03 Nov Interview With Business Author Mike Clayton
I’ve been working with Mike Clayton (www.mikeclayton.co.uk) for a while now, and been impressed by his extremely analytical and focused approach to PR and marketing, and have to admit I’ve learned a fair deal from him at the same time!
Before we launch into my recent interview with Mike, Mike wrote a great blog, week by week, using The Apprentice this year, and got great viewing figures. He’s just started commenting on the new series of Young Apprentice so do take a look at his take on the show.
Mike, tell us about your business and books
I help people to be more effective at what they do – both as business professionals and as individuals.
My business is focused around two complementary activities, both of which I love. I write books for the business and personal effectiveness markets (titles include Risk Happens! Brilliant Influence and Brilliant Time Management), and I deliver business seminars, with topics like Practical Project Management, It ain’t the Stress that does the Damage, and the Three Hour MBA.
Both of these activities are designed to give people a lot of high quality information in a quick and highly accessible fashion. My specialty is presenting complex ideas in a simple way, without being simplistic.
And what PR have you had so far?
Most of my PR has been low key – trade and professional magazines plus some placement in online business websites like smarta.com (“How to Conquer Procrastination”), SMEweb (“Overcome Overwhelm”) and bytestart (“How to successfully manage your time via the OATS method”).
Perhaps the most surprising approach was from Australian magazine, Bride to Be, which will be running an interview with me on how to have a stress-free wedding in their December issue.
Tell us about what you’ve done to get that coverage?
I have been diligent in following up appropriate leads in the media request emails and made a few approaches of my own. The trick with the follow ups has been to find an angle that links my activities closely to what the journalist wants to write about.
Have you found that your publishers have helped with the book PR or have you had to do a lot yourself?
Publishers are focused on three things primarily: in store promotions, Amazon, and their lead titles. Getting lead title status for my latest book, Brilliant Stress Management has meant that it was front of store in WH Smith travel shops at airports and train stations. This led to it making the WH Smith charts and gave it some real momentum.
The big publishers will undertake marketing but have a lot of titles to juggle and limited resources. As I am becoming better known, my tiles should move up their agenda. This means working hard myself initially and sustaining that, and hopefully, this will lead to more effort from them. Recent conversations about my 2012 titles have been very promising.
How much time have you been spending on promotional activities?
This varies, but is rarely less than half a day a week (10%), if I include blogging and twitter, and is often a day or sometimes more.
What PR activities have you found work for you?
I am still learning, but my blogs have been the main source of connecting with potential readers and bookers.
Since working with Paula, I have started a regular newsletter, Thoughtscape, that contains tips taken from the topic areas I write about. These have led to interesting conversations with subscribers and to genuine booking enquiries.
Frankly, the most cash I have generated has resulted from public seminars, leading to personal enquiries.
And which ones don’t?
I don’t know for sure what doesn’t work – if I did, I’d drop it straight away. I’ve not been convinced by Twitter, but then, I only tweet a few times a day.
What do you enjoy least about PR and promoting yourself?
Like many people, I don’t enjoy promoting myself and would rather get on with “the work”. That’s why I like blogging.
What’s been your highest point so far Publicity-wise?
A two-column article and picture in local business paper The Bottom Line
And your lowest?
The corny caption to the photo with the article in The Bottom Line!
What have you learnt so far?
It’s a numbers game: the more you do, the better your chances of getting a result.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a new book coming out in summer 2012, and I am planning on a professional campaign, involving a stand-alone website, collateral materials, and a structured PR campaign. Come back to me this time next year and I am hoping you’ll recognise my name as author of a bestseller!
How Has Working with Paula Helped You?
The two biggest things have been getting my website renewed when we started working together – and reviewing it again a year later, and setting up my newsletter at the start of 2011.
My subscriber list is still modest, but is on track to have doubled in the first year.
You can find out more about Mike here…