Every Story of Success Is a Story of Community (Plus a Chance to Join My Media Team)

When I wrote my latest book, I did it all wrong. It was all my ideas and experience and when the thing was finished, I didn’t like it very much.

Photo Credit: simcsea via Compfight cc

The first draft of the book was all about me, and I hated that. The book was supposed to be about finding your calling, and it neglected the most important part of the process: community.

When Singapore’s first full-time doula Ginny Phang told me her story, I was inspired. Here was a woman who had gotten pregnant out of wedlock, kicked out of her own home, and forced to provide for herself and her son. But somehow, she made a life for herself in which she did not just survive, she thrived. Ginny admits, though, that she didn’t do it on her own. Without the necessary help of a few friends, relatives, and encouragers, she wouldn’t have made it.

I loved that. It spoke to my own experience. No matter how much we want to believe the myth of the self-made man or woman, it’s just not true. At critical moments in life, we all need help from others. For me, those people included my boss, my wife, and a few important mentors.

So when I went back to rewrite The Art of Work, I realized I couldn’t do it alone. If this book was going to do what it was meant to do, I was going to need help. Which is why if you read the book today you’ll see not only Ginny’s story but many others’, as well.

It was an effort I couldn’t have completed on my own and shouldn’t have tried. Because every story of success is really a story of community.

Join my media team

Once again, I’m asking for help. I believe in this message. I believe we all have a calling, something important we were meant to do with our lives. And we need help getting there.

When I decided to make the book available for free to anyone who paid shipping and handling, the idea was to create a generous offer that would help the book spread. Now, I want to take it to the next level, which is where you come in.

My book will be come out in a month, and I’m starting to line up media interviews. But since The Art of Work is about how ordinary stories can become extraordinary, I don’t want to stick to just the traditional media channels (I first saw Ginny on Youtube, not NBC, after all).

So if you have a podcast or a blog or newsletter and want to interview me, I’d love to connect with you. I’ll do everything in my power to make this happen, but there are no guarantees. The best thing you can do is apply early and provide a great idea for how to get the word out.

If you’re interested in interviewing me about my book, click here to fill out the form.

Also, whether or not you’re in the media, I’d love for you answer the question below and leave a comment for a chance to win a free book.

What out-of-the-box idea for promoting my book do you have? On Monday, Feb. 23, I’ll pick the top five ideas and send you a free copy of the book. Share your idea in the comments.

78 thoughts on “Every Story of Success Is a Story of Community (Plus a Chance to Join My Media Team)

  1. Out of the box for me might be in someone else’s box.. however would love to interview you for my blog either in written or video format. Give my readers an opportunity to provide some of the questions and give away copy(s) as this is one everyone should read and share. Would be my first author interview therefore out of my zone…

  2. Use fb to spread the word. Offer a free book download to the person that shares your book info with the most fb friends. Personally i dont watch tv, commercials, etc. but if its from a friend or ob fb i usually check it out.

  3. Offer a signed copy as a prize to a national magazine like Woman’s Day or Redbook. They offer contests online and in their newsstand magazine.

  4. I would love to interview you for my blog and audience Jeff! I work with women…who are stuck in a soul-sucking 9-5 and ready to live their dream and build their own business. One of the things that I harp on is the power of FREE and how it’s the only way to sell anything. It’s a difficult concept for some to understand, especially in the beginning when they feel like they don’t have enough value (which they totally do) to share stuff for free because they’re worried they won’t have anything left for people to pay them for. I would love to interview you so you can share how free has worked for you, how it’s literally changed your business, and how people buy once they have confidence in your free!

  5. I have a couple!

    Creating a cause – I think that this underpins everything in the promotion.
    And I do think giving a book away to someone who is under 18/21 per se or
    disadvantaged youth for every book purchased is a way in which you can stimulate a greater response from your early adopters, your entrepreneurs etc. It also allows you to tell a story about how you didnt receive this type of education, and how we need to bring the reality of entrepreneurship to young people etc. A Pay It Forward kind of thing.

