Amplifying Your Impact
What I really want to spend the rest of our time doing is talking to Audrey. So, Audrey is the camp director that I spoke about before. And, she is writing that book called Bringing Camp Home. She's been a director of Gold Arrow Camp in the Sierras for 30 years. She bought the camp when she was 21 years old, which is the coolest story ever. What college graduate goes out and buys a summer camp as their job? So, Audrey is gonna come on Skype and talk to us. This is her website homepage, so you can see what fun Gold Arrow Camp looks like. And you got a sense before of what Audrey is doing, and why she's doing it, and who she's speaking for. We're gonna bring her on. So, one of the things that you're gonna hear Audrey talk about is, the best part of publishing a book is amplifying your reach. It's the marketing. It's so much fun to have a book out and to be able to connect with partners, and affiliates, and other people to get your message out. It's the dessert part of this whole process.
It's really fun. And, that's the part that Audrey's in right now. She's guest blogging, and she's speaking, and she's doing all this stuff. You guys, her book isn't even finished, and she's out there. It already is elevating her to a thought leader. And, she already was a leader in the camp world. But she's become more of one. So, one of the things in the hand out, there's a sheet on what's your super power? So, when you amplify your reach you really want to think these are the things that Audrey did. She's been interviewing other camp directors to put them in her book, which is super smart because then when her book comes out, guess what? All the parents at all those camps of the places who she interviewed are gonna give the book to their parents or make it available to their parents. So, she's been interviewing camp experts. She's been speaking at industry events, which is a thing she's always done, but she really upped her game and started pitching herself to speak. It turns out the camp director world is this whole universe. Who knew? There's whole organizations, there's whole newsletters, there's databases, there's this whole network of people who run camps. It's a billion dollar industry. I probably made that up, but something like that. So, she's tapping into that, which she's kinda already been part of, but really upping her game. And, then she's cultivating her own direct mailing list, and started blogging more, started pulling people in more. So, the thing that you want to do is think, "What am I good at? "What do I like?" If you hate being on camera, you're not gonna do a Creative Live class. (laughing) Right? If you hate blogging, you're not gonna blog. You want to think, "What do I love, "and what do I really don't want to do?" in terms of connecting to your reader. The gentlemen I talked about earlier, Dan Blank, he specializes in helping you figure that out. "Well, this is what I really want to do." And, you want to picture yourself when your book comes out, where are you gonna meet your reader? Are you gonna be at a school? Are you gonna be at an industry event? Are you gonna be, I don't know, at a mall? Where are you gonna meet them, and what are you gonna bring to that interaction? So, you really want to think through, "What am I good at? "What do I like? "How do I want to be in the world with my book?" And, that's how you start putting together this marketing plan that can amplify your reach. And, this is really the fun stuff. I'd love to ask the people who shared their book titles in the room, when I say that to you, where do you want to meet your reader, what's your super power, let's start with, it's Damon, right? The yoga. Okay, you've got a book, it's out in the world, it's called Yoga Beyond the Mat because that's awesome. What do you imagine doing with your reader in the world?
I imagine that person, the reader, coming to my website, downloading an audio to hear me chant the Yoga Sutras, and then entertaining the idea of learning how to chant the Sutras themselves along with the word for word breakdown of the Yoga Sutras as opposed to reading someone else's translation of the whole book, find out what the words mean, so that they can translate the Sutras on their own because I've come across countless people, authors, who have translated the yoga Sutras, and they disagree. I'm like, how do I know I would interpret it the same way, and I want to empower people with the ability to do that also, but that's a gradual. I'm trying to lure them in to this long journey.
But, that's fantastic. So, I could imagine you would have one free download, for example, of try this, let me walk you through this, I'm gonna show you how to do this, then there might be levels, like you say, to draw them deeper in, and then of course since we're building a business here you'd want to monetize those levels. Would you ever imagine yourself doing a retreat, a live retreat?
And, how many people are at your live retreat? Is it 20, is it 300, what does it look like?
Nope. I mean, to start in my mind the vision is maybe 20, 30 tops.
So, that's beautiful. And, you would chant with them. Would you maybe have a recording studio where they could do their own chanting in the dream world?
I hadn't thought that, but I came here open and receptive to new ideas. I appreciate that.
That's excellent. You're finding what your superpower is. You can use technology which is so easy to record audio. Anybody can record audio, get a good microphone, anyone can do it in their home, and you're bringing this new skill to people. And, then as they come into your universe they're gonna want a deeper connection. They might come to a super expensive awesome retreat where you make a ton of money and impact a ton of lives. (audience laughing) Right? This is so good, I love it. Thank you for sharing that.
