Fiction is the spark for most writers. People learn from stories regardless if a writer writes elegantly. It’s how the stories are told and how people learn from it that inspired Caleb Breakey to start his ghostwriting company. Starting out, he was willing to undercharge himself with his first client at $300 for an entire finished book that he needed to edit. From there, he grew the $300 to a six-figure business and perfected the Speak to Write process. Caleb shares the seven steps for writing a powerful book and getting it out there to inspire people.
I want to start the show with a question, have you ever purchased an online course, a training program, a sales program or a marketing program, but never quite finished? Never quite received the value you thought you would but wish you had? I want to help you get that course completed by finding your perfect accountability partnership, and I have built the equivalent of Match.com entrepreneurs to help you do just that. Besides finding a match, the Results Breakthrough Network walks you through your sessions and coaches, both of you to get the most out of your weekly meetings. As a listener to your first thousand clients, I want to invite you to try it free and see if it’s a fit for you. It’s time to get accountable. That time is now. Go to ResultsBreakthrough.com and become a member. Let’s get to the business at hand. Everyone, do you have a book inside of you dying to get out? Do you have a message that you know will benefit thousands that hasn’t been told yet? Then you are going to want to pay attention to my next guest who is a published author and runs the premier ghostwriting agency in the United States. He has perfected this speak-to-write process and it’s going to show us exactly how we can get a book done now.
Speak To Write, Write To Inspire with Caleb Breakey
Welcome, Caleb Breakey, to the show.
Thank you so much, Mitch. That intro is something else. I appreciate that very much. I can’t wait to provide some value to everyone.
What we’d like to do is get some background. Give me an idea of what it was like starting out. Did you basically do the traditional high school to college, college to first job and then basically step on the boss’ toe and run out screaming? How did it go for you?
High school was all about writing. I was the kid who wrote the family newsletters. Writing was the one skill set that I knew I had. I didn’t have a lot of skill outside of that. I wasn’t a very competent kid. I went into journalism because as I said I like to write. I found out I’m an INFJ, which I’d love asking questions. I love investigative work, so journalism was perfect for me. Then I got my first job out of college after graduating in journalism. I worked for about a year before I got the itch. There were only three jobs within my hometown and I needed to be challenged more than that. I won the awards that I could win. I knew that I just needed to take that next step. I knew that there was more purpose and work for me. My big story is that my wife and I actually moved out of journalism, took a job at some retirement apartments as night managers to make that transition into a completely different job. It was a no pay but it gave me time to start something else.
In other words, you were patrolling at night, making sure that the facilities were okay while during the day, you worked on your dream?
That’s exactly what we did. We we’re the first ones on call if something went wrong, but for the most part this was a retirement apartments for folks doing amazing into their 80s and 90s. I would sit down with coffee with folks who are in their ‘90s who one was like a NASA guy. Another was sea captain and another one was Boeing, incredible conversations from some of the most and most incredible generation. I would never take that experience back. I did that for five and a half years, and my wife still is married to me.
I have discovered this unbelievable well of wisdom in the elderly that I never realized really was there before. As kids, as young people, 30s, 40s and even 50s, we disregard them. We think of old people his discarded in some ways, but if you stop and talk with them, what you find is that they have some of the most valuable wisdom to exist on this planet. I have found so many beautiful people to have these incredible conversations with places. For example, where I go to work-out at my gym, we have a lot of senior people and it’s just like, sit and have coffee with them and I learn so much about life and about travel and about politics. It’s an incredible experience. I’m glad you had that. What happened to propel you into the place that you are now? What was next was next?
What was next was I’m writing. Writing was what I always wanted to do. I was going the traditional route. Basically, I got off and get an agent and then I’ve got to get an editor and then editors got to pitch it to pub board. I went down that path originally with fiction. I’ve always loved fiction. I read Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I widely read more than just those guys. I love that thriller-suspense genre. Anyway, I was going down this path and then the door opened up to write some non-fiction. I ended up getting a book deal for two books and started writing non-fiction, mostly about dating and then the church. Those were the two avenues that opened up. The book launch went great. We made it up to number one in our category, ended up selling about between 12,000 and 15,000 copies, which was pretty good considering how few books actually sell more than 5,000 copies. I found myself at a point where I knew that I couldn’t control anymore. I hustled, hustled, hustled and I did everything I could. At the end of the day, I didn’t know how to market. At that point, I actually stopped writing for four years to learn internet marketing. That was the majority of my time spent at these retirement apartments because I realized that I wanted to control my own destiny. I want it to be able to own the parts of the business that would really run. I knew that internet marketing, basically just being able to connect the great thing that you do to a lot of people. That’s the way I look at marketing. I stopped for four years to learn that and that was the next step for me.
