Using Affiliates to Launch a Book with Matt McWilliams
Matt McWilliams is the go-to affiliate guy, which means he’s very good at helping people — including Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi, Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington and Lewis Howes — get their networks on board to help them sell their products.
Now he’s launched his first book, and he employed those same strategies to drive pre-sales. While his efforts didn’t land him on any bestseller lists, they did help him add numerous people to his newsletter list and sell a bunch of other products.
He has numerous tips for those who want to find the right people to help them launch books, including studying how marketing-savvy authors do book launches, using Amazon for all its worth and remembering that no response just means reach out again.
Anna: Morning. Well, Matt, congratulations on your book launch.
Anna: Let’s talk about how, you know, you’re the affiliate guy. How did you use affiliates and your knowledge about that in this book launch?
Matt: Yeah, I mean, that was everything. I mean, affiliates were probably 90, 95% of total sales from the book, at least in terms of pre-orders through kind of the first week sales. You know, that was, that was our strategy. So we knew early and often, so to speak, we did not have the firepower to, you know, to hit the list or, or, you know, really do anything special without our partners. And so that became a, we’ll talk more about the specific strategies, that became a huge part of it. We knew going into it and even like working with a publisher in advance, you know, when, when we did the book proposal, it was like, yeah, you know, here’s the strategy. It’s the strategy we’ve used for Lewis Howes before him, his first book kind of launched him as, as a somebody, you know…
Matt: We had over 1000 affiliates. You know, I mean, 95% of sales were from affiliates. And he was a number two New York Times bestseller. Ah, even Brian Tracy, who’d already sold, you know, millions of books, we still tapped into affiliates. And while he sold, you know, 40 or 50,000 of his speaking book on his own, we also sold 52,000 through affiliates. You know, and so…
Anna: Do you know your book sales?
Matt: I do. Yeah, well, at least as of February 1. I don’t know now. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t even look at them anymore, because quite frankly, I know, they’re not enough to hit the list, you know, week in and week out. So, I gotta be honest, I don’t care. I really don’t. Another data point that I don’t need,
Anna: Yeah. Listeners, to this point, anyone listening to this podcast knows that I constantly say don’t check your book sales, just since you were citing book sales, I thought, oh, maybe this is one of the first guests who’s going to actually talk numbers. You know, the my, you know, I don’t know how much you know about me, but you know, I did six books with HarperCollins. One of them did, my Simon and Schuster book did hit the New York Times list.
Anna: And now what I do is I help entrepreneurs publish books, and a lot of them hit Wall Street Journal and USA Today. But, as I constantly preach, it is not about book sales. It is about who reads your book. I’d rather have 100 people read my clients’ books, and have those 100 people’s lives change than 10,000 who aren’t going to care. Let alone 50,000!
Matt: Yeah, yeah, we wanted both. I mean, you know, there was a, I would say, there was a, you know, a strategic, a strategic element to us hitting the list that was important for us from a business perspective. So that certainly played a role in it. So what we did, just to give you some perspective, we actually looked at two years’ worth of the NPD data. Whatever NPD stands for, I forget. Our publisher sends us the data, I don’t even know, national publisher distributors, or something like that, I don’t know. And so we looked at two years’ worth of data. And basically what we said was, okay, our goal is to, to take the number that it takes to get to the list if we had launched in the worst possible week in the past 104 weeks. You know, in other words, what was the, what was number 10 in the, like, if we launched in the worst week, you know, the highest number that it took to hit that. And then we, of course, had a lower number. Okay, what was the average, you know, that hit the list. And then we had a few other, you know, metrics that we were looking at. And so we had that number, that was our goal all along.
