If you are not sure about why or whether you should write a book, in this article I will give you a few sound reasons why you should do it as soon as you can, especially if you are relatively new in what you are doing.
David Aaker, one of the most influential brand authorities in the world, states in his book Aaker on Branding:
«It’s all about content. Just having a sound brand vision, digital capabilities, and a budget is not enough».
Who is an expert if not someone who has a lot to say about his topic of expertise, after all?
One of the major marketing problems facing most professionals right now is that we apparently live (and when I say apparently, I really mean it) in a product-centric business environment.
However, this is not actually true, and for one reason only: the easiness that any single person has in starting a business has never been so widespread.
This makes your product or service easily replicable, unless you belong to the 0,0001% niche of disrupters whose results, due to the budget at their disposal and the technological advancements they pioneer, are not easily achievable in a matter of days. Not even months or years.
In an overcrowded business environment, people have stopped buying products or services.
On the contrary, people buy:
How can a book relate with these dynamics?
I am going to show you right now.
We know (and if you don’t, you have a problem) that brands are built on the basis of three cornerstones:
Direct marketing (which is a niche of the overall content production strategy) is not based on how good our service is, but on how good you will feel once we have helped you solve your problem, and how much pain you will endure if you refuse to solve it right now.
We know for a fact that people are more likely to act in order to escape a bad condition than to embrace one that could be better.
As Dan Kennedy would say, direct marketing is a tool that helps you build a brand based on referrals. And what are referrals if not the most archetypical form of PR?
Content production is what gets your message out there. It is the way you communicate with your target, answer their objections in advance, deepen a specific topic, become perceived as the real expert in your field.
Indeed, as Al Ries would say, marketing is not a battle of products but a battle of perceptions.
The quality and quantity of coherent content you produce and distribute will influence the way your target perceives you, and if you are good enough, it will also let them know what your positioning is in the market, or what differentiates you compared to the other players, obliging people to buy from you.
Content production, especially when you are a low budget professional, startup, or new entrepreneur, is what allows you to fight the marketing war in an asymmetric way by applying the strategy of sabotage.
One of the best strategies to generate chaos and destabilize your industry is writing a book.
Why do you need to generate chaos and destabilize your industry?
You need to generate chaos and destabilize your industry for the simple historical reason of revolution.
Revolutions do not happen to bring change.
Revolutions happen to overthrow an order and set a new one.
As an entrepreneur, you do not want to get the minority but the majority of market shares.
That’s why you should always strive to win instead of simply struggling to fight.
From a branding point of view (that I have explained elsewhere), you are obliged to own the category where you operate if you want to turn your business into a stable money-making machine.
That’s why, before I proceed further in the topic, I am compelled to remind you that revolutions do not happen in a day.
They are the outcome of years (if not decades) of intellectual/cultural production and distribution.
This is the intangible power of content that is even more underlined in my definition of branding:
Branding is ruthless propaganda.
Branding is communicating a single message in different ways through different channels.
In this perspective, you should see a book as the epitome of your propaganda machine, which is the single message of your positioning communicated in different ways through different channels (a blog post, a contribution, a video, an interview, a documentary, a conference, a workshop, etc.).
A book is what converts your position in the market from expert to authority (authorship and authority have the same root).
However, a book is even more than that.
A book can be used both as a way to leverage the quality perception of your expertise in your direct marketing campaigns and as a massive PR generator.
Your book might not necessarily be sufficient to attract media coverage, but it is necessary to augment the interest of your target. It is also a powerful tool to organize workshops, conferences, etc., where you are going to ask for referrals and where you have the chance to describe what you do and how you do it to position yourself as the ultimate choice for a specific solution to a given problem.
Content production isn’t neutral at all.
Content production is the way you educate to indoctrinate.
As in my book Brand To Sell. Ignite Your Influence and Build Your Brand with Broadcast PR:
If they buy your vision, they are more likely to buy your product.
Yes, of course. You educate with all your relevant and high expertise content.
But the real end of all this free or cheap distribution isn’t for charitable purposes.
It is related to your aim to create a bond between you and your audience in which the validity of your argument is so correct, complex, and exclusive that you are perceived as the only person that can help them solve their problem.
Additionally, what matters most about your book, if you are already well known and you have influential connections among your peers, is the recurrent endorsements you can have from people who are willing to promote your work among their audience, which is already generally under the sphere of influence of your connections and might have a problem aligned with the solution your book claims to provide.
A bestselling book is rarely the consequence of advertising and almost always a PR success based on
If you already have a community or a substantial database of email addresses, this is a clear shortcut to your bestselling path.
A book must be well researched and structured.
But you do not need to write a book to write a book.
You can re-arrange your video content, your blog articles, your contributions, or simply transcribe a seminar or workshop you have personally held.
If my arguments have not convinced you yet, I will give clear examples of how books have turned unknown people into worldwide successes:
As said above, if they buy your vision, there are more likely to buy your products.
This couldn’t be better explained by David Ogilvy in his introduction to Confessions of an Advertising Man:
"I wrote this book during my summer vacation in 1962, and gave the copyright to my son for histwenty-first birthday. I thought it would sell 4,000 copies.
To my surprise, it was a runaway best seller, and was later translated into fourteen languages. So far, about a million copies have been sold. Why did I write it? First, to attract new clients to my advertising agency. Second, to condition the market for a public offering of our shares. Third, to make myself better known in the business world. It achieved all three of these purposes."
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Founder and Managing Director at POWER BRAND. PR that Sells for Startups and SMEs,
How to turn your content into a PR advocate
Why you should write a book from a PR perspective
How to use PR to disqualify your competition
How to get media coverage by giving the media what they want
Brand Positioning. Broadcast PR. Brand domination.