by Angela Lauria September 4, 2020
Design a Book to Build Your Business
In this Episode Dr. Angela teaches you how to prepare for writing your book by designing your book topic by writing a love letter to your ideal reader. Do this to insure your book will make a difference and your ideal clients will be inspired to work with you.
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Podcast: Download (32:56, 45.2MB )
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In this episode you will learn:
- 4:14 -Should my book topic be broad to attract the most people?
- 5:20 -What does Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke have to do with writing a book that makes a difference?
- 7:51 -What is the difference between selling and installing?
- 10:54 -What is the problem you can solve, and who can you solve it for?
- 15:03 -Who is your ideal reader?
- 24:00 -What is your ideal reader’s dream come true?
Full Episode Transcript:
So let’s get started with some tough stuff.
Your book topic cannot be winning at life. Your book topic cannot be self love for women in transition. Can someone write these books winning it life or self love for women in transition? Yes, Jay Z and Beyonce Can you know, in order to write a book on a very generic topic, like self love, self care, getting your mojo back winning at life, true happiness, ultimate pleasure, you need to have a huge platform. Millions of people, Barack Obama beyond say, not you. That doesn’t mean you can never write it. But that is not how we’re going to take you from where you are to making the difference you want to make. Okay? In order to do that, You have to write a book on a topic that people will spend money to solve. So in the supplemental materials, you are going to find a document called a few problems people are known to spend money to solve. These are great book topics. When I say them, you may notice you a little bile in the back of your throat. You may notice you want to throw up and not write these books. Remember, don’t confuse selling and installing the book topic doesn’t say the how it doesn’t say what’s inside what’s inside isn’t gonna change. But here are a few problems that people are known to spend money to solve even if the message isn’t coming from Barack Obama or Beyonce, divorce weight career change getting a promotion starting a business finding and retaining employees overcoming a breakup Overcoming an illness, preparing for retirement, getting rid of clutter, adjusting to a move, leaving a church finding love, winning a competition, stopping an addiction. There kids being successful, making money, getting publicity growing a platform, getting clients learning a new skill, like playing an instrument or yoga or language, travel, protecting their rights, buying and selling property, getting a certification they can use in their current job or a new one, day trading, immigration style saving on taxes. Now, these are all the problems that relatively unknown author can write on, but it’s gonna sound like something like this. And what you notice is almost all these topics are a word or two. They’re the categories on the back of the book. So if we look at Sharon emojis books, again, we’ve got winning at life. generic book, nobody buys it. And then we have the Small Business trap. What problem does this match with? It is probably either starting a business or growing a business. Why most entrepreneurs might and can’t grow their business. There it is growing a business. That’s an actual problem people pay money to sell. Here’s Sharon’s example. journey through truth is the authentic still no idea.
I’m confused. Beyonce, I want to know about her life lessons. Love lies, life, the things? Why can’t I get over him break up recovery, overcoming a breakup? That’s an actual problem. Okay, your book topic has to be an actual real live problem. It’s probably 123 words. What’s your book about overcoming a breakup? What’s your book about living overseas. What’s your book about making money? We have to be able to answer it. We can’t say what’s your book about churning through truth to find an authentic life?
Right doesn’t matter.
We could get Jesus Buddha and Muhammad to sit down, start a book club, read Sharon’s book, agree this is the best book ever written. No one’s picking it up. It can’t make a difference, actually is a great book. And since her other books have come out, she’s actually sold a bunch of copies of this after she grew her platform after she had a million dollar business, okay, but for you, we don’t want to start with something that is not a specific problem. I’m gonna show you how crazy specific it can be.
With my favorite book ever. You may or may not have heard it. You can find this book for free all over the internet. If you just Google Letters to a Young poet, you’ll find a free PDF copy. But also go to a bookstore because you can like sleep with it and snuggle with it and nuzzle onto it. It’s
my favorite favorite. So I’m going to cough and take a sip of tea. And we’re going to get into
why this book is the guide to your ideal reader.