You could have done several other things, but what’s interesting about your story to me is that first of all, you discovered that as hard as you worked, you could sell 15,000 books. Anybody who’s here knows that no one gets rich off of selling books unless you’re Stephen King. I have already published one book. My second book is coming out in June. I don’t write to make money. I write to teach people what I do and to share with them the skills that I have developed so that they can take those insights and build the types of programs that I do now. Everybody has a different reason and a different purpose for writing. Why did you write those two books?
It was what I was going through at the time. My wife and I had an interesting relationship where we met super young. We found ourselves as a fourteen and eleven year old and we never stopped liking each other. That put us in an interesting position with our parents of course of trying to figure out, “What are you doing with young kids who like each other, but obviously they’re not ready to move forward in relationship?” We ended up getting married at 21 and 18. There were a lot of just things we wanted to talk about when it came to dating and finding the person that you’re going to be with. We’re big into personality tests and nerds. Just finding out how to continue to love each other in the way that the other person feels love and sacrificial love, the whole thing. That was big for us. I kept writing fiction, that never left me either because I’m just a big proponent of story. I think we learn through story. I think that at the end of the day, it’s not so much just about like elegant writing. It’s really about stories; stories of how we learn and stories of what we do. That’s why I ended up starting my ghost writing agency as well as to continue to write my own stuff as well.
How did you get your first ghost writing client?
That really came from a lot of the internet marketing things I was trying. How can I get in front of people from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter? Someone found me via one of the funnels that I’d set up. Just a simple funnel, really just hacked together because I was learning as I went. I got the email or I got the phone call. My first client was for $300 to help him edit a book that he had already written. I did it successfully, helped him published it, the whole thing. From that $300 we’ve built our company up into the multiple six figures and it all started with that first client.
You had this first client, they paid you $300, you edited the book. How did you get the second client?
Second client, same deal. I just got a phone call one day through one of my funnels and we had some great conversations and that turned into a client for $700.Basically, because I knew I was undercharging. We walk in real timid about charging, “Am I really worth it to be paid this amount of money?” That ended up going up to $700. Still way under undercharged. That client was so happy that he introduced us to five clients. There started the wheel, the snowball going downhill. If you provide great value, then other people will tell other people about it. That’s what I’m about. I’m not out to just make money. It’s about providing real great value. That’s just easy to say, “If you’re someone who has this story but you can’t put it in, I know this guy, Caleb.”
What’s nice about the way you said it and I think what’s great about what you’ve done is you’ve grown it very organically. You put together a funnel. You’re able to attract some people to your brand, into your skills. You got them on the phone and he just chatted with them and that’s I think the process. What I take away from what you said is that you did not give up. You were not doing this to try it for 90 days and if it worked, great, and if it didn’t, you’d find something else. Instead you stuck with it and you stuck with it for a long time until you started to make those connections, which is incredible. What do you do to continue to build the company and bring more and more clients into the business?
The hard thing which is letting go, which is training others to do what I used to do. I used to spend every part of my day on the phone with clients because I knew the business inside out. I saw it built from the ground up. I’ve published traditionally, hybridly, self-published, non-fiction, fiction. There wasn’t an answer that I didn’t have and I love talking about writing books. I realized that if the company were to grow, then I needed to let go. That I couldn’t be the one answering every call and that I needed to duplicate myself. I needed to find not just talented people but the right people who had the vision. We’re bought into how we want to treat clients, how we want to make the experience. That’s really what it’s been for the past three years. We’re just going just going into our fourth year. We’ve grown 100% every year and the biggest blessing you might say for the company has been finding the right people. The right people who really get the original vision and who are taking on parts of the business as if it were me doing it myself. They do it with that much care. That means so much to me, because I don’t have to worry about clients being treated right. The quality coming out poorly, that’s for the best way. I duplicated myself with the right people.
This is a hard thing to do. First of all, it’s hard to delegate and second of all, it’s hard to screen people and find the right fit for the organization and for the skill set that you’re hiring for. You said earlier that you’re a big proponent of personality tests. Do you use those to hire and tell us what your process is?
