Do you want to know how to reach through the noise to make an impact with your book?
Listen as Becky Robinson shares how to expand your reach to make more sales and create a lasting impact with your book.
Do you want to know how to reach through the noise to make an impact with your book?
Listen as Becky Robinson, author, digital marketer, and Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence shares how to expand your reach to make more sales and create a lasting impact with your book.
In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Reach Through the Noise with Your Book" you will discover…
Susan Friedmann: Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books.
Today my special guest is Becky Robinson. Becky is the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, a digital marketing agency that specializes in helping thought leaders and authors build their brands, drive visibility and increase sales. Becky's first book titled "Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause" was released in April. Becky, welcome back to the show, it's so good to have you here. Thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.
[00:00:49] Becky Robinson: I'm so glad to be back with you again, Susan, thank you.
[00:00:52] Susan Friedmann: And it's a celebration because your book has just been released. It's exciting! Reach is all about creating that possible audience for your message. Let's go down that avenue. Let's start talking about the importance of reach, and the importance of your message. So, whatever you want to start with, let's go with that.
[00:01:16] Becky Robinson: Sure. And I was thinking about the title "Reach" today because I was communicating on Twitter with one of my early readers. And he happened to bring out the quote from within the book. The working title of the book actually was "Famous to a Few". And the idea there was that not many of us will become famous and have our names be recognizable in households across the world.
But each of us has the opportunity to have an impact on the lives of the people that we are able to connect with. So the early title that I preferred for the book was "Famous to a Few". And the pushback that I got from my editor was that most people if they have a message that they want to share, they don't want to think about only being famous to a few. They want to believe that they can reach a wide audience and, you know, get that widespread adoption of their ideas.
We went back to the drawing board and we came up with the title "Reach", which I now love, of course. And one of the things I want to say about reach is that there are lots of ways that you could define that, but in the book, I define reach as two things. It's not only about an expanding audience, but it's also about creating a lasting impact.
And as it relates to how you would measure that, you can measure the expanding audience typically by the number of fans, or followers that you have. But you really measure impact by engagement and those people who choose to interact and connect with you in a deeper way than just following you.
[00:02:40] Susan Friedmann: Yes. And I totally agree. And yes, I know that so many authors think, you know, they're going to publish this book, they're going to become rich and famous. And Oprah is going to be calling them once it's out. And we know that that isn't the case. However, I love the fact that we could be famous to a small group. I remember when I was in a trade show industry, I was a sort of quasi-celebrity in that environment.
People knew me, they saw me in every magazine. You know, they always said to me, "Oh, I see you everywhere!" Of course, I wasn't everywhere, but that perception... And I think there's so much in that, in terms of what you're saying in the book, is that you can be famous to a few people, but a few people who really matter. And I think that's what's important.
[00:03:32] Becky Robinson: Well, and not only that, Susan. So you become famous to a few people first and as those people share your ideas with others or as you continue to show up and offer value to the world, those few people will expand.
So I'm not limiting and saying, "Well, you can only be famous to a few people." I'm saying, "You want to become famous to a few people first." You want to add value in significant ways to people first. And then as you share the value that you have with the group that you have around you, that group will begin to expand because you keep showing up.
[00:04:03] Susan Friedmann: Yes and I use the metaphor with a pond. You know you throw a pebble in the pond and those ripples flow outward and so here your message is that, you know, a stone that's being dropped in the pond and those ripples, you know, one ripple, reach out to another, to another, to another.
So yes, that reach increases with time. And, obviously, you know, and you talk a lot about this in the book is what are you going to put into it? It's not going to happen by itself. You've got to be dedicated to marketing this book and really being passionate about it, because when you're passionate about it, that's contagious.
[00:04:46] Becky Robinson: Certainly so. And, you know, I work with a lot of authors, like you do, Susan, and what I've seen is that sometimes it takes some convincing. Authors are focused around, "Well, what do I do to launch my book?" And what I really want to help them see is that it's not only about marketing the book in the short term. It's about the value that the book can have in the world over the long term.
