really add value to them, get access to their audience and then present a minimal viable commitment offer toward the end. Which allows their audience to identify themselves as interested. Or you could even take it a step further and speak to the partner of the complimentary business about collecting leads up front and then just sharing those leads between the two businesses.
Okay, so Michael is asking, should I focus on the physical or digital version? You can see we've themed these questions together a little bit this time and I think there's just a commonality of questions that came through. Focusing on the physical or digital version, very similar to the conversation we had about the trade show, it was obviously quite physical focus. To answer Michael’s I just want to touch on a point that I was talking about with one of the authors who wrote one of the 90 Minute Books, Jim Hacking, is an immigration attorney, wrote a book called Staying Here. Jimmy uses the book quite a lot to engage with students who are coming to the end of their student visa and then want to switch status into an employee status. He uses that in a physical environment in schools, and brings people together in a seminar talking about the benefits, and challenges, and the process for changing status. He uses both, so we were talking about being able to leverage the same assets into multiple engagement points.
Think about the funnel that we've talked about a lot, you've got the audience, the potential customers at the top. They're identifying themselves as interested, over time you're able to educate and motivate these guys to raise the hand to identifying themselves as more interested. Hopefully in as automated way as possible, and then one they get to the end of that, at some point in that funnel you can then start engaging with them on a one on one basis. Then you're really leveraging your time to focus entirely on the hottest prospects first, before then engaging back with the ones where the times not quite right for them.
Whether you should focus on the physical or digital depends on the funnel that you've got set up. Both of them have got value so it's certainly not one versus the other. It's very easy to think about the benefits of the digital product because you can, you don't have the physical constraints of where to send it. There's also as we've talked about previously, there is a certain magic about having the physical book, the fact that we call ourselves authors, the fact that we say we talk about our book, we never refer to things as e-books or digital versions, it's always get a copy of the book. There is a magic of presence around something being printed.
For this question I'd suggest a policy of both. There's a cost constraint with printing and shipping books obviously, but if you can make, if you know what your numbers are, if you're tracking your conversions through this particular funnel, then it should be relatively straightforward to decide whether it's work the extra effort or not. Imagine a scenario where people start on the digital track, they request a copy of the book, you send them that, there's an engaging question saying what's your book about? Or hey, what breed of dog do you have? Or hey what's your current visa status, or how long do you have left on your visa? An engaging question to start a dialogue. Whether or not you get an immediate response or not, a further follow up could be, hey so if you can drop me your address I'd love to send you a physical copy of the book? Additionally, a check list that we've got so you can confirm what your status is or what challenges you might face with the status. Give someone the opportunity to provide you more details to, to provide you with further information, to engage a little bit more. You sending them the physical copy of the book raises your status because your physically sending something. There's a sense of reciprocity starting to be built because you're engaging with them a little bit more. There's a delivery, a gift giving.
A friend of mine when the, I can't think of what it's called in the US, in the UK there's a dissertation as part of a degree. She was doing a psychology degree and the dissertation was on the psychology of gift giving and text messages, or text messages as a gift. This was back a few years ago now but there is a psychological benefit with delivery something to someone. Whether or not you collect their leads in a digital sense, there's an opportunity to back that up and reinforce it with the physical. Likewise, with the, if they were to go the physical track first, so for example it was the trade show example. Someone has a physical copy of the book, there is an option to change the back of a copy, change the call to action, or include a leaflet, or a postcard, or put a sticker on the front of the book, something to say, we'd love to give you a digital copy and an audio recording of the book. Or a digital copy and a checklist, again to engage people to encourage them to opt in, to sift and sort the more interested from the less interested. All of these little psychological triggers to help people progress down the track towards deciding that this outcome is something that they want, this is going to provide the benefit that they're looking for.
We use in the same asset in multiple ways is a great technique of piling on the vale, piling on the engagement without necessarily having to create a whole new set of assets, a whole new set of things you can give to people. Reusing or repositioned similar content, and whether or not you start on the digital track or start on a physical track, there's the opportunity to use the other as one of those steps in the funnel.
