Business name: Do It! Marketing
Book Title(s): Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
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How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
Depending on how far back you’d like to go… (Never a good sign when someone starts like that, right?)
Very briefly, I graduated from college with a degree in Drama and then went on to graduate school for my MFA in stage directing. I then misspent my young adulthood doing professional theater in New York City before becoming a teacher at university and secondary level.
In 1992, I got my first of three corporate jobs – all in technology, consulting, and training. In 2002, I took the plunge into entrepreneurship and made every business mistake in the book — overspending, underspending, being a jack-of-all-trades but master of none, trusting the wrong people, nightmare partnerships with sociopaths, etc.
Finally, having survived long enough to get lucky, I focused on small business marketing, sales, and business development. I started that in 2004 so I’ve had my wits about me for just about 11 years now. My book Do It! Marketing came out in 2013.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
The best days are when I am writing, teaching, speaking – or all three. I’ve shifted Do It! Marketing from being a coaching and consulting firm to being more of a marketing education company.
We produce teleseminars, webinars, online courses, and group coaching programs focused on making authors, speakers, coaches and consultants more successful – helping them sell more speeches and books, get more clients, have more fun and make more money.
So the good news and the bad news is that there is no “typical” day – I could be prepping a new course, recording a webinar, working with a small handful or premium one-on-one clients, or working on my next content marketing campaign or joint venture.
Some days, I even write interview answers for my brilliant friends like Stephanie Chandler, whose work I hugely respect and enthusiastically recommend!
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I don’t know. That’s my answer. Seriously. It’s not that “I don’t know.” I DO know – and the most exciting thing is the FACT that none of us know what’s next in marketing. As Jeff Bezos famously answered when he was asked, “How far do you think we are in the digital revolution?” – “We’re just at the beginning. It’s Day One.”
Between social media, the cloud, apps and mobile, wearable technology, it’s just about as exciting and unpredictable as the early days of television, video games, or the web. None of those folks had any idea that “I Love Lucy” would lead to “Breaking Bad,” “Space Invaders” would lead to “Call of Duty,” or that dial-up on a 300-baud modem would lead to Netflix.
I don’t know and I love it. I can’t wait for the next twist.
I will tell you what will never change, though – marketing at its core always has been and always will be about four words: Offer Value – Invite Engagement. I do enjoy doing THAT on a daily basis – or at least as much as I possibly can!
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
My two biggest marketing influences are Tom Peters and Seth Godin. With Tom, ALL his books – but most especially Re-Imagine! and The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence – totally changed the way I looked at marketing, business, and life. My two top choices for Seth Godin books are Purple Cow and Linchpin.
What is your latest book about?
Do It! Marketing is a different kind of business book specifically because it’s 100% focused on sales-focused marketing. In fact, the subtitle is 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition because my philosophy is that all the theory in the world won’t do you or your bottom line a bit of good – it’s only action that creates results.
It’s also the kind of book that I personally love to read – highly visual, sharply designed, graphically beautiful. It’s more like a website than a book. Short, scannable micro-chapters, lots of lists and bullets and sidebars. You can dip in and out of any of the 77 ideas – and actually there are more like 300 ideas in the book because each of the 77 chapters probably contains 5-7 implementation steps, ideas, tools, templates, scripts, shortcuts, and do-this-next recommendations.
What inspired you to write your book?
This is a classic case of “Write the book that you yourself would love to read” – or more like “Write the book you wish you had read when you were starting out.”
There were plenty of books on marketing – none of them terribly actionable.
There were plenty of books on sales – mostly aimed at corporate salespeople and sales teams.
There were plenty of books on positioning, copywriting, and branding (don’t get me started on branding – there’s a whole section in Do It! Marketing titled “Branding is BS”).
But I’d read most of these books and then sit there and wonder to myself, “Now what?”
I wanted to write a book that was comprised of 100% “Now what” and specific action steps, strategies, templates, tools, tips, tricks, and guided implementation. There’s even a 21-day Marketing Launch Plan included at the end of Do It! Marketing so readers immediately have three weeks of stepwise guidance on taking action on the ideas in the book.
Can you describe your writing process?
All I can say is frantic, high-energy, 5 am, and coffee-fueled.
Because I have a short attention span in general, I wrote the book in short bursts and that telegraphic, random-access, start-anywhere style worked for me. Thank goodness I had an awesome editor in Chris Murray (www.chrismurrayeditor.com) who took my piles of randomness and gave them a masterful flow, order, and sequence while still preserving the high-energy, encouraging, and in-your-face style that I wanted the book to convey.
Can you share some book marketing tips for our readers?
Well, this is a huge topic and one that I teach and preach about a lot. I’ve even created a course on effective book marketing (www.BookMarketingWorkshop.com).
But if I were to boil it down to a few key tips:
- Don’t market your book alone. You won’t succeed. That sounds harsh but it’s true. You need advocates, launch partners, friends, readers, reviewers, bloggers, influencers – it truly does “take a village” and you need to mobilize your book team anywhere from six months to a year before your book hits the shelves.
- To get media, you need to become the media. Build your platform early and start gaining exposure by interviewing others. The sooner you start to feature and leverage other people, the sooner your own success will take flight. I wrote a blog post titled “Why Your Business Needs to FLOP” that goes into detail on this. FLOP is the acronym for “Feature and Leverage Other People.” This is such a powerful concept – and so underused. I wish I had known about this early on – I would’ve been able to go much further, much faster, and made a lot more friends much sooner!
- The book launch is the start of your marketing campaign, not the end. As I write this, my book has been out for two years and has sold more 12,000 copies. My book hit Amazon #1 on several occasions in multiple categories – and not just for an hour on a random Tuesday at 3 am, but in a sustained way for days at a time. That’s nice but it’s also not what I am proudest of. As I teach my clients and students, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. So the BIG accomplishment that I am most proud of is that my book has been in the top 10 in its category continuously since publication and in the top 15,000 books sold on Amazon site-wide for 24 months straight. To give you the stats on this, 95% of all non-fiction books never sell more than 5,000 copies and a ranking of 15,000 out of the 3.4 million books actively sold on Amazon puts an author in the top half percent. That means 99.5% of books are below that mark.
Anything writers should NOT do when marketing their book?
The biggest mistake is authors thinking they’re in the business of writing or whatever their main work is about. In reality their main, first, only, vital, crazy-important job is to be marketer-in-chief and salesperson-in-chief.
So many people are enamored of their books, their products, or their services and feel that it is so good, it will “sell itself.”
Frankly, nothing sells itself – not sex, not drugs, not rock and roll. So how do you think YOU can get away with not being a top-notch marketer and salesperson?
Hint: You can’t!!!
Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?
Little known fact: I am an avid old-school video gamer (Go Atari!) and for five years, I organized and ran the largest classic video game expo on the East Coast called PhillyClassic (you can Google it!).
What’s next for you?
I am super-excited to continue building online courses, group coaching programs, mastermind communities, and collaborative events for speakers, authors, consultants, and coaches. There’s always something new around the corner, and you can keep tabs on all of it and get an ever-changing buffet of fresh and tasty resources, blogs, videos, free learning events, and useful downloads at www.doitmarketing.com. Please let me know any time I can be helpful to you.