I don’t necessarily use them to hire. I have had the people that ended up working for the company, go over them we all know each other’s personality. I haven’t done that with everybody, but my process for hiring people usually would start at a place like Upwork or through a recommendation or a writer that I met at a conference. One tip I would say is be willing to pay for people to do test runs. Don’t just think you’ve found the right person and start, by actually giving yourself an opportunity for the person that you meet for that job, give him a chance to see if you’re right for them and they’re right for you. What I’ve found is that after a few emails, working on a couple of projects, my particular personality, it takes awhile for me to build trust. Really it comes to just starting off small project going a little bit bigger and before you know it, after a few emails, whatever walls that are just inherently there, they break down and spending a lot of time on the phone with people, that’s really what it came down for me.
Usually, I would test out ten people simultaneously for a particular job, and everything from the way they communicated with me to the effort they’ve into the work to the extras, the intangibles that they would do, I’ll keep my eye on all those things and you could tell that certain people really would stand out and those were the ones who I’d start a test run with. Then before we knew, if that test run went well, some people have been with me since the very beginning of the company and they are fulltime now doing incredible things. I’m so invested in them, they’re so invested in the company. Be willing to invest a lot of time into finding those right people because if you start with those wrong building blocks, it’s only going to cause trouble down the road. That is a particular skill set of mine, I love building teams. I love finding the right people.
I did the very same thing when we were building a sales team for Tony Robbins. What we were able to do was we would craft our ads to attract what we thought was our exact fit and then we’d go through an elaborate screening process. I’ve documented all of this. What we were able to do was we were able to relatively efficiently locate exact matches for the positions in our company. To give credit to what you said, we also did it the way you did. We would sometimes test people out, many, five or ten at a time even in a sales position to see who emerged as the winner. In many cases, we’d hire more than one. It’s a great strategy and I think if more people used it, they would spend less time recruiting even though it sounds like it might take longer than going on some hiring site and picking up a few resumes. I agree with you there, absolutely. Let’s go one step further here because I think there’s two parts to any business. It’s the organization of the business and then it’s the skill that the business has developed in delivering for clients. Let’s go back to the organization for a second. What software do you use to run your company?
We use a lot of different things. It’s hard to patch it altogether without going into the process. One of the core things that we found that’s really helpful is Uber Conference. That’s a great way to record calls. It’s a great way to just meet virtually with teams, screen-share, the whole bit. Of course we have our websites. We have a lot of structure built in. We use click funnels, we use AdRoll. When it comes to just our team and the process that we do, because it’s so long, we find that just using GoogleDocs, shared spreadsheets work really well. It works really effectively. We’ve thought about using Basecamp and different sites like that. I know there’s Trello but we really haven’t needed that yet. Mostly, it’s just email. We keep things really streamlined. We use a lot Gmail, canned responses. We know certain processes down to a tee and we just keep it that way. There’s not a lot of technology behind the company. So much of it, you have to jump in with a particular skill sets. Like Uber Conference is where we do all of our interviews but after that, once we have an interview, we start the transcription process, then it goes through a layer of development and then ghost writing and then so forth. There’s a lot there so I’ll just pause and let you direct the conversation here.
The thing we use and again, I use this with all the companies that I work with, is we build Slack channels for just about everything. I don’t know if you’ve incorporated Slack into your workflow or something like it, but I’ve found it to be invaluable.
That’s something that might be a next step for us. We’ve looked at again, Slack, Basecamp, Trello, things like that haven’t. We taken the leap yet and that sounds like something I need to check into.
My two core tools are Trello and Slack. There are other tools we use. Like you, we use all the Google services extensively, but for the most part it’s those two. The reason is it’s because you can manage your projects in Trello and you can communicate in Slack and that works great and it works for every company that I ended. When I work with a company, immediately we set up a Slack channel because it just makes everything easier. Let’s get to your core expertise here, Caleb. Let’s get into the master class time together that we have. I’m going to propose that you open the Kimono here and you really show us your process. Let’s say, I hired you and I was about to engage you. I already paid you a lot of money. Now, tell me what are you going to do for me and where do we start?
