The Seductive Appeal of Writing a Business Book


For people who spend a lot of time focused on a particular topic or area of interest, the idea of writing a book is appealing.

It's a great way to demonstrate thought leadership, attract a bigger audience, and get speaking gigs.

But Juliet Clark says writing a business book isn't for everyone, particularly if you don't have a large audience.

Clark, who helps authors self-publish their books, says writing a book isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of work, not only to write a book but, as important, promote it.

From personal experience, writing a book is a labor of love. The ROI is being able to differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace.

It. Hi, it's Mark Evans and I'd like to welcome you to marketing spark, the podcast that delivers insight from marketers and Entrepreurs, and twenty minutes or less on today's show I'm talking with Juliette Dylan Clark, the founder of superbrand publishing, which helps authors established their brand across multiple marketing channels and positions them as go to thought leaders. Welcome to marketing spark. To yet thank you for having me. I love this format because I can actually seem like her, a little voice, cliglas kid. That's great. I wanted to have you on the show for a few reasons. One is that I have written three business books along the way, two of them self published, and I know the challenges that go into not only writing a book but publishing it and promoting it. And the second was that I run into a lot of up marketers these days who want to write a book. They think that, from the outside looking in, that's very sexy and there's no reason why they shouldn't do it. So I wanted to get some insight and perspective from you and when I run across your profile and Linkedin, I thought this is a person need to talk to. So my first question is, from the outside looking in, writing a book, a business book, seems straightforward, but maybe you can provide people with some context into what's really involved, because I know from personal experience it's not easy. But you do with authors all the time and perhaps you can provide us with some behind the scenes look of what it's like to write a book. It's hard, okay, you know even there are se all things that we don't anticipate when we write a book, and and that's why I really encourage, if you really really want to do this, work with a writing coach. One of the things that's really hard is that many of us are not used to storytelling, and in order to really connect in a book, you have to be a storyteller. And so not only do you have to be able to tell a little bit of the story of who you are and how you got here in your credibility, but whatever it is that you're teaching inside that book, you have to be able... have stories around that as well, because if you're just telling people how to do things, and you'll know this mark from writing a book. We have this concept in writing called show not tell, and it's one of the hardest things that writers have to get in the process of writing a book or telling a story is if I tell you how to do something, it's not very engaging. If I can show you how to do it, then you're much more open to the conversation. So a lot of digital marketers see writing a book as a good way to drive their personal brand. When we're allowed to speak again at conferences, it's a great way to do speak public speaking and fact some people exp have this dream of actually getting paid to speak. But here's the question. Should they explore writing a book and if not, why not? Well, there's this common wisdom out there that you will not be taken on as a speaker unless you have a book. Now I'm going to say that there are some speakers and there's some people who should not write a book. So we give you some example. I know I'm a great publisher, right, I don't totally know how to sell. Don't write the book. No, but seriously, we have a lot of business rawers out there where we go and we share with the Guru in the room. Hey, my products and services aren't selling, and their answer is, Oh, you need a book. Well, the problem with that is is using the book the way people have talked for years about it's my business card. It's not really Your Business Card. It's at a lost leader and accessory to bring in that low barrier audience. And if your products and services that are your big tickets are not selling, then the book is not the answer, because what people are looking for inside the book is a proven process that you have that works. And if you're pross, if you're writing a book in order to become an expert, you should be an expert first, with a proven...

...track record, and then write the book. That makes sense. Yeah, essentially what you're saying is that if you're if you're going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk as well. Exactly. And we've had a lot of people come into our company who have come from these business these business ventures, and when I ask them why they've written the book, they'll tell me it's because, you know, I'm not driving the traffic I want, I'm not getting the business I want, and that's a big red flag because if you need to have that audience built before the book, hopefully your audience is already people who love you and a bought your programs or they're people who have seen you out in the world or taken your quizzes when your audience building quizzes, and they're just waiting for that that low barrier product to really see what you're all about. It's not a business calling card and I've actually had people say, you know, I can walk into a job of interview and say I'm the person who wrote the book on X Y Z. I have to tell you, as an employer, I'm not impressed. You sound like a know it all. Yeah, one of the things I found from writing a book and having, you know, a fairly good brand is that when I talked to customers or I meet with prospects, what I'll do at the end is that I'll put the book down and say Hey, by the way, wrote this book. I think it's a way to impress people because I have credibility going in. I'm not looking to build kred will be right away with a book. And I think you make a good point, is that you have to have a track record and then layer a book on top of it. Absolutely. I'll give you example. I released my first nonfiction because I used to be a mystery writer. I've released it this summer it's called pitch slap, but it took me about three years to get to the point where I said, okay, I have a proven track record, I have testimonials, I have proof that the process works, and that's when I wrote the book and it was for those people who have been following me who just, you know, they didn't know if they wanted to spend what you know, what is this all about that she's talking about without spending a great... of money? So I think, I think that's what you really have to do with it. It just a curiosity. What is pitch lap all about? Pitch slapped is the art of serving, not selling. So I really talked about the bootstrap your way to bankruptcy business models that the coaching industry has and how the quiz platform helps validate your product, because for most coaches we're not like normal businesses where we go out and we, you know, seek financing. We bootstrap our own businesses and a lot of times, if we don't validate that product first, we bootstrap our way right into bankruptcy. So a little bit of a segue from you deciding to write a book into other people deciding that they want to take the plunge as well. So how do they pick a topic that will resonate? That's where our quiz process comes in, because if you have that validation and people are saying to you, you know, these are the gaps I have, this is the success I want, and you're able to fill that gap between where they are today and where they want to be, or at least start filling that gap. That's the kind of book people want to read. So being able to validate it and build an audience first ensures that you will have a book that sells. Okay, let's take a step back here, because you mentioned the quiz process. was that, which I believe is a core partter of view, or you're offering? How does that work? So what we like to do is many people come to us with their books, and I'm going to say probably seventy percent come to us with their book and they haven't really built an audience. Now we do have people. We're releasing a book next month that's by Jane fondas personal trainer. Of course she has an audience, right. Yeah, but most people when they come to us, they've written this book and they haven't really built the kind of audience they need to make it a best seller or really get out there and promote it in a meaningful way. So what we use the quiz process for? It's actually the first part of our publishing if we can catch you early, because we take the success principles of...

