Authority Marketing Strategist.
Mike Saunders is the Authority Positioning Coach of authoritypositioningcoach.com.
Mike Saunders positions you as an influencer in your field to attract more clients, increase your profits, and make more impact. Mike is also the author of the Amazon Bestselling book, Authority Selling, ™ has an MBA in Marketing, is an Adjunct Marketing Professor at several universities, and is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.
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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now we've got Mike Saunders. Mike, you're an MBA, you are known as the Authority Positioning Coach. And in fact, you are on the web at authoritypositioningcoach.com. Guess what we're going to talk about today?
How's it going, Mike, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. All right. So explain a little bit about your back Background and how you came to be known as the Authority Position Coach. Oh, by the way, for, you know, people have been around a little while, you'll know that this, this is something that I talked about, I think is just so critical. But we're going to get into all of that. This is a very, very important conversation people need to pay attention to, because we are. I don't mean to over oversell this thing. But this cracks the code in why your advertising is not working as well today as it used to, this is going to crack the code on why your bounce rate or your is is too high or your close rate is too low. There are very, very simple things that folks can fix. And it all revolves around authority. Yeah, like how did you get into this space? Well,
kind of going way back. I spent about 12 years in the mortgage banking business and then in the United States here about 2008 2009. There's this little blipping the economy. And when I say blip, it was the crash over the precipice. And so my business just went away. And so I went back to school, did an MBA in marketing, absolutely loved every second of that curriculum because I found one that actually lets you craft, you know, the marketing emphasis, not just organizational behavior and things. So, once I did that, I started teaching some marketing for for school. So now I've been teaching for nine years at the university level in marketing, strategy, branding, things like that. And I started my consulting firm because during my curriculum, I did some research and I reached out to our local Small Business Development Center, the SBDC and ask them some questions. And they said, Hey, we'd like you to come work with some of our clients and give them some advice. And so I fir periodically a few times a month or a couple times a year we'll teach a workshop and then work with some of the clients individually but the interesting thing was one of my classes as I was finishing my MBA, this was in 2009. Was Hey, build a business plan in a marketing plan. Choose a business you'd like to start selling thought I'm going to start a marketing firm. And I did. And so I started picking up clients and of course, in that whole, you know, dip in the economy that was not the right time to do it. So what did I do? I became the jack of all trades, then I can do anything for anybody and anything, any bullet point list you can think of for marketing, oh, text message marketing, I can do that pay me whatever you're gonna pay me and I'll find figure out a way. And I became so spread thin, and I was not an expert in one thing, and it became a detriment because anybody is going to get how many you know, I heard a report just the other day like pick a Facebook post. You know, like attorneys and dentists. They get like 10 calls a day from SEO experts. Well, yeah, they're calling from the Philippines. They're calling from India. And you compete against price and we cannot compete against price we have to compete against value. And that value is starts with that perception, that positioning in the mind the consumer, guess what, you mentioned it here at the top of the show, but in academia, positioning is one of the four Use of marketing and positioning really is by definition, the what the perception of is in the mind of the consumer. And that is built before they ever interact with you. So that influence that expertise, that authority positioning needs to be done before they ever interact with you. So anyway, about five years ago, I started realizing this is not working, I'm doing this little project, this little project, and then I just totally stopped and said, I'm done with everything. But one thing, helping entrepreneurs become seen as that expert in that authority. And the reason I chose that is because I read some. And for those of you listening, just you might have remember this. Do you ever heard of the Warrior Forum? Yeah, last time ever that way back of it. That's old school. I know. I remember sitting up at 2am going through the Warrior Forum and learning all this stuff, all this stuff, marketing and how to do things. Well, anyway, I remember reading this one about, Hey, why don't you publish a book on Kindle and you can and I'm like, Okay, I'll try that. And so I remember publishing my first book, and it was on business, social media, and I remember getting Did not only a Kindle but a paperback. And I was I distinctly remember to this day in downtown Denver, I live in the Denver area. I was at a Small Business Development Center SBDC consultant meeting, and there's this whole table of consultants, we're talking about the year, whatever, you know, coming up, or whatever we're doing. And I said, oh, by the way, I've got my first book published on Amazon in I handed out copies, you know, nice glossy cover and my name and picture on the cover. And they're like, Oh, that's really cool. And just like this buzz. Well, a few days later, this one consultant, who was a professor at a local university goes, Hey, can you come speak at my class? And I'm like, Yeah, yeah, but great. So I talked about business, social media, which is different than personal social media. And he then proceeded to introduce me to get a teaching contract worth $9,000 that year, and I was like, aha, if I had just said in that meeting, hey, I do some teaching on social media, they would have gone you and everybody else right, but caught their attention. That authority position caught their attention and I decided that's something I need to totally focus on from my agent. And then start offering it to my clients. And that's where I've been for the last five years of my tenure business.