If we’re ready to go, this is what I would say, “We’re going to create your book in 24 hours of your time or less. The way your 24 hours are going to be spent, it’s going to be interviews with us on the phone probably ten, fifteen hours. Then on the back end, once your first draft is ready, it’s going to be you going through reading, making notes, providing input for our team to take your book back and make those changes.”Now, the 24 hours of your time is a very small portion of the work. We wanted to create a process that was very low touch yet, very highly effective and efficient. On our end, what happens is once we’ve gone through those interviews and interviews is very much like what we’re doing right now. It’s talking, it’s engaging, it’s finding those strands of gold and following them as deep as we can. A lot of folks just need someone to be their can-opener if they will. I’ve had folks open up to me more than they have their spouse before and it’s really an incredible time. I love the interview part of the process and what we do. It’s actually really therapeutic for a lot of people because a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, I mean we are hustling and we got our head down and sometimes we never breathe. We never take the moment to actually ask like, “Why is it that we do what we do? What’s most important to us?”Things like that, they can go under the bridge. That’s a really sweet time of really diving into what someone’s expertise is, what their story is, how we can find their audience and things like that.
Our process starts with a strategy session and that’s the 30,000-foot view where we’re saying, “What is your expertise? Who is this for? What’s your grand vision for it? How do we want to be using this book or your entire funnel in five years? A book, video series, do you want to do coaching calls? Do you want to have events? Let’s get the 30,000-foot view of how you want to deliver the value you have to offer.” From there, we go into a table of contents call. We want to make sure that this book is just going to look great and pop the second someone sees that table of contents. We look at a book as different doorways. First, you have your title and subtitle, doorway number one. If that doesn’t catch them, then they’re not going to pick it up. Two, they pick up the book. The second doorway is that back cover copy. Does it really sell and tell the reader what they’re going to get, the value, the benefit statements, are they there and just make you want to go, “Yes, this book is for me.” Then the third one is that table of contents. Do they jump out? The benefit and the catchiness of them. Then finally the final doorway is when they start to read it. That’s what we use that second call for. Then we actually go into the calls where we walk through those table of contents, call after call after call, whatever fits into your schedule until we’re finished.
Once that’s done, you keep doing your life, you keep providing value to the people you’ve been providing, while we go into our process. That starts with transcription and that’s basically just going to get all the blot that we have talked about. We don’t pretend that spoken word is anything close to written word, but is the paint from which we’re going to start painting a canvas. Once we have those, the transcripts, we go through a four part developmental phase where I’m basically, it’s just four different levels, we’ve got organization, we are actually changing it from the spoken word to the written word, we have fine tuning the language. Then all the way up to stage five where we do what we call the seven-point ghost writing. This is a process that I created based on all the sales copy that I studied. I wanted to make sure that seven points got into every chapter. Those seven points are really just a guideline for highly effective persuasive communication. We want to make sure every chapter does these seven things.
One, does it snatch the reader’s attention? If they’re not snatched at the beginning, they’re not going to keep reading. What’s a statement, a quote, a question, something that we can get them right into the chapter? Two, we want to make sure that we work in a sentence that simplifies the point of the chapter. If we can’t say it within a sentence, then it’s probably too complicated. We want to make sure that we can say it real quick in a simplified manner. Number three, it usually takes up most of the chapter. Why is this so important to my life as a reader? We want to show them, “Why is this particular chapter so important to this particular reader’s life right now?” Number four: proof of concept. Was there any research, data statistics, case studies that really backed whatever it is that we are presenting in this chapter? Then number five often goes overlooked. “Have we articulated the reader’s questions up until this point?” You, as the author, what are the readers asking at this point in the chapter? Now, is there a way where we can backtrack and start to provide those answers before they even start thinking?
Having those questions pop up like weeds in their mind, because the second the reader has questions popping up, they’re focus starts getting taken away. We want to answer their questions before they even realize they’re starting to ask them because it has that effect of a waiter filling your glass of water before you realize it’s getting empty or taking care of. Then number six, it’s the application, “How can they apply what it is that we’re teaching them in this chapter?” Is it in action, or maybe it’s an action of the mind or an action of actually you’re going to go do something? Then number seven, “Have we inspired them to keep reading?” It’s basically an inverse of snatching their attention. We want to end the chapter on a high point and send them off into the next chapter. That’s our seven point ghostwriting process.
One of the things that I find to be very valuable is when I write, I love the systemization that you’ve created. What I like to do at the very end is I like to create a summary and I like to create a bullet point summary of everything I just said so they can review everything they just read in a simple and easy to understand way. Is that part of your process or do you advise that to be a good technique?
