Today I’m sharing a conversation I had with my friend Charles Kirkland. He’s an expert on paid media. He goes over everything from where to start with little to no budget, why it’s important to get your numbers right, and how you can be reaching out to your ideal audience on LinkedIn.
This was such a great conversation, I really learned a lot and I think you will too. It’s so jam-packed with awesome information, that I think I’ll have to do a follow-up talk with him to go more in-depth.
So without further or do, let’s jump into it…
ROB: Thank you for being here Charles! Let’s jump in.
Let’s use my book, “Publish, Promote, Profit” as an example. Where would you begin in terms of paid media?
CHARLES: First we would want to take a look at your numbers.
In many cases, authors and business owners choose to rely on front end sales to break even and pay for traffic. That works to some extent, but few people can make it work on a bigger scale.
So if you have say, 10,000 followers on Twitter you can share your book there and on any other platforms you use. You’ll suck in the low hanging fruit of the people who are your more hardcore fans.
However, you’ll quickly run out of those types of fans and that’s where a lot of people make their biggest mistake. They assume that since they have thousands of followers, all of them will buy.
Then they find out that’s not how it works.
How much does your book cost Rob?
ROB: It’s $24.95 on Amazon.
CHARLES: Alright we’re going to pretend that you’re going to get the full $24.95 from each sale and no one else is getting any part of that.
So our next step is to make sure there’s an upsell.
For “Publish, Promote, Profit” the upsell will be a $97 workbook.
Then there will be a thank-you page with an offer for one hour of coaching with Rob which costs $497.
For the sake of this example, let’s say 10% of the people who purchased the book buy the first upsell for $97, and then 1% of those people purchase the coaching session for $497.
We’d put these numbers into a spreadsheet and keep tweaking and testing until we can make the numbers work in a way we want to.
If Rob’s goal is to make each click cost $2 and he has a 5% conversion, we’ll have to figure out if that will work based on his current numbers.
If it doesn’t work, we start to look for solutions.
We could try a free plus shipping funnel, create more upsells, change the coaching offer from one hour for $497, to three hours for $1,000.
We want to do whatever we can to make the numbers work.
ROB: Can I just recap before you go on?
So you’re saying it’s basically a math equation, right?
The math has to work before you ever worry about what’s being sold.
Here at Best Seller Publishing, we do lose money on our book because the conversion rates on our high ticket at the back end work out.
We know we can lose that money on the book and still crush our competitors.
Because our back end offer is big, it compensates for the losses on the front end.
CHARLES: Yep, exactly.
So if everything works out mathematically, one of the next things we’ll look at is how long it will take to break even.
If someone isn’t breaking even today, tomorrow, or next week, we want to make sure that within a finite period, they will.
We like to work out the worst possible scenarios and the best possible scenarios. When you put those together, you start developing.
So Rob, if you want to take your book to LinkedIn, we’ll want to figure out what you’ll need to pay per click to make it work. The same goes for Facebook, Google, and any other platform.
If someone is on Facebook, they might not know how to find a solution to their problem of wanting to become a best selling author, so you’ll want to target them directly with paid ads.
Often on Facebook, we’ll use lower-priced funnels in the front end to accelerate that.
On Google, it’s easier to start out with a higher-priced offer on the front end because there’s a definite intent by the potential customer. They’re able to search directly to find out how to become a best selling author.
You can also start with a higher offer on LinkedIn because you can target a specific group.
Let’s say on LinkedIn you want to target CEOs. Most people will have one ad that says everything (buy my book, buy my class, etc.).
When targeting CEOs you’ll want to emphasize your ROI. Whereas if you were targeting coaches or consultants, you’ll want to show how you can help them make more money, work less, find more freedom, and create their dream lifestyle.
The more you can talk to your ideal audience directly, the more success you’ll receive.
When creating an ad, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:
- Is this relevant to my prospective clients?
- Would this be valuable to them?
The more you can micro-segment this, the higher the conversion rates will go.
ROB: Alright let’s break all of that down.
