Market Driven Publishing

By JW Dicks, Esq.

The publishing world is changing again.

Everyone thought by now that all books would be digital. Everyone was wrong. Digital is big but so is printed.

The bigger change is the marketing of books and how they are used to generate income to its author and publisher in other ways.

In June, Glen Beck hit number one on the New York Times Best-Seller List selling more than 132,000 copies of his thriller, The Overton Window. This adds to his total of almost 5 million copies of his books sold just in the United States.

One of the interesting things about his sales is that he has hit the top of the charts in fiction, non-fiction, and even children’s books. Usually an author stays in one category. Adding to his marketing ability in the publishing world is the fact that Beck’s picks of other author’s works are also pushed higher in the charts after his recommendation. This gives him a strong power position in the publishing world that courts him and the favor of his good word.

One of the reasons for his newfound fame is that Beck has an audience. His show on Fox News get about 2 million viewers and more than 9 million listeners faithfully tune into his radio show. Equally important is that his fans are responsive and are buyers. Building strong and responsive fans create a power base for many forms of income streams.

Beck is also a publisher himself through his production company, Mercury Radio Arts. This gives him and opportunity too not only get royalties but to form joint venture type arrangements with major publishing houses.  Creating a business venture instead of just being an author allows him to participate in all of the other income streams, such as the publishers profits, overseas sales, spins offs, movie rights and any other source of added income they can be created.

Remember, the sale of a book is just the start of where money can flow for its author producer and publisher and the front-end money is not near as good as the back end revenue streams.

4 Things I Learned Up On Stage at the UN

It is one of the most powerful buildings in the world. Peace is kept. Deals are made. Processes and systems are created that impact the future of our world. And there I was, suited up and standing next to Nick going through our speakers for the day, working on the introductions we would say before each one took the stage.

The backdrop screamed power. From the East River outside the window to the flags and the podium, there was a feeling of strength that flowed through my body on that stage. This same emotion was sent through the bodies of all 20 speakers on June 18th.

Perhaps more important than the setting or the backdrop or the powerful grounds we stood on, were the lessons I learned listening to the speakers. Feeling their emotions and translating them into motivation for my own life.

This month I wanted to share four big lessons from these speakers and how you can use them to market your business and motivate others to fight for your cause.

  1. We Remember Stories, Not Facts

It’s really easy to cram your presentation with facts. Most experts will play on Google for hours (or days) finding statistics and numbers to support your case.

The best experts spend less time finding facts and more time developing stories that illustrate their point.

Of all the speakers I cannot remember any stats or figures they gave, but I can remember at least one story from every single one of them. This story will stick with me and allow me to remember them for a very long time.

If you are having trouble getting your prospects to pay attention to you, look at the ratio of stats versus stories in your webinars, your live presentations, your pitch decks, your power point slides and even when you talk to prospects over the phone.

I’ve seen this in working with financial advisors, the biggest switch in their conversions come when they stop talking about numbers and start telling stories. Numbers go right over our heads, yet stories last a lifetime. If you haven’t yet, go

read StorySelling by my two compadres here at the Agency as a primer on how to create and tell stories that help you to sell without selling.

  1. First Impressions Are Everything

We live in a superficial world. This is not an argument about whether that is right or wrong, but a statement of fact that can work for you or against you in your marketing.

The opening lines of each presentation at the United Nations set the scene and the stage for what was to come.

How they dressed and looked (everyone was dressed to the nines and looked important and impressive) made people pay attention to their story.

The first lines glued us to their narrative.

If you look important, people will treat you as important. The same holds true in your marketing. If your website looks bad, how do you think they imagine your office looks? If you spend years putting together the content of your book, but go to to create the cover, how seriously can someone take you?

On the other hand when you have done the little things like feeling the paper stock of your letterhead and designing a business card that stops people in their tracks, when you dress as if you are someone of importance, when you have a killer opening line, when your website grabs their attention – they will have a better perception of you and are more willing to work with you.

