How can you create instant sales credibility? Write a book! Guest, Mitchell Levy discusses how authorship creates authority, putting you in a power position with your customers and disrupting your competitors. He describes how to create an impressive book fast, he’s published more than 800 books by 300 authors. He shows how you can write your first book in eight hours. (My first book took five days.)
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Create Disruptive Sales Authority by Writing Your Book, Fast
Mark S A Smith: Mitchell Levy, otherwise known as the Aha guy loves making people think. He also loves to help people write books that create proof of expertise in their industry. The unstoppable tool to pry open doors, getting customers to take your calls, and generally disrupting sales, welcome Mitchell.
Mitchell Levy: It’s great to be here. You know, that was probably one of the best intros, if not the best I’ve ever heard. Thank you so much.
Mark S A Smith: You’re welcome. Thanks for sucking up. I appreciate that.
Mitchell Levy: You hear the same thing over and over again, and you have to stand in your own shoes, and it’s a nice way to put it. It’s in your language. I love it.
Mark S A Smith: Well you’re welcome. That’s the way this works. We’re authors. You and I both write books. You write hundreds of them it seems. Let’s talk about how people can use books, write books, and publish books rapidly. You have helped hundreds of people, if not more, publish books fast.
Mitchell Levy: Well we’ve published over 800 books. Specifically though, we have 300 authors who have written books in eight hours or less.
Mark S A Smith: Wow.
Mitchell Levy: So that would be fast.
Mark S A Smith: That’s disruptive. Writing a book in eight hours is like insane. It takes me two weeks after doing all the research.
Mitchell Levy: We’ve solved the author’s dilemma. And the author’s dilemma is twofold. How do you actually write a book quickly? And two, once you’ve written a book, how do you make sure you can share it with the world and get the world excited about it? And not just you share it, but have your friends, your fans, your advocates share it for you as well?
Mark S A Smith: I love it. Let’s actually talk first about why you want to write a book. You and I know this, instinctively, that my career’s based on the books that I’ve written.
The reason why, you, listener as a selling disrupter need to consider a book is … Mitchell.
Mitchell Levy: Credibility, authenticity, trust. You’re instantly recognized as the expert in the space that you’re writing about. Very simple. The person you hire, if there are five people in the room, and you all look the same, act the same, talk the same, and one of them has a book that says, “Hey this is the solution to the problem is contained within these pages,” the person who gets the job is the author of the guy who wrote the book. He’s the expert.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, what I really love about a book is it manifests, it creates, it codifies, it solidifies, it puts into one location all of the wisdom that you’ve accumulated around your area of expertise. So as a sales person, you walk into an organization say, “Hey, you know, I’ve written a book about this particular topic. Would you like a copy?”
How are you seen by those prospects?
Mitchell Levy: Think about the sales literature you normally bring in. Better example, come back from a conference. You’ve got wads and wads of white papers and papers and brochures and stuff, and they all end up in the [inaudible 00:02:40].
Mark S A Smith: They sure do.
Mitchell Levy: You got coffee mugs that your spouse will look at and throw out. You got t-shirts that you’ve never wear in your life. If you have a book, what does it do? It goes on your desk.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, it occupies the space where you put your most valuable things.
Mitchell Levy: What’s interesting about writing a book in eight hours is you no longer are writing a book, you’re writing an asset that’s not broad based, doesn’t boil the ocean. You’re covering a very narrow topic that solves a very focused issue. Why? Because if you are so good at doing this in eight hours, you then slightly vary the topic and you do another one, and another one.
If you do one a month … you can do one a weekend if you want, but do one a month, or even one a quarter, you have four books, on four topics, which are specifically the items that you’re going to market with and when somebody has an issue, you’re delivering them an asset that stays on their desk, has their mind share, and they say, “Oh, this is a guy that could solve my problem,” or “his firm can solve my problem.”
Mark S A Smith: Yep. You bet. It’s absolutely powerful in positioning. You will blow away and disrupt every one of your competitors when you use this strategy.
How do you go about writing the book in just eight hours?
Mitchell Levy: We’ve redefined the concept of a book, and we’re calling these social media enabled e-books or for short, Aha books.
Mark S A Smith: Aha.
Mitchell Levy: Exactly. And an Aha book, you can see ’em at the Aha That platform, an Aha book is comprised of 140 bite-sized quotes.
Great example, a friend of mine, a sales guy by the name of Jeff Shavitz. Love Jeff, he’s been very successful, sold a credit card company, now doing a lot of things with Jack Daly.
