Book Yourself Solid

Summary Written by Vanessa Chase

The Big Idea

Your Ideal Clients Are Everything

"There’s nothing wrong with your dud clients, of course. They’re just not right for you."- Book Yourself Solid, page 8

Port’s Book Yourself Solid system hinges entirely on the concept of only working with ideal clients. Why? Many businesses will make the mistake of working with people who don’t have the qualities of their ideal clients. Thus, frustration arises more often and the quality of the work can suffer. This kind of situation does not lend itself to endless referrals of more ideal clients.

To combat this, Port suggests creating your “Red Velvet Rope Policy” in order to let in your ideal clients and keep out the rest. This process begins with developing a description of who your ideal client really is. Focus on listing their qualities, values or personal characteristics. Once you’ve done that, Port recommends pruning your current client list and getting rid of anyone who does not meet this criteria. It’s a radical step, but one that will put you on the path to long-term prosperity and happiness.

Insight #1

Learn to Speak About What You Do in a Compelling Way

"We hear the question, 'What do you do for a living?' all the time. Your professional category alone is the wrong answer."- Book Yourself Solid, page 51

It’s a classic cocktail party question and there’s nothing worse than feeling that you don’t have a good answer to it. But when you have a confident and interesting way to tell people about your work, you can hardly wait until someone asks you the question. Port says that the best way to answer is the following: I help (summarize your target market)… (reveal a deeper core benefit of your clients’ experience).

Over the years, I’ve wrestled with this challenge, too. When I first started, I made the mistake of telling people that I did communications consulting work for non-profits. Not really that intriguing. But as I’ve gone along, I’ve realized that what I do is help non-profit organization articulate their impact in a way that inspires and engages their community. Saying that definitely raises a few eyebrows and usually gets a few follow up questions.

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Insight #2

Become and Establish Yourself as an Authority

"Like it or not, becoming a category authority, an expert in your field, isn’t optional if you want your business to be as successful as it can be."- Book Yourself Solid, page 68

Every successful business has one thing in common: they are known in the industry for something specific. Something that makes them stand out from the pack and draws ideal clients to their door. Even if you don’t feel like you’re an authority on a certain category, it is easier than ever before to become self-taught and gather social proof that establishes your credibility. Port asks readers to consider the following questions in order to identify and hone their authority and expertise:

  • In what areas are you currently an expert?
  • In what areas do you need to develop your expertise?
  • What promises can you make and deliver to your target market that will position you as an expert?
  • What promises would you like to make and deliver to your target market, but don’t yet feel comfortable with?
  • What do you need to do to become comfortable at making and delivering these promises?

Port provides readers with a truly step-by-step approach to develop their sales and marketing system. The book includes many activities and questions to encourage the reader to practice what they are learning, which ultimately makes the book an even more valuable resource for business owners.

Read the book

Get Book Yourself Solid on Amazon.

Michael Port

Michael Port is also author of Beyond Booked Solid. He’s been called a “marketing guru” by the Wall Street Journal and is a renowned public speaker. A slightly irreverent, sometimes funny, knowledgeable, compassionate, and passionate performer, Michael hits his mark every time and leaves his audiences, readers, and clients a little smarter, much more alive and thinking a heck of a lot bigger about who they are and what they offer the world. See videos and read his blog at

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