I encourage you to look at all of your points of entry and look for holes that a prospect would see and be instantly turned off by. These turn-offs are low hanging fruit that can turn into opportunity if you are paying attention.

  1. The World Is Bigger Than Our Backyard

As an American with a growing business, I tend to forget about the problems, the poverty and the harsh conditions happening throughout the world. I know I’m not alone in that. We also forget about the booming economies taking shape all over the world.

The speakers at the Global Economic Initiative were truly “global.” Speakers from all over the world shared their origin stories, their stories of hope and the inspirational messages that are shaping our world today.

From Internet Marketers in third world countries, to transformational leaders in the unstable country of Venezuela, to the inspiring messages of a speaker from Gambia, I realized there is opportunity for commerce, philanthropic endeavors and entrepreneurship all across the globe.

When I work with clients on marketing their businesses, we do our best to narrow the market. I help them to find their niche and break down their ideal customer based on their locations, age ranges, ethnicities, income brackets and so on.

Yet, the biggest opportunities for many businesses lie in expanding their markets to overseas and into developing countries. At the very least we should be paying attention to the Chinas and the Indias of the world, reading magazines and trade journals from different countries and understanding how they are innovating and using technology to change the future just as much, if not more, than what we do here in America.

  1. Freedom Isn’t Free, Let Us Not Forget

I spent the 4th of July throwing poppers and lighting sparklers with Colten and Ryder this year, celebrating our independence as Americans.

But none of us had to fight for our independence or our freedom. It’s very easy to dismiss the rights and liberties we have here in the US, and many of the countries our clients represent. I often take these things for granted: free enterprise, world-class education (at least compared to third world countries), mentors and teachers and the Internet.

Yet, at the Global Economic Initiative I heard story after story of the real price of freedom, from living in concentration camps and fleeing war torn countries in a boat, to escaping a step-father who was going to sell his daughter, to going back and forth from a home country to the US to get away rom the rations, curfews and the lack of ambition handed down by an elected government.

As an entrepreneur or business owner we have the freedom and the power to create our own reality. We can market our businesses freely. We can create promotions and sales and make the cash register ring. We can create partnerships and utilize resources to impact our tomorrows.

My challenge to you is to really look at the future you want to create for yourself, be thankful for what you have and then put your pedal to the floor and never give up until you get what you want.


Because you can. Because your freedom isn’t something you should take lightly and just coast through. You can make a difference in your world and the world around you, but it’s up to you to make it happen, just like the 20 speakers at the UN. It was my privilege to introduce you to the stage and speak alongside you at the first Global

Economic Initiative. Can’t wait till next year!

Greg Rollett is the CEO of Celebrity Expert Marketing. To learn more about how Greg can help you to market your business, email him at [email protected] or take a test-drive of his coaching program by going to

Avoiding Email Marketing Pitfalls

Although email marketing can look deceptively easy, email marketing is a powerful tool. When done correctly, it will generate leads, improve customer loyalty and contribute to a powerful personal brand.

But what makes a good, really good, email marketing campaign? Here are some of my tips and tricks to be successful with email marketing, enjoy!


There is nothing wrong with some good ‘ole fashion, marketing tricks. And, it starts with your subject line. The BEST email subject line we have ever used (in the nine years of both The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding® Agency AND CelebritySites™) was “Hey, dude.”

No joke.

What does that tell you?

That “tricking” the reader into thinking that the email is a personal message from you, and not another “marketing ploy,” gets their attention. Better yet, making your email marketing seem personal in EVERY way that you can is KEY to not only getting your emails open and read, but getting your prospects and clients interacting with you as well.

Accurate Message to Market

If you have a giant list of people interested in your business, narrow down your list a bit. Segmenting a large list can help you categorize individuals that might be interested in a specific product or service you are offering at that time.

For example, in our own business for every TV Show that airs, BigPrint feature that runs, or Book that gets published we go in and add tags to each of our buyers to segment our own list by male/female as well as occupation/industry. This means if we have a specific book that speaks to female financial planners, you bet I can tell you every female financial planner that has ever bought from us and they’re a pretty good place to start for that campaign. The one-fits-all email philosophy hardly ever flies. So, use segmentation and personalize your emails to fit the recipient better.

