Lessons from Adele Revella’s Buyer Personas {Mind Map}

Posted April 25th @ 10:42 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Take your writing and content marketing to the next level with this free mind map of Adele Revella’s Buyer Personas.

Authors will see how a 3-part structure helps organize their ideas and position their books, so they can go deeper than competing books.

— Content marketers will gain a fresh appreciation for buyer personas and a discover a step-by-step approach to mastering one of content marketing’s most important competencies.

Buyer personas versus buyer profiles

Many content marketers mistake buyer profiles for buyer personas. But, there’s a crucial difference.

  • Buyer profiles are composites of buyer characteristics, like age, occupation, education, income, location, health, or marital status.
  • Buyer personas, as Adele Revella emphasizes throughout Buyer Personas, are far more complex, and capable of delivering greater rewards. They are far more personalized. They help marketers identify the triggers that open the door to favorable buying decisions.

As David Meerman Scott wrote in the Foreword to Buying Decisions:

Although the Internet has given us instant access to immense knowledge, even the most sophisticated applications of Big Data won’t reveal what you can learn by listening to your buyer’s stories.

Content marketing and stories

Content marketing success is all about stories; using the power of stories to engage and serve as a vehicle to communicate information. Each year sees increased emphasis placed on the role of storytelling in content marketing success.

Adele Revella has taken the power of story even further!

What Adele Revella has done in Buyer Powerson is to show content marketers that story is not only a vehicle, but is also a key research tool for identifying the content that will resonate with their clients and prospects.

A step-by-step action plan

For years, Adele has been redefining buyer personas for great content marketing productivity through her ebooks and blog posts on the Content Marketing Institute blog and her presentations and workshops like Content Marketing World. You can learn more at her Adele Revella’s Buyer Persona Institute website.

How to profit from the Buyer Persona mind map

Whether or not you’re a user of mind mapping software, you can view my Mindjet mind map Adele Revella’s Buyer Persona at Biggerplate.com. I created it using Mindjet’s MindManager.

  • If you’re not a MindManager user, you can explore the mind map online. You’ll be able to see how Adele Revella organized Buyer Personas into 3 parts and 11 chapters. You’ll be able to zoom in to explore the topics at greater magnification, or zoom out to appreciate the book’s overall organization.
  • If you are a MindManager user,  or you currently using a compatible mind mapping software program, you’ll be able to download the actual file. After downloading the file, you can use it to take notes while reading Buyer Personas or accessing the other resources available on Adele Revella’s website. (You can also use the file as a template for analyzing the structure of other popular marketing and business books.

Mind mapping and content marketing success

This mind map of Adele Revella’s Buyer Personas joins 39  other MindManager mind maps I’ve shared at Biggerplate. My goal is to encourage authors and content marketers to use mind maps to:

  • Study the structure of successful books by analyzing how successful authors have organized their books into sections and chapters.
  • Save time using mind maps to organize their own books and content marketing projects ideas before beginning to write
  • Use mind maps as learning tools by using mind maps to take notes while reading, attending conferences and workshops, or listening to podcasts.

For more information, see my articles and mind map templates on Mindjet’s Conspire blog. If you find them helpful, share your experiences as comments, below. And please share your questions and suggestions!

Can Your Book Pass This Simple Test? {Infographic}

Posted April 23rd @ 3:50 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

View the Writing GPS infographic based on Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes.

Then, simply ask yourself:

Can I create a similar infographic based on my book?

If you can’t immediately answer “Yes,” you should take a fresh look at your book and how effectively you have organized your ideas.

Structure and purpose

Thought leadership books–books written to position their authors as experts in their field–require a structure that instantly communicates their book’s purpose and the benefits readers will gain from their book.

The power of proof

When you view the complete Writer’s GPS infographic at a larger size, the 12 benefits of reading Ann Handley’s book are immediately visible.

In addition, each benefit is accompanied by proof in the form of concise “sound bites” of text. As a result, at a glance, prospective readers understand why they should buy the book, what they will learn, and how they will benefit.

