Amber Vilhauer is the industry’s leading online digital marketing expert and owner of NGNG Enterprises (standing for No Guts No Glory). Since 2007, Amber and her teams have worked with each client to create over 500 high-performance WordPress websites, best-selling book launch campaigns, and online marketing systems to increase success. Her work speaks volumes as well; she has impacted more than a thousand entrepreneurs across six continents and developed strong strategic partnerships between businesses and industry leaders to get results faster than ever before.
She works with clients one-on-one to build a strong brand presence on social media, coach each of them about the manageable actions they can take to reach their online goals, and guide them exactly how to do it.
You will fall in love with Amber as soon as she shows how much intelligence goes into making every decision. She’s a successful female entrepreneur who I’ve learned so much from over the years we’ve worked together on our businesses. Whether you have a side hustle, or just want to expand your awareness and development, you will get a great deal of wisdom from this conversation.
Working as a book launch manager
In the world of publishing, Amber is the launch manager behind many #1 bestselling books including those for Martin Lindstrom, John Lee Dumas, Mike Michalowicz, Brendon Burchard, Joel Comm, Sandra Yancey, Lisa Nichols, Les Brown, and more.
She shares that the first thing she does when clients work with her is to get her their platform in a good place – that is by either refreshing their website or building their website again from scratch. The next step is to hire a creative marketing assistant who will manage social media, weekly email marketing, and Youtube video optimization. After that, she works with the author to ensure that he/she is honing in on the right messaging and positioning, refining the speaking skill, and getting to talk on podcasts. At this stage, she’s already focused on helping the author monetize. According to her, “I don’t know another book launch manager on the planet that helps you focus on making money. But to me, I bear that responsibility because I know you’re investing in me. I know that if I don’t help you make money, the business won’t succeed. And then we won’t even get to the point of launching a book.”
During the countdown before the launch, they will be conditioning the marketplace that something they need is coming and that is going to happen through social media, more podcasts, and email countdown – basically serving your community, getting them engaged, and providing value. When launch day comes, they usually do a live stream launch party. A lot of times, there’s going to be a charity component to give back to the community. Amber said, “It’s not just about the author. It’s about a cause and a community coming together to launch this book into what will be its potential, and really making an impact in the world.”
Instead of stopping there, Amber takes it a step further and debriefs the client about the goals for the book and the business in general, and their plans in the next 12 months to continue to grow and monetize.
NGNG's core values
“I started writing up all of these keywords on the board of who I am and what I value. What matters to me? How do I treat other people? How do I want to be treated? I’m writing down all of these values. Then I start grouping them together.”
Core values are one of the most valuable assets of any business. They keep employees focused on the goals that matter to their success and growth, even when things get tough. Core-value-driven businesses have more harmonious teams with higher productivity rates – and those are just some of the perks you reap from having strong moral guidelines in place.
Amber has come up with five core values for NGNG Enterprises, namely: meaningful connection, better together, lean in, unwavering excellence, and deeply fulfilled.
Meaningful connections are a two-way street. It’s not just about giving and taking, but rather both parties should feel like they’re getting something from the relationship as well – whether that be emotional support or an opportunity to share values with someone else who understands you on some level. Another core value is better together. After being a solopreneur for so long, Amber realized that she really enjoys collaborating with others and not being the smartest person in the room. Collaboration is one way to ensure that the group achieves its collective goal. It means listening, evolving together, and helping each other out. In addition, lean in means having a team that is courageous and willing to lean in to change in a dynamic and fast-paced industry. Next is unwavering excellence. For Amber, excellence and perfection are not the same things. Excellence is the confident pursuit of the highest quality in everything you do and never settle for anything but your best effort. She said, “I don’t believe in perfection, but I believe in showing up the best that you can be every single day.” The last core value is deeply fulfilled. Amber wants to create an environment for personal happiness and fulfillment and make her employees feel like “it is a gift working at NGNG every single day”.
