In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Michael DeLon. Michael is a Credibility Marketing Expert who helps business owners publish a book that positions them as an expert in their field. He’s also the author of On Marketing: The Definitive Guide for Small Business Owners.
Building credibility as an expert in your field is an essential component to reaching new audiences and attracting new customers and clients. If you want to build your credibility, publishing a book is a way to do just that. In this episode, I talk with Michael DeLon about how publishing your own book helps you not only demonstrate your expertise but also differentiate yourself from your competition.
Questions I ask Michael DeLon:
- [1:16] What has your journey to becoming a credibility marketing expert looked like?
- [4:04] What is credibility marketing?
- [5:35] A lot of people are self-proclaimed experts, self-proclaimed thought leaders – so who gets to decide if you’re credible or an expert?
- [8:05] Is there something unique about the market or the way people buy today that makes credibility even more important?
- [12:34] What makes a book a significant tool or significant channel over and above something like just doing video on LinkedIn?
- [13:48] If you’ve got a decent idea, is there a formula to help people turn that into a book?
- [15:01] Are you starting to see that this is a tactic that can actually work for people that might have the mindset that no one would want to read a book by them?
- [16:03] Most authors and speakers have a book nowadays – but what are your thoughts on someone like a remodeling contractor that could write a book on ways to make your home suitable for your family? Wouldn’t that be a big differentiator?
- [19:00] What’s your favorite book project that you’ve done, and what impact did it have on that person or business?
- [21:56] Where can people find out more about your programs and your latest coaching program?
More About Michael DeLon:
- Learn more about Michael’s programs – PaperbackExpert.com
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John Jantsch (00:00): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the Salesman Podcast, hosted by Will Barron brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Look, if you work in sales, wanna learn how to sell or just peek at the latest sales news. Check out the sales podcast where host Will Barron helps sales professionals learn how to find buyers and in big business in effective and ethical ways. One of my favorite episodes lately, how to personalize your sales outreach at massive scale, who doesn't want to do that? Listen to the Salesman Podcast, wherever you get your podcast.
John Jantsch (00:46): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Michael Delon. He's a credibility marketing expert who helps business owners publish a book that positions them as the expert in their field. He's also the author of a book on marketing. So, Michael, thanks for joining me.
Michael DeLon (01:06): Hey, you're welcome, John. I appreciate, uh, the opportunity to be here. It's gonna be a fun conversation.
John Jantsch (01:10): So before we get into exactly what a credibility marketing expert does, what, uh, gimme a little bit of history on your kind of your journey.
Michael DeLon (01:20): Sure. Yeah. I'll, I'll try to make it quick. Wow. Back in the nineties, back in 1990, my wife and I got married, I was in Christian radio selling Christian radio, right. Realized my business, my, my clients didn't wanna buy radio. They wanted to grow their business. So I decided instead of being really good at selling, I would learn about marketing. So I started buying books and going to the seminars. Then we left that after about nine years of doing that, went to a family ministry for about 10 years to help build marriages and families thought that was gonna be the last thing I ever did until they went through corporate reorganizations. And I found myself in prison as I call it a job that I hated did that for two years finally got fed up, talked to my wife, prayed. I said, I gotta get out of here, stepped out of, of ministry.
Michael DeLon (02:03): This was January of 2013. Stepped out of ministry, hit easy street, John. I started my own company and I I'd come out to you. I say, John, I think I can help you with your business. Cause I understand small business in marketing. You'd meet with me. We'd have a great conversation. You'd say, Michael, what have you done for the last few years? I said, I've build marriages and families and family life. And you would say that that's awesome. Michael, look at the time I gotta go and you wouldn't hire me. And I wasn't getting any clients. And I said, I gotta fix this. So I was at my church one day, pacing, the hallways, just praying, going God, how can I help somebody? And he gave me the idea to take all of my marketing ideas and put them in a book. So I did.
