How do you find the authority on something? You find the author of the book on the topic. Why can’t that person be you? Our guest this week believes that every professional has a book inside of them that they can leverage into growing more leads, sales, and referrals for their firm.
Chandler Bolt is the CEO of Self Publishing School. He’s the author of six bestselling books, including his most recent book, Published. For the last two years, his company has been one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. We’re excited to have him on the show to teach us how we can write our own books.
- Why write a book?
- The Two Fears
- The Process for Your First Draft
- Getting Attention With Your Book
- Paying for It
How do you crank out your book?
Why write a book? A book is a tool that amplifies your expertise to your audience and differentiates yourself from your competition. Chances are, if you’ve achieved some success, you will repeat some systems for clients and employees over and over again. You might have a favorite procedure or method in your business that you think gives you an edge. It’s these areas where your book is waiting.
Once you have a book, it will help with your sales and with onboarding new clients. If they’ve read your book, they’ll know your approach to business. An example of this Chandler cites is Greg Crabtree’s book, Simple Numbers. He read this book and learned Greg’s method of bookkeeping and financial decision making. He liked it so much that he hired Greg’s accounting firm to implement it.
Getting Your First Draft
Most new authors have two common fears:
- They don’t know how to write a book.
- They don’t know how to market their book.
First, as we mentioned before, you’ve probably already written your book through the conversations you’ve had with other people. What do you repeat on sales calls, onboarding calls, and meetings with the team? How do you explain the way you do things at your firm? That’s the topic. Writing a book is the process of crystallizing that message into book form.
Chandler presented a TED talk (linked up in the resources section) that talks about the three-step process he uses to create a book:
- The first step is to create a mind map of whatever you want to write about that details your processes. This is best done on a sheet of paper rather than fancy software. Think brainstorming.
- The second step is to create an outline from that mind map. The mind map will group your ideas together on its own. Shoot for about five groups of ideas. That will form the sections of your book. Order them logically, and then make about three chapters per section.
- The last step is to write or dictate the book. Spend 10 minutes mind-mapping on a chapter, make an outline, and then write or use a voice recorder to make the chapter. You can use software like Temi to transcribe your spoken word.
The goal here is not to get a finished book. It’s getting a draft. Once you have a draft, it’s much easier to get feedback, make edits, and ultimately finish the project. The hardest part of the project is done.
Marketing What You Have
There are two paths for making money from a book. The first is through royalties, but that’s not what most readers of this blog will shoot for. The second is to use the book to create more leads, sales, and referrals.
People can hear about you because of your book, like with the Crabtree example, or Russell Brunson. Your book can also create more sales from your existing clients. For instance, you can give away a free copy to your clients if they attend a webinar. The book is an enticement to get them to walk down your sales funnel.
In fact, Chandler uses some of his books like business cards. He’ll give away hundreds of copies. This might seem expensive, but he sees his book publishing costs as part of his marketing budget. He redirects money to printing more copies as needed from that bucket. The advantage of giving a book is that people are less likely to throw it away.
Referrals are also easy with a book. You can give someone extra copies and ask them to hand it off to someone who could use the information, which will get you a new lead. Chandler also has a special page on his site that lets his clients refer people to him. If someone responds, they get a free book, and the referrer gets a discount. On that referral page, he also puts in a webinar that summarizes the book, and then a CTA to schedule a call and get a discount.
It may cost roughly $10 per book for printing and shipping costs, but consider it like planting seeds of future revenue. If $10 can get you a huge Lifetime Value (“LTV”) off a new lead, you can make up that budget. Plus, any lead that reads the book and contacts you will be hot. Selling them on your value should be easy.
Pro Tip: If you get in the habit of handing out your book, it makes a great conversation starter with people at conferences and events. “Did you get your book yet? What did you think of it? Would you like to set up a consultation using that method?”
There’s more that we talk about in the podcast, so listen to it to get all of the goods. We want to thank Chandler for his time and insights, and we're excited to hear about how many of you are ready to dive into writing your book!