Episode 76: How to Write the Book that Creates Leads and Grows Your Audience

Episode 76: How to Write the Book that Creates Leads and Grows Your Audience

Have an idea for a best-selling business book and wondering how to leverage it in your marketing? Listen up.


Vickie Gould is an author and business coach who helps others get their best-selling books out of their minds and into the world. She joins the podcast to share her story and discuss how authoring a book fits into a smart marketing strategy. Learn how to write and market a book that engages your audience, increases brand awareness, and generates more business.
Check out Vickie’s free template, How to Get the Book Out of Your Head.
Related: Episode 65: How to Market Your Book with Melissa Storm


Chris Davis: 00:24 Welcome to another episode of the ActiveCampaign podcast. I’m your host, Chris Davis. On this episode, I have Vickie Gould, who is an author coach. She helps people get their book out of their mind onto paper onto the shelves, digital and physical, and onto the best sellers list. What made this podcast so powerful was Vickie not only understands the creation process, but she understands the marketing process. So, I’m just going to warn you all, I got a little carried away. This is a little longer than our regular podcast, but I promise you the extra length it’s absolutely worth it.

Chris Davis: 01:01 If you’re thinking about writing a book or have thought about it and retired that thought, time the resurrect it. Vickie lays down not only her framework of creating the book, things to look forward to when it comes to how to get it in people’s hands, and the marketing of a book. She talks about a book funnel. You’re not going to want to skip through this episode at all. In fact, share it with a friend that you know is on the fence with writing a book. There was so much knowledge given in this episode. I hope you all enjoy.

Chris Davis: 01:33 Vickie, welcome to the podcast. Glad to have you on. How are you doing?

Vickie Gould: 01:38 Good, thanks. So happy to be here. Thanks for having me today.

Chris Davis: 01:41 Yes, thank you for taking the time. Give our listeners a little bit about your background and your business.

Vickie Gould: 01:49 Yeah. For my business as a result of working with me, entrepreneurs become bestselling authors who are able to share their story more impactfully, grow their reach worldwide, and turn readers into clients. Then we leverage that book so that they can get more reach, more opportunities, media features, also to have notoriety and help them grow their business using that book.

Chris Davis: 02:13 Great. Great. Now I have to ask, have you always been an advocate of writing, or is this something that you developed over time?

Vickie Gould: 02:23 I’ve always loved reading. So then, that goes hands with writing. I actually read the whole entire library when I was in elementary school. Literally ran out of books. One of the things, because your listeners can’t see me, I’m Asian. For my mom, if I wasn’t studying, I was wasting time. So, books was kind of like that in between where she couldn’t tell if it was really educational or not. In some way, she called some of my fiction books junk. But it kept me out of trouble. And to her it was better than TV. So, I would go to the library and check out a stack of 10 books. That was the max, and I’d read them all in a week, take them back. Read the next 10, take them back. And I ended up reading the whole entire school library and Public Library.

Chris Davis: 03:21 Wow. From there, from your affinity of words and reading words, at what point did it translate into the writing of words?

Vickie Gould: 03:34 Yeah, it’s actually kind of funny, because in junior high, my girlfriend and I decided we were going to write a soap opera. So, we had this little notebook and we’d pass it back and forth to each other. She’d write a bit and then I’d write a bit and then shed write a bit, and then I’d write a bit. It has now been since probably … Gosh, it’s been 30 years. And she told me a few years back, she still has that notebook. She has moved from Pennsylvania to Chicago to the UK. She still has that notebook that we wrote that soap opera in.

Chris Davis: 04:10 Wow.

Vickie Gould: 04:11 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 04:14 Have you had any corporate experience, or have you always been in the author space, I should say?

Vickie Gould: 04:22 No, actually, it’s kind of funny because I grew up in that go get a good education, go climb the corporate ladder that’s going to make you super happy. I actually honestly wanted to go to art school. My mom said, you’re going to be a poor, starving artists, you’re not allowed to do that. So, I ended up going to University of Michigan and getting a degree in actuarial math. So, kind of like the complete opposite thing.

Chris Davis: 04:49 Sure.

Vickie Gould: 04:50 Math is actually very creative. It’s just people don’t think about it that way. And numbers lie.

Chris Davis: 04:59 Yes, they do.

Vickie Gould: 04:59 But, I then went and worked for Andersen Consulting OnRock Financial, which is now Quicken Loans. I worked for Comerica Bank as a statistician, Edward Jones as a stockbroker. I did a lot of different things. But there’s always something unsettling in me there. I was always doing some sort of side gig, because I had to do that creative part. When I got to Comerica Bank, I was AVP there as a statistician in the risks department. It was one of the most prestigious departments to be in and I got there. I had the little office with the windows and I’m thinking, “Is this it? Was this it? Okay, what happens now? Where’s the confetti? Is this it?”

