Thursday, July 6, 2023

The 4 Commitments To Grow Your Reach Online

The 4 Commitments To Grow Your Reach Online written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Becky Robinson

Becky Robinson, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Becky Robinson. She is the Founder and CEO of Weaving Influence. This full-service marketing agency specializes in digital and integrated marketing services and public relations for book authors, including business leaders, coaches, trainers, speakers, and thought leaders.

In April 2022, Becky published her first book, Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause. This book provides a structured approach to creating a successful online presence that will generate a big impact on any message. Becky shares a framework to cultivate followers based on four commitments: value, consistency, endurance, and generosity. 

Key Takeaway:

Building a successful online brand and thought leadership requires 4 commitments. The first one is delivering value and establishing meaningful connections to attract and retain followers. The second one is being consistent in the content shared and messaging to build trust and a strong presence.

While it may be tempting to chase quick success, longevity is the third commitment, and being able to create a long-term commitment that generates sustainable growth. It’s important to set realistic expectations and understand that building something meaningful takes time. Finally, being generous: with ideas, time, and support to attract interest and engagement. Becky emphasizes that sharing ideas freely and supporting others can contribute to your personal thought leadership growth.

Questions I ask Becky Robinson:

  • [01:54] Based on the title of your book, creating reach starts way before selling or marketing a new book right?
  • [02:35] Would you put the things you mention in your book as a must?
  • [05:48] Can you explain a little bit about self-publishing as a more accessible and streamlined option when someone writes a book?
  • [09:20] Talk a little bit about your journey of creating Reach that led to a publishing deal for you.
  • [13:16] In your book you mention four commitments: value, consistency, longevity, and generosity. Can you explain each one of them?
  • [17:53] Talking about longevity, how do you balance that when everybody wants quick results?
  • [21:52] What’s your relationship with goal setting?

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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by HubSpot. Look, AI is literally eating the web ChatGPT is more searched than I don't know, Taylor Swift. Check out HubSpot's AI powered tools, content assistant and chat spott. They both run on open AI's G P T model, and both are designed to help you get more done and to grow your business faster. HubSpot's AI powered content assistant helps you brainstorm, create, and share content in a flash, and it's all inside a super easy to use CRM now. Chat Spott automates all the manual tasks inside HubSpot to help you arrange more customers close more deals, and scale your business faster. Find out more about how to use AI to grow your business at That's

(01:14): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Becky Robinson. She's the founder and CEO of weaving influence, a full service marketing agency that specializes in digital and integrated marketing services and public relations for book offerers, including business leaders, coaches, trainers, speakers, and thought leaders. In April of 2022, she finished her first book with Barrett Kohler publishers titled Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause. So Becky, welcome to the show.

Becky Robinson (01:51): Thank you, John. It's so great to be with you today.

John Jantsch (01:54): So I have, because I've written a few books myself, I get a lot of people that reach out to me and say, okay, I've written my book, how do I market it now? Uh, how do I sell books?

Becky Robinson (02:12): Oh, it sure does, John. And you know, I think it starts, hopefully it starts before you even have an idea for a book. If you're talking about a prescriptive nonfiction book, if you desire to write a prescriptive nonfiction book, you likely should be building an audience and community around your work for years before,

John Jantsch (02:31): Yeah,

Becky Robinson (02:32): Maybe a decade before

John Jantsch (02:34):

Becky Robinson (02:53): Well, certainly if you want to attract a traditional publisher, right? You need to build an audience before you go to a traditional publisher because they're making a business decision. They want to know that if they take a chance on your book and publish you, that you're gonna be able to drive interest in sales. So, you know, if you dream of traditional publishing, yes, you must attend to growing an online presence to be able to support your book marketing. Now, if you're interested in, you know, some people come to me and they wanna write a book just because it's a bucket list item or Yeah, yeah. You know, maybe they wanna use it as a glorified business card in their business and give to potential customers. Now, in that case, you might have a choice about whether or not to build an online presence, but in the book, one of the things I talk about, John, is what I call the influence gap.

(03:36): And for anyone who has great real world expertise that they could bring to a nonfiction business book, but they haven't adequately represented that thought leadership online, then they're experiencing what I call the influence gap. And that happens when there's a disconnect between who we are in real life and who we are online. If we want to set ourselves up for success, to have the biggest possible reach for our work, we have to choose to invest in both that kind of offline real world, you know, knowing something about our topics, experience with real life people and work. And we have to translate that and share that journey online as well.

John Jantsch (04:14): Yeah. If I can be completely cynical, I would suggest that the traditional publisher is, that's the first thing they care about. What's the size of your audience? What's the size of your reach? Oh, you got a nice topic. Great, we'll get to that later. It's more like, can you guarantee us that you can sell 25,000 copies? I mean, I think that's almost the, the calculus today, isn't it?

