Busting 3 Myths About Investing in Yourself

October 27th, 2013 by Bob Burnham

One of the best investments I’ve ever made was investing in myself. Some people may view what I’m saying as a sheer sales technique but nothing could be further from the truth. My own business transformed dramatically after I invested in myself. It is one strategy that has always given me a big return.

When you keep the flow of money going, you find that whatever you give, you get back. People I have invested money with for programs and products have turned out to be valuable lifelong clients.

For example, my company, Expert Author Publishing, helped publish Lisa Sasevich’s book, The Live Sassy Formula because I invested first in Lisa’s Sassy Mastermind, and I received and continue to receive business from many of the other Sassy entrepreneurs in her Mastermind group.

Read on as I dispel some myths that can hold you back from wealth and self-actualization.

Here are the 3 Common Myths about Investing in Yourself: 

  1. You’ll never get value out of a high-priced program.

    This one couldn’t be further from the truth. If you start buying low-priced programs, most likely the person you’re buying them from isn’t that successful, whereas the people behind the higher-priced programs are more successful, have been doing it longer, and are making more money. They are more likely to teach you about the real ins and outs of creating success for yourself. 

    Someone once said to me, “I don’t want to pay you $300 an hour,” meanwhile they wanted to make $500 an hour. I was thinking, Are you going to pay someone $125 an hour to teach you how to make $500? I don’t think so. It just doesn’t work that way.

  2. I won’t get a return on my investment.

    In the stock market over past decade you’re lucky to get a 2% return. Real estate in the U.S. has been even worse. But every time you invest in yourself it pays big returns over and over again—and nobody can ever take it way from you; not the market, not the economy, not any one expert or boss or corporation—and that’s powerful.

    What you accomplish by writing your own book is amazing. First, it feels so good just spending a day achieving some quality writing. Becoming a published author boosts your esteem sky high, makes you an expert in your field and ups your chances of attracting success. 

    When you invest in yourself, you create your own lifestyle, set your own working hours, open up to more freedom, leisure time and activities with family and friends. This is time you’ll never get back. These are choices you make that nobody can dictate or ever take away from you.

  3. Investing in yourself may work psychologically, but not necessarily monetarily

    Yes, it’s true, the experience of having faith in yourself is not tangible—you can’t touch faith. But you can reach that feeling of becoming competent and unstoppable, which gives you ultimate control because you’re the one who is taking the action that changes your life and the lives of those you love. When you take what you’re learning and act on it, the upside is infinite, the sky is truly the limit.  Psychologically you are saying, “I’m banking on me, I’m doing this for me, I’m putting myself first,” and the world reflects back to you your #1 status.

    Let’s take the example of a dining establishment. You wouldn’t open up a restaurant without any leasehold investments, such as new paint, tables and chairs and kitchen utensils, and say to yourself, “I’ll wait and see if lots of customers come in before I invest in this restaurant.” You invest in the restaurant first because you know that restaurant will be providing for you in the future.

    Seeking employment in these times when standard college courses may not set you apart from the crowd means banking on targeted information for your specific niche. After all, you are unique and special, so treat yourself that way.

If you feel you may have interest in one of the programs I outlined at my event, let’s set up a strategy session to talk about your book, your future and the benefits of investing in yourself.
Let’s chat about YOU.

Your Story is Important

September 1st, 2013 by Bob Burnham

A few weeks ago I read an article by Ty Montague in the Harvard Business Review titled “If You Want to Raise Prices, Tell a Better Story.” In it, he explained that having provenance gives everyday items cachet, which makes people want to buy them. Back in 2006 a New York Times columnist set out to discover what makes one piece or art or pair of shoes or household object more valuable than another. He took a random sample of thrift shop items (all less than $1.00) and asked storytellers to include one object in a story. Then he placed the merchandise on eBay replete with story and watched in astonishment as the value of each object rose spectacularly 2,700%.

How does this concept of value work? Well, back in the 1920s, Alberto Alessi’s grandfather took simple household items such as tea and coffeepots, creamers and sugar bowls and made them iconic. He gave the tradition of gabbing informally over coffee a twist. These coffee sets were modern takes on ancient forms, they oozed style, and were engraved with the company’s distinctive mark. That mark told the story of the Alessi family. These items were made available to middle-class people, allowing the to have modern style and sophistication drinking after-dinner coffee with friends. A slew of famous designers, most recently Michael Graves and Philippe Starck have designed tea kettles for Alessi, with Graves’s designs showing up everywhere from Target to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

We can imagine the impact of the tea set story by asking these simple questions:

How would your grandmother or great-grandmother revere these items back in the 20s?