Vickie Gould: 05:49 At that time, I had my daughter, and she kept getting sick. I’d put her in daycare, and then she’d get sick. So, from the get go after I had her, I think it was eight weeks or so. Maternity leave is so short here. She just kept getting sick. And after a while, I remember calling my sister and said, “I just can’t do this anymore.” So, I decided I’d go try those commission jobs because it felt like it might be safe. But then you still could do your own thing. But you still had to report in to somebody. So, it wasn’t very different.

Vickie Gould: 06:24 What actually happened was, I was working for a mortgage company and the mortgage industry crashed and I was out of a job. That created a lot of stress in my life and I became very ill. I think it was like the flare of and the stress of that made my body kind of shut down. I had already probably been on my way to this and I found out after a misdiagnosis of lupus that I have chronic Lyme disease. So, that was actually the big turning point into entrepreneurship, writing my books, living a little bit more for what I wanted. Because during that time that I was diagnosed, it was just very difficult. I was spending all day in bed, 16 to 18 hours in bed for three and a half years. It was like 1176 days sunup, sundown, in bed, in pain, feeling like the world was going by, my children were growing up without me.

Vickie Gould: 07:25 I had those thoughts, like, “Is this really what life has turned into? Is this what it’s all supposed to be?” I thought at that time, maybe I should just end it all, because this is not anything worth living for. But the thing was, that really wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was for the pain to end, the misery to end. I looked back on life on all the things that I had squandered away, squelched, told myself I couldn’t do, put myself aside, put others first, told myself later. It was at that point, I thought, “Oh, my gosh, later may not come.”

Chris Davis: 08:01 Yeah.

Vickie Gould: 08:02 And what am I going to do? My son Trenton, he would climb up in the bed with me. And at that time, he was still an elementary school. He’d say, with real hopefulness and his eyes, “Mama, can you come to my party at school?” I had never missed my oldest child’s parties ever. But I had never gone to my youngest child’s parties ever. His hopefulness just would wash away as I would say, “You know, Mama just … I’m not up to it.” I’d wonder, does he know how much I love him? Is he going to resent me? This is where I said, I need to do something about this. This cannot continue. I have to make a choice.

Vickie Gould: 08:46 Even though the doctor said, “Your body is like an 80-year-old, you’re never getting it back. Don’t bother thinking, trying, hoping, dreaming. That’s just the way it is. You’re going to need to learn to muddle through and suck it up.” I thought, “I don’t want to do that. This isn’t how I wanted life to be.” So, I decided, because it’s one of those things where you have to decide in life, that I was going to be that 42-year-old woman instead of the 80-year-old woman he said I was. That I was there for my children. I was waiting for them to grow up. And I taught myself by becoming a master herbalist, how to relieve myself of all these things.

Vickie Gould: 09:27 As I did that, I realized that there are so many people who have risen above their pain, dug down into their tenacity and their perseverance, and they all have great stories to tell. So, I began to apply that determination along with my creativity, and my ability to peruse bestselling authors, and I began to invite other people to write their story and share their story and show their story like I do, so that they can help others.

Chris Davis: 09:54 Yes. So, you decided to take your experience, and is that what you wrote your first book on?

Vickie Gould: 10:03 It actually was. My first book was about detox. It’s kind of funny, because I’ll tell you right now that the cover was like a DIY nightmare. I thought, “If I just have this out there, because it’s such a great topic and because people need it, they’re going to buy this book.” Little did I know; how minuscule my book was amongst all those different books that were being put out there. In terms of products, books are actually the biggest category of new products being put out every month.

Chris Davis: 10:43 Oh, that’s interesting.

Vickie Gould: 10:45 Yeah. It was like people think, “I’ll have a website, and tada! Everybody’s going to know about me.” You can’t do that. I really thought having a URL link in Amazon made me somebody. Of course, that doesn’t define who you are. But it didn’t bring anything to me. Yeah, that was the start of my first book.

Chris Davis: 11:13 And the reason why I ask is because I wanted to take the podcast and highlight both the book writing process and the marketing process, right? Because you can’t have one without the other, you need them both.

Vickie Gould: 11:23 Absolutely.

Chris Davis: 11:24 Also, I think what’s important is people here your story and how you became an author, because most of the time, a lot of the barriers and I know you know this all so well, a lot of the barriers that prevent people from writing that book aren’t as big as they’re thinking or as big as they’re making it. And for you, when you came to writing your first book, was there a resource, was it was it just you literally sitting in front of your computer typing? Did you have access or exposure to a framework? How did you approach that?

