In 2015, as I was embarking on my speaking career as the host of my own live events, SHIFT, I hired a speaking coach. During our time together, I asked him – Should I write a book? His answer – Yes if you want to be a credible speaker. So, the seed was planted and eventually I would become a best-selling author!
Later that same year, at a networking event, I met a woman (I’ll call her Doreen) who had published a best-selling book. After the event, and over coffee, I asked about her book writing journey. She explained that she had spent a year (yes 365 days +) writing her book. She had invested over $10,000 in coaches, editors, and publishers to get her book written, published and to best-seller status. And yet, she confessed that the book had done nothing for her business growth. Not only was I shocked but I was really curious as to why it had not positively impacted her business.
Doreen explained that her book did not contribute to her business growth because she really wasn’t prepared, i.e.
- She had no email list to ‘sell’ the book to once it was published.
- She had no program to sell people into after the book was published.
So – can a book help YOU grow your business? The answer is… it all depends! Let’s consider these factors.
I believe a book CAN help you grow your business if:
1. Your book increases your credibility because you have written from your position of authority. In other words, if the book contains original and provocative thinking that moves your dream client closer to hiring you – then it has done its job.
2. Your book increases your reach (audience). If the publication of your book touches more people that you can actually continue to nurture, then I believe it’s a good thing. I believe that something that is often missing with respect to book writing is how to get those readers onto your email list so you can continue to nurture them (keep reading and I’ll show you how).
3. Your book is written as a marketing tactic and if fits into your overall marketing strategy AND that you have a marketing strategy to promote, sell and keep in touch with your audience.
In the case of my first best-seller, SHIFT Into RICH:, the book was part of my overall speaking strategy providing credibility & authority positioning. I also created a very specific marketing strategy for it and still use the concepts I shared in 2015 in my teachings today i.e., GPS Grow-meter.
4. Your book can often get you free publicity. I was able to get television appearances once I had written my first book. However, it wasn’t just because I had a book to my name – but having the book certainly helped. What was important to the television appearance was WHY I wrote the book and how this mission was tied to a current event. (In my case, I wrote the book to help women entrepreneurs succeed in business and I got the television appearance during Women in Business month.)
So, when isn’t a book going to help grow your business?
Here are my own thoughts:
i. When you aren’t prepared (no email list, or program like Doreen). In other words, writing a book isn’t for newbie entrepreneurs or if you understand my Grow-meter concept (page 34 in my book), you should be at least at the ‘Manager’ level before writing a book.
ii. If you’re writing it to make money from the book itself. Rarely do entrepreneurs write a book to make money just from the sales of the book! More often than not, it’s about the credibility, speaking opportunities or the platform the book is the foundation for. For instance, I’m in the process of reading “Get Different’ by Michaelowicz. Not only did he write the book but developed a whole training program based on its concepts.
iii. If you’re writing the book or chapter in a compilation book to tell a story that isn’t related to your business or doesn’t position you as the go-to-expert in your business. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with telling a story that isn’t business related but don’t expect it to help grow your business.
I’ll share my own experience. Over the years, I’ve been invited to contribute a chapter to several compilation books including one on caregiving. While it’s true I do have a story about caring for my daughter while she was ill, it really wouldn’t have offered the credibility or authority positioning that would have grown my business. So, I declined that opportunity. And yet, more recently I’ve had an opportunity to add a chapter to a book with Brian Tracy (success guru) on the subject of Emerging as the unmistakable authority. This book is in alignment with my positioning, so I said yes!
If writing your book will take time away from other critical revenue generating activities in your business. If your business is in survival mode, the time and concentration required to write a book isn’t where you might want to be spending your time. Instead, focusing on getting more sales might be more worthwhile than writing your book.
Will writing a book help you grow your business? It all depends on many factors.
YOU CAN DO THIS
P.S. Next week, I intend to unveil pre-sales & perks of my upcoming book with Brian Tracy; Emerge as the unmistakable authority where I’ve written a chapter entitled: Think like a CEO how to add more fun, freedom & joy into your business.