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Welcome to Season 2 of The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson, where we give you information that you can immediately implement to increase your influence and market your books more successfully. This month, we are focusing on the topic of podcasts. In this episode, we are joined by a longtime friend and client, Eileen McDargh—award-winning motivational speaker, executive coach, and author of Burnout to Breakthrough.
About Eileen McDargh
Becky: We are going to be talking today about the value of being a guest on podcasts. And before we get started on that, Eileen, I hope that you’ll take a moment to tell our listeners about your work in the world and about your latest book.
Eileen: Good deal. Well, it is my eighth book. The title is Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters, and the good news is the topic is perfect for now. The bad news is the topic is perfect for now. What I do in the world is, I am a wordsmith. I use the written and spoken words to be able to help individuals and organizations create conversations that matter and connections that count so they can grow resiliency, which I think is a life skill. It’s not an, “Oh my god, it’s terrible. Now I gotta be resilient.” We use this all the time. So how do I create resilient relationships, resilient organizations, resilient families, and my own life to be resilient? So I’ve been doing this for, I’ll tell you how many years it is, but I can’t believe that. It’s actually going on 40 years, which is amazing, Becky, because I’m only 22.
Becky: That’s some interesting math, Eileen. Well, you and I were talking before we started the recording, maybe you can tell people about the unique place that you live in.
Eileen: I live in Dana Point, California, and moved here when I got married and went from coast to coast. I lived on the East Coast, on Amelia Island Plantation. So on that part of the ocean, now I’m at this part of the ocean. If I turn my head to the right, I can look over the roofs of houses and I can see the Pacific Ocean. So it took me probably almost 10 years to be looking in the right place to see the sunrise because I was used to looking in one direction. And that’s where it set, not where it rose.
What did you enjoy most about the podcast tour you did?
Becky: Amazing. Well, I’m so excited to have this conversation with you today, Eileen, because we had a very successful campaign with you in placing podcasts related to the launch of your book. And so I’m curious what you enjoyed most about the podcast tour that you did.
Eileen: What I really loved was number one was the opportunity to talk about the book. You don’t get that. It’s not like you go to a cocktail party and see people say, let me tell you about a new book, it doesn’t happen. So what was wonderful was to be able to talk about the book, but also you guys found me different windows with which to talk about the book. So in other words, like one, it just came out because he was so booked. It is a leadership podcast, which is very different from a podcast that’s going to talk about stress and health and wellness. So the leadership podcast was very wonderful, and it’s a different take. So what I loved was, number one, was the opportunity to talk to the people. Number two, you didn’t put me in front of people who weren’t amateurs, shall we say. They knew exactly what they were doing and they asked good questions. And they were so fascinating. I enjoyed every one of them. In fact, one of the benefits of doing this was that one of the interviewers has become my video producer. It turns out he does Business Access Podcast, and we just hit it off. He’s just a darling young man. He’s out of Brazil, lives outside of DC. He and his wife just had their first baby. Well, I’m the aunt of that first baby. I helped name that child! So it’s interesting the kind of friendships that you make.
Becky: That’s amazing and unexpected.
How do you know when a podcast is a match for you?
Becky: I’m wondering how you know when a podcast is a match for you, and how you avoid getting caught up in the ego of the moment?
Eileen: Well, this might sound really weird, Becky. I don’t think I have a lot of ego. I just don’t think I do. However, I do not want to waste anyone’s time, including mine. And so one of the potential podcasts, what the requirements were, the number of hoops I had to jump through, some of their questions were things that were really not related to the book. I said, “I’m going to pass. Thank you very much. But I don’t think I’m going to do that.” So you can tell when there’s kind of a mismatch that you don’t really belong. Yeah, I’ve done that with speeches that there was one in which, when I read everything that they wanted, I said, “I’m not the person for you. You need someone who is trauma-informed. I’m not trauma-informed. Let me see who else I can find for you.” So your gut will tell you.
What benefits did you expect to achieve by participating in podcasts as it relates to marketing your book?
Becky: That’s helpful. Eileen, I’m wondering if you can tell us what benefits you expected to achieve by participating in podcasts as it relates to marketing your book.
