What is 6″ by 9″, usually weighs about one pound, and gives business professionals a serious edge over their competition? A book.
In a sea of marketing material that tells what a business can do, a book serves as the proof of that work. Most importantly, executives, consultants, and experts in various fields of business who compile their knowledge, experiences, and results into a book not only expand their networks and résumés, they gain one key component to success: credibility.
Credibility—especially for those in consulting and service industries—is crucial to marketing a business, and being a published author establishes a person as someone who has reached a certain level of expertise. Every reader becomes a potential client as they learn more about the author’s philosophies, thought process, results, and more. Industry peers recognize the author as a leading voice in their field.
Who can benefit from using a book as a marketing tool?
• Consultants, specializing in virtually all trades
• Service-providing business owners, from insurance companies and home security experts to psychologists and financial planners
• Self-help professionals, life coaches, and motivational speakers
• Non-profit organization leaders
Publishing a book is the first element of the book-as-a-marketing-tool strategy, but the book doesn’t do much good if no one knows about it. Media attention around the book is the second crucial element. When a businessperson becomes an author and executes a marketing campaign for their book, they attract media attention. Potential placements range from expert commentary in major news outlets, to interviews on podcasts, radio, and television, to becoming a regular contributor for industry-specific publications, and more.
As a result, when a prospective customer visits a company website and sees that the company or executives have been featured across various media channels, it shows them that the company is trusted.
But traditional media coverage isn’t where the opportunities end. Today’s professionals find their author status helps them secure more speaking opportunities and even coveted TED talks.
So, how difficult is it to get started? At one point in time, publishing a book was an exceedingly lengthy and difficult endeavor, with a relative handful of gatekeepers determining what books were worthy of publication. But publishing has been democratized. Anyone can publish a book and share their message with the public. Publishing options are vast and cost-effective thanks to avenues like self-publishing and print-on-demand. For as little as $1,000, an author can have a professionally designed and produced book.
“There are more avenues open to authors now and more publishing opportunities to get their expertise out there,” says Mike Onorato, Vice President of Publicity at Smith Publicity. “If you have a credible perspective that can add value to someone in their professional life, the various publishing options available to you now can help bring your voice forth.”
The bottom line: success hinges on credibility, and authoring a book can greatly enhance that credibility. But for this strategy to be effective, people need to see the book, so make the most of your investment by marketing your book. Use it to secure media placements, speaking engagements, and other opportunities, which will ultimately place you front and center in front of the eyes that matter most: your customers.
Says Onorato, “Simply put: books open doors and create opportunities.”