One of my favorite shows of the year so far...
This week Betsey & I are talking about practical ways to use your book once it's complete. Using 'traditional' publishing strategies as the idea, we look at how you can tweak the tactic to really get the most bang for your book.
We had 4 or 5 topics on the outline, but the conversation was so good we only go to cover 2 (plus a great side conversation on using meetup.com to get in front of people).
This week we go deep into the better way to do a:
- Book reading/signing
- Book launch party
We'll continue with the rest of the ideas next week...
Transcript: Book More Show 025
Stuart: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another Book More show. It's Stuart here with Betsey again. How you doing, Betsey?
Betsey: I'm great. Great to be here as usual and doing this one a different morning than we usually do. So nice and quite around here. So that's even better. So fantastic. What're we going to talk about today?
Stuart: We mixed things up a bit since we didn't get around to doing it yesterday. So we're doing it on Saturday morning. So a more relaxed vibe to the podcast today.
Betsey: Really it is.
Stuart: Less stressful Saturday mornings. So today's doing to be a good one. We're going to do a bit of a deep dive show today. Next week we might hit some more Q and As. We've got a few of those building up but I thought we'd go a little bit deep in today's episode and talk about a question that's come up quite a few times over the last couple of weeks as we've been talking to people going through the system and that's, as they get to the end of the system, the books are going into production. They've made any tweaks to their content that people might want to tweak as part of the version two process that we offer to everyone. So they're ending up with end product. All the hard works been done. What now?
So this is where the rubber meets the road. This is the opportunity to ... This is the whole point of doing it at the end of the day. We're not ... this isn't vanity stuff. We're not just trying to do books for the sake of being a bestselling author or just to get it out of our heads for the most part. This is really looking at engaging some customers and putting something valuable out in the marketplace, generating business. So we'll look today at what people can do to take their newly found asset, get it out there working for them, and generating some excitement.
Betsey: Fantastic. Yes. A lot of this has been brought up lately by different clients and on my end people will come to me when a book is say 70% finished and say "Okay. What do I do?" There's an anxiousness. What am I going to do when I'm finished with this book? Sometimes we all think about that but I'm hearing a lot more about people preparing ahead of time, you know, wanting to be prepared so when that book is completed, they can go straight for that launching. So it's nice that people do think that.
Stuart: Yeah that's the whole point isn't it? It's so easy to get caught up into the mechanisms and mechanics of getting it out there. There whole point of the process is to make it as streamlined as possible for people really doing to work up front and taking the pressure off people so that they end up with something they can use and get out there and engage the audience. So that really is the main point of it. Getting it out there in the hands of people and starting conversations. We talk about there being a tagline in the business being "Making it visible, leads visible" or highlighting those prospects that are hotter than cold but it really comes down to starting that conversation.
So today we're going to use the theme of more traditional book launch but tweak it for our needs. Last week or the week before we'd done a podcast on one of the other network shows. Dean was talking to Jamie Smart. He has in addition to being traditional book author, he has a traditional author publishing deal with a UK publisher. So we were talking about some of the ways that they were launching one of his other more traditional books into the store, physically into stores in the UK, and some of the tactics and strategies that they were using.
So, we're going to use that similar kind of model. We're going to talk about some of the things that traditional publishing houses will do but we're going to put a 90 Minute Book spin on it and really look at how us as business owners as marketing guys really thinking about getting the book into people homes and identifying leads and starting conversations. So how we can use the traditional strategy but tweaked the tactics slightly to better serve ourselves.
Betsey: Sounds like a great place to start.
Stuart: Perfect. So as usual I'm probably going to go off on a rant and start talking a lot so feel free to jump in at anytime. I think often times you tend to deal with a broader set of people than I do as far as customers go. So again if you've got any real life examples how people use and I've got a couple here as we're going through the outline. So jump in and we'll try and illustrate the ideas with some real life examples that we know people are doing.
Stuart: With all that said, let's get started. So, I've got five or six main headings and these are all examples that we see in a tradition book launch is going through. So we'll take them one at a time and then look at better ways to do them, more effective way to doing them. So the first one on the list is you often see people doing book readings or book signings. This is usually part of a tour to launch a book either just as it launches or more often than not these days as a prerelease strategy because there's such a machine and a metric system that drives the bestseller lists that its very game able and you see this quite a lot with other publishing companies or marketing companies will teach you or you'll have programs that will get you onto bestseller lists.
