Want Clients to Know You Before a Pitch? Write a Book. Being an author can help you expand your network of customers by making you an authority on a topic.
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In business today, entrepreneurs have the best chance for success if they either create a new niche in an existing, large industry or carve out a new niche altogether. Either way, it is a daunting task.
The client, today, is far more stretched for capital than ever before, and, because of this, they are spending more time than ever doing research on you. With the drastically reduced costs of publishing and production costs, more entrepreneurs are realizing that writing a book on their expertise gives the client a chance to know who they are.
More than ever before, publishers, such as my firm Next Century Publishing, are being approached by business people who want to write non-fiction books that relate to what they are selling. The strategy behind becoming a published author has stronger return on investment than any other small-business marketing idea.
There are two potential benefits to entrepreneurs becoming authors:
People want to work with an expert. Google, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms can be a good barometer to determine how successful and popular an individual is. However, these tools can be manipulated. Writing a book that relates to the subject of your business gives your client an ability to understand exactly what you know and how you may help their business. Your book can help you show your client that you know what your talking about, so that you don't have to waste valuable time in the pitch bragging about yourself.
A fear-based person will automatically think that they will give away their secrets if they publish them into a book. However, the truth is that a good book will only scratch the surface. It is possible to write a book and establish your expertise without selling the farm.
Clients generally want to work with the finished product. If you're an entrepreneur who has spent time and money on perfecting an online brand, having a book that you give away on your website or that you include in a pitch to a new client can be the icing on the cake.
Time is money and businesses today do not have enough of either. Being the author of a book on your business subject is like wearing an Armani suit to a meeting, except that the book is cheaper to write and publish than an Armani suit.
One of our clients spent 15 years rising to the top of the employee rewards space. Today, he boasts dozens of Fortune 500 companies as clients. He recently launched a book that explains how he built a dynamic company by rewarding his employees. He then sent a copy of his new book to every one of his clients. The book has brought even more clients through the door.
Next Century Publishing data shows that an entrepreneur who has written and published a book on their business subject is twice as likely to win new business.
If you are going to publish a book, make sure you do it right. In the past 10 years, there has been an onslaught of people who have written 10,000 words of garbage, put it into a PDF file, and offered their "free ebook' for download. Then, they call themselves a best-selling author. People are savvy. They see right through this. Write a real book, and publish it. There are plenty of good publishers that have a track record for creating good books.
By writing a book, entrepreneurs can build their personal brand, establish their expertise, and build trust with potential clients, and do so more effectively than they can with blog articles and social media alone.