helping changemakers shine

Getting Freaky with Color to Write Your Book

What do leaders like Seth Godin, Pamela Slim, John Maxwell, and Susan Cain have in common?

They’ve all written movement-sparking, signature books that are intuitively:

(sometimes) funny
and organized
(Details on these crucial elements further down.)

As a result, they’ve all expanded their tribes, impact, and personal influence with their books.

If you’re a coach or leader who wants to write an influential and engaging book to grow your own tribe, what would you give to be able to reverse-engineer the movement-sparking books your heroes have written?

Not carbon copies of their books.
Not cookie cutter versions of their books.
Not mere replicas of their books.

But your own hard-won insights and experience distilled into a book that hits all the crucial elements in your own signature style and tone.

Access to a color-coded book-writing superpower

The promise of the color-science, creative right-brain, book outline and drafting and development approach to writing is that access to this superpower is possible. You can write a book like Seth Godin, Susan Cain and Pamela Slim.

How can I know this? Because I’ve reverse-engineered their bestselling books and distilled down those ten crucial elements that run throughout the writing of engaged and insightful tribe leaders.

The promise of this approach is that all your public-speaking, workshop-hosting, podcast-interviewing, people-managing, business-coaching, high EQ leadership skills can be translated into a written format without losing the nuanced colors of your unique personality, approach, lived experience, and personal research.

Because what does your reader really want when they pick up your book? What promises do you need to make to them in a crowded market where thousands of books are published each and every day?

Tapping into the ten desires that drive us

Prolific author and social psychologist Hugh Mackay published a ground-breaking book in 2013 titled “What Makes Us Tick? — The ten desires that drive us” and broke down people’s core inner needs (after the basics of food-clothing-shelter).

According to Mackay, the ten core desires that drive us are:

The desire to be taken seriously
The desire for ‘my place’
The desire for something to believe in
The desire to connect
The desire to be useful
The desire to belong
The desire for more
The desire for control
The desire for something to happen
The desire for love

After reverse-engineering multiple non-fiction bestsellers from top influencers, it’s no accident that a pattern of ten crucial elements emerge to address your reader’s core desires.

Secret sauce for reader engagement

Turns out the secret sauce of influential writers is a kind of relentless generosity that focuses on giving gift after gift to the reader to satiate their core desires for solutions, understanding, affirmation and inclusion.

When your reader picks up your book, the extent to which you can channel your innate leadership abilities into giving these kinds of gifts determines:

[] the engagement and impact you can have with your reader,
[] the extent to which they’ll want to continue a conversation with you,
[] whether they might want to buy your products,
[] whether they’ll go on to read other things you have to say,
[] whether they will spontaneously share your insights with their friends and family,
[] and (most importantly?) whether they’ll be empowered to improve their lives because of your book.

The ten crucial elements of engagement

You can answer the unspoken longings of your reader, and exceed their expectations by keeping the desires that drive them front and center. Here’s how your future tribe members and followers and customers are asking you to engage with them in your writing:

Crucial element 01: Be audacious

The gifts you can give: Grab my attention by stating your audacious proposition/s, your understanding of my pain points (the opposition), and your promised transformation.

Crucial element 02: Be credible

The gifts you can give: Earn my trust with your credibility, your experience, your research and case studies.

Crucial element 03: Be entertaining

The gifts you can give: Hold my interest with your stories, anecdotes, analogies and metaphors.

Crucial element 04: Be vulnerable

The gifts you can give: Capture my emotions with your personal origin story, lows and highs.

Crucial element 05: Be affirming

The gifts you can give: Engage my core with your questions, challenges, personal pronouns and affirmations of my potential.

Crucial element 06: Be illuminating

The gifts you can give: Transform my perspective with your epiphanies, pattern recognition, context, soundbytes and tweetables.

Crucial element 07: Be generous

The gifts you can give: Reward my investment (of money and time) with your chapter recaps, checklists and bonus resources.

Crucial element 08: Be inclusive

The gifts you can give: Extend my experience with your contact details, website, socials, online platform, and an invitation to join your tribe.

Crucial element 09: Be novel

The gifts you can give: These are the unexpected, novelty gifts you give when you let us eavesdrop on an interesting conversation, share self-depreciating jokes, surprise twists, and your sense of humor.

Crucial element 10: Be organized

The gifts you can give: Respect my time with your well organized outline, digestible bullets and pull quotes, headings and sub-headings, introductions, transitions and conclusions.

As a generous leader you probably already give these gifts to the people around you–being affirming, generous and inclusive are hallmarks of great leadership. And now you can give those gifts in writing with an engaging and credible book, specifically written to light up your tribe.

Interested in this color-coding method? This is just the start of a series of blog posts that will outline real case studies of top selling nonfic books, and what they look like when you apply the ten colors above to the text of the book. Feel free to pop your email in the box and don’t miss any of the juicy deets.



About Anaik Alcasas

I'm here to demonstrate that your editor can also be your ally, and to talk all things clarity, influence, and connecting through story. I'd love you to join the conversation.