Roger C. Parker interviews C.J. Hayden for his Published and Profitable community on how to develop multiple streams of income from a nonfiction book. Included is C.J.’s story of how her writing career got started and where Get Clients Now! began. Here’s some of what you will learn:
- Building a nonfiction book into a company or brand
- Key components for a successful book title
- Designing a business model to create multiple streams of income from a book
- Deciding between royalty publishing and self-publishing
- Planning, outlining, and writing a nonfiction book
- Publicizing your book at launch and on an ongoing basis
56 minutes, 14.9 MB
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Roger C. Parker: I welcome you to our 18th Published and Profitable expert interview. As always, this call is being recorded for the benefit of our members who will be able to access it from the website. Our guest today is someone who has a special role in my motivation for creating Published and Profitable and for keeping my business on track. Her name is C.J. Hayden. She’s the author of Get Clients Now! Get Clients Now! was one of the first books I profiled in the case studies section of Published and Profitable. it’s the subject of an upcoming in-depth, audios plus maps feature. C.J.’s website is getclientsnow.com. And C.J. also has several other online writing projects we’ll be asking her about, including her blog.
The relevance of having C.J. on is twofold. First, Get Clients Now! provides a textbook case study of what a good book is all about. The title, the subtitle, the progression and organization of the book’s contents, its reader engagement tools. All of these are reflective of success at the highest level. But and there’s a big but. Many authors conceive and write good books, but fail to achieve profits, lasting success, indeed, personal satisfaction that C.J. has enjoyed and does enjoy. So I’ve invited C.J. here to talk not only because she has many lessons to teach us about creating a great book, but also lessons about leveraging our book and running a successful, satisfying business based on a great book. So welcome, C.J.
C.J. Hayden: Hello, Roger. I’m happy to be here.
Roger: Thank you. So as a bit of background, were you a reader growing up?
C.J: Absolutely. I learned to read when I was three and kept my nose buried in the book ever since then.
Roger: What kind of books where did you read during the grammar school years?
C.J: My first love and I still do read in this category was actually fantasy. So I read science fiction and other adventure books sometimes thought of as being boys’ books, and even more so in those days. And classical mythology as well. So I loved books like I guess first, Wind in the Willows, and then the the Narnia series, and Lord of the Rings, and I loved reading the mythic tales, both Greek mythology and Nordic mythology and Native American, anything I could get my hands on in that category.
Roger: And how long did this interest remain with you?
C.J: For pleasure reading? I still read in those categories today. I read a lot of fantasy and sci-fi in my wind-down late at night reading. During the day, I only read nonfiction.
Roger: Okay, what kind of nonfiction do you like to read?
C.J: Typically, it depends on what my current writing and speaking projects are. So I kind of think of myself as a scout, I love to go out into new territory and find out what’s going on there and bring it back to people. So whatever I’m currently interested in teaching or coaching or consulting about, that’s what I’m reading about.
Roger: How wonderful. What about college? Those years.
C.J: I did college sort of backwards, I started my work career before I ever went to college. So I ended up getting my college degree at night over a period of about 10 years. So it was a little different in terms of, you know, what I think of as my college years and what other people might, who spent college as something they did before they started working.
Roger: What was your working?
C.J: I worked in restaurants in the beginning and food service, and then I worked in banking, then in data processing. Then as a R & D person in the technology field. That led me into science. I worked as a geologist for a while, and then as a product manager. So all of that happened before I made the transition to first management consultant and then business coach.
Roger: Well, when did you begin to write as well as read?
C.J: You know, when I was a little girl, I always thought I would be a writer. I wrote poetry and short stories as early as I think second grade. And I always thought, though, that I was going to be a fiction writer or a poet. Nonfiction just never really entered my mind. As a teenager, I thought I was going to be a foreign language major. And then as a young adult, I thought I was going to be a scientist, and I did training and work in that field. So it really led me more in the the how-to direction than I ever thought I was going to, I was going to go into and that was actually where I first started writing as an adult, was technical writing, procedural writing, step-by-step, how to do whatever I needed to instruct other people in, in the course of my my business career.
Roger: So, the reason for the worksheets, and the strong organization can be related back to the technical how-to writing.
C.J: Definitely, you know, the most formal training that I have in anything is in computers and the sciences. And you’ll certainly see that influence in Get Clients Now! It’s a very systematic, scientific approach to marketing.
Roger: Right, How do you classify Get Clients Now? What is the category — when you meet someone on an airplane — that you say Get Clients Now! is, or that you write in?
