Today, we’re talking with Jessi Beyer about how to actually use your book to generate revenue in your business.
Jessi Beyer is an award-nominated international speaker, #1 best-selling author of How To Heal, and the founder of the Aspiring Author Incubator and the Book Writing Blueprint, through which she helps entrepreneurs and aspiring authors take their book from idea to published in less than five hours a week so they can get it into the hands of their perfect readers.
She has been featured in over 160 media outlets and has spoken to thousands of people around the world.
Jessi shares with us her journey to writing, launching, and selling her book. She shares with us what it really takes to leverage your book, sell it in bulk, and use it as an asset in your business rather than simply an ego-booster.
Let’s dive in!
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Show Notes 📓
✅ Take your book from idea to published without working more than 5 hours per week with Jessi’s free masterclass: jessibeyer.com/training
📷 Watch the video version of this episode and subscribe for updates on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYAr3nGy6lbXrhbezMxoHTSCS40liusyU
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🚀 And as always, don’t forget about all the mind-blowing free resources at https://speakerflow.com/resources/
Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Welcome to another episode of Technically Speaking, we’re your hosts, Taylorr and Austin and today we are talking about how to properly leverage your book to drive revenue in your business and the perfect person to talk about this is Jessi Beyer. Now, Jessi is an award-nominated international keynote speaker and number one bestselling author of a book called “How to Heal.” And she’s also the founder of the aspiring author incubator, where she helps entrepreneurs, and aspiring authors take their ideas for their books from idea to published in less than five hours per week.
She’s also been featured in over 160 media outlets, spoken to thousands of people around the world, and is just all-around an awesome person, and Jessi shares with us, her journey to starting her book and writing it, and self-publishing it, and selling it, and selling it in bulk and then continuing to leverage it in her journey as an expert. So, as always stick around until the end for some awesome resources and we hope you like this one. All right and we are live, Jessi welcome to the show, I am so thrilled that you’re here today.
Jessi: Yeah, me too, thank you so much for having me.
Austin: Yeah, joining us from very rainy Seattle is what it sounds like.
Jessi: Yeah, it’s a standard November out here where it’s like high of about 48 and pouring for the next three months, so, it’s really great.
Taylorr: Do you like that?
Jessi: It, the rest of the year makes it worth it, I would be lying if I said I love dancing in freezing cold rain, but the rest of the year and the nature and the landscape and the view is in my opinion, it makes it worth it.
Austin: Yeah, makes sense, I hear you and we were talking before the show, but I spent some time living in Portland and I grew to really like the rain actually, but like bundled up in something warm inside watching it outside not dancing in it.
Jessi: Yes, absolutely, yeah, my dog is not the type that will let me do that all day, so I kind of have to get out the rain gear, make a trip to REI and get out and do the thing but I hear that that rain and the blankets and the hot chocolate is definitely a beautiful place to be.
Austin: It’s pretty much wild in Minnesota just perpetual warmth and hot chocolate, so.
Jessi: I love it, I love it.
Taylorr: So, we’re here to talk about books today and how to actually grow a business using them and I know there’s a lot of gray area in this world of using a book to grow the business and it was all about the one-off sales about the authority. And I know so many speakers, they either have books that maybe didn’t launch the way they wanted to, or they’re writing a new book or they’re writing a book for the first time, so I guess Jessi, the way I want to kick off the show is like, what first got you so passionate about this idea of even using a book to grow your business, how did you get to that point?
Jessi: Yeah, well, to be totally honest, when I was writing and publishing my book, I was not sitting there thinking like, okay, I’m doing this to grow my business, that kind of came as a nice side effect, but the build-up to all of that, I’ve been that kid my whole life who was writing out little picture books in first grade, and then you get into middle school and high school. And the teacher’s like, okay, minimum word count for this essay is a thousand and I’m the one that comes back with, yeah, okay, cool, but what’s the maximum word count, like how much can I write and you not get annoyed at me by giving you this giant thing that you have to grade?
So, I’ve always been a writer, I’ve always been someone that’s like, okay, I’m going to write a book someday but when I started to, this is more of a personal background, but when I started to heal from my own mental health struggles, learn about different types of therapies that were out there that could really help people who were in my position. I’m like, I cannot keep this information to myself, this is literally lifesaving, it could change someone’s whole outlook and whole healing journey, so I put it into a book, and I was like, okay, I’m going to write my book about this and it really was that mission of let me help people, let me provide the information that I wish I had.
