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Hi everyone! It's probably taboo to self-promote stuff here, so I'll try to add some useful info in this post too. I just launched a book on Growth Hacking. It focuses purely on practical stuff, basically ideas that you can implement right away. And it contains 100 of these ideas. For those who are interested, there's a $5 discount coupon at the end of this post :) http://growthhackinghandbook.com For many of you, I think much of the content will be stuff you already know. It's not really aimed at expert growth hackers or expert marketers - it's more aimed at startup founders / entrepreneurs who are new to online marketing. Basically showing people that there's a ton of stuff you can do for free, if you are a bit smart and a bit technical! Anyway, what you might find interesting is this post - How I got $12k book preorders in one month: http://yongfook.com/how-i-got-12k-in-book-preorders-in-1-month.html I basically outline everything I did to get the crowdfunding campaign to its goal. I think it makes a good general case study for "launch marketing" style campaigns where you need to meet objectives quickly. If you don't have time to read the post here's the basic bullet points:
  • personal facebook and twitter
  • reached out to influential people
  • wrote 3 blog posts
  • reached out to journalists
  • wrote 1 guest post on a major tech blog
  • did an AMA on a regional tech blog
  • priced for the niche
  • had high priced tiers
  • created a teaser site
  • kept the cover simple
  • tested multiple titles
Things I wish I had done: - created a video - should have started campaign on a monday - should have saved guest post until much later But the post gives more details. Anyway, if you're interested in picking up a copy of the book, here's a coupon code: vWUu5tWYwYpQyr And to use the coupon go here: http://www.growthhackinghandbook.com/coupon.html If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them! You can consider this a mini AMA. p.s. if you don't know me, my quick background summary would be...
  • started and sold a recipe site back in 2007
  • started a bunch of different projects, many have failed!
  • became CTO of an ecommerce company in Japan, grew very fast (but we were also VC funded and spent tons of money)
  • now happily run a SaaS business, self-funded, it's one of those "lifestyle business" that people either look up to or look down on haha
  • mentor with Singapore Management University and True Incube Thailand. Also guest lecturer at INSEAD on their entrepreneurship course. Currently in talks to have my book made part of the syllabus.
  • have lived in Japan, China, Singapore, and am now currently traveling round the region constantly. In the last couple of months have been in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and am currently posting this from Bali!
  • AL

    Alfred Lua

    almost 6 years ago #

    Hello Jon!

    First up, congrats on the campaign and launch of the book! I have not had the chance to read it yet so I'll let you know if I have any questions after I read the book.

    Also, thanks for sharing about how you reached the campaign goal. Here are my thoughts on how it could and can be better:

    1) Social proof
    There are 2 parts to this.
    One: Social proof on the campaign page. I believe that you have given many talks about your growth hacking ideas and received positive feedback. I think that if you included some testimonials on your campaign page, it will help with getting more backers. As for now, I think you can still add them to your book's landing page to get more sales. And of course, if the testimonials come from influential people in the marketing arena, it will be more effective.
    Two: Reviews on Amazon page. I checked the page when you launched and I just checked it again. There has been no reviews. I read about how Tim Ferris marketed his 4-Hour Body book. He gave out advance copies of the books and ask the people to give a review within 24 hours of the book launch. Positive reviews are very good social proof and will help to sell the book. (See more here: Point 12 http://fourhourworkweek.com/2011/03/10/12-lessons-learned-while-marketing-the-4-hour-body/). Perhaps it will be helpful to ask people who have read your book to leave a review on Amazon. You can quote those reviews on your landing page too.

    2) Video
    You mentioned that you wished you did a video but could not fathom what a video for a book would be like. Just for sharing, here's the trailer video for Tim Ferris's book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIVmsIJyj3A. I guess you could include snippets of you giving talks, talk about your marketing/growth hacking related achievements, show some statistics of your achievements to make the video look cool and successful examples of adopting your growth hacking ideas. I think if the videos are professionally done, it will convert better too.

