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Stop Waiting and Start Writing: How Books Can Grow Your Business

[Applause] what’s up how are you how’s it going if you want to write a book clap your hands [Applause] that works so who here wants to write a book who in here is already written a book Oh scuse me published a book it’s already out in the world two books one three books four books five books six books seven books eight books nine books ten books ten plus Wow she wins Wow so I’m glad you’re all here I’m glad Michelle Obama’s here as well she’s in the back she’s writing a memoir right now and so I’m so glad you’re here it’s good to see you I want to I want to make sure you get your your book done in a timely fashion so before I begin I wanted to introduce myself let you know who I am where I come from so I’ve been in advertising for the last decade I’m a voiceover actor that’s where I got my start do a lot of commercial campaigns for companies like CNN ESPN TN T and T a bunch of different commercial campaigns for all these clients and that’s pretty much my day job but a couple years ago I was I wanted to do something different with the skills that I had so I felt like I wanted to speak I also wanted to toot or I wanted to sort of share some ideas that I’ve had because when I go to the coffee shop when I was living in Brooklyn I’ll go to the coffee shop I’ll talk to my friends they want to quit their jobs they want to go to grad school they want to have kids they want to do different things and they’re always asked me for my advice and I’m like whoa why does my opinion matter so much and apparently things that I said actually influenced them like maybe I should write a book about some of this stuff right so also I was writing and I was like maybe I should try to take this a little bit more seriously even though I’m a voiceover actor has nothing to do with publishing a book and so I started looking to the process well how do I publish a book how do I self publish a book how do I distribute that book and how do I print that book how do I get it out there and then ultimately why are we all here how do I sell that book or actually make it worth my time and so start looking into that wrote a book called get your life and it was a personal development book self-help book 160 pages that’s it very thin but today similar to mrs. Obama I want to talk about how you can use your voice how you can use your influence to influence other people how can you tell your story in an authentic way also how can you use that to grow your business does anybody in here know why you want to write a book just blurt it out credibility was that self fulfillment Maslow’s hierarchy of needs public speaking lead generation inspire to help people influence you like writing it’s a hobby it’s just you just like it tell the story mmm-hmm inbound as a philosophy nice love it anyone else why would you write a book legacy so you have something interesting that you have to say there’s something inside of you that’s like I have to get this out into the world what you find with people who have written books and people who never in books in here is that it was almost like they had no choice right there’s almost like I had to write this I mean how do you write ten plus books right you know it’s almost like I had to write this so today I want to push you past that point be inspirational but also be practical so that’s my goal I’m gonna talk about all of the things pretty much what everyone just mentions everything from leads to exposure and brand awareness to sales passive income and especially public speaking as a voiceover actor I come from a very different perspective in terms of public speaking because a lot of my same talent agency in New York and Los Angeles these people also work as public speaking agencies so a comfort a different perspective in terms of the knowledge and I’ve learned a lot over the last three years as I put on my book and I’ve traveled the world about public speaking so we’re gonna take you through the journey from the idea of wanting to write a book all the way to getting on stage traveling sharing your ideas with the world and because I only have a short amount of time of course I did the traditional there’s three things I’m gonna leave you with because I don’t have a lot of time who in here has started writing and then you got on like page three and you realize you said everything all right right is it you get on page three like that’s how am I supposed to write a book because it’s done never even both the idea that I had is now done and so you probably leave it in the word processor or maybe you turn it into a blog or maybe you put it on a brochure or whatever you do with that or maybe you just never even look at it again you leave it up for people in this room I’m curious has anyone been wanting to write a book for more than five years and it’s usually because we get stuck in the brainstorming period is usually like well what is the book about like I want to write a book about inbound I want to write a book to inspire people and then when you get on a third page all of a sudden everything goes blank and then you don’t know what you’re talking about anymore and then every book that comes out on the Amazon bestseller list is all of a sudden greater than yours and you’re gonna be a failure and it’s not gonna work out well that’s what we say to ourselves right and you’ll never work in this town again and that’s what you say to yourself but brainstorming this is probably the most important part of this presentation because the things that actually come out in terms of the ideas the philosophies the things you write down in this stage is actually going to create your book a lot of people say I’m not a planner I like to think outside of the box I’m creative I don’t need to plan to my book right who here feels like I don’t really want to go by the rules right a lot of rules but there’s something about the rules when it comes to brainstorming that actually gets you to write your book and I want to get practical here so let’s say you’re writing a self-help book and the thing about