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!

Publish Articles

articlesPublishing articles is very similar to blogging.  The advantage to articles for some people is that while the effort required to create the content is very similar, the time requirement is very different.  What I mean is that a standard article runs between 400-1000 words, the same for standard blog posts.  So, writing a blog or an article is basically about the same amount of work.  What’s different about articles is that they don’t have to happen regularly.  Blogs need to happen regularly – several times a week, or weekly at a minimum.  Articles can happen whenever the mood strikes you, or whenever you have something you want to write about.  The pressure is definitely less.

The disadvantage to articles is that a there is no way of capturing subscribers or followers, like you have with a blog.  Articles do generate traffic to your site as there is always a “promo box” at the bottom of the article where you put your bio and a link back to your site.  But at that point, your site has to be working for you to turn the click from a published article into a registered user either through a subscription or an opt-in email.  You will get the traffic, and it is up to you to capture it.

Like blogs, articles are well liked by search engines.  The content of the article will be indexed by the search engines allowing people to find your article linked with your name.  But there won’t be an immediate link to your site – rather back to where the article was published.
To get started here are 4 steps to marketing yourself with articles:

1. Identify your topic. Choose topics related to your area of expertise.  If you have content already developed, leverage it for your articles. Look for connections to current events and take existing content and “spin” it into something new and exciting for your audience.

2. Write your article. You want to shoot for between 400-1000 words.  There are many different ways to structure your articles, but some of the more popular are Top 10 Lists, How To Guides, Tips and Tricks, Seasonal or Holiday tie-ins.  Make sure to include your short bio and a link to a webpage in the “promo box” usually at the end of the article.  The link can be to your business web page, blog, or social media profile. Use whichever one is most up to date and relevant to the article topic.

3. Publish your article: There are 4 major articles distribution databases.  You can submit your articles to all four services.  Each one of them has a reporting mechanism where you can see how many views your articles have received.

4. Promote your article: Now that you have your article published, tell people about it.  When answering customer questions, or talking to prospective clients, it adds a degree of credibility to include a link to an article you’ve written.  Don’t forget to post them to your social media accounts.  Use these as a way of establishing your credibility. Having your articles published on a 3rd party site is validation of your expertise.  It’s like a great reference for you.