Episode 249:

Most agencies do not have a reliable sales strategy. They either rely on referrals or they employ what I call the feast or famine methodology. Neither strategy actually delivers consistent, profitable prospects or new clients. There’s a new, better way to sell for agencies. I’m a huge believer in an agency owning a position of authority and using it to make sales easier, faster and more profitable. That’s why Stephen Woessner and I wrote a book on the subject! And it’s why I wanted to invite Michelle Prince onto the podcast.

Michelle is a best-selling author, public speaker, self-publishing expert, and CEO/Founder of Performance Publishing Group. She offers a unique perspective on thought leadership to agency owners who are looking to establish a position of authority within their niche. She believes that authoring a book is the strategy of choice.

In fact, Michelle says, “you can’t spell authority without ‘author,’” and while writing a book is certainly not the only way to build your thought leadership position, it is a very effective option. In this episode of Build a Better Agency, Michelle shares her process for becoming an authority by focusing on authorship and publishing as a means of bringing significant value to your audience.

A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here.

Agency Owners | Claim your agency’s position of authority

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • What being an authority looks like and how to get there
  • How Michelle’s experience working for Zig Ziglar shaped her approach to building authority
  • The power of putting yourself out there as the subject matter expert
  • Why writing a book can help build your thought leadership and establish your position of authority
  • Why you have to claim your authority no matter how many agencies do what you do
  • How to leverage the power of authority
  • Why backstory is so important in the digital age
  • How to build your entire thought leadership platform off of a book
  • How you can use your thought leadership platform to generate multiple revenue streams

The Golden Nuggets:

“People will throw away your business card, but they will never throw away your book.” @motivateinspire Click To Tweet “If you want to serve (and that’s all business is), you have to put yourself out there in a way that people want to listen to you. The reality is—people want to listen to the expert!” @motivateinspire Click To Tweet “There is so much power in putting yourself out there as the subject matter expert, and having a book makes it even better.” @motivateinspire Click To Tweet “The power of authority is taking what you’re already putting out there and organizing it in a way that you can leverage.” @motivateinspire Click To Tweet “Now that everything is digitized, your backstory is extremely important because it gives you authenticity and makes you human.” @motivateinspire Click To Tweet

Ways to contact Michelle Prince:

Additional Resources:

Speaker 1 (00:01):

If you’re going to take the risk of running an agency, shouldn’t you get the benefits too? Welcome to Agency Management Institute’s Build A Better Agency podcast presented by White Label IQ. Tune in every week for insights on how small to midsize agencies are surviving and thriving in today’s market. We’ll show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. We want to help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable, and if you want down the road, sellable. With 25 plus years of experience, as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.

Speaker 2 (00:39):

Hey, everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. Welcome to another podcast episode of Build A Better Agency. Super happy to have you here. And we are going to talk today about a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I’ll tell you a little bit about it in a second. I want to remind you that, we actually have some amazing workshops coming up in August and September. I am assuming by then, we will all be traveling again. We certainly are working with our conference facilities, to make sure that we are social distancing and we have cleanliness standards and safety. So we’re going to make it absolutely safe for you to be there, but also just want to give you the energy of being in a room with other folks who do what we do. So in August, we’ve got the workshop that we had to move from March, Running your Agency for Growth and Profit.

Speaker 2 (01:39):

And that is in August, I think on the 11th and 12th. And then at the end of August, we have an amazing workshop with our good friends, Mercer Island Group, Selling with Insights. And that workshop came about because Mercer Island Group observed that when they were working with brands to help them find an agency, they observed that most agencies don’t talk through the thinking and the strategy that led them to whatever recommendations they’re making in the pitch. And that when an agency actually did take the time to walk the prospect through their thinking and show them sort of how all of the facts stacked up, that those agencies won over and over and over again. And so Mercer Island Group basically dissected a strategic insight process and have now built a two-day workshop where they teach agency owners, creative directors, directors of account service, new business people, this methodology for developing the strategy and then pitching from that strategy.

Speaker 2 (02:49):

And I will tell you this. So we’ve done this workshop now twice, and the workshop is capped at 50 people. So that means a hundred people because we sold out both times have done this workshop. Those 100 people and their agencies have earned over now, $40 million in AGI using this methodology. Let me repeat that for you. These agencies, a hundred agency people and in many cases, they came with somebody else from their agency. So let’s say total 70 agencies. These 70 agencies have made $40 million in new client wins in AGI, not gross billing since they attended the workshop. Aggregate, not each of them made $40 billion, although that would be awesome, but together they have landed $40 million of new business using this methodology. So that workshop again is going to be in August. It’s going to be in August in Chicago and it’s going to be in January of 2021 in Orlando, hard stop at 50 people.

Speaker 2 (04:01):

So check those out. And then we’ve got both of our AE bootcamps in September. So we have the Advanced AE boot camp and then entry level camp. And the entry level I would say is for people who have zero years to maybe four years of agency experience. So, we see a lot of project managers, account coordinators,  junior AEs. So people who are newer in the business. After they’d been in the business four or five years, the advanced workshop is probably more appropriate for them. So you can find all of those on the agency management Institute website, and we would be delighted to see you or one of your team members at those workshops. Okay. So let me tell you a little bit about what we’re going to talk about today. As many of you know, Stephen Woessner and I wrote a book that was published in January called Sell with Authority. The whole premise of the book is this idea that there is power in having a position of authority where you are a subject matter expert, and that there’s all kinds of data points that we outlined in the book around that is how agencies are selling today.

Speaker 2 (05:14):

They’re being found because they know a lot about something. It might be an industry. It might be an audience. It might be around a certain deliverable like PR, but for the most part, it’s around, you have a subject matter around industry or typically an audience, or maybe that you solve the exact same problem for all your clients. But anyway, you have a depth of expertise and knowledge in this thing, whatever that thing is. And because you have that depth of expertise, it allows you to create content easier. It allows you to attract the right kinds of clients and allows you to charge a premium price for what you do. And all of that adds up to easier, faster, better fit wins for the agency.