Lessons from Everybody Writes

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes is an excellent example of the type of nonfiction books that are popular today. It’s immediate Amazon Top 100 success, and its continuing brisk sales, is based on the:

  1. Quality of information that’s shared
  2. Depth, or quantity of information
  3. Tone, or the Author’s unique, conversational tone
  4. Structure, or the way information is organized

Everybody Writes contains 74 chapters and 9 tools organized into 9 parts. This organization is a key element in the book’s continuing success.

To learn more about Ann Handley’s Writing GPS

In addition to viewing the Writing GPS at large size, you can learn more about it by reading Ann Handley’s recent article, A Writing GPS: The Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Next Piece of Content [Infographic].

The article describes the origin of the infographic and the purpose of the Writing GPS infographic. In Ann’s words:

This GPS gets you from one place to another: from discombobulated thoughts to a coherent, cogent piece of writing that others can grok (and maybe love).

To Learn even more

For a different, but equally-revealing visual perspective of Everybody Writes, you can examine and explore the Biggerplate mind map of Everybody Writes that I created using Mindjet MindManager.

If you’re already a MindManager user, you can use my mind map to take notes while reading Everybody Writes.

As both the infographic and the MindManager mind map show, visual thinking plays a big role in writing success. Visually displaying the contents of your book reveals your book’s structure and purpose.

  • Visual thinking before you write your book helps you organize your ideas–no matter how complex your topic or the amount of detail  you intend to present.
  • Visual thinking helps you market and sell your book by displaying the benefits your book offers and the advice that you share.

Most important visual thinking helps you evaluate your book idea–whether it’s a new book or an existing book–and offers an easy way for you to compare your book to the competition in a whole new way.

How visible is your book’s structure and purpose?

Can your book pass the infographic test? Is the structure of your book hidden in your book’s table of contents, and the contents of each chapter, or can the contents and value of your book be displayed as clearly as the infographic and mind map of Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes? How can you use visual thinking to make your book easier to write and easier to sell? Share your comments, below.

You can also learn more by attending next week’s Published & Profitable interview with Ann Handley on Tuesday, April 28, at 4 PM Eastern. To join us, simply dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the call.

How to Save Time Preparing Online Book Reviews

Posted April 15th @ 6:32 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Use this Free Book Review Planner worksheet helps you save time review books for Amazon.com, GoodReads, and blog postsfree Book Review Planner worksheet to save time preparing quality book reviews for your thought leadership content marketing.

It’s a great resource for creating blog posts and online book reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads, and social media.

This Book Review Planner is for you, if:

-  You’re not using online book reviews to attract new followers and continually engage your market by positioning yourself as an expert in your field.

-  You’re concerned you may be spending too much time preparing online book reviews

You want to improve the quality of your book reviews and enjoy quick access to previously- published reviews.

The power of online book reviews

Online book reviews are one of the most powerful personal branding tools.

Thoughtful, well-written reviews communicate that you are a critical thinker and a thought  leader in your field.

Your visibility and credibility increases the more you post thoughtful and relevant book reviews.

Well-written online book reviews show that you are constantly learning, informed, and an effective communicator. The better the review, the more they position you as trusted resource. This is especially true when others consistently rate your reviews as helpful.

Book reviews and social media

Each review also offers an opportunity to promote your brand using links shared on social media. In many cases, links to your reviews can be automatically shared.

Book Review Planner benefits

I created my downloadable Book Review Planner for my own use, as well as for my clients to use evaluating nonfiction books. It’s benefits include:

  • Creates a structure. The worksheet provides a structure, or framework, for evaluating the key areas that help set helpful, relevant books apart from their competition. By listing the key review criteria in one place, my review planner reminds reviewers to address as many specifics as possible.
  • Ease of use. I intended the Book Review Planner to be printed and filled-out by hand. The worksheet is intended to be easily used, so you get in the habit of using it as often as necessary.
  • Faster starts and better quality. The Book Review Plannner turbo-charges your writing by providing an easily-filled in structure for organizing your ideas before you start to write. As a result, you’ll spend less time writing, and have more time left over for editing and proofing your reviews  before publishing them.

