I was at a networking event a few weeks ago, after being asked what I did my conversation partner responded with, “You need a book like you need a business card these days.” At the time, I didn’t think much of their statement but it stuck with me. If this person thought it, then surely a lot of other people think that you need a book as a glorified “business card”.
This is a terrible strategy and, as I’ll demonstrate, a huge waste of resources. However, there are a number of fantastic reasons to write a book. We’ll start with three reasons why a book is a terrible business card, and end with three reasons you should write a book.
Con #1: Writing a book takes up a large number of resources
Writing a book is not an easy process. If you’re going to create something of value, that truly reflects your brand and provides the value that all books should, it’s going to take time, money, and effort to produce.
All of which will be wasted if people treat your book in the same way they treat a business card. Even if you use the StoryWand team, it’s still a large investment for something that you’re going to use simply as a prop to help people remember who you are.
Con #2: People value something that you value
If you’re handing out copies of your book to everyone at an event for free, how much value are they going to put on the content that’s inside the book? By the same stroke, unless there’s a good reason as to why you’re giving this book out (beyond getting them to remember you), people aren’t going to feel that the gift of the book is valuable to them in any way.
Now, if you’re a speaker at an event that’s a different story. You’ve already given the audience some value and mentioned that there’s a lot more value in the book, so the audience members are far more likely to read the thing. Similarly, you’ve probably gotten the event organisers to pay for all the copies of the book that they hand out, so they’ll treat your book with the value that it deserves.
Con #3: People hate unsolicited advice
Unless someone has explicated shown interest in your field or subject of your book, they don’t want a copy of it. Imagine receiving a book on diet or hygiene out of the blue as a Christmas or birthday gift, you’d think that the person who sent the gift is kind of a…[insert chosen swear word], right?
If you’re giving people a book out of the blue, chances are that you’re going to do more damage than good. It’s going to negatively impact your brand and be a waste of resources.
Now that we’ve got those three out of the way, here’s why you should write a book.
Strategy #1: You want to dramatically improve your SEO (become instantly Google-able)
If you own a business in 2018 people are going to Google you before they buy from you, so you better make damn sure that people can find you. With a book, your personal brand stops being your personal Facebook page and starts being high authority websites like Amazon or News outlets that have picked up your book.
One of StoryWand’s clients last year was a man named Ben Chai that had a message that he wanted to share about business networking. He wrote a book called “Social Magnetism: How to Have Fun Building Meaningful Business Relationships”. Here’s what happens when you Google “Ben Chai networking”:
Similarly, if we Google “ben chai social”:
Strategy #2: You want to build your personal brand
Today is the age of the personal brand, your customers want to get to know you and be involved in your journey. Writing a book is a fantastic way of increasing engagement people have with your brand and bringing them along on that journey.
One of the pieces of advice that we give to our clients is to a) do market research on what your customers want, and b) start doing the marketing for the book whilst it’s in the process of being written. Check out what a couple of StoryWand clients have done on their Facebook profiles for massive engagement:
Notice the ratio of comments to likes, this is a sign that the followers and fans of these two are actually spending the time to engage with the brand, rather than simply giving a “Like” for the sake of it.
Strategy #3: You want PR/Media exposure
As a journalist of 7 years, I can say this: Journalists are lazy. If there’s a story that’s already written itself, I’m going to jump on it like a hungry tiger jumps on a bowl of sugar-coated cornflakes. That’s where having a book comes in.
With a book out, you’re an authority on the matter. You suddenly have a lot more pull when it comes to gaining media exposure. Here’s Ben Chai again appearing on a news site simply due to releasing a press release about his book:
Here’s the major takeaways from this article, DON’T write a book if you’re just doing it to:
- Give it out for free
- Provide people with something that they don’t value
- Give people unsolicited advice
However, you ABSOLUTELY should write a book if:
- You want to dominate Google rankings
- You’re building a personal brand
- You want PR/Media exposure
If you’re looking to use one of these strategies and get people contacting you about your product or service, become the authority in an industry, or want to appear on TV and radio, book a call with me www.meetme.so/Natechai