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Dan Nicholson Talks About The Success Of His Book And His Unique Strategies For Marketing And Social Media


Dan Nicholson Talks About The Success Of His Book And His Unique Strategies For Marketing And Social Media

In an attempt to correct many misconceptions about what it takes to succeed in business, Dan Nicholson authored Rigging the Game. The book sold thousands of copies in the first week of its launch and became a bestseller.

In an attempt to correct many misconceptions about what it takes to succeed in business, Dan Nicholson authored Rigging the Game. The book sold thousands of copies in the first week of its launch and became a bestseller.

Today, Dan Nicholson shares his journey as an entrepreneur and author and the secrets behind his book’s success. He also gives insights into his unique marketing and social media strategies.

Who is Dan Nicholson?

Dan Nicholson is the author behind the best-selling book, Rigging the Game. It’s one of the highest-rated books on Amazon and gained countless positive reviews online. He has been named to CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 list of global accountants four times and founded several companies across finance, accounting, and software. 

When asked to describe himself, Dan shares that he was like the cliché entrepreneur back then, always scheming on business ideas. But his family’s financial situation prevented him from starting a business at a young age. He adds, “My poor parents had to constantly rain me on my ideas.”

Dan’s Journey to Entrepreneurship 

Dan Nicholson got accounting and information systems degrees thinking that the combination of the two would be the best skill set to be an entrepreneur. After, he did a fellowship at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, where he wrote all the US accounting standards. 

“I helped write a really technical accounting standard on an area called derivates and hedging. That took my whole career path in life down this kind of treasury investment derivate expert,” Dan shares. 

Dan was the first person in his family to attend college, so he felt tension and guilt about what he should be doing. There was a point when he felt unhappy with his career but realized his dad had to work for about 12 to 15 hours a day to secure a blue-collar job. 

Dan Nicholson thought, “And here I am at 24, making more than him and complaining about my job. And it took me a lot of time to ultimately give myself permission to become a full-time self-employed entrepreneur.” 

All of that took place 15 years ago, and from there, Dan had to unlearn everything he thought he knew about businesses. To effectively run a business and achieve goals in life faster, he had to unlearn all the things he learned from his classic training in business school. 

Dan’s Inspiration in Writing Rigging the Game

“Rigging the Game was kind of my summary of operating systems around having to unlearn what I learned at business school. So, there are a lot of falsehoods out there about what it takes to succeed in business. There are also plenty of narratives perpetuated because someone is trying to sell you a one-step or two-step hack to have the life you want,” Dan explains. 

Rigging the Game is about how to engineer luck, the life you want, and get closer to what really matters. For Dan, the book functions as his operating system to turn those goals into reality.

What Dan Wants His Book to Achieve 

Rigging the Game is about financial certainty, and Dan supplemented the book by creating a certification program called Certified Certainty Advisor. Over the last two years, over a hundred people signed up for the program. 

Dan Nicholson also has the Certainty app, which is connected to the book and the program. In short, all of these mediums are interrelated to each other. 

“One inspiration is for folks to read the book and want to use the app or want to learn more about the certification program. Or work with some of the people who’ve gone through the certification. So that’s one intention. The other intention is to give people permission to do what I call ‘play your game,’” Dan says. 

“Again, there are so many narratives out there about how you need to become someone that you’re not to have success in business. All these hyperbolic, ‘Oh, you’re only going to be successful unless you go live on Facebook every day,’ or ‘You’re only going to be successful unless you have a certain amount of followers, etc.’ and it’s not necessarily true.”

The secret to succeeding in any business is to learn about your strengths and not play someone else’s Game. Dan is trying to give people research and support around this concept. 

He believes that the distinction people make when they play their games is more important with things like AI coming out. AI arguably removes a lot of that distinction, and so it’s more important than ever for people to display their authentic selves.

How Dan Markets his Book

Dan’s strategy in marketing his book is quite different from the usual. He says, “I come from a position of what is the outcome that I want and then work backward from that.”

Dan recognizes the risks of writing a book and not having anyone who will read it. He explains, “The risk is that I spend a couple of years writing the book, and then no one reads it. I could have been spending that time hanging out with my kids. A lot of the doubts can kind of create benefits.”

Dan Nicholson took what he calls a “micro step.” This process involved asking around if someone would be interested if he wrote a certain book with anyone. And in advance, he’s able to set some rules. 

Once he had pre-sold a hundred copies of the book, he took the next step and started to work on it. He used a bigger, broader platform for pre-selling called the Publishizer and pre-sold about 5,000 copies. Dan adds, “I set the platform record for the most pre-order sales. Over a year and a half later, I still have their record.”

With Dan’s marketing strategy, his book was pre-sold enough that when he actually launched it, he was going to be one of the best sellers in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. To gain that recognition, authors must sell about 5,000 copies of their books during the first week of their launch — which Dan accomplished because of his unique yet effective marketing strategy.

He continues, “So that created the marketing from the beginning to get the results because now, going into the book launch on week one, I already market essentially at least in one week and then week two. So we were number one in 13 categories on Amazon, including Wall Street Journal and USA Today.”

