“My research shows that what really stimulates and sustains a change effort is getting positive results, really being able to feel tangible benefits from the change fairly early on.”
~ Alan Deutschman
Just Because People Tend Not to Change, Doesn’t Mean they Can’t
I was introduced to Alan Deutschman’s book, Change or Die, earlier this year and I’ve been reflecting on how it relates to business and marketing every since. Even though it’s not actually about business at all, the principles it examines are crucial for both business and marketing success.
The book explores what it takes to get people who are confronted with a situation that requires them to change or die (eg. A heart attack demanding lifestyle change; a prison release demanding new habits; addition requiring rehabilitation). As the author states in the beginning, you would think that confronted with the reality that if you don’t change your eating and exercise patterns you’ll be dead within a year, patients would take that seriously and change their behaviour.
The reality is, they don’t… But that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t change if they were given the right circumstances.
Quick, Tangible Benefits
One of my clients set in motion a PR outreach before he finished his book so that by the time the book was printed he would have the kind of momentum that would keep him moving forwards. He knew himself very well and understood the self-doubt that comes when you look back at the words you have written on the page and receive negative reviews. It was a masterstroke that kept him from repeating the mistakes he had made with his first book – copies of which are still sitting in his garage.
After a handful of radio and TV interviews, he found that he had a steady stream of journalists as well as TV and radio hosts asking him to talk to them. As a result, sales of his book were steady, but, far more importantly, the speaking and consulting opportunities flowed in and he was able to laugh off unfounded critical responses.
The success of this second book, spurred him to write (and deploy) additional books because they simplified his business marketing enormously.
I’ve noticed that most of the people who complain that their book isn’t working for them are either promoting the wrong book for their business, or they have been misled by the idea that simply having the word ‘author’ on their LinkedIn Profile guarantees that people are going to flock to them with their business.
The thing that is really fascinating in the context of Change or Die… is that some of these people write a second book and have the same experience. What they really need to do is to set up a PR and marketing plan that will force them out of their quiet corners so they can learn new habits and put their book to work.
The Simple Marketing Plan
When I first read Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Marketing Plan”, I was struck by its simplicity and affordability. It really is the ultimate example of quick, tangible benefits.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with a 21st century book-focused version of that for service businesses and I’ve realised that if you are willing to put yourself out there, opportunities spring up in the most unlikely places.
One author I was working with agreed to split one of the books in his series into bite-size Kindle books and put them out into the world at $0.99 cents each. By enrolling in KDP select he was able to have one book in the series free almost all the time, which generated enough interest to give him many opportunities to put his (controversial) point of view in front of the public.
After a few such opportunities, he was a recognised figure in his field and a person interviewers could count on to provide pithy soundbytes for their shows. For him this is a congenial, profitable and simple way to build his email list from which he recruited his private clients. These days, he’s using this strategy almost exclusively to attract his ideal prospects and, as he has added consistently to his Amazon Inventory of short books, his popularity has snowballed.
Is Your Marketing (Still) Working
When was the last time you checked in on that evergreen webinar campaign that used to work extremely well?
Do you know how well it’s working now?
Is it attracting the people you really want to work with?
Over time you have changed and potentially there are other things about your business that have changed as well. This is part of life and your marketing needs to change to keep up with it.
While I’m a big fan of having a spiderweb of lead sources that brings people into your world, it’s important to check in on them regularly to ensure that they are functioning the way you want them to. The author I mentioned previously realised that although several of his lead magnets were generating extremely high quality leads, there were a few that were underperforming and he also realised that he was paying a substantial amount for the platform on which they were hosted. By removing those lead magnets, and unsubscribing from the platform, he was able to improve his ROI even further and reduce his dependency on Amazon as a source of leads..