Matt: Now, we ended up screwing something up. And now I’ll just come out and say what we messed up, and it’ll be a lesson for everybody. So my book launched on January 10th of 2023. On January 4th, I was in an email thread with our publisher, and, you know, she sent the early numbers. And I’m like, that doesn’t look anywhere close to our numbers. You know, cause we’re, we’re tracking things on our end. And I’ll walk, I’ll talk you about how we’re able to track them on our end and a little bit, but I’m like, that looks nowhere close to our number. And I’m like, ah what? I think I just responded with like, what question mark, question mark, question mark. That is not the number we’re getting. What are, what are, you know, where’s the disconnect here? And she’s like, well, just a reminder, that’s only hardcover sales. And I was like, okay, cool. Is there any reason why you’re only reporting to me hardcover sales, and she’s like, well, that’s, the hardcover book sales are the only ones that count toward the list. I went, you know, I never knew that. And it was one of those things, you know Anna, where everybody assumed I knew that because we’d run seven big book launches before. We had, we had, we’ve actually run 12 book launches, had seven best sellers with our clients. Everybody assumed I knew that it was only the hardcover books that counted. It was not the audio books, and the other versions didn’t count toward the list and I, I just had this sinking feeling cause we were ahead of our goal. And I mean, it was like the, your puppy just died feeling, like, oh, dear God, you know, I’m, this whole thing is just crumbling down around me. Because, and everybody said the same thing, we are so sorry, we just assumed you knew, you know, cause you had…
Anna: Well, you didn’t, but I’m sure you know this. There’s separate New York Times lists for audio books, for ebooks, so, so why was your publisher not interested in those lists?
Matt: Ah, because, I mean, for Wall Street Journal, we were interested in really condensing all the sales into one format, because there, we could, we, we just didn’t, again, we didn’t have the firepower to hit, you know, the oddity like, we’re not, I’m not Michelle Obama. Newsflash, right. You know, I’m not, a ah there’s a unicorn, James Clear. You know, he’s been number one for like, 108 weeks in a row. Those are the types of things that just, you know, sometimes you can’t even explain somebody like James. You know, the book took off, it resonated with some people, it’s in Costco and Sam’s Club and, and you know, those things happen. We’d been, that was not going to happen with us. And we didn’t have the, the early you know, we’re not Prince Harry, right. I’m not related to anybody royal, although I am distantly related to the Archduke of Serbia, just as a fun fact there. So we didn’t have that going for us. We had this was a very guerilla campaign. The only way we’re going to do it was just hustle and, and, and hard work. And so we wanted to put it all of our efforts into one, well, I just didn’t know.
Matt: And again, everybody assumed that I did, because I’d run those book launches. We’ve been on just the affiliate side. And so when we came in, it was one of those things I went back and looked. And sure enough, every one of those book launches that we had run, they were only hardcovers. But I never paid attention to that. I never asked the question, why are we only still in the hardcover? It was like, I was so focused on my lane. So it almost cost us. It ended up being one of those things where it made our jobs very, very difficult when it could have been really, really easy. Because most of those people who purchased the audio book and the other formats, they would have got the hardcover because of the bonuses that we offered for, for the pre-order, which we can talk about. So, yeah. I learned a lesson though. I learned the hard way.
Anna: And I noticed, you didn’t emphasize reviews. A lot of people emphasize I want to get, you know, hundreds of reviews, that wasn’t a focus for you.
Matt: We did. After the fact, you know, after, you know, once the book had launched, we did turn our attention to getting reviews. We did a pretty good job. Like we had a couple of strategies that worked really well with that. One was from a friend of mine, Kyle Jung, you know, he’s like, get them to say something nice about the book when you’re in a live event. So one of our bonuses was a live event, virtual event, you know. It was a half day event you could come to. We’d work through the exercises from the book, answered questions, shared some material, like some deleted material that wasn’t in the book, you know, hey, a lot of you have asked about this. And actually, I had an entire 2000-word section that we had to cut, you know, out of 35,000 words from the book, you know, so here’s some of that. And it allowed us, in there I was like, now, hey, guys, what do you think about the book? Tell me something good about the book. And, you know, 25 people were like, about what? And I said, hey, do me a quick favor. Here’s the link, go there, you know, copy and paste what you just wrote here and leave it there. And so that…
Anna: If I could offer any advice, you know, so, so we as listeners know, always aim for over 100 reviews with the launch, because social proof makes such a difference in terms of more book sales on Amazon and 98% of sales are coming from Amazon. So, and I, and I’ve done a number of episodes on that. So, so the affiliate, so you focused only on pre-launch for your affiliates? And walk listeners through if they wanted to do affiliates. We’ve had Amber Vilhauer. I don’t know if you’re familiar with her, but she talks a lot about…
Matt: Amber’s the reason why this book actually did, did what it did. I’ll tell a story about her in a second. Yeah.
