ep39 - Creating Your Biggest Possible AudienceApr 27, 2022
Becky Robinson has launched over 150 books into the world, so there's no one better to tell us how to create the biggest possible audience for your message! 📚
In this episode, we cover:
✔️ What is reach and how to make a lasting impact
✔️ The 4 commitments of reach
✔️ What size platform you need to publish a book
✔️ How to save time by reusing your social content
✔️ What to do if you have a book idea
About My Guest:
Becky Robinson is the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, a digital marketing agency that specializes in helping thought leaders and authors build their brands, drive visibility, and increase sales. Becky’s first book titled, “Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause,” launched on April 19, 2022!
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Megan: Hello and welcome. I am so glad that you are here. And boy, do I have a treat for you today? Most of you are a person trying to get your message out into the world, and today we have an author who will help you do that. This book is coming out tomorrow: Reach, and it will tell you how to create the biggest possible audience for your message book or cause.
I have been so excited to bring Becky on and talk about her books. So without further do.
Becky: I am so happy to be here with you.
Megan: Oh my gosh. I love this. And look at, look at your background.
I love nobody can miss that.
Becky: Yes, it is. It is pretty big. It's way bigger than me.
Megan: Oh my goodness. Okay, well, Becky can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to write this book?
Becky: Well, sure. I would be happy to. So, I'm Becky Robinson, I'm the CEO of Leaving Influence and Weaving Influences, a digital marketing agency.
I started it in about 2012 and our core business offering has been helping authors launch their books. So, you know, honestly I've wanted to write a book forever, Megan, like for my entire life, since I was little. But as it relates to this book early on when I was first starting my company, I actually wanted to write a book like this one and it just didn't come together in quite the right way. You know, I had an editor that I pitched and at first I got nos.
And then when I got really busy, when my business was starting to grow and my kids were little at the time, I kept telling myself, well it's not the right time yet. I need to focus on growing the business and focus on my kids. It's not time to write a book yet.
And then about two years ago, I started thinking about the fact that this year would be the 10 year anniversary of my business. And so I started to do the math in my head about, if I were to get a contract on a book, is there a way that I could release it around the ten-year anniversary?
So that was really what finally got a fire under me again, to bring the book to life finally.
Megan: Oh, because you of all people know how hard it is to get a book out into the world.
Becky: And I mean, you know, my team and I have launched about 150 books with authors and what I see is it takes so much work. It takes so much time and energy.
And it's definitely worth it, but, you know, I really have to weigh, am I willing to make that investment of time and energy and money? Or like, should I wait? Like, you kno, I just knew that it was going to be a lot of work and it guess what it is, it is a lot of work, but I'm really glad that I finally did it.
Megan: You're not going to reveal anything like really it's not a big deal. No.
Becky: Yeah. I have to be as honest as possible because I think. And people need to know going in that you really do need to lay a really great foundation. And what often happens, I think, is people jump to the book deal and you know, if they are fortunate enough to get that, where they jumped to self publishing, they think just because you write a book, once you write it that the audience will come, but I try to be as open as I can about my own journey.
I've been doing this for 10 years. I've been building a foundation of social media followers for more than 10 years. I've really, I've been online since 2009. And so, if people are just kind of jumping into social media and thinking that they'll instantly, just because they write a book, be able to sell a lot of them or, attract a following instantly, it just doesn't happen that.
Megan: And I love your perspective on that. I was reading the book, just like, yes, amen. All the way through, because we have this kind of, I don't know, prejudice in our brains that we're going to go viral. Like we need to work a little hard to get this time, but you know, it'll just start growing on it's own.
So we won't have to do much after that or that it's not going to be. Or that we can be generous a few times. And then, you know, the rest will just come but it is, it's consistenty. It's very unsexy, very, just consistent, hard work showing up for your people. Day after day after day.
That really grows it. Viral growth is abnormal because you know, viral it's bad. It's not a good thing usually. Yes.
Becky: Yeah, I just, I love your perspective on that.
