Rory Carruthers took his experience of being a professional recording artist and touring musician and turned it into a successful marketing career. It wasn’t necessarily the move most musicians make, but Carruthers isn’t an ordinary person.
Carruthers used his marketing knowledge from the music industry and translated it into other areas after finding success with his record label. Carruthers began to unlock doors in the marketing world that grew his personal brand to new heights. He wrote and launched a book titled “So You Want to be a Musician?!” which shot Carruthers to the top of the International Bestseller charts. Shortly after Carruthers’ book topped charts around the world, he was contacted by others wanting to know his secrets.
Carruthers has now turned his book marketing knowledge into a set of courses and services that help others find writing success. Carruthers has taken marketing to the next level, and his clients are thriving to the tune of over a billion dollars in revenue.
Rory, you have done a lot in your lifetime as an entrepreneur. Let’s start at the beginning of your journey. Tell us how you got started with marketing?
It all started when I was 12-years old and was thrown into my family’s business and had to find ways to make it grow. The entrepreneurial mindset was ingrained in me by my grandparents who, after WWII, moved from the United Kingdom to Canada with only $20 in their pockets, yet went on to build multiple successful businesses during their lifetime.
Working side-by-side with them, I learned about work ethic, going above and beyond for your customers, and about being the absolute best you can be at what you do. Quite early on, I realized that I had a knack for marketing and managing teams. It was then that I started my first marketing company. I built it on the back of one of the hardest markets to market to – experimental music.
For 12 years, I was a professional recording and touring musician. This was right as independent music was gaining notoriety. I decided to go down that path and created an independent record label for my own bands. Before I could even release an album for any of my own bands, I had other bands reaching out wanting us to release and distribute their music.
Very quickly the record label grew to have an eclectic roster of bands, and sales started coming in from all over the world. It was then that I knew that I was on to something unique and different than what was being done with marketing.
Carruthers was on the forefront of many marketing strategies at the time that ended up becoming some of the top marketing strategies used by independent record labels and bands for years to come.
You coined a term called Invisible Marketing™. What is it and how does it work?
Everything that was taught about marketing at that time just didn’t work for this unique experimental music market. I tried everything. I read every book and took every course I could on music marketing, product marketing, general marketing, advertising, branding, etc., and I implemented a lot of it, yet it didn’t work. Well, not exactly. What I came to realize was that all of those strategies were valuable, but I had to find ways to make them not apparent. They couldn’t be blatant or in your face at all. They had to be “invisible,” and when I started implementing this Invisible Marketing™ (when you use marketing without it being perceived as marketing) in my business, things took off. Using this process, I was able to grow my record label to one of the top independent record labels in the world at the time, and we did it with small budgets, no touring bands, and all online.
From there, I realized I had to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. For the next seven years, I worked in all manner of marketing, including local business marketing, Google Adwords, email marketing, and video production.
While using my marketing knowledge in the music world, I realized that the techniques I had mastered translated very well to other markets and products. No one was approaching marketing the way I was. So, I began expanding beyond the record label and developed the marketing for a raw, vegan, organic chocolate company. Using this marketing strategy, we were able to get delicious chocolates into the hands of many fans, including celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. We also had Google ordering for their corporate events and got the chocolate into Whole Foods all in a matter of a few months of repositioning the company’s marketing and branding.
When used correctly, Invisible Marketing™ works in almost all markets. It creates a connection between the brand and the customer unlike anything I have ever seen. With this marketing strategy, your audience is much more open to connecting with you and your brand because they do not feel that they are being marketed to in an aggressive, off-putting manner. In a way, their defenses are down because they are focused on learning more about you, your ideas, and your brand, not sales trickery. One example would be a blog written with the goal of getting the reader to take action and/or purchase a product. When it is written with this strategy in mind, it appears as an informative blog post, not an advertisement, but still sells them on taking the action you want them to take.
Carruthers has turned his expert knowledge into multiple bestselling books. Everything he has learned along the way is now being taught to others and they too are having success.
Rory, you have become a #1 International Bestselling Author seven times over. What led you to write your own book and why do you believe the first book became so popular?
