Hummingbird Creative Group is excited to announce our first guest blogger, Karin Wiberg, owner of Clear Sight Books.
This article is part one in a two-part series on building your brand through books.
At one point, authors scribbled away in their garrets in hopes of writing the next great American novel, of making the bestseller list, of reaching as many readers as possible, of getting starred reviews.
And, of course, some authors still do pursue those dreams.
But, with the advent of print-on-demand technology and blossoming opportunities for independent publishing (“self-publishing”), a new set of goals has emerged. Many business people—owners, executives, entrepreneurs—write books with little intention of pursuing authorial plaudits, but rather to have a marketing, messaging and branding tool.
Haven’t thought about writing a book yet? On the fence? Here are seven things a book can do.
1. open doors for you
Consider the impression a book gives: legitimacy, credibility, authority, dogged determination to write the darn thing. Upon learning you have authored a book, our estimation of you increases almost immediately. You become more intriguing to talk to, your brand becomes shinier and your company becomes more interesting as a potential business partner. Books can get you in doors you weren’t able to open before.
2. help you speak from a bigger stage
For professional speakers, having a book has become de rigueur. The cachet a book lends your brand lets you climb the steps to bigger keynote stages at higher speaking fees. Even for those who are not professional speakers, a book positions you as an expert, an authority and even a thought leader. It opens up possibilities for speaking to larger audiences, for instance, at industry conferences. And who knows where that visibility might lead you?
3. show potential clients you are the right fit for them
When you write a book, you give readers a peek into your world. They hear your voice, they learn your philosophy and they understand you as an individual, a company, and a brand. Whether you are a life coach whose clients look for “heart” fit or a consulting firm whose clients respond to your data-driven assessments, a book allows you to speak to your ideal audience. They can see themselves working with you.
4. educate prospects who aren’t (currently) a good fit
There’s an aphorism in the sales world that not all prospects should become clients. If time is a limiting factor, use it wisely and filter out prospects who may not be the best use of your time. As a consulting firm, clients might need a certain business maturity to benefit from your advice. As a coach, your clients need to be “ready to do the work.” If you have a book, you can give not-yet clients tools to get ready to be your client.
5. solidify relationships with current clients
By highlighting current clients in your book, you position them in a favorable light with their potential clients. Making your clients the hero of their own case study demonstrates how much you seek to support their success. Who wouldn’t want to stick with you after that?
6. grow the market
When you offer something truly new to your profession or industry, you must create demand for your services. But it can be hard to get the message out as the sole voice for the need you fill. With a strong thought leadership strategy, including a book, competitors will start to take notice. The more voices that speak to the need, the more the awareness of it grows—and the more demand grows.
7. position your company for acquisition
How much of your business is based on the information that resides in your head? Documenting policies, processes, and procedures is SOP to mitigate risk and help your business keep running should something happen to you or your principals. Writing a book to articulate your unique value proposition and demonstrate market understanding can also mitigate risk and give potential acquirers increased confidence in your company and brand.
Intrigued by the idea of a book as a business development tool? In part two, we’ll look at how your book quality aligns with your brand promise.
You can find part two here.
Karin is the owner of Clear Sight Books. She helps business leaders who know they need to write a book but struggle to find the time or the words. Whether she ghostwrites, edits, or coaches, her clients develop a clear message and compelling voice so they can engage their audience. Read more at http://clearsightbooks.com/.