Michael DeLon (02:41): I wrote a book. I, I knew nothing. I mean, you've published four, five I or six books. I, I knew nothing about publishing. So I wrote my first book on marketing. Then I would call you and I'd say, John, I think I can help you with your, your marketing. I'd mail a copy of my book to you. I'd walk into your office a week later. And there it was, my book was on your desk dog. You'd highlighted that. And you'd read my book in that meeting, John, you'd say now, Michael, in your book, you said, yeah, how do you help me do that? And you'd hire me. So what changed in those two meetings? Did my understanding of marketing change? Nope. Right. Did my background in ministry change? Nope. What John was how you thought of me when you got in my book, you immediately saw me as a marketing expert, right? You had pen in hand, ready to take down the solutions I had for you. That changed my, my life. I started gaining clients and I said, why don't more business owners do this? Well, as you know, cause you've published so many books, a little challenging and publish it in new books. So our, our contention is that business owners are experts at what they do. Everybody wants to be an author. Nobody wants to write a book. We figured out how to make that happen. So that's the short version, John of my story.
John Jantsch (03:52): Well, it's interesting. I've worked with, uh, small business owners. Many of them are family businesses for many years. And I think a little bit of marriage and counseling will probably go a long way in working with that demographic.
Michael DeLon (04:03): Absolutely.
John Jantsch (04:04): So let's define the term. I mean, I think you started to unpack a little bit, but let's just define, you know, the Webster's dictionary term of, you know, what is credibility marketing?
Michael DeLon (04:15): Yeah. Credibility marketing is being seen by your odd audience as trustworthy. Right. And believable. Right. Okay. We've all heard for years. They gotta know like, and trust you. Right. I, I love, and I hate that definition. It's just beat to death, right? Yeah. Credibility goes to the next level because it deals with really how the perception your audience has of you. The and, and do they feel that connection that yes, you're a person of integrity. You have a consistent message and I believe that you are who you say you are and can do what you say can do. Now I wanna have a conversation to see for a good fit. Right. Really is the big difference.
John Jantsch (04:58): Yeah. And I think as you, uh, describe that too, I think gets a huge differentiator as well. Right? I mean, because part of the challenge with people who sell marketing services, for example, marketing consulting is 200 other people in my town that do it too. So how do I kind of stand out and have somebody say, well, you know what, I'm gonna talk to you instead of them
Michael DeLon (05:16): AB absolutely. And there is no better differentiator on earth, in my opinion than handing somebody a copy of the book you wrote. Right. And said, I'm the author of yeah. Right. It stops them in their tracks.
John Jantsch (05:29): So one of the, one of the challenges, I think nobody disagrees with that point of view. Right. But, but you see a lot of people sort of self proclaimed experts, self proclaimed thought leaders, you know, I mean, who gets to decide if, if you're credible or an expert.
Michael DeLon (05:44): Yeah. Great question. At the end of the day, it is your audience. Right. Right. People determine credibility through a, a variety of, of, of ways. Right. Do you have media credentials, have you been featured? Do you have experts? All of that, but the real aspect, John is we're, we're looking for an opportunity to connect with a prospect and have a conversation. What better way to do that than to hand them a copy of your book and let them read and spend one on one time with you through the pages of the book so that they will bond with you understand your message when you do that, you gain credibility. Yeah. Because what they've seen on your website or on your Facebook ads or whatever, it's consistent, that's the real essence of the credibility.
John Jantsch (06:33): Yeah. And I think there's a lot of people that attach credibility to a book, you know, it's easier than ever to write a book now. Of course. And uh, so, so maybe some of that's left over from a day when it was a very exclusive club right. Of people writing books. But in truth, what we're talking about is content in general. I mean yeah. Audio content, your content on your website, content of your emails and then certainly a giant mega content piece of content Absolut a book. Right?
Michael DeLon (07:01): Absolutely. Yeah. Cuz I mean, we've got a whole coaching program for people who don't even have books. Yeah. Because credibility doesn't necessitate a book, right? Yeah. Yeah. But it is the, it's the content and, and John, what I found many times, it's your story. You asked me my story at the beginning, that's unique to me and my competitors cannot compete with that story. Right? Yeah. Every business owner has a story, but what I find is they don't tell it and they don't. And so that's one thing we help them do at the very beginning is help us understand your story because that plays into what we would call brand G that set you apart. So that you're not just another financial advisor or CPA or attorney. You're a guy who has a unique story. And now you can tell me about that story and how that plays into my life because of, of how it connects with all the dots. So that's one of the biggest things I, I see business owners just really miss in the boat on.
John Jantsch (08:00): So having credibility of course has always been important. I mean, that's never gonna hurt you. Right. But, but is there something unique about the market or the way people buy, uh, today that makes it even more important? There seems to be a lot more emphasis on this idea.