I did an interesting experiment the other day, Susan. I took a look at the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon. I took a look on a Tuesday. And what I noticed is that of the top 20 bestsellers on Amazon, only three of the books in the top 20 on that day were new books. Most of the top 20 books on Amazon had been out for a significant period of time. One of them has been out since 1983.
It's those books that have extreme value to the world that likely have been kept in conversations that are the top-sellers year after year or week after week. And so if we want to have a big impact with the book especially, we have to have that long-term view of the book as a tool to add value or entertain people for months and years to come, not only just around the time of the book's release. Because the books that pop into the top 20 on Amazon as new releases typically don't stay there, you know, without catching fire in some way.
[00:06:09] Susan Friedmann: Yes, you're igniting that flame. And I mean, you have got to do it with your reach as you say. I know you bring out in a book four elements. That value, consistency, longevity, and generosity. Let's talk about those, the meanings of those and how did you come up with that? Why was that important to you?
[00:06:32] Becky Robinson: Thank you. That's a great question, Susan. So, as I was putting together the first draft of the book... I think writing a book can be a discovery-driven process. And I knew the general ideas that I wanted to bring together, but I hadn't yet articulated them in the way of the four commitments, which is what I ended up with in the final draft.
But I interviewed a lot of authors and thought readers, many of whom I worked with over the years, and I tried to listen for patterns and themes. And over, and over, and over again what I saw were these four factors and that's what I called them actually in the first draft. I called them the four factors. And you named them: value, generosity, consistency, and longevity.
When we went from the first draft to the final draft, my editor said to me, you know, "Factors, you know, it's not a very powerful word." And he offered a few other possibilities. And the one we ultimately landed on and loved was commitments. And I think the word 'commitments' is such a great word because any of us who want to make a difference in the world or create reach for ideas, it all has to flow from a commitment and a decision that we make.
And the four commitments that I've identified in the book are the ones that I think contribute most to a person being able to grow and expand the impact of their work and the audience that they're reaching. The first one is value. So, Susan, no book or message is going to take flight if it's not valuable to someone.
One of the interesting things about value is that it's really determined by the audience who's receiving it. Different types of audiences or different types of people, who have different needs, will find value in different content. But you want to ensure if you show up with the message that the content is of value to someone. And, hopefully, you know, a large group of 'someones'.
[00:08:23] Susan Friedmann: I love that because for me value is so-so important. And I know I'm going to come to your podcast and we're going to talk more about this whole idea of value. Because giving value and then for people to receive it and see something that you share with them as being valuable - it's a gift.
[00:08:47] Becky Robinson: It is for sure. Value on its own though isn't enough because we might be creating value or we've created something of value. But that's not necessarily going to get reach. So you have to add to that value consistency. And consistency is something that I think a lot of people struggle with because it requires discipline. And it requires a repetition of certain habits and practices.
But what I saw when I was interviewing the people that I had previously worked with for the book is that every single one of the people that I saw who had been successful in building a strong online presence and growing a big audience, it all happened because they created content of value for their audiences consistently over time.
So before we started recording the podcast and you and I were chatting about a shared connection, Karen Hurt. And in the early days when Karen started her online brand, she was vlogging every single day. Now, over time, she changed that cadence to weekly, but her audience, knowing that she's going to show up with value consistently, causes them to tune in to her. Causes her to become memorable to them. So consistency is critical.
The other part that's critical is generosity. Because most of us on the way to building reach have to give away a lot of content for free. And, Susan, this is something that your life demonstrates so beautifully. You know, you've had over three hundred podcast episodes that are out there for the world to learn from. And when we are generous, that also attracts an audience to us, because they see the value that we have to offer them and there are no strings attached to it. We're inviting that connection because of freely giving what we know to others.
Finally, the last commitment is longevity, Susan. And longevity is important because of the part of the 'reach' definition about lasting impact. So you can't have a lasting impact if you only show up for a short time. One of the stories or examples I use in the book is Brene Brown. And of course Brene Brown is famous for the viral TED talk that she did, I think it was back in 2013. And I think most people who don't know a lot about Brene Brown's background might think that she showed up, she did that TED talk, and then suddenly she was propelled to be this famous thought leader.