Anna: How does your process differ from hers?
Matt: I don’t know. I don’t know her process. She’s actually the, the, I can tell you what we did. It’s probably pretty similar. Amber and I just happen to have a casual conversation about two years ago. And I was telling her about the book. And you know, my goals for, my goals at that time were like, I just want to have a book and I don’t really care. It’s like, it’s like a big business card. You know, that kind of thing. She was like, I was getting ready to sign with a really small publisher. And she was like, don’t sign, don’t sign. Why not? She’s like, just don’t do it. She’s like, I need you to talk to my friend Kevin. She introduced me to an agent. She was like Matt, this book can be, this book can be so much bigger, please just don’t sign the contract yet. She’s like, just talk to Kevin first. And she’s the one that sold me on the fact that this thing could be a, you know, a best seller. That it could be, we could get a major publisher and then it can be so much bigger than, than what I had in mind. So just yeah, a fun story about Amber there. She’s, you know, I thank her in the book because she’s the one who kind of believed in the book more than I did. In the early, early phases, and she’s the reason why I ended up getting my dream publisher. You know, if you look at my bookshelf, about a quarter of the books are published by BenBella, you know, and that’s who we ended up working with. So that was all Amber. You know, like, none of that would’ve happened. I would, I wouldn’t even have cared about really doing a big book launch, it was it was more of a, for just the, again, the having the business card, you know, the big business card that you can give away at conferences and stuff like that. So, but I can walk you through just, you know, kind of what we’ve, this is what we’ve done for clients, this is what we did for this one, you know. It started, we already have an existing affiliate program. A lot of people don’t, but so we did have some affiliates to pull from. I’m not going to focus too much on that, because I’m going to assume that somebody doesn’t have that, you know. This listing, if you’ve already got affiliates, well duh, reach out to them first. Get them to sign up to promote the book. Then what we do is, we do, we call it the Amazon rabbit trail. So Amazon makes our job really easy. If you go and find one book, just pick one book, that is, you think compares to your book that came out in the past 18 months to two years. Amazon will then tell you all of the other books to look at, of course, and you keep going down the rabbit trails. So what we do is we thought one book that was similar to ours that had come out in the past couple of years. And we went and we found everybody that had promoted that book. So let’s just say 32 people, you know, everybody that had promoted that book. And we reached out to them, whether it was a podcast interview, and I did over 165 podcast interviews now, for the book. Whether it was a podcast interview, a blog review, they promoted it on social media, they did a YouTube video for whatever, like, didn’t matter. If they promoted that book, we wanted to reach out to them. Well, then Amazon says people who bought this book also bought this book. So we then went and clicked on seven of those that, and maybe four of them had come out in the past two years. The reason why that two-year frame is important is if a book came out six years ago, and somebody promoted it, they might not even be in business anymore. They might have sold it. They might be in a different niche. So that two-year window is a good balance between not being too strict and being just strict enough that there’s a likelihood they’re still doing the same thing with a roughly same size audience, and they’re going to want to promote this book.
Matt: And so then we used a, a product, a service called Listen Notes. I’m sure most people have heard of it. That gave us like, we found a podcast and it said, you know, so and so interviewed this author a year and a half ago. We could use Listen Notes to see when was their last episode and where does their podcast rank. Those two things are important because number one, when, when was their last episode, well it was a month ago means they’re not doing their podcasts anymore. We’re gonna need to, don’t even bother reaching out to them. You know, it’s, it’s old, it’s gone stale. And where does their podcast rank kind of tells us where the priority is. If it’s point 1% of all podcasts, like high priority, let’s get on that one. Top 5% and it might not even be worth our time, you know. They’re probably going to, probably have 200 listeners per episode. But we did use the strategy early on. I made sure to get on about five, seven, kind of smaller podcasts about four months out. And they released during the launch season. But we did about, I think we did, like seven actually that were, and I did them about every three days. So I could think in between. And that allowed me to kind of craft the narratives and think through, okay, what’s the messaging? What are the stories I’m telling over and over again, from the book? What are the questions I’m getting asked? There were a couple questions where people were like, hey, in step nine, you share this acronym and I’m going oh, crap, I forget what’s the A stand for? You know, so I was like, let me add that to my notes to make sure I put that in the, you know, in my notes for. So if somebody asks me what is, I went in, memorize the acronyms, so I didn’t forget them and stuff like that. So we did that. And so we would go down that Amazon rabbit trail, and we ended up reaching out to over 6000 people who’d promoted a similar book in the past two years. We ended up getting about 450 of them to promote this book. Whether it be again, podcast, interview, video interview, email campaigns, blog post, those became the core of, of the marketing for the book.