Speaker 2 (05:58):

And that’s the premise of the book is sort of explaining how you do that. So when I heard about Michelle Prince and I heard that she had written a book called The Power of Authority, which is all about again, coming from a position of authority and in her world, it often accompanies writing a book specifically.  In Stephen’s and my book, we talk about having cornerstone content and a book is certainly one of them. And with Michelle, she often with her clients, leads with a book because she runs a publishing company. So let me tell you a little bit about her. Michelle is a bestselling author. She’s a sought after speaker. She is an expert in self-publishing and she is the CEO and founder of Performance Publishing Group, which is partner publishing company dedicated to making a difference in helping business owners own and claim their position of authority.

Speaker 2 (06:59):

Interestingly,  Michelle started her career working for Zig Ziglar and then sort of leapfrogged out of that experience to now being a business owner. She is the cohost of the Ziglar Show podcast and she also has her own podcast called The Power of Authority. So she is going to talk to us today about how we claim that position of authority, how we get a book written and the value of doing that. So I have a ton of questions for her that I know are the same questions that you would have for her. And I’m going to ask her on our mutual behalf. So let’s welcome onto the show, Michelle. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Speaker 3:

Thanks so much for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Speaker 2:

So you and I have a word in common and the word his authority. So, you have been talking for a long time in your professional life about sort of stepping into your authority and how to maximize it in terms of revenue and opportunity and all of that. So I want to hear a little bit, tell everybody a little bit about your background and how you came to have this opinion or take on that word and that strategy.

Speaker 3 (07:59):

Yeah, you bet. So my background is actually with Zig Ziglar. I actually worked for a Zig right out of college and kind of set the foundation, which was amazing. So that’s always been in my DNA that personal development, being the best self. It was in 2008 I decided I wanted to write a book, but my intention was only the write the book for my family, my kids, for myself. It was just a goal that I wanted to accomplish. But the result of writing that book is literally a full time business of speaking and coaching and all that. So that was really my first glimpse into the power of, you know, I was the exact same person the day before I wrote a book, exact same person the day after, but instantly I was seen differently instantly.

Speaker 3 (08:51):

I was being hired to speak and paid to speak and coach do all these things. And that’s really when I first recognized that there is so much power and putting yourself out there as that expert, as subject matter expertise. And I’m telling you, I happen to believe with a book, it makes it even better, but there’s just so much opportunity there, but that’s kind of how it all started. It was not planned. I never set out to help people in this area, but I just saw it happening to me firsthand. And now we’ve helped, hundreds of others authors do the same.

Speaker 2:

So I can’t even imagine what working for Zig Ziglar was like coming right out of college. That must’ve been like an MBA every single day.

Speaker 3 (09:45):

It was amazing.  Funny story, I met him at 18 and my parents forced me to go to a seminar when I first graduated high school and I did not want to go. I went kicking and screaming, but I loved it. And it was actually a goal that I made at that seminar that I was going to work for him one day. And it’s a funny, long story. I won’t go into all the detail, but I just happened upon, I was cold calling on his company right out of college. And, long story short, I begged for a job and the rest is history. It was, I mean, literally we were changing people’s lives every single day. Zig Ziglar was for whatever people know about Zig Ziglar, he was the most amazing man, the most integrity based value-based man I’ve ever met. And he was actually better behind closed doors than even on a stage. And that just goes to show you what a great man. He was just all around.

Speaker 2 (10:26):

My impression of him, it was always that he was a man of great warmth and wisdom. And so I would imagine that in close proximity with him in a private conversation would be even more magnified.

Speaker 3:

You know, he took interest in everyone. One of my favorite memories of him was every Christmas, you know, this is back before cell phones, back before a lot of tech, any technology really. And every Christmas morning he would get out his Rolodex and he would call every single employee, whether they were a warehouse worker or a sales person like myself. And he would literally get on the phone when he could have been with his kids. Just, you know, to call us to thank us. And just to say, I couldn’t do this without you. That’s who he was.

Speaker 2 (11:16):

Yeah. So for you, and then I want to get into the whole discussion of your work today, but for you, what’s the takeaway from that, that period of time in your life that sort of has woven itself to sort of how you approach business and clients, the work you do? What was the biggest takeaway for you? Where did he leave his mark?

Speaker 3:

Gosh, the biggest one was, so I ended up quitting because it was the.com boom. And I had an opportunity in technology and software. So I left to go make more money, to be quite honest. And my biggest reality hit was, okay corporate America is not quite like Ziglar. Ziglar was a very positive environment. So that’s something I took with me, the importance of environment and building people up and not putting people down.  I’ve always liked being around positive people, but that was one thing.  But integrity, to have a boss like Zig Ziglar, I mean, you couldn’t get any better.

Speaker 3 (12:14):

And so it made me very, very careful who I worked with, who I associated myself with. I secretly always longed to get back there. Not necessarily at the company, again, but back doing what we did and making a difference in people’s lives. But honestly it shaped everything as far as, especially even the business owner that I am today. You treat people fairly and everything else works itself out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. His lessons are absolutely timeless. Absolutely timeless. So, that was quite a start. So let’s talk about the work you do today. Let’s talk about this idea of, when I broached this topic with a lot of my listeners,  I get pushed back. They don’t really think they are an authority. They don’t think they really, they’ll say, well, you know what?

Speaker 2 (13:05):

My agency is good, but there’s a lot of agencies out there that do that kind of work. They sort of dismiss the idea that they could be an authority. So talk a little bit about that because I suspect you hear that all the time.

Speaker 3:

All the time, all the time. And actually that’s a perfect example of why somebody needs to claim their authority because anywhere that there’s competition, you have to think of the end consumer, right? You may know how you differ from your competition. But to us average joes, we don’t necessarily know all the behind the scenes stuff. So we are basing it completely on our perception of you, of your branding, of how do you stack up against your competition? So you have to differentiate more than anything. So that’s one reason. But if you feel strong enough about what you do for a business, then you are an authority.

