A Book is Your Business Card
In 2009, my business partner and I wrote our book because we were on the speaking circuit as successful business owners. We got asked the same questions all the time, and frankly, it became boring as our responses became canned.
It was an Uh Ah moment for us. Many business owners were becoming authors for this reason – it’s a great way to put all your advice and knowledge in one, easily accessible place, make money and use it to open doors for us in corporations or organizations. Plus, what business owner, back in 2009, didn’t impress a client when they wrote a book? We decided that getting into Fortune 500 companies would be much easier if we spoke to the Women Interest Groups, where the women all thought there had to be a better way than the corporate world.
I came across this Forbes article written by Alinka Rutkowska in June 2020. It said everything I wanted to say. Here’s what Alinka thought about why your book should be your business card:
- Lead generation
The first place you will likely publish your book is on Amazon. While it looks like a book store, in reality, it’s a search engine. When you optimize your book’s metadata to be easily found in searches, readers interested in your expertise will find your book in their search queries. They’ll read your book and visit any links you include. This method brought us an extra six figures in new business in six months since launching ours.
- Opt-in on your website
It’s believed that the average visitor will stay on your website for less than 15 seconds, and they probably won’t come back. But if you have a book that you’re offering them in exchange for their email address, you gain a subscriber and may eventually be able to turn them into a client.
- Enhanced business card
People might remember you if you give them your business card, but it will be hard for them to forget you if you give them your book. They’ll put it on their bookshelf and see it every time they look at their books. You will always be top of mind.
One of our clients throws his book on the table at the beginning of his meetings with investors. Guess who they will remember? The guy who gave them a business card or the guy who made the grand entrance with a book?
- Lead conversion
Not only does a book bring in new prospects, but it also increases their quality. For instance, we’ve noticed that people who have read our lead-gen book are much better prepared for our sales calls and are primed to buy. The next reason explains why.
Being an author gives you a celebrity-like status. People still get excited when they meet an author. Having a book means you have value to share. We were taught to respect books in childhood, and this never goes away.
A book can become a handbook to running your business. If you sell it or hand it over to your kids, your book can show them the way to navigate the business world after you’re gone.
A book not only allows you to grow your core business, but it can also launch your consulting career. If you’re able to write a book on your subject matter, then you’re better able to offer coaching or consulting. It can also allow you to pivot if you want to exit your business or give you a parallel track or backup in case you want to move on to doing something else.
Being introduced as an author at a speaking gig gives you that extra sense of celebrity status we talked about earlier, and best-selling authors greatly enrich an event’s lineup. You’ll also have the confidence to raise your speaking fees once you have a book under your belt.
- Supplement events
Wherever you go, you can now order a box of books to your destination. Sell them after you speak and sign them for your readers. You can be sure they will be much hotter prospects than if they only listened to you speak.
Last but not least, a book provides you with an extra revenue stream. I’m not just talking about royalties coming from your book sales, but also potential sales of licensing rights and bulk deals (it’s not uncommon for companies to request books they like in hundreds or thousands).
So, where do you start?
Think about your book idea the way you think about your business. There needs to be demand for what you offer, and you need to have a unique sales proposition (USP). In other words, your book needs to fit in and stand out. It needs to fit into an existing genre when you browse categories on a retailer site, and it needs to give your reader a reason to choose your book as opposed to the book next to yours on the bookshelf.
Once you have your USP, put together an outline (or a table of contents) so that you never stare at a blank page when you get into the writing phase.
Then, start writing and act on one of the above business growth strategies and watch your company scale. Act on all 10 and watch your business explode — I know mine did.
Forbes – Author: Alinka Rutkowska; Jun 8, 2020 08:00am EDT