the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 423: Turning a Book into a Big Business | Scott Jeffrey Miller Episode Recap

Listen to the episode below

We are back with a special recap of our interview with Scott Jeffrey Miller.

What an inspirational story to hear, it’s not about fame, it’s not about notoriety, it’s about impact.

To be able to hear the journey of how they took Franklin Covey to become a $300 million public company, was truly amazing.

Today we share three things, two that we 100% agree with and one that we don’t.

The first two are secrets imperative to growing your company, and principles we fully implement at Brand Builders and educate our clients on.

If you’re eager to discover insights on how to expand your company to $300 million, and why we disagree with Scott Jeffrey Miller on a particular point, then don’t miss this episode!

Tune in now.

Key takeaways from this episode

  • The first secret: the principle of chicken on a stick.
  • How we implement the principle of chicken on a stick at Brand Builders.
  • Secret number two: shipping kits (and what that means).
  • How we can help you implement these principles
  • The importance of commoditizing your intellectual property: the key to scale.
  • Becoming a bestselling author and why we disagree with Scott Jeffrey Miller.
  • The key to building a great personal brand or great business (something we DO agree on).

Tweetable Moments

“If you don’t have enough customers it’s because you haven’t had enough samplers. You have to hand out some free samples. You have to give away some free content. You have to give away some free experiences — the chicken on the stick principle.” — @roryvaden [0:05:58]

“The real way [Franklin Covey] made money was certifying people at huge organizations who then took the content and shared it with their whole organizations.” — @roryvaden [0:08:01]

“I’m telling you if you want to create a global impact you have to commoditize it. It has to be yours and it has to be unique and it has to be original.” — @roryvaden [0:12:24]

“This is why we say bestseller lists don’t change lives. But books do.” — @roryvaden [0:16:55]

About Scott Jeffrey Miller

Capping a twenty-five-year career in which he served as chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Scott Miller is currently FranklinCovey’s senior advisor on thought leadership, leading the strategy, development, and publication of the firm’s bestselling books.

Miller hosts the FranklinCovey-sponsored On Leadership With Scott Miller, the world’s largest weekly leadership podcast, and C-Suite Conversations With Scott Miller, a podcast which features interviews with the world’s top executives.

Miller is the author of the multivolume series Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights from Our Greatest Business Minds (HarperCollins Leadership), which features insights from his interviews with the leading thinkers of our time, including Seth Godin, Susan Cain, Stedman Graham, Stephen M.R. Covey, Liz Wiseman, Mel Robbins, and many others. He is the coauthor of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team (Simon & Schuster) and the Mess to Success series, including Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow and Marketing Mess to Brand Success (Mango Publishing). He recently released The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship (HarperCollins Leadership) in July of 2023, and is launching his 7th book in February of 2024, titled Career on Course: 10 Strategies to Take Your Career from Accidental to Deliberate.

In addition to supporting FranklinCovey’s global thought leadership efforts, Miller is the co-founding partner of Gray+Miller, a speaking, literary, and talent agency representing some of the world’s foremost leaders, authors, and thinkers.

Links Mentioned

Scott Jeffrey Miller

Scott Jeffrey Miller on LinkedIn

Scott Jeffrey Miller on Instagram

Scott Jeffrey Miller on X

Scott Jeffrey Miller on Facebook

Scott Jeffrey Miller Books

The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship: 13 Roles to Making a True Impact Great Mentorship