    Creating a cartoon series of how people found there Art – If you know a
    animator, though this could be quite costly. But if you took a story from
    one of the entrepreneurs and got them to narrate it, then you could start a
    series. They would share this video with there network and by proxy
    promote the campaign. It’s quite costly but different. Here’s an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW-NdvOydCo

  6. Out of the box idea? Load up and take your story international and give away your art on a street corner in Nicaragua. Everyone is looking for their place in this world, as writers we own our place through words and testimony. Many struggle to know their community because their community still teaches the world’s ways. The world is hurting and people are beheaded for their identity. Our identity as people of love is tormented by evil. Hurt people are still hurting innocence. May our words always point to the Cure, to make a difference in the identity crises we wallow in. Just my thoughts…

  7. For the promotion of the “Art of Work” you could hold a
    traveling seminar, visiting different areas around the country, or even
    locally, even seeking exposure in the less obvious locations. This would be an
    opportunity for you so share your stories, experiences and wisdom with your
    audience, attracting those who have been there before or who are going through
    the struggle of finding themselves. Your words are so powerful in text, I can
    only image what affect they would give spoken. Another idea that is more “out
    there” than the first, is to sponsor a contest encouraging others to share
    their stories of success, discoveries, struggles, etc. The contest would both
    drive people to purchase your book and want to share in your vision, as well as
    motivate others to share their experiences of finding their place in life.

      1. Thank you! I hope you do, and I know it will be so successful. I have a Corporate Communications degree, with a minor in Marketing, but I am so passionate about writing and just living a life that I have never imagine. I have just started reading “Art of Work” and it is amazing so far. The “Manifesto For Misfits” spoke to me in such a painstaking, yet rejuvenating way and gave me an entirely new outlook on the way I live my life, achieve my goals I have set for myself, carry out my passions, and find my place in this world. So thank you, thank you so much for sharing that with me.

  8. Hope you don’t mind but I’ve quoted part of this in a FB post:

    “No matter how much we want to believe the myth of the self-made man or woman, it’s just not true. At critical moments in life, we all need help from others. For me, those people included my boss, my wife, and a few important mentors.”

    I’ve linked your full post 🙂

  9. Jeff, I believe the best promotion happens not when a fan or audience is excited about a book, but when they are living out the message of the book in a personal way. It goes far beyond just promoting someone’s product — it’s encouraging people to truly make it their own. In that way, you become more than just an author who provides a book for others to passively consume. You become a coach, a mentor, a guide, a facilitator.

    My idea: Encourage your readers to create art based on the message of the book and what it means for their lives. It might be a song, painting, story, writing letters, a video, scrapbooking, screenplay … who knows. The possibilities are endless.

    The book is called “The ART of Work,” after all. 🙂 I can’t think of any better way personalize to book’s message, promote it, engage others, and do something different in promotion than asking readers to creatively express the book’s message in their own voices, and through their own gifts. That is truly the best expression of their “work.”

    If you choose this idea, I would consider it an honor to send you some specific ideas, including marketing copy, perhaps a study guide/resource guide just for artists and the creative community, and other practical strategies.

    1. I love Ken’ts idea. It made me say, Yes, this is something I would do. On the practical side, it strengthens your bond with your tribe, inspires us to live out the message, and helps you spread the word, Jeff–many hands make light work.

      1. Thanks Amanda, I appreciate the affirmation. 🙂 I think book launches are great, but many of us want to do something more personal and meaningful than just the traditional route of putting messages on social media, writing a review for a blog, etc. Obviously the author can only do so much, but that’s an interesting thing about an idea like this: it’s not just the author doing the creating and his/her tribe blasting it out. It becomes something more beautiful and meaningful where people are co-creating together and making something bigger than one person could do alone.

        1. Exactly my thought. I was happy to help another author and PR pro I love and admire get the word out about her book, which a select number of us did through reviews via our blogs and social media. But Jeff’s book gives me-and others-a way to creatively apply then respond in a way that is more deeply personal to each of us and “in our own voices” as you said. I’m inspired to go this route (and credit your idea) via one of my blogs as soon as I read the book!

