- Paperback: 146 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 23, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1518880975
- ISBN-13: 978-1518880971
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Viralnomics: How to Get People to Want to Talk About You Paperback – December 23, 2015
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"A refreshing look at social media, influence and the behavioral science behind it all. A must-read for anyone who wants to win at social."
- Jonah Berger (NYT Bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On)
"Because I've built online communities to over 100,000 active members before and consider myself somewhat of an expert in this field, I wasn't sure if I would get anything tactical out of it. I was pleasantly surprised."
- Brad Mills (App developer)
"A fun, educational, remarkably insightful and accessible read on a complex topic."
- Dr. Tom Ungar MD, M.Ed, CCFP, FRCPC, FCFP, DABPN. Chief of Psychiatry, North York General Hospital
The author is amazing at giving real life examples of things that you can try and apply.
- action0099 (Amazon Verified Purchase)
"Anything that's actionable, minimal, and free of fluff gets two thumbs up from me. This right here was all that and then some."
- Slyvon Blanco (Amazon Verified Purchase)
"While most of his work is done for success within the fitness industry, Viralnomics can be used by anyone who has a voice and wants to get their voice spread."
- Amazon Customer (Amazon Verified Purchase)
"It's the most important book on social media marketing that I've ever read."
- Pat Rigsby (business coach) (Amazon Verified Purchase)
"Doing business "Jon Style" is quite enjoyable and fulfilling - for all parties involved."
- Alon (Amazon Verified Purchase)
"Goodman's book offers both a whole new mindset or framework for online marketing as well as some very practical advice."
- Kevin Kruse (Inc 500 Entrepreneur)
From the Author
I'm Jon, and I love this stuff.
I'm not somebody who makes his money by teaching people how to make money online. I come from the fitness industry and much of my success as a personal trainer came from being able to persuade people into wanting to do what I wanted them to do.
The parallels to social media are relevant. It's all psychology. To grow my little blog that was started in my one bedroom apartment with no money at night I turned to social media.
It's impossible to verify, but I tried to read every research study covering word of mouth, social contagion, and message transduction. As I learned I tested application tactics on my own business and my site grew to the largest platform serving my industry in the world, just 4 short years later. With no budget and no connections the impact I'm able to have is wild, and I want to share that.
So I published this book, Viralnomics, and I want to share it with you. It's not my business but I felt like it would be selfish to keep my research and tactics to myself.
So here it is, my work all laid out for you ... with cartoons.
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Top Customer Reviews
I've been in the internet marketing/online business world since 2008 when Facebook and Twitter were still in their early stages, and I must say, I've never seen anything like this before. Most "social media experts" and "online business gurus" obsess about all the things that don't matter: things like split testing, metrics, conversion rates, etc. You know, all the things that don't mean anything in the long term.
Jon takes a whole different approach.
In Viralnomics, he shows you how you can get fans that will rave about you. Forever. (As long as you continue to produce great work, of course). Jon shows you how to REALLY use social media sites the right way; he shows you how you can stand out from the rest of the noise; and he'll show you how you can leave a legacy in a very distracted world.
If you are doing business online in any way, shape, or form, read this book. It's an easy read and the visuals make everything very easy to absorb. This is one of those books that you'll read over and over again, even years down the road. Why? Because as Jon says in the book, "Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest might not be around in five years, but humans will be".
The book tells you the TYPE of things to do and why, then guides you in when and how to do them, but doesn't always spell it out. I think in the long run, this is best, but I'd like something concrete to get me started.
In a future edition, I'd like some examples of of short and long term posting and engagement strategies. Even when I think I know what he's talking about, I second guess myself. Examples (more and longer term examples) would make me feel more warm and fuzzy about what I'm doing (or about to do).
Overall, I recommend the book and have already gifted a copy to a friend. I'm going to listen again, taking notes, and plan to order the ebook or paperback so I can get a more visual experience as I do my own planning.
It may make you hate Jonathan and question his ethical integrity, but that’s beside the point.
Viralnomics is insightful. It’s controversial. And it’s entertaining.
But I'm not sure how useful or practical it is to the vast majority of business owners who don't have all day to spend on FB gaming "likes".
And if generating “likes” were the end goal of our jobs as marketers and business owners, Jonathan would be one of the top social media marketers in the world.
But "likes" are not enough in today's world. It's a laughable vanity metric which throws his entire thesis into question.
Becayse “likes” mean nothing if they don’t lead to sales.
And Jonathan’s sales numbers (conveniently shared on his site), while large at first impression, leave much to be desired once you dig into the numbers and look at his conversion rates.
As you might have guessed, I am a long-time fan -- and critic -- of Jonathan Goodman.
Sometimes I’m blown away by his brilliance and ability to create systemic theories for social media marketing.
And sometimes his methods make me cringe and hate my profession.
Yes, it’s a love/hate sort of relationship. The best kind. And he always leaves me thinking. So while I don't like him, I do respect him.
And this detailed review will be reflect that conflicted sentiment.
First, let me say this….
It’s truly been a pleasure to watch Jon make the transformation from gym-based trainer to social media consultant, and now publish his long awaited book, Viralnomics. It's an inspiration to many of us who followed in his footsteps.
And if there’s one thing you can (usually) count on from Jonathan, it’s brutal honesty. And this book is no different.
Which, like I said, makes for entertaining reading.
Because some of the strategies he outlines in this book are ethically questionable at best, and even downright evil at their worst.
Case in point, this will teach you how Jonathan has had his team on FB all day to….
…. leverage a Facebook user “in a state of low emotional stability so that you can escalate the relationship”
…falsely befriend Facebook users merely to "infiltrate" their friends list
…and even how to rehash someone’s else quality content to make yourself SEEM like an authority.