Anna: Well, your team was extremely aggressive about getting you on this. So I know how determined they are.
Matt: Cool (laughs).
Anna: How does somebody listening, if they went and they looked at a competitor’s book or a book that inspired them and wanted to do that same thing. What was your method for finding the contact information? Figuring out who promoted this book?
Matt: Yeah, so starting out with who promoted it. We used Google, that says, if you can believe it. We would narrow the search results. You can guess, you can tell Google, show me the search results. And we specifically wanted things that were published in the two months before the book launch. So we, you know, it shows you when the book launched on Amazon, like this book came out September 13, 2021. So we, we go back to August, probably August, in that case, we go back to about August 1st to maybe August 15th. We didn’t want people who were talking about the book four months later, like, oh, I read this book, it was amazing. And it was just kind of a generic thing. We specifically wanted people who promoted the book launch.
Anna: Yeah, got it.
Matt: So if you were talking about the book before it came out, or really, really, ideally, it was like September 10th or, I’m sorry, is like September 5th through 23rd was like the real range that we really wanted to hone in on that example. Because these are people who are promoting the pre-launch through like the very early phases, not just, you know, a generic mention of the book. So that’s specifically, we honed it into that frame. And we go to Google, okay who’s promoting it, what podcast episodes came out during that period of time, who interviewed them? As far as contact information, Listen Notes was a source for podcasts. That’ll give you contact information. There are a couple other services we used. I mean, the team used, I don’t even remember some of them now. Clearbit Connect is one of them. It’s a Gmail plug-in, where you can kind of get some stuff there. RocketReach.co, I think There’s a rocket, there’s a RocketReach.io and a RocketReach.co. It’s the one that finds emails, not the one that does something else. So I think it’s dot co. That one was a big one. And because that one will give us their personal email address. So yeah, so that’s how we found the emails.
Anna: And so, and then, then you asked friends to send newsletters. I’m assuming newsletters was a big part of it, not just podcasts?
Matt: Yeah, we had well into the, I mean, between the affiliates that we picked up and the, you know, I mean, this is a cool thing, like 70% of our sales came from people that I did not know prior to the book launch. That’s the thing about a book. And I know your audience knows that Anna. It opens doors that, hey, here’s my webinar, here’s my course, or here’s my other product, they just don’t open, you know. And so, and I think that’s just part of, I think it’s, I was telling somebody the other day, I think it’s part of our DNA, because we’re brought up with books, you know, you’re not taking your three-year-old to a webinar. You’re not, you’re not, you know, you’re not having your, your three-year-old listen to a podcast episode before bedtime, right? What do you do? You read a book. So I think after, well, however, long books have been around, what 500 years now that, since the Gutenberg invented the printing press? It’s in our DNA. So there’s something special about it. And so it opens those doors. And because of that, you know, I’d say about 70%, 65–70% of all sales came from people that prior to the book launch, I didn’t know who the heck they were and they didn’t know who the heck I was. That’s the cool thing about what I’m sharing, is it worked. Like you don’t have to be somebody who already had an existing affiliate program, or know a bunch of people with a bunch of friends in your niche, you know. Yeah, I had some great partners that I’ve had long term relationships that promoted the book and made, you know, dozens if not hundreds of sales. But so much of them came from people that, I can’t tell you how many times I showed up for the podcast, and it’s like, it’s the first time that we’re ever speaking. And so it works.
