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on August 13, 2015
Michael A. Stelzner’s new book “Launch” outlines an exact procedure to follow to ride the wave of content marketing. Stelzner states that the premise behind content marketing is that if you solve people’s small problems, many of them will come to you to help them solve their big problems.

Savvy solopreneurs realized early on that such was the case---you have to produce tons of content to grab people’s interest, stand out from the crowd, and build a list of followers who, hopefully are your correct target market and will eventually purchase your service. And that’s where the problem comes in---how to find the time and energy to be constantly producing content. That’s where Stelzner comes to the rescue!

His elevation principle kills two birds with one stone by building relationships with your list, and also building relationships with your colleagues for future long-term benefits and business growth.

This principle is a dramatic shift from the standard business model of “What can you sell?” to a new paradigm of how can you help potential clients by boosting others? Rather than trying to get your message out to as many places as possible, you create your own hub of information sharing, experiences, and a tribe of fans. The result is that you own a space where your peeps can go to find help, instead of using the standard ways of marketing to reach them.

The book purports two kinds of content or “fuel” to launch your rocket/business. Those two types of content are the meat of his strategy and it should be a part of any business marketing plan.

I have begun using his strategy and it has made my sales increase, and my sales conversations easier, because I have already laid the groundwork by nurturing relationships with great content that I didn’t necessarily have to create myself. Stelzner has made the entrepreneur’s job much easier, and I highly recommend that this book be a part of your library.
1 helpful vote
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on August 29, 2012
"LAUNCH" is a tremendous, must-read book for everyone, irrespective of their business sphere, size, history and track record. Incredibly lucky are those who will or have read this invaluable, in-depth and step-by-step guide to success before starting up their company.
However, this is not a mere launch strategy (as one might think reading the title): the book lays out an entire philosophy before the reader, which is never too late to adopt and apply, even by established businesses! (And maybe particularly by them, since traditional marketing principles - sales pitches they usually adhere to have to go... They only halt the elevation of their business... Yes, don't get surprised! Just read the book to find out the secrets Michael generously shares with his readers! The Secrets that have helped him build a multimillion dollar business from scratch and gain the love and respect of hundreds of thousands of people who hang on his every word.
This is truly the best book I have ever read and I cannot imagine what I would do if I didn't come across it! It has inspired me, given me tons of ideas and confidence. Thanks to it I have found Michael's "Blogging Fundamentals" course, having taken which I feel fully equipped and armed with knowledge and strategy.
So my advice to anyone who will read my recommendation: read the book, take the course and subscribe to Social Media Examiner (a top social media online magazine founded my Michael). Do yourself and your business a favor! You deserve it! :)
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on July 5, 2011
Michael Stelzner is the blogging genius to watch. His business, Social Media Examiner, is less than two years old but it already serves more than 87,000 subscribers with its daily newsletter. Michael has built a business that allows him to see all of the best ideas in social media every day - what works and what doesn't - and put all of that data to work for him in his own ventures. Social Media Examiner is quite literally both a follower magnet and an incubator for all things social.

So how did he create this super insightful business? He tells you how, in great detail, in his book "Launch".

One of Michael's secrets to success is generosity. In the world of social media, it is not necessary to be the sacred holder of all the secrets. In fact, he demonstrates through his own success with "Launch" that giving away all the secrets is the best way to create a trusting, committed following and ultimately sell a lot of books along the way.

Importantly, though, he chooses to give a great deal of free information long before he ever asks for a sale. Just download a free copy of the first chapter of "Launch" to experience this tactic first hand.

Tammy Cancela
The Marketing Connection
3 helpful votes
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on August 17, 2011
I write a three blogs - photography | blogging | dogs. At first, I was writing for fun, but after receiving some success, I decided to take it seriously and turn my blog into a full time business. A Marketing/LOA coach I was working with recommended Launch to me. I bought it immediately and devoured it in no time, highlighter in hand. This is a must read if you're trying to build an online presence.

Michael Stelzner shares how he built Social Media Examiner into the powerhouse that it is today and his tips are easy to put into practice and I've already seen improvements in my blog based on what I learned in this book. Launch is an easy read, very engaging, and full of fantastic information. I've added it to my short stack of reference books that includes ProBlogger's book about monetizing your blog.