I wish I had this information, so I’m going to write this into a book, I’m going to publish it, and then what happened from that was increased business growth, increased credibility, increased confidence, increased and improved relationships with the people that I either speak to or my readers that I interact with, in a professional setting. So, all of that business growth and professional growth was kind of a nice side effect, but it wasn’t really that time of like, okay, my business is struggling, I need a boost, let me write a book to make it happen, because that is quite an endeavor to do when your business is struggling and you want that boost.
Taylorr: Yeah, and what pressure, holy cow, to write a book when your business is struggling, that is not a good mindset to be in to write a book, so.
Jessi: It’s not, and I feel like you find yourself in that position where you’re like, okay, I have to get it done and get it out as quickly as possible, let’s pound out this thing, and then, of course, there’s going to be mistakes and there’s going to be missed opportunities. So, I definitely don’t encourage people to go down this route if they’re in that like pressure have to make money right now type mindset.
Austin: Mm-Hmm, that makes sense. So, what did your business look like before the book came around? I’m just curious because I know some of our listeners here are probably going to be able to relate to the story itself.
Jessi: Yeah, definitely, so I called myself a speaker and I say it that way because I sent out a ton of pitches, I sent out close to 2000 different pitches, I speak mostly on college campuses, so I was looking at a semesterly basis, but I sent out literally thousands of pitches and I got three gigs booked and one of them was for a hundred and fifty dollars, which is not nothing, but you can’t live on $150. So, I had a business, and you could see that it was incorporated with the state that I was living in, so some of the boxes they were checked, but I wasn’t really doing much.
I was putting myself out there a ton, most people didn’t even reply, if they did, it was a 50/50 toss-up between a very curt we’re not interested or sure, give me some more information, oh, okay, we’re not really interested here. So, it was very much a struggle to get those opportunities and to get those conversations and the gigs that I had, I was able to make an impact and really felt good about them and got some great testimonials, so I was like, there’s something here, but it really was just not taking off before my book came out.
Austin: So, do you think that was a direct root cause to the book or do you think that was more because of the offer not being as focused and then the book perhaps helping with that? Because I’ll be perfectly honest and this is where we might disagree, so we’ll see. But the books aren’t the end-all-be-all for selling, it’s really about how you position yourself in a marketplace of need and what I’ve found books really help with, with our audience is it’s that credibility, it’s that authority that’ll get someone to have a little bit more trust.
But I think something magical happens when they have a book and now, they really truly see the offer and can translate that back into how they’re pitching, so where did you find the success with the book? Was it simply because of the book? Was it because of clarity about the offer or was it something else?
Jessi: I think it was a lot of different things and I don’t disagree with you at all, but I also think there’s a lot to that credibility piece and I think some people are quick to write off credibility or major press features or things like that but like, meh, whatever, but it really can make a difference. So, a couple of different things, as I was saying, I think it helped with my offer clarity in the sense that before I was like, I can speak about anything related to mental health and personal development, I’m your girl, and so many people speak in those spaces.
It’s like, there’s nothing there, you have to be more specific, whereas, after my book, I actually took the last chapter of my book, which is specifically about how to be a good support system to someone who’s struggling with their mental health and turn that into my keynote. So, that’s what I do all the time, that’s what I do everywhere, I don’t care if it’s a leadership conference, I don’t care, I do care, but I’ll do that at leadership conferences, I’ll do that at colleges, I’ll do that at Greek life organizations, it’s all that one topic.
So, not only did it give me the opportunity to focus my messaging, but it gave me the opportunity to get really, really good at that one presentation, I can do that presentation in my sleep, I have literally found myself giving that presentation, and as the words are coming out of my mouth, I’m thinking about something else. It’s down pat and it’s really, really good, so I think it helped with that, my book helped with that, it also helped with the credibility, when I could add that line in my pitch that said, Hey, I’m the number one bestselling author of “How to Heal” more people were interested, I had people who were applying with, okay, I checked out your book or I read some endorsements.
I got really great endorsements for my books that helped as well and that was kind of that door opener of, okay, she’s not just some random person on the internet, she’s actually written a book; she has something behind her name and as a young speaker and maybe as a female speaker, if we want to go down that route, that was really, really helpful to have. And then I guess the third thing I’d say is it helped me feel better about myself, it made me more confident that I had something to offer, even though I was the exact same person the day before and the day after my book came out, I had all the same knowledge, I had all the same expertise, but now I had this thing where it was like, I did this thing, I packaged it all up.