Megan: Okay. So before we get too deep into it, can you tell me, like, I'm used to talking about reach in regards to social media, but what is your definition of reach and why did you make that the title of your book?
Becky: Sure. I would love to talk about that. So, let me tell you first that the original title that I had in my mind as I was submitting my proposal was not Reach.
The original title that I had was Famous to a Few. And I was like, that was really what I was focused on because I realized that most of us will never be famous, like big name known around the world famous.
But if we choose to invest in our communities, then we can become famous to those people who know us. And in the book, I tell about a time that I went to a conference and I was walking through this huge and busy expo and a total stranger stopped me and said, I've seen your webinars. And so famous to a few meant to me, we can make a difference with others, even if we don't have a household name.
Unfortunately, my publisher did a title survey and people hated the title famous to a few. And the reason was because most people, we want to believe that we can break out. We want to believe that something magical can happen and will be the one who becomes famous. And so the sales people especially thought like, no, one's going to buy a book with a title Famous to a Few because they don't want to be told that they can't be.
So, we started to try to come up with other titles and nothing was hitting, just nothing was hitting. And I went running one day and I would think of a title and I would text my husband and I'd run. And then I think of a title and I texted my husband. And on that run, it was a spring day. I came up with the title reach and I will tell you, my kids hated it.
They didn't like it. Uh, my editor was a little bit worried that. That I need to build a brand around the word. But I think it's turned out to be a great title. I feel amazing about the title. I, I also love the cover. I'm a graphic designer who's worked with me for years is the one who designed the cover.
And then all the other graphics that we're doing. And I love it. Like it, it says what I want it to say. Yeah. So that's how, that's how it got the word of the title Reach.
And I'll tell you another kind of secret. I feel like my editor did such a great job because when I did the first draft of the book, he came back to me and he said, we need a really clear definition of what you mean when you say reach, it was missing in the first draft, it was missing.
So what we came up with. Thank you, Neil Mallet for, giving me the clarity. So what we came up with and it works well is reach is, expanding audience plus lasting impact. And most of us can identify with, if we say we want to reach more, it means we want to reach more people. But from my perspective, it's not enough to just get our audience out to more people.
We also want our message to have an impact. And I think in terms of the way that I framed the book. The definition makes perfect sense because I'm saying you're not going to get there overnight. You need to invest consistently over time. And so with, to get expanding audience, you might be able to get expanding audience fast.
You can create something that goes viral. You can pay for advertising, and there you go. You've expanded your audience, but you need both. You need both the bigger audience and the lasting impact.
Megan: Oh, yes. I love that because it also doesn't, when you either go viral or like you said, you pay for an audience or something like that, that doesn't guarantee that they're going to stay with you at all. But I think everybody wants to have an impact. We don't want to have 15 minutes of fame and just be seen once and then go away.
Well, let's dig in a little bit, so I love your framework. You have the four reach commitments, can you briefly describe them and like how they're essential to your life?
Becky: Sure. Well, so again, here's another secret about my editor. When I first did my first draft, I called these the four reach factors. Isn't commitment so much stronger? So, I I just love it and I, the word commitment is important because it really something that you need to stick to over time. So in four reach commitments, the first one is, value.
And if you want to create an audience and impact, you really have to start with work. That's good. So, no one's gonna Read or buy a product that's not great. So whatever it is that you have, whether it's a book or a message, you have to start with value.
Now it doesn't mean that everyone in the world is going to think that your message or content is valuable, but there has to be an audience out there who's in need of what you have to share. And when I talk about value, the other thing is, you know, you have to actually share the value. You can know it all, but you have to share it in some way. And content is really the vehicle for the value that we want to bring to the world. So it could be, content that we share in a book or content that we share in a blog post or in a video like this one. But you really have to start by showing up with value to offer in the form of con.
The other thing you have to do is be consistent. And consistency is the commitment that I've seen that people struggle with the most because we get tired. Like no one really wants to be told, Hey, you've got to show up every day with value because it takes time. It takes energy. It takes creativity.
