For mission-driven professionals, the exchange of value is what makes every effort worth it. More than making money, you build a position that will influence the people around you. Nick Nanton, Emmy Award winning director and producer knows how to use media marketing well enough to get you on that TV show, TED talk, or even that record label. He will help you make everyone take your call and will stay with you to make sure you do what you need to do to get the deal signed. What he does is closely related to PR and marketing, and he does this best by setting things up so that people will know that you are valuable.
Today is a little unique because we just have one guest because he’s got so much to offer and to talk about. It’s hard to keep it down to 30 minutes. Nick Nanton is going to be on the show. He is a five‑time Emmy Award -Winning Director and Producer. This show is important for the audience because I get a lot of authors, speakers, consultants, people who are trying to grow their business. What he offers is very unique in terms of so many ways to get you to be a bestseller, to get you exposure on national television, everything from pitching to be a TV expert, to have a TED Talk, all those types of things we’re going to talk about with Nick.
He has worked with everybody from President George H. W. Bush, Brian Tracy, and Jack Canfield, Steve Forbes, Dan Kennedy, and Leigh Steinberg. I can’t even think of how many people he’s worked with. It’s fascinating. What he’s saying is so valuable and it’s great content. It’s one of the more interesting interviews.
Listen to the podcast here:
Media Marketing And A Mission Driven Profession with Nick Nanton
I am here with Nick Nanton, who is a five-time Emmy Award-Winning Director and Producer. Nick is known as the top agent to celebrity experts around the world for his role in developing and marketing business and professional experts through personal branding, media, marketing, and PR. Nick is recognized as the nation’s leading expert on personal branding at Fast Company Magazine‘s expert blogger on the subject and lectures regularly on the topic at major universities around the world. His book, Celebrity Branding You, while an easy and informative read, has also been used as a textbook at the university level.
Nick, you are a fascinating guy. Thank you for being on the show.
Thanks, Diane. I’m excited to be to be here.
JP Sears was on my show recently and mentioned you. Then I started looking at your bio. You have worked on TV shows and co-authored books with people like President George H. W. Bush, Brian Tracy, and Jack Canfield. The list of these people with whom you’ve worked is pretty impressive. I’m very interested in finding out how you got to that level. I watched a couple of your Brian Tracy interviews and things that you had out there, but if you can share some of your background of what got you to this point, it would be interesting for the listeners.
What got me here is probably a big lesson too. I started out in music. I still am a songwriter. I write a lot of country music in Nashville. I have a publishing deal up there for writing music. I started playing guitar at six. I started songwriting at sixteen, put out my first record at eighteen of which there’s still about 800 copies on my parents’ bed because I didn’t know how to market them. Now that I do know how to market, I’m very glad they’re staying on my parents’ grants bed. I got into music and I was driven as a kid and we had some businesses. I wanted to be in the music business. We lived in a suburb of Orlando and my parents were immigrants. They came from Barbados. We moved here when I was one, but my family has been in an island for 300 years, came as Welsh pirates in the 1600s. They didn’t know anybody in the music business. I was trying to figure it out. We had America Online back then maybe but there certainly wasn’t the internet as we know it now. I bought a book called All You Need to Know About the Music Business and I read up on it. It said, “If you want anyone to pay attention to you, you’ve got to get a lawyer. You got to get an attorney. They’ll help you get what you need in the music business. They will help you get to the record label. No one will talk to anyone if you’re not a lawyer, blah, blah blah.” I started calling around using the phone book back then, calling entertainment lawyers around Orlando because I didn’t know anybody who knew any. Maybe one of my parents’ friends might have been a lawyer, and I called them and tried to get a referral. I had a hard time getting anyone to take my call because I was sixteen years old, I had a voice that was super young and inexperienced.
I was frustrated by the fact that I just wanted a seat at the table to discuss some things, so I can learn, so I can grow. I knew I probably wasn’t ready to be famous at sixteen, I was going to need to work on my craft and everything else. I needed some guidance and mentoring and no one would take my call. Eventually I found a guy who had done record deals for Matchbox Twenty, if you remember them and Rob Thomas back in those days, late 90s. He was in Orlando and he took my call and he gave me some advice and he was super nice. A funny thing happens, by the way, about eight or nine years ago now, I met him. He was in a Bible study, showed up one day at a Bible study I was in and I was like, “I got to tell you, you’re the only dude who took my call. You’re a solid dude and I appreciate it.” It’s so funny how the world works. It was that frustration and then I went off to college and I was building my businesses. I was still writing. I started managing bands. A really funny thing happened, I started getting some contacts, started doing some things. I worked with some organizations at the University of Florida because they had big budgets to bring in speakers and authors and world leaders. I started talking about how I had done some of this stuff with these world leaders.