self-help for example is that you know what inspires people to act is provoke is you want to provoke them so in your self-help book you write down ten different things that deal with self-help right let’s say your book is about getting over failure so you’re talking one chapters rejection one chapter is is failure one chapter is networking one chapter is right I’m not gonna give you all you chapters right now but I’m just saying right you start naming out your chapters what I want you to realize is that what might be ordinary to you might be extraordinary to someone else right you’re thinking everybody knows about rejection right did you know that you can create an entire chapter just based on rejection you’re writing a whole 250 plate page book you can write an entire chapter on rejection how because it’s not obvious you’re assuming potentially that your reader understands rejection that Sherita understands why you care about rejection what your experience is with rejection what’s other people’s experiences with rejection what does what happens when you get over rejection and what does rejection look like when it works in your favor right now I just posed about seven or eight questions that you asked yourself in terms of Q&A; so that you can get more out on the table this is making sense so you’re starting to ask yourself questions about one word rejection and then all of a sudden you have an entire web of questions and answers so that you can build out that argument the problem that we have is that we try to be we think that our reader knows what we’re talking about and we assume that and they don’t one thing that mrs. Obama actually talked about today was her husband is writing a book she is working with an entire team now that’s also something you have to realize that someone maybe many of you probably run your own businesses work for for corporations probably very busy maybe you don’t have time to write a book so she gave away the cheat code don’t write talk all right but what happens when you’ve heard this advice before people like talk open up your we have iPhones now you can just voice memo and start talking it to your phone that’s not enough right because once you talk you have a two minute 30 second thing and you’re like this is not a book and once again you find yourself with just a voice memo on your phone and no book and so you have to continue asking yourself those questions and that’s actually how I wrote my first book there’s a bunch of voice memos and this worked for my book in particular because my audience wanted to hear me say things in book form so they wanted to read the same way that I talk and that worked in my favor and if you’re working on any kind of business book that is how you actually get out what you want to say especially if you’re not a writer so to speak the second thing I want to talk about is research Cory here loves research do it for your job we’re all very nosy people right just nosy interesting curious about you know how something works I want to talk about the self-publishing options so you may have missed it and if so don’t worry about it because a lot of us have missed it but something changed in the self-publishing world in the last five years there is a game changing a bunch of game changing companies publishing companies traditional printing houses that now got into self-publishing so the same people that print books for HarperCollins Simon and Schuster crown business books you name the brand an imprint they’re printing self publishing books sometimes if you ever been to someone’s office or you ever saw a self-published book there probably was it might look like it’s self-published never saw one of those books what you like I don’t know like that’s not real you know they’re like they self-published that right where it’s now it’s transformed because the same companies that print the books that you see in Barnes & Noble or an Amazon that sell the list those companies have gotten to the self-publishing game because now more than ever that opportunity is is there and the volume of people that actually want to write books is there and I want to talk about printing and distribution and we’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna get more into that but there’s a couple different options for self-publishing these are just three there’s a billion but if you don’t want to do all the work if you don’t want to write it design it market it and also be the speaker and also sell it with the cashier then there’s a couple different options for you if you don’t want to sell it out the back of your trunk though you should write because that’s a good entrepreneur story so the back of your trunk you don’t want to do all of that you kind of want to leave the work to other people and some of these companies do that right so from create space to Lulu ingress bark I’m not endorsing any of these companies but I will say this Ingram spark for example you’ve got a book idea you’ve written your manuscript you’ve gotten all passionate brainstorm you’ve got hundreds and hundreds of pages right because you’ve you’ve asked yourself all these questions now you have an actual manuscript you take it to Ingram spark Ingram spark is like well you pay me 50 bucks and we’ll make your manuscript in your paperback book or your hardcover book or your ebook available worldwide right so they’ll make your book available to anywhere that actually sells books and I’ll give you a practical example when I wrote my book and other people is obviously they have over 25,000 clients they make that book available so when you go on tour we’ll talk about more of this later when you actually go on tour the bookstores already have your book they can order the book and if a bookstore can’t order your book they’re not going to buy it from you directly so I don’t know if you know this but if you actually walk into a Barnes & Noble and say hey I have like ten books would you like to buy them off of me it doesn’t work that way I mean you know that right it doesn’t doesn’t work that way you can’t just sell them the book the book has to be available from a distributor that they can