For years, I grew my marketing business, but I eventually realized that I needed to grow my personal brand because I knew that if people knew who I was and I had credibility and authority supporting my name, that would open doors for me that were previously padlocked shut. I began researching the best ways to make that happen, and writing a book kept popping up.
Through a series of connections, I was asked to co-author a book with legendary business coach Brian Tracy for my first book. That book did well, but it was my second book that really changed my business and direction in life. I wrote and launched a book with my friend and talented drummer, Christopher Bright, who I had toured and co-written music with for most of my music career. We shared our years of knowledge navigating the music industry to help up-and-coming musicians learn their instruments and advance their careers. It instantly became a #1 International Bestseller!
Almost immediately, book experts started reaching out asking me how I launched my book the way I did. I began taking them on as clients and consulting them on what I was doing. I realized that I had stumbled onto something that was of significant value and that I had a unique gift for. In less than six months, I had created a mid-six-figure book development business.
Since then, Carruthers has gone on to help over 300 business owners become #1 Bestselling Authors. Additionally, Carruthers and his team have helped generate over one billion dollars in revenue for their clients. Today, he works with a select group of experts, celebrities, business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches, consultants, podcasters, media personalities, and online marketers.
Many experts and authors have reached out to you about becoming a successful author. What are some of the ways you help people become top-selling authors?
It always starts with the purpose of the book and how it fits into the larger marketing and branding strategy for your business. Is it about expanding your personal brand? Do you want to get more leads into your business? Is there information your prospects need to understand before you get on the phone with them? What’s great is that a book can do all of these things and more. Everyone’s situation is slightly different, so we narrow down to what’s most important for them and then build the book around that strategy, with that purpose in mind.
I created a process called The Credibility Trifecta™ that is really valuable for any business owner to understand. It is how you get more leads for your business, and it’s also how you position yourself as the authority on your topic within your market.
Here’s what it looks like:
It all starts with a book, even better, a #1 International Bestselling book. The world at large views authors with a certain level of respect. When information is written in a book as opposed to a blog post, for example, it’s viewed as more credible. There are hundreds of years of psychology that’s been ingrained in us that leads us to believe that books are trusted and reliable sources of information. So, when you have a book through which you’re sharing your expertise, the reader is immediately more open to what you have to say. When you add being a #1 International Bestselling author to that mix, the level of skepticism is at a minimum.
The second aspect of this is reviews and testimonials. They are the lifeblood of your business. They will make or break your success in many cases. They push people over the edge if they are on the fence about working with you. The same goes for your book. When people see a lot of positive reviews about your book when they are researching you, it sets you apart from those that may have a book but don’t have the reviews to give that third-party validation. In July 2017, INC. magazine published an article about online reviews*. A survey was done by BrightLocal that determined 91% of people read online reviews before purchasing or working with a service provider and that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a friend’s recommendation, so this is definitely something you want to keep in mind regarding your business.
The third aspect of this Credibility Trifecta™ is your media. When you can show that you’ve been featured in the media, it adds a certain level of trust and recognition to what you do. It’s hard to get featured in the media, and most people know that. So when you are featured in the media, people are more inclined to work with you because the media has already independently verified you and what you do.
Take a look at the Credibility Trifecta™ image and what you’ll notice is that the three arrows are interconnected and pointing toward each other. Having two of these strategies handled can do wonders for your business, but when you have all three of these strategies working in a harmonious system that is designed to compound on itself, it multiplies your efforts rather than just adding to them.
Books are a fantastic tool to grow a business or entrepreneurs’ brand. Carruthers has worked with a variety of individuals to help them market themselves through books. It is a great way to show expertise on a topic and grow like never before.
What are the biggest benefits of having a book for business owners and entrepreneurs?
There are a ton, but here are my top ten:
10- Your story, message, and strategies organized in a thoughtful manner so you can share them easily with everyone you speak to.
9- The ability to say you wrote the book on a specific subject.
8- Save a lot of time from repeating the same information over and over again. You can now just give them your book.
7- You get to say you are a published author, which changes the perception of you with whomever you are trying to close.