Speaker 3 (13:56):

I mean, unless you don’t believe in what you’re doing. No matter what, if you bring on a new client and they’re paying you money for your services, you are the authority in the eyes of that client. I see it all the time, too. Mostly with people who, they think, well, who am I to write a book or who am I to put myself out there? And I’m no different than anyone else that’s done it. And I know this for sure, to be true for me. I would not be doing what I’m doing today had I not just decided to write a book and decided to put myself out there. I wasn’t any better than anyone else. If you have a heart to help people, if you want to serve and that’s really all businesses, then you have to put yourself out there in a way that people want to listen to you. And they want to listen to the expert, the authority.

Speaker 2 (14:39):

Right. Talk a little bit about, so let’s say I’m an agency owner. I’m listening. I’ve ignored Drew for months or years. Michelle comes on and they go, Okay. All right. Michelle said it. I’m going to do it. I’m going to be an authority. What do they do next? Like how do they actually become the authority they want to be? Or they own that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So it’s funny. I do help authors, but a lot more of what I do is, is building that authority piece of it too. And I have a framework. And the first step in that framework is, it’s just clarity on your message, right? It’s clarity on, what do you want? What do you really want for your business? If you want to keep it really tiny, that’s fine.

Speaker 3 (15:25):

If you want to grow it, that’s fine. But getting that clarity up front is the first step. And then figuring out, okay, what is my messaging? What is it that I want to put out there? Who is my audience? Who do I want to help the most? That’s the most important thing for any success in life is clarity. But then it’s a matter of figuring out what your message is and then documenting it. When I say document, I don’t necessarily mean a book, but I mean, getting it out there, whether it’s a blog, whether it’s a book, whether it’s a podcast. You are the absolute authority on agencies for many, many reasons, but one of which is, because you are out there. You have taken your message, you put it in multiple channels and that’s so powerful.

Speaker 3 (16:08):

The other thing is how can you publish your message beyond … publish meaning it’s available in a bigger way to attract more people? And I always tell people to think of it as you don’t have to write a book. You don’t have to do a podcast. You don’t have to do, speaking, but you do have to think about the people you’re trying to help because not everybody is going to learn the way you like to teach. So for example, I love to speak. That’s one of my things, but if I only spoke my message, I would miss so many other people who don’t ever go to live events. So thinking about, do people like to read? Are they better at listening? You know, do a podcast to tap into that audience, do a seminar, do coaching, all of those things to really get at all of the people and all of their different learning styles with the same core message. There’s more to that, that framework, but that’s kind of the gist of it.

Speaker 3 (17:00):

There’s more to that, that framework, but that’s kind of the gist of it.

Speaker 2:

Well, in the book that I covered with Stephen Woessner, we talk about not only exactly what you’re saying, which is understanding your audience, but also, look at yourself and say, do I like to talk more? Do I like to write more? Because one of the challenges of being an authority is that you have to be doing it, you have to keep producing. And so, if writing is laborious for you and it takes you three weeks to write a blog post, then maybe you have to think about that as you think about what your core channel is, what we call a cornerstone channel. But for you, I know you have a strong wave, which I do as well that books are a great cornerstone.

Speaker 2 (17:47):

So talk a little bit about what your book is all about it. I’m going to get you the exact title of your book. So, The Power of Authority: How to Get the Revenue, Respect, and Results you Deserve by Offering a Book, which by the way everybody is available on Amazon. Why did you choose and why do you believe that is such a, I know you don’t believe it’s the only way, but why do you believe it’s such a powerful way to establish authority?

Speaker 3:

So from a business perspective and anyone looking to build this authority, think about it. It’s a business card, it is one of your greatest business cards.

Speaker 2:


Speaker 3:

And in fact, I have a book called Your Book is Your Business Card, and the point of that is people will throw away your business card, but they will never throw away a book.

Speaker 3 (18:34):

Even if they don’t read it. There’s something about books that we just put a lot of value in and I can’t explain it. And I can’t even tell you that it’s actually valid. You know, it should happen in all books. But the truth of the matter is if you are a published author, people just instantly see you differently. The media sees you differently, meeting planners, clients. And so for me, and again, I started off, I wrote a book with no intention of building a business, but what happened was that book literally opened up the doors to a full time business over time. And so I know there’s power in it. The book that I wrote, The Power of Authority and when I mentioned authority, it’s really a play on words. And it’s, you can’t spell authority without author. It’s not the only way, but it’s one of the easiest, in my opinion, one of the easiest ways to get to more people, because when you’re an author, you’re more credible in the eyes of the meeting planner. You and I both know when you have an opportunity to speak one to many,

Speaker 3 (19:31):

Whether it be live or over a podcast or a webinar, there’s so much more power there than having to meet with someone one on one. But you don’t get on those stages, you don’t get on those podcasts, you don’t get that platform unless you are the expert and authors tend to be considered experts.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So,  let’s talk a little bit about what you mean by the power of authority. Like what is the power of authority and how do I leverage that? When you’re working with folks and you’re helping them through this process, I would assume that part of what they want to know is, okay, writing a book is hard. That takes time. What am I going to get out of it? How do you help them understand what power of authority is and how they can leverage when they actually have it, how they can leverage it and how it changes their business.

Speaker 3 (20:21):

So actually, believe it or not, most people don’t think of themselves this way, but they’re already the authority. If you are doing any transaction and people are giving you money for your services, you are the authority in the eyes of that person, the client. So what the power of authority is, is really just taking what you already know, what you’re already doing, what you really are already putting out there, it could be on your website, it could be in blog posts, but you’re pulling it together in a way that you can leverage it more. I mean, when you have a book or when you are an author you can increase your rates. You can attract more clients, you can get more referrals and all of those things come along with it. So when I work with business owners, that’s one of the first things that we start with is not starting with something different but let’s start with where you are.