Becky Robinson (04:31): It is. And that's why people who are already famous get book deals. Right. You know, I have, I took a screenshot the day that Barack Obama's book came out. He sold 887,000 books on the day his book was released

John Jantsch (05:24): And it's probably 90 to 95% of their books, you know, are not, maybe they're break even or, you know, maybe they make a little money, but you're absolutely right. They bank on, you know, that top 10. And then of course, years of back list. I mean, but Duct Tape Marketing came out in 2007, and I'm still getting, you know, royalty checks, you know, for that, because that back list of 600 or 6,000, I don't have many books, you know, is where they actually make their money. Let's talk a little bit about self-publishing then. You talked about the glorified business card as it sort of called, but it, there's no question it can be, uh, an effective marketing tactic and that whole world has gotten a lot easier and you know, much more streamlined. Talk a little bit about that as an option.

Becky Robinson (06:03): Sure, I'd be glad to. So there are lots of folks who, you know, have a point of view to share, but they don't necessarily aspire to getting a lot of sales. Uh, in that case, obviously self-publishing can be a viable option and, uh, like even at my company, we support authors who want to self-publish their books, uh, with what I call a book production service. We are not a publisher. Uh, what I would say is that quality still matters. Yeah. So you wanna write a book worth reading because if you're using a book in that way, those who read it will be using that book to decide if you're credible and if you're worth hiring. And so you don't wanna skimp on a professional cover, you don't wanna skimp on a professional edit, you don't wanna skip skimp on a professional interior design. You want to create the best product possible, because obviously that will tell people things about your brand and expertise.

(06:54): Yeah. And so in that world, you know, if you're going to bother to write a book worth reading, then what I would say is then why not invest in expanding awareness of that book even beyond the people who could hire you? There's so much time and energy and money that goes into that. So, you know, on in some ways, you know, I said that's a choice that people can make, but at the same time, if you are going to invest to the level that you would need to have a product that can be a good business card for your business, then why not share that value more widely? You know, I wanna pick up on something you said, John, you are still getting royalty checks on a book that you wrote in 2007. So for those who might be listening who are considering a book, you wanna see that book as being a long-term, viable marketing tool for your work and a value add to others. And you know what? An amazing thing to have a book that's been out there that many years is still relevant, is still reaching readers. And I think that's the kind of book that we should all aspire to write. Yeah. One that's going to be timeless, one that's going to add value, one that can continue to fuel whatever work we wanna be about in the world.

John Jantsch (08:00): Yeah. And I, and I think also a lot of times people think of the book as one thing. You know, for me it quadrupled my speaking. It, you know, led to other people wanting, we started a whole licensing program of our methodology be based on the fact that people were able to find that book. So I didn't write it as a business card, but it certainly has for many years acted as a drawing card for many other things that we've been able to build around it. And I, and I think that's a lot of times people just think the physical book is it, but the physical book might actually be the entry.

Becky Robinson (08:33): Yeah, I agree with you because once you have that physical book, the ideas in the book can be repurposed and reused in all sorts of different ways to be able to reach new audiences in new ways. And you know, I imagine, John, you have continued to learn or adapt the ideas in the book. And so as you continue to bring those to new audiences, the power of that original content asset will grow. So chapter seven in my book, for those of you who are interested and have an existing book, wanna figure out how to repurpose and reuse it in different ways, that's a really powerful way to, to view a book. It's, it's an ongoing asset that you can use to add value to the world.

John Jantsch (09:10): So because, and this isn't always the case with nonfiction offers, but because you have actually done what you're telling people to do, you have your own book now that is out there. Talk a little bit about your journey of creating reach that led to, uh, a publishing deal for you. And we can just use you as a bit of a case study.

Becky Robinson (09:28): Sure, I would love to. So John, I started working with authors back in about 2010. And immediately I think as we, we all who love books are drawn to, you know, I saw what my authors were experiencing, and I, I immediately said, well, I want to do this also. And I remember early on, I traveled out to San Francisco. I had an author who was published by Barett Kohler Publishers, who later did acquire my book. And I remember thinking, well, look at how easy this is. Like, I know a publisher. So I, I made an appointment with an editor, I sat down, I shared my first book idea, and guess what happened? He said no. And then a few years later, I thought I had refined my idea a little bit. I contacted the same acquiring editor, and guess what John? He said, no. And then some more years went by.

(10:17): And I think in those intervening years, a few things happened. One is that I continued to build my own online presence. I was building my email list. I was establishing thought leadership and credibility. You know, in those years I had a podcast, I had a newsletter. I grew my social media accounts. So there were at least two things that happened during those intervening years between when I started my business and then 10 years after when I finally did get a book deal. One is that I built confidence in the way that I could articulate my ideas, which I think led to me writing a better book proposal in terms of how I framed the idea. So that's one thing. And the second thing is also just the growth of my thought leadership brand. So in 2012, when I first talked to the editor, I was an unknown.

