I’m coming out with the book, “The Get-it-Done Guy’s Nine Steps to Work Less and Do More” in August 2010. I’d like to build a business around the book that’s sufficient to support me. My theory is that step one is building an audience. I want to build my audience as large as possible between now and when the book comes out. The question is: which audience? With which content? How? And is there any money attached (I have mortgage payments to make)?
My content and expertise spans three largely independent areas. While there’s some overlap, the markets and products are pretty much different. I have blogs and newsletters in multiple areas and keeping all of it going for the next year is a huge amount of effort. Right now my priority is purely to build enough of a following to make the book a big hit. Here’s all the stuff I’m doing:
Personal productivity (2 blogs, Facebook page, newsletter, show website). The Get-it-Done Guy. This is the weekly podcast that I host, but do not own. We’ll be adding a tip-of-the-week newsletter as well. There’s a Get-it-Done Guy blog that belongs to me (you’re reading it), a website for the show (http://getitdone.quickanddirtytips.com) with episode transcripts and archives, a Facebook page for the show that has episode transcripts, and someday a book website. I have an email overload audiocourse “You Are Not Your Inbox” but sales are low enough that I’m not sure it’s a viable product.
Entrepreneurship and Leadership (website, newsletter, blog, prior reputation). This was the focus of my coaching business, which I shut down to work at Babson College (#1 for entrepreneurship in the world, 15 years running) last year. My former professional brand is around entrepreneurship and leadership. I’ve been an expert columnist in Entrepreneur.com and on Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, appeared in all the major publications (NYTimes, WSJ, etc.), etc. I have a website (http://www.SteverRobbins.com, with its own entrepreneurship subsection), a ten-year newsletter that’s been dormant for about 6 months, and a business-oriented blog. This seems to me to be the “highest status” area, but I’ve been doing it for quite a while and am in the mood for a change.
Career development (product ideas, but no “official” brand here). This came about after I had been volunteering as a career coach for Harvard Business School’s career coaching staff for several years. I saw many students making assumptions about careers and career planning that were flat out wrong. While I’ve never done much with this in terms of professional offerings, it’s an area where I have something to add, at least in terms of creating a product or two. I have a free resource page I used to give students who were working on cover letters: http://www.SteverRobbins.com/coverletter
My immediate quandry is where should I focus my online and social media presence, brand, and efforts? Maintaining two newsletters (leadership and Get-it-Done Guy), multiple blogs, and developing products in multiple areas is a lot of work. Is there some way this can all be combined? Should it be? Should I simply say adieu to some of my offerings? Should I continue to take coaching and consulting clients even though I’m not promoting that part of my business? Keep in mind I don’t own the Get-it-Done Guy brand, so anything done with that brand and trademark must likely be done in conjunction with Macmillan.
What are your thoughts? I’m less interested in branding issues right now (my ultimate brand will be Stever Robbins, an umbrella for everything I do), and much more interested in where to focus my efforts. Should I restart my business/entrepreneurship/leadership newsletter? Should I shut it down completely? Should I blog everywhere? Should I keep only one blog? etc.