Business books are becoming more popular every year.
Being the author of a book, especially one associated with your industry, is a different sort of marketing tool that opens doors of opportunity like:
- Building brand loyalty with your customers
- Establishing authority in your industry
- Creating a more personal relationship with your clients, customers, and partners
- Opening doors to new business
The problem, however, is that writing a book worth reading isn’t as easy as coming up with a clever title and filling 150 pages with words.
This year, I started working on a book as a marketing tool for my company, Usherpa. And very quickly into the process, I started reflecting on my 25-year business career and asking myself questions I hadn’t thought about in a very long time. Questions like, “What drove me to start a business in the first place? What were my true motivations?” Quickly it became apparent that the task of creating a marketing asset had evolved into the task of telling a story that could truly resonate with readers—not just talk about a topic long enough for it to be considered “a book.”
If you’re thinking about writing a book yourself, and looking to tap into this new form of marketing, here are 3 things you need to make sure to include.
1. Your book needs a genuine story.
Every single business has a story.
However, in order for readers to truly pay attention, the story you tell has to be more meaningful than just the overarching history of your business or industry. In fact, what makes a story is if there is some sort of emotional component driving the narrative forward.
- Why was your company started?
- What challenges were presented—and what did it feel like to face those challenges?
- Who was there to help you along the way?
- What were some of the big mistakes, lessons, and takeaways that allowed you to keep moving forward?
These are the types of questions readers find interesting, and will keep reading in order to learn the answers.
2. Your book needs to show a firm understanding of both the problems and the possible solutions.
Some books only talk about problems, but don’t offer solutions.
Other books offer too many solutions without first establishing whether or not they truly understand the problems.
Your goal is to be somewhere in the middle.
For example, I have spent the last 25 years in the CRM and marketing automation industry. I’m painfully aware of the ways in which these tools win or lose when it comes to solving customers’ problems. However, in order to reach the people I hope to reach, it’s important I first establish myself as a trusted source of information. And in order to do that, I need to prove (to the reader) that I intimately understand their day-to-day problems when it comes to loan origination.
So, before you get excited thinking about the 100+ pages of solutions you can offer your target readers, take some time to question whether or not you’ve set the proper foundation.
Prove you understand their problems.
3. Your book has to command a compelling position on the world’s bookshelf.
Books that say something specific are the books that stand out.
The reason someone is going to pick your book off the shelf (whether it be physical or digital) is because they believe your product can help them with a particular issue in their life. If you do not successfully speak to that specific issue your target audience is struggling with, they won’t know your book is for them.
In order to know the best way to position your book for readers, you need to start by surveying the landscape. What problems have other books already laid claim to? Did they successfully speak to the problem they set out to solve? If not, where did they fall short? Is your book intended to more effectively explain a previously defined problem? Or is your book educating customers on a new problem they didn’t know was holding them back?
These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself when writing your book and creating a high-value marketing asset.
Otherwise, no one will read it.