Charting My Course

Working with professional service providers and small business owners who want to do a better job
marketing themselves and their services.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Review: Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

I was recently introduced to Michael Port's work when I picked up a copy of Book Yourself Solid. The inside cover states "Book Yourself Solid is a one-of-a-kind, step-by-step guide to building a successful service business from the ground up." That statement pretty much sums up what this book is about.

The book is divided into 3 modules. Your Foundation, Building Trust and Credibility, and The Book Yourself Solid 7 Core Self-Promotion Strategies. Each chapter is filled with written exercises.

In the first module, Your Foundation, Michael talks about choosing the ideal clients you want to work with. He calls it the "Red Velvet Rope Policy". Nobody gets past the Red Velvet Rope unless it is someone your truly want to work with. You want to work with people that inspire and energize you. This means working only with people you truly enjoy working with. Your clients are an expression and extension of you and your business. All of us sometimes struggle with wanting to fill the pipeline at any cost when in reality we need to be focused on clients that truly want and need what we have to offer. He shows you how to create a Red Velvet Rope Policy. He discusses "investable opportunities". Along with identifying your target market, and understanding your target market's urgent needs, you should also uncover and demonstrate the benefits of your investable opportunities. They must feel they receive a greater return than the investment they made. He also talks about developing a personal brand. He helps you develop your "Who and Do What" statement and your "Why you do it" statement. The last part of "Your Foundation" discusses how to talk about what you do. Instead of just a standard elevator speech, he shows you how to create a long, mid-length and short "dialogue".

Module Two talks about building trust and credibility. Topics include becoming a likeable expert in your field, building relationships of trust over time through your sales cycle, developing brand building products and programs, and having effective sales conversations. The sales cycle works when you know who, what, where, when, why, and how. He discusses developing products and how to talk about what you do. Developing brand building information products could include everything from writing articles to creating an e-zine. The written exercises you find the right product for your business and your target market. The final chapter in this module concerns "Super Simple Selling". Ask more questions than you answer, listen more than you speak, and visualize the outcome. We have heard some of this before but he gives you exercises you can use to reinforce what you may already know along with a new perspective on how to implement the "Super Simple Selling" techniques.

Module Three covers the Book Yourself Solid 7 core self-promotion strategies. Networking, outreach strategy, referral strategy, web strategy, speaking and demonstrating strategy, writing strategy, and the keep-in-touch strategy. As I stated earlier, a lot of this you may already "know". But if we know all of these things, why are we not doing them on a consistent basis?

There are many tried and true methods in this book but there are also a few new ways of looking at marketing a business that anyone in business or thinking about starting a business will find very useful. Communication is key in disseminating this type of information and Michael Port is a master communicator. The entire book is also filled with written exercises and everything is discussed in an easy to follow step-by-step process. He does an excellent job of involving the reader every step of the way. The workbook is a free download for anyone who purchases the book. You can download the workbook from the Book Yourself Solid website. This is one of the best investments any business owner or professional could make to grow their business or to start a new business with all the right marketing tools at your disposal.