It takes, versatility and flexibility. So consistency can be really hard for people. In my book, I talk about a friend of mine, a hero of mine, actually, Dan Rockwell. He writes a blog called leadership freak, and he's been writing that blog every day, every weekday for like more than a decade.
Like who, who does that?
Megan: I know.
Becky: So I don't necessarily think you have to have that kind of consistency. Right. But you know, whatever consistency you can sustain over time, whether that's weekly, monthly, you just have to keep showing up.
So the third one is generosity, and this is the one that is like closest to me. It is like so important. And I was actually thinking about this yesterday, you know, when we give something away, the interesting thing is we might never remember that we did it. You know, if I give you a compliment, by the way, your hair is gorgeous. I didn't take the time to get mine today, tomorrow I'll have to. If I take the time to say, you know how special it is that you invited me on, or, It looks like your background took a lot of time and care, whatever it is. If I offer you a compliment, I'm going to forget it, but you are never going to forget it.
If I generously give time to patiently teach you something or if I, you know, pick up your coffee, buy your drink tomorrow. When we meet at Starbucks, I'm not going to remember, but you always will. And especially related to social media, the more we can support amplify share the work of others, you know, it helps us be memorable and it draws people to us.
So, you know, generosity, I can just talk about it all day. I don't always Excel at it, but I always want to strive toward it to be as kind and generous as I can through my online.
Megan: Yes, that it is very impactful as you send them to others. Like your every DM question you answer makes a difference. It really does to that person. And there are things where I've seen people way down the line, buy something from me that I'm like, oh yeah, like a year ago, I helped him out with this thing and never expected, anything out of it. But they remember, like you said.
Becky: Yeah. So I have a story in the book about Ann Voskamp and Ann Voskamp as a New York times bestselling author of many books.
She has a new book that just came out, I think this year, and you know, I've never met. I've never spoken to her back in probably again, 2009, she was writing this at the time. Her blog had resources for homeschooling parents. And at the time I was a homeschooling mom. And I remember I sent her an email to ask her a question about her curriculum and she wrote back and she gave me the curriculum.
It was for sale. And , I'm a fan. Of Ann Voskamp, she's adding tremendous value. She's exceedingly consistent, but what stands out the most to me is the fact that she took the time to answer an email from a fellow homeschooling mom. And not only that to give her product away to me for free.
Megan: Oh, I love that. That just gives me chills thinking. Okay. I think just so many people have a negative connotation around social media for sure, but also like time and energy that it takes to that kind of thing. But it's so, I mean, Forget being like selling books, it's just being a kind person just being like a good person and it feels good doing it.
And like you said, the people, people that are on the receiving end of that, like never forget it. So I love that for sure.
Becky: So the final four commitment, the commitment to longevity, and we played around a little bit with this word longevity. We thought maybe we should do endurance. Maybe we should do perserverance.
It's really all of those things, but the ideas that will grow the biggest audience or the most impact, both are the ones that are shared over time for a long time. So if you were to go today and I typically do this every Tuesday, if you go to the top selling books on Amazon, you look at the top 20. Most of them are not new books.
They're not new they're those books that the ideas are timeless, that the authors are continuing to share them. And so, especially if you want to make a lasting impact, well, lasting impact means you have to be lasting. You have to last in the marketplace. So, you know, longevity was the word that we came up with that best described it.
Although, you know, one of my endorser's story, Clark, she just. I think it was this year, the long game. Right? So the long game, that would be another way to describe it. We have to be in it for the long haul. And I've often used an analogy that when you're sharing a message, it's not a sprint. It's not about getting there or finishing fastest.
I used to say it's like a marathon and I am a marathon runner, so I know what it takes, but I have a new idea now, and it's not a sprint. It's not a marathon. It's making a lifetime commission. To something and like running regularly overtime for the rest of your life. So, you know, it's a lot easier when you think about, oh, it's, it's a marathon.
So 26 miles, and then I I'm done well when we want to show up with value and reach an audience and have impact. It's not anything that you finish. It's something that you keep doing and that's that's how you build longevity. So, Hey, 10 year anniversary of my company, it's just the beginning. I have to be willing, you know, over the rest of my lifetime.
