HigherLife Blog

Great reads for Christmas!

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Click here to purchase Kris -by JJ Ruscella

Click here to purchase Tales of the Tic Toc Time Traveler: St. Nicholas’s Secret

Wishing you and yours a
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Staying One Step Ahead Global Investor’s Conference

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Saturday & Sunday * December 7 & 8 Orlando, Florida
Orlando Airport Marriott

Click here to reserve your seat!

Ryan is the host and main speaker for the “Staying One Step Ahead Global Investor’s Conference.” He is the co-founder of the SmithCompanies.com and has almost 20 years of experience as a successful investor and entrepreneur. In addition to this, Ryan has extensive experience as a businessman. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of a privately-held software company as well as Chief Technology Officer for a world-wide content distribution firm.

As a nationally recognized speaker and trainer, Ryan has shared stages with well-known figures such as General Colin Powell, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Zig Ziglar and many other notable speakers. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and is a sought out expert regarding the economy and how to prepare financially for the future.

Ryan is totally committed to giving back to community and country. He has stated, “We are profitable through service and remain profitable through giving. We feel strongly that we are a small part of a larger movement to give back.”

Ryan’s mission statement is: “We are working to change lives through service. Service begets trust. Trust opens doors to education. Education practiced, results in knowledge and that leads to life changing experiences.”

Ryan is looking forward to meeting you personally and helping you achieve your financial dreams

For more information click here

#6 Begin to Get Endorsements

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Endorsements are a big deal unless you are already quite famous in your own right. Most of the people you want to reach with your message don’t know you, so why should they drop $15-$25 bucks to purchase what you have to say? Sure your title and topic (hopefully) grabbed their attention, but we all have a built in skepticism – especially of people we don’t know. By publishing the endorsement of others, ideally people more well-known than you, you are helping to allay that skepticism and break down the barriers that might keep someone from buying your book.

A couple key points to consider:

1. Get endorsements from people who have a larger sphere of influence than yours.

2. It’s fine to get endorsements from people who are thought leaders in different domains of culture. For example, work to get an endorsement from someone well respected in the business world, the political world, sports, entertainment, education, philanthropy, religion, science. Just because your book may be about cooking, doesn’t mean all your endorsements should be from other chefs.

3. Even if you don’t know any famous or well-known people who you can ask to endorse your book, just getting endorsements from others who have read your book (or at least skimmed it) and who are willing to say that it’s a helpful message will help you.

I like to see several pages of endorsement published right in the front pages of a book. If you have a particularly strong endorsement, it may be wise to print it on the front or back cover of your book.

If you need help in gaining endorsements, or how best to use them, call us. We’d be glad to help.
each with your message don’t know you, so why should they drop $15-$25 bucks to purchase what you have to say? Sure your title and topic (hopefully) grabbed their attention, but we all have a built in skepticism – especially of people we don’t know. By publishing the endorsement of others, ideally people more well-known than you, you are helping to allay that skepticism and break down the barriers that might keep someone from buying your book.

A couple key points to consider:

1. Get endorsements from people who have a larger sphere of influence than yours.

2. It’s fine to get endorsements from people who are thought leaders in different domains of culture. For example, work to get an endorsement from someone well respected in the business world, the political world, sports, entertainment, education, philanthropy, religion, science. Just because your book may be about cooking, doesn’t mean all your endorsements should be from other chefs.

3. Even if you don’t know any famous or well-known people who you can ask to endorse your book, just getting endorsements from others who have read your book (or at least skimmed it) and who are willing to say that it’s a helpful message will help you.

I like to see several pages of endorsement published right in the front pages of a book. If you have a particularly strong endorsement, it may be wise to print it on the front or back cover of your book.

If you need help in gaining endorsements, or how best to use them, call us. We’d be glad to help.

