Just as factories and products dominated the industrial age, knowledge and content define the information age. Our economy is based on information, and those who know more and are experts are commonly considered to have more economic clout. One of the most effective ways to demonstrate you are an expert in your field and to put your company on the information map is to publish a book.
In our knowledge-based society, those who have published a book stand above the crowd, which provides numerous benefits for you and your company. Here are just a few of the notable ones.
We Keep Books!
While business cards are still handy to have around, mostly because they are easy to carry, the truth is most people will very quickly throw them away. We just don’t keep business cards anymore. We want the information on our smart phones so we won’t lose it and it is always handy. Books, on the other hand, we keep. They represent a collection of information and knowledge that we own, even if we haven’t read them all.
Even in this digital age, a well-designed book carries weight and will usually be added to a collection rather than thrown away. Books have the added benefit of continuing to market for you. Every time the owner sees that book or even a visitor sees your book; there is additional, residual marketing for you.
Publishing a Book Adds Value to Your Brand
Both your personal and your business’s brand will benefit from publishing a book since it becomes a dynamic extension of your resume. One caveat I would bring to light is that your book needs to be well written and interesting to read. Specifically, this means you need to have correct grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Beyond that, your book needs to be something that is interesting to read. (For more on this, check back for our next blog on how to write a good business book.) A published book does, unfortunately, have the potential to reflect badly on your brand if not done professionally. But that’s not what you’re interested in, right? You wouldn’t be researching this if you weren’t interested in putting out quality content.
When you put a book out there that is well written and engaging, people get a chance to see you beyond the resume, beyond the sales pitch. You have knowledge to share with the world and when you become a published author you further your credibility as a business person. People get the opportunity to see just how deep your knowledge runs. You might argue that what you know isn’t that special and you might be sure someone has written on the same topic at some point. But studies show that while 85% of business people say they want to write a book, only about 5% succeed in writing it and getting it published. So beat the odds and get what’s inside your head and heart on paper and get it published!
Develop Instant Credibility: Write a Book!
Interestingly enough, publishing a book puts you in an entirely different category. Most authors will tell you that as soon as they got that book published others instantly saw them as smarter and their companies as more credible. They see that you are the expert you said you are, because look, you wrote a book! Think about it from your clients’ point of view, who are they going to inherently trust more, the person who just tells them this is the best service or the person who wrote the book on that service? There is an assumption in our society that if you wrote a book about it, you naturally must be the authority on it. So make that work for you, beat the odds, and write a book about the services or products you sell.
Writing a Book Opens Doors for Speaking Engagements
You are more likely to get speaking engagements at events or talk and radio show appearances if you have a book published. Why you might ask…. yep… you guessed it: You published a book, you’re an expert! Are you catching the trend yet?
Publishing Your Book is A Powerful Content Marketing Tool
Consumers are devouring content at ever increasing rates. The content from your book makes great material for your blogs, social media posts, vlogs, and so much more. The reverse can also be true. If you’ve already been blogging for a while on topics you are an expert on; you probably have enough content for a book. The average non-fiction self-help or how-to book is between 40,000-50,000 words or 160 to 220 pages. So take a look at your blogs, you may have most of what you need for a book already!
Use Your Book to Educate
This might seem obvious: isn’t that what books are for, to educate? But bear with me for a minute. Your book can be a powerful lead generation tool and educate at the same time. Say you offer classes in the area around which to do business. Anyone who attends a series of your classes or even just one class could receive a copy of your book. It adds value to your classes and is now a source of continuing education for the attendee. It also has your contact information in it, or should. As they read more and learn more about what you do and how you do it, they can see more value in the services or product you provide.
The scenario also works for new clients. Give them a signed copy of your book. True, you might be losing money on the book its self, but the value it adds to your company if your client reads it and becomes more educated, is invaluable. Additionally, the client is exposed to other services you offer, perhaps in a slightly different area than what they initially hired you to do. Now you have the opportunity for an additional sale because the client knows you have the expertise to help them with other problems they need solutions to.
If you don’t have landing pages, you should. Using a print on demand service, you can give away books that again are loss leaders but have great value as lead generation tools.
Your Published Book Can be an Income Stream
There are more avenues than ever to sell you book online. Your book sales have the potential to be a revenue stream all in of themselves. Social media and places like Amazon provide outlets to sell even your self-published book. Keep in mind, you can’t just publish it and hope people will magically find it and buy it. You have to invest some time marketing your published book. With some elbow grease, the opportunities to make money as a published author are more attainable for the average person than ever before. Additionally, as you get more speaking engagements and do classes, you can always have copies of the book for sale in the back of the room.
While most of the benefits of writing and publishing a book result in intangible benefits like additional quality leads, charging higher rates, and landing better quality speaking opportunities, it is also worth noting you shouldn’t over look the tangible benefit. In 2006, the Wellesley Hills Group, a marketing consultancy, did a survey of 200 business-book authors. Mike Schultz, the principal of the firm, commented that:
“It may sounds obvious, but the biggest find was that authors who sold more than 10,000 copies of their books were much more satisfied with how the effort paid off than were those who sold fewer than 10,000. Those who sold 20,000 copies of higher were off the charts in their enthusiasm.”
Writing Your Own Book is a Good Investment
Schultz also commented saying:
“The vast majority of the authors we surveyed, 96%, said they did realize a significant positive impact on their business from writing a book and would recommend the practice.”
So while there are some qualifiers, the book needs to be well written, design attractively and engaging, there is potential for positive return on your investment that goes far beyond the book sales themselves. Making the time to write and publish a book increases the value of the products or services you sell as well as your company’s earning potential. Your published book increases brand equity and opens doors. To do this you must be committed to the process of writing, publishing, and marketing you book.
What then is holding you back? Go out and get started writing! There is no time like the present.