C.J: Well, if there was such a category as business self-help, I’d take it. But that category doesn’t really exist. So I typically tell people, if they’re not really in my world, if it’s like you said, that person on the airplane, I very often say it’s a business how-to book because that’s quite frequently what I’ll tell people in a social setting. They say, what do you do? And I say, Well, I’m a writer, I write business how-to books, and I teach classes and consult based on my books. But it’s actually indexed under Sales and Marketing. And that that’s how I talk about it to people who are prospects for Get Clients Now!, or the work around it, is categorizing it strictly as a sales and marketing book.
Roger: Okay. Well, Published and Profitable is organized around the idea of the four steps: planning, writing, promoting, and profiting. Let’s talk about the the origins of Get Clients Now! and where it began, and where the wonderful title and subtitle came from. So I guess a starting point is when you were planning or just thinking about your book, did you consciously visualize the success you wanted? Did you have an idea of where you were going and how the book would fit in?
C.J: Well, actually, I did. I had the book really, completely, mapped out before I ever started writing it. And that was because Get Clients Now! didn’t start its life as a book. It began as a training program. So, because I began from that origin — not the book, and then there was a training program, but the other way around: the training program, then the book — planning the book out was really predicated on the fact that this training program I had created and already existed. As far as, you know, actually considering creating a book out of it, I had already self-published a book. And then I wanted to publish my next book through a royalty publisher and be officially published. You know how that is. So I wrote a proposal for a how-to book in the category business startups, but my agent didn’t have much success in selling it. So I wrote another book proposal, co-authored with someone who was an already published author. And again, that one didn’t sell. And my agent said, “What else have you got?” And I said, “Well, what about this thing called Get Clients Now?” And that’s when it first started becoming a book.
Roger: Did you have that same subtitle then?
C.J: I did. It was the same subtitle I’ve used for the program. Although interestingly, for the first edition, the publisher took out “coaches.” So the book was first published as “A 28-Day Program for Professionals and Consultants.” They thought nobody would know what a coach was in 1999. By the time the second edition came out, they were very happy to have “coaches” back in the title. So it’s now what I had it as originally: “A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches.”
Roger: So you had the program, but did the title Get Clients Now! come out of the program?
C.J: it was the first and only title that I ever considered for either the program or the book. And in fact, I even wrote into my book contract that the publisher couldn’t change it. Because I already had this vision of a brand around Get Clients Now! at that time. But when I was first brainstorming names for the title, you know, I was just looking for something that would get people’s attention, instead of simply being yet another boring workshop on how to market yourself. And the title Get Clients Now! came into my head, and I said, “Well, isn’t that what everybody wants?” And that was the title that I picked.
Roger: It’s just, I often use it, as there’s just so many nice things about it. It’s strong in terms of consonants. The words are so short, three letters, six letters, seven letters, three letters. Then in the latest edition, I mean, you just have this “get clients” and “clients” is the full width of the cover, and about a third the height of the cover. And then the “now” is reversed out. So I mean, it’s just such a perfect title, because there’s urgency to it. And one of our biggest things that holds people back is titles that lack urgency. So I just think that this is so masterful, and then the tool, the 28 days, tell me about a 28-day marketing program, why not 30? Why not seven? Why not one year?
C.J: Well, I’ve actually looked at a number of different ways of doing this kind of group coaching program. And before I first came up with Get Clients Now!, I was running something called action groups, which I first started out in 1993. And they were based on getting a group of people together to work through some specific agenda and support each other. And it just worked out that 28 days seemed to be kind of the magic number. Twenty-one is the number of days that many experts say is required to learn a new habit. And 28 seemed to me like, “Well, okay, once you’ve learned the habit, then you’ve got to have a little bit more time for it to pay off. So let’s go for 28.” And I found that longer programs like 90 days, for example, just weren’t as attractive to people. People are in a hurry, they want things quickly. So a four-week program, 28 days, seemed to me to be the number that hit it just right.
Roger: So the final subtitle, “a 28-day,” that’s the length marketing program. Now that’s interesting. You explain “marketing program,” amplifying on the fact that that’s how people will get clients now. Several people who are cover designers, like Kathy Dunn, who was a previous guest, talk about the emotionalism of the title has to be reinforced by the rational or other side of the brain that gives you the specific facts and backs it up. So you have a duration of what it is — oh, it’s a marketing program; it’s not a diet, hypothetically. And who is the person who will benefit? Professionals. It’s targeted, I guess that’s what I’m saying to professionals, consultants, and coaches. And the rest of the title has “second edition,” your name, and a foreword by Jay Conrad Levinson. And that’s it. It’s just simplicity.
