One of the major reasons why I have my podcast is to help my listeners avoid making the same mistakes I see so many others make with their self-published books. In this episode, I’m going to focus on one of the biggest mistakes that I think a business owner can make: writing the wrong book for your business. I’ve seen many authors (especially eBook authors) write a book that’s not really the best one to build their business strategically. I don’t want that to be you!
So, in this episode, I’ll share a framework with you to help you find the best book (and book topic) for your business. I’m going to give you a series of questions that you should ask for yourself, your business, and your book to make sure that your book is going to have the maximum impact it can on your business. Follow this advice and you’ll understand how to write a book that really will help you grow your business.
(This is a direct transcript of the episode. Please excuse any typos.)
This episode is inspired by some things I’ve seen posted recently on social media. So, without giving away too many specifics, I don’t want to call anybody out necessarily, but I’ve seen a big push in some circles to, for example, write an eBook as an easy way to make money as something to sell to an audience, that sort of thing. But I’ve seen some, especially business coaches, just encourage people to write a book, any book, and just have something to sell. I think that that is a huge mistake.
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This idea of, “Oh yeah, it doesn’t matter what you write your book about,” can actually be very dangerous. And, this is a mistake that I want you to avoid. I want you to be strategic because I think if you’re going to put the time into writing a book, you should be strategic because it’s going to be a better way for you to spend your time.
It takes time to write a book. It takes effort. Some of you might hire help either through an editor or a book designer or somebody else, and there’s a lot invested in there, both time and maybe even money. I want to make sure that you are making the best decision for your book and really making sure that that book is going to do the most it can for your business.
In addition, I really do think that there’s something important about your first book. It’s going to be the thing that people really know you for. It’s going to be the #1 book in most cases that people look to when they think of you. And so I think that especially if you haven’t written a book before, it’s incredibly important to choose the right topic for that first book.
You may have a lot of ideas for books to write. But, you could always write the others down line. I really do think that for most authors, that first book is going to be comped that book that you’re really known for. I want to make sure that it’s the right book for you in your business so that it will help you grow your business, and so that, again, it will have maximum impact on your business growth.
So, to help you figure out what you should write your book about, I want to give you a framework to follow. The reason why I want to talk about this is that I think that topic is so important. I don’t think that you should write a book about just anything. I think that you should choose the right topic. It’s going to help you build your business.
And, also keep in mind that your book is so important for building authority and credibility, and I don’t want you building authority and credibility in the wrong place, in the wrong topic, the wrong niche. It just doesn’t make sense to write a book about basket weaving if you want to be known as a killer health and wellness coach.
So, I want you to think strategically and to do that, I’ve got some questions that I think that you should ask yourself when you are planning out your book and choosing a book topic.
The first question is, “What do you want to be known for?” This requires some higher-level thinking. This question goes beyond your book and really gets to the crux of your business. And, it’s really tied to your niche, what you want to be the go-to person for. If somebody has a problem, you want to be the go-to person to solve that problem.
So, for example, in the health and wellness niche, there are a lot of sub-niches that you can dig into.
Maybe you want to be the #1 person to go to for people who need to lose more than 50 pounds. Maybe you want to be the #1 person to go to for people who are interested in finding a workout that’s actually fun to do and sustainable. Maybe you want to be the go-to person for busy stay-at-home moms who need workouts that they can fit in as well as watching their kids. These are all very specific niches and I think that smart business owners choose their niche and then write a book that speaks to that niche.
Yes, you could write a generalized book about just how to stay healthy, but honestly, it’s not going to have a big impact like it would if you have that niche book. Again, this also ties back to business strategy. Your business is going to be a lot more effective and you are going to do better if you choose a niche. So, I want you to think about your niche and think about what you want to be known for.
Also, when you are choosing your book, I really do think that book should be directly related to your niche because again, that book is your authority and credibility builder. It’s the thing that’s going to show people that you are an expert, so you want to make sure that you’re showing your expertise in the right niche and in the right topic, right? So that’s the first question.
The second question I want you to think about and at, I’ll give you two questions that essentially get at the same thing. Really what I want you to think about is, “What’s your business model?” And as sub-question here: “How do you or will you make money?”
