You’ve been blogging for a while now. Since you’ve started to hone your message, you’re starting to explore other kinds of writing. Perhaps you’ve created a product you love. Maybe you’re self-publishing an ebook. Perhaps you’ve even landed a coveted book deal. There’s a good chance you already know how to put in the work to create an excellent product. But how do you promote your message? Selecting the right platforms to promote your message is no small task, especially in today’s media landscape.
So we wanted an expert to weigh in. It turns out that #FinCon19 Keynote Speaker Ramit Sethi is the perfect person to ask.
Fresh from the task of revamping I Will Teach You To Be Rich, his best-selling book, for its ten-year anniversary, Sethi knows things have changed. He shares insight into the way media landscape is different and how creators can promote their products now. Sethi also dishes on why content creators need to crawl outside their computers and leverage in-person events if they really want to grow their brands and audiences.
How is the Media Landscape Changing?
Times are changing. We all know that. What’s really important to understand as a content creator is just how much the media landscape has changed. Sethi says that when he first released his book a decade ago, the media circuit was totally different. Something like The Today Show might have been the goal.
Now, though, creators look for TV outlets, and they look for other outlets as well. Landing a coveted spot on The Tim Ferriss Podcast, for example, can have a hugely different reach. As a content creator, it’s important to understand who is reading things and where and how content is being consumed. Check out Bobbi Rebell’s discussion on knowing your audience even when podcasts and other media keep changing.
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the importance of standing out. Sethi emphasizes that if you have a great message that’s different from others, people will want to talk about it.
Your Job Is to Promote Your Message
You are responsible for sharing your message. You also need to remember that now, there are many different ways where people will learn about you and your brand.
As Sethi’s presence started to boom across social media, he realized that a handful of new followers weren’t familiar with his book. They had seen I Will Teach You To Be Rich as an internet marketing optic, not an actual product. When Sethi noticed this, he reached out over DM to learn more.
At that moment, Sethi realized it isn’t the responsibility of our followers to know content creators. It’s actually the other way around. Content creators are responsible for sharing themselves with their followers.
Sethi sees it as his job to get himself out there and to make sure that people know what he does and what he believes. You could have a best-selling book or a viral blog post, but audiences come from other places. This is especially true now that books and blogs don’t stand alone. Now, social media complements those products. You need to continually share yourself, your brand, and your story with your new and long-time followers. Check out other ways to make your message stand out from Clark Howard.
Originally, books were an income source in and of themselves. Now, though, authors are creating multiple income streams around their books. Sethi gives examples like taking on coaching clients or building social followings surrounding the message of the book. Being able to do different things around the book is another way that the publishing landscape has really changed over the years.
How Do I Stand Out on Instagram?
Speaking of changing platforms, let’s talk Instagram. Just like podcasts weren’t a thing a decade ago, neither was Instagram. Now, it’s a powerful platform. But you don’t have to be an Instagram expert to make the platform work for you. In fact, actually separating yourself from typical Instagram influencer accounts can work to your advantage.
Sethi admits that he wasn’t quite sure what direction to take with Instagram. Instead, it’s something that he’s figured out while he used the account. Though he’s only deleted one photo, he admits that the start of his account is almost laughable.
Showcase Your Skills
Still, he’s used it to tell his story on his travels. Specifically, he uses Instagram stories to share his message and his travel destinations. Glamour shots are noticeably absent because he wanted to use the platform in his own way.
Rather than focusing on over-stylized and filtered shots, he uses the account to show his own skills and interests. Sethi is fascinated by human behavior and psychology. If you’ve read his book or follow his work, this isn’t surprising. What is surprising, though, is how he captures those interests on Instagram.
Don’t miss other tips on how to stand out on Instagram.
Have Fun With It
Because he uses the platform to do his own thing and play to his strengths, he really enjoys it. He’s also built quite the following. Instead of worrying about not having the same photography skills, he focuses on what he knows. The best way to know if a platform is a good fit for you is if you enjoy using it. Audiences notice that.