After he sold his company, he sat down and he wrote a 40,000 word book, which we published. We then, at the same time, we took the aha moments, the bite-sized quotes out of his book, and we ghost wrote for him an Aha book. An Aha book is 140 bite-sized quotes and we actually turned that not just from a social media enabled e-book, but we also turned it into a paperback book for Jeff.
We made it an Amazon best-selling book. His friends and family have been coerced into buying both copies. And one day he looks at me and he goes, “Mitchell. Man I really love your Aha book better.”
Now remember, he spent eight months or so writing his first book.
Mark S A Smith: Sure.
Mitchell Levy: He spent about an hour reviewing the second book because we pulled it from the first, and he looks at me and he goes, “Mitchell, I like the Aha book better.”
I go, “Jeff, music to my ears, but tell me why.”
He goes well “I forced all my friends and family to purchase both books, and I know they read the Aha book. They may have skimmed the table of contents or read a chapter of my other book.”
Mark S A Smith: Isn’t that the truth? People just don’t have time to read massive books like they used to, versus something that you can glean the most important concepts.
It’s like a book of memes.
Mitchell Levy: It’s a book of memes. It’s the newer CliffsNotes. It is a book that’s written for today’s world because in today’s world, we want things in seven-second sound bites. Here you have an opportunity to have 140 seven-second sound bites available.
And you know what, even as Jeff was excited about that somebody spent 10 minutes reading this book, all your prospect needs to do is see the cover, maybe read one, two, or three Aha moments, and be convinced that you’re the guy, and that’s it. They don’t even read the entire book. It’s the credibility factor that just blows you out of the water compared to your competition.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, the fun factor, as we’ve used in the world of marketing forever. You want to brochure that lands on the customer’s table with a thud, not a swish.
Mitchell Levy: We can also turn your aha book into paperback and hardcover just for auditory sounds, I’m going to knock on the cover of my hardcover book. Doesn’t that sound like it’s chock full of good Aha messages?
And the book that I’m looking at is the one that I wrote. I’ve decided not to be the cobbler who doesn’t have a book that tells his own story. So I wrote a book called, “Hey, Did You Aha That,” and inside the book, I interviewed four of my authors. So I’m using common best practices of today because 80% of the content inside this book are other people talking about the benefits of writing an Aha book.
In this particular case, it doesn’t even need to be me saying here’s a solution to your problem. You could read on how third parties have taken advantage of this platform and used it for their own benefit. You can hear it in the sound, the intonation, of the hardcover. When you’re actually holding a book in your hand, a paperback or a hardcover, it just denotes credibility.
And then you open it up, and you can browse through it and get the core concepts quickly, it’s pretty powerful. As a matter of fact, it’s extremely disruptive.
Mark S A Smith: It is disruptive. We have been programmed … We went through at least 12 years of programming, if not 16 or more, of a hard copy book, a textbook, influences us the authority, we are tapping into that deeply rooted, in our DNA, that a hard copy book, or even a soft copy book if we need to, is a powerful influencer.
I love it. It’s really strong.
Mitchell Levy: And I absolutely love that concept. Let me even step back for a second. Because step one, if you went to AhaThat.com/author, we have an eight-step publishing process. And that’s how people have been able to write their books in eight hours or less.
And even if you don’t turn it into the paperback or hardcover, which is really the beautiful component, the disruptive component there, even if you just sat down, you wrote the 140 quotes, or you could pay somebody else to write it for you, right, but you can write your 140 quotes in eight hours or less …
Even if you just did that and you then update your social media profiles, your next business card, you actually put best-selling author, even as a social media enabled e-book, or turn we’ll it into a Kindle version, you make it an Amazon best-seller on Kindle, lots of interesting and easy techniques to do that.
On my business card, it says best-selling author, 25% of the people who look at my business card actually say, “Really? What you write your book on?”
And then that’s your opportunity to jump into, “Oh, I wrote my book on the problem that you’re looking to solve.” And you obviously the much more elegant way than I just said it. And all of a sudden, “Wait a second, I have that problem. And you wrote a book on how to solve that problem? Tell me more.”
Mark S A Smith: And that “tell me more” is the thing that we as disruptive sales professionals are looking for which is … permission to sell.
Mitchell Levy: Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Yes.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah.
Mark S A Smith: No one of the great things if you are doing business online is that you can use this as the ultimate bribe to get somebody’s e-mail for a squeeze page. There’s nothing more powerful than saying … Not you can download this electronic report, blah, blah, blah. Everybody has that, you know it’s fluffy, and it’s two ideas.
But instead you say, you know, you can get this book from Amazon for $19.95 or I’ll send it to you free when you give me your e-mail address. There’s this whole new level of credibility.
Mitchell Levy: It’s absolutely beautiful. An Aha book is new. I’m going to create a world that’s very simple for everyone to listen to.
