Publish a Manifesto
We need to publish something that is going to attract an audience so that we can grow our audience faster. So this is step six, publish a manifesto. What this means is you're gonna create something, a PDF, some sort of eBook, workbook, checklist, it's gonna be something that introduces your audience to your world view, and this needs to be a lead magnet, which means that you are going to exchange this with your readers for their email address. You're not charging them, you are rewarding them for their attention. It's not a bribe, it's a reward. That's how I like to think of it, like a little cookie. So what is a manifesto? Well a manifesto is a short, shareable document that typically picks a fight with something and says hey, this is what I believe about this thing. It's your world view, it is a documented version of it. It's anywhere from about 1,000 to 10,000 words, it can be a story, it can be a declaration, it can be, like I said, a bulleted list. It can be whatever format you wan...
t, but it needs to be your response to some need, some problem. So here's, real quick, how to write a manifesto. It's made up of three parts, beginning, middle and end. Some of the most powerful movements in history were started with manifestos, and the way it works is like this. Part one is the problem. What is the problem? So think about some of the most famous manifestos in history. Anything come to mind?
The Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence is a great one. What is a problem in the Declaration of Independence?
King George is the problem. Problem is we're getting taxed, we're not getting represented, we don't like this. This feels like tyranny. So the next part is the solution, what is the solution? We're outta here. We're gonna declare independence and we're gonna leave, we're gonna form a new country, and then the very last part of it is a call to action. In the Declaration of Independence, they're basically calling themselves to action, but you know, it's basically a letter to the king saying, we're out, and in a way, they're sort of him to a war. So yeah, that's a great example, Declaration of Independence. Another example would be Martin Luther's 95 theses that he nails to the church door and starts Protestantism. Communist Manifesto would be a manifesto. Mein Kampf would be a manifesto, there are really good manifestos and really bad ones. Seriously, the point of it is, this can move people to action, so you wanna make sure it's a good thing, but you also want to do it in the right way where you are addressing a problem that people already feel. So the Communist Manifesto was the working class is, the proletariat is being oppressed by the bureaucracy, the bourgeoisie, so we're going to do something about that. Yeah, and so there are good manifestos, there are bad manifestos. You wanna take your world view, you wanna turn it into a document, and I would argue that it needs these three parts. It needs beginning, middle, and end. A problem, a solution, and then a call to action. I did this years ago, I wrote a thing called, an eBook called The Writer's Manifesto. I took an article that I'd written, called Writers Don't Write to Get Published, and it was this idea that you need to write for the love of it. I turned it into a 900 word manifesto, a very short eBook, that was broken up into probably 45 pages. It was this like short, little, punchy, poetic thing, and when I published that, I had been trying to grow my email list, and I'd gotten it to 75 people, and the week that I published that, this had taken six months, the week that I published it, that email list of 75 people grew to over 1,000. So this is the power of a manifesto, if you write something that you believe in, and it hits a nerve, it can be very, very powerful because what do manifestos do? Well they attract an audience, and then they encourages that audience to share right? The Declaration of Independence, Communist Manifesto, Martin Luther's Theses, these were inciting incidents, they were documents that created a movement, because they called people to action. And when people start acting, they wanna involve other people, and it's kind of infectious. So here's how to publish one. That's how you write one, beginning, middle, and end, you pick a problem, you figure out what the solution is, and then you call your audience to action. Here's how it works. You have to write it, 1,000 to 10,000 words. Then you need to format it. I think putting it into a Microsoft Word or Keynote, some simple way to format it, just where it's very readable, then you wanna export that as a PDF, 'cause a PDF is a document that anybody can read on any device. Upload it to some file sharing site, like Dropbox, or Amazon has a file storage site called S3, and then what you wanna do, is you have your email list set up, you sign up with something like Convert Kit. You wanna edit the first Autoresponder, the welcome email that people automatically get that confirms, hey you're on my email list. Edit that with a link to the free manifesto. So now you've got a lead magnet. Now you've got something on your website where you go, hey, if you sign up for my email list, you're gonna get this cool thing, and then they sign up, they get the email response. You can edit that in any email marking tool, MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Convert Kit, you can edit that message, and you just put the link in there, people can go download that. Simple right? This is something people get hung up on, I've just walked you through how to do that. Super simple. And the hardest part of it is to find something that's really going to resonate with people, and so I think one of the best ways to figure out what you're going to write for your manifesto is, this is why you have to start writing first, is to find something that touched a nerve with somebody. So take an article, or a piece that you've written, or an email that you sent that resonated with somebody. Take a story that really connects you with people, and turn it into a manifesto. Build on the response and the resonance that you've already gotten from your audience, does that make sense? When I did this, I did it with an article that got an abnormal amount of comments, you know so instead of zero, it got like five comments, and so I was like, okay cool. I'm gonna turn this into a manifesto, and I didn't know that it was going to work, but I shared it and I asked other people to share it and in that week, I got 1,000 email subscribers. So this can be really powerful. So you've got your lead magnet, and you need that in place so that when you start promoting your work, which we're gonna talk about more how to do that later today, when you send people to your website, they see that you're giving them something for free if they sign up for your email list. And again, this is a reward, it is a way for people who are giving you their attention, which is valuable to them, they're giving you their email address, they're trusting you. You wanna immediately reward that and start this with goodwill. You also want to, it needs to be on message. This is why it needs to be your unique world view that you can expand into some sort of document. So I'm gonna put you guys all on the spot. If you had to write a manifesto tonight, what would it be called? What would it be about? How can you take your world view, which you've already articulated, and turn it into an actual document, what do you think? Yeah, Robert.
