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Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner, has developed a complete toolkit for Web 2.0 success. He’s used it with amazing results … twice. Now, with his new book LAUNCH, Mike shares his success formula.
How Does It Work? The Elevation Principle
Stelzner lays out a formula he calls The Elevation Principle. Here are the key ingredients:
- Share great content for free
- Find and engage experts to help you tell your story
- Build your email list and social media communities
- Promote less … as counter-intuitive as it seems, marketing will reduce your success.
By offering your target audience great content, access to experts, and occasional recognition, all without the expectation of reciprocity, you can create an incredibly loyal tribe, primed to do business with you. As founder of Copyblogger and social media expert Brian Clark is quoted as saying, “Give, give, give … and your profits will explode”!
Reaching Escape Velocity: Real Life Success Stories
Take a look at two businesses that used this winning formula:
Before starting Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner established himself as “The King of Whitepapers”. When all his competitors were advertising “Hire a white paper writer”, Mike was using a content marketing approach; he advertised, “What is a white paper? FREE How-To Guide”. He also sent monthly emails with valuable articles to his prospects, to remain top of mind. This simple model generated $30K/ month in writing contracts.
Social Media Examiner:
In 2009, Stelzner had an important business insight: business owners and marketers were struggling to use social media tools to grow their businesses; he saw a great need for an on-line magazine to explain social media. By using the techniques detailed in LAUNCH, with only a $4000 budget, Social Media Examiner was born. Within 12 months SME garnered 40,000 email subscribers, 450,000 page views, 20,000 facebook fans, became one of the top 25 business blogs, and earned $1 million!
The book offers many more examples, from Hubspot to Proctor & Gamble. Each business grew sales through compelling content marketing. By developing their own online properties, and eliminating the need to rely on traditional and costly marketing methods to reach a target audience, profits increased.
The Best Thing About This Book (And One Criticism)
There are lots of books on content marketing techniques. My favorite parts of LAUNCH are the richly detailed instructions for each part of the strategy:
- “Primary Fuel”: create daily how-to articles, case studies, expert interviews, white papers, and reviews.
- “Nuclear Fuel”: add special reports and research surveys, videos, contests, and micro-events to your mix
- build an email list and grow social communities, then regularly engage and recognize your fan base.
- establish your vision, set measurable goals, and define “personas” — the more you focus, the better your results.
- use a multimedia, 60-day “velocity launch” (a proprietary marketing approach that is fully explained) to turbocharge results!
Now, for the criticism: As much as I like this book, could it really, truly work for the rest of us? i.e.,
“How to do I gain the support and contribution of experts, if I don’t have an audience yet, or even a track record”?
Mike Stelzner was still pretty unknown in the social media world when he launched SME. He suggests that you identify emerging experts — up and comers who will benefit from the exposure you can provide. If you approach them creatively, as he did, and cultivate relationships, it can be done.
This book will inspire you to put these plans into action, and show you how. So here’s my advice:
If you love to hold a book in your hands … to underline, dog ear key pages, and refer back to … then buy this book.
Or, save some bucks and still learn the formula. After all, how credible would his system be if Mike did not follow his own advice? He’s widely shared these principles through online interviews, videos, and a special website , where you can read the first chapter free.
And really, isn’t that the point? Mike knows that if he shares his message freely, we’ll join the LAUNCH tribe whether or not he sells us the book. Some of us will go on to sign up for future paid content, such as SME Success Summits. Others will tell a friend. That’s the beauty of his business model.
Your niche is waiting for you to lead them!
Is your business ready for the stratosphere? Learn how to rocket your business to success, just like Mike. Buckle up, it’s going to be an exciting ride!