I got some really great endorsements, so it’s not just me that thinks it’s cool and made me feel better when I was reaching out to different places, so it helped in a myriad of different ways when it came to improving my speaking business.
Austin: Yeah, it’s like it created the perfect storm for you in a lot of ways, brought in so many different elements that really ended up working in your favor, which is huge.
Jessi: It did, it really did, I went from speaking that entire school year before my book came out because my book came out in May, I spoke three times and as I said, one of those was for 150 bucks, and then that next semester, that fall semester after my book came out, I just looked, I had like 14 presentations that one semester. So, it literally, that was the turning point, maybe not just for the credibility, but my book coming out was the thing that made the difference and enabled my speaking business to grow into something that I can now live off of, which is awesome, so.
Austin: That’s huge, well; I think there’s value even just in being able to draw a box around the thing that we’re delivering for people, right? Because you were saying earlier as I’ll speak on anything mental health or personal development, and it’s so broad, like not only is there like lots of people in those spaces, which there are, and we need a differentiator, but it can be hard to like compartmentalize what we know in a way that becomes attractive to a buyer and a book forces you to have a start and a finish to the thing that you’re delivering on.
And I think that makes it easier to even just communicate what it is that you’re going to help people with and like you even took it one step further by building your whole keynote around that last chapter of the book, which I think is brilliant. And in fact, this even segues perfectly into a conversation we just had with Sally Z a few weeks ago about having a signature thing because it can help catch on, let’s say, but that’s huge before we totally segue because I think both Taylorr and I want to get a little bit into the weeds about like how the book process works and how of the selling process works and everything.
But you mentioned that like some people that want to write a book or that are speakers or are already doing the thing a little bit can discount the credibility factor that a book can have or even media can have or whatever. So, I’m curious like from your angle doing this all the time, talking with tons of people about their books, what are some of their common misconceptions that you think people have about this process?
Jessi: Yeah, well, the first one that comes to mind, and I think this is going to be the segue, so we don’t have to quite go there just yet but the idea that in order to make money from your book, you have to sell a lot of copies to a lot of independent readers all around the world. And you can do that, math is math, you can sell a million books and then make, I don’t know, 3, $5 million if you want to do that but there are so many other ways to use that book to grow your business in terms of book sales, but also in terms of getting you speaking gigs, getting you coaching clients, getting you media features that can then lead to X, Y, and Z.
So, that’s a huge misconception I see, another one is, is the debate between traditional publishing and self-publishing, there’s still a lot of people out there that have this idea that self-publishing is low quality, it results in really sloppy books or authors that just aren’t that good and couldn’t even get a traditional publishing deal. So, that’s another misconception I see, and then I think the third one is that writing a book is for the expert like capital V up on stage in a white lab coat with the MD, Ph.D., MA, a million other acronyms after their name but what I like to encourage people to do is that a book is enough, there’s enough content there, there’s enough messaging there if you have done something that other people want to do and that’s it.
You don’t have to be the best in your industry, if you have something to teach if you have a journey that you’ve been on, that’s enough to write a book, and oftentimes it’s easier for a reader to relate to someone who’s one step ahead of them or two steps ahead of them instead of that Rachel Hollis or that Marie Forleo, or that Oprah Winfrey, who are all incredible women and whose books I love. But me sitting here in my little bedroom, just graduated college, trying to become a speaker, I’m like, how do I get there?
It’s so far ahead, whereas one or two steps is like, okay, I can see that and then you keep learning, and you keep growing from there, so those are a couple of misconceptions I see but they are big enough that it will absolutely prevent people from writing a book.
Austin: Yeah, I love that you drew those distinctions and very clear the roadblocks that we see all the time, and also, I think because some of that fear too about like launching the thing, like what happens after the thing is done, right? And you talked about this, you said like, the previous semester, you like three gigs and then afterward you had 14 gigs and that phrase can sound to listeners like a switch like you had the book and boom, now you have all the business. There’s no way it ended up like that though and it’s largely because of the effort that I’m sure you put into your launch, into marketing it, into positioning yourself.
Can you shed a little bit of light on that process? Because overnight success, we know it’s just so much hard work in the background, so what do you really think contributed to that big difference between three gigs in a semester to 14 gigs in a semester? What was your launch plan like?
Jessi: Definitely. So yeah, I will be a hundred percent transparent, it is not like my book came out and I had people knocking down my door to have me speak at their conferences, I wish, that would be amazing, but no I put in a ton of work, again, thousands of pitches for that next semester. But anyway, my launch plan really started months before my book even came out, I was very intentional with giving myself a long enough lead time to get some really solid PR placements that would all hopefully come out around the time my book came out and get a bunch of buzz generated there.