Tips for working with the Book Review Planner

  1. Download and print on 3-hole paper. This makes it easy to save your book reviews in a 3-ring binder, so you can easily review the books you’ve read.
  2. Get an early start. Rather than waiting until you’ve finished a book to begin thinking about reviewing it, have a copy of the worksheet by your side as you read. This reminds you to note as many of the key criteria as possible in mind while reading the book.
  3. Avoid over-complicating your review. Although I encourage you to rate each book from multiple aspects, the Book Review Planner–and its ratings–are intended as “shorthand” rather than scientific accuracy. Start by entering a score for each of the 11 criteria, based on the Scoring Suggestions at the top of the worksheet. Then, summarize your impressions by entering a Total score.
  4. Provide additional detail when appropriate. As you read each book, and reflect on the value and presentation of its ideas, feel free to share examples of topics you feel covered especially well, or that may not be as helpful as you desired. Exploring a few examples in greater detail, and supporting your ideas with specific references from various chapters, enhances your credibility as an expert in your field.
  5. Promote your reviews. After your review appears, share it’s URL on your blog and social media platforms.  Monitor your reviews, and–when appropriate–reply to comments by others. Acknowledge differing viewpoints, but avoid personal attacks.
  6. Build on your reviews. Although you should avoid copying and sharing your reviews verbatim in other locations, (your posts become the property of online hosts), you can refer to your reviews and their URLs in later compilations. Instead of copying and pasting, address the books from a fresh perspective or add new ideas in a different format. (Be sure to read each host’s terms of service, etc.)
  7. Share your comments with the authors. In addition to promoting your reviews via social media, when appropriate, feel free to share a link to your review with the authors. This is a courtesy most authors greatly appreciate.
  8. After your review is published, add the URL to the bottom of the Book Review Planner. This saves time access your reviews to monitor comments and ratings, as well as include your reviews as recommended resources in later ebooks or blog posts.

Share your experience!

Download a free, no obligation, copy of my Book Review Planner and use it before preparing your next book review.

Note: There’s no registration required! The Book Review Planner represents the type of pragmatic assistance I offer authors and content marketers looking for ways to maximize their writing productivity.

My #Book Title Tweet, the world’s first book about choosing nonfiction book titles, is another example of my concise, practical approach to writing and content marketing.

After downloading and using my Book Review Planner, share your experience using it when reviewing books. And, please let me know, as comments, below, if you’d like to see other types of writing, publishing, and content marketing checklists and planning worksheets.

To Stand Out, Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following

Posted April 6th @ 6:59 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Dorie Clark will share writing tips and ideas to help you stand out in your field during free Published & Profitable interview Tuesday April 7 and 4 EasternBestselling author Dorie Clark interview to share writing tips plus ideas for finding your breakthrough idea and building a following!

Free Published & Proitable interview call, Tuesday, April 7, at 4 PM EDT.

Dorie Clark background

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business ReviewForbes, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog.

She’s recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine.

Two years ago, Dorie Clark’s first bestselling book, Reinvent You, shared the importance of defining your brand and imagining your future.

Reinvent You immediately became a bestselling business book not only in America, but an international favorite. it has since been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai.

At last, Dorie Clark’s long-awaited companion volume

In just two weeks, Dorie Clark’s long-awaited second book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It will appear. It builds on Reinventing You and shares describes the attitudes, tools, and tasks you need to complete your reinvention.

Whereas Reinvent You focused on the Why’s of career development, Stand Out describes the How’s of implementing a career development plan in today’s competitive environment.

Dorie Clark’s 3-part Stand Out advice

A glance at Stand Out’s table of contents reveals the detailed advice inside. Stand Out is organized into three parts:

PART 1: Finding Your Breakthrough Idea

Chapter 1: The Big Idea.

Chapter 2: Develop Your Expert Niche.

Chapter 3: Provide New Research.

Chapter 4: Combine Ideas.

Chapter 5: Create a Framework.

PART 2: Building a Following Around Your Ideas

Chapter 6: Build Your Network.

Chapter 7: Build Your Audience.

Chapter 8: Build a Community.

PART 3: Making It Happen

Chapter 9: Putting Thought Leadership Into Practice.

