Writing a book can benefit your business as well as benefit you as a topic expert. Learn how my guest David McKay was able to do just that. He and his wife Ally have built a successful photography company called McKay Photography where they offer classes and travel photography tours around the world. His bestselling book and speaking engagements have helped propel their business to successful levels.
David is also the author of the Photography Demystified book series. This is a great episode because we dive into how David used his books to build his company and business. We also learn about business, life, travel, and photography with this artistic photographer and successful businessman and author who has built his business on a local and international level.
[01:19] How everyone has a story within them. David’s just happens to be about photography. Much more has come out of his writing than he had anticipated.
[02:17] Once David makes a decision, he goes for it. The reason behind the first book was to help the business and residual income.
[03:24] Chandler’s step-by-step process was instrumental to David’s success.
[03:50] He went to a hotel room with a poster board and colored pencils and made a mind map and then started categorizing it.
[04:33] He locked himself in and just went for it. The first book took just over two weeks. It took a half week to get on the bestseller list.
[05:26] How setting the time aside was the big trick to David’s success to getting everything done so fast.
[06:12] After mind mapping and categorizing, he wrote down everything he could in each category and just started typing.
[06:54] He thinks on a linear level, so this helped him stay on track.
[09:34] David had developed an email list through his business, so he sent the list a notice asking if anyone would like to join the advance team and get a free copy of the book and leave a review. He ended up with 900 people.
[10:57] He used followed up emails to encourage people to leave the reviews. He figured if people unsubscribed they weren’t the target market.
[11:41] Inviting the group to stay for the next book worked really well. He also left a special surprise for the first 50 reviewers.
[12:47] He went to number one on free on Amazon. Then when he switched to paid, he also shot to number one.
[13:35] He also sent the $1.99 promo to his entire list to catch the people who didn’t take advantage of the free offer.
[14:17] It took David four years to build his list traveling around the country teaching photography.
[15:17] Then he started running contests giving a free trips on his tours. He also worked with a partner on YouTube. Partner with someone who is doing well.
[16:13] After the contests his email lists went to 21,000 subscribers.
[16:23] The cost isn’t all recouped through the book, but the book is an avenue to get people to take the travel tours.
[17:24] David evolves and changes with the market. Anyone can find a way to do it. He also reached out to manufacturers to sponsor contests.
[18:29] The strength is in numbers. Partnering with people is a great way to get those numbers.
[19:28] If the sponsor also emails the contest they too get to participate in the new email list.
[20:41] It only takes one person to buy into the tour to pay for the contest prize. They booked two tours through the contest.
[23:04] They are willing to work with anybody to get them on the tour. They also offer high and lower priced tours so anyone can do it.
[24:09] There is a link in the book to free content for email subscribers.
[25:36] They also participate in travel and adventure shows to advertise.
[27:19] Old-fashioned advertising is dead. Things need to be done in new creative ways.
[27:47] All of the different streams are leading back to the tours and classes.
[31:30] His first residual check was $856.00 and then $400.00, $400.00, then $500.00. This is still worth the investment especially with the valuable back-end of the book and the email list. He is working on his third book, which he plans to hit hard with the advertising.
[34:21] The power of leveraging local media and PR.
[37:02] Going to libraries and get them to purchase your books.
[37:47] For some people it is just a matter of taking a step.
[38:51] The toughest part of writing the book was overthinking and being a perfectionist. His first editor was not one. Get a good editor.
[41:51] Everyone has a story in them that will affect someone else.
Links and Resources:
Photography Demystified Books
McKay Photography Academy Facebook
McKay Photography Academy YouTube