Soph Reads Stuff – Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to do Business With You
Hi book friends!
After a brief hiatus to move house (aka two months of utter mayhem in the Soph Reads Stuff habitat), I’m back with a review of another industry favourite. This time I’ve taken on Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley – and I managed not to cry while I read it, which was a pleasant relief after the emotional carnage that was Creativity Inc.
While I didn’t love Oversubscribed the way I did my last book, it’s definitely another good one. It’s jam-packed with practical, actionable advice that everyone and their business partner has told me has transformed the way they think about their company’s marketing strategy. It didn’t have oodles of childhood memories, but it did have plenty of great ideas, and even a few funny doodles along the way. So, as I don’t want to give too much away in the introduction, let’s get to the good stuff shall we?
You will be pleased to know that I do in fact learn from my mistakes, so I picked up the second (and latest) edition of this book. You can tell which is which by the number of people queuing on the cover – a detail I thought was quite clever given the tagline and subject matter.
Once you’re in, Oversubscribed really is a step-by-step guide to becoming, well, oversubscribed. Priestley starts with a clear, intriguing premise about why companies should want to be oversubscribed, and then proceeds to back it up with case studies from his own businesses and the companies he’s helped as well. He also shares the core values that organisations need to have if they want to become oversubscribed, and that’s all in the introduction!
The entire book is clearly and confidently written, with a tone that can only be described as quiet success. Priestley does tell readers at several points throughout the book that he has in fact done really well for himself, but it never comes across as arrogant or self-centred. It’s just a matter-of-fact statement about the results of his methods, which makes you believe everything he’s telling you is actually true. Much like Dave Gerhardt from Founder Brand, this is an author who has figured something out, and is sharing it with the world in his helpful, well-written book.
I wrote so many notes while I was reading Oversubscribed, and I could easily give you a play-by-play of almost the entire book, but I think that would start to count as plagiarism. Instead, I’ll give you the three best nuggets I got from it, and hope that’s enough to convince you.
The first great piece of advice is that you don’t need your entire industry to want to buy from you. You just need two people to try to outbid each other until they’re at a high enough price point that you only need one of them. When you’re at that stage, you can single out the clients who understand what you do, value it, and are willing to pay accordingly. It’s also a bonus if they’re bought into your way of working, because if you value a partnership approach and they want everything handed to them on a silver platter, that relationship is going to turn sour pretty quickly.
The second concept that really stood out to me was the 7/11/4 structure. This refers to the amount of interactions that each customer needs to have with you before they’ll trust you enough to buy from you. That means having enough content online that clients can spend 7 hours reading your blogs, scrolling through your social media or browsing your website. They need to have 11 separate interactions with you in at least 4 different places, whether that’s LinkedIn, a website, a Zoom call, Facebook, etc. Building that variety of contact will make you seem familiar and trustworthy enough that they will think about buying from you.
The final titbit I’ll leave you with is the closing chapters of the book. Once Priestley has talked you through why you should become oversubscribed and then how to do it, he talks about his hopes for when you’ve made it. The penultimate chapter is about doing good with your company and money by giving back to the community or wider world, which is a touching message from such a successful author and entrepreneur. The line that really stuck with me is this:
“Being oversubscribed isn’t a marketing exercise for me. It’s about playing full out so that I can affect the most number of people I can and create something special.”
Perhaps that driving goal is what makes Priestley come across as so genuine and humble throughout the book, despite his rampant success. It makes him likeable, relatable and memorable in a market that’s often full of self-aggrandising business owners and celebrity entrepreneurs. From start to finish, it’s a really good book.
Oversubscribed is a brilliant book. I can see why so many founders and marketers alike have recommended it to me, both personally and online. It was a dream to read, with good quality pages, an easy-to-read font and immaculate grammar. The ideas presented throughout the book are simple to understand, easy to implement, and – from all accounts – life-changing.
My only real criticism of Oversubscribed isn’t really a criticism at all given the type of book it is – it’s more of an opinion. The only thing missing from the book (for me) is the emotion. Platform made me laugh, Creativity Inc. made me cry, and both of them earned five stars as a result. While Oversubscribed definitely taught me a lot, it didn’t make me feel a lot, which is the only thing holding me back from giving it a glowing five stars.
As this book is very much about marketing your company, you could argue that it doesn’t need to make you feel things, it just needs to help you learn. However, I know from reading both Platform and Creativity Inc. that it is possible to do both, so I’m giving Oversubscribed a very well deserved four stars.
Oversubscribed is an excellent book that’s well made, well written and full of great advice. It’s definitely worth a read, and even more worth implementing into your company’s marketing strategy. It only didn’t get five stars because it didn’t make me feel things, but that’s a personal preference for when it comes to handing out ratings. If you’re not a particularly emotionally-driven person, this is probably the perfect marketing book for you.
Want to chat about books? Find me on LinkedIn –> Sophie Colclough 🥰