ASP 16: Building Relationships with Authors and Niche Experts
Quote of the day:
“It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you.”
— Mike Davidson
Once again, Ron is busy with the Authority Pub Academy, which is only weeks away from launch. Today, Barrie and Steve will talk about networking.
But wait—wouldn’t you say being an author is a pretty solitary business?
If you’re an introverted author, the self-publishing business will have both advantages and challenges for you. Sure, you will be more adept at cloistering yourself and getting your books pounded out—but you may struggle when it comes to building advantageous relationships with other authors and niche experts.
For his part, Steve regrets not reaching out to other people earlier. He missed out on a lot of friendships that could have been both personally fulfilling and professionally valuable.
Barrie got into blogging by accident. She met Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, who suggested a blogging course to her. When she started blogging, she realized that she not only enjoyed the interaction with others, but that it was helping her business too.
Barrie has two tips for those looking to get into networking. First, offer help without asking anything in return. You aren’t likely to find someone who reacts negatively when you say, “I love what you are doing. How can I help you?”
Second, be sincere. People know when you are faking, so don’t do it. Barrie once snail-mailed a personal thank-you note to Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity and founder of World Domination Summit. She did it because she was genuinely thankful, but it ended up making an impression on him, and led to a valuable relationship
Steve also received a nice thank you from Chandler Bolt, which started their correspondence. Reaching out with sincerity is a great way to connect.
Do you find it hard to spend so much time alone behind a computer?
For introverts, solo time in front of a screen might sound like the ideal scenario. But the reality is that we all need to stretch ourselves and connect with other authors and bloggers from time to time. We need to meet people who can support our endeavors and help sell books, and also who we can connect with on a personal level. If you’re an author, don’t rely on just writing. Books only sell if you interact with others.
Why do you think it’s good to connect with authors and online entrepreneurs?
There are a lot of benefits to connecting with other authors and online entrepreneurs. For on, you can find people on your level in terms of audience. You can also evaluate the competition, and find allies to cooperate with. If you can find a way to provide benefit to influencers, they will reciprocate and may help to promote you..
A great example of how valuable it is to reach out to others in our market is Barrie and Steve’s relationship. Barrie interviewed Steve for here Sticky Habits course, and in the process they started talking about his book-based business. They began sharing advice, and eventually evolved into a great business relationship.
When you are growing your network, bear in mind that people don’t want to help people with an agenda. You need to genuinely want to assist others and find ways to benefit mutually. If you are only out to better yourself, people will see through this.
Most importantly, consider any new connection an opportunity to build relationships!
Where do you network and what have you gotten out of it?
Steve did the One Day Business Breakthrough by Pat Flynn and Chris Ducker. In the process, he met Rebecca Livermore, whom he coauthored two books with. He also met many other people with whom he has formed a mastermind group.
Sometimes you don’t even need to form a mastermind group. For instance, Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind is Steve’s accountability buddy. Together, they make sure that they are staying on track with their various goals and objectives.
Looking for a supportive community of writers and authors?
Be an Authority and join the Authority Self-Publishing Facebook group.
Partnering on our course and our podcast has really been huge for all three of us, and it’s worked out really well. Let’s talk about what you should look for in a partner.
Generally speaking, it is good if you have similar temperaments, ethics/integrity, and levels of commitment. Look for complementary partners, but remember that they don’t have to be exactly the same as you. Sometimes a completely opposite personality can be just as valuable.
Also, make sure you share the same ideas in terms of business and partnership, and have backup plans in case things don’t go as planned. Barrie, Steve, Ron actually signed a contract before beginning a business relationship. While this might seem uncomfortable to some, especially if you are partnering with people whom you consider to be friends, it is actually the best way to make sure you CONTINUE to be friends in the future. Contracts save relationships, because they get the important things down in writing so there is no confusion or reason for argument later.
Big Networking Events
There are a number of major networking events that are worth looking into. They include:
Try to attend one live and one online event a year. These are great places to make new connections. In fact, Steve actually met Honoree Corder at two different events! MeetUp.com is also a useful tool when looking for events in your area and trying to meet new people. We also recommend Slack, which is a great collaboration tool.
That’s all for this week! We’ll see you over at Authority Pub Academy, where we detail our self-publishing strategy. We’ll also be creating a new Facebook group for those who bought the product. Keep an eye out for that!
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