Eileen: The benefits to me are fairly obvious. Number one is notoriety. Whenever the podcast occurred, and they told us when it was running, we then used our social media network and put that thing out. And oftentimes, we could repeat it in multiple different formats, whether it’s on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Facebook, or Instagram. And I see that we’re picking up more people coming to my website and signing up for the newsletter. Now, can I say, because you heard me on this, that’s why you bought the book? No, but let me tell you, sitting by yourself in an office is not going to sell books and there is no way that I can have the reach that people with podcasts have, because they spend their entire time trying to figure out how to get listeners. So the more of a match it is for me with the person doing the podcast, the better is the chance that the person listening is a potential buyer of my product.
What advice would you give authors who want to become a guest on a podcast?
Becky: That’s very helpful. Eileen, let’s talk about some advice you might have for authors who want to become a guest on podcasts, but haven’t done so yet.
Eileen: The first thing I guess, I would say is what makes you worthy to get a podcast? What is it that you can speak about, succinctly that someone would want to hear? So it can’t just be the title of your book. There has to be more that is there and you also need to figure out, if I had 10 minutes, what are the top two things that I would want people to know that would be worthwhile knowing? So as much as we love our books, we have to step back and become divorced from the book, if you will, to say why would someone care about that? So the more you can tie it into what is happening in the real world right now, the closer you come to having the potential of being considered as a guest. So if I was talking about, oh, the creation of the European Union and what the benefits were, excuse me, that’s like boring. It has nothing related to anything. If, however, and I had the right podcaster that I’m talking about, how can you optimize sales within a European Union that sometimes is closed? How do you do that? I’m making this up, obviously. But you get the gist. It needs to be correct and relevant.
How do you sustain your energy around your book in the world?
Becky: So Eileen, I think it would be so fun to apply the topic of your book to the journey an author goes through. So I’m really curious as an author, how do you sustain your energy around your book in the world? How do you avoid burnout? And how do you make sure you have a breakthrough as it relates to your marketing of your book?
Eileen: That’s a really great question. Because there are multiple ways in which you can get burned out. Number one is in the writing. There are times in which you just have to walk away from that book, because you’re too close to it. And then you come back and say, “What is the focus? What’s really important?” What puts us into burnout in the real world is we try to juggle so many things. We think we can handle it all. So my first advice has to do with the marking of the book is the focus, you literally have to close yourself in and say, “I’ve got two hours here, and I’m not doing anything with this book.” Now when we talk about the marketing of the book, and how do we not face burnout, I think we need to celebrate small wins. You’re not going to probably get the cover of The Wall Street Journal, you’re probably not going to be listed in the top 10 books of The New York Times. So give yourself some reasonable expectations. And when you get something go, “Wow, isn’t that great!” and celebrate that. We never know who’s listening to these podcasts, who has in their circle of influence other people who could benefit from our book and therefore would buy it or pass it along. I think it’s that notion of an inch is a sinch, a mile takes a while. So I think when we celebrate the inches, they ultimately add up into miles.
Have you ever experienced burnout as an author?
Becky: Well, and we’re both runners. So that’s a good analogy for us. Eileen, have you ever experienced burnout as an author? Would you be willing to share with us?
Eileen: I have experienced burnout as a human being. Because I am an author, that’s part of it. And I think for me, the burnout is trying to do too much too fast and losing focus. And you just say, “I can’t do this.” The other thing that I found when I write is that I have to write when I get inspired and different things inspire me. And so when I go back and look at some of the things I’ve written, I almost look at that and go, “Oh, my god, I wrote that? Whoa, that’s really good. That’s better than I thought.” Because when we write in the moment, we’re better than when I say I have to do these two chapters.
The other thing that sometimes can burn you out is when it’s a mismatch with the editor. The editor keeps telling you to do this, this, this, and this, and your instinct says no. Now, if you have a really good editor, be quiet and listen to the editor. They do know, oftentimes, more than you do, but ultimately it is your child and how you want your child to look, what you’re willing to do, is very important to the birthing of that child. Then once the baby’s born, you got to send that baby to college. You got to work with that. You can’t just say, “Okay, been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, next.” You do have to put the time and the energy into it. And so I’m also constantly looking for articles that I can refer to. Doesn’t mean I have to come up with original things, but I can put out on social media, “here’s a great article related to burnout, a subject that I’m very familiar with and love. So let me suggest that you read it.” So that way you have a multiplier effect.