Keeping employees motivated
Motivating your employees is an important task for any workplace. It can lead to better performance, increase productivity at work and even improve company morale. It’s crucial that organizations motivate their people so they can produce high-quality results every day.
When asked how Amber keeps her employees engaged, she expressed, “I make it about them. I asked them, “What do you want? What are your dreams? What are your goals?” And I keep checking in with them very regularly about that. Knowing that I have a camp of entrepreneurial spirits that tells me all sorts of things about how to treat my team.”
She understands the importance of keeping them involved in the creation of the vision of the company. By ensuring that her employees know the impact of their individual efforts and contributions, regardless of how big or small these are, they will take pride in themselves and feel valued. As she grows, she also allows her people to grow with her.
Catch my full conversation with Amber on the Fascinating Entrepreneurs podcast!
Transcript from Podcast
[00:00:00] Amber Vilhauer: It’s definitely more about collaboration, this whole old way of doing business, where it’s more business and the way I want it to be. And I’m going to take all of the money. It’s I just think there’s something new. That’s trying to be innovated. And I’m looking at how can two businesses almost partner up and how can they collaborate and share resources and clients without either one feeling like they’ve given up their control.
[00:00:24] Natasha Miller: Welcome to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS. How do people end up becoming an entrepreneur? How do they scale and grow their businesses? How do they plan for profit? Are they in it for life? Are they building to exit these and a myriad of other topics will be discuss to pull back the veil on the wizardry of successful and FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.
Hey, can you do me a favor while you’re listening to this podcast? Can you open a web browser and type in OfficialNatashaMiller.com. Yes, this is my brand new website that I built for you, entrepreneurs that want to scale and grow their businesses. It’s packed full of information articles, blog posts.
Podcasts. And also you can download the free profit finder guide that helps you find more profit in your current business. You can get on the waitlist for my digital course and be the first to know when my book relentless is up for pre-sale. Today we hear from Amber Vilhauer of NGNG Enterprises, a digital marketing and book launch company.
She talks about how important core values are strategic partnerships to grow her business and how deep connection and purpose have been her north star. Now let’s get right into it.
[00:01:49] Amber Vilhauer: It comes from my childhood as so many other great stories, probably do. But honestly, Natasha, the first 20 years of my life, I was an observer.
I was not the one that was like super well-liked in school. I had a bunch of friends, like I was an outlier even then. And I honestly didn’t understand why people didn’t like me, but it did perfectly positioned me in the role of observer. And in observing, I got to really see things in people that are probably overlooked if you’re just busy being a chatty-cathy, I started to notice little nuances and behavior and body language. And especially in high school, there’s so much peer pressure. And you would see one girl being mean to the other girl and the other one just takes it. But you could tell that it really hurt her feelings, but she wasn’t trying to show it because she wanted to be cool.
And I would just observe this behavior and I started to really feel for people. And that actually serves me very well in business today because I spend most of my time talking over zoom to my clients and I can just very quickly identify who they are and what they’re feeling inside. I can literally physically feel it sometimes.
And so I understand that with some clients I can be. That masculine energy and drive it forward and structure and data, but there are other clients where that would totally floor them. So then I have a responsibility to shift my energy so that I can create that connection with them. And what it does is it just creates this really safe space for people to be who they really are.
And when you can create an environment. Where people can be, who they really are. They have ultimate trust in you very quickly. Now that’s a humongous responsibility. Okay. So that’s one that I take very seriously. When somebody trusts me that much, then I have to just hold that space and I have to breathe into them and make sure that they are.
Feeling strong and empowered and who they are because Natasha, I get to work with some of the most brilliant and important thought leaders of our time. It’s a huge honor. And so if I can validate them, if I can fill them up, if I can make sure that they feel encouraged and safe to go out and share their message in the world.
It’s a good day at the office.
[00:04:10] Natasha Miller: Yes. You definitely have an incredible gift for it and I appreciate it very much. And you’re right. The way that you approach people. In addition to me, you open right up and spill the guts and that’s what you need to get across the threshold to what people are trying to achieve.
