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Terminal Value

How to Build your Business Brand through Publishing with Ash Cash

Doug Utberg

Business Growth Authority | Technology Strategy & Resourcing | Cost Optimization Expert | Business Process Architect | Financial Strategist | Founder - Terminal Value Podcast
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We have Ash Exantus, better known as Ash Cash, with us today. And what we’re going to be talking about is actually how to build the brand of your business through publishing. Because Ash is a very unique background. He spent about 15 years in banking. But where he’s really gone onto right now is more in the financial education and marketing realm. And what he really specializes in is using the power of publishing books to build a person’s brand. Ash, introduce yourself a little bit.

Hey, thank you so much. Doug Ash example, aka Ashc, a 15 year banking executive like Doug mentioned, where I’ve done everything from teller to personal banker, private banker, branch manager. I was one of the youngest CEOs of a federally Chartered Bank at one particular time. And when I made the transition from banking to teaching financial education, I realized the power of books, the power of publishing, and it actually allowed me to grow my business exponentially. I’ve created at least 15 streams of income from my book, and it’s one of the best ways that you can actually get attention towards your business without having to pay the expensive advertising fees that a lot of people agencies may charge. And so my goal is to teach founders and executives how to do the same thing.

All right, well, let’s just dive right in and just go straight to a couple of thorny points on books. Number one, they’re really hard, they take a lot of time to write and edit. And number two is that if you don’t have some kind of back end business that your book can help monetize, you shouldn’t plan on making anything from the actual book sales itself, because I think that’s probably the number one thing that a lot of people or misconceptions a lot of people have is they think, oh, if I write a book that sells a whole bunch of copies, I’ll make a bunch of money not directly from the book.

Don’t plan on making anything from the book, because in order to sell a bunch of copies, you’re going to have to reinvest a lot of what you would make in royalties into marketing for that book.

But that’s just fine because the real model is to get you to develop thought leadership and to put content out there so people will view you as an expert. So instead of needing to compete on price, you can get people to come to you, at which point the price is basically whatever you say it is. Tell me if I’m missing anything here. That’s the reason I understand it.

Yeah. That’s spot on. But a couple of things. I think that technology, though, has made it easier to write a book, right? Yeah. So books, actually, I haven’t physically written a book in years actually dictate my books. And it makes it easier for thought leaders to be able to get their book out because thought leaders shouldn’t be writers. Right. Thought leaders are thought leaders. And so I’ve created a system where you can literally outline your talk or your thought leadership. And then there’s an app called Otter O-T-T-E-R. Where you can literally talk into the app and teach what you would normally write inside the book, which makes it easier. And after you have done that, you can actually delegate the rest of it. Right. You can hire someone to edit it. You can hire maybe a ghost writer to add in some other pieces on it. So it really doesn’t take that long to get a book out. In fact, I’ve been able to do it in two weeks or less, and I’ve helped clients do that the same. But I do agree 100% with people are focused on a lot of times making a lot of money from those books. But the book should be a pathway into your product or service. A great example of that was Gary Keller. Right. So people don’t realize that he had Keller Williams, which is the real estate agency. But it wasn’t until he wrote his book that he became a thought leader. And through that thought leadership in his book, it grew Keller Williams as one of the number R1 estate agencies in the world because he used the power of books. Think about Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Affected People. Right. His business model was the Franklin Covey Company. But through Seven Habits of Highly Effects of People, it kind of helped exponentially grow his business. And even to this day, Steven Covey passed away in 2012. To this day, that book is still a number one bestseller.

Wow. Is it really ten years ago, man? Time has gone by. Okay, so one of the things I’d love to get your thoughts on is because a number of people who are listening to this podcast probably have either thought about writing a book, or would almost certainly love to write a book. They might have one out, but the question is getting it published because you can self publish to someone like Amazon pretty easily. But then getting it distributed is kind of tricky. Whereas on the other hand, if you don’t already have a book, you have a publishing track record. The chance that somebody like Wiley or any of the other big publishing houses are going to actually listen to you is zero. Nobody’s going to pay attention to you unless you already have that track record. Because I would assume that a commercially published book is going to give you a lot more market power than a self published book. But in your experience, is there a hack or is there a best practice for how to kind of get over that kind of cross that divide?

Yes, 100%. Doug, I’m glad you asked that question. So my first book came out in 2009. And technically, I’m a self published author, but I’ve been on every media platform you can think of. I’ve been on Wall Street Journal, New York Times, American Banker, MSNBC, CNBC. So anything you’ve thought of if you Google me, you’ll see I’ve been on all of it. But I’ve never been published by any of the big guys. The reason for that is because

you have to be strategic on how you self publish your book.