Okay. Rainer Maria Rilke was a very interesting dude. He came from a military family in Austria in the 1800s. Everybody in his family became a military officer, and he went to the top military school in Austria. When he was there, he graduated and decided he wanted to be a poet. This did not go over well with the fam. They literally thought he lost his fucking mind. A few years later, I think it was like eight years later, there was a guy named Franz Kaifis much like Rilke also went to the same military school also came from a military family. He was basically a younger version of Rilke. Well, he’s getting closer and closer to graduation. And he confides in one of his very close friends. You’re gonna think I’m fucking nuts. But I don’t think I’m going to take this officer appointment. I think I want to be a poet. You want to be a poet. He said, like dude Rilke friends gave us was like, who is Rilke is like, you don’t know. You don’t know Rainer Maria Rilke. He went here like 10 years ago. Well, frogs cases, didn’t know who he was. But he looked him up. There were no Googles. He looked him up through his family connections, and he found out there was another guy just like him who have this exact same problem. Should I stay in the military and piss off my family? Should I be a crazy idea? But he now knew someone who had been there before. And so, on the eve of his graduation, in the autumn of 1902 friends cases, writes Rilke a letter, and he says to Rilke. Hey, I heard about you. We’ve got some mutual friends. I need your advice. Attached please find some of my poems. Do you think I should be a poet or should I just stick with this military career?
Now he expected to get a letter back that said Yeah, looks good dude. Be a poet. Let me introduce you to my agent. It did not go that way.
Why? Because Rilke knew not to confuse selling and installing the question Kay had was, should I be a poet? In fact, it’s one of the questions on the things people spend money to solve. Is this the right career for me? Should I start a new career? It’s actually number three on this list career change. Okay, real good. didn’t know he was about to write the world’s best career change book ever. But basically Kaifsis says to him, career change. Now, what he’s expecting as an answer is kind of a clear yes or no. But the real answer, just like the answer to the problem that your book is gonna solve the topic your book will be on, the answer was much more complicated. In fact, what Rilke said is one of my many favorite quotes, this whole book is all my favorite quotes. Things are not all so comprehensible and expressible as one would most likely have us believe most events are inexpressible, taking place in a realm which no word has ever entered, and more inexpressible than all else are works of art, mysterious existences, the life of which, while ours passes away endures. Now Kaifis like, should I switch my career or not? What was that mean?
And what Rilke answers him is, you must live the questions whether you become a poet or a military officer is less important than the life you create creating your own life life design. This is a life coaching book. He’s teaching self love for women in transition, except what it looks like his career change for Austrian military dudes. There is one sense under Rilke, someone who has been there before somebody who knows the depth and the pain of this problem that means abandoning your friends and family and identity. And there is one recipient, Franz Kaifis, just a dude who’s trying to make a really hard decision at a critical, urgent time. He’s got till graduation. What do I do I need help from someone who has been there before. Now, real good didn’t know he was publishing one of the best books in the entire western canon of literature. He was literally writing a love letter to one guy. And that is how I want you to think about your book on this journey. Who is your friends cases?
The problem you’re solving, who’s the one person you could solve it for? That you could Write your book with the ease and the grace and the flow that Rilke wrote his.
He didn’t even know it was a book.
It’s about as long as yours will be. This book is about 25,000 words, don’t worry about word count. But this is probably how long your book will be. He wrote it in about the same amount of time you’ll write your book 24 to 48 hours of letter writing. There was no stress, there was just ease and joy and flow and the opportunity to share with somebody exactly what he wished he knew when he was in the pain that Kaifis was in. So one of the things we’re going to discover in the worksheets is, who is your friends cases, or what we call around here, your ideal reader, not just any reader, there’s going to be lots of readers, but who is your Who is the one who is the one that would beg you to write this book For them, who is the one who at the end of the book, if they could pay you any amount of money, they can saw off their toes to get you to help them solve this problem. They would do anything to work with you.
