One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails that will boost your business. There’s an invitation to speak at a national conference. A leading blogger asks for an interview, exposing your business to thousands of prospects. A trade publication editor lets you know that you’ve been featured in this month’s edition, which resulted from an earlier webinar.
Each of these opportunities came to you (instead of the other way around). Best of all, you enjoy the benefits of marketing without actually selling.
Instead of pushing your business on people, struggling to stand out in your niche, you share your thought leadership and attract qualified leads for your professional services.
Is this a fantasy? No! This could be a typical day in your life as a published author.
Publishing a Book Generates Visibility and Attracts Clients
Publishing a book is the gold standard of thought leadership marketing for professional services providers, especially when it complements other marketing strategies such as public speaking and online content marketing. Whether you’re a CEO, speaker, coach, consultant, therapist, publishing a book can change your life, often dramatically.
A book provides you with more credibility than than a blog, an e-book or a seminar. When you plan your book around core business goals and leverage your author platform, your book will pay dividends in inbound sales leads and new business. Best of all, becoming a published author can mean that marketing will not be such a struggle anymore.
A published book based on your professional services expertise can become your most effective marketing tool. As a published author you’ll find the struggle of constantly seeking out new clients can become a thing of the past. Your book will provide a thought leadership marketing platform for your business and give all your marketing efforts a natural focus. Clients will seek you out, ready to pay good money for your professional services, because you’re seen as a leader in your field. You become their first choice.
Publishing a book is a newsworthy event that can prompt high-profile media coverage, speaking engagements, radio interviews, partnership opportunities, and too many other benefits to mention.
Books are perhaps the best marketing giveaways ever created. As a professional services provider, you can give your book to potential clients to familiarize them with your approach, knowledge and methods. As an author and industry thought leader, you can raise your fees because of your celebrity status.
It’s Not Just a Book — It’s a Business!
Your book is the seed from which you can grow a multi-faceted “empire” of related products and services.
Imagine selling thousands of books to trade associations as member premiums. Or, creating a $499 a year membership website, a $995 home-study course or a $10,000 year-long mentorship program, based on your book, for which individuals or groups that pay thousands of dollars a piece to participate.
The idea is to see your book as a launching pad for new business opportunities.
Barbara Hemphill used her book Taming The Paper Tiger to develop a multi-pronged branding strategy. Hemphill offers organizing skills services designed to reduce stress and increase productivity. Her business was based almost entirely on her book and expanded to include related books, consulting services and software products, gain an endorsement by Pendaflex, and found the Barbara Hemphill Productive Environment Institute and built a network of authorized consultants across the U.S. and Canada.
You Can Write a Book!
Publishing a book is easier than you might think, and you don’t need to be a seasoned writer to become a published author. The talents and expertise you bring to your clients can form the basis of a successful book. If you know your subject area, and can communicate your ideas in a clear, compelling, organized manner, becoming a published author is within your reach.
Writing a successful book requires work, focus and commitment. Break the process into smaller steps by writing a series of articles that become the basis for a book. Or, work with a talented freelance writer to help you express your ideas clearly and with conviction.
Traditional vs. Self Publishing
The most traditional book publishing route involves landing a publisher who handles your book’s production, promotion and distribution. This involves up front work (you write a detailed proposal, a table of contents, sample chapters and a market overview) and shop the proposal around to potential publishers, either on your own or with the help of a commissioned agent. If a publisher takes you on, expect to see your book in print in 12-18 months.
Traditional book publishing, which has always been a difficult and challenging process, has become more difficult in recent years. A traditionally published book still delivers the prestige of being associated with a major publisher. Though it’s still possible to land a book deal, traditional publishers expect a higher degree of name recognition for new authors.
In recent years, self-publishing has come into its own. Once seen as second best, self-publishing is now a viable alternative to traditional publishing due to the rise of print on demand (POD) options which eliminated the need for large, expensive print runs. When combined with affordable desktop publishing tools and quality writing and editing, a self-published book can get to market faster and provide better financial returns for the author. “When you self-publish, you keep all the profits,” says Dan Poynter, author of The Self-Publishing Manual. “Additionally, you get into print quickly, own the copyright, and take all applicable tax breaks.”
Whatever publishing route you choose, the Internet provides a global marketplace for your book. Electronic books have grown dramatically over the past few years, which has expanded markets for authors. Never before has it been so easy to create, market and leverage the many benefits of publishing a book to promote your professional services firm. And perhaps rocket your firm to the top of your industry!