Anna: And so, when people are listening, and they go, I don’t really even know what you mean by affiliates. I’m a creative person. How do you break that down?
Matt: Very simply, it’s somebody that, you know, the concept’s been around for 5000 years. It’s somebody that promotes you in exchange for a financial reward. And so, from a tech standpoint, you don’t have to get into all the super nerdy tech stuff. But, you know, basically, if I, you know, if you got a book Anna, and I promote it to my audience, I will have a link that tracks back to me. It sets a cookie and uses some other tracking IP address and other things that are totally just in case anybody’s asking, but what about all the new anti-cookie stuff? Those are third party cookies, where you can’t share data with other people. Like I can’t, you can’t share that I sent a click with Facebook. You know, that, that’s illegal now, in most areas. This is first party data, where I’m tracking you for my own purposes, not selling it. So just to be clear on that. So we track that, and then if they buy anything, and we can talk about the funnel, because that’s the, that’s the ultimate ticket for the affiliates. Then it says, oh, Matt sent that and there was a $200 transaction. Let’s say we agreed to a 50/50 commission. Give Matt $100. And so what we did from a, from a tax standpoint is we set up that, this is why pre-orders were so huge. We set up a pre-order campaign where there were specific pre-order bonuses. We created URLs, like, you know, the URL and they’d be like, so yours for example, as PassionsIntoProfitsBook.com forward slash Anna, you know. And so that URL, they go there, they purchased the book elsewhere. Now this was key for our objectives because we didn’t want to sell the books directly, I did not want to have a warehouse full of books. I didn’t even want to use Ingram or whatever, we were using Penguin Random House. So they, they dealt with all that. And we wanted a certain number of orders to go through Barnes and Noble. We know the stats about 97, 98% buy through Amazon. We wanted to get at least 5% of sales through Barnes and Noble because we wanted to get it in stores. And we did, we ended up getting it nationwide, and actually just got another order from them. So, and it’s a lot, yay (laughs)! So, so we got Barnes and Noble. And part of what we did there is we had a special bonus if you purchase through Barnes and Noble. It was just a little extra, a little something, something. So you go to the URL, you go then for, to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or Target or wherever, you know, you’re buying your book. You come back, you have entered information that redeems your pre-order bonuses, and then on the back end of that are offers that are relevant to the book. And about 18% of people upgraded to some additional offer. And we paid out a 50% commission on all those sales to our affiliates. And so, you know, we had affiliates that are promoting a $25 book that earn $10,000 plus in commissions.
Anna: And when you say offers, just to be clear, so you mean courses, you mean events, you mean coaching programs?
Matt: Yep. It could be anything.
Anna: It could be anything.
Matt: Ours, ours was, we had a course. So we offered substantial discounts, so that there was some urgency there. So we had a course, we had a course. Gosh, I always forget the other one. Some sort of other training, but I can’t remember what it was. And then another course and then our flagship course. And that was the funnel, you know, there were three, three steps in the funnel, essentially. And we had about 18% upgraded to something. Of those about 25% upgraded to the next thing and of those about 25% upgraded to the next thing. And that’s a, there’s a lot, we actually converted a little bit higher than we expected. Our average order size on the back end was over $128. We were budgeting for 90. So it was really…
Anna: That’s great. And so do you know your totals that, you know, people think oh, it’s just about the money I make from book sales. Your launch, you know, so Pat Flynn famously made $111,000, you know, from his, the free course that he had, in Will It Fly which led to the paid course, do you know that number?
Matt: We’re already over 100,000 that much I know. Pre-orders, we were at about 84, 84,500, I think somewhere in that vicinity. In terms of money that we made from, that was, sorry that’s net profit, though. So total sales would have been 169,000. And just under 169,000.
Anna: It’s interesting, it’s inspiration. The biggest one I’ve heard of is Mike Koenig’s, which was 8.5 million (laughs).
Matt: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I mean, book launches compared to like our product launch? I mean, we’ve run for, like clients, we’ve run dozens of seven figure launches. Product launches are completely different. Book launches, the reality…
Anna: No, I mean the biggest book launch I’ve heard about.
Matt: He made 8.5 million from that?
