How Writing a Book Can Help Your Business – Professionals Share Tips & Tricks

Category: Techniques & Tips

Professionals weigh in on the fast-rising marketing tool of writing and publishing how-to books to gain exposure in your industry.

Writing a how-to business book has become a recognized tool for business professionals to market and brand themselves and their companies. It helps them establish their expertise while sharing useful information appreciated by readers. Plus, it can introduce them to a vast new audience of potential customers. It’s a phenomenon public relations professional Marsha Friedman first noticed years ago. “Everything else being equal, I saw that it was much easier to get clients invited on TV and radio talk shows if they’d written a book,” says Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com) in Tampa, Florida.

“After exploring the reasons, I realized just about anyone with the right message can use a book to boost their visibility,” she says. “Professionals can do it; people interested in securing public speaking engagements; philanthropists; homemakers who turn their books themselves into a business.” So Friedman wrote her own book, Celebritize Yourself (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011), explaining her three-step process for developing and using a book to get publicity.

Today, more than 11,000 business books alone are published each year – and that doesn’t include self-published e-books, according to the authors of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.” “Whether you’re using your book to generate media, speaking opportunities or new customers, it is the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal,” says Adam Witty, CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher. “When you consider that the average book sells less than 2,000 copies, getting rich off of book sales becomes a far away fantasy. But if you use your book to get a feature in your industry trade journal, what is that worth? If your typical customer is worth $5,000, and you use your book to attract and generate new leads into your business, how much more valuable does your book become?”

You don’t have to be a great writer to produce a great book. But, as New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin, CEO of Business Ghost, Inc., explains, you do need to make sure the end product is clean and professional. “You wouldn’t walk into a sales call with a stain on your shirt, and it’s the same with a book,” he says. “The last thing you want to do is publish a book full of typos that gives people the impression you’re sloppy.”

If you don’t have the time or skill to tackle a book on your own, you can hire someone to put your ideas into words. Levin offers these tips for selecting a ghostwriter:

The next step is publishing. While e-books are an inexpensive self-publishing option, Friedman says printed copies are best for marketing.

“As an author, you simply need to determine which publishing model best helps you reach your goals,” says Witty of Advantage Media Group. He offers these thoughts to consider:

Friedman concedes that the idea of writing and publishing a book can be daunting, but it’s worth the effort for its marketing value, she says. And there are even greater rewards.

“Having written and published my own, I can tell you it was one of my proudest accomplishments and worth every bit of my time and hard work,” she says. “The greatest feeling – one I never anticipated – was hearing from readers who said that my book had made a difference in their lives. That’s priceless.”