A Social Media Marketing Case Study: Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

A Social Media Marketing Case Study: Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

Reader Comments (57)

  1. It’s so great to see your approach to this all beautifully laid out, Jonathan. A lot to learn for everyone. Amazing what an author can do who isn’t afraid of marketing and who understands both people and the web .

    • Some of the elements, like top-quality video or expensive prizes are, but many aren’t. Look for the items you can execute based on the resources you have today.

      And take a look at how he approaches the problem — with short-term and long-term goals, with thoughts on how he can use what he has, and by using a strong message to resonate with his audience. Any of us can do that.

    • For example, think about how you can use email messages, blog posts, live calls (you can do these on free services) and PDF special reports in place of the video. Think about how to use landing pages in place of the separate site. If you don’t have 50 friends who have successful blogs, turn to the 3 successful bloggers you do know. Instead of the creative mindset audit tool, do a Q&A call.

      Look at the framework, and don’t get bogged down if an individual tactic won’t work for you.

      • You’re absolutely right.

        The mentality, work ethic, and broader vision can be simplified to work for any sized product launch.

        I related to a lot of the writing in this because I literally just released my report on how I sold my own start up business/website/product for $50,000.

        If you’re interested in a free read it’s here: http://t.co/uBdd0yFo

      • Sonia’s very right.

        I’m not a big organization and money was very much a limiting factor. So I did a ton of work by getting creative and trading time for money, then saving my money for the few things I knew I couldn’t really do at the level I wanted.

        The video is the perfect example. The trailer and the 10,000 book video that Michelle did was where I spent serious money, but most of the other stuff was very affordable.

    • I also wanted to inquire about how much all this work and promotion cost, ballpark. It looks like it would on the order of tens of thousands of dollars.

  2. Great summary of your efforts. Congratulations on the launch.

    For some reason, this post touched me. Perhaps it was just the music in the videos, but I was moved. Weird.

  3. Jonathan, I think your launch campaign was rounded, stylish, clever and persuasive. (I went for your 3-book bundle.) But the thing that impressed me the most is that you weren’t obnoxious. I saw all of your promo materials in progress, and none of them were ever too glitzy, smarmy, insincere or oppressive. And they all expressed your personality.

    Well done.

    • I agree. This was a massive launch (this post really lays out how massive!) but it never felt like too much. Really well done, and great for Jonathan’s audience. (Both for his existing audience and to reach new people who will dig what he has to offer.)

    • Tom – There were a lot of things that were much more edgy that I actually know would have likely generated more buzz and sold more books, but they just didn’t feel right to me. In fact, the 10,000 book video was really on the edge for me, but what made me okay with it was that it was so clearly just a goof, I wasn’t taking myself too seriously.

      But, yes, it was really important to keep it all aligned with who I am

  4. This was a hell-of-a-launch and I wish heavenly results to pour through. The most inspiring thing about your process is it’s a very other-centered strategy, focused on providing your future readers the best experience out of the launch process itself.

    Congrats and kudos to your launch!

  5. Jonathan, with so many superstars (including my friends Megan and Marty) involved – the magic was bound to be unleashed. Your effort in building your platform has also played a part. Thanks for sharing these insights. This post is for keeps with handy tips for upcoming authors. Looks like your short term goals are already achieved. I wish that your book creates a lasting impact.

  6. For all the work you’ve put into your project you still manage to knock out a guest post like that!? I guess it’s part of the project, but still… you are a hard worker and deserve all the success you can get. Kosha.

  7. Loved seeing how this book launch unfolded and there’s one part that really jumped out at me — the illustrations.

    I loved these ones here and I’m looking forward in the future to having a great illustrator work with us on more of our stuff.

    Illustrations like this that are connected to awesome content can drive the content home even deeper than if simply read. It seems to me that for the core 5-7 concepts you’d want people to take away from your teachings, you’d want an illustration like the ones here where people can instantly recall what you wanted to impress upon them.

    I recently heard Dan Kennedy talking about how even with the proliferation of people going online, nothing will ever dominate the experience you create for someone when you have them actually opening up a wrapped box (gift) because this act is tied to so many good memories from birthdays and other celebrations. There’s something very special about connecting people to their childhood that is very, very powerful when it comes to making an emotional impact on them.

    Thanks for reminding me with your pictures how important this is!

  8. The way you put it, it seems that you did all these by yourself. Or did you?

    So how many people were involved in all these and how much did it cost you before you had a single sale?

    • No doubt, there was a team involved, each person had a specific role. But, each person was also off doing other projects. Though, I have to tell you, Charlie Pabst has been amazing to work with and I’ve taken consumed a lot of his waking hours over the last month, especially since I’m very much a 24-7 idea-terrorist with stuff like this, lol.

      • Congratulations on the whole shebang, Jonathan. You clearly did a ton of very specific, strategic work prepping and executing this, and you’re a mensch to share it. I hope you have ten times the success you dreamed of with it (and I know you dream big).