Michael DeLon (08:15): Oh yeah. Well, without question, I, I think because the, the market has been flooded, not only right advertising, but with practitioners. Right. And I don't care where you go, whether you're an attorney, a CPA, a financial advisor, a dog trainer, I can go to Google and find 22 of them. Yeah. How am I gonna know who who's a good fit for me? And that's why a, I, I want simple websites with compelling copy. Yeah. I want videos. I want podcasts. I want books to read. I wanna know who you are and is your message consistent? And are you the type of person I even like. Yeah. Right. That's that all of that builds credibility nugget by nugget layer upon layer. I, I had a client yesterday. We were doing his podcast and he, he written a book with me and he said, I just got a client. She's 30. This is a retirement financial advisor. Right. Got a client. She's 30. She said, I got a copy of your book. I've listened to numerous podcasts. And I've read a couple of your articles. Now I'm ready to have a conversation with you. Yeah. He built credibility through a variety of media of content and she felt good to, to, we forget that marketing's about winning people's hearts and getting them to believe we're the right person and waiting for them to be ready. It's not a, it's not a light switch. Yeah. It's a relationship.
John Jantsch (09:38): Well, I tell people all the time, I think the things that changed the most that we underestimate, a lot of times the thing that's changed the most about marketing is how people are able to and choose to buy today. And just what you described. I mean, it used, there was a day when somebody had to wait for me to send an ad or put an ad out there or, you know, do a sales call and convince them that I was the right choice. But in many cases today, I think people just doing what you said, listen to a podcast, listen to this. I mean, they've already made their mind up that you're the right choice. And I think that's why I think the emphasis on the need for this is so great. Isn't it?
Michael DeLon (10:11): Well, it, it is. And when, whether you have a podcast or a book or something, right. It's I call it precon, auditioning people to hire you before you ever meet with them. People are researching. Yeah. They're all over the internet. What's on your website. Are, are you educational? Are you entertainment? Are you what I call infotainment? Right. Yeah. Yeah. How are you engaging with people in, in keeping it and forth? Yep. Talking about their needs and how you serve people, giving examples and giving them an opportunity to walk through, um, that process to say, yeah, I'm ready to have a conversation with you. And I don't feel like you're a used car salesman, right. That,
John Jantsch (10:51): That, well, and I think the other thing that probably raises the bar quite significantly too, is that now, you know, when I, I started my consulting practice, you know, in Kansas city, Missouri, you know, that's who I could effectively go after were people there? Well, I can, I sell to people now in 12 or 13 countries. And so now all of a sudden, you know, every marketing consultant is competing maybe with every Mar marketing consultant around the world. And so, so the need to stay it out. I think it's just the bar's gone up significantly. Well,
Michael DeLon (11:22): It, it really has. And, and really at, at your level, but at a business owner's level, your ideal client is going to buy you right. More than what you do. Sure. Right. And that's where that credibility really comes out. And the consistency of message. And are, are you a good fit? And, and your whole funnel, your process should be all about giving information, directing them down a path and saying, this is who I am. This is how we operate. We would love to serve you, take the next step when you're ready.
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John Jantsch (12:29): So let's go, uh, back to books. Um, what makes a book sort of a significant tool or significant channel maybe over and above? Just, you know, doing video on LinkedIn.
Michael DeLon (12:42): Yeah. Great question. Still in the mind of consumers, Pete experts have books. Yeah. Period. That's why you've written five of them. It's why Tony Robbins is who he is. Cuz he is got books, right? Yeah. And he book. So that's number one is how the mind thinks about authors. Number one, number two, it gives you real estate. It gives you time. When we read books, we read them one, one on one, right? Yeah. I don't gather my family to read a book. I read it. So I'm bonding with you through the pages of your book, sharing your story as I'm reading your book, I'm nodding on. Oh yeah. Or new I'm underlining. You're connecting with me. And then hopefully your book has mechanisms to go back to your website, listen to a podcast. It's the content delivery of, are you meeting me where I am and are you sharing stories that help me understand that you have helped other people go to where I, I need to go. Yeah.
John Jantsch (13:35): So you, we already talked about the hard part. I think a lot of people probably believe that it's, you know, it's very hard or don't believe they can write 56,473 words, you know, in one, on one topic, what have you been able to do? Or is there sort of a formula for saying, look, if you've got a halfway decent idea, we can get it into a book. I mean, is there something you've done to, to, to kind of make that process less arduous?
