The Janine Bolon Show with Ted Prodromou - 99 Authors Project, Season 3, Episode 9

The 99 Authors Project – Season 3 – Episode 9 with Ted Prodromou

Ted Prodromou

Ted Prodromou is America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach, the best-selling, award-winning author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business (Entrepreneur Press).

Ted is also frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, and DigitalMarketer.com. 

Ted is an online advertising consultant generating leads for his clients using Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and through social selling. He has generated over $100 million in revenue for his clients since 2004.

Learn more about Ted at www.YourLinkedInCoach.com

Transcript of the Show

Bryan Hyde
Welcome to the Janine Bolon show, where we share tips from around the globe. As we guide practical people with their finances using money tips, increase their incomes through side businesses, and maintain their sanity by staying in their creative zone.

Janine Bolon
Hello and welcome to the show. You may or may not know this about the Janine Bolon show, but it is a syndicated program. We took four of our podcasts and combined them in October of 21. And my team and I have taken those four podcasts programs that were originally the Three Minute Money Tips, the Thriving Solopreneur, the Writers Hour, Creative Conversations, and the Practical Mystic Show, and we have popped them all together into the Janine Bolon show for you today. Now, the really cool thing is this year, we’re interviewing 99 authors, and today we have a spotlighted author who is going to give you guidance, some perspective on how to get your message out, your story or how to get your memoir out into the world. Now many of you have been told you should write a book about not only your life experience, but the funny stories that you tell around the dining room table. Well, these 99 authors that I am interviewing over the course of this year, were prompted to write their own stories as well. Each one will tell you what got them going writing, but then each one will share what worked when they were selling their books, what didn’t work, and the things that they wish they had known before they became published authors. There’s a lot of stories in that. So, Ted Prodromou, America’s leading LinkedIn coach is the award winning Best Selling Author of The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business, and The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business. Ted is a social selling and online advertising expert, and the founder of Search Marketing Simplified LLC, which is a full service social media marketing firm. Now, Ted has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, The New York Times CNBC, and Forbes, so you can learn more at www.yourLinkedIncoach.com. So, welcome to the show, Ted.

Ted Prodromou
Hey, thanks for having me.

Janine Bolon
I absolutely love it. This is like third or fourth time we’ve had you on the Janine Bolon show. I love it every time. You always give great content, and this time, we get to talk just authorship. That’s the fun thing about that. So, out of curiosity, did you decide to publish under your real name? Or do you use a pen name?

Ted Prodromou
I actually chose my real name, I was in a mastermind with Perry Marshall, and Perry Marshall, he actually changed his name legally. And he said, Ted, you need to change your name, because it’s too hard for people to pronounce. Like, well, then I had to make that decision, do I want to change my family name, or go with a pen name. So, I stuck with my name. Actually, I’m glad I did, because I do have a unique last name and people say I see your name everywhere.

Janine Bolon
Right, the old days where they used to say it’s important that people be able to pronounce your name or what have you. We didn’t have the technology we do now. Like you can go on LinkedIn, one of your favorite platforms that you’d love talking to me about. And oh, my gosh, you now have a way that you can actually pronounce your name for people. Right? Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?

Ted Prodromou
Yeah, there’s a little, you have to do it from the mobile app, where you record it. So, you go to the LinkedIn mobile app, and there’s a little section there right by your name. And you actually record a 10 second. You say your name, and a little blurb about your business. It’s pretty good.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, so a little gold nugget for those of you who are LinkedIn users that you didn’t know that or if you did, there are other things that you can learn from Ted. I highly recommend that you go on to LinkedIn and watch his feed, because he is always giving you those little gold nuggets on ways that you can promote yourself on that platform. So, you decided to go ahead, keep the name. And one of the things that you do that I love is you have a different directory like instead of being Tedprodromos.com, you chose a different route.

Ted Prodromou
Yeah, I came up a little alias, www.yourLinkedIncoach.com, which actually redirects to www.Tedprodromos.com. As Perry said, people can’t say or spell your name.

Janine Bolon
So, why are you making that your website? So, that’s one of the things that Ted and I were talking about in the greenroom was the fact that there are ways that you can get around no matter how difficult your name is to pronounce with the technology we have these days it is not a stumbling block, like it used to be, say in the 80s or 90s. So, talk to us a little bit about what made you decide, Oh, I know what it was, I wanted to ask you about did you have a marketing background before you started writing your book?

