The 4 Commitments To Grow Your Reach Online

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The 4 Commitments To Grow Your Reach Online written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing Marketing Podcast with Becky Robinson In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Becky Robinson. She is the Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence. This full-service marketing agency specializes in digital and integrated marketing services and public relations for book authors, including business leaders, coaches, trainers, speakers, and thought leaders. In April […] How To Write A Business Book That Matters written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing Marketing Podcast with Josh Bernoff In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Josh Bernoff. He is the bestselling author or ghostwriter of eight business books and contributed to 50 book projects that have generated over $20 million for their authors. Josh was formerly Senior Vice President, Idea Development at Forrester, where he spent 20 years analyzing technology and business.  ​​His most recent book Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters, is a guide for authors who want to create impact in their business books. Josh teaches them how to refine their idea, choose a publishing model, and research, write, publish, and promote their books. Key Takeaway: A good business book should have a unique idea that solves a specific problem for a targeted audience, incorporating real-life stories and a narrative structure that engages readers. It should follow a natural progression from presenting a problem to providing a solution and explaining the details of that solution, using case studies to support their ideas. It is vital for authors to understand the continuum between big-idea books and how-to books, as both can be problem-solving. The promotion plan of the book is crucial, and authors must not assume people will find their books without proper promotion and by building a platform. Josh shares a five-step process called “PQRST” which involves: Positioning, answering the Question, Reaching the target audience, Spreading the book encouraging word-of-mouth, and Timing the book launch. Questions I ask Josh Bernoff: [01:59] What are the essential elements that a business book needs to be good? [02:49] Can a business book have a similar narrative to a fiction book? [04:03] Some business books are terrible. What are they doing wrong? [04:59] There are two types of business books: the ones that stay in the big idea category and others that are perspective. Are there different approaches that need to be taken for those two different kinds of books? [06:43] Can you explain the different kinds of authors? [08:59] Do publishers care about ideas or do they care about the platform or do you have to have both? [11:16] There are two book approaches, the ones that include research and case studies, and the ones that talk from the author’s daily knowledge and experiences. What do you think of that? [15:09] You have been a ghostwriter on some projects. What are some reasons somebody who has a good idea might use a ghostwriter? [16:01] Let’s talk about editors. In a business book, are they qualified to give much input and help you get your ideas down? [17:16] What role does the design of the interior pages as well as the cover play in the success of a book? [19:36] If you’re going to write a book today, how important is having audio done? [20:54] Can you explain the promotion plan of the book? More About Josh Bernoff: Get your copy of Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters. Reach out to Josh. More About The Agency Certification Intensive Training: Learn more about the Agency Certification Intensive Training here Take The Marketing Assessment: Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please! Duct Tape Transcript Email Download New Tab John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by HubSpot. Look, AI is literally eating the web chat. GPT is more searched than I don’t know, Taylor Swift. Check out HubSpot’s AI powered tools, content assistant and chat spott. They both run on open AI’s GPT model, and both are designed to help you get more done and to grow your business faster. HubSpot’s AI powered content assistant helps you brainstorm, create, and share content in a flash, and it’s all inside a super easy to use CRM now. Chat Spott automates all the manual tasks inside HubSpot to help you arrange more customers close more deals, and scale your business faster. Find out more about how to use AI to grow your business at That’s (01:14): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Josh Bernoff. He’s the bestselling author or ghostwriter of eight business books. He’s contributed to 50 book projects that have generated over 20 million for their authors. He’s formerly Senior Vice President of Idea Development at Forrester, where he spent 20 years analyzing technology and business. We’re gonna talk about his most recent book, Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write, and Promote a Book That Matters. So Josh, welcome to the show. Josh Bernoff (01:49): It’s great to be on. Good to talk to you. John Jantsch (01:52): So I’ll just throw out like one really big question to start us off. Okay. And then we’ll hone in on, uh, things, you know, what are the essential elements that a business book needs to be good. How is that for, how is that for a big question, ? Josh Bernoff (02:06): No, that’s exactly the