But the truth is that Brene Brown was writing and researching and speaking and sharing value for about a decade before that viral TED talk. I think quite often we just want quick results. We want to think that we can show up and attract an audience and become famous or make a big impact, or make a lot of money. And the truth is that it takes a lot of hard work over a long period of time to get the results that we want.
[00:11:34] Susan Friedmann: We don't realize that every single celebrity out there was never an instant success, or a very few and they came and went sometimes. But I had a mentor many years ago who said, "It takes fifteen years to become an overnight success". And I think in your book you say ten years. But ten, fifteen, the fact is it doesn't happen overnight.
And that's why when authors go in thinking that once they publish their book and they're going to get rich and famous and, you know, the world is going to sort of be knocking down their door just by publishing the book. It's a slow stream, it's like a fairy tale, a myth that's a- I don't know how that got created but the fact is it's unfortunate and people get disappointed and don't realize like you say that it takes consistency, it takes longevity, it takes showing up week after week and producing something.
I mean, my podcast is what I do. That's my gift. And over the years it's growing. I hope that it will continue to do that! So yes, we have wonderful people like you coming in and sharing valuable information. That's always what I want. I want listeners after they finish listening to the podcast to say, "Wow, I can do that!" They take away one tidbit that can help them be a better author, better speaker, a better coach, and better trainer.
So let's talk more about the book. One of the things that piqued my interest and I mentioned this when we were talking before the show. And that is the number of assets, the number of ways that you can repurpose the words in your book. Talk to us more about that, I'm just so fascinated by that.
[00:13:27] Becky Robinson: Well, you know, Susan, quite often thought leaders get overwhelmed by the idea that you have to show up with value consistently. And one of the ways I try to encourage authors is that likely on the path to writing a book if you have written a book, you've created a lot of content along the way. And then the book itself is this valuable content asset.
What I try to help people see is that the content within their book is exceedingly flexible. In the book what I do is I walk through the various ways that you could use the book. So I'm going to use mine as an example. What you can do is you can think about the different kinds of possibilities for the types of content that people might consume. So I'll start talking about that.
Obviously, you can create written content and you can create content that's a longer form or shorter form. You can create audio content. You can create video content. You can create interactive content and you can also create, like, live in-person interactive content.
So I'll use my book as an example and tell you about some of the ways that I repurpose the content in the book along the way. One of the things I did is that as I was writing the book, I recorded many of the interviews with the thought leaders and authors that I was showcasing, their stories. And many of those interviews already have been released as podcasts on my show.
But some of them I held back and I put them into a course that I built. Within my book, there's a QR code at the end of every chapter. And it references the additional learning materials that are available. If you think about my book, likely, I'm just going to pick a number, because I can't remember right now, but there are ten chapters in my book, and there are at least two interviews in every chapter.
And not all of what was in the interview actually made it into the book. In each of those, let's say, twenty interviews, is another content asset from the book that I can share. But when if you go into each of those interviews, there are likely amazing quotes that I could create graphics out of. Or that I could create shorter audiograms out of. And there's, you know, ten or twenty more content pieces from those twenty interviews.
Another way that I used the content in my book is I actually created a workshop for authors. It's called the "Reach More Readers Workshop". If you were to look at the agenda of the workshop, nearly every chapter in my book is one session of that workshop. If I wanted to... We do monthly free book marketing webinars, thirty minutes long. And over time I've actually used the topics that were in the book as the focus areas of each of those individual webinars.
So, again, there are ten chapters in the book, and there could be ten webinars. It was one workshop, it's a virtual workshop. But it also could easily become a live workshop. When you think about the interviews also, we were talking about the interviews as the assets. Every interview can be transcribed. Those transcriptions can become articles.
The possibilities associated with the ways that you could break down the content from your book into other assets, it's like... Because this is an audio conversation, it's difficult to show, but visually I added it up in the book and it's like over 500 content pieces that I came up with, that you could possibly create out of one book. And it's way more-
[00:16:44] Susan Friedmann: I know, I'm looking at these numbers!
