Transcript for Episode #158 ‘Boost Your Influence and Credibility by Publishing a Short-Form Book with D. Scott Smith’
Interviewed: D. Scott Smith
Host: Scott Weaver
Date May 18, 2022
Intro: Welcome to Arise2Live podcast, episode 159. Today D. Scott Smith returns for an amazing interview on how business owners can gain influence and credibility in the marketplace through writing, particularly publishing a short form book on Amazon.
Let’s learn how publishing gains a competitive edge.
Scott Weaver: Welcome everyone to the Arise to Live podcast. I am excited for an interview to D. Scott Smith.
And for you long time listeners, you’ll recognize the name. He has been on the show numerous times. In fact, he was probably one of the first five people I interviewed for this podcast way back when I got started. We did a podcast on motivational listening, a book he released, and this time he has a new book he just released in the last month or so called, “Influence: Creation of Credibility.”
I’m going to talk about that, which did get a number one ranking when it first came out. So that’s pretty exciting. But the topic today, influencing: why it’s important, how you can do it, why writing is so important to influence others when you’re not in the room. D. Scott Smith has been on a journey. He’s done some really cool stuff lately. And with that.
D_ Scott Smith: And thanks Scott. It is always great to be on the Arise2Live podcast. Thanks for the opportunity and I’ll tell you that of all the podcasts I subscribe to, this is the one that I listen to every episode every week.
Scott: Yay! Thank you!
D_ Scott: So we wanted to talk a little bit about “Influence: Creation of Credibility.” We’ll get up to that, I think, in a bit. And how important influence is in your business and also the kind of the journey and progression of my business.
Like many of us, I started working out for large companies and small companies and then had the opportunity to go independent and start my own business, which is really around social media management. I looked it at the time and I realized I didn’t want to be doing that long term.
So I set up a strategy that said, “Start with that but then feather into digital marketing, which is really around advertising and then move into consulting and finally into coaching.” And so I’m kind of at that inflection point where I’m looking for more coaching and consulting clients and not taking on as many digital marketing clients.
Scott: Well, that seems like a good progression because one is more doing, the other one is enabling others.
D_ Scott: Yeah. I really enjoy being able to and maybe this is an overused word, but empower those individuals. When I have those conversations with them, open those doors where they can enter in and see, “Wow, there’s a whole set of tools that I didn’t realize that were available.” And that moment of discovery for me when they see that is really the highlight.
Scott: Yeah, that’s so, so exciting. Well, let’s just dive in. What would you say influence is? We’ll just start at the beginning.
What is Influence? 3:18
D_ Scott: Yeah, influence. That’s a great place to start. Influence is and I don’t want to be too circular around the definition, but it’s when we’re able to influence, we’re able to help change or direct an opinion or an idea or a concept. We’re moving somebody toward something.
Scott: But we’re not bossing people around. Right? You know, you’re not coercing, you’re not forcing anybody. Influence, I think what it does is part education, part perspective, probably a little bit of motivation in there so that people make their own decision to go forward in a certain direction.
D_ Scott: Yeah. It’s just that slight, maybe slight nudge or a little gravitational pull to direct somebody in a direction that is beneficial for them.
Scott: I think that’s an important note that influence is not bossing people to do what you want.
D_ Scott: Yeah. Not being directive about what to do, especially in the coaching and consulting side. It’s putting out alternatives and being rational about what are the positives and negatives about these different decisions that we make. And I know, Scott, that your engineering background, there’s a lot of project management and a lot of tools that are used to help decide on a rational basis. But we know that a lot of our decisions are still based on emotion.
Scott: Oh, no, it’s gut feelings.
D_ Scott: Yeah, exactly.
D_ Scott: and gut feeling is really our brains can process so much information that we may call it intuition, or gut feeling, but it’s our brains able to pull in all of these bits of data and it’s so much that we’re not able to verbalize.
Scott: Yeah, I think the brain is the most influential and most powerful computer out there and we each have one.
D_ Scott: As I say, there is no limit to what we can do when we network those supercomputers between our ears.
Scott: Oh, yeah, definitely. So getting back to influence, what would you say about this statement? Does certain people have influence or they don’t have influence? Do you just buy it at the store?
D_ Scott: Yeah, everybody has influence, right? Everybody has some sort of a gravitational pull that is directing somebody.
