One of the most effective ways of quickly establishing your company as an expert in your industry is to write a book. They are great because they create immediate credibility for your business. They also promote you naturally through the sharing of your industry knowledge.
You can also use books as giveaways. You can send books to current customers as gifts, or to potential leads. And of course, (here’s a big feature to book writing) you can repurpose the content on your web site, blog, on social media, and for email marketing.
How to become an expert in your industry: Publish a book
Here is a quick step-by-step outline of the work you’ll need to do to create a basic (50-page minimum) book. In this article, we explain the complete process we used to create one of our most recent publications: Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed.
Step 1: Establish your book topic. To establish your company as an expert on a specific topic that will also attract your target market, you’ll need to consider what you know that they don’t know. This knowledge gap is what you want to fill a book with. It should be the inspiration for the topic covered by your book.
Ask yourself: What does our company know best? What is it you do better than your competitors? What information are your customers consistently lacking that could make their lives a whole lot easier if they understood it? What do you know that they don’t know about your business?
You may also want to consider polling your target market to find out what they think would be most valuable.
Example: At Cyberwalker Digital, our book Digital Marketing Secrets Revealed, completely gives away our proven-results web strategy that we use on many of our clients to turn their businesses into lead generators. In it, we talk about the importance of content marketing and how to use your web site, SEO, email marketing, social media, and web store effectively to gain leads and turn those leads into buyers.
Choosing our topic was easy. Most people have a very limited knowledge of digital marketing, and many have not done the research to understand what’s most effective. Our team of experts has. It’s our job too.
As you can see, whatever you’re an expert in is often easy to put on paper. It’s part of what you do everyday.
Basically, we used questions our clients ask us all the time and turned the answers into a book. It allows them to understand what we do and shares with them how they can do it themselves, if they choose too. (Though, most people don’t because the experts still do it better! So, don’t be afraid to give all your secrets away.)
Step 2: Write your book
If you’re not a good writer – or don’t have the expertise in-house, writing a book might seem as impossible as climbing Mount Everest.
But, it’s important to understand that this type of book is more about valuable content then about beautiful language. If you can explain to someone how to do something in person, you can as easily write the steps out on paper.
If you have the funds, hire a copywriter to write the book for you. If you don’t read on…
However inexperienced you may be as a writer, this blueprint will help:
- Start with your Table of Contents. You want to break down your book into manageable segments for your reader. You should have at least 5 chapters and each chapter can have various sections. The table of contents is a crucial first step because it is your blueprint. Classic beginner mistake is to skip the table of contents (even if you’re told to write it first! ).
- Never write the introduction or conclusion until the body of the book is written. Always write the chapters first and go back to the introduction once you’ve completed the book. Here’s an analogy to think about: A producer can’t create a trailer for a movie before the movie is complete.
- Get your content out in a sensible manner first. Evaluate grammar and intonation second. If you are not the best writer you can get the rough content out and hire a content writer to edit and put the book together for you. Have a writer interview you and then assemble the interview into a written chapter.
- Get the book professionally copyedited – that means get the spelling corrected, the grammar adjusted and the sentences tightened and focused.
- .And it’s always a good idea to have people in your target market read the book to understand if it’s effective. Get two to three people to read the book and give you feed back before you publish it.
Also, the length of your book should be a minimum of 50 pages for it to work as a valuable giveaway. (At 300 words per page that’s a 15,000 word manuscript.) Most paper back books at Amazon run between 500 and 85,000 word. Your book doesn’t have to be super long.
If you want to learn how to write like a professional check out the work of John Carlton. He’s one of North America’s top copywriters.
Step 3: Publish your book
When it comes to publishing your book there are two options:
1) Hire a team to do this for you. You will need a writer to put it together, a copyeditor to make it crisp and clean and a graphic designer to create the cover and lay out the book, and a printer to print it.
2) Do it yourself. (As long as you have the skills to make it look professional)
Here are some great online tools that can help you:
Fiverr.com: For a small fee (under $100) you can pay to have a low cost graphic designers create a cover for your book.
Blurb.com: Blurb allows you to choose from a large gallery of book templates and lay out your own book. You can upload art and text into their templates and print the book when you’re ready.
If you decide to hire professionals, you can always give Cyberwalker Digital a call (wink, wink!). It’s what we do.
No matter how hands on you decide you’d like to be, (or have the ability to be), make sure you create an ebook version of your book in PDF format. You can order it from Blurb if you use them, or you can create your own PDF in Word.
That’s what the folks at DinoColoring did. They created a printable PDF ebook with the dinosaur coloring page from their site.
Step 4: Promote your book
Once you have a finished product here is what you can do with your book:
- Repurpose the book’s content as blog posts on your web site. At the bottom of each blog post you can place a “Order the book” button. The post acts as a preview for the book and sells the reader to order a free copy.
- When you use the book content on your site you can also optimize the pages for keyword phrases. This SEO work will help to drive your site to the top of Google search ranks quickly.
- If you use the book content to create blog posts you can push the posts out on social media.
- Use your book as a free giveaway on your site. Offering an opt-in will allow you to capture the contact information of leads that visit your site.
- You can use your book as a giveaway for email marketing. Or, you can use it’s content to create multiple giveaways for email marketing purposes.
- Send your book to potential customers whose business you’d like to attain. Write a compelling sales letter and put it in the mail with the book.
- Give your book to other businesses to give away on your behalf. It helps to spread the word about your business and makes them look good.
- Give your book away at live events.
- If it costs too much money for your company to give too many physical copies of the book away, just use your ebook. Give it away online and give out coupons that give away your book.
As you can see, while writing a book does take some time and effort, the return on investment is major.