right big question . And I’d say there are two things, one that everybody understands and one that people don’t understand. The thing that everybody knows you need is an idea. Yeah. That is, you need something that will solve a problem for a specific group of people, and it has to be a differentiated idea that is an idea that hasn’t been heard before. So that’s what people know. What people don’t recognize is that business books are made out of stories about people, stories about business people, about ordinary consumers, about people who have a problem. And you get insight from the way they solve that problem. And unless you’ve collected those stories and shared them in an interesting way, your book’s gonna be boring and it’s not gonna sell. John Jantsch (02:49): Can a business book, like, I mean, a fiction book, you know, has a narrative and a plot and characters and we get to the end hopefully and go, oh, that was amazing. Can a business book have narrative similar to that? Or is it there just to do some nuts and bolts work? Josh Bernoff (03:04): It has to have a narrative similar to that. Now we understand this, if you’re reading a business book that’s say a description of Elon Musk’s life or Right. You know, how Netflix was created as a company. But when you’re talking about a business book that solves a problem, there’s a natural order to it in the first chapter. We have to scare the crap out of you by getting you to see that there’s either a problem that you’re gonna have if you don’t follow the book or some opportunity you’re gonna miss out on. That’s the fear and greed options. Yeah. And then after that we described the parts of the solution. We show you how to implement that. We might show you some more detail about how it applies in different situations. This is a natural progression from you have a problem to the solution, to the problem, to the details of the solution. And that’s just as much a narrative as if narrative as if you were reading a novel. John Jantsch (04:00): All right, let’s some people learn better from the negative. Let’s talk about some business books that are terrible. What are the, without naming names, what, what do they get wrong typically? Josh Bernoff (04:10): So I don’t know if your listeners have had this experience. I have many times of the business book where you read chapter two and you’re like, gee, that sounds just like chapter one. And then you read chapter four and you’re like, oh my gosh, it’s just the same thing over and over again. Yeah. So there’s a word for what that book ought to be, which is a blog post . So if what you have is a blog post, write a blog post and you’ll save us all. A lot of trouble ideas that are worth writing a book about have to be big. That is, they need to affect a lot of people and they need to have consequences. They need to have elements to them. They need to have some subtlety to it that you need to figure out. And unless you have the ability to do that, you really should just write a blog post. John Jantsch (04:58): Uh, there are two types of book business books. I read lots and lots of business books as I know you have as well. There are two types of business books that I really like. Some kind of stay in the big idea category. Mm-hmm. , Seth Godin’s books, I think are a great example of always a great idea that you, that he clearly believes in and that you can believe in, but not a whole lot of how to in them. And then there are other prescriptive books which are probably closer to what I write, you know, which is literally a retelling of what I do , you know, in, in the book. Are there different approaches that need to be taken for those two different kinds of books? And feel free to throw in, oh no, there’s four or five other categories too. , Josh Bernoff (05:36): Well, in the problem-solving kind of book, which is both of those are the big idea books and the how-to books are basically problem-solving kind of books. I think it’s a mistake to think of them as two different kinds. Okay. They’re really two ends of a continuum. Yeah. Right. So for example, the book I just wrote, right? Build a better business book here. This is a how-to book. There’s 24 chapters. There’s a chapter on covers. There’s a chapter on how to do research. Right. These are all very specific things that you have to learn how to do. If you look at the first book I wrote with Charlene Lee groundswell of posters behind me on the Wall. Yeah. That was a big idea book. And the big idea was that social media wasn’t a toy anymore, and people really need to learn how to take advantage of it. But even there we had to say, okay, if you’re gonna use social media for research purposes, here are the steps involved in that. Or if you’re gonna use social media for marketing, here are the steps involved in that. And unless you have some kind of prescription, then all you’re doing is basically throwing grenades and blowing things up. And while that can be entertaining, it’s not that helpful to people. John Jantsch (06:43): All right. So I’m, I’m gonna go down the same path. There are two kinds of authors, I think and, and I think a lot of times they fall into maybe business models or how they think about business models. There’s obviously the Malcolm Gladwell giant big idea that’s gonna lead to giant big stages, maybe. Yeah. I wrote my first book, don’t tell my publisher this, but I wrote my first book to really be a platform for selling product and for, you know, bringing, uh, a licensing program, uh, to the world using that