Longer Doesn’t Mean Better…

Dan Kennedy has an old quote that says, “A sales letter can never be too long, just too boring.”  This goes for your emails as well. Say enough to get your point across but don’t try to create epic emails. There’s no need to send someone 1,000 words if you can get it done in ½  (or less). Using bullet points, lists, and creating emails that are going to be easily scanned and responded to can also increase your response rate.

Video Emails, Video Emails!

How many emails do you get a day? How many emails do you get a day that are all text? How many emails do you get a day that have a video in them? Exactly…

Video is all the rage- and is increasing in importance not just in social media and your website, but email marketing as well. BUT, not everyone has jumped on the video bandwagon… and in fact, there’s still a pretty small number who have.

Sending video emails is a great way to mix up your marketing and break up the message that clients and prospects are used to seeing from you.

Looking for a source? Check out they are SUPER easy to use, you can have them create custom email templates to match your brand AND they allow you to upload any list (no double opt-in required).


Frequency of emails is a gentle balance between too much and too little. The real key to the question “how often should I send out email” depends on your customer base as well as the prospects that have signed up to hear from you.

Having a plan that is promoted during the sign-up process is a great way to get prospects used to the frequency in which you email.  For example, instead of saying “Sign-up for my mailing list” you could say “Sign-up for my weekly financial alert and discover new trends that could affect your family’s future.” Using a measurement of frequency during the sign-up process can not only help conversions because the prospect knows just what to expect from you, but it can also help to increase email open rates.


Before you send any email out you want to make sure you test the email. Unfortunately, the outcome of creating the email and sending the email can be two entirely different things. When using HTML in emails (even if only clickable links) there are many things that can go wrong. So the final step in ANY email campaign should be to test the email and check to make sure your images and links are behaving correctly and that everything looks just right. That goes for mobile too as an increasing amount of your email is being read on mobile devices.

If you’re using a CRM system to send emails (which I HIGHLY recommend) than you will be able to send test copies of the email to double-check your work. However, unfortunately, not all email clients are the same, thus using an email resource like can be a very valuable resource so you can quickly see how your email will appear across various email clients.

Whether you’re looking to stay in contact with your customers and prospects or announcing new services and product choices, email marketing can be a powerful tool in any business. Remember- just because you’ve “always done it that way” doesn’t make it right! Everything online is constantly changing- that goes for email too! Testing new platforms and coming up with new (and better) ways to send your message to your clients is an important part to staying on top!

Where Did You Come From? The Simple Question You Have To Answer First

By Nick Nanton

Where did you come from? This is the simple, yet crucial, question you have to answer first in order to build a successful personality driven business.

When building a position for yourself in your business, it sounds really basic, but the very first thing you have to look at is where you came from.

We all too often overlook things in our past that are highlights, recurring trends or even little glimpses of our destiny because we’re so busy running a thousand miles an hour toward our current goals. We get caught up in operations or the next “shiny object” and don’t see the forest for the trees.

But the most revealing thing we do when we bring clients in for consulting days is ask them to tell us who they are, where they came from and what their path was that brought them to the table with us. Now, often there are many things that aren’t crucial to the process, but by listening to stories from our clients’ past, we are able to determine a very distinct set of core values and skills that our clients thought were mundane, but usually hold at least some of the keys to their future.

Think of it this way: we bet there are times when you’ve said to yourself, “What makes me special? I’ve pretty much had the same experience as everyone else.

I don’t live the life of a rock star, an astronaut or a Nobel Prize Winner, so I’m really not that different.”

Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, we all have some similar scenarios in our lives, but the beauty of our past experiences is in the details.

