The strategy for selling Restoring Character in America involves no advertising but does require: a word of mouth campaign, choosing a Blue Ocean approach, teaming with character experts, making one thousand true fans, collaborating with character organizations and foundations, speaking engagements and better understanding the use of Facebook.
The first strategic problem was to solve how I might alert readers to my character message, without having a budget to advertise Restoring Character in America (RCIA.) In solving this problem an illustration of how difficult it is to qualify the response to advertising came to my mind. The quote attributed to John Wanamaker is, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Leaving the horns of an advertising dilemma, I opted for my version of a concept known as the “Blue Ocean Strategy”; that is, instead of battling with numerous character competitors in a contested “red ocean,” I sought fresh uncontested “blue waters.” Certainly writing about the character of ten politicians was uncontested given present times and writing about the rehabilitation and courage of wounded warriors was more character focused and timely.
My blue ocean play in writing RCIA was unique in that my strategy was combing essays of what works in character building from the perspective of four exemplars working in different parts of our culture: academe, military, community and corporate. However, the balance needed for the author was to be hopeful as to the restoration of character without whining about it’s decline; nor could I give in to sacred cows, like the “self esteem movement.”
In achieving my call asking ordinary citizens to restore character in our country, I was reminded of Kevin Kelly’s notion of 1,000 true fans. The gist of 1,000 True Fans can be stated simply: A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.
Fortunately I am not leading the character building project or writing books to make a living. Rather I am trying to build character in our country as part of my vocation. While this may not be a financially rewarding vocation I am committed to it being an effective one.
Having sold over 5,000 copies of my first two character books, I figured some of the 5,000 sold might become true fans by purchasing the third book. To do so a foundation of at least 50 authentic reviews needs to be posted on Amazon, ideally by Thanksgiving. Next our word of mouth campaign must be driven with the help of corporate pals purchasing large quantities of books to be distributed for free to teachers and coaches. Also the four exemplars in my book have offered to help our out reach to 25 major character organizations and foundations. It is our hope a relationship can be forged with these entities to collaborate on our common goal.
Meanwhile, I continue to post character articles on my site, learn how best form lasting friendships on Facebook, speak at gatherings that will amplify our message and listen to the advice and counsel of true fans.