Gavin and I are so excited — The Age of Conversation is going to be an amazing book. We exceeded our goal of 100 authors (in less than a week!) and the topics they are writing about is going to blow you away.
We’ll be posting a complete list of authors in a few days (it’s going to take me that long to catalog them all!) and we thank each person for stepping up and offering their thinking/writing to this very cool project.
I posted about a project called We Are Smarter than Me which gives people a chance to help author a guest book.
In the comments of that post Gavin Heaton said “Great concept! And it sounds like it could be fun … but you know what, Drew? I reckon between a few of us we could knock out a short book…All we need is a theme and a charity …”
The project, tentatively called We Are Smarter Than Me is an experiment to see whether a large community of business people can jointly author a book of the same name. Pearson will publish the book later this year.
The book focuses on ways in which companies are learning to leverage social networks and the power of communities to improve their performance by allowing customers or others to take over functions typically performed by experts.
Every contributor will be credited as an author, and will help direct royalties to charity. While several readers have already signed on, they’re looking for more participants.
Harry Beckwith gets it. Marketing. Branding. Communications. Relationships. Not only does he get it — he helps his readers get it.
Short, concise 1-4 page chapters. Each one punctuated with a summary lesson/thought. Compelling stories. And not just marketing lessons. Plenty of people lessons too.
Harry’s most recent book, You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself was just released. It’s as good as the rest (see links at the bottom of the post.) of his offerings but a little different. The earlier books took a more global, company-wide perspective. This book shrinks the focus down to the reader.
If you want to:
Communicate more clearly
Sell more — for the right reasons
Advance your professional stature and value
Improve your presentations skills and results
Find more satisfaction from your work life
then you need to read this book.
Beckwith is a master storyteller who never leaves the reader hanging. Together with his wife Christine (a much celebrated pro in her own right) he outlines very simple truths that can have a significant impact on your life. Professional or otherwise.
I’ve read some great business books already in ’07. This one tops the list.
Tisch is CEO and Chairman of Loews Hotels and his book is an insightful primer on crafting your customer experience. Like Tisch, I do not believe a remarkable customer experience happens by accident. It is the result of a deep understanding, an unfettered desire and a meticulous plan to actually delight your customer.
The book is a quick and enjoyable read. Tisch draws from many different industries. Throughout the chapters, he highlights key learning points in boxes marked Your Big Aha’s.
If you’ll give Tisch a couple hours of your time, in return he’ll share insights like:
How to use technology to create intimate connections with customers — without losing the human touch.
Perfecting the art of the welcome in both physical and virtual spaces.
Finding the balance between transparency and the need for confidentiality.
I don’t care how good you are– there’s a tweak or two that you can make to your customer’s experience. Let Tisch’s stories inspire you to do it a little better.
This is a book that’s been out for a few years, but I think its still been "under-read" by people who need the information inside.
I believe 100% in the power of branding. It is without a doubt, the most important and misunderstood aspect of marketing in today’s ecomony. Joe Calloway’s book Becoming a Category of One is the branding book I wish I had written. It’s that good and that on target.
Calloway is a gifted storyteller who helps the reader "get it" and understand how critical it is for them to brand their organization. Every business owner/leader should be required to read this book. It’s an enjoyable, quick read…but even if it wasn’t I’d make you read it.
I believe that branding is the only significant way we can differentiate ourselves from everyone else out there who sells the same things we sell. Most businesses have no idea how to articulate their brand — if they even know what it is or how to uncover it. I’ll tell you this much — it is not your logo or your sales theme of the month.
Check out Joe’s book and be prepared to be inspired to find and celebrate your company’s true brand.
It seems like just about everyone who has written a book is pitching it on the web. Even me! Marketing sense tells us that the web needs to be part of any author’s strategy today.
Here are some easy and smart ways to juice your online sales.
Create a blog on the same topic as your book. I know I am probably preaching to the choir here, but it is worth saying. Blogging is a place where birds of a feather gather together. Gather your birds in your own nest!
On your book’s/author website (or blog) include a calendar that outlines your public appearances, book signings and presentations/readings. And provide a place for people to request an appearance too!
Post a sample chapter that can either be read or downloaded so they can get a taste of your style and how you approach the topic.
Give the buyers lots of choices. Don’t only have your book available on your site. List it on Amazon, BN.com, 800CEORead, etc. as well.
Identify some other authors who write in your same subject area. rather than seeing them as competition, make them a co-conspirator! Promote each other’s books, do some mutual giveaways and take advantage of each other’s fan base.
Rocket science? Not really. But you’d be amazed at how many authors think those books will sell themselves! If you’re an author, give a couple of these a try and let me know how they work. If you’re a reader…reward some of those authors and pick up a book or two for the holidays.
I don’t know about you but Sunday nights are time for me to catch up. On my reading, on my work, on my relationships — all with an eye on Monday morning and knowing that the 180 mph pace is about to resume.
Sundays also seem to be my day for deep thoughts. I thought it might be fun to ease into the week together with a question that is sort of about branding and marketing but also has a personal element to it as well. A chance to get to know each other AND talk shop. Perfect for a Sunday night.
No matter how good a company is, they’re going to make mistakes. It’s a given. The question to be asked from a brand perspective is how do you brand the fix? How do you make sure your brand promise is present as you work to make that client happy again?
John Jantsch writes a great marketing blog, aimed squarely at small businesses. He’s gone one better and written a new book. I have pointed you in his direction on numerous occasions, by linking to his blog.
To promote his book, he’s put together a big bushel of freebies that you can get if you pre-order his book here.
I have no doubt the book is well worth the price and the read. John does not disappoint.
Here’s one thing I know for sure about your consumers. They are either men or women. (Or kids who will soon evolve into one or the other.) Especially in a retail setting, they behave like completely different animals.
Here are a few observations Underhill made about male shoppers:
~ Men equally rarely ask for the department they want in a store. They’d rather wander around lost and leave if they can’t find it.
~ If a man tries something on, he’ll buy it 65% of the time.
~ Only 25% of men will grocery shop with a list, as opposed to 70% of women.
If men shop this way – what clues does this give you for dealing with men in your environment?
How about the ladies, you ask? Well…
~ If a woman tries something on, she’ll buy it 25% of the time. (Remember, men were at 65%)
~ At the supermarket, over 90% of women brought a shopping list.
~ Women particularly hate being jostled from behind and may leave a store without buying if aisles are too narrow.
Wondering what others are saying about it? Secrets of the Male Shopper is a long but very interesting read about the state of the male shopper. Check it out. Smart thinking made even more notable because the author is an 18 year old student.
So, are your shopping habits typical of your gender? How can you use these insights as you think about your customers?