Yeah, I'd say that, I sort of wrote a small post about this that everyone needs to be reading some sort of fiction and I said that I grew up reading fiction. Once I got out of college and into the real world, I was devouring every business book possible, trying to find an edge, and I heard it I think from Neil Strauss, where it's people learn best by metaphor, and the best metaphors are found in fiction. So whether you like, and I was saying in the post, whether you like classics or a very specific fantasy genre, just read that before you decide to pick up the next self help book, and maybe you'll find more value there. So that, would you say that that's a decent--
A perfect idea.
And here's why it's perfect, 'cause what do you want? You want readers who read fiction. And so, one of the things that fiction writers get stuck on is, they go, what am I gonna write on? Like how do I get readers? I don't wanna write about this thing over here if they're not gonna be interested in my fiction, and you don't just have to share fiction to get fiction readers, but you do have to share things that they'd be interested in, and they've be interested in that right? Or how reading fiction makes you a smarter person, because what do you hear from business type people? They go, I don't read fiction. Like there's this cultural implication it's a waste of time right? But if you go back 50 or 100 years, if you were a writer and you wanted to change the world or criticize something about society, you were doing it with a novel, you weren't doing it with a self help book, which is a relatively new genre that's 75 to 80 years old. Think of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, or Sinclair Lewis, and all these authors who were basically criticizing culture, satirizing it, they're doing it through story. And I think we just live this, I agree with that, we live in this weird period of time right now where it's all about the facts and we're just not paying attention to history. So I think that's great, 'cause you're going to attract people who either are curious about reading fiction, or who do read fiction, and if you get more fiction readers and then you eventually tell them, I write stories, that's not gonna be a disconnect. That's gonna make sense. Anybody else have anything? Yeah.
So I did my manifesto some months ago. I called it, riffing off the Declaration of Independence, I called it For the People by the People. And it's essentially an invitation and a reminder of the importance of democracy, freedom, those values that I think have gotten lost in the shuffle, not just in America, but I think in many other countries in the world, and that I think we as people, humans, citizens, can be the change we wanna see in the world. So that's my manifesto.
That's great, it's a great example.
Anybody else, anybody have anything?
Yeah. We have some people online who are sharing, Matthew Lee Studio says his manifesto is "How to Connect With Nature Through Paintings", they're a landscape painter. Let's see, we've got some other ones here. Karen says, "The Value of Bringing Creative Thinking "Into Non-Creative Sectors." John Chang wants to write about Artists Who Use Lies to Tell the Truth. Eric says, "Release Your Inner David, "Learn to Face Your Goliaths."
Wow, we've got a bunch of poets. These are very nice.
Thanks for sharing everybody.
Yeah, no, that's great, that's awesome. Okay, cool, so that's how you set it up and you need to give this to your email subscribers. If you already have email subscribers, whether it's 25 or 100 or 10,000, and you write this, send it to them and ask them to share it. I had a client do this, he had 500 email subscribers, and he wrote an eBook on how to take better pictures with your iPhone, and he had these incredible Instagram photographs, images that people were like, how'd you do this? He's like I did it with my iPhone, and he takes out his iPhone, edits it, the whole deal, and everybody was like, oh you need to write a book about this. And so, he wrote this book that he could've charged money for, and actually did charge money for, and told people for the first 30 days, he was going to give it away for free, and then actually charge $20. His name is David Molnar, and he had 500 email subscribers from a blog that was five years old, and they were virtually kind of a dead list, but he emailed all of those people and said hey, I'm gonna be charging for this in 30 days, but it's free now, and you can download it for free. Read it, tell me what you think about it, and if you like it, share it with a friend. He had like a little tweetable link that people could share with, and people did this, and in 24 hours, his email list grew from 500 to 1,000 people, and by the end of that 30 days, he had over 13, email subscribers. He has a multi six figure business now, just off of teaching photographers, and it started with a manifesto. So you know this is powerful, and his, initially, his world view was anybody can capture life's most important memories through whatever phone, whatever camera you have with you.