Ted Prodromou
Well, I wrote a book 20 years ago, actually my first book, I got certified as a coach, and I didn’t know anything about marketing. I knew absolutely nothing. And I came across someone was promoting, hey, you need to be a published author to get speaking engagements to promote your coaching. So, I signed up for this, it had gotten awfully expensive.

Janine Bolon
I have no doubt.

Ted Prodromou
And I got to write one chapter of a book. So, it gave me the experience of working with a writing coach. You know, I’m still friends with that coach now, today, 20 years later. So, I’m glad I did it, it was worth the investment, and I learned marketing from her at the time. So, that was my first steps of marketing.

Janine Bolon
Right, and you like to share with people that you are a self proclaimed introvert and proud of that fact. Talk to us a little bit about being that introvert and then having to get out into the marketing world. That was a journey.

Ted Prodromou
It was, I was a tech guy, I was the IT guy for 20 years. So, I like to just do my thing and not really talk to people and hang out and fix computers. But to be a coach and go out speaking in public, it was terrifying for me. So, I came across actually a group called Speaking Circles, which the founder Lee Glickstein is here in San Anselmo, where I live. So, that really helped me overcome my fear of public speaking.

Janine Bolon
Right? Some people join Toastmasters or something like that, whatever speaking group, you can find, definitely, if you find yourself going into analysis paralysis, when you have to get up in front of people. So, you didn’t have a marketing background, you were this tech guy that liked to fix computer and run around with your toolbox, so to speak in your briefcase. So, what surprised you the most about the book marketing process when your book got published?

Ted Prodromou
Well, the good news is, I was in Perry Marshall’s mastermind at the time. So, I invested in a very high end coaching program, and that’s how I actually got the book deals. Because Perry wrote Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, and Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords for Entrepreneur Press. And they were by far the best selling books in their history of the entrepreneur press series, said, Hey, we need a LinkedIn book and a Twitter book, Perry, you know, anybody that can write those, preparing ourselves to co-author those book deals? Then at the last minute, after we signed the contracts, he said, I don’t even have a LinkedIn account, you write that book, and they said, I’m on Twitter, but I find no value in it, so, why don’t you just write both books, I’ll write the intro to them. And that’s how I got two book deals for the very large publisher.

Janine Bolon
Oh, that was incredible. I’ve never heard that story. I’m glad you shared that one. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that story from you. So, here you are, now you have these huge, this book deal, like literally falls into your lap because you’re in this mastermind group. So, what would you change if you started marketing your book today? Because you’re in a totally different space now, technology is totally different from what you were doing back then. So, what would be some of the things that you would change about your marketing strategy?

Ted Prodromou
Oh, gosh, when I wrote the books had no idea how to write a book except for that co- authored book.

Janine Bolon
Let’s start with that one, Janine, we didn’t even know what we were doing. Most authors don’t by the way.

Ted Prodromou
At the time, I was working full time for a software company doing their online marketing. My mother, my father passed away, and we moved her out here because she had dementia. So, I’m taking care of my mom who was failing in health, working full time, and then I get two book deals, they want done in three months. So, Oh, my God.

Janine Bolon
What am I doing?

Ted Prodromou
So, like a good research person, I went to Amazon, found the 10 best selling books on LinkedIn, and the 10 best selling books on Twitter, which actually there was only one book about Twitter when I wrote that book, Joel calm wrote. But I looked at the LinkedIn books that people had written, and I looked at the table of contents said, here’s what they’re teaching, and here’s some other things I can teach. So, I kind of made my own little syllabus out of it, and that’s how I kind of figured out how to write the books. Then to market the books, I just kind of watched what other people were doing on the Amazon time, and online.

Janine Bolon
Well, so with what you were doing, and I know that this was like crazy time for you with everything going on in your personal life, can you tell us what worked best for you when it came to selling your books? But what was the strategy that actually worked very well for you?

Ted Prodromou
That’s kind of where my tech career came into play, because I love to figure out how things work. I was always taking things apart at home and putting them back together. My mother was like, Why do you do that? But I like to reverse engineer things. So, I watched how other people were marketing their books, like on Facebook ads. And Perry Marshall was my mentor at the time, and he was selling books like crazy with Facebook ads. So, I just talked to Perry, and I reverse engineered. I actually went through his whole process. You get the free book plus $6.95 shipping. So, I did a lot of those and just kind of watched how people marketed, and when they mailed me the book, did they enclose something in the package like a flyer to buy something else? Like, I just kind of documented everything all the other marketers were doing to sell their books online and built my own little system.