As we've said before that's not really the focus of ... or it’s not all the focus of what we do but there are reasons why in other models, which that works and it's the right choice. But using that same strategy, the same idea of getting in front of people, how can we better do it if the purpose is to identify leads?
So rather than just going out there to drum up enthusiasm and excitement for the book itself because you're interested in book sales. The better way of doing it for lead generation is to almost scale it back. In a certain way less is more because really being more niche specific and thinking about the overall funnel. If you're having an event where you're inviting people to talk about the book, your book, rather than the book itself being the focus, as it is in a traditional sense, here the book is just an excuse, an opportunity, to start a conversation dialog with people about an end product or service.
So some great ways we see that happening is in an online sense. People arranging calls or webinars to talk thorough either the entire subject of the book or a particular topic within the book, bringing together people to talk about that specific thing because you can then add value to them. But use the book as the excuse, the mechanism for holding that event. So just holding an event for the book in itself is probably less productive because a) its not entertainment and b) book sales aren't really the end goal because 99% of the people that we deal with just one sale of a product to a service would equal a thousand sales of books. So the book itself is not really the focus but using it as the excuse to bring those people together is a similar kind of model but a just more effective strategy.
That of course works locally as well particularly for businesses that are geographically placed rather than internationally in location independent than bringing people physically together is a perfect opportunity to also put a face to a name and be present in the community. So I can remember talking a couple of weeks ago to Hank Hankison who's got a very strong presence in a particular community, financial planner, does the majority of the work within this particular community in his area and has built up a reputation and a presence over a slightly longer period. So having an event to our audience in that physical location, using the book as the trigger for the event, rather than the main focus of the event, is going to be a great way of getting bums on seats, another excuse or opportunity to shake people’s hands and look people in the whites of the eyes and just make that connection.
Betsey: Exactly. We've had a lot lately, I would say the last six months probably five clients who've been going to different trade shows that are specific to their industry, be it yachting or acupuncture or you know financial and they are very interested in seeing great success with setting up a booth there you know a big blown up copy of the book and people coming up to them. They're giving the book away and I know we'll touch on that a little bit later but they're with their people. They're with that industry and people they're trying to capture you know. And just doing that and I'm hearing it more and more. When I first started this I didn't hear it as much but definitely seeing that's a great idea. To get out amongst the ones that are interested. They're working in your industry. That are interested in your industry. Where your clients are going to be.
Stuart: And its using the ... this is what we say all the way through ... the books really it's just an excuse to start conversation but there is a magic about a physical book that has carry over credibility or kudos or ... there's something about a book that's different form just giving someone a PDF document or a print out of a pamphlet type thing. There's something about it being bound in a format that looks like a book. Its ... I think I was talking about this last week with Julie. Robert Cialdini's latest book, Persuasion, its all of those mental triggers and links that tie back to something that has more credibility than something else. The content might be the same but it’s the framing.
It’s the same with having a booth at a store or a trade fair or a convention. So often the mindset is collecting leads. I can remember ... I remember the story but I blanked on who was telling it. It’s gone out my mind completely but the story was they were at a seminar or convention had said, were speaking from stage, opened up their presentation by saying "Hey great seeing so many people here. Who's here to sell something?" And 90% of the audience put their hands up. Fantastic that's great. Who's here to buy something? And like two hands went up and that mismatch of everyone being there with the same intention to sell but no one actually being there with intention to buy really drives the need to get into the mindset of the audience that you're talking to.
So being a presentation ... sorry, a seminar or an event with the mindset of giving information away, of adding value to the participants, the delegates that are there, rather than just being there to collect leads, the actual physically being there is very similar but the mindset and the approach are totally different and it can change the whole way you present your presence at the event. So the book is a great opportunity and a great excuse to position something as giving, as starting a conversation, when you're also collecting and starting conversations as well.