...what you'd like to teach or write the book about and we put this lead generation, lead qualification, research based quiz out to audiences. So if you're speaking, you have your audience take out their phone and take this quiz. It's a three minute experience right in the room. What we're offering to those people taking it, because it is the lead magnet, is I'm defining success for you. Let's see where you're in the process of success. Let's let you self evaluate where you're at. So what we're doing is it? It's that lead capture and lead qualification. Point is we're starting to talk to more and more people and the more and more people we have that we can validate our product with, the better we're going to be able to hone in on that product. And that's what we like to do with that book, is it's an audience builder and market research. What's the right book that these people need? So they are two schools of camp when it comes to writing a book. Either you find a publisher, and I consider that to be almost like winning the lottery these days, or you self published, and that's extremely easy to do, given that there's many services out there that will actually help produce your book and you can just put on Amazon to sell it. So where do you fall? What are your thoughts about on self publishing? So such an interesting question because I actually had someone come to me and say I could easily sell your book to a traditional publisher as she read. She read it for me in Baden and she works with the big publishers, and I kind of struggled with that, because how can I be a self publisher and then tell people up don't you know, go to traditional publishers? So I sort of went back and forth and ended up publishing my own book. But here's the deal. If you have a really big audience, a traditional publisher is more likely to take you because they are a business. They have you have to prove that you have the audience that will least make that book break even and hopefully make them a problem a profit. With the self publishers, you have to you have to hire one that is really integrated and involved in...

