If you’re working on an advice book, here’s a way to get a lot of people to hear about it. I call it the hero crew.
Do this, right now — before writing (if you haven’t started yet), before you do anything else.
- Nail down your audience. It might be women entrepreneurs, CIOs embracing the cloud, content marketers, or people who want to rock at Etsy.
- Figure out how to reach a group of them — really connect. Get cards at events. Become active in discussion forums. Run a user group.
- Make friends with a bunch of them. Might be ten, might be 20, might be 50 or 100.
- Connect with those friends. Hold a party at an event. Recruit them to subscribe to your newsletter. Start a Facebook Group or a Slack Channel. Start a blog or a podcast. Whatever . . . but feed them good stuff.
- What kind of good stuff? Well, for starters, do some interviews with them. “Today we’re going to talk to Sarah McSmith, who has an awesome Etsy page.” Those interviews are gold. You’re going to share them with your audience. You’re going to put them into the book as case studies. And you’re going to make friends with those folks you’ve interviewed, because you just made them look awesome. Believe me, their peers will become very interested in how they’re succeeding.
- In your book proposal, describe the size of your community and how it will help you — and promise case studies featuring members of your hero crew.
- Before your book launch, get them to give you cover quotes. “The most valuable resource ever” — Sarah McSmith, Etsy artist.
- Send them books before the launch. Then ask them if they’d be willing to pre-order a copy on their own and send it to a friend. Not a big ask — twenty bucks or so, and you’ve interviewed them so they’re actually a case study in the book.
- Invite them to contribute an Amazon review on launch day and post on their own social media channels.
- Keep sharing more of those interviews after the launch to keep the buzz going.
What’s that you say? This is work? You just wanted to write your book?
Guess what, sucker. Without those case studies, the book is all about the inside of your brain . . . and very few people want to hear about that. You need this crew.
If this sounds like Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 true fans or Seth Godin’s Tribes, sure. But you can’t do interviews with 1,000 people. The core of this group is 20 or 50 or 100 heroes whose story you will be telling — and who will form the core of your hero crew.
What are you waiting for?