08 Oct How to Use Your Book as a Business Multiplier
You’ve been in business for a while. You’ve seen and learned a thing or two. Now it’s time to gather it all in a book, and use it as a credibility-boost with your customers. But you’ve got to do it right.
Written by Bryan Szabo and Daniela Cavalletti
6 min read
Books boost business; there’s no doubt about that. And in recent years, the world of publishing has changed dramatically in authors’ favour. No longer do you need to beg endless traditional publishing houses to accept your manuscript – just to either get knocked back repeatedly, or see little to no publicity money spent on getting your book noticed.
Thanks to print-on-demand providers like Lightning Source and Amazon and an explosion in related self-publishing services, aspiring and established authors are suddenly in control of their own destiny. Now they can publish when and as they wish – and those who are taking this route are quickly learning that nothing kick-starts a personal brand or boosts a business like a published book.
Your Book Reinforces Your Brand
The most powerful personal brands are built on a reputation as a thought leader (think Richard Branson and Virgin, Steve Jobs and Apple, J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter enterprise). In business, few words carry as much weight on an article byline or during a personal introduction as ‘author of’. If you’re already creating content for marketing purposes, a published book will boost your reach and impact. If, so far, you’ve avoided content marketing (or found little success with it), a published book will help boost your personal brand and drive a steady stream of readers to your online content.
But here’s the catch: it’s not so much your ideas, but your approach to presenting them, that will determine the strength and size of your reputation. No matter how brilliant your thoughts, present them in sloppy or boring ways and you’ll be building your reputation on quicksand. If you focus more on getting a book into print than on the quality of your writing your reputation will topple like a house of cards soon after your book is published (probably the same moment somebody reads it). But if you present your expertise persuasively and intelligently you’ll be building a reputation made of brick and mortar. Crucially, your IP (intellectual property) and reasoning will be built of stuff strong enough to withstand any criticism.
The Five C’s of Powerful Content
So how do you turn your book into a powerful marketing tool? While writing and editing are creative processes, they are also disciplines. Approach writing and editing in structured and practical ways and you’ll be doing yourself (and your readers) a big favour. There are some core methods that successful authors, ghostwriters and editors follow to pen and shape professional books that generate thought-leadership and interest in authors’ brands.
Ensure you stick to our five guidelines when planning and writing your book manuscript, and you’re well on your way to create a solid book that will get you noticed:
#1. Be Clear
From the very first page, your ideas should step into the spotlight. It should become immediately apparent what you are writing about – and why. What is the problem you are addressing? What are your solutions to this problem? Bury the answers to these questions in muddy or turgid writing and your reader will quickly lay your book aside, never to pick it up again.
#2. Be Concise
Get to the point quickly. Don’t beat around the bush, wasting your reader’s time with digressions or unnecessary elaborations. The guidelines for online content and books are very different, but just because you’re publishing a big book doesn’t mean you should over-explain and effectively waste your reader’s time. If you only need a sentence to make your point, don’t write a paragraph; if you only need a paragraph, don’t write a chapter.
#3. Be Consistent
Obviously, you shouldn’t contradict yourself within a book or a piece of content. Yet it’s equally important to present an unchanging face to your audience across mediums. Always stay on message and on brand: this means that your online content and your book need to dovetail neatly in every way.
#4. Be Correct
Unfortunately, self-published content (whether in a book or online) often goes to press unedited. We’ve all seen the results: some books and articles are so riddled with logical ambiguities, spelling mistakes and grammar issues that they become almost unreadable. Nothing does more damage to your brand than a slapdash approach to accuracy. This means that you should always have your work reviewed by a second pair of eyes. You should also ensure to fact-check everything before you present it to your audience. Remember: online sources are, at best, only partially reliable. Just ask Winston Churchill. Double, triple and cross-check your facts and sources.
#5. Be Clever
Content that gets noticed might not always present completely unique ideas, but it does present these ideas in ways that make readers curious to learn more. It’s the turn of phrase that makes your reader sit up, pay attention, and read on. The apt and memorable comparison, the new take on a known concept – this is what gets noticed. If it’s thought-leadership you want, you need to do more than get readers to open your book or article; you need to make them want to keep reading and to come back for more. Clever writing does this.
Calling in The Book Experts
Of course, not everybody is born a writer. Like any craft, it takes dedication and practice to write clearly, concisely, consistently, correctly, and cleverly. Mapping out its structure, then writing and editing your book, is a time-consuming process, and you might feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to add penning a book to your lengthy to-do list.
And time is of the essence. If it’s business-boosting attention and credibility you want, then your content has to be right the first time. Every time, and on time. It’s unlikely that your readers will be willing to wait patiently while you develop your skills as a writer – or find the time to get started on or finish that long-promised book. To ensure that your writing adds to rather than subtracts from your reputation, it’s wise to have a chat with someone with experience in content editing and creation. They’ll help you package and polish your ideas so that you can bring them to market quickly.
A skilled, experienced editor or ghostwriter will ensure that when you and your book get noticed, it’s for all the right reasons.
Books Boost Business
If you use it in the right ways, your published book can be a powerful reputation multiplier.
It can springboard you into the role of a thought leader in your field quick-smart.
And with the respect of your peers and audience, new customers, speaking engagements – and a gold-plated personal brand – aren’t far behind.
Have a book in you but don’t know where to begin? No worries. Just give us a shout and we’ll get you started. As ghostwriters and editors we live and breathe books. We’ve cured many a writer’s block – and have helped publish plenty of powerful business books.