Okay, so Ian was asking should I bother with Kindle? Now this is an interesting question, again, it highlights the difference between the physical and digital channels. It also starts to touch on an audience access to the audience. There's a couple of ways of looking at it, the big challenge like we said before is just collecting the leads and starting the conversation. There's very few occasions where we would say to someone that selling the book, the money that you'll make back from the book sale itself is going to be anywhere near more valuable than conversing a lead into whatever your business is. For the majority of people that we're talking to, or talking with, a lead is worth fifty to a hundred or even a thousand book sales. Having said that though, there is some value in recouping some of the cost of writing the book in the first place. There may be a case where you can position the book price low enough so that's not a barrier to entry, it's still going to converge into numbers that might then trickle down into people converting. Again, that might be worthwhile.
The main challenge is that Amazon doesn't give you their name and address details of the person who's just bought. It is very much putting some information out there but not really starting a conversation with them in a direct way, because you can't follow up. A couple of ways around it, include in the books the opportunity to opt in over here to download some additional detail, or here's some additional things to follow on the next minimum viable commitment. You may need to tweak it slightly for the Kindle version, knowing that you're not going to get access to that audience. The other thing that's worth remembering as well is the actual reading rates of books is pretty low, even for best sellers, for fiction. The reading completion rates are very low compared with the purchase rates. If you do have a call to action, better mention it sooner rather than later because Kindles are very linear in the sense of starting from page one and going page by page through. It's not like a physical book where you can turn to the back cover. That's worth bearing in mind, make sure that there's a call to action in there somewhere so that you, somewhere early so that you guide people to the next step.
The other point I wanted to touch on briefly is access to an audience. The Kindle bookstore or Amazon generally is an, is a source of an audience you might not otherwise get access to. Amazon search is keyword driven, so a relevant title may well reveal some people that you wouldn't have necessarily come across otherwise. I'm actually here recording a book with a friend of mine on Shockwave therapy. Having shock wave therapy in the title is going to make it more likely than less likely that if we called it, Pain Free Joints, that's not as specific as someone searching for a book on shock wave and finding this particular book. There is a discovery element to your Kindle which is a channel and audience that you might not otherwise get. That's worth bearing in mind, that's probably not the most direct route to the customers. There are challenges in having the follow on conversation, but for the overhead, for the extra work to do, it's probably worthwhile, particularly if you got a way of capturing those leads relatively early on in the process, so that anyone that does come through feels like they're getting value.
The only other thing to briefly mention actually is that feels like they're getting value. A book, if you're pricing a book there's an expectation of what people get in the bookstore. If you've price something at 5.99 or 9.99 and they receive a book that's fifty pages and it reads like a sales pitch to go to, to come into an earned appointment, that's probably not going to be very well received as opposed to pricing it at 2.49 which I think the memory is about the lowest price you can price a Kindles at usually. Pricing it at 2.49, it's specifically answering one subject however narrow it is, but as deep as possible. Again, try to be the worlds best answer to the single question that you're trying to answer and people are more likely to engage with that and if there is a call to action for the next step, then they're more likely to take that step.
Okay, so let's move on, times going quick. I'm actually going to jump ahead and we'll cycle back to a couple of these other ones next time just because this one from Matt I really want to get answered. If we've got some time at the end I'll cycle back to a couple of the quicker ones. Matt was asking what are some typical questions to engage the audience? We were talking in the bridging topics episode about a conversation going on in your audiences mind, your ideal customer, you're ideal prospect. There's a conversation going on in their mind which may or may not be directly related to what your solution is, but there's the opportunity to bridge that conversation into your solution in a way that offers them some value.
Matt was saying that he doesn't specifically have a business, doesn't necessarily have something that he wants people to lead to so that definitely makes it more challenging. I've actually asked a slightly different question, of if I don't necessarily have a business than what should my book be about? To a certain degree if you just want to write a book for the sake of writing a book then it could be on anything because who cares. If you want to just do it because you want to do it then fair enough it's an interesting exercise and it might help your mind kind of dial in on the next book which might be more specific. Starting with the end in mind is always the best way to go. Just doing something for the sake of doing something, isn't necessarily going to yield the best results. If you've got absolutely no where were you want to lead people to, then the only option really is to have a book about your own story. Try to have something that's engaging and entertaining, if you don't have that either than what your doing it for, save your time and your money and do something else.
If you do have even the beginnings of the idea of where you want to lead people towards, even if you don't specifically have a product yet but you know you want to engage people, you've got a general interest in health and fitness, you want to engage people in that area. You've got an interest in Roman archaeology, so engaging people in that area. You've got an interest in UFO conspiracy theories, you wan to engage people in that. It can be on anything but starting with the end in mine is the way to the best outcome.