C.J: It really represents the program itself. It’s simplicity. That’s the tagline that I use on the website is: “a simple sales and marketing plan,” because that’s what I want to get across to people.
Roger: Okay. So what would you recommend for authors who may be listening to the recording, who do not have an existing curriculum to build on what would they…? What would you recommend for them?
C.J: I think the really central piece that’s so important is to figure out what the heck your business model is, and then see what book is going to support that business model. Do you want to make money as a keynote speaker? Well, what’s the book that people are going to buy in the back of the room? Do you want to make a living as a consultant? What’s the book that will get across the the depth and breadth of your expertise or even better, serve as a manual for your consulting practice? You either want your book to serve as a $20 business card to get people acquainted with you, or you want it to be a tool that everybody who works with you will want to have. And if you can get clear on what your business model is, then you can write a book that will support that, instead of putting the book out there and then scrambling around trying to figure out how the heck am I going to make any money?
Roger: So it comes down to planning.
C.J: It really does come down to planning, but even more than planning, conceptualizing what’s this business I’m doing all about?
Roger: Okay. And that includes what’s sold on the website to people, readers, who have come to the website after buying the book?
C.J: What’s sold on the website, and how do you as the author of that book make your living? What is the core of your income? Are you a consultant? Are you a coach? Are you a speaker? Are you a trainer? Are you a graphic designer? Are you a web designer? Are you a chiropractor? You know, what is it that’s the real core of your business that you want this book to either serve as something to attract people to, or it’s to serve as a tool that people can use in interacting with you and whatever your core profession is.
Roger: So when I started out long ago and far away to be an author supported by book sales, that was probably not the ideal way.
C.J: Well, you know, it’s kind of like it’s the miraculous way. There are people who actually do write one book that somehow manages to sell enough copies that the royalties and any direct book sales turn into something. But that is so, so rare. I mean, we’re talking about a fraction of 1% of all the books published that ever sell enough copies to actually support the author just by book sales alone. So, you know, for the 99.9% of the rest of us, we need to have a different model.
Roger: That’s strong words. When you were searching for a publisher, you had an agent, you said.
C.J: I did. I was lucky that an agent approached me. She took one of my starting-a-business classes at a career center when she was just starting out as an agent. But she had 20 years experience on the inside as an editor before she opened her own literary agency. So I figured she could probably do a good job for me, and she was just great. She did all the legwork of helping my various proposals get in front of publishers, and also spent a lot of time advising me on what was really going to create a proposal that would sell. She was a real godsend.
Roger: And she, so the first two, you both persevered. I think there’s a message there.
C.J: Yes, we did. I was determined that I was going to get a royalty publisher, so I wrote that first proposal. She shopped it to six major publishers, and they all said, “No, this doesn’t appeal to us.” And she came back to me and she said, “You know, we could keep going to smaller and smaller publishers, and find you somebody who will take this, because I think this is a good proposal. But is that what you want?” And I said, “No, let’s try a different one.” So we did, went through the same process again. And they said, “No, we don’t really think so.” And then we did it again, and Get Clients Now! was the winner.
Roger: How long did it take to get into publishing? After the first… you know, after the book was signed? When did you have your first copies?
C.J: They gave me six months to write the book, which is pretty typical after you sign a contract. And so then, the book was completed. In the first edition, things didn’t move quite as quickly. So I would say that it was probably a good six months after the manuscript was completed before it was actually in print.
Roger: And would you go the same route again? Or would you look at some of the newer self-publishing alternatives?
C.J: I’ve done it both ways. I’ve self-published, and I’ve also used a royalty publisher. And, you know, there’s definitely pros and cons. And for me, what I discovered was for a book like Get Clients Now!, where what I really want is for a really significant audience of people to have access to the book, it really has worked better for me to have a major publisher. My publisher was AMACOM, the American Management Association, and they’ve gotten my book into places that it just never would have gotten as a self-published book. On the flip side, my book that is self-published, well, you know, I sell those and keep all the profits, and it’s a nice stream of income off my website. but to be the actual linchpin of a multifaceted business, I think having a major publisher has some real advantages.
Roger: When you were planning Get Clients Now! and your whole success and business, were you consciously modeling it on any existing books that you really were motivated by?
C.J: Well, in terms of the book itself, I’d never seen a book like Get Clients Now! in the business arena. I modeled it after a cookbook, like The Joy of Cooking. The first group of chapters teach you the basics of cooking and about basic ingredients and equipment. And then, they lay out some sample menus for you to work from. And the last group of chapters give you individual recipes for all the meals. So that was really the vision that I had for how the book itself would come together. And in the middle, there’s a chapter that spells out the 28-day program. And that particular chapter is much more like something you’d see in a self-help book, like, for example, The Artist’s Way, which also has a day-by-day, step-by-step, things that you do, contemplate, work on, etc. So none of the elements in the book are truly unique. But the combination is totally unique. Nobody’d ever written a book like this for small business owners before.