So, if you’re just starting out, you can think about how you plan to make money. This ties into how your book is going to help you build your business. I am a firm believer that authors should be thinking beyond royalties, especially authors who are business owners. Your book has the potential to have a much, much bigger impact.
When you think about how you can use your book to drive more people to your business and you’re going to make a lot more money in most cases, bringing in new clients, then you will just selling books. If you sell a book, you usually are just going to make a few dollars. Let’s be generous and say you’re going to make $15-$20. But, if you can turn that person into a coaching client who’s going to pay you hundreds of dollars a month, that’s a lot more lucrative.
Or if you have a program, what’s that value worth? Think about how much you would make if you can effectively turn readers into clients. That’s really where the money is made for business owners who self-publish books (or who publish books in general).
I think that in order to choose the right topic for your book and to write the right book for your business, you need to think about your business model, how you’re making money. Is that through services? Is it through working directly with clients? Do you have a course? Do you have a membership program? Whatever that is, think about the main way that you want to make money, that signature program or service, and then incorporate that into your book.
The smartest business owners figure out a way to take that thing that they want to be known for. They write their book about that topic, but in a way that encourages people to sign up to be a client. And really, again, that’s going to give you the maximum financial impact. So, this is something I want you to think about really clearly.
That ties into the third question that I think you should think about, which is, “How can you turn readers into clients?” So again, first you need to know how you want to make money or figure out that one thing that you want to drive people into. Whether that’s one-on-one coaching, a course, or a membership, as you’re planning the content for your book, think about how can you turn those readers into clients.
A lot of the time that means thinking through the common objections that people give for not signing up for your program or service. You should think through ways to overcome those objections throughout the course of your book. Part of convincing a reader to become a client will happen through building a relationship, writing a great book, and helping them out with the content of your book. That will really help them trust you, which is going to make them more likely to sign up.
But then also, for example, if your business model is focused on a one-to-one model where you’re working with clients individually, well then maybe you need to convince them in your book that a one-to-one relationship is the best way for them to see results. So, you should be incorporating little things like that into your book.
Another little side note on this: I really do think that you should also think through quick wins you can give to your reader. So think through all of the pain points that they’re having or the things that they’re struggling with. is there something that you can do to help them get through one little hump, get them a small result?
if you focus on weight loss, can you help your client lose two or three or maybe even five pounds throughout the book? If you can, they’re going to see progress, and they are going to want to keep working with you.
On the other of this end of the spectrum, let’s say you’re a Health-at-Every-Size dietitian. Maybe you help your reader get rid of some of the mental baggage that comes with diet culture. If that’s you, if you can just get them a win with mindset, that’s huge too.
So, that quick win doesn’t necessarily have to be something tangible. It can also be helping your reader through something that they’ve been struggling with. Again, maybe that’s a struggle they’ve been having mentally or getting them to have a mindset shift, or something like that.
But, give them a quick win, and that’s going to go along way to convince them that you are the person to help them with the bigger issues, the issues that they’re going to pay more to solve, more than what they’re paying for your book.
So again, a lot of the content of your book I think should be planned, very strategically so that you make sure that you are writing the correct book for your business, the best book for your business, so that you can ultimately turn readers into clients. That will make sure your book has the maximum financial impact on your business.
Also take the time to look at how your book is going to serve your audience, too. If you find that you’re not very motivated by money, I would first encourage you to consider all of the great things you can do and all of the additional people you can reach if your business is doing well financially. But in addition, just think about how much more effectively your book will help readers if you’re answering all of these questions.
If you make sure that you are really serving your audience well, it’s going to help you build your business. I know a lot of you listening have a servant’s heart, and so I hope you’ll think about your book from that perspective as well. When you help people, you build trust and authority, which ultimately will help you grow your business.
So, I hope that this episode has been helpful. For those of you who are either in the process of writing your book or thinking about writing a book to build your business, I hope that these questions in this framework really help you figure out the right topic for your book so that you can build your business with that book, and do it really effectively.
If you have questions about how to do this yourself, definitely get in touch with me. I work with clients one-on-one to help them decide on the best book and help them choose the right content for your book. if you feel like you’re struggling to make sure you’re writing the right book for your business, I’d be happy to work with you on that.
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