In terms of bridging topics, of what should you, what kind of questions can you ask people in order to engage them? It's a little bit specific on what you want the outcome to be, what business you're in. Usually what we'd say to people is, if you don't have a clear path, then think about what the most common questions that your business gets asked, so emails the the support desk, phone calls, speak to the sales guys and ask them what kind of questions they get when they're engaged with a new customer. Depending on what your industry or how complex your industry is are the things that are more difficult, are the kind of conceptual things that are difficult for people to understand. I was listening to, in fact I need to write something on this because it was quite interesting. There's a new book out called Sprint by Greg Nap I think, it talks about Google ventures and really it's the kind of lean model agile business process for quick again, to the point where you can put something out there and then moving forward and kind of pivoting as you go forward. This book was talking about AirBNB and one of the challenges AirBNB had was communicating to people what the premise was, the fact that this isn't hotels, it isn't a bed and breakfast, it's actually staying in someones house.
If your industry does have challenges like that where there's something consequentially challenging, then a book can be a great way of, from a non-threatening way to engaging people in that conversation, of helping to explain it. All those sources are likely to reveal some of the common questions. You can do other things as well, so keyword researching, Google for what people are searching about for a particular topic or subject, you can look at what other elements if you know that people in your business are always interested in, we'll go back to the lawn care, the landscaping issue. If people are always interested in a particular type of plant because in your area it's the most popular, so there's a big search volume around that type of thing, that might be a good thing to answer questions on. The subject itself, the engagement, as long as there's enough of an audience that are going to be interested in it, as long as it's worthwhile doing. Particularly the way in which we stretch in the 90 Minute Books, we try to make it a very quick way to get something out to market, a very quick way of capturing some of your thoughts in the best possible way, and having that in a relatively accessible, easy to create, authority building, valuable element that you can get passed back out to people.
If it's quick and easy and cost effective, than you can test all three of these things in the same time and same effort that you might want a more traditionally book where you try and cover four or five different areas all in the same book. Picking one subject, answering it as thoroughly as possible, going deep, and allowing the people to then raise their hand and ask for more information afterwards. Means that the questions that you can address can be very specific, it's just trying to fix one problem is just going to give people advice and guidance in one area. That one area that's the most popular question, or the most pressing question, or the most valuable question, the question asked most often, the most difficult question that customers ask your business. Pick one and then engage from there, and if you're really stuck then as I say, things like keyword research, just see what other people are asking.
Even things like Google complete, so when you're in Google and you start typing in the words for something, so how do I find the best or tips for lawn care in November? The auto complete suggestions are going to come up with the most popular questions and that might be a good place to start. A little bit of research on your part then to just make sure you've got a valuable comprehensive answer, but as I said at the beginning of this question, the most valuable thing is knowing where it sits in the journey. Knowing how you're trying to take the what the next step is that you're trying to take people towards. How they're thinking about your service in regards to a solution that they're trying to get. Start with then end in mind, that the best possible advice.
Okay, so we're just coming up on a half hour. I've got a couple of other questions but we're going to save those for the next show. If you do have any questions we're going to add to what we talked about so far and then just drop an email to podcast@90MinutesBooks and we'll add that to the list for next time. Check out the show notes for this particular episode, I'll include our link for the Hot Prospects co-publishing book that we wrote. That one was specifically for another, there was a talk series that was done a few months ago, we wrote this book specifically for those guys on the back of the talk that we did for them as a demonstration of how quick and easy it is to write a book and get it out. That talks about the full steps of dialling in your message, how you can build that into a funnel, and then engaging people on the next step, so I'll include a link to that.
Obviously if you don't have a copy of the 90 Minute Book as well which talks about how you can write your book then grab that from the website. If your ready to get started again, as I mentioned it's very quick and straightforward process in the same, within a few, we usually say to people within four to six weeks you can have a book outlined, and written, and published and out there collecting leads. If you do have one particular idea from this that has come to mind, one particular question that's really going to engage your audience, this is a great way of quickly and easily getting something out there. That means you can start collecting leads by the end of the summer, and start that conversation to convert them into customers. If you're ready to get started than just head over to 90MinuteBooks.com/start. Or reach out if you got any questions at support@90MinuteBooks, or to myself, Betsy, or Susan, they're waiting to answer your questions.
Okay guys, thank you very much for your time. Next week we'll be back with more of inflation based show rather than Q,A. Looking forward to that and speak to you all next time, thank you.