Let’s assume there are only three types of e-books in the world. One is the PDF, and we know what that is, and that, Mark, is what you’re talking about. You basically take a PDF, put at the top of the funnel, “Hey, get my entire book for free, just give me your e-mail address, and then put them into a drip campaign.”
Mark S A Smith: Yeah, you sell ’em stuff.
Mitchell Levy: You sell ’em stuff.
The next type of book is an epub. An epub is what you use to put a book on Amazon. And then the third type is, what we’ve been talking about, an Aha book.
The very cool part about the Aha book is you’re now sitting on a platform where there are 37,000 other quotes, there are 600,000 users who are looking for content to share, and you have a customized URL you can send people to.
So what’s happening is you now have other people sharing your content. Your job is to say who shared my content, who retweeted my content, who commented on it. If they did, I need to talk to them because, guess what, they’re giving me permission to sell. It’s the social selling component of today’s world where you’re providing good valuable content, and people are listening.
Now this is something, Mark, that you’ll love. Any one of those quotes can include URL. That URL can point to YouTube, SlideShare, obviously top of funnel where you’re picking up the entire PDF book. If it’s pointing to YouTube, why don’t you create one, two, three minute videos, really short videos, that solve the issue that you’re talking about a particular Aha moment, and then you’re giving a little bit more information in the video.
They get to see you, they get to hear you. Extremely powerful, very easy to do.
Mark S A Smith: I love the idea that you’d start turning the book into more content. As somebody who’s going to own your topic, own your category, you have to have multiple pieces of content.
So the aha book is a beginning where you can assemble all those things and turn it into 90-second videos that you can post on YouTube, post on Twitter, post on Facebook, and you end up with all of this search engine love that you can only get by having massive quantities of content.
So using this as the seed for all that content is going to be magnificent. I love the idea.
Mitchell Levy: I am so glad. You’ve made a good point, and let me just knock that one out of the park if you don’t mind.
Mark S A Smith: All right.
Mitchell Levy: Most authors look at a book as the end product of years of being in business, and years or months of writing, and the end product is this asset called a book. They’re going to publish it, and because their knowledge is so powerful, it’s going to take over the world, be a best seller, and they’re going to live their life of dreams. That’s the dream.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Mitchell Levy: That’s the dream that everyone has. Reality is that the book is the door opener. The book is the start of you reaching your dreams, not the end product of you reaching your dreams. The book is the tool that you use that say, “Hey, I’m the author of a book that helps solve your problem.”
And somebody says “Tell me more. Sell me something.”
Mark S A Smith: That’s right.
Mitchell Levy: For any good salesperson, for any disruptive salesperson, every day you’re talking to somebody, and that person you’re talking to is speaking, and as they speak and they tell you the issues they have, you should be thinking in your head, “Oh, I could have a book that solves this problem.”
And matter of fact, you could be listening to somebody, once you get this Aha book concept, and you realize how quickly it is to write a book, you could be listening to a prospect, they could say something, “You know … “
And you could say, “you know what, that would be a fun book to write. I’m thinking about this,” or “I’m in the process of writing a book just on that topic. Do you mind if we could set up five or 10 minutes. I’ll just do a quick interview of you and a couple of your friends, and then we’ll pull a book together?”
And guess what, now you’ve included your prospect in the collaborative process of creating the book, talking about building a relationship and establish trust. You’re writing a book together that your prospect is part of.
Okay, who do they trust? You the author.
Mark S A Smith: That’s right. The person with the authority. Authorship equals authority. What should somebody budget for a process like this? Time budgets, some money budgets, some operation budgets so that they can get the most out of this.
And let me just make a side note here, a lot of people write books and they turn into orphans. And a book doesn’t do any good unless you are actively beating the drum. The publisher, those three books that I’ve wrote with Wiley & Sons, and great publisher, they did nothing to sell my book.
I’ve done everything to sell my book. So as an author, you’ve got to sell your book. So what should we budget to write the book, to publish the book, to promote the book?
Mitchell Levy: It’s a great question. And you’re writing the book on the business that you want to create tomorrow. That’s what the topic of the book is.
Time-wise, it’s about eight to 10 hours to write your book. The eight hours is to do the social media enabled e-book. When you turn it into a physical book, we need another couple hours because we need to pick pictures and write summaries. For the up-front cost, if you want just the e-book components, the PDF, the Aha book, and the epub, that’s $950, close to $1,000.
If you’re looking to go for the paperback and hardcover, it’s $3,550. Now here’s the cool part by the way. As a publisher, we will distribute it everywhere, and you as the author, you own copyright, so we’re not taking anything, and you get 51% of profit. So if you get lucky enough … And I say this because we don’t ever oversell.
