Guest post by Diane O’Connell, CEO and Editorial Director of Write to Sell Your Book.
Who would you be more excited to work with: someone who hands you a standard business card, or someone who presents you with a book that explains exactly how they’ll help you?
Soon, publishing a book about your business will be expected, if not a standard that clients will see as the mark of a true professional. Especially as self-publishing is easier than ever, we’re approaching a time where not having a book about your business, your methods and your passion may actually turn away clients.
It’s simple: Entrepreneurs-turned-authors will have an upper hand.
Power In Publishing
We’ve all seen the powerful influence a book can create for an entrepreneur trying to boost their business. Take Robert Kiyosaki’s bestseller, Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is perhaps the ultimate book on financial independence. Believe it or not, Kiyosaki originally wrote it to promote his board game, Cashflow 101. But today, I’d expect that Kiyosaki hardly needs a business card, or labors over attracting new clients — his reputable book already did all the work for him.
I know what you’re thinking: Rich Dad Poor Dad is huge. What can a book do for me?
Bottom line is that a professionally crafted, edited, designed and published book can establish you as an authority figure in your field. It’s far easier to have value-based fees as a published expert than to present yourself as a service commodity.
Write Now, Earn Later
Let’s talk logistics: A book showcases your philosophy, your passion, and your specific approach —in other words, your BRAND — in one impressive package.
And if you choose to self-publish, you completely control the book’s content and more importantly, your voice. You can talk to the client, address his needs and introduce him to your personality and vision before you even get him on the phone.
Done right, a book can sell you easier than you can sell yourself. Also, a book is less likely to get lost among a pile of papers, unlike a business card or brochure. A book is VISIBILITY you can count on!
“So How Do I Fit Writing a Book Into My Schedule?”
No need to panic. You don’t have to churn out a 400-page textbook. Truly, your book can be as simple as a 50-page highly targeted eBook.
The first step is finding your hook. Pore over your sales material, emails, or blog posts. Ask yourself what you’re repeatedly saying to clients. Is that the crux of your brand? And, how is your message different from your competitors’ messages? You’ll unearth the unique hook of your business—your thesis.
Once you’ve fine-tuned your book’s core message, you can beef it up, using those same blog posts, sales material, and more. You can even look at your Twitter and Facebook feeds, or look back on how you worked with your favorite clients. How do you solve problems? You’ll find that the answers to these questions will branch out into paragraphs or even chapters.
Another content-generating exercise is to create a seminar or workshop based on the concept of your book. Record the presentation.
A way to structure it all is to write the Table of Contents that you envision for your book. Before you know it, you’ll have an outline!
And it always helps to have a publishing professional in your corner, for the times that you get stuck. A good developmental editor will ask the right questions, challenge you to go further than you thought you could, and make sure that your Brand comes through loud and clear in your writing.
Learn more from Diane O’Connell by watching the Webinar we do together on September 25, From Brand to Book: How to Turn Your Expertise into a Book That Sells — and Sells Your Business.