Anna: From what, yeah, it’s a previous podcast episode. It’s from what the…
Matt: That’s impressive.
Anna: It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
Matt: And that’s like immediate, in immediate sales or like long term sales?
Anna: No. So basically, the, the book led to a course, the course led to an event, and the event led to the sale. So it was…
Matt: Okay. Yeah. Because we’re not even close to the end of that. I know, just in sales from the book. We, so we, we’re tracking this, it’s a little bit funky in our system. But so, we know, like we just had our biggest webinar ever. All right. Part of that was because 60% of the people on that webinar are people who bought the book. And we did it. We, we weren’t stupid. We did it six weeks after the book launched, knowing full well that most people would be right around that step in the book, you know, so we did this training. It was, I mean, it wasn’t even close. We did almost twice as much as we’ve ever done on a webinar. So that was awesome. And we know a lot of those came indirectly or directly from the book. What’s been fascinating is, we really only have one offer in the book, and it’s a $47 course. The other way is through the resources page. So we, we have tons, I mean, like 25 to 30 things that are free on the resources page. So it’s in the book, you go to the URL, and then from there, there are things that you can then upgrade into from there. But yeah, I mean, just in, in webinar and after book sales, like things that you can buy that are directly from the book or the URL, there’s a special URL, that’s how we’re tracking it, that’s from the book. It’s 225, 230 right now, I mean, it’s gotten maybe a little bit higher, and it’s like, I’ve been blown away because we were not budgeting. It’s not that I’m an idiot. We just forgot about that. When we were doing like our planning, we weren’t really thinking, oh, we’re gonna sell a lot more, you know, of this course. And that means a lot more people are going to buy our, you know, we call them funnel Fridays, where we send out an email and offer a free download, and it goes into a funnel. And it just wasn’t one of those things that registered and all of a sudden, it’s like our normal funnel Friday brought in, it was like 3 or 400 dollars, you know, which was fine. It’s like, extra money. Cool, yay. All of a sudden, they’re doing over 1000 bucks. And I’m like, I remember asking, I asked our Ops Manager, I was like, is this because you redid the funnels? He’s like, because I thought he had redone, he’s working on them right now. Like, man, the new funnels are working, I’m like, way to go bud! He’s like, I didn’t release those yet (laughs). Like, well then what is, why are they suddenly over at, we’ve never had $1,000 Friday, you know, other than, like, when we do a big promotion. He’s like, it’s just the book buyers. You know, you gotta remember, this part, I did know, paying $25 for something means they are infinitely more valued than if they’d opted in for free. I mean, the level at which like, it’s a $25 purchase, it’s just, it’s the pack of gum, it’s the equivalent of a pack of gum in a grocery store, right? But they now are so much more valuable than somebody who came in through any other offer. And we already knew that instinctively. Because if they come into our funnels, and purchase a $17 product, long term, they’re worth, you know, 20, 25x of somebody who doesn’t buy the $17 product. So you think 17 to 25 is a pretty good equivalent. So it’s created great buyer’s for us.
Anna: And I just want to walk it back for people who aren’t as familiar with all of these marketing terms. So, so really, what it means is you had, you had one link or QR code in the book and you were saying it led to your resources page or it led to a $47 product or both?
Matt: We had both, we had both. So every, there are multiple mentions of the resources page in every chapter, because, you know, we’re saying go download the template here. Things that I want to include in the book, but it would have been 175,000-word manuscript. It’s like, well, instead of me putting the template over the next two pages, just go here and download it. And so they go there. That’s number one. And then yeah, there is a mention in it is, it’s in two places in the entire book, where I reference it. I mean, we’ve sold, and it’s a very specific URL. So we sold well over 200, I think.
Anna: And how do you do that in the paperback with a very specific URL? You have a redirect?
Matt: Yeah. Yep. It’s just, I mean, the title of the book is Turn your Passions into Profits, so it was the regular URL forward slash, passion, or passions. Yeah.
Anna: And did, did your publisher have any issue, sometimes publishers have an issue with people attracting to their own newsletter list as opposed to the publishers?
