SPS 008: Creating a Thriving Business, Blog, and Raving Fans with Ruth Soukup

Welcome to episode 8 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Ruth Soukup, a blogger at Living Well Spending Less, the founder of the Living Well Planner, and the author of Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. Ruth encourages more than a million monthly readers of her blog to follow their dreams and reach their goals through easy to implement tips and strategies for saving time and money while focusing on the things that matter the most.

She lives in Florida with her husband Chuck and their two daughters Maggie and Annie. Ruth began thinking about writing a book when she was blogging full-time at Living Well Spending Less and her husband was staying at home with the kids. She wanted to encapsulate the knowledge from her blog into a book and she came out with her first book which was How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul. She had no expectations when she put this out there as a Kindle book. The first version did better than she had anticipated, so she put out a second version that was longer and included a paperback version.

The success of her first self-published book gave her the confidence to create her first traditionally published book. Although, the creation process for Living Well Spending Less was much more personal and difficult. We talk about the book creation process. The importance of having an accountability partner. How books can lead to other opportunities like products, courses, consulting and more. Enjoy the interview as we deep dive into Ruth’s writing and business success.

You can find Ruth here:

Living Well Spending Less
Living Well Planner
Living Well Spending Less on Facebook
@RuthSoukup on Twitter
Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life
How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul
Unstuffed
31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life
31 Days To A Clutter Free Life: One Month to Clear Your Home, Mind & Schedule
Elite Blog Academy

Show Notes

[01:39] Ruth’s first idea for writing a book and was based on her blog and was called How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul.
[04:00] This book taking off allowed Ruth to launch a whole new side to her business as she developed an online blogging course.
[06:10] How Ruth went from publishing a book to launching a course and consulting.
[07:04] The creation process of writing Ruth’s first book just kind of flowed for her.
[07:55] Living Well Spending Less her first traditionally published book was much more difficult because it was so personal for her.
[08:42] Writing her second traditionally published book was much easier.
[09:03] When Ruth’s focuses on how she can serve it makes the writing much easier.
[09:46] How Ruth got through the low points of writing Living Well Spending Less.
[10:56] Ruth’s accountability partner and the structure of their calls and their agreement, to be honest, and open.
[12:52] Ruth sets aside a couple hours each morning for content creation. During book writing time, she gets up at 4:00 am and goes to her downtown office to get stuff done.
[15:53] How Ruth realized that having products was more profitable than ad revenue.
[17:01] How the books lead into other money makers, although they make money and build credibility.
[20:23] Once someone reads your book, you are way more connected to that person, and it is a great way to grow an audience.
[20:54] How Living Well Spending Less had perfect timing with publishing because that was a busy time for her blog which really led to promotion opportunities.
[23:12] Downside of Amazon cross promotion is that the wider audience may not be as targeted, such as people not appreciating bible verses in the book.
[24:20] They promoted the book with a 12 Secrets email challenge. They filmed the challenge with two versions one for Christmas and one that was evergreen.
[25:58] They also emailed their list when there were book coupons available on Amazon.
[27:32] A digital bonus of a home planning workbook was also a great idea. They also offered website access for a different book called Unstuffed.
[29:22] Using Facebook Ads to market their books.
[30:57] Promoting books using 31-day challenges.
[31:57] Benefits of repurposing content.
[33:51] Using the back end of the book to get email subscribers and then subsequently promoting other products or courses.
[37:40] Different phases of working online. Finding your voice, throwing spaghetti against the wall, and refining phase where we know what works.
[40:02] Working online actually requires putting in the time and work.
[41:15] When someone asks you the same question 3 times create a product for it.
[42:22] Focus on what you have to offer and answer your reader’s questions and you can write a book.

Links and Resources:

Living Well Spending Less
Living Well Planner
Living Well Spending Less on Facebook
@RuthSoukup on Twitter
Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life
How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul
Unstuffed
31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life
31 Days To A Clutter Free Life: One Month to Clear Your Home, Mind & Schedule
Elite Blog Academy
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

SPS 007: How to Turn Pro as a Writer with Jeff Goins

Today, I am joined by Jeff Goins. He is an author, speaker, and blogger. After working for seven years in the nonprofit world as a marketing and communications director, he now writes and speaks full time. He challenges people to make their messages matter through his blog, courses, and online events.