The big shift was my parents told my brother and me that they wanted us both to get professions because this was a necessary thing. We can do whatever we wanted in life, but we need to get a profession. We both said no. My brother is two years older than me and he screws it up and he goes to med school, so I got to do something. I’m not going to get into med school. I finished undergrad in two and a half years in Finance and I went to law school because I could get into law school. I never wanted to practice law in my life, but having the degree would probably be helpful in the entertainment business. A funny thing happened, once I got into law school, everyone started taking my calls and nothing had changed about me. I wasn’t calling about law. I was calling about songwriting and bands I was working with, but all the sudden I got this amazing amount of respect because I had this different positioning. I wasn’t just a kid working with garage bands. I was a kid in law school working in the garage and that was fascinating. Things started changing.
Then I reconnected with my mentor who I met in high school. He had done a ton of work in personal branding and direct marketing. He shared with me some of the secrets and helped me see that I had some skills that I took for granted because they came easily to me. I’ve worked with some major celebrities while I was at the university. During college, undergrad, and law school, I’ve built these bands and I built brands for bands around me on a shoestring budget because we had no money. We had to be able to compete with Metallica who was spending a million dollars on artwork for their CD and we had $500 and we had to not only record the CD, we did our artwork, we had to get major distribution but we had to be able to fight for a spot in the stores at the time, the CD warehouses, and all these stores in order to get noticed. I had learned how to crank the music, create the music videos, and I got to create stuff that would stack up against million dollar brands, but we did it on a budget. He helped me to see those talents that I had, but then to start using personal branding and direct marketing and build a position for myself.
Then I started doing other things and obviously these things have a cascading effect. If you are looking at the negative in everyday life, it’s going to get worse and worse and worse. If you look at the positive in life, you can get better, better and better. Over time I started using each thing I had done, stuff I had done at the university, and working with people like George Bush, Gorbachev, John Mayer, and I did some of the PR and some of the poster design to get them in. I worked personally with the people when Gene Simmons was coming in. I then had this resume of things I had done for free really to get in the conversation. I started earning a seat at the table and I started using that position to get to an entry level to get more conversations, and that’s been the rest of my life. This is our eleventh year in business. We’ve worked with over 3,000 clients in 36 countries around the world. I’ve used my positioning to co-author books with Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, and Steve Forbes. I’ve interviewed Ivanka Trump. I did Larry King’s life story. I’m currently working with Richard Branson to nail down doing his. I’ve worked with a lot of amazing people. I just got back from doing a documentary on an organization that stops sex trafficking all around the world. We literally did an overnight raid in Haiti and freed four kids out of sex trafficking and arrested the kingpin. I get into some amazing positions I never would’ve expected, all because I continue to build on my positioning.
At the end of the day, I work hard to help other people to make sure that there’s an exchange of value and my whole life is based on exchange of value. I realize from trying to get that seat at the table in the music business at sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty, so many people feel like the world owes them something or “You need to respond to my email Mr. Attorney because I need your help.” It’s such an easier conversation if you say, “Here’s what I’m trying to do. Maybe I can do something for you. I don’t know exactly what you need,” It’s approaching things with knowing that no one owes you anything and look at what I bring to the table. I think that is the basis for the conversation. That’s how I got to here and we can dig into anything you want to dig into.
There’re so many areas I want to dig into because you do so many different things. You help people get noticed. You can help them become a bestseller. You can help them to get on TV shows. How are you different than a PR agency? What do you call what you do?
Being a media marketing and PR firm is really the face of our agency. I would say at the end of the day, I know what it takes to get anyone to take your call. Then you’ve got to be able to do what you need to do in order to get a deal done or do the work and deliver well. It’s all those things, but that are the secrets of getting noticed, getting people to take their call, or getting clients to notice you as well. I work a lot with Dan Sullivan whom I know from Strategic Coach, an amazing guy. He helped me realize it’s just that unique ability. You wouldn’t even consider retirement. If we really work this life the way that he thinks we’re supposed to, and I agree with this philosophy, it’s not to do something. It’s not to postpone the life you want until you’re 65 and bust your ass to wear yourself out between now and then to have enough money in the bank. It’s all about “What is it that I would love to do until my last breath or until I couldn’t do it anymore? How do I set things up with the unique ability to teamwork with people around me to where if I help them with what they need, they would help me?” I only have to do this one thing that I love doing, I get more excited by it, and more motivated by it every day, people need it and it’s something that I get paid better for, I can commercialize it, and what is that?