So Bravo, I know that you’re keen on core values and you understand the benefits and the challenges of coming up with them. And I think one of your Authors, Darious, I don’t know if he helped you usher into that world, but definitely as part of that, talk to me about your core values on how they came about how you use.
[00:04:48] Amber Vilhauer: It’s one of my favorite topics, actually. Yeah. I will say I didn’t go to college for business. I really didn’t know much about how to run a business. I didn’t even have the thought or desire to own and operate my own business. I landed into it. And along the way, through the years, I’m bumbling along, trying to figure things out for myself.
I’m very much self-taught. I kept hearing people talk about core values and I think, okay. Yeah. It’s like in the checklist of things you’re supposed to do, if you have a legitimate business. Got it. But I definitely didn’t understand it to the level of which I do now until I met Darius Mirshahzadeh about a year and a half ago, Darius was a referral of one of my clients.
Mike Michalowicz and he came in and he was inquiring about having me launch his book and he’s telling me about core values and “I’m like, oh yeah. Those are really important.” And he said what are your core values?” And I said, oh yeah, hold on. Let me go look them up. And he nailed me for that.
He said, see, this is exactly the problem. I can’t find anybody that can just rattle off what their values are. They have to go look them up. How pathetic is that? And he proposed that if you really live your core values, you can achieve what he calls Invisible Scale in your business. And I said, what the heck does that mean?
And he said, you can literally scale your company without the pain that you would experience otherwise, why I’m looking back in my history of growing a business and it was full of pain. So I was like, tell me what you got. Let’s do this thing. And he put this-
I know, I loved how he held me accountable. It was awesome.
We are great friends now. And so he put me through his core values process while I then in trade was launching his book and it was a really cool exercise. It really wasn’t hard. What I really appreciate about Derrius, his approach and his book is called The Core Value Equation. So everybody should definitely go get it.
I’m constantly talking about it. It’s very easy, its systematic little exercise that you can do. I started writing up all of these keywords on the board of who I am and what I value. What matters to me? How do I treat other people? How do I want to be treated? I’m writing down all of these values. Then I start grouping them together.
Then I start prioritizing them. And I finally came up with my five and the first one is meaningful connection. Probably no surprise already at this point in the interview, but connection is literally everything to me. So that’s what I drive forward in the company. Another one is unwavering excellence. So Natasha, I have very high standards.
I’m a stickler for quality. I hold everybody around me to a high standard and I’m definitely one of those people that is always striving to improve and grow. I don’t believe in perfection, but I believe in showing up the best that you can be every single day. Another core value would be better together.
And this one actually caught me off by a little bit of surprise because I had been a solopreneur for so long. And so it is your ideas and your leadership and what you want to do. But I thought, gosh, I just don’t want that to be my future. I actually really enjoy collaboration and I really enjoy not being the smartest person in the room.
I enjoy learning. So what if I created a culture that we were really better together. It wasn’t just about me. And then another core value I came up with was lean in. And this was an important one because I live in a crazy industry. It is changing constantly, right? Look at how fast social media trends are
changing, marketing is changing. Everything’s changing very quickly. If I don’t have a team. That’s willing to lean in to that change. Then I’m going to have constant turnover because change can make a lot of people feel uncomfortable and then they get scared and then they bail can have a team like that.
I need people who are willing to be courageous and lean in to change. And that’s when they thrive, which is really understood that the people I’m trying to attract in our team are entrepreneurs, they are entrepreneurial in nature, but they don’t want to have the risk of owning their own business. They don’t want to have to be in the face of the business.
And that way, those are my people. And the last core value that I came up with is deeply fulfilled. That’s how I want to feel every single day sitting at this desk, looking at my webcam as I want to feel deeply fulfilled. And I want my team to feel deeply fulfilled. You hear, especially right now with all of the workforce issues that are being raised, a lot of unhappy employees in the country.
