There is no better multi-purpose tool to attract attention for your business than a book. A book is a marketing tool with unique and special abilities to create conversations you can turn into sales.
Whole suites of marketing tools exist that can prospect, target, and engage with your ideal clients while you sleep. You can run a Facebook Ad that only shows to teenagers in Alaska who like Pokemon. You can do more than ever before with your marketing, but at the end of the day, it still comes down to one thing: Getting attention.
As great as advances in marketing technology have been, there is no better multi-purpose tool to get this attention than a book. A book is a marketing tool with unique and special abilities to create conversations you can turn into sales.
I’ll make it even simpler:
Book = Attention = Sales
You know what content marketing and inbound marketing are, right? Well, a book is content and inbound marketing on steroids. How you ask? How does a book get you attention? There are four main ways.
1. Writing a book makes you an expert
A lot of people like to say that “a book is the new business card.” I disagree. Everyone has a business card. You can go to Office Depot and get business cards, but you can’t go to Office Depot and author a book.
I say “a book is the new college degree.” It used to be, about forty years ago, maybe 10 percent of people had college degrees. If you had one, it was a major signal of credibility and authority. With that number creeping toward 50 percent (46 percent of the US population has an associate’s degree or higher), it doesn’t signal the same unique authority. So what is a signal of credibility and authority now, one that’s reliable and rare?
Writing a book proves a lot about you.
- It proves you know what you’re talking about. If you know enough about a subject to literally write the book on it, you’re officially an authority on the topic.
- It shows you’re a professional who gets things done. Everyone has the first 10 pages of a book saved on their hard drive, but you are among the few who followed through.
- It invites the world to judge you, and proves you’re unafraid. People are afraid to write a book because they’re afraid of being judged, and the fact that you’re unafraid proves your authority.
Now, all of this assumes your book is good. If you write a terrible book, people won’t think any of those things about you, they’ll just think you shouldn’t have written a book.
This is why we are very up front with our clients that you can’t just vomit out nonsense, call it a book, and get all the benefits. You have to write a good book to gain credibility and authority, because people will read your book, and they will judge you based on it. You want them to judge you well, not poorly, and the only way to do that is to write a quality book.
2. Writing a book puts you in the spotlight
Whenever any media outlet wants a comment, who do they go to? An expert, right? And how do they know someone is an expert? Because they wrote the book. It’s a sure-fire signal of authority and credibility.
You want visibility in your field and media coverage? Write a book that stakes you out as an expert, and media coverage is ten times easier to get. The media wants to talk to experts, and they judge expertise by who wrote the book on the subject.
This is how our first client, Melissa Gonzalez, made millions off her book while selling fewer than 1,000 copies. She wrote the first book on pop-up retail, and every media outlet that covered retail wanted to interview her. She was the expert in a hot new field, as proven by her book (which, by the way, is very good).
Melissa didn’t write a book for a broad audience. She wrote a book for an extremely niche market. How many people do you know off the top of your head who are looking to set up a pop-up retail location? But because her market was so niche and new, no one had been established as an expert yet. She was the first to the party, and she had the experience and knowledge to prove her expertise.
3. A book is the best inbound marketing
The number one search engine is Google. Number two is YouTube. You know what number three is?
And even more relevant, it’s the number one search engine for professionals – it ranks even higher than LinkedIn.
When people look for experts or authorities, just like the media, they want the person who “wrote the book” on the topic. Having a great book lets people know exactly who you are, how you can help them, and even brings them to you. It’s the best marketing tool you could ever use to build your brand and attract clients.
I can speak from experience. When we started Book In A Box, we realized we had built a rocket ship that we didn’t know how to drive. We needed to learn how to scale our company. What did I do? I went to Amazon to read books on the subject.
Turns out, there aren’t a lot of great books out there about how to professionally manage and scale a fast growing company. I did find one called Double Double written by Cameron Herold. I wasn’t knocked out by the title, but the book itself is amazing. I read the book, and thought, “This is genius. But I need more. I need this guy to coach me directly.”
I reached out to Cameron, and he’s now my executive coach and owns a piece of the company. That’s how valuable he’s been.
There are probably five hundred other people out there who could have taught me the same things, but Cameron is the only one who had a great book I could read and use to determine that he was the guy I wanted to teach me. I never would have listened to a sales pitch. I had to see proof, and his book was it.
4. Nothing generates buzz like writing a book
There is no better marketing than word of mouth. When someone you trust tells you to use something, you’re likely to listen. Anything that helps other people talk about you and your business is the best marketing tool possible, and a book enables word of mouth better than almost anything else.
That’s because a book lets you put your story into people’s mouths, so when they talk about you, they’re saying what you want them to say. If you publish a good book, people repeat your terms, phrases, and ideas to other people.
We use this idea to help our authors position and frame their books. We say, “Imagine someone at a cocktail party who read your book, talking to someone else in your potential audience. What would they say? Imagine what you want them to say to the other.”
Once you can picture that conversation naturally happening between two people, you can almost construct the narrative of your book from that conversation. If you can write a book that is valuable to a group of people, they will want to talk about your book to someone else who shares that problem. Why? Because they get to be an authority. That’s how word of mouth works.
And once someone has heard about you, he or she can pick up your book, research you, and interact with your business. Books bring you clients. Like I said: it’s content marketing on steroids.
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