For more than 3 decades, my clients and I have used one simple marketing strategy that still works like gangbusters today for generating new business and establishing yourself as a recognized expert in your field: writing a book.
Specifically, writing a book on your specialty—your area of knowledge or expertise related to your product or service.
Just having the book as a credential helps legitimize you as an authority and can set you apart from others in your niche.
But the real secret to marketing with a book is to give your book away to as many potential clients as possible.
You can do this by offering the free book in an ad or mailer, through a landing page online, through mentions in e-newsletters (yours and others), through PR and many other ways.
One of my clients has built a highly successful business by giving away thousands of copies of his book—not cheap, because it’s a big hardcover book.
If you look at people who are recognized thought leaders in their specialties—Tony Robbins, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Tom Peters, Seth Godin—virtually all of them have written one or more books.
Why is it a good marketing strategy to offer your book free to potential customers or clients? 3 reasons.
First, as marketer Jeffrey Lant has said, “A book is a brochure that will never be thrown away.”
Your sales kit may end up in the trash or be deleted with a click. But the book is kept on a shelf where the prospect sees it every time he walks into the room, reminding him of you and your service.
Second, if your book mostly tells readers stuff they already know, your prospects will nod their heads in agreement as they read and become convinced you really know what you are talking about.
Third, of the people who buy your book online or in a bookstore, a certain number will contact you to inquire about your services. An inquiry from someone who read your book and then liked it enough to call you is about the most qualified lead you can get.
I have used both physical books and e-books (both PDF and Kindle) in my marketing with excellent results.
But I favor a paperbound book. It is simply much more impressive to the prospect that you have written a ‘real’ book vs. an electronic book. It has more impact. It’s more memorable.
Note: If you publish your book with a mainstream publishing house and the book goes out of print, the publisher will ask whether you want to purchase the remainders at a deep discount.
Jump on this offer. It will give you a big supply of “brochures that will never be thrown away” for pennies on the dollar.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.