I want people to feel like it is a gift working at NGNG every single day. And, you know what that’s the feedback that I get from my team. So I have to give Darius the credit. Thank you for allowing me to lean in to this process of core values, because I’ll tell you we grew 65% last year, 65% again this year, and it doesn’t feel painful.
It’s nothing like what I experienced the first decade in my business. This feels amazing.
[00:09:54] Natasha Miller: Yeah. That’s wonderful. So talking about your team, how many full-time employees do you have currently today?
[00:10:01] Amber Vilhauer: I am the only W2 in my company. The rest are contractors. We have about 30 to 35 contractors. And I would say about half of them are full-time right now.
[00:10:10] Natasha Miller: Okay. So how do you keep them engaged and motivated in addition to living the core values?
[00:10:16] Amber Vilhauer: I make it about them. I asked them, what do you want? What are your dreams? What are your goals? And I keep checking in with them very regularly about that. Knowing that I have a camp of entrepreneurial spirits that tells me all sorts of things about how to treat my team.
Number one, they like being involved in the creation of the vision of the company. Which is great because now I can actually live my value of better together. And then I don’t have to feel all the pressure. We do it together. We create the vision together that automatically makes them feel, heard, valued.
They love it. Another thing is I am constantly growing and allowing them to grow with me and that. I have this girl, Megan, as an example, she came on as my assistant. Then she started helping out with social media, which then I taught her live streaming. But then she went into relationship management, which is like communicating with influencers during a book launch, being in charge of that operation.
And now she’s in the web division. So she’s had six different roles ever since she started about a year and a half ago. But for Megan, she loves that because it’s a first-class education. She’s literally learning every role in this company. That’s keeping her engaged. It’s keeping her challenged. She feels valued.
She loves it. And it’s great because now she’s cross-trained so if we ever have an issue where there’s a vacancy. I know she can be a utility player to step into a lot of different roles. That’s the story for the vast majority of team members they’ve been cross-trained they get to grow with the different divisions and services that we offer.
But I would also add that one of the things that I regularly talk about. Is that if you see an opportunity for us to open up a new revenue channel and you want to own that piece, you want to own that service and be in charge of it. Then let’s revenue share. This started five years ago with this girl Shannon on my team.
And she came to me one day and said, Amber, I want to start a service. That’s like a maintenance service for websites. I’ll back up the website every week. I’ll upgrade the theme and the plugins, and I’ll send them a custom PDF report every month. I will be the go-to if there’s ever an issue with the website. And if the website ever gets hacked, I’ll fix it for free.
I want to charge $47 a month and I want a revenue share with you. And I said done, let’s do this thing. So by Monday, we launched the service and we’ve had an 85% to 90% retention rate over the past several years. And she’s making thousands of dollars extra every single month. And what’s really funny, Natasha.
She bought a software that does almost all of the work for her. So that is absolutely what I encourage. I tell everybody in interviews, if you see an opportunity, “Let’s go!”. It’s a retention tool. It’s a culture driver. So people just feel like they get to be entrepreneurial. They’re a part of something better.
They’re super engaged. They have ownership over their role. They’re highly productive. They’re happy. It’s unbelievable. That’s amazing.
[00:13:17] Natasha Miller: You and I, although we’ve worked together for quite some time. We haven’t had these kinds of conversations and it seems like we share a lot of the same approaches, which isn’t surprising, but it’s cool to hear.
It feels like reflecting back. Some of the things that I do and I’ve been in business for 20 years, you’ve been in business almost 20 years. Not
as old as I am, whatever. Moving on. So what made you decide. And what benefit is there to have these people working for you as a 10- 99 employee versus a full-time W2 person?
[00:13:57] Amber Vilhauer: It’s a gray area. It’s a tricky topic for sure. It was easy in the early days because nobody was really working full time. So you’d have contractors and they’d be working 10 hours here and maybe 20 hours there and they had other clients, but as we grew, we needed more and more people full time.
