I recently realized that a full two-thirds of my book clients have been members of Toastmasters, the international organization that helps people learn public-speaking skills. It didn’t take long to figure out why: most of my clients are professional speakers or have public speaking as a significant part of their portfolio, along with consulting, coaching, and training.
Books support you as a speaker in several ways…
Books Strengthen Your Marketing
Strategically, having a quality book brings credibility, authority, and—frankly—admiration for getting it done! Tactically, your book provides you loads of content to use in your marketing.
Bonus: Those of us who are introverts (yes, speakers can be introverts) may feel more comfortable highlighting the book than ourselves—it feels like a softer sell, yet still demonstrates expertise.
Books Make You an Easier Sell
A speaker-consultant friend grew frustrated that she wasn’t getting the fees she knew other speakers commanded. Finally she asked a conference planner why. The response: “If you don’t have a book, you won’t get selected for the big stage.” A book is a powerful tool to include as part of your speaking proposal; it proves you have something to say.
Bonus: Clients who find the sales conversation uncomfortable report it gets easier with a book as “sales support.”
Books Identify Product-Development Opportunities
Time and again I’ve seen clients get new product ideas as they write. If you’re launching a speaking career, writing a book gives you the core content from which to develop your presentations. If you’re an established speaker, as you consolidate your material into a book, you likely will identify content gaps that offer possibilities for new presentations.
Bonus: Writing a book often helps flesh out an entire product portfolio (books, audio, online training, and more).
Books Deepen Relationships
You have compelling content. People like to listen to you speak, and some people want to go deeper and hear more of your message. A book lets them do that.
Bonus: For people who haven’t yet heard you speak, a book exposes them to your ideas, which may lead to their showing up to hear you—or to their suggesting you as a speaker.
The Book-Speaker Virtuous Cycle
These elements are great individually. Who wouldn’t want stronger marketing, easier sales, product development ideas, and more fans?
But when you put them all together, the magic happens. You create a virtuous cycle—that is, a cycle that positively reinforces itself and gains momentum over time.
I take it back: a book is not magic; you still must do the work. Once you achieve that momentum though…look out.
If you are a speaker and don’t have a book, you could be leaving money, influence, and ideas on the table. Want to explore book possibilities? Contact me to set up a complimentary strategy session.