Roger: What I noticed… now, there’s the idea of dividing the book into sections. So what you’re saying is you set Part One: The Setup, Part Two: The System, Part Three: The Strategies, which is just so masterful. So that was something… that was one of your goals. That was one of the things you wanted. But why not just ten chapters without the sections? I mean, what is the role that the sections played at that time, and play now?
C.J: Yeah, keep in mind that that my intent for this book when I wrote it was that it was going to serve as the text for a program, whether an individual took themselves through the program step by step, or whether they did it with a group of peers who were all working through it together as a book study group, or whether they worked with a trainer who was a coach who was going to lead them through. So the whole first section, The Setup, is the material that that either the reader would cover in a seminar with a coach or trainer, or they would work through on their own to get ready to start the program. Then the middle section is the program itself. So, the step-by-step of what you do for 28 days. And then, the third section is reference material. It’s the recipes. It’s where you go when you’re trying to figure out well, what goes into a 30-second commercial? And what does she mean when she talks about web presence, and how I achieve it? So when you’re trying to get that kind of background material, you go to the the third section, so that organization to me made a lot of sense for the way that I envisioned people using the book.
Roger: And I suppose the readers sort of like… the sections become almost landmarks along the way. If we’re driving to Washington, DC, then Hartford — we’re in New Hampshire — and Hartford is sort of, “Ah, I know where I am now, we’re a third of the way.” And when you pass through New York City, “Oh, now I’m at a halfway point.” And Trenton or whatever. It seems that the sections play a major role in the reader’s comfort.
C.J: I think they do. And it really enables the book to be used in that programmatic way, having it divided like that.
Roger: How did you… when you’re moving on to the writing process, which I know that you were well along on that, but how did you keep track of the ideas, case studies, questions for readers while writing your book? There are a lot of elements to this book, in terms of worksheets, quotations, and case studies. Did you have a master plan or a three ring binder? How did you just pull it all together?
C.J: I kept everything in documents on the computer. So I just started out with documents into which I just literally threw everything for a particular section. As I identified something, did an interview, came across a tool, whatever, that I thought was going to be in there, I said, “Okay, this is going to be in section one, throw it into that document.” Section two, throw it into that document. So in the beginning, it was sort of random, all of these different ideas and snippets of writing. But then, what I was able to do, working from an outline, is delve in there and just using keyword searches, finding anything that I thought was relevant to that particular section, and start hammering out the chapters one by one. And I still do pretty much that in my writing today.
Roger: When you say online keyword searches, or outline keyword searches, it’s almost like you, before the web came along, you were googling your own writing, on your own computer.
C.J: (Laughs.) Well, that’s very true. So remember, I had a computer science background once upon a time, right? From the very beginning, I have written on on a computer. I had access to a word processor way back when before a lot of people even knew what they were, and got very used to the idea that if you just threw it in a file, you could always search for it. You didn’t even need to index things very completely, because you could always search.
Roger: When did the idea of a second edition come up?
C.J: It was about 2005. The publisher wanted to update the cover of the book. And when we started talking about that, I said, “You know, there’s actually more than the cover I’d like to update,” and they said, “Well, what about a second edition?” And I said, “Yes, let’s go for it.” I felt like the book really needed updating. For one very important reason — the first edition was written before the Internet was such a significant force in marketing. So there was a lot of really, I thought, very outdated references to the Internet, and also a lot missing about the Internet that really needed to be there.
Roger: What was involved in writing the second edition? I mean, did you start from scratch? Or did you just add and edit? What was the process like?
C.J: Well, I took the original manuscript, and I completely re-edited it. So I went through the entire thing from beginning to end, and updated, revised, expanded everything that I thought needed it, based on things that had changed, reader comments, mistakes that had been found over the years, that sort of thing. And I also added new sections on many aspects of Internet marketing, and also on relationship marketing. Because I felt like the landscape there had also changed a bit since the book first came out. I also added a lot of new sidebars from other marketing and sales experts that I asked to contribute quotes or thoughts or ideas to the book.
Roger: What was your writing schedule like when you were in this revision process? How long did it take and what part of your day and things like that?
