Category Archives: Gifts

My Review Of “Will It Fly” by Pat Flynn

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I was listening to the Social Media Marketing Podcast (from Social Media Examiner) a couple of weeks ago, and the guest was Pat Flynn (from Smart Passive Income Fame). Pat’s description about his new book about test flying ideas before launch intrigued me.

A side note: I’m usually put in charge of promoting existing products (not creating new ones) but in the interest of keeping an open mind and since I read most of the books promoted on this podcast (and haven’t really been disappointed) I was soon ordering and downloading this book to the Kindle Reader on my iPhone. (BTW, did you know that using the accessibility options you can have Siri read Kindle books to you? Rocked my world when I learned this and added the shortcut to my phone.)

The stories told by Pat about frustrations experienced by his young son when first constructing paper airplanes matched what many of us could relate to. Really, how are you supposed to know how to make an expert- level construction/ campaign without any prior knowledge, experience, or experimenting?! The book has other case studies/ stories of how people have found the pattern that is described by Pat in the second half(ish) of the book and found success.

The book is entertaining to read and full of information. I’ve also downloaded to the Kindle reader on my PC so that I could work through some of the exercises in a more convenient way. This book really has some high-level stuff being referenced here- like mentioning Ryan Levesque’s book “Ask” as an aside (seriously). If you don’t know about “Ask”- it is a 160 page book- and full of useful information in its own right. (If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it for survey writing and drip campaign recipes)

How Does It Stand Up To Other Information Out There?

What I’m trying to say is that the “meat” of this book, is short and to the point. There are illustrated examples that add some bulk to the page count- but I have read it multiple times and written notecards for future reference. The exercises are something when you first hear them, you may have a reaction like “No duh… where’s this “gold”, Jen?! Anyone can do this!!” But seriously- you will realize you have probably Never. Done. This. Before. Pat Flynn’s “Will It Fly” has the most straightforward approach that I have ever read or seen. This book is not vague, it is laser-focused on helping you get started with utmost efficiency.

What You Can Get Out Of This Book

  1. You will save yourself serious time in building a campaign plan if you do the exercises in this book.
  2. Your Personas/ Avatars/ Ideal Customer Profiles will be MUCH more robust… Even if you do not have a network to get the information you need.
  3. You will cut down on the random A/B testing to find the best copy for what your message is.
  4. You learn your customer’s language and can hang out with them online (or in person- if that’s your thing)

 Who Should Read It?

If you care about content marketing, this is the book for you. If you want to test your idea, this is the book for you. If you are not quite sure of a product/ service but you are passionate about a culture, hobby, or group and want to serve them in some way, this is the book for you. If you think you can make money with an idea, this is the book for you.

Where Else Are These Ideas Discussed?

If you have read any of the following books, this book is a supplement/ more focused plan that I believe fit in quite nicely.

Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want To Buy… Creating A Mass Of Raving Fans… And Take Any Business To The Next Level by Ryan Levesque

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Launch: How To Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond The Competition by Michael Stelzner

Bold by Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler

Podcast Launch by John Lee Dumas

Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins

Ultimate Guide To Google Adwords: How To Access 1 Billion People In 10 Minutes by Perry Marshall and Mike Rhodes

Content Inc: How Entrepreneurs Use Content To Build Massive Audiences And Create Radically Successful Businesses by Joe Pulizzi

Sprinkles: Creating Awesome Experiences Through Innovative Service by Chip R. Bell

Neuromarketing: Understanding The Buy Buttons In Your Customer’s Brain by Patrick Renvoise & Christophe Morin

Why Should I Spend Time Reading This If All Of These Other Books Are Also Great?

You will be able to identify the language that your customers speak, where you can reach them, what their pain points are… in their words! This information will also be coming to you in a very real and unbiased way- from their community.


Do yourself a favor and don’t skip it, and let me know what you think.

The Top 5 Content Marketing Books That I’ve Read This Year

Information about digital marketing changes as fast as updates to the platforms right? Well… not so much. There are some concepts that may work better with an algorithm change, but the heart of Content Marketing has remained the same for quite some time.


If you are hoping to give a gift that keeps on giving to your Content Marketing Chum, Social Media Savvy Friend, SEO Supporter, or Email List Evangelist, this could be the gift that makes them squee with delight.

(Also great for Marketing Department White Elephants)


Here’s My Top 5:


Shareology: How Sharing is Powering the Human Economy

By Bryan Kramer

What I learned: This is a guide to an organic type of sharing content and how to be more human in our online interactions. Brands need to adopt a voice- in doing so they may lose some audience members, but that sacrifice may bring a more engaged community.



Ask: The Counterintuitive Online Formula to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next Level

By: Ryan Levesque

What I learned: How to understand your audience and build a flow of communication. Still trying to build this out, but has great resources and references other known experts. IF you like what Perry Marshall
has to say, this could be for you.



Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention

By: Ben Parr

What I learned: Great information on building everything from a great blog title, email lead-in, blog post, video, social media posts, and so on. This helps break a habit of trying to get click-throughs and get more engagement from your community.



Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

By Joe Pulizzi

What I learned: Not sure if Content Marketing can work for you? Here are some powerful case studies telling you how others have been successful using a content marketing strategy with examples that are relevant to different niches.



Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition

By: Michael A. Stelzner

What I learned: Okay kids, here’s what you need to do, and how you can do it. I am working on an audit checklist based off of this book. I know that it is available as an Audible format- but I seriously needed to take frantic notes during the first 2+ hours of this book. The core principals are repeated later, but I ended up also ordering a hard cover copy of this book. I will probably use both many times.


So there it is, if you are looking for gifts for the content marketer or social media marketer on your list, this would be an excellent place to start IMHO, but let me know what you think… in the comments below.