Scott: Whether it’s good or bad
D_ Scott: Yeah, I was going to say, “It can either be in the right direction or the wrong direction.” Then the consultant, Jim Rohn, and a lot of people have heard this, “We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with,” so they have influence over us for good or bad.
Scott: And we are part of one out of five for other people. For good or bad. Yeah. I think we can make the statement then that everybody has influence, so we should be a good influence and a better influence as we through time and get older.
Creating Credibility 6:24
D_ Scott: And as a lot of your listeners on the Arise2Live podcast know, it’s about being intentional about how you use those different tools. You have influence to be intentional about it. And then we talk about in the book, it’s ‘influence: Creation of Credibility’ and how you use that influence and how you’re presenting these alternatives for people. That helps lead to your credibility, because if you are presenting items that help them in their best interest to make better decisions, then your credibility increases.
Scott: Which usually increases the number of customers, or the value you provide.
D_ Scott: Exactly. And that it works well for coaches, but also people who provide services, technical or in the trades. So if you’re an electrician, if you have a plumbing business, or if you sell products or other services, when you take that time to really provide your influence, that is directing people toward the right solution by presenting a number of alternatives, then you just become more credible and people will want to do more business with you as an electrician because they can trust you because you’re providing information that’s leading them in the right direction, the best direction for them.
Scott: So I think this gets into a little bit of that credibility leads to word of mouth.
D_ Scott: Exactly. And then this goes back to the book, “Motivational Listener: Be Interesting by Being Interested” which really focused on business networking events. And then the follow up to that, our best referrals, our best customers come from referrals, and we get those through our business network.
Scott: So being credible and having positive influence leads to people who trust, who then share their experience with other people and that just increases well, it just improves your business in so many, so many ways.
D_ Scott: Yeah, the follow up book, “Relationships Grow Your Business” lays out the structure for how we develop our network. So we have our large network, the extended network, the thousands of people we’re connected to. But then following Robin, Robin Dunbar’s rule, and he’s the English sociologist that says we can manage about 150 relationships.
And so, if you go through and you look at the people that you would actually do business with, send referrals to or get referrals from, it’s going to be about 100 to 120 people out of your thousands that you’re connected to. There’s a method and a process of who we’re connected to, and we give referrals and we receive referrals. Network that 100-120 people.
Scott: Yeah and that active network is really important. Turning back to the influence is, you know, that rule of thumb is, you know, people max out about 150 relationships but influence allows you to go beyond that number and which I think is really important for business owners, especially if you’re in some kind of trades business. What are some different types of influences, influenced methods that we can use?
Presenting Credibility 9:43
D_ Scott: So one of the things, and this is why this particular book, “Influence: Creation of Credibility” published was because being a published author in our society is in itself lends credibility. In fact, one of the first people that I put through the program that I have, which is “Publish a Book Course, and Webinar in 12 weeks or less,” when she finished it and published on Amazon, one of her contacts, it really, I’ll say put her on a pedestal and said, I didn’t realize you were an author. It was just like all of a sudden, the value and the credibility, that it went up. And so now what she says is going to be more influential because she is a published author.
Scott: And that gets into, I guess, one of my key points is that when you write something down, writing you are influencing people when you’re not in the same room. You’re influencing people in a different state, in a different area, and that is one of the importance of writing. And that’s why this gets into your book. You know, that the credibility through writing.
D_ Scott: Because we can be, we can give talks, right. And being on stages like Pete Vargas, I mean. He’s got a great program to get people on stages and there’s huge amounts of influence when you can get in front of the right audience and give a speech, but in the written word, it remains after you’re done and that’s one of the best thing. So I’ll say, “It’s not always a, it’s not an ‘or’.” Don’t be a speaker or an author. It’s be, do the ‘and’ right, write the book and give speeches and be on podcasts like Arise2Live or.
Scott: And do good work in your business and please the customers. All of those things can benefit people
D_ Scott: (Laughter) And you know, it’s funny, Scott, you mentioned that because that’s where it all starts. First of all, you have to solve somebody’s problem.
Scott: That we do?
D_ Scott: (Laughter) You know, it’s the hero’s journey is our customer that is, that is the hero.