[00:16:47] Becky Robinson: Yeah, it's way more than any person possibly needs in a year. You might say, well, isn't the content going to get stale? Well, it might get stale to you, if you're the author. But if you are growing a new audience all the time and attracting people to your work, they will not have seen many of the things that you've shared before. As you reshape and reform the content, you're going to reach new audiences in new ways all the time.
[00:17:13] Susan Friedmann: Yeah. Now, I'm so excited with these numbers and I'm going to just read a few of them. You know, 33 articles, 50 text-only social media posts, 50 quote graphics, ten webinars, and 48 short videos. And as you said, in-person workshops and keynote topics, and discussion guides. I realized that you turned this into a discussion document, this whole book. It's like a workbook as well, which is brilliant, and the fact that, as you said, at the end of each chapter, there's a QR code where people can get additional resources. I mean, that's just brilliant.
Congratulations, I'm bowled over with this. Listeners, I just could not put it down. I was telling Becky I used up almost a whole highlighter. Each chapter has so much highlighted, I've got to go over it, again and again, to see so much of this brilliance and take in what Becky has shared with us.
Let's talk about some mistakes. Our listeners always love hearing about mistakes that they should avoid. What are some of them that came up for you? I didn't notice too many in the book. You didn't say, "These are mistakes."
[00:18:27] Becky Robinson: I think the one that stands out to me the most that might be of use to those who are listening is that authors underestimate how much time, energy, and money marketing their book will take. Along with that, quite often authors will put off the marketing priorities because they want to focus on the writing of the book. And in doing so, they really miss a great opportunity along the way to build interest and audience.
I was actually thinking about this. In the best possible world, an author comes to launch a book when they already have ongoing established relationships with people who are listening to them in online spaces. And I actually wrote an Instagram post caption a few days ago where I was thinking about this idea that if you have a conversation with your online followers and audiences as you're writing the book, then when you shift to marketing the book, it's really nothing new because you're just continuing to show up with value. And then once the book comes out, you're continuing to learn and grow and share value. So it doesn't feel like marketing, it really just feels like a natural conversation that you're having with your audiences and you're sharing value in different ways over time.
But I think the big mistake that I see a lot of authors making is that they really compartmentalize their author journey and they focus solely on writing the book. And then they focus solely on editing the book. And then, oh, it's time to market the book. But they've missed that opportunity to really build interest and excitement, connections, and goodwill with people along the journey.
[00:20:04] Susan Friedmann: I'm so pleased you highlighted that because that's so true. Only this week I was talking with some authors and they said, "You know, I'm so entrenched in writing and I'm only thinking about writing and going through the edits and everything." But you're right, I mean, as soon as they got the cover, they can start putting it out there to. And they can start talking about it beforehand. They can take people through the process as they're doing it. The ups and downs of writing a book. I mean, it's quite a feat to write a book.
[00:20:37] Becky Robinson: Yeah, so even if they don't want to show the author's journey, as you're writing the book, you have different ideas about your topics that are coming to mind, that are bubbling up. Your book will be better if you workshop and share those ideas with people along the way.
Not that you're going to give away the entirety of your book, but you're constantly learning as you write a book. You're constantly refining your thinking. If you can share some of that value along the way, then when people receive it in the book, it will be all that much more powerful to them. Because they've watched you as you've thought through the topics in the book with them out loud online.
[00:21:12] Susan Friedmann: Yes, and that's almost like your own research that you're doing. I mean, you're doing this primary research with people and you're asking for their opinion, getting their feedback. What do you like? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? You know, it's a wonderful opportunity, and the more that you're talking about it, as you said, when it actually comes out, it's like 'wow'!
They sort of take ownership with that as well. And these people, your followers, they're your foot soldiers. They're the people who are going to help you market the book and get it out there. You need them, you want them. That's brilliant. What else do you feel would be helpful for an author bringing their book out for the first time? Having that reach, what for you is key?
[00:22:00] Becky Robinson: Just going back to the idea of longevity for a moment, we didn't talk a ton about that. I think it's important for an offer to stay connected for their vision and passion for the work because that's what will fuel your consistency and sharing of value over time. You know, I think, if you can begin with the end in mind or have a vision of what you hope your book will achieve in the world and stay connected to that, your author journey, you will ensure that you can create the success that you want.