Vickie Gould: 12:00 That’s interesting that you asked that. Nobody’s ever asked me that before. So, I actually had … One of my previous coaches had shared a bit of a framework on how to put your story together in a way that was magnetic and attracting to people. That’s how I crafted my story. And then the meat of the book, where it’s more the How to and what do you do next kind of thing came from a mini course that I had put together, and a mini video series that I had done. I kind of had repurposed some of those things to put into the book. So, it made the writing a lot easier. And no, I did not go back to English class and think of all those things that the English teachers taught us. It really was more of the conversational type of way to write, which I encourage my clients to do now, because it’s easier to read anyway.

Chris Davis: 13:02 Yeah.

Vickie Gould: 13:02 Because a thesis paper is hard and boring and it’s just not interesting. But if you can write conversationally and not get hung up on oh, this grammar thing is wrong. Now, I have a little bit of pet peeves with certain things, but we don’t need to go there. But if you write conversationally, then the people feel like they’re talking to a friend when they read what you’re writing, and that creates connection.

Chris Davis: 13:27 Yeah. That’s huge point to make. Because I think the average person, when they think of writing a book, they immediately go to, oh, it’s got to be grammatically correct and it’s got up before men in a certain way. And really, what resonates with people is inviting them to the conversation, and a book is just a way to do that. Say, “Hey, look, I had this conversation. I think it’s really good for you to listen to. I put it in a book.” Right?

Vickie Gould: 13:58 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 13:58 And think of it like you said, more conversational. Now, let’s talk a little bit about the process you walk your authors through now, is it similar to what you did or you’ve probably evolved it from them, right?

Vickie Gould: 14:11 Yeah. back then. I didn’t have that much of a process yet, because at that time initially, I didn’t really know that I was going to be a book coach at that time. That time, I was kind of still in the process of getting better from Lyme. So, I wasn’t as concerned with how do I structure this so I can help somebody else? It was more of a how do I structure this so it’s logical to somebody and easy to follow?

Vickie Gould: 14:44 Because when you have Lyme or when you have a chronic illness, it’s really quite difficult to read things. It’s hard to concentrate. So, I needed to make it easy and bite sized, so that people could consume it. That’s another thing, is that lot of people try to use fiction rules on nonfiction books. The books that I help people with are tied to a business that are supposed to turn those readers into up sold clients into other products, right? So, you’re not writing a huge novel to entertain somebody. They generally want something actionable, something they can take away right away.

Vickie Gould: 15:26 When you think about it, if you get a real thick book, you tend to put it aside, right? You’re like, “Oh, maybe I got to find a weekend for that. Maybe when kids are at camp for the summer, I can read that book, finally.” Something like that. But if you get something that is smaller and is something that is a topic that somebody really wants, they’ll sit down and read it if it’s consumable. So, short reads is what I tell people to do. And that’s generally about two hours of reading. So, we’re talking about 75 pages. Now, many of my authors go over 100, we’re still kind of in that realm. Because if it’s going to take them eight hours to consume your book, they may never get to the end of it.

Chris Davis: 16:09 Yeah, that’s true. And you know what? Vickie, I feel like I’m struggling with what a lot of our listeners probably are struggling with right now. The minute you said 75 pages, it was mental. I couldn’t stop it, Vickie, it just happened. I just immediately thought, “Oh, that’s too small.” Right? Like, “Oh, that’s too little.” I don’t know why, it just happened. I literally felt it. And I have to believe that most of the listeners feel the same way were like, “Oh, 75 pages? I thought a book had to be like 200 pages or had to be thicker, or else people won’t take me seriously.” And what you’re saying is, bite size it. Making smaller because it’s more important for them to consume 100% of 75 pages, than less than 75% of 200 are over 100 pages.

Vickie Gould: 16:57 Exactly. And if you have something that you believe you can’t do it in that amount of pages, it may be a good idea to think about it as a series. People love series. And, when you sell a first book and people like you, they’re more apt to buy the second book. More apartment to by the third book.

Chris Davis: 17:19 Yeah, you build some momentum. Interesting.

Vickie Gould: 17:20 I know we’re going to get to some marketing thing later, but you could give away the first book to sell the second and third one in the series.

Chris Davis: 17:30 Oh, Vickie.

Vickie Gould: 17:32 Mind blown, right?

Chris Davis: 17:34 Vickie, you’re pulling me. I’m trying to wait till the marketing piece, okay? You’re trying to get me there early. All right. So, last question with the authoring process. Okay?

