Success thrives in many different places, and people strive for it in different ways. One sure way to achieve success is launching a business, and many entrepreneurs and gurus out there advise publishing a book to make it big. Book writing coach Robin Colucci, however, disagrees. Robin grew and sold a personal fitness business and has been helping world-class experts write world-changing books since 2003. She joins Juliet Clark to explain why, contrary to popular belief, publishing a book is not a recommended way to launch a business. Listen in as she shares how you can bring money into your business the right way.
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How To Successfully Launch A Business With Robin Colucci
Our guest is Robin Colucci. She’s been helping world-class experts write world-changing books since 2003. Before that, she built, grew, and sold a personal fitness business. She also was a journalist and worked as an acquisitions editor for an independent publishing house. She brings her deep hands-on knowledge of publishing and entrepreneurship to her clients whose books cover a range of topics, including business, personal development, memoir, health and fitness, science and technology, politics, women’s issues and the environment. She’s everywhere. Welcome.
Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here with you.
We’re going to get real here about books. One of the things that I talked to Robin about was why I started my company with all the entrepreneurs out there and the gurus were telling them, “You have to have a book. It’s essential.” Like me, Robin disagrees. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?
I disagree partly. It’s a pretty important part because there are a lot of writing or book coaches who say that you have to have a book in order to have a business. It’s like, “I need a book so I can launch my business.” That is not true. When we’re talking in terms of writing a full-length book, a major undertaking, we’re talking a minimum time investment of three months and financial investment. That could be $10,000, $15,000, $30,000, $60,000, depending on how much of it you do yourself and how much help you get. Most people who are starting a business, certainly aren’t going to get a book deal so that’s going to be out of pocket.
The truth is that the only people who should be writing that kind of book are people who already have a thriving business. You don’t write a book to get a business. You write a book to grow a thriving business. This is a big important distinction. One of the things that I experienced, the reason I know that this advice is being passed around is how many people have filled out my application and ended up on the phone with me saying that they want to write a book so they can have a business. I’m like, “No, you need to get clients, sell some stuff, test out your theories and see if what you’re talking about that you think would work to help people actually works, and all of those steps.”
The thing that scared me the most for these people is the fact that writing a book is a lot of work. When you’re doing it, you feel productive because you’re writing. The problem is if you’re not bringing money into your business, that feeling of productivity can put you in a bad situation because you’re feeling productive, but you’re not doing the things necessary to ensure that business success, which is bringing money into the business through selling your products and services.
We’ve had examples of that with our company as well, where a writing coach will call us and say, “We’re stuck in this one area.” I’ll pick up the phone and talk to the new author and find out that they’ve never done that thing they’re telling people to do. They’re writing it and learning as they go along. One of those was JV partnerships. She got stuck on JV and she’s never done one. You’re not an expert. You’re not at that point, but you should be writing a book about this.
No matter where you are in your development, you are an expert on some things. If you want to do business, you probably know something about some aspect of it but it’s not enough to fill a full-length book. For years I would send people away and say, “You’re not ready. Go and get ready.” I’m laughing because it’s such bad advice. It’s such a terrible thing to say to people, “When your business is six figures and you’re ready, then come back and we can talk about a full-length book.” I always knew it was a bad thing to say, but I didn’t have anything better to offer them. If they knew how to get ready, they’d be ready when they came to me.
That’s true and it’s not true though. You came from a place of integrity, which I find when you do that, people will come back when they’re ready. You were the one that spoke the truth about it.
They always were very grateful that I didn’t bilk them out of thousands of dollars and give them false hope and that I felt good about. I always felt that I left them in the gap. I never felt good about that, but I also recognized that at the time that was the best I could offer was to be in my integrity with them. I totally agree with you there. I did come up with an alternative.
Pull that little puppy out and tell us about it.
When I was offering an online course on how to formulate your book concept and come up with an outline. It was going to be an online group coaching program and it was pricey. It was $4,000 because it was going to involve a lot of live coaching calls. A lot of time and effort on my part as well. I did some ads. I had 52 people apply to the program. Somehow by some miracle, I had a phone conversation with every single one of them, which as you know from doing online marketing, it’s like a miracle showing up for a call that they signed up for off a Facebook ad, but that’s what happened. By the end, I had offered my program to exactly two people.
The others weren’t ready.
One said, yes. That was a net loss.
You must have felt good about that because there are many people out there who would have said yes. They would have taken the money and they wouldn’t have cared. I have to give you kudos for that.
