WHAT’S THE GOAL? A VIRTUAL SIT-DOWN WITH ROBERT GLAZER, FOUNDER OF ACCELERATION PARTNERS
October 20, 2021
Robert Glazer is author of Friday Forward, an inspirational newsletter that reaches over 200,000 readers worldwide each week, and the #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of several books, including Elevate, Friday Forward and How To Thrive In The Virtual Workplace. He is also a global keynote speaker who has spoken on the TEDx Stage, and the host of the popular Elevate Podcast.
I connected with Robert through mutual connections within the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. For this episode, I had the opportunity to pick his brain as a young author. We get to listen to his insights on booking speaking engagements, starting online courses, hiring PR for book launches, and more, but especially in building a presence.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Hello and welcome to the High Functioning Hotspot. I'm Dr. Chloe Carmichael, Clinical Psychologist in New York city and I see clients all over the world as well. And this is my podcast about high-functioning people. Today, I got to interview somebody super exciting. I got to interview Robert Glazer, who's the author of tons of incredible books.
He's a member of YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) now. We met through Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO), but now that his revenue has grown so big, I think like 30 million or something he said during the interview, he's out of EO now and he's on to YPO and he's doing so many great things. In this particular episode, really the purpose of the call was actually just because he was going to experience-share with me around how to have a successful book launch. I kind of sprung it on him at the beginning of the call. I was like, “Hey, do you mind if I record this? Because there might be other people that want to hear about this”.
So if you're interested in Robert Glazer, or how to have a successful book launch, then this would be a good podcast for you to listen to. So thanks and I hope that you enjoy!
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Well, Robert, it is so nice of you to join me and share with me your experiences about books. So just to recap a little bit of how we got here, I'm in the Entrepreneurs Organization, and through that wonderful organization and the networking there, I was able to get an introduction to chat with you. Are you in EO as well yourself?
Robert Glazer: I'm not this year, but I've been in EO for about eight years and I was president of the Boston Chapter and has done a lot of the regional leadership stuff and ran a regional conference as well too.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Wow. How did you know when the time came to leave EO?
Robert Glazer: I was in a forum that was more regional and my business has gotten a lot bigger and a lot of folks left EO. Then honestly, when the pandemic hit, I had joined YPO. I sort of pulled back on things that are going to be virtual this year cause I reached sort of my capacity in that area. So I decided this would be a good year to take off and I did that with several commitments. Kind of revisit when things are back in person.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So is YPO doing stuff in person?
Robert Glazer: No, but I joined YPO and what I love to get a YPO is now more relevant for my business. We're about 200 people now, globally. So from just a size standpoint, I had actually not been in a Boston forum for a while, I was in a regional forum. And then most people in that forum, we stayed together as a forum, but those people are sort of grown out of EO. So I just didn't have a lot of connection to the Boston Chapter. And without real events this year, I wasn't gonna join the new forum. It seemed like a good year to take a sabbatical.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah. So do you mind sharing with 200 employees, what your revenue is looking like?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, our revenues are, should be close to 30 million this year.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: That's got to just feel amazing.
Robert Glazer: It feels like a lot of work. When I joined EO, our revenue was a million. So I hugely credit EO to a lot of the principles and getting on that learning path and the EMP program, which just has an incredible track record. If someone did a case study on the growth rate of businesses that have been through EMP, I think it would be off the charts.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: What does EMP stand for?
Robert Glazer: Entrepreneurial Masters Program. It's a three-year program you could apply to get into with about a hundred people from around the world. It's targeted towards the kind of fastest growing businesses in EO. People who really want to double or triple their business.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah. So if I can share a little bit about my business schools with the book cause I also wanted to ask for your experiences and thoughts about that situation.
So with my business, my revenue has been made through one-to-one visits, either done by me or done by therapists that work for me.
Robert Glazer: I assume that changed a lot in the last nine months.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Honestly, that hasn't been a problem.
Robert Glazer: One-to-one, but it's probably, it's all virtual, right?
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Well, everything is virtual, which honestly, is totally fine for me. We did a lot of virtual work anyway, because a lot of our clients are all over the world. But for me, it's really more about a desire to be able to pivot from being in a one-to-one space, which I do enjoy. But like there's only so much of me. And then I was finding that people who were coming to my office, they were kind of okay, happy working with my therapist and they do great work together.