We might not have time to go through it today but there's another element of being physically present at something like an event, which is also needs to be bore in mind, which is this concept of ... I thought we might get to in the giveaway section in a bit but this concept of, if the premise is that you're giving something, it can be a little bit difficult to also try and collect. So giving someone a book in one hand but then also asking them to fill out their name and email address on the other hand, that's a bit of a way of pushing a whisk type element when really want to keep it all cheese, all giving, all leading with the giving hand as we said before.
So that's what I think is the back of the copy, leading someone to a minimum viable commitment next step of giving someone a book with 100% intentions of giving it without giving it without anything in return but then very clearly having an easy next step to collect the detail by saying to people on that back cover for example "Okay not you've read the first five things that are important about this particular business. What you really need to do now is take this score card or got through grab a free copy of our checklist and then you can baseline yourself on whatever index or metrics you want to set up." But it's creating something so it’s easy for someone to opt in separate from the fact that you've given them something to start the conversation.
It’s a little bit difficult to ... well not difficult but the nuance of it goes quite a few levels deep and its easy not to necessarily drill down deep enough but the main thing to think about is that authenticity of purpose. So kind of leaping back to what we start off talking about, the book reading, the book signing, the authenticity of purpose as we're trying to do it is to start the conversation but start by giving something. Start by promoting the content of the book, which is useful to the audience.
So just to close that and move on to the next. We were talking about the lead generating an example of a book reading or a book signing might be a call or a webinar based on promoting the book. The book is the reason for having it. A live example would be to physically have it in a location. So if you've got a community center in the area or there's a partner that you're working with in the area then that's an opportunity to use their facilities. The whole meetup ... have you ever been on meetup?
Betsey: I have yeah.
Stuart: So for those that aren't aware, it started after, or really picked up the pace after 9/11. So there was a whole ... the founders felt that there was a whole opportunity to create a sense of community and build on sense of community. So they created a platform where you could build communities and organized meet ups. So for example we were very successful when I lived in London to run the I Love Marketing meet up in London. I know that you use same platform worldwide. So even organizing things in that type of environment is a great way of bringing people together.
Or you could even do things like organize Q and A sessions or AMA’s Ask Me Anything type sessions. Really it's just using the book as an excuse to bring that audience together. So depending on what you're audience is or how big your audience is there's a lot of opportunities to use that as the trigger rather than as the event itself.
Betsey: Really that's a great idea. That meetup is really in this area is taking off a little bit more and I really have never thought oh that would be something for somebody to do but I think certain ... you know there's a lot of challenge having recently moved to a new city, there's something for everyone truly but for somebody who's not equip on a financial group one time and now I get a lot of notifications from them but there's so many groups out there for people to contact and they're always looking for speakers and you know someone to come in and talk to the group. And that's a great way ... its great that a group that has sometimes thousands of members to reach out to these folks. So that's a good idea. That's definitely something I'll use as an example.
Stuart: Yeah absolutely it’s about adding value isn't it? And that actually is a great point to think about in that again going back to the authenticity of purpose type model, trying to tie all of these things that we're talking about. It's easy for it to get a little specific into using a book for a specific purpose. And then the language and the scenario and the set up is not necessarily difficult to follow but sometimes its easier to bridge it across to other things.
So I often tie it back into the example of being at a party. If you just turn up at that party and no one else knows you and then you just start to talk about how great you are that's not going to engage people as much as if you turn up there not knowing anyone but start asking questions about those guys and have a genuine interest in someone else. Or be a regular attendee at the party and create a bit of an audience, create a bit of an audience, create a rapport with the people because of longevity because you're often there, because you're often helping out.
So the same with what we're talking about here, engaging an audience, it’s very difficult to go into a brand new community and just start chatting about how great you are and expect to get some traction. Much easier to either build a relationship with a group over time or if it is a first time attending some where you're visiting then go in aiming to give as much value as possible. And start to build rapport there.
So the meetup example is perfect example because you've got the opportunity of a) you could for example if you're geographically based in an area so meetup generally is geographically tied because people are meeting up physically. It’s difficult to not make it sound like a dating site. It is more pure of purpose if you like.