That’s turning down $200,000. If I told everyone they could enter and they’d all done it. It’s a definite difference and thank you for that. I couldn’t in good conscience allow them to sign up for that. Almost two years later, I was talking with a former client who’s also a savvy marketer. He said, “Why don’t you help them write a booklet?” I said, “A booklet, yes.” No matter where you are in the development of your coaching practice or your business, whatever it is or wherever you’re sharing your expertise, first of all, everyone needs some kind of authority piece. It does help to make a difference. The difference between being unpublished and published makes a difference, but maybe you’re not ready for the full-length book. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have an authority piece. I wrote the booklet on how to write a high-profit booklet. It’s the High Profit Book Blueprint: 7 Steps to Write and Publish a Booklet That Attracts Dream Clients and Grows Your Business. I wrote this for those 50 people and everyone liked them. It’s my real solution instead of just, “Go and get ready. See you later.” This is the solution to help people get ready.
What is so cool about this is we are all exhausted by the lead magnet thing. Robin could have easily said, “Go and download my free book.” You would have printed it. You would have given her your email address. She would have sent you multiple emails. You would have printed it. You never would have read it. Here she has this piece that you can go over an order. It’s very small. It’s a real thing. I don’t know about you, but with me, if I have an eBook that I downloaded, I won’t read it. If I have a book in my hand, I will read it. That is such a cool idea for promotion as well.You don't write a book to get a business. You write a book to grow a thriving business. Click To Tweet
I’m going to take it a step further because not only will you read it, but you will have it in your house. This is important because what’s marketing 101, in terms of how many times somebody needs to see you before they buy anything from you? At least nine times, at least nine purchase. Here’s the most timeless and beautiful thing about books. They are the one medium that’s left where the user, in this case, the reader has to give you 100% of their focus.
That’s difficult nowadays with where we’re at. That’s why I’m saying about the clicks and the download. Are you going to read it online? I print them and they sit in the corner. What I like even better about your idea is I paid $7.50 to have that shipped for me. What you’ve also done in that process is you have forced someone to be interested enough to pull out a credit card.
I did not think of this idea. I don’t remember who did. It was probably Dan Kennedy because he thought of everything. The idea here is it’s a psychological flip. The person goes from casual observer to customer. There’s a trust that’s built because they provided a credit card. You made them a promise and you fulfilled that promise. The next ask is you’ve already crossed the barrier of, “Can I trust this person to do what they said they’re going to do when I gave them my credit card?”
It’s a great way to not only establish your authority but by doing the booklet you can get this written and produced in 4 to 6 weeks instead of 4 to 6 months or longer for a full-length book. That’s another advantage, but then you can quickly convert because the moment they’re opting in is the moment that they’re making a purchase. You’ve completely changed the dynamics of your relationship with the people who came into your list that way. It very much is in alignment with what you do, where you’re helping people identify who are the most interested prospects.
When you look at what Robin’s done here as well, years ago, people were shifting over to that model where you opted in for something, you got your credit card out and you’ve got to download. It’s the same concept with it. That download, you never open it. This, you have it in your hand. It is a physical thing. I love that idea that you’re doing.
I want to add to that too because it’s not a physical thing. Going back to that point about it lives with you in your house. There’s something that I want to add to that which is, where do we keep our books that we are in the process of reading or have read? Where in our house are they usually found?
Mine are either next to my chair in the living room or by my bed.
Would it be a stretch to guess that those are two of your favorite spots in your house? Your most frequented spots, the places that you go to unwind, daydream, relax or let your ideas flow. Imagine your book in those places of your ideal customers. It’s powerful in the fact that it’s a tangible thing they can hold and they can see when they’re walking past, it’s sitting there on the table next to their favorite chair. It’s so much more powerful than a download, which is trapped in your hard drive.
As soon as they download it, they’ve forgotten about you. The booklet, not only you’re with them, but you’re with them in their most intimate spaces. When they’re reading your booklet, which should take them less than an hour, because that’s a reasonable ask for someone that’s in a new relationship, but you have their undivided attention for an hour. You think about it, how many people in your life are giving you their undivided attention for an hour? No phones, no playing a game on their phone while you’re trying to talk to them.
I have a no-phone rule at the table because there are many things competing for our attention. Even when we’re listening to a podcast, we might be out for a run or doing the dishes. I can’t think of any other medium, but still you have to give it your undivided attention. It’s a gift that reader is giving you by allowing you to have their undivided attention. It’s priceless from a marketing standpoint. People are paying millions of dollars for that 30 seconds of attention on a Super Bowl ad where 70% of the people are in the bathroom or getting a beer. They’re not even watching it. You could spend a little bit of money and a little bit of time in 4 to 6 weeks and get this. You have somebody’s undivided attention for an hour. They’re seeing you every time they walk past their bedside table or their chair.
You said 4 to 6 weeks on this. I hear many people out there say, “I’m going to go to this workshop and I’m going to write a book in a weekend.” Have you ever seen a quality book written in a weekend?
