How to Get Great Endorsements for Your Book, Blog, or Product
When a new book catches my eye, one of the first things I do is check out the endorsements. Even before reading the table of contents or the description on the back cover, I can generally determine two things just from the endorsements--the book's topic and the quality of its content. And for the most part, those two things decide whether I'll buy the book.
Endorsements are really important. If something is endorsed by people you trust or recognize, you're much more likely to be interested. And this doesn't just apply to books. The same thing is true for blogs, films, websites, projects, speakers, groups, and more.
But say you have a really good product, but no connections, no prior publications, and no major platform. How do you acquire solid endorsements?
When putting together The Church and New Media I didn't really have any of those things. I knew the book would help people from all walks of life--clerics, laypeople, moms, geeks, and technophobes. But to get it in their hands, I needed some great endorsements confirming its value.
So what did I do? Without knowing it, I basically followed the five steps outlined in this helpful article by Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Here are two of my favorites:
2. Make a prospect list. In an ideal world, who would you like as endorsers? Think big. (When I wrote my e-book, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, I started with a list of forty people. I ended up getting twenty-five.) Ask yourself, “Who are the recognized authorities in my field?” Don’t be too quick to rule out someone because you don’t think you have access. You may not know the prospective endorser, but you may know someone who does.
4. Ask for the endorsement. Don’t beat around the bush. Busy people—like the ones you want endorsements from—don’t have time to read long emails. Get to the point.
Be sure to read Michael's whole post. His advice is valuable whether you're putting together a book, a blog, a film, or any product.
My own advice on getting endorsements can be summed up in just two points:
1. Be bold. Even if you don't think a "big-name" endorser is interested, try anyways. At worst, they'll say 'No' or ignore your request. But the answer is definitely 'No' if you don't ask.
2. Cast wide your nets. Nigerian scammers send millions of emails hoping to get one person to bite. Use the same strategy (your odds are way better than theirs.) If you're hoping to get five endorsements, send out fifteen requests. If you're looking for ten, send out thirty. At worst, you'll get more than you hoped for and that's not a bad problem to have.
What do you think? What's your take on endorsements?