I realized that my unique ability stems back from what I’ve learned to do and I guess I’ve honed the craft over the years. I have conversations that helped me and my clients create media that facilitates commerce, create art that facilitates commerce. We’ve done stuff with custom painting, I work with clients. I’ll say I got into making documentaries and I made over 50 docs and I’ve won five Emmy’s for them. We use books for that purpose. We use coffee table books for that purpose. I approach what I do, particularly private consulting like, “What do you want to do? What do you want to read?” Our mission at my agency is to help the most people help the most people. It sounds funny but it’s like Dr. Diane, you’re on a mission to do something, and I only work with mission-driven people, entrepreneurs, professionals. It can’t be about the money because we’d all run out of steam so fast when it’s about that. We all need it and we’ve got to make ends meet. I got three kids going to Christian school. It costs money. There’s a house to pay for, go on trips, whatever, but why you do what you do? It is you have a mission. Why I love working with mission‑driven people is because if you wake up today and you don’t accomplish that mission, it doesn’t mean you’re going to quit. You’re going to wake up tomorrow and you’re going to pound through that brick wall, brick by brick until you get there.
I like working with those kinds of people and it’s like, “What do you intend to accomplish? Who do you need to get on board with this?” You need these customers and clients, you need these government officials’ approval to do something. Let’s look at what would catch their attention in a way that no one else is showing up and help you show up in a super legitimate way that would get their attention to allow you to have that conversation. I start from that context. We’ve done it a bunch of different ways. If you want clients to pay attention to you if you’re running a high-end financial advisory firm, I have the opportunity where you could co-author a book with Steve Forbes. That’s interesting certainly in the financial world. What you do if you’re co‑authoring a book with Steve Forbes, it’s called Successonomics. In the book they were able to talk about a particular angle on anything in business. If we’re talking about a financial advisor, they’re talking about how they approach generational wealth or whatever it is. You start showing up differently, and as you do that, you make everyone else look like that bad used car salesman or lawyer just barks at you. It’s like everybody else looked so out of class that you then get to play the game the way you want to play it. Hopefully that answers your question.
You did. I recently attended the Genius Network event and Dan Sullivan was there and that is where I met JP Sears, who had told me about his work with you. You guys are doing a mockumentary. It was a great event and very interesting. Tony Robbins and great people are there and so you’re around these amazing people and you help people get exposure with what you do and your company. I meet a lot of people from those kinds of events and the masterminds in the different events. I’m part of C-Suite advisors in different places like that. I’m around a lot of consultants, speakers, and authors, and there’s a lot of those are my audience. That would be the type of people that would come to you and say, “I want to be on the bestseller list. I want to get on the Today Show. I want to get on whatever.” That’s the thing you can help them with. How does it work? Do they sign contracts with you? Do you take percentages? I’m curious how it all works.
We have a lot of offerings that we offer to clients because this is what we do. We have group programs of collaborative bestseller books, we have group TV opportunities where we film in Hollywood. Sometimes we have, like Jack Canfield to work with me and do interviews for me and we’ll Hollywood Live with Jack Canfield or whatever it is, and also some private consulting. Here’s how I explain what we do to everybody. You have to understand how media and marketing work together in order to make sense of what we do and to understand it. Most people, at the beginning, once you hit a certain level in your business and you gain some confidence and you know you’re helping people and you want to help more people, it becomes a pretty obvious next step, like, “I need more exposure. I need more people to know who I am so that I can do the work I need to do to help more people.” The common thought is like, “I need to get some PR. I need to get to the local newspaper. I need to get to the national newspaper, I need to get in the news.” That’s not wrong, but here’s the thing that is wrong about it. I’ve been in a ton of media because that’s what we do. I’ve probably been in over a hundred major media sources. Let’s say out of a hundred, I’ve gotten not many calls or emails about anything.
When you’re reading the Wall Street Journal or USA Today or you’re watching Good Morning America, you hear great stories, you read from smart people, you read great quotes, but how many times have you said “That’s brilliant I’m going to stop everything I’m doing, I’m going to find that person and go work with him.” That’s not what we do. We’re watching these things and reading these things for education and entertainment, but we’re not seeking out sources for business. We might see a commercial or we might see an ad in there that will interrupt and go “Call this guy for this help or free leads” or whatever it is. That’s how people start to get your attention and to get you into business then. Those mass media formats, they’re good for two things: credibility and awareness. Neither of those which you can spend or eat, but they’re great for getting into another conversation. They’re great for being able to say, “I have been in USA Today and Wall Street Journal, and recently on the Today Show.” Somebody was on the Today Show this morning. They probably have worked for years to get on the Today Show, and cost them thousands and thousands, probably hundreds of thousands dollars in PR firms and everything else. I don’t know about you but I didn’t see him and neither did a lot of other people and they’re never going to hear that episode again. The best thing you get out of mass media is the credibility of having been on it and if you can get the clip is the game changer because hopefully they talked to you about what you can do.