Let's hear from Heritage Cookbook about what do you picture?
So, I see building communities throughout the country that come together and cook together and build community, so it's really about the building of communities and understanding one another.
So, do I come to your community building with my grandmother's recipe for shortbread? What do you imagine?
Absolutely. I see it that way, but I guess to start out maybe it's more built around a Facebook group and then people come together. They find each other within that group, and then they come together, physically come together, and talk about their heritages.
So, you're a photographer. Do you envision using that superpower to bring people into your world?
And, how would you do that?
I see bringing people into other people's worlds, so that the photography in the book will not just be the recipes, but the people that have created the recipes, the people that are telling your stories. So, you're being invited into our homes, right?
Yeah! This totally reminds me of a bunch of things. When you do market research, oftentimes what you want to do is think outside of your own industry, and look at what people are doing in other realms. With you, I immediately thought of this fabulous... Are you familiar with StoryCorps?
Yeah, she's like I love StoryCorps.
I love StoryCorps.
Right? So, StoryCorps captures voices of families, and they did a beautiful project with veterans where they captured veterans' stories and voices. It's a Library of Congress of spoken stories. I can see you doing something like that. It also reminds me of Humans of New York. Are you familiar with that?
Humans of New York is on the list of similar books. Yes.
Yeah and, then there was this fabulous thing a few years ago called PostSecret. Are you familiar with that?
To you guy that are nodding, PostSecret was amazing. It was this campaign to share something you wouldn't tell someone in your life. You put it on a postcard, and you send it to a central thing, and people were confessing things. They were sharing their rage, they were sharing their gratitude. It was just so beautiful, this outpouring of anonymous sharing of people's soul, and they did a book of them. And, it's the most extraordinary book because you flip, it's just a postcard. People drew, people painted, they did collages, they wrote these heartfelt things, and you flip back and forth from the profound to the funny. And, it's just all of humanity in this very unique format, but I can see you doing a thing where you're combining the pictures and the stories and the food and the words. I love that. That's great.
Right now what I am doing, and this was pre-book, is I have a website that has I've interviewed different people, and I've created videos that go along with their stories, so you listen to their story, you watch this video, and then you can get the recipe as well.
So, what are you waiting for?
I thought, "No, I don't think I'll do a cookbook," but after your last... I'm like dude, I'm doing this.
Yeah, you are! Pitch it, you could sell that book like boom. I mean, I don't have a crystal ball, but it's beautiful, and it's different, and it speaks in many ways to our time of disconnect and people needing to come together even within their family and healing and food. It's all the things, yeah. I mean, one thing I should say is you might have difficulty in a traditional publishing environment because a book of photography is very expensive to produce, so there's that element to think about whether you want to self-publish or traditionally publish. Hi Audrey!
Hi Jennie, how are you?
I'm fine. Okay, everybody has heard about your book idea, they've heard your title, they've learned about your camp, and I just wanted to because you came to me, you were just, I mean I say just a regular entrepreneur, but you ran a summer camp. You were not a writer, and what motivated you to want to write a book?
Well, there were a lot of things, but a lot of it had to do with I loved the idea of being able to share what I've learned at camp and in my own family, and get the word out about these ideas that work so well at camp to help kids have a fabulous experience, and I wanted to share it with more people than just my own small camp community.
And, in the beginning when we were working together we did a lot of work around exactly who your reader was. Was it a parent of a seven year old? Was it a parent of a 17 year old? And, circling around who you were speaking to. Do you remember that part of the process?
I do, and the whole thing was really helpful, just talking it out with you about figuring out who I was writing it for, and at first I thought it was really just mostly for people who either had already experienced camp themselves and felt that magic that a lot of people feel at camp either themselves when they were a kid or when their kids get home from camp, and then as the process went on I realized that it's really for all parents, and I'd love to get it in the hands of people with younger kids 'cause a lot of the family ideas you can start when they're quite young, but I really realized that it ended up being the population of our campers which are six to about 16 or 17, so it ended up being that the audience from my book is the same as all the people that I work with at camp.
And, we also did a lot of work. I've been talking to the audience today about knowing the market of other books that are out there, who else is speaking to those people? And, I mean you've read every parenting book ever published is what I think, yeah?
Yeah, kind of. Well, that's what my kids would say. They're like, "Oh, what did you read now, mom?" (laughing) But, yes. I love books. I was always drawn to books, every current parenting book that came out, and also just anything in the realm of positive psychology and leadership and all those topics that, to me, all circle around the same things like running a family, running a business, and running a camp. All these things, they all relate to each other, so I was drawn to all books, but in all those areas.
