How to write an e-book in under 5 hours. EP #166 - Den Lennie


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Today, Den delivers his semi-famous "5-step method" for writing an eBook in under 5-hours. If you think writing an eBook is hard, then you've never heard Den's "caveman simple" 5-step method.

Here's a sneak peek at what you'll hear:

  • Hands down the best reason for any business owner to write a book or eBook. - 1:00
  • Den gives business owners who know they should write an eBook but keep procrastinating a world-class scolding. Hear Den at his unapologetic best at 2:50
  • shocking statistic that proves people would rather blow torch their nipples off than sit down and read a book. That said, this statistic should be ignored if you're about to write a book. Here's why... - 3:30
  • Den's caveman simple "5-step method" for writing an eBook in under 5-hours. Class commences at 4:00 
  • A little-known copywriting "hack" that makes coming up with book titles and chapters a cinch. - 4:25
  • The "20-minute trick" that kills off writer's block and gets ideas flowing like lies from a politician's lip. - 5:30
  • An absurdly good example of a sub-headline that you can use as a headline template. - 8:00
  • A "no muss, no fuss" way to write your book's intro. Fact: often the hardest part of writing a book is the intro. Well, problem solved. Listen up at 9:00
  • A book on advertising every video business owner should read at least 3 times. It's that good. - 11:40
  • A clever (and simple) thing to do at the end of every chapter of your eBook that can help sometimes result in new business coming in the door. Full details at 13:00
  • Book cover tips and tricks aplenty at 14:00
  • How to use your eBook to build an email database full of fruitful prospects ripe for the picking! If done correctly, this strategy could end up being the most profitable piece of marketing you ever do. - 14:00
  • What a lead magnet is, and... different ways to do them. - 17:00
  • How to see this entire process in action. Once you do what Den advises at 17:40, you'll see how this all comes together. 
  • What the "Mere-Exposure Effect" is, and... how to ethically exploit this phenomenon to drive hordes of prospective clients to your business's doors. - 19:00
  • An erroneous notion most business owners have about marketing and follow-up that renders all their marketing useless as a knitted condom. - 19:20


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Episode Transcription

Den Lennie (3s):
Good day, guys! Den Lennie here, host of the How to Scale a Video Business podcast with episode number 166. So, I promised you last week, Ah, when I talked about, you know, the importance of becoming an expert and we talk about writing a book, but I'd share with you is a simple way to hack right in the book. You know what I mean by that? I mean, you don't have to go and write 200 page book. He could get away with writing an ebook, this somewhere between 12 and 18 pages that you want to show you today, you want to share with your brother how to do that. So just to recap that, you know, the reason that writing a book is so powerful is it's a great way to hack authority, being author it, you know, authority.

Den Lennie (1m 2s):
So if you can become an author, then it will elevate your authority and your market, but you don't have to go and write a fool on printed Book. Although that is actually going to be the best way to elevate your authority. And I have four books. So I have a business for filmmakers, which is rare, written up in 2014. I said 232 page book of marketing for filmmakers, which I think it was about a hundred and twenty-five pages. I have the filmmaker's guide to budgets and quotes that increases profit margin on jobs by 20 to 30% instantly. I think that was like 60 pages.

Den Lennie (1m 43s):
And then I have my most recent book, which is a video business breakthrough, which is only 18 pages, but they can all do a similar job. So what I want you to do today is talk with her about the importance of execution and how to get more clients because it is something that I think it is often. I hear a lot of your last name and see if I can just get more clients out of it. Everyone thinks that the answer with their problems is getting more clients I could argue all day long. There's not, but you know, let's for the sake of argument to say, okay, so you want to get more clients. That's what you think your business needs. So the best way to build authority in your niche or niche is to write a book.

Den Lennie (2m 25s):
But if that seems just too far out of reach in your current situation, then that's okay. So just write an e-book, you know, and when I did my last bootcamp, I think it was 2017, a in London and 80% of the room created an ebook in three to five hours, but I still get this overwhelming sense of resistance from people when they say, Oh gosh, I could never write any book. And, and you know, filmmakers were all pretty good at procrastinating and we were all recovering procrastinators. So if you're someone who's procrastinating about this and then, and I want this episode to be the episode that kept you up the arse and says just fucking do it.

Den Lennie (3m 8s):
Okay. Because it will, it will absolutely transform your business if done properly as part of a funnel. So I think we are in a lot of people, struggle is with structure. So I want to share with you a simple system for creating an eBook. So you can basically copy it and do the same. Now as a little side note is statistically only around 10% of people who buy a book ever get beyond chapter one, is that right? The staggering, but that's not a bad thing because in an eBook, it, it still brings huge authority. So you'll be, you'll be viewed as a leader in your space.