That is your ideal reader. Now, lots and lots and lots of people have read this book. Do I look like a military dude from 1902? Who’s deciding whether or not to be a poet? No, you don’t have to be a poet. You don’t have to be in the 18th century or in 1905. You don’t have to be Austrian. Like, you don’t have to be anything. I’m gonna just read you a random paragraph. Rilke says see if this relates to you, I’m going to guess that you are not in a time machine in the 1900s at a Military College deciding whether or not to be a poet see if this random passage makes sense to you. And you should not let yourself be confused by the fact there is something in you that wants to break out of where you are right now. This very wish will help you if you use it quietly and deliberately. And like a tool, spread out your solitude over the world. People have oriented all their solutions towards the easy and towards the easiest side of easy. But it’s clear that we must hold on to what is difficult. Everything alive holds to it. Everything in nature grows and defends itself in its own way, and is characteristically and spontaneously itself seeks at all costs to be so and against all of its opposition. Yet does it make any sense to you that shits going to be hard, and you’re going to be confused by your desires and question yourself. You don’t have to be a military dude and 18 in 1902 to get that so you Your book will resonate with thousands of readers, maybe millions of readers if you’re like Rilke, well, we need to know the one I deal reader that you are going to write this for. And there’s a sender and a recipient, right? So it’s real good in cases. So we need to know who you are in this equation. So let me tell you a little bit about you. Rilke was a poet. He wasn’t a life coach. He was a life coach. He didn’t have a life coach certification. But he was not selling his coaching or poetry consulting or his workshops, his writers workshops. He wasn’t selling any of that he was writing poems. In your case, we are writing a client conversion book, you’re going to use your book to get clients. So if you can imagine that Rilke also had a poetry consulting business, you can see how cases would have quite easily paid him 1000 2000 5000 dollars for some poetry consulting.
So your ideal reader is the person who will buy whatever you sell beyond the book and whatever you sell right now or whatever we craft together, we’re going to talk more in the design your book unit about designing your program, whatever you’re selling, your ideal reader would buy that no questions asked. So, your ideal reader to recap, is one single human being. People ask me all the time, can it be me younger? Sure. It was in the case of France cases. But don’t give this person your name. It wasn’t real ca in 1902, writing to Rilke in 1892 or 1894. It was really writing to cases so if it is somebody who shares things in common with you, great But let’s give them a new name. We want you writing to Francine, we don’t want you writing to you, it gets too confusing. So it can be a version of you.
It also has to be someone who would not only read your book, but someone who would pay you $1,000 or more to help them solve this problem. So for your topic, we need an actual problem that people actually pay money to solve. And like career change, and then we need a recipient of this love letter you’re going to write who would pay you would kfs have paid $1,000 to Rilke to be his poetry consultant. Yes. So your reader must be someone who is investing in solving this problem. A lot of people will say to me, oh my readers, you younger version of me and I say what do you do you buy at that time? And they say nothing. Or they don’t say a poetry consultant. They say, Oh, I bought a house. That is not your ideal reader. That’s a reader, doesn’t mean we won’t convert them. But your ideal reader is someone who would buy what you’re selling. Okay? Now, you may be saying here, I don’t know what I’m selling, but what you are selling is a solution to this problem. Okay, we’re gonna design it later. We’re not there yet. What you are selling is the solution to an actual problem. People would pay you to help themselves. Don’t freak out. It’s their promise. So what I recommend as your next step for crafting your ideal reader is to go into the worksheet and get specific on who this person is. Really simple stuff to start with. What’s their name? Their name is not women. 35 to 40 their name is Francine who’s 37. Okay, so that’s probably that’s mine that’s not yours. So you need a name, you need an age, you need a location. They don’t live in the city.
They live in Chicago and I really want to know like, what street in Chicago? Where do they live? What is their house look like? What’s their job? Are they a business owner? What’s the name of that business? So if we just do real cuz his ideal reader was prawns Kaifis. Franz Kaifis was about 22. His location was that city in Austria, where that Military College was his job at the time was military officer student. And his family was, he was single, not married, had a very religious family and had a very military oriented family.
