Last month, I shared a conversation Cynthia Morris and I had about what it takes to finish your most cherished creative projects. One of my goals of these spotlights is to share with you how momentum actually works; “overnight” successes rarely happen overnight, but instead consists of a lot of steps that lead to significant milestones.
Joshua Waldman is a friend, colleague, and client that has had a good deal of success over the last few years. He’s built up a great platform and thought leadership around social media, with a focus on using social media to get jobs and find qualified candidates for positions in your company. I asked him to share his journey with us thus far; I’ll add commentary because Joshua has a tendency to be incredibly modest.
On September 9th, 2011, my book, Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies, was published. The book deal was the culmination of three years of blogging about this topic and lots of networking. Having the name brand behind me helped establish a strong platform for speaking and consulting. I’ve been able to charge up to $5,000 for speaking engagements, while developing DVDs and other products to sell on the backend. Today, I’ve sold over 9,000 copies, and have ranked #2 in my category on Amazon.
Charlie’s commentary: What Joshua didn’t say is that that “three years of blogging” was done while he was working full-time jobs. To finish his book while having a job, he’d get up at 4am, write a few chapters, and then go to work. He’s also married and has a teenage daughter. Working with him throughout this process was inspiring to me as the coach because of his level of dedication and discipline; there’s nothing quite like a client who inspires you to get up early and get at it.
When I was an MBA, I used an interview prep tool called JobJuice. Back then, JobJuice sold flashcard decks that nicely summarized MBA topics that were likely going to be discussed in job interviews. A few months after my book was released, I noticed JobJuice on Twitter and I reached out to them.
CG: Notice that he reached out to them. Many authors think they’re “made” and stop proactively creating opportunities or they simply aren’t looking for new ways to increase their leverage and platforms. But, then again, we’re talking about a guy who got up at 4am and finished his book before going to work.
The founder of JobJuice, Rod Palma, returned my inquiry, and let me know that they were doing apps these days. And he felt that my topic, social media job seeking, would make a great app. It was a dream come true. I got to work with one of my favorite companies in the space to generate some passive income and build my brand even more.
On June 13th, 2012, JobJuice’s Social Media Job Search app hit stores. So far the app has made it to the top 20 list of business apps and has over 20,000 downloads in just two weeks. Universities around the country are buying bulk licenses to give out to students to help them better prepare for their careers.
CG: Let’s talk about reach here. As great as it is to have a published book sitting on a shelf, it requires a buyer or someone looking out for a buyer to find it on the shelf. Now, Joshua’s work isn’t just sitting on a shelf – it’s being actively being spread to college students, the perfect audience for Joshua’s work. It being distributed this way avoids one of the challenges of creating resources for college students as a business, namely, the fact that many college students don’t have the discretionary revenue to buy a lot of stuff. (Besides beer, video games, and clothes, apparently.) Not only that, his work is now in multiple mediums in multiple marketplaces.
Most recently, I was approached by a recruitment consulting firm to help them with social media recruiting. A lot of recruiters just use LinkedIn as a giant database, and don’t bother engaging candidates. I’ll be flying to Chicago to help their clients do social recruiting better.
CG: I talk a lot about Cashflow, Opportunity, and Visibility. Notice how he’s running the bases here: his book set the stage for follow-on opportunities that generated cashflow and visibility, which then set up others – all consistent with his brand. When done right, such plays generate a self-perpuating upward spiral, and Joshua is doing it right.
So Book, DVDs, App, Speaking, Training and Consulting…all have me quite busy and very happy with the business I’ve built.
CG: I’ll say; we’ve been trying to coordinate schedules to hangout for a few months with no luck. That’s alright, though: Joshua’s on a great streak with the wind behind him and we can grab coffee or tea during a natural ebb. How’s November, Joshua? 🙂