Den Lennie (3m 50s):
And an eBook can have a significant impact in beginning a relationship with a prospect and separating you from the competition. So here's my five step guide to creating a lead magnet and under five hours. So part one we want to choose a frame and the frame is also going to likely be the basis of your headline. So a great starting point is to talk about at the top five at the top five steps or the top five secrets, all the top five things that are the top five mistakes that businesses make when hiring videographers five principles for making a compelling corporate Video, five keys, five elements, five virtues, a five habits successful companies to deploy when making highly converting videos, five traits of, you know, high converting videos, five rules, five laws, five questions, five reasons you get the idea.

Den Lennie (4m 59s):
So for example, the top five reasons why people fail and Business, the top five steps to building a seven figure business, the top five things, all top leaders do a top five mistakes people make when losing weight, the top five rules of fast growth business. So I want you to start by writing down 20 ideas. And this, this, this process is to force you to get out of your comfort zone. And so here are I, I did this exercise to myself a few years ago and, and I want to give you 10 that I came up with of the 20 or so you could probably do this in some way between 20 to 30 minutes.

Den Lennie (5m 46s):
So you don't have to sit down with a blank piece of paper and no distractions, turn all your notifications off and, and just write it down using the, you know, the words that I've just explained. And if you go back to the website, there'll be the transcription will be on their, so you can look at this again. So the five secrets to a high converting promotional video, the five questions you need to ask before hiring a corporate video company, the five steps to a great looking and highly converting promotional video, the five traits of a promotional video shoot and how to avoid blowing your budget. The five secrets of maximizing your budget and how to avoid wasting money.

Den Lennie (6m 30s):
The five elements have a great looking at a high converting promotional video or the five principles of an effective and highly converting promotional video. The five common mistakes clients make when hiring a corporate video company, the five elements of a successful promotional video, the five rules from max managing a budget when creating a company video. So you can see that if you sit down and write another 10, you end up with two or three really powerful video ad headlines. I mean the one that sticks out for me there is here are the five common mistakes clients typically make when hiring a corporate video company or the five elements for successful promotional video. These are, these are a highly engaging headlines that makes the reader want to read on.

Den Lennie (7m 15s):
So the purpose of a headline is to get the reader's attention. So part two is to write an opening headline sentence. That's there is a benefit statement that will engage the client's. We've got the headline, and this is the kind of the benefits statement that you can use as a sub-headline for when they first opened lead magnets. So for example, my book business for filmmakers, is it kind of, if it does what it says in the tin and, and in Europe and England, there's a product called Ronseal. We call it the Ronseal effect and it does what it says on the 10. So I'm a business for filmmakers. He was the headline, but the sub headline was the quick darty and uncensored secrets, two having a steady stream of new leads, fluent your video production business for about a month employer, a sales person.

Den Lennie (8m 6s):
And that was actually not my headline, that it was actually at the head lane that we use for an e-book, but it was very simple, but based on the mane boot, which is business and filmmakers is the quick and dirty and uncensored secrets to a six figure video business from the world's ballsy as a filmmaker. But you could take that and do something a little bit less in your face. I happen to kind of like that style. And so part of three is you want to write a paragraph about what they're about to do, so you can tell a story about what they will get, what they will learn, what they're going to achieve, discover, or it will be revealed in a concise paragraph.

Den Lennie (8m 48s):
And so that, you know, you're kind of selling them into leading the reading the whole lead magnet. So you want to make it short, sweet and conversational and to the point. So it is like the e-book could be called lets call it the, the five elements have a successful promotional video. And there are a headline could be a quick Dotty nonsense of secret to having a steady stream of new leads, fluent your, your, your business by color, by creating a compelling copy of video that costs less than you think. So you want to just kind of have, you know, say in This, in this short ebook, we are going to reveal to you the five common mistakes that people make when hiring videographers and, and why they miss these, these, these points. And, and we were going to do is take me through these five steps that you can avoid making the same mistakes apart for you.

Den Lennie (9m 33s):
You want to outline the steps, have a lead magnet. So you want to think of like a table of contents, you know, what are the steps, the traits, the rules, et cetera. And so it is rule one rule to all three or four or five and, and, and just a quick headline and a subhead level of each, each kind of make a chapter is going to be about an eight. And in part five, if you want to go through each step one by one and, and are really smart thing about doing this is that once you've created your first one, you're simply going to duplicate it five times. So once you've got your headline, your sub-headline your opening statement and the contents page, its like, you know, you know, what do we say? We said that the five elements element one, you know, so its like element one, choosing the right subject matter.

Den Lennie (10m 20s):
So you want to have a kind of sub headline for each chapter and then just tell him the three most important things about that step and why it's important or how it will benefit them. And you can use numbers are a bullet points or a CLA you know, there are three reasons you need to do this, right, is because blah, blah, blah. Then what you can do is use a diagram or a picture or a drawing to create a visual representation. You know, paint a picture, are you circles or quadrants are staircases to make it visual. Just, just something to help illustrate the point. Remember, you're not here to tell him chapter and verse every step of the way you want to entice someone to just want to know a little more from you and to take another step.

