1869 – Convert Readers into Clients with Smart Author Media’s Chris Benetti

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Co-Founder of Smart Author® Media, Chris Benetti.

Benetti Wide

Chris pointed out that podcasts and books are the best business lead sources. They create deep, meaningful relationships and provide immense value. A book allows you to share your expertise and methodologies in a way that builds trust and credibility, setting you apart from the “fast AI crap” that floods the market.

While audio platforms like Audible are gaining popularity among busy entrepreneurs, a significant audience still appreciates the tactile experience of a paperback or the convenience of a Kindle. Understanding these preferences is crucial for tailoring your book marketing strategy.

Chris's background in sales funnels has informed his unique approach to book marketing. Rather than bombarding potential clients with messages, he advocates for a more thoughtful, inbound approach. By providing upfront value through a book, you can nurture leads and guide them towards becoming clients.

Chris shared examples of authors who have thrived under his guidance, such as Ryan Dyas, Scott Holford, and Joel Airway. These authors didn't just sell books—they converted readers into high-value clients, demonstrating the effectiveness of a well-crafted book marketing campaign.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Impact of books in business
  • Using books as a lead generation tool
  • Importance of deep business relationships
  • Myths around making money from book sales
  • Strategies for leveraging books to attract clients
  • Book marketing and lead generation
  • Ideal clients for Smart Author Media
  • Importance of podcasts and books as lead sources

About Chris Benetti:

Chris Benetti founded Smart Author Media, a company specializing in book marketing. With extensive expertise in the field, Chris has played a pivotal role in the success of his clients, aiding them in generating more than $20 million in sales through their books and digital products. In 2023 alone, he sold over 19,000 books for his clients.

His proven track record showcases his ability to effectively market books, ensuring they reach their intended audiences and achieve significant sales figures. Chris Benetti's approach combines strategic marketing techniques with a deep understanding of the digital marketplace, making him a go-to expert for authors looking to maximize their book's potential and leverage it for broader business success.

About Smart Author Media:

Smart Media Author is a comprehensive service designed to effectively support authors in marketing their books. It specializes in creating high-quality sales funnels, ads, and email campaign guides, utilizing authors' book creatives and sales copy resources. This service aims to boost book sales by ensuring books reach their target audience through tailored growth strategies.

Smart Media Author focuses on converting readers into leads and purchasers for the author's core business, expanding business opportunities. Leveraging a skilled team positions authors as authorities in their niches, enhancing their overall business revenue. Smart Media Author's holistic approach focuses on creation, growth, and profit to help authors and their businesses thrive.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Smart Author® Media website at

Check out Smart Author® Media on LinkedIn at

Check out Chris Benetti on LinkedIn at

Check out Chris Benetti on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now it's ChrisBenetti. Chris, you are the founder of Smart Author Media. Your website is smart author Chris, it's great to have you.

Chris (00:01:11) - Thanks for having me, Josh.

Josh (00:01:13) - I should also point out that you are a fellow podcaster. Your show is called Smart Author with Chris Barnett.

Josh (00:01:19) - , which our friend is listening. Search around. You can find it. Also, you produce a lot of your content on YouTube as well, so. Well, Chris, give us an overview of of your impact today, who you serve through Smart Author Media.

Chris (00:01:31) - Yeah. So primarily it's business owners who have books. And I make that distinction because a lot of people are authors, but they don't typically use their books for business purposes. My clients are essentially people who are business owners, and they've written a book to help lead gen or amplify what they're doing in business already.

Josh (00:01:51) - Yeah. And so saying that, obviously the question comes about someone might be listing and say, well, I'm a business leader, I have products and services and offers. Right. And so why in the year 2024, should I be thinking about a book?

Chris (00:02:08) - Well, I always say that there's probably two best lead sources for your business. The number one is podcasts, and Josh has obviously got that sorted. And then the second one is a book.

Chris (00:02:19) - And what it really comes down to is that both of those avenues create the best type of leads for your business. They create the best types of relationships and they give the most value. You can go really deep with someone on a podcast over time, and you can go really deep with someone with a book once they read that book. So for me, it's just like the number one lead generation source, and it kind of has additional benefits, like a podcast as well, where it can create your brand, your authority, and your credibility in the marketplace.

Josh (00:02:50) - Yes. Good question. Here I go. So why is it important to, you know, when you talk about going deep,, why is that so critical in business today?

Chris (00:03:01) - Well, if we look at the state of marketing and everything online, there's so many people who are just trying to get, you know, quick cash or they're just trying to pump out. You know, I lead magnets and things like that that just offered really no value.