6- It makes closing deals much, much easier.
5- You instantly beat out all the other potential speakers (who don’t have books), so you can land the speaking engagement.
4- The ability to send your book in advance to a prospect to position you as the expert before you get on a call with them. You wouldn’t believe how much this affects closing rates.
3- It allows you to become a #1 Bestselling Author, which is a title you have for life.
2- You can then take that title and put it everywhere: your website, your bio, your business cards, your email signature, your next book, etc.
1- A life-long dream realized.
There are also a few hidden benefits. My client John O. Reilly, who is a multi-platinum recording artist and was the drummer for 15 years for Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the largest grossing touring band in the world, told me a story recently about how he used his book to get VIP access.
He was running late to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show, the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry, at the Anaheim convention center. Over 100,000 people attend, so parking was full for miles around. He didn’t know what to do because he was going to be late for his book signing event, so he drove right up to the front of the convention center and said, “I’m going to be late for my book signing event.” Just as the security guard was turning him away, he pulled out a copy of his book and showed her his photo on the cover. She said, “Oh, honey, I’ll get you in, park right over there.” And just like that, he had a parking spot at the front door in the VIP section.
Another thing he said about the event that is important for all of us entrepreneurs to realize is that when it was over and he was walking out, there were thousands of business cards strewn about all over the ground, but there wasn’t one single book on the ground. What better way to ensure that someone takes home your contact information than with a book?
What are some of the marketing strategies that should be employed by people looking for writing success?
The most important thing to remember is that you, and consequently your readers, can’t get any benefit from your book until it has been released to the world. Too many times, I’ve heard stories of people putting off writing their book, sometimes until it’s too late. We don’t know what lies ahead, so the best decision you can make is to get your book, your message, your strategies out to the world.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you should just throw together a bunch of random ideas and call it a book. If you are using your book to strategically position yourself, to expand your authority in the marketplace, and are using it as a tool to grow your business, then it has to be done professionally. The printing press was developed in 1439, and books had been printed for more than 600 years before that. The idea and concept of a book is deeply ingrained in us because of this. We expect a book to look a certain way, to feel a certain way, to read a certain way. And what happens when it doesn’t? That’s right, we get mad, we leave bad reviews, we write it off, or we start to distrust the information presented in the book. That distrust then transfers to the person who wrote the book, and pretty soon, the thing that was supposed to bring you credibility and authority is actually doing more harm than good.
So, how do you avoid this kiss of death? First, you provide your best content around the topic. Don’t hold back. Push yourself to give more than you think you should. Why? Because when you give more than is expected, your reader not only believes what you are saying, but they think, “If the information in this book, that I only paid $20 for, is this good, imagine how amazing the information is that I am going to get when I hire them.” If you’re a consultant or looking to close a deal of any kind, that type of positioning is priceless. They’ve sold themself on working with you before you even talk to them.
Second, you’ve got to have a cover that captures the vast majority of the public’s eye. They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but you know why they say that? Because everybody judges books by their covers. When they see your book on the shelf in the store, the only goal you should have beyond getting them to pick it up is to get them to flip it over. If they do that, they are 50% sold on wanting it already. Then you get a shot to use marketing language to persuade them to buy the book.
The best way to think of this in your mind is to think of the front cover as branding and the back as marketing. Brand yourself and your strategy. Make it easy to read, simple, and bold. If the design is a mess with no focal point, they will just move past it or put it back on the shelf. You get a few seconds, if you’re lucky. Online, it’s even worse. Not only are you dealing with fast moving fingers scrolling and clicking with little thought, but the book cover images on most of the sites that sell books are very small. High-contrast is the way to go. Make sure your title is easily readable when it is at such a small size.
On the back, let them know what they are going to get out of reading the book. I’m not talking about putting your strategies on the back though. Instead, answer these questions. If you only had one sentence to describe your book, what would it be? That goes at the top. How will their life be 10 times better from reading this book? That’s what they are going to learn. Imagine that if they put this book back on the shelf they would die, what are you going to say to them to keep that book in their hands, so that doesn’t happen? That’s your call to action at the end. Extreme? Yes, of course it is, but it gets you to really do what needs to be done to get them to buy your book.