When I was reading this book I was putting new things into practice with my blogs and seeing immediate results. It's a fantastic game changer if you're serious about blogging. It doesn't matter if you're goal is to monetize your blog or just to build your audience; you'll find an amazing amount of valuable information in this book.

When I started reading Launch, I was writing one blog; today, I write three blogs that are growing steadily in thanks to many tools that I picked up in Michael Stelzner's book.

I've read the book twice and (stalker) downloaded it to my Kindle Fire to review it at my leisure.

2 helpful votes
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on November 6, 2011
"People don't want to be pitched to, marketed to or herded like cattle," says Michael Stelzner in Launch, a bible of sorts on 21st century marketing strategies. Michael essentially claims people don't dig advertising. You would think as a 25 year veteran of advertising copywriting, I'd be a tad offended. But he got me to keep reading. And then he inspired me to write this review (and a blog post titled "Marketing Would Be So Simple if People Weren't So Complex).

So, what do people want? Stelzner says they want information, answers, access and recognition. He adds, they want it all for FREE. Strange. Why on earth would you tell me to give stuff away?

It turns out Mike has some very good answers. He quickly gets into that old trust issue. As it turns out, the vast majority of folks don't trust marketing messages. Studies prove it. Michael introduces the idea upon which his book is based, "the elevation principle," the process of meeting the core desires of prospects and customers by helping them solve their basic problems at no cost.

Stelzner says your goal should be to help them solve their smaller problems and they're more likely to call on you when their issues get bigger. It's a big idea. It's huge. And it's the focus of the rest of the book (which I highly recommend you buy, read, highlight, reread, and keep right next to your computer).

Michael weaves a manly man metaphor throughout Launch based on rockets and propulsion and so forth. So it follows that fuel is all-important. And he introduces two kinds: primary fuel and the even-more-powerful, nuclear fuel. Both come from various forms of content you offer free to win your prospects' trust. He offers many great examples of both kinds of fuel, how to produce the stuff, and why your fuel wins the favor and trust of the netizens who consume them. I should also mention, Stelzner doesn't come at it all from some far-removed place. He was an advertising scribe, then a white paper specialist, and then the creator of Social Media Examiner, one of the blogosphere's most trusted sources.
1 helpful vote
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on June 15, 2011
I am not a huge reader. I have to really be into a book to make it through to the end, and I read this book in just under 3 days. Once I started reading I realized how good it was and how much the information was relevant to what I do. I am an Internet Marketer and thought I knew a lot, but this book really helped me learn even more. It is very easy to read as well. I am promoting this book to everyone I talk to!

David Foster | ceo of hubze, Inc
3 helpful votes
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on April 27, 2012
Michael Stelzner has written a gem here. I have read this book twice already. Every time I read it something new pops up in my head; a new idea, a new tweak to my marketing campaign, a new tactic in the trust building process Mike has emphasized in this book.

The book starts with the foundation of the startup: the founder, his principles, vision etc. How setting up the foundation strong and right is so important for the growth of the business is clearly shown with the perspective of creating a strong mission plan. Mike goes on to advice the founder to change themselves and adapt the elevation principle. Measurable goals and the importance of them in another area he touches on.

Inspiration is another key aspect. Role models have to be searched and found. Look at the competition and most probably you can include them into your role model list. Once you have the role models, search for content and information from them and most likely you will find inspiration for your business from there. What a great concept. The importance of social media in helping the startup owner in this step is also explained in the book.

Leveraging power especially of other people's including your fans, customers and followers is a single chapter as such. Mike explains how you can use the referral power of others in propelling your business to success. Creating an ideal profile that the desired audience needs is very important and once you have established that, propagating this image is a simple process. Other people can easily propel your business to stardom. Bringing in field experts into this foray is very important. Keeping everyone engaged within this ecosystem is very important for your business to grow and Mike explains how you can do this.

Exciting content that is helpful for others should be the focus of your marketing band wagon and Mike shows how you can collect exciting content from the web itself without investing anything at all. He also explains how this content should be packaged to resonate with your brand and presented to your potential customers. Relevancy of Editorial Guide and Calendar are also briefly touched on in this book.

Components of your Primary Marketing Fuel include: How-To-Articles, Expert Interviews, Reviews, Case Studies, News Stories and Contrarian Stories are explained in the chapter about Primary Fuel. Component of your Nuclear Marketing Fuel include: Reports based on Surveys, White-papers, Contests and Micro Events. These are also explained well.