Jeff is the author of five books including The Art of Work, Real Artists Don’t Starve, You Are a Writer, The In-Between, and Wrecked. Today, we are going to focus on the writing side of things, and how Jeff’s success has really exploded with his writing and with building his tribe. Jeff started writing when he realized that being a marketing director wasn’t for him. Prompting from a friend made Jeff realize that he was a writer, and he just needed to write.

He wrote on his blog everyday, and the opportunities came. His success was a result of doing the daily practice of writing and realizing that he was a writer. Once Jeff began thinking of himself as a writer, writing is what he started doing. Thinking like a pro prompted Jeff to act like a pro. Listen in to hear more about Jeff’s story and his writing process.

You can find Jeff here:
Goins, Writer

Show Notes

[05:11] How activity follows identity. We have to change our mindset about who we are before we can do that thing. Turning pro in your head.
[06:57] How Jeff went from writing blog posts to writing his first book.
[09:20] Jeff’s first ebook for side income turned into a surprise big earner.
[10:47] The writing process for Jeff’s first traditionally published book.
[12:12] When writing a book, ask who am I at the beginning and at the end. It’s a slower more gradual process than writing a blog post.
[13:06] Nonfiction books solve problems. Every chapter answers another question.
[15:00] Submitting a proposal and book outline. You want a book with other books like it, but with a unique message.
[16:42] Writing what most excites you. It’s OK to start in the middle.
[17:06] Jeff’s first book deal was a result of his ebook “The Writer’s Manifesto”, which he shared as a lead generation tool to build a list. He also reached out to influencers like Michael Hyatt. His list grew from 70 to 1000 in a week and kept growing. Then agent’s began reaching out to him. He ended up with a book deal in 8 months.
[21:20] Jeff’s ebook process was about his audience. With short practical steps.
[24:09] When writing books, you relearn writing with each new book.
[25:33] With The Art of Work, Jeff was able to weave in all of his previous book writing lessons.
[27:01] Creating something you would actually want to read.
[27:54] How writing a book forces us to grow as a writer.
[29:54] Having deadlines to create accountability.
[30:59] Carve out time every day for writing. Intentionally block out writing time.
[35:14] Writing blog posts while working on a book. The happy medium is to write on the blog, but most writing goes on the book. The more work you do, the more work you can do. Write in batches.
[37:27] 3 bucket system. Ideas, drafts, and edits. An idea in Evernote, then 500-word draft, then polish and edit.
[39:33] How the writing process is 3 different pieces.
[40:08] Distractions and clutter restrict creativity.
[40:59] The process of pulling order out of chaos.
[41:32] Start writing every day. That is the mindset difference between amateurs and pros. Write 500 words a day to work those writing muscles.

Links and Resources:

self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
The Art of Work
Real Artists Don’t Starve
You Are a Writer
The In-Between
Wrecked
Goins, Writer

Hustling My Way to 4 NYT Bestselling Books with Gary Vaynerchuk

SPS 006: Hustling My Way to 4 NYT Bestselling Books with Gary Vaynerchuk

Welcome to episode 6 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of VaynerMedia which is one of the world’s hottest digital companies, and the host of the #AskGaryVee Show. He is also the author of four New York Time’s bestselling books including Crush It!, The Thank You Economy, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, and #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneurs Take on Leadership Social Media, and Self-Awareness.

When Gary was fresh out of college he took his family’s wine business and grew it from a 3 million dollar a year business to a 60 million dollar a year business. He did this in just five years. He is also a prolific angel investor and a venture capitalist investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and BirchBox before eventually co-founding Vayner/RSE, a 25 million dollar investment fund.

In today’s show, we talk about how Gary was approached by a publisher and got his first book deal. We also discuss Gary’s feelings on self-publishing, and what it means to Gary to build a brand. We also touch on business and book promoting tactics that Gary used to become as successful as he is today. Gary also talks about the importance of finding what you are good at and the important concept of “hustle” and just putting in the work.

You can find Gary here:

Gary Vaynerchuk Website

@garyvee on Twitter

Gary’s YouTube Channel

Gary Vaynerchuk on Facebook

Gary Vaynerchuk on LinkedIn

VaynerMedia

#AskGaryVee Show

Show Notes

[01:42] How Gary reacts to technology and the things going on around him. After finishing a speech at Web 2.0 about living your dreams in a practical way, Gary was approached by several publishers. He signed a book deal and Crush It! was born.