Speaker 3 (21:01):

What are you already putting out there? You know, I was just having a call the other day with one of our clients and he was thinking like, well, I’m not really sure what I would write about and then he mentions, well, but I have been writing a blog for the last eight years. Oh, okay. Well, that’s a good place to start and believe it or not, you probably know this, most books are not written any more. I mean, many authors love to write, but most of us don’t. So most of us are recording ourselves. I have a lot of podcast hosts that we do books and we are literally taking their podcasts, transcribing them, creating it into manuscripts. So is it difficult? No. Does it take a little bit of time?

Speaker 3 (21:43):

Yes. But you can outsource everything. This audience especially knows outsource, outsource, outsource. There’s somebody out there that will do what you don’t want to do.

Speaker 2:

For almost 20 years, I’ve written a marketing column for my state’s business journal. And that was my first book. I just took 150 of those columns, knit them together in a book. And that was back in the nineties, but you’re right. You’re absolutely right. We produce so much more than we think we do. We just don’t see it with the connective tissue of, Oh, I could thematically lump these things together and really put together something valuable. I think that’s the other thing that the listeners are thinking about is like, okay, I probably can write a book but I want it to be it good book. I want it to be something I’m proud of that actually helps people.

Speaker 2 (22:37):

They probably have all the pieces of that book laying around somewhere. It’s just a matter of sort of cataloging and assembling them and then restructuring how they’re formatted in a way that there’s a cohesive message throughout.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. That tends to be everyone’s most difficult part because there’s really no lack of ideas. Most people who, whether you’re thinking of writing a book or not, you could probably figure out pretty quick what your book would be about, but it’s like, okay, but how do I organize all these thoughts? I’ve got so much just floating around in my head. And there are some exercises that we actually do in our workshops, or just in person where we kind of pull it together. I mean, it’s all in there. So it’s just a matter of putting it out there. I mean, one of the easiest ways that I suggest is mind mapping.

Speaker 3 (23:21):

Mind mapping is one of the best ways to write a book because once it’s on paper, you can get anyone to help you do it, but nobody knows your thoughts. And so when do you write it or we tell a lot of our authors just grab your recorder and just start talking. It’s funny, many of our authors, especially the ones who are CEOs or they’re busy, they just don’t want to take the time to write a book. If you ask them the right questions, they’ll just start. Tons of information is coming out and you probably see this with your podcast. You ask one question and all of this information comes out. Whereas somebody who sits in front of a keyboard, they’re like, uh, uh. I don’t know what to write. You don’t get the authority because you labored over a keyboard, you get the authority because you are published.

Speaker 3 (24:10):

So however you can get there, the quickest, whatever the topic is that can get you there the quickest. You don’t have to write your huge story yet. You can start with even a business card book. We do these little books all the time. This is actually my business card. It’s just a four by six little book. And I just give these away for free everywhere I go when I speak. And even though that’s tiny, it is still a published book. So I get the same exact authority status with that as I would a 200 page book. So that’s what I tell people. Don’t make it more difficult than it has to be.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. I never thought about it before, but we talk all the time and we don’t edit. We don’t proofread. We just blurt out. Whatever is in our head.

Speaker 2 (24:54):

Hopefully we have some filters. Nonetheless, it just comes out without editing. If you sit at a keyboard, if you’re not a natural writer, you sit at a keyboard and that pressure of perfection leads to that paralysis. Right? You’re absolutely right.

Speaker 3:

Especially if these are people like business owners, entrepreneurs, agency owners. We’re used to working really, really hard and making sure things are done right. A book never comes out of your head the way it ends up in a book. And so for some people that’s just torture. They write it and are like, Oh my gosh, that’s terrible. I can’t do this. And I’m like, yes, you can. But that’s what editors are for.

Speaker 2:

Thank goodness for editors. Right?

Speaker 3:

Best money you’ll ever spend. Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (25:51):

So I know one of the beliefs that you have is that part of stepping into your authority is sharing your backstory. So can you talk to us a little bit about what you mean by that and why that’s valuable.

Speaker 3:

So we all want to get to know people. I mean, ultimately if we do business with someone, it’s a relationship, right? We’re serving somebody and it’s a relationship and we always we’ll do business with people we know, like, and trust as Bob Burns says in The Go Giver. The truth is even if you’re in a very competitive business, so let’s choose a dentist, for example. Not many people are really dying to get to know their dentists. But what if you knew the story behind why he opened his practice where he did or why is he so passionate about oral health? Maybe his grandmother died of something related. The more you know about why they do something, the more connected we are connected through story.

Speaker 3 (26:37):

And so the backstory is usually overlooked. It’s usually the more clinical, technical, here’s what I do and no personality. But now more than ever, because we’re so digitalized and everything’s online, it’s like we are missing that authenticity. And so the backstory makes you human. It makes you real. You’re not perfect. You don’t have it all right. You’re just drawn to those folks. And so it’s relationship more than anything.

Speaker 2:

And do you share that back story in your, is that part of the book or whatever it is you do? Is that part of how you set up your authority in, let’s call it a book in your cornerstone content? Like a book, do you believe that is actually part of the preface or the beginning of the book is sort of establishing this is why I’m writing the book and this is why I have this position of authority is because here is how I started?

Speaker 3 (27:31):

Definitely. Definitely. I’ll take just my company’s example. So I love helping people to write books and I love publishing books, but there is a huge backstory. I mean, it’s not all because I just love publishing. It has nothing to do with that. It’s because I witnessed firsthand, when I followed my heart to tell my story all of these opportunities came from it. And so when somebody knows more of the backstory, I’m different now from other publishers. There’s a difference between, I’m not for everybody, but somebody who connects with my backstory, Zig being a huge part of my story. If you don’t like Zig Ziglar, you’re not going to like me. You know? So the back story, what it does is in my opinion, it just connects you to your perfect client.

Speaker 3 (28:21):

You know, not all clients are perfect, right? You only want the ones that you can serve better than anyone else. And the more you share of yourself, the more they can self-select you. There is just so much power behind it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So, I know a lot of your work is around books and the publishing, but you also, I ask this question just to sort of make the example of the point. You’re not just writing books, you’re a host of two different podcasts and the Zig Ziglar show. And so you’re producing content in a lot of ways, but I also am guessing that when you’re producing content, in those other ways, that’s also laying the groundwork for your next book. So talk to us a little bit about that. So obviously there’s with all of us, there’s so many sides to us and I never ever sat down with a plan to help people to publish books.

