April Dunford on Nailing Positioning.

Making sure customers get what you do and buy from you.

By Rob Fitzpatrick and featuring April Dunford

In this Write Useful Books meetup, we had the honor and priviledge of being joined by the world’s leading expert on positioning, April Dunford.

She’ll be sharing her knowledge on practical positioning that accelerates marketing and sales, and how she applied that know-how to the launch of her hugely successful book, Obviously Awesome.

Besides being almost ridiculously insightful, April has a unique ability to make things extremely concrete and pragmatic, something you know we’re all about here at W.U.B.

With her warm and funny attitude, you’ll have a great time as you learn all about the do’s and don’ts of great positioning.



What April learned during the writing process

Publishers don’t do anything for you.

Not only don’t they understand marketing, they can’t help you.

They asked things like, “how many people do you have on your Twitter, Newsletter, etc.?”

When she asked them “what are you gonna do for me?!” They said we’ll make the book and market it. We’ll put it in the bookstore for you. “That’s distribution not marketing!” I can do marketing better than you and I can pay someone for distribution.

In addition, she learned that when you sell the book to a publisher, they get to decide the cover, interior, etc. Which April didn’t want.


What did she do well?

Treating the book like a product.

She did about 50 cust. dev. interviews and started seeing patterns after 15. E.g. She learned that most founders find books because they are recommended to them. And that most founders only make it half-way through. This motivated her to make the book short (3h read) and focus on word of mouth as an important channel. It also further strengthened her convictions of not going with a publishers because they assumed she needed to be in bookstores.


How did she launch?

“I threw the full IBM playbook at it!!”

They do care about the launch date. Launches are a year long thing. Pre-pre launch, pre- launch, launch, momentum launch, and a follow on launch. E.g. The pre-pre launch was me talking about my book at the end of keynotes. “book’s coming! get on my list” She doubled down on podcasts and Twitter during the pre-pre launch and the pre-launch. She had a great launch and shipped her audio book for the follow on launch.

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