Publishing a book is one of the best ways to be taken seriously in business. A book can bring you instant credibility, positioning you as an authority in your industry or area of business. And they’re great marketing tools.
Books are particularly good for educating your prospects about complex, sophisticated solutions to problems that need to be explained in some depth. They can be used to offer industry insights, present the pros and cons on issues of importance to your prospects, or point to specific solutions that have worked for you.
So whether you publish a hardback, paperback, or e-book, you can expect a great return on your investment — possibly in the direct sales of your book, but especially in the indirect value it brings to your brand.
What are the marketing benefits of publishing a book?
Publishing a book can result in any number of benefits to you and your firm. Here are eight:
- Establish a thought leadership position
- Target new markets
- Gain visibility with analysts and other influencers
- Increase market awareness of problems you can solve
- Leverage a book to create new marketing channels
- Provide your sales force with a valuable sales tool
- Generate leads
- Build customer loyalty
What should you write about?
The key to achieving these benefits, of course, is to provide true value to your reader. Your book can’t simply be marketing fluff or a repeat of ideas that already pervade the marketplace. You need to tell a compelling story that offers your reader insight into the problems they’re facing. Present a new way of thinking about the problems, offer possible solutions. Demonstrate that you understand their situation and that you’ve put serious effort into thinking about it. Do that and your book will lead your reader right to your door for more. So what should you write about? Here are a few suggestions:
- Take a strong position on a topic and offer insights on an issue important to your readers.
- Describe a new type of solution your prospects haven’t seen before.
- Demonstrate how your ideas, products, services have led directly to business improvement.
- Describe a problem (that prospects don’t realize is a problem) in a new way and propose an original solution.
- Bring a clear, unique point of view that distinguishes your company from your competitors.
- Demonstrate your practical know-how to drive business to your website and generate social media buzz.
How can you use books to market your firm?
Once you’ve published your book, you have tons of possibilities for using it to support your sales and marketing efforts. Here are a few suggestions for tactics that have worked for me in delivering the benefits listed above:
- Use books to build your CEO’s brand or the brand of your entire enterprise.
- Books provide great speaking opportunities that can open entirely new markets for you.
- Books provide the media a legitimate means of talking about you and lend credibility to your message—use them to draw the attention of analysts and other market influencers.
- Books make great trade show premiums—use them to drive visitors to your booth—and they have a much longer shelf life than other trade show giveaways (nobody tosses a book away)
- Publish book excerpts in other media — business publications, industry trade journals, online syndication.
- Your sales team should present your book to their better prospects to help them nurture their relationship.
- A book provides a great foundation for webinars and podcasts.
- Presenting your customers with a signed copy of your book adds a fabulous personal touch to an engagement.