[04:11] Why Gary uses a publisher to get that big cash advance, but he is open to self-publishing in the future.

[05:24] The launch of Crush It! and how Gary promoted it in advance by building an audience, using social media, PR, and influencers.

[07:16] How you really have to put in the work of promotion a half a year before the book comes out.

[07:50] Investing in brand building was very helpful in promoting #AskGaryVee and building an audience.

[10:30] How Gary’s message of work is not all that sexy, but his charisma makes up for that.

[13:19] How people need to find the medium that works for them. We don’t have to communicate to the world the same way everyone tells us to. Try what works for you.

[15:01] How talking is a skill for Gary, so he takes advantage of that skill.

[16:08] The number one question people really ask about Gary?

[16:26] The top 3 drivers for sales of #AskGaryVee.

[17:19] How Gary did an 8-hour telethon where if people bought 8 books they were put in a big drawing. It was a big success. Even if people didn’t buy the books, Gary built and increased his audience.

[18:52] The jab, jab, jab philosophy is to give away content three times and then the right hook is the ask to buy. Give, give, give, sell!

[20:12] Mistakes authors make of not promoting early enough and being too sales oriented on social media.

[21:26] Hustle mode really works. Hustle to sell and write your books. Do the work.

[22:25] Mistakes made and lessons learned over the course of Gary’s book career.

[24:17] How Gary’s books fit into his business model.

[25:23] Triple down on your strengths and don’t worry about your weaknesses.

[27:31] Being fully yourself and finding your own system.

[29:12] How changing people’s lives is worth more to Gary than money.

[30:51] Having balance between the steak and the sizzle. You need to have both.

[32:37] Writing a book works, if you write a good book. Just write your book.

Links and Resources:

Gary Vaynerchuk Website

@garyvee on Twitter

Gary’s YouTube Channel

Gary Vaynerchuk on Facebook

Gary Vaynerchuk on LinkedIn

VaynerMedia

#AskGaryVee Show

Crush It!

The Thank You Economy

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneurs Take on Leadership Social Media, and Self-Awareness

Vayner/RSE

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Lessons Learned from The Secret, Chicken Soup, Abundance Now, and a Guinness World Record Setting Book with Lisa Nichols

SPS 005: Lessons Learned from The Secret, Chicken Soup, Abundance Now, and a Guinness World Record Setting Book with Lisa Nichols

Welcome to episode 5 of the Self-Publishing School podcast. Today, I am joined by Lisa Nichols, one of the world’s most requested motivational speakers. She is a media personality and corporate CEO whose global platform has reached and served nearly 30 million people. She has been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and on The Secret.

Lisa has six bestselling books including the New York Times Bestseller No Matter What and her seventh book Abundance Now was just released this January. I am so excited about this interview. Lisa is just hilarious. She is a bundle of energy and a whole lot of fun, and I know we are going to have an amazing interview.

Listen in to find out about guerilla marketing, creating hooks, overcoming fear, and so much more!

You can find Lisa here:

AbundanceNowOnline.com

@2motivate on Twitter

Lisa on Facebook

Show Notes:

[01:27] Lisa wanted to write a book as a way to inspire people while she was also doing other things like speaking.

[02:46] If you want your message to have the greatest impact a book should be in your path.

[03:44] How it took Lisa three and a half years to complete Chicken Soup for The African American Soul.

[06:26] How a book is about the message, not the writing and punctuation.

[07:43] No Matter What was Lisa’s first solo book.

[09:30] How Lisa’s English teacher told her she was the weakest writer she has ever met.

[10:38] Lisa’s grammar wasn’t strong, but her message was powerful.

[12:19] Pushing through the fear of writing a book after being in the Chicken Soup Series and the Secret.

[15:16] How Abundance Now is Lisa’s biggest book ever and her life’s work.

[16:24] How fear is present when you do big things, but we have to minimize the fear story.

[18:18] Lisa tries to get as creative and radical as possible with marketing. Guerilla marketing works.

[19:51] Study your market. Who will read the book and where do they gather?

[21:37] How Lisa sent a mass mailer out asking to speak at Churches and then organizations where her audience was.

[23:28] Making Abundance Now a movement and a moment. The new definition of abundance.