From a marketing perspective, it’s all about coming back to doing the work upfront and asking clients or audiences what they want or what their interests are. It’s also important to get them to commit because people often say they’re interested, but they vote with their money. Until someone pays you, you don’t really know if they’re interested. 

He states, “We build out all the sales pages, we record all the videos, and then we launch it, and nobody watches them or buys. And when we feel all this guilt and shame, and then we don’t make any more momentum from there, and the marketing and the business idea fall apart.”

In general, it’s important to get that commitment in the front end before you do all the work. Dan recommends getting some interest and getting some customers from the beginning. And that strategy worked wonders for Dan. 

When his book launched, many wanted to leave a review because they were early adopter people; they were present from the beginning.  

How Dan Identifies the Target Audience for His Book

Dan’s ideal target market is individuals who he likes to call purpose-driven entrepreneurs. He says, “What I have made a career out of in all of my businesses is creating my own definition of my tribe of people. I remember saying this to my wife, ‘purpose-driven entrepreneurs,’ and she’s like, ‘What is that even? I know what those words mean individually, but what is a purpose? What is a purpose group? An entrepreneur? What is a non-conventional accountant?'”

Dan Nicholson shares that he receives these kinds of questions all the time and gets to define them and see if people identify with his definition. Even when running his CPA firm, Dan admits that being asked these questions is no longer new. 

But for his book, he wants to target purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

Dan’s Social Media Strategies

Dan Nicholson admits that he wasn’t super active on social media for many years because he feels like the things he sees there aren’t genuine or authentic. “I felt like a lot of what I saw was people seeking attention, just for attention’s sake. And that’s fine, no judgment for me,” Dan states.

Dan considers himself a very shy person, and it’s not in his personality to want a lot of attention, even on social media. This led him to create a campaign called Dan versus social media. It had a lot of success on Instagram in terms of engagement.

“My followers have grown significantly in the last couple of months since I started doing this. Basically, it went from zero to 12,000 [followers] in a couple of months. I bought a bunch of templates of what I considered to be kind of cliché social media posts, like the ones you see all the time about just the hustle and grind posts or the morning formula like you’re never going to succeed unless you get up at 4 AM and all those things,” Dan shares. 

When posts similar to those templates blow up on social media, Dan Nicholson then shares his version. His posts become more distinct as he uses them to show what it really means to rig the game. 

Dan Nicholson says, “So it’s a way to get my content out there without me having to compromise. I still get the engagement because the algorithm wants to show, ‘Oh, here’s another post of 4 AM’ or ‘Here’s another like hustle and grind,’ and people want to see that. So they click on it, and then it blows up, and it shows my post that I want them to read the copy.”

Dan’s social media strategy is different, but he guarantees effectiveness as it gets people to consume his content and still feel authentic. His strategy also doesn’t require him to write content at a third-grade level and copy other kinds of strategies people often tell you to do to be successful.  

Dan’s Collabs with Influencers

Dan Nicholson worked with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who is also his personal doctor, in promoting his book. Dr. Gabrielle has about 390,000 followers on Instagram and has shared his content and vice versa. Dan also guested in many of Dr. Gabrielle’s Instagram lives.

“So it’s just been a combination of sharing each other’s posts that resonate with each other and having each other come on our IG live or come on a Zoom [meeting] with my clients or Zoom with her clients.”

What Dan Would Have Done Differently in His Marketing Strategies

Dan Nicholson wished he had started his Instagram campaign sooner. He admits being unaware of the number of media outlets that wanted to see if he had at least 10,000 followers. He only learned the importance of having a large following during his book tour and promotion period after he launched his book. 

Dan continues, “There were a number of [media] outlets and podcasts that wanted to have me, but not until I had at least 10,000 followers. I was put in that work in advance.”

Dan’s Advice to Aspiring Authors to Effectively Market Their Books

Dan Nicholson recommends aspiring authors to offer pre-orders if possible. He also suggests taking micro-steps, just like what he did when he was marketing his book. “Get people interested and committed and feeling like they’re a part of the process. Make them think that they want the book, they want to review it, and share it with friends because they’re a part of it,” Dan says.

That strategy guarantees that aspiring authors will have a lunch squad. Dan had one and gave them early access to the book to read it for free. In exchange, they agreed to leave honest reviews. Those reviews were key to the early momentum of Dan’s book launch as they triggered many rankings online and made algorithms happy. 

Ideally, promoting books is all about getting people to take action because they recognize what’s in it for them. Instead of asking them to read the book or support the launch, offer them something, even if they’re close family and friends. 

What’s Next for Dan Nicholson

Dan’s schedule for this year is packed due to many speaking engagements. He’s also thinking about whether he’s going to write a second book or not. 

But after the success of his first book, Dan Nicholson wants to prioritize taking a break and letting his nervous system reset. Dan adds, “There’s such a tendency to go like, ‘Now, I got to do all this other stuff, but behind every mountain is a valley. I’m not trying to keep chasing more dopamine and trying to do more and more and more. I just let those options come to me and not fill up my time.” 

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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