Chris (00:03:15) - And so can.

Josh (00:03:16) - I ask for just a second and go. Collectively we'll all go. Yuck. All right. Continue on because we all know what you're talking about.

Chris (00:03:26) - Yeah. For sure. So, you know, it's just like it's such a space that's plagued with low quality and just as much things as fast as possible. And, you know, to really slow down and go, cool. How can I do something different and impactful and actually make a change? That's why I book and that's why a podcast, you know, you can't really fake those things. You can go and just create these wonderful assets, and it just allows someone to just quote unquote, spend more time with you and get to understand you and know you. And most of the time, like people who listen to Josh's podcast, probably see how awesome it is and want to work with Josh on creating their own podcast. And people who read your book might want to work with you further after they read your book. Once they understand, you know your methodologies, your processes, and how it's different to all the fast AI crap in the marketplace already.

Chris (00:04:19) - Yeah.

Josh (00:04:20) - Now I consume a lot of audiobook content. That's the way I do it. And and it's, you know, it's very important to me. What do you see around book consumption these days?

Chris (00:04:34) - Yeah. So I think it's people who don't have a lot of time to sit and read. We'll definitely go to more the audio platforms. So audible is just king in today's age. And even for myself, like I'm a busy entrepreneur, I don't really have time to read physical books, so that's definitely the place., but yeah, most, most certainly people still love getting a good paperback in their hand and reading it., and, you know, people still also love the, the, you know, the ease of access for Kindle and across multiple devices. And they can kind of just sit in bed and scroll at night time and read on their phone or on their iPad or, you know, the Kindle device., and so it's, you know, there's definitely a shift towards audio content for books, but there's still a lot of people who prefer the old school methods as well.

Josh (00:05:22) - Yeah. So what would be some examples of folks that you've worked with? And and by the way, Chris, I just want to say like, I mean, you're coming to this, you know, with a background in what would we call sales funnels and so but you're suggesting, you know, a less of a, I don't know, just, you know, Machiavellian, you know, just kind of spray and pray, just slam the world with messaging and, and more of a, you know, kind of invitation or inbound approach, right? Where we're just sharing our wisdom in a very generous way with the world and use that as kind of the delineate or where we're we're just trying to make it as easy as possible for people to spend quality time together with us.

Chris (00:06:05) - . Yeah. So our approach you know my background is sales funnels. So I kind of took my knowledge in sales funnels and wrapped it into this space where I kind of found that, you know, these business authors were being under service from an ongoing marketing perspective.

Chris (00:06:20) - There's a lot of,, providers in the, the writing, the publishing, the even the best seller campaign,, avenues, but not on the ongoing marketing side of things. And so we kind of, again, took our knowledge and then put on advertising so that we can essentially run direct response campaigns to new audiences on platforms like Facebook and Instagram and potentially Amazon to get people to see that this book is something that is out there and come into the author's world to want to, you know, buy the book and potentially by other things from them., and, you know, work with them further. So our process as a whole is very purposeful and is thought out. And essentially the goal is we want someone to get the book on step one and then what's the next thing for them, you know, do we want them to work with the author in their business? Further, how do they do that? What's the mechanism? Maybe it's booking a strategy call with that team. Maybe it's watching a webinar, maybe it's, you know, consuming a VSL and, you know, opting in for something.

Chris (00:07:25) - So we always think about what the next step is with our clients so that we can take a book buyer and reader today into a client tomorrow through that process. And, you know, we've helped,, dozens of authors at this stage, people like Ryan Dyas,, Scott Holford,, Joel Airway, and, you know, dozens more. But essentially, yeah, it's always that one, two step of get the book today, which is the upfront value. How do we nurture that lead to come through and then potentially work with us on a client basis in the future? Yeah.

Josh (00:08:00) - Yeah. So maybe you can dispel a couple of myths here. So if you're an author of the book, you know, one thing that you share in your social media is you don't have to sell tens of thousands of copies of your books to make a lot of money. Can you kind of fill in the gaps a little bit there, kind of, let's say, color in the lines here, help us understand what you mean by that.