How would that story be embellished if the tea set had been a wedding gift to your grandmother? What if the gift were from her mother?

How would you cherish these items if they were handed down to you by your precious grandma and sat proudly in your own dining room?

And what if the exact design of your heirloom were in the Museum of Modern Art?

As you can see, this layer of stories makes these items even more precious. The same is true for your own story. The more intricate and astonishing the story you tell about yourself in your own book, the more people will want to read your book. Guy Kawasaki talks about having a relationship with your readers through trust and transparency, by over-delivering and being likeable. People want to follow distinctive or funny people on social media because of the cool factor. Think of someone you know who is just the coolest. Wouldn’t you be thrilled if they wanted to be your friend? Seth Godin even goes so far as saying that people may know all about you and what you have to offer but will still buy your book as a souvenir of the relationship they already have with you (because they think you’re cool).

Establishing that kind of bond with your clients, readers and followers takes mining your life for what makes you unique and not being afraid to share it, because your story can be just as important as the information you impart in your book. It’s about stepping up, branding and becoming known in your field, but also about being honest and authentic at the same time.

My next newsletter will give you tips on how to do that. 

While in Las Vegas for Lisa Sasevich’s Speak-To-Sell event crafting our signature talks, Lisa’s new book The Live Sassy Formula became a #1 best-seller in three categories in the US, three categories in Canada and one category in the UK. This makes Lisa and the 27 Sassies who co-wrote the book international #1 best-selling authors.

At the time of the event, one of the Sassy contributors, Sue Clement, had already gotten a client directly from the book.

Not only is it important to position yourself as a best-selling author, but that event made it evident that one of the most powerful ways you can push your book is to get out there speaking to live audiences.

The biggest tip I could give you from the weekend is to make sure your talk (and your book) is communicating the results or the transformation your readers or audience will receive from you. Instead of focusing on the problem, your book should focus on the solution, and be inbued with an uplifting, positive quality.

Who’s Your Mentor?

July 31st, 2012 by Bob Burnham

As you know if you’ve been reading this newsletter, there have been several Expert Author Publishing Amazon best-seller campaigns in the last several weeks that have been really successful, and we’re going to be doing a best-seller campaign for Lisa on the first day of her event. This is causing so much excitement on the Sassy campus, especially for the 27 Sassies whose real-life stories of how Lisa’s formula worked for them (including mine) are in the book.

I have an insider’s view, being a member Lisa’s Sales and Authenticity Mastermind Group, also known as the Sassy Mastermind. The special Sassy Forum we get to partake in is abuzz with excitement and anticipation for the unveiling of their mentor’s book.

Lisa Sasevich’s business went from $130,000 per year in 2008 to $4 million in 2011. She’s earned $10 million in the last 36 months using the exact same formula she outlines for you in this book.

For me, this all comes down to the importance of working with a good mentor, and we all need good mentors. Mentorship can shave years off your success, with insider’s tips and strategies that save you time, effort, aggravation and money. Isn’t it time you said “yes” to success?

My own business expanded exponentially when I became a Sassy, and the same thing can happen to you when you sign up for my own Expert Author Publishing Mastermind and discover how writing the right book as an expert and marketing it the smart way can transform your business.

Don’t Write The Wrong Book!

July 17th, 2012 by Bob Burnham

Coaches, Speakers, Entrepreneurs, Consultants, you don’t want to just write any book, you want to write a book that explains your methods, that’s totally congruent with your business and that will attract people you can serve in a deeper way. These people will want to take your information further.

Any book or memoir about what’s happened in your childhood cannot become your main focus, what you really need is a 3, 5 or 7-step system. Preferably you will want to give that system an acronym or something distinctive to really OWN IT. The idea is to make your book the only place where readers can get that information.

Whether it’s 3, 5 or 7 steps, your clients will not be able to get it anywhere else because it’s YOUR system. This means your competition becomes irrelevant.

