“Speak to Write Your Book”18m | Feb 10, 2023
Episode 24: Michael DeLon, Paperback Expert
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Pathways to Profitability Podcast, Personal Tales of Business Success, where we hear local business owners personal stories of their trials and tribulations that got them to where they are today. Here's your host, Cheryl Mucha, CEO of CFO Your way.
Cheryl Mucha: Thank you so much for being here with us today.
Cheryl Mucha: I am super excited about this conversation that we are going to have with Michael Delon, president of Paperback Expert. Michael, thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me today.
Michael DeLon: Cheryl, you are so welcome. I've been looking forward to this. It's gonna be such a fun conversation. Thanks for having me.
Cheryl Mucha: So I’d like to just give our audience a little bit of a background of who Michael is. Then we'll get into the deep dive of all about the company and how you started and all that good stuff. So just give us a brief background.
Michael DeLon: Yeah, well, all right. So, I always tell people, listen fast, cuz I'm gonna give you the big background in a really [00:01:00] short period of time. Okay?
Michael DeLon: And that will give us lots of things to talk about. So, first of all, I'm a follower of Christ. I've been married 32 years. My wife and I got married in 90 and the first five years of our marriage, Cheryl, were like this, yes, my wife and I are complete opposites. And so we fought. Even though she and I grew up in church, nobody taught us how to be married. And so we really struggled In the first few years of our marriage, we finally went to a marriage conference from a ministry called Family Life, and they revealed to us God's blueprints for marriage. And I didn't know God had blueprints. So we got those blueprints, we applied them, our marriage started to grow.
Michael DeLon: At that time, I was working in Christian radio, selling Christian radio to local business owners. I learned pretty quickly business owners did not wanna buy Christian radio. They wanted to sell their, their products or their services. So I had a choice to make. Cheryl, I could either become really good at selling or really good at marketing.
Michael DeLon: So I chose marketing. I read the books, I went to the seminars, I followed the gurus, and I learned how to do marketing for small business owners. So my business [00:02:00] started to grow because I helped my clients' business grow. Now fast forward, that was it, like early nineties. Fast forward to about 2000. God let us out of that Christian radio station to a startup.com when I was out trying to sell websites and banner ads to car dealerships who didn't even have websites.
Michael DeLon: So I did that for a couple years, but that company was ahead of its time, Cheryl. That means it went bankrupt and Oh wow. So I found myself staying in my, in my living room when day, looking up at the ceiling going, God, what am I supposed to do now? And he spoke to a heart. He says, Michael, I want you in a Ministry of families and I want you family life.
Michael DeLon: That ministry that changed. I said, wow, why didn't I think of that? And so we raised our support for two years cuz it's a missionary organization. We moved from Indiana down to Little Rock, Arkansas, which was their world headquarters. And I thought I hit Nirvana, man, Cheryl. This was, why would I ever leave this place?
Michael DeLon: It did everything that I wanted to do is help people build marriages and families. Wow. So I served there six years later, I was on the leadership team of that ministry, Cheryl, and then they started going through those corporate [00:03:00] reorganizations Well, after the third reorg, they rolled out the new chart and my name was no longer on the Land of Fame.
Michael DeLon: Yeah, that's what I said. So they started shuffle me around the ministry, and that was two, uh, uh, the beginning of a two year, what I call prison term, because I found myself in a job that I hated at a ministry that I love. So after two years, I finally gave up. I said, I gotta get out of this thing. God, what?
Michael DeLon: What can I do? And he said, what do you. I said, I wanna go help small business owners with marketing because they struggle with it, they hate it, and I love it. And he said, go. So on January 1st, 2013, I escaped from prison and I started a marketing consulting firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. And I'd call you, I'd say, Cheryl, I think I can help you grow your business.
Michael DeLon: You'd meet with me. We'd have a great conversation. And you'd say, Michael, what have you done in the last few years? Who have you helped? And I'd say I, I've helped build marriages and families at family life and you'd say, Michael, that's honorable. Way to go. Oh, look at the time I've got another meeting. Let's reschedule.
Michael DeLon: And you shut, usher [00:04:00] me out the door. Nobody would hire me. And I said, I gotta fix this. So I went to watch your second floor. I, I remember where it was, I was pacing the hallways saying, God, how do I help Cheryl? Cause I know I can. And he said, Michael, I wanna shake all your marketing strategies and put them in a book.