[26:40] Tempting readers to read your book by telling them what personal information is on certain highlighted pages.

[29:26] Books are about people and the message on the page.

[30:47] How to use current events in a book to open up a television opportunity.

[33:34] Always be creating a hook and speaking in a way to create your next opportunity when you do a television appearance.

[37:27] Getting that first opportunity to open the door for television shows. Start regional and work your way up. Put together a press release and media packet with video and give them a call.

[42:38] Lisa’s parting words about getting up every day and sharing our message.

Links and Resources:

AbundanceNowOnline.com

@2motivate on Twitter

Lisa on Facebook

self-publishingschool.com

Spsfreetraining.com

Chicken Soup for the African American Soul

No Matter What

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How to Self-Publish Your Way to #1 on the Amazon & USA Today National Bestseller Lists with Ryan Levesque

SPS 004: How to Self-Publish Your Way to #1 on the Amazon & USA Today National Bestseller Lists with Ryan Levesque

Today, I am joined by Ryan Levesque the #1 National Best-Selling Author of the book ASK. In 2008, armed with a $450 laptop, an Ivy League background, and neuroscience he was able to launch a multi-million dollar online publishing business. He sold information and software products using what is now known as the ASK Formula.

Ryan has used the ASK Formula to help build several multi-million dollar businesses spread across 23 different industries. He has generated over 100 million dollars in sales. This breaks down to generating over 3 million leads with 170 thousand customers across 19 different markets. Ryan has been a busy guy because these numbers are just from the last 23 months.

I met Ryan last September at The Titans of Direct Response Event. Ryan has a background in copy and direct response which is a skill in and of itself. In this episode, we are going to focus on his book ASK. We are going to talk about a case study and how he launched the book. Then we are really diving into the monetizing portion and the survey funnel and different back-end products.

For all this and much more, listen in to this episode of the Self-Publishing School podcast!

You can find Ryan here:
Ask Method
Ryan Levesque
Ryan Levesque on LinkedIn
Ryan on Facebook

Show Notes

[02:25] How a book fits into Ryan’s big picture strategy. Being in the information industry Ryan wanted to expand what he was doing to mainstream products like books on Amazon.
[03:37] How the process of writing a book took longer than Ryan had expected.
[04:22] The way Ryan shared his story in the book and the ASK formula. He laid it on the line and held nothing back.
[05:41] By telling everyone everything you know for free people will pay you to tell them everything again.
[07:31] How an illness inspired Ryan to really look at his life and decide how he wanted to make an impact in the world.
[07:55] ASK was called the single greatest marketing book since Breakthrough Advertising.
[08:35] Don’t be tempted to hold information back in your book and create a tease for your product. Instead, put it all in the book.
[12:25] How ASK came very close to being a New York Times Bestseller. Being in the How To category as opposed to the Business category had an effect.
[14:36] Promotion and launch methods for ASK included creating an amazing product to enlist partners to help promote the book.
[15:05] Cold traffic methods used included Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising, and they tested a few other things.
[16:20] Be prepared for customer inquiries if you sell books on a prelaunch basis.
[17:28] Getting great testimonials and telling a great story makes a huge difference in the success of the launch.
[19:05] How Ryan and his wife took their business from nothing to $25,000 a month in 18 months.
[19:43] Talking with people can help you decide if you really do have a great story.
[20:45] Podcast interviews were another awesome tool for the launch and pre launch of ASK.
[22:04] Ryan has someone who pitches his story to podcasters to get on their shows. Laddering up is a low-cost method to get guest spots.
[25:39] Hitting the top of the list on launch week because of pre-launch sales.
[30:14] How book buyers are more critical than information product buyers.
[30:41] Fake reviews and planting reviews are the wrong paths to go down.
[33:01] Trying to anticipate people’s objections to the book. By doing so, you will get counter one aspect of negative reviews.
[39:44] Things that Ryan wishes he would have done differently around the monetization of the book such as more clarity about readers options.
[43:10] Getting readers into your world without directly selling to them.
[47:45] The biggest product that the book helped to sell was the software or the mastermind program, which were also the same offer because they came free with each other.
[53:19] Trust created by being a #1 bestselling author is invaluable.
[54:57] How running out of inventory can create a hit on your rankings. Out of stock protection can prevent this problem from having.
[57:26] An unexpected result of the book is getting people to sign up for Ryan’s highest level mastermind group without Ryan even speaking to them.