Anything that can be summarized, I’m all for that. If it’s a bullet point, I’m usually reading it because I love it when everything is it’s just enough to get your mind going and that’s it. I am. I’m a big fan of that. I can’t say that we have that exact system, but I think that’s huge.
That’s the Pareto Principle. I’m sure you’ve heard of that before. It’s also known as the 80-20 Rule; the Law of the Vital Few or the Principle of Factor Sparsity. When I write, what I really want to do is I want to try and get to the very essence of the concept that I’m trying to explain. What I find is that even when I write, I get into the storytelling part and by using that Pareto Principle summary at the end, I’m able to just very quickly clarify. Let me, if I could review for a moment. What you’re doing then is you’re encouraging people to work with you or work with someone in a set of questions to basically take the information out of their mind basically, and drop it into the audio format so that it can be transcribed, edited, and then massaged into covering all the seven points in an interesting chapter. Is that right so far?
That’s exactly right.
What’s the next step?
The next step from there is we send the client a proof of the manuscript. That’s where we invite the client back into the process and say, “Here is the very first draft of what we’ve come up with from our conversations. Now, it’s your opportunity to tweak, provides suggestions, add those guardrails that we want based on the way you want to come across, the voice that you have. We are going to match your voice from the interviews, but maybe there are some tweaks that you want to do.” It’s the opportunity for the client to provide us feedback to finish strong. Once we are done with that, we move forward with publication, paperback, eBook, hardcover, audio book. It really depends on the strategy that we set up with that first strategy call. Once we are ready to launch, then we initiate a launch plan. This goes into really the second part of our process. Now that the content is created, the cover is ready to go. It looks beautiful. It comes down to strategy. You had mentioned you write books to let people know what you do and provide value and have it in one place, but really it’s about a larger ticket value that you’re offering.
I think it’s the best way to use books because you get to reach far and wide, give a lot of value and then you pick up your ideal clients because they trust you so much based on the value you gave them on your book. You don’t have to focus on selling thousands of a $10 product when you can charge a whole lot more for those higher ticket items that you’re doing. All that to say is my view is starting to change on this slightly. With AMS which is basically an ad system that Amazon has created, books are becoming easier to move. It’s still not as scalable as we would like to see, but I’m starting to believe that there is money to be made in selling books. However, it is a much longer road. It takes a lot more testing but I think the day of the author is coming back. I’m a part of a lot of groups to where people are going from making zero dollars to making five figures a month. Some of them even ten figures a month. Now, it does depend on the genre. It does depend on the type of book that you’re writing. For nonfiction, which is what we specialize in, I do believe what you’re doing is the absolute best way to create a financial windfall, either to really use it to get your ROI back fast. However, for those who do want to just sell their book to make money, I think that is also on the table. It just depends on the funnel that you want to set up. This second half of what we do really comes down to the strategy.
We have books out there that we give away for free because we send a lot of traffic to it that are our particular niche. We’ve had books on Amazon for free that are the number one book in their category for free for two years because our ideal clients are downloading them. Then within that book, there’s a link where they’ll get some tied, upgraded content for free. Those pages tend to have an 80% opt-in rate because it’s so tied to the book. Once they get that opt in, they’re introduced to what we do at Speak It To Book or our sister company Sermon To Book, which is for pastors. We have Speak It To Book, businessmen, entrepreneurs. We have Sermon To Book just for pastors, so two niches. There’s a lot of different ways that you can use your book and that’s what this next part is really about. It’s so fun to figure out, “Your content is ready and packaged as a book. Do we want to leverage it to get clients? Then let’s set up a funnel where we’re going to just get your book into as many of your ideal client’s hands as possible. Do we want to use it to sell a video series? Do we want to use it to get people on the phone with you?”
That’s how we run our business. We drive people through funnels that end up getting them on the phone with us so that we can tell them about what we do. We don’t even use the sales script. We just know what we do. We love it and that’s how we pitch it. It sells itself. If people want to start moving into whatever it is that they love doing, what that value that they’re bringing, if they see the value of putting that into book form and then creating a funnel, we are the people for them. What we’re doing is when I do these podcasts, the biggest surprise tends to be the second part of what we do, which is the funnel building aspect. A lot of people think that you just write a book, it becomes a bestseller but there’s so much more to that. If you don’t have that second part built in, the figuring out, “Mitch, your book is done. How do we want to use it to create your biggest ROI?” You’re right, it’s using that book as leverage.