  10. People in transition are your first best audience. Speaking engagements at business schools and Universities around graduations or job fairs; speaking engagements and donation of books at transitional nonprofits, like homeless shelters and employment/veterans agencies. And don’t forget retiring communities. Military people retire at 40 and usually reinvent themselves into whole new careers. There are always retirement briefings going on near military installations and they are looking for positive transition speakers and materials.

  11. Jeff,

    I have opportunities through our local high school’s TV program to get your message out via
    an interview. Not only would it potentially reach students it would be archived online for a global outreach. I can be reached at dennisdturner@gmail.com. Dennis Turner

  12. Jeff, a promotion should create strong desire to learn more about the product. What about a contest, with clues found within your book, and across websites to engage people, so that the winner will chose the charity of their choice to receive a nice cash donation. The winner will also receive assistance from the sites involved to help hem achieve the work of their dreams. This helps promote The Art of Work, helps the winner move toward their job, helps a charity, and helps the sites involved.

  13. How about this? Find someone that is doing their art – but in an unconventional place. Someone who is deeply satisfied doing something that many of us creative types couldn’t possibly imagine. Trashman, bus driver, stay at home mom – whatever. Then go and spend a day with them. Write a post about how their work is actually art. Share the story of mundane art – which seems to be part of your overall message. Doing what you were meant to do, even if others don’t “get it”.

      1. Spend the day with me, Jeff! I operate a women’s resale boutique that benefits a women’s center and also a home for survivors of domestic human trafficking. I was never much for fashion until God revealed to me that clothing is wearable art. Since then, I’ve experience a hightened sense of purpose in my position. This spring, we will be opening a second location. My gifts and passions are lining up nicely, and I’d love to show you more!

  14. Hey Jeff,

    I was trying to think of some good ideas that could model generosity, yet not create a huge time suck on your end. Have you considered seeing if it is possible to give your books away on airlines? I do not know what the rules are about this, but airlines used to have complimentary magazines, which I really appreciated. If you could work out a one day drop where you gave everyone flying out of your closest airport a complimentary copy to read on the plane, you could ask their either to leave it when their flight was over (which might inspire them to buy it) … or some variation of this. It would be worth buying a ticket to get past airport security to just bring in a bunch of books and leave them all over the airport with coupons for “x%” off … that would increase visibility kind of like the internet, but in a physical way, as people from all over the world would see them … I was thinking of this like the efforts to STOP the transmission of Ebola … the thing people are most concerned with are the flights because it’s hard to control where each person will go next. You could even create some energy around “This book wants to go to _______________” And somehow get people traveling to all parts of the world to carry one copy. When they are there, give the book to an English speaking person there. That might really help the book spread.

  15. Jeff, yes! Absolutely would love to interview you again! This book is life changing, I want to help spread the word in any way I can. As far as promotional strategy, I think I’d like to help promote it on Pinterest, through group boards I am active in.

  16. I was wondering if radio shows would be willing to give it away for you. They give away lots of other things through contests.

  17. Jeff, 1st let me say I think its a great idea that you’re tapping into your community of readers for book promotion ideas.

    2nd here’s an idea…Seth says that one of the best ways to spread information is laterally, from person to person (the way a virus spreads). With his most recent book What To Do When It’s Your Turn he gave his tribe the opportunity to purchase bulk copies early with the specific intent of purchasing extra copies to share/spread. I purchased 8 he sent 9 has a gift and I’ve been giving them out to students when I speak (spreading his ideas).

    3rd….I’d welcome an opportunity to interview you for my blog http://www.rodneygoldston.com. I’ve been wanting to add this to what I do and I’d be honored to have you as my first ever guest.

  18. First off, congratulations on rewriting the book so splendidly! #HUGSS Your message is powerful and one that I will hold close to my heart!