I was intentional with my endorsements, I wanted specific people who were notable in the industry to endorse my book, so I needed a long enough lead time for that, ended up getting endorsements from people like a Harvard med school professor, which I’m super proud of and super excited about. So, I gave myself a lot of time for that, I had my launch team together, which had some amazing humans on it, not only in terms of their ability to help launch my book successfully, I got my first TV interview from someone on my launch team, I got a major media interview in Portland, Portland monthly, if you know Portland monthly from Portland, Oregon, major magazine out there.
I got a feature interview there for my launch team, a ton of great things happened from that, but I was just putting out as many different methods of marketing as I could, so we were doing PR, we were doing email marketing, and social media marketing to the people that I already had in my audience. I had my launch team who was sharing it with their social media audience; I just wanted everyone and their mother to know that this book was coming out.
So, it launched, I had some book promotions like paid book promotions as well, we ended up hitting the top of nine different categories in Amazon and then the top 10 in an additional five, so it was topping charts all over the place in Amazon, which was again, incredible, which then allowed me to reach more readers, get more reviews, get more confidence. And it was just kind of that cycle that started to brew and then when it came to that next fall semester in terms of actually getting those gigs again, it was a ton of research.
Okay, what pan-Atlantic organizations have had new officers that I can reach out to, what staff has had turnover that I can reach out to because when you send 2000 pitches in a school year, you’re hitting almost every college campus in the US like you’re hitting a lot of them. And so, you need new contacts in order to send those pictures again, so you’re not just annoying people, so it was a ton of research, what personal connections can I make? I had this giant Excel spreadsheet that had the mascots of every school in is that I could put that in the emails to make it more personalized there and outreach, and outreach, and outreach and sales calls and emails and follow-up over and over and over and over and over again to result in those gigs.
And so yeah, the catalyst for all of that was the book and the credibility boost that allowed me to maybe have some of those conversations and to have some of those staff members at colleges take me seriously, that was the book as well, but it was a ton of work too. And I’m not going to delude anyone into thinking that you write your book, you publish it, you hit a bestseller list and now everyone is knocking down your door.
The one thing I will say about this though, that’s kind of funny about my speaking journey is the first speaking gig that I ever pitched, the first conference that I applied to, to speak at was Rachel Hollis’ Rise Conference and I didn’t know who she was, I never heard of Rachel Hollis before. So, I may have been living under a rock, but that’s where I was and I was like, well, it’s a women’s empowerment conference, I should probably speak there, so I like emailed the general customer support and it’s like, hi, do you have a speaking application?
And the woman was so nice, she’s like, oh, applications are full blah, blah, blah, blah, and I was like, okay, well maybe I’m going to go focus on colleges because I’m closer to the age group and blah, blah, blah and then I learned who Rachel Hollis was. And I was like, oh my goodness, I had no business pitching that but that was the kind of mindset I had in my pitching journey where it’s like, this could be a good fit, who cares if it’s maybe what I consider out of my wheelhouse, I’m going to throw my name in the hat.
And that mindset as well has resulted in some incredible presentations, so go for it, set yourself up for success, and define your marketing and your positioning and things like that, but also go for it because you never know what’s going to happen and what you would’ve missed out on if you talked yourself out of applying for this specific opportunity.
Austin: Whoa, man, that’s some gold right there, Jessi.
Taylorr: Wow, taking notes.
Austin: Yeah, look, our audience has a propensity towards silver bullets and magic wands, we love things that work fast and quick and require very little effort and fair enough, that’s the human condition but I just want everybody that’s listening to this podcast to rewind three or four minutes here because there’s a lot of work that went into writing the book. There was a very methodical process that you established, like building an Excel spreadsheet of the mascots of the schools you’re bidding, wow, like so detailed, and then on top of that, on top of the creative work, on top of the strategic planning, massive action, like massive action going after it, like that’s, that’s the thing that I think people don’t like accepting sometimes is that beyond just the creation of the thing, we’re going to have to go work really, really hard to get it out there so that people would see it and then it works.
That’s the best part, right? Like if you take massive action it’ll work, and so you’re a really cool example of that. I hope that everybody got that message just now.
