Bly suggests a guru should have the following to offer: articles; books; producing and selling information; newsletter; speaking; seminars; a public relations campaign; the Internet; critical mass and maintaining your guru status.
Robert Bly book writes that articles should be pure information, advice, how to, strategy or ideas. They should be useful and actionable or conceptual and thought provoking. Most articles are known information repackaged. If it something a reader knows and agrees with; you are helping validate their beliefs. They will like you and think you are the best. Articles help readers solve specific problems. They are published because writers took the time to study a subject they want to write about. They are simply able to delve into a subject enough to write clearly, concisely, and logically about it. They help you think of new ways to do things.
Anything you write about or do should offer a problem, solution and a result.
Articles should be 800 to 1500 words in length. Average magazine articles have about 800 words a page. That makes it perfect for reprints. Publishing information products should be a second business. It lets clients sample. If you wrote a book or produced audios and your competitor has not, it gives you a leg up. It allows you to tap into a market that would not or cannot hire you to speak. Writing books, booklets, and articles sharpens your thinking, forces you to organize your information more logically and builds your expertise in the subject area. Creating information products helps you become knowledgeable in your field.
Edward Uhlan who wrote the "Rogue of Publishers Row," states: "The reverence people have for the printed word is amazing. Simply because a man appears in print, the public assumes he has something authoritative to say."
The reason I love Bob Bly’s book so much is that he details a "how to," on each area in which you need to become a guru. Many I knew and took for granted. It is helpful to have it spelled out for you.
He suggests you develop a list of trade shows in your area, i.e., get the names of Conference Managers. Use Encyclopedia of Associations to see where groups will be holding their conferences. You must have an abstract of your talk (100 to 200 words). It is helpful to include an audiotape of a past speech you delivered. Most groups book eight to twelve months in advance.
Bly also states it strategically advantageous sometimes not to charge anything. You may wish to negotiate your payment by bartering. Some of the tips he gives: if you receive their mail list; inclusion of your brochure in their show kits; placement in their press release and newsletter; a post talk article; free ads; extra copies of the program that has your bio; suggest they produce a master tape of your presentation for audio and video; ask for a 10% royalty on tapes sold and if it is a local chapter, ask for contacts at others they know.
Presentations are to entertain, inform and educate. Soft sell works best. You should put one hour of preparation in for every minute of your talk. Always use handouts – (Bly suggests) a colored sheet – because it will stand out which expands and summarizes your talk.
Terry Smith, author of Making Successful Presentations, lists possible objectives for a speech: Inform or instruct; persuade or sell; make recommendations and gain acceptance; arouse interest; inspire or initiate interest; evaluate, interpret and clarify; set the stage for further action; gather ideas and explore them and entertain.
Harold and Marjorie Zelko, authors of How to Make Speeches for All Occasions, offer these pointers for persuasive talks: draw attention; indicate problem or need; analyze the problem; mention possible solutions; offer most desired solution; offer proof; is it better than others; desired response from audience; how it can be realized and summarize.
Bly offers a third authority, Janet Stone and Jane Bachner, who wrote the book, Speaking Up, to offer these tips on persuasive speaking: secure attention; state problem; prove existence; describe pain; state solution; show solution will benefit; anticipate questions and objections and invite action.
The book "How to Become a Recognized Authority" explains the need for press releases and once again it is a "how to" manual. Robert Bly does not disappoint with his detail and explanation. He states they should one or two pages in length. Your release should include three main things: an announcement; description and offer.
I am planning on issuing a press release for this report you are reading. Maybe you are reading it because of the release. Bly suggests I include a headline, key points, perhaps eight of them with a brief description of a sentence and some excerpts with an offer to reprint some of my report. He promises the more the article describes the contents the more they will want the booklet. Booklets are a more permanent medium and people prefer it to articles.
When Bob Bly writes a special report, he uses this formula for distribution: 300 Business Magazines; 50 advertising and marketing magazines; 80 syndicated newspaper columnists and 500 business editors at the largest daily newspapers. It totals 950 releases. He attracts dozens of pickups. He does not use a clipping service to track where. The beauty of viral marketing is sometimes you do not know where it comes from. He sold 3500 booklets at $7.00 totaling $24,000. From it, he was able to garner several consulting assignments, 6 speaking engagements and additional sales of books and reports.
Why seminars? Bly writes it fulfills consumer’s need to be better educated; seminars with you as a sponsor positions you as a source of information; lets you pitch without being perceived as selling; you have a captive audience; your product can be demonstrated; reaches different prospects; it gives attendees useful information; allows
you to pitch your product and services longer than you could with a sales call; makes you stand out and it is a local event so local media will cover it.
Bly states there are six types: free information; product demonstration; fee based; professional seminar from a company who only does this, trade show or industry event and adult education or evening college.