Stuart: So yes physically. So if you are regularly in an area arranging a meet up to talk about so stick with the financial example arranging a meet up that talks regularly about what a group of people would need to know for a financial situation. So it could be the new parents financial group and you there as a financial advisor are facilitating a conversation with new parents on what they've got to do or a seniors group. Again targets ... picking a single targets market as relevant as possible. So you could set up a meet up group and then regularly contribute to it and build an audience over time and then having the book as a framework which is actually what we did for the I love marketing meet ups. We used the [inaudible 00:19:46] book as the frame for that conversation.
So there are eight profit activators that meet every two weeks or so. We would take one of the profit activators per session and then we probably have another couple of meet ups interspersed with that either just as new persons on board or as a complete Q and A one. So over the course of six months or so we would probably get through all of those and then cycle back round and then talk about those again. So having a regular meet up is one great idea.
The other opportunity is like you said. Very often people are looking for speakers so you can find a group so if you were the financial planner working with new parents you could find a mums group or a parents group or a child support group and offer to go and speak to that group and use your book as the example or the excuse for why you could deliver value to that group other than I'm just gonna turn up and talk about something. Go there with a copy of the book. Get some copies of the book and physically give them to people. But it gives you the opportunity to be present in that place. It’s an excuse to be present in that place whilst adding value all the time.
And then the third example would just be to find groups that aren't necessarily subject specific but are topic related. So again go and speak to people because of topic bridging and use the book as the example to be there. Yeah I think that is a great opportunity. And I would imagine we'll have to dive into this. Maybe we'll reach out to the community of writers we've already got and see if anyone's interested in having this as a case study. But I'm sure particularly in the bigger cities where there's a lot of meet up groups I'm positive that someone could have huge success and build their business funnel for a year plus if not more just from using meet up as a strategy.
Betsey: Absolutely. Absolutely. I completely-
Stuart: Yeah unless we jump to the, if anyone's listening to this now, the show notes for this are going to be on the podcast page so head over to 90minutesbooks.com/podcast and this is episode 25, 025. So anyone listening to this this weekend or into the future feel free to reach back out to us. You can shoot us an email at email@example.com and that will come through to us just as a regular support form on the website. So if this is something that you're particularly interested in, give us a shout because I'm more than happy to spent a bit of time with people about this as a strategy and see what evil schemes we can orchestrate in using this particularly.
Stuart: Okay. There you go. That wasn't too bad. The first topic on the list, we ran off into a twenty minute tangent.
Betsey: That was great. I think that's great information for people and it's great for me truly because what I said was when we talk about ways to launch, prelaunch, or launch or what to do with the book once its finished I've never really thought of that and it really is a great idea. It could potentially be very beneficial to someone's business. I'm gonna kind of research a little of it on my own as well.
Stuart: Right and I think particularly for anyone that's got a physical or local business where there is a component of you actually need to see people. The opportunity I think is really to become the industry leader in your area. I mean that's the benefit these days, particularly I mean as people can tell from the accent I'm across from the UK at the moment. I used to be down in London but I'm now up further north in the country and it's a pretty small area but even there there's a big enough population for the local businesses here to stay in business because by virtue of the fact that they are in business and have stayed in business it means that the area is big enough. In a very small area like this its easy to become the leader, the authority, because there's a lack of competition.
In a bigger area, say London or Tampa, Orlando, New York, any bigger area the benefit you've got there is number of people or audience size. So there's more competition but there's a bigger audience so there's a bigger pie to have a slice of. And strategies like this where other people just aren't doing it or aren't doing it yet at least there's a huge opportunity to capture that audience.
The last I don't know how many people who listen in here or listen in to or keep a track on what Gary Vaynerchuck is doing. He was running through some Instagram DM ideas yesterday. So I was just listening in on that and there was the point there saying that all of these things. DM’ing people isn't anything new. Exactly the same thing happened in Twitter when that platform was up and running. The same thing happened in email 15 years ago. It’s not that the strategy is new. It’s just that you've got a time based arbitrage opportunity if you like there's less noise in that environment. So there is on a number of things just a point in time benefit of acting fast of acting now and getting ahead of the competition and that means that you really can position yourself as the first to market.
It's kind of like that old analogy of I think ... I forget what the number is. I think its if there's 12 people who've walked on the moon but if you ask the majority of people to name anyone they could only name the first one. There's definitely a first mover advantage, which again is another benefit of the 90-Minute Book approach of being about to put something out there fast, very specific, very targeted. But it’s a great way of getting first advantage because you don't need to think about writing a book for a year. This is something that you can do with 90 minutes of your own time and be completed in six to eight weeks and get out and really start capitalizing on that first mover advantage.