#5 Establish a Publicity Strategy

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Strictly speaking, publicity doesn’t sell books. It’s not one of your four main sales channels. But publicity is incredibly important in terms of creating awareness of you and your book and is a very effective strategy to incorporate into the overall mix of your marketing and sales efforts.

In general you want to use publicity for the following:

1. To make people aware of your book’s message and how it will help them

2. To establish you as a credible “thought leader” about your topic

The results you want to see from your publicity efforts should be:

1. An endorsement or plug for you or your book (e.g., a positive book review)

2. A forum to talk about your message and the benefit it brings the reader (e.g., an article quote, a radio interview, a television interview, a speaking engagement)

The best way to get significant publicity for you and your book is to hire a publicist or publicity firm to work with you. Most typically a publicist will want a 4-6 month engagement to bother working with you. At HigherLife we’ve vetted several top publicity firms and can set you up with one that will meet your needs and fit within your budget.

Some publicity strategies may focus on generating internet connections for you, getting popular bloggers to write about your book or excerpt your book as a guest blog. Other publicists are stronger in getting radio and television interviews set up for you. Still others specialize in generating newspaper and magazine articles about you and your message. Ideally you want to get as much publicity as possible.

One key to remember though…in every media engagement you get, always make sure you have a strong call to action. Make sure you do or say something that will motivate the audience to respond. Just because you are interviewed on Good Morning America or some major media outlet, no matter how charming or engaging you are, if the interview doesn’t motivate people to call in to order your book, or go on line to order it, pick up a copy at the local bookstore or download the eBook, then all that publicity, while great for your ego, doesn’t translate into book sales!

#4 Buy Multiple Domains

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Even if you already have a personal or professional website, it is a great idea to purchase multiple web domain names for your book. You can then develop multiple micro-sites that each share content from your book or you can have one primary website with multiple URLs that point to that same site. Depending upon your topic and strategy, either can work. You want to make it as easy as possible for a potential buyer/reader to find your book and you.

Buying website names is both easy and challenging. The actual process of searching and purchasing a website URL is easy. At HigherLife we can do this for you or you can go to a website such as www.godaddy.com to purchase your domain names. At the same time, getting the right domain name is challenging because you may quickly discover that “all the good ones are taken”. Well, all the “good” ones aren’t taken, but most of the obvious ones are. It is time to put on your creative hat again and get brainstorming.

Think of all the creative ways to incorporate your book title, as well as your message, into your domain name. Don’t forget to think not only of the title of your book but the message and benefit of your book. For example, if you have written a book about goat farming, www.goatfarming.com is likely taken. But how about www.goatfarmingforprofit.com or www.goatfarminigsecrets.com or www.theincrediblegoatfarmer.com or www.goatfarmuniversity.com or www.yourgoatfarmingbusiness.com? You get my point.

It is possible to buy a domain name already owned by someone else. If you just know in your heart that you have the perfect domain name, but someone has already purchased it, all hope is not lost. Many people purchase domain names in bulk speculating that someone will want it down the line, and be willing to pay for it. Generally, the shorter names are more expensive, while longer, more convoluted are less expensive. First, go to the website. If it is a genuine business that is currently in operation, you are likely out of luck, but if you don’t find an actual business, then find out who owns the domain (www.whois.net) and approach them with an offer. As with any business transaction, approach it with discretion and a reasonable amount of caution.

#2 Develop a Strategic Branding/Marketing Plan

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Often I meet an author and ask them how they plan to market and sell their book. You’d be surprised how many times I hear a response something like this: “Right now I’m not thinking about that. I am just focused on getting my book published!” My response is always the same – “Well, you need to be thinking about how you are going to sell your book!”
No matter how compelling, people today are busy, distracted, often overwhelmed. Your message is competing for their attention and unless you’ve got tons of money to burn in attracting the attention of your reading audience, you need a plan.
Right now, while your book is still in development and your release date is still probably a few months off, take time to draft a strategic marketing plan!