So, why didn't you... Some people's response might be to say, "Well, somebody's already written that book," or, "It's already out there. "Who am I to jump into this universe?" What did you tell yourself to get over that doubt?
Well, I think you might have told me these actually. (laughing) So, here's the thing. Starting the process of writing this book, so before I wrote the book I'd actually been writing a blog, a parenting blog, for I think it would have already been five years. And, so I already had readers, mostly my own camp parents who were giving me feedback and getting ideas and sharing that they really liked what I was sharing with them, so I had that positive feedback from my blog that I'd already been doing, but really it was when I talked to you for the first time about my idea I realized that I actually have a perspective that isn't out there yet. Having been at camp for, like you said, I think it's been 33 years now at summer camp, and getting to meet all of these kids and counselors and families and parents, and getting to work with all these people I have a unique perspective on parenting because I've gotten to parent my own kids while also getting to pour into the lives of all these other families, and so I realize that my voice was somewhat unique. There wasn't anything out there that was from my specific perspective and what I've learned.
Well, and just one anecdote that I want to share which was really fun, Audrey made the decision to get an agent and a traditional publishing deal, and she did all the work that you do to research agents and make her list and have a strategy, and we went out to the top agent on her list, and we did this on purpose during the summer when summer camp was happening, and the agent said, "I literally just dropped my kid off at summer camp." And, she loved Audrey's book, so it was a really fun story about that. I loved that piece of it. The thing I'd really love for you to share, Audrey, is how this book isn't even, I was telling, is not even finished. It doesn't have a cover. It's not even ready to go in the world, but it's already elevated you in your industry and as a thought leader, and just being out in the world talking to your colleagues about I'm writing a book, or this is what I'm doing. Can you talk about that transformation in your own self from camp director, entrepreneur to now I'm a person who has a book coming out? What is that like for you?
It's been really fun. As soon as I decided to write the book, and started working with you on the book, and the proposal, and that whole process I simultaneously started sharing with other camp professionals this project that I'm working on and started doing podcast interviews with different camp directors and getting them to think through ideas and things that they've done at their camps that they've brought home to their own families. So, I've been able to include not just ideas from my own experience, but also widening the reach and sharing about the magic that's happening at a lot of different camps and in a lot of families. So, my podcast first of all I really had fun, and it was a good excuse to interview people because I said, "Oh, I want to interview you, "and let's talk about some topics that we could cover," and then also it has this side thing that I can pull out some quotes or ideas also for the book. So, that was really fun was just to start using it that way. Also a lot of the topics that I speak at different camp conferences and to parent groups at schools and that kind of thing, and it's been really fun for me to really fine tune what are the most important messages that I want to share? And, writing the book really has helped me do that, so now when I'm offering different speaking topics I really have a clear list in my mind of what are the things that I have to share and want to get out to people? It's just been that idea of promoting more the speaking and focusing my blog posts more, and I started doing some Facebook Live things, so it's just been making me get out there more and start sharing much more than I ever did in the past.
So, that's what we were talking about. It all just amplifies it. It all just builds and grows and allows you to just be bigger with your idea. So, when you envision having the book in your hands which is gonna happen someday, right? We were just talking here in the studio about how people are gonna connect with their readers. What do you picture? Do you picture being in a school? Do you picture being at camp? What do you picture when you imagine having your own book in your hand?
I think this is something also that's really helped me a lot when you talk about who your audience is. I really just like to think about individual people. What I'd really like is if readers get, if somebody, a parent out there, reads my book and gets even one idea of something that they do that makes their home less stressful, more positive, helps their kids be more competent. I really just think of one reader at a time. My favorite thing even when I go to speak is the question and answer time at the end when I'm hearing people's stories. I love getting emails from people with their individual questions and just brainstorming with people ideas, so I really, I like individual connection. So, speaking is fun especially in person when I can meet the people and chat with them before and after, that kind of thing. I think I still just I love that connection thing with people in general, the sharing of ideas, and hoping that something that I share can help someone.
That's beautiful. I mean, that's really what it all comes down to oftentimes. So, do you feel comfortable telling people that you're a writer now? (laughing)
I put it on my Facebook page, so does that make it official? (laughing)
I think that makes it official. You didn't think of yourself as a writer before this started?
No, I thought of myself as a camp director who had a blog.
Right, so that's the transformation, and really it just takes the commitment, the persistence, and you have ideas for five more books, right? (laughing)
Oh my gosh, yes. It's so fun. I can't wait to keep on writing.
