I started JibberJobber on May 15, 2006. In June I started blogging, and credit much of JibberJobber’s success to this blog. It became clear early on that putting time into this blog would be a significant portion of my overall marketing strategy, and when the blog was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal (they moved the Career Journal and I don’t know what the new link is), I felt reassured I was on the right track.
I was happy (but not satisfied :)).
And then I wrote a book. In fact, it was one of the very first books on LinkedIn (the book that beat me was Steve Tylock’s LinkedIn Personal Trainer).
The story of my book is kind of fun. It was a mix between “get more buzz” and “provide value to JibberJobber users who were asking about LinkedIn.” I realized I could continue to blog about LinkedIn, but it would be cool to have one resources that kind of spells it all out – what do I need to do, what do I need to pay attention to, and what is just plain noise?
I started my Table of Contents, and wrote a few paragraphs for the introduction. And then I got distracted by running a business.
A couple of months later I was at dinner with a few bloggers in Austin, Texas. Two of the bloggers were also published authors, and I asked them a few questions, like:
- how many books have you sold?
- how much money have you made (not sure how I really asked this question)
- would you recommend an ebook or a hard copy? Why?
- … and more.
That night, I told Scott Allen my idea (a LinkedIn book for the normal person, not the early adopter or tech genius) and he immediately said “do it with me! I’ll hook you up with my publisher and …” we discussed some of the details.
About a month later I had a signed contract in hand, and was ready to go – I had a publisher! I dusted off my old Table of Contents and… looked at it and… let it sit for a few months. After all, I was running a business! And ever author I knew told me that I wouldn’t make any money from selling books.
In May, 2007, I was liveblogging SOBcon (a terrific event, they are repeating it this year, more info here) and listening to Andy Sernovitz speak. Andy gave a list of things we could do to create more word of mouth buzz for our blogs (or, companies). I was intrigued by the list, thinking of what I could do for JibberJobber, when he ended with a simple idea. He said something like:
and if you try all of these, and can’t figure out what else to do, find a brand that is getting a lot of buzz and figure out how to attach yourself to it!
Now writing my book become more about marketing JibberJobber (I could create buzz by associating myself with LinkedIn??) than with making a few bucks on each book sale. And I was all about figuring out how to market JibberJobber.
So I buckled down and finished my book. I put stuff (like, e-mail!) on hold. I had a self-imposed deadline, which I hit.
And I was absolutely amazed by what happened after that.
All the places I wished would write about JibberJobber were now contacting me. Not because of JibberJobber, the coolest thing to hit the career space since (fill in the blank), but because of a 124 page book on getting value out of LinkedIn.
In the past few months I have been interviewed by Money Magazine, CIO, the New York Times, Wired Magazine, US News & World Report, and many others.
Has it benefitted JibberJobber? Absolutely, because in those articles I’m quoted as “Jason Alba, CEO of JibberJobber.com and author of …“
Andy Sernovitz was right – associating myself with a brand that was getting buzz helped my own brand get buzz!
This directly relates to your personal brand. You are a subject matter expert (SME), aren’t you?
Don’t you know enough about your field to be considered an expert? Whether that is finance, marketing, cleaning, managing, strategizing, project managing, etc. you are an SME. Guess what, nobody knows, or cares about, your expertise. They are all looking at the thought leaders for new and exciting stuff in your field.
Know how the thought leader got to be a thought leader? I bet it’s because they wrote a book.
And you can write a book too. In fact, if you are serious about your career path, and you are serious about your personal brand, you should seriously consider writing a book.
Tomorrow I have my first CEO Training session on writing a book. I’m really excited about this CEO Training. Many who buy the CEO Training webinar (the recording only works on a PC, not a Mac – sorry :() don’t come to the live session, but if you come to the live session you get to ask your specific questions.
I will share with you my thoughts and ideas on how to get started, how to move through the process of writing a book, getting it published, marketing your book, and getting media value out of it. I haven’t finished the presentation yet, but I’m shooting to have about 60 to 90 minutes of content.
If you are interested, head on over to the CEO Training website. If you are a JibberJobber premium subscriber make sure you login first, so you can get your discount.
Finally, I have already sent out a number of copies of Hands-on LinkedIn, and Blog Marketing 201 – 501 (2 hours!), which are two other sessions in this series. If you are interested in those you can find info to purchase them on the CEO Training site.
5 thoughts on “Your Book: Perhaps The Most Important Thing To Enhance Your Personal Brand”
Your story certainly has inspired me to write my book.
Now if I can only manipulate time, I’ll be all set!
Congrat’s on your hard work!
This is one of my favorite blog posts from you (I shared it in Google Reader). I really like how you pointed out how if you attach yourself to something that is attracting attention, you can ride the waves.
@directortom – I’m excited to read YOUR book!!
@dan – thank you … but heck, I thought I’ve had some other brilliant posts (I didn’t think this was that good :p)… and I give all the credit to the idea of association to Andy Sernovitz!
Touche, Jason. I have always been amazed at how publishing a book makes you an instant authority on a subject, and I too have been pleasantly surprised with the opportunities that have come my way as a result. The key is to identify a subject that’s generating buzz but also still offers wide-open opportunities (i.e. it hasn’t been done to death). You found that with LinkedIn. Bravo.
Interesting post from Scott Ginsberg, the nametag guy. He doesn’t measure success as an author by the number of books he sells. A little food for thought. The link is below
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