So you’re saying every search engine is nuanced.
When someone’s on Facebook, they’re not necessarily searching for how to become a best selling author. They’re looking for funny cat videos and whatever they’re friends are up to.
So you’ll want to use messaging that catches their eye because maybe someone will see it who didn’t have an initial intent of going onto Facebook to figure out how to become a best selling author, but after seeing your ad, they realized they wanted to so they’ll click through.
On Google, you said ad words are typically more expensive than Facebook, but someone is typically searching for a specific thing, such as “how to become a best selling author,” “how to write a best selling book,” “how to publish my book,” “how to market my book,” etc.
Because someone’s intent on Google is more specific, that makes them a super hot lead.
Something you said that I thought was brilliant is that marketers can get lazy and will often go for the low hanging fruit, but when I get niche my target and speak directly to them, I’m going to do a lot better.
Speaking directly to my target matters more than just throwing a book at them and hoping it’ll catch their eye.
CHARLES: That’s right.
So let’s take it a step further.
If you create an ad on Google that’s super generic such as, “Become a best selling author.”
Any and everyone will click that which means people who will not be interested in going further with you into coaching and consulting will be clicking, which will cost you money.
So you want to disqualify them.
Do you want people that make less than $50,000 a year? Or people who make six figures?
What age is your ideal demographic?
You want to be as specific as possible so you get conversions.
ROB: I totally agree.
I’d like to go a few steps back to make sure we don’t lose anyone who doesn’t understand some of this more in-depth stuff.
I know you’ve been in this business since 1999 so it’s certainly not overwhelming to you anymore, but it may be for people who are just stepping into this.
So where would you say is the best place to start?
Let’s take my typical client, which is an entrepreneur. They’ve written a book on their space and they’re ready to use it to bring in customers for their “thing” (coaching, consulting, or some other service they’re providing).
What do you think is the best and the easiest way to get started?
CHARLES: Alright, give me a budget. How much can you spend per month? It can be as little as $50, or as much as you want to spend.
ROB: Let’s say $1,000.
The first thing we want to do is make sure we have optimized your LinkedIn profile using all of your keywords because that’s free.
ROB: That makes sense.
CHARLES: Then, as we start using paid traffic, we can work off of that existing base.
You want to make sure your LinkedIn profile has a catchy name. You also want to make sure your keywords are sprinkled throughout your copy.
It’s important to note that your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t just be your resume. When you have a thousand other people saying they’re a “doctor, a CPA, and an all-around great dad,” that doesn’t help you stand out.
I would much rather see you say, “I help people become best selling authors using a three-step system that allows experts to increase their knowledge, increase their brand value, and build a personal brand” so it’s about them, not about you.
No one is interested in your previous education. They want to know what’s in it for them.
You want to make sure you have good, clean photos. I don’t think I should have to say this, but you want to use the same profile picture on Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
Because you want to be consistent. If someone sees you on LinkedIn today, and then they see you on Facebook a few days from now, you want them to recognize you. Using the same profile picture is the easiest way to do that.
If your monthly budget is small for paid advertising, you also want to make sure you have impressive-looking headers on your social profiles.
If you’re focusing on your book offer right now, that would be a great thing to include into your headers.
Once all of that is sorted out, it’s time to get some traction.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to record a video.
You can do this quickly on your phone. I’d suggest shooting it facing a window so you can get some great natural light.
It doesn’t need to be a long video, just something brief where you can introduce yourself and say a little bit about what you do.
Then you’ll upload it to your social profiles and make sure you tag it.
This video, along with some great photos of you, and some good copy, will help someone get an idea of who you are and what you do.
You’ll also want to make sure you have a website.
The reality is, that you at least need a single landing page. If you’ve got more, that’s great, but on a $1,000 budget, something simple will do just fine.
There are plenty of free tools to put together a website. You can use Fiverr to buy some great cheap graphics, which is worth it if you aren’t great at doing your own.
Once you have your site set up, that’s where the magic begins.