Vickie Gould: 17:47 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 17:48 For the aspiring author, hopefully you’ve alleviated the pressure by telling them, make the book conversational, you don’t have to go back to school or have an English major to write book. Okay?

Vickie Gould: 18:01 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 18:01 Two is, it doesn’t have to be a long novel, it could be 75 pages. No worries if you don’t know the answer to this, because I’m kind of putting you on the spot here, Vickie. But 75 pages in regular Word doc type, how many pages is that, single spaced?

Vickie Gould: 18:19 Oh, I would probably say about 60-ish, something like that.

Chris Davis: 18:28 60 pages, and you have a book? It could be a bestseller.

Vickie Gould: 18:33 Yeah.

Chris Davis: 18:34 Okay.

Vickie Gould: 18:34 Books are generally, they’re five by eight or six by nine, is generally what a nonfiction book size is going to be. So, you’ll get a few more pages out of it that way, and it won’t look too thin.

Chris Davis: 18:52 Great. Now, the question I have is, we’re okay with 75 pages. We’re going to make it conversational. And now we go to the content, because, like you just mentioned, you’re running the chance that a person will not finish it. What role do diagrams and images play? Are they something that you’re like, “Look, you need to have images in your book to break it up to make it easy.” Or does it not matter, or is it one of those things that depends on the topic?

Vickie Gould: 19:26 I think it depends on the topic. I have authors who have zero images in their book, I have authors who have pictures in their book, and I have authors who have diagrams on their book. The thing to note though, is that the more pictures and diagrams that you put into your book, the bigger the file becomes, and the bigger the file becomes, then there are constraints on Amazon with Kindle. So, at a certain file size, you can’t sell your book for 99 cents. The minimum price is 2.99. So, if that’s important to you, then you need to look at if the pictures are really critical to the book.

Vickie Gould: 20:01 Now, if you’re doing a cookbook, which I’ve done probably three I think, off the top of my head I can think of with my authors, you’re going to have pictures. You have to have pretty pictures, because it’s a cookbook.

Chris Davis: 20:13 Yeah, that makes sense. And how I’ve always thought of not in terms of books but in terms of understanding, is that if you’re teaching or speaking on a topic that is very technical or not easily understood, a lot of times those visual aids help speed up that understanding of the topic.

Vickie Gould: 20:37 Definitely. I have a flow chart in one of my books that happens to be the one that’s called Hit Publish. It’s the book about writing a book that kind of talks about a book funnel and the flow of that. So, it made sense for me to have a diagram for that. And there is one.,

Chris Davis: 20:52 Yes. Well, okay. Well, no, no more holding back. You’ve used the word funnel, we’ve talked about marketing earlier, you’ve been using ActiveCampaign. You’ve got an audience that you refer ActiveCampaign to your audience. The reason why I’m going to try to contain myself and give you the floor, because I’m really excited about this, but I have friends, I have associates, I have people in business I’m familiar with that have written a book and a good handful of them, you get the initial spike of everybody that you know that supports you.

Chris Davis: 21:27 They’re like, “Oh, I’m going to buy your book, this and that.” And then after that, crickets. Right? And then you have other people who it doesn’t seem like a whole lot of people bought their book, yet they’re always being asked to speak or their business is growing. And it kind of contradicts your thought. Because you like, “Well, you’re not a bestselling author. I don’t see a whole lot. I’ve never heard of your book. How are you so successful?” What I realized, the difference between the two, I’m using two extremes here, but I see him more frequently than I see a blend of the two is that marketing, excuse me, marketing was the difference. The person who [inaudible 00:22:05] a book, they leveraged their inner circle. Everybody that knew them, and maybe a few strangers. While the other one strategically created a book that they knew they could market for a specific objective.

Vickie Gould: 22:18 Exactly. And marketing cannot be an afterthought.

Chris Davis: 22:24 Just for the record, say that one more time.

Vickie Gould: 22:26 Marketing cannot be an afterthought. I think people get so concerned with, I need to write this book, I need to get it out of my head, I just need to do this first. I’ll do that later. You should be marketing your book while you’re writing it.

Vickie Gould: 22:42 I want to go back to a question that you asked that I don’t think I answered that kind of ties in with what you just said. When you decide on a topic, the way you decide on a topic, because we have so many topics we could talk about, right? I could write a book on parenting. I could write a book on art stuff that I did. But the good doesn’t do you any good if your business isn’t tied to what you could write about. So, the biggest question if you’re going to write a book for your business is, what do you want to have happen when you’re done writing that book?