methodology. And that was really, the book was a piece, you know, as opposed to, I, in fact, for many years I didn’t even call myself an author necessarily. Josh Bernoff (07:17): Mm-hmm. . Well, if you wrote a book and you published it, you’re an author, so please call yourself an author. But what people need, first of all, you’re not Malcolm Gladwell. I’m not Malcolm Gladwell. Very few people are Malcolm Gladwell. In fact, I have a section in the first chapter of my book about why you’re not Malcolm Gladwell . That’s funny. So for the rest of us, the success does not come from book sales. Right. That might be a nice little source of income. You might even not suppose you reach a thousand people, is that a failure? Yeah. If those are the right thousand people, that could be an enormous success. So the question is, how will that benefit you? And of course it should start by benefiting the people who read it, but then they’re gonna say, Hey, I should hire this guy. Or, oh, this company is worth looking at. Or this is a different way to look at the world. What vendors can help with it? Oh, look, he’s got one of those vendors he’s associated with. So there are lots of ways that, that you can benefit. I, I guess the simplest way to put it is a book is the largest possible lump of content marketing. Yeah. And just like any other content marketing, it attracts attention by being useful and then it translates into some sort of business for the author. John Jantsch (08:32): Yeah. Yeah. Well, I, you know, fortunately out of some sort of dumb luck, I actually sold a lot of copies of Duct Tape Marketing as well as it being my kinda launching for a platform. So I kinda lucked into the best of both worlds. I guess l let’s talk about book proposals for a minute. You know, which is a typical organ that a lot of people would use to, uh, get a publisher interested in a book. Boy, that has changed in the last , uh, 20 years. Yeah. Uh, or, or so, um, do publishers care about ideas or do they care about platform? Um, or do you have to have both? Josh Bernoff (09:05): Well, you have to have both. But platform’s more important, and that’s a shocking thing to say, right. But in the last 20 or 30 years, what I have seen is that some publishers like Wiley explicitly say, you have to prove to us that you can sell 10 or 12 20,000 books on your own. And the other publishers don’t say it quite so starkly, but they believe the same thing. Yeah. And that means, and they’re not gonna help you very much with the selling. You have to provide that yourself. So you need to have a podcast or a blog or regular appearance on CNN or a Forbes, you know, column or whatever. You need to have some sort of a platform to roll the book out. Now a person with a large platform and no ideas isn’t really very interesting, the publishers, because someone has to get something out of the book, but the, they look at the platform first and the idea second. Sadly, it’s true. Yeah. John Jantsch (09:59): Yeah, yeah. And I think it’s become more true, quite frankly. You know, you mentioned definitely Wiley, for example, I’ve even seen some authors talk about, you know, they had to guarantee that they were gonna sell that . Yes, that’s true. It’s X number. So Yeah, they, Josh Bernoff (10:14): I can’t resist pointing out here that there are alternatives now. John Jantsch (10:17): Sure. Well, Josh Bernoff (10:18): There are hybrid publishers John Jantsch (10:19): Usually change, right? Yeah, Josh Bernoff (10:21): Yeah, yeah. You can pay a hybrid publisher to publisher book. I’m this most recent book I did with a hybrid publisher, and I’m not saying that’s the only model. My previous book was done with a traditional publisher. Yeah. And you can even self-publish books on your own through the Amazon platform. And of course that makes a much less of an impact, but if you really gotta get your book out, you don’t need to go through a traditional publisher anymore. John Jantsch (10:44): Well, I have a few, you know, folks in that, that I know well that have made a whole lot more money on their book by doing self-publishing because it sold really well and they kept 80% Josh Bernoff (10:54): Phil Jones John Jantsch (10:55): , Phil Jones is one first one came. Ok. Now, Josh Bernoff (10:57): Now it’s, but it is hard to make your book catch fire. Yeah, yeah. If you’re doing it, you’re publishing it independently like that. Yeah. The, the traditional publishers have a certain amount of clout and distribution, and the hybrid publishers are helpful within that vein as well. John Jantsch (11:13): Yeah. So my books are not heavily researched in the, you know, the idea that we had 3000 participants in some sort of study. I mean, my books are really kind of more, here’s my daily knowledge. I mean, here’s what I’ve learned working with ex clients. Is there, again, I don’t think there’s a better approach, but they’re quite different, aren’t they? Josh Bernoff (11:34): Uh, you know what, you need something that proves that your book is right. Yeah. And I was sitting down and I thought of these ideas and I wrote them down as not sufficient John Jantsch (11:45): , it might work. Josh Bernoff (11:47): Yeah. And, you know, everyone does secondary research. This is basically going on the internet and finding quotes and studies and stuff. But you need some sort of primary research. But what you said, the, the, you know, the survey kind of research or data Look, I worked at Forrester. I actually

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