Anna: No, and this is why, I’m not, I’m not endorsing my publisher, or I’m just telling you my experience. They didn’t give a flying crap about that (laughs). Like, they, I could have put like dancing pink elephants in the manuscript and I think they probably would have signed off on it. I mean, they were amazing. Like they made it sound so much better. I mean, like I heard the guy who did the audiobook was my, they picked him. And as soon as I heard his voice, I’m like, they sent me a sample on it. Like, I know that voice. Oh, my gosh, that’s the book. I’m listen, I’m listening to him right now. He just, he narrated a biography of Tiger Woods. And I’m like, that’s the guy. This guy’s Kyle Tate, this is the, like, oh my gosh, did they really pick my dream? Like, I just assumed that I’d kind of get somebody like a couple notches down. Like, this is a guy, he does like 50 books a year! And I was listening to him do it, and I’m going, man, this sounds so polished, almost too polished. It’s not me, you know, it’s like, bordering on the edge of too good. And so that’s them. You know, that’s the publisher being amazing. But as far as like whether or not I wanted to put some URLs or, you know, snide references and you know, sarcastic comments in there, they let me do whatever I wanted to, thankfully. So there’s, there’s a little sarcasm in there.
Anna: If, as we get, as we wrap up, what would be your advice to somebody who doesn’t know this whole marketing world, but would love to add people to their list and would love to make money beyond book sales? And, and has potentially people they could use as affiliates? What would be your advice?
Matt: I would do three things. And this is exactly what we did. Because again, what we did was independent, that 30% came from the fact that I have experience. The 70% came, was not. So you know, maybe you will just miss the best seller list then, I don’t know, or maybe you could still hit it if you start early enough. Number one, I would follow as many book launches over the next, you know, let’s say you’re gonna, let’s say you’re planning on a launch in 15 months from now. For the next two months, I would sign up for at least 15 book launches. I would sign up in a few different niches. I might even buy books that you don’t even plan on reading, just to go through and see what it’s like, take, take a picture, a screenshot of their landing page. If you look at my landing page for my book, and what the landing page looked like for our client who launched about a year before Mark Miller, they’re almost exactly the same, just different colors. Why? Because it worked. It converted really well. Why would I reinvent that? Where did the landing page design for Mark Miller came from? It came from when we did Lewis Howes. So where did Lewis House came from? It came from when did Jeff Goins. Where did that come from? It came because we copied it from some other people that we saw, you know. So study book launches, buy a couple things in their funnel. And that’s your budget, like just set aside $1,000 for buying books and going through funnels, like there’s no other way around it, you have to do that, number one. Screenshots, record all the emails they send, go to, go, go to their page and try to exit and see if they have an exit pop up. Like we had an exit pop up for a sample chapter. Not only did we end up selling over 300 books from people who downloaded the sample chapter, we added 2000 people to my email list for nothing, you know, it was just extra stuff. So that’s number one, just become a student of book launches, and funnels and things like that. Number two, identify that one book. And if you want to identify three, that’s fine. And go to Amazon, start creating the spreadsheet, what’s the old saying, dig your well before you’re thirsty? Start creating the spreadsheet of potential promotional partners and podcasts a year and a half in advance, a year in advance and make that list before you even start reaching out to them. And then thirdly, you got to, like, follow up, follow up, follow up. You mentioned my team was persistent. It’s because we have a rule, like, no is not an acceptable, no’s just are, no response is not an acceptable answer. No we’ll accept to some extent. You know, like, if you’re like, this book is not a good fit for me, I will never promote it. Cool, we’re good. You know, don’t, no need to follow up. But no response is not an acceptable answer. We will follow up and follow up and follow up and follow up. And so we usually follow up 12 to 15 times with our prospective affiliates. One little tip there, follow up on about an eight to ten day schedule, not a seven day schedule. So you hit people in different days, you know, and try different times of day and, you know, send an email over the weekend, sometimes. Try sending one at four o’clock in the morning, because you don’t know maybe they’re in Europe, four o’clock in the morning where I’m at is probably tea time in Europe. I don’t know how Europeans operate. I’m just kidding.
Anna: That is genius, this is genius.
