Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I started developing websites and online communities when I was just 12 years old. Many years later, I decided to make a business around what I learned about digital marketing from those early days to today.
My book comes in because it is a major accomplishment for my professional life. I consult with businesses in an area that is crowded by people of various types. My book is what sets me apart from the general crowd into someone unique.
But it isn’t just about the image. The writing and book launch process taught me a lot about the writing discipline and myself. It’s hard work! But ultimately, I think through resulting personal and professional triumphs, it pays off. Despite the tough times, being a writer can be thrilling as well. I’ve really learned to respect authors at a new level now that I released my own book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The purpose of my book is to help business owners, entrepreneurs, and marketers understand the complex medium that is digital marketing. There are hundreds to tactics, techniques, and tools available to us today, but so few of us know how to properly use them all. Or, more importantly, what we should and should not use.
In my book, I give readers a basic framework to understand how tactics and techniques may fit in their business: a digital sales funnel. The six stages are clearly outlined and examples of how to optimize each are given.
The bulk of the book, however, is about developing a strategy. Strategy is what ensures your digital marketing efforts are aligned to your vision and goals, and will be a success. With the digital sales funnel framework and the 5-steps to developing a strategy, you can ensure that you are maximizing the potential of your efforts to grow your business and reach your goals.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I started writing my book in September of last year. I spent many weeks before then trying to get started, but I found it difficult until I found a rhythm to my writing routine. Each morning I would spend a minimum of just 20-minutes writing. Many mornings, I would sit for 30-60 minutes. On some occasions, I spent many hours. This minimum, easy requirement I set made it simple for me to get started.
I released the book to Amazon on Sunday, January 25th. By Monday evening, I was #1 Best Seller in Marketing & Sales. It took many hours of marketing the book, but I was fortunate to rise through the ranks in this time. Without setting such a low standard, I’d never have gotten here!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I find Tim Ferriss to be an author that can engage, entertain, and educate while also making seemingly complex subject simple. I think the most powerful thing a Non-Fiction author can do is simplify a subject their readers want to learn about. Anyone that does that gets my attention, and keeps it.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the middle of my book launch, so I’m aggressively promoting my book to people that I believe would benefit most from it. That includes using social media, message boards, and my personal network to spread the word. The book launch is far more exhausting than any day of writing I’ve had!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Word of mouth is powerful, but can be slow. To accelerate it, align influencers to your message. Influencers are those that can build traction for your book by acting as an agent on your behalf. When their following sees they believe in what you are doing, it becomes much easier to sell books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Plan ahead and don’t rush it! Stay focused on what’s best for your ideal readers and make sure you align all your writing and promotion to them. They are the ones that control your fate as a writer, so be sure to please them.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” It’s actually a quote by Leonardo da Vinci, but I find it extremely helpful for my personal and professional life. Entrepreneurs and writers tend to take on project after project, and we often end up in over our heads. I believe if we focus on simplicity, narrowing down what we do to a more impactful, focused effort, we will be improved in everything we do.
What are you reading now?
The Business Model Innovation Factory by Saul Kaplan. It’s an intriguing approach to, of course, business models. The author happens to be from the same city as I am, yet we never met. As I read further, I’m more enthralled with the method he outlines in developing businesses. It’s something I’ll highly recommend.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am uncertain at this point, but I am interested in writing about personal branding. I believe it is a topic that will greatly benefit my fellow writers. If I can simplify it so my peers can make a huge impact with limited efforts that distract them from what they love, writing, I’d be doing a great thing.
In the meantime, I plan to continue promoting my book and enter more speaking engagements to help spread word of what’s possible with digital marketing, whether you run a solo operation or a 5,000-person enterprise.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Easy, three I always love to review: The 4-Hour Workweek, How to Win Friends & Influence People, and The Alchemist.