cover-angeled-largeThis is a book I have been meaning to read for some time now. I have been recommended it a few times from a few “friends in the know”.

Being an “info-marketer” Launch’s bold promise “delivers the inspiration, encouragement, examples and know-how you need to boost your brand to new heights and send your rocket ship to undiscovered galaxies…”

The book is written by Michael A Stelzner the founder of the hugely successful site is fantastic resource that helping businesses apply and implement social media strategies.

The main “thrust” of Launch (excuse the pun please!) is to detail how to successfully engage your audience using content that they will want to absorb.

The book opens detailing how important it is to have a plan in place to measure progress of your business as you apply the strategies. This is a crucial step I see some many businesses omit. Not knowing how your business is evolving is like having a ship without a captain.

One of the biggest take-aways that reinforces my own online marketing business is to have an editorial calendar. I know this makes obvious common sense but most business owners are a bit lazy when it comes to this area of their business. If for example you have a blog it’s very important to pre-plan what content you will have and when you intend making it publically available.

Stelzner then define content (fuel) into two distinct broad categories:-

Primary Fuel – this includes “how to” articles, expert interviews, reviews, case studies, news stories and contrarian stories.

Nuclear Fuel – this is content on steroids. Examples include reports based on surveys, white papers, contests and “micro” events such as webinars and teleseminars.

Other great points I really enjoyed are the use of Reciprocity Marketing (you must know I’m a huge fan of Robert Cialdini s book Influence by now. Stelzner uses Gifts as a great way to engage and build relationships).

Seth Godin sets out 3 distinct Gift Circles

First Circle – Friends, family and colleagues. These are people you already have an intimate connection with.

Second Circle – Paying customers and business partners. These are people who have a direct impact on your revenue.

Third Circle –Your base and outside experts. This is a huge group of people you will never know personally.

Godin argues that you must focus your efforts on the First & Third Circles Only. “As the 3rd circle grows in size, the 2nd Circle takes care of itself….because as you give more to the “friendlies”, the list of people who you do your work for always grows “ explains Godin.

Giving gifts to your base and experts should be a key part your business strategy. When you give gifts without motives people will take notice.

How to Give Gifts

Your content is your gift to your reader base. Things such as a valuable video or writing a detailed blog post that solve a common problem are great examples. It’s important to note that there should be no marketing message or motive when doing this otherwise it’s not seen as a true gift by the receiver. You must not expect reciprocity but you know this will come anyway.

Cage The Marketing Message

Another great point Stelzner makes is that you need to “cage your marketing messages”. Don’t try and ram your marketing message down their throats. “When you promote your free content, you’ll generate the highest possible response rate to your advertising.”

If you advertise a free report or webinar you’ll get a great response regardless of the medium. Always use the word “FREE” in your marketing messages so that it helps remove the awkward feeling your prospect might have that it could be a sales pitch. If they have any thought that this might be the case then chances are they won’t participate.

I know this is a mistake I have done many times in the past and I think I’m not alone in the fact!!

All in all this is an easy to read and easy to implement book. Stelzner grew his own email list to over 40,000 people within 12 months so is definitely worth reading.