Inside look at Dorie Clark’s writing habits

In addition to sharing brand building and career development insights based on Reinventing You and Stand out, Dorie Clark and I will also discuss her blogging and book writing habits. I’ll be asking her questions like:

  • How do you find the time to write? When do you write? How long are your writing sessions?
  • How do you divide your writing time between blogs and books?
  • Which are harder to write–blog posts or books?
  • What were some of the lessons you learned from writing Reinventing You?
  • What were the first steps you took after you committed to Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It?
  • How long did it take you to prepare your TEDx talk?

This call provides an opportunity for you to not only learn what it takes to Stand Out in your field, but you’ll also gain a insider view of the life of a successful nonfiction business and career development author.

How to attend my Dorie Clark interview

All Published and Profitable friends and members are invited to attend tomorrow’s call on Tuesday, April 7, at 4 PM Eastern Standard Time. There is no charge to attend. To join us, simply dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. There will be an opportunity to ask Dorie Clark questions at the end of the call. More details here.

Dorie Clark Shares Tips for Standing Out in Your Field

Posted March 30th @ 6:30 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Dorie Clark's new book, Stand Out, shares advices and examples for Finding Your Breakthrough Idea and Building a Foillowing Around ItIf you’re looking for ways to stand out in your field, join me when I interview Dorie Clark in my latest Author Thought Leadership series.

I’ll be interviewing Dorie Clark about her new book, Stand Out: How to Develop Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It on Tuesday, April 7, at 4:00 PM EDT.

…a writing, speaking, and coaching dynamo

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and in-demand speaker.

Her brand is reinforced by her frequent contributions to A-list blogs like the Harvard Business ReviewForbes, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum.

Her first book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, is an Amazon Top 100 book which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai. I’ve written about it on several occasions.

One of my favorite parts of Reinventing You was her list of the 7 Signs It’s Time to Reinvent Your Brand.

Stand Out’s publication date is April 21st.  During our call, we’ll be discussing Dorie’s experiences writing it and preparing for its launch.

Start your journey to Stand Out success today!

Visit Dorie Clark's website and download her free 42-page Stand Out Self-Assessment WorkbookClick the image to the right to visit Dorie Clark’s website and learn more about her background and impressive accomplishments.

It’s also a great way to prepare for my interview with Dorie next Tuesday, April 7, at 4PM EDT.

While you’re there, I encourage you to download her free 42-page Stand Out Self-Assessment Strategy Workbook.

The depth of the questions she presents in the workbook also makes it a powerful tool for clarifying your goals and objectives while being among the first to read her book when it appears on April 21.

Subscription Marketing: A Guide to Nuturing Customers & Readers

Posted March 22nd @ 5:12 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

 Subscription Marketing shares proven strategies for nurturing long-term customer relationships in a world of churn.

It’s an exceptionally for authors and businesses looking for ways to build lasting relationships with customers, prospects, and readers.

Anne Janzer’s Subscription Marketing already shows signs of becoming one of 2015′s most important content marketing books.

It’s been favorably reviewed by leading marketing authorities, like David Meerman Scott, Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi, and others.

A model for successful business books

In addition to the valuable information Anne Janzer shares in Subscription Marketing, it also showcases the best practices today’s nonfiction authors should follow writing and publishing helpful, relevant, and successful business or nonfiction books in 2015.

  • Positioning. Subscription Marketing is carefully positioned. Instead of going up against the hundreds of content marketing books, it addresses a niche within the the broader content marketing field. In a way, Anne Janzer has identified a Blue Ocean Strategy within the universe of content marketers.
  • Addresses a major problem. Subscription Marketing addresses a significant problem relevant to 2 types of marketers. The first consists of the growing number of product and service providers who have converted, or want to convert, from a “sales” model to a SAS, or Service as Subscription model. The second is every business who publishes an email newsletter, but who may not have allocated sufficient resources or time to consistently creating helpful content to keep their their subscribers engaged.
  • Concise. In many ways, Subscription Marketing reflects the type of book that today’s busy readers want. It’s long enough to provide a fresh perspective on a significant problem that effects many, yet short enough to be respectful of the reader’s time.  If you choose the print version, you’ll find its small enough to read while commuting, or on your next business trip. It’s tightly organized and tightly-written.
  • A fast read. Chapters are short, focused, and to the point. Most chapters are between 8 and 10 pages long. This is long enough to present an idea, describe its context, and share different ways to implement the idea. There are frequent examples, but they are primarily intended to guide your own exploration, rather than in-depth case studies. Finally, most chapters end with a helpful summary of the main ideas just covered.
  • Value. Conciseness and easy reading work together to enhance Subscription Marketing’s value. The traditional way of measuring value is “quality and quantity of information divided by purchase price.” Subscription Marketing certainly excels in this regard, for either the print or ebook editions.

