Co-Founder and CEO of Webmetrix Group
Writing a book may not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to find ways to grow your revenue, but in today’s marketplace, it is an option that is well worth exploring.
While becoming a published author was once a lengthy process that required finding an agent and a publisher, many business executives can now bypass this process entirely. Self-publishing is easier than ever, especially in the digital sphere.
With the right content and a little bit of marketing panache, writing a book that is relevant to your company’s target audience can go a long way in fueling your company’s growth. Watching for a few key indicators will help you know if writing a book is a smart idea for your business.
1. Writing a book establishes credibility
Credibility matters, especially when you work in the B2B realm. It’s the reason why survey data from BrightLocal found that 86 percent of all customers check reviews for online businesses before they make a purchase. It’s why countless marketing articles tout the value of highlighting third-party awards, industry certifications and customer testimonials on your website.
Customers want to see proof that you are actually an expert in your niche, and writing a book is a surefire way to establish yourself as a genuine thought leader. Showing that you are published on Amazon or another reputable site gives potential clients greater confidence that you know what you’re talking about — even if they don’t read the book themselves.
2. It's a PR opportunity
Publishing a book can serve as a valuable public relations opportunity for your business. News media are always on the lookout for new, interesting content. A book launch is a point of interest, especially if the content of the book is relevant to a particular reporter’s ‘beat.’
Pitch the publication of your book as a story to news media to land interviews, reviews and other coverage, rather than trying to pitch yourself or your business. Coverage of your book will naturally lead to a mention of you (the author) and your business.
Even coverage on a local level (newspapers, TV or radio) will provide valuable press attention. When targeting media outlets, be sure to look for journalists who cover your niche, and write a compelling, personalized pitch that demonstrates the value you could provide to their target audience. Using your book as a platform to establish yourself as an expert now could also result in your becoming an interview resource for future stories, helping you achieve even more press coverage.
3. Provides a mailing list sign-up incentive
Many businesses rely on mailing lists and special offers to get customers to sign up for their services — and for good reason. Research data from DMA’s National Client Email Report found that email delivers an average ROI of $38 for each dollar spent on marketing. The larger your list, the greater your potential revenue.
However, customers are far more likely to sign up for your email list when they have an added incentive to do so. Offering your book for free to people who sign up for your email list is a great way to encourage sign-ups. By clearly explaining how your book is relevant and will provide value, potential customers become far more likely to pass on their contact information.
Rory Carruthers is one of the world’s most sought-after book marketing experts and the author of seven no.1 international best-selling books. In an email conversation, he explained, “People love getting something for free when that free ‘something’ provides real value. I actually give away physical copies of one of my books to help fuel email list signups. By giving them something of value up front, they’re far more likely to engage with my emails later on, because they come to expect that my future content will offer similar value.”
4. Establishes multiple revenue streams
Publishing a book can easily serve as an additional revenue source in and of itself, but you can also use it as a way of introducing other revenue streams for your business. The same content that you used to write your book can (with a little work) be transformed into a series of online webinars or other forms of lucrative content.
A book can also provide the perfect platform for landing guest speaking opportunities or adding consulting services to your existing business. When you have already established your credibility with your book, these additional revenue streams are far more likely to be successful. Diversifying your sources of revenue will offer more opportunities for expansion, while also ensuring greater financial security for your business as the market changes.
5. Increases your visibility and demand
When you write an authoritative book, you can greatly increase your visibility and credibility in your industry. With this comes a natural increase in the number of people who are interested in doing business with you.
Author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss is a great example of this. Ferriss first achieved notoriety with his 2007 book The 4-Hour Workweek, based on his earlier entrepreneurial experiences. The book became a New York Times best-seller, earning Ferriss significant coverage in national publications.
As Business Insider reported, Ferriss was able to use his fame to become an angel investor and launch a successful podcast, which has achieved hundreds of millions of downloads. Through a book, Ferriss was able to become one of today’s biggest names in the industry. Not every business author will become a New York Times bestseller. But with more demand, you can greatly increase your profitability as you find more lucrative clients.
Though writing and editing a book requires a fair amount of time and research, it can have truly transformative results for your business. As you use your book to bolster your credibility and expand your market reach, you will be able to grow at a much faster rate than ever before.