Michael DeLon: That's so I did. Wow. So I published my book on marketing. Then Cheryl, I would call you and send an appointment. I'd mail a copy of my book to you. A week later, I'd walk into your office for our meeting. And there it was. My book was on your desk. It was dog-eared, highlighted, underlined. You'd read my book and in that meeting you'd say, Michael, in your book, you said, how do you, you do that? And you'd hire me, and the next person…
Michael DeLon: I started gaining clients. The only thing that changed between those two meetings was the fact writing book. And so I asked myself, I said, what? Why don't business owners do this? This is so cool. Well, it's challenging to write a book. There's lots to it. And so we created a, a process where now we work with busy business owners who are experts at what they [00:05:00] do, and we help them create a book without writing a word.
Michael DeLon: And then we teach them how to use the book in their marketing to gain clients, get referrals, and grow their revenue. That's what I get to do. That's who I am and how I got here. And I hope that
Cheryl Mucha: answers a lot of my questions that I was hoping to leave conversation
Michael DeLon: to. Well, we're gonna, we're gonna dive deep anywhere you wanna go.
Cheryl Mucha: So that was your first book, books that follow?
Michael DeLon: Yeah. Well, I, I think I've written now seven or eight other books. Wow. And, and most of them are around marketing in some, in some area. A couple divert into other things, but most of them are around.
Cheryl Mucha: So your clients, they come to you, they write a book, I'm guessing on it can be on pretty much any topic?
Michael DeLon: Well, in anything business related. So for instance, Cheryl, did you know anything about business finances? Right? You're an expert. I don't know. No. My, I don't do. I have, here's the, here's what I get all the time. I don't know if I have enough information to write a book. Give me a break. If you're [00:06:00] a business owner, right?
Michael DeLon: If you're out, you have plenty of knowledge in your head. Here's the struggle. You don't know how to get it out or how to structure it. That's what we do. So our clients don't write books. I tell people, Cheryl, all the time, never write a book. Okay? It takes too long and you'll kill yourself trying to do it because of self editing, right?
Michael DeLon: What you want to do is speak to write your book. And with today's technology, with AI, with Google Docs, with Word, they, they will dictate your words, speak to write your book. Our entire process is interviewed based with our writers asking you questions. Cheryl, you are speaking your content. Then our writer takes your content, massages it into your book.
Michael DeLon: Every business owner I work on, I work with is an expert at what they do. We just position 'em as an expert in the mind of their audience. Right.
Cheryl Mucha: Fascinating. I have a million books up here in my head. There
Michael DeLon: you go. Well, I, what is
Cheryl Mucha: [00:07:00] just all the stories I can tell about all the situations I've experienced.
Cheryl Mucha: Yeah. In the real world with clients or the, you know, how we help them. Like that could be a, a huge book in and of itself.
Michael DeLon: Oh, totally. And, and it would be so compelling. I mean, one of my favorite books of all time was The One Minute Manager. Remember that from Ken Blancher? Mm-hmm. . It wasn't really parable, it was a story that I could almost retell right now because of the way it, it, it wove everything.
Michael DeLon: Movies are stories. That book that you just mentioned, it would be great to be compelling. People would read it because they will remember the stories and every story would relate to a point of why should you need to work with Cheryl. Right at the end of the day, that that'd be a phenomenal book to write. Hey, I'll put it on my, uh, my bucket list.
Michael DeLon: Right? There you go. There you go. You'll be yearning from me . Absolutely. We can get that thing knocked out.
Cheryl Mucha: So, fascinating story. I love the breaking out of prison, being in prison and kind of breaking outta prison. I love that, that visual. [00:08:00] Um, and I'm, I'm guessing the, the feeling and the emotion that came with that was pretty powerful and, and being led to the next step in your journey.
Michael DeLon: Yeah. I was gonna say, oh, I could dive deep there into the, the, the journey be or, or the, the feelings, because it was, it was both super exciting and scarier than anything I've ever done.
Cheryl Mucha: I mean, anyone, any entrepreneur that takes that leap, it's, it's so scary. Yeah. It's, it's the fear of the unknown.
Cheryl Mucha: Like we all have it up here. Yes. What we wanna do, what we're capable of. What knowledge we bring to the table, but to actually, like you said, go out and sell. Like, I, I never sold a day in my life, but I,
Michael DeLon: the audacity, the, audacity of me, a ministry guy to go out and say, I can help you grow your business.
