Two reasons to get stoked and make an ebook

Happy Cyber Monday (by the way, I hope you had an amazeballs holiday weekend)! People will be buying new tablets – iPads or their mini-mes, Kindle Fires or Droids and join the growing tablet consumer base.

Ebook

photo credit: Jules Holleboom via photopin cc

You can write. We write on a daily basis in text messages, blogs, emails, Facebook and Google chats, the rare snail mail, and we write in the air when we speak or sign.

So…why don’t you write an ebook to adorn these new tablets? I suspect some of you are groaning and I feel you. But you can. There are two key reasons why business owners, community managers or website owners should consider writing an ebook. Woot! Let’s get the fire under your tush going, no?

Lead Generation

Ebooks are an effective way to get subscribers to your blog, newsletter and increase exposure. When you build a base of loyal subscribers over months and years, your chances of revenue increases (i.e. customers will be inspired to call you for consultations, buy more books in the future, or refer you to someone in their network).

Short and appealing ebooks are easily shared and saved, leading more unique vistors or repeat ones to your website. I have a folder on my desktop full of helpful ebooks at my disposal and I love it. Repeat exposure is positive. We reread books, watch our favorite movies more than once because we love them.

You can read this great how-to blog from Aweber (one of the most popular email marketing tools) to send free ebook to your subscribers. I know there are other ways to achieve the same goal for your blog, including MailChimp (free for beginners!) and I’d be tickled happy to have you share your tools and experience in the comments.

Digital Books are Smarter (and you’ll get smarter too)

TED is about ideas worth spreading and golly have I got one for you. I got to attend a TEDx event recently and one of the speakers was Dominique Raccah from Sourcebooks.  I will say I didn’t expect it to be one of the most memorable speeches. When the printing press came out, it was revolutionary. In the old days the technology enabled ideas to act as change agents and circulate in mass publications. Now, digital books are today’s most compelling change in how we interact with literature and the ideas are shared much more rapidly.  Read about a killer example from the Sourcebooks blog: Shakesperience - how the user interface improves the learning of Shakespeare.  You can include social media for sharing or links to relevant context to help the reader and enrich knowledge for all, including yourself as you write and research to prep for your author debut(s)!

Bonus: Even there is a Google analytics for ebooks – Hiptype. Sign up for their beta version!

Hold your horses…a few tips before you make an ebook:

  • Do not make it too long. Two to ten pages would be fine (but if it’s on the longer end, it should have a lot of visual breaks and comfortably sized text). People want to digest ebooks easily especially for free. Paragraphs, short sentences, quotes that take up half of the page can work. If the reader is serious about investing time and learning, they’re more likely to look for a book to purchase or read longer books and you don’t want to shoot for this the first time.
  • Eye candy. Pictures, quote bubbles and a few bold colors.
  • Ponder about the audience. What problem does your ebook solve? How will it better their lives or business?
  • Have a tweetable and epic title that makes everyone else 1) wish they had thought of it and 2) feel they’re missing out if they don’t download it.
  • Worry about the format later. Get the important stuff out. Hijack your creativity.
  • It HAS to convert to PDF before it’s universally downloadable. Open Office or Word can work just dandy!
  • Good content won’t get anywhere without design to enhance its appeal and readability. Blurb is a stunning hub for self publishers and even includes Instagram, Blog, Facebook or Wedding print books and ebooks.
  • Our own Phil Gerbyshak, a new Steamfeed member, recently came out with an ebook of his own. Check out The Naked Truth of Social Media and you’ll see why a catchy title and graphics will make you go “Oh, I’m SOLD.”
  • Write when you’re actually stoked about the topic!

Who’s excited?? I think ebooks also make a fitting New Year’s resolution…

Guerrilla Marketing: Using OSINT for Target Identification

Ok, so I know that’s a super vague title for a blog post. If we are going to talk about Guerrilla Marketing and how to apply it to your business, we need to first talk about how to determine, find, and target ideal prospects. Remember from my last post, Guerrilla Marketing is “Going after the conventional marketing goals but doing it by using unconventional means and a fair bit of imagination.” So, let’s talk a little bit about how to find your targets using Open Source Intelligence(OSINT)

Planning your operation

With the availability of data, acquiring bulk loads of data is the easy part. Segmenting and sifting through that data is the tedious part. A lot of this tedious work can be circumvented if with proper strategy and planning in your war room.

Narrow your Demographics

Let’s say you sell a software that will help small businesses do a better job with engaging on their social media platforms. So who is your ideal customer? Many consultants would say that any small business needs your service because every small business needs to take an active part in social media now days. Yes, this is true on a surface level, but that doesn’t mean that every business out there is your ideal prospect.

If you are having a hard time figuring out how to narrow your focus, simply make a list of who you would really enjoy having as a client or customer. If you really like working with woman owned businesses, make that your first qualifier. We’re gonna narrow it down even further. Say you were in the military and would like to work with Veterans. Great, now we are only going to be looking Female Veteran owned businesses.Now, we are starting to get somewhere, but we need to analyze further. Are you good at selling yourself over the phone? What about webinars? How about face to face meetings? If all of these are equal strengths for you, great, but if not you need to focus on the area where you excel. See where I’m going with this? Just keep brainstorming so you can further refine your target demographics.

Utilize OSINT for Recon

Cool, so now we know that you want to focus on Female Veteran Owned B2C Business that are active but not entirely successful with their social media in a 50 mile radius of your location. There are many tools out there to help sift data for you. Since we are looking for businesses that are somewhat active with social media, the first tool I would use is FollowerWonk. Even their free version can be extremely helpful, so go plug in basic keywords pertaining to your demographic and they will find only twitter profiles that match your query. Best part is they rank them by influence so it’s easy to get a narrow list. If you aren’t finding enough leads through FollowerWonk, I would recommend doing the same search in Twellow. Twellow is basically the yellow pages of twitter. By now you should have a list of people who fit your demographics. Since we are doing Guerrilla Marketing here, we need to now find out who they are as a person. What are their interests, backgrounds, passions? What is going to be an easy door for you to open to them, so they actually pay attention to your offering? Take the people you find and do searches on them in of course Google and Bing, but for better more personal results I recommend using DuckDuckGo and especially Blekko.

Once you follow these steps, you should be able to identify who would make a great prospect for you, and know enough about them to make engaging and conversation very easy. A tool I recommend that everyone take advantage of is Rapportive. Rapportive is a plug in for Gmail that takes the person whose email address you have and finds every social network profile they have and their latest posts. A great tool for building your lead base if all you have is an email address.

I’m sorry for making this such a long post, but now we have the framework in place to effectively build upon and implement our next steps in Guerrilla Marketing.

What are your favorite tools do to find and identify your ideal prospects? Please leave a comment below