Scott: I think there’s a lot of successful business people. When they’re successful, there is too many people wanting a piece of them. And it’s like a vast majority of business owners want to help people. They want to solve their problems. I mean, they’re just wired that way if you’re a business owner. But this is me. I feel guilty of not abling to help everybody I want to, and this is where I like your program is – I’m not the world’s biggest writer, you know, I don’t like writing that well and I’m more of a numbers guy. But the written word is required. But your course is, if I remember right, just 12 weeks.
Short Form Book 12:25
D_ Scott: The plan is that in 12 weeks or less, you would publish a book, an online course that supports the content in the book, and put together a webinar to help promote it. You can do this in 12 weeks or less and what we’re really talking about is a short form book, doing an electronic version, Kindle on Amazon specifically. Maybe if it was printed, we might think of it as a pamphlet. But the reason is, is that first of all, writing a long book is daunting for people, and so they just don’t get started.
The problem with the longer book is, is that many people won’t read it and so they’re not going to get the benefit of that. So with this program, we’re really looking at, let’s focus on one specific problem that members of your audience, your ideal customer base experience and that you can solve, you can present a solution to them. In this case, we’re looking at a book that’s maybe 5000 or 7500 words.
Scott: Well, what does that mean?
D_ Scott: That’s going to equate to about 20 to 30 pages and realistically, it’s about 40 minutes to an hour’s worth of talking.
Scott: Oh, that’s not too bad.
D_ Scott: Yeah, exactly. So most business owners that I’ve met, the coaches and consultants. because they have deep knowledge, if I said, “Hey, Scott Weaver, can you help me understand the different stages that businesses go through and what they need to be aware of at those different stages?”
And we turn the microphone on. You could easily talk for 40 minutes to an hour and provide a lot of valuable information in that. Well, that’s basically a book. Now, I can read that. I can sit down in one reading and read all 30 pages of this book. And the key here is to provide action in there. I can read this information. All right. Here’s the stages. Maybe you’re going to focus just on stage one and give me a solution for that and set up a course that I can click on and watch, specifically three videos. One where you introduce the problem, you give me a solution, and then you give me an analysis of it.
Scott: Let’s give it a practical example. Let’s say general contractor owns a business or owner of a small manufacturing. How would writing a 30 page, you know, a 5000 word book help them and help their business?
D_ Scott: There’s a lot of different types of contracting that’s out there. But maybe I can take one where I’ve worked with: roofers. And so there’s pitched roofs and there’s flat roofs, there’s commercial, there’s residential, and there’s a lot of different roofing materials. So what we might do is pick one particular problem. So let’s just say industrial or commercial flat roofs. And this contractor can say, “Business owners, building owners, facilities managers: Let me go through and explain to you why it’s constructed this way, give you some things to be concerned about, and the different types of roofing solutions that are out there,” and then present. Maybe it’s some sort of an evaluation or a way to determine which contractors would be the best solution based on these certain things.
Scott: So if I’m following correctly, I’m going to go to a little more detail. Let me know if I’m not quite following, but let’s say this roofer. So he creates a a 25-30 page PDF and it’s actually a little bit neutral. It just shows the technical. It’s like, this is the stuff you need to consider. This is the technology behind it. This is when you have different materials, they’ll last, you know, longer or shorter. And these are the things you need to look for in a roofer. They can capture emails with that or they can make it available to people that they have no access to, and then they become an expert and influence people to drive to their company. Is that kind of where I’m getting to?
D_ Scott: Yeah, but it’s not just the PDF. So the PDF is a very common e-book. We call that an email attractant. It’s an offer that you put on your website, “Download my free ebook” and it’s just a PDF. But there’s a difference to creating your PDF and then turning that into a published book on Amazon. So Amazon is the world’s largest book selling outlet, but they’re also the world’s largest research database for e-commerce. That is when people have problems. This is where they go to to find solutions. And so when you combine the ebook outlet that they are and then people are going there to look for solutions.
So, of course, Google is the world’s largest search engine online. They own YouTube. So people are going to YouTube to learn how to but they’re going to Amazon when they’re looking for physical products or books to help them understand. Yeah. So a facilities manager might go into Amazon and say, I need information on what to look for for a roof. And if you’re a published author again, your credibility or influence goes up because you’re a published author. Way different than just saying, “Go to my website and download a PDF.”
Scott: A lot of companies produce brochures, information and advertising aspect. You know, I was talking about a PDF and which goes to more general stuff. You’re actually taking it to a whole new level of credibility by taking what you already know and get published on Amazon and that credibility. Well, we’re talking about roofers goes through the roof, right? Yeah.