So let’s just start with part one on the worksheet which is The demographic of your ideal reader, okay?
We want to start talking about your ideal reader as a person, when you’re writing to your developmental editor don’t say they like they think this or they think that say she or say Francine fronds if it’s a guy. So be very specific about talking about your ideal reader as an actual person. I want you to get a picture of them. It could be a real person or stock photography or Google image search. But I want you every time to think about it as a person. Don’t D personalize this extra personalize it. When I talk about Franz Kaifis. I’ve talked about him so much. Like I feel like I would recognize him on the street and give him the biggest hug. Like I think about him as an actual person struggling with this huge dilemma and becoming a poet. Was everyone going to think about him? His girlfriend was going to break up with them. His coach might have been okay because I think he was actually gay, but he hadn’t really admitted Oh yeah, there’s a lot going on. He’s got like, issues with athlete’s foot, like, I don’t know, it’s like a whole human. It’s not just some disembodied concept of reader, but it’s someone you care about and love. I actually have my little rose quartz heart. And when I’m feeling separate from my ideal reader, I’ll just like, press it right against my heart or something. My heart’s really here, but I just put it right here. And I just think about like, how would it really mean to show up right now for real person, instead of this abstract concept. So want you to make this really, really, really real. We’re going to come back to it a lot in a lot in a lot. Now, the next part of your ideal reader, Oh, and by the way, as you’re doing your demographics, What I recommend is that you actually write a profile of this person. And this is based on work I’ve done in theater, which is like a character study. If we were going to cast you in the film about your ideal readers life, what information would you need to know to play that character, while you to actually write an essay of everything about them, and you’ll see in the supplemental materials, a few examples of essays that other authors have written. And you’ll see how you can really like, get in there and humanize that person, what music are they listening to? Who are they talking to? How are they describing this problem? So go ahead. When you identify that person, and get really clear on who they are by writing a personal essay, I recommend doing it in first person so you actually get into character as this person and write about their worries and their fears. And their excitement, and what they want and who they are and where they are. And you’ll see those examples as well. Now what you’ll notice when you write that profile, is they have a way they describe the problem, which is very different than what you might be thinking the problem is. So again, going back to our examples here, Sharon thought the problem in her words was our her wish for the reader was a journey through truth to find an authentic life. But what was the problem in her ideal readers words? Why can’t I get over it? Now, where did that phrase, why can’t I get over him come from? It came from her ideal reader profile. That’s what her ideal reader was asking. And when Majeed was writing up his problem, it felt like it was winning at life. That wasn’t a problem that was his wish for the reader. The way that His ideal reader described the problem was, how come I’m working too hard or earning too much, and I just can’t grow my business.