But there’s one thing this book will NOT teach you, and that’s how to leverage a list and drive respectable conversion numbers. And at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
And it’s for Viralnomics myopic and endless obsession with “likes” instead of sales that I can only give the book 2 stars, even though I greatly enjoyed reading it.
Ok. 250,000 fans and a 50,000+ email list is most certainly commendable. Why am I being so harsh?
Because these are just vanity metrics at the end of the day.
By my calculations via sales numbers on the Viralnomics site, Jonathan’s conversion rate on his last info product launch was a whopping 0.75% of his email list. (And do you know what a 50,000+ email list costs each month to maintain?)
Yes, you read that right:
0.75% of his 50,000+ email list bought his last info product, which is a mature product now in it's 3rd or 4th year.
And well, that’s pretty pathetic by all accounts.
So while I applaud Jonathan’s ability to get “likes”, I still question ability to leverage his network (which is really Facebook's network) to sell amazing products or services that people ACTUALLY want or need.
I mean, let’s be frank.
Achieving less than a 1% conversion rate would get you fired at pretty much any respectable marketing agency. But he brags about is on his blog and has a downloadable kit so you can do the same! (I'll pass.)
And I know this is meant to be a review of the book and not the PTDC, but since the PTDC is the ONLY case study provided in the book (another huge mistake), it’s important we take a hard look at how he REALLY went about building that much beloved fitness network.
Because it’s not in the book. (More on that in a second.)
But first, let’s give credit where credit is due.
There are a few“nuggets of gold” in Viralnomics, which alone are worth the cost of this book. And I mean it. These include:
1) the concept of the “self-perpetuating meme”
2) the strategies laid out for “owning the feed”
3) and most importantly, the idea of creating your own “online network”, where you control both the flow of information and the products sold upon it (even though, like I said, it's Facebook's network, not his.)
And by my reading it was these three interconnected strategies which he credits for the PTDC’s success.
But I beg to differ.
Because I was watching Jonathan pretty much since the day he launched the PTDC. And he and I both know he's leftt one CRUCIAL detail out of this spinful recounting of his epic heroic journey.
Because those “likes” didn’t pay the bills or allow Jonathan to quit his personal training job to pursue life as a social media consultant.
And it’s important readers know what did. So I'm going to share what he conveniently left out.
At it’s founding, the PTDC was positioned as an association for the professional development of personal trainers.
Much as it is today, and as he claims in the book.
But it was anything BUT that.
Instead, it shamelessly marketed and sold a ton of terrible fitness information products, from questionable internet marketers, with Jonathan taking god know’s what affiliate commission along the way.
Shamelessly. Over and over again. And I know because I was on the list. And if I could post those emails here, I would.
Every week, sometimes twice a week, I’d get an email or two from Jonathan with yet another crap fitness info product promising “miracle transformations” in 10 days.
Oh, the irony.
These were often (not always) the very same crappy fitness info products the PTDC claimed were damaging the industry. The very ones he claimed his site was fighting against.
But that’s not where it ends.
Then the revenue generated from these affiliate sales were shamelessly thrown into FB ads targeting anyone with fitness interests. Over and over....ad nauseum.
I almost thought you outright owned the right column FB ad position after I left your group. Because you probably spent at least $10 just trying to get me to relike your page after I saw through your clever ploy.
And somehow, the man known for his brutal honesty chose to leave this small affiliate marketing detail out of the book. (Shocked but not surprised.)
Because had this fact been revealed, it would call into question the rest of the book.
And they MUST be questioned. Or this wouldn't be any fun.
Much to his credit, Jonathan later admitted the error of his ways. He apologized to his trusting email list for hawking crap fitness info product after crap fitness info product upon them. (No doubt after hundreds if not thousands of complaints because it really became ridiculous for a while there.)
And to his credit, he swore to never do it again. And I believe he hasn't, although I unliked the page long ago when I tired from his shennanigans.
So kudos, better late than never, Jonathan! But it’s funny how altruism comes easy when you’ve made six to seven figures selling “perceived quality” and not much else. To the very people your site claimed to help.
Seriously, shame on you!
Jonathan, honestly, do you think you would be where you are today had you NOT resorted to shamelessly lining your pockets from crappy info product affiliate sales for several years first?
I really hope you will reply. You've been honest about everything else, and I think your loyal readers deserve to know.
Because methinks maybe you’d still be monitoring client squats at the local gym in Toronto if you hadn't, eh? (Sorry, couldn't resist to poke at the Canadian.)
And do the ends (your bulging bank account and massive fan base that doesn't convert) really justify the means (ripping off the same personal trainers your business was claiming to help)?
Not by my count.
And probably not for the many other online entrepreneurs who work hard to build amazing products and have the conversion rates and customer testimonials to prove it. Even if there lists aren't huge.
But let’s not end on a down note.
Because this is not the end of Jonathan’s entrepreneurial journey.
And let’s face it, no one is perfect. Least of all me.
But, then again, I didn’t write a book claiming I was some kind of Facebook guru. And Jonathan did. And that takes gut, even though it's not replicable or scalable without the scamming that happened to get it all started.
And seriously, I can’t wait to see what trick he has up his sleeve next. (Hint, hint, Jonathan: hopefully it has something to do with actually driving respectable sales numbers off your massive network vs. just proving you know how to turn people need for belonging against them to get your page yet another unconverting "like".
Yup, there’s still plenty of time to prove he's a real marketer, if folks don’t abandon Facebook before he figures out how to do it.
But seriously, I’m excited to see this young marketer grow and develop.
“Like" him or not, he’s one smart guy and his journey is just getting started!