Links and Resources:

Ask Method
Ryan Levesque
Ryan Levesque on LinkedIn
Ryan on Facebook
Breakthrough Advertising
ASK on Amazon

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Using a Book to sell More Software & Information Products with Russell Brunson

SPS 003: Using a Book to Sell More Software & Information Products with Russell Brunson

Today, I am joined by Russell Brunson. While wrestling at Boise State University, Russell started his first online company. Within a year of graduating, he had sold over a million dollars worth of products and services all from his basement.

For over 12 years now, Russell has been starting and scaling companies online. He owns a software company called ClickFunnels, a supplement company, and a coaching company. He is also one of the top super affiliates in the world. He created his company DotCom Secrets which is also the title of his book to help entrepreneurs around the world to start, promote, and grow their companies online.

Russell lives in Boise, ID with his wife Collette and their five children. In this interview, we are going to talk about why someone who owns a company and sold a million dollars worth of products chose to write a book. We are also going to talk about the launch of Russell’s book and the funnel process.

For all this and much more, listen in to this episode of the Self-Publishing School podcast!

You can find Russell here:

RussellBrunson.com

@RussellBrunsonHQ on Facebook

@RussellBrunson on Twitter

Russell Brunson on LinkedIn

Show Notes

[01:42]How Russell tried to write a book in the past and had false starts. In retrospect, he is glad he waited because he had so much more knowledge when he did start.

[04:30] What gave Russell the motivation to finally go all in and complete his book. A conversation with a friend finally prompted him to do the work.

[05:39]About the writing process and how it took about a year and how an event forced Russell to record everything chronologically.

[06:49] How one of the best things about writing a book is cutting things out that aren’t really needed.

[07:56]The business purpose of the book was to establish authority and lead generation, plus motivation and education for using ClickFunnels.

[10:20] About the marketing presales push and how the goal was to presale as many as possible. Russell gave away a Ferrari to whoever would sell the most books.

[12:14] Using the free book where the buyer only pays for shipping leads to sales.

[13:44] Other ways that Russell compensated his affiliates, and how he created a funnel that would sustain all of the cash and incentives to give away the books.

[15:41] How about a fifth of the books were sold by Russell and the rest were by affiliates and some of the different affiliate strategies.

[16:57] About doing radio and podcast interviews to promote the sale of the book along with direct mail and as many angles as possible.

[18:42] How Russell got started on the Internet. Including influences by Bill Glazer and Dan Kennedy.

[20:21] The way that Russell got Dan Kennedy to write the foreword of his book.

[21:06]How Russell was able to get Tony Robbins to create a blurb for the book.

[22:36] The most effective method for promoting his books was probably his own internal list and his affiliate strategy. He would ship gifts to his dream 100 affiliates.

[24:59] It’s possible to get addresses by contacting people on Facebook and sending them gifts in the mail.

[27:56] To get people to promote stuff you need to do cool things.

[28:14] Russell’s initial goal was 15,000 copies and he did better than he had hoped for.

[29:41] What the backend of the book giveaway looks like. 3 core funnels. Book launch funnel. On the order form there was an audiobook offer, an upsell for traffic course, and a webinar sales course.

[30:38] Funnel number 2 is an invite to a webinar, which sells one year access to ClickFunnels.

[31:53] 2 weeks later, there is an invite to a coaching program. Group, mastermind, or high-end coaching. The funnels lead to the large backend funnel.

[34:29] How Russell was able to sell the audio version of his book for $37.00 and trials of getting it recorded.

[37:49] He read the audiobook himself, mostly because he was short on time and he wanted it done right. It also helped with the editing.

[42:24] Russell has a script that teaches the perfect webinar. Figure out the 3 core things that your prospects think are right that are actually wrong.

[46:37] Find out a surprising way that Russell made money on the backend of his book, like a $100,000 coaching gig and t-shirts.

[48:56] How Russell’s business has improved and benefited from books and readers as customers.

[50:43] Don’t wait 10 years to write your first book and fill your book with value.

Links and Resources:

RussellBrunson.com

@RussellBrunsonHQ on Facebook

@RussellBrunson on Twitter

Russell Brunson on LinkedIn

self-publishingschool.com

Spsfreetraining.com

DotComSecrets.com

ClickFunnels.com

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