I was making a movie on poverty in Mexico a few years ago. I got a call from the Today Show to come on. I was super excited and like “This is going to be awesome.” They wanted me to come on the show because they did some game show with people on the street and had experts in the studio and it was Nicolas Cage’s birthday. They wanted all the experts named Nick. I couldn’t make it because I had to get the Mexico. I could have made the flight so I could get to New York to do the show and then get to Mexico the same day. I still would’ve done it to say I had been Today Show, but I can guarantee you, it wasn’t going to get me a lot of business by being a guy named Nick on Nicolas Cage’s birthday doing men on the street sort of thing. This is the way this thing works, but credibility and awareness, they are great at. The other side of it is there’s direct media. Direct media is any sort of media that someone creates for the purpose of getting it to people who might do business with you. The very basic is you collect business cards and contacts and you have your own personal way, you’re online, and hopefully you’re giving people some reason to opt in so you can keep communicating with them. Things like a podcast are a direct media format. You take this podcast and this audio and you send it to the people who signed up for it either on iTunes or on your website. If you have newsletter list, you send them physical newsletters, CDs, DVDs, newsletters, flyers, postcards, these are all direct media formats.
Direct media is amazing because you can create to suit your need. The problem with it is it lacks credibility. Here’s what I call the secret formula for me to success, it’s taking mass media credentials and credibility and inserting them in your direct media. When you go out with a sales piece or an email or newsletter or a postcard, it could be something like, “My name is Nick Nanton. You might have seen me in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek or on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox. Here’s what I’m here to tell you.” They probably didn’t see me in any of those because they were here today and gone tomorrow, but they’re now paying attention. People are going “Have I been in a coma? How did I miss this person?” It’s because you weren’t looking when I was there. The best thing I can get is utilizing that credibility and then pushing it back out to you and saying, “Here’s the deal.” Or getting a copy of when I was on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, on Times Square Today, or whatever, and sending it to prospects and say “I was recently on this show that aired on these networks. You might have missed it. In case you did watch this short five to seven-minute interview. I think you’ll understand why I do what I do.” These are all formats of allowing you to tell your story.
I break down branding very simply. A lot of people will charge you as much as you will allow them. They do great jobs to help you analyze colors and slogans and logos and all these stuff, which are all great stuff, but I think people miss the first step a lot of times. Branding is simply storytelling and your brand is simply your story. Media allows you to tell that story hopefully in an interesting format so people can get to know you and why you’re different. At the end of the day, your story is literally the only thing that other people can’t copy. I know a lot of intellectual property law, I’ve done a fair amount of it, trademarks and patents, and yet people can get around it all for the most part, but what they cannot do is copy your story, your heart and soul of why you do things, and that’s what allows you to build a business. More importantly, a unique business that allows you to charge the rates you want to charge, the position you want to be positioned, to take the clients you want to take, and not the ones you don’t, and it’s all because of your positioning and your story. I start with clients helping them understand the difference between mass media and direct media, and then we do it for them. We have our own shows. We have a show called Times Square Today than films in Times Square. We have a show called Wall Street Today. We have Hollywood Live with Jack Canfield. We have a show called Success Today. We’ve done with Brian Tracy Show. We’ve done a ton of these. We had Michael Gerber hosting a show with us.
We air them on TV and oftentimes they air in the middle of the night and there was nobody. It doesn’t matter because even if we paid to air it nationally, people would still miss it. We execute these things on behalf of our clients, help them get the credibility they need, and the position they need, the media credentials they need so they can get into the conversation. We do it for them. We do it in a way that as long as you understand what we’re doing and you’re honest about it, you’re still getting it. If I air you on my show on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox Affiliates in the middle of the night from nowhere, you can say, “I was recently on this show. It was directed by a five-time Emmy Award-winning director, and we filmed in Times Square. It’s called Times Square Today. They interviewed me about my business and why I do what I do, and it ended up airing on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox affiliates across the country. In case you missed it, I’d love you to see it. Here’s the way to check it out, here is a DVD, or here’s a memory stick with it on there. Check it out. I’d love to have a conversation with you if you feel like we would be a good fit.” Instantly all of that positioned you in a totally different way than about anyone else in your community that you will be “competing with” and not to ramble on and on.