    You could maybe ask your launch team to provide Video Testimonials and place them on YOUR Facebook Profile. Native Videos are all the rage, so this might help! (Or expert testimonials from your colleagues who – I am sure – would have reviewed your blog)

    ..OR you could release a Chapter by Chapter video (someone did this very successfully on Facebook), and then have a live Q & A on Facebook (and also on Twitter #TheArtofWorkChat 😉 )

    I have a few other ideas simmering in my head, but they either seem unlikely, unrealistic or unintelligent 😛 hehe

  19. Ask for people to share and submit their own stories of success via video, then create a mash up, share it on social media and hope it goes viral. Of course attach your book link to it so people can learn more about The Art of Work and how ordinary stories can become extraordinary! 🙂

  20. Here’s my out-of-the-box idea:
    Since this is a book about finding your calling, I think it might be good to spread the word among teenagers and young people. I’m one of them, and these are the people that spend more time on social media and that are many times thinking about finding their calling or planning their future.
    So a good way to build buzz around the book would be to target high schools and colleges by placing posters and drawing people in with an online (blog or social media based) treasure hunt for the chance of winning the book and anything else you’d want to give away. Treasure hunts usually work because they give people an entertaining challenge and offer the chance of winning something at the same time.
    So, while promoting your book among countless teenagers and young adults, you’d have the extra benefit of having them spread the word in an even bigger way through social media. If there’s the chance of winning a big prize and of taking on some fun challenges along the way, people will share. You just need to get the word out to them, and schools can do that job for you – I’m sure they’ll be interested in helping their students find their calling!

  21. Jeff, Perfect timing. I’m writing a book right now to help therapists put into practice exactly what the Art of Work describes. It would be a honor and privilege to share your insights with my audience. I was hoping and praying that we would have another opportunity to connect. If not now perhaps later. But be encouraged you have impacted my life to say I’m a writer.

  22. I think what you are doing is a great idea giving away your book it comes under the biblical principle of give and it shall be given back to you in a greater measure, but that is not always the reason for our giving, and when we bare this in mind and focus on that then we will find ourselves giving. Now this is a message that you are trying to get out that will be helpful to others. What if you went to your local library dress up like a clown are a superhero and pass out your books, are the bookstores, local malls these are the places you will find a flood of people and most people like to get something for free especially if it’s going to be helpful for then to improve their lives.

  23. I think you should go to your closest local grocery store, talk to the store manager, and ask to see if it would be okay to have a flyer on the outside of the store. TONS of people go by in a day at a grocery store, so if that would be allowed, it would be a huge way to get people knowing about it.

  24. I have a couple of ideas.

    1. Find people who have made an intentional choice to follow their calling, people who are also bloggers or who have some kind of online presence, and get them to interview you. I’m not talking about your average (or even famous) bloggers, but missionaries, pastors, people who are in some kind of service. It would be a sort of cross promotion — your audience would get to read about even more people and their callings, and these people would get exposure to your audience.

    2. The germ of this idea is from Luana’s comment about getting teens to spread the word. I just wanted to point out that teens are on Instagram and Vine and SnapChat, even more than they are on the social media we tend to think of. I agree with Luana, a contest is a good idea. I’d encourage you to find people who know a lot about how teens use these social media platforms and create a contest that encourages teens to use their creativity. Get them to share an image or video that says something about finding or following their calling.

  25. Pitch it to school boards, vocation-technical school advisory committes, etc. Suggest they make it required reading as part of their curriculum. Colleges could give copies to newly-registered students. Book speaking engagements through NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) if you don’t already. Onward!

  26. Flashmob of people reading a paragraph in unison of your book outside a different number of workplaces, distributing flyers as you depart the scene.

  27. Select 5 famous successful people & 5 unknown writers. Ask them to read your ‘Art of work’ and comment. No regulars; we know you. follow you & admire you.

  28. Promotion idea: Give an excerpt of the book to Uber / Lyft drivers to give to their passengers to read during the ride. This will give the driver and passengers a conversation topic as well.

  29. Promotional idea:

    A visual aid for speaking engagements or even for videos might be to have a backdrop created as a framed collage of images of work-all types, from the “mundane” to the “executive”-that when erected would portray a famous piece of art, whether a painting/drawing or, if three dimensional, could portray, perhaps, “The Thinker” or some other well known sculpture.