But, there's something about what I'm doing that I want to be able to bring it to people, myself. So I'm hoping to get more into like, I've got some online courses and things like that. And of course they mentioned all that stuff in the book, but I don't know, like I'm curious. When you first launched your book, your very first book before you were like Mr. Big-Deal Author and everything.
Robert Glazer: [00:05:38] My books had totally different purposes. So the first book was really tied to my business, Performance Partnerships. That's probably the most related. In most cases you probably don't make any money selling a book, probably lose money by the time you get done with PR.
So I think, it's either, it's a platform to build a business and provide credibility and that's really what Performance Partnerships did or it's sort of at the top of your pyramid, it's the key piece at the top of the pyramid which is then speaking in courses and things that all tend to make more money than books, if you're trying to again, get to one to many.
So I think a lot of people get very confused about their goal for book, right? Unless they're Malcolm Gladwell or Dan Pink or Adam Grant. They're not professional writers are going to make a living off a book. And Tucker Max from Scribe really kind of taught me all of this and just being really clear about what it is that you want. Right?
My Performance Partnership book, it almost doesn't matter if people buy it, right. It teaches people. They learn about our industry. There's probably millions of dollars in revenue I can attribute to that book, but it's probably sold 10,000 copies. It's really an amazing business card for the platform of our business.
The other books, I am wanting to make more of a personal impact. So I do want to reach them in volume, but one speaking opportunity for an hour can be the same royalty you make selling 7,500 books.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: So yeah, I have so many questions for you like about speaking as well, some people have told me, “Oh, Chloe don't really expect that the Macmillan Speaker's Bureau is really going to like actually get you much, like on the inbound side, you're going to have to go like, get your own”.
Robert Glazer: They won't, unless they gave you a $500,000 advance. There's one to two books each year that publishers really focus on. The rest of the book, you have to do all the marketing yourself. You have to hire PR, you got to hire a person, you got to build a team. So to spend all that money, if you got, you know, no advance or a $10,000 advance, you got to really feel like there's something besides the book that's going to give you the ROI on the backend.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: And so to that point, I'm sure you're at a point in your career where the inbounds for speaking in those very large figures, speaking arrangements, they come in more naturally for you. But when you were first launching that first book, how did you start ginning up all that speaking? And how did you know when it was time to raise your fees? Did you ever just start using an agent or did you handle it yourself?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I handled myself. The speaker's bureaus only tend to work with high-end, 20 to 30K. You can hire a PR firm. There's some other stuff that you can do, but I think the way speaking goes, as you start on the C circuit, you move to the B circuit and then you try to move to the A circuit. And the way pricing goes is when there's more demand than supply that you want to do, you start raising your prices to construct the amount of events you want to do, right?
If there's 100 people that want to pay you a thousand dollars to speak, and you're like, “wow, that sounds utterly exhausting”. Why don't I make it 2,000 and that will knock out half the amount of people.
So there's also, you can tie speaking to distributing your book or they buy your book, but it's a little different for each place, right? I speak for free at any of our industry events and give out the book because they don't pay people in our industry events, but if someone wants me to and you have, there are events that lead to events, right? So if there are a hundred CEOs that you're speaking to, or a hundred marketing leaders from a company, they could all go back and want to bring you to their company. If you're speaking to an executive team at a company or whatever, you're not going to get any referrals out of that. You just have to be careful about always trying to get to the next event.
Those are ones you actually need to be paid for because you're, there's no secondary value. The value should be what you're delivering to that group. There's some events that if it's 10,000 people and you say, “look, they're asking me to do this in front of 10,000 people. And I'm not getting paid or whatever, but I bet I can get 10 other paid speaking things”.
Like you kind of learn to feel these things out where it's high numbers or it's high influence, but again, it comes to what you want. Some people want money, some people want to build their platform. Even if you told me I could get paid $25,000 a pop to speak, I don't want to be doing that every week in a plane, all around the world. Like some people do that. They're, in fact, they're dying to get back to that.
That's not the outcome that I want, right? I'm trying to make an impact. And I think there's different ways to do that. I just launched my first course this week, you know? Trying to experiment with how you do more one-to-one to many, right? Because when people then ask me for help on something one-to-one it doesn't work very well.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: What platform did you launch your course in?
