Ever feel like a small fish in a very very big pond?
Well, that’s the current state of the online marketing world. With every business vying for space to communicate their brand, digital marketing has become a busy arena. For the modern day business person, juggling your digital presence whilst also running your day to day business can be overwhelming.
A book for your business is the simplest and most dependable branding device to give you some business clarity.
Believe it or not, independent business owners already have the skills needed for publishing a book: content, passion, and credibility.
You don’t have to be the next Stephen King to create your own book. You just need to communicate your business succinctly like you would on your blog, a press release, or any other content platform. Sounds doable? Here are some reasons to do it now…
As a business owner you are seen as an expert in your field. Customers, readers, even competitors naturally look to you for insights and want to know more. So, armed with this already, a book furthers your perceived value. If you’ve gone to the effort of writing and producing a book yourself, this evokes your dedication, passion for your work, and integrity.
With the digital marketing world so busy, you have seconds to grab the visitor’s attention. A book visually signposts you as legitimate and is the best type of business card.
Although predominant gains might not appear through direct sales of the book, business owners have seen an increase in sales through brand exposure and recommendations stemming from the book.
Nigel Reynolds of Reynolds and Co who wrote a book for his firm, Your Limited Company Journey, noted a dramatic increase in brand awareness:
“The book was never written to win business on its own. It was written to create a way for customers to view us as different from our competition. In this it has worked really well. People are more relaxed in our discussions much earlier than before and this leads to them wanting to do business with us much more quickly.”
Think about the questions you get asked on a regular basis and use this as the foundation of your book. And, don’t panic, you don’t have to write a book that would also make a good door stopper. Your Limited Company Journey, for instance, is only 80 pages:
“I was concerned because my book is short and does not contain a lot of what I would call padding or waffle. I was surprised to get feedback that said the book is great because it can be read in one hour, is direct, and unambiguous.”
From the tone to the design, the book for your business should epitomise your brand, offering a portable index of your services.
There’s always a different digital platform to be on, right? Whether it’s jumping to Snapchat to market your new product, or trying to host a webinar on your site, the range of options for the modern day digital marketer are daunting.
There’s something dependable about a book. It will never be a passing fad and it implies a sense of dependability. This is regardless of the fact that, if you produce an ebook, you can sell the same content and reach two separate growing markets.
We all know not to be too pushy with sales. A book for your business is the best device available to you primarily because of its humble nature. A book does not scream ‘Work with me now!’ It encourages the customer to find out more for themselves without any pressure. Just search and see how many of your competitors offer their customers a book…
Keeping up-to-date with marketing trends, managing the payroll and making sure you’re not late to the parents’ evening are probably only small parts of your daily routine. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to rely on one marketing campaign that keeps on ticking over without much maintenance?
You can’t fit in all that you want to say in one meeting. Nor would you want to, less is always more. Think of your book as a Mary Poppins carpet bag, consolidating all your business information in one place.
It’s a good idea to do some market research and see what the most common questions are that people ask in your industry. Then, answer all of these within the content of your book.
This not only saves you time, but tells the customer you understand them and their needs.
Whether it’s a coffee shop loyalty card, a giveaway in a bookshop, or just a personal follow-up email, we all love getting value. Customer experience is everything in business – most of us will never go to a certain restaurant again if we receive poor service. Don’t leave your potential client waiting at an empty table. Give them something of real value.
Jon Lavelle, author of 52 Real Life Negotiation Cases, decided to write a business book, which has not only resulted in increased work but has actually motivated his clients:
“From a business development perspective I have won consultancy and training work off the back of my books. I have also won several speaking engagements and business deals from people who have read it. I’ve also had journalists contact me for newspaper quotes and radio interviews. The book has inspired me, and apparently some of my readers!”
By imparting knowledge of your business in your very own book, you communicate a great brand ethos, whereby you’re willing to spend your time giving extra to your customers.
So, it all sounds great, but how does it work?
Self-publishing a book for your business may seem like an alien challenge, but it’s really very simple.
First, you have to write the content.
You run a successful business, so you know who your target market is – you know what turns them on and what turns them off.
Like I said, even though you may not feel qualified to write a book, YOU are the best person for the job.
Make sure you answer all the questions you get asked on a regular basis, include information on your services and write it in the tone that aligns with your business. This will ensure your brand’s consistency.
Include images. People love to put a picture to what they’re reading. Include a personal section about yourself and perhaps some photos of your day to day working life, products, and the team. By including this, it makes you inherently relatable.
Simply write your content up, Word Document is best, and make sure you get someone to have a read through it. We can never catch our own typos and you want the book to display your professionalism. Meanwhile, have a brainstorm about how you want the book cover to look. Look at what other business books have done and think how yours could interpret this.
The next step is to talk to a person at a professional publishing services company. They will format your manuscript into a file ready for print and assist with designing a professional business book cover. They’ll also handle production and, before you know it, you’ve self-published a book for your business.
You don’t need a publisher, you don’t need to be an expert in book production, you just need to write something of value to your potential customers. That’s part of the day job, isn’t it? It should be a doddle.
With the online marketing jungle being, at times, an overwhelming place, there’s something comforting in the reliability of a book. It does the work for you as it walks out of the door with your potential client, or acts a gentle reminder of your services whilst sat on someone’s desk.
If you’re looking for a new marketing campaign that requires little maintenance and effortlessly spreads brand awareness, then a book for your business is what you need. You already have all the required skills, so get planning!
For further details, see Self-publishing a Book: The Basics
This is a guest post by Hannah Vaughan.
Hannah is Marketing and Editorial Assistant at TJ INK, part of TJ International ltd, delivering professional publishing services to independent writers and businesses.