As a marketer who has written a lot of copy for both print and offline, several books, and I’ve produced hundreds of videos and podcasts, I have learned some valuable lessons from mentors like Dan Kennedy.

Today, I want to tip my hat to best-selling author, James Patterson.

James Patterson has sold more than 425 million books and is known for fast-paced and easy-to-read novels.

Patterson has his share of critics in the literary world.

Some say he writes too many books, almost always uses co-authors, and some writers even take him to task for what they call bad-writing.

Dan Kennedy used to share how one of his early goals was to become a speaker and join the National Speakers Association.

When he did become a member of the NSA he quickly learned that it was filled with many so-called experts who were earning far less than he was by doing it his way!

By the way, it helps greatly if you learn to turn a deaf ear to the critics and naysayers and care about growing your business and serving more customer than winning awards.

So, let me share a few lessons that I have gleaned from James Patterson.

Patterson is known for engaging storytelling.

You get to know and can relate to his characters. It helps greatly to connect with potential customers if you are real and simply be your authentic self. Some in the coaching space, me included in the early years, try hard to appear to be the smartest in the room, always wearing nice clothes and taking pictures in front of rented jets.

When I started making videos in 2009, one of the turning points for me with the number of views I was getting was when I switched from simply standing in front of my impressive bookcase and trying to sound like a smart mature businessman, to simply talking like I normally talk and sharing what I know to work. Be your authentic self and learn how to tell engaging stories to make a point.

Patterson is quite prolific.

His readers can always count on him for new books. Being prolific is a critical component of building the all-important know, like and trust factor. One the first things I do when someone applies to be a guest on Dream Business Radio is check out their blog. If their last post was from 2 years ago, it’s not a deal breaker, but it does tell me they are not serious about content marketing.

Patterson is always marketing.

When Patterson writes a new book it always is accompanied with a full marketing campaign. I learned long ago that writing a book is only half the job. Now, when I whether I write a book or even a shorter e-book, I will engage with some smart marketing to get my new material into as many hands as possible.

PRO TIP: Even if your fans and followers do not read your stuff, they are seeing you consistently put out new content and that helps you stay top of mind and build your brand.

The chapters of his books are short, often less than 6-8 pages, and almost always end with a hook or cliffhanger.

I was reading Patterson’s book long before I became an entrepreneur and I remember being awake until midnight because each chapter was short and ended with a cliffhanger that made me want to turn the page to see how long the next chapter was.

And damn, it too was only 5-6 pages, so I kept reading!

Today, as I write books and even long posts on social media, I will “air out” the copy so it is easier to read, and I will also make it engaging and hopefully put in a few cliffhanger so you keep reading to see how it turns out!

Bottom line: You will be more successful growing your small business if you follow these rules:

  1. Be your true authentic self, and not some fake version of who you believe your customer wants to see
  2. Be a prolific content marketer.
  3. Learn to be a good storyteller in voice and in print.
  4. Keep your copy ‘light and airy’ and engaging
  5. Build trust and connections with potential customers by sharing your story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  6. Grow a thick skin and learn to be immune to criticism. I’ve never met James Patterson, but I can only imagine that with his 400+ million books sold, what the literary critics say about his books does not occupy his mind for more than a nano-second.

Cap't Jim Palmer, The Dream Business Coach

Cap’t Jim Palmer, best known internationally as the Dream Business Coach, is creator of the Dream Business Mastermind and Coaching Program and host of Dream Business Radio – a weekly podcast based on Jim’s smart marketing and dream business building strategies. He is also the founder of Success Advantage Publishing.

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