Robert Glazer: I did it in Thinkific.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:11:06] I was getting into courses too. I was kind of a toss up between Thinkific and Kajabi. How did you choose Thinkific?
Robert Glazer: So just a bunch of people told me they liked it and were in the space, so.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:11:21] Yeah. So when you were launching that very first book again, now there's these people they're called launch managers? How did you, and I understand what you're saying that the goal wasn't even necessarily to sell a ton of books, but I mean, at the same time you wanted the book to do while I'm sure. So can you just share how you bootstrap it?
Robert Glazer: Uh, yeah, I mean it costs time and money. So that's what I said you got to have a clear plan. I always had an assistant or someone that worked on it. Again, the first book was really tied to our business so we had a whole plan on pushing in awareness and mailing. People spend a lot of money. They're gonna lose money on those launches. So they either have to believe they have a product or service on the backend. Or they have a task to sell a hundred thousand dollars book.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah. By the way, what is the website where people could check out your course and you want to tell us a little bit about it?
Robert Glazer: Sure. It's at RobertGlazer.com and then you just click on the courses tab. It's a course on discovering your personal core values. So I talk a lot in Elevate and Friday Forward about spiritual capacity. Figuring out what it is that you want most in life. And for most people that's being able to clearly articulate core values so that they can make better decisions.
And I always listed a bunch of resources and things in there, but people would ask me really, like, I want to do this core value thing. And I was like, I had built a process for our leadership training. We've done it with our leaders. I've tested over the years. I was like, I don't have a good way to do it with you or for you. It's not just like, here's a link.
So I built that process out that we used in our leadership training to a course after we had tested it for a while. And I think it really helps people get to an actionable list of core values that they can put on their desk and make decisions under. And so we launched the course out yesterday.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: And is it like a self-paced course?
Robert Glazer: The actual course is about an hour. The work of discovering your core values is not an hour. It's probably a couple of weeks or months of reflection or testing it, but it gets you started on the process and it gets you saying, "All right, here's a list and let me go a couple of weeks" and see what comes up and then refine that and it gives you sort of an eight weeks of kind of tips and helpful to do that. Again, based on me doing this personally with people and then following up with them and then seeing what works to help them really break through.
Most people's core values are pretty deep. They run back to childhood or something like that, formative experiences, because that's what's really important to them. And when they put that connection together, it's pretty powerful.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: How much does it cost?
Robert Glazer: It's $79 and there's, I think, an offer right now for 30 or 40% off if you use the code ELEVATE.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: How did you choose how much to price it at? Cause that's one of the things I'm struggling with, or I shouldn't say struggling, but grappling with.
Robert Glazer: [00:14:28] Yeah, I guess it's just sort of the goal. I really wanted like a million people to take this. And I think obviously if you're talking about a thousand or $2,000 course, and like I wanted them to get started and I wanted it to be accessible. So you can think about a mass market product or something that's really deep. And then, you could sell something to a thousand dollars to a thousand people or 10,000 people for a hundred dollars, there are different markets. And when I thought about the goal, the goal was to make the biggest impact and have the most people take it, you know, versus make the most amount of money.
So I priced it where I thought it would just be a no-brainer for anyone to do it. And if teams and companies wanted to do it, they could do that as well.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah. I've thought about a lot of those same factors and you know, at the same time, of course, if we make it too cheap, then I feel like people don't value it. So I have to say $79 is a good sweet spot number. I kind of liked that one. Maybe I'll try it out myself.
Robert Glazer: I think a dollar course needs to be a lot longer and more robust. You might then, it's like a book, you might overdo it just to try to justify the price versus again, if I say what's my goal is for a million people took this and, and, figured this out for themselves. That would be like an amazing outcome. And so that was sort of my goal around the pricing.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: And how big is your mailing list?
Robert Glazer: I have about 200,000 people that follow my weekly Friday Forward. I have a pretty good kind of built-in list. I had also been telling people, the course was going to come out for a while and pre-signed up. And I had about a thousand people who had expressed interest in that.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Do you mind if I ask you a couple more questions about that? Cause I feel like the mailing list is such an important piece for so many people, myself included.
How often do you email your mailing lists? Because I'm always like, I don't want to harass them, but I also don't want to fail to be in touch enough. So how often do you mail?
