Charlie Hoehn's webinar was titled "Behind the Scenes of the Most Successful Book Launches of the Decade: Lessons from Working with Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Tucker Max & Ramit Sethi (including the 4 Hour Body & Play it Away)".
Not meaning to offend Charlie, as I listened, it didn't seem to be that juicy or have the content I was expecting. At least in comparison to the previous webinars. However, as I looked over my notes to write this post, I changed my mind. He revealed great personal experiences, and shared very interesting and useful lessons learned and tips.
I'd say that Charlie's success is related in part to a series of lucky strikes - relationships he made and serendipitous events - together with his interest in the books of big names in marketing such as Seth Godin, Jack Trout and Robert Cialdini.
Charlie believes that marketing is strongly rooted in trust and relationships, and without that foundational knowledge of how to be a good friend and how to interact in social relationships, create empathy among others things, you aren't going to be a good marketer.
His first lucky strike came when he did a Seth Godin virtual internship and Seth promoted Charlie (and other peers of his) on his blog. That gave him credibility [so important, for sure!]. Seth and his introducing Charlie to Ramit Sethi were a turning point in his career. When working with Ramit, Charlie created a marketing plan for his book which hit #1 overall on Amazon and #9 on the NYTimes bestseller list. This definitely added to his credibility. Ramit got Charlie a job with Tucker Max in marketing a film and then as a videographer of a tour. Both Ramit and Tucker recommended him to Tim Ferris. He marketed his book, The 4-hour body. Then he worked with Chad Mureta of App Empire. And finally started working on his own. How's this for background and invaluable experience?
What were some of biggest lessons on the marketing side from working with such high-ranking, famous people?
Working with Ramit Sethi: the importance of creating and growing an email list, and generating great content.
Working with Tucker Max: the importance of honesty and authenticity.
As to working with Tim Ferris, he said he wrote a comprehensive and useful guest post (in Tim's blog) titled The 12 lessons learned while marketing the 4-hour body.
Charlie thinks that anyone can write a book by doing a blog. You break it into chunks and constantly test it in the real world (through your posts) to see what works and what doesn't. This way you slowly build momentum up toward writing a book that people really want. [I don't really think I could write a book this way, but you never know until you try it, right?]
His book Recession-Proof Graduate is about a pain point in his life. He gave it away for free, so he hasn't made money out of it. But it helped build his email list. And he understood how valuable having one is when you need it.
Play it Away has a bad title, because you have no idea what it's about and need to give an immediate explanation. He considers a title a very important part of a book.
Pieces of advice for somebody marketing their book:
- give marketing your book as much thought, strategy, planning and energy as you do to writing
- have a beautiful cover: do not design it, because you're a writer, not a designer
- think about how you can repackage and repurpose your materials.
Charlie, thanks for an interesting webinar and for broadening my horizons about such interesting people and books. I plan to read some of your blog posts and maybe a couple of books.