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Keith Richards, His (Fake?) Book, and the Message For Business Owners

Let’s take a walk on the wild side (apologies to Lou Reed) and posit that Keith (Keef) Richards wrote a new book about Mick and the boys through the lens of a sober man (yeah, right). It will be published in 9 months.

Not any old Richards’ book (he’s written a few – ten plus). This one is about the seedy side of the Stones on tour (seedier than his previous efforts, believe it or not), especially their early years. And it promises to reveal once and for all the real nature of the relationship between Mick and Bowie. Yikes.

Insiders tell me that Richards has written a great book, where Bohemian Rhapsody meets The Blues Brothers meets Charlie Chaplin. By all accounts, he has crafted an entertaining read loaded with juicy tell-all bits but laced with laugh out loud humor too. This tome could be his best yet.

This is the real Keith. He’s found his authentic voice – primal, lewd, foul, hilarious, yet balanced by an unnerving and unexpected sweetness and vulnerability.

But there is more.

A lot of heart and a cause. Richards wants to give those who struggle hope for the future for he has been there himself many times. He believes in this book, like no other. This one is his cause celebre, a classic for sure. Keith sees it as his chance to push back against the elites – even though he is now one himself – and give hope to the ordinary Joes and Marys of this world. Chase your dream no matter how daft it may seem.

That’s the dream; what about the reality? If he wants his book to become a runaway bestseller, it has to be promoted. No one knows this better than Keith. No matter how famous you are; if you’re releasing a movie, a book, a CD, a whatsit, you have to promote the crap out of it.

Keith is convinced he has a winner on his hands, and heck it’s so damn good he can even see a movie deal. But if he doesn’t create top of mind awareness that invokes a FOMO response like this: ‘I gotta buy this book, and I gotta buy it NOW’, his book will be toast.

So next year he’ll be on the promotional treadmill — talk shows, book signings, radio, magazine interviews, the whole shebang.

Keep in mind that Keef is a famous rock guitarist in the biggest rock band on the planet, but he’s also a savvy marketer. A brand in his own right, he’s carefully cultivated his bad-boy image (yet hasn’t indulged in heroin for 30 years) to the point that the Keith Richards name now has cachet – pure gold, a marketer’s wet dream.

On with the show. So, here is my question: should he wait till next year for the release?

Well, if I were in his shoes, I’d build an audience for his book now. Why wait till next year? Twitter, FB page, IG for starters. And what about soft interviews with the press? I’d set up a blog too. I wouldn’t leave anything to chance.

And then I’d create teaser content that would have intending readers salivating with lip-smacking desire. I’d tap into a yearning to be entertained on the one hand and touched on a spiritual and emotional level, on the other. It’s higher purpose stuff writ large. Bring on the book, I say!

So, I’d want him to build his tribe of fanatics well in advance of the launch. And here’s the thing. You – as a marketer, coach, business owner, whatever – should embrace this thinking too. Even if you don’t have a product or haven’t yet sorted out your service package, build it (your audience), and they (your products and services) will come. Build your freaking audience will ya?.

By the time of the launch, he will have millions of followers ready to stampede to their bookshops and demand their copies. Even if they have to wait for hours. Even if they have to join lines that snake around the corner. Not to mention the Amazon servers having a meltdown.

So, that is what I would do. I’d do it for Keith, and I’d do it for you too, but only if you had something worthwhile to say. Worthwhile? Lose that word; it’s boring – I don’t want worthwhile. I want extraordinary. Do you have something wondrous for me? Something to make my heart skip a beat? Can you take me on a magical mystery tour?

No? So why the heck is someone going to do business with you?

And that is what pisses me off about most small business folk. It’s my Start Me Up moment – makes my blood boil. I see content that is yawn-inducing. Uninspiring, tepid, safe. Sameness in Seattle, or anywhere else for that matter.

Where’s the story, the anecdotes, the emotion, the compelling narrative? Missing in action.

So this is what I want for you. No more of the same old same old. No more dumb-ass success quotes on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Inject some spice into your website content and email formats. Think transformation.

Paint it yellow; paint it technicolor; paint it black. Give people some of that good ole satisfaction. Stand out from the crowd of me-too competitors who haven’t got a clue. See yourself as the beacon of hope that your tiny audience (and a small tribe is all you need to transform your business) craves.

Find your freaking voice, will ya? And shout it from the rooftops. Dig deep; it’s in there somewhere. Miss you.

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