Betsey: Absolutely. Great idea.
Stuart: Okay. Right. We might need to string this over two shows because we've already almost come up on half an hour and we're only on the first one down. So the second one and we'll definitely get through the second one because that's kind of related and then we'll probably save the ... let's catch up in a week and we'll run another show for next week as we follow on and we'll back to back them.
So the next one that we have on the list to talk about that you see traditional publishing houses doing as well as kind of book readings and signings, they also do book launch parties or prelaunch parties so how is that going to translate into what we're doing? We're probably not that excited about a book launch party for the sake of the book itself because of a couple of things.
We're not really looking to get live media coverage of an event. We're probably keen on the size of the audience. We're not trying to glad-hand people in the sense of just telling everyone to put the tux and come round for some canapés and champagne. What we are interested in doing though is engaging the audience. So the book as an excuse to do something like that is still a valid and useful strategy. So it comes back to purpose and authenticity of approach though so rather than just doing a book launch party for sake of having people come round for drinks having it for another particular reason but using the book as an excuse just like we said in the first example is gonna get ... it’s a reason to do something. A reason to bring people together.
Something that might be more beneficial to anyone listening to this is maybe something like a customer appreciation event. So again these two examples have been pretty physically based for the most part. So if you've got customers in local area, if you've got partners that you work with, if you've got relationships or organizations that you work with that you can use the book as an excuse to bring people together but then bring people together to add value to them and whether that value is an education opportunity so bring people together for a presentation. [inaudible 00:28:29] because that's too kind of one way but bring people together for an education opportunity.
An example that springs to mind there is Victor Pancini who wrote the Erin’s Law Solution that's going into schools and sharing with people a particular requirement that they need to fulfill around this this law. This governmental requirement. So a book launch party for that might not be that much ... who cares at the end of the day. But having the book as an excuse to go into the schools in the local area and give them a 15 minute presentation about what changes they need to put in place to be compliant. Use the book. Have the book there. Use that as the example to bring people together but then have drinks and a party type opportunity afterwards but almost as a thank you for people, a thank you for the community, a kind of a ... I don't want to say a celebration but a good feeling, a good reason to bring people together, the book being that reason rather than just being that sole purpose being to celebrate a book launch.
It’s very nuanced and I'm always conscious of ... anyone that's listened to more than one of these shows knows that I try to drill into the details as much as possible which is sometimes a little too much detail. I'm a slightly higher fact-find than some other people but the nuance of the event is the same. At the end of the day you're having an event where people are there and listening to words and having something to drink and eating some finger food but the purpose of the intent is different.
It just being a celebration from some degree who cares and in the context of a bigger funnel trying to engage people in the conversation again its not the most effective but having it as a customer appreciation event, having it as an education opportunity for this thing that's changing, adding value to the group, it keeps it consistent with the funnel and then following up with people afterwards saying, "I hope you had a really good time" and then leading into a next step in the conversation towards a product or service is much easier to do if the even was based around an education event or being there for a purpose rather than just being there for a party.
Betsey: Exactly. I agree with that. I think sometimes even as a consumer you know when you get invited to certain things like that you're hesitant because our time is so valuable. Do I want to give up two hours of my time to just "This is great. This guy wrote a book and maybe I can just get a copy of it kind of thing" but if there's something there that's some useful information in their presentation ... or you know even if it’s just 15 minutes you know it’s just something that could be useful to my personal community and that might drag me out of the house on a Thursday night to do something like that or I think we've mentioned about doing a fundraiser or some sort of awareness you know having a different purpose but ultimately the goal is connect with those people for the purpose of your book. But there's other ... would definitely get me out the door I think and a lot of people their time is so precious you know to.
Stuart: Yeah and it's sort of like delivering value I think isn't it? I mean you mention there ... And all of these examples are ... there's no right or wrong answer. It depends on the individual case. I've sure there's more than one person listening to this where a launch party even might be the correct answer. But I think the majority probably not. You mentioned fundraising or awareness raising. Again there's so many organizations out there who struggle to engage with their audience whether their audience are customers or patients or people that they're trying to help in the community. Anyone that's listening to this is thinking about building a book or using a book to engage that audience and being able to bridge that into a complimentary non-competing organization.
