Jessica Fox, founder and owner of Florida Virtual Bookkeeper, didn’t have time to generate new content each week to grow her practice. That’s when she wrote a new book and now has a resource for new clients and referrals.
She had never written a book before nor got it out into the marketplace. That’s why I decided to chat with her today.
In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and Jessica Fox dive into:
- How to start writing your new book from scratch
- Where to draw inspiration for each chapter
- The results she’s seen from having her own book in the marketplace
- Florida Virtual Bookkeeper – Jessica’s firm
- LINKEDIN – Jessica Fox
- Bookkeeping Basics for Entrepreneurs (book)
From Freelancer to Bookkeeper Firm Owner to Author:
Jessica Fox was a freelancing bookkeeper for 18 years before she realized that the gig was up. Meaning, it was time for her to actually build a business and stop the ‘gig’ economy lifestyle. That’s when she created Florida Virtual Bookkeeper.
She typically works with small businesses, especially new business owners who just opened their business within the past five years. Jessica enjoys this niche because these business owners are learning the ropes of entrepreneurship and she can help guide them to profitability and growth beyond just the tax filing.
Jessica likes to keep tax accounting and bookkeeping separate and so she doesn’t do taxes. Instead, she’s built up a network of contacts that she send referrals to and perhaps get a few back to her. Pretty smart to do if you aren’t doing it yet.
Back to her firm. She started Florida Virtual Bookkeeper and realized she needed to market herself someway while also serving her clients. Jessica didn’t have time to write content all the time, post to social media, attend networking events, and other typical marketing routes. She read a few experts who recommended writing a book.
With a book, you can release it, and it could gather a fanbase of its own passively thus freeing you from the grind of producing content.
This was November 2017. Her original goal was to simply create a short book, post to a landing page and capture email addresses. Luckily, it’s expanded beyond that which we will look at in a bit.
First, how did she start the actual writing process of a new book especially as she didn’t write a book previously?
How to Start Writing Your New Book from Scratch:
Jessica’s best tip is to start with an outline of your new book.
For her book — Bookkeeping Basics for Entrepreneurs — Some pieces wrote themselves, others took some mulling. The key is to keep hiking up the mountain. You won’t always feel like writing, but it’s important to get the ideas flowing.
A big mistake new authors make is they don’t write with their target audience in mind. If you plan to use your new book as a marketing piece to get new clients, you must produce content that talks about their pain points.
You can get this data from onboarding conversations, prospecting discussions, research, talking with your current clients…the areas to find are limitless. The important piece, again, is to write something your target audience needs.
With her audience of entrepreneurs, they typically wanted to know “How to prepare myself to start a business?” “How do I juggle finances with actually running the business?”
Jessica knew these new business owners had little time to read so she wrote a short and sweet book that is zero fluff. It’s straight to the point with actionable tips.
Her chapters and outline all addressed the needs of the new owner:
- What is bookkeeping and why is it important?
- What does a bookkeeper actually do (Jessica got this question all the time. She was surprised).
- A glossary of common accounting terms like “accrual” “P&L” “M&E”
- What key reports to know and understand to make profitable decisions?
- How to hire a bookkeeper without going broke
- What software do you need?
- and much more
The idea is to take the reader through a transformation. They go from being ignorant on the topics to knowing just enough to be dangerous.
Her main selling point: Save yourself thousands in fees from your books needing to be cleaned up at the end of the year.
That right there will turn some heads.
The Response to her New Book:
So far, the reaction has been “amazing” according to Jessica. She’s able to have a marketing tool to give to everyone.
Whenever a new prospect isn’t going to hire her, she’s able to give the book to them so she can stay top of mind down the line. She’s given it to friends and she was shocked to hear feedback. Some of her friends said she inspired them to start their own business because she helped remove some of the financial risk. There’s that transformation piece she touched on.
DAVID’S TIP:A new book is a great referral piece to share with clients. Even if your book isn’t relevant to them now as they are more advanced, they can be your sales force. Also, have copies to give away at marketing events, conferences, meetups and more. Books = authority. Authority in the accounting space goes a long way to inking the deal.
For Jessica, she plans to give the book away to her clients as a Christmas gift. Then, she plans to set up a landing page and capture email addresses.
A new book for your firm can go a long way to keeping you top of mind in your prospect and client’s head. It’s very powerful.
As a last tip from Jessica, she got the book cover done using Canva, Pixabay and a freelancer on Fiverr. After that, she was able to get it uploaded to Amazon where she can sell it, collect reviews, and make a few bucks on top of it.
If you’re interested in reaching out to Jessica Fox, she would love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org