Derek Lewis Ghostwriter [image]

#141: Derek Lewis on Getting Prospects to Come to YOU

Given the choice between prospecting for clients or having prequalified prospects come to YOU, I’ll take the latter any day.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy or believe in prospecting. Quite the contrary. Prospecting is still an essential part of marketing your writing business.

But getting prequalified prospects to come to you via attraction marketing is much more efficient in the long run.

And in many cases, even more powerful than most prospecting methods.

In this week’s episode you’ll hear from my good friend and colleague Derek Lewis. Derek is a very successful book ghostwriter who commands $50,000 to $75,000 per book. And one of the many things I love about his story is the fact that he relies 100% on attraction marketing.

That’s because he has to. As you’ll hear Derek explain, for the type of work he’s doing, outbound prospecting is not really an option. As a result, he’s become a master of attraction marketing.

And in this interview, he explains how he does this so well, and how you can start implementing some elements of attraction marketing in your own writing business.

By the way … Derek and I are starting a small coaching group in early January for established writers and copywriters. We’re going to spend 5 weeks going deep into how to land $25,000+ book-ghostwriting projects, even if you’ve never written a book before.

If you’d like to join us, send me an email at ed at b2blauncher dot com … put “Ghostwriting Coaching” in the subject line… and I’ll get you all the details!

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about your business

Derek Lewis is a business book ghostwriter. He works almost exclusively with business thought leaders. His job is to get ideas out of their heads and on paper—and then into a book.

How did you get started in this business?

Derek stumbled into ghostwriting. He started by moonlighting as a copywriter.

After writing blogs and articles for other business owners, he found someone who needed help writing their own business book. So he decided to give it a try.

He soon discovered that he much preferred writing long form copy to short form copy. By 2009, he decided to work only as a ghostwriter. He struggled for many years before he found his footing.

Today, he charges in the range of $50,000-75,000 for a business book.

What are the advantages of attraction marketing over outbound marketing?

Before moving into attraction marketing, Derek pored hours and hours into outbound prospecting with no success.

Eventually, he realized he needed to stop asking “How can I find clients?” and start asking  “How can I help clients find me?” Now, he gets all his leads through attraction marketing.

One of the great advantages of attraction marketing is that it changes the dynamic between you and your prospects.

When prospects come to YOU, the power dynamic shifts in your favor.

With attraction marketing, you’re not reaching out to prospects to secure their business. Instead, prospects are coming to you. And you get to decide whether you want to work with them or not.

You talk about breadcrumb trails in your marketing. What are they?

With attraction marketing, it’s your job to put breadcrumbs out into the world. Breadcrumbs should be cheap and easy to scatter. Those breadcrumbs then lead prospects to your website.

On your website, you make clear which prospects are a good fit for your services and which are not.

What breadcrumb trails have been most effective for you?

1. Optimize your website

Derek has optimized his website so when people search “business ghostwriter” in Google, or other search engines, his site shows up in search results.

2. Host your own podcast

Having his own podcast has been an excellent breadcrumb trail for Derek. He shares the interviews on his social media accounts, and the people he interviews do the same.

Derek also puts a transcript online of the interview online, which creates more content for SEO.

He also puts the episode and transcript on YouTube. YouTube is the second biggest search engine by volume in the world.

In other words, he’s been using his podcast as a content repurposing opportunity. He repurposes each episode into multiple formats and across multiple platforms.

3. Appear as a podcast guest

Derek is also a frequent guest on podcasts. He looks for podcasts that are focused on  writing, publishing, content marketing and entrepreneurship. It’s a great way to be introduced to hundreds, or thousands, of people who otherwise wouldn’t know you.

When building an “attraction marketing” system for your freelance biz, look for opportunities that give you the most opportunities.

In addition to bringing people to you, podcasts are also a great way of building trust. After listening to a few episodes, you feel like you know the host.

With any high-ticket project, such as a book or white paper, the prospect needs to trust you before they will hire you. If you’ve already established trust before they reach to you, that’s a huge advantage.

4. Write your own book or booklet

Derek wrote his own book, The Business Book Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Write a Great Business Book. He uses a print on demand service. When someone orders a copy of the book, Amazon (or similar service) will print and ship it.

Books carry a lot more weight with prospects than a tweet or blog post.

And even if prospects don’t order a copy of the book, the fact that it exists gives him credibility and builds trust.

Although creating the book was a big effort, the first client he landed through the book more than made up for the time, effort and costs.

Before creating The Business Book Bible, Derek had created a short ebook to bring him leads.

5. Create a standalone web page

Derek dislikes blogging. He much prefers longer form writing. He’s finally given himself permission to stop blogging and instead write long-form copy a few times a year. He creates standalone web pages to host that copy, with links back to his website.

Here is an example of one of those pages:

Where’s a good place to start if you have no breadcrumb trails?

Ideally, your breadcrumbs should be easy to create and scatter. Choose something that will come easy to you.

1. Identify your niche. Decide who you want to find you.

2. Identify two or three media you enjoy creating content for. Ideally, choose one that’s online and one offline. (Offline could include local radio shows, speaking engagements and articles in local publications.)

If you enjoy speaking to people, then choose podcasts. If you enjoy short-form writing, then choose blogging. You don’t want this to become a huge chore.

3. Consider what kind of content to create. Center your content around your niche. What content would help them do their jobs better?

Where can we learn more about you?

Derek’s website: