Can a book change your life?
Just ask David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasts, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Your Buyers Directly, which is now in its fourth printing after being out just four months. Google his name and you’ll get more than 100,000 hits.
Previously, one of many online marketing consultants, Scott is now a certified mega star earning $10,000 plus expenses for a keynote and running full day seminars at a higher price than the keynotes. Better yet, he now has “the freedom to make my own lifestyle,” he says.
Calling himself a “poster child for personal branding,” Scott at age 46 has carved out a name for himself online that has now spread offline. You can read his blog here.
It all began around 2001 when he changed his name from David Scott to David Meerman Scott. Meerman is his middle name. Prescient about recognizing the power of search engines, he realized that as David Scott he wasn’t unique online. There are other David Scotts but just one David Meerman Scott. Voila. With the addition of Meerman to his business name, he was reborn on the Internet as one of a kind. “Changing my name was the most important personal branding decision I made,” says Scott.
In early 2006, Scott self-published his New Rules book as a 22-page ebook focused exclusively on PR and called The New Rules of PR. Practicing what he preached, he defied the traditional PR rules of pushing releases to journalists. Instead he sent a release announcing his book over an online service and wrote a brief email note to about a dozen online folks he knew, including uber blogger, Seth Godin. Godin, among others, blogged about Scott’s ebook and within a few days, several thousand folks had downloaded it and in less than a year a quarter of a million had.
With all the online buzz, Scott was approached by publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. to expand his ebook into a hardcover book covering both PR and marketing.
Practicing what he preaches in his book, Scott sent out some 50 press releases before and shortly after the book’s publication in June. Unlike a traditional PR campaign announcing a book, Scott wrote news releases about different topics covered in his book along with releases about upcoming speaking gigs. The idea was to get his name and the book title all over the search engines. Type in the book title in Google and you’ll get over 50,000 hits. It also led to some 400 bloggers writing about him (make that 401 with this blog) and oodles of offline journalists publicizing him.
At the end of the day, of course, you can have the best marketing plan in the world and still fail if you don’t have content that resonates with an audience, Scott says. Not to mention, he says, “the right alignment of the sun, moon and stars.” Add to that the smarts and chutzpah to carry it off.
How are you using a book to build your personal brand?
Wendy Marx, Personal Branding and Visibility Campaigns, Marx Communications, Inc.,
david meerman scott