actually buy the book at a discounted rate and then they’ll put your book on the shelf but the only way to do that is to go through one of these distributors and they’re also printers as well but a lot of people don’t know that so they have a book and they might have printed it it’s a offshore and now they have a bunch of books and now they can’t go on tour because the bookstore won’t buy their book or they don’t want to sell their own personal new books that they probably paid for or you probably paid for at a discount so now you’re stuck I’ll tell you one story one real story when one of the people I worked with published a book through CreateSpace and one of the local independent bookstore said well if it was published through CreateSpace we may not be able to sell it here right now that’s not everywhere but you know some people have issues with the conglomerate you know huge corporate people taking over those small businesses right so something to keep in mind when you are actually choosing a distributor in a printer is the political nature of it and what it means for booksellers and that’s if you actually want to get your book bookstores and you actually want to sell books and maybe that’s not even your game plan maybe you don’t want to sell books maybe you just want to go you want to get paid you know five six figures to speak but these are your options and you can check them all out they all have different printing quality and that decision is ultimately gonna be up to you but you can order of course a couple copies from any of these companies to see if they have exactly what you what you need a good thing about this is that let’s say you write a book and your book is published and nobody likes it when here is afraid of that be honest no one’s gonna like the work right well the good thing about it is you can order one copy from these companies two copies three copies four copies one hundred copies and now you don’t have a bunch of storage sitting somewhere for a hundred dollars a month because you’ve only got the only ordered 100 books once they’re gone they’re gone or even you order five or twenty five or fifty now this is of course if it all just doesn’t work out now I don’t think that’s gonna happen because everybody in this room is of course very brilliant right well you’re a ten bound I mean seriously it’s you got to think a fraction of the country it’s not here so you know means something that you actually in these seats but you can order just one copy it’s called print on demand so you won’t have to worry about not selling too many copies or you know all that stuff the third thing I want to talk about is get a second opinion so there is someone I’m based in Los Angeles and there’s a CEO of a company and she has it’s an event services company and she’s running a company for about ten years got some really big clients but she’s has this philosophy for her business and how she operates right it’s like a patented philosophy on how she operates and how things go well and she’s been working on his book for five years when I say working on it I mean just thinking about it right doesn’t really call working on it and she’s like well she’s stuck she has her philosophy she has a thing that she’s like I want to get this up because I want to be on stage and I want to get I want to stop doing my day to day as a CEO founder of the company and I want to become more of a speaker but she’s getting stuck and she’s refusing to get a second opinion right when you think when you don’t want to share those ideas because they’re so close to your heart you don’t give other people were a chance or you don’t give those ideas a chance to grow to become something else to become something more and she stuck at this face now the good thing about getting a second pinyin is you don’t have to ask you know your mom and your dad your brother sisters niece nephew coworker colleague right you don’t have to ask them it’s not them they too busy they doing the same thing that you’re doing they’re too busy you don’t don’t worry about those people you get a second opinion by actually going to professionals and I’m gonna talk about this but anybody have for her to up work oh poor calm all right there’s a bunch of these companies right where you can pretty much let’s say you want to put a small investment down it’s not about how much money you have but let’s say you want to put a small investment down right you know you feel confident about your book but you don’t necessarily want to put a big huge budget behind it because you’re just not too sure about the outcomes of this investment so you go to a website where you can actually hire people who are ready and willing to help you out with your project right and I work with a lot of people who do that right let they’ll go to to these websites and you know hire an editor hire ghostwriter now do I suggest ghost writers yes yes I shouldn’t be saying that on camera but yes all right I mean when you really consider when you read some books and you say to yourself this person is really smart really brilliant and somehow they articulated their ideas in a way that guy that have me thinking this is amazing this is brilliant this is great I’m influenced I’m inspired and you think that they just wrote that like that was just transcriptions from their from their thoughts no I’m here to tell you the cheat code okay you want to get an editor and you want to get someone to look at the work that has nothing to do with the work of course you can provide them the framework right just like when you’re at work you provide somebody to background like hey you know this is my intention this is what I want to do with the book at the end of the book I want to I want to be speaking I want to sell this many copies these are some references you know I’ve read some books from Malcolm Gladwell you know I kind of want to enter into that space and you know kind of giving them the background so that they understand what you’re writing but allowing them to look at the work and make it become something right it starts becoming something once you actually hand it off to somebody else but if