Show one person a painting, ask them to point out what they find striking and they will tell you what they “see.” Show the same painting to another person and they will frequently see something very different. We often see the painting of our lives through distorted glasses. We just don’t realize that what we are seeing is not the same thing everyone else is seeing! Ask around and you will find out. I’ve been known to conduct a $10,000.00 challenge when I speak. It goes something like this:

Take out a pen and paper and write down the answer to these five questions:

1. What city were you born in?

2. What is your mother’s maiden name?

3. What is the name of your sibling closest in age to you? (If you don’t have any siblings, write down the name of your first “Best Friend.”)

4. Who was your first roommate when you moved out of your parents’ house for the first time?

5.What was the first and last name of the person who gave you your first kiss?

If anyone in the room has answers that are identical, Nick will give those two people $10,000.00 to share. The example is a bit extreme and he could offer a million dollars, but we hope you get the point. The story of your life is very different than anyone else’s, even those who grew up in the bedroom next to you (although that person will never pay you what you’re worth! Trust us on this one!). The story is different for no other reason than the fact that people focus on different things.

Tell three people the same story, with lots of details and they’ll all tell it back to you differently, because they focused on the things that stuck out to them.

So, the moral of the story, take the time to write down the key elements in your life and then tell your “origin story” (where you started and how you got to where you are today) to a few friends, and see what sticks out to them. Look for the reoccurring themes, the things that gave you the greatest joy, even if you didn’t necessarily make money at them.

These key elements will be the beginning of your Positioning Power Points that you will use to take the next step in creating your Brand Position to increase your value in the business world. Examined in this light, your Brand will be your very own and by creating your position this way, you eliminate all your competition because “no one is you” and if your customer wants you, ultimately he will only have one choice.

Celebrity Branding Online: Infographics!

By Lindsay Dicks

Have you ever used infographics in your business? For those of you who don’t know this term, infographics are visual tools to get written messages across. Instead of writing a paragraph or a list of content, designers can take the information and make it into a memorable graphic.

Infographics are a great way to present a lot of information quickly without being overbearing; they act as visual shorthand.

August_15_Newsletter_6_pdfWhy should you be using infographics when a video would suffice? Videos are great tools, but a lot of the time viewers don’t have the attention span for a video. I know that I am guilty of skipping an article on Buzzfeed because I don’t want to watch the video. So, how can you get the attention of those people?  Infographics combine the visual context of a video with text, the best of both worlds.

With the increasing amount of technology at our fingertips, studies show a drastic decrease in the human attention span. A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds, when in 2000, the average attention span was as long as 12 seconds.

We live in a world where we want instant results and can’t be bothered to wait too long for information before moving on the next thing. Infographics fit the bill of this cultural change: they are easy to skim, intriguing to the eye, and don’t hold the space to have a lot of clutter.

Infographics are easy to create, whether you have design skills or not; a simple Google search will pull up multiple generators and teach you how to make one, even with basic Microsoft software. Right off the bat, some sites to explore include:

  • Venngage (
  • Piktochart (
  • Canva (

Using infographics is a great way to grow your following on the more pictorial social media sites like, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. The visual context should be enough to grab attention and the content is easy to share. On a site like Pinterest, you can take it one step further by creating a link and giving the reader the opportunity to pursue more information.

Not sure what to say in your infographic? Here are eight steps to take boring data and turn it into a compelling infographic:

1. Gather data. What do you want to say? Once you pick your topic for an infographic, gather as much information as you can. Even if you’re not sure if you want to use it, keep it handy because you can always pull content.

2. Read everything. Read your data thoroughly; sometimes skimming can cause us to miss important details. Often, we have that one sentence that pops out and that’s the real information you want to convey.

3. Pick out key points. What is the most important information that you’re trying to highlight? Make those points big and bold, to be more eye-catching. In the above example: the word “credibility” pops right out at you, clearly indicating that you need to pay attention. The support text is smaller, but supports the idea of credibility.

4. Create a hierarchy. In story telling, the audience needs something to root for. Use this technique when presenting your data! Find the “hero” of the information you want o present: the main point of the information you want to communicate. Start with your basic support evidence and add points that lead up to the conclusion of your message.