Right. And so my name is Ash Cash. My company is my. Right. Money management. I could have easily created a publishing company called Ashcash Books, or I could have called them Mine write books, but that’s too connected to me. And so when people, PR and producers look and they say, oh, this book came out by Ashton’s, and it’s available, Ashton’s Books, they’re going to know that I self published it. And so I would suggest that anybody who is looking to self publish, publish it under a name that’s not connected with your business. And so the name of my publishing company is called One Brick Publishing. And Ironically, I got the name through a story I heard Will Smith tell about him breaking down a wall and his father telling him to build back the wall and do it one brick at a time. And I was like, oh, if I’m going to build a publishing company, I’m going to do it one brick at a time. And so I called the One Brick Publishing. And that’s step number one, right. Create a publishing company that’s separate. You have to buy your own ISBN number. If you’re going to publish through Amazon and you use Amazon’s ISBN number, then everyone’s going to know that it’s a self published book. But if you buy your ISBN number from Balker, which is the only company that sells ISBN numbers, that’s how you’re able to register your publishing company. And no one knows that it’s itself published that’s. Number two. Number three, Amazon only published on Amazon for Amazon.com. But there is another company called Ingram. Ingrams. Right. Ingram is one of the largest distributors in the country, and Ingram Sparks is their self publishing division. If you publish your book on Ingram Sparks, Ingram Sparks distributes to Barns and Nobles, to Walmart, to Target, to thousands of independent bookstores. Right. And so now when you self publish your book, you get your ISBN number from Balker. Right. And then you put it on Amazon, you put it on England Sparks. Now your book is available on Amazon, Walmart, Target, thousands of independent bookstores. Until now, when you start to hire a publicist and you start to make your rounds to announce the book producers are not going to be able to tell the difference whether it’s Simon and Schuster or Wiley, because you’ve done it in the right way.

Got you. Okay. Well, I was going to say I’m actually going to be going to slide into a little bit of self promotion for you. Do you have any of this, like in a document or ebook or something like that? Of course, I normally do the call to action at the end, but I would actually love to get the link to that. So people who are listening can be able to access those resources. Otherwise, I’ll have to rewind and keep listening to the same segment to make sure.

Absolutely. So I do have a program called a six Figure Author Blueprint that teaches everything that I’ve just talked about, and that’s available at sixfigureauthorblueprint.com. So it’s the number six figureauthorblueprint.com.

Got you. All right. Well, we’ve gone through some of the mechanics. So tell me a little bit about kind of how you go about, say you’ve gotten your book dictated, you haven’t edited, you have it ready, you’re publishing it, and now you’re looking to promote it. What have you seen as the best practice for how to do that effectively?

Yeah, that’s a great question, Doug. I think number one is really making sure that you’re writing a book that other people want, that it’s solving a problem that people have first and foremost, because the biggest mistake a lot of authors make, especially thought leaders, is that they have the solution that they know that’s going to work, but they’re not addressing that solution based on their audience. Right. And so really tap into your audience and make sure it’s a problem that they believe that they have and you have the solution to it. So that way the book could sell. Right. But then, number two, I say that you should buy or borrow traffic. And what does that mean? That means that once you have identified your target market and you know who that audience is, then it’s time to borrow traffic. First and foremost. You can do that through television interviews, radio interviews, help a reporter out is a great website where reporters are actually looking for sources for their articles. You have YouTube shows, you have podcasts. Right. Where people who already have your audience, you can now tap into that audience and give them the information. And that way you’re borrowing traffic from those people. Then you can buy traffic. And buying traffic is your traditional ways. You can do Facebook ads. You can do Instagram ads, YouTube ad, Google ads. I like to test them out first. And what I do is I put them out on my social media first because I know that my ideal audience is already following me on different social media platforms. So I put out different ads or organic posts, too. So it doesn’t even have to be something well produced. It could be you pick up your phone and you could just be authentic because a lot of audience loves the authenticity. And then once you see it performs well based on your following, you can now boost it. You can now put some ads behind it. But here’s another best kept secret as well is that there are a lot of influencers that you can actually pay to post for you to give you a shout out. And so it’s worked very well for me on Instagram, where I’ll find pages that have a large following. They have my specific demographic, and then I’ll pay them to shout me out. They’ll say, hey, shout out to Ash Cash. He just wrote this new book from the block to the bank. Check it out. It’ll help you maximize your circumstances because people expect me to talk good about me. But it’s better when Doug is promoting me. It’s better when someone else on a social media platform is promoting you. And so that’s what I would say. You should buy and borrow traffic.

Got you. Sorry. I’m kind of getting into mechanics here, but I kind of nerd out on this stuff. When you’re directing traffic, do you try to direct traffic straight to your book, or do you use your book as a vehicle for lead capture just because everything I’ve seen is that lead capture is really where it’s where the proverbial gold mine is.

Yeah. And so it really depends on what your business model is. Right. And so if you’re offering a low ticket item, then that traffic will lead to something free. And so I have a continuity program. I have something called the Abundance Community. That’s what the AC stands for. Besides as cash, it stands for the Abundance community. And so my community is monthly $47 a month. Right. And so in order to drive traffic to that, I’ll give them something for free first. And then once they’re in my lead capture, my email, then we start talking to them about joining that. But my books are leading to a higher ticket item.

Sure.

