Live It to Give It
Chapter 5 of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client!
I looked out over a crowd of 3,000 people at the Sony Center in Toronto and took a breath. I had fifteen minutes to inspire the right people in the audience to get a free copy of my book, Make ‘Em Beg to Publish Your Book. The audience was filled with mission-driven entrepreneurs, and I knew from some pre-event research that over 60% of attendees said they wanted to write a book. This was, for me anyway, a room of hot prospects.
As you will remember from Chapter 4, speaking at an event where your prospects already are gathered is a great way to get awareness about your book. Sometimes, these engagements will be available to you as an author at no cost. Other times, you might decide to make an investment. For me, at this event, each minute I was on the stage was costing me close to $2,500. I had to be good.
Before I left the stage, 450 audience members had downloaded my ebook. It actually cost me $77 for each book I gave away!
Most people who write a book think about how they are going to make $10 or $15 a book. I am asking you to turn this assumption on its head. I know one of the secrets to writing a book that makes clients beg to work with you is budgeting how much you will spend to get each book in your prospect’s hands.
And here is where the math gets interesting. Of the 450 folks who got my book, 42 of them signed up to learn more about working with me, and 11 of those decided it was the right time for them to invest in getting their book done. Those 11 clients generated $343,750 in revenue for me over the following year by making further investments with me to reach their goals.
My $35K investment (plus the cost of the books) generated a nearly 10 to 1 return because I was willing to lead with my book. Giving away your book as a magnet for leads (known as a lead magnet) is the single most effective marketing strategy for getting clients who want to work with you.
Just by the fact that you have written and published a book about the problem, the person opting in to get the book has an indication that you are:
- An expert on the topic
- A serious business person
- Committed to your work
- Not flakey
This alone goes a huge way to differentiating you from the others that they might hire.
But there is still more a book does as a lead magnet… in that giving it away is magnanimous. Giving it away is generous and kind, and it just feels so great doing it (which inspires positive feeling, which is itself attractive). One of the reasons why a free book is one of the best lead magnets of all time in history is because it has inherent perceived value. Even if you give away the ebook, the moment you’re offering it, people see your book is worth roughly ten to twenty dollars. It’s kind of like the number in their head that a book has to cost, so it has a value. This is a generous way to start a relationship. There is no other lead magnet with this level of concrete perceived value. This is why, if you want to write a book that gets clients begging to work with you, you are going to need to drop the idea of your book as a source of revenue. Period. A book that gets clients is not a product that generates income. Instead, it’s a marketing tool that helps people self-select you as their coach or consultant. A book is a cost-center, not a revenue-center, for your business.
Know How Many Leads You Need
In order to budget how many books you will need to give away, you first need to know how many clients makes a full practice for you. My clients, when starting out, typically need to give away 100 books to get a client. Let’s use my example from that speech. I gave away 450 books, and I got 11 clients. That was 1 client for every 41 books I gave away. But I wasn’t hitting numbers like that out of the gate. Because I have narrowly focused my awareness techniques, and I target the right audience to speak to (the one who has 60% of their members thinking about writing a book), I have been able to improve my numbers.
Let’s say you want to have 10 clients a month. You will need to plan on giving away at least 100 books. Of those 100 people, 20 to 40 might inquire about working with you. Depending on how good your sales skills are (we’ll cover that later in the book) you will likely be able to close somewhere between half and a quarter of those inquiries.
Now you should be asking, How can I give away 100 books a month to highly qualified prospects? If you can do that, it’s inevitable that you will get your clients. The answer to that question is picking the right awareness method for you and optimizing the hell out of it.
Your awareness efforts have to match up with the number of books you need to give away.
Your Book Doesn’t Need to Be Finished to Give It Away
The great news is you don’t have to wait until your book is completed to find out how effective this strategy is. You don’t need to have written a book at all (yet) to use it as a lead magnet. You can say I’m writing a new book about (whatever your book is about), if you would like to sign up for an early copy of the new book, I will send it to you as soon as it’s done, as a way of saying thank you.
Let’s say your new book is all of the reasons why you should buy a new bicycle. When you are speaking, or networking, or doing whatever you do for awareness, you just say, “I’m writing a new book about how to buy the perfect bicycle, and if you want to sign up for a free copy of this book…. (and figure out how you take those orders).”