To continue to show up, right?
Megan: Oh, absolutely. I love that. So quick recap, we have value. So it's always giving them something that they need answering, answering a pain point or something that they find valuable providing that content. Then we have the longevity consistency. We talked about showing up day after day, which is not easy there.
There's another thing that's not easy about. If you're using the running analogy, I'm training. You got to put on your sneakers every day, you know, it is, it is the practice and generosity. Yes. Okay. Great. Well, I think w we touched on this a little bit, but I am a huge proponent of slow growth in that it's normal and it's, it's not sexy, but it's how, how we sneakily grow over time.
Like, Oh, what does the whole phrase of, like, it took me 10 years to become an overnight success, you know, like we're, we're seeing. Yeah, exactly. We're seeing people in a snapshot moment and assuming for some reason, we assume that it happened really easy for them, or it happened overnight. So I think many people get discouraged when that doesn't happen when they start, you know, when they're starting to get that.
So, with your experience working with hundreds of authors, How long does it take to create the platform that you need to publish a book? And what size is that? Anyway?
Becky: Sure. That's an excellent question. And I think that it's different depending upon, you know, what type of publishing path you choose. I always tell authors, you want to build as big as you can, as fast as you can.
And again, it isn't going to be fast.
And, you know, I think sometimes that people get really caught up in what I call vanity metrics. So I'll tell you a little bit about that. So I happen to have over 30,000 Twitter followers it's because Twitter was my first channel, but it really means nothing. When I post on Twitter, my. It gets very little engagement because that's not a channel that I'd like stayed on, but I think some authors or aspiring authors get caught up in like, I have to have the big number.
And whether it's Facebook, LinkedIn, whichever channel it is, yes. The publisher will look at those numbers, but I think there's a more important number than those social media metrics. And the number that I think is more important is the size of your email list. And the reason why is because, you know, we can share on social media and a very small percentage of our followers will see our content.
But if we send out an email with. The assurance that most of the people on our email list will receive the email. And if I compare the open rates on an email newsletter that I sent you 15,000 people and maybe about a third of them will open it. So 5,000 people will see my message. Well, I also have, you know, five to 6,000 people on LinkedIn, but if I look at the performance of my LinkedIn posts, most of them have a hundred or fewer.
And so the reliability of thinking that, oh, I have 10,000 on LinkedIn, or I have 5,000 or 2000. They're not seeing your content. And so like, you know, I hope and expect that many publishers are looking at kind of the totality of the communities that you've been able to build and the traction that you can get before they make a decision.
And I don't think that most are really only looking at. Do they have at least X number on, you know, Instagram, X number on Facebook? The reality is that most people can't really spend the time to grow everywhere. And so I try to encourage aspiring authors in the business book space, just pick your channel, you know, most of the.
Who are in the business book space. LinkedIn is the best platform , so I don't know that there's any magic number to strive for, but grow as big as you can, as fast as you can and really think about in what places will your audience be most likely to find your content and.
Always an email list to me is the most important contract
Megan: well that totally makes sense to me. The email list is something that I think people overlook or. Aspiring authors look at it. It's like, oh, another thing, another thing I'll just grow the social.
Cause it seems easier. However, an email is just the only thing you really own. If you know, you have those peoples, you can move systems and what have you, but they've given you permission to email them. And unfortunately with social, all the social platforms, They could change their algorithm or they could go away tomorrow and you have no say over it.
And you could then all your leads that you've been getting from there could be gone. So it is not only is it smart from growing your platform and being able to communicate with your people, but it's also. Way to save your business. You, you know, and, and to diversify, it's always a smart business practice.
So making sure that I, I liked that you said like, this is, this is either your first or the, or the social platform that you spend the most time on, which absolutely. You don't have time to do everything in all the places. Completely agree with that. But I do also, I would tell people that. At least have our presence on the social.
