Leaving Nothing To Chance | Chris Benetti | Book Authority

 

So you’ve finished writing your book, now comes the hard part: selling. In a world where a book is the new business card, how can you sell more books and build authority? Joining us for an enlightening episode is Chris Benetti from Smart Author Media, where we delve into the world of impactful book marketing and authority strategies. Chris shares insights on creating effective book funnels, leveraging AI for content creation, and establishing authority in your niche. Discover the power of crafting compelling narratives to attract the right clients and learn practical tips to enhance your professional image. Whether you’re a seasoned author or contemplating writing a book, this episode is a treasure trove of actionable strategies to elevate your authorship and business. Tune in and take the first step towards amplifying your reach and impact in the world of smart authoring.

 

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Sell More Books And Build Authority With Chris Benetti

In this episode, I want to introduce a new friend from a long way away. We were talking about Perth, Australia, where Chris Benetti lives, works, and runs Smart Author Media. Chris, welcome to the show.

John, it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m excited to chat.

Building Authority Through Books

Let’s get started, Chris. You do something unique. We’ve done about 150 episodes and I’ve had a lot of authors on, including myself. I’ve authored four books as you probably know. One of the challenges when you author a book is, “I did the hard work. I spent the time and money. I got the ghostwriters, copywriters, and all these great people.” You got a finished product. What do you do with it to get it out there? You’re an authority when it comes to this. Let’s talk about what Smart Author Media does. Let me ask you this question. You’ve written a book, now what?

One of my friends, Mike Capuzzi, who is an expert in writing books, says that writing books is not the hardest part. It’s marketing books. For me, you’ve done all the hard work. In my opinion, it’s your responsibility to get it out there and get it into the hands of people. Otherwise, what’s it for? There are multiple avenues for now what and how I market it. There are leveraged activities and manual activities. There are things that you can do that cost money and things that you can do that are free.

If we look at and think about putting our book on Amazon, that’s a free thing that we can do. It’s going to get it to a new marketplace that wouldn’t have existed to us otherwise. There are other things like going and doing podcast tours, speaking tours, book signings, posting on your social media organically, and creating YouTube channels around your book. All that stuff is manual work that isn’t very leveraged at all. Where I like to specialize is in leveraged activities, which is, let’s use some money and run some advertising. That’s going to get our book out there without much effort from us.

How does somebody create themselves as an authority figure?

The book is the best and right way. It’s 100% the tool and asset that’s going to set you aside from the competition. The book in itself is one piece. It’s useless without it being in front of your ideal target market. Leveraging marketing alongside having the actual asset itself is what creates the authority.

A book is 100% the tool and asset that's going to set you aside from the competition. Share on X

Short Books Versus Long Books

Let’s talk about this. I listened to an interview that you were on. I don’t remember the gentleman that was interviewing you but he and you made some good points about short books versus long books. You don’t have to write War and Peace to get an audience. Sometimes, the short book is better. Talk about that a little bit because some people want to tell everything they’ve ever known, everything they’ve ever done, every place they’ve ever been, every meal they’ve ever eaten, and every experience they’ve ever had. Maybe that winds up being a multitude of books and media versus one that maybe doesn’t get out there the way that the others should. I would love you to talk about that a little bit. That short book concept is terrific.

That conversation was with Mike Capuzzi. I’m coming full circle there. I don’t know about you, John, but I don’t have a lot of time to read books. I’m a young father, husband, and a busy entrepreneur. For me, getting through books is a little bit challenging unless I’m listening or something like that. I can exit and listen to multiple sessions. Ultimately, I find that if we get straight to the point and the book’s an outcome-driven book or something tactical, then we can get the message across pretty clearly and give a lot of value.

First and foremost, I don’t think that there’s a difference between portraying a valuable message in a long book versus a short book. Maybe a long book you might need to do more concepts and things like that but the question I would ask is, “Does it have to be in one book?” Certainly, when it comes to marketing books, we’ve got clients like Nigel Moore, who has a very short book. He wrote it with Mike. We’ve given away thousands of copies of his book and generated hundreds of thousands in revenue from the back of his book as well.