Michael DeLon (13:59): Yeah, absolutely. We created, uh, years ago, what we call our speak to write process. Okay. You can talk about your business all day long so it can every business on it. Right? Right. What we do is we have a team of expert writers who jump on a phone call or a zoom call. We ask questions to build the outline for the book because you're an for, you can, again, you can talk about this. We help you structure what's in your head and in your heart to an outline. And then from that outline our writers, get you to speak and, and record all of your content. And then our writers craft that and massage your words, your content, your voice into the book, you're obviously in total control of it, but it saves so much time in, in less than we've clocked it. If you stay on our process less than 24 o'clock hours of your time to create a book over about five or six months of our time. Right? Yeah,
John Jantsch (14:47): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I, I, you know, I think you could make a case globally for saying, well, every business can use a book or every business owner. I, I mean, there's no question a consultant, you know, a professional service provider. I mean, that's a no brainer, but are you starting to see that, that this is a tactic that can actually work for, you know, people that would traditionally think, why does anybody wanna read a book from me?
Michael DeLon (15:13): Yeah, absolutely. You know, I, I walked into a grocery store a few years ago. It was, um, national chain and the owner of that national train was a regional chain. The owner of that regional chain had written a book telling his story. I'm like a grocery store. Uh, we done it for dog trainers, a guy who trains canine dogs for police forces. Right. Go figure. But what happens is people read the book and because you're just sharing your knowledge in a specific way, you're automatically elevated in that person's mind as the expert. Well guess what, they're gonna find you on LinkedIn or Facebook or a blog. And they're gonna tell other people around you cuz your market's not just your audience, it's their sphere of I yeah. And, and we haven't even talked about referrals with the book and how powerful that is. Cuz everybody says, well, I love referrals. Do you have a system in place to give, get re so I dunno if that helped or not.
John Jantsch (16:03): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, and, and the, the thing that I think is interesting about is because every author, speaker consultant has a book, you know, I mean, because that's, it's just like you have to, but how about that remodeling contractor, you know, that could write a book about, you know, how to make your home suitable for, you know, your family or whatever, you know? I mean that, that kind of thing would be such a differentiator, wouldn't it?
Michael DeLon (16:27): Oh, absolutely. We I've got a, I've got a book on shelf, uh, home inspector. Okay. It doesn't get more generic than home inspection dude. Yeah. Yeah. And as he came to us, we got his story, which is where we always start. He's a football referee on weekends and that's what he loves to do. And he said, there's a lot of con consistency between referee and football and home inspection there's rules, there's foul. And, and we rebranded him as America's home inspection referee. So when he comes out to, um, do your home inspection, guess what? He's wearing a referees outfit. Yeah. When he sees something wrong with your house, guess what he puts on it, a yellow.
John Jantsch (17:00): Oh, I, I thought he just yeah. Threw a
Michael DeLon (17:02): Well, oh, there it is. Now tell me, does he now have price elasticity because he's got a great compelling message. Right? Anybody can do that. It's a matter of discovering your story and connecting the dots. It's it's not rocket science.
John Jantsch (17:16): Well, and you make a really good point too. Um, that I think often is underestimated. You know, all of these things go together, right? I mean, not the book was just a piece of telling the story, but there was a story and a brand promise and a differentiation that became part of the over overall arching strategy. Isn't it?
Michael DeLon (17:32): Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, the book's great. It, because you know, with our book program, we create a podcast for our clients and we interview them on every chapter. So now they have content going out in audio form. We do it on zoom so that now they have videos to go out. And now you're populating YouTube and LinkedIn and Facebook with videos of you being the expert. Again, it's taking a piece of content saying how many different ways can I use that one piece of content? Yeah. I've got a book, I've got a blog, I've got a Facebook post. I've got a video. I've got a podcast. You pretty soon. You're the only, and trust me, John you're competitors are not marketing this way.
John Jantsch (18:06): Right? Yeah. Yeah. It's such, you know, in some ways going into these non-traditional fields and doing this, it's such a differentiator because nobody else is doing it. Yeah.
