Five ways your book opens doors


The practice of being recognized for your professional identity is changing. For a long time it began with a business card. Then a press release. Then it became your website.

Now the more powerful calling card for a CEO, any C-suite executive, organizational leader, or entrepreneur, is a book — a book with your name on it.

A book is a keepsake that is never discarded. A book generates a first impression of your expertise and authority. A book is a repository of your vast experience, organized into a narrative you control.

Vast benefits, generous results

How can your book open up new horizons?

Reputational enhancement – Authoring your book will provide a double benefit for you, the person whose name appears on the cover, as well as your organization. You will elevate your personal profile as an individual, as a leader, as an industry player, and ultimately as a contributor to society. And your organization will likewise reap the benefits, elevating its overall profile as vital in the same ways.

Competitive advantage. Put your rivals on notice that you are communicating your leadership in a physical format that will last forever — generating insight and goodwill long after you’ve left the organization.

Faster and stronger engagement. The marketing funnel of increasing engagement accelerates when the authority of your book plays a significant role. It’s built into the name — being impossible to spell “authority” without “author.”

Permanence. Marketing is extraordinarily ephemeral — podcasts, blog posts, tweets, broadcast advertising, and trade show booths all disappear almost instantly. Your book will sit in your customers’ competitors’ and prospects’ lobbies and bookshelves forever. In terms of heft, a tweet is a mosquito; a book is a whale.

Uncompromising thoroughness. Soundbites and elevator speeches — the touchstones of our business culture — are inadequate for complex fields because their quickness is a painful liability. That’s precisely why the physical weight of a book offers both a physical as well as intellectual first impression of experience and capability. As a book author, you can take your time to frame your your message and make your arguments in full detail without compression into ever-more-miniscule chunks.

Choosing the format

This table suggests a number of successful book formats and what they can provide:

The way to choose the format of your book for maximum effect is to decide what it is you want the book to demonstrate.

To evoke trust and prestige, an organizational history can provide multiple levels of insight into how the past informs the present and lays the groundwork for the future.

To show your range and flexibility, a book of case studies can delineate your areas of expertise.

To cultivate new relationships with customers and intermediaries, a how-to book of basic methods, techniques and insights can inspire prospects and others to better understand how your organization improves their outlook.

To demonstrate the authority of your innovations, a book cataloging your new approaches will prove the importance of transformation as a driver of tangible results.

Making the details work for you (and your readers)

How much information is too much? You know from giving live presentations that the amount of detail that each person in your audience responds to will always differ from person to person. Whenever you get into the weeds of a given topic, what is fascinating to some will cause eyerolling in others.

When you provide a cohesive story in book form, you are creating a master context for details. Readers can flip through the pages of your book until something catches their eye, and they will dig deeper wherever they choose. Providing a table of content as well as an index gives readers ready access to the details of greatest interest to them.

Marketing your book

Let’s assume your book is already written. When it’s time to get the word out…

Trade shows – Your book will the ultimate giveaway for developing new leads, using your expertise to maximum advantage, and expanding actionable interest in your enterprise.

Social media – Your book offers an enormous reservoir of instantly leverageable content to be summoned as support for traditional marketing efforts or to form the basis of new freestanding marketing campaigns.

Keynotes and personal appearances – Once you’ve generated your content in book form, there is no end of opportunities for you to spread the word and communicate its advantages.

Pitches and capability presentations – Impress your prospects with authoritative content that can provide new value propositions they may never have been exposed to otherwise.

Ticket to new alliances – Your book can open doors to be welcomed by other industry leaders, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and elected officials.

The last word

As a CEO or C-suite executive, you may be thinking: I admit I have plenty to say that is too difficult or too complex to summarize. And, besides, I’m way too busy to write my book myself.

Of course you are. The answer is simple. Outsource it.




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