Chris (00:08:21) - Yeah. So,, first and foremost, the number one thing I'll say is like, you're not going to make money from your book, so don't expect to. Yeah, but I would say, how can we make money from our book in different ways. So the direct book sales isn't the goal, you know, like it is a part of the process. And is it? It's a part of the overall strategy. But we've had clients who sell, you know, 500 books over several months, and they get five or so clients worth 10,000 each, you know? And so like a book marketing campaign to sell 500 books, ultimately net sales now $50,000 and it starts to make sense. So in 15,000 ad spend 50,000 revenue like that's a pretty good campaign overall. And usually what I've seen with my clients who we set up with that one to, you know, get book sales today and get clients tomorrow approach. We usually see a 1 to 5% conversion rate or people who buy the book that become clients.

Josh (00:09:21) - Yeah, walk me through. Like if someone was just trying to make money from the book, what it would take for them to earn about $50,000 in cash in their account.

Chris (00:09:31) - Oh, that's probably to the tune of like 25,000 book sales.

Speaker 3 (00:09:36) - Oh, jeez.

Josh (00:09:38) - That's a lot of books.

Chris (00:09:39) - Once you consider Amazon royalties and things like that, you're probably going to make like, you know, you'll probably make between 2 and $5 per book sold. So. Yeah.

Josh (00:09:49) - Yeah. Wow. And how much work does it I mean. I mean, it's different for everybody depending on the size of your audience or whatever. But, you know, if it's just an a typical consultant, you know, has, you know, maybe 800 people on their email list or something like that, and, you know, a smattering of social media following, getting 25,000 books sold. That's that's some work., right.

Chris (00:10:15) - Yeah. And to be honest with you, Josh, like, unless you somehow hit an algorithm stride and you just blow up, it's going to be almost unachievable without some sort of pay to play game advertising or, you know, paying for other people's lists to actually promote your stuff.

Chris (00:10:32) - Yeah. Or some sort of avenue like that. And so 25,000 bucks in the $50,000 in revenue starts to become much less because of those things that you have to also consider that level.

Josh (00:10:44) - Yeah. So there might be some concerns, someone listening to our conversations that will cool. But do I want to I don't want to write a book that's nothing but just a big infomercial. Right? Because I don't know that you can I don't know, can you? You don't want to do that, right. Or do you.

Speaker 3 (00:11:00) - .

Chris (00:11:00) - Well I think that there's ways to really intensively you know, give value first and foremost, but then also let people know that there's other avenues where you can offer service and or help. And so you know there's a ton of different processes out there for writing good actionable books. And you know, I would first and foremost say, don't write a book if you don't have anything knowledgeable to share, you know, but most of us in business have some sort of thing that we've done differently or some sort of service that we can explain quite well in a book.

Chris (00:11:35) - , and a process that we, that we have and followed with our, our company and most of us can, can write a book, even if it's a short book that can be impactful and helpful and lead someone to going, I want to work more with Chris, you know?

Josh (00:11:49) - Yeah. Right. Right. So now going from the book. Right. So let's think about like, you know, I'm listening to the audiobook. I hear this a lot, right? Where, you know, it's just like and if you want the free resources that go along with this, just go to my website and we've got all the free downloads and that sort of thing. I would imagine that's a part of what you recommend.

Chris (00:12:11) - Definitely. It's a part of what I recommend, and that's primarily for the avenues, like buying books on Amazon and Audible listening and Kindle., and it's primarily because the main strategies that we use are like Facebook ads and book funnels. So we're driving people into our own ecosystem, our own database, right away.

Chris (00:12:31) - But for the people who do buy on Amazon, the people who do listen on audible, the people who get your book in a bookstore, you know, they're not going to have that same process and funnel that they're going through. And so inside the book, having those get the resources pages where, you know, you basically go to the author's website or the book website and enter your details to download the resources. That's just another entry to the funnel, essentially.

Josh (00:12:55) - Yeah. And then also to giving away books is seems to be part of what you recommend. Or making them really cheap, like basically handle shipping kind of thing.

Chris (00:13:09) - Yeah. So most of the clients that we work with will start on a free plus shipping offer where it's like, hey, get the physical book for free and just pay the shipping and handling costs. So a dirty little secret in the space here is that the handling and shipping cost actually covers the printing and,, costs as well. So usually it's basically like a net negative, you know, so the cost that you're paying for shipping basically, you know, you'll cover the printing and the fulfillment costs.

Chris (00:13:37) - Yeah. But generally that's that's a fantastic offer that we like to start with because it's usually pretty well received. Some people find it a little bit misleading., but it's usually a pretty good offer. And it does obviously make it a lot cheaper than buying through Amazon and things like that, which entices people to come through our funnel and, you know, sometimes buy our other offers that we have. We might have the audio book for sale directly in funnel. We might have some additional, like courses that expand upon the book, and then we might also have an offer, like I said before, to book a strategy session or something along those lines., at the end of the funnel.