(10:59): I didn't have, you know, any experience or credibility. You know, fast forward 10 years, I could say, Hey, I've launched 150 business books, you know, I've done X, Y, Z. So I think that, you know, for those who might be listening, who might be beginners like I was, and have a book dream, be patient, but use your time in the best way possible. Yeah. No, I think it's possible. I could have gotten a book deal earlier. I had a lot of reasons along the way for why I waited. Finally, the thing that kind of got me over my resistance was figuring out that if I did a book proposal in, I think it was like the fall of 2020 or the leading up to December, 2020, that I could probably release the book for the 10 year anniversary of my company. Mm-hmm.

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(13:16): So let's talk a little bit about the, I think you call 'em commitments, pillars, whatever we wanna talk about. So there are four that you, uh, talk about in the book, value, consistency, endurance, and generosity. Obviously listeners, you're going to get the book to get the whole story, but let's talk a little bit about that idea of giving value. I think there's a lot of, there's a challenge for some people because they have a business values what they sell,

Becky Robinson (13:52): Well, yes, and I do want to acknowledge, and I do talk about in my book, the difficulty for some of these ideas, if you happen to come from a marginalized identity. And I do know that my own ability to navigate the world did come from a, a place of privilege as many of us do. So I do wanna acknowledge that first. But in terms of growing an online brand or online thought leadership, it always has to start with value. And that value is, you know, what do you have to add? You know, what's the topic or expertise that you're bringing to online spaces? And so showing up with value is the starting point, because why would someone wanna follow you if there's not some value that you're delivering to them? I do wanna say, John, that value is not only about the content that we create, but it's also about the connections that we make.

(14:36): And so people might derive value from following us, not only because we have a point of view to share, but also because of who we are as people. And so thinking about value, it's, there's value in the content, but there's also value in the relationships or how we show up in the world. And that's really the starting line for this. Like, if you don't have any value to offer, you are not going to attract people to follow you or build community or build an audience. So yeah, that's really the, the most basic commitment. The second commitment is consistency. And you know, in order for people to count on you or trust you, they have to know not only that you will show up in a consistent way that you're gonna continue to be there. John, before we started recording, you told me that you've done 1500 podcast episodes.

(15:22): Now that is consistency, if I've ever seen it before. People know John, that they can count on you to show up with something. List interesting to listen to that you're gonna ask good questions, that you're gonna share content that matches what they need. So when we show up with value, consistency, people know that they can count on us. And the other thing is, I think people need to see a consistency of message. So sometimes where we fail at building reach, it's because we, we failed to, uh, we failed to commit to a topic area. And so for example, like today I might wanna write about social media next week I might wanna write about leadership. People can't figure out what I'm about. So we do need to have consistency in our messaging.

John Jantsch (16:03): Yeah, it's interesting about that topic though. I think some, if I can add a point to that, consistency sometimes can just be a consistent point of view. You know, there are new topics that come up in our, you know, our world of marketing, for example. My consistent point of view has always been that marketing's a system that starts with strategy before tactics. But Lord knows over the last 20 years we've seen a lot of new platforms that fit into that point of view. And I, so, so I think sometimes people do jump around, but I think you can jump around with a consistent point of view. And I, I maybe that's a subtle point, but I think it's one worth making.

Becky Robinson (16:38): No, I think that's a really good point, John. And you know, I think that part of it involves ensuring that we're listing our community and keeping them up to date on our story. Right? Right,

John Jantsch (16:49): Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Becky Robinson (16:50): So to all of those, you wanna add the third commitment, which is, you said endurance, it's longevity. Oh. And so we need to commit to showing up with value consistency over a long period of time. John, I'm sure you've probably interviewed Dory Clark. Yeah, good friend. Dory Clark says it can take a year of showing up online to get any results at all. And it can take five years to be recognized as an expert. So I think what often happens is people think that they're gonna come online and start to share something, and it's gonna be magic, and they're going to be an overnight success. And that is just not true for many of us. Yeah. I've been online since 2009. Yeah. So, and I'm really not all that well known. Right. So it, it's not likely apart from some kind of magic or as I already mentioned, you know, that you're already famous, that you're gonna be able to do something quickly. So we have to show up with value consistently over time for a long time. And then the last one is this added,

John Jantsch (17:47): Let, let me before we, that last one I just went, we just lost half our listeners, because they want, everybody wants a quick fix. Everybody wants an overnight, you know, success story. And I think that I totally 100% agree with you, but isn't, doesn't that become a harder sell? I mean, you have so many people out there selling the get rich quick scheme of the day. I mean, even Dory's book the long game, you know, it's like, that's just not a very sexy title