Taylorr: Did you know that you needed to do that before you wrote the book? I feel like what I’m asking here is often someone might have an idea to write a book and we say, okay, I just need to create the book and then we have that magic wand, silver bullet idea that it’ll take off. And then we have to learn the lesson that, oh, crap, I have to promote this thing and do way more work around it before I actually, how did you get that lesson learned before writing the book? Was that from another experience or did you just always inherently know like once I create the thing, I have to act on it?
Jessi: Yeah, no, I did not know that, so my journey to publishing and writing actually started with my capstone project in college, I was told to write a lit review and I didn’t want to write a lit review, I wanted to write a book instead because I had written so many lit reviews already. And so, I went to my advisor and was like, hey, so I know this is supposed to be like a 10 page lit review, but can I write a 200-page book instead? I feel like that’s going to be a little bit more of a project than this and he was like, no, you have to write a lit review, so like any budding entrepreneur, I spent the entire semester writing my book and then spent the last three minutes before my lit review was due writing the lit review.
That all being said, so now I had this book, and I was like, I’m going to get a traditional publishing deal, it’s going to be on the New York Times bestseller’s list and my life is going to be easy street from here on out. Mind you, I just graduated from college, I was 20 years old, and I had maybe a thousand followers on Instagram, so started pitching all these traditional publishers, literary agents, trying to get a book deal, and it just wasn’t happening. I was getting so many people, either not replying to me or saying, you need a bigger audience, we’re looking for X, Y, and Z, and you don’t have anything close to that.
So, even within that, I was taking massive action, because I was dozens and dozens and dozens of pitches that I was sending out, but I expected that to work and then my job to be pretty much done. And that definitely was not the case when I got it in my head, that self-publishing was an option and that I didn’t just want to sit on my book for the next three years and try to build up a bigger audience, then it was like, okay, I have to hit Google, I have to hit podcast interviews, I have to read a bunch of books, I have to learn how to do all of this because now I’m the one in charge.
There’s no one else here, I have to make all these decisions, I have to do all these promotional things, I have to figure out how to design a book cover and I am not creatively talented like that, there were all these different things that I then had to learn and do and research and implement. So, to answer your question, I’ve always been a hard worker, I’ve always been the person that’s willing to put in the work, but I did not expect that I was going to have to learn how to do all of these things when it came to writing and publishing my book.
Austin: Yeah, that makes sense, well, lessons learned, and you were paying attention and were just trying things and learning from what worked and what didn’t and kept moving forward. And I think there’s a lesson to be learned there too, like taking massive action doesn’t always lead to immediate results, but if you pay attention and you looked for the takeaways and you try to improve and iterate, you’ll find the path that works, so great work there.
Jessi: Yeah, no, I appreciate that, and just to add onto that, be mathematical in your approach, there’s tons of people, writers and speakers alike, who are incredible humans with an incredible message and who are very creative minded, which we absolutely need. But what I’ve seen happen a lot of times is they’re like, yeah, I tried this thing and I’m like, okay, cool, how’d it work? Did that get you the gig booked, or the podcast interview booked? And they’re like, well, I don’t know, how do you not know?
And they’re like, well, I just sent the pitch and it’s like, yeah, but we have to test, and we have to try this and we have to tweak and we have to track the results, and so, yes, take the massive action, but be smart about the massive action. So, you know what’s working and what isn’t, so then you can change and make those improvements in your business or your book or your speaking life, wherever you’re going with that.
Austin: Makes me so happy.
Taylorr: I’m going to start crying. Jessi, we try, we beat this drum so hard at SpeakerFlow, it is just so nice when we get a common voice at the table saying the exact same things, and you have to be able to iterate on the thing that you’re doing. Like, you need a feedback loop that alone will give you some confidence once you notice things are working but aside from that, we have to know how to improve and like even, what’s really cool about you is I know for a fact you haven’t stopped the outreach because how we met is through your outreach.
You had an awesome outreach about our show, and now we’re having an awesome show together, the hustle never stops, and you still have to get your message out there, and so you’re a living, breathing example of that, and there’s just not much of a higher respect I have for somebody than someone who practices what they preach.
Jessi: And thank you, I appreciate that.
Taylorr: Yeah, totally, so I want to get into the weeds of course, because why not? So, let’s talk about selling the actual book, right? So, as you said earlier, a lot of people say, well, I could just sell this a million times to a million people and I’ll make 3 to 5 million but as we all know, that’s just not how that works, selling a million of anything is really challenging. So, let’s talk about this idea of bulk book sales, right? I know this idea for speakers, selling books in bulk for their keynotes, it’s not an uncommon one, but what I found is it’s a really hard, I wouldn’t say hard to implement one, but it’s just not one that’s implemented often and then consistently in their pitches.