C.J: I had about five months to do the whole revision. We got into conversation about it in August, and they wanted it by the end of January. So it was a slightly abbreviated schedule. And I’d like to say that what I did was, I wrote a few pages a day for five months, and then I was done. But what I did was pretty much what I’d done with the first edition. I spent two or three months not writing the book. So then I only had two or three months to finish it. And it was quite a bit of a crunch. But my writing schedule these days is I am an early bird. I get up in the morning pretty early, and do all the writing before I check the email or the voicemail or start my day. And that really helps me enormously in being able to continue to write when I’ve got a pretty full schedule.
Roger: Were you able to delegate any of the writing tasks to others?
C.J: I did in a way. All of the sidebars in the book were written by the contributors. So all I did with those was some minor editing. All I did with the sidebars was I identified areas where I needed sidebars and people who I thought would be good contributors, and reached out to them and got that material. So that was one place where I delegated quite a bit. But other than that the only delegation I did of any kind was that I had my senior facilitators look over the revision and see if there was anything that I’d missed, or needed to be added or changed.
Roger: When you use the term sidebars, you’re referring to specific questions that you asked specific individuals. Could you comment on the difference between including the case studies or these contributions in the body copy, versus a sidebar, for those who may be new to books in general, or books like this? What is the value of a sidebar versus just putting it in the text?
C.J: In the the model that I was using to create this book, rather than calling on a lot of experts and including their thoughts and ideas and experiences in the body of the text and describing it in any kind of expository way, this book was written completely in my voice. There were no other voices included in the body of the text at all, no interviews, no survey data, nothing like that. It was just simply me sayin’ here’s how you do it, kids. So the sidebars were callout sections, which were intended to add other perspectives, but not interrupt the flow of what I was teaching and and giving step-by-step instructions for. So in places like, for example, if I’m talking about referrals, I said, “Well, I know Bob Burg, the author of Endless Referrals, let’s ask him to contribute a segment that gives a little bit more depth or a different perspective around referring.” And when I was writing about social networking, I said, “Well, what about Scott Allen, he wrote The Virtual Handshake? He’d be a perfect one to contribute something here?” So they’re not included in the step-by-step instructions, but they still add that element of other perspectives to the book. What readers have told me is that they actually find the sidebars fun to just flip through the book and and read the sidebars as a little bit of a lift or a moment of inspiration.
Roger: So the total friendliness of the book is enhanced?
C.J: Definitely. Yes. And by having other people featured in the book in that way, I can give their book title, I can give their website URL right there in the sidebar instead of relegated to some appendix. So it’s a nice promotional thing for them. And quite a few of the people who contributed sidebars for the book, also then were able to reference themselves as being a contributor to Get Clients Now! — one more mention of my book, one more link to my website.
Roger: Oh, well, we’ll have to return to that. You touched on something that I have been asked by a lot of clients and Published and Profitable members, you mentioned survey data. I occasionally will be speaking to someone who has a wonderful idea, they have a great deal of experience in the field, they have practical success in the field. But they are hesitant to write a book because they don’t have this academic survey data. Or they feel that they’re not qualified to write because they don’t have you know, specific metrics and things like this. How do you feel about that?
C.J: Well, you know, if you’re writing an academic book, if you’re writing a journalistic book, that’s important. You need data, you need sources, you need quotes, you need surveys. But this is not an academic book. It’s not a journalistic book. It’s not even a literary book. It’s a how-to book, and in a how-to book, all you need is the credibility of being able to convince people that this approach works. And I felt like this was a road-tested approach, and it worked, and I didn’t feel like I needed anybody else to make me more credible; to say, “This is the way to do it.”
Roger: That’s very refreshing to hear. There’s so many people who know their product or know their topic, and suffer from what in Made to Stick, Chip Heath and Dan Heath call the “tyranny of knowledge.” And sometimes it takes an outsider to interpret a subject from an outsider’s perspective, which… someone who doesn’t know all about it is who you’re trying to deal with in the first place.
C.J: Absolutely, and I think something that can be very intimidating as a first time writer, is you look out there and you go, “Gosh, you know, how could I possibly ever write a book about marketing? I mean, look at all the thousandss of books that have been written about marketing. Is there really anything new to say?” And what I’ve always told people about Get Clients Now! is, there’s absolutely nothing new in the content of Get Clients Now! What’s completely different and unique about it, though, is the way it’s organized and delivered. Putting this into a 28-day program, having the step-by-step approach, the worksheets, the Action Plan Menu, the Success Ingredient Shopping List, the Marketing Recipes. That’s what’s unique about it. So if you can take information that’s readily available, and repackage it in a really new, different, and accessible way, it becomes very marketable. And not only that, it becomes very valuable.
