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Episode Info: Last week we talked about leadership, impact, and influence, today we are going back to discussing the importance of having a plan to promote your business and executing that plan consistently. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that many people feel uncomfortable about promoting their business. The smaller the business and the more necessary the need for promotion, the more likely this is to be true. Many small business owners see their business as an extension of themselves and often see promotion as a form of “bragging.” I’ll tell you a story that illustrates this. My undergraduate degree is in marketing and advertising management, but I recently completed a masters degree in apologetics. It was quite a different change in track. There were people from all different industries and backgrounds. A few, such as myself with a business background, attorneys, engineers, and even a former NFL player, but a large percentage of the students were pastors, teachers, and writers. People who work in ideas, not necessarily the nuts and bolts of production or sales.  One of the classes was on communication and one unit in that class was specifically on promotion. One of the books assigned was Platform by Michael Hyatt. If you don’t know who Michael Hyatt is, he is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. His business was not only about finding good writers but about getting those books sold. Platform is about building your personal distribution channel. The subtitle is “Get Noticed in a Noisy World.” It is about building a base of people who like and follow what you have to say or offer, or as I mentioned before, expanding your reach and developing those customer conversations. The book is specifically written for authors, and Hyatt explains the publishing industry, but the principles he covers are good for anyone in business. He tells aspiring authors that it is absolutely necessary that they create their own “platform” or distribution channel if they want to be published. The publishing industry has changed quite a bit. Traditional book deals where the publisher gives the author an advance and invests in the development, production, and promotion of the book are not as common as they used to be, but authors that have their own developed platform are more likely to receive this. I know this to be true. I have a friend who is a food blogger who has published online since 1995. She was offered a deal for a cookbook from a publisher because she already has a site that gets a million views a month, a mailing list, and robust social media profiles. Offering a deal to someone like her is a much safer bet for a publisher who is fronting an advance and investing in the development and promotion of the book versus an unknown. I’ve created marketing pieces for other authors and they have told me the same thing. Even with traditional publishing, they are primarily resp...
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