Den Lennie (11m 7s):
No one of the little hack that you can do is you can use a quart that drives home a points. You know, you know, if, for example, all the key success and success in life is rule one, you know, blah, blah, blah, John D Rockefeller, you know, you can go on the court, you can get a good quartz from relevant subject matter's I have just been recently reading Mmm, David Ogilvy's book and, and he was a master of advertising. It was called Ogilvy on advertising and it was written in the eighties, but you know, it's been a gripping read if you're not read it, then I really recommend you are going to go and look at it because it talks about the advertising world and what drives human beings to make buying decisions.

Den Lennie (11m 49s):
And so you can use quotes from famous. You know, if you, if you're in the agency space and you might be able to create a book, that's like, you know, because David Ogilvy, if you're in the, if you're in a medical device space, there will be, you'll find quarts from, from a prominent medical experts that we'll help drive the point at home. And, and you can use the metaphor or a similar way to create relationship between the steppe and something that is widely known. And you know, a real one is like phishing because you know, if you put the right bait in the water and fish in the right places, you'd get the right results. Now obviously I'm paraphrasing giving a lot of different ideas here, but the idea is that there are, there are many different methods of filling the page, which means you don't have to sit there and write 500 words.

Den Lennie (12m 33s):
Now in part six, you want to create a one page call to action for a next step. And which is late. You know, if you find this interesting news for you, you can go in and take our equates, or you can go in and do this or get a court for them, you know, in, in our ebook best video business breakthrough. We have a call to action at the end of the year, each chapter, which is like, Hey, do you want to take our quiz and see how you measure up against the eight growth accelerators? And if you want to see how this looks in action, and just simply go up to my website,, D E N L E N N I and click where it says, download our ebook and you can download the eBook and you can go through the process and follow the quiz and see how we use this in our own business.

Den Lennie (13m 17s):
So make sure you put a link at the bottom of every page to your website. So a year or whenever you want to send someone and then you can always add images or illustrations to each page, if you really want to put that out. But honestly, if you don't have to be, you can be, if there was options of that, and then the final step is, is twofold. So part one is, is get a professionally designed 3d ebook cover so that it looks like an eBook and it looks like a well designed. And then part two is to get your book formatted properly by a typesetter. And, and I mean, you know, if you really want to give you a book that professional Luke is like, make sure you pay someone to do this.

Den Lennie (13m 59s):
You can do it on Fiverr and it, it's not expensive. And I see it as, because I see time and time again, creative people dabbling in areas that they really shouldn't be, or shouldn't have any skills and, you know, don't have any skills and, you know, like people building their own websites and, and stuff like that. And I always makes things look a bit amateurish. So remember that your finished eBook is a first impression for a prospective client. So don't make mistake of trying to save a few pennies by doing it yourself. But, but if you do happen to have an amazing design skills and you've leader or a boot before then she would go ahead and do something like Canva. But, but I would recommend that leveraging the help of other people go on to at Sarah Fiverr, F I V V E, where you can get an old done for late, less than 50 bucks.

Den Lennie (14m 47s):
So let's say you get your new back and it looks fantastic what next? And so the book is what we refer to as a lead magnet and, and it should be a free and compelling, informational resource that you can use as an ethical bribe and returned for a visitor's name and email address on your website. Now, if you want to, you can even ask for a, an email address and a phone number. Now, what if he asked for a phone number you will end up with less conversion? So, I mean, that's a whole other topic, but the people that do leave the number will be better leads.

Den Lennie (15m 30s):
So it's not always just the simple case of late and more people are living in the details. It's like the right people. And inside the VBA, we have a, a more complex funnel in this is where you, you can kind of click a court and it goes through a questionnaire and that questionnaire takes you through to get out to a page. And, and that means that the leads that comes through there are a very quick, but it, but if someone does leave the number, the date, especially seeing, yes, you can give me a call because I'm looking for some help and they're more likely to be looking for a solution, but other, other lead magnets could include, you know, what a special report, depending on the industry you're in, it could be a coupon, or it could be like, you know, a, a, a video of a tree, a free video training. It could be a CT download a court, or it could be a webinar that could be an audio series.

Den Lennie (16m 13s):
And it could be just a pricing guide. I've seen this youth very well with, with like, you know, people are putting a pricing, get to get. So it was like, tell us about your video. And at the end of it, it spits out a number that says, well, this sounds like it's going to be a video. It's going to cost you somewhere between five and 10,000. Why don't you give us a call? So the more you can gamify the experience, the more you can get your message in front of people and, and take them through a bit of a journey, its time they're spending on your site and not on someone else's. And so then in this case, then you got to kind of say this to create this, this vision for you to kind of an orderly, but once you've got a, a, an opt-in form on your website that then texts you, you got to send traffic to that at the sites.

