Alinka Rutkowska is the CEO of Leaders Press, a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling press, which creates books for entrepreneurs from scratch and launches them to bestseller status with a 100% success rate. She works with top business leaders such as Po Chung, the co-founder of DHL International. Leaders Press releases have landed on bookshelves together with Nobel Prize winners and World Economic Forum speakers alike. Alinka is an official member of the Forbes Business Council, and her cutting-edge book creation process has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine.
In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss a few things to do before and after working with a client to win and maintain their business. We’ll also discuss Alinka’s passion, career, and a couple of other things she’s learned in her journey.
Before Working with a Client
Here are two things to do before we start working with a client.
Alinka’s best monetization strategy is to educate their potential customers before they have a sales call. Leaders Press has their pricing clearly listed on their website. They have a book called Outsource Your Book that explains exactly what they do, which they ask their clients to read. They also asked them to watch a webinar, read their articles, and Google them. Their clients have often interacted with people from their team before the sales call.
“By the time somebody gets on a call and we actually talk about potentially working on their book . . . they’re pretty knowledgeable about what we’re doing,” she said.
The phone call is no longer about telling them everything we do; they’ve already seen it, and they’re impressed. We can take the phone call to focus on the client’s idea, instead of selling ourselves because the client is essentially already sold by that point.
Do the Right Research
Near the beginning of her career, after her first book came out, Alinka made a bad investment. A company reached out to her saying they’d identified her as a great person to do an infomercial about herself and her book.
Alinka thought it was amazing that they’d chosen her. She had a phone call with them, and they told her they wanted to shoot it and promote it to a million viewers. They also told her there was just a small production fee of $20,000.
At the time this was a big investment for her, so she took out a loan to pay the fee. She recorded the infomercial, and they never did anything with it. Alinka went to a lawyer who charged her a lot with no result.
She ended up dropping the case. Alinka learned the value of doing research and asking around before making investments like that. At the time, she wasn’t in the right circles, so the people she asked didn’t know anything about this company. “Always do your due diligence, but really do it. Ask the people that know the answer,” Alinka said. We should do this same thing with clients we work with. We should make sure we do research about them and their needs so we know the type of deals we are getting into.
After Working with a Client
Here is one thing we can do after working with a client to build our credibility.
Use Video Reviews for Credibility Marketing
After Leaders Press has delivered their service, Alinka loves to get on a Zoom call with clients and ask them certain questions to show their thoughts before and after work with them. Before, they ask their clients for written reviews, and after, they have these powerful meetings that they can use as a video review or transcribe into a written review.
These reviews are great because they often mention specific team members’ names or specific parts of the process they loved like being on a Times Square billboard. Potential clients will see these reviews and want to work with those team members or they’ll want to be on Times Square themselves. They are a powerful tool to get potential clients excited about working with our businesses. It is also a great way to check-in with our clients at the end of a process to confirm they are satisfied with our service and will come back to us next time.
Alinka’s Passion: Helping Entrepreneurs Publish Books
Alinka’s passion is helping entrepreneurs create great books and become bestsellers. Her company, Leaders Press, offers this kind of help with prices ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on what their clients want them to do.
They can get their clients on the USA Today bestselling list as a co-author of an anthology. Their top investment helps clients write their books from scratch, launches them to USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling status, gets them into bookstores, gets them promoted on the writers’ billboard in Times Square, and pitches them to a movie producer for a potential based on it.
Alinka’s Entrepreneurial Story
When Alinka was young, she started the second school newspaper at her school because she wanted to give the other one some competition. She wrote the first issue herself, but for the second she commissioned her classmates to write the articles. Then she typed them out, printed them, stapled them together, and walked around the school selling them.
When she was older, she studied business and marketing. She worked in multinational corporations, but soon had a quarter-life crisis, wondering if selling domestic appliances was all there was in life. She wrote her first book and published it independently. The royalties surpassed her corporate income.
Other authors began asking her how she was promoting this book that was doing so well, and she started helping them. In 2015, she published How I Sold 80,000 Books. She continued helping others one-on-one without a clear offering. She went to a mastermind with host Dean Jackson and he asked, “Without thinking about what you would charge, what is the highest value thing you could do for your audience?”
Alinka realized the highest value thing she could do was to do it for them from scratch. She was getting a lot of poorly written and packaged manuscripts that they essentially had to redo the whole thing, so she thought, “What if I start them off doing it right from the beginning?”
She had one of her clients, an entrepreneur, work with ghostwriters to write the book. Then she helped them properly package, position, and launch it. It worked with the first book and the second and so on. They’ve expanded and developed their unique selling proposition as the only hybrid publisher that can guarantee USA Today bestselling status and distribution in bookstores.
Alinka has had many great home runs throughout her career including publishing How I Sold 80,000 Books, hitting the USA Today bestselling list for the first time, being able to replicate that for other authors, and landing a distribution agreement with Simon and Schuster.
She is proud of what she’s been able to accomplish, but she’s always looking for what she’s going to achieve in the future. She’s got her future all mapped out.
Be Able to Adapt
The biggest tectonic shift Alinka is seeing right now is the shift to online. Her business has always been virtual, and it has made things easier for her. She worked with the co-founder of DHL International, and he said, “I loved your process; I love the book. But for the next one, I actually want somebody in my office, sitting with me, and doing this with me.”
When the world was forced to shift to online, he came back to them and said, “Let’s do a second book. I want to do it with you guys. I want to do it online.”
We’ve all been forced to adapt since the pandemic started, especially offline businesses. There was a restaurant where I live that turned into a vendor of bulk foods and preparedness. They took the relationships they had from buying food wholesale, bought food, and then resold it to people in town. It was a great switch. They took something they had and turned it into selling something that people really needed when people didn’t need restaurant services anymore.
“It’s not the fittest that survives—it’s the one that adapts best,” Alinka said.
Provide Financial Security with Recurring Revenue
Leaders Press has a few different strategies for recurring revenue. They get 10% of the royalties from the books they publish. When they enroll new clients, they use an installment plan, which gives them limited recurring revenue because it ends. This does allow them to know how the minimum they will be making when they do their financial projections. Then they know how much new business they need to sell to hit their targets. Alinka also owns the logo for Leaders Press, meaning she earns royalties from the company using the logo every month, and she would still earn that if she sold the business.
Recurring revenue adds a layer of security. As entrepreneurs, we need to bring in business and set things up in a way that business will keep coming in. “It’s reassuring to know at the start of the new month that half of your money is already for sure coming in. With that you can cover all the expenses that are coming in. So, you’re really working to build, rather than to cover costs,” Alinka said.
Many startups have months at the beginning where they are tight on cash. The sooner we set up recurring revenue streams, the sooner much of that financial stress will go away.
Thank you so much Alinka for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. Writing a book and getting on bestseller lists is a great way to achieve credibility.
2. Before we meet with a client we can pre-educate them on our success and how we do business. Then we can focus the sales call on how we can help them specifically instead of selling our services.
3. After working with a client, they can record a video success story that we can use in our marketing.
4. It’s not the fittest that survives—it’s the one that adapts best.
5. Recurring revenue adds a layer of security.
Connect with Alinka
To learn more about or connect with Alinka:
-Connect on LinkedIn
-Visit her website at LeadersPress.com
1. Get a free ebook about passion marketing, and learn how to become a top priority of your ideal customers at PassionMarketing.com.