I’ve got three kids who are on sports and dance and whatever it is they’re in. I went to golf not too long ago with my son and I was talking to another dad and it typically comes up, “What do you do?” I told him a little bit about me and I said “Give me your card now I’ll send you a package in the mail.” We call it a shock and awe box. We got that term from Dan Kennedy. Instead of emailing a link to a website when you meet somebody or someone calls you or whatever, we send physical stuff. I sent an autographed copy of my Wall Street Journal Bestseller Story. I sent a couple of copies of DVDs of the movie I made on Peter Diamandis and the first private space flight with Will.i.am, Richard Branson, and Bill Clinton. I sent them a copy of the tear sheet of an article I was in on USA Today, and I think I was in Forbes. They probably still can’t figure it out quickly exactly what I do. As we get to it he’s going to be marketing for me because anybody who comes up that mentions the words media, marketing or PR, people are like, “I know this guy. I can’t explain what he does, but he’s written bestselling books. He’s worked with Larry King, Steve Forbes, and Jack Canfield, so I could probably introduce you if you want.”
All of a sudden, he feels good about the credibility he could have by introducing me to somebody that he knows and it’s like the warmest prospect lead ever. Me and this guy may end up doing some business, but the positioning is so radically different from anything else that anybody else is looking at. It’s all of a sudden you show up so differently because of the media and the credibility that we establish for our clients. Again, you got to be to deliver in order to do the job. You got to do it well. You got to go to do it with excellence, not just as good as everybody else. You got to do it with excellence, but this allows you to have those conversations and get those gigs.
I’ve had different experts on the show like Gerhard Gschwandtner and you’ll hear him say on his YouTube site he charges $6,000 to do the video or whatever if you want to be on that particular video. It’s not cheap to get on a lot of these things. You’ve got the credibility, you probably have to spend quite a bit to get this credibility. If you’re writing a book, you’re not making a lot from writing the book, because the book itself is another piece. It’s your new business card. You got a book, you spent all this money writing a book, you spent all this money getting on TV shows and all this, how do you get the payback at that point? For example, you want to be TV expert or something, you want to be the one they come to have a more continual exposure on TV. How can people pitch this where they’re not spending a ton of money and still getting exposure?
There is the chicken and egg problem with the TV. It’s really hard to get on TV the first time because they are worried you’re going to suck. They don’t want that. What we do with our clients is we give them the chicken and egg. We give you the interview. When you have already some footage and you can say you’ve been on NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox, here’s the sample interview,” all of a sudden, you been vetted already, so it’s easier to get more pickup. There is a different question that gives you a better result and that is “What do I need to do?” At the end of the day, it’s all going to come down to “What are you doing to market and grow your business?” and so it all comes down to marketing. I can give you all the media and exposure in the world and if you don’t know how to regularly and continually market your business, it isn’t going to work. I have so many clients who sadly we’ve tried to help them, but they don’t become a bestselling author, sometimes multiple times over, and essentially all the books are sitting in their closet. You make money by having a book, not by selling the book. I’ve made my first seven businesses by giving away a thousand books. Traveling around the country, speaking at events that were already happening for free, giving away books and pitching my services so people would hire me. That’s one method of marketing, speaking at events. I was speaking and selling. Certainly email marketing is a big deal. A direct mail is a big deal. Facebook marketing is a big deal.
I have lectured for a number of years called Building Your Business Empire. There’re three pillars to this. One is positioning. We talked about that. You got to position yourself, so you’re different to everybody else. By utilizing your personality and other things, you can position yourself differently. Positioning and then credibility. We talked about utilizing media to get credentials, and then community. The concept of building a community is not new. You build a community through email and through direct mail and through Facebook groups and all this stuff. The only thing about it is you’re building a community of people who are within the realm of people who do business with you and you have to continually nurture those people with content, share things with them. When the time comes, they’re going to do business with you. They’re going to pick you because you’ve been their friend in the business and building a relationship with them for days, weeks, months or years. Sometimes I speak to rooms of with a couple thousand people and I’ll say, “How many of you are looking to buy a car in the next week?” You might have one or two people. “How many of you are looking to buy in the next year?” and some hands go up. “How many in the next three to five years?” and almost everyone’s hands will go up.
The problem is most of us do the marketing today and we’d get frustrated that not everyone bought, not realizing that there’s a continuum. Dan Kennedy calls it a moving parade. So people notice things when they’re ready to see it, and when they are ready to see it, it appears. Just because you’re ready to show it to them doesn’t mean that’s when it’s going to show up. You have to be willing and able to constantly market. By doing so, you’ve got to constantly communicate with your audience in a way that is interesting because you have to communicate a lot, and pitch and share a lot. Once you do that, then they will listen to you and they’ll pay attention to what you’re offering or what you’re marketing and when they’re ready, they will purchase those services. The real secret to the whole deal is marketing. I mean the positioning and the credibility, you need to have, but most importantly, you got to create a system for continually creating community and nurturing people around you.
A lot of the audience is probably wondering how much they need to spend before they start making. Is it going to take a long time to get to the point where they’ve built the credibility? Where they’re not just writing books and doing things where they’re not getting the return yet.