It’s kind of something that might happen once or twice and then it’s just never really thought about, or they just never even think about selling in bulk, so what success have you found selling your book in bulk to event planners or for keynotes and how do you even make that a possibility when you’re positioning yourself for a talk?
Jessi: Yeah, so to be completely transparent, that is how I’ve sold most of the copies of my book, I’ve sold a couple of thousand copies in my book, which I’m really proud of as a self-published author with a very small, warm audience, but most of them have been in conjunction with the speaking gig. So, the way that I got started in kind of that idea was when COVID hit and things went virtual, I was now no longer in front of people, I could obviously, talk to them, I was giving a presentation, but there wasn’t that one-on-one energy, that personal interaction where people got out of their PJs and left and went and sat somewhere to watch a presentation.
And so, I was like, okay, how can I take this hour on Zoom and make it more interactive? How can I give them more than just my knowledge during this presentation? And so, I was like, well, I should send them home with a copy of my book because then they have something they can literally physically touch and learn and read through to further engage with the material. So, what I started doing was when people would ask about my pricing or that ask about the different packages that I offer for speaking, I would have a couple of different options.
I’d have my like low-level, if you have no budget, this is the bottom of the barrel that I can do, I’d have my middle presentation, which was just the presentation like that was the standard, that was the average. And then in my higher price presentation, I would offer all of the things, so it was the presentation, the recording, the distribution rights, and fifty or a hundred copies of my book, depending on the size of the conference or the presentation.
And so, what that did in my positioning was it enabled me to have this really top-tier level that had so much value packed into it because they weren’t just getting the presentation, they were getting the extended life of the presentation, as well as the books for their attendees, that they can either resell or give away or do whatever they want with that. And I positioned it as a 15% discount, so if you were to go buy these off of Amazon, you’d spend whatever, but you’re getting a 15% bulk discount here, what that did for my book sales was, I had so many people taking me up on that because what they wanted was that tangible interactive piece.
And so, that it allowed me to get a bunch more copies of my book out there, but also instead of getting paid, for example, 2,500 for a virtual presentation, I’m now getting paid 4,000 and all I have to do is go off of Amazon and order those copies at print. So, I’m earning a lot more revenue, I’m selling a lot more books and I’m giving these conference attendees a higher value presentation because of that add-on benefit.
Austin: Oh, man, that’s such a great strategy, and like, I think that people get this idea that selling books, as it relates to speaking means that you’re going to post up in the back of the room after your gig, stand at a table and just like sell books. And that’s the same thing as just selling to individuals elsewhere; you went to the highest level, right? To the decision-maker, like let’s give it to you, you distribute it to people, you buy it in bulk, everybody gets a discount, I win, you win, the audience wins, it’s just such a better way to do it.
And it’s attainable to anybody, anybody that has a book that gets up on stage can do that strategy, there’s no special anything required to be able to make that pitch. Especially, when you can just go on Amazon and buy your book at print cost, that’s like the best possible method I think, because it really is the win, win, win, win, win scenario for everybody involved. And plus, I imagine that your individual revenue generated from those books is probably much higher because maybe you sell them for a little bit less than you would as an individual, but all at once, many of them, right?
Jessi: Mm-Hmm, a hundred percent and one thing that I do want to point out about the strategy is I did not give event planners a choice in how many books they ordered, I didn’t say, would you like to order copies of my books with this presentation? I said, with this package, you get a hundred books because if you go the other way, people are going to be like, yeah, we’ll take five for attendees and that’s fine, I’ll give them the five, I’m not going to not sell them the five.
But when you say this is what you’re getting, you’re going to get so much less push back and they’re going to be like, okay, cool, we’re going to take all these copies and then we’ll figure out what to do with them from there. But that made a big difference because definitely some people, when I didn’t start asking that would be like, sure, we’ll take a couple, and it’s like, yeah, I was thinking more like a hundred and then it’s hard to get up to that level when you enter with something like five.
Taylorr: Wow, okay, there’s just so much gold, in this entire episode, in that one line, Jessi, okay, so the thing that I want I’m just like, whew, you’re getting me on my soapbox here, the thing I want everyone to understand about what was just said is Jessi has perfected productized packaging of your keynote, of the thing that you’re offering. You don’t want to give somebody that option to back out, you give somebody the path of least resistance what’s going to happen, they’re going to take the path of least resistance, especially if you have to add another decision they have to make into the process.