5. Choose a format. This is the fun part! There are so many ways to get creative with your infographic.  Numerical data may be best presented in a chart, while you can use imagery for words. Try creating a shape with the words that will visually represent the direction you want your reader to think.

6. Determine a visual approach. There are generally two schools of thought on visual representation:

  • Use charts and graphs for numerical data.
  • Use graphic designs and flowing fonts for more qualitative data.

Knowing your audience will help you determine how to present the information. However, you don’t necessarily have to stick with either option: you can combine both to reach a variety of audiences.

7. Refinement and Testing. Give your infographic to a variety of people to see, even just around the office. Take back feedback and adjust as necessary; keep in mind that just because you think it looks great, doesn’t mean that everyone is getting the message you’re trying to communicate. Testing can determine if your message in the infographic is clear and is easily understood.

8. Release! Now that you’ve got your message and it’s visually appealing, get it out there to the masses! We discussed social media as a place to start with presentation, but infographics are also well represented in various print media too.

Infographics popularity is growing rapidly. According to a Google study conducted by OneSpot, people are actually searching for infographics on the Internet as the best way to perceive information. In fact, the study showed that people are 30% more likely to view an infographics than a block of text. I think that’s reason enough to check them out for yourself!

Business Lessons from The Stones, U2, Billy Joel and The Grateful Dead

By JW Dicks, Esq.

Following our Nashville MasterMind, Linda, Lindsay, Eric and I headed off to New York to see U2 at Madison Square Garden. We saw Billy Joel earlier this year as he has set up permanent residence there, packing in the fans. We just missed the Rolling Stones in Orlando, because I was away on a work trip, but maybe I will make one of the five shows the Grateful Dead are putting on.

What does my entertainment have to do with business marketing and branding you ask? A lot.

Promoting aging rockers is just good business. The Grateful Dead, for example, are expecting to make more than $8,000,000 each night for a cool $40,000,000 farewell tour, or should I say retirement fund.

Why are these groups all making the big bucks these days? (And yes, I know that Katy Perry made $130,000,000 this year- we saw her too)

The reason these groups are all doing well is that, at some point, they mastered the art of building a fan base. Something we encourage you to do as a business expert, writer or speaker. The money is in your loyal customer (fan) base, and that is whether you are a restaurant owner, fitness guru, doctor, lawyer, or Indian chief. You must have a lead generation system, a conversion to fan process and a long-term fan nurturing system.

The Grateful Dead strategically focused on performing live and building a community for most of its career. Their fans are now grown up, well off and willing to spend money, not just on tickets but for t-shirts and VIP concert packages (that run as high as $5,000 for access to an open bar, tie-dyed paraphernalia, and other perks). (Business Week’s June 29- July 5, 2015 edition)

There have been numerous articles written about this methodology of building a business. WIRED Magazine’s Editor at Large, Kevin Kelly, wrote one of my favorite articles in 2008. Kevin calculated that a musician, or other creative, could live quite well on $100,000 a year if he just concentrated on 1,000 “True Fans” instead of always trying to get more new fans. (Google 1000 True Fans).  I see it happen in all other types of business, yours included, and the number scales. By that I mean you can leverage 1,000 to 2,000 fans and you can double your income.

Personal experience has also taught me that when you get to the 3,000 to 5,000 true fan range the returns break out even better.

Let me hasten to add, “true” fans are people that buy your products and services and talk positively to others about you. It is something you have to work at, and many do not, but that is what can separate you from the others in your field.

How do you get true fans?  You have to court them over time. Get them to know you, like you and trust you. As well as be authentic with your products and services. This is both easier and harder than ever before. It is easier, because you have so many ways you can communicate and connect with your fans online and off, plus social media. Harder, because there is more competition and you have to continue to stay at the top of your game.

When we first started the Celebrity Branding Agency there was little competition in our specific field. Today, we see others encroaching, even though fortunately they are not committed to spend the time or money to make the client experience that we do. Cutting corners today will cost you in many ways.