Michael DeLon: You're a business owner. You know all this stuff, right? I mean it, yeah. So it, it took a lot of faith and a lot of [00:09:00] guts to get out there and just go, but that's what we do as entrepreneurs. We put ourselves out there. Well, we can, we can talk, we can go deep anywhere you wanna go, but I have so much to share,
Cheryl Mucha: so much to dive into here.
Cheryl Mucha: Yeah. But, but that entrepreneurial journey and taking that initial leap. and just figuring it out. Yeah. You know, it's, it's, then it becomes trial and error and, you know, some work, some doesn't. We take the good with the bad and we, we mold our businesses into, you know, what they are. And we continue to mold. I mean, I'm 10 years into my business, I'm still making changes.
Michael DeLon: Well totally. And that's normal. because I, I have recreated my business not less than 10 times in 10 years. Right. I feel like a pinball. You ever played pinball, right? Ding, ding, ding. I feel like the pinball, right? And when I started my company, cuz I went out thinking I knew what business owners wanted.
Michael DeLon: So that's what I started with. I found out very quickly that's not what they wanted. So I had to learn from the market, pivot and [00:10:00] change. I started three or four different, you know, types of marketing consulting firms trying to do different things. When I created my book and, and the, you know, the floodgates kind of started opening, I went, okay, wow.
Michael DeLon: I think I'm onto something. How do I market this thing now? Because that's what business owners are always thinking about. So I was marketing primarily locally at that time, and so I, and, and I don't even know Facebook was the thing back then. Uh, so I, here, here's the principle that I leaned on. Go to where the people are.
Michael DeLon: So I thought, okay, where are my people? Where are business owners gathering? And back in that day, it was BNI, right? And so I remember sitting on my on, on a, a bed on one one. It was a Wednesday night. I Googled BNI networks in Little Rock. I found about seven of them, two of them, one of them met the next morning at 7:00 AM and another one met the next day at noon.
Michael DeLon: I called them, I went to both of them. Wow. And, and I sat there. Cheryl room's full of like 20, 30 [00:11:00] business owners and you know, everybody does their dog and pony show. One minute speech. Most of 'em are like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I'm blah, blah. I get up, I got up. I said, I'm Michael Delon with Paperback Expert.
Michael DeLon: I can help you create your book without writing a word and position you as the expert in your market. Every head in the room with. You woke everyone up. That changed my business in my life. So I went to where the people are in your, in business, that's what you have to do is wear your audience and go to them with a compelling message.
Michael DeLon: Right? And that's really Cheryl where I find most business owners are floundering, right? Is they don't have a clear, compelling message to their audience.
Cheryl Mucha: Yeah, and it's, it sometimes it takes years to, to find that message and hone in on that message.
Michael DeLon: It, it can, doesn't have to, it doesn't. It's, here's the secret. Okay. You ready for the secret? Take your phone. Take your [00:12:00] laptop. Invite a friend out to coffee, hit the record button and ask your friend to ask you questions about your childhood, your hobbies, your school, your your why do you do what you and answer those things right And then listen to the answers. And what you're gonna find is a theme through all of those answers.
Michael DeLon: And you're going to learn that there is something unique about you, right? That makes you want, you start using that in your marketing and it's gonna start compelling people. It's gonna separate you from everybody else, right? Cuz we are our business. We are abs. And people buy you Cheryl exactly more than what you do.
Michael DeLon: But in business we. We don't do that. We, we talk about our accolades and, and all, and nobody cares. I wanna know who you are. So it's hard to do that yourself, to find that yourself. Take a friend to lunch, have them ask you these questions, record them, listen to them. It's not that hard when you have a third party, and that's why we do what [00:13:00] we do.
Michael DeLon: But you can do it yourself, right?
Cheryl Mucha: Yeah. To, to get that, that pure honesty because you're just speaking with a friend.
Michael DeLon: Absolutely. Absolutely. Because isn't that what business should be, you know, doing business with friends.
Cheryl Mucha: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Um, I had another question and I just lost it. .
Michael DeLon: Well, that's much you wanna talk about Michael?
Michael DeLon: Yeah. My, my dad, my daddy would always say, Hey, if it's important, it'll come back to you. And, and it
Cheryl Mucha: just did. So if I may, absolutely. So pandemic. Did what happened in your business? Did how? How did you have to pivot to reach those people? Cause now it wasn't a face-to-face interaction. It's a virtual interaction.
