The Ultimate Strategy for Self-Promotion? Share your Knowledge in a Printed Book!
If you are looking to promote yourself and your business, there is no better way to gain instant credibility than by writing a book.
A well-written book sets you apart from the competition because it establishes you as an expert. This allows you to build a deeper connection with clients. In turn, this leads to more sales opportunities and growth.
Think about it. Your competitors are likely giving prospective clients a simple business card or brochure, whereas you will be able to provide a professionally-printed book. And not just any book…a book that YOU wrote!
Now, which offering is more impressive? Who is viewed as the knowledgeable authority? More importantly, who will clients prefer to work with?
A self-authored book is the perfect marketing tool
Before we go any further, let's be clear about the type of book we are talking about. We're not talking about writing a best-selling novel or fictional series, we're talking about writing a book that will be used as a marketing tool to help grow your business. In other words, a promotional giveaway book that contains the type of information or instruction that will be of great value to clients in your target market.
That said, if your book becomes so popular that you eventually earn income from selling hundreds or thousands of copies, then wonderful. But to start off, it is probably best to concentrate on using the book solely as a promotional gift to potential and current clients.
A crucial element of marketing yourself with a book is the "About the Author" page. This is a mini-biography that is usually placed on the back cover or in a prominent location within the book. It should include interesting details about yourself, including your professional background and education.
A high-resolution headshot is often added to the "About the Author" page as well. Of course, this page must also contain some method of contacting you. Include your web address if you have one. Finally, you should add a call-to-action to encourage inquiries. Choose an effective call-to-action but make sure it is subtle. You don't want the call-to-action to be too forceful or you'll risk undoing the trust you have worked so hard to build throughout the book.
Writing a book is easier than you might think
Whether you've had a book in your head for years or never even considered writing a book, you probably view a book project as a huge undertaking that involves months and months of research. But it doesn't have to be. The secret is to draw on your experiences and write about what you know. This simplifies the process immensely. Chances are very good others want to know what you know.
All the years you've spent in your chosen profession have provided you with unique experiences and specialized knowledge. Compiling your expertise into a printed book will allow you to share a topic you are passionate about. By using your own words and perspective, you can build a strong bond with the reader and establish yourself as a leading authority in your field. Your professional reputation could blossom practically overnight.
Perhaps you have already created some articles, presentations, or webinars that could form the basis of your book. Or maybe you regularly post to a blog or offer a newsletter. Using content you have already written can provide a tremendous head start toward completing your book.
If you're starting totally from scratch and unable to come up with a good angle, below are three examples of popular book formats that are relatively easy to write:
1) Question and Answer - provide thoughtful answers to the multitude of questions you frequently get asked in your profession, e.g. "Answers to Your Questions about Mutual Funds."
2) Mistakes to Avoid - share common industry mistakes and ways to avoid them…or common problems and ways to solve them, e.g. "Avoid These 35 Homebuying Mistakes."
3) How to Do Something - share insightful methods and procedures for accomplishing specific tasks, e.g. "How to Register a Trademark."
By the way, don't be discouraged if books have already been written about your chosen topic. Even though the subject matter may be similar, you can always put a new slant on it…one that will make it better suited to your specific client base. Also, because your experiences are unique, your book will be too. After all, your viewpoint is exclusive to you.
As long as you understand your audience, focus the content on their needs, and provide information that is useful to them, your book will be well-received.
Who should write a book?
Anyone who wants to promote themselves and their offerings should write a book. This includes business owners, entrepreneurs, salespeople, attorneys, medical professionals, financial service providers, real estate agents, insurance agents, accountants, IT professionals, religious leaders, consultants, teachers, coaches, and anyone else who wants to grow a business, share knowledge, or further a cause.
Five significant benefits of offering a printed book…
A book helps elevate your credibility - today's society has a high regard for book authors. Write a book and you will be viewed as a leading authority on your chosen subject. Your newfound respect among clients will translate to increased opportunities and profit. As an author, you could also become a trusted resource for the news media when they seek an expert to offer an opinion. The increased visibility and publicity from media exposure is essentially free advertising.
A book helps you reach a much wider audience - You have knowledge and experience that can help others, but your profession may be such that you can only speak to one, two, or maybe a small group of people at a time. A printed book will help you leverage your time, expand your area of influence, and allow you to reach people that you weren't able to otherwise. As you distribute more and more copies of your book, the valuable information it contains will act as a 24/7 salesperson for you. This increased exposure funnels more clients your way, most of which are pre-qualified since they have read about you and already know what you can offer them.
A book differentiates you from the crowd - in a competitive environment, the only way to capture the interest of potential clients is to distinguish yourself. Chances are good that your competitors will not put in the effort to create a book, so this offers you an excellent opportunity to differentiate yourself, build your brand, and gain a bigger share of the market. A self-authored book offers tangible proof to your clients that you are indeed the expert. This provides you with an almost insurmountable competitive advantage.
A book provides ongoing exposure - unlike eBooks, PDFs, blogs, or web articles, printed books exist in physical form. A book is low-tech, but you can hand a client a printed book and they can view it immediately. Conversely, you have to direct a client to an eBook or blog…which takes some effort on their part and requires a computer, smartphone, or other device. But once the power is off, the content is gone from view. A printed book, however, doesn't need power or any special equipment to operate. It can be viewed by anyone, in any place, and at any time. More importantly, our culture views a printed book as something of high value. A book is not something people casually discard. This means your book will likely sit on a client's desk or table in plain view, keeping you and your business top-of-mind for weeks, months or longer.
A book encourages reciprocity when given as a gift - people love to receive gifts and giveaways. Even though it is distributed with no obligation, giving a copy of your book as a gift to current or prospective clients helps build goodwill and leaves a very favorable impression. This increases the probability they will like you, remember you, and do business with you.
I did it and so can you!
Before we wind this article down, I wanted to share some information about a handbook I created to promote my company's book printing services (see photo at right).
This book was relatively simple to create because it was compiled from a multitude of blogs I had written over the years on the subject of Book Printing.
This 6" x 9" hardcover book uses the Question and Answer format mentioned above. To enhance the appearance of the book, we added a gloss laminate to the cover and used metallic gold and silver inks for the title and subtitle.
Because the majority of the content came from blog articles I had written previously, this book went from idea to production in only a few weeks. Maybe you too have written some material over the years that would make a good foundation for a book. If so, it really speeds up the process.
Let Formax help you create a printed book you'll be proud to share. We offer a variety of cost-effective solutions for printing and binding your book…a book that will enhance your image and reputation for years to come.
Give us a call at 866-367-6221 to discuss your book project. Or, if you already know your specs, click here to submit our easy quote form. As always, we look forward to assisting you!
Take care! Keith