    3) Reaching out to audience of your talks
    You mentioned that you reached out to influential people and tech blogs, I was just wondering if contacted audience of your talks. I suppose the event organisers will have their emails. Perhaps you can offer free copies of the book in exchange for their emails. Then you can send them an email about your book. Since they were interested in your talk about growth hacking, I'm sure they will be interested in the book too. Maybe the organisers will be happy to help you send out the emails without any incentives too.

    Or you can form strategic partnerships with event organisers such that you can promote your book in their newsletter/emails. Eg. In Google Campus London's email for their 2nd anniversary party, Uber offered discount code for those who want to use Uber to go to the party. I took some notes about that when Matt of General Assembly shared about this (http://thesumbuddy.com/2014/03/26/build-initial-traction-matt-cynamon-ga/)

    4) Promoting to students
    As a mentor and lecturer, I suppose you can promote your book to your students too? I'm sure there are many aspiring entrepreneurs in SMU, True Incube Thailand and INSEAD. Though it might be a bit weird to be trying to sell a book in class. But then again, if they feel that you have been a great mentor, they would probably be very interested in your book. (Anyway, having your book as part of the syllabus is quite a good strategy too!)

    5) Referral
    This is quite a random crazy idea that I thought of. I like your idea of offering free chapters. I was thinking of furthering it such as refer the book to friends and get more free chapters. Or during the campaign period, someone who gets 3 friends to back will get the book for free. I don't know how effective this would be and if it will be worth the backend hassle.

    Just my 2 cents worth. Let me know what you think (:

    Alfred

    • JY

      Jon Yongfook

      almost 6 years ago #

      Alfred that's really great advice!!

      I'm now in the process of reaching out to places I've given talks at to get some quotey testimonials.

      Regarding promoting to students, I'm actually working out a deal with INSEAD to have the book become part of the entrepreneurship course there. So that'll be another nice bit of social proof as well as some extra book revenue.

      Would love to do a video at some point but it's just not my medium of speciality.

      Anyone here worked with a good video outsourcing company?

      • AL

        Alfred Lua

        almost 6 years ago #

        You're welcome! :)

        All the best and hope you sell more books!

        Actually I'm not sure how effective is a video now since the book has been released. I always thought that it is for building anticipation like a trailer for movie. Maybe someone here has experience in this?

        And nope, sorry, I have not worked with any good video outsourcing company.

      • AD

        Aditya Dugar

        almost 6 years ago #

        You should check out http://simplifilm.com/collection/portfolio/. These guys are really good and have worked with top authors!

  • MB

    Morgan Brown

    almost 6 years ago #

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for sharing. You should've held this for a Monday too :) Looking forward to checking it out. Have read a lot of your presentations and posts, etc.

    Morgan

    • AL

      Alfred Lua

      almost 6 years ago #

      Haha agreed. I was wondering why wasn't there any response to the post :x

    • JY

      Jon Yongfook

      almost 6 years ago #

      doh! my excuse: after launching the book I've gone on a mini vacation and have kind of lost track of what day it is! I didn't even realise it was the weekend when I posted :/

  • CS

    Colm Shalvey

    almost 6 years ago #

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for posting, and I'll definitely be taking advantage of that coupon code ;).

    Question regarding the 3 blog posts you wrote - when did you release those? And I assume you have a blog with a quality following already, but did you use any other techniques to call attention to those posts? Did all three have the same CTA? Or were purely raising the anticipation level?

    Sorry for the quick-fire questions, looking forward to reading the book and having more direct questions for you later.

    Cheers,
    Colm

  • ET

    Everette Taylor

    almost 6 years ago #

    Appreciate the post and probably one of the most thoughtful summaries I've seen on the site. Good luck with the book!

  • VC

    Vincent Cassar

    over 5 years ago #

    It's a great book. Well done and it even inspired me to write this post: http://www.keeping.com/growth-hacking/ on how we are using growth hacking to market our own sass service.

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