Now you’ll want to set up some ads.
If you google your name and you’re not the first person who pops up, that’s not good.
No one is going to go to the second or third page of the Google search.
If I type in your name, I want to go directly to your website or I want to be taken to a page where I can purchase your book.
The next question is, how can you get free publicity?
One of the best ways is to search for people who are in your niche or already have your ideal customers and do a simple outreach. My favorite way to do this is through podcasts.
Tell them you just published, or are getting ready to publish a book that would serve their audience/would be a great fit for their particular niche. If you feel comfortable speaking, I would also suggest offering yourself to be a guest on their show.
Once you’re ready to start paying for ads, you want to narrow in on a few things…
- What does your potential client already believe?
- What do you need to say to make them believe they need your product/service?
The faster you can make them agree with you on a statement, the faster you can get them to purchase your book, which will take them through your funnel.
This is where you play around with copy to find what will work for you and your audience.
For Rob, I would suggest something like…
“Do you ever struggle because you can’t seem to get enough coaching and consulting patients or clients?”
“Do you feel like your income is a roller coaster because you get somebody today, you work like a dog all month, then next month you have to start all over when the project’s done?”
What problems are your potential clients facing?
If you do this correctly, people will click through.
ROB: That’s great.
I love how you talked about LinkedIn first because that is actually where most of my clients are. That’s where the experts are.
What do you think about someone putting a website up for their book? Can someone optimize that?
CHARLES: That’s a great way to think about it.
If someone already has their own personal website up, but they don’t have anything on it in regards to their book, why not give the book its own website?
I think that’s an awesome idea.
ROB: So can you go a little deeper into writing an ad and address how someone can tackle speaking to their ideal client?
Let’s say we’re targeting an attorney or CPA.
I would first suggest using the software Duck Soup, which allows you to pull someone’s name, email and phone number from LinkedIn. You don’t even need to be connected with someone to pull this info from their profile.
You can do this every week. So for example, we’ve used Duck Soup and pulled together a list of 1,000 attorneys. In addition to contact info, you’ll also be able to see how long they’ve been in practice and even their company size.
From here I would suggest reaching out to 20 or 30 people asking them what their biggest problems are. When you do this from a genuine place and tell them what you’re doing, you’ll get a great response.
For Best Seller Publishing we’d want to say something like…
“Hey, this is Charles from Best Seller Publishing. We’re doing a survey on what the three biggest problems that attorneys face, click the link to take a survey.”
You can make this a Google form and you don’t even need to collect their name and email.
All you want are their answers. When people tell you what their problems are, it automatically positions you as an expert.
From there you can start crafting emails to these people individually thanking them for taking the survey.
The key is that until you know your ideal client’s biggest problems, you won’t know how to make ads that speak to them.
ROB: That’s gold.
I didn’t know Duck Soup existed. That sounds like a great software.
So when you’re doing all of this, you’re really doing two things:
- The surface level part where they’re telling you their problem, which positions you as the expert.
- This meta part where you’re solving your problem of not knowing how to communicate your product/service/solution to them and now, they’re giving you the answer to what you need to know in their own words.
This allows you to market to a larger audience of attorneys, outside of the thousand who’s info you downloaded from LinkedIn.
You can even take it a step further with the people you shared the survey with. When they click onto the email that takes them to the survey, you can drop what’s called a “Remarketing Pixel” which means they’ll start seeing my face nonstop because they’ve interacted with my site. So now they’re seeing my image, banner, and logo everywhere.
So remember, you become the expert when someone confides in you and shares their problems. Then, like you mentioned Rob, with the Remarketing Pixel, they start seeing you everywhere.
Think about it, would you take a call from someone you’ve seen a hundred times?
ROB: This has been so great. Thanks for sharing all of this. You’ve covered so much that I think we’ll have to have you back.
But for now, I think this is a great place to end.
You can find Charles’ contact info below.
Connect with Charles
MediaBuyerAssociation.com | Charlie@mediabuyerassociation.com