It’s the start of a new year, a time to review the year gone by and to dream about the year ahead. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about writing a book for a while, and are wondering if this year it’s time to make it a reality.
To help you decide, here are 7 ways that writing a book can help your business:
1. Stand out from the crowd
Writing a book gives you instant kudos and authority, and shows you to be an expert in your field. Being able to add ‘author of …’ to your profile or CV differentiates you from other candidates pitching for work or tendering for projects. Imagine meeting a potential new client and being able to hand them a copy of your book along with your business card.
2. Part of your marketing tool kit
Your book not only demonstrates your expertise in a subject, it showcases your attitude and personality. There might be 1000s of people working in the same field as you, but no one will have the same approach, way of explaining things, or sense of humour. Your book speaks to your audience with your voice, helping potential clients to know, like and trust you. If they get what you’re saying and like the way you say it, they’ll check out your website, and maybe book a preliminary phone conversation with you to explore how you can work together. Best of all, your book does all this marketing for you, all over the world, 24 hours a day.
3. Reach more people than you can working 1-1
There are only so many hours in a week, and if you normally work face to face, that means there are a limited number of people whom you can help personally. Writing a book means you can help thousands more people than you can working 1-1, and those people can be anywhere in the world.
4. Help people who can’t afford your fees
However reasonable your fee structure, there will always be someone who wants to work with you but can’t afford your fees. Most of us offer some free places, but again the number of people we can help without getting paid is limited. Being able to direct people to your book, where they can get advice and information along similar lines to your packages, means you can help people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access your services.
5. Explore a new niche
Every business grows and develops, and sometimes you have an idea for a new service or product but aren’t sure whether there’s a real demand for it. Writing a short e-book is a good way to test the waters. Say you’re a nutritionist, and have been wondering whether there’s any demand for meal plans and dietary advice for young people leaving home for the first time to go to university. Writing a book on the topic can help you judge demand, and feedback on your book can help you to shape your new product or service.
6. Part of your customer care package
Your book doesn’t have to function only as a means to gain new clients and spread the word about your services, it can also be a gift you give to existing clients as part of your customer care package, or simply as a thank you. Your book could reiterate advice and tips you’ve passed on to clients during the course of working with them, so they can refer to them easily in the future.
7. The basis for new products or services
The information you include in your book can be repackaged in new ways – as e-courses, podcasts, workbooks, talks and workshops. Different people learn in different ways: some people love to read, others prefer to watch videos, others like to attend workshops. You don’t have to create the information from scratch each time, just reshape it to suit your different audiences and different means of presenting the information. Finally, the book itself could be a new product for your business, bringing in a passive income stream.
I hope this blog has inspired you to think of all the ways that writing a book can help you to market, boost, develop and expand your business. I’d love to hear how writing a book could help your business. Let me know in the comments below, and tell me the one thing that’s holding you back.
Kim Fleet lives and works in Cheltenham. Her two cats help the creative process by standing on the delete key.