So, she made the leap and now, I don't know, I worry about your camp. I think you're gonna ditch your camp and just be a writer. (laughing)
Well, here's the thing, and I think I talked to you about this, the camp is going so well, and we have such great leaders at camp, and I love camp, and so many of my stories come from camp. So, I like being part of camp, but I have had to learn to figure out which parts of camp I need to stay involved in to be involved with all the people without maybe having to do all of the administrative stuff, so that I do have time to write as well. So, it's been a good practice to raise up some other leaders at camp and allow me to have the time to write, and we all see how it's mutually beneficial because a lot of our camp parents like to read what I write, and like I said, I get a lot of my stories from camp. So, it's very symbiotic. They go together really well.
So, do you have any advice for people who are entrepreneurs? Maybe they run a business, maybe they have a coaching practice, whatever it might be, and they're thinking about writing a book. Is it worth it? What would you say to them?
Oh my gosh, definitely. I think one of the things that really helped me is even writing a book proposal makes you clarify what are your ideas that you have to share with the world, so whatever your field is, if you've been there, and you're passionate about it, and you love what you do you have ideas that other people don't know. And, you're so close to it sometimes you don't realize what you have to share, but I think just the process of writing a book regardless of how you publish it, self-publishing or whatever, just really helps you clarify your message, and what's your, as I talk about, the dent that you want to leave in this world. What's your message? What's your little thing that you're gonna add to this world? So, to me, writing a book helps you figure that out.
I love it. Well, thank you so much for sharing your story and bringing your energy. Doesn't that make you guys think, "I can do that?" That's so good, right? We'll say goodbye, but I will se you again soon I'm sure, and we can all look for Audrey's book when it comes out, Bringing Camp Home. Thank you.
Bye Jennie, thanks. (audience applauds)
Doesn't that make you think you can do it? I hope so. I wondered at this point if there are any questions from the internet? Are there any questions from you guys? Yes?
This might be not a relevant question, but it's a question I have anyway. So, with amplifying your impact do you have any tips for finding the balance between organic marketing and over-saturation where you're maybe telling the same thing to the same people over and over again versus growing? And, maybe good ways to look out for things like that?
Yeah, I think it's a really good question. It's about amplifying your impact and how to market, and I really adhere to the notion of just trying to impact one person at a time, one other person at a time. I'm a huge fan of Twitter, and a lot of people are like, "Oh Twitter, you can't say anything. "It's only however many characters." Whatever their thing is, but I've made so many connections, actual connections to people through just being involved in Twitter and paying attention to who else is doing what you're doing. I know it sounds simple, but one person at a time, and making Twitter friends with one person at a time, and then also being generous. I'm a huge fan of being generous. You noticed I mentioned to Damon when he was talking about his audio, give away a free audio. Be generous, give what you do. Let people see what you're about and who you are. The thing that doesn't work, and you guys know this because you see it all the time, is if you have friends who have books coming out, or they have a product coming out, or a course coming out, whatever it may be, a store opening, and all they do all the time is say, "Come to my store! "Come to my book signing! "I got a book, you guys. "I have a book, I have a book, I have a book!" And, you're just like, "Ahh, stop!" It's just noise, whereas if you give people something, if you offer something of what you're doing, and you offer it one on one to people I just think that, it's just like real life. It's actually human connection, one person at a time, and you never know who that person you're gonna connect with might be. The person that we actually spoke about earlier, Dan Blank, he and I met on Twitter. We became Twitter friends, and what I noticed was he was re-Tweeting my Tweets, and I was like, "Who is this guy who's re-Tweeting my Tweets?" I went and I looked at him, and I was like, "Oh, he's cool." What he's doing is sort of like what I'm doing, and then I started re-Tweeting his Tweets, and then one day we said, "We should have a phone call." It's like a blind date, you know? And, then we had a phone call, and it's like, what we're doing is totally aligned, and we became colleagues and friends, and he's introduced me to people. It's just that one person at a time, human connection, not being afraid. I think a lot of people are afraid to give away their information or their power, and I think that holds a lot of people back. You heard Audrey talking about connecting. She interviewed other camp directors, and one question I could have asked her is, "Weren't you afraid they would steal your idea?" 'Cause people say that. Okay, he goes out to another camp director. "I'm writing this parenting book about camp." What if they go, "Oh, that's a good idea. "I'm gonna do that?" You can't live in that fear, you know? I think you have to be generous and open. I feel like I've seen that work so many times, and I know for my own self as an entrepreneur it feels really good to be able to just give something to somebody. Here. Here's this thing that might help. Whatever you do or whatever you have, you can find a way to share it or give it or invite them into it. It goes back to that thing we were talking about, that authentic voice. Be authentically you. Do what you authentically do and what you're good at, and people will come to you. I love this idea of being a lighthouse, and shining your light, and the people who need that light are gonna come to it. I don't know if that helps. Now we're totally into psychology, but that's okay.