Not a full-length book, but I would definitely say you can write a quality booklet in 4 or 5 hours. My booklet is like 7,000 words. You don’t need a long 40,000-word document to have a booklet do its job. Part of what I reveal in here is I have a template that people can follow to write a booklet that helps not only bring them that $7.50 customer, but helps people want to go to the next step with you. If somebody is writing a full-length book and let’s say they have at least ten years of solid experience in their area of expertise. They’ve got layers of knowledge, insight and intuitions. Sometimes the best stuff is the things that they don’t even know that they know about their work or those hidden insights. All of that takes excavation. You’ve got to get in there and dig and look for those veins of gold and figure out, “What is it about my deep experience that I can bring to this conversation that will add some game-changing, life-changing, life-saving insight to my readers? That takes an exploration. That takes real, honest, serious and deep inquiry. I don’t believe that that can be done in two days.
I’ve never seen anybody go to one of those workshops and come out. It does bring up the point about if you’re going to write, you do need a writing coach because your idea of a book a lot of times, and I call it bar for book, is you’re going to tell them everything you know and it doesn’t come out that way. It comes out horribly. You do need a coach to help you with that structure and what’s going on.
One thing that like a bar for book, the first thing I thought of is the book that seems when you’re done with it, all this playing in your ear is, “I and Me.” A good book coach can help you recognize that a book is a conversation. Even though the author is the one delivering the content, there has to be some space for the author to acknowledge that they hear the reader on the other side. This is why it takes real experience to write a book about your expertise, because you can predict what a lot of your readers’ questions are. If you’ve coached enough people, you can then say to your reader, “You might be thinking this. Perhaps you’re feeling this way. This is what most of my clients tell me is their experience.” The reader can feel seen and heard, even though technically the conversation is going one direction, there are lots of opportunities to make room for that conversation to be an exchange.You don't write a book to get a business. You write a book to grow a thriving business. Click To Tweet
That’s why feedback is important in that experience. When you’re talking about someone who writes a booklet that is not ready to write that full-length book, that someone who may have a minimal amount of feedback that they can share, but not like the big 200 pages of feedback. That feedback is where you find out how people feel about going through your programs and how they perceive them. One of the things we always run into is your brand is not what you think your brand is. It’s what other people do. It’s the same with a book. You have to take into consideration what is going through their head and what they told you.
What are the roadblocks that show up when you’re trying to help people get a result? Where do they falter and struggle? I want to add a little caveat to that though because it does matter how you say it. I don’t know about you, but I have a little bit of authority issues. I don’t think I need to buy your book all the way. Some languaging that I found is important. If you know for a fact that most of your clients have an experience and you can bet that your ideal reader is probably having a similar experience, but you don’t want to say to them, “I know you must be feeling this.” What that does on a subconscious level is it triggers their subconscious mind to push back and say, “You don’t know me, I know me. Don’t listen to them. This person is arrogant.”
Your subconscious mind is trying to keep the status quo. You don’t want to say anything that triggers that subconscious mind in the reader to put up a defense. If you make sure your wording is like, “I don’t know what your experience has been, but a lot of my clients have had this experience,” then the subconscious mind relaxes and it will allow the information to get in. Those little tricks like that I help my clients with. It doesn’t matter what you say, but how you say it is true in book writing.
You have an upcoming campaign leading people to the booklet. Tell us a little bit about that. How can people get ahold of you to participate?
I have a special page at RobinColucci.com/booklet. It’s the exact offer that we were talking about. Get the booklet for free, and all you do is pay the shipping. That is the real deal, the $7.50 shipping. Whatever the US Postal Service is charging for priority mail is what you will be charged. That doesn’t even include my print costs or handling fees. You get the booklet and then you’ll also be alerted to an opportunity. I have a masterclass group where if people want help in writing a booklet and getting coaching on writing a booklet, there’s a video course, and then also live twice a month coaching calls. Something that I definitely need to point out is that it’s not like you get to come to two coaching calls, because it should only take you four weeks to write your booklet. You get to come to as many coaching calls as you need to, as you’re writing the booklet.
You get the support that you need to get it done. We also have another program where we can help people take that manuscript and get it to the marketplace and get it set up so that people can order their booklet off of their website. We help them set up their Amazon accounts and we help them do their Amazon Bestseller launch. We wanted to create it to be seamless so that you’re not ever stuck in a gap again. That was like the pain point for me that had me create this. I felt bad about leaving those 50 people in the gap. When I decided to build it, I made it so that there are no gaps. You can have support from the moment you get the booklet all the way through publication and becoming a bestselling author on Amazon.
Thanks for stopping by. We’ll see you next episode.
- Robin Colucci
- High Profit Book Blueprint: 7 Steps to Write and Publish A Booklet That Attracts Dream Clients and Grows Your Business
About Robin Colucci
Robin Colucci has been helping world class experts write world changing books since 2003. Before that she built, grew, and sold a personal fitness business. She also was a journalist and worked as an acquisitions editor for an independent publishing house. Robin brings her deep, hands on knowledge of publishing and entrepreneurship to her clients whose books cover a range of topics including: business, personal development, memoir, health and fitness, science and technology, politics, women’s issues, and the environment.
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