When I was writing this book, I posted this message on Facebook just after I completed my first chapter:
“My next book, MAKE ‘EM BEG TO BE YOUR CLIENT is happening.
I’m finally writing the book so many people have begged me for. This is going to be the definitive guide to writing a book that fills your coaching practice. Glad to be writing this one with my friend, client and ideal reader in the room next door. Perfect inspiration and motivation to finish by sunset tomorrow!
If you already have a book and it’s not getting you clients like you hoped (or if you want to write a book that gets clients begging to work with you), sign up to be an early reader. Let me know in the comments and I’ll get you a copy before I make it publicly available.”
That gets them to raise their hand, while simultaneously giving it a perceived value. It’s going to be a book. It’s really that simple! Now if someone raises their hand and says, “Yes! I want to write a book that gets clients begging to work with me.” Then, I know I can invite them to work with me right now.
I can reply to each person and say: “Great! Thanks for your interest in writing a book that gets clients begging to work with you. My book is going to be out really soon, and I will send it to you, but I don’t want you to have to wait. I’d love to jump on the phone right now.” This is when you are most likely to convert a sale because your prospect is thinking, Man, I have to solve this problem!
Every day that passes the chance of them becoming a client decreases. Yes, give them the book whenever it’s ready. If it’s ready in two months, if it’s ready four months, give them the book. You made a promise so fulfill the promise 100%, even if time has passed. Remember, the real purpose of the lead magnet is not to give them the book. The purpose of the lead magnet is to get them to raise their hand and say, I have this problem, the minute they realize they have the problem that your work solves.
Make it Personal
The way to give your book away is to only talk about the problem your book solves, and the result readers get from implementing the solutions in the book. Never discuss the how or the details of the solution itself when you are offering the book. You just want to focus on the problem, and how you hold the key to their dream come true.
How you’re going to deliver the book to them? Well, you can store a PDF on a cloud storage system, and just email the link to them – or you can print it out.
Of course, you can also create a beautiful web page where people get your book, but you honestly don’t have to. Personal emails work just fine!
I frequently participate in Facebook groups. When somebody asks a question that shows they might be a prospect for me, I offer to give them a copy of my book. Emailing a copy of my book (with an offer to talk to me on the phone) in this way has helped me to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of business. If your awareness method is participating in social media, then this is all you need to have ready to go in order to generate enough qualified leads that you can fill your practice.
Give A Book Away PLUS
There is no one way to do a free book offer. One of my favorite methods is to run ads to promote them. I’ve also done it with an eCourse (you can see the eCourse in The Author Incubator’s YouTube Channel). When someone signed up for the book, it came with a companion class. This is a great way to give a ton of value away early in the relationship, and to overcome the problem of people not actually reading your book after they get it.
Just Pay Shipping
You can also give away a printed book, and you can charge just for the shipping, if you want to. As a self-published author, I spend about $3 per printed copy of my books. To ship domestically is another $3. You can offer to give your $15 book away for free, in exchange for someone paying $3 – $6 for shipping. Very often the “free, just pay shipping” offer actually covers the author’s full costs. You will give away fewer books this way, but the people who are willing to pay anything to get your book, even a heavily discounted price, will be more committed and convert at a higher rate to becoming clients.
Clickfunnel’s CEO, Russell Brunson, gave away something like 80,000 copies of his book in just 30 days. Because the recipients paid for shipping, he was also able to make other, add-on offers after people committed to getting the book. In this way, he generated thousands of clients. I don’t like to ask for a sale at the same time I’m giving my book away, but I do like to send and receive paper copies of books, so this is a great way to get an interested an engaged lead.
If you are going to do print book give-aways though, you will need a way to collect payment online, and it can get messy. Make sure you give away lots of free ebooks before you go this path. There is no right or wrong way to give your book away. I have seen it done dozens of different ways and they can all work, as long as you remember the one cardinal rule of using a book as a lead magnet: The minimum cost of the book is the prospect’s contact information.
Give your book away to people who choose to opt in, that is raise their hand, acknowledging they have the problem your book solves. Make sure you get their contact information and follow up with them. If they are ready to fix the problem, you are the most likely one to help them do just that!
Get the rest of the chapters of Make ‘Em Beg To Be Your Client! here.