Matt: Follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up, follow up. So again, but it goes back to that first thing, like you have to become a student of that. Because if you don’t have a good landing page, and you don’t have a good funnel, you’re not gonna get good affiliates. So it’s, I mean, I hate to say it’s like, it’s just busting your butt. I mean, I, I personally, my team did 70% of the work and I still probably spent 400 hours on this. It’s, I don’t know, if somebody out there saying this is easy, then I don’t know what they’re smoking because it’s not easy. Is it worth it down the road? Yeah. Has it been? I’ll be honest, so far. Probably not worth it.
Anna: But it’s your legacy. It’s your lifetime.
Matt: But I’m getting close. It is. And also, from a purely financial standpoint, I think we’re only about 30 days away from me going, you know what, I’m glad we did that. So yeah, it’s like [inaudible] asked me like this exact question: why in the heck did you write this book? Like what a, you have things to do that bring in substantially more money? And I was like, yes, it’s the legacy thing. But also, I know, I have faith that this is going to pay off in the end, and I think we’re close. But yeah, it’s hard, hard work. And it’s a lot of hustle.
Anna: Okay. And one final question about that. So you say sign up for people’s book launches? What if they go who, what? Do you, should they look at marketers who are going to be especially skilled at that?
Matt: I would do both, I would do all over the place. Um, you know, I think marketers, yeah, you know, and then you’re also hopefully, if you’re interested in marketing, you learn something from their book. Here’s what I would do, I would go to Amazon. Again, Amazon makes it so easy for us, it’s stupid. Just look at books coming up. It says the, the, what is it, new releases or coming soon or whatever. It’s also a great way to find people for your podcast by the way, just a little side note. Because I’ve had many guests on my podcast I had no business having. And it’s because they had a book coming out. Authors do irrational things as evidenced by the fact I’ve done 160 or 170, podcasts, you know. Admittedly about 50 of them I probably could have skipped. But here’s the thing, you go there and you look for the, then you go Google that. You go Google that book to find the book website. So this is the website that they’re promoting on their podcast, or that they’re telling people to go to. You might have to even go down a little bit because it might be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, you know, in 17 other places before you get down to their book website. You find their book website, and you go through it. If that fails, go to their, just their homepage. They’re probably featuring the book somewhere relatively close to their top of their homepage or somewhere like that, and go through that way. So you can find people who’ve got a book coming out and then start following them. And I’ll even do little things like, I wouldn’t do it now. But I did it, you know, back in the day when we were getting ready for this. I was like, we go subscribe to their podcast. And I found a couple of people I just want to hear how are they talking about the book? What are they doing on their podcast to promote the book? I signed up for their email list before I bought the books, I would, this is another little tip. I signed up for their email list using a different email address than I purchased the book with. Because I wanted to see how they promoted the book to non-buyers, not just the emails I got after I bought the book, because those are going to be different. And we created a big, but just a gigantic swipe file. There’s one email in particular, I remember that we, for all intents and purposes, to be honest, we stole 70% of that email. I mean, the theme of that email, if you look at them side by side with the email that we sent, that our copywriter wrote, are almost identical. Very different story because it’s my story, not their story. But the theme and everything is almost exactly the same. And it came because I did exactly what I said. So make sure you sign up with a different email address. So you don’t just get the thanks for buying my book, here’s your bonuses emails. And then all their regular emails you get the, I noticed you haven’t bought my book yet. That was when we got on the, it was the last day of the pre-order bonuses that we stole. I would never have gotten that had I not signed up under a different email address.
Anna: Fascinating. Well, if people want to find out more about you, your, are your bonuses still live even though you’re not in the launch?
Matt: They are, but only and this is only, I gotta find the URL here for you. I think I sent it earlier. So PassionsIntoProfitsBook.com forward slash Anna. So A N N A. If you go to that, that, that URL still has some awesome bonuses for your listeners Anna.
Matt: And so make sure to go to that one because if you just go to the store and, you know, or buy it at Barnes and Noble, that’s great. Then go back there and, and redeem that there because you’ll get those bonuses. So that’s the best place, check out the book and then you know, MattMcWilliams.com for all your affiliate marketing needs and wants.
Anna: Well, thank you so much, Matt, and thanks you guys for listening. I will see you next week.
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