Roger: Thank you for clarifying that. So then we come to… oh, there was one other thing. On pages 80 and 81, you have an Action Plan Menu, which I just love, because you use an analogy. You do two things that I really like. You use an analogy to a menu. So you have the appetizers, you pick one or two, the main course, and that approach, and you also give a specific chapter segment… Oh, dessert, choose one. And it just seems that makes it so friendly. And so visual, I guess.
C.J: Well, the whole cookbook idea came up because I wanted to make the book accessible, yes. But even before that, when it was a program, you know, so many people use metaphors from war and battle, in describing marketing. And, to me, that’s just never resonated. I think that the way that you get people to buy what you have to sell is you make friends with them. And what I do with my friends is I sit down and have a meal together. So to me, using metaphors of dining and cooking and interacting around food just seemed to me to be a much more approachable way to talk about marketing than all of these metaphors involving attack and battle and war terminology.
Roger: Great. Well, turning to promotion, what were some of the first promotional tasks you undertook? And when did you take them relative to writing your book?
C.J: You know, with the first edition, I was so overwhelmed with my existing business that I did almost nothing. So let’s not follow the model of what I did with the first edition, but I’ll say what it was, so everyone will know what model not to follow. I let my publisher send out press releases and review copies. And I did some radio interviews that they set up and I got a few excerpts published, mostly because of the publishers work. I couldn’t manage to get the website launched until after the book was already out. So don’t do it that way. The initial sales for Get Clients Now! we’re actually very disappointing. It wasn’t until the second year that the book actually began to take off. And the reason was that was the point that I actually managed to rearrange my work schedule, so that I could focus on promoting the book.
So with the second edition, I did much, much better, because now I had a life that was really organized around being a successful author versus the first time around. The problem was that I didn’t believe my plan was going to work. You know, I was fully booked with coaching clients and teaching and speaking gigs, because I thought that I was going to need that income to survive. So it was really a scramble, trying to promote the book and build the momentum of the program and the licensing, and all of the back-end revenue streams because I had, you know, nine-to-five days that were already jammed with clients. So what I had to do was just completely dismantle my existing way of doing business, to take advantage of the business model that I had really envisioned. And I almost blew it because I was so overloaded. It wasn’t until about the second year that I really became able to focus on building the empire around the Get Clients Now! brand.
Roger: “Empire.” What a wonderful word. And that other word “brand.” I mean, I think that’s one of the significant things that you’ve done is you’ve created a brand, not a title.
C.J: And that really was part of my intent. I mean when I when I picked Get Clients Now! for the program before I even knew that there was going to be a book, I put a TM after it the very first time I started using it. I said, “You know what, this is a name that I want to own because I see a lot of possibilities for all of the different kinds of things that I can ultimately do with this name.”
Roger: Seeing possibilities. I mean, that just seems to be one of the things that… possibilities beyond the book. I mean, it’s not really a book is it? What you’ve done.
C.J: It’s the centerpiece of a business. It’s much more than a book.
Roger: How are you promoting your the second edition on an ongoing basis? What do you do on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis to maintain promotion of your book?
C.J: Well, the real central piece of what I do for book promotion is publish articles and speak. And most of the speaking that I do is virtual, and most of the articles that I publish are online. So really, the Internet is a central component of how I promote my book. What I do is I focus on writing one really good article every month, and then getting that one article published as widely as possible. So I don’t focus on writing a lot of articles, I don’t focus on getting articles into first run print publications, I just focus on that one really good article, and as many possible places as I can find, to put it. I have two or three places where I have online columns running. The advantage of that particular approach is I find that I actually don’t need to spend a lot of time doing things like making posts to forums or commenting on blogs, or that sort of thing that a lot of people do to get links back to their website and sort of get internet buzz about what they’re doing. Because I write these articles, and I publish them a lot of places and other people do that work for me. They reprint my article on their blog, they post excerpts from it in forums, they talk about the article or mention it on a message board and link back to my site. So that kind of buzz that sometimes people have to work pretty hard to get, I actually get a lot of. I’m really pleased with that result, because I can focus on just that: writing that one really good article every month.
The other thing I’d say is the virtual speaking. By focusing on speaking via teleconferences and webcasts versus a lot of live speaking, it also really increases my web presence, because all of those places that I speak maintain, very often, if not a copy of my talk, at least the mention of it on their websites pretty much forever, it seems. So it generates traffic to my website and increases the Googleability of my name for long after I give the talk. So that’s been a very beneficial way of getting the word out about the book and my work as well.