Talk to me about books. And you know, I think that you know, if I look at all of the content that I consume, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I mean, I may be unique but I think that that you know, trends are moving toward you know, people consuming more content more and more content digitally in in a, you know, either audio or video we watch a lot of YouTube videos, obviously. But But there's still something about being a an author and having a book and can you talk a little bit more about what that is culturally, that that that that people and consumers still respect? There's something about, oh, I've got a book.
Yep. Well, I'll, I don't have the exact reference, but I know pretty recently Amazon came out with some numbers. In trends, and they were saying, because Don't you remember back when online banking started? It was like a ball, but brick and mortar banks are going to go away. Nope, they didn't. When Kindle started, you know, there's no more need for books everyone's reading on a Kindle. No. And in fact, Amazon came out with some research that said, it's now back up to where the paperback in the physical books are now dominating again, I forget the gap, but it is still dominating and direct mail. Just as another side note, I feel that I've seen research where direct mail is now coming back into prominence because so many people are text this and an email that that when you land in their mailbox with a physical piece of something, especially if it's memorable, it captures your attention. So here's a quick quiz. What's the first six letters in the word authority? And you can read behind me and start counting? Oh, yeah. Author. Hmm. So
I think though, even beyond let's let me just talking beyond consumption though. And that is the gist. to cache or the authority that comes from Yeah, you know, listen, this, this is a book and it is a physical like I'm holding in my hands like, I have that much thought leadership or subject matter expertise, that I had to bind it up and put it in a book. And I think that that communicates something
it does, and, and kind of is kind of like the old school saying, like, you know, oh, well, you know, you need to call that guy because he wrote the book on it. And it's like that, that phraseology, that mental positioning that pre framing because if you go to like, like, What's the last big business conference you went to and you see the keynote speaker, then probably selling the book in the back of the room, or they're, they're introduced as New York Times bestselling author or best selling author. So having that that cachet, like you say, is is critical, right? Cuz people still respect that and I don't care if you're a millennial or Gen X, or Z or whatever letter we're gonna start naming demographics these days, people still recognize that, um, you know, if you have YouTube video Oh, you just turned the webcam on and started talking. The barrier to entry there is not very high. And yes, self publishing is the way to go these days because trying to get a publisher contact, nice practice so hard, but you know people go Oh, you have a book. Oh, that's interesting.
Yeah. Right. Right. And and and and I'd say that producing a book likely is what keeps people from engaging or starting that process because they think I can't even wrap my brain around that because it sounds like so much work. Yeah. But in fact that there are some really great systems or processes you can do to get that book done. What do you typically recommend?