Speaker 3 (29:21):

So obviously, there’s with all of us so many sides to us and I never ever sat down with a plan to help people to publish books. It just was never in my thought. I just wanted to help people to find their purpose in life, find their passion. And there’s something about writing a book, you just get really, really clear on your purpose, more than anything. So I do a lot of speaking and webinars. In fact, I’m going to be doing a webinar today, not about writing a book. It’s more about shining through your story and making a different side of your story type of thing. And then as the power of authority is more on the leveraging it in your business. So they’re very similar, but they’re a little bit different for different audiences. I also do speaking and I do a lot with personal development and risk and those kinds of things, but how this all evolved was I would be out speaking and I’d always get two questions.

Speaker 3 (30:11):

It was so funny. Whenever I started out, when I wrote my first book, it happened quickest with speaking. So I would be out speaking and people would come up to me afterwards and they’d ask me two questions. One, what was it like working for Zig Ziglar? Not everybody. And how do you write a book? Because people would say like, Oh my gosh, I want to write a book. I dream of writing a book. I want to make an impact. How did you do it? And what started as me just saying, Oh my gosh, it’s so not rocket science. If I can do this, you can do this. Listen, I’ll help you out. You know, literally turned into doing seminars and coaching. And now, all these years later, more officially through publishing, that’s kind of how it evolves.

Speaker 3 (30:52):

So that my message is, it is about a book, but really, and I think all of our businesses are this way, whatever you do, there’s a bigger reason behind why you do what you do, all of those hours into it. And what I’ve found is most people ultimately, no matter what, even if you are carpet cleaning, most people want to know they’re making a difference in some way. That’s what it boils down to.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. So I want to take a quick break, but when we come back, I want to hear from you your thoughts about great, I have a book. So how do I build from that? How do I build a platform, whatever that is, whether it’s a book or a podcast or whatever it is. Okay. Again, for most people who authored books in the way that you and I are talking, it is not their goal to be best-selling, published authors that they make all their money through books.

Speaker 2 (31:48):

It is a three dimensional business card. It is a credibility factor. It is owning and stepping into your authority, but it, it results in new revenue streams. So when we come back, I want to talk a little bit about that. We’ll take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Hey guys. Sorry for the interruption. But I want to tell you about a workshop that we offered in 2019. It was so amazing. We are offering it again twice in 2020. So the workshop is called Sell with Strategic Insights and it was the brain child of Robin and Steve Boehler from the Mercer Island Group. And basically it was born from the idea that when they watch agency’s pitch, one of the things they’re not seeing is a lot of strategy or the agency may have had a strategy, but they didn’t explain it very well.

Speaker 2 (32:40):

And agencies, good agencies are losing in those pitches because they’re not articulating a really strong strategy. The other reason why we’re doing this, because one of the things I hear agency owners say all the time is that you are the bottleneck in your shop because you’re the only one, or maybe you have one or two other people on your leadership team who can really think strategically for both your existing clients and for biz dev opportunities. So we put together this workshop to teach you a methodology that you absolutely can take back to your shop and teach everybody in your agency that will allow you to approach a current client or a prospect with an amazing strategy that really grabs their attention and makes you look very different from everybody else. I will also tell you that of the 100 agencies, but it probably wasn’t even a hundred because a lot of people brought more than one person.

Speaker 2 (33:36):

So let’s call it of the 70 or so agencies that took a workshop in the last two sessions, those agencies have reported over $39 million of new AGI that they absolutely can credit based on the client’s comments, to using the methodology that they learned in that workshop. Again, $39 million. Anyway, this workshop is going to be an August in Chicago and in January of 2021 in Orlando, Florida on Disney property. Check it out on the website. Again, Selling was Strategic Insights. I highly recommend it. It’s really amazing. And it really can change how you and your agency approach and deliver strategy for clients and prospects. All right, let’s get back to the show. All right. We are back with Michelle Prince and before the break, I was acknowledging that for most of us, certainly for us as agency owners, most of you are not thinking, you know what, I am going to become the next JK Rowling. I’m going to ditch the agency. I’m going to craft books for a living. That’s how I’m going to feed my family. For most of you, it is certainly a tool in the toolbox that allows you to build your core business, which is your agency. So let’s talk a little bit about that in terms of how do you leverage this platform or how do you leverage these tools that help you build a platform to generate different kinds of revenue streams?

Speaker 3 (35:09):

I’m so glad you asked because so many people have a misconception that if I write a book, I’m going to sell a bazillion copies and I’m gonna make all this money. And while it is possible, it’s very unlikely for a first time nonfiction author. So the opportunity really comes through other ways. Now, do you sell books and do you make money? Absolutely. Or you use books sometimes like I do and you give them away just to get more opportunities. So what I always suggest is creating those multiple revenue streams and it’s all on the same core message, but in different formats that monetize differently, but also open up to different audiences. So of course you have your book, an ebook and an audio book. I mean, that’s kind of in the book category, but really you have to have all three, in my opinion, you have to have all three because even if you love a physical book, you may be traveling and want to Kindle, or now everybody is listening to audio books.

Speaker 3 (36:02):

So you want to make sure it’s in those formats, but those are all three different revenue streams. But beyond that, this is something I did with my last book, actually with most of my books, but my last book, we had a very strategic rollout. We took each chapter’s content, I went to a studio, created videos, one per chapter, basically. And so, I ended up with eight to 10 different videos, taking them through in detail what the chapter was about, but more interactive and more like what we’re kind of doing now. And the result of that was now I have eight to 10 videos that I can use in any way I wan,t online, social media, YouTube, et cetera, but combined, it’s now a digital course. So that $20 book is now a three part, $500 course with the same content, but it’s just in a different format. Because some people prefer the digital, the online courses. That same exact content could go into other things like webinars, seminars, etcetera.