The more credibility you have, the easier it is, but it’s a continuum. I’ll quote Dan Kennedy again, he says, “Money buys speed.” You can certainly spend a lot and get it all quicker but work with what you’ve got. Even if you start writing your book today and put a title to it and you add to your bio that you’re the author of the forthcoming book X, Y, Z, you now have more credibility than you had an hour ago because you are now an author of a forthcoming book. Use what you’ve got. I hate that mentality of “I’m waiting for this to happen.” It’s not a good philosophy. Work with what you’ve got today, do the best of what you’ve got, and start building one day at a time. It’s so much easier, “I’m just going to wait until this happens,” but it typically never happens. You just got to start. I would encourage people to do that. You could do things for free if you learn the ropes, read the books on PR, and figure out how to do it and how to get people’s attention or you can hire a firm like mine and we do it all the time and you can get it much quicker. It’s going to cost you some money but what’s the opportunity cost of the time saved and not having to learn how to figure it out and, and beat chance? I’ve been on both sides of that spectrum many different times in my life. I’m not putting either side down. It’s different. You could do it yourself. I did all this stuff myself. I figured out how to do it and I offered it to clients and there’s plenty of people who would like to use money to buy speed, and so don’t wait, just start doing it.
When you’re talking about doing things yourself, what do you think about self-publishing versus getting a publisher? What’s your advice on that one?
I had a very similar discussion of the other stuff we’ve been talking about. What’s the goal? There is massive credibility in being published by a major publisher, but your hands are tied in so many ways too. The books will cost you a fortune. It takes two to three years to get your book out into the marketplace, which doesn’t do you much good. Self publishing, the problem is people don’t know how to publish a good book. They don’t know what makes a good book. It looks and feels like garbage because they use their creative space and didn’t know what they are doing. You can’t publish good books from creative space, but there’s an art to making a nice looking and feeling book from font to spacing to page counting, margins, all that stuff, but either one can work for you. We own a publishing company. I call it Hybrid. People pay us to publish their books, so it is sort of a self-publishing audible. We have major distribution and we handle everything for you. We know what we’re doing, so we’re going to give you a great looking book in the market place with distribution, but you’re going to hire us to provide that service. At the same time, you will be published by a company that’s published Brian Tracy, Steve Forbes, Jack Canfield, Richard Branson, Larry King, and everybody else. It’s a Hybrid model. I like the space we’re in because we’re sort of in the middle. I think we have the best of both worlds, but either one of those other models can work for you. You have to know the weaknesses and the strengths in them and not just expect.
Most people are searching for this one person who can change your life. It’s been the same in the record business, like “I got to find this record exec to sign me a record deal. I’m going to keep doing and wait for that to happen.” Same thing with the book publishing business, same thing with the TV business, we’re all looking for this one guy behind the desk who can change our lives. There’s a long way to go about it because it’s rarely happens. I work with musicians and when I work with them, “Why don’t we start building the business of you utilizing your unique ability and start getting you paid now?” When it makes sense for that record label or for that publisher to become a business partner, trust me, they will show up when the time is right. JP is hot right now in Facebook and everything else. Trust me, he didn’t have to go searching for publishers. When you are hitting your stride, everyone appears out of the woodwork. At that point, you’re a good business partner and you build your business. Other than that, if you were lucky enough, we’ll call you to get a deal before that time, but no matter what, you’re going to give away way more than you should because you don’t have the bargaining power to leverage or the clout to get what you deserve because you haven’t built it yet. You’re getting lucky and you’re going to get a little bit instead of taking the time and not taking the shortcut, taking the time to build into where this makes sense for all parties, so it’s a fair deal.
You’re talking about a lot of different things. We’ve got authors of books. We’ve got different kinds of things. I get a lot of people who have their own podcasts or they want to have their own podcast and a lot of them have difficulty getting sponsors because it’s hard to prove ROI or iTunes doesn’t give data. What advice do you give people who want to get sponsors? Do you get into that area at all?
Yeah. It’s an exchange of value. What value can I provide somebody? They have something that you want, you want their money. You want a sponsor. What do you have that they want? If it’s not data and matrix, can I make some marketing videos for them because that’s what I do and my main business? What can I do that gives them value so they can get something they need and they want to give me what I want? That’s the never-ending question with everyone we deal with, “How do I give them something that they want to get what I want?” It’s the same question all the time.
What about to TEDx Talks? Do you help with that?
Yeah. We can help people. We have a speaking program and coaching program where we help develop keynotes and we have developed TED Talks and all that stuff, yes.
Somebody like me, I come to you and I say “I have this podcast. I’ve written books.” What’s the process I can expect to go through with you?