Janine Bolon
That’s cool. And now Facebook ads is something totally different, right? I mean, it’s a totally different process. So, what is something that you tried that was like an epic failure because, you know, as authors when we get around at conferences, or something like that, we all talk about our horror stories. But then we go on to podcasts like this, and people kind of clam up about the failures. But, I would really like to learn what were some things that you tried, and it was like, totally not worth the money.

Ted Prodromou
Well, when Facebook changes their algorithm, like they like to do when you get something that’s working really, really well, then all sudden, now they have automated little bots that look for certain words in your ads, and they’ll literally suspend your account. They won’t just turn off that ad, they’ll suspend your account, and they don’t tell you why. Then you have to reach out to Facebook support over, and over, and over, and finally someone will say, Oh, yeah, that was a mistake. We’ll turn back on your ads.

Janine Bolon
Crazy. That’s just crazy, isn’t it?

Ted Prodromou
And then there was another little incident I was getting leads for $2.25. I was paying $2.25 to sell my book, give it away for free and it was $7.95 shipping. So, I was losing money on that because I had to pay for the books and the shipping and everything. But then I would have a little flyer I put in there that got people into my coaching program. So, it was working really well paying $2.25, and I was making an average about $100 per book I sold. Then the election came. Then Christmas came. And my leads went up to like $65 a lead. And we couldn’t figure out how to get it back down. Basically, I had to end the campaign because they cost me about $50 a lead two months ago, even.

Janine Bolon
Wow. Yep. So, something can work really well for a period of time, and that’s why it’s so important to take once a month and look and see what’s happening, or maybe even once a week, it depends on what your campaign is doing.

Ted Prodromou
Actually, once a day these days. Things change so fast.

Janine Bolon
Once a day, once a day. Yeah. So, that lets you know how far behind the times I am on stuff like that. So, well, talk to us a little bit about when you’re speaking, and you’re sharing your stories with your audiences, what is a story that you tell about yourself that get the most laughs from your target audience?

Ted Prodromou
Oh, gosh, I’m good at it.

Janine Bolon
I know right? Those are my favorite stories to tell, are the ones on me. Yeah.

Ted Prodromou
Right. Well, one of the, I know what it was, it was really fun. I was speaking to financial advisors, it was about 600 financial advisors, and I was telling a story about, I actually drove my family off a cliff one time. We’re coming back from vacation, I fell asleep at the wheel drove off 100 foot cliff. So, I’m up there, I started telling the story about how I was working so hard, I was stressed out. I’m coming home from family vacation, and I drove off a cliff, and they thought I was joking. And they started laughing at me. The whole audience burst out laughing. And then everything I said for the next three minutes after that, they just kept laughing and I was telling a serious story. So, I just went with it, and they were like, oh my God, you’re the funniest speaker I ever saw, that was great.

Janine Bolon
And you’re like, I will never tell them that was a real story.

Ted Prodromou
And I told that same story to Gary Barnes’ group one time, they’re all crying in the audience, and I’m crying on stage. It’s amazing how the same presentation can get a tremendously different response.

Janine Bolon
And I think that’s something comedians talk about all the time, you know, they talk about reading the room, and being able to work with it, and it’s just amazing how having that kind of a skill set is impressive. And one of the things I’ve noticed about you when you speak to a room, that’s where being an introvert is very helpful, because you spend so much time kind of processing your own thoughts and your own emotions, when you get on stage, it’s very easy for you to read a room unlike maybe some people who are highly extroverted, who haven’t taken that time. It just depends. But I’d like to know, what was the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since you started marketing your book?

Ted Prodromou
It took me a long time to embrace this. But I’m positioned as the thought leader now. I’m one of the top people in the industry. And for years, I didn’t even think on those terms. I just think I’m a guy that wrote a book and I like to help people on LinkedIn. But now I’m getting speaking engagements. Before when you read, I have articles in Forbes, CNBC, New York Times. They invest because articles excerpts from my book were put on the internet. One time I got a call from a guy, he says, I’m a reporter at The New York Times and I’m writing an article about using LinkedIn to find a job. Would you like to contribute to the article? And your first thought is, oh that’s one of my friends pranking me.

Janine Bolon
Right, exactly.

Ted Prodromou
But I actually contributed to a New York Times article. Then I was on vacation one time, and I get a call and it’s, I’m a CNBC producer, and we’re doing a documentary on Twitter. Can I pick your brain for a while we want, you know, would you like to contribute to the content? So, we’ve talked for like an hour, and then I’m watching this documentary a month later, it’s Carl Quintanilla, one of the moderators at CNBC, and he’s like, repeating my words verbatim. Because I wrote the book, and I got my content out on the internet, they found articles I’ve written on www.entrepreneur.com, and it’s just like, wow, this is huge.