D_ Scott: Exactly. Yeah. And specifically, we’re talking about publishing on Amazon in Kindle format. So the first thing is, is that on the contractors website, it says, “Here’s a new book published by our owner, president, general manager.” That in itself, by saying you’re a published author and putting that on your website improves your influence and credibility.
Scott: Plus you have the ability for people to search on Amazon.
D_ Scott: Exactly.
Scott: So how hard is it to get published on Amazon? I mean, it seems I can go from Word to PDF, you know, and I can go to the printer and maybe even put it on shiny, shiny paper. But it seems like I have to swim the Pacific Ocean to get on Amazon.
D_ Scott: Well, this is the reason why I say this is absolutely the best time ever to be alive, because you want to have a radio show, create your podcast, just like Arise2Live and be able to reach hundreds and thousands of people with your episodes. Well. It’s the same thing with publishing in the old days before Amazon and Kindle Publishing, Kindle Direct publishing. You had to get an agent. It could take a year to get an agent to present your book to publishers. It may take that agent a year of pitching different publishers to get them to accept your book. Then it’s going to take a year to two years to actually produce your book and get it available to people. So now you’re looking at a four year delay.
Scott: That’s way too long for a business owner.
A Published Book to Super-Charge Your Digital Marketing Strategy 19:54
D_ Scott: And technology changes. This is the reason why publish a book, course, and webinar in 12 weeks or less and it’s a topic that is current. It’s relevant, it’s helpful, and you can get it into the hands right away. So here’s the secret. Go to KDP.Amazon.com. That’s Kindle Direct Publishing. You set up an account, you download the Kindle Create program, and take your manuscript that you’ve written on Word, upload into the Kindle. Create Program. Do a little formatting. Add a cover to it. Hit publish. It’s absolutely free.
Scott: That’s it. So if I was a business owner and I’d say I already have marketing materials, all I have to do is go to this website, download this program, and then just cut and paste into it and then hit publish. Is it really that simple?
D_ Scott: That’s it. Yeah. Then in this case, if you have marketing materials that you’ve written and, but really what we’re trying to do is say, “What’s the problem?” it’s not just marketing materials, but present a problem, give them a solution. And because in Kindle, it’s digital and you can put hot links in there. And when you sell a book on Amazon, now, Amazon doesn’t share with you the name and the email of the person who bought the book.
But if you put a link in there to content, you can put that in as gated content. That is, it requires the person to give you their email to get access to that. But again, you’re giving them something of value for free. And in your book, you can say, “I provide exclusive video content training for the readers of this book.” Now you’re going to capture their email and you can add them into a sequence. They’re going to watch the videos and connect to your face and your voice with the solution. So there you win. Right. So again, your influence and credibility go up. Now you’ve got a complete package.
Scott: Well, I’m starting to think of all the possibilities now. I would just thinking on the marketing and getting new, new customers. But there’s a lot of companies where hiring is an issue. Finding the right people is an issue.
So contractor or somebody in manufacturing can do a how-to video like, almost like a training video, but not quite, some young person who’s just learning the trade. You do a how-to, it’s published, and then you have the follow up videos on it. That could be a way to attract good people to your company to work for you.
D_ Scott: Absolutely. As I say, culture beats a strategy or eats strategy for breakfast, right, by Peter Drucker. If you have a good culture in your company, this is something that you can write. You could write about, in fact, I was just on a call with an electrical contractor. They do industrial installations. So they’re working in factories and so forth. They have a great company culture and I was talking with the president of the company. He is interested in writing a book, but he didn’t really know what to write about.
And as we were talking, this is what came out. He gave me this, this origin story that said his father, who had started the company, was prematurely diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Young and literally on his deathbed, pulled his son in and said, “I need you to promise me two things. One, take care of your mother.” And he’s like, “Dad, you don’t need to ask me that. Yes, absolutely.” And he says, “The second is, I need you to take care of the employees of my company.” And so he was, you know, transferring this business to him. Well, that’s a pretty powerful story and you can expand on that and you can explain how over these years you have fulfilled that promise. What a great story and a great way to attract talent into your business.
