You should write a book

driving_success_3d1The following is an excerpt from 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books, by Mitchell Levy.

As a business person in today’s turbulent times, you must be wondering what you can do to demonstrate your effectiveness. The key question you must be asking yourself when you wake up each morning is, “What am I going to do today to bring in more business?” What if prospects came to you asking:

  • How do I buy your product?
  • Can you please speak in front of my group (e.g. your prospects)?
  • Can I please get some of your brochures to share with decision makers at my company?
  • I love the brochure you sent in the mail, can I please get some more?
  • In a book I picked up at Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I read about your product/service. Can you tell me more?

A dream? Science fiction? No! You get all this and more with a book. You’re reading this and you’re excited until you think about what it takes to write a book. Then you ignore the idea because you’re thinking you don’t have 1,000 hours and can’t wait 1–2 years to create a book.  Myth!

Yes, a book published by a traditional publisher will take 1,000 hours to write and 12–18 months to publish (once you secure the publisher).  But, a book published by Super Star Press or Happy About will take 60–150 hours to write and 2–4 months to publish. For a 42 Rules book
(see Your Rules at the back of the book), you can have folks collaborate to help you create a book in as little as 60 hours. So the question arises, “Is a 100-page book that took 60–150 hours to create going to be effective?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Please read on, as many of the authors featured in this book created books that achieved amazing results. Those results are within your reach too, with a 42 Rules title to your credit!

Let me talk about the benefits of writing this book. From the time the concept was originated to the day when the book came back from content layout was 3 months. During that time, I spent 50 hours of time. Yes, just 50 hours. With the writing and other odds and ends before having a book in my hand 3 weeks from now, I would expect to have spent 60 hours. Even before publishing (see Rule 17) the benefits are amazing.

  • 4 new authors (contracts signed) and 18 others that have expressed interest.
  • 1 new executive editor (contract signed) who is searching for authors to write books in his series and 8 others that have expressed interest.
  • 8 marketing firms that have put us on their radar and we’ve hired one of them for 2 of our authors.

Let me repeat, amazing results for 50 hours of work. Absolutely the best bizdev tool I’ve ever deployed!

Important elements of personal branding – the results are in

In a recent survey conducted by Impact Marketing Group, we asked entrepreneurs, business owners and independent professionals about their perceptions of personal brands.  Here’s what they said:

– The most important elements of a brand are Authenticity, Honesty and Expertise.

– Visibility online via events, books, blogs and articles is more important than traditional media coverage.

– Your website isn’t as important as it once was – the focus has shifted to personal presence (both online and offline).

What does this mean for you?  First, it means we all need to evaluate who we are and what we stand for in business.  As a whole people are tired of promises made and broken.  We see it in politics and big business, and it is clear that our customers expect more from us, the entrepreneurs and business owners.  We need to be true to our customers and keep our promises.  Remember that we all sell something – whether it is a political message, bookkeeping or graphic design – that helps our customers improve the ways they do things.  They want to hear from us and it is our responsibility to tell them who we are and what we do to help them.

Second, it’s time to start talking to your customers, not the media.  It’s time to start taking part in conversations that are relevenat to your customers.  Hear what they are saying and find out what’s important to them.  Chime in and share your thoughts, expertise and experiences.  Don’t sell them during these conversations – just talk, and get to know them.The time to sell will come once you have gained their trust and become a known entity.

Finally, it isn’t just about your website anymore.  The focus has shifted to a more dynamic type of communications where your personal presence is more important than your webpage.  By personal presence, I mean, your message and presemnce on and off line.  If someone Googles your name, what will they find?  FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts all sharing different parts of an integrtated story? Or, more likely, wil they see some stuff here and there that doesn’t help them to get to know you.  Websites are about credibility, but they aren’t what people need to make a decision to do business with you.  People need to know that you’re the real deal, that you’re a real person with experiences to share and ideas that might help them.  Blogs, articles, videos, speaking appearances can all work to help you build your personal presence.

Here are the details for anyone who’s interested in seeing more:

Brand Perceptions