Janine Bolon
It’s surreal, isn’t it when that kind of things happens? I remember The Oprah Winfrey Show reached out to me, the producers of that, and I was just like… I didn’t get on. They were very sweet. They told me oh, sorry, it’s not sexy enough. And they were joking. It was meant to be a joke. We were laughing and I was like, no, I get it. You know what your audience needs. And when I went and watched the show later, they were absolutely on point. I was not the person that they needed for that show. It was all about extreme frugality. Not at all with what, you know, my mindset was or how I was trying to teach people so, but it is amazing. It’s still surreal to me this day, I can say, yeah, I was approached by The Oprah Winfrey Show. I didn’t make it, but that’s okay. I had a great time talking with the producer. So, I learned a lot about showbiz.

Ted Prodromou
Well, if you like all good marketers, you could say, I was on Oprah, no. Oprah and I are best buddies.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, she doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall. Naw, I don’t think so. But like you say, you know, you’re very good at this, you’re very authentic, and you always preach that to other people about whatever you do on LinkedIn, you know, no matter how you’re promoting yourself, make sure you’re as authentic as you possibly can be. And I think you’re a perfect example of that, you’re like, I’m just this guy that had this book deal fall into my lap, and managed to get it out in the timeframe, even with all this other insanity, you know, going on in your world. So, that’s quite a testament to your perseverance. So, if you don’t mind, kind of give us the top five tips that you would give authors about selling their books nowadays, you know, in this environment that you find yourself?

Ted Prodromou
Well, there’s the choice of if you can write for a major publisher, like I did, versus self publishing, there’s pros and cons for each. Because I can’t do much with my book, at this point. Like, I can’t give away a PDF version, or even sell it. They sell a PDF version for $25 on the website. And I have very little control over a lot of the aspects of the book. But the plus side is, I was in Entrepreneur Magazine, and they had a stack of the ultimate guide books, Dan Kennedy wrote some, Perry Marshall, all these famous authors, and my book was on top of that stack of books. It was awesome. So I’m in Entrepreneur magazine, I was on www.entrepreneur.com, which opened so many doors for me. If you’re self published, you can sell more books, and you have a lot more control over it, but you don’t get that kind of publicity.

Janine Bolon
Right. And when was this happening for you? Do you mind giving us the year that happened for you?

Ted Prodromou
That was 2013 was when both books came up?

Janine Bolon
Right 2013. And so much has changed in the publishing industry. I don’t think people realize the massive sea change that happened around 2015 in the publishing industry when it was no longer called vanity publishing. But remember when they started changing the name to print on demand, you know, and they still wouldn’t call it self publishing. But they would call it print on demand services. And I remember when that started happening, I went, oh, this is something that has really taken off. But what other tips do you have for folks?

Ted Prodromou
So, really come up with a strategy. See how other people are selling books online, right now. Look at the ads, and actually buy the books, and go through their sales funnel, see what they’re doing, because usually they give them away for free is the big thing, and you pay shipping and handling. Now, what do they send with that package? That’s a golden opportunity. I have a flyer in there that sends people to my website to take a mini course. And then at the end of that mini course, they can sign up for my LinkedIn course. So, this is a huge opportunity when you’re mailing someone something, and then also you get their name and their address afterwards. So, you can follow up with direct mail to them like a postcard a year later, say, hey I have a new book coming out. So when you write the second edition of your book, you have whole email lists, a mailing list, and an email list that you can promote your books to going forward.

Janine Bolon
It’s massively helpful. It’s one of the things that I’ve enjoyed about the follow up systems is being able to mail something to people’s homes, and being able to say, I’m here as a friend, if you need additional help, here you go. But otherwise, you know, they can just throw it in file 13, if it’s not available, it’s not what they’re interested in.

Ted Prodromou
You’re brillant at that with your send out card. I love getting your cards.

Janine Bolon
I don’t like to sell, when I’m sending out direct mail, I like to be there as hey, I’m here as a friend. I know that you’re struggling with this particular pain point, that’s why you bought that book of mine. And I just want to make sure that’s being taken care of. That particular aspect of your life is back where you want it to be. So, go ahead and tell us a little bit, what was one of the primary things you misunderstood the most about becoming an author?

Ted Prodromou
Oh, boy.

Janine Bolon
Go ahead. You can list off several you don’t have to just pick one.

Ted Prodromou
Right. Overall it’s been a great experience for me. And then the frustrating part is when they come back and they say, hey, we want to write another version.