Roger: Well, I think the idea of going for quality versus quantity… one good article a month. I mean, that’s pretty amazing. Because that’s doable. I mean, so many people, like you say, just dissipate their ideas over a lot of unrelated non-synergistic things. But when you choose that one good topic, how do you know that others are going to want to post that and move it along?
C.J: Well, I’ll tell you, the topics that I pick are based on the questions I get. What are people posting questions about? Because if people are posting a question, then it’s a topic that people are going to be interested in. So it’s either that or questions my own private clients ask me or, you know, if I’m teaching a class, the questions that people ask when I teach. All of those are just surefire sources for articles, because they’re they’re proven questions that people out there in the field are obviously already asking.
Roger: Okay. What I’d like to do now is in the profiting aspect. In round numbers, as a successful author, what kind of percentage of your book comes from the book sales, meaning direct sales, royalties, advances?
C.J: Well, so let’s talk in actual numbers here, because I think that that’ll be helpful. Directly from book sales, royalties plus copies of the book I sell myself — off my website or at speaking engagements. So royalties plus book sales is 20,000 a year. So that is the tip of the iceberg for me. So you know, 20,000 a year, I mean, that’s nice. 20,000 a year. And you know, considering some of it’s coming from book sales, right, that’s markup. So we’re talking about gross revenue, I’m actually paying for those copies from my publisher. But if you looked at just, you know, sort of that number, okay, well, you know, that’s a nice base number, it means my mortgage gets paid, right? From just book royalties and book sales. But a huge proportion of my income actually comes from other back-end revenue streams, because I’ve got, like, about a dozen of those based around the book. So let me just list out what they are.
There is the program that the book is based on. So that program is taught nine or ten times a year through my virtual university by senior facilitators. I don’t teach the program myself. There are other people who I’ve trained that teach the program. So that’s one. Another one is coaching that I personally provide and coaching that my senior facilitators provide, which in some cases, I get a percentage of. Speaking and teaching — so, going out and doing speaking engagements, leading workshops, and speaking and teaching done by facilitators, because the people who are facilitators for my university might be teaching programs on my business’s behalf and sharing some of that revenue with me. Audio programs based on the book, there’s a companion workbook that’s self-published. And then the biggest chunk of income actually comes from the facilitator program where I train and license other people to deliver the program based on the book. So that’s a lot of different back-end revenue streams, all based on this one little $20 book.
Roger: Isn’t that amazing.
C.J: So the book sales, and the royalties are about 20,000 a year. But the other passive revenue streams — the things I’m not including now are coaching or speaking or teaching, places where I actually have to put in hours and do the work myself — things that are actually passive revenue streams that, you know, if I were to fall off the planet tomorrow would continue coming into my checking account, that adds up to about 80,000 a year. So that, as a passive revenue stream, is nothing to sneeze at.
Roger: No, not at all.
C.J: So book royalties and book sales, about 20 grand. Other passive revenue streams, 80 grand. Total, about 100,000.
Roger: Okay. Now, you mentioned that you are able to devote time to some of your passions beyond Get Clients Now!
C.J: And that’s the thing that for me is, you know, it’s sort of the heart of this whole thing. I realized a long time ago that I have about an 18-month attention span. So if I come up with a really new exciting training program, a year and a half from now, I’m going to be getting bored with it already. And the first two or three times that happened to me, it was really disappointing. I said, “Gosh, I’ve put all this work into this thing, and now it doesn’t interest me anymore. Oh, well, I guess I’ll move on to my next thing.” But by the time I came up with Get Clients Now!, I’d figured that out about myself. So you know, there’s an old saying in sales and marketing: if you can’t fix it, feature it. So here’s what’s true about me: I have an 18-month attention span, how can I work with that? Well, when I get tired of doing something, let’s teach other people to do it and have them go out and do it and send me the money? Isn’t that a much better deal? So that then, I can go on and do the next thing that interests me.
So the next thing that interests me, what I’m doing now is I direct a social enterprise of my own, which is the Send Girls to School Project. So the whole reason to set up an income stream like this for me around something like Get Clients Now! has been that it’s freed me up to move on to my next interest, which just so happens to be being a bit of a social activist.
Roger: I wonder if, with this approach, it actually might not reduce the stress and the obsession that might accompany viewing Get Clients Now! as strictly the end all and be all. I mean, it seems that seeing it part of… as a cog in the wheel, rather than the center of the universe, might just be a relaxing thing, allowing you to just feel better about everything in general.
C.J.: Oh, absolutely. It is. You know, it feels good to me to know that this great piece of work I’ve created is still out in the world helping people, even when I personally am not necessarily doing quite as much with it anymore as at one time I did.
