For business owners and entrepreneurs, writing a book has become a standard credibility builder and marketing tool. As a speaker, a book gets you on a bigger stage. As a consultant, a book opens doors. As a coach, a book helps potential clients see you as the right fit for them.
In my work, I’ve also come across some surprising uses for business books. If you’re on the fence about whether your business needs a book, consider these possibilities…
1. To find clients while you’re writing
A colleague writing her first book has started sharing draft chapters with potential readers (aka potential clients). By asking their opinion, she flatters them—in the best sense of the word—while getting valuable feedback and engaging with them in a way that will likely lead to a longer-term relationship. “I’m already getting bang for my buck and I haven’t even finished my book yet!”
Bonus: You may find one of these potential reader-clients will give you a “book blurb” or testimonial.
2. To 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?
Bonus: Potential clients who see themselves reflected in your current clients’ success will want to become your clients as well.
3. To 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 consultant, 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 them tools to get ready to be your client.
Bonus: You can use your book content to develop an online self-assessment that helps people determine whether they are ready to work with you—or if they need to read your book to prepare first.
4. To entice competitors into 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 you know what they say about a rising tide…
Bonus: A book positions you as a leader amongst the competition that develops.
5. To position 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.
Bonus: The visibility that comes from a book may strengthen your strategic position in an acquisition negotiation.
Are you ready to hop down from the fence? Maybe one of these ideas rings a bell for you, or maybe you have another issue or idea to leverage a book. I love to help people explore how a book fits into their broader business strategy. Give me a call at 919-609-2817.