But, value can also be measured by the “quality and quantity of information divided by the time it takes to read the book.” This is the problem with many books which go into so much detail, or include so many examples, that they require too much reading time.

Thankfully, Subscription Marketing balances content value with price and easy-reading, in a way that delivers full value to readers.

Value for authors, too

In a similar way, Subscription Marketing’s length and format deliver high value for its author.  In today’s fast moving business climate, success goes to early-movers who bring a product, i.e., their book, to market in a timely fashion.

Right now, Subscription Marketing is a timely topic that addresses a market segment that hasn’t been flooded with competing books.

If Anne Janzer had doubled Subscription Marketing‘s length, though, or complicated it with additional graphics, two things would probably happen:

  • Anne Janzer would probably still be writing it. This way, however, Anne has already established herself in the niche, and is ready to move on to the next step (whatever it may be.)
  • A longer book would inevitably increase the selling price. This, of course, could potentially reduce the book’s sales. This would significantly reduce Anne Janzer’s visibility to a key market segment, potentially reducing invitations for future consulting, speaking, or training opportunities.

Download my free writing workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building BookThere’s no easy answer, of course, to issues like length, price, and time. But, the above example does bring up the importance of carefully viewing all aspects of your book from a business perspective before you start to write. (Here’s a free planning tool to help you make the right decisions.(

Subscription Marketing’s Table of Contents

Subscription Marketing’s table of contents provides a framework for efficient reading. Following an Introduction which sets the stage, chapters are organized into three parts, followed by Resources, Acknowledgements, and Notes.

Part One: The Subscription Shift

The chapters in Part One describe the changed marketing environment and the challenges that businesses face and accommodate.

  • Chapter 1:   The Growing Subscription Economy
  • Chapter 2:  Managing Multiple Business Models
  • Chapter 3:  The Marketing Impact
  • Chapter 4:  Rethinking the Funnel
  • Chapter 5:  Value Nurturing

Part Two: Value Nurturing Strategies

Part Two offers five “success scenarios,” or formulas, that businesses can explore and, if appropriate, follow as they adapt to a changed environment.

Reading the following chapters, I was impressed by the value and depth of the advice in each chapter, compared to the simplicity of the following titles.  There’s enough detail in each chapter to make a difference in your business, yet there’s no sense of the tedium that frequently accompanies reading an overly-detailed or scholarly book.

  • Chapter 6:  Help Your Customers Be Successful
  • Chapter 7:  Demonstrate Value
  • Chapter 8:  Add Value to Your Solutions
  • Chapter 9:  Add Value to the Customer Relationship
  • Chapter 10:  Help Customers Live Up to Their Values

Part Three: Putting the Strategies into Action

Having described five options in Part Two, the chapters in Part Three deal with implementation issues.

I especially enjoyed the pragmatism of Chapter 11, which addresses the obstacles frequently encountered when selling the concept of Value Nuturing to management. The Objection and Response framework will help readers prepare their responses well before the time they’re needed in meetings and discussions.

  • Chapter 11:  Building the Business Case for Value Nuturing
  • Chapter 12:  Starting a Value Nuturing Practice
  • Chapter 13: Building on What You Already Do
  • Chapter 14:  Four Fundamental Rules of Value Nuturing
  • Chapter 15:  The Marketing Opportunity

To learn more about Subscription Marketing

To learn more about Subscription Marketing, visit Anne Janzer’s website the Subscription Marketing website, or the book’s print and Kindle pages on Amazon.com. I look forward to interviewing Anne Janzer as part of my Author Thought Leader interviews this spring about Subscription Marketing’s back story, as well as Anne’s future projects.