The fact that it’s a short book doesn’t matter to the numbers. It might make it more attractive but they don’t know how long it is necessarily. They’re just downloading the book. It’s potentially a delight when someone gets the book and realizes, “I can get all of the strategies and value in a 120-page book instead of having to read 300-plus pages potentially.”

Do you think vertical integration? It’s all the other assets that can be off of that. I met Mark Victor Hansen many years ago on a cruise ship. We were doing something together. I don’t even remember where it was. That’s a long time ago. He was talking about having Jack Cantwell. They took that idea of vertical. It was chicken soup for the chiropractors, school teachers, and truck drivers. They took the same basic idea but took it out there across vertical lines of human beings based on different occupations. Is that something that you think in the market is more applicable than it was years ago because all the other media things can be used in conjunction with a book like the one that you held up, for example?

It depends on the goal. Does the author want to be in several niches? Have they tapped out their current market? If the answer is no, then I would rather you vertically integrate with your products. How can this book be a direct lead into the service or the offer you have in your business? That’s what I specialize in aligning the book as long as it’s congruent with the offer the client has together.

How do we lead someone from downloading the book or buying the book to working with my client in a more official and expensive capacity so that they can get an outcome quicker, faster, and better with more expertise and guidance rather than having to strictly focus on working through the book and doing it themselves? That’s probably the integration that I like to specialize in and focus on.

If you’re a career author or you have a massive millions audience and have sold lots of copies, like someone like Bob Burg, who wrote The Go-Giver, that would be a good example of how we vertically integrate into other niches and other books that cover those realms. If you’re a smaller author, how can I integrate my book with my business is more important.

It’s like the books become a tool for consulting work or other ways that are more profitable than writing the book itself for you to make a couple of bucks.

It’s certainly if you’re going to go down the avenue of advertising and marketing your book and you’re spending money on the book to get it out there. Most of the most people will lose money to sell their books, quite frankly, and the big profit is in the back end.

Leaving Nothing To Chance | Chris Benetti | Book Authority

Book Authority: Most people will lose money selling their books. The big profit is in the back end.

 

Smart Author Media

I’ve even found out about it myself. My books and even the show have led to consulting work and other profitable things that you spend money on to get your authority figure status out there. All of a sudden, people start saying, “Can you do this or that for me? Let’s talk about this though.” I love the branding of your company, Smart Author Media. It eliminates all the people who aren’t smart authors who say, “I’m a dumb author.” You’re reaching into people and saying, “Come with us. You’re creating your authority.” I love your branding but let’s talk about what you can do and some of the services that Smart Author Media offers authors and other business people who want to get their imagery out there.

Thank you for the compliment. It was a bit of a struggle coming up with the name initially when I was in the ideation phase. Ultimately, it came down to no one wants to be a dumb author. Smart Author is the name. We got it trademarked as well, the Smart Author phrase in Australia anyway. It’s pretty official, John. How do we help? If someone has a book and a business and the book is an integration into the business, typically a good alignment to what they’re doing in business, that’s essentially the first criteria for us and the clients that we work with.

If they don’t have a business on the back of their book, then we’re going to sell a lot of books and they’re going to spend a lot of money. It might be beneficial or not but it’s a bit ambiguous. Whether or not it’s beneficial, it’s hard to say. We make sure that that’s in line. I can almost certainly ensure that the client gets a good result working with us at Smart Author Media.

How do we help? We essentially build all of the marketing assets to get the book advertised and out there into the marketplace, sell copies, and give copies away. What that looks like on a granular level is we build what’s called a book funnel, which is like a website. Essentially, someone buys the book on step one, and then we might have a few other offers for them through the sales process.

At the end of the funnel, they might get an option for the next steps, whether the next steps are to watch a webinar, potentially work with the client further, book a strategy session, potentially get their help on something, and so on. Whatever the next steps are, we position that at the end of the funnel. The funnel doesn’t stop there. The emails, retargeting ads, and things like that are all part of the funnel. We are always following up with the people who didn’t take action on booking in on the next step thing to get them back to the next step thing.