What you’ve said here is like, no, this is what you get and it’s super valuable and it’s awesome, and then people are going to want to buy that thing because you’ve presented it to them in a way that makes them want to buy. It just doesn’t, it doesn’t get more standardized than that, have you found that your average order value is now higher as well than just piecemealing and selling individual keynotes otherwise. Do you feel like people gravitate towards that higher-end tier because you’ve built such a value gap between maybe your middle and your higher-tier or what have you seen happen there?
Jessi: Yeah, I definitely have, I think a couple of things happened with my pricing and my average order value over the years when I made that switch to, I am very, very good at this one keynote and this is my topic, that made it much easier for me to get a return on my investment because before I’d be like, okay, well, what are you looking for? And now I’m creating a new presentation for everyone and that’s a ton of my time and energy and emotion and things like that so that increased my ROI, and then in terms of my average order value, I’d say it definitely increased it.
I wouldn’t say like 80% of people get the book package, but there are definitely people who, when I say, oh, yeah, and this tier comes with a hundred copies of my book, they’re like, oh, cool, well, we definitely want that, or, wow, that’s a really cool idea, I’m so excited for this, and so it does increase that level of interest and therefore more people are going to go for that if they can get their bosses to sign off on it and then increase that order value that way.
Taylorr: Yeah, I love that, you really drilled into the main offer again there because that’s another thing I wanted to touch on is like, I think Austin, I’m speaking for both of us here, so steer me from the rocks. But what we find often with speakers is they’ll like write multiple books and then even that first book or that second book or that third book, isn’t relating to the thing that they’re presenting on. And so, we’ll say, we’ll make a recommendation as coaches and we’ll say, well, what are the ways that you could bundle your book into your offering?
And they’re like, oh, well, everyone wants a different presentation and there’s just no way to standardize that, and it’s often because you haven’t made the decision yet to have a primary offer, to be able to bundle your books consistently with in the first place. It’s like the book and other products that end up being created, courses, micro-products, whatever it is, they don’t work in tandem with one another, they’re a bunch of disconnected offerings a lot of the time, and it sounds like that’s just not something you’re a fan of.
Jessi: No, I want as little work as possible, again, there’s no silver bullet I’m willing to put in the work, but I’m not going to make it harder on myself than I have to, and what I’ve found with that one specific offer from a selling perspective is it’s actually easier to sell. And if you would’ve told me that when I started speaking, I would’ve been like, you’re insane because now I’m missing out on people because maybe they don’t want this exact presentation. But when you have one really solid presentation that you know inside and out, you know the benefits, you know the transformation, you know exactly what that offers the attendees who are going to be sitting in front of you and you can sell that all day.
Again, my sales calls, I can do them in my sleep because I know the benefits, and I say the same thing every time, obviously, it’s a conversation, but I know those points in and out. Whereas if you have a million different presentations or you’re trying to customize presentations for everyone, you’re doing those benefits on the fly and you’re sitting on that sales call trying to think of, okay, what’s the benefit of this and how do I put this together? And, oh, shoot, they just asked me a question, what question did they ask me? And you’re lost.
But when you know your one presentation really, really well, it makes it so much easier to sell as a speaker who’s doing a lot of pitching and gets on a lot of sales calls, I want it to be easy to sell.
Taylorr: Yeah, that’s, oh, just, amazing, that’s the only word I have.
Austin: We have a lot of respect for you already, Jessi, I don’t know if we’ve conveyed that enough, but you’re just running a really awesome business.
Jessi: Thank you, I appreciate that.
Austin: I know we’re getting to the top of the time here; I feel like we could talk for another hour, but there’s something and a question that popped up earlier that just got brought up by you talking about this idea of making things easier on yourself, right? Well, when you published your book, you went the direct publishing route, which is the more difficult route, and that’s the scenario because you have to pull all the pieces together, but there are things to make it easier. And I know that you mentioned that you were big on the Amazon Bests Sellers List and if you did direct self-publishing, does that mean that you used Kindle Direct Publishing in order to make that happen?
Jessi: Yes, I used Kindle Direct Publishing and Ingram Spark, I used them both.
Austin: Nice, okay, so can you just tell us and our listeners, what was that process like using those different technologies to help you move the ball down the field?