If you get lucky enough and your book sells a lot, the cool part is you make 51% of profit. Now here’s what gets really interesting is there’s an opportunity for your company to take your book, if it works really well, and to buy copies and give it every prospect.
And so we have a book-
Mark S A Smith: Put a little medallion on it-
Mitchell Levy: Yeah.
Mark S A Smith: … that says …
Mitchell Levy: Yeah, the medallion on it, and the president and CEO of Walmart.com basically put his name on the front cover, put a letter on the inside, and gave copies to employees.
Mark S A Smith: I love it. And that includes our friend Chris Edmonds who’s also been on the Selling Disruption show.
Mitchell Levy: Oh absolutely. Oh yeah. Chris is phenomenal. He did a book called “Positivity at Work,” and it was absolutely fabulous.
Mark S A Smith: And he’s the guy that ended up being sponsored by Walmart.
Mitchell Levy: The very cool part is now having a book, whether it’s the e-book component of it, the Aha book, or the physical book, let’s say you’re going for the paperback hardcover, $3,550. That’s where life now starts because every day, you need to be out there, and so you change all your social media profiles. You reference the book, you write articles, you change the tagline of your small 30 second description to include you’re the author of a book on this particular topic.
If you’re not doing social media actively on a daily basis, you could pay between $200 to $400 a month with outside providers to give you very good social media.
There’s a guy I know and not that people should be paying this, but if you really want to hit the market large, there’s a guy I know, for $1,000 a month, he will continue to make you an Amazon best-selling author, and he will absolutely, significantly increase your social media presence on an organic level in many different social media platforms. That’s more of the higher range in terms of prices versus a couple hundred a month is more than enough to make things move.
Or if you had time, you do it yourself. If you’re a disruptive sales guy, you want to take advantage of as many leverage opportunities as possible, and if what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis is not helping you sell, or if it’s not the best use of your time, you should be outsourcing that to somebody else.
Mark S A Smith: I think the way the position these fees …
And by the way, these are where Mitchell’s team is holding your hand. It’s not like you have to buy videos and figure this out on your own. You’re actually getting some assistance in this process. And most of us need some coaching in this process so …
Mitchell Levy: Oh our job is to make you shine. The prices I gave you were the do-it-yourself model where you’re actually doing the writing. If you’re completely out of a time, we have a do-it-for-you model as well. Either way, I’m of a belief that you need to be treated like the expert that you are regardless of who you are.
So you’re going to be treated with kid gloves, well that said, if the stuff that you write really sucks, we’re going to let you know as nicely as possible. We’ll do a copy edit, which is English, we do a content edit, and we want to make sure that your content represents you and represents the goal you want to achieve. And if it doesn’t work, we will nicely let you know, typically they’ll nicely let you know is me because at that stage, you’re going to need someone who can approach you in such a way you can at least respect.
And I’ll tell you why it doesn’t work for me. And if you say it’s fine, that’s fine. The only thing you’ll never see in the Aha That platform is you’ll never see hate in any way. You’re only going to see good, compelling content, and it’s growing really fast. And we have some phenomenal content, and it’s a great place for you to play.
Mark S A Smith: That’s great.
And consider this investment to be part of your marketing fund. Keep in mind that marketing sows the seeds that we reap in sales, one of the fundamental concepts of selling disruption.
So plug this into your marketing budget, this investment in you, and this investment in the return that you get from being able to speak to a prospect and say, “Hey, I wrote the book. Would you like a copy?” And that gives you permission to sell.
Mitchell Levy: Mark, you know this, but the author of the book also gets invited to speak at conferences. So instead of being an attendee walking around trying to sell stuff, you could be one of the speakers talking about the topic.
One of my favorite selling techniques, if I’m selling to the vendors who are exhibiting at conferences, is walking around and during a lull, hand out a copy of my book, autography it, because, you know, that makes it even better.
Mark S A Smith: I’ll carry around a sharpie, everywhere I go, I’ve got my sharpie.
Mitchell Levy: You autograph it, you make it personalized, and guess what, they remember you, right?
Mark S A Smith: They sure do.
Mitchell Levy: And you do the follow up later.
Mark S A Smith: So I’ve got a little joke when I autograph books. I tell people, “May I autograph your book? Actually, I’d prefer to autograph it and the reason why is because once I autography it, you can’t return it.”
So there’s a bonus joke that can use once you have your book there.
Mitchell Levy: But I often say, depending on who I’m talking to, I said, “You know, there’s no cost for this book. Well, there’s one cost. If you like what you see, you need to give me a five-star Amazon review.”