Here are 5 tips to writing a successful book:

  1. Don’t give everything away. Give valuable steps, but be sure to save enough content-rich information for when readers pursue you, become clients and sign up for the products or programs that are an extension of your 3, 5 or 7 steps.
  2. You do want to showcase your personality, with your own personal stories of how you came up with this method because this helps your “know, like and trust factor.” It’s so valuable to resonate with your reader, but do not get too bogged down in your personal story.
  3. Strike the right tone. You don’t want to come off as lecturing. Although you’re the authority, strive more for “I’ve been there too and this is how I rose above it.” In other words, be “relate-able.”
  4. Include a call to action in your book. Have an offer or free gift to invite your readers to take it to the next step. Tell them how to get a free gift off your website, or how to have a session with you. It’s important to have a mechanism in place to get their email contact information.
  5. Before, during and after you write your book, always be cognizant of collecting testimonials. At one of the workshops I do regularly, someone will come up to one of my authors and say, “Oh I read your book, it helped me so much with [fill in the blank]. Thank you.” And the author will say, “You’re welcome.”

They just missed a perfect opportunity. The person is right there with love ready to give them a testimonial. So when you get a compliment, don’t be too shy to ask for the testimonial. 99.9% of people will say yes.

Remember too, that if that person has their own book or business, they are getting name recognition from their testimonial in your book, on your website and other marketing materials.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to making a business out of your book.

As an Amazon Best Selling Author, you will enjoy 5 immensely important benefits:

  1. Credibility and Exposure—Your book and your name are publicized, making it easier for readers to find you!
  2. #1 Best Seller Bragging Rights—You’ll be able to add the “#1 Amazon Best Seller” designation to later editions of your book.
  3. Professional Success and More Money—#1 Best Selling Authors tend to attract better, higher-paying and more seriously invested clients.
  4. Increased Speaking Gigs—You’ll have more opportunities to speak at lucrative and prestigious events because you gain entry as the author of a #1 Best Seller.
  5. Better Than A Book Party—An Amazon Best Seller campaign is a much better investment than having a book signing party. While the party is fun, if you were to apply the cost to a campaign, you’d gain speaking engagements and better clients who will invest in your book and the programs and products that come from your book.

We’ve got quite a success story to share with Marina Dufort’s book. Marina Mermaid, as she is known, had a bestseller campaign last week and here are the results for Aromatherapy Secrets for Wellness:

The book made #1 in the Aromatherapy category
#1 in Disorders and Diseases
#1 in Chronic Pain
#1 in Stress

On the day of the campaign, the book hit #3 in overall book sales for Amazon.ca (Amazon Canada) and #9 in overall book sales the following day.

Marina’s book surpassed even Steve Jobs’ biography and The Hunger Games!

Aromatherapy Secrets for Wellness also made the list of Movers and Shakers . . . Even the day following the launch, Marina took the #5 spot in Movers and Shakers and made the list of the biggest gainers in book sales ranked over the past 24 hours.

Book Titles That Sell

June 19th, 2012 by Bob Burnham

One of my clients called me from South Carolina, so excited that his book is finished. I asked him, “What’s the title?” He said “I Survived.”

“Wow, you survived. What did you survive—car accident, cancer, divorce?”

He said, “No, I survived depression.”

“Then why don’t you title your book How I Survived Depression, 7 Simple Secrets to Happiness and Bliss?”

People are looking for books on depression and they’re not searching for “I survived” hoping a book on depression pops up.

Quite often now people are using search engines like Google to search terms, but they also search online bookstores using keyword phrases. So if they are searching for a book on depression, most likely they will be searching for the word “depression.”

I spoke with another client who told me he was searching Amazon looking for a book on how to write screenplays. He put in the search box “How to write a screenplay” and the very first book that came up had the title How to Write a Screenplay. I asked him if he bought the book and he said yes. I told him, “That author is probably doing very well.”

If you can get your keywords in your title, it makes it simple for everybody. You want to have a hooky title to grab potential readers by the eyeballs. Remember, you only have 10 or 20 second to hook them in, and it’s incumbent upon you to do that, because if they don’t buy your book, they lose out on your information and you lose out on the sale.

The other part of titling is the subtitle. This should reveal the transformation or the results your reader will get from your book, also known as “the promise.” For my book, the subtitle is How to Make a Six Figure Income by Writing and Publishing Your Own Book.

Whatever your promise is, put it in the subtitle. If you can put keywords in there, all the better, because right now, as you’re reading this, people are searching for your book. Make it easy for them. Use keywords in your title and subtitle.