Janine Bolon
And you’re like, oh, my gosh, no.

Ted Prodromou
No, it’s okay. One thing I learned, I’ve written three versions of The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business now. So, you write the first one, and that’s a chore because I’ve never written a book before. So, the second one, I thought, okay, I’ll just go through remove the chapters that aren’t relevant anymore, and I’ll just put in what’s new on LinkedIn. Big mistake, because there’s so many references throughout the book, the other parts of the book, because they teach you to like, refer to that, like in chapter 13 we’ll talk about this. And then you get to 13, and they talk about linking back to other parts of the book. So, it took forever to edit that book. And then the third edition, I tried to do that again, like, oh, my gosh, I had a really tough proofreader, too, and she’s like, you can’t say that, you can’t say that. You need more proof, like that’s plagiarism, like I said, plagiarism, click here, click here. It got harder and harder to write the books. If I write the fourth edition, I’m going to start from scratch, and just make it a whole fresh copy.

Janine Bolon
That makes sense. That’s a good choice that will keep you from tearing out your hair, which is something that we all want to keep in our head, right? We don’t want to be pulling that stuff out. So, kind of share with us, what is the primary thing that was like your biggest reward as an author?

Ted Prodromou
The best part was,my mother was in assisted living when it came out, and she had her little walker, and they all walked around with their walkers, with their basket. She carried my book around. And she was like, in her basket.

Janine Bolon
That is so cool.

Ted Prodromou
She kept calling it out. My son is an author, my son wrote this book.

Janine Bolon
It’s bragging rights, bro. That’s great.

Ted Prodromou
She was so proud of that.

Janine Bolon
That is so wonderful. I like to share the story with people that when I first got my very first book, and I pulled it out, and I flipped over the back to make sure the back cover looked alright. And I had my youngest child standing next to me, and she was looking and saw that, she’s like, mom, you’re on the back of that book. And she looks at me with these beautiful eyes and goes, you’re famous, you know, just totally the end. Honestly, it’s those little moments. It’s not how many books you sell, it’s like, it’s those moments, like you said, mom running around with your book in her walker basket, and my kid looking at me like, I was the best thing since sliced bread. And, you know, I’m like, Okay, I think I can get through this next book, because I’d like to have another moment like that with someone else, you know, to see what would happen.

Ted Prodromou
I had a class reunion a couple of months ago, and I was talking to people and then one person go, you’re really a big thing now, aren’t you, you’re a big deal.

Janine Bolon
And you just kind of look at them, and go, for some people.

Ted Prodromou
That’s the thing with PR basically, if you keep your name, and your picture in front of people all the time, they think, oh, he’s really something.

Janine Bolon
Not bad coming from wherever you came from. Right? So yeah, it’s fascinating stuff. Any last words of wisdom before we close it out for today?

Ted Prodromou
No, I highly recommend writing a book, whether you get it self published, or you do it through a big major publisher because it opens so many doors. When you can walk up and hand somebody a book that you wrote, and most people are so intimidated by the thought of writing a book, 99% of people wouldn’t even consider it. So, once you accomplish that it just opens so many, people respect you at a whole different level.

Janine Bolon
I agree. It’s amazing. The difference between I’m writing a book to, I have a book. It’s just night and day the differences. So…

Ted Prodromou
The best business card ever.

Janine Bolon
Yeah, it really is. A business card on steroids is what I heard one person say, and I was like, yeah, actually it is. It is. Well, thank you so much for your time today, Ted. I appreciate you taking a few moments with us.

Ted Prodromou
Thank you so much for having me.

Janine Bolon
And then that’s it. Ted has answered our 13 questions, and has got more information in store for you with his latest work, if you will, go to www.yourLinkedIncoach.com, He will be happy to give you more education on what you can do as a business owner when it comes to LinkedIn. And this is Janine Bolon signing off with you today and all of us here at the eight gates that produced the Janine Bolon show. We wish you a wonderful week. And we encourage you to get your message, your story, or your knowledge out into the world and make it a better place just like these authors are doing with the newly published authors that are coming along behind them. We’ll see you again next week, and until then keep sharing what you know with others, keep shining that light that is you, and don’t forget to go out today and do something for yourself that’s just plain fun.

Bryan Hyde
Thank you for listening to the Janine Bolon show. Be sure to subscribe to our show notes by going to www.theJanineBolonshow.com, where you’ll find additional resources as well as the opportunity to sign up to receive our program in your email each week. Be sure to visit our sponsor at www.the8gates.com.

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