        I know it is petty of me to fixate on this in the midst of heavy-duty brilliance directed towards Important Endeavors, but still, I must confess that I am TICKLED PINK by “idea-terrorist,” and I would like this to be your next book, please.

  9. Wow, THIS is an amazing, refreshing overview of what POWERFUL marketing looks like! Great, great job, Jonathan … I have recently blogged about the internet marketing craze (shameless plug: http://mystrategicmarketer.com/internet-marketing/) and how it really bothers me as a marketer because it’s so exploitative and opportunistic.

    I so respect how you’ve approached your launch, including the intention and love you’re putting into being of service. It’s SO inspiring. I wish you crazy, mad success!!!

    • I am a big fan of Sturgeon’s Law, which states that “90% of Everything is Crap.” It very much applies to internet marketing. 🙂 But the good 10% has some amazing stuff.

    • Thanks so much, Misty.

      The whole time, I tried to keep in the mind the mantra that whether people buy the book or not, the entire experience should have independent value to them. Not always easy to do when you’re also really trying to inspire a call-to-action. But, it’s worth the challenge.

  10. As they say, the proof is in the pudding and i’d like to know how your efforts went. I saw all this unfold as you launched it (I’ve been following your for awhile).

    But the question is did it work. How many pre-order sales did this generate? You have a large social media following, especially among very heavy weight people and this was a beautiful campaign, but did it work? Did you move the books? How many books was your goal and did you reach it?

    • And, that’s where it gets really tricky and a bit frustrating.

      As a response-oriented marketer, metrics matter. But when you operate the wacky hybrid of social media, online marketing and traditional publishing, a bunch of data becomes untrackable or takes months to get.

      For example, the vast majority of orders run through a variety of online booksellers’ carts. I can’t place tracking code on amazon, bn, booksamillion, 800ceoread and all the other potential online booksellers, so I can’t trace and measure conversion the way I normally would in a launch where I controlled the cart. Ack!

      Add to that the fact that a certain amount of the buzz I create will be driven to any number of thousands of brick and mortar stores, some of whom report to the big bookseller data company, Bookscan, and some who don’t. Then, certain booksellers operate on a returnable basis, others not. It’ll be months before I actually know the real numbers.

      Also, a campaign like this is the functional equivalent of kindling, lighter fluid and a match. It’s gets things going pretty fast and furious, but whether that turns into a roaring fire is more about whether the book, itself, resonates powerfully enough to generate substantial word of mouth as it expands out beyond the initial “ring of fire.” That can take, days, weeks or, in certain cases, even months or years to happen.

      But what I can tell you is this — we moved thousands of books in the pre-sale phase alone.

      That’s a lot more than the average book will sell in a lifetime. So, did it work. Yes. How well? Time will tell.

      And, like I mentioned, at least for me, I have a bigger, longer-term, admittedly hard-to-measure, but really important metric…impact.

      Making money’s not the big prize for me, illuminating and inspiring change is.

        • Sure, but probably not for the reason you might think…

          Hitting a major print list can lead big brick and mortar booksellers to stock up on inventory, stock more locations, discount the book and turn it out on a front table. That then becomes a bit of an endless sales loop that moves a lot more books, which keeps you on the list longer, which moves more books, you get the idea.

          So, for that reason and, sure, a bit of ego, it’d be nice. Really nice. But, again, there’s something much bigger driving me as a writer these days. Impact.

          Also, hitting the list will become much less of a consideration with the shift to digital. It’s really hard to know, but it looks like maybe 30%-40% of my sales are going digital right now. By the time my next book is out, say in another 18-24 months, I wouldn’t be surprised if sales were 70-80% digital. At that point, the brick and mortar distribution becomes much less of a factor.

          It’s amazing how quickly publishing is changing. That’s one of the things I love about what I do these days. You have an opportunity to play a role in a profound evolution in a paradigm that’s been largely unchanged since before any of us were born. And if you understand what happening and see how to leverage it, there’s huge opportunity on so many levels.

          • I appreciate the response. Making a lasting impact by leaving that trail of words and images for readers now and in the future is the very reason that I’ve focused on writing and now pursuing it as a career.

            Thanks for answering the question bro and best of luck in everything!

  11. wow thanks for sharing all this information…
    and i really think you did an amazing job, because it’s seems like that everybody (in the IM industry) is talking or writing about your book.
    a lot to learn from…

  12. I think this is one of the best-run book launches I’ve seen recently. One of the reasons was the consistency of the message and the way it keep reinforcing Jonathan’s own values and the way he communicates. It was a pleasure to participate in a small way on my blog. Great book, should do very well.

  13. Thank you for sharing so many of your secrets. You more than inspired me for my book launch next year.

    Your caring and passion came through when I heard you speak at WDS and it comes through your promotions for your book. Plus it looks like you’re having fun.

    I wish you continue success.

  14. This post and marketing plan is brilliant and couldn’t come at a better time since I have a physical book to promote for work.

    Thanks Jonathan! Good luck!

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