Robert Glazer: You could segment. I send my Friday Forward every Friday. That's something that people have signed up for. Otherwise I tend to send a general thing maybe every four to eight weeks, but usually it has some value or summarizes some key things. I mean, I think you got to look at your unsubscribe rates and get a sense of is it too much? Is it not enough? And there's a little trial and error there.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Yeah, well, that was actually one of my next questions. I'm getting ready to drop some people from my list because I've always had the philosophy like more is more if they're not opening the emails anyway, like really who cares? Like what does it matter to me? But now I'm moving on to HubSpot where I get charged by the contact.
And so I don't want to have people that are not engaged anymore because they don't want to pay to have them on my list. So we're getting ready to send this thing to people that have an open-end email with the subject line like, “Are we pestering you?” And then inside, we're going to be like, “Do you want mail from us?”
Do you do that with your list and how long does somebody have to be inactive before they get that type of email from you?
Robert Glazer: I don't do that. I don't know. Sometimes it's just different people are opening or not opening it. I understand that it could bring above certain thresholds sometime, but I've actually seen with book emails that some people buy it on the first time, some people buy the third time. Maybe they didn't open it that week because it was a Tuesday and they didn't see it. So, the reason to do that actually takes more than cost, is deliverability. Sometimes, the higher the deliverability rate, if you have a lot of bad emails, then the better.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: [00:18:10] Yeah, definitely. So I get what you mean that like, I certainly wouldn't think of just including someone just cause like they missed an email on Tuesday once, but when do you start or do you ever like kind of prune people out of your list because they haven't opened an email in X number of weeks or months?
Robert Glazer: I don’t, I haven’t.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Ah, interesting. And is that because you just feel like you never know when somebody might come along?
Robert Glazer: [00:18:38] To me, the only reason, like the extra $50 or whatever is not a big deal. The downside would be if the deliverability of the email went down because you had a low open rate, like I know it's one of the things that the ISP sort of look at. So that's the only reason I would do it. If it felt like there were a bunch of bad emails on it.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: I know I'm starting to run to the end of your time. I'm not going to keep you all day. But I did want to ask, is there anything that I have not asked? Kind of like letters to a young author from Robert Glazer.
Robert Glazer: There are two things, I would say, the Stephen Covey quote, “start with the end in mind”. Like, what's the goal because there's a lot of things, a lot of distractions. Sometimes you do all this stuff and you forget why you're doing it again. You can run a money-losing book launch that then has no backend to it, right?
And then the other thing is to focus on the 80/20 rule. People will give you a lot of ideas. Like it's usually one or two tactics done well that worked. Just like doing 10 social media channels, half doesn't work. I think doing a couple of things for your book launch pretty well that work, are going to be most important. Trying to boil the ocean just doesn't work.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: So well said, Robert Glazer.
I can't thank you enough for joining me today. And for giving me permission to record and share this cause I know lots of other people would like to hear these words as well.
Robert Glazer: Thanks, Chloe.
Dr. Chloe Carmichael: Thanks. Take care. Bye bye.
Wow, that was a great conversation with Robert Glazer and he's got so many interesting tips to share and I think he's so right that starting with the end in mind is really important.
So I'm definitely going to think a lot about the goals that I might have for my book. I actually stopped offering individual psychotherapy somewhat recently. I'm taking a sabbatical from that. So I'm really thinking a lot about expanding more into courses and ways that I can reach more people.
So if that's something that you are interested in. Taking courses and things like that, for me, I'm actually going to be looking for people that might even be open to taking the course for free in exchange for sharing your feedback or sharing with your network and things like that.
Or send me a message on social media. I'm on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, like everywhere. So just Google my name and you can find me there.
And of course we'll also put Robert Glazer's information in the show notes as well, in case you want to connect with him and take his course too. It sounded great. Okay. Well, have a great day, everyone.
- The High Functioning Podcast Homepage - www.TheHighFunctioningHotspot.com
- Dr. Chloe’s Homepage - http://drchloe.com/
- Robert Glazer’s website - https://www.robertglazer.com/
- Robert Glazer's books - https://www.robertglazer.com/book/
- Robert Glazer’s Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RobertSGlazer
- Robert Glazer’s Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/robertglazer_/
- Robert Glazer’s Twitter - https://twitter.com/robert_glazer
- Robert Glazer’s LinkedIn - https://twitter.com/robert_glazer