Gray + Miller

Franklin Covey

Franklin Covey Planners

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens

The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV (00:02): I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed that interview with Scott Jeffrey Miller. And the reason why is because I’ve always been interested in impact, right? For me, it’s been, it’s not about fame. It’s not about you know, notoriety. It’s, it, it’s about impact. And there’s not that many personal brands that have gotten to eight figures and, and even far, far fewer that have gotten to nine figures. And so to get to hear the story of how they took Franklin Covey to be a $300 million public company was amazing. So I love that. And I’m gonna share with you here, I’m gonna share with you two things he said that I really agree with, and one that I don’t, that I, I don’t agree with. So I’ll save that one for last. All right? So stick around for that. But there’s two things he said that were major, major secrets on, on their whole, their whole journey to 300 million, right? RV (01:02): So the first is something that we call around brand builders group. If you’re one of our paying members, you know that, I use this analogy a lot. I call it chicken on a stick. And that is because when you go through the food court at the mall, or if you walk it through Whole Foods, right? And you’re going by, how do they try to sell you new food? They hand you a toothpick with a taste of something, right? A chicken on a stick. And it was really, I think Chick-fil-A maybe who first invented this, at least that’s what I’ve heard in the malls. And you go, ah, boy, that’s delicious. Yeah, I would like some more of that. I think I’ll have one, right? It’s the concept of a free sample. And this is how I have built my entire personal brand, how we have built my entire personal brand, how we have built brand builders group to eight figures in five years, starting on zero. RV (01:58): How we built six different companies now to multi seven figures and two to eight figures from scratch. It’s based on this principle and hearing Scott Jeffrey Miller tell the story, which go back if you didn’t listen to the interview, you gotta listen to this interview about how they built Franklin Covey. I’m so convicted, right? That like, you have to understand this conceptually, if you don’t understand this one idea, there’s a good chance your personal brand is not gonna succeed at the level that it can, or that it should chicken on a stick. You have to let people sample you. They have to get a free experience with you. You can’t withhold all the good information until they start paying you. They have to experience it. They have to live it. They have to feel what it’s like to be a client of yours before they become a client. And so hearing them RV (02:58): Tell the story about how they did all of these workshops and they paid, and that still to this day, they do them, they invite the C-level executives and they pay for them to have lunch, and they pay for the hotel venue, and they like pay for everything, and they get to come free of charge. And then they don’t even sell, they don’t even officially like sell at the event. That model works. That is the model that, that Tom Hopkins built his personal brand, and Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn, and so many of these legends of our time figured that out early. And that’s how we built our former company. We would go out and for free, do sales training. How did we sell sales coaching? We did a free sales training for the team. And then once we had trust, we made the sale. RV (03:46): How do we do it? Today at Brand Builders Group, we do webinars for free. We do this podcast for free. We have my whole YouTube channel. It’s free, my blog, everything that I know is like on my blog for free. Why? So people can experience and feel what it’s like to be one of our customers, at least on a small level, that’s what you need to create. If you don’t have enough customers, it’s because you haven’t had enough samplers. If you don’t have enough customers, it’s because you haven’t had enough samplers. You have to go hand out some free samples. You have to give away some free content. You have to give away some free experiences. Give away a free ticket to your event. Give a free seat in your coaching program. Or I’m a fan always of charging a dollar so that you can fully, ethically say, I have a paying customer, right? RV (04:41): And then at least you have a paying customer testimonial. But if you can’t get a dollar, do it for free. The way I built my speaking career, I spoke 304 times for free before getting paid a real keynote fee, 304 times for free. But by that point, a lot of people had seen me, and it was only a matter of time before someone knew someone who had an event, who needed a speaker. And they said, do you know any speakers? And they’re like, I saw this Rory Vaden guy. And right, that’s how it happened. And that’s how we get, that’s how I started speaking. You know, 20 years later, fast forward, I’m the youngest American in history to be inducted into the professional speaking Hall of fame. It started by speaking for free. That is how you do this. So, chicken on a stick, and you gotta put that, you gotta incorporate that into your personal brand. RV (05:34): Number two is the secret of the train the trainer model was shipping kits. That is powerful. So he tells the story, I think he said something like half of their revenue, but 80% of their profit margin came from shipping kits. What does that mean? Well, it means that they, they, they certified people inside of companies who were employees of the company. They certified those people in the content, in the curriculum that you get to be a certified Franklin Covey instructor. Doesn’t mean you go work for Franklin Covey, you work at your day job, but you get a certification. You can sell the certification, you can make money on the certification, but the real way they made money was not certifying people. The real way they made money was certifying people at huge organizations who then took the content and shared it with their whole organization, and they got the license to do that. RV (06:41): But if they wanted the course materials, they had to buy those from Franklin Covey. They were kits, shipping kits, these like a hundred dollars kits where it’s like, here’s a copy of the book. Here’s a workbook, here’s a little diddly do for your, for your, for your desk. Here’s a little sticky pad. You know, here’s a magnet, a little kit. You know, maybe, probably back then it, it, it came with a V H SS tape and then maybe a D V D, you know, and maybe then a thumb drive. And now today, maybe it comes with a QR code. But, but it’s, it’s, it’s, first of all, it’s commoditizing your content. It’s commoditizing your ip. It’s going, you have to get, if you’re gonna scale your impact, if you’re gonna scale your income too. But if you’re gonna scale your impact, you have to commoditize or productize or modularize your knowledge into a body of work. RV (07:37): And by the way, if you struggle with this, if you’ve ever struggled with this, you should hire us. We have an entire dedicated course and event and private strategy session called Captivating Content, where we help you create unique frameworks, unique intellectual property. We help you structure and formalize and document and codify your thoughts and your unique ideas into a body of work. We commoditize it. We take it out of your head, run it through our process, and create this brilliant framework. This unique framework that belongs to you. It’s