For many authors the idea of writing a book is so colossal that they get stuck in overwhelm. Here are some tips that allow you to take it one bit at a time:

  • Your first book only has to be 100 to 120 pages. Short books get to the point and readers enjoy the satisfaction of finishing a book in a timely manner.
  • Craft your chapter titles first. Sit down and write them out in one sitting. Then write a small paragraph or a few bullet points under each title. If you join one of my writing and publishing programs, we help you tweak your chapter titles so people want to buy the book just from looking at the Table of Contents on Amazon.
  • For a book of 120 pages, you only need eight to 10 chapters. When you work with me at Expert Author Publishing, you receive a Book Template to guide you in writing your non-fiction book.
  • Feel free to write your book in any order. Some people start with the last chapter and direct everything toward their stunning conclusion. Others begin with the easiest chapter, the pivotal chapter or the one they are most excited about.
  • Write your book in a conversational style that is easy to read. No jargon, no fancy words they have to look up and no confusion!
  • Write ½ hour every day to keep the momentum going.
  • Resist the temptation to edit while writing! This stops you in your tracks and it’s a disservice to you because it’s much better to read it fresh after you’ve had some time away. You’ll have a new perspective on your work.
  • Celebrate your work and congratulate yourself along the way. Sip your favorite tea or give yourself some kind of treat when you finish your writing for the day.

Speaking Brings Book Sales

May 15th, 2012 by Bob Burnham

I had a recent conversation with a publisher who has a gigantic warehouse where he stores the books he prints for his authors. (One author ordered 30,000 books!) We chatted for a while, and even though we have different approaches to self-publishing (I believe print-on-demand books are the easiest, cheapest and smartest way to publish), we both agreed on many points:

  • There is no need to print hundreds or thousands of books and then find a place to store them. When you publish your book with print on demand, a bookstore can look it up on their computer, and if they don’t carry it, they will order it for you. If any bookstore finds they are getting more and more orders for a certain book, they will start stocking it because it’s worthwhile having it in their bookstore for their customers.
  • Writing the book seems to be the easiest part of the publishing process for many people. I have authors who say to me, “I love writing, but I won’t do any promoting or marketing.” The bottom line is it’s essential to promote your book. No one else can do it as well as you can.
  • The absolute smartest way to succeed with your non-fiction book is to get out there and speak. Live speaking, where potential readers get to see you and meet you is the best exposure. You can also be a guest on radio shows, advertise your talks with social networking, and speak any way you can – on You Tube, on tele-seminars or on other people’s stages or online offerings.
  • The major publishers, unless you are a huge name, really aren’t doing much to help promote books, and they don’t offer much (sometimes nothing) in the way of a publicity budget. Honestly, you’ll find that no matter what, you still have to promote your own book, but the good news is that’s the best way to sell products and programs based on your book.
  • Even someone like Wayne Dyer travels and speaks and does publicity for every book he writes. Of course he’s got a name and his books have outstanding content, but publishers also know that Wayne Dyer is going to promote his books. Any publisher would jump at the chance of publishing Dyer because he’s a good promoter and an excellent speaker.

Smart authors know that print on demand and live speaking are two of the best and most economical ways of getting known, selling books and selling the products and programs that come from your book. It’s an absolute winning formula for success.

Say you want your book to look a certain way and you’re willing to pay for it. Here are some things to consider:

  • Done right, you cannot tell a print-on-demand book from a traditionally printed book. If you do pay more for embossing, you’re still making $2 to $4 on your book just like every other author (even if they’re published by a major publisher). Are these embellishments really worth it?
  • A bookstore is the worst place to sell your book. Many writers think getting into a bookstore is the key to selling their book, but unless somebody knows about you and they are heading to a bookstore specifically to purchase your book, chances are your book is not going to be noticed – fancy deluxe cover or not.
  • Many writers are still in the old mindset of having their books printed and stored. Print on demand is so much easier and smarter. Plus, with more people getting content downloaded to iPads and Kindles, you won’t need as many physical books.
  • The advantages to print on demand are that you don’t have to print and stock a huge amount of books. If you arrange print on demand properly, you stay available everywhere, in tens of thousands of online bookstore computer systems all over the world. It’s economical because your book is only printed when it’s sold. Everywhere you speak or talk about your book throughout the world, your book will be available. Any bookstore will find it on their computer and order it for your readers.
  • Remember also you’ll be on Amazon – so you won’t have to ship the book yourself.
  • When you publish through Expert Author Publishing, you can order 100 or 150 print-on-demand books when you have a speaking engagement (and the more you order, the cheaper it is per book).
  • Ultimately, even if you have a vision of your book that’s unique and beautiful and costly, you can still publish that version when you’re making more money on your book down the line.

Self-publishing can be a daunting and confusing process. Next week I’ll reveal more insider tips to help you publish your book the smart, easy and economical way.

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