Read This: Book Yourself Solid

What book have I given away/recommended more than any other book? I’m not 100% sure, but Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port has to be in the running. BYS is a systematic and practical guide designed to help small business owners develop and implement robust marketing and sales strategies to grow their businesses. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Target Audience: This book is particularly beneficial for small business owners who love what they do but struggle with the marketing and sales aspects of their business. It’s ideal for those who offer professional services and are looking to build a client base that is not only large but also aligned with their business values and goals. This includes coaches, consultants, therapists, and other service-oriented professionals who seek to establish a strong personal brand and a steady flow of clients.
  2. Key Points and Action Steps:
    • Building a Strong Foundation: The book emphasizes the importance of understanding your ideal client and how to communicate your unique value proposition. Action Step: Identify your target market and develop a clear message that resonates with them. Do this before moving on to other parts of the system and before investing in a lot of marketing.
    • Networking and Referrals: Do you hate networking? You’ll learn practical strategies for effective (and relatively pain-free) networking in BYS. You’ll also learn how to create referral partnerships so others will send you business. Action Step: Establish especially close relationships with a few other professionals who can and will refer clients to you and vice versa.
    • Sales Cycle Management: The book provides insights into managing the sales cycle effectively, from initial contact to closing the deal. Instead of thinking of customers as people who must come in at the top of your marketing funnel and work their way down, they can step into your cycle wherever it makes sense for them. Action Step: Develop a systematic approach for tracking and nurturing leads through the sales process, allowing potential customers to decide where they want to enter.
    • Online Presence: Emphasizing the importance of an online presence, the book guides you in effectively creating a compelling website and using social media. Although this is one of the first things new business owners do, it should be well down the road. You need to establish a firm foundation before you try to attract people into your world. Action Step: Optimize your website for your target audience and engage with them through social media platforms once you’ve established the other pillars of your marketing and sales system.
    • Offering Multiple Price Points: BYS suggests offering services at various price points to cater to different client needs. Some clients need a little taste of what you can do before they go all in. This is especially true if your signature offering is a significant investment. Action Step: Develop a tiered service model that allows clients to choose a level of service that fits their budget while allowing them to experience the good work you do.
  3. Unique Insights:
    • The Red Velvet Rope Policy: BYS introduces the concept of the “Red Velvet Rope Policy,” which encourages choosing clients that energize and inspire you, rather than working with anyone who can pay. This approach is unique as it focuses on quality client relationships over quantity, leading to more fulfilling and sustainable business practices.
    • Personal Brand Development: Unlike generic marketing advice, the book delves deep into personal brand development, emphasizing authenticity and personal connection in business relationships. If you want to go even deeper into building a personal brand, check out my blog post about Jessica Zweig’s Be.
    • Systematic and Holistic Approach: Book Yourself Solid provides a comprehensive, step-by-step, do-this-in-this-order system that covers all aspects of client acquisition and retention, which is often missing in other books/methodologies that only focus on specific aspects of business growth.

Can I be honest with you? As I reread the information above, it all sounds bland. Who doesn’t think they should network or establish an online presence? Here’s the thing, though. BYS is a comprehensive system that shows you what to do and how to do it. And there’s no way I can do it justice in this summary. I probably wouldn’t have given so many copies of the book away if there were. It’s sort of like describing the Taj Mahal as a big, whitish building. True, but WHAT A BUILDING!

Book Yourself Solid is a valuable resource for solopreneurs and small business owners serious about growing their business through strategic marketing and sales approaches, building meaningful client relationships, and developing a strong personal brand. The practical, actionable advice it provides can yield immediate and tangible results for those who apply it. I highly recommend it!

About the Author

Ron Tester is a Certified Executive Coach and Book Yourself® Solid Coach who helps service professionals and solopreneurs grow their businesses without sacrificing their personal lives. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, Ron provides practical guidance on marketing, sales, operations, and work-life balance. Learn more at