And the last chapter is about how to go about employing the marketing campaign with all the above fuels. Promotions, Webinars, Announcements, Blogs, Newsletter, Social Media and even Internet TV are briefly looked into as tools for deploying your marketing campaign.

In a nutshell: A great book for that startup owner who would like to launch the business effectively.
1 helpful vote
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on June 17, 2011
> Through reading the first chapter of the book "How to Quickly
> Propel your Business Beyond the Competition," I thought it might be
> interesting to send a review of what I thought about it. I am
> currently thinking about starting my own business very soon, and as
> a newbie in the business world and an international student
> in KY, advices are synonym of gold to me. And your
> book was one of my mines, at least, the first chapter that I have
> read so far.
> The way you started introducing the chapter using a quote from
> Wernher Von Braun is a great attention catcher "Everything in space
> obeys the laws of physics. If you know these laws, and obey them,
> space will treat you kindly." Furthermore, the chapter's title
> "Rockets don't fly themselves" is the perfect title you could have
> chosen for that specific chapter because it makes the reader think
> and infer "hmm , that is true." When reading that chapter, I could
> relate the content to my personal experiences, I was thinking to
> myself, "I actually never am attracted to businesses who are using
> too many marketing messages" as you mentioned, they look fake, they
> look as if their only goal is to sell their product or service
> -which would be of a bad quality- for a short period of time, gain
> some profit and disappear, and talking about disappearing, most of
> them do as you inferred.
> I was also relating it to a personal experience that I have had
> where a company helped 20 girls, one of them was
> me. And the effect that this had on me was enormous. I just felt
> like I could help them promote their products without asking for
> anything in return. Just for the sake of helping. It becomes a part
> of you, you start developing a sort of a friendship with the company.
> Last but not least, I was comparing your whole point to the voting
> system and elections. It seems that candidates who throw too much
> advertising and promise too much to a point where they start
> becoming irrational always end up getting the smallest part of
> votes. People want to work with those who have a great promise, for
> those who look real, and for those who care.
> I think that what you presented on the first chapter of your book
> doesn't just concern businesses only, but it touches many aspects of
> life, even individuals and how they present themselves. Your book
> got me thinking about my life, my dream business in only one
> chapter, thank you so much for writing it, and I am looking forward
> to finishing all of it.
> Now my question is: Do you relate/use any of your advices in your
> personal life? Do you try not to show too much of your personality
> to others when you first meet them? And if so, do you get more
> respect and value when you do so?
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on June 18, 2011
As a student enrolled in an internship program with the goal of interacting with and helping to boost the economies in the Kentucky River Area Development District, our professor has recommended we read Michael Stelzner's book, Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition. The first chapter of Launch challenged the perception I had previously held of marketing techniques and helped me understand that marketing can be directed into a more positive process. This chapter provided numerous helpful tips for an individual who has been given the task of helping businesses in rural areas increase their productivity. I believe that the techniques to give people what they want in order to generate a base will be especially effective in the close-knitted communities where these strategies will be implemented. The portion regarding the need for nuclear fuel to be used in order to boost your business above that of competition was, in particular, a valuable tidbit of information. Overall, I found this chapter intriguing, inspiring, and highly readable.
3 helpful votes
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on February 15, 2012
I read business and marketing books regularly as part of my coaching job and for my own education and use. And while there are tons of good books out there, and many more "not-so-good" books, the really substantial and beneficial ones are too rare. This is one of those. While it is geared, I believe, more towards the business owner or marketer who is only casually familiar with and adpet at social media it is a substantial book nonetheless.

The version I read was on my Kindle and I have now discovered that a downside to Kindle readers is the lack of clarity for illustrations. That's not Mr. Stelzner's fault - that's mine for buying the least expensive version of the Kindle! However, that aside, I was quite engaged in this book - read it in two sittings. The real-world examples and case studies not only offered practical ideas and visuals to refer to, but it added to the overall sense that Mr. Stelzner and Social Media Examiner are the real thing.

I've noticed that many reviewers tend to give a chapter-by-chapter analysis which I am not going to subject you to here. Suffice it to say if you want to see your business move ahead of the competition in a strategic and quantifiable fashion this book will give you the steps and the know-how to make that happen.
1 helpful vote
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