Now, even some of these full-time contractors might still have a couple of sides gigs. They have a hosting service or something else that they’re doing, but I give them the choice and I asked them like, would you prefer to be an employee or a contractor? And if they choose contractor, then we need to of course, follow the law and make sure that they have other outlets that I’m not totally dictating things, et cetera.
So I’m very clear on what those checkpoint items are, but unanimously, they’ve all chosen to be contractor status. I know that entrepreneurs, totally. But as we continue to grow, there will come a moment where nobody has an option anymore. And I realized that is fast approaching, but that’s where we are so far today.
[00:14:57] Natasha Miller: So you brought on a partner recently, is that correct?
[00:15:01] Amber Vilhauer: It’s not a equity partner, like you might think. I do have a partner, Isaac Stegman, who is partnering with me on different partnerships, on different projects.
[00:15:12] Natasha Miller: So he’s more of the strategic partnership, not a –
[00:15:15] Amber Vilhauer: Yeah, but I met an interesting phase of NGNG, where we started out with building websites and then we added on book launches and some marketing services.
And over the years, Clients that I love! Like you and Natasha, and I’m thinking I want to do life with these people. How do I do that? Because once I launch your book and you have the website and the marketing is working and you’re growing and it’s what do we do from there?
[00:15:39] Natasha Miller: And there’s this commune.
[00:15:41] Amber Vilhauer: Yeah,
[00:15:41] Natasha Miller: I knew it!
[00:15:43] Amber Vilhauer: Well, that is what we’re thinking.
Like we have these clients that we want to do life with. And so recently we have made a more formal partnership and we have three more in the wings and these are people, there are different types of actual partnership deals, depending on how they want us to get involved in their growth. And then Isaac is coming in his sales and strategy to help with that side of execution engine almost and NGNG can serve the purpose of marketing and platform and launch and connection. And so together, it’s a pretty powerful duo. These businesses don’t want to do that kind of work. At least the ones that we’ve identified and ultimately creates a really powerful win-win.
But I do see that the future of business and Amber Vilhauer eyes. It’s definitely more about collaboration, this whole old way of doing business, where it’s more business and the way I want it to be. And I’m going to take all of the money. It’s I just think there’s something new. That’s trying to be innovated.
And I’m looking at how can two businesses almost partner up and how can they collaborate and share resources and clients. Either one feeling like they’ve given up their control, right? Like how can we have mutual control? So honestly I’m in the season of expressing connection, but in a different way, it’s company to company now.
And I’m just on the beginning of creating or designing what’s coming out of me and this idea, but that’s where Isaac’s-
[00:17:11] Natasha Miller: That sounds really exciting. It reminds me, I learned a few years ago that businesses get stuck in the five to 6 million revenues spot and without a strategic partner to help them over that hump. They stay there for quite some time. And sometimes that’s fine business owners that want to stay there. That there’s nothing wrong with that, but it was very interesting to see that some of those strategic partnerships are actually your absolute competitor. So you can, for some companies combined with somebody that is your direct competitor.
And do what you were talking about or rev share. So I would like to ask you, because it’s very exciting to me. I went all in on what you had to offer for book launch and branding and website. And I really relinquished my ego to an extent, and my control to you and to your company. So I’d love to give you this platform to describe your services.
Let’s talk specifically first about book launch, as I’m starting my own imprint. I’m only going to publish for people that are in my community, in my course, and my mastermind and my community, and some EO members, if they’re interested. So this is this double serving. We’ll be doing strategic partnerships together because.
I refer any author to you, as you probably have noticed.
So hit it.
[00:18:36] Amber Vilhauer: Thank you so much. I have been in the book world for about 15 years now and being that observer that I am, I started to see wow, this is a pretty messed up industry. You have these publishing companies. That take pretty much all of the rights and the control and the money.
And then the author is left to do all of the marketing and build a business around this book. And there’s really no education. There’s really no resource. And so then what’s going to happen is the average author is going to go. What for a book launch manager? Most book launch managers and teams will be focused on the one day of book launch and they will get you to that point.
