Books Speak Volumes When Creating Relationships
By: Nick Nanton & JW Dicks
How Writing Your Own Book Makes You the Center of Conversation
In “The Relationship Age,” it’s sometimes really difficult to be heard. Everyone else is texting and Facebooking, not to mention IM-ing and emailing, and sometimes it seems the longest you can get someone’s attention is for 140 characters or less.
Talking in Twitter-sized bites, however, doesn’t really help you get a lot of meaningful ideas across. For example, here’s how Honest Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address would have gone if he had tried to Tweet it from an iPhone…
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the propositi
Never really was able to get even close to the point, was he? Hey, I even took out two commas, and I still couldn’t get to the end of “proposition.”
Lincoln wouldn’t have been the only one caught in mid-sentence. Here’s how far baseball great Lou Gehrig’s famous Yankee Stadium goodbye speech would have gotten through Twitter:
Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the
On the face of the what? The clock on the wall?
To be fair, let’s get away from the speeches – they always have way too much set-up anyway. Let’s try Tweeting the 23rd Psalm – that’s a little more direct:
The Lord is my shepherd – I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – he leadeth me beside the still waters – he restore
Wow, that’s a letdown. We’re all set up to relax in the pasture and by the still waters…ready for the great, good thing that’s going to happen…and bam! We’re left bereft of restoration of whatever was going to be restored (in this case, your soul – kind of an important detail).
It’s kind of interesting to put the Twitter 140 character limit on all kinds of things – famous songs, poems, jokes, whatever – but I’m not doing this just to play a game. I’m also doing it to make a very important point: that is, today, in our constantly-communicating ADD society, it’s hard to really put your ideas out there in a meaningful way.
We see this in politics – the constant repetition of out-of-context sound bites that often trivialize a candidate’s viewpoint – and we see this in movies and TV shows, which keep being edited faster and faster in an attempt to retain a viewer’s interest. The pace of all of our social interaction keeps accelerating to faster and faster speeds that make it increasingly difficult to make anything stick beyond catch phrases and slick slogans.
So how do you have the kind of lengthy conversation you need to have in order to build your circle of influence and establish your name—to build a relationship with a potential client or customer? How do you communicate who you are and what you have to say in a way that has lasting impact and in a way that has a long marketing afterlife?
The answer lies in something basic that existed ‘way before’ our current electronic age – a book.
THE OLDEST FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I quoted the Bible before – and that wasn’t a random choice. Books like the Bible were the original form of Social Media. Would Christianity have grown to the size it is today without having the Bible as a cornerstone of the religion – a book with all the religion’s philosophy contained in it that could easily be passed around? It would have been a lot more difficult, at the very least. And consider the fact that, in its time, the Bible was even interactive, as prophets and apostles of the time added on to it as events kept occurring.
Books have usually been the basis of any major movement – and that fact still holds true today. Major motivational speakers like Anthony Robbins and Jack Canfield depend on regular book releases to continue to grow their base. And superstars in sports, politics and entertainment make it a point to get a book out, even though it’s usually ghostwritten, to expand their ‘brand’ and put out their side of the story, without a reporter or interviewer beside them ready to instantly poke holes in it.
That’s why I say books are the oldest form of social media. Social media is anything that starts a conversation and builds a relationship – and for hundreds of years, books have prompted millions of hours of discussion, have created relationships between writer and reader, and still do. That’s why thousands of people participate in social book groups all around the world – there’s even this woman named Oprah who happens to have a very famous book club of her own, don’t know if you’ve heard of her…
At the same time, authors are also seen as unique and smart. It’s a hard, time-consuming task to finish a tome of your own – especially when most of us really don’t like to write. It just feels like leftover homework from English class in high school. That’s why most people would never think of attempting to write a book – and anyone who actually does finish one, let alone have it published, is instantly held in higher regard.
And that’s always a good thing.
HOW A BOOK BOLSTERS YOUR BRAND
Let’s return to what we talked about at the beginning of this chapter – how hard it is to impart your ideas to an audience when everyone is chattering away in tiny texts and status updates on their electronic gadgets.
A book is the ideal base for you to have the conversation you want to have with people. It gives you the opportunity to craft your message and have it delivered without any interruptions. When somebody reads your book, you get to go inside their head for hours and hours, so you can make your case in the most impactful way possible – and again, no one’s there to argue against you, except the reader. You’re no longer just a sound bite or a one-liner – you’re someone who has a fully realized vision of how something should work—you now have a “platform.” And again, that brings you instant respect.
Of course, the argument to all that is…who has time to read anymore? People don’t want to be bogged down with a book, they want to watch what they have recorded on their DVRs, play videogames or hang out on their favorite websites, however they like to spend their leisure time.