Speaker 2 (37:05):

Well, I think about the course. What you did was you took monologue and turned it into a dialogue where you can also assign homework or tasks or things to think about. So what you really did was you added new layers of in the video, that a book just doesn’t lend itself to.

Speaker 3:

Right and personality too. You know, sometimes you can get it when you’re reading it, but not always. The other really cool thing about that though, is I’m really big on repurpose. Don’t recreate the wheel, first of all, slice and dice. So with those eight to 10 core videos that became this digital course, we took each individual video and broke them down even more. So I ended up with about 60 different, small short videos that we use for Facebook ads, we use for social media all over the place.

Speaker 3 (37:58):

And it’s the same content, but if somebody’s interested in just that little blurb on finding your topic, then it’ll direct them to get the book, which will direct them to get the course and so on and so forth. And then, you know, that same message is also then moved into a conference or a mastermind or a masterclass. These are all the things that we’ve done just for The Power of Authority and then coaching. Some people don’t want to listen to a core course. They don’t want to read a book. They just want you to tell them how to do it, and they want to work with you every week to get it done. And so that’s kind of what I always say when I think about the platform is,

Speaker 3 (38:36):

how can you take that core content and just repurpose it and get it in different ways so that you’re also all over the place if somebody searches for you?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And you know, for most of the listeners, they’re probably like, okay, I don’t want to take away from my core business, but having a book and a video series or having a book and a course, or even just having a book and going and doing the videos to create social content for the year, all around the book. So it’s sort of like speaking. A lot of agency owners will say to me,  people are asking me to speak, but they don’t want to pay me. And I’m like, it’s not about payment for the speech. It’s the client you get, because you’re standing on that stage with the credibility that that conference gave you.

Speaker 2 (39:24):

that is much more than any speaking fee you could possibly charge. And I think of the book in the same way, right? So there’s revenue streams. You’re right. Odds are, none of us are a John Grisham and we’re not going to be a bazillion dollar author, but you probably sell enough copies to pay for whatever it costs you to make the book and make some money, right?. Some decent money, but that’s chump change compared to the ways that you can make money through these different revenue streams. Again, maybe an agency owner doesn’t want to do personal coaching. Maybe that’s not a good use of their time. Okay, then don’t do that one. But you spending an afternoon shooting some videos and then putting questions at the end of each video that somebody can think through in a participant’s guide and now all of a sudden, because for a lot of agencies the revenue stream is a bit rocky, wavy ocean.

Speaker 2 (40:21):

Some months it’s awesome. Other months, not so great. So some of these things that you’re talking about are great ways to even out the revenue stream month over month. And I will tell you as somebody who has online courses and some of the other stuff like you do, there is a magic little thrill that happens when you get an email that says a perfect stranger just gave you money while you were sleeping. And there’s just a magic about that experience. It’s a relief to know that that’s out there as well, working on your behalf.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I love that. So the book, The Power of Authority, when we first launched it, I didn’t charge people for it. We actually specifically kind of a Russell Brunson type thing, we gave it away for free with shipping. And that’s a big investment when you have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people getting the book and you’re shipping it out and you have that investment, but one publishing company client, one, pays for all of that and more. So for us, the way we looked at it was, I’m not in the business to sell books. And if anyone is listening and they want to be in the business of selling books, then this is not the kind book we’re talking about.

Speaker 3 (41:34):

This is an authority book. So what we did is we gave it away for free, and that gave them opportunities to get the other things like the digital course. And ultimately all I really wanted out of that was for them to schedule a strategy call. That’s it. And then they read the book and they scheduled that call. And then again, we’re just seeing if we’re a fit to help each other. But by then, if somebody has read enough of my content, they know if they’re a fit and you’re not wasting your time talking to people that are just not the best clients for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah that’s a great point because when you read someone’s book, you do get a sense of them. You get a sense of how they think, how they communicate, the stories they tell. In essence, most business books, there’s a bunch of case studies baked in the business book,

Speaker 2 (42:22):

so you’re seeing their success stories. And as a reader that allows you to go, I align with this person, this person is achieving the kind of results that I want for myself, for my business or whatever it is. So I do think the other thing it does is it dramatically shorten the sales cycle. So I think it does two things. One, it attracts the right kind of clients and repels the ones that are going to cost you time and money anyway. And two, by the time they get to you and they’ve read the book or taken the video course, whatever, they’re halfway sold already.

Speaker 3:

What’s really amazing is half the time that people aren’t even reading the book. I mean, they may start it, but it’s not because they’ve read the whole book that they’re convinced. A lot of times, it’s the fact that, wow, yeah, he knows what he’s doing.

Speaker 3 (43:11):

I mean, he wrote a whole book on it. If I’m going to work with anybody, I’m going to work with him. So that’s why agency owners, more than anything, especially if you have a lot of competition, is what are you telling somebody, when you’re talking to a prospect, how are you communicating that you’re different? Well, that’s what you put into a book. That’s what you’re showcasing. So that the ultimate goal is make it easy for a prospect to say, you’re the right person for me. Because even if it’s a hundred people doing the exact same thing, we want to work with people we know like, and trust. I may not be a fit for everyone. You may not be a fit for everyone, but we don’t know that until they get to know you through videos, through podcasts or books.

Speaker 2 (43:51):

Yeah. So when you’re advising a client, so one of the things that when I talk to agency owners and they kick around the idea of writing a book, it feels like this daunting task, which we’ve talked about. And then they’ll say a book is so big. Like I can write a blog post, or I can be on a couple of podcasts, but a book is, that’s like hundreds of pages. So from your professional experience, now that you’ve done this for lots of clients, how big is big enough? I don’t mean physical size, but I mean, like, is it 50 pages, a hundred pages?

Speaker 3:

So it’s funny because, a full size book, think of it more by word count. You know, a full size book is going to be, 20 to 50,000 words, somewhere in that range.

Speaker 3 (44:40):

And a lot of them these days fall on the lower end of that because frankly, a lot of us don’t want to read these big, long books. A mini book, like what we were talking about, we’re talking 5,000 words. I mean, that is a chapter, that is a blog post, just packaged differently. Truthfully, a lot of the many books that we do, we just take a chapter from their full book and then use that. So it’s kind of a lead magnet, right.