All of our email follow-ups are based on how we overcome objections, how we deliver social proof, and how we get them back to the thing that we want them to do, which is essentially working with us further if they’re a good fit. We handle all of the advertising and management of advertising as well. We’ll set up the ads, creatives, and copywriting for the ads to get them to the funnel in the first place.

Through that process, we vigorously test every single week. It’s testing new creatives, images, and videos that go with the ads, new copy for the ads, new targeting, and different campaign setups, and then also split testing the funnel. On our book sales page, if it’s not converting at 5% or above, hopefully, 10%, then we’ll split test headlines and test offers. We’ll go above and beyond every single week and month for our clients to make sure that we’re always at an optimal performance with our ads and funnel.

What’s the best way for people to go up? Share all the collateral information so that they know where to go to take a look.

SmartAuthorMedia.com is the website. Essentially, everything is there. There’s a nice green button on that page where you can go ahead and book a book marketing chat with me. We can run through what you’re doing. I can give you some advice and actionable steps to take to do something better or if you haven’t done anything, what you can do. If you want to work with us to help implement that kind of stuff, that’ll be an option as well.

Lead Generation And Book Funnel

Let’s talk about lead generation. What are other ways that people can lead generate to get their book out there?

Lead gen is such an awesome thing and there are so many effective ways. First and foremost, if you are an author, I strongly believe you should be doing what we’re doing and having your podcast going on other people’s podcasts and doing that relentlessly. Many people have your audience or there is a general alignment like John’s show here is more general to business, not necessarily authors and author marketing specifically. There are certainly shows like that but there’s going to be an alignment with your audience, John. They’re going to have books, maybe want to write a book, get help with marketing books, or they know someone who wants those things.

That’s a huge opportunity. If you’re not doing that, you’re not vigorously going out there, putting yourself out there, and doing these things, then that’s the first step that I would do. I would also ask what other communities are there on Facebook, LinkedIn potentially, and YouTube where you can go ahead and collaborate with other creators who have your audience as well. I’m a huge fan of going into different people’s masterminds and doing presentations for no charge or anything like that. I want to go in and give value. That props my authority status up and people want what I’ve got as well. That creates an opportunity for leads.

If you’re an author, that would create an opportunity for book sales. Besides this, I highly recommend a YouTube channel for yourself or your book as well. There’s a good book called 3 Words I Used to Sell 100,000 Books and you can go check that out. That’s essentially a roadmap to what you can do to organically get your book word out there, go ahead, and generate a bunch of book sales and leads for yourself.

Let’s go back to the funnels for a minute because many of our readers are self-employed, mostly in network marketing, some in insurance, and some in other endeavors. Many of them are what I call multiple business people or serial entrepreneurs. They might do network marketing but they’re in real estate or they’re investing in real estate. They’re in another business that they either own or maybe run but they’re very entrepreneurial.

This concept of funnels is something that has become so popular, yet most people don’t understand the value. They hear it and think. I always describe it like a kitchen funnel. If you go to your kitchen and you get a funnel, you pour something in the top and some drips out the bottom. It is a fair explanation but it still doesn’t depict what people need. Tell the value. You mentioned how you’re using funnels to get the information out.

How valuable has that become, not only to grow your business itself but also to these different authors using a funnel system to drip that information out there to the people who are so inclined and say, “I want to join your community ultimately and hear what you have to say. Maybe I want to hire you or don’t. I’ll buy your book for $15?” Maybe it sits on a shelf or they wind up with a $100,000 contract to do whatever it is that they’re talking about in their book that a client says, “I found out about this because I listened to a podcast and I got on your funnel or read your book.”

I’ve been doing funnels since the end of 2016. It’s the first thing I did when I came into this business space. Funnels are the things that can help you effectively take someone through a process and drive them toward an outcome ultimately. Without a funnel, the alternative is you send someone to a website. Maybe you’ve got your book on your website. When they buy, they go to an auto-confirmation page. There’s not much that you can creatively do in that process.