Additionally, he says that it’s crucial to be open minded about other channels as they emerge. Don’t be afraid to use technology in a different way. Initially, he didn’t think Instagram would work for him or his brand. Now, he knows otherwise.
Email Isn’t Dead
Sure, email has changed a lot since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks talked about it on the big screen, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. Sethi actually says that his email newsletter is still his favorite form of media. He’s been using it to push out content and promote his message for 10-plus years. And he says that he still gets so much joy from it.
As he’s fostered people’s trust, his email list has grown to nearly half a million. He still reads all of the replies that he gets, and he says that’s the real power of the platform. Unlike social media where people might only interact at a superficial level, people reveal most everything in email. He says that people share successes, ask questions, and reveal their fears and worries to him. If you’re looking for a platform that allows you to grow deep connections and have an impact, email is it.
How Can I Make the Most of In-Person Events?
Online platforms like Instagram and email will definitely promote your message. But Sethi says that connect creators have to get out from behind their computers. Are you worried that it isn’t the most financially-sound decision? Sethi says it’s time to reconsider what comes to mind when you think about ROI.
Rethink What ROI Means
There’s no sugarcoating it: Throw out your traditional understanding of ROI. From a typical ROI standpoint, staying home is cost effective.
That’s the point and the problem, though, according to Sethi. In-person events and meet and greet events have huge benefits beyond the numbers in your balance sheet. The logistics of travel–be it time or money–can be a big hurdle. But if you’re always online, you can’t necessarily appreciate why you’d do events like tours.
Build Connections and Create Ultra Fans
Sethi says there’s something magical about being in the room with other like-minded people. He offers FinCon as an example. When you see an online creator in the flesh, it’s powerful. It offers a different way for creators and audiences to connect. Don’t miss other things to expect when Money Nerds come together at #FinCon19.
That’s why creators need to remove the ROI lens. Instead, look at in-person events as a way to cultivate new ideas and foster relationships. Sethi shares an example that on his first tour, he was actually asked a question that led to a huge product for him. Audiences wanted to know how to earn more money. He created Earn 1K based on these questions and conversations. The fact that these face-to-face events are the genesis for product creation makes them priceless.
In addition to offering inspiration, in-person events spark something else. Sethi says that after building people’s trust for more than a decade online, he’s created a legion of fans. In-person events are an opportunity to people to come together and celebrate. He says ultra fans are the people who show up to events around the country. Content creators need to think past blogs and conversion rates. Promoting your message in person is one more way to help people create their dream lives.
Check out Mr. Money Mustache’s strategies for building loyal fans.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Promote Your Message
There’s always going to be trial and error involved in content creation. You might figure out something that works well just to have the media landscape change again. There’s no surefire way to guard against that. Instead, use multiple platforms to reach your audiences. Leveraging a combination of online and in-person platforms is a powerful way to promote your message loud and clear.
To hear the full interview with Ramit, listen to episode 79 of the Money & Media podcast.
Subscribe to the Show
Subscribe through Apple Podcasts and new episodes will show up every month.
Never subscribed to a podcast before? Here’s Apple’s easy tutorial.
About Our Guest
Ramit Sethi, author of the best-selling book I Will Teach You to Be Rich, will deliver the opening keynote at #FinCon19. Ramit was one of the very first keynote speakers at #FinCon11, and we’re so excited to have him back on the main stage at #FinCon19 in Washington, D.C. Sethi has become a financial guru to millions of readers in their twenties, thirties, and forties. He started his website as a Stanford undergraduate in 2004, and he now hosts over a million readers per month on his blog, newsletter, and social media.
About Our Hosts
Bethany Bayless is a public speaker and emcee who co-hosts the podcast The Money Millhouse.
Join Us for #FinCon19
Want to meet with other YouTubers and video makers? Join us for FinCon19 September 4-7 in Washington D.C. Register for your pass today!