Maybe they’ll make you number one on Amazon. Maybe you’ll be lucky and get a bestselling title. Maybe they’ll get you on a couple podcasts. They’ll teach you how to get some promotional partners where you’re asking your friends to do you a favor and you need their help. And it’s a one-way exchange. And then you’ll launch your book.
The average author sells about 250 copies of their book and the lifetime of the book, which is something that no author goes into this process, knowing that no author does. So then they get all the way to launch day and it’s surprise you sold 50 copies or a hundred copies. And the authors looking back. Why did I just spend five years in total turmoil and anguish completely like imploding personally and emotionally to get to this point to sell 50 copies.
And now they have no clue how to market the book from there. So the book dies and then they think I guess it was just my bad idea when it really wasn’t at all. And then they started to get insecure. And then that business usually feels after that. I have seen this over and over again, and it breaks my sensitive heart, Natasha.
What I did is I started thinking okay, how can we redesign this? The first thing that I saw is that we need to help authors build their business and then do the book launch. So when I’m working with an author, the first thing that I do is I get their platform in a good place. And now to me, that means that we’re either refreshing their website.
We’re fixing in some leaks in that website, or we’re starting from the ground up and building their website. Next thing I want to do is my style. I will help that author hire a creative marketing assistant. I will train that creative marketing assistant on everything that I know about how to repurpose an optimized content.
Natasha, all I’m going to ask you to do is a quick little three-minute tip video, and then I’m going to get your assistant to optimize that on YouTube. Turn it into a blog post. Do all of your social media for you. Do your weekly email marketing for you to free you up out of being in the weeds, doing the wrong things in your business.
We’ve got to protect the author. So I’ll find that person I’ll pour into them so that the marketing is getting done on a weekly, consistent basis that’s platform. Next things I’m doing is I’m working with the author to make sure that they’re honing in on the right messaging and positioning so that they can go out and start getting some speaking done on podcasts.
We’ve got to really refine that speaking skill to make sure that the messages that are going out into the. Are sticky people adopt them. People like what you have to say, and they’re attracted to you and they want to follow you. So now we’re working on growing up. You’re following another thing that makes me different is that at this stage of the game, Natasha, I’m focused on helping you monitized.
Now, I don’t know, another book launch manager on the planet that helps you focus on making money. But to me, I bear that responsibility because I know you’re investing in me. I know you’re investing in the publisher and your marketing assistant and all the other things that you’re going to be doing. I know that if I don’t help you make money, the business won’t succeed.
And then we won’t even get to the point of launching a book. So a lot of times I’m having conversations with an author about. Is there a monetization model and what’s the low hanging fruit. So we can monetize quickly because I know that we need to build your confidence, right? Authors have a lot of insecurity to overcome because it’s hard exposing yourself to the world.
Authors are givers and there are a lot of times introvert. So there’s a lot of hurdles that we have to overcome. But if we can help you monetize early out of the gates, now you’re in good shape. You’re confident you’re ready to go. You believe in yourself. Then we go through a countdown to the launch, which is really just conditioning the marketplace that something is coming, that they need. That’s gonna, that’s gonna give them a solution. Then that’s going to happen through social media, more podcasts, email countdown, serving your community that you’ve built up and getting them engaged and promoting the book during launch as well.
Then we get to the point of lunch. Hooray. And I definitely talked to authors. Self care to make sure they’re not burnt out by the time they get to their big moments. But then we usually have a live stream launch party. A lot of times there’s a charity component, a give back component. We make it about the community first, giving value first, creating that connection in that conversation.
So what we’re doing is a lot of really collaboration, right? That’s the word it’s not just about the author. It’s about a cause and a community coming together to launch this book into what will be its potential, and really making an impact in the world. But then from there, that’s probably where most book launch managers would stop.