Third, whatever you do, don’t skip this one. Which one, you ask? Formatting. So, what exactly is formatting? It’s the way your book displays on a tablet, a phone, or on the page of a book. Standards and expectations have been set for years and years and years by the traditional publishing industry. If you don’t meet those expectations, your book is viewed as amateur. That’s bad. You don’t want that. You want your readers, your clients, your friends, and your family to see your book and exclaim, “WOW! I can’t believe this is your book!”
Hit all three of these benchmarks, and you are well on your way to having a high-quality, professional book that you’ll be proud to share with the world.
In recent years, more and more writers have used self-publishing to release their books. Millions of writers have released their works without a publishing house as platforms such as Kindle continue to grow. Carruthers has plenty of experience with both sides and knows there are benefits of both self-publishing and working with a publisher.
Rory, as a writer looking to gain success, how has self-publishing changed the game for writers and other entrepreneurs? How do writers successfully market their own self-published work? Should they work with a publisher?
These are questions I get asked all the time. There are some great benefits to working with a traditional publisher. Quality is the biggest one. They spend years working on a book, and it goes through many revisions and editing phases. Their covers and printing tend to be top notch. Another is that you get to say you worked with a publishing company, and you get to tap into their distribution channels. But, there are very few people I speak to that I recommend work with a traditional publisher. If you’ve been thinking about it or are even in the process of it, here’s what to consider. The traditional publishing industry is only interested in one thing, how many potential readers you have to sell books to. They don’t market books. You have to do the marketing. They take almost all the money, and you get a very small royalty. They control everything, including your content and copyright. They are slow getting to market, which means the benefit you get from your book is put off for a very long time.
My friend Mike Filsaime, who is a very successful and exceptional online marketer, told me about his experience of being approached by a traditional publisher to write his book. He had a meeting at their offices, where for 30 minutes they proceeded to ask him about how big his email list was, how many followers he had on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, what he was going to do to market the book, how much advertising he was going to do, and on and on it went. Eventually, Mike stopped them and asked them if they wanted to know what his book was about. They flat out said, “No.” So Mike said, “What do I need you guys for?” There was absolute silence in the room. Mike walked out the door and never looked back. Now, not all publishers are like this, but it illustrates the mentality of the traditional publishing world as a whole.
Traditional publishing is what I call publishing 1.0. So, what is publishing 2.0? Self-publishing. There are some great benefits to self-publishing. You get to control the content and copyright of the book. You don’t have to stock warehouses full of books. You get to keep all the profit. You don’t need a big email list or social media following like you do to get a traditional publishing deal in the first place. Your book is faster to being released, in theory. Which leads to the biggest downside. The reason I say “in theory” is that only 3% of people who start writing a book actually finish it. So, you can be faster to market, but if you don’t ever get your book out there, then it never gets the chance to do anything for you. The other thing to consider is that covers and formatting tend to be subpar as a whole with self-published books. The reason for this is that you don’t have the years of experience doing books to help aid in making the right decisions for your book. You also don’t tend to have access to the distribution channels that the traditional publishing industry does.
So, what are you to do? This question is what prompted me to come up with the concept of publishing 3.0. It takes all the good aspects of the traditional publishing world and all the good aspects of the self-publishing world, throws away all that isn’t good, and leaves you with a system that is significantly more beneficial to us business owners. The problem is that if you were to go and figure these things out on your own, it would most likely take you years. Plus, you’ve got your own business to run and keep thriving, so most likely you aren’t going to sit down and learn all of this. So, if you can find someone who really knows what they are doing with books and can get you the results you are looking for, then I highly recommend that you work with them to get your book completed and launched.
You offer courses through your website for those looking to become successful authors and writers. What can prospective learners gain from the courses?
We recently streamlined all our courses into one master course called The Bestseller Method™ Masterclass. It’s the DIY version of what we do for our one-on-one book clients.