Speaker 2:

So that’s a great idea. So you don’t even have to write the mini-book. It’s just chapter two of the big book.

Speaker 3:

Exactly. I always recommend for speakers that, if you have all these topics, why not do a little mini book for each one so that when you’re out, you’re basically wetting their appetite on what they’re going to get when you speak.

Speaker 3 (45:25):

And anyway, so to answer your question, it doesn’t have to be long at all. In fact, it could even be a chapter in someone else’s book. It doesn’t matter the size. It’s just the fact that you were published. and that you’re leveraging it. I mean, if you don’t tell anyone about it, if you don’t use it in your marketing, if you don’t put it out there, then it’s not going to serve you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So one of the things that we do at Agency Management Institute, we’ve done two, and we’re about ready to do another one. I’ll pick a topic and I will say to our members, so a select group of people that we serve, here’s the topic. If you want to write a chapter on this topic, we’ll edit and produce the book. And then you can buy copies of the book at our printing price.

Speaker 2 (46:10):

And the setup of the book is I, as the editor and this agency expert say, you’re the 25 leading agencies that I know of in the world. And they all have a comment on this topic. And so basically it’s like an 800 or a thousand word chapter. Right? Right. But now, there’s this book where they are being heralded as one of the best agencies on the planet, they were invited to participate in this book and they use it exactly what you’re saying. So that your idea, I hadn’t really thought about it, but your comment about you can be a chapter in someone else’s book, this compilation book allows them to do the same sort of thing. Right?

Speaker 3:

Exactly. In fact, we do, we do tons of compilation books. We call them collaborative books, we’re launching one actually today.

Speaker 3 (47:04):

It doesn’t matter how many authors it has. We’ve done them for different industries. I do my own, but you just get these stories. And then what happens is now you have all of these authors in the book. If you’re in a book, you’re going to tell people about it. Absolutely. So you may not know any of the contacts that this other author has, but now all of a sudden your network is huge because this person’s promoting it, that person’s promoting it. So I love doing collaborative books. And in some cases you pay to be in them and in other cases you can just throw in a quote and then buy the books, but it’s a great, easy way to get started for folks that are not really convinced that they have a whole book yet to write. Let’s start with the chapter, right?

Speaker 2 (47:47):

Yeah. Really, really great ideas. So as people are listening to us and hopefully they’re getting like, Oh, maybe I could do this. I mean, you’ve given them lots of really tactical ways to think about this. In your experience, I’m sure you bumped into people who are at this stage right now like, Oh, maybe I could do it. Hmm. I’m warming up to the idea. I liked the idea of being an author, but I’m warming up to the idea of doing the work to be an author. And I’m guessing a lot of them get stuck right there. How do you help them get stuck? Like you’re now talking to tens of thousands of agency owners. How do you help the subset of them that are like, yes, I should do this. How do you help them get over that hump?

Speaker 3:

Okay. First thing is because most of them, even if they think they want to write a book, there’s still usually that confusion on yes, but what exactly would it say?

Speaker 3 (48:44):

You know, I’ve got all of these ideas and truthfully, we could all write a hundred books because we all have expertise in so many different things. There’s an exercise that anyone can do. Just grab a sheet of paper, put a little T chart on the paper. And on the left hand side of the T, write the word passions at the top on the right hand side, write experiences. And what you do is you make a list and this isn’t a book yet, but this is a process. Writing down your passions is so important because obviously you, first of all, the people who write a book about something they’re not passionate about, ended up never finishing that book or regret it. I say to people be careful what you write about because you’ll be talking about it for a long, long time. So you better be passionate about it.

Speaker 3 (49:25):

But passion is, think of things that you enjoy doing. What lights you up? What comes natural and put it on the left hand side of the T. And then on the right, this is where you put your experiences. So experience as an agency owner, maybe you have experience in video or experience specific to business. But experience is more than just our career or expertise, right? Maybe you’ve experienced as a parent or you experienced traveling a lot or experience something that you didn’t want to experience. And that’s the tricky part of the experience. Some of us have been through things good and bad, and it doesn’t mean we wanted it to happen, but it’s a part of our story. And so it goes on the list. Once you have both sides filled out, now what you’re looking for is an intersection or connection.

Speaker 3 (50:09):

So where can you draw a line from the passion side to the experience side? Because that intersection is the magic because it’s a book you want to write. You’re excited to help people with this topic. And it’s something you have a lot of credibility on because you’ve been doing it, you have the experience. I’ll give you an example of mine. So I, I told you, I met Zig so early and worked for him. I’ve always been passionate about personal development. I just love it. I still do. And I love helping people to find their greatness basically. So that’s on my passion side. On the experience side, I did work for Zig Ziglar. There’s a little bit of a connection. Absolutely but, and I’ll share this and I don’t mind sharing it to be vulnerable. I had an experience when I was in middle school, even early high school, just not a lot of confidence, low self-esteem. Things that like, look, I don’t want to have to tell people that I don’t want that on my list, but it’s just a fact of who I was. And it’s a part of my story. But here’s where the magic is. So the connection, I love personal development. I struggled with some stuff and I had to use personal development to kind of pull myself out of that rut. So my first book, Winning in Life Now: How to Break Through to a Happier You. And it was all that. It was how I use personal development, my ups and downs in life, how I used personal development to kind of get myself through what it was like working for Zig Ziglar. That was all my book. And you know what? It was so easy to write because it was just right here, blew out of me.

Speaker 3 (51:35):

He couldn’t wait to share it with people because I was so passionate about the topic. So that’s the first thing is just to get clarity on your topic.

Speaker 2:

It can’t just be intellectual. That’s your point, right? It’s gotta come from your head and your heart.