I take it a step further. We do a debrief where I say, “Great, Natasha, we hit your goal.” Probably exceeded them. In fact, I think I always exceed them, but anyway, what we’re going to do from there is design. What is the future of Natasha’s business look like? What’s the next 12 months worth of marketing and monetization campaigning that needs to take place so that the book continues to sell.
You continue to grow your following. You continue to monetize and profit so that the business has life moving forward and only then do I feel like my job is complete? So it’s a very different approach from most other well, I’m sure maybe somebody has landed on this besides me, but I just don’t know who else is doing this depth of work or this width of work.
[00:24:59] Natasha Miller: That’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s so good. And so for me, I don’t know if you’ve heard me say this yet, but my marketing plan has turned into the monster master marketing plan. It has 21. Different points and you are fulfilling quite a few. I would love for you to talk to me about what you don’t do, because that was an important way for me to understand why I needed you and then who else I needed.
And you gave me a list, but I have a feeling it may be changing because you’re adding things. So give me a few things that you don’t do as a book as a book launch manager.
[00:25:38] Amber Vilhauer: Sure. One thing that I’ve always stayed away from is paid advertising. That’s an easy one. I have always been an organic marketing specialist because I find paid advertising to be extremely risky and ineffective.
And everybody that I’ve ever met. Not even kidding. I’ve yet to meet a person that is in profit using paid advertising, even the people whose talk about how important paid advertising is. I know behind the scenes, they’re in debt with ads. So yeah, that’s been my experience. I stay away from it. I know there are more effective paths that can lead to profit.
So paid advertising. I don’t do. I also don’t do advanced funnel work. What I mean is the type where it’s we’re going to set up. 482 email sequence. That’s going to go out over the next seven days. I don’t do that. I don’t believe in that. And so I usually would say, if that’s your jam, cool, I’m not going to judge it.
I just can’t help you there. Those are probably two things. Actually. One more that comes up to the surface is sometimes I’ll get prospects that’s coming in, asking if I’m the one that can introduce them to Gary Vaynerchuk or add my lead or whomever. And the answer is no, there are, in most cases, I will introduce my authors to people within my network, but I don’t make any guarantees.
I used to at one point, but I started to feel. Just off about it, didn’t feel clean and good to me, it felt like an obligation and it just, I don’t know, it lost its magic. So now I do it just out of Goodwill, but there are other companies that you can go to that their job is to introduce you to influencers or get you on podcasts.
Some levels of publicity and like podcast belay type stuff. But I do almost everything else.
[00:27:27] Natasha Miller: One thing we didn’t talk about in much depth. That I’m not sure you really mentioned, which I think is really important. I’m excited. So you’re not going to introduce me to Gary V or Arianna Huffington or whoever I want to be introduced, but you are asking me to note up to a hundred, maybe more of the people in my community that are influential to me.
What do you do with that information? For
[00:27:53] Amber Vilhauer: Thank you. Yes. I did gloss over relationship management, which is funny because this is such an important part of the campaign. Yes. So what I have discovered is that Natasha is an example, a lot of people from your podcast, from EO, from you were at some conference and met somebody in the hallway.
If you look back on your calendar and your email on social networks, tons of people. You have tons of connections that is more than enough in order to have an enormously successful campaign, but here’s the problem authors don’t feel comfortable asking for help. They’re not takers.
And so knowing this here’s this amazing group of people that have huge volumes of audience members prime to buy your book, but you don’t want to ask. And so what we have to do is come approach it as creating a win-win between and they’re friends or people in their network. And here’s the signature process that I have created.
It’s actually so simple that it’s funny, but I coach my authors on first documenting the people that, this is the least sexy. In the world. It’s not fun at all. It’s very time-consuming. But on the other side of it, you will be glad for the rest of your working years, that you took the time to document the people that you know, because you’ll start to refer back to that list on the next book, “Who do I want to make stories about it?”
Let me just pull up my handy-dandy spreadsheet and see who I could feature there. There’s just a million.
[00:29:24] Natasha Miller: Let me tell you one thing before you continue, because I think not you, but everyone listening, I just interviewed Jason Feifer, who’s the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine and he has his own podcast and his own brand.