Cheryl Mucha: We have to figure out how to do business. Mm-hmm. , what happened in your business?
Michael DeLon: Yeah, our business grew dramatically over through Covid. Praise God. . And what we did to do that is I do a lot of video. Okay. I do, I do, uh, not only Zoom, right? I do [00:14:00] webinars, but I do a, I use a, a company called Loom, l o o m. And it, it's a video-based platform that allows me to send short videos through email that are really personal.
Michael DeLon: And so
Cheryl Mucha: I love that because I've gotten some of those videos and it. It's like, wow, like this is cool. Michael took the time to do this, and it's probably quicker than again, typing an email. But it's, it's so, um, memorable.
Michael DeLon: Good. Thank you. I appreciate that. And that's exactly why I do it because you, you can't get this through email, right.
Michael DeLon: And this is who I am. So I did that a lot. I started doing free, um, online trainings for, for my audience where for 25 minutes or so, I would teach on a topic of something and the only call to action at the end was like, you know, if you want more information, schedule a call with me. But I spent 20 to 25 minutes unpacking a marketing principle, like just what we talked about, how to clarify your message.
Michael DeLon: I can talk about that forever. I spent 25 minutes talking about that, saying [00:15:00] this is what you need to do to start clarifying your message. Hey, in, in a couple weeks we're gonna come back and do another one. I did one on, on our gifting strategy cuz we send um, food items, gifts, in the mail to our, our, our prospects and our key influencers.
Michael DeLon: And I, I did an entire training around that. That's been one of the most, um, watched trainings I've ever done. And it's free on my website and it teaches you how to show up differently because most business owners, Cheryl, are what I call coffee beans. Okay? I love coffee. But if you pour out coffee beans on your table, they'll look the same and they smell the same.
Michael DeLon: Right? And in business, if you look like and sound like all of your competitors, you're not giving me a reason to lean in. Right. And, and you're not capturing my attention. And so our marketing systems and strategies that we teach our clients are all about showing up differently. Differently. Sometimes it's video, sometimes it's a thank you in the mail.
Michael DeLon: Handwritten thank you, in the mail, right. Sometimes it's [00:16:00] a gift. Sometimes you lost art, right? Handwritten, oh, the lost art. Absolutely. And it, it's all of these different, what I would call old school systems of marketing that makes such a major impact. I, I, I was doing an interview yesterday, Cheryl and the host got on, and I was on his, he was on my podcast, I don't know, five, six months ago.
Michael DeLon: And through my system of sending things to him and everything he gets on before we ever get on the podcast, he's like, Michael, dude, you're awesome. My kids love you because of the candy you send to me, you're a household name. I'm like, that's what I want. Here's the, the future
Cheryl Mucha: entrepreneurs of the world already know you.
Michael DeLon: he probably don't like, is that from Michael? So here's the principle behind all of that. If you win the heart, the mind will follow. Right. It's emotional. How much marketing is about the mind. We're trying to convince people No, no, no, no, no. Go after the heart [00:17:00] first. There comes a time to convince and lodge and, but it's, it's secondary, right?
Michael DeLon: Wouldn't the heart. And most people don't do that.
Cheryl Mucha: Great. Where can people find these recordings, uh, on your website? How does the audience get in touch with you? Sure.
Michael DeLon: Paperback expert.com is our website. It's the central hub of all things, Michael, on that website, there's a credibility calculator you can take.
Michael DeLon: It'll tell you your credibility score in under five minutes, and then we'll show you how to improve that score. There are free trainings. Go to the training staff. There are some free trainings that we do. You don't have to opt in or anything. You can just watch them and learn from them. You can always schedule a call with me.
Michael DeLon: You can see what we do and how we can help you really clarify your message and position yourself as the expert in the eyes of your audience by creating your book without writing a word. So paperback expert.com.
Cheryl Mucha: Michael, thank you so much. We [00:18:00] could talk on and on and on and on. Absolutely. Good. We'll have to do it again sometime. Absolutely, I would love to.
Cheryl Mucha: But thank you for being here, and thank you to our audience for tuning in and be sure to visit Michael's website and check out those videos. I'm, I know there is a lot to be learned there. Michael is an expert. Thanks for tuning in to Pathways to Profitability Podcast, and we will see you all soon.
That's it for today's episode of Pathways to Profitability. Remember to ask yourself, where can I pay my success forward today?