your intellectual property. You go through our process, but it’s your intellectual property, and it becomes a thing that you can make millions and millions of dollars off of, right? You, you can invest a few thousand bucks with us, several thousand bucks, but several thousand dollars or tens of thousands, even if it was a hundred thousand dollars. RV (08:34): Even if you invested a hundred thousand dollars with Brand Builders Group, you could make millions of dollars every year, tens of millions, even hundreds of millions at the Franklin Covey level, from commoditizing your knowledge and your expertise into a unique set of frameworks, a unique methodology, something we call the modular content method, that that’s what we take people through. We can help you do that. You don’t have to work with us. We just happen to be one of the best in the world at it. And if you’re thinking about that, man, request a free call with us. We’ll do the first call for free. All you have to do is go to free brand call.com/podcast, request a call with our team, and we’ll show you how we take this from idea to a figure business, which is something that we’ve now done multiple times and we know how to do this. RV (09:25): We can take you there. So that’s shipping kits, which is commoditizing your knowledge and preparing it. The more commoditized, the more packageable your IP is, the more it can transmit, the more that other people can spread it, the more spreadable it is. So you’ve gotta commoditize it, you’ve gotta turn it into a kit. And if you do that, then other people can teach it for you. And now you can scale not only your impact, but your income. So that’s a key to scaling that I’ve always believed. And to hear it from behind the scenes, right? Firsthand from somebody who was there when it happened at one of the biggest training leadership and training organizations in the world. Man, I’m just, it’s like I’m so convicted on this. You have to do this like this. I’m telling you, if you wanna create global impact, you have to commoditize it and it has to be yours and it has to be unique, and it has to be original. RV (10:20): How do you come up with that? Who’s the best in the world at helping you actually do that? We are brand builders group. That’s the first of one of a few things that we are really, really, really good at. And I would go so far as to say the best, or at least one of the handful of the best organizations in the world at doing that specific thing. And that is the key to scale, right? It’d be worth investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to figure that out. Just to get that one thing down would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. And look at how, look at how it changed the future of history with what Franklin Covey has done. I mean, amazing, the impact that they’ve had. Now here’s the third thing. This is the thing that I don’t agree with what Scott Jeffrey Miller said in that interview. RV (11:07): I mean, no disrespect to him. I just disagree with what he said. And that is, how do you become a bestselling author? He said, the key is to write a great book. I starkly disagree with that in terms of hitting a bestseller list. It has virtually nothing to do with writing a great book. It doesn’t. And I have the data to prove this. We know that in the year 2022 of all the books that hit the New York Times bestseller list on the advice how to weekly list that we is the one that we follow the most, the closest right, the most closely. Out of all the books that hit that list, 98% of them hit it the first week the book was published, right? So 98% of New York Times bestsellers, they become the bestseller. The first week the book is out, which is before anyone has read it. RV (12:11): And by the way, 2023 year to date, that number is 93%. So it’s dropped a little bit, but that means the vast majority, like at least according to the way we’re looking at the data and that our data science team is processing it, the vast majority of bestselling books happened the first week. The book is out. We know something about this 17 times as of now as the recording of this. We had two new clients last week become Wall Street Journal and u s A today bestselling authors. That’s the 17th time. We’ve helped people do that. Not through cheating gaming the system. It’s not hacks. It’s through the work and the effort that we teach people in our bestseller launch plan training. That is a systematic way to sell a lot of books and then understanding how the bestseller lists operate. And we had two clients last week that did that. RV (12:59): Two new clients. So we’ve done that 17 times. We know something about this, it happens the first week. Now, a slight alteration of what Scott Jeffrey Miller said, which I would totally agree with, is the key to building a great personal brand or the key to building a great business is to write a great book. You can’t fake your way to 55 million copies, right? You can’t be James Clear selling 20,000, 40,000 units every single week with a crappy book. You can’t do that. So you can become a bestselling author, even if your book isn’t that good. And we can help you do that. We have what I believe is the best system in the world for ethically achieving that objective, for activating your audience and doing the work it takes to start a real movement of real readers. Not fake bots, not fake email addresses, not fake stuff, real readership. RV (13:58): And that takes real work. But it can be done. And we’ve done it several times and we know something about it. But the truth about building a $300 million business off of a book that needs to be a great book. And I think that’s really what Scott, Jeffrey Miller was saying and pointing out. And on that point, I do agree with that, right? You cannot, you can’t fake your way to millions and millions of copies, but you can hit the bestseller list before anyone’s even read the book. And that is, if that’s a goal you have, let’s achieve that goal first. And let’s use that to create momentum to get the book out to more people. And then hopefully you’ve written a truly great book that will propagate and perpetuate and transmit all through society, and then it will build your personal brand, make the impact, and you’ll make the income. ’cause You can’t fake your way to that one. And that’s what we’re really after, right? This is why we say bestseller lists. RV (14:51): Don’t change lives, but books do. So you should write a great book, but it’s not necessarily the most important thing. If you just want to be a bestselling author. We can make pretty much anyone, a bestselling author, if they’re willing to work, work at it hard enough and long enough and follow the system. But you should write a great book. ’cause That’s what’s gonna change lives. That’s what’s gonna build your brand. And if you wanna build an eight figure, a multi seven figure, eight figure, nine figure, multi nine figure brand, you gotta write a great book. So you do need to do that. So there you go. Two things I agree with, and one thing that I did not agree with from Scott Jeffrey Miller, what a phenomenal story. What a great, intelligent, intelligent man. Really love that interview. Make sure you go check it out. And if you have, you know, someone in your life that you know that wants to build a personal brand, share these episodes with them, please. Like they will. Thank you for it. It’s our honor to serve mission-driven messengers. So go out and serve somebody today. We’ll catch you next time. Bye-Bye.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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