it stays with you if you hugging onto it from a creative standpoint there’s no way that they that can become what it’s actually meant to become and once you start seeing that work come back once it comes back to you you get inspired again now you’re like oh this wait this is actually a good idea right because don’t you go from this is a great idea this is a bad idea this sucks and then you send it off to somewhere and it comes back to you and you’re like okay it’s not bad right you like pretty smart and that’s the thing about it you know we I did a retreat a couple weeks ago and we were talking about blogging and social media and this is like off the cuff we were talking my blogging is social media and we were talking about like the practicalities of actually doing stuff and like teaching you know how to use stuff like HubSpot sales and awesome and we all realized was like wait the only thing we’re talking about right now is confidence you know like you you can go to a website and figure out how to do some stuff but it’s really all comes down to that confidence and feeling like you can and that’s not on the slide but I had to get that out there research and data so now you have your self-help book you have your joint it’s ready to go but it’s lacking something it’s just your thoughts right it’s one thing to say that rejection is tough to get over it’s another thing to say according to Harvard Business Review rejection is the greatest path to prosperity right doesn’t it change a little bit all of a sudden it sounds like I know what I’m talking about so you go back to your manuscript after you get it from your editor and you actually start applying this stuff you actually start applying this research this data to your own thoughts right and that’s of course if you’re trying to make some sort of argument but also you have to realize if you’re looking to sell books that people read books they read every word we forget that right you might because there’s one thing that just get your thoughts transcribed because you they’ll do it they’ll print it the printers are printed they’ll distribute it and have you know hundreds of something pages of your thoughts but the thing about it is people actually read this stuff so they’re looking for something of value right and we know that because we run businesses or you know you work for business we know that but we forget that when it comes to writing and this is gonna make a lot of sense when it comes to speaking because I learned a hard lesson about the speaking game which directly related to the book game in terms of are you really saying something are you just talking because the speaking game will quickly point you out who knows I’m talking about you might not know the final draft so you’ve you’ve gotten through your editors everybody’s got you got your research and data now you know you have your final draft and things are about to get serious right people who’ve written books kind of know that feeling you have to final Jeff you’re ready to publish and you’re looking over the the copy edits you’re just making your final touches one thing I wanted to touch on was when you at your final draft you have to make sure that everything in your book aligns right from the cover the design the fonts not just the design of the front cover and the back cover but also within the pages right does it align does it look like a real book and so one thing I want to leave you with to is go to Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore and start looking at some books that are just like the book that you want to write right so you start looking at these books and one thing you’ll notice and actually one thing you’ll notice is that all of these books look exactly the same they all have the same format so you want to self publish but you want to still from the big publishers right because these editors work on the same projects over and over again and when you look at these books they all edited by the same editor from the same publishing company and they all have a format and so while you’re trying to create something from scratch you can actually dare I say it borrow borrow the format and I already talked about this you can I use Evernote to collect my thoughts but that’s just a personal thing of mine now it’s time to publish the book it’s all done final drafts turned in it’s time to publish the book and or this picture I guess you’re gonna be an inbound after you publish the book and you’re you’re ready to launch you’re ready to go the book is out there you’ve got a couple copies and now you’re like okay what do I do right because now the book is actually for sale you’ve already built your lead I’m you guys lead pages you’ve already like built your your sales funnel you’ve already captured some emails right maybe have you been doing this this whole process know who’s already been capturing emails and no wow wait who’s been capturing emails okay Wow who’s been blogging who’s been building an audience who knows what it feels like to get one view on a blog post right so but this all relates to this where I’m saying you want to make sure that you’ve already got these built-in customers he’s built in people and you want to make sure that they’re the ones who are gonna be hungry for this content once it releases right it’s not about becoming a New York Times best seller though that’s possible maybe that’s your thing maybe you’re like I’m gonna become a New York Times best seller even though it’s not a traditionally published book but maybe that’s your actual your angle maybe that’s what inspire sales but you want to make sure that you actually build these audiences into your book so if you’re working on a book I want to challenge you right now and you are I want to challenge you tell the your audience that you’re working on a book what’s the first thing you just said in your mind but I didn’t start writing yet doesn’t matter once you make a commitment because it’s about confidence rights not practicality once you make that commitment to your audience you will write that book and a year from today you’ll be glad that you made that commitment you’ll