Den Lennie (16m 59s):
So as we call our landing page, so you can track your scent trap, and we need some paid traffic to a landing page that takes you to the lead magnet that has a strong headline is relevant to your audience. And then when they put that information and there's an email sequence, and again, our VBA members, both in the course and in the mastermind, get this system already prebuilt so that they can simply import that into the business, even though at the videos that we, we create for them. And so if you can get an email address, you have a marketing currency, it's the same way. If you will, to opening a door and beginning of a relationship. So, you know, no, no, if you haven't ever, you know, created a knee Book, then, then I want to encourage you to do that.

Den Lennie (17m 43s):
And if you haven't ever read it in any of my head and he may eBook, and I want to encourage you to go to my website now and, and download the eBook, and then you can see how this is all laid out. You can see the mechanisms that I've talked about here, and, and then you can start to kind of see how that might work in your own business. I say this to my clients all the time, it's like always be thinking, how can I apply this in my business? Because you know, it's all about getting in front of clients and, and we're all battling for people's attention on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, that Google ad words is Instagram has all these platforms that are fighting for our attention. And so on the one hand, it's never been easier to get your message in front of people.

Den Lennie (18m 26s):
But on the other hand, it's harder to get peoples attention. And that brings me to something called the mere exposure effect. The mere exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they're super familiar with them and social psychology. This Effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle though, from a business perspective, the more exposure between a prospect and a brand new product or service before they feel comfortable reaching out to have conversations has grown quite phenomenally in the last 10 years. So in 2010, it was argued that you need, you know, that there were six to 10 touch points for a client to feel comfortable by 2013, that had risen to 12.2 exposures and by 2018 or 19.8 exposures.

Den Lennie (19m 19s):
So, you know, that has almost doubled. So that means that you need to be hitting your prospect's over 20 times before they even feel comfortable reaching out and learning more about you. And so an ebook is a really powerful way to, to get people off social into your ecosystem, and actually becoming a relationship that you can nurture rather than simply someone who visits your website in the leaves. And, and I know that this can see them somewhat overwhelming, you know, are you all you really want to do is make videos. But the great thing about this is once you've built this funnel and the system, it becomes a floor into your business.

Den Lennie (20m 5s):
You know, w we think about it, you know what I mean? Every business needs is inquiries. And, and most people will tell me that they get by on word of mouth, but that is changing because it's not predictable. And with all of this option that we've had in our last year, its harder and harder. And so it's really critical that you start developing systems that can gain predictability into your business. That means spending some money on advertising, but not just kinda getting them to a web site and saying, Hey, well make a video for you to actually take them on a journey. And that's how I want to take some work. And that's really one of the main focuses of the VBA is building systems inside your business that make it predictable.

Den Lennie (20m 45s):
So in my own business, I have a predictable, I can increase my ad spend and see more leads come into the business or I can decrease my ad spend when I don't want to bring any more people into the business. And that is a real control because then you can predict you're when, when, when you Business is going to come into your business and, and you know, you don't want to be bringing new business in all the time because you got to build systems to be able to handle the new business. And so one of my clients in the VBA, you know, have been busy for months. They, you know, in January that you had to work booked up until may or June because of they've got predictable systems in the business because they have built systems and they've put the work in and know that you've got predictability. And when you got predictability, it, it it's amazing what a raid it is because you can then say, well, I know what my revenue is going to be in the next month and the month after month after I can predict my revenue for the next six months without, without any new business.

Den Lennie (21m 39s):
And, and that's what I want for you. I want you to be in a position where you can predict your revenue going forward. And, and, and typically Video businesses have got this kind of bias that says, but you know, it, it depends, you know, what business comes in and it doesn't have to be like that. You can absolutely set up a system for, for building predictability into your business. And, and it's going to take some work. This is just one method of it, one tactic, but a really powerful one to build a thought in your business. Our it guys, I hope you found that useful. If you got any questions, please reach out to me on socials and, and make sure you go to the website at Den Lennie dot com, download my ebook. You're going into the funnel.

Den Lennie (22m 19s):
You'll see what happens. And I will talk to you very soon. You've been listening to the How to Scale a Video Business podcast with me, your host Den Lennie. If you're a Video business owner, it's hit the ceiling, who've benefited from mentorship, support and coaching and check out how you can work with me over at Don't forget to subscribe and rate the show over on iTunes. I mean, we'd really appreciate your taking a few minutes to leave a review and don't forget to share if you feel you've gotten value from this episode and you think it would be useful for other filmmakers, you know, and please do me a massive favor and share it in social media and in groups that you might be in. So thanks for listening. See you in the next episode.


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