I was recently sitting with a group of business owners talking about the value of producing content.
Specifically, content that primes and educates the market to their philosophies, methods, approach and experiences in solving the market’s problems. They all intellectually understood they needed to produce more content. Content marketing. I’m going to vomit if I hear that phrase again. Of course, that phrase is well and truly engrained in the vernacular of marketers and entrepreneurs alike today. Yet, they still weren’t producing it.
Why? I asked.
‘We don’t have time’
‘We’re too busy fighting fires day to day in our business to do it’
‘I really wouldn’t know where to start’ said another.
And so we started to unpack it. I was curious to really get to the heart of why they weren’t acting on something they knew they should. Where was the friction?
And I realised, like in my business, if it’s not directly linked to cash – it gets bumped down the list.
From my perspective, I see content in all forms – written, audio, visual, video – bringing cash into our business every day of the week. We couldn’t operate at the scale and efficiency we do without it. It was a no-brainer to me, yet it dawned on me if you’re not connected to the numbers, you’re disconnected to the value.
So let’s crunch some numbers.
How many additional clients would you need a month to transform your business?
I’ll let you ponder that question. In the meantime, here’s an example.
Imagine your core business and therefore average sale is selling a $10K website package. You’re currently selling 8 of those per month, or 2 a week. Now I want you to imagine you increased that number from 2 to just 3 per week. I.e. 12 per month.
4 (additional packages) x $10K = $40K/month or $480K per year. Typically most small businesses are operating under their achievable capacity based on their current delivery capability – but let’s also imagine that to deliver the extra work you hire one more web developer at $100K p.a. and some misc overhead at $50K.
That’s $330K profit so far. Hold this thought…
Now the question is, how will you get that extra client per week? Well you could spend money you don’t have on running Facebook, LinkedIn or Google ads. Don’t worry, you’re only competing with every other website developer out there – I’m sure your prospects will see through the noise and realise you’re the best. Or not.
This where that content thing comes in. Blogs, yeah? Not exactly.
One of the specific conversations I was having with these entrepreneurs was the value in producing a book. A book is content on steroids. But before the skeptical amongst you shout, ‘yeah but everyone’s producing a book nowadays, it’s got no value anymore’. Sorry buster, you’re wrong. Of the thousands, or even tens of thousands, of providers in your industry category – very few are authors. Don’t lose perspective on how producing this one asset alone places you well truly in the top 10% of your industry.
Granted, there’s a lot of shit books out there thanks to coaches helping people write books in 48 hours or companies writing it for them. Our clients have produced over 500 stunningly beautiful and unique books through the Key Person of Influence publish program over the last 7 years – each on average taking 6-18 months to go from concept to final product. Like all good things in life, quality craftsmanship takes time to produce.
So let’s imagine that it costs you $5-10K in hard costs and $20K in opportunity cost based on the time required to produce the book. I’ll ignore the additional gains in clarity, insight and enthusiasm you develop for your craft – for the skeptics.
Take $30K off $330K to produce $300K profit so far.
Ahhhhhhh but what about distribution! Marketing! Yes, let’s talk about that.
A self-published book might cost you $5-10 to print and post. Expensive by digital creative standards…but here’s the kicker.
A book provides leverage. It allows you to get access to channels you would never be able to distribute your marketing message through before. Darren Finkelstein is one of our clients and when he wrote the book, ‘Honey, let’s buy a boat!’ It allowed him to form a partnership with one of the biggest boat insurers in the country, Club Marine. Low and behold, Club Marine had a database of 90,000 boat owners….and so with a bit of clever negotiating and relationship building, Club Marine promoted the launch of Darren’s book to their full database.
Rebecca Coombes wrote the book ‘SIBO recipes’ and was recently flown halfway across the world, all expenses paid, through a partnership to do a multi-city book tour through the United States.
Books give you cut-through.
So back to our example. To get 4 extra clients a month lets imagine you need to get 80 books in the hands of your target market to convert an additional 4 (at a mere 5% conversion). That’s $800 per month in book production and distribution, plus let’s add in $2K in additional marketing spend for safe measure. $2800 x 12 = $34K p.a.
That gives our total net profit, taking into account all hard and opportunity costs of producing a book, to $266K per year.
At $64K in production and distribution costs, to spit out an additional $480K revenue thats a 7.5 times ROI in 18 months. If you invested $64K in the stock market at an average annual return of 10% you would need to wait 20 years to achieve the same ROI.
Building and leveraging your own intellectual property is hands down the most powerful wealth accumulation strategy you can deploy.
Now for the invisible gains we haven’t factored in.
1. You’ve just built massive brand equity in the market.
2. You’re now positioned as authority in your field of expertise. You have a door opener you simply didn’t have before and nothing about your expertise or experience has changed – you simply got it out of your head into a scalable format.
3. A book is the stickiest form of marketing – it could be read straight away or sit on your prospects desk for months or even years before being read. Try getting your FB or Google ad to have that much longevity.
4. It’s shareable. I’ll very rarely share or talk about an ad (unless its that good). I’ll give away and recommend books all the time.
5. Books have inherent value in and of themselves. We proudly keep them on our bookshelf and refer back to them over time. Ads are an interruption, forgotten as quickly as they’re pushed in front of us.
6. You’ve captured your best thinking into an asset your entire team can leverage on your behalf. You don’t need as experienced (and expensive) a sales team when you have IP assets doing the work for you.
The ROI on those things is priceless.
It equates to freedom to have time away from your business, because assets are doing the work.
It equates to opportunities you never would have been able to access as undifferentiated player in your industry.
It equates to building a network of other movers and shakers that at some point will lead to the deal that leap frogs you to a new level.
Really, what this comes down to, is it will change your life…
And that’s after you count the extra cash in your bank account.
If you would like to meet and chat about how you can better leverage content and build influence in your industry, join me in Brisbane for a 2 hour introduction to becoming a Key Person of Influence.