I want to come out the gate and charge for the book, because when I’m trying to get people to purchase a higher ticket item, I want to weed out all the people who just want free information. Right. Because if you look at the statistics out of all of the open access courses out there, the millions of open access courses, only 6.8% of those are ever finished. Right. So people who pay attention. And so with my focus is and I would suggest that to any thought leaders is that you want to be able to charge whether it’s going straight to Amazon and charging, but you don’t capture those people’s emails. And so when you put out a book, it’s good to have the book available on Amazon, Wall Bar, Target all these different places. But you also want to have the book available in your life. You want to create a funnel for your book so that way when someone hears you, they’re going to buy the book from you. And when they buy the book from you now, you have their email address. Now you’re able to retarget them. But then also, even while they’re buying the book, you can upsell them and tell them about your other products and services. And you have a better chance of closing that deal with them, because if they see the value in what you’re upselling, they’ll be able to take advantage of it. And you know, they’re paying customer because they were willing to pay for that book.

Yeah. And I think that I’d like to expand on what you’re talking about a little bit there, because I think at first blush, it can sound like it’s a how do I think about this here when you first hear that it can kind of sound like it’s a revenue optimizing online marketing type of thing. But I actually had a little bit of an epiphany a little while ago. And because I think there was one thing you already mentioned, which is that people who pay attention because I always thought, okay, well, why do all these experts make you pay for stuff? Well, okay. The reason is because if I go sign up for something, say some kind of monthly membership, whatever, and it’s free, there’s about 5% chance that I’ll get full value out of it. On the other hand, if I am paying for it, especially if I’m paying enough for it to sting just a little bit absent, then I’ll be saying, okay, I need to make sure that I am getting my value out of this. And so I think that’s actually a really important reason from both a producer side and from a consumer side to pay for things, because that is how you get that full value. And I think there’s another level, too, because like, you’re talking about moving people up your value ladder, right. To higher value, higher cost items, especially as both principally as a producer, but also thinking about it from a consumer perspective, if the message that you are taking out to the market is if you really believe in it, if you really put your heart into it, and if it really does generate net value at a high multiple of whatever you’re charging, that in my view, you have a moral duty to get that offer out to as many people as you possibly can. And that puts a different spin on it, because in that case, then it’s not about, okay, well, I need to get as many people in the funnel as I can so that I can extract as many dollars as humanly possible. It’s that I need to get as much value out to the market as I can. And you have to start escalating the amount that people pay for that, because otherwise they won’t convert. You can take the most high value thing that’s ever been created if you put it out for free, less than 5% of people will get the value from it. You have to pay in order to pay attention enough to really get full value out of just about any program. And that was something that it took me a long time to wrap my head around because there was a long time where I just kind of felt like, okay, all these gurus out there just trying to flee people out of their money. Well, maybe some are. But if you don’t pay, if you don’t feel that sting that motivates you to take action on something, then you will never, ever get the full value from anything.

Yeah. And let me add something else to that, Doug. You also miss out on being able to have other people talk about your success. Right. And so if you as a producer and any producers who are listening, if you as a producer charge. And I just gave you the stats, 6.8% of people complete courses. Right. And so if you as a producer have it cheap or free or low cost and it doesn’t stick enough for people to actually complete it, then you don’t have testimonials. You don’t have people to say, you know what? I’ve been through Ash Cash’s program, and it really works. Doug had this program, I took the program, and it really works. And so you don’t have enough testimonials. And so therefore, you’re not going to effectively impact the people you want to impact with your solution. If I’m saying that you can make a lot of money exponentially and get your business out there by writing a book, but I don’t have anybody who says they went through my program because no one’s completing it, then it’s not going to be valuable. And so producers have to know that when people pay, they pay attention and it actually allows you to not have to sell. Right. You don’t have to sell once you have receipts, once you have success stories. And you say, look, forget that I was able to do it. I had this person, that person and this person who is now my walking testimonial. And then that increases the impact that you have all across the board.

Yeah. Outstanding. Outstanding. All right, well, let’s see. So we’re getting close on time, but give people last couple of thoughts to cap off with. And then, of course, let everybody know your website.

Yeah. So my last thought is that everybody should be an author if you have any products or services out there. Books are about legacy. Books are the one thing that allow you to live forever. Right. When we were born, I don’t care who you are, which ethicity is what you believe in. Everybody’s going to die. Right. But when you die, what is that thing that’s going to stay here forever? How are you going to allow your philosophy to live forever and ever? And you do that through a book and so I would suggest everybody relistened to this really understand how to get to that next level, to write your book and to write an effective book. If you want to learn more about me, my website is iamashcash.com, I’m on all social media platforms at Iamash and you can also take advantage of the six figure author blueprint by going to sixfigureauthorblueprint.com.

Got it. Okay, so I am Ashcash.com sixfigureauthorblueprint.com. Ash, it was great to talk to you today.

Thank you. Likewise, Doug, thank you so much for having me.

All right, everybody enjoy the rest of your day.

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