be glad that you said that that you told them that I’m writing a book what’s it about don’t worry about it right now it’s time to hit the road there’s a couple speakers in here right those speakers who wants to speak sure they’re sure their expertise now it’s time to actually hit the road and what do I mean by that not just your book tour but also getting on stage at different conferences events there are so many events going on thousands each year held by different corporations whether we’re talking about you know fortune 500 small businesses there’s a lot of events going on and the question you have to ask yourself is why am I not speaking at some of them right the cheat code is this every event organisers worst nightmare is not being able to find the speaker right seriously you did an event held an event do you know how hard it is to find good speakers it’s just me can you agree it’s tough and not even just good somebody who can speak right just can we find that person so one thing I liked about Michelle Obama’s talk today was about finding your voice right like finding having enough confidence to start speaking up and when you start speaking you start realizing that people are actually looking for you all of a sudden I start finding you oh you exist I didn’t know that but you have a book out all of a sudden people think you know what you’re talking about right because it’s true when you write that book you showed enough persistence and confidence to write a book to care about a topic this much that I think you care enough to talk about that as well exciting speakers are the ones who get booked what do I mean by that I called a friend of mine who was a vice president of talent at one of the speaking agencies in New York and I was calling I was like man how do I this is like three or three four years ago is like man how do I get booked for speaking gigs I mean my websites up I’ve built my audience on books out it’s doing well it’s like selling on Amazon now right like this things going on with the book and my core audience knows me but I’m not getting booked and he said well think of it this way there are men women who have gone to Afghanistan and something traumatic happened there right something changed their life and maybe they lost the limb maybe something happened maybe they saved one of their colleagues right something happened and they wrote a book about it they wrote a memoir about it and now when this big corporation is doing a conference who are they looking for whose story are they’re looking to inspire their audience right would you pick that person which pick the person who just wrote a book and they kind of speaking about stuff and inspiring right and so you have to realize in terms of speaking who are you competing with and I don’t necessarily even think it’s competition it’s only competition if you actually have a competitive speaking topic right cuz once you have that competitive speaking topic and it’s actually something that will actually move people then all of a sudden you realize people start calling you because it’s about that story but some we don’t know sometimes what’s on the other end in terms of you have this person sharing their story from this memoir that they wrote and that’s going to touch an audience way more than just something that’s inspiring it’s like wow why should we listen to you and one thing I would suggest is to go onto these speaking websites and start looking at what are the the topics the other speakers are talking about also who are they what’s their story and why do people care about this particular story but when you start putting yourself in those boxes I know we don’t want to do that right cuz we’re inbound we think outside the box we’re super creative but when you put yourself in a category it allows people to pick you you’re putting together a conference and you’re like I need the inspirational speaker to open up the conference to lay a framework around our philosophy for the conference and how we want people to think as they travel through the hallways right and then we want people to actually have practicalities mixed in throughout right so this is how event organizers are thinking and that’s how they go out and seek speakers so you have to wonder to yourself well which one of those am I and how do i make myself easily pick pickable the easiest way to to do that is while you’re writing you want to put these I know Seth Godin talks about this a lot these purple cows into the book right like these these ideas in the book so that your you’re not coming up with ideas from scratch you’re just talking about what’s in your book so you’re not wasting another minute of your time you’re going to your book and saying how can I expand on this maybe I didn’t even talk about that enough in my book that’s a speech topic you can use any of these sites to hire an editor someone to look at your speech and take a look at it and edit it and help you figure out what that what that story is and then you want to develop the hit list of potential speaking anybody in here in sales yeah yeah everybody’s ready yeah if you in sales you’re gonna be a speaker right because essentially everybody has a sales person everybody needs a stuff sales person not everybody has a sales person everybody needs a sales person or you are your own sales person so you develop this list people who actually need speakers people who actually hire speakers event organizers corporate folks every pretty much everywhere and you develop this entire hit list and saying I need to reach out to these people send them a bio you’d be surprised anybody has a bye everybody has a bye oh wow you gotta get your bio folks come on bio perfect you need a bio right but these are the things that you’re going to need to send out to the people who hire speakers who in the ear feels ready to write a book right let’s do it if you want to write a book clap your hands if you’re gonna write a book clap your hands if you’re gonna write no I’m just kidding thank you [Applause] you

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Stop Waiting and Start Writing: How Books Can Grow Your Business