Well, first of all, I say that there's a disconnect between your head and your hands. So it's kind of like you've got all this stuff in your head, your intellectual property, your systems, your methodologies. And if I said to you, okay, Josh, um, write me a four blog post series, at least 2000 words each and going through you know, your your system and you pull out your pin if you're old school, or your keyboard and you start and most people would hit writer's block. And it's like, I don't write. But if you were being interviewed, and it's extracting all of that out of your mind, and you're thinking of examples that Oh, this one time, I had a client who it's it's it flows. So my perspective is being able to speak and use podcasting as a way to capture that content is massive. Now, what I will say is something in the back of people's mind still goes on. Yeah, but right. And here's here's a quick test. Josh, do you have books in your library right now that you bought in the last six months that you've not read?
Oh, absolutely. That's right. That's the vast majority of the books. I mean, I get a lot of books given to me
now probably know if I buy the book. Yeah, I'm the same way. So I've got some books that people send in, you know, hey, let me have me. Can you come on your podcast, here's my book, but books that I bought, probably well over 90% I read this because I'm a virgin. Surface Book reader, but I do recognize the fact that most people will not read a full book. So does that mean that having a book for business development and authority positioning purposes is now out the window? Nope. Because you know why? You have a book, right? And if that person touches it, and they start banding through it, they see the cover your opinion in the back of the picture, and they're like, Oh, that's it. Oh, that's it, that chapter here. If they read the first chapter, that's all that matters, because your competition didn't have that. So don't you don't feel apprehensive that a I don't even know where to start and B doesn't matter anyway, because people aren't going to read it. It doesn't matter the fact that you use that as a pre frame and to your point earlier, I feel very confident that when you are seen as that expert, you're elevated in status in someone's mind. So whether it's a conversion rate or a lady page, whether it is a Hey, Jess, do you think we can get together chat next week, I'm going to drop a copy of my book in the mail to you just that that extra little air of prestige status is, you probably cannot even quantify all the areas that having that expert status and that authority says we'll raise for you,
Mike producing a book is just, that's one part of the battle. Like if you truly want to get value from the book, listen, and I'm going to I mean, I think everybody is aware, you're not going to make money writing the right. I mean, statistically, your chance is like Jim Carrey. So you're saying there's a chance, you know, 1 million, it's, it's, it's just very, very unlikely. Similarly, you know, earning money from a podcast, for example, it's, it's about the same odds. If you're thinking, Well, I'm going to make money from Patreon and I'm going to ask my listeners to send me money and or, you know, I'm going to get advertisers. It can happen, but it's very, very, very rare. Yeah. And so one needs to build a business and use the book. Use the podcasts, use the YouTube channel, use your big social media account as a tool in in your tool chest as it were, to grow your profit centers,
you bring up a really big point, because you're not going to make money from the book, you're gonna make money because of the book. Now, let me quantify that by saying, if anyone is thinking of getting a book done, and they're talking to a company, there's one of these little fine print asterisk things that you need to check on first, which is I've heard so many horror stories from people that come to me and say, oh, help save me from this, you know, let's get this thing done. Because at the end of the day, they got their book done, and then they're in handcuffs, because this publisher published it through their publishing account. And now you want to add chapter 19, or an appendix or change something, and it's like, oh, that'll be whatever so huge amount of money and secondly, they don't get paid the royalty so what you need to make sure of is in the way that I work with my clients. I set the the the book of the Amazon account. It's your Amazon account. So I get your Amazon login I created all through the digital publishing platform, it's your account, you're getting all the royalties if you want to change the price one day and lower the next or add content out. So that's huge. So you're gonna make some royalties, and let's just call it you're gonna make $5 a book. Now, if you had a full on book contract, you're probably making a quarter or 29 cents or 50 cents. So you're making a handful of dollars per book is nice, but who cares? Who cares how much money because you should be making money because of the book. Like I said, so don't don't think Yeah, who come the royalties? Let them roll in. But it's, it's the system that you need to have in place to get that you've ever heard of that phrase, knowledge is power, right? It's not knowledge is power, knowledge is potential power. It is what you do with that knowledge that creates the power. So the book is the end all know, the book is a great tool, but you got to use it in your strategy in your system. And so when you think about what am I doing right now in marketing, that's working You're not working? Well, I'm doing some Facebook ads, should I kill them? Well, why don't you try after you've got a book or a podcast, let's say book and podcast, right? So let's say that you were appeared on a handful of podcasts or you have a book, insert these into your existing campaigns and watch to see what happens. And if it spikes the Facebook campaign, great. If it doesn't do much to the whatever other campaign you have killed that one, but what you will find is when you have this a 30 positioning by being on podcast by having your book by appearing in the media, which I know that you have planned to do that, right, there should be the things that helps to rise all levels of those shifts in your results in your marketing campaigns.