Vickie Gould: 23:14 Selfishly write down those things. Most people tell me, “Oh, I just want to help others. I want to inspire them. I want to …” That’s great for your reader. That’s what you want for the reader. You want to transform them, you want to teach them something, you want to change their lives. That’s great. But there’s always two why’s, two reasons. One is for the reader, and one is for you. Your reason being selfish is actually really okay. You could say, “I’m writing this book because I want to get business out of it. I want to get speaking gigs out of it. I want to be more known.” That is perfectly fine. I think sometimes people think, “Oh, I shouldn’t say that. Because they’re going to think that I’m narcissistic, or that I’m big headed, or I’m full of myself. I want to be philanthropic.”

Vickie Gould: 23:59 I have not met one entrepreneur who is a coach or doing stuff online that is not heart centered and wanting to help others. We got into business to help others. So, being selfish about what you want to get out of it is really okay. Because the more successful you are, the more people you inspire, the more money you make, the more you can give and donate to charities or do things that are going to help the world. So, being selfish is perfectly fine. But you have to answer those two questions to figure out the right topic for your book.

Chris Davis: 24:34 Yeah. A mentor of mine once told me, he said, “People take money, and they get it all twisted when it comes to help. It’s like, either, or, I either want money, or I want to help.” He was like, “No, it’s not mutually exclusive. They’re mutually inclusive. And you can help more people with money than you can without money.”

Vickie Gould: 24:56 Exactly.

Chris Davis: 24:57 So, I love that.

Vickie Gould: 24:59 I had a coach say at one time, and I love her to pieces. Oh, my gosh. So, this has always stuck in my head. She said, “Take a stand for the and.” Because we’re always saying, “It has to be one or the other. It has to be one or the other.” Guess what? You can help people and you can help yourself all at the same time.

Chris Davis: 25:20 There you go.

Vickie Gould: 25:22 It doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Chris Davis: 25:23 Yes, I love it. So, Vickie, when it comes to marketing the book, you’ve already given us a little hints. Like, hey, make a series, give one away. Because I know a lot of businesses, not just authors, but a lot of businesses struggle with understanding how to market their specific products. So as an author, you’re sitting down and they’re talking to you about the idea of the book, and you’re listening to the idea and you’ve got your process in place. But then the marketing kicks in, what is some of that marketing conversation that’s going on in your head?

Vickie Gould: 25:58 Yeah. So, you need to market your book while you are writing it. Sometimes authors will put out landing pages that say, “Hey, get on the waitlist to find out when my book is out.” Okay, sorry, but that’s kind of boring. People do not like signing up for email lists unless they’re getting something out of it. You have to make it juicier than that. Give them something while they’re waiting for your book. Give them a reason to get excited about your book. And then you can create a good waitlist. Now, that’s not something that all my clients do, but it’s something that you can do.

Vickie Gould: 26:42 The other thing is that your book inside of your book should be another funnel. You can make a funnel with your book and you can have a funnel inside your book. If you knew me better, you would know that I am the freebie queen. I’ve got this and that and all these other things, because that is how you entice people to get on your list. That is how you keep people who are on your list excited about the things that you do by giving them more things. Because the more value that you give them, the more they think, “Oh, my gosh, this is what her free stuff is? I can’t believe, I can’t wait to see what the paid stuff is.”

Chris Davis: 27:28 Right.

Vickie Gould: 27:30 Yeah. So, make those book funnels. Whether you’re going to give a chapter away or three chapters away or something like that. But here’s the thing, whatever you’re giving away, please make it a cliffhanger. Don’t wrap it up in a nice little bow and have them go, “Okay, thanks. That was great. See you later. Thanks for your help.” You want to leave them with a little bit of a cliffhanger. If you think about stuff. I talk about TV series and movies a lot when I talk to people about both books, because it’s easier for them to understand. They’ve experienced it where they haven’t necessarily experienced it with books.

Vickie Gould: 28:06 If you parallel, think about that TV series that you love watching. They always leave the end as something at the end of the series, right? They blow everybody up and you’re like, “Oh, and what happened? Who’s alive, what happened? I don’t want to wait.” That’s what you’ve got to create if you’re going to give away a couple free chapters or something like that. You want them to want to know what the rest of it is. It could be part of the story that you’re telling or it could be part of the process that you’re leaving them hanging that they need that juiciest last piece of the process that they have to buy the book. So, creating that juicy enticing freebie is really important to growing your list. Especially, because regardless and only get on a rabbit trail, but regardless if you’re going to self- publish or get a publisher, these days, books are sold through authors’ communities. So, you have to grow your community while you’re writing it, so that your community is big enough once you launch your book, so that it will continue to grow afterwards.

