“It’s hard to imagine what difference a well-written book will make to your business until you actually see the results.”
~ Debra Hilton
What Your Business Book Can Do for You
Last week I one of my authors called me to discuss writing his second book – actually, his third book, but the second one on which he had worked with me.
He wrote his first book using a quick start program and it was basically a transcript of his thoughts following a standard outline. Despite an expensive marketing program (and spending over $20,000 to write the book) very little changed in his business as a result and he was quite discouraged.
Last year, with some extra spare time thanks to lockdown, he enrolled in my ‘write-your-book-in-90-days’ course and quickly realised what the problem with his first book was: it was a cleaned up verbal transcript following a generic outline that didn’t really fit the depth and uniqueness of his process and style. He quickly decided that he wanted to use my ghostwriting services rather than write the book himself and we completed the book and implemented a simple, strategic marketing plan.
Four months later, his consulting schedule was packed, he was raising his prices and reformatting his business in the light of his flood of clients.
As he said on our call, “Books really are the secret sauce of coaching and consulting – but you can’t use just ‘any book’. I wish I’d known three years ago what I learned last year from you – it would have saved me a lot of time, money, and energy which I could have used for other things. Now my goal is to delete my first book from the internet so no one will ever find it again!”
What a Poorly Planned or Written Book Does
Sometimes LESS is better than MORE.
This is particularly true when it comes to information about your process for delivering a service.
My client last year already had a book – and it wasn’t working for him. As he said when he initially signed up for my course last year, “I thought all the hype about books and business building was just that – hype. I had empirical proof it didn’t work and I was doing ‘all the right things’ to market my book. In fact, it seemed to be turning people away.”
Several years ago, I was working with a client on a ghostwriting project and he submitted the first draft to his business coach who told him to take out all the content because it was “giving away his IP”. I pointed out the probable consequences of following that advice and we parted ways – some months later he came back to me and told me that everyone he gave the book to, selected one of his competitors to work with just as I had predicted.
Don’t underestimate the power of a poorly planned or written book to undermine all your other marketing and sales efforts – especially if you deliver a high-ticket service.
Maybe Your Book is the Problem!
A while ago I was contacted by a prominent speaker whose book was not generating the clients she wanted. She was getting speaking gigs – many paid – but they were not turning into the private clients she wanted and despite using all the standard book marketing techniques (blogging, social media, email promotions etc) it seemed that nothing was working.
During our first conversation about what she was doing and whether I could help her, I asked some questions about two key elements:
- How was she promoting the book; and
- Was the book the problem.
It turned out that in her case the problem was both aspects.
- Yes, she was ‘going through the right motions’ for promotion, but her $10 per hour social media manager and blog-post writer was turning people off; and
- Her book was a terrible distortion of her experience and knowledge. It didn’t even make people think they needed to find someone who could deliver that kind of service ad look for another provider.
It’s like a product I have been tempted to purchase several times. One of my good friends and mentors keeps telling me how this product has transformed their focus and productivity . Each time I talk to him, I go to the website, add the item to my shopping cart and then abort the process. Their own sales copy is so bland and unconvincing I just can’t bring myself to make the substantial investment.
Your book could be turning people away!
What Could You do?
Value-laden books really do make a difference to your business. They put you in a completely different category from your competitors. Once upon a time, self-publishing was known as ‘vanity publishing’ – these days self-publishing is respectable and self-published books can be best sellers **but** it’s only true if you are as rigorous about the quality of thought and production as if you were soliciting a traditional publisher for their interest.