Using Your Book as a Business Card
Books are Effective and Economical for Business Marketing
by Dan Smith, Founder
What is 6″ by 9,” usually weighs roughly one pound, and is giving an increasing number of business people an advantage over the competition? A book. Each year at Smith Publicity, we market books written by businesspeople and see first-hand the success they have in the media. It’s more than a trend; we know their books have become a cost-effective marketing strategy that’s here to stay.
The use of “the book as a business card” has added a new and powerful a new, powerful, and ROI-friendly tool to marketing arsenals to build credibility and attract new business opportunities. Experts, consultants, C-suite executives, and professionals from various fields are putting their knowledge into professionally-published books – a calling card sure to make a bigger and more meaningful impression than the traditional business card.
Marketing—especially for business people in consulting and service industries—is about credibility, and a book establishes a person as someone you as a thought leader who has reached a level of expertise. It allows readers (potential clients) to learn more about their philosophies, your philosophy, thought process, and successful case studies, much more so than a simple website or brochure. And, you don’t have to be published by a major house to achieve and utilize this credibility.
Authors are proving that it doesn’t matter if a book is independently or self-published — the end result in terms of marketing benefits is the same.
Thinking About Writing a Book to Market Your Business?
Consider this example: A successful consultant was asked by a corporation to prepare a proposal for an all-day seminar. He was told his proposal looked great, but they ultimately decided to go with someone else simply because they were impressed the competitor was a “published author,” and hired her even though she charged a significantly higher fee. The only real difference was one had a book.
Who Can Benefit from the Book-as-Business Card?
- 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, motivational speakers, etc.
- Non-profit organization leaders
- CEOs and Corporate Leaders
Book Marketing Campaigns Have Enormous Spill-Over Value
Having a book is one element of the book-as-marketing-tool strategy. An add-on is the kind of publicity you’ll receive during the launch promotional campaign – it’s PR you’d struggle to get without the book. Media attention based on a book significantly enhances credibility. When a prospective customer visits a company website and sees that the company or executives have been featured in the news, it essentially proves the company is “for real” and trusted.
What makes all of this possible is the book. While non-authors Authors can routinely receive media coverage through their book marketing campaigns that include TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines are in fact authors and carefully selected, high-caliber online outlets. The book, again, acts as the credibility attracting the media. And, it’s cost-effective – thanks to print-on-demand and the self-publishing revolution, you can have a professionally designed and produced book for as little as $1,000 several thousand dollars.
Why are Books (and Book Publicity) Better for Business?
Brochures and collateral materials tell prospective clients what you can do, a book proves you know what you’re doing—and gives you the space to explain your ideas.
Add in the media coverage, and you then have other people (the media) proving you are an expert because they thought enough of you to interview or write about you.
So, the bottom line is: Write about what you know.
Write about your business, and your tradecraft; and teach others, via a book, the most essential elements of the service you provide. Put in the printed word that which you do best. When your book is printed and available for purchase, promote it, get media coverage; hand it out at presentations or talks; give it away, and customers will come.
With Your Book in Hand, Market Your Business
You can’t be complacent, however. A book does nothing for you if you don’t market it proactively and make others aware of it. Before your book is published, it’s time to plan the launch PR campaign that gives you visibility in the media and carefully selected online outlets. You’ll also have chances to land high-quality in-person opportunities like professional speaking engagements and book signing events.
You’ve become an author. You’ve proven you are an expert. Your book publicity and book promotion efforts have been successful. While the world won’t fall at your feet because you’ve written a book and received media exposure, you’ve created a clear advantage over your competition – and the business marketing benefits are likely to last for many years to come.