Speaker 3:

Because if you want people to connect with you, that backstory, you have to put yourself in it. You have to, and if you’re not willing to then … you have to be authentic on social media. So it’s the same exact thing. And so that’s where I always tell people to start. And then what usually happens after that exercise is they have 10 book ideas. I mean, because there’s so many things with passion and experience. So I always say, pick the one that you can do the quickest, the fastest and the easiest.

Speaker 3 (52:17):

Because again, we’re just trying to get you that published author status, no matter the topic, even if it’s about personal stuff, you still leverage it into your business.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. That’s great. So, so after I do that, is that where you find, if somebody does that and they really see that intersection, is that what actually propels them to sit down and either start typing or talking, or however they’re going to capture the book? Is that the speed bump they have to get over?

Speaker 3:

There’s one step in between. The hardest part truthfully is even once you know exactly what you’re going to say is getting it out on paper. So one thing I recommend is a process and it is utilizing mind mapping, but I use it specifically for books. Don’t think about writing a book, just think about you are sitting across the table from somebody that, that you care about.

Speaker 3 (53:09):

Somebody who comes to you and says Drew, I need to build an agency and I’ve got 30 days to do it. I’m about to lose my house, my marriage, everything. What would you say? Like you wouldn’t hesitate to tell them, okay, you have to do this. You have to do this. You have to do this. So everything that you would say at that high level, you put it on paper. If the core is how to build an agency, well, let’s see. Tell them how to find your niche, how-to, all the things. I don’t know what you’d say. Those are the main bubbles, basically like a mind map. Then you do the exact same thing for each one. So, figuring out your niche, right? What’s everything? You’ve got one shot. Maybe it’s your child,

Speaker 3 (53:49):

maybe it’s your best friend and they’re desperate for this information. You’ve got one shot to tell them everything you know. You do the same thing. Okay. Well, I would tell him, and then boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Get it on paper. What happens is that ends up being your chapters, your sub-chapters. And then you throw in stories, examples, things either you struggled with or other people that you know, and when you approach a book like that, you’re doing it out of your heart. You’re wanting to serve. I just want to help. Excuse me. I just want to help someone with what I’ve learned. And when we come from the standpoint of serving and helping, we don’t have any issue getting it out. But that’s usually that mind map, exercise. We do it at all of our workshops.

Speaker 3 (54:31):

We do it with all of our authors and it works. And I’ve yet in the 10 years we’ve been doing it have somebody leave without a full book mapped out. And it just works. And then you can go, you can write it or you can record it or you can get somebody to interview you, but that has to happen.

Speaker 2:

So great. This has been awesome. I’m excited for how excited I think everyone’s going to be when they hear this and realize they can do it. It’s in them. It’s part of how they can help people. Because I think one thing that’s true about agency owners is one of the reasons they got into the business is because they want to help other business people. Yes. And they love when clients let them come alongside them, coach them, not in the traditional sense, but coach them and help them make good decisions that allowed them to really serve their audience.

Speaker 2 (55:21):

And so I think what you’ve done today is sort of show them, here’s another way for you to, lead with your heart, to be a servant leader, to help and coach the industry or the audience or whoever it is that really needs to hear from you. And here’s a way that you can do that then also, and there’s nothing wrong with this that also benefits your business. So it’s good for the audience. It’s good for your business. It’s good for you. Why wouldn’t you do this?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And I’ll just add one more thing to that. You know, what is authority? Authority doesn’t mean you are a hundred times better or have you’re on a pedestal. Authority means you’re literally just one step ahead of someone else. That’s it. And you’re turning around and pulling them along. That’s what authority is. And that’s what having it through all these different channels, what it does for you. And it builds a business and it helps other people. There’s power in it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. That is awesome. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all of this.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. This was fun.

Speaker 2 (56:25):

So if folks want to learn more about your work, your bookshops, your publishing, all of that stuff, what’s the best place for them to find all of that information?

Speaker 3 (56:35):

So Michelleprince.com or you can go to the powerofauthority.com/free book. If you want to get a download of The Power of Authority book, then that’ll link you to the publishing page.

Speaker 2 (56:47):

Okay. This has been awesome. Thank you so much.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Drew. You bet.

Speaker 2:

All right, guys, this wraps up another episode of Build A Better Agency. If you’re not fired up after listening to Michelle talk, and if you’ve ever thought about really capturing your knowledge or experience to the benefit of others, if you’ve ever had that thought, boy did she give you a blueprint for how to do it! How to do it quickly and well and for it to serve both the reader and you. So I expect to see all of your books on Amazon relatively shortly. And so I would love for you to send me a note if you’ve decided to do this, I would love to hear about what you’re thinking about and be able to sort of celebrate that and support you in that. Because you got a download today of how to get it done.

Speaker 2 (57:37):

So, love this. Please check out Michelle’s stuff. A couple of quick reminders for you before let you go. Number one, remember that every month we give away a free seat at one of our live workshops or one of our on-demand workshops. All you have to do is leave a rating and review of the podcast, take a screenshot of it, and shoot it to me in email. So just email me the screenshot at [email protected] And remember the reason I’m asking you to do that, I do read all the reviews, but if your user ID is, I hate max 69, then I don’t know who that is. And by the way, you should not hate Max because they’re better. But, nonetheless, I don’t know who you are. So identify yourself for me, send me the email and we will put you in the drawing.

Speaker 2 (58:26):

We’re happy to be able to offer that to everybody. So please do that. A big shout and thank you to our friends at White Label IQ, they are the presenting sponsor of this podcast. So they make it possible for me to come and hang out with you every week and bring you smart people like Michelle. So head over to WhiteLabeliq.com/ami, cause they have a special deal there just for podcast listeners. And you’re going to want to take advantage of it. They do White Label PPC, dev, and design, and they’re awesome. My agency works with them and we love them as do many other AMI agencies. All right, that’s all for me today. I will see you next week. And thanks for listening. Talk to you soon.

Speaker 4 (59:06):

That’s all for this episode of AMI’s, Build A Better Agency podcast. Be sure to visit agencymanagementinstitute.com to learn more about our workshops, online courses, and other ways we serve small to midsized agencies. Don’t forget to subscribe today so you don’t miss an episode.