You will sell your book in four main ways:
1. Through the internet
2. Through bookstores
3. At events where you may be present as a speaker or exhibitor
4. Through other non-bookstore retail outlets or organizations.

As a starting point in your strategic marketing plan, take time to work out these areas:
a) What will be the price points at which you sell your book
b) What is the central benefit your book offers the reader. You need to be very clear in presenting this through all your marketing efforts
c) What special offers or incentives can you offer your reader that will motivate them to stop what they are doing and order your book right now, rather than waiting until later.
d) Define who will be your most likely reader — your target audience.

Once you have your answers, then you can begin to start thinking through and listing all the things you plan to do to get your book in front of your potential readers.

If you need help developing your marketing strategy and plan, call us. We can help you move from general ideas to specific strategies that are both executable and measurable.

Insider Report #1

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As you begin your publishing journey, make sure you stay on track by establishing what I call a “Publishing Playbook”. This is a summary document where you outline basic information about your book, your audience and your message.

In your playbook answer these questions:

1. Why am I writing this book? Answer candidly and date it. It’s important that you have a clear handle on your motivations for writing this book. What will determine if you are successful? The fact that you wrote it? If it sells a million copies? If your mother loves it?

2. Who is your intended audience? Describe the typical person to whom you are writing. What is their age, gender, ethnicity, social/economic status? What are the common areas of influence that bind them together? Even if your message will have appeal to a wide segment of the population, for this exercise, identify who you think will be the most likely reader of your book. Don’t think about a generic, general audience of people. Think about a specific person.

3. What is the central benefit to the reader? Your focus here is not on what’s in your book or what your book is about but how your book will help the reader. How will your message help make their life better? Will it make them smarter, sexier, thinner, happier, or richer? You need to be very clear about what your book promises to do for the reader.

4. What is the unique message of your book? What you are going to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before or how are you going to say it differently? How are you going to make your book compelling to read?

5. What marketing opportunities do you bring to the table? Nobody-not your publisher, not your publicist, not your best friend-nobody should be more passionate than you about seeing your message get into the hands of the people who need it most. You must be your greatest cheerleader for your message. So decide right up front that you’re going to do whatever it takes to get your message out into the marketplace.

The “New” SEO

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Some of us are just now getting up to speed on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is the process by which we design our websites so that an individual searching for us, our product or service, or just wanting to know what we know can find us easily. I recently typed into Google “running a bed and breakfast” and came up with over 17,000,000 hits. Yes, that is seventeen MILLION hits! How, if you have a book about your experiences running a bed and breakfast, are you going to appear in the top of that very long list? And if you’re like me, you probably don’t bother looking at sites past the first page or two on any search you run.

But SEO is a constantly changing and evolving thing. It used to be you would load your website with key words and phrases that internet searchers were using and make sure your content was updated frequently. Those two activities were sufficient enough to raise your internet profile. Not anymore.

Google is on the move with a series of top-secret algorithms they have code named “Panda” and “Penguin”. The focus now is on quality rather than quantity (of key words in this case). So how do you make sure your website is providing the quality that Google values? Well, it will take much more than a short blog to answer that, but here are some simple tips:

• Make your website all about the visitor – what you can do for them rather than how wonderful you are (which I’m sure you are)
• Short statements rank far higher than large blocks of text
• Photos and graphics over words
• Use as simple language as you can to convey your message
• Go beyond fact and make your customers emotionally connect with you or your message
• Create as many backlinks to your website as possible.

As more and more people turn to the internet to search for information on products and services, and as more and more companies payour more and more attention to internet marketing, search engine companies such as Google, Yahoo and others are forced to keep updating their formulas and strategies.

I’m as baffled as you are at how Google is accomplishing this feat, but they are. It is critical that we respond to the changing landscape to make sure our messages are getting out loud and clear – with lots of photos, simple language and an emotional hook, of course.

