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Previously our discussion started with a review of Ryan Holiday’s book Perennial Seller. We covered most of the book and I provided enough information for you decide if purchasing the book was worth your hard earned money.
We skipped lightly over the marketing section of the book for a reason. I wanted to share an observation from the book I’ve been making to my clients for years and to encourage you to steal my work. You read that right. Before this post is over I’ll have you feeling good about plagiarizing me into infinity and beyond.
In Perennial Seller Holiday covers marketing well. One area stuck out for me however. Holiday states almost everyone overestimates the value of traditional PR. Not only is it expensive, it doesn’t work. I agree.
For years I have advised business owners about advertising opportunities that come their way. It is rare for these offers to have any real value and in many cases drive zero clients your way while emptying your wallet.
It is so bad that I blanket state all promotions that walk in your door are worthless while promotional idea you personally have enjoy a fighting chance of generating at least a modest profit. The stuff walking in the door comes via a salesperson. Of course they have the best deal ever. I have been warned numerous times over the last three decades I would soon be out of business if I didn’t use their offer. After all these years I am starting to hope they are right. Man’s gotta retire sometime.
What has worked? Well, a lot of my promotional ideas have worked well while costing nothing or nearly so. I walked flyers I printed in my office in the early years of my firm. Gained a large number of individual tax returns in the process and became profitable too.
Two other promotional methods I used successfully are radio talk shows and public speaking. Radio talk shows I did over the phone, rarely showing up at the studio unless it was local and convenient. Many organizations were happy to have me talk about taxes and finance. All this was free and gave me credibility and exposure. And more clients.
This blog is carrying on the tradition. I haven’t done radio talk shows for this blog . . . yet. The public speaking part is going strong, however, in a slightly different manner. I speak at conferences and provide free help (or if money is charges all the funds go to charity). Once again credibility increases and readers keep coming.
Marketing in my mind is simple. Most effective marketing is low cost and your own idea. Most people can’t market so they are glad to charge you to have them market your stuff. Oooookaaaay.
Marketing is getting in front of people so they know you exist. The rest happens by word of mouth, which happens to be the most effective marketing of all.
Steal My Stuff!
Here is where the tire meets the payment. I want you to steal my blog posts. That’s right! Steal them. Simply copy and paste to your blog when you need a filler. My gift. Don’t worry. I will not sue you or defend my copyright.
Why would I do such a sick thing; encouraging people to steal my hard hours of work? The answer is simple. Sometimes you get tight for time and need material to meet a deadline. I understand. My hope is you lift the post verbatim and do me a solid by telling your readers where the material came from. If not, no worries.
You might lift the post and leave the links in place so I generate some revenue. Once again, if you change the Amazon links to your affiliate I will understand.
As insane as this sounds it is actually a marketing ploy and a way to build my platform. Your readers will see the different writing style and ask what gives. Eventually you will tell them you got it from me. In the end it all works out fine.
It also saves time. I can write a guest post for you, but you might like something I already published. Authors have republished their work since the beginning of time. It works. Hungry writers can increase their income and create a quasi pension for themselves. In the modern world you get to republish for me! Isn’t that nice?
Once your readers know I wrote it they will be glad you published it. You have happy readers. They then read you and me. Now I have happy readers too. (Have you ever seen a wealthy accountant dance?)
Cory Doctorow is a master at this. He is a science fiction writer who also happens to run Boing Boing, one of the most successful websites on the planet. Cory is a smart cookie! He demands his publisher allow him to share his work for free online. People get to steal his stuff! And he is more successful for it.
You see, the risk any blogger faces isn’t piracy, its obscurity. People stealing my stuff spread my work around. I want people to see my stuff. A lot. So please steal my stuff. It does us both good.
When my stuff is worth pirating it means I am getting good enough to pirate. Many brand names today actually pirated their own work to get the free marketing they needed to lift from unknown to significant. Some even pirated their work under a well known brand name hoping the dupe would stick around and like what they hear when they discover the ruse.
Maybe I should try that.
Did it work? Dang!
Last weekend CNBC had two interesting weekend reports. The reports had some significant similarities to things I’ve recently published here. Unfortunately they did not give me a plug. I accept that.
You can be the judge if CNBC lifted some of my work for their site.
Wealthy Accountant: https://wealthyaccountant.com/2016/11/08/credit-card-secrets/
Wealthy Accountant: https://wealthyaccountant.com/2017/07/10/change-nothing/
The Change Nothing post had a comment suggesting I incorporate my program with the Defy organization. It seems CNBC took their article a bit further than mine. Least they could have done was invited me to be a talking head for a 30 second spot. Such is life.
You might think I’m offended by this. You might be offended if it happened to you. Don’t! I get my ideas from reading and the writers over at CNBC may have discovered a story they wanted to tell based on my work.
One thing CNBC didn’t do was lift the post word for word. I wouldn’t expect them to.
There is one final piece to the marketing puzzle: word of mouth. Nothing works better than word of mouth. People respect an unsolicited endorsement of a blog, book, song, et cetera.
Please steal my stuff. Okay? But also spread the word. I love what I do, but traffic builds relevance. Reprint a post; let your readers know where you got it from. It’s also the professional thing to do.
Tell your friends, share on social media, spread the word. I have some control over where I speak or which conferences I attend. Only you control who you tell about me.
If I make you smile or brighten your day, let a friend know. If I save you some money or help you reach your financial goals don’t keep it a secret. Share the love.
Pay it forward.
And don’t forget my platform. Subscribe. Thank you.