Becky: Let’s talk about breakthrough as an author. What are some breakthroughs you’ve experienced?
Eileen: Oh my, breakthroughs! Well, I guess the biggest breakthrough is when you finally get the book written. I think other breakthroughs are when you hear from people who have read your words, and say how much it helped them. That really is a breakthrough, because ultimately, while we write of our own inspiration, we hope that our words matter to someone. And so when someone says, “I got something. I followed what you said in that, and oh my god, what a difference it makes.” Now, this is obviously in the nonfiction world, but that, to me, that was worth the journey. It was worth the effort.
Becky: Well, I love that. And we have veered a little bit from our originally intended topic today, Eileen, of what it’s like to be a guest on podcasts. But I hope that our detour is encouraging to those who might listen. And I think you’re saying things that every author can relate to. On my own author journey, I can certainly relate to that.
Eileen: Let me say also, and I’m saying this not because you and I know each other and you help me with my book, but I will say that you have managed to put around you an incredibly diligent and talented team, who even once we finished what we thought was our working relationship, they still keep you in mind, they still pop up and say, “Don’t forget, you need to go see XYZ, or put this on your calendar because the podcast that we hoped would happen this year isn’t going to happen until next year.” And they stick with it, which I think is pretty darn incredible.
Becky: Thank you so much for that endorsement. So we typically will wrap up every podcast episode by giving the authors who are listening some action steps that they can take immediately, based on what they heard from our conversation. And so I’m hoping that we can identify a couple of possible action steps.
- Itemize who cares about your book. The first action step to me would be to itemize who cares about your book, because nobody can market it if you can’t identify who that is written for. And if you say it’s written for the world, it’s too big, because the world is not going to buy. So the first action step is to identify who are your target markets.
- Who can help you share your book? Secondly, begin to identify whom do you know, within those target markets, that could be a resource, either as a testimonial, as a potential reader of that book, someone whom you want to gift that book when the book comes out, in the hopes that it makes sense to them, and they can write a review for you, wherever that review would appear. So what I’m saying is that you’re building a case for why this book, who wants it, and who can help me.
Becky: Eileen, do you have any action steps specific to being a great guest on podcasts?
Eileen: Have fun and enjoy the conversation. I think you need to take the lead of the person who’s asking you the questions. But here’s the other thing. I have fun asking questions of the interviewer, which nobody ever does. And so when you ask a question, like if I would say to you, Becky, what do you, because you’re going to have a book coming out, what is the first thing that you did to be able to market your book as you began to write it?
Becky: It’s an excellent question. I guess I’ll take the moment to answer it. So we have not actually announced my book on the podcast yet. So if you’re listening and you don’t know that I have a book deal, I signed a contract with Berrett Koehler publishers for a book to come out in spring of 2022. And the first thing that I did to market the book is I went out to my newsletter list first. So I have a Friday email that goes out every week, and as soon as I knew that the contract was finalized, I wrote an email. I used the subject line, “You heard it here first”, and I shared my news with my newsletter list. The second thing I did was share it on Facebook, I believe. And then the third thing I did was share it on LinkedIn.
Eileen: Perfect, perfect. Now notice, you had to have a list to begin with. So I think if somebody is listening to this, and they’re an author, and they have no list, they haven’t created anything, they haven’t reached out and built a community, it’s going to be rather difficult to move that book. So what you have done is you’ve optimized your community, if you let them know in advance what’s happening. You didn’t ask anything of them, you just shared some great news, which is what colleagues and friends do. Later on, you can ask for their support, but right now, they’re just applauding what you have done.
Becky: Thank you so much for that, Eileen. That was fun. So I’m glad that we had this chance to catch up. I hope that you will check out Eileen and her work.
- Get your copy of Burnout to Breakthrough: Building Resilience to Refuel, Recharge, and Reclaim What Matters, on Amazon.
- Learn more about the work Eileen McDargh is doing in the world on her website.
- Connect with Eileen on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- Sign-up to receive The Resiliency Report, her newsletter, and receive an excerpt of Eileen’s new book, Burnout to Breakthrough, and a bonus: a digital copy of Talk Ain’t Cheap: It’s Priceless-Connecting in a Disconnected World.
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I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.