We would see what’s your next goal and what do you want to accomplish and let me look at my suite of services. I’ll share some of the things that we’ve got coming up and we decide what we think will work the best. A lot of things I have is like you need everything. You need the credibility to have a resume that gets the phone to ring at NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox and bestselling author of over 50 books. You need all this stuff, but I always encourage people to first do what excites you the most. Because if you’re not excited about something, you’re not going to talk about it and no one is going to know. If you’re excited about it and you talk about it, it’s going to work for you because you’re going to feel the momentum with it. It would depend on what you want to accomplish next and how do we move to get you there. Sometimes it’s not the position, sometimes you already have that, sometimes you can add to it, but sometimes it literally is the marketing. We have a full service marketing firm too because that’s where our revenue comes from. Revenue comes from marketing. It does not come from you.
If you want a bestseller, how does that happen?
We do bestseller campaigns on people’s individual books. We publish audio books for individuals. We also have full programs where we have collaborative books with other celebrities and stuff. We handle everything. You deliver us your chapter and we handle all the editing, designs, and publishing and then we handle the bestseller campaigns and everything. The next thing you’re a bestselling author. We have the Gold Quill Awards which is the only independent author awards in the world. We hold them in Hollywood California at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is where they held the first Oscar’s. The same craftsmen who make the Emmy’s and Oscars make our statue for us. They are a 14-inch golden quills and we bring 200 to 300 bestselling authors to Hollywood every year and have our awards in a couple of days of amazing speakers and sharing and building community. That’s how we do things if someone wants to become a bestselling author. They will work with us throughout the whole process and we handle it all. We will walk you through the process and then you become a bestselling author and you come and get your award and meet a bunch of great people. You still got to go back and do the work, do the business, and build your business and build your marketing.
How do you define bestselling author? Is that on Amazon? Through Wall Street Journal? Something else?
The way I define it is any independent bestseller list. If you own that list, I don’t think that’s fair, but if someone else has the list and I can get you to hit it, so we do a lot on Amazon, we do our fair share of Wall Street Journal and other things too. The Amazon sells more books than anyone in the world, so we usually use it.
Is it true that you can’t be on the New York Times Best Seller list if you self-publish?
That’s been my experience because we had the numbers to do it, but they would not let my business partner on the list because they consider our book self-publishing. We’ve published over 2,000 authors, so I posed the question, “If Mr. McGraw and Mr. Hill wrote their own book and they published with McGraw-Hill, would you call that self published?” They didn’t have a smart answer for that one, but that is what I had seen.
What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to get known? Is it trying to do it themselves? Doing too many things? What’s the worst thing that you’ve seen people do?
I think a lot of people run out of gas or run out of money because they don’t realize that the media is not the cash-generating engine. It’s a piece of the puzzle and then they have to do step two in order to actually generate revenue with utilizing that media and their marketing. I see that mistake over and over and over again because media is sort of easy. You can either do it yourself or you can hire someone, but then it becomes the “Then what?” Nobody talks about step two because you have a lot of sexy, high-end, expensive firms selling step one. It’s probably not in their best interest to talk about step two, so they don’t, so a lot of people don’t understand the relationship between the media and the marketing.
There’s so much content out there. You can do an email campaign. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people. All day long, you get these. How effective is that? Everybody’s overdoing it and you’re getting so much of it. Many experts say, “Give out this for free and do that, have all this content, which is give, give, give,” but are people sick of getting?
How interesting are you? If you are the only person that shares amazingly helpful stuff, you’re my guy, you’re my lady. It’s your job to be interesting. People have content, video, writing books that can’t be too long, it’s too boring, but at what point is it too boring? You got to figure that out.
It’s fascinating the people you’ve worked with. I’ve done some work with Steve Forbes and I worked with him quite a bit. These are pretty big name people. How do you get people to want to do books? If I wanted to do a book with Steve Forbes or if I didn’t know him, or Jack Canfield, what’s in it for them?
I have built relationships along the way. If I found a way to provide value to them, and so they’re willing to work with me. The same question as always when I meet somebody, “I’d love to work with this person. What would make them want to work with me?” I figured out what their hot buttons are and it’s known, and do what I say I’m going to do and try to provide amazing value to them. I’m sure that sounds cliché because so many people are like “How can I add value to what you’re doing?” It’s just full of crap; they’re just staying that stuff, but literally what is it that actually adds value and just trying to find that stuff and deliver.
Is there a budget you’d recommend people spend when they’re first starting all this? How much is too much or not enough to spend do you think?