Well, this is the best part. It doesn’t matter if people read your book or not.
Some will, some won’t…but keep in mind that I said the book was the ideal base for your conversation with people. But it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all. As a matter of fact it’s really only the starting step to a whole world of marketing opportunities.
I always like to use Donald Trump as an example of a guy who knows what to do with a book. The Donald puts out a new book one, two, sometimes even three times a year. He certainly doesn’t need to for the money – no, he does it for his brand.
Think about it – when you see him on Larry King Live or The View or a late night talk show, it’s usually because he’s got a new book out. It gives the show a reason to book him, it gives him something new to talk about and it continually refreshes his brand. He will also then usually spin off other products from the book… a motivational CD, an online sales course, speaking engagements, etc.
His main business may be property development, but Donald Trump does the best at selling Donald Trump – and he uses his books as the platform to do it. If he just came on talk shows and discussed his latest condo project…well, let’s just say he’s sharp enough not to be dull.
THE POWER OF THE BOOK PLATFORM
Of course, there aren’t many Donald Trumps out there – and odds are you’re not going to get yourself booked on Larry King (at least not right away!) simply because you’re not that kind of media celebrity. Again, this is not a problem.
So how do you leverage a book that you’ve written and published?
There are literally thousands of ways to do it – to endlessly reuse, reformat and recycle the content you’ve created - but let’s break it down into three stages:
1) YOUR PRE-LAUNCH SEQUENCE
When a big movie is coming out, the studios want to make sure you and everybody else in the world knows about it. You want to treat your book the way a studio would treat the next “Transformers” sequel, and spread the word every way you can.
Begin by creating a website about the book before it comes out – offer a free portion of the book (a “sneak peek”) through an opt-in box that will allow you to capture leads. You can even feature a “countdown” to the publication date and time to generate more excitement. Create Tweets and Facebook posts about the preparations you’re doing for the book’s release – create an air of anticipation.
When the website is up, put out a press release announcing you’ve got a publishing deal, making sure you have links back to your website. Syndicate the press release and post it on all the social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Also consider doing a podcast by having a friend interview you about the book and put it up for download on iTunes.
2) PUBLICATION PUBLICITY
Once your book is published, you can now use it to your advantage to get your own media bookings. Again, a real author gets attention – and you should at least be able to ‘nab’ some local air time.
Send out copies of your book to local radio and TV stations, as well as print publications, and offer to be interviewed. Also put in a listing in Radio-TV Interview Report (find out more at RTIR.com) to make yourself available for national interviews. You can also mail copies to your top clients, send them out to get yourself booked for speaking engagements at business and civic events, and host a book signing event at a local book store.
Consider continuing to produce podcasts for distribution through iTunes with a theme of something like “Beyond the Book,” offering additional/updated information and conversation about topics you cover in the book.
Finally, remember to distribute blogs and articles online based on your book. You can use excerpts from your book for the articles and write about the experience of being a published author on your blog. Spin off as much content as you can to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
3) LENGTHENING THE AFTERLIFE
Now that you’re an author, it should become an important part of your professional profile. Make sure it’s added to your official bio and put the name of the book and a link to it in your email signature.
You can also break down a chapter and make it into an ongoing free special report, available on your website through an opt-in box. Definitely rework the material into speeches or seminar material for your personal or recorded appearances.
Your office should also reflect your author status. Put a framed copy of the cover of your book on the wall in your reception area or office – it’s easy to do through canvaspop.com. Also, leave copies of your book on the coffee table in your office with “Take Me” stickers on the front. You should also donate copies to the local libraries in your area. Make sure your contact information is contained in these copies – either put a business card in the book, or have your info stamped on the back page.
Those are just a few of the ways you can continue the conversation you start with a book. The book is the vehicle to get you in the door – for interviews, for speaking engagements, for online content and for every other kind of publicity opportunity you can work. And you work it as much as possible so that people will begin to hear your name in different venues – and always in an authoritative, knowledgeable context.
At our Celebrity Branding Agency®, we help our clients do all this and more – and we add another, very powerful step. We’ve created a foolproof way to make our authors’ books best-sellers in certain Amazon categories. We then honor them by getting them inducted into the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™ - and send out another round of press releases noting their honor and best-selling status, which opens up more major marketing opportunities - still from the same book.
A book establishes you as an authority in your field. It gives you credibility and influence – and it also gives you the launching pad for an incredible marketing ride. The opportunity to have lengthy, persuasive conversations are rare in The Relationship Age – but a book allows you to have that opportunity and maximize it over and over to your advantage.
A book stands out. You stand out. And that’s the essential element to any marketing triumph.