Rob is the best-selling author of Life after Debt and the founder of Bestseller Publishing. He’s been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and in the Wall Street Journal and on many other media sites. Rob teaches entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants how to stop hunting for clients and instead position yourself as the hunted.
Rob got started in real estate at 18. He owned three very successful real estate companies that made more than $100 million a year—right up until the real estate market collapsed in 2008. He shut down those companies in 2008 and searched for a different way to generate income.
He decided he wanted to pivot to financial services. He was a member of two mastermind groups at the time and he asked them what they would do in his position. Two different people told him he should write a book.
This made a lot of sense to Rob because everybody he considered an expert had a book out on their area of expertise. That’s when he decided to write Life after Debt. He used the book to position himself as an expert in the personal finance field. Within just a year, he was making seven figures from his business, and one year after, that he was making multiple seven figures.
After he became a success in the financial services market, people kept asking him how he was able to be successful during the economic downturn. He explained that he built his business by establishing his expertise through a book. When people heard that, they asked for his help in launching their own books. He started Bestseller Publishing and the rest is history.
How to Build a Business around Your Book
With traditional publishing, the book is the end of the story. But if you are using a book to build a business based on your expertise, the book is the beginning of your story.
You should be using your book to:
- Establish your credibility
- Establish your expertise
- Grow your authority
- Grow your PR
- Track audience needs
- Do speaking engagements
Publish, Promote, Profit: The Three Phases of Building Your Expert Business
In this phase, you write and publish the best book you can, focusing on your area of expertise. This establishes you as an expert in the field and allows potential clients to find you going forward.
This is where you promote the book to let people in your audience know that you exist and that you can help them with their problem.
This is the last and longest phase of building your expert business. In this phase, you use your book to get interviews, build media exposure, and generate leads for your other revenue streams.
Once you position yourself as the expert, you can use your book to attract high-paying clients.
Build Revenue Streams around Your Strengths
When considering what additional revenue streams to build into your expert business, it’s important to consider your financial goals and what you like to do.
Rob has clients who really love speaking. While speaking can be very profitable, it’s also a time-intensive thing—you have to be there to give the speech. That’s why for people who love speaking, Rob suggests adding in coaching or consulting because it allows for more flexibility, and you might be able to charge more for your services.
It’s also possible that you already have high-end clients in your business, and all you need to do is find more prospects. A book is great for that!
So when figuring out how to structure your expert business, look at:
- Your current situation
- Your vision for what you want the book to do for you
- How much money you want to make
Use Your Book to Get Leads for Your Business
Your book is the entry point for your client. It gives them the information they need to decide whether or not you’re the type of person they want to help them solve their problems.
When Rob was first getting started, he would send copies of his book to local radio stations along with a brief letter explaining his expertise and offering to do a short segment on the radio show.
But the giveaways didn’t end there.
Give Away Free Books to Build Your Business
On the radio show, he would offer a free copy of his book to anyone who wanted one. They could order one either by calling the radio show or ordering through his website.
Generally speaking, a book funnel for an expert business works like this:
First, you give away the book for free to anybody who might be interested in your topic.
In the book, you have a low-cost item that people can buy to get more information, or the same information delivered a different way. For instance, Russell Brunson gives away his book Expert Secrets in a free-plus-shipping offer. Then he offers the audiobook on CD, delivered to his customer for around $30. From there, the products get more and more expensive. He even has a $997 offer.
One of the best ways to learn the book funnel process is to actually go through one as a customer and observe the different upsells that you get exposed to as you move up product level.
Rob suggests that you join Russell Brunson’s free-plus-shipping book funnel, then take screenshots as you go through it and make notes about how it works. This way, you can reverse-engineer his book funnel and modify it to serve your own needs.
A Different Way to Approach Book Funnels
You don’t necessarily have to have multiple products to upsell to your audience. The book funnel system also works well if you have one very high-ticket item that you sell.
When Rob started doing this with his own book, he had one upsell, a $10,000 consulting product. Rob was able to convert one $10,000 customer for every 16 books he gave away.
Just think about the ROI on that!
The Fastest Way to Success
The fastest way to be successful is to find people who already have the success that you want, join their mailing lists, connect with them on social media, study what they’re doing, and imitate it.
It’s important to realize that as you try to imitate successful people, you aren’t going to be successful yourself 100% of the time, especially when you’re first starting out.
The best way to implement this process is to find somebody who’s as successful as you want to be. Imitate what they’re doing to the best of your ability. Track your results and see what works for you.
Every person is different. Every niche audience has its own characteristics. In order to be successful, you have to be willing to try and fail so you can adjust your approach and get better.
If you don’t have the level of success that you want right now, that means you’re going to have to do something different in order to get different results.
How to Build Relationships that Take Your Business to the Next Level
Before you start building relationships, it’s important to figure out who to build relationships with. If you want to grow your business, you need to find people who are further along in their business journey than you are in yours. The only way you’re going to build relationships that grow your business is if you build relationships with people who have larger audiences than you do right now and who have a proven track record of success with their audience.
In order to build relationships that will explode the size of your audience and level up your business, you have two resources to invest.
Rob recently signed up to be a sponsor of a speaking event. It cost him $25,000. For that price, he gets to be a speaker on the main stage, in front of an audience of 700 people who are willing to spend money on the type of thing he’s selling. He’s confident that he will make at least $200,000 from that $25,000 investment.
If you don’t have money to invest right now, it can be just as profitable to invest your personal time and resources to develop a relationship with someone.
For instance, Rob developed a relationship with Todd Herman, creator of The 90-Day Year program, by offering to help him promote his book and get PR for free. Rob and Todd are close personal friends, a relationship they’ve built over time. Rob recently spoke at Todd’s 90-Day Year conference. That didn’t cost him any money because of the relationship he has built with Todd over the years.
When you decide to build that type of relationship, it’s important to build it through the lens of friendship and service. Rob helped Todd as a friend, not as a client. He wasn’t worried about the bottom line…it just happened to help get him new audience exposure as a happy side effect.
If you want to build a relationship with someone, it’s important to look at the relationship from that perspective. Ron gets about 100 messages a day from people who want help. 99 of those people ask him to help them. 1 out of 100 offers to help him with his business. If you want to build a relationship, be that one.
The 3-Step Networking Plan to Connect with Influencers
“Lead with a giving hand”
— Rob Kosberg
- Make a list of 100 influencers who, if they promoted your stuff, would really change your life and expand their
- Think of ways that you can serve them. What is your particular brand of expertise? How can you help them be successful in their business?
- Start reaching out to these influencers.
This could also work for fiction authors. If you’re a fiction author and you want to grow your audience, find the top podcasts for your genre. Contact the podcast hosts and see if there’s anything that you can do for them. Maybe you can write show notes, or do some book reviews.
Be helpful and engaged and you’ll see the benefits start to mount!
Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview
Life after Debt: Practical Solutions To Get Out of Debt, Build Wealth, and Radically Transform Your Finances Forever! — Rob’s book on how to get out of debt.
https://expertsecrets.com/freebook — Join Russell’s book funnel. Take screenshots at every step and you’ll be able to reverse-engineer how he makes his business work.
The 90-Day Year Program — Learn about Todd’s business and management system that teaches you how to compress a year’s worth of results into a 90-day window.
http://bestsellerpublishing.org/— This is the best place to learn about Rob’s services. Rob has a team of seven writers who will help you write your book. He also has a team to help you promote your book, and his company has two full-time publicists whose only job is to get you on television.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.