So your title information is going to come from this profile. So you really want to get into their head and write this profile in first person. Now, once you have your profile, you want to circle or pull out or share on the worksheet, the problem in their words, what they’re worried about how they describe their worries, what’s keeping them up at night. These are all things to include in that profile. What is it costing them not to solve this? And what’s going to happen if they don’t solve this and not just what’s going to happen, but what do they think is going to happen if they don’t solve this, this should all be in that profile you right and again, this will be in the worksheets in the supplemental material, but what’s problem in their words, what are they worried about? What’s keeping them up at night? What is it costing them not to solve this? And what do they think is going to happen to them? Okay? And then I also want you to put in that essay like, what are they googling, in order to solve this problem? Because that’s what we all do. Now we go to Google. What would Franz Kaifis be googling should I be a poet? secrets of successful poets, poetry competitions, like what was friends cases googling and what is your ideal reader searching for on Google? I am going to give you a little checklist now and as you are looking at your ideal reader, this is like a little bit of a back and forth process. But when you’re looking at your ideal reader, you want to make sure number one, the problem you pick is a problem that you can actually solve. That means you’ve either solved it for yourself, or you solved it for three or more other people. It has to be a real problem people pay to solve, and a problem someone would pay you to help solve, even if they’ve never paid you before. Nobody had paid real QA to be a poetry consultant, but you could see how cases would have paid them. So the next thing you want to ask yourself is, do you know where these ideal readers are? Is this a reachable market? so unhappy women? Very, very, very, very difficult to find. But graduates of military colleges, very, very easy to find. So if you personally had to go find 10 people with this problem, who do you think 10 people with this problem. The next thing is, is this a problem that people would invest your ideal reader would invest $1,000 or more to solve has to be a problem they would sell. You have to know where to find these people. And you have to make sure that your ideal reader would pay you. Now, a lot of people freak out at this point because they’re like, Oh my god, I’m not. You know, super. I haven’t helped 1000 people with this, but your ideal reader by definition wants you for some other reason. So you can see with real code, the reason fronds cases wants him is they went to the same school, their families are very similar. They have a very similar background. They made it he made a decision. Probably the way cases wants to go cases. Bradley really wants to be a poet and he wants permission from Rilke. You If there was a more like, I don’t know if Emily Bronte were available to coach cases, cases doesn’t want Emily Bronte’s poetry coaching. He wants real cuz real QA is perfect for K fests. So your ideal reader has to want you specifically. And it has to be one thing, no compound problems here. So it’s not like lead by husband and start a business. If there’s one book, leave my husband, there’s one book, start a business. But sometimes you guys make this a little more complicated. A book is on one problem. The other thing I want you to include in this profile, once you get really clear on what’s the problem and their words, is what’s the dream come true in their words, usually you have this too big. So I’ll use an example from my life here, which is when I was 100 pounds overweight, my dream was not to be my My dream wasn’t to be skinny. It wasn’t to walk the red carpet. It wasn’t wear a bikini in in Brazil that I don’t know went up my ass or something. Like, I just wanted to fit in normal chairs, be able to go to the theater again. not ask for a seat belt extender from the stewardess, or what do we call them flight attendant. So your ideal readers dream come true is probably smaller than you think a lot of times I see these come back and they look like perfect bliss and harmony and peace in all areas of my life.
Yay. That’s not what your book is about. The dream come true for your book is much more manageable. So let’s say you’re doing panic attacks. The problem they would pay to solve is I want to stop having panic attacks. The problem sounds very normal. It’s a one sentence with no commas. I need to stop these panic attacks or I’m going to get into a car accident. That’s it. Super simple. The dream come true is something is it’s not like perfect bliss, harmony and happiness in all of my relationships at work. And in my personal life. It’s like, I need to either stop these panic attacks or know what to do when they happen so I’m safe. That’s their dream come true is stop the panic attacks. So don’t make it bigger. But in the next section of the worksheet is going to ask you, what is the dream come true in the ideal readers words.
So at this point, what you’re going to have is an actual ideal reader and a single human being with a name and age and address that they live at all those things. You’re going to have a profile of that ideal reader in their words. So it’s in first person you’re writing as them and if you need some guidance on this, find the real good book because you can See friends cases writing his friends cases, these are letters back and forth between the two of them. So I want you to write in person in first person. What’s the problem? What’s the dream come true? What are they worried about? What are they googling? What is your ideal reader doing here? in the place of stuckness? in the place of problem ness, what do they think the problem is, again, the problem, they probably have a little wrong. If they have the problem, right? They would already have the solution. So my biggest problem with weight loss is I was not an emotional adult. If I knew I was an emotional child, I would have been googling, what do you do if you’re an emotional child? I wasn’t googling that. I was googling How do I lose 100 pounds.
So your ideal reader thinks the problem is one thing. They probably have it a little wrong. And the solution the installing is something else like mindfulness meditation. self love connection, listening if they knew that was the problem, they would be googling that. But they’re not they’re googling something different and that’s why they’re not solving the problem.
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