It's like just open an account on all of them. Save your name, make sure you get your name. You can even pin a post at the top that says, Hey, I'm more active on Instagram. Go see me. They're totally fine. But you just need to be like discoverable in all the places. Uh, and then you can. Do you feel free to focus on the socials that make the most sense for you with that you have the most fun in grow your email list from there, make sure to, to create those like lead magnets or things that will entice them to join you on your email.
Communicate with them somewhat. Like it doesn't have to be every week. It can be once a month, you know, just to keep it kind of active
okay. So you talk one of the other things. So people like, oh, I can't do social or grow the platform because it just takes so long and I just don't have the time. However, I think what people. I also think is that everything they post has to be unique and different.
They can never reuse any of their content or the, you know, it has to be unique from platform to platform and all of that. And I love repurposing and reusing even the same content. I think it's one of the, because as you said, Like one to 3% of your people see it on any given platform. So even if they saw it before, it's a nice reminder for them the next time, you know?
So, you talk a lot about repurposing and your book. And one of the things is like, 37 assets from one article you can get or 350, even from one book. So is that, what are your kind of biggest tips for re-purposing?
Becky: Sure. Well, I think that would, when you can be very clear about the value that you want to offer, then very quickly like themes or content areas will emerge.
So for any thought leader, who's just getting started. If you can identify three to five core content areas or topics that you want to cover, then you can start to think about. Uh, types of content that you could create. So when I think about my journey, when I started, I was blogging a lot more and I was blogging on social media topics.
I was blogging about connecting and building community, and that was kind of my, my mode of content. Well, once I had done that for a while, I discovered, well, I could take those blog posts that I had written and I could make them into an ebook. And so years ago I published an ebook as a PDF, download a lead magnet called.
At a time, here's a way to grow your Twitter account again, to Twitter being my channel back in those days. And so that was a really helpful way to repurpose the content that I had. All those blog posts that I had written could be compiled into an ebook. So when you think about repurposing content, you can take a longer asset, like for example, a book, and you can create lots of smaller content pieces from it.
Or you can create a lot of smaller content pieces and then later form them into something more substantial. And the key is just to remember that the content is flexible. You need to also remember that your audience is always changing. So not only. Does the algorithm not necessarily show your content to everyone, but also if you're attracting new audience all the time, if you repurpose the content, you know, you might feel like you're tired of the content, but the content is new to those people who are discovering it for the first time.
You know, I've been reading a book by a woman. I admire Judy Douglas. She wrote this book it's like 90 days of a devotional and what I am proud of and happy about is that I've noticed her bringing those ideas to life through her Instagram channel. And like also our memories are short. I might've read it in the book and I need to be reminded if the content is valuable and impactful, I need to hear it a bunch of different.
Uh, the other beauty of repurposing content is that if you happen to have the pleasure of having someone to support your online presence, if you start with a core content piece that you write yourself, or you speak yourself or whatever it is that you do, however you create the content. Then your team can take that content and bring it to life in like marvelous ways.
So I'll give you an example. I write a Friday newsletter. It goes out every single Friday. And I write that baby myself. I love to sit down, you know, on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. And whatever's on my mind. I crafted into a, an email newsletter. Well, Isabel Izzy on my team is brilliant. She takes that Friday newsletter she makes it into LinkedIn posts. And when I see them, I think I wrote it. You know why? Because I did, you know, so if you have the idea of your content being flexible and able to be repurposed is such a powerful one, because you can say, okay, team, here's my book, , go share it, go create graphics, go create, , snippets, uh, create a carousel post, whatever it is.
And that way, it doesn't have to only depend on you. I think we make the mistake of thinking that we have to do it all ourselves. And you know, if you're on the path to growing a business, or if you're on the path to promoting a book, you likely need a team behind you. It's not something that one person can do alone.
Megan: Yes. Amen. So that I, I have shout out to Leah who's my content manager. And she does like what you were saying. I write the newsletter every week, but she's like, okay, I'll take that and I'll do it. I'll share it here, here, and here, I'll do this. I'll do, I'll make it, all these different things. And sometimes I'm like, oh wow, this is way more creative than I ever could have been.