If you want to follow this business building formula the good news is that it does work. But, understand it does require a commitment to deliver what you say you will. You also absolutely must stay in touch with your fan base to stave off the encroachment. This means, newsletters, post cards, emails, flyers, websites, social media presence and other forms of communication directed to your fans are an absolute necessity to your success. It is hard work, but it is also a lot of fun and very rewarding on many levels.

Personal Branding: Four Keys for Success!

The New Year is here, and for business owners, 2014 represents an opportunity to take their businesses to the next level. It’s an opportunity to build on past success and accomplish even bigger things in the future. And one of the best ways to do this, as we’ve discussed in previous blog entries and articles, is by creating a powerful personal brand.

So whether you’re new to the world of personal branding or you’re just looking for some tips to perfect your strategy, here are four ways to make your personal brand even more effective and more profitable in the New Year:

1) Keep your focus narrow. It is a natural temptation for business owners to want to be good at everything. But the key to establishing yourself as a CelebrityExpert® is to focus on a limited number of areas in which you excel. This way, rather than being perceived as a “jack of all trades” (someone who is good at many things but great at none of them), you can build a brand that positions you as a leading expert in whatever your specialties are.

2) Emphasize your unique qualities. What makes you different than the competition? How are you uniquely positioned to provide great value to your customers? Make this information central to your branding and marketing efforts.

3) Stay consistent. Branding is about repetition – success requires that you repeat a consistent message until it begins to shape the way that your marketplace sees you. That’s why it is so important to say disciplined with your branding efforts… because if you’re “all over the place”, your audience won’t know what to think of you.

4) Understand your market. Do you truly understand what your customers care about? Do you understand how they spend their time, what they hope for, and what fears keep them awake at night? If not, you need to get busy – because having a core-level understanding of your audience is critical to crafting an appealing personal brand.

As the New Year kicks off, take advantage of the power of personal branding to make your business more profitable than ever. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch with us today!

Personal Branding 101: How Healthy is Your Personal Brand?

Everyone has a personal brand – whether they realize it or not. A brand isn’t something that you decide to create… it just exists. Your brand can be defined simply as “what your market thinks of you.” When it comes to branding, perception is reality. Wal-Mart may not actually have the cheapest products on the market – but their brand says that they do. Rolex may not actually make the highest-quality timepieces – but most of their market thinks that they do.

The question I want you to ask yourself today is simple: does your brand represent you properly? Does it position you in the best possible light? Are you happy with the state of your personal brand… or does it need a makeover?

To help you get a more accurate sense of how you and your business are perceived by your market, below is a short series of diagnostic questions. If possible, ask some of your trusted customers or clients to answer them. If that’s not possible, seek input from business associates, as well as friends and family that know your business. You may be surprised to learn that your brand is perceived differently than you expected!

Five questions to ask:

1) Describe my personality in one word.
2) Describe my approach to business in one word.
3) What sets me apart from my competition?
4) What are the three best reasons to do business with me?
5) What are the top three benefits of my products or services?

Now that you’ve gathered this data, take a look. Overall, do your results match your expectations? Are you satisfied that your audience perceives you in the way that you want them to?

Specifically, have the key elements of your personality that you want to emphasize been communicated? Has your audience picked up on your intensity, your attention to detail, or whatever the case may be?

Have you communicated your points of differentiation properly? This is arguably the most important factor when it comes to personal branding – separating your business from your competition in the minds of your audience. We often refer to this as creating a “category of one” – differentiating your business so effectively that nobody else is truly competing for the same share of the market.

Finally, have the benefits of doing business with you, including the specific benefits of your products and services, been communicated accurately? In order to gain a new client or customer, you must make an argument as to WHY the consumer should choose you. The answers to questions four and five should give you an idea as to whether these arguments have been clearly communicated.

If this exercise has helped you to determine that your branding efforts are on the right track, congratulations, and keep up the good work!

On the other hand, if you’ve discovered that you and your business aren’t being perceived in the way that you want to be, don’t panic. A personal brand is a living, breathing entity – and you can change the way you are perceived with time. If you’d like to learn more, or if you’d like help with this process, please get in touch with me today!