Funnels can help you effectively take someone through a process and drive them toward an outcome. Share on X

Alternatively, if they buy your book on Amazon, you don’t get any information or data. You don’t know who bought your book or anything. It’s very difficult for you to do anything and drive that person towards the goal outcome of what you want to achieve with your book. Funnels to me and the real benefit to them is we can send traffic, which is people from podcasts, ads, Facebook groups, or social media. That’s essentially traffic coming in at the top.

We think of the funnel again as John explained, a kitchen funnel. People come to the big end. Depending on what our outcome is, you can think of the outcome as the bottom of the funnel, the small amount. We essentially are driving people through and they might not buy the book. They’re filtered at that first step. They might not buy the upsell so they’re filtered at that step.

At the top, we’ve got let’s say thousands of people. At the bottom, they’re being filtered through each step that we have in the funnel. In the end, we’re left with the select few who made it through and have taken the actions that we want to achieve, the outcome that we expected from them essentially. It’s powerful because it can help to have your traffic or the people coming through self-identify with what they want to do, what capacity they want to work with you in, or what actions they want to take. You filter out the people who aren’t ready for that or aren’t action takers potentially down into people who are. That gives you the highest quality people to work with on the outcome.

Book Writing Process

Question on this. I remember when I wrote my first book, which was in 2004 and I published it in 2005. I remember thinking, “Who wants to hear what I have to say?” I saw an interview with Barack Obama where he was this young senator and had written a book. He said something incredibly wise. He said that he did not write the book to run for office. He did ultimately. He wrote it for his kids because he felt like if he had died young like his mom did, his kids would never know who their dad was. His kids are grown now but at that time, they were little kids. I said, “Let me do that.”

I did it around my profession and professional life but I had some of who I am and what my hobbies were. I did that initially for my kids with the idea, “I have an audience and I sold the book.” I don’t know how many copies we sold. Here’s what I’m getting at. We have readers who have their life story in them. They had their business success. That’s what they did for a living and how they put bread on the table but who they were as a person, they should get, in my opinion, on paper. Everybody’s got a book in them.

I’d love your thoughts on that. I know Bob Burke. He’s a very successful guy. You’re working with successful people but at the end of the day, it’s not just, “Here’s a strategy or tactic.” It’s like, “Here’s how I evolved into learning that, who I was, and maybe what circumstances were in front of them that caused them to go this way instead of this way.” Let’s hear your thoughts on that and your suggestions for people who are out there saying, “I’m going to write a book,” but they never sit down and start. Also, the process involved with it. What is the process? Why should they write a book?

I’m certainly not a book-writing expert. However, I do think if there’s something in your life that is worth sharing, you should do so. I look at a book like that and go, “Cool.” The purpose and outcome of that book may not be an authority-building piece or a lead-generation piece for your business. Maybe it’s more of a memoir. Maybe it’s something that you want to write for as a passion or purpose to get out there into the world.

Any single person, no matter what stage in life you’re at, you should write that if you want to write that book, in my opinion. I would not take a book like that and market that kind of book if that makes sense. It’s probably not going to be the most effective asset for you to get leads and sales in your business. I don’t have any writing tips, unfortunately, for you, John, or a process but if that’s the book that you want to write and you feel like you need to write, then write that book for sure but have a clear expectation of what the outcome is for the book. Don’t necessarily expect that it’s going to be a good book for you to be able to market your business with.

Leaving Nothing To Chance | Chris Benetti | Book Authority

Book Authority: If that’s the book that you want to write and you feel like you need to write, then write that book, but just have clear expectations of what the outcome is.

 

Books For Business

Let’s come back to it from a business standpoint. We have people reading who have been in different stages. I have people who make $1 million a year reading the show. I have people who want to make $1 million a year. I have people who are part-time in their business and saying, “How do I use a book funnel to build that, not just that authority but that audience?” Once they have the book and the funnel, how do they get that audience to start responding to them and they use the book as that lever to grow their business?

It comes down to having a book that’s hyper-relevant to what you’re offering but then what the market needs as well. I’ll go back to the example of Nigel Moore. He has a book called Package, Price, Profit and he works with MSP providers. It’s people who manage service providers for corporations, essentially helping them implement Microsoft Security and all those kinds of things like digital security kind of stuff.