We have a lot of things starting at under $1,000 a month for twelve-month period, $697 to $997 a month. I think that’s a comfortable level for a lot of people. I would say you got to make sure you have an equal amount of budget, whether that’s time that you can do yourself or money to spend on marketing once you do beyond it. I like the Nascar racing, they tell their sponsors, “For every dollar you spend on Nascar, you need to have another dollar put aside to market what you’re doing or else it’s not going to work.” It doesn’t have to necessarily be another dollar, but at least an investment of time. Doing this stuff isn’t going to return on its own. You have to invest the time or the money into marketing. Marketing can be everything from attending a local BNI group, attending a seminar, or going to a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group and not standing up like a Twitter. They say it’s equivalent to the largest cocktail party in the world. You wouldn’t go to a cocktail party and stand up on a chair when you first arrive and say, “I’ve got mortgages at 4%.” That’s inappropriate, but you go in and you start adding value and conversing with people. At some point they understand that you’re helping people understand in the mortgage group what would get them a better deal on how and who they should be working with. It could be a roofer or a landscaper and you go to places where you can provide value and then you become the obvious expert and people will hire you. That’s how I would approach it.
Do you give an outline of what you should be doing? How idiot proofed is it for people? Are you doing it for them?
We have both models. I would say the easy thing is our book, Celebrity Branding You, which you can download for free at our website or you can get on Kindle, you can get it on Amazon, or whatever. It has a step by step system on how to do a lot of this stuff yourself. The whole investment side, you can spend as much as you want sort of one offering in the marketplace. The fact of the matter is that’s almost the wrong focus. It’s like “What do you want to accomplish and what’s going to help you get there?” If we’re a piece of that puzzle, which we are for many people, we can crush it for you. If people are only focused on ROI, they’re only focused on the money they’re going to get back, the feel will wear out fast. I would ask you, “What do you want to accomplish? What’s your commitment to it?” and then utilize your resources wisely to get there. Hire somebody, do it yourself, do a part, do a part, hang out with other people, it’s like bootstrapping is a thing. I love Gary V., but so many people lose the message in the hustle/grind, hustle/grind, grind/hustle. You got to do this particularly to get started, but most importantly, what’s important to you, what you want to accomplish and how do you start knocking down that hundred mile wall, a brick at a time. This is a piece of it, but most importantly, make sure that whatever vision you have is important enough to you and you’re going to stick with it. “I’m going to do whatever it takes. I’m going to be using enough ingenuity to figure it out. No matter if someone takes all my money away tomorrow, I’m going to keep going.”
You’ve kept going. You’ve done all these things. You’ve done this company for 11 years. Are you expanding? Is this what you want to continue doing? What’s the next step for you?
I’m spending the majority of my time making documentaries and writing country music which is awesome. I’m doing private consulting for clients that understand what I do and want to enter the business. I’m going to keep doing that and keep talking to people. My goal is to help as many people as I can, whether that’s through feeding people in foreign countries or helping reverse the cycle of poverty in Mexico, or helping a law firm that does personal injury work, get the client to understand how they’re different than others and they want to help. I’m going to keep doing that and it seems a good way to get to places.
You’ve obviously been doing something right. The work you’ve done is amazing, and the people with whom you’ve connected. It’s been fun to talk to you. I think a lot of people would want to know more about how they can find out about your company and how they can reach you and all that. Can you share all your sites and contact information that you’d like to share?
You can go to NickNanton.com or you can Google me and you’ll find me. I’m not hard to find because of what I do. If you go to CelebrityBrandingAgency.com, you’ll find a bunch of resources and obviously if you opt in to the list, you can get some free downloads and stuff. If you were opt in to the list, you would be invited to the webinars and calls and we’ll keep educating as we try to keep building the community and you can be part of it.
I’m looking forward to your mockumentary with JP. That will be fun. He’s so great. You’re so great. I don’t know how I missed seeing you at the Genius Network, but maybe I’ll see you at the next one. We have so many people we know in common. It would be fun to see you live. Thank you so much for being on the show and I appreciate it.
My pleasure anytime. Thank you.
I want to thank Nick Nanton for being my guest. He had some great advice for a lot of different areas. I hope you take some time to check out his site. If you’ve missed any of the past episodes, please go to DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com, or you can find us on so many different sites out there. We’re on C-Suite radio, part of Jeffrey Hayzlett’s group and that’s an impressive group of people that have their podcasts and radio shows featured there. I hope you check us out on that site. I’m happy to be part of that group. We’re on iTunes, Roku and just about anywhere else. To find out more, you can also go to our site and we’ll notify you every time that there’s a new episode. I hope you all join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Nick Nanton
Nick Nanton is a 5-Time Emmy Award Winning Director and Producer. Nick Nanton is known as the Top Agent to Celebrity Experts around the world for his role in developing and marketing business and professional experts, through personal branding, media, marketing and PR. Nick is recognized as the nation’s leading expert on personal branding as Fast Company Magazine’s Expert Blogger on the subject and lectures regularly on the topic at major universities around the world. His book Celebrity Branding You®, while an easy and informative read, has also been used a text book at the University level.