I love the way that you put it. It makes a lot of sense to me. I like the fact that you’re combining both and creating that strategy. Let’s actually dive into that strategy. We have listeners who either have books or may want to write a book, and it’s for the purpose of driving clients. How would you propose that they use that book? If you were consulting with me and let’s say I’m about and I am, by the way, I’ve already signed a contract with a publisher, my next book is going to be out somewhere in the June timeframe and it’s all about my certification process. It’s called Power Tribes. Everyone, this is exactly what you should do as well if you’re in the same position as me. What do I do, Caleb, now that I want to get this book out there and find high-end clients for my process?
I would test different things. One, I would do a lot of AMS ads and that’s the Amazon marketing ecosystem. I would find out who are your ideal clients are already going to and target those types of people on Amazon; those who like a certain type of book or put your book next to their book. I would drive traffic to that. I’d make sure that you have a very clear next step in the relationship from your book. When I say very clear, it has to be tied very closely to the concept of your book. If they bought your book, they’d be crazy not to get this whatever free thing that you’re offering. If it’s Power Tribes, then it’s the Power Tribes Checklists Workbook. All the action points put together in a simple one two-page PDF or something like that. Then on the thank you page of that, I would have, “I’m Mitch Russo. I would love to chat with you, set up a time and take you to the next step of Power Tribes,” or something like that. I would try that both in selling your book or giving it away for free. The eBook is just driving a bunch of people it. More people will be invested if they paid for your book but there will be fewer of them. It’s a give or take. I would do that and then I would try it just a lot of different funnels. Facebook might not be where you’re finding a ton of high ticket clients but if they’re there, at the very least, let’s make sure that we retarget on Facebook.
Let’s say you have people reading your book, they get your opt-in on your opt-in link, you have an AdRoll pixel so that you can retarget anyone who goes to that link. Let’s say Mr. CEO checks out and he is like, “I’m not ready to talk with Mitch yet,” but then later they posted a picture of their dog on Facebook. The next thing they see your ad that says, “I noticed that you checked out my book and you checked out our guide and I just would love to schedule a call with you and help you take your business to the next level,” something like that. I look at marketing and remarketing, all these things. It’s relationship building. It’s being everywhere and inviting people in to the value that you bring. I would test on Facebook. I would test on LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is a very overlooked platform where you can find a lot of clients, especially at the high-ticket variety. I looked into LinkedIn ads. I’d also look into a lot of organic LinkedIn opportunities where whether you can do it all yourself or have a virtual assistant do it for you or some sort of software, I think LinkedIn is worth it. I think the main rule of thumb is don’t be annoying and just provide a lot of value. That’s what I do. If you’re looking to launch your book, I do a lot of ads and AMS. I would try Facebook, direct sales to Amazon as well, and then I’ll just make sure that that backend is really a filled with value and the opportunity and permission to remarket to people. If anyone clicks, you can get back in front of them with those ads that are already set up and automated and ready to go.
It makes it a lot of sense and that’s exactly what we are planning to do. I want to add one element to this that I felt like I had screwed up when I published my first book. When I published The Invisible Organization, It was sort of a work of love. It was really me pouring my entire soul into trying to communicate what I did for Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes when I was the CEO of Business Breakthroughs. It was all about building a virtual company. Here was the problem. While the book did sell well, we ended up probably distributing upwards of 10,000 copies. The thing that it did not do is it never made that great direct connection back to me. The next time I do this, I don’t believe I’m ever going to publish a book again without a course that I could use to self-liquidate the advertising expenses to keep it going. That to me I thought was a mistake because you run out of money fast when you’re marketing a book that doesn’t make much money. If you could sell to 30% or 40% of them a $47 or a $97 course, which then fuels your marketing program to get you more readers and in an in turn more potential clients, then that made the most sense to me. What do you think about that?
I think that a lot of folks go into it thinking, “If they just write the book, it’s going to sell.”A lot of people will even say, “Caleb, I’m fine if I just break even.”That’s very hard to do if you’re just selling books. I look at breaking even as a ginormous win, because that means that you’re building your platform for free. As we know, if you have a platform that is worth a lot in the long run, if you are getting people buying your book and that video course you’re selling is paying for your advertising to the point where you can keep cranking the dial of your advertising, you’re winning. Sooner or later you’re not just going to be breaking even, you’ll release your next course and now you have all of this big, powerful email list that you can send that to or use to or remarket to. That’s super powerful.
