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Be very strategic—say, "Okay, I have a business where I help people do whatever it is you do and I need a book where I can educate my future client or customer."
Let's say you help people with branding: your book can be bout why branding is so important.
Picture your ideal client when writing. For my most recent book, I pictured a couple I know who I had talked to about hiring me. So as I was writing Make Your Mess Your Memoir, I thought about this couple every page. I would think, "Would he like that? What she would she be shocked by that?"
And the reason that I did that isn't that I was thinking small but that I was thinking big. I was thinking about the Kevin Kelly idea of a thousand true fans and how you do not need the masses. You need a niche. I used to think books should be for everybody. But they should be for your ideal client.
The couple I pictured when writing the book haven't read it. They certainly haven't hired me. But I've brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from people that are just like them. It's sort of like on Facebook, the lookalike audience. Your ideal client is an avatar. And there are if there's one, there are many.
I wrote a book about how to make your mess into your memoir because I wanted to help show people how to do that. But I also knew by showing people that I was the expert in how to do that, they would then want to hire me.
But you can't write the book, publish it and then say, OK, cool, who's going to call me and ask if they can hire me?
I was able to get on Good Morning America to promote the book. Now, you might think, "Wow, that must mean she sold a lot of books." I probably sold a handful from Good Morning America. But the handful that bought it then hired me. So it's not about how many books you sell. It's about who is buying it and who is reading it and who is hiring you as a result.
There's a business coach named Alan Weiss who wrote Million Dollar Consulting. I went to one of his seminars in New York, where he put up at the front of the conference table a large notepad and then he went around the room and asked each person, "How did you hear about me?"
One person said, "I read your book." Another person said, "I saw your YouTube video." Another person said, "I heard you on this radio show." But 99 percent of people were there because we had read his book. And I actually took a picture of this!
Here's something else I learned from Alan Weiss.
He says when you write a book, sit down and think about who your ideal client is, then think about everyone you know, and then you think, "Could John Smith know my ideal client?"
Basically, you go through what old people call a Rolodex but what current people say is your address book on your phone. And you think about who you know who might know people. Because whatever it is you do for a living—if you coach people about how to be healthy with money or you coach mothers about how to be healthy with their children or whatever it is—you know people who know people who will pay you money to do that.
So what Alan recommends and I always recommend to my clients is sign two copies of your book and send them to a prospective client because a prospective client knows another prospective client he could give the second copy to and nobody throws away a signed book.
So now you've got two prospective clients.
At Launch Pad, we have published books by a sports agent, by a recovery coach, by somebody who owns a non-profit, by somebody who sells to the government. It works for every business I've seen.
I first learned this from my client, Darren Prince, the sports agent.
Aiming High was his book about his addiction and recovery. And right after it was released, he was getting offered six-figure spokesperson deals and getting paid ten thousand dollars a gig to go speak around the world.
But what he told me is that it brought in so much more business to his sports agency because when he sat down with people for meetings, they had read his book about addiction or they knew he had done it. And then it was less a business meeting and more two friends hanging out. And when you're two friends hanging out, the negotiations are going to go a lot better than when you're people just doing business.
I won't sign clients that I don't think can earn back at least ten times what they're paying me. It's silly to pay a lot of money to a company to write and publish your book when you don't have a plan to earn it back.
A client said to me, "I'm an angel investor and I want to write a book" and I said, "OK, great, let's figure out what your business is." And so we came up with this idea for a company where she's going to help women build their businesses. It will have two tiers—one for the ones just starting out who need to know, like what's an LLC, what's an S-corp, what's a DBA, how do I incorporate? And then the other tier, which is how do I get how do I write a business plan? How do I get investors?
A lot of people will write a book and they'll say, "I'm going to create courses and use the book to sell them."
I find that the course building market is supersaturated and it's really hard to get people not only to buy your courses, but also to take them. How many courses have you bought that are just sitting there?
Creating courses isn't the author's path to gold but building a business around your expertise, writing a book that supports that business and then getting that book into the hands of the people who will pay you to do that is.
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