At Grammar Factory, we’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs write and publish books that help them build authority and create a platform for business growth. I’ve seen firsthand the value that entrepreneurs get from creating a long-form book. Their book provides a foundation for building their profile, generating qualified leads, developing profitable products, and scaling their business.
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re aware of at least some of the benefits of publishing a book of your own.
But before you sit down to write that book, think about the goals you want to accomplish with it. Just like setting goals for your business, you need goals for your book, too. Knowing in advance what you want to accomplish will significantly increase your odds of success.
So, what are the most common goals businesspeople have when writing an expertise-based book? In my experience, there are eight that stand out as the most impactful.
Let’s review each, and then figure out which might deliver the greatest results for you.
1. Build authority
If you’re like many entrepreneurs and business leaders, one of the main goals you might have in writing your book is building your authority. Building your authority provides many benefits, including more awareness of your business and its products and services, higher billing rates, greater consideration by prospects, and improved sales conversion rates. Just imagine: suddenly getting more attention, making more sales, and being taken more seriously by customers and connections alike. There’s a reason why this goal is a top priority for many.
2. Generate leads
Another valuable goal for a book is generating leads. This is a especially true if you have a professional services or coaching business — but, really, this can be an effective strategy for any business. Think about it this way: Reading a book is a significant time commitment. When someone reads yours cover to cover, they’ll have spent hours with you and your ideas — which makes them more inclined to work with you further.
3. Expand reach
Scaling a business is hard, and it’s common for your business’s growth to be linked to your ability to commit more time and effort to it. So when you run out of time, you can find yourself feeling frustrated (or exhausted, if you’re putting in hours you just don’t have).
A book is the perfect solution to this problem, standing in for you whenever and wherever you can’t be. It can reliably and consistently share your message with customers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week — just like a mini-you that you don’t have to pay.
4. Launch a business
If you’re a subject-matter expert who’s employed full-time, a book is the perfect launching pad for a business of your own. Writing a book requires less start-up capital compared to other types of business assets, and helps you develop IP and establish authority quickly, making it an excellent gateway to entrepreneurship for many nine-to-fivers.
But even if you already have an established business, a book can also be an excellent platform for launching an entirely new ecosystem of products and services based on your book’s IP.
5. Influence opinion
An expert author can present a new approach or a new way of thinking about a subject that radically changes the perspectives within an entire field or industry. These seminal, thought-leadership-type books can have a profound impact on competitive dynamics, for example, which can result in real opportunities for you and your business.
6. Codify knowledge
While much of your business can and should be planned and documented, most entrepreneurs inevitably develop much of their methodology, processes, insights, and other valuable information as they go. This leads to gaps and discontinuities. As a result, there’s no cohesive articulation of the business’s knowledge base and a lack of monetizable IP.
Writing a book is an opportunity to change this. You can really focus on your subject, collect and clarify your thinking on it, and fill in any gaps. The result? A master content asset that can be your reference source for a wide array of purposes, such as product development, employee training, social media communications, and more.
7. Build new capabilities
With the pace of change in many industries, it’s more important than ever to continually expand your knowledge and capabilities to include new trends and areas of expertise. A useful way to do this is to commit to writing a book on a subject that, while related and important to your business, is currently outside of your wheelhouse.
The process of planning, researching, structuring and writing on this subject provides an excellent frame around which to build new expertise. Another benefit? Once your book is written and published, you’ll quickly become, and be seen as, an expert in an emerging area that may be desperate for thought leaders.
8. Sell books
Direct income from book sales is typically not at the top of the list for business owners. Established businesspeople already have income from their business or executive position. So, while book revenue is nice, they focus on more valuable goals related to their core business.
But if income from book sales is your goal, you can achieve it. It’s all about strategy…and time. Financial success from book sales alone is uncommon, especially with a first book. But it becomes more and more feasible as you establish a deeper library of titles. Writing a series of books allows for more diverse and effective marketing tactics. So, if your goal is to sell books, serial authorship is a path to accomplish just that.
Which goal is right for you and your book?
While a book can and will deliver many benefits, it’s important to focus on just one primary goal, and possibly one or two secondary goals. Although you’ll see benefits in other areas as well, being clear about what’s most important makes it easier for you to make decisions, manage trade-offs, and monitor your progress.
If you’re unsure about which goal is best for you, I’d invite you to take the Entrepreneur to Author STEPS Self-Assessment Quiz and find out which goal is likely to deliver the greatest benefit to you and your business, given your specific situation.
With a clear goal for and purpose to your book, you’ll be well ahead of most other entrepreneurs in planning, writing, and publishing a high-calibre book that isn’t just a great read, but that also delivers the business outcomes you expect.
Learn more about writing and publishing a nonfiction book that builds authority and grows your business in my book, Entrepreneur to Author. Download the first two chapters for free at: www.entrepreneurtoauthor.com.