Scott: So cool. I still have this idea of, you know, when you write a book, you’re writing a novel. But you’re coming up with something, a brand new approach for business owners that maybe a lot of listeners and even me have not fully thought out. So we’ve talked about showing education expertise to get customers, showing expertise to get employees there. What are some other topics that a business owner can write about?
D_ Scott: Yeah, it really comes down to what are the problems that your customers experience and one of the things is don’t think of this as a standalone book. When you write the book, you’re going to write a short book. You’re going to get it published and you’ll do it quickly. Then you can go on to the next issue and write another book. So ideally, if you could do this every 12 weeks, you could do four per year.
Now, when you’ve got a number of these, you can consolidate them into one larger book. So now that 20 page book has now become a 120 page book, and you can actually do physical print on demand, which is a whole other topic we can talk about maybe in a different time, but you can do print on demand on Amazon. So there’s no investment in buying books. What’s an easy problem that you can solve in the book? Now what’s the next step that they need to understand in their business?
So we talked about maybe writing a book about culture, about your company and that’s a great way to do it. You can then go in and look at what are the stories and successes that your customers have had because you’ve been able to solve a particular problem for them, as they say, as you get started, you’re going to find more. In fact, one of the people that I took through the course as she was writing her book and realized it was volume one and she’s already got work started on volumes two, three, four and five.
Scott: Oh, wow!
D_ Scott: And so she goes, “Oh, this really belongs more in volume five.” And so she pushed that over there, but finished volume one and got it published. Now she’s got a whole series of these. When she gets to volume five, then she’s going to consolidate those into one major book, if you will.
Scott: And this all gets back into influence and credibility through the written word, which is pretty cool. Let me share a little bit of my experience. I’m one of those who find, you know, writing even the 30 pages is pretty daunting. There’s a reason why I went engineering because I’m really good at numbers and I actually had an English teacher who said that I probably shouldn’t go into English, English major. But one thing I found is I can write my ideas, I can get them out there and then I have a family member, my wife or my son, proofread it and do a lot of the editing.
And then after that, I will ask another friend who’s really good to really make sure that it’s for client. My point is, you don’t have to do this all by yourself. You can get help at different stages. But as a business owner, you have a lot of good ideas. You need to get them out. The written word is a powerful way to do that because you communicate with people when you’re not in the room and get some of the people near you that are better than you at English to kind of clean it up. I mean, that’s what they do for me.
D_ Scott: Truly. My wife, she’s my editor proofreader. It does help to be able to turn it over to someone else. Even if you just take a walk around the block and come back and reread your work and think, “Oh, yeah, what was I saying here? Let me reword that a little bit.”
Scott: Your new book is available on Amazon. You have a free 12 week course that’s available on your website.
D_ Scott: Yeah. So there’s a couple of things. So you can get the book that’s on Amazon, “Influence: Creation of Credibility.” You can go to my website, dscottsmith.com and find the link to go there. In the book and on my website there’s a link to a free course. It’s a 12 week course, so it takes you through the whole process. I give you the outline for the book, for the course, for your webinar. Know where you should be in your process. It breaks it down into a step by step process. Scott, you’ve done that here on the Arise2Live podcast many times. Help people take a big, daunting problem, break it down into little steps so you can get from the beginning to the end.
And at the end of 12 weeks, you will have published, published, not just written, but published a book, an online course to support the book, and create your webinar to promote the book. Some people need some more support and encouragement. So I do have a paid mastermind around this to help people go through in that 12 week process.
Scott: Wrapping up here. Yeah. Just thank you for for being on the show again. This is power. This is powerful stuff. This is a doable thing that you actually can get on Kindle because the process is so easy now. A lot of people don’t know about that yet. I will have to admit that you do have to get over this fear of writing, especially for you who didn’t do so well in school. But you’re not alone. Scott has a lot of tools out here. Definitely check them out. And once again, just want to get back to that influence and that credibility through the written word.
D_ Scott: Again, Scott, it’s always so much fun just to hang out with you and to be on the Arise2Live podcast. It is my favorite podcast to listen to.
Scott: Thank you. And with that, I’m going to say Arise2live, everyone.
Sponsor: Today’s sponsor is Arise2Live Business Coaching. A professional and structured system to get business owners to grow and gain freedom from the chaos of running a business. Scott uses a proprietary 4 step system to get you the results you need. Start running a thriving business not a self-created job. Schedule or call today on the Arise2Live website.