2011 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 3

Yearly Archives: 2011

A College Student Changing An Industry – Isn’t This Great?

Many of you know I’m already a fan of ukulele pop-song Internet sensation Julia Nunes. I even write about her in Attention! She was, and continues to be, a perfect example of how we don’t need gatekeepers anymore to prove our talent to the world. Nobody does, remember that.

She did it with YouTube videos. Millions of views later, she’s got hundreds of thousands of fans, a handful of records, and a career. All from recording herself in her college dorm room.

Now she’s doing it again, and taking the music industry to school. This time she’s using the brilliant project Kickstarter to fund her next album. At the time of this writing she’s got $26,271 funded to her from 501 backers, with 28 days to go.

What will the money be used for?

The money is going to pay for musicians, producer, engineer, mixing, mastering, and the actual printing of the CD. If we reach the goal and go past it, there will be more cool rewards for everyone that already donated. Any money I make past the $15,000 point will go towards promoting the album, hiring a publicist, maybe even a licensing company (who doesn’t want to hear their songs in the background of some climactic scene in a coming of age film?)

I love the Internet. Can you believe the world we live in now? The power is in our hands. Not theirs, and nothing pleases me more than that. Get to work.

The Domino Project, Seth Godin & Gatekeepers

I like Seth Godin. Never met him, but I’ve heard he’s a stand up guy. I like his books. I would say that The Idea Virus is my favorite, and my first read from him years and years ago.

I will admit I have asked Seth for a few things in the past few years. Including a blurb for Attention! and to include How To Catch Happy in the Domino Project. Neither of which he gave. No problem. I am not bitter about it one bit. I’ll keep trying to be better and hope he likes what I’m doing. If not, I’ll live. But you always want to be accepted by the leaders in your industry.

I also like his new Domino Project, in concept. But I have to take issue with the rhetoric that he uses to talk about this project. To quote from his latest article on the site

Here’s the unedited version of a radio interview I did about Domino, permission marketing and a new era of book publishing.

I take issue with the a new era of book publishing line that has been perpetuated through the media since day one launch of this project. Look, the Domino Project is neat and fun, but it is certainly not ushering in a new era of book publishing. The media took the announcement that Seth wasn’t going to write any more “traditionally published” books hook, line and sinker. So did I. I loved it.

Until I realized that the Domino Project is more of a mirage of that concept. Why you say? Because while it does help authors publish digitally, it only does so for a handful of people, hand picked by Seth himself.

Is it really a new era of publishing to create a project that is in reality a digital publishing house with one big gatekeeper?

I don’t see it. The “new era of publishing” is when you and me and everyone can easily publish any content without any gatekeeper. So I don’t see how the Domino Project really fits into that mold?

No offense to Seth, I just don’t get it. Everyone is a publisher now. When there’s a gatekeeper, I believe you are still holding in the traditional publishing model, sans the printed book part.

The reason I got into blogging in 2001 was because I LOVED the fact that I could get around the gatekeepers. That’s the same feeling I have now that I am beginning to create more book type content in digital form.

The Domino Project did a good job of moving the discussion and creating awareness. But it’s not the solution or the future of publishing. That will come from you, and you alone.

I Want To Write A Book With You

I love writing books and self-publishing. Here’s a list of my current books, which will grow by leaps and bounds over the next 6 months as I mass produce content.

And I love marketing books too. Do you have a book you’ve always wanted to write? Don’t know how to get started? Don’t think you can do it on your own? Need a partner to help write and/or market it?

Let’s talk about it. Contact me with your idea and let’s see if there’s a match.

Why I’ve Decided To Self-Publish My Books Moving Forward

As you may or may not know my first book was published by Wiley in 2010. It’s called Attention! This Book Will Make You Money and I’m VERY proud of it. People who have read it constantly tell me how much it changed their fortunes and help them grow a strong business and brand off of creative ideas. It’s a great book.