    Bonus points if you could start out your talk with people dressed in clothing known to evoke images of certain careers (coveralls for a mechanic, lab coat for a technician, suit for an executive) actually bring out portrayals of their careers and build, on stage, the backdrop before you come on yourself, bringing the writer into the portrayal, thus completing it.

  30. Your book is extremely valuable for young people. So here’s my idea: get in touch with some schools and give them an excerpt of the book. Say that you want their students to read the book, and offer a batch of X exemplaries. Also offer to make a speech for their students.

  31. What about the older generation? Give free books to those people through Social Services, living on their own, attend weekly clubs and societies, living in nursing homes, public and private. Many of these people are writers themselves or people who society has brainwashed into the world of work and squashed all forms of creativity.
    Some years ago I was a guest reader/writer at a weekly Reminiscence Group- that led to a Reminiscence Public Performance in which group members read out their own writings in the many genres of poetry and prose. Some had never written before and many were highly accomplished creative writers,
    Generically British schools concentrate on the sciences and the world of future work; creativity is lacking in the curriculum so many many young people who eventually become old people do not realise they are talented esp. in different forms of creative writing. My wife, a former teacher is in a nursing home with Dementia – the illness that will affect us all in this century. Reading ‘The Art of Work’ (ironic title Jeff!) to and by the Silver Surfers will stimulate and crate a new interest and open up welcome new worlds to the people we should never ever forget – they brought us into this world – surely we can reward them for that?

  32. This book is really important to young persons. So here’s the idea: get in touch with some schools and give them an excerpt of the book. Say that you want their students to read the book, and offer a batch of X exemplaries. Also offer to make a speech for their students. Learn more https://www.emailmarketinghome.com/

  33. A Gallup report that shows that 87% of workers are not excited about their jobs. I recently got a new job and have to commute into Atlanta (if any of you have ever driven into Atlanta during rush hour you know how miserable this can be). I am happy with my job but I look around at all of us stuck in traffic and think how sad it that almost 9 out of every 10 people I see isn’t excited about what they are doing. They are basically in the hamster wheel of life – work – spend, work – spend, and on and on it goes. How about finding some busy intersections during rush hour and give away copies of your book? Some might be thinking at that very moment they need a change and your book could be the catalyst.

  34. I don’t know how I’d do this but I LOVE YOUR MESSAGE JEFF GOINS and I’d like to promote it in Africa where I live. Africans can’t pay for shipping a free book – too costly! Why don’t you come here? It’s awesome! There’s over a billion of us in 53 countries. And Africa needs more writers to tell good stories about her – not the typical aid crap. Please don’t tell those stories. Stories of adventure and change – inspiration and awe – humility, resilience, creativity – it’s all here. Young Africans need to meet role models like you who are creating success in new areas of business like writing and e-publishing. Africa needs you Jeff Goins 🙂 And bring lots of your books! http://www.storybysusan.blogspot.com

  35. Donate 150 copies to outstanding juniors and seniors at a high school in a low-income area. These kids are the future!

  36. Well, How about books clubs, and better in my little book club for mexican people. (another market). I love your content and I have been working in my English books club, and we can use your book to spread the message in México. Thanks a lot

  37. Jeff, I am feeling a bit silly since it just occurred to me to comment on your blog, vs the tweets and FB promos. (or maybe it’s from reading one of you other books yesterday !)
    I am relatively new to the online world and it is a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. I appreciate your wisdom, candor and word craft.

    In the Art of Work, The Portfolio Life chapter rocked my world and gave me language to express what I have often stammered and scrambled to explain. My idea: do a “portfolio” of interview with folks who have actually embraced and lived/worked this way. Start a Portfolio Life Movement, which would resonate with Millennials, Entrepreneurs and moms (who by definition have one!).
    Also, I am working on a few ideas for the form to be part of your media team too!
    Cheers and Congrats on a GREAT work of Art!

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