We show you how to choose which book to write, develop your big idea, and pick the right title. You also learn the seven stages of writing, how to develop the perfect outline, and the best ways to share your story, so your reader instantly bonds with you. It’s no secret that stories sell, but you have to use the right story, crafted in the right way to capture your reader’s attention and get them to connect on an emotional level with you. Plus, we give you the most effective ways to get your book done quickly. No cabin in the woods needed!
We share the best cover design practices, so you know what constitutes a great cover. This is valuable to know, even if you hire out the design. Remember what I said before, you need editing and formatting. We give you the tools and resources to find the perfect people to help you get these critical tasks completed.
We show you how to price your book, where and how to upload your book for sale, and how to position yourself for a bestseller campaign. A book launch isn’t just thrown together, it’s strategic. Follow the blueprint and get the results.
I think one of the most valuable parts of the training is that, as a bonus, we provide software to keep you accountable, so your book actually gets done. There’s no other training or program on the market like it.
Carruthers has a 100% success rate helping entrepreneurs become bestselling authors, so you have a pretty good chance of getting similar results.
In your experience in marketing, what kind of books do best with buyers?
We’ve worked on books in almost every market you can think of: Real estate, yoga, the business exit industry, self-help, spiritual, plastic surgery, family business, fitness, multi-level-marketing, medical, fashion, social media, investing, etc.… Well, you get the idea.
It’s not so much about the industry as it is about how the information helps readers, how well the book is launched and marketed, and how you use it on a daily basis as part of your branding and marketing strategy. There are always going to be trendy topics that can help take a book to another level, but I’ve seen big name authors with trendy topics flop and no-name authors with everyday topics absolutely crush it. If you do the things I’ve recommended here, then regardless of topic, you can really benefit from your book and get it in the hands of the readers that are desperately looking for your solution.
Carruthers is more than an author. He and his business offer full-scale marketing to writers and other entrepreneurs. He has helped many people market their brands and grow their businesses in areas they never before believed possible.
What is a surprise is that you don’t just have success with books, your company is a full-scale marketing agency. What other services do you offer?
That’s right, and sometimes it is a surprise to some of our potential clients. The entry point for most of our clients to work with us is through book development. The reason for this is that by having a book, the title of #1 International Bestselling Author, and the media credibility from the media promotions that we do, it allows us to ensure that the foundational elements for credibility and authority are in place. It makes the next steps easier to implement and get success with.
We’ve had just as much success from our other services as with books, such as having sold over $100 million through webinars and over $500 million through online advertising, but books are foundational. They are the first step in working with us in most cases.
Rory, are you working on any new books currently and what can we expect from you next?**
I have two new books that are set to launch very soon. Another book on music specifically focused on finding success in the music industry in an ever-changing landscape where the way people access, listen to, and enjoy music influences the way artists connect and engage with their audiences. I also have a book coming out called The Bestseller Method™ that is a deep dive into the twelve-step book development and launch process that I created.
We entrepreneurs always have a thousand and one ideas, so a lot is happening behind the scenes, specifically for our clients. That’s where I tend to focus the majority of my time, getting our clients even greater results and success.
Carruthers has been changing the lives of entrepreneurs around the globe since discovering the secrets to becoming a best-selling author. He isn’t just an expert in launching books; Rory Carruthers Marketing supports aspiring authors from book development to strategic marketing through one-on-one guidance with business owners who are ready to share their expertise with the world. Additionally, he now offers The Bestseller Method Masterclass, a comprehensive online training system that gives learners everything they need to know to successfully write their own best-selling book.
With over 20-years of experience in marketing and business, Carruthers continues to be a great source of knowledge regarding this unique branding strategy. It may seem like an unlikely career path Carruthers has taken, from musician to best-selling author to book launch and marketing expert, but all of his experience has combined to make him a specialist in the industry. Entrepreneurs looking to make a change and thrive should look no further than Rory Carruthers.
To learn more about Rory and his life-changing books and programs, visit https://www.RoryCarruthers.com.
Rory kindly created a webinar for our readers that goes much deeper into the book publishing industry and his book development and launch strategies. You can watch it now at: https://www.MyGuaranteedBestseller.com/totalprestige.
**Given Rory’s background as a musician, we thought we’d turn it up to 11 (questions) this time around.