Mark S A Smith: That’s great.
Mitchell Levy: And it’s kind of an interesting element because if they know they’re going to talk to you again, they may actually follow through on your behalf, so once again, you’re a disruptive salesperson, you’ve somebody a book. You’ve been polite to them, then given you a five-star review on Amazon?
Once again, they’re inviting you to sell them.
Mark S A Smith: That’s right. You’ve got a relationship that’s going. That’s awesome. What’s the next step for our listener to get started writing their Aha book?
Mitchell Levy: At any point in time, listeners, if you go to AhaThat.com, you could sign up for an account, it’s free to sign up. It’s free to use. There are 37,000 quotes that you or your social media team can be sharing on social media today.
To start writing, you go to AhaThat.com/author, and that is where you’ll see a eight-step process …
By the way, Mark, you’re going to love this. It says an eight-step process, steps nine to 100 is marketing.
Mark S A Smith: Ah, we believe the same secret of success.
Mitchell Levy: The first three steps, and I’ll just tell you about one and three. Step one is a word document. And a word document is the most important question, so question one of the word document, “Who’s your audience and how are they going to benefit from this book?”
Mark S A Smith: Yes.
Mitchell Levy: Who are you trying to reach and what do you want to sell them? But that’s not what we say, but that’s what you’re listening to. The rest of the document is the title of the book, your name, your bio.
Step number two, I’ve written over 50,000 Aha messages, so it’s a cheat sheet. How do you write a good Aha message.
Mark S A Smith: That’s great.
Mitchell Levy: Single page PDF.
Mark S A Smith: Go get that document just for that cheat sheet from Mitchell.
Everybody needs to be writing memes to begin with, all right, you got it. So get the cheat sheet.
Mitchell Levy: Yeah, it’s free, and I don’t even, yet, although somebody told me I should, but I don’t even collect your e-mail address, so just come and pick up the cheat sheet, it’s yours.
And Mark’s going to slap me around as soon as the episode’s over and say, “Put the e-mail address on.”
Mark S A Smith: You know, I believe in giving stuff away. People are going to contact you when they’re ready to do business with you.
Here’s the deal my friend. We always need to get permission to sell, and just because I give you my e-mail address in exchange for a document, doesn’t mean you have permission to sell yet. That’s one of the challenges that we face today. But that said, I like to give first, and if you like it, come on back, I got more permission to sell.
Mitchell Levy: Thank you. I actually think that giving away a book is the ultimate pay it forward.
Mark S A Smith: Yeah.
Mitchell Levy: The only other thing I’ll say is step number three is we give you an excel document, or if you want, a Google doc, and that’s actually where you put your aha messages because it keeps track of the character count.
And so what we do for you, even at the lowest level of getting into the system, we’ll create a cover for you, we’ll do a copy edit, we’ll do a content edit, we’ll make sure that your English is good. When you actually fill out that first question, and you say who’s your audience and how do you want to reach them, the content editor has read that, and make sure that your Aha messages are actually delivering on what you said you’re going to deliver.
Mark S A Smith: That’s great. The value that you’re delivering for the price you’re charging keeps getting more and more impressive given the fact that you’re giving people content and copy edit, plus coaching, plus cover, plus all the systems to make this happen. Very powerful.
Mitchell Levy: Thanks.
Mark S A Smith: Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Mitchell Levy: I’m glad you see it.
Mark S A Smith: Oh, I do see it.
Mitchell Levy: You’re one of those guys that was fun to immediately talk to because you saw the vision, but you actually saw how incredibly disruptive this thing is.
Mark S A Smith: Yes.
Mitchell Levy: This is a modern day book that you can write in a weekend or write in a weekday. We’ve had so many authors do that. My favorite is a woman by the name of Kevin. Kevin actually an organizational consultant, wrote her book on a Saturday, and we published it on Sunday because we knew what was coming.
She picked up her first five-figure consulting gig from it 10 days later.
Mark S A Smith: That’s a sweet return on that investment disruption occurs.
Mitchell Levy: It’s beautiful. Hey, I’m glad you saw it because it is new and unique and will continue to work for you for years.
Mark S A Smith: Excellent. It’s been a real delight Mitchell to have you on the show.
So head on over to AhaThat.com. Sign up for 37,000 quotes that you can be pouring into social media right now your friends should use all that goodness. And go to AhaThat.com/author to see the eight-step process, download the document, and get some insights on how you can get started right now.
Excellent stuff. Thank you for sharing your disruption with our team, Mitchell.
Mitchell Levy: Mark, I’m excited to be here. And I’m looking forward to sharing your Aha book.