I purposely wanted to work with a major “traditional” publisher like Wiley for my first book simply because I wanted a “real” book. You know, a “real” book is one that is hard bound and is published by a big publishing house. For me it was important because I got to have physically produced books that I could show off to friends, family and more importantly potential clients.

It worked. Attention! launched in August 2010 and I was able to immediately double my consulting fees and book more and more speaking gigs. There’s just something about having a “real” book. Or, at least there used to be. I’m afraid the stigma is almost gone.

Seth Godin knows it. So do many others. The publishing industry is changing. Once I saw how the publishing industry works from the inside, I was able to easily decide that it wasn’t for me, for a bunch of reasons.

First off, it’s too slow. My second book called “How To Catch Happy“, which I just self-published on the Kindle and eBook format (click here for Kindle book, just $.99 for now), was written, edited and published in less than a few weeks of my time, all by me. Wow. What power. This reminds me of why I got into blogging in 2001. It was because of the “instant” part of it. Sure, putting a book into a digital format and self-publishing isn’t that instant, but it’s darn close when you compare it to the traditional publishing format that can take almost a year.

Another reason I’ve decided to cut ties with my publisher and self-publish is frankly, I don’t need them. They slow me down and they don’t help me market. The only real thing they did for me was to cut me a check for writing it in advance, sort of help me edit it (my wife did most of it, true story) and print a bunch of copies and distribute it to some bookstores. I say “some” bookstores because B&N only bought a few copies of my book for about every other store as far as I could tell. Ok, sure, they did more than that (sort of) but at the end of the day I didn’t really see what I needed them for.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the past and what I’ve learned about the traditional publishing business. I won’t. I’ll just tell you that Wiley is full of good people and they helped me accomplish my goal. They still own the rights to Attention! But none of my future books, I’m a free agent again. Perhaps I’d go to the traditional publishing route in the future again if it fits my agenda. Never say never.

Think of this new world we live in now. It’s just like 2001 all over again with blogs. You can now easily create content and distribute it to millions and millions of people as a book! You can even use services like Infinity Publishing, Createspace or Lulu.com to have “real” copies made. It’s totally up to you! Isn’t this exciting?

My plan is to publish books at my own pace. I may push two up every month. Or one in three months. Some short and some long. I don’t know. The point is I can do it when I want, as often as I want.

That’s power. That’s the future.

Are You Built To Sell?

This is a book review of John Warrillow’s new book “Built To Sell – Creating a business that can thrive without you“.

Wow, I really needed to read this book. Well, actually, I wish I read it years ago. As an entrepreneur who keeps wishing to be cloned, this book hit home for me. This book is all about learning how to create a business that can thrive without you. Then how you can sell that business.

So this book was a big hit for me and my clients. I just had a conversation today with a potential client who wants to build a brand on his image, but also wants to sell it in 3-4 years. How in the heck are you going to sell your business… when YOU’RE the business? That’s what this book will teach you.

I should point out that this is not a “how-to” tactical book. Not at all. Instead, it’s a story that you can follow and learn from. I highly recommend this book. Get a copy today if you’re looking to ever sell your company down the road.

John is running a great promotion on his site now. If you buy a copy of his book, you get a bunch of goodies, including:

* One Year Subscription to Inc. Magazine
* 2-Hour Teleconference with John Warrillow
* The E-Myth ebook, The Four Pillars of a Sellable Business
* BizBuySell Valuation Report
* $25 Kiva Loan in Your Name

Go get your copy now. Order here.

Offer One

View more presentations from JohnWarrillow

Report: Since I Quit Blogging & Checking Twitter…

I’m breaking my “quitting blogging” stance for today just so I can post this update. I wanted to give you an update of all the things I’ve been able to accomplish since I quit blogging on a consistent basis months ago. Oh yeah, and that’s not all I did. I stopped watching Twitter and checking Facebook. Ok, not completely, maybe only once a day. So here’s what I’ve done since I stopped doing all that.