So Robert Stevens, who's the founder of Geek Squad, says that advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable. What say you?
I think that makes a whole lot of sense. And I think it's kind of like, Don't get upset at people that are the only thing I think As Oscar Wilde That said, the only thing worse than when people are talking about you, is when people aren't talking about you. So, you know, having, you know, yes, advertising is a tax. Well, guess what? You need to have something to talk about. And like Seth Godin says, you know, you need to be worthy of being remarkable remarkable as being worthy to have people make remarks about So number one, you better have a good product or service and do good for your clients. So that when you're in the media, on podcast, writing a book, whatever you're we're talking about, you've got substance to that and and you're giving and serving you, but you're an educator and an advocate for your target audience to help them solve a problem not to sell your product or service.
Now, so Mike, what do you do then? I mean, obviously, this is something you care very passionately about, but what specifically do you do, both for your audiences and for those then that engage with you and you provide services.
Well, I'm real different than a lot of these kinds of concepts out there because I don't say join my 12 week mastermind and you will learn how to become a best selling author. And then you'll have a book because I feel that most people won't even complete the mastermind or the workshop. And then they won't even do it. So my thing is simple. We're busy, we understand these concepts, but I don't have the time. So my packages are done for you. So I help entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants become an Amazon best selling author without writing a word. And it only takes them three hours of their time. So it's like okay, hold up. I can't write in three hours. Tell me about that. And that's not even a three hour chunk of time that's like an hour here 30 minutes there, proof this but my team is doing everything for you handing it Hey, approve the book cover, hey, here's the the content approve that make sure you don't want to add anything. Okay? All of it is done. And when you can have a done for you package, whether it's a book or producing your podcast, so that you You can again be seen as that expert out there and kind of go on a virtual book tour. Now people need to go out there and get on podcasts. And that's wonderful. But there's an extra little power of having your own podcast. So I think the big thing to keep in mind is done for you. And it's done with you. Because it's not like surprise, here it is. And you're like, Oh, I hate it. It's done for you, because you're not doing the work. But it's done with you where I say, tell me about the vision of the cover that you want, or tell me about the content. And then we structure it that way. So I've got two book packages, where's the full on yearbook, everything is done. And that's the higher, you know, more fluid level. And then some people that just want to dip their toe in the water is we just do a great vibrant podcast interviewing feature that in our Amazon best selling book series called expert profiles or raising the bar and that becomes chapter one, your pictures on the cover your name is on the cover, and there's other professionals across the country that's in it, but you then can use that in your business development because it's a nice 30 positioning piece that way and then maybe you graduate up to the solo book down the road once you kind of get the momentum but that's what I do is I think the biggest thing is I could So as the authority positioning coach on the concepts of why it works, I do it for you, with you. And then I coach you on what to do once you've got it done because the worst thing in the world is, here's this thing now what do I do with it?
Now I hear you. Well, good deal. Well, Mike Saunders, I want to thank you so much for joining us. Again, you you're an MBA and you are the Authority Positioning Coach, you're found on the web at authoritypositioningcoach.com Thank you so much, great conversation. And I'm excited for all the books that will be spawned from our conversation and the the authority and well used authority that will have been born from from this conversation. Mike, thank you so much. Thank you.
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