Breaking even, that’s win number one. Win number two then is going far beyond it. Yes, tie a book to that video course. Tie that video course to personal coaching, tie that personal coaching to an event. This is what everyone slowly builds out to. They keep adding value in new ways and I am a big proponent of that. Have a higher ticket item that’s going to help pay you just to get in front of more people and continue to do that advertising. The second you have to turn off your advertising, there’s not a lot of hope moving forward because organically, books aren’t just going to get rolling unless you put a lot behind them to get them up into Amazon’s algorithm where Amazon starts saying, “This book is selling. Let’s keep it up here.”
Everyone, this is important. Don’t write your book just for the purpose of writing a book. Have a plan. Caleb has described in detail exactly what we need to do. This has been great, so thank you so much. I’ve got a couple of questions for you. Here’s the first one. This is the question that I used to go deep into my guest and understand what really makes them tick. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?
There are so many people. Coming from that journalist background of just loving to interview people, this is so hard to pick. This is going to sound really funny because I’m going to pick two people on the same park bench next to me and they’re not going to seem like they fit at all. One, I’m going to have either Dean Koontz or Stephen King. On the other side, I’m going to have Jesus himself because I’m a big Jesus freak. I believe in, “Love God, Love Others,” and I also absolutely love the craft of writing. People like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Lamott, there are a lot of just fantastic writers out there. There are the classic writers. I would love to dive into the craft of writing with them because that’s really where my heartbeat is. Then of course, with Jesus, I would love to know more about what it means to live a great life and to be someone who really loves others and what that means. My wife and I talk about it all the time. We talk about, “How can we be a people who, who make a difference, who look after for those who are less fortunate, who opened our home, to have great conversations.” We’re real big and being authentic and meeting people where they’re at. Those are the two people and you’d never think Stephen King and Jesus just chilling on a park bench, that’s a picture I’ll leave you with I guess.
By the way, just take a take a right up here to Massachusetts and we could go visit Stephen King. He is only maybe 90 miles away from where I live. We’ll go knock on his door and invite ourselves in for some coffee. We’ll let them know that we got Jesus with us. He’ll even love that, I bet. That’s cool. Here’s the grand finale question. Caleb, this is the change the world question. What is it that you were doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
What I found is that there’s a lot of amazing people doing a lot of incredible work in this world who will never have the time to put their life on pause and actually write it down. You have these people building their legacies, but no one really knows about it or it’s reached a cap because they haven’t found a way to reach the masses, to train others to do what they’re doing there. They’re doing something amazing, but once they die, it will end because they’ve never put it into book form. There are people out there who want to write their book and I am all for that. If you have that heartbeat to write your book and to dive in and go through the trial of writing your book, like you have to do that. That’s a calling that you have to do yourself. No one else is going to walk that for you. I want to open up the branch for people who are living great stories, but don’t have the time or the team to make that happen. That’s the gap that we want to fill aspect of the book, and also the funnel creating a platform for people, that’s what we want to do. We want to find and work with these really amazing people who are providing a ton of value to the world and that’s who we want to work with. We’re not out there to work with people who just provide some value and they want to be published. We want to find those people who are truly providing value to others. If we can be the next step for them and creating that platform to reach more people, provide more value, that’s my dream of how Speak It To Book is going to help change the world.
Caleb Breakey, I have to tell you this has been a joy and a pleasure for me to learn from you and I hope everyone have appreciated our time together because I know I certainly have. Thank you, Caleb. I can’t wait for us to speak again.
Thanks, Mitch. I really appreciate it. Wonderful questions, what a pleasure being on your show.
The 7 Interview Questions to Crafting the Perfect Chapter:
- Snatch the reader’s attention – ask a question
- Simplify the point of the chapter.
- Why is this so important to my life as a reader?
- Proof of concept – case studies
- Have we articulated the reader’s questions up to this point? What are they asking at this point? Answer them before they even realize they are asking them
- How can they apply what we are teaching in this chapter?
- Have we inspired them to keep reading?
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Caleb Breakey
- Uber Conference
- Speak It To Book
- Sermon To Book
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