Wrote Two Good eBooks
You can read them both for free. The first is a book on how to use Fiverr.com to get small tasks done for you without a big cost. The second is a motivational eBook called “Why is everyone else rich and I’m not?” that will kick you in the pants.

Launched a Clickbank Product
I’ve been doing business on the Web for over 16-years and one thing I never actually did was create a product and launch it on a network like Clickbank. This week I released version 2.0 of my popular Online Video Toolkit. It’s a 100% online delivered video course teaching you how to make awesome videos on the cheap for your business for more sales, leads and publicity. Affiliates welcome. :0

Just About Finished My Second Book
Your Pitch Sucks, formerly named “The Ultimate Pitch” will be released end of March online by me in digital format.

What else?

Increased my consulting business profits by 150%
Spent more time fishing
Worked on more fun projects
De-stressed myself from the information overload
Grew my email lists by 50%

You get the idea? My point? Blogging and social media are sucking the productivity out of you? Maybe? Perhaps? Think about how much time you waste on things that don’t meet your goals. Things that don’t give you a return on investment. Just think about it. I’m not saying it’s the right thing for you to do. I’m just saying you should consider it.

How much time did you waste today on things that didn’t help you?

Note: This isn’t for everyone. It works for me. Will it work for you? Not sure, but something to consider.

Why Is Everybody Else Rich & I’m Not?

I just finished another free eBook. This one is entitled “Why Is Everybody Else Rich & I’m Not?” You can view it below in video form (with my voice-over), or below that in presentation format without voice.

So why write this? I can tell you that in over 16-years of working on the Web I’ve learned quite a few things. Nowadays I spend most of my time helping small business owners or entrepreneurs figure out how to find success online. And frankly, a LOT of the time the things in this eBook come to light when speaking to them. So I figured I’d put them all down in a short format for the world to share. Please enjoy.

Ask and You Shall Receive

When I was a kid, I was always asking questions. Whatever situation I would find myself in, it seemed I was always able to pepper everyone around me with endless questions about it. I wanted to know the whys, the whos, the whats – and the more I found out, the more questions I came up with. It didn’t take me long to sense the exasperation in my parents, not to mention all the other adults in my life. As I got older, I learned to curb my inquisitiveness, or at the very least, to temper the outward displays of it. Don’t get me wrong; the little kid inside of me was still coming up with the questions, but the grown-up on the outside had manage to construct a nifty filter that allowed only the most discreet and unobtrusive ones through.

And then I became a salesman. Slowly but surely, the little kid resurfaced. It wasn’t until I really and truly learned about working with customers that I realized how valuable questions are, provided they are the right questions! Let me explain.

As a division manager of a busy self-storage facility, I am continually challenged on two fronts: I need to preserve my current client relationships and to grow new ones. When I started in the business, I naively assumed that the way to go about selling was to bludgeon my customers with facts about how wonderful my product is. Then when it came time to ask questions, make sure they are the kind that require a “yes” for an answer. Boy was I wrong! It took some time and a lot of trial and error, but over the years, I began to really learn about people. I also learned about selling and I found that asking the right questions in the right ways went hand- in-hand with accomplishing my sales objectives. Here are some of the lessons I learned and the corresponding system of questioning I developed:

  1. Questions are much more interesting than statements! This is something I found out very quickly. In my early days, I would launch into a big diatribe about the benefits of my storage units – how great they are, how much everybody loved them, etc. I found that even though I was entertaining myself, my client’s eyes would glaze over. So I slowly started replacing my statements with questions and guess what happened? My subjects suddenly became more alert, more responsive, and most importantly of all, more engaged. This is because my statements put them into listening mode, whereas my questions invited them to be participants, not just listeners.

