Hollis Carter's webinar was about "Building a Successful Backend to your Book: Lessons from The Godfather of the Kindle Revolution".
Hollis has been interested in e-marketing for 10 years and started a business to have freedom. He began by picking niches, attracting followers, finding leaders in those niches and helping them send out their message. I should add that he was also writing books and selling them on his website, thus, building his email list and following.
At a certain point he felt that competing with Google for traffic was a losing battle. However, he noticed that not many people were on Amazon, so he thought of making his books Kindle books. But there was a hurdle he had to overcome.
When you sell something through your website, on your own, you get people's names and emails. But it's very hard to get where you'd like on your own in such a competitive world.
When selling through Amazon, they keep all the information. However, if you're a successful author, people look at you much more seriously because you're a Kindle author. But does that help you overcome the information hurdle? No. So Hollis had to come up with a strategy to get buyers from Amazon to his list. He had to give people something that couldn't be delivered in the book. A different form of media. [Brilliant!]
What ideas did he come up with? Communities, private groups, events such as webinars and podcasts, video, multimedia products. As he said, he focused on nurturing his audience (by communicating with them and asking them questions that led to them saying what they wanted), on providing a path they would follow, on giving them a value chain. Everything was tested. Some failed, others worked well.
Building an audience [your email list, I believe we can say] is the first step in this process. You need to think of valuable resources that you can't give in the book. Something that satisfies a need that isn't met in the book. It could be a bonus page or a Facebook group. In his opinion, having an audience is more powerful than any tool out there, even if it's just an audience of a few really good people.
The next step is the business model based on what your customers want. Think of an ideal customer flow that can include: reads the book, gets into the email list, signs up for the community. And then you get people through this path by giving them live events, communities, coaching programs, whatever... There are other things you can do: personal consultation, workshops. The idea of the path is to help someone fix a problem, so you need to have things that will help people meet their goals. Therefore, you need to create a program to deliver for what they came for.
A few other things Hollis said that caught my attention:
- nail the market (an expression he used a few times)
- treat your audience and customers right
- if you're selling a book, you're selling knowledge and experience
- constantly give free value, but don't give everything away for free
- try to be everywhere and make it easy to be found
- repurpose your content in different ways.
Thank for some great ideas, Hollis! Treating your audience and customers well really resonated with me.