Chris Davis: 29:17 Yeah. That’s huge, having a community, because a lot of times that where the first person I told you about, where they write a book and all of their friends and family buy it, the problem is their community is only people they know, right? And in the relationship is based on me knowing you, instead of the value that you provided. Once you create a community of value given, that becomes your initial momentum. And really, any marketing push, it’s not limited to just a book, anything you do, you can leverage that list, your community, to really help get you out the gates running at a speed that can can help you get to profitability quick.

Chris Davis: 29:58 But one thing I wanted to talk about too, you mentioned a book funnel, a funnel within a book, what are some examples of how a funnel inside of a book look? Is it as simple as placing a link in the book, or are there other ways?

Vickie Gould: 30:16 Okay. Shh, don’t tell my clients that I’m telling you this, okay? Because they paid for this. One of the things that we do, which kind of goes along with your whole diagram question and pictures and stuff like that, we don’t want to make the book too big, right. But sometimes a great way to collect emails from a book is to make a companion that goes with it. So, a workbook, something else that they could fill out that they feel like they’re going to miss out on the whole entire experience of the book, if they don’t get the workbook. Because, here’s the thing, Amazon is not going to hand over the email addresses to you. That’s their privacy policy, right? They’re never going to give it to you. So, you have to figure out a way to get those emails on your own.

Vickie Gould: 31:08 So, creating that funnel that’s inside your book through your workbook, and then that workbook funnel then can talk about how they’re doing with the workbook, how they’re going through their chapters. The sticky part about that, in marketing we always say you have to assume that people just don’t consume your content. They haven’t read your whole book, they haven’t. While you want to go through this drip series of emails through that automation that you could do at ActiveCampaign, you don’t want to go through it too fast, on the one hand, because they potentially are still reading my book. But you also can’t wait 30 days and then start dripping on them. So, you got to give them some other content throughout that so that at the end of that funnel through that workbook, let’s say as an example, you are up selling them into one of your products or services.

Chris Davis: 32:02 Yeah. What I want to highlight about this is I’m going to expand it a bit, when you have a product that’s in a marketplace or on an online entity that does not provide you with all of the information, it’s critical to have an independent path to your business. There’s a lot of people that I know, excuse me on you, Udemy that make courses and then you can go, and like you mentioned, they can download a worksheet to work along with the course. And of course, when they download that worksheet, now the person has their email, because the only way that they knew about the worksheet was from buying the course.

Vickie Gould: 32:44 Exactly.

Chris Davis: 32:44 So, now you’re connecting the two and like you’re saying, if it’s on Amazon, have a workbook, have some supporting guide our aid that people can have access to go to you independently and get it. I won’t go too much deeper into the book funnel, because like you said, that’s paid stuff. I know people’s minds are going, I just want people to be aware, right, of how to approach writing a book correctly. And you also mentioned the funnel that leads up to the book. So, you’re in writing mode as they’re writing, you’ve got them thinking about marketing, and they say, “Okay, Vickie, I get this whole thing. I’m a little nervous, but I’m willing to give a little bit of my book away for free. How do I do it?” For you, you’re going to create a PDF, probably put it on a landing page or whatnot. But what does the marketing look like on the ActiveCampaign side? Because I know before we recorded this, you mentioned on how strong of an advocate you were of sidetracking.

Vickie Gould: 33:46 Oh, my gosh, I love ActiveCampaign because I can track like a stealth little spy. I actually really love spy movies. I have this little, you know the little clear earbud thing?

Chris Davis: 34:00 Yes,

Vickie Gould: 34:01 For years, I asked my kids for Christmas to buy me the clear earbuds thing that doesn’t connect to anything, I just tuck it in the back of my shirt to make it look like I’m like Secret Service or something. And they didn’t buy it. So, I finally bought it for myself this last year. Just for kicks that I was going to be like the spy marketing coach when I put it in. But I love that so, so much.

Vickie Gould: 34:28 I know I’m getting a little off track here. But the automation process and the triggering process that happens at ActiveCampaign is why I tell my clients to use it. You create your landing page, they opt in, because you have this juicy freebie. And you want it to immediately trigger them to receive whatever it is they asked for, because here’s the thing too, if they don’t get what they asked for right away, they are out of there, right? So, you have to have that automation. I know some people try to get away with trying to manually … No, it’s not worth the money. Don’t try to … Just get ActiveCampaign and let it automat it for you.

Chris Davis: 35:09 Yeah.

Vickie Gould: 35:10 And then as they’re going through that, I can actually see if … Let’s say the second email I send them is something to the effect of, you know, I hope you’ve enjoyed the free PDF that you got, I thought you’d really enjoy this video training that I did, or such and such, or whatever. And I put that link in, I can see who has clicked that video.