These guys are very technical as entrepreneurs. You could probably understand that they would struggle with marketing, making contracts, even selling services, and being able to price and package their offers quite well. The book is hyper-relevant to the fact that Nigel understands that that’s a very big gap in the market. They struggle with that a lot. How can you make your book hyper-relevant to a very clear paint for the audience and the avatar that you serve? Furthermore, how does your business then support that?

Leaving Nothing To Chance | Chris Benetti | Book Authority

Book Authority: How can you make your book hyper-relevant to a very clear pain for the audience and the avatar that you serve? Furthermore, how does your business support that?

 

On the back of Nigel’s book, he’s got a $47 per month community membership where he delivers all the templates and marketing advice, even proposal templates, contract templates, and all of that kind of stuff. He does it in such a big volume. He’s spent $50,000 to $100,000 developing these contracts with lawyers, designers, and all of that. He’s gone over the top with, “How can I support the people who get the book in the next areas that they may need help with or even further helping them with the current paradigm of packaging and pricing that they offer?”

If you think about the same thing in your business, most likely, you should have a business first and you should be serving people in the business. The book should come after the fact to go, “How can I take maybe one small piece of how I’m helping people over here or even the process that I’m using over here and condense it into a book so that people can do it themselves? If they want more help with it, then my business is here.”

For me, as an example, I do marketing for books. Maybe I would write a book about marketing books. It’s inception but the thought process is giving all of my strategies and methodologies around how we launch ads, build book funnels, do follow, and convert leads into clients or book buyers into clients, putting that into a book, and then going, “If you want more help, here’s my-done-with-you community or our-done-for-you service. We’re certainly here to support you.”

AI And Authority

I have two last questions, Chris. First, how are you using AI if you are using AI in your business?

AI is a fun and distracting tool. We primarily use it for copywriting feedback and prompts. A lot of it is used also in our video editing processes. When we run the podcast, we use AI to help with subtracting transcripts, cleaning up video qualities, and things like that. The most part that we use is we create author personas for our clients. For something like ChatGPT, we can feed it the PDF of our client’s book and then pre-frame it and ask it certain questions so that it can output marketing information for us.

It can give us ad copy and email follow-up sequences based on the book’s content, what the book’s outcome is, the goal of the book, and who the avatar is. We give it all of that context so that it can give us all of the content on the other side that we can use and polish because it’s not awesome but it is a good starting point for us to be able to use and leverage so that we can go ahead and create multiple variations of ads, sales page, copy, email follow-up, and whatnot.

Here’s the final $9,000 question. Talking to entrepreneurs who are reading this, what’s the number one thing that they could do to raise their imagery with their current clients and potential clients?

If you haven’t got a book, that’s an obvious answer but certainly, I would say it’s by putting a stake in the ground and publishing content around what you do for current clients and the results you have achieved with them, anonymously, so that you’re not crossing boundaries. Put your ideations around things out there into the world. You’re going to most likely repel people who don’t want to work with you or aren’t a good fit to work with you and attract people who are. Your current clients are going to see your stuff and they’re going to like you more.

Go to SmartAuthorMedia.com and you can find out a little bit more. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 30 authors that have been on and every one of them wants to sell more books and lead to more consulting work and contract work. We’ve got a lot of would-be authors. A lot of people were thinking, “I should but I haven’t. I’m going to get around to it when I retire.” Get around to it. It says a lot in gravestones, “I’m going to get around to it,” and they never do. My suggestion would be to do it. Chris, this has been a pleasure. Any last thoughts on your end or anything I missed?

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. You’re in your head about doing anything. If you want to write a book, and whether you think you can or you can’t, it’s right. Go do it if you think you can and maybe think about why you think you can’t and work on changing that perception.

This has been a privilege. Chris, thank you so much. This will go down as the longest geographical episode I’ve ever done. I don’t think we can get further away from each other. It’s probably about 11,000 miles away from each other. Thank God for good technology. Thanks so much.

 

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