Yes, you definitely need. And team behind now, not everybody has to have a team behind you, but if you are also, if you are doing the writing of the book and you've got, you know, you're handling a ton of other things that would be. First hire is to have somebody help you keep tabs and keep all the socials running and growing while you're trying to do your thing.
Becky: Definitely. And you know what really helps at least what helps me is having those themes that you put on an editorial calendar because no one necessarily is going to pick up. Sharing about a particular theme, you know, I might choose to spend the next month talking about value.
For example, I don't think that my audience necessarily will pick that up, but having the structure of having already decided the topic really makes it easier for your creativity to fly. And I think that helps, you know, if you have a team behind you, it helps them as well to have the theme to give them ideas.
Megan: Oh, absolutely. Just like when you're sitting down to write. And you're just like, I'm going to write now. Yeah, that's blank. Giving yourself something to start with is like giving your future self a guest. You could sit down and plan out even for the year, like monthly themes or, quarterly, whatever works for you and what you're talking about.
But absolutely. I love to do that and it, it does help immensely. And then you can just keep, usually if you have a universal, those themes are evergreen or universal, then you can repeat them and go back, you know, at the end of the year, go back to the beginning. And that's exactly what we do. Yeah. Oh, I love that.
Well, I have one more question for you as we wrap up here, and then I'd love to hear all the things about how people can find you and where they can get this beautiful book. So for, because I know I have many, uh, many aspiring authors, or maybe even someone who already published. Watching for someone who has like the book idea burning in their heart, what is your best advice for them?
It can be anything from how to start or what to do like don't do. What is your biggest tip for somebody that comes to you and says, I have this amazing idea.
Becky: Uh, I think this delivery person is just so persistent. So we want to give advice to people who are just getting started. You know, I would say like, be patient, think about the, the impact that you want to have and allow whatever that is, whatever your passion is, allow that to be.
What leads you you know, if you can begin with. You know, think of one person, either think of the one person that your ideas can help and create content for that one person I have to give David dye, who's an author friend of mine, a hat tip for this because when he interviewed me for his podcast, we talked about this idea and he shared a story of how, you know, really keeping that one person in mind, enabled him to provide the value
So, and I know that those of us who are just getting started wanting to create a wider audience. That's why I wrote my book. But I would say, you know, just really staying focused on who can I add value to today? Who can I share contacts today? And just imagine that real person on the, on the receiving, you know, the person who's going to learn something, the person is going to be inspired is going to be motivated.
The person who's going to be encouraged or had hope because of what you shared.
That was great.
Megan: Start sharing now, basically right now, you don't have to wait. To write the book or even get started with it, just start sharing it. Now I love, I love social media as a way to test your messages and to see like no other time in history writers.
We're still lucky now because no other time in history where you able to test out your ideas before you got them all and broke 70,000. Exactly you can, you can put something out there and see what resonates, you know, you can look at the engagement on your posts as a barometer of the ideas that are most interesting to the audience that you're currently reading.
Great. Okay. Well, tell us now, as we wrap up here where we can get the book and where they can find you, if they want more information.
Becky: Sure. So there's two key places to find me. One is Becky robinson.com. And if you go to my book page, I see all the online retailers where you can get the buck, you know, there's a Kindle ebook version, audio book version.
I actually read the audio book and there's also the print version and the audio books available. Now, all the other books will be available tomorrow, the other additions, whatever. So go to Becky robinson.com forward slash book. And you can see all the online retailers. And the other thing is if you're interested in my company, you can find us at weavinginfluence.com and also on social I'm Becky R B N S N, which is my last name without the vowels.
And I'm that way on all the social channels. So, you can look for me there and I would love to connect with you and share whatever value I have to bring. So thank you so much for making this time available. Crazy dog barking, snow time. I'll never forget this. So thank you so much.
Megan: Oh, thank you so much for your valuable time.
I really appreciate it. And go, go, everyone, go get the book. I think it's fantastic for anybody that want to get wants to get a message out whether or not it's in book form. If you want to grow a platform, definitely grow this book and learn from Becky. So thank you so much.
Becky: Thank you so much. It was great to meet you.
Megan: Bye bye.