Regardless of your particular industry, as a small business owner, writing and publishing your own book is a highly effective strategy for building your business. But writing and publishing the book is only the beginning of leveraging it as a key marketing strategy. This article is not about marketing your book to sell a million copies; it’s about using the book as a resource for growing your business.
The business growth comes from attracting ideal clients, positioning yourself as a leader in your industry, and gaining more exposure in your business market. Is it necessary to write a book to build a successful business? Necessary, no; however, you’re missing out on an extremely efficient way to promote your expertise if you choose not to publish and use a book.
How can writing and publishing a book help me to build my business?
Writing a relevant and authoritative book concerning your business niche or specialty is one of the fastest ways to establish your authority in your particular industry. A published work that others find useful builds your status as an expert in what you do and enhances your credibility within your market. Your audience assumes that if you’ve written a book on a particular subject, you know a lot about it. Therefore, you’re an expert. Who else would you want to engage for a service but the person who “wrote the book” on your field?
How should you begin? Start a blog or regular newsletter about your book. Send a newsletter out once every three or four weeks and blog two or three times a week about the content of your book. If your book is available through a traditional publisher, be sure you secure permission to use excerpts in online and print advertising. Provide a link to your website at the bottom of every article and newsletter so readers can purchase your book and learn more about your services.
Creating and publishing a book means you have plenty of content you can use again and again. Repurpose sections and chapters of the book as new or updated content, all pointing back to your book and, ultimately, back to your business. While a book is credible, not everyone likes to read. Why not take the core process you lay out in your book and create a video overview? Or how about creating several video or podcast episodes on your website discussing each chapter with a guest?
I’ll bet I can read your mind: “Why should I do this? Why can’t I simply use my book?” As an author, I know well that it is usually impossible to include everything necessary in a book. Moreover, as business and the world around us changes, so will the relevancy of what we have written or how it should be applied. Changing factors may warrant an update to the book and give reasons to introduce new information through a variety of venues that will reach different people.
Expert status and professional credibility are very powerful in securing media attention. If you speak as part of your business marketing strategy (and you should) leverage your book and the authority it lends you to schedule speaking engagements at trade shows and other business venues. Your status as a published author affects how you are perceived by the media and business leaders.
Publish all interviews, articles, and speaking engagements on your website, and include links to your book. Be sure to email articles, interviews, and publicity links to all the customers and prospects on your mailing list. Letting your audience know you have been featured in interviews and trade shows increases your credibility and attracts even more interview offers.
When attending conferences, seminars, training events, networking events, or workshops, have copies of your book available. These and other venues are filled with ideal clients and great referral partners. Give away copies of your book as your business or calling card. Signed copies are especially prized and make a great long-term reference to your business. No one throws away books that are signed by the author.
Remember, you are not trying to sell your book; you’re trying to sell your business. The book is a tool that lends you credibility. Give free copies to steady customers and good prospects. In the case of existing customers, present it to them personally when possible along with a personal note thanking them for their business, referrals, or any other way they have helped your company.
Although there are myriads of self-publishing venues available now, that is no reason to skimp on quality. Beyond providing a solid work filled with relevant and useable knowledge, your book should reflect professionalism in every detail, from design to layout. Only choose high-quality images that reflect your business specialty or book topic well.
Titles are important and can be the reason a person chooses to open a book or tosses it aside. The back cover material is where the book sells itself and for your purposes, sells your business. Details matter. Appearances make impressions for good or bad. Invest the necessary thought and treasure into a book that reflects well on you and your company and it can be an effective tool for building your business.
How have you used a book to build your business? How did you go about choosing a topic and creating your book? We’d love to share your experiences with our readers. Please share your tips or lessons from using a book to build your business in the comment section below.
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