My Top Ten Character Traits for Success

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For years, I’ve conducted new employee orientations and have shared with new-hires the core values I’ve observed that make for a stand-out person. I believe operating by these principles with bring you a higher level of influence, impact, and satisfaction.

So here goes … “Dave’s Top 10 Traits of Success”:

1. Diligence. Work hard. Exceed expectations. Go the extra mile. Give more than you take.

2. Initiative. Don’t wait to be told what to do. Look for the need and meet it. Find ways to increase your value. Be a problem solver.

3. Resourcefulness. Find alternative ways around the mountain. Be an independent thinker. Figure things out on your own.

4. Humility. Don’t take the glory for yourself. Share your success with others. Recognize your dependence on God and others. Live in reality.

5. Be teachable. Stay open to new ways of doing things. Don’t rely on past experience alone. Your way may not always be the best way.

6. Believe the best in others. Be a “glass half-full” kind of person. Look for ways to affirm others. Be an encourager. Assume the best in people.

7. Choose not to be offended. Don’t let others’ actions, opinions, or attitudes derail you. Don’t live with an offense, and don’t pick up another’s offense. Move on.

8. Stay motivated. Find ways to stay charged up. Set goals and move toward them. Don’t wait for circumstances to be ideal in order to remain positive.

9. Have integrity. Keep your word. Do what you say you’ll do. Be trustworthy with responsibility. Keep confidences. Don’t gossip. Show up on time.

10. Don’t depend solely on yourself. A person who understands his or her need for God and looks to God for direction is wiser and stronger than the person trying to prove something to others. Even Jesus did what he saw his Father doing and lived to bring glory to God.

Well, there you have it. Dave’s top 10 traits for success. I hope you found something of value to chew on. Until next time . . .

The Missing Link in Most Marketing Efforts

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The other day, I ran into one of our author clients at a charity event.  He said, “The publicist you connected me with is doing a great job of getting me media engagements but it’s not translating into people buying my books.”  Sound familiar?  You see marketing’s job, well good marketing, is to not only connect you with the right target audience, not only convey the core benefits that you have to offer, but do so in a way that compels them to respond.  Getting media exposure and creating brand awareness are good things…but at the end of the day, if they don’t translate into a sale, something’s wrong.

You have to remember that humans are subject to a law of physics called inertia.  Inertia essentially says that objects tend to stay in their present state until an overwhelming force causes them to do otherwise.  In marketing lingo, that means people essentially resist change and don’t want to make the commitment to buy something, to change their status, to let go of their hard-earned lunch money unless you give them an overwhelmingly compelling reason to do so. You have to give them a convincing “call to action” that moves them to respond.  You have to take away all their objections, and the little voices inside their head that tell them that it’s easier to do nothing than to pick up the phone and call or go on line and click or stand at the book table and pull out their credit card.

So how do you do that?  How do you move someone who likes your message, who suspects that if they read your book or bought your product, they’d be better off, how do you get them to actually buy?  Entire seminars are devoted to this topic, but here are a few very simple principles to try:

1. Make sure before you start your presentation or interview, you state clearly that you have authored this book (and hold it up it), explain in a simple “elevator speech” who the message is for and how it will help them, and that what you are about to share is a small sample of that information.  Connect the dots between your presentation and your product.  The more often you can make this connection, the better.

2. Be clear about how they can get the book, don’t be shy in specifically telling your audience what you want them to do and how to do it.  For example: “If you’d like to put these proven principles to work in your own life, all you have to do is go to my website at www.letmehelpyou.com and click on the special offer.”  Don’t assume your audience knows what to do.

3.  Give them some kind of time-sensitive incentive to buy now as opposed to later.  For example: “As my thank you for attending this seminar, I’ve agreed to give everyone who buys my book today, a copy of my bonus report “10 More Ways I Can Help You”.  You can take this bonus report home with you today.”

You wrote your book and created your message to bring value to people’s lives.  Now don’t be bashful in helping your audience get past their inertia and make the good decision to BUY!

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