12 Lessons Learned While Marketing “The Four-Hour Body”

I’ve heard about Tim Feriss since he first launched “The Four-Hour Work Week” concept (Seriously, what’s not to love? Design your life in a way so you only end up working four hours a week!). Well, he recently launched “The Four-Hour Body“, and one of his assistants details 12 lessons learned in handling the marketing behind the book. It’s a great read and chock full of illustrative insights on how to launch a book successfully.

On top of that, there were a few self-imposed rules set, which made things even more challenging:

– No book tours
– No paying for access to email lists
– No intense focus on building Facebook and Twitter accounts
– No paying for consultants who buy your way onto the bestseller list
– No email drip campaigns
– No multi-month pushes for pre-orders

Some of the key lessons I particularly enjoyed:

#9 – He who cares less, wins: Being able to completely walk away from the table gives you an edge in negotiating.

#8 – Timing the release to maximise sales: Yes, timing is an important factor in marketing strategy – often overlooked due to delays in launching and pressure from impending deadlines.

#6 – The Motherf***ing Book Trailer: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures.

#4 – Carpet-Bombing the Internet: Brief Periods of Intense Noise-Making: Coordinating the effort among key media stakeholders so that, for a brief period, your message comes through in a concerted push. I like the part that goes on to say that this can’t be “manipulated” but takes time to build up before hand – so that you don’t come across as a sleazy “push-marketing” kind of way.

#2 – The Honeypot: Top 1,000 Blog: Having built a strong and loyal fan base on his blog has been a cornerstone to his marketing success. It doesn’t come easy, it cannot be insincere… it takes time and generosity.

#1 – Write an amazing, definitive book: In the end, having a remarkable product is the foundation for everything else.

Read the full list of 12 here.

Do You Have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal?

Jim Collins and Jerry Porras introduced the concept of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (or BHAG) in their 1994 book Built to Last. According to Collins and Porras:

A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort…It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People get it right away; it takes little or no explanation.

BHAGs are more than just the set objectives or goals that describe what companies hope to accomplish over the coming days, months or years. While these goals help align employees of the business to work together more effectively, often these goals are very tactical, such as “achieve 10% revenue growth in the next 3 months.”

BHAGs define visionary goals in a more strategic, in the form of a vision statement “…an audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future.” According to Collins and Porras:

A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.

Set correctly, BHAGs work – where it can even change the very nature of a business’ existence. And get this, I believe BHAGs work great in a branding and marketing context as well.

But what makes a good BHAG? From Collins and Porras, a good BHAG has four qualities:

Continue reading “Do You Have a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal?”

Been Thinking About Self-Publishing

I’ve been thinking about self-publishing… well, at least the idea of “self-publication”. I haven’t really figured this out yet, so I’ve been investigating around. Here are a few good sites I’ve come along my way… stay tuned, this might turn out to be something great!

(I’ll be updating this page as I accumulate my findings)