My totally awesome review of the book, Launch, by Michael A. Stelzner

I review the new book by Michael A. Stelzner, Launch, here. And the “totally awesome review” comment was intended simply to get your attention. Only you know if this review is really good or really bad.

Who should read this book?

  • Marketers: Launch was written for any marketer who’s been struggling to figure out how to grow a loyal fan base without the hard sell. It’s not just a book for social media marketers. Launch is for anyone who wants to get a grasp on how new media has forever changed the way marketing must function. The book was designed to help marketers figure out how to best launch a company, website, product, or service—or how to take an existing company to the next level.
  • Small business owners: Launch was crafted to help small business owners figure out how to respond to an ever changing world without performing the types of activities people hate to do (like selling). The book provides a refreshing alternative to those marketing books that focus on “gaming systems and people.” Instead, Launch focuses on how to build lasting relationships that will help grow small businesses into empires.

So, the answer to the question, “Who should read Launch?” is people just like you!


I feel vindicated. Almost three years ago, I founded Find New Customers on a radical idea - publish lots great free content on B2B lead generation, network with top experts, and avoid all paid advertising. Several people told me I was foolish - I should charge $ for my content. I refused. But was I being smart or foolish?

Michael Stelzner, the author of Launch, is also the founder of the wildly successful site Social Media Examiner

Only after reading the book, Launch, by Michael A. Stelzner, did I learn the name of this strategy - the Elevation Principle. And how this approach can launch your business. While I don’t pretend to execute as well as Mike, the similarities are striking.

Elevation Principle

The elevation principle says that great content combined with other people and without marketing messages will help your business rapidly grow.

The Elevation Principle is the core message of this book. Simply put, it is Great Content plus People minus Marketing Messages = Success.

Does this principle work? Check out what Mike accomplished using this approach:

In just about 18 months they grew to over 80,000 newsletter subscribers.

  • Michael Stelzner launched Social Media Examiner in October 2009 from his Southern California office. He had zero previous experience with social media.
  • Start-up costs: $4,000 for design and website development.
  • Within two weeks of its launch, Social Media Examiner joined the ranks of Technorati’s Top 100 Small Business Blogs and remains in the Top 10.
  • 80,000+ email subscribers receive Social Media Examiner updates 6 days a week.
  • The site receives more than 700,000 page views each month.
  • Social Media Examiner is in the top 1200 of all websites in America. [Alexa]
  • Advertising Age ranks Social Media Examiner among the Top 20 marketing blogs.
  • Social Media Examiner is commercial-free and does not display advertising.
  • Publishes annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report (a statistical guide showing how marketers use social media marketing). 100% free; no registration required.
  • Operates on the “Elevation Principle” business model: Give away digestible how-to content that creates a loyal, well-fed business community.
  • Revenue driver: online professional development conferences. Sales to date from summits exceed $3M.

What do I think you will find in this book? Mike has an easy, conversational writing style honed from years of writing white papers - so it is an easy book to read and digest. He’s also skilled at using analogies - for instance, he compares your business to a rocket and content marketing to rocket fuel.

With this new form of marketing you rapidly grow by giving gifts free of marketing messages while your competitors struggle to survive.

Mike also talks about two kinds of fuel - Rocket Fuel and Nuclear Fuel. Rocket Fuel is content your prospective buyers want while nuclear fuel is labor intensive content, such as white papers, industry studies, etc.

Mike Stelzner introduces Launch from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

A discussion of this book is not complete without addressing what he says about marketing messages. Mike believe that buyers are bombarded with marketing messages today - so they have the opposite effect of what is desired - they actually turn people off. Mike believes marketing messages are like friction today. You are right, Mike. I hate all those car and pharma ads on TV - we DVR through them.

Great book, but how might it be improved? In the book, Inbound Marketing, authors Halligan and Shah used checklists at the end of each chapter. Launch might have been better had it used this approach. But since there is a companion landing page with more, this point is quibbling. And they promised me they would add videos to take the viewers deeper.

We give this book a full 5 Star review - out of 5.

Want your own free copy? Make a sign that says something like “I love Find New Customers and plan to Launch my business” Snap a photo of you with the sign and email it to jeff dot ogden at The best photo gets a book - we’ll even pay the shipping.

How Big is Content Marketing today?

B2B Lead Generation | The Rise of Content Marketing

Did you miss our radio show on Sales Lead Management Radio? Not to worry. You can listen to the show here.

Each day, more and more B2B sellers recognize that their prospective customers are looking for content at EVERY STAGE OF THE BUYING PROCESS. The number of companies not doing content marketing is dwindling by the day. In fact, I believe that companies without quality content will not survive much longer.

At Find New Customers, we’re big believers in content marketing too, which is why our website, Find New Customers, is filled with great free content on B2B demand generation - simply put, it’s our gift to you to help you grow your business.

Check out this great infographic by We thank them for it.

Have you seen our new free “cheat sheet” - 7 Keys to B2B Marketing Success? No sign-up needed. Go grab it now! Or sign up for our demand generation podcasts in iTunes.

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He’s also the author of three great white papers, including How to Find New Customers (Lead generation);Definitive Guide to Making Quota (B2B Sales) and Moving from Transactional to Conversational Email Marketing. (email marketing) All three can be downloaded from

To learn about Jeff, please visit Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers help companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities for sales teams, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.