Almost all businesses offer a unique perspective in their respective fields of service. That unique perspective may just be the key to building your sales funnel and increasing leads.

Today, consumers are looking for more ways to interact with their product and service providers and often seek out content as a form of validation before engaging in business. One of the best ways to get your message out there and provide more information to prospects is to have some form of book; whether it be a free downloadable PDF, on demand print, paid PDF, or an old fashioned in print soft cover book. People also want something for their contact information. We have trained our prospects to protect their contact information and to only give it out if the requesting company has something to give.  You give, you get.

There are three reasons you might want to get busy writing. A book will help you with:

  1. Lead Generation — One of the most popular list building options is having a ‘free’ download to capture an email address and contact information.  Writing an ebook that can easily be delivered by a CRM will help you build your list better than any other activity out there.  While most ebooks downloaded never get read, the key is you have, if only for a moment, a new prospect who is interested in what you have to say, offer, sell or do. Almost all business types can benefit from a free ebook for lead generation.
  2. Broadcasting Your Unique Selling Proposition — Your widget is better than the next guy’s widget, right? If so, why not wax eloquently about your trade secrets, unique differences and philosophy on said widget? Many people use ebooks as a way to define who they are, what they provide and how they solve whatever problem their business exists to provide.  Service providers tend to benefit more from ebooks to define their USP, but that is not to say that other businesses can’t benefit from the same.
  3. Increase Your Authority — Nothing says you know what you are talking about better than a book that tells ’em what you are talking about.  It used to be that you were considered an expert if you had a slide deck, powerpoint or website and now those are a dime a dozen.  Writing a book, even an ebook, increases your audience’s perception of your value and expertise.  I do have one pet peeve … all of these ‘compilation’ books with multiple authors.  That doesn’t really help your credibility.  Honestly, it doesn’t.  I know, all of these coaches and marketers who have made a fortune from people who pay to have a chapter in a book will say I’m wrong, but think about it. You are one chapter in an entire book. If you really have something to say, work with a writing coach and write your own book (all of the chapters).

A book is only a book. If you don’t have a plan to use that book in your marketing strategy then you might as well put the Smith and Corona back in the closet.  Once you have the book, you have to have a plan to market it. We love creating nurture campaigns to promote businesses. Below are a few ways to market the book:

  1. Use the book as an opt-in on your website. Capture contact information for further sales opportunities.
  2. Use portions of the book as an opt-in if you don’t want to give the whole thing away.
  3. Use the book as a free add on to existing purchases.
  4. Promote the ebook on social media for opt-ins.
  5. Use the ebook as an affiliate tool to market through other partners.
  6. Use the content in the book as blog topics or teasers on your blog to drive interest.
  7. Use your book to get you on the radio or TV as a featured guest.
  8. Use your book to get you more speaking opportunities.
  9. Promote your webinars, teleconferences and programs with your ebook audience.

Here are a few types of books you can write to build your list:

  • Top 10, 20, 30… any ‘top’ tips book will generate interest.
  • Resource guides: Write a PDF eBook that serves as a reference guide. It could be a buyer’s guide for people who want to purchase your product or service.
  • Create a PDF eBook with tutorials for working with your product or making the most of the service you offer.
  • 101-style eBooks: What basic vocabulary does a buyer need in order to understand what you offer? What foundational knowledge would serve them well? Write an eBook that serves as a “101″ guide to your topic.
  • FAQs in eBook form: Do you find yourself answering the same questions by email or phone? Create an FAQ-style eBook to address those frequently asked questions. You’ll add to your email list and save time.
  • Workbooks or quiz eBooks: Do you have a series of qualifying questions you ask of your prospects? Could you create a self test that would help readers identify what they need? Put it in eBook form, and make it available to everyone who signs up.
  • Interview-style eBooks: Build your network and your email list by interviewing top performers in your industry and sharing their thoughts in eBook form. Or, interview successful customers and share their advice with your prospects.
  • “Best of” eBook: Do you write a blog or an email newsletter? Gather your most popular posts or articles into a “Best of” eBook that highlights information that readers may have missed when it was first published. (List compiled from Constant Contact Blog)

If you can’t write, and I mean, you can’t spell, have terrible grammar or you just don’t make any sense…please use a copy writer or editor before you send your book out into the ether.  A book is only as good as the first few pages and if in those first few pages your content is askew, then not only have you lost a prospect, there is a good chance you have hurt your reputation. Make sure you cover your bases before you push publish.

Bottom line: prospects won’t give you their contact information for free. Consider your book a form of payment to acquire those leads.  Use your ebook to share your USP or to highlight how you transact business. Provide your customer with the types of content that answer their questions, solve their problems and teach them how to get what they need.