  2. You can’t sell anything by making assumptions! There is no way I can effectively make a sale by assuming that my customer needs my product, or assuming that what works for client. We all know what happens when you assume and nowhere is this more true than in the world of sales. So what I need to do in my initial line of questions is to learn everything I can about my customer. I found that the most effective way of doing this is to engage the client with open-ended questions; in other words, questions which invite answers more elaborate than a simple yes or no. For example, instead of asking “Do you like your storage unit?” I might invite a constructive dialogue by saying “Tell me all about your storage unit and what things you use it for…” The key is to ask the type of questions which result in the other person doing most of the talking.

  3. Listening works much better than talking! Strange as it may seem, the most effective way to engage a customer’s attention is to make sure she does most of the talking. Sometimes this takes plenty of restraint, especially for someone like me who loves to talk. But it’s definitely worth it. The more the customer talks, the more engaged she becomes and the more I learn about her. Not only that, but by listening I am earning my customer’s confidence and loyalty by actively demonstrating that I have a real interest in her and care about her situation. Keep in mind that being a good listener doesn’t necessarily mean being a totally silent listener. Two types of questions can be very effective if they are judiciously sprinkled in. One kind is the clarification question (e.g., “Am I understanding you correctly that this is what you are saying?”) and the other kind is what I call a sympathy question – a question which essentially re-states (and reinforces) what the customer has just said. Clarification and reinforcement questions are all part of listening techniques that can build up my client’s desire to do business with me.

  4. People are never suspicious of their own conclusions! Let’s face it; both of us know that I am a salesman. Therefore, even if I am the nicest guy in the world, any words that come out of my mouth will inherently carry with them at least a small measure of suspicion. But if those same words come out of the customer’s own mouth, the credibility of the words suddenly becomes impeccable. The listening tactic, together with its clarification and sympathy questioning line, induces the customer to do most of the talking and coupled with my reinforcement. Especially, the customer is using his own words to sell my product to himself! Most customers are not wary of buying something but only wary of being sold something.

Though I am not a kid anymore, I am probably asking just as many questions as I ever did. Luckily, I am no longer exasperating people. Instead, I am getting to know them, assessing their needs, and providing solutions for them. I suppose that I always understood the power of questions, even back then, but now I am able to see it first-hand.

Art Gould is a division manager with Self Storage Company, which operates a group of websites, including a West Palm Beach self-storage locator. Though busy, Art enjoys meeting new people and clients when traveling to sites, like Lakewood or the Miami self storage center.

Unguru.me – Small Business Community (without the hype)

This is the million dollar question I get asked a lot. Can you sell and make a lot of money like the “gurus” do, without selling like a guru? Specifically, this question or a form of it: “Do I have to create a long sales letter page full of false promises?” Here’s my response.

The truth is that those annoying guru pages exist because they work. They convert well. If your goal is to just make as much money as fast as possible then that might be a great option for you. However, if your goal is to build a business, you want to build relationships. Do you really think that you can build a long-term business off of annoying your customers and false promises? You can’t.

So, can you sell without using guru tactics? Of course you can, you just have to look at it differently. How do you define success? Is it making money overnight or is it building something? Building a brand you can be proud of.

Introducing Unguru.me, a new community I’ve co-created with Affiliate Summit founder, and great friend, Shawn Collins. Please stop by and join during our free beta.

Epic Ca$h Money

Do you want epic cash money for little to no effort and just a $37 investment? A lot of people are seduced by those sorts of ridiculous promises on sales pages like http://www.epiccashmoney.com/ from self-professed gurus.

Me and Shawn Collins are sick and tired of the “gurus” out there and their false promises. So we put together a new community called Unguru.me. It’s for small business owners, entrepreneurs and marketers of all levels of experience to get together to learn and network in an unfiltered atmosphere that is void of hype.

Unguru.me is focused on give and take. This new community is the antithesis to the typical customer and guru relationship where the customer gives and the guru takes.

Visit http://unguru.me/ and join us for an opportunity to network and learn from successful small business owners.