Michael DeLon (18:17): Well, no. Okay. Let's alright. Roofers flooring, contractors, plumbers, electricians. They all have a bad reputation. Right. They don't show up. They don't. I, we had, we did a, a, a book for a roofer here in town. And he specifically niche in being your roof leak detective. Yeah. That's his whole thing. Right. And it was just beautiful to position him that way and say, you've got roofers, but I, I can find the leak and then he uses it for commercial, but he wrote the book on it. Yeah. Do you think that makes an impact when you're looking at four different roofing companies, the guy can hand you his book game over. Yeah.
John Jantsch (18:51): Yeah. So I think you've kind, I was gonna ask you about some success stories, but I think you've shared some, maybe just pick up your, pick out your favorite, um, kind of book project that you've done and, and maybe talk a little bit about what the impact for that person or business was.
Michael DeLon (19:09): Yeah.
John Jantsch (19:10): They always hard. Yeah.
Michael DeLon (19:12): It, it is. Cuz we got many, there's an attorney down in, I think it's Fort Lauderdale, Florida, personal injury attorney, young guy going against two major dogs. Okay. These, these other guys were spending millions a a month and he doesn't have that budget. He's on TV to comes to me. We, we talk about his story. He was a baseball player from the Northeast, went to, to on baseball. Scholarship was a pitcher, threw his arm out second year, ruined his baseball career, went to law school. Now he's a personal injury attorney. Okay. We got that story. And we realized he went through rehab. He went through all the stuff that he helps his clients go through now. Yeah. And we said time out here it is. So his book is when what to do when life throws you a curve ball ties into his unique story, his competitors can't compete about it meets his audience right where they are.
Michael DeLon (20:04): Yeah. Now when he's on television being interviewed, which was what he was doing saying, I'm a personal injury attorney. I can get you millions of dollars against the big dogs done work. He said, he tells his story. He says, get a free copy of my book. You can read my story and what you can do and what you need to do when life throws you a curve ball. Yeah. It's a beautiful message on, and what's happened is when he is on TV. Now he gets a lot more people requesting his book that he mails out to them. And he has a relationship. His business is only consistently because he has a clear message that ties to his story. That's different than anybody else.
John Jantsch (20:41): Yeah. And that brings up another point too. The people he's competing against are spending, you know, $30,000 a month on an SEO firm, you know, running probably got billboards, probably running radio. Right. And what he's doing is costing, you know, a 10th of that or, or you know, a 20th of that. Right. Absolutely. And I think that's a point that credibility can really bring isn't it, it
Michael DeLon (21:01): Really is. And right. So think about this, John, and this is the reason I love books. If you, if he had, if he buys a hundred copies of his book and he hands them out to his prospects and clients, he goes out to universities where he used to play baseball. He hands his book all out, he's all over the place. You don't need to reach the entire Fort Lauderdale market. Right. He needs a smaller market that he can be consistently relentless in and it will change everything. You don't need massive budgets. You need smart marketing. Yeah. And that's the one thing I found even. I mean, there are a lot of guys, a lot of business who've written books, John, they don't know what to do with that book to market their firm. That's why we started our coaching programs to help them up there because there's so much you can do. And, and most of it is low cost or no cost strategy, the GS to go, how do I position myself differently and do that flank move around the big dog. Cause we all have them. Right. Yeah.
John Jantsch (21:56): All right. Michael, tell people where they can find out more about, uh, your programs, including your latest coaching program.
Michael DeLon (22:01): Yeah. Yeah. If you go to, uh, just paperback expert.com, that's our website. Everything you need about us is there and yeah. It's the easiest way. Paperback expert.com.
John Jantsch (22:12): All right. Well thanks Michael. For some by the duct tape marketing podcast and hopefully we'll, uh, run into each other one of these days out there on the road.
Michael DeLon (22:18): That sounds great, John. Thanks for having me, buddy. All
John Jantsch (22:20): Righty.
John Jantsch (22:20): Hey, and don't forget. Vista create is a graphic design platform where anyone can easily craft professional and unique content for social media and digital marketing. It's a combination of graphic design editor and an ever growing library of customizable templates to suit any industry or occasion. Check it out @ create.vista.com. You can try it for free that's create.vista.com.
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Small business owners have a lot on their plate, but luckily you don’t have to be a graphic designer, extraordinary superstar, creative strategist, or marketing maven to make your work come to life on social media. With VistaCreate, you can create beautiful assets without design experience or needing to delegate to a third party – making it the ultimate hack for creating slick visuals that boost engagement. You can have designs that look like they took you hours made in minutes. Try it out for free.