Should You Write an eBook to Promote Your Business?
(Long Island, N.Y.) The Internet is rich with “information products.” Back in the days before social media and Web 2.0, we called them “books.” So today's information products aren't “books” in the sense that they are made of paper -- they're eBooks to read on your iPad, smartphone Kindle or your computer. And the category of information product actually comprises CDs, MP3s, DVDs and streaming video, too.
Back in the day when the majority of books were still printed on paper and sold at places like Barnes & Noble and Borders (and even before that, sold and traded at local bookstores like Annie's Bookstop in Port Jefferson) a very small percentage of business owners promoted themselves as experts by writing a book. The cream-of-the-crop did. You'd find books by names like Donald Trump and Lee Iacocca and a handful of “no money down” real estate gurus. But most people who published books were authors by trade.
Today, with the use of self-publishing sites and easy-to-use software, everyone, it seems, is publishing an eBook to promote themselves and their business. Some business owners give the books away free as a way to build their mailing list, while other business owners add their information products to their company's offerings, creating yet another revenue stream. Both ways work, both ways help to establish you as an expert in your field, and both are perfectly legitimate ways to promote your business.
Here are four surprising reasons it might be a good idea for you to write an eBook to promote your business.
1. It establishes you as an expert. When you can call yourself an author, people take notice. You could be a multimillionaire entrepreneur, the owner of multiple chains of stores, but when people find out you wrote (and published) a book, their ears perk up a little. I don't know why this is. As a writer, the only thing people want to know about me is, “Have you written a book?” If you're wondering, too, the answer to that is, “Not yet.” But I'm working on it.
Let's get back to you and your business, though. Everyone wants to work with and hire the best in their given field. So when you establish yourself as an expert through eBooks and other information products, people want to work with you.
2. It can be an additional revenue stream. This is a no-brainer. You can sell your eBook many times over. Every business owner knows passive income is the best kind. Write a book once, and receive money from its sale for many years.
3. It can help with promotions. Maybe you've decided not to sell your book. Perhaps you'd rather give it away in exchange for an email address. You've found a very low-cost way to build your mailing list with highly-qualified prospects. After all, they want your book. They're interested in learning what you know.
But that's not the only way eBooks and other information products can help you promote your business. After you've written a book, you can now book public speaking appearances or host webinars where you talk about the topics you cover in your book. Once again, you're building your mailing list, but you're also filling a room with people interested in what you have to say. Once again, you have a captive audience of highly-qualified prospects.
Finally, don't forget to use the contents of your book itself to (subtly) promote your business. Make sure to include your contact information and website on the last page. If your book is a how-to, include subtle reminders throughout that people can always hire an expert (that would be you!) to help them. You're already helping them with the information you're sharing in your book -- chances are, they will trust you to take them to the next level, too.
5. You've always wanted to write a book. - Writing, publishing and distributing an eBook is so easy, (really, it is!) that there's no reason not to fulfill your dream of writing a book. Forget ROI. Just take a few hours each night for however long it takes and enjoy the process. If you're a business owner who's achieved success in your field, but you've always wanted to hold that prestigious title of “author” -- just sit down and do it.
September 08, 2010 10:49 AM Eastern
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