...your process. And let me explain that. My first self publisher, even though I came from traditional publishing, my first book was self published and I noticed along the way that they just took my manuscript, they developed it into the you know, formatted into the book, slapped it up on Amazon and that was all they did. There was no interaction, there was no coaching, there was no anything. And a lot of self publishing companies are like that. So if your you really really want to make this a great experience, you need to engage one that will meet with you and and tell you all the things that are going to make this professional send you out to get those things I've been I'm talking about endorsements, testimonials, all the things that make your book look professional on Amazon. But also how are you going to run that best seller campaign? How are you going to integrate that book back into Your Business? So that book was leading people to products and services. So there's a lot more to it. You have to have the book integrated from day one because most people use it as their loss leader in the business. So either way is good. The thing about self publishing is that you one hundred percent own your own rights and you can do other things with your book. If a traditional publisher takes it, chances are you can't do much with your book other than just let them have it because they have the rights to it. Now this may sound strange, but for my own experience I find that writing the book is read relatively easy. Promoting the book is the hard part, because there are so many books being published these days and everyone things they got a best seller or at least a book that's going to resonate with people, and you spend an awful lot of time trying to capture the spotlight. So any thoughts about, or any tricks for how to effectively promote a book when there's so many books out there? Yes, so that's why we put them. That's one of the reasons we put the quiz in place... we can actually pre sell your book inside the quiz because it's a self contained funnel. But what really makes this work is that pre marketing or that pre writing or during your writing period, gathering that audience for the book. You have to do what. You can't just slap your book up on Amazon and say buy me. So when we actually work with authors, we work with that quiz platform. First we're building the platform, we're building whatever's next, while we're writing the book, when we're publishing, we're running the Amazon ads, we are running the best seller campaign, which requires you to have partners who will promote your book as well. And then from there, after the after the initial launch has happened, most people never sell another book again or rare or they so very few. So that's when we have the free shipping book funnel, which we integrate back in so that from there you are able to upsell into lower cost products as well. So you're taking people from your book into your products. So when you integrate that all together, and I know it sounds like a lot and it is a lot, when you write a book, Don't think of it as I'm going to release it in thirty days and all it's going to be good. You need to start like probably minimum six months out, with a plan and putting all the pieces together and knowing when you're going to do what and and really having that marketing plan out there. So, if I understand you correctly, one of the things that you need to do is actually promote the book even before it's finished, so you're giving people updates on what you're doing, what you're writing about the kind of stories that you're going to tell. You're almost giving them an insiders look at the book writing process. Is that? Is that an accurate depiction? Yeah, I mean you can do that. One of the other things that we do really well with the quiz is we send people to a pre... page. So what right after you contract us, we've got your we do your book cover, so you have a page to send people to. We put it inside the quiz and people can actually pre buy your book. So imagine, while you're writing your book, you're out on a stage or in a summit and you're having people take the quiz and the landing page at the end goes to a page where they can pre buy your book. That's the kind of thing we do where you know we're in the moment, we've got people excited about it and we're actually getting people to buy it in Presale. So let a lot of people. Over the last six months, I think you and I have done a lot of interesting things and met a lot of interesting people on Linkedin. That's how we connected. Why is Linkedin worked for you? Or maybe I should take a step back and maybe talk about the approach that you've taken to Linkedin and some of the things that have worked for you along the way. So I'm almost exclusively on linkedin now. Two Thousand and sixteen election I got up twitter because it was really toxic and it used to be the place authors were. Two Thousand Twenty s about getting off facebook. So linkedin has worked for me because I have used some tools that have allowed me to connect and start conversations and and what I mean you and I, that's how we met, is in. The result of that is that I have a particular ask. I've done it in a way that's really not sales D it's geared towards relationship building and I actually have a little worksheet and we're on radio so I can't really show it to you, but I have to have ten contacts, ten conversations a week, either referrals or from linkedin. So I make sure that I jump back in every day and I have those conversations and that has really, really worked for me. First, maybe you can share the worksheet with me and I'll share it in the show notes when we after this thing is published. And second is, how did... find a conversation, but I said kind of come. I to find a conversation as is. We jump on zoom. So what that means, and I don't ask for zoom calls. What it means is I use my my automation tool I introduced myself. There's nothing sales the in it. This is not about sales at all and I haven't asked in it. And then people will get back to me, probably out of the I probably send sixty invites today and probably ten percent of those will come back and write a note in some form. Some of them we just, you know, type back and forth. Hey, great connecting. Others will say, you know where, let's jump on a call and talk and see what see how we can collaborate, see you know, what we can do. And so every week I have to have at least I usually get about five from linkedin and then I have referrals from other people that come in, other past clients and stuff that I have to actually make time to jump on zoom and have those conversations and get to know people. Couple questions. One is, would you disclose the tool that you're using and and one are the ways that you can create the perception that it's just some not some another automated tool that's going out in mass to invite people. I mean, I think it's one of the things about linked in these days is that people are getting inundated by connection requests and it's really hard to tell increasingly which one of them which are real. Can you bride a little bit of concepts, behind the scenes context about what you're doing? Yes, so I use OCTOPUSSY RM and inside of my message I have a very short video. It's about out like a minute, a minute twenty seconds, and I just introduced myself, and this is not something that's like professional. I literally opened up Zoom. Hey, this is Juliet Clark. It's so great to connect with you. I'm the CEO Super Brand publishing. This is what we do, and I think I even say in mind that I'm looking for pod swaps and and guests for my podcast, and I just put it in there with a very short note and and send it out.

So here's what I see inside of my linkedin mark is I get several messages a day from other people who want to connect. I can tell which linkedin expert they're working with and I can tell because of their message they have a really canned message. So that's why when I do this, I do it in a very different way. It doesn't come off as canned. It's just hey, here I am, here's a very short message and you know, hello, and if it seems like something that you know you'd love to connect, let's connect. And so I usually end up with about ten percent of those that go out a day or conversation starters. I give out my calendar link a couple times a week if someone comes back and says, you know, hey, we might be good collaboration partners. Let's talk about this. So I just made a lot of people that way and some of them become clients, some of them become partners, some of them I will never speak to again. Yeah, well, I think. I think people get a little distracted by the views and the comment ends and it really comes down of conversations. To me, the ultimate metric when it comes to Linkedin as conversations. How many people can I actually talk to? And, as you say, some of them lead to business, some of them lead to friendships, some of them lead to partnerships, but that's where the action is. A final question for you, aside from your own podcast. Do you have a podcast or a book that you would recommend? Is there a book that you've read recently that you would that you would recommend? I like Cryan love's choose. I'd like that. That's the only business book I've read lately. I don't know, with all of us on zoom all day, of kind of gone back with mystery novels. I don't want it. I don't want to engage in business at the end of the day lately. Well, thanks, Juliet for your insight about publishing and Linkedin, and thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by Itunes or your favorite podcast APP. If you like what your heard, please rate it. For show notes on today's conversation and information about Juliette, Visit Marketing Spark Dot Cola blog if you have questions feedback. Would... to suggest a guest. Want to learn more about how I have medby companies as a fractional CMO in salts and adviser, send an email to mark and marketing sparkcom. Talk to you next time.

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