Becky Robinson (18:19): Well, it isn't, but it's real. So I mean, on the one hand, like I think it balances the frustration like worth doing is going to be challenging, should be. So, you know, when we were exploring how to name the four commitments in the book we did kind of wrestle with is the idea about endurance, is the idea about perseverance was another word that I chose. You know, in the book I tell a story about 500 trees. So I live on a five acre property in Michigan, and it's beautiful and peaceful and private because 20 plus years ago, a man and his sons chose to plant a lot of trees more than 500. And they chose to wait for them to grow. So if we want to build something beautiful in the world, we can't expect that it's going to be instantaneous. So it may not be sexy, but it's real. Yeah. And I think that it might help set people up to have that realistic view so that they can decide whether or not it's worth it to make the commitment.

John Jantsch (19:15): Yeah. That reminds me of, uh, a quote, quote I'll probably get wrong if somebody asked, you know, when's the best time to plant a tree? And the answer was 20 years ago or today. Meaning, you know, okay, so you did

Becky Robinson (19:31): Yes. Yes, exactly.

John Jantsch (19:33): All right. So I cut you off the fourth one.

Becky Robinson (19:35): No problem. The fourth one is one that, you know, sometimes might seem counterintuitive, particularly, you know, if we're wanting to build the reach of a business and we're wanting to drive revenue, the idea of generosity as a commitment can seem counterintuitive. And lots of times along the journey, I've met people, John, and they say, well, you know, my book's not out yet. I can't talk about this. I have to save it back. You know, cherry, I think the more that we can give our ideas away freely to others, the more we will drive people to our work and our message. And people aren't gonna have any reason to be interested in your work if you don't make it easily accessible to them. You know, there's an author, Lilly Zang, she's a bear. Uh, they're a Barrett Kohler author. And one of the things they have done is they have taken the content in their book in different ways and shared all of it on LinkedIn.

(20:22): Yeah. And what they've seen is, well, people wanna buy the book because they see that there's value, it's in pieces that they've received and they want the book so that it's all in one place. Yeah. So, you know, I think like it's a natural response to think like I shouldn't give away my best ideas. But what I've seen is that when you set your ideas free in the world, they are more likely to grow. I share the story in the book of a guy named David and back in the early, I think it was 1980s, David founded an, founded an idea called Appreciative Inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is an organizational development approach. And rather than copywriting the idea, he set the idea free for anyone to use. And so as a result, that idea of appreciative inquiry has been used by coaches, consultants, organizations, all around the world. And it might have not been known apart from that. So you really wanna think about if your idea has value and merit, if you set it free, it can make the difference that it was intended to make. And when you think about generosity, it's not only about give away your ideas, it's about give away your time, your encouragement, your energy, your support. You know, when we support others in their thought leadership, our thought leadership is more likely to grow as well. Yeah.

John Jantsch (21:36): One of the struggles, I think anybody who looks at your book, I don't think anybody would disagree. I think where the rub sometimes comes is like, there's more to do in a day

Becky Robinson (22:02): One thing I say to authors is, as you look at building reach, there are gonna be three possible places you can put something. Either it's something that you can joyfully sustain yourself, or it's something that you may choose to outsource if you have funds to do so. Or you may say, this is not for me, not now. So I asked about goal setting. I think one of the most important goals is to be very clear about what you can do and what you can't do. And to commit to those things that you can joyfully sustain over the long haul. Now sometimes that might change. So in the early part of my business, I was an avid blogger on the archives of weaving, you're gonna find like a thousand or more blog posts. And I wrote most of them about four years ago we started a podcast. Now I don't have as many episodes as you, but that has been our new content mechanism. Mm-hmm.

John Jantsch (23:19): Just get overwhelmed.

Becky Robinson (23:30): Sure. So Reach is available at all your favorite online retailers. And if you want me to be giving you a pep talk in your ear, I recorded the audio myself. So the Audible version is available as well. In terms of connecting two main websites, and If you wanna find my business, go to Weaving influence. If you wanna find me personally, go to Becky Robinson. I have tons of free resources available on both sites. I'd love to have you download one or two. And I'm also on most of the social media channels. Instagram and LinkedIn are my two favorite places to show up. And I would always love to hear from people via email. I'm

John Jantsch (24:08): Awesome. Well, again, thanks for taking a moment to stop by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast and hopefully we'll see you out there on the road one of these days. I'm going to a wedding in Michigan in a few months, so who knows, maybe I'll bump into you.

Becky Robinson (24:18): It would be amazing to connect. Thank you John.

John Jantsch (24:20): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it,, dot co. Check out our free marketing assessment and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network.

HubSpot Podcast Network is the audio destination for business professionals who seek the best education and inspiration on how to grow a business.


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