Josh (00:14:11) - Yeah. I mean, I got to say, like, you know, if I'm reading a really good book and I'm really into or listening to a really good book, and I'm really into it, and there's an offer and I've done this before where they're like, hey, listen, if you want to do a deep dive together with me, you know, we've got like a $99, you know, where I can, you know, workshop this together.

Josh (00:14:29) - , I've really enjoyed those at times. Low risk., just something that I want to work out I really appreciate. At least, if nothing else, give your readers the option that you know and then let them decide you know, where they want to go in the relationship., but certainly booking a call is a big one. Hey, let me ask you this. I have seen this done a couple of different ways, and I would love your take on this. I have seen where authors don't gate their free resources. In other words, you just go to the website, you print out the PDFs. I'm not going to ask for your email address. And then there are some they're like, yeah, I'll give you the extras from the book, but you're going to need to give me your email address first. Which,, do you have a preference one way or the other?

Chris (00:15:12) - Definitely email address. And you can also just make the caveat that say, like, hey, I want you to get emailed this so that you can save it, you know,, but certainly email address.

Chris (00:15:23) - Otherwise, you know, there's really no most people that don't do email address probably don't have like, tangible offers on the back of their book. They're probably more just general authors looking to just give the content versus like business owners who are trying to further the relationship, build the database and so on.

Josh (00:15:43) - Yeah, yeah., obviously you can incorporate, you know, video or webinars with this as well. Have you seen that done well?

Chris (00:15:52) - Yeah, a lot of people who have a book and also a webinar, usually we will offer some sort of like bonus training on the last page of the book funnel, and that can be essentially an invitation to a webinar, or it can just be a what we call a thank you page webinar, which is literally just the webinar on the last step of the funnel and just go, hey, bonus for buying the book. You know, watch this training for free and you can, you know, potentially have like a scarcity countdown timer. It's going to expire in X amount just to entice people to watch it.

Chris (00:16:24) - But obviously, you know, make sure that you do actually expire stuff if you say that you're going to. But yeah, like definitely webinars go hand in hand., and if you don't do that right away, then you can also follow up in emails and just make sure that people are aware that you have webinars available to watch and, you know, consume to get further information.

Josh (00:16:44) - Yeah. Excellent. All right. So Chris who is again kind of that ideal connection for you. You know, what stage are they in business. You know obviously they've got some budget to work with right. So that they can, you know, invest in their success. But what would be some of those indicators that someone would be ready for you.

Chris (00:17:03) - Yeah, definitely. Anyone who's kind of over that 500,000 revenue range has written a book to amplify that business., their business systems and sales processes are kind of dialed in. They have an offer that converts in their business, something that's a coaching program or a service or something along those lines, and then they've written the book to basically go, cool, how can I get new leads, new customers, so that I can convert them into clients on the back, into my coaching and and services? Anyone who's like that and has a budget to spend on ads, you know, between 3 and $10,000 per month is a good fit for me.

Chris (00:17:39) - , and I can really, really help that person, you know, with a lot of lead flow on the front, sell their books or give their books away for free and, you know, get them a decent amount of people walking in on their, you know, their sales calendars and watching their vessels and webinars and whatnot.

Josh (00:17:54) - Yeah. You know, we didn't spend any time talking about actual like, advertising and to, to promote books. But what I want to share is that at your website, at Smart Author, you have a lot of great content about should you advertise to promote your book how ads work on Amazon. So someone that's interested in this subject, you can either just search for Smart Author with Chris Benetti, or you can just go to Smart Author Chris, aside from that, what would you recommend?, someone's next step after hearing this conversation of us together?

Chris (00:18:31) - Yeah, definitely. Well, if you have a book and you want some tactical marketing advice, then smart author media.

Chris (00:18:38) - Com there's a little green button that says chat. That basically is an opportunity to book a call with me. And we can just go through your marketing plan for your book. If you are marketing it. I can give you some tangible feedback. If you're not marketing it, we can give you some next steps and help you kind of map out what you want to do with your book., and, you know, at the end of that call, there'll be an option if you want to have us help implement, you know, the strategy that we go through together, then, you know, that's an option as well.

Josh (00:19:04) - Awesome. I appreciate Chris Benetti, founder of Smart Author Media. Your website, smart Author media. Com thanks, Chris.

Chris (00:19:12) - Thanks for having me, Josh.

Josh (00:19:19) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence comment guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free.

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