Jessi: Yes, those were the easiest parts of the process and I think when people look at self-publishing, they’re like, I’m not techy, I have no idea how to do this, but it’s literally copying and pasting your book description, your title, if you have all that stuff written, it’s just copy and paste and upload into those platforms and press submit. The manuscript formatting can be a little bit difficult, but again, just Google what a gutter margin is, and then that will help you figure out what it needs to be, but actually using those was very simple, I found that both KDP and Ingram Spark have very good customer support.
And so, if there was at a point where I was like, I have no idea what this means or I’m getting this error message and it’s not even in English, and I don’t know what it says, just email them and they’re like, okay, cool, we’re happy to help you sort this out? So, I found that process very straightforward once you know what the actual words mean, like what’s a bleed margin, look it up on Google, but once you know what all that is, I actually found the process really easy and straightforward, took me like maybe an hour total to do both, including the Googling of the definitions.
Austin: Wow, man, that’s awesome, and those people that are very curious about that, because it does feel like it will reduce the friction in the process of self-publishing and it sounds like it was just one more tick on your box of like, how can I make my life easier as we do this thing?
Jessi: It was, you have to put in the work beforehand, right? Like you have to write a good book description, you have to do the research on what you want your categories to be, you have to do all that work, but the actual process of using the platforms; it does not require any technical skills. Literally, it says book title, and you type in How to Heal; author name, Jessi Beyer like, it’s really not that difficult once you have those other pieces formatted and in place, it’s just plug and play to get that thing out there.
Austin: I love that.
Taylorr: Jessi, demystifying self-publishing, so many people would just get hung up on that one they, well, then I’m going to have to do all the work to put it into the thing, well, yeah, no kidding but it’s not going to be that hard, just Google the thing. It’s not, everything doesn’t need to be rocket science, it sounds like, so it’s nice that parts of this process aren’t.
Taylorr: So, Jessi, we’ve talked about so much here again, so valuable, I really hope every listener just saves this episode, take notes, go back on it a bunch of times, but let’s end this with one thing you wish you would’ve known before writing your first book. What would that be?
Jessi: That I was enough to, I had so much imposter syndrome when I was writing my first book and it was not helped by getting so many rejections from traditional publishers, it was not helped by a family member of mine calling me out the blue and telling me that I had no business writing the book that I was writing. It was not helped by a lot of these different things, but I wish that I would’ve had that one or two minute that I said earlier, where you are being one or two steps ahead is enough.
I wish someone could’ve told me that, and then it would’ve been like, okay, well I’ve been through a healing journey, I researched all these things, I did so many interviews with the different therapists. I know my stuff, and I wish someone would’ve told me that back then so that maybe I wouldn’t have shed as many tears throughout the writing and publishing process, but I think that advice for anyone who’s just starting out or facing imposter syndrome in any part of their business can be really powerful.
Taylorr: What a gem to end the episode on, Jessi.
Austin: My heart is warmed.
Taylorr: Indeed, thank you so much for coming on the show today, as you know already, obviously since you just gave us all that for 35 minutes, we’re all about creating value for our audience. So, what are some of the things right now you’re working on that our listeners can benefit from?
Jessi: Absolutely, well, aside from my speaking business and working in the mental health space, I also run a program called The Aspiring Author Incubator that helps aspiring authors, specifically entrepreneurs go from sitting in front of their computers saying, okay, I’m going to do it, It’s going to be the year, I’m going to write the book, all the way through to post-publication marketing and really diving into some of the strategies that we talked about today.
And so, if you’re interested in more support, what I highly recommend doing is I have a free training on my website that’s going to cover a bunch of different strategies, we look at my special method for outlining a book that makes it easy to take everything that’s in your head and put it on paper in a way that makes sense. We look at different publishing methods as well as the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing as well as a rant on hybrid publishing, which I have very strong feelings about, and a bunch of different things within that space that you can use to really get started on your book-writing journey.
So, that I’m assuming is going to be in the show notes, but that’s at jessibyer.com/training, go check that out and really take that first step; it takes an hour of your time and will give you some really great information to get started on your writing and publishing journey.
Taylorr: Well, there you have it folks and Jessi is right as you know that link will definitely be in the show notes, and hey, if you like this episode, don’t forget to rate it, like it, subscribe to it and if you want more awesome resources like this, go to speakerflow.com/resources. Thank you so much for chiming in, I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus, Auxbus is the all-in-one suite of tools you need to run your podcast and it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking, it makes planning, podcasts simple, it makes recording podcasts simple.
It even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking, wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus, thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer aoxbus.com/speakerflow or click the link below in our show notes.