So using the book that you've written to help someone else's audience to run a fundraising event for them but using your book as the excuse to bring people together is just a way of a) building your audience and authority and awareness of you out there which is great but from a broader society level is also about contributing and giving something back and creating or contributing to the greater good. So if you can use your book as a reason for another organization to do a fundraiser as a reason for the school to come together and raise awareness of a program that they're doing, as a reason for an elderly care institute or a charity looking after older relatives to bring relatives together and talk about a subject that's pressing. If you can use your asset. Your book as a reason for those people to bring then together, even if there's no direct or immediate benefits to you, the broader, not necessarily as calm or as measurable, but the broader impact that you're going to have is well worth the effort I'd say of bringing that together because these things are relatively easy to organize.
I'm conscious that time's getting on but, because we've just gone past the half an hour so, an example of that though before we wrap up is Jim Hacking. He's written a couple of those. He's an immigration attorney from St. Louis. They obviously are very busy now because of the uncertainty around immigration and regardless of your personal opinion of what people should stay the law currently says what it says and people have got anxiety around how that is being implemented. So he's run a number of events into local organizations just to give people some educational awareness on what the law currently is, what their rights are, if nothing else. Even if, and I mean there is a substantial amount of business coming from it but even if that wasn't the case what he's able to do is talk to people from a position of knowledge, from a position of experience, and give them if not a piece of mind at least a sane voice in a relatively noisy environment at the moment.
So being able to step in and share your expertise, share your knowledge, and the book being the reason, the excuse to get in front of those people. I think that is just another fantastic opportunity that people have got to kind of spread the knowledge to do something good in the community and really help people.
Betsey: I like that. I like that a lot. I like that he's you know there is an opportunity for him but there are probably so many people right now who're just struggling with that. The fact that he has the knowledge and can ease some minds, that's great to hear really.
Stuart: Yeah, I mean even if you know there's always difficulty in using subjects that are emotionally changed because people have got opinions on both sides of the fence. But even if it’s something like school funding is changing now as the current administration is moving towards a different ... I don't know. I know you've got an education background. As the current administration is moving to a change of direction. So that uncertainty that it generates even if it’s not as heated as some of the other subjects whenever there's a change out there it creates a lot of uncertainty for the people that it effects whether it effects a big group of people or a small group, the opportunity to step in front of people, whether its education or financial changes in the financial regulation. I mean I guess regulation is an easy one to this about because it’s an external change that people have got no choice but to fall in line with and that creates an amount of anxiety in itself. So there's any regulatory change is a great opportunity to kind of step up and be that leading sane voice and offer something back into the environment.
Stuart: Yeah another 15 examples just popped into my mind but we’re out of time now because we're headed for 40 minutes. We're gonna draw a line under it there. Let's catch up again next week. I mentioned at the start we were maybe going to do a Q and A show but we'll do the second half of this one next week and follow up with the rest of the examples.
Betsey: Yeah there's a lot of great stuff here to work with and I think this is one of my favorite subjects we've talked about to be honest with you. So I look forward to that. We'll hope on another call and do it again.
Stuart: Yeah that's going to be great. So anyone that's listening in head over to get the show notes, check out the notes on the website. So go to 90minutebooks.com/podcast. This is episode 25. So 025. We'll have a transcript of the show notes here and we'll put in some additional supporting material so people can refer back to. If you've got any feedback or if there's anything in particular you want us to cover, then just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to get that. Of course you can always use the feedback form or the contact form on the website as well and they'll come through to the same place. And if the show's inspired you and you're ready to get started head over to 90minutesbooks.com and hit the get started button and Betsey might well be one of the first people that you speak to will be here, ready to get your idea out into the world and start some exciting conversations.
Betsey: Absolutely. Fantastic.
Stuart: Perfect. Okay, Betsey, thanks a lot for your time. I will catch you next week and we'll finish off the second half.
Betsey: Cool. Thanks so much.
Stuart: Thanks everyone. Bye.