Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people. One of those is Lee Pound, a writer and editor with a lot of wisdom and an unassuming demeanor. In this post, I’ve gathered the tips and pearls of wisdom I’ve gleaned from seeing him speak several times. Enjoy!
The Mehrabian Myth
In 1971, psychology professor Albert Mehrabian published a book called Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes, which discussed his 7-38-55 Rule. The rule states that, when communicating emotions, 7 percent of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38 percent through tone of voice, and 55 percent through body language.
This rule has been misquoted and misused to support the idea that actions are more important than words. However, this is not always the case. Mehrabian’s model addresses the communication of emotional content, not all content.
At an event called Market Your Way to Wealth in 2009, Lee spoke about the Mehrabian Myth and how a true understanding of the model can help when making a presentation.
How to Use the Mehrabian Model in Your Book Marketing
When speaking about your book online or on stage, ensure that your words match your body language. When you speak with enthusiasm about your topic or your book, let your body communicate that emotion as well. Here’s a video example of what I’m talking about.
The 7 Keys of Interesting Content
Also at Market Your Way to Wealth in 2009, Lee said there are only two types of writing: Interesting and boring. And you only need to master one!
The keys to creating interesting writing, in fiction, in marketing, and in the news, is to include the following 7 keys:
1. The hook
This is your intriguing start. If your readers lose interest in the first paragraph, do you think they will read any further? Although he didn’t mention this specifically, hooks don’t only occur at the beginning of a piece of work. The longer the content, the more hooks it will need to keep readers reading. When writing a book, each chapter should have its own hook that is like a sub-hook to the book’s overarching hook.
2. Powerful characters
People love to read about powerful characters. Pick up the newspaper or the latest issue of your favorite magazine. Which stories do you want to read? Is it the one about the small business owner who created a flood of new business while raising money for charity? Or is it the one about the small business owner who earned an award? Which one tells you about a character? As you can see, characters don’t only appear in fiction. Nonfiction is filled with them, but not always as obvious.
3. Create strong desire
Your writing must move people with some sort of emotion, or they won’t continue to read. Make your readers laugh, cry, get angry … anything but a yawn! This calls to mind my motto “If you don’t inspire, you expire.” Eliciting an emotional response in your reader is the key to keeping them reading.
4. Incorporate credible problems
In fiction, these are the obstacles the heroine must face. In marketing copy, these are the obstacles your ideal clients must face. Either way, these obstacles must be believable. When writing sales copy, be sure that you address those obstacles that your product or service will help your ideal clients solve. And when writing a non-fiction book, address the obstacles your readers face when attempting to achieve the result your book promises to help them with.
5. Plot it out
Your writing must have a logical flow, a journey that your readers follow through the copy. Include all the pertinent information that will help them reach the conclusions you hope for. This is why creating an outline before you start working on your book is so important and may be the key to its success.
Wrap it up with a call to action. In fiction, this is the part where the heroine saves the day. In marketing copy, this is where you tell the readers what you want them to do. Buy this. Subscribe to that. What action do you want them to take? In a book, these calls to action and resolutions are sprinkled throughout the entire book, and, most importantly, in its conclusion.
Restate the lesson or call to action again. You’d be surprised by how often people don’t hear your call to action the first time. Repeat it in your P.S. Re-phrase it for another learning channel. (This is why authors sprinkle their call to action throughout the book!)
Solve a Problem
People are always looking for ways to solve their perceived problems. When you can do that, with your product, service, presentation, or book, you will attract clients and readers. And, when it comes to marketing your business with a book, that problem should be specific and related to your business. Don’t solve too many problems with your book or it will become diluted and uninteresting.
Become an Insider
Becoming an insider is just another way of saying “be one of the fold.” In the context of speaking, Lee was referring to being visible and making business connections. But in the context of your business overall, and most especially your books, I’d say that it means be relatable. Speak your target market’s language. If you speak over or below them … or in jargon they are not familiar with … you’ll lose them.