Chris Davis: 35:33 Yes.

Vickie Gould: 35:35 And if somebody clicked that video, and let’s say for example that video … The second email would be a little too soon. But just for argument’s sake here, let’s say that video had an upsell with a, I don’t know, coupon code to one of your products, right? You can see that they didn’t click or they did click, I’m sorry, to that video, but did not buy the products. Because when they buy the product, it triggers ActiveCampaign to stick them on a I bought this product list.

Vickie Gould: 36:07 So, what I’ve done in the past is, okay, for all the people who clicked on the video, and let’s say the videos, 20 minutes, all right? And after an hour, they do not appear on my I bought your product list, I can actually send them another email that says, “Hey, I saw that you went and watch the video. Maybe you got busy, maybe a you … Because that happens all the time when we have tabs open, and whatever. If you want to continue on with the process and use your coupon code and blah, blah, blah, then you can join the program blah, blah, blah. Here’s that special deal.” So, it can trigger all those things for you, which I love, and it’s still spying, man. It’s still spying.

Chris Davis: 36:56 Yeah. And you know what I’ll add to it as you were talking, I just think about it. A lot of times, a part of your marketing should encompass some content, right? You should be blogging and writing about the topics that your book is about. Because now, you can put an opt in at the bottom of those posts and everything and give away your freebie, get them into your book funnel. But, if they click emails, well guess what? If they’ve downloaded your PDF and they’re clicking and going to your website as you’re launching your book and you’re curious on what to write about, you can easily use site tracking and see which pages are people visiting the most.

Chris Davis: 37:37 Of course, assuming your messaging is aligned with your book, which it should be, and you’re writing about topics relative to your book, a lot of times the answers to those questions are right there in your side track. And you’re like, “Oh, maybe I should write a chapter on this. It seems like everybody that has downloaded it is visiting this particular blog. And let alone lets you have some comments. Some of those, oh, my God, this is gold.” But this is how … I’m not speaking as an author, right? I’m speaking as a marketer. And the rules apply, no matter what the product is, you have to get a pulse on your audience of what their need is, and put it in your product.

Chris Davis: 38:20 Whether your product is a book or software, being able to immediately survey engage the temperature of your audience, that their level of understanding on a specific topic that you’re writing about, and being able to incorporate in that book, launch it and make it bite size and editable, I can see how someone like yourself understanding all of this, and more can make the promise of somebody becoming a bestseller.

Vickie Gould: 38:49 Yeah. And you talking about those things and saying, survey, that’s another cool thing that’s in ActiveCampaign, is creating forums and asking your audience. I am a big, big advocate of Ask your audience, ask your audience. Because my background comes from my love of marketing. So, I was all into market your story, market your story, you got to tell your story. That’s where the connection is.

Vickie Gould: 39:16 I’m always telling people, “Even while you’re writing your book, ask your audience what they want to see in that book. What questions they need to have answered on your topic?” Because you have to write about those things that they’re interested in. Once you get them on your list, you can send them a survey. Let’s say you’ve been in business for a little while, you have somewhat of a list and now you want to write your book, which is actually the better way to do it, I can go into that in a second. But, let’s say you’re like, “Okay, I could write about this angle, or that angle or wheel.” All around that kind of same umbrella and you’re not really sure.

Vickie Gould: 39:52 You could actually create a form in ActiveCampaign, create all the little radio buttons, their choices, whatever, and save all that information in ActiveCampaign. You just embed that form on a page somewhere on your website and when people click into it, they see your email, they click, they fill out the form, that information gets zapped back into ActiveCampaign. And now depending on what things they have chosen, you can either just use those fields, or then you can tag people as such and such. Let’s say you have multiple lists, you send them this form. And people from those multiple lists are tagged as interested in, I don’t know, interested in coconut cream pie. Now you can say, “For all the people who are interested in coconut cream pie, I want to send them this recipe for coconut cream pie.”

Chris Davis: 40:55 Yes.

Vickie Gould: 40:56 Oh, my gosh, they’re going to be so excited, right?

Chris Davis: 40:58 Yes.

Vickie Gould: 40:59 There’s [inaudible 00:40:59] they’re tagging stuff is really cool, asking your audience is really awesome. I’m going to go one second into what I said previously, because I don’t want to leave anybody hanging about there actually is a better time than others to write your book.