Roger: That’s a lot of lessons there. And I appreciate your sharing. I guess my last question about profiting is, is your current marketing funnel essentially what you first envisioned when you wrote the first… when you began? Or, beyond the web, what has happened or what has changed?
C.J: Well, it’s definitely gotten more sophisticated as I’ve gone along. You know, I always envisioned kind of this chain of offerings that I would provide my target market. At the top of the chain would be whatever attracted people into my world, which would typically be something free. A newsletter, an article, a speaking engagement somewhere, and then once they were attracted, what’s the first thing that I try and sell them? And in my case, it’s almost always the book. The very first thing I want you to buy in my universe is I want you to buy a copy of Get Clients Now! And if you buy the book, and you even open it, I think that you’re going to be really interested in what the system has to offer you. And then if you open it, and you go, “Oh, wow, this is really cool,” then I’ve got you. Then you’re going to want to do more, you’re going to want to take the program or you’re going to want to become an answer center member, or if you really liked the program, you’re going to want to become a licensed facilitator, and deliver the program yourself. At the very least, maybe you’ll want some of the the audio programs that are based on the book, because you’ll like the approach and you’ll want to use it and you’ll want to have the support to implement it. And by adding all of those things, it makes sure that the book itself keeps on living, because there is this huge basis of support for people who are readers of the book, it’s not just sitting out there by by itself expecting people to take advantage of it. And that to me was very important was to provide some kind of support system, so that people would actually use the book, not just buy it and put it on their shelf.
Roger: Thank you. Do you have any closing advice for authors?
C.J: I think the really important thing is that before you write that first book, know why you’re writing it. Do you want to be famous? Do you want to gain credibility? Do you have a big idea that you want to share with the world? Do you want to make an impact on people? Or do you want to make money? You know, if what you want from the book is you want to make money, you’ve got to create some sort of business model first, and then write the book that supports that. There’s a lot of reasons to want to write that don’t have to do with making money. But if that’s what you want, and you want to create something that’s going to be really a livelihood for yourself, instead of just a sideline, you’ve got to start with how this book fits into that picture, instead of just first writing it and then try to figure it out. I really haven’t found anybody for whom that approach has worked very well, in terms of being a real profit maker.
Roger: And then so many others want to write a book, but don’t have a specific, unique message or market. I think that what I’m referring to are, there’s a lot of people will promise you get published. But they don’t say what to say, or what you should write. I think there’s a missing element of the relevancy of your message, and the existence of a market.
C.J: I think there’s a lot of truth to that. And for me, it’s just like the thing I said about earlier how I come up with topics for articles that I know are going to appeal to people is listen to the questions that people are asking. I think the best possible book that anybody can write is a book that’s the answer to a question you’re hearing posed over and over again. So I know that people are going to be interested because they’re already asking the question.
Roger: Well, are there any questions you wish I had asked you, C.J?
C.J: You know, Roger, sometimes people ask me, when do I sleep? Because it looks like, really, I know it looks like I’m much more productive and prolific than I really am. I repurpose a lot of material. You know, if you Google me on the web, and you start seeing all of the places I’m published, and all of the places I’ve spoken, it looks like I’m doing this 24/7. But the reality is, you know, I’ve been at this game for a while. And I’ve been writing that one good article a month since 1999. That’s a lot of articles. So that’s one of the ways of making it look like you never stop writing, is just make sure that, you know, you do good stuff, and you do the work to get it out there as much as possible. That’s a really important piece of the puzzle, I think. And the other piece is, you know, I have a great team. I have a fantastic virtual assistant, I have a terrific Director of Training and Licensing. I have a great graphic designer, I have a terrific web designer, I have people who I delegate things to to get done on my behalf. I hire services, to do things for me when a service is going to do a better job than me. And all of those things enable a one-person business — which really I still am, is just a one person business — to look like, you know, a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Roger: Isn’t that wonderful, that’s so inspirational. I know so many people are going to really feel the warmth of your words, as they refer to them, recording. Well, I’m excited to hear about your new products and your new endeavors. Would you like to repeat your website URL and perhaps draw attention to some of the free offerings on it?
C.J: The website is getclientsnow.com. And there is a free newsletter, there is a free special report on secrets to getting clients. And of course, as I said, I think the best place for anybody to start who’s interested is buy a copy of Get Clients Now! it’s the best 20 bucks that you’ll ever spend.
Roger: Well thank you again, C.J, for your time and the value of the information you shared and all of us are going to be following you with renewed enthusiasm.
C.J: Thank you very much Roger, I appreciate the invitation.
Roger: Thank you to all of our listeners and to those who are listening to the recording.