So I think that when authors lose sight of that, we can throw up all sorts of excuses about why marketing our book is too hard or whatever. But if you can remember the end-user, if you can remember those people that you've written the book for, it can help you to overcome the resistance that you might feel to marketing.
[00:22:52] Susan Friedmann: I'm pleased you brought that up too because you said earlier about - marketing is really a natural conversation that you're having. And I think if we talk about it that way, it's so much more palatable. As soon as you say the word marketing, I mean, it's almost like, it's a scary word to people who don't know and understand marketing. You add sales to that and that's a four-letter word, you know, yeah.
[00:23:15] Becky Robinson: As authors, we have to do both. We have to do marketing, which is really about creating interest and awareness of our work. We also have to sell, especially if we want to attract and keep a traditional publisher. They want to see you sell a certain number of books in a certain amount of time.
[00:23:34] Susan Friedmann: Yes. Well, and I think you highlighted this earlier when you talked about your vision and your passion. I mean, nothing sells more than passion. You know, when you're passionate about your subject matter and you talk about it with passion, that's contagious. And it's like, I want what she's got.
[00:23:54] Becky Robinson: Yes, that is so true!
[00:23:57] Susan Friedmann: A famous scene from "When Harry Met Sally", I mean, that's probably dating me, but that's such a classic scene. It's this feeling of like, oh, wow, I mean, there's nothing better than what I've got here. So yes, and you're conveying that. And what upsets me is when an author wants somebody else to market their book. And I say, "Nobody can do it as well as you can. And I'm never going to have the same passion for your book the way you do, and for your material."
[00:24:30] Becky Robinson: Yes, I think, there's something unique in the way the author can become the spokesperson for their own book.
[00:24:36] Susan Friedmann: Yeah. You're talking about the book, you love your book, everything that you put into it. I couldn't talk about your book the same way you can. I read it and I relate to so much that you've talked about. But the fact is that I couldn't talk about it with the same passion that you have. I'd have to add my passion, in terms of my messages to it, so yes. I love every aspect of it. I want you to tell our listeners how they can get ahold of the book and find out more about your brilliance.
[00:25:07] Becky Robinson: Thank you so much, Susan. Well, there are a few different ways to find me and the book. I would say the best place to go is beckyrobinson.com and if you add the forward slash, book, then you'll get directly to the book page. But if you land on beckyrobinson.com, it'll be very easy for you to find the book. All the various online retailers where you can purchase the book, all kinds of extra learning resources are available there.
If you're looking for my company, you can find us at weavinginfluence.com. I would definitely welcome folks to check out the book. As I said, there's this extra value that when you buy the book, you do have access to this full course for free. You know, I've created this course chapter by chapter through the book, with lots of additional learning resources.
So first you read the book and then you can use the QR code to access all the additional resources. I would also say, Susan, that I recorded the audio narration of the book as well, so for those who would prefer to listen to a book, you can get the audiobook. And then the audiobook will also give you instructions on how to get the free course as well.
[00:26:12] Susan Friedmann: Fantastic. I think everything about this book is such a great lesson for all our authors who are listening that, take Becky's ideas! And she's marketing this brilliantly! It's like, hey, why can't you do this with your book? Learn from one of the best, you know, in the business doing it. I think that's wonderful. Becky, as you know, we always end off with the golden nugget, that one sort of juicy takeaway that you would like our listeners to have. What's that?
[00:26:47] Becky Robinson: I want to go back to the part of the conversation that you were really just about as it relates to the many assets that you can create from a book. And if you are an author or someone who's creating content, I want you to remember that your content is a flexible asset that you can repurpose and reuse overtime to reach new audiences. And there's no limit to the ways that you can repurpose the value that you're creating in the world.
[00:27:13] Susan Friedmann: That's brilliant. Yes, yes, yes, yes! And I know that you've agreed to come into our member studio and you're going to share something special with our members. So if you're not a member of our premium membership, for ten dollars a month, which is nothing, you can get some really juicy extra morsels from my special guests. And so Becky, thank you again for sharing your wisdom.
And thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview. And I sincerely hope that it sparks some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success!