Allow me to introduce you to podcast expert, entrepreneur, teacher, mentor and new best-selling author Laura Petersen. Her widely popular book Copywriting for Podcasters: How to Grow Your Podcast, Brand, and Business with Compelling Copy became a best seller on Amazon within 24 hours of going live and held that position for four days. When Laura decided to write AND publish this book within 30 days, including getting key interviews with industry leaders and influencers, I simply had to invite her to chat with us here.
Laura, when we were chatting, you mentioned that you’d received little nudges from the Universe to publish a book, so you decided to go all in and write AND publish it in one month! Can you tell us about that?
Sure! Well, I do not honestly consider myself “a writer.” I don’t do it for fun, and I do not think I could write a fiction novel. However, I have done more academic and entrepreneurial writing than I could possibly count! At the end of October this year, in short succession, 3 people I really respect either asked me, “Why don’t you have a book published? You can write great content in your sleep” or flat out said, “Write a book.” These three people were Brandon T. Adams, Eric Yang, and James Altucher.
Then I met Sarah Cordiner at the Thrive16 Conference in San Diego, who is a 2-time Amazon Best-Selling Author, and people like her, and it just hit me. I need to write a book! I figured I had two options; I could set a short timeframe and ACT, or I could set a longer, more comfortable timeframe and find lots of webinars and books to read about ‘how to write and launch a book’ instead of just doing it and figuring it out along the way. I decided I don’t need more learning. Just doing.
What is the #1 passion that drives you to keep going and taking on challenges like this?
I am completely obsessed with entrepreneurism. At my core, I am a teacher and life-long learner, but the school system does not align with the real world anymore. In business, I find all the learning and teaching I need to fill my soul, plus I can now travel and live from anywhere in the world! (I just got back to California after a year abroad in Europe). Taking on challenges like this is part of the fun. Part of the growth. Part of the thrill!
If you could sum it up in one tell-all paragraph, what is it about?
Copywriting for Podcasters! How to grow your podcast, brand, and business with compelling copy. There are so many places we podcasters need to write, and write well. But there’s no book out there yet to help! Until now. This book looks at 15 benefits of podcasting, from increased industry authority, to networking with key players in your field, to growing your audience through an exploding medium, to paid speaking gigs—and exactly why we need to think about the copy.
One of the things I loved when we were chatting, was how you intertwine psychology and copywriting. Because that’s essentially the core underlying element, isn’t it? Would you care to share some key tips you either apply in your own business or teach to your audience?
Sure, yes! I am a psychology instructor and a grammar nerd, so those two things combined are powerful when applied to business.
My #1 tip is “It’s not about YOU.
For real success in business—and copywriting for your business—you must get ‘inside the head’ of your ideal customer and write like you are speaking directly to him or her. Does a customer really care to read 5 long paragraphs about your awards and business philosophy? Or does she just want to know how you are going to solve a problem in her world?
At its core, your writing and business will be a success if you can understand the psychology of your target market and convey that clearly and concisely with your words. One way to uncover this is to get on the phone with 10 people in your target market (current or prospective clients) and ASK them to describe their pain points and their thoughts about your solution.
1. Make it a safe, no-sales conversation and just ask for honest advice.
2. Record the conversation (with their permission) and listen back to it to use their exact words, especially when you hear trends from multiple people.
3. Take those insights to inform your copy. On your website. In your emails. In your podcast. In social media posts. Everywhere.
Tell us a little about your business and how you arrived at where you are today? Give us your street-cred!
Well, I stopped teaching High School Math and Psychology in 2011 to make the jump into entrepreneurialism full time. I started a tutoring and test prep company called Student-Tutor, which is still running today. A few years ago I began to dive deeper into digital marketing and podcasts, working behind the scenes with a large podcast, a media company, and a marketing association.
At the beginning of 2016, my business partner Dominick Sirianni (the host of IMA Leader podcast) and I launched our company Podtent Marketing, offering elite “done for you” services, providing mid-sized companies with podcasts and repurposed content to bolster their content marketing strategies, helping them gain credibility, authority, and more business. Then, in October of 2016, I also started Podcast Teachers with Melissa Sue Tucker. Through this platform, we seek to help entrepreneurs just like at Podtent.
Now things are growing and I am having an absolute blast working with so many people around podcasting and getting all the benefits that come with it.
I’ve also heard you’re a bit of a podcast nomad, where have your journeys taken you? (and where to next?)
I’ve lived abroad in Europe twice in my life. Most recently, my husband, our dog, and I spent a year mostly in Germany with extended trips to Prague, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Ireland. I have also backpacked through SouthEast Asia, Central America, and Peru. Now we are back in Southern California and actually enjoying a break from travel! 🙂
Do you have a little secret about something in the book you can share with us that you haven’t shared with anyone yet?!!
I do…! Just yesterday, I was able to interview John Lee Dumas! He is the reigning King of Podcasting in the entrepreneurial space. And I feel very honored that he took the time to share some great value for me to include in the book.
What have you learned about publishing in 30 days?
There is SO MUCH to learn. Action cures all, and being done is better than being perfect. So if you want to do it, put a short deadline on yourself, share your goal with the world, and start. Start now.
If someone wanted to start their own podcast, what are the most important three things you could tell them?
1. Really take the time to know your target audience, like we talked about earlier.
2. Write out your goals for the podcast. How will you measure success? A podcast can help your business in far more ways than just getting advertising sponsorships.
3. The technology is not too daunting. There is a learning curve, but you can figure it out, and, you can always outsource it too.
Can you share some tips on how you managed to become a best seller in less than 24 hours?
I think it boils down to 2 things:
#1 – Market the book in advance. You need to promote the heck out of it for a few weeks before the launch date to get people excited and show them you are serious. Then, when it’s live on Amazon, do more promotion and ask people directly to go buy it. I made mine $0.99 for the first few days and said “only through Thursday” to encourage action. (Plus, at 99 cents, a lot of people who know you will not mind that at all just to support you!). I also recommend Facebook Live a lot right now because Facebook is giving the Live videos a lot of exposure in the newsfeed.
#2: Pick the right sub-category. You want to do a bit of research to see what categories your book could fit into. Then, of those, what are the #1 books right now? Look at each of them and see how they rank overall in Amazon as a whole. If they have a really bad ranking overall, but great one in the category, that is a sign that the category is not too competitive!
You’ve got some big name influencers contributing, can you share some tips with us on how you got them to say yes?!
My best advice for getting influencers or anyone to say yes to supporting you and contributing is “build your network before you need it”.
I have been an entrepreneur for 5 years and I have gone to more networking events than I can count. From these, I have kept in touch with people around the world via social media when most others would let the connections drift away. I remember people’s birthdays without Facebook reminders and take that little extra effort to show I really care. I also regularly make introductions between other connections when I think they could both benefit. And I do all these things truly because I love it. I don’t have an ulterior motive. I don’t expect anything in return. I just truly value people.
It turns out I cultivated a reputation for being real—for caring and being a generous person. And because I had something I needed help with, I reached out to my network and received so much more support than I ever believed I could or would!
And it also shows the power of networking. Let me share the story about how I managed to get John Lee Dumas involved. I had already started very slowly to build rapport with him on Facebook, without asking for anything. Then, I also happened to develop a great relationship with someone with whom he had done a business deal. Because this person knew I was the real deal after I’d spent time adding a lot of value to him, his podcast, and his business, he gladly made a warm, official introduction to John and I got a “yes”!
“Give, give, give, ask.”
Finally, where can we buy the book and get in touch with you?
You can get the book here on Amazon. I’m also on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram: @LSP_S
My Podcast: www.CopyThatPops.com/podcast