Vickie Gould: 41:17 A lot of people say, “I’m new to business, and I’m going to use my book as my marketing thing, my expensive business card,” which I don’t recommend expensive business card. We actually want it to generate ROI. But, so I’m going to write my book now. It’s actually not the best time. The best time you write your book is when you have freebies that you know are juicy and people like them. But know your audience, without a shadow of a doubt that this is your target audience, and you’re not in the midst of changing your message, changing who you might be looking for. And, you have some sort of product. A core product or signature product that has a track record of some sort of results, or people having good feedback, or whatever with it. Because that’s what you’re going to upsell into when they read your book.

Vickie Gould: 42:07 Otherwise, you’re going to end up being focused on I need to sell my book, I need to sell my book, I need to sell my book. As entrepreneurs who are author also authors, we’re not concerned about book royalties, at least we shouldn’t be, we’re concerned with making the money on the back end. It’s much easier to make a 10K month getting your book into the hands of 10 or 20 people that are ideal client readers versus trying to get to 10K on let’s say, 35 cent royalties. So, it’s going to take you 2700 and I don’t remember what the exact number was. 2785, or I don’t remember, to get to 10K on royalties, which is impossible. Okay, I shouldn’t say impossible, improbable, at least on a regular basis, to find that many people every month to buy your book.

Vickie Gould: 43:04 You’re better off as an entrepreneur to say, “You know what? I’m willing to give away my book, my content, for the benefit of getting that upsell clients.” So, you’re going to make more money if you have a product that you can sell them into.

Chris Davis: 43:20 Yeah. Vickie, listen, I could sit here and continue to ask you questions. You are just a wealth of knowledge, and I appreciate you sharing. But I have to, I feel so bad, I’ve got to cut it off. I’ve gone over, but thank you so, oh, my goodness, thank you so much. My goal for this, my aim is to help people. I just want barriers to be removed. Maybe you’re listening to this and you’re like, “Oh, a book is not for me.” But if you are listening to this, you’re like, “Oh my gosh. Finally, the inspiration, the insight that I needed to start a book. I’m really going to do it.” That’s what I find most people are. It doesn’t matter how many books are on the shelf from Barnes and Noble, or on Amazon. There is an audience with an ear and a need, and it’s up to you to identify who those people are. Serve them and treat them to a book. And now you have a resource as such to help you get started. Vickie, how can people connect with you and find out more?

Vickie Gould: 44:22 Yeah. Definitely I am all over social media. Just make sure you spell my name right, or you’ll find too many of me. So, it’s V-I-C-K-I-E and G-O-U-L-D, Vickie Gould. Same thing for my website. I actually did create a opt in page for just ActiveCampaign listeners get a freebie that’s called How To Get The Book Out of Your Head. If you go to bit.li/bookoutofheadac, then you’ll find out.

Chris Davis: 44:55 Okay, great. And we’ll put all of those links in the show notes. Vickie, again, thank you for taking the time, sharing your knowledge, your expertise and insight. It is greatly appreciated.

Vickie Gould: 45:08 You’re so very welcome. I had so much fun. We shouldn’t do it again.

Chris Davis: 45:14 There is an open invitation once you’re on the podcast to return. So, we will definitely have to do a round two.

Vickie Gould: 45:19 All right. Cool. Sounds great.

Chris Davis: 45:21 Okay, I’ll see you online, Vickie.

Vickie Gould: 45:23 All right. Thank you.

Chris Davis: 45:26 Thank you for listening to this episode of the ActiveCampaign podcast. One question after such an episode is what are you waiting for? What are you waiting for to get that book written? I would propose to you that after Vickie has shown you everything and given you insight, I hope the answer is nothing. I hope that you are encouraged to start the process right now, today, and not wait.

Chris Davis: 45:52 If you are new to the ActiveCampaign podcast, stuff like this, this type of value happens all the time. Make sure you’re subscribed. We’re in Google Play, Stitcher Radio, iTunes, SoundCloud, anywhere where you can subscribe to a podcast. We are there. Please make sure you do so. And while you’re there, give us a five-star rating and leave a review. It helps get the word out, get more ears in the know of this podcast that’s helping small businesses succeed the right way, right?

Chris Davis: 46:25 And also, if you are an ActiveCampaign user, some of the stuff that Vicki was talking about, you’re like, “I wonder how to set that up.” Don’t hesitate. Don’t try to figure it out all on your own if you haven’t done it by now. Activecampaign.com/training, you can talk to someone on our success team, and they can help remove that barrier for you to get you started with ActiveCampaign quicker. If you want the more self-guided approach, you want to learn on your own, activecampaign.com/learn is the education center where you have access to podcasts, guys, videos, webinars, manuals, courses, everything that you need to learn on your own help documentation. It’s all there for you. There’s no need to stay stuck as an ActiveCampaign user. This is the ActiveCampaign podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business with automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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