5 Ways Writing A Book Will Supercharge Your Online Presence

lead-generationLet me tell you right off the bat, writing and publishing a book is a lot easier than you think.  In September of 2014, when I became a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, I provided a list of ten reasons why joining the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant network is a no-brainer for digital agencies.  On top of all those reasons, I had no idea that the network would lead me to becoming a published author after just a few short months of joining.

The backdrop to my story is that I attended the Duct Tape Marketing Annual Summit last year.  Shortly after that amazing three-day event, fellow marketing consultant Ray Perry of MarketBlazer, Inc. approached me to write a book with three other Duct Tape Marketing Consultants.  Last year, Ray and another group of DTM Consultants published a great book on referral marketing called Renewable Referrals, and that book became an Amazon Best Seller!

Fast-forward six months, now I am part of an amazing team of fellow consultants that has launched The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation – another book that is well on its way to Amazon Best Seller status.   Aside from an awesome foreword written by John Jantsch, we have an incredible list of endorsements from the likes of BNI founder Dr. Ivan Misner, Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, New York Times bestselling author Michael Port, and many more thought leaders and tech company CEOs.

Now that you know a little about what we’ve accomplished and how we got here, let me explain why publishing a book results in a seismic boost to your online presence:

  1. Online Authority. Creating and publishing a book in your niche provides an instant boost in personal authority and elevates your status as an expert.  From creating book and author pages on Amazon, to launching a book via press releases, podcasts and online marketing, these activities provide an overnight boost in authority that most of your competitors will not have.  In other words, you are no longer just “Your Name”, you are “Your Name, author of…”
  2. Online Trust.  Getting thought leaders in your niche takes some effort and creativity, but it’s easier than you think (assuming you have good content).  Asking an influencer to provide a quote for a book about their niche reinforces their position as a leader in that niche – so in many cases they will be motivated to provide a book quote.  Once you have multiple industry authorities blessing your book, all of your content suddenly becomes more credible, trustworthy and interesting.
  3. Organic SEO.  If you launch a book effectively, you will also create a standalone book website.  All of the marketing that you do should lead people back to the book site, the same way we doing now in this guest blog post.  Our book site already ranks highly on Google for “local lead generation books” and is quickly climbing for more competitive generic terms such as “local lead generation”.
  4. Social Media Exposure. Book launches, by their very nature, create buzz.  With careful and strategic coordination, you can dramatically amplify your social media exposure by leveraging your own network, as well as those that have supported your book.  From tagging tweets and posts, to simply notifying business chambers and local media, you will find many venues and organizations that will be motivated to share your story on social media.
  5. Conversion Optimization.  If you are a regular consumer of John Jantsch’s content, you already know that creating great content in a way that draws ideal customers into your digital channel is a core Duct Tape Marketing principle.  By promoting and offering an actual book on your website, you now have a killer conversion hook that will convert more first-time web visitors into loyal content consumers, and thus on the path towards conversion.

The above list is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of benefits.  Perhaps one of my favorites is that this book has become my new business card.  There is nothing like walking into a sales meeting and dropping a book on the table with credible endorsements.  As a busy agency owner, I really have to be careful how I invest my most treasured asset: time.  So when I tell you that book publishing has become a new cornerstone of my own inbound marketing strategy, I am not saying it lightly.  Yet, I have already signed on for another book project and will publish my own book this fall titled:  New SEO: Search Engine Optimization For Web Designers & Small Business Owners.

Trust me, if I can write a book, you can too.

phil-singletonPhil Singleton owns and operates Kansas City Web Design, where he and his team provide custom WordPress and Magento web development, and Kansas City SEO, where he provides search engine optimization services to companies with hundreds of thousands in revenues to hundreds of millions.  To get more SEO and Internet marketing tips and advice, and learn more about Phil’s book writing adventures, follow him on Google+.

How to Avoid Competing on Price Alone


photo credit: Small Town Snails via photopin (license)

Without understanding and defining your true core message, people are going to compare you to your competition on price alone.  This is a tricky situation to be in.  Sure people want the best deal possible, but they also want to be taken care of.  They want to buy from companies they can get behind.  They want to understand the purpose.

Here are two important elements to focus on while developing your core message:

  • A true core difference – do the research and make sure none of your competitors are preaching the same thing
  • An idea that resonates with your clients – take the time to understand what your clients love about you and develop your core message from there

Doesn’t sound too difficult right?  Below are 4 easy steps to break down the important elements and how to avoid competing on price alone.

Learn what your competitors are preaching

Time to kick off the research!  Visit your top 5 competitor’s sites and read through their “About Us” pages.  Copy and paste the overview from the about page and put them all in one document.  Do the same for your site.  Go through and read the descriptions and highlight some of the common themes you see throughout each.   I am guessing “great customer service” and “years of experience” might be mentioned in a few of them.  Take it one step further and delete any mention of the companies names in your document.  Pass it around to members of your team and see if anyone can correctly identify your description and each of your competitors.  This alone might be an eye opening experience.

Give your competition props

It’s now time to spy on your competition.  Set up a listening station to keep tabs on what you competitors are doing.  Everything from monitoring social media to signing up for their newsletter to tracking keywords.  Understanding what your competition is doing, what works for them, will provide you with a bit of direction.  I am not saying copy your competitors marketing efforts, simply suggesting you might be able to learn from what they are succeeding at.  They wouldn’t be focusing on gaining 1000s of Twitter followers if it wasn’t paying off on some level.

Listen to the people that matter the most

Your clients are the most important people to your business.  Take the time to listen to them, show them you care, and learn from them.  Sit down with 10-15 of your best clients (most profitable and refer you the most) and interview them.  Ask them about their experience with your company and how you can make it even better for them.  Take their feedback and continue to improve but also use it to develop your core message using words that actually resonate with the people you serve.

Here are a few of my favorite questions:

  1. Why did you choose us in the first place?
  2. Why do you stay with us?
  3. What do we do that others don’t?
  4. What could we/our products/services do for you that we don’t?

Communicate your difference

You have taken the time to do the research.  It’s now time to create your core message –  this message should be a short statement that becomes your marketing message workhorse.  Commit to it, stick to it, and resist the desire to change.  It may develop over time, however, the core statement should be something you are proud to preach over the years.

I would love to hear from you.  What is the core message you are ready to commit to – one that will help your clients understand your purpose?

Sara HeadshotSara Jantsch is the Director of Community at Duct Tape Marketing.  It is Sara’s job to see to all the little things that make our community members feel appreciated, informed, special and looked after.  She is also a Marketing Consultant and has a strong passion for working with small business owners.  Connect with Sara on twitter.