And he said he has a database of basically every single person who’s ever met. Ever so that he can reach out to them. And I don’t know who he has reaching out to them, but I’ll introduce them to you.
[00:29:49] Amber Vilhauer: I needed that database, I will give listeners a handy-dandy tool that will make your life a little bit easier. And it’s called Cloze – C L O Z E – Cloze is amazing. It’s very inexpensive. It integrates with your social networks, with your email, your calendar, your iPhone contacts list. It will import all of your contacts. It will set up profiles. It’s all automated. It starts populating the last time. You’ve spoken to Beth, it’ll populate Beth’s social media so that you can stay on top of what she’s talking about.
And there’s a really awesome tagging functionality. So I can tag Beth as a podcast host, as a client, as a vendor or an influencer or whatever. And then any time that I’m looking for podcasts, To recommend an author too. I just pull up that tag and boom, they’re all of the podcast hosts that I know is just one example.
There’s even a notification system in it where I can say, I want to be reminded to reach out to my influencer contacts once a quarter. And if Cloze notices that I have not had an email exchange, social media, not in my calendar, nothing in that quarter, it will send me a notification to reach out to that influence.
There’s just, it’s an awesome tool. So check it out. Back to the book launch. Step one is the not sexy task of documenting the people that, step two is now we need to do outreach to them now in a perfect world, the author says, Amber, can’t you just do that part for me? And my answer is no, I refuse because these are your relationships they should be hearing from you.
And if they hear from me, they’re going to say, who is this assistant Amber person? No, thanks. I’m busy. And they’re going to write me off because they don’t want. What I recommend though, is a very warm approach. It could be something like, “Hey Beth, Amber here. Gosh, I know it’s been a couple of years since we spoke.
How are you?”, “How’s your kiddo just feels like yesterday that we spoke with a lot’s happened.,” And one of the things that’s happened to me as I’m watching. Book. And I’m looking for people that are in my community that can help launch it with me. And, it’s so hard for me to ask for help, but this feels so unnatural, but here’s the thing, this particular book, there’s a really important cause behind it.
And if I don’t do everything that I can to get this message out, I just can’t live with myself that I’m not helping people in this specific way. So this actually isn’t about me, it’s about the community that I’m trying to create. And I just think. Such a great human and I’d love to collaborate with you.
And you know what? I’m not like most authors that I just need a favor from you. And I’m going to send you some template, email. I actually want to make this a win, win with you. I have teamed up with a world-class book launch team and their job is to make you succeed in some way throughout the course of this launch.
So if you say yes, if you just trust. I’m going to introduce you to Amber and Amber is going to find out what you’re working on, what are your dreams and goals. And we’re going to see if there’s something that we can do to help you along with that. And in exchange, however you feel like you want to participate in the campaign.
Oh my gosh. It would mean the world. Hey, I hope you’re well, look forward to talking to you soon when you position it behind acause. When you make it about the other person, you don’t have to feel icky about it. It doesn’t have to feel stressful. And the other person is so much more excited to participate.
It’s all based on how we want to treat people, everything that I do. And every service that I offer Natasha, it’s all around. How do we want to treat people? And then from there we find. What are their dreams. We help them with that. We give them the assets based on however they want to participate in the campaign.
We get so many rave reviews from influencers going through this process, just saying, I don’t know who you hired this Amber versus, but this was awesome. And it feels really good for everybody. That’s the way it should.
[00:33:52] Natasha Miller: We just heard some incredibly juicy strategies that Amber uses to help authors launch their book projects to success, which led to her business growing 65% year over year.
For more information, go to the show notes where you’re listening to this podcast.
Want to know more about. Go to my website, OfficialNatashaMiller.com. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you loved the show. If you did, please subscribe also, if you haven’t done so yet, please leave a review where you’re listening to this podcast. Now I’m Natasha Miller, and you’ve been listening to FASCINATING ENTREPRENEURS.