How to Write a Book to Grow Your Business
So, you’ve got this business. Maybe you’re a blogger or a consultant or you have some expertise that you make a living doing, and you’re ready to take things up a notch and really get the word out about what you do and how you help people. Perhaps it’s time to write a book.
A book is a powerful way to attract clients and prospects to your business. Writing a book on a topic related to your business establishes expertise, expands your marketing influence, and generates new leads—all while bringing in income from book sales. It can attract a steady stream of those ideal high-paying clients we all love. And it can elevate everything you're already doing to a higher level of success.
A book can be the ultimate marketing tool.
But simply writing any book won't necessarily bring the right people and clients to you. If you really want your book to grow your business, then it has to be better, more engaging, and more authentic than the other titles. It has to be an extension of you and your business that represents your expertise in the marketplace and pulls ideal clients right to you. Otherwise it's just another book.
How to Write a Book that Works for Your Business
When you sit down to write your book, your ultimate goal is getting your readers to buy your products or services. But you can’t just type, “Hire me,” and expect people to come calling. You have to know who you want to attract, and then design your book—from the title, to the content, to the back cover copy—to appeal directly to those people. And your authentic voice has to shine through, because that's the only way to attract the ideal, high-paying clients and opportunities to your business. You have to convince them that you’re better than everyone else and that you can help them solve their biggest problems. You have to persuade them. And you have to motivate them to take action.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Fill a Need in Your Market
If you want to write a business book, then the first step is to figure out what need you will fill. Like all products that are invented to satisfy some useful purpose, your book should offer a new process or solve a problem in your readers’ lives. So think about it: what does your market need and want? What questions do you constantly get on your blog? What solutions can you offer? What can you show these potential clients that will make their lives easier? Figure this out, and you’ve got the foundation for a successful business-building book.
2. Develop Your Process
Once you know what solution you will offer your book’s readers, you need to distill that down into steps or a process that they can apply on their own. Although you may not realize it, you probably use the same process, or explain the same concepts, with all your clients. To get this process down on paper so readers can use it, start by listing all the steps. What do your readers need to know (or do) first? What step comes next? What actions will take them from the place they are now to the place where they need to be? Each of these main steps should have sub-steps, which can then be grouped together into chapters. By putting all these pieces together, your book’s structure should start to develop.
3. Write Your Book Well
You know me—I'm a writer and I don't like poorly written books. Although having the word "author" in your bio always adds a certain amount of expertise, mediocre books don't work as well as great ones do. They don't attract ideal prospects; they don't communicate the author's expertise; they don’t get passed around and talked about; and they don't get much media attention.
If you really want your book to work for your business, then it has to be good. And I don't mean the sentences have to be grammatically correct—they do, but that's a given. Anyone can do that. Your book has to be written in a way that appeals to your audience, keeps them engaged, and makes them want more from you. Books have more longevity than a blog post or article. Your book is a big investment that should work for you for years.
4. Sell the Benefits
As you write your book, you need to look for the big-picture benefits this process helps your target market achieve. What goal will your readers reach if they implement the strategies provided in your book? How will their lives ultimately improve? What deep human need does your book help fill? The answers to these questions are the benefits. These are the things people want that you can provide. And these benefits are what will sell your book. Keep this in mind as you’re writing your book, and your readers will find it irresistible.
5. Get the Right Person’s Attention Right Away
The first thing your readers are going to read is, naturally, your book title. You want your title to do two things: 1. Qualify your prospects, and 2. Motivate them to read the back cover or sales copy. You can do this by identifying their pain and promising a solution.
For example, who would find this title appealing: How to Be More Successful at Work? People just starting a career at almost any company might be; but probably not a self-employed person. See how it works? Make sure your headline grabs your ideal readers’ attention and promises the benefit they’ll get if they keep reading.
6. Use Stories to Connect
The beauty of a book is—as long as you’ve written it well—your readers will be spending a good chunk of time reading and absorbing your thoughts. While you have their attention, show your reader that you understand their problem and help them see the benefits of applying your solution with stories. And when I say use stories, I really mean paint them a picture of a person struggling with the exact same problem they are experiencing.
People like to read about other people, especially when they’re learning something new. If your reader is nervous about asking the boss for more money, then write about the sweaty palms and the pit in their stomach, either by telling your own experiences, using an example from someone you’ve helped in the past (social proof!), or making up a fictitious anecdote.
7. Call Them to Action
Convincing your readers that you have the solution for them is only one part of writing a book that grows your business; you also have to tell them what to do next. Of course, you have to make it easy for your readers to find you by sharing your web site and contact information in places like your “about the author” page. But the best business-building books will be written to subtly and artfully call the reader to action throughout the book.
8. Leverage Your Book
Once your BEST book is written and published, it's time to make it work. You have to get it out there and into as many ideal readers' hands as possible with events, speaking engagements, virtual book tours, media releases, interviews, and anything else you can do to spread the word. Mention your book at every opportunity, work the concepts into everything you already do in your business and share your book with prospects and leads. If you've designed your book to fit strategically within your business, you can start to see results almost immediately, with new people coming to you pre-sold and ready to sign up to work with you.
Business by the Book
Writing a book is an excellent way to expand your influence, create new leads, and generate new income in your business. Nothing says "expert" like a book, and these days, anyone can pull together enough content to fill a hundred pages. But a well-written book designed to strategically attract ideal clients to your business allows more than just the ability to add the word "author" to your bio. When you use these steps for designing your book as the ultimate marketing tool, you can send a great book into the world confidently knowing it will represent you, position you, brand you, and grow your business—and your ideal clients will hear your message loud and clear.
About the Author:
Melinda has ghostwritten fifteen books and has an MFA in creative writing. Her own work has been published in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals, online and in print. She helps her clients get their books done and into the world. For more information, visit her at www.writerssherpa.com.