How to Get Invited on Other People’s Stages
Leveraging other people’s audiences by speaking on their stages about the topic of your book if a very powerful way to sell more books and grow your business. In June of 2012, Lee spoke at District 1 Toastmaster’s Speaker’s Bureau bout “Creating Your Own Opportunities.” In his presentation, he listed the things you should have in place if you want to start getting invited to be on other people’s stages:
- Get to know them
- Attend meetings
- Solve their problems
- Show them what you’ve done
- Be present and findable on the Internet
- Write a book
- Offer products
This list is still valid today. And the beauty of them is that they are all achievable, especially when you take them one step at a time.
Get to know them and attend meetings
These two points go hand in hand. Network. Get out there and “press the flesh” so to speak – even if you have to do it virtually. Be personable. Continuously work on improving yourself, your skills, and your knowledge. You’ll never know where your golden opportunities will come from. For example, many years ago, I purchased a web property called Women’s Business Gallery in the hopes of building a business with it. That didn’t happen in quite the way I envisioned, but that purchase lead me to meeting some very important people in my life.
Solve their problems
Again, if you aren’t solving someone’s problems you aren’t going to attract clients, projects, or opportunities. And, by the way, boredom can be a problem, so entertainers solve problems!
Show them what you’ve done
If your potential clients and JV partners have no idea what you are capable of doing, why would they want to work with you? You need to find ways to showcase your talents and the results of your work. Testimonials, case studies, and portfolios of your projects are all ways to do this.
Be present and findable on the Internet
This is where I do pretty well. As of July 2022, when you Google “Carma Spence” there are 45,600 results. If you scroll through the pages (which most people won’t), you don’t come across a non-advertising link that isn’t mine until page 5 (and only one link on that page isn’t mine!). When I first started out, my aunt (who also goes by Carma Spence) was on the first page (she’s mentioned on that one link). Also, when I started, random pages that weren’t relevant (such as my name being aboard the Cassini probe to Saturn) showed up. But with time, persistence, and constant experimentation, I’ve developed a pretty decent online presence and I’ve helped my clients do the same.
Write a book
Frankly, I have way too many books in me. At present, I have 12 titles authored only by me, 6 titles I’ve contributed to, and numerous ideas in the hopper. Being an author, regardless of whether you are published by a publisher or are self-published, gives you credibility. In part, because it takes time, confidence, and a touch of chutzpah to write and publish a book. So, get one done, OK? (I can help!)
If you don’t have something for people to buy, how do you make money? And if all you have to offer is your time … you are limiting your income and your reach. Package what you know into products so that you can reach more people with your message … and it makes you more attractive to meeting planners and joint venture (JV) partners.
Getting on someone else’s stage doesn’t need to mean an actual stage. It can mean getting on their radar so they know you exist and getting into their wallets, so they buy what you have to offer. You can do this! You can get onto the stage of the world and reach a larger audience hungry for not only what you have to offer but how you have to offer it.
Your First Draft Will Be Terrible – Write It Anyway
One thing you have to realize, says Lee, is that the first draft of your book will be horrible. Get over it and write it anyway. That’s why there are professional editors and proofreaders in the world … to help you transform that terrible first attempt into something worth reading. And, if you do some planning up-front, you can make the first draft not-so-terrible.
The Four Steps to a Not-So-Terrible First Draft
There are ways to make your first draft less horrible. Here is the four-step process for creating a decent first draft that I gleaned from Lee’s presentation at Market Your Way to Wealth 2009.
1. Choose your topic
What are you going to write about?
2. Narrow your topic
Focus on what aspect of that topic your book will cover.
3. Outline your book
Create a roadmap for your final book so you won’t get lost along the journey.
4. Write your book
Put your cheeks in the seat and let your fingers fly!
Get More Clients
There is a simple formula for getting more clients:
Writing + Speaking = Clients
When you have a book, it is easier to get speaking gigs because you’re seen as an expert. Also, when you speak, having a book gives you something you can sell at the back of the room or give away as a gift to keep you top of mind.
When you find someone whose wisdom you resonate with, I recommend taking advantage of every opportunity to hear them speak. It was because I did this that I was able to learn so much from Lee. I hope you found these tidbits as helpful as I have.
Editor’s Note: This content was compiled from three posts originally published on CarmaSpence.com in 2009 and 2012. They have been updated for content.