WHY YOUR BOOK IS A GREAT BUSINESS CARD
By JIM KENDALL
This material originally appeared as one of Jim’s Daily Herald columns
Your first meeting with the prospect, a potentially important client, has gone well. As you’re wrapping up, you hand her your business card, a prepared summary of the points you made and say, “And I’d like to give you a copy of the book I’ve written. I think it covers some of the issues we discussed.”
Whoosh! Your credibility just flew past the top of the scale.
“A book is the best business card you can have,” says Brian Basilico. He should know. Founder, president and creative force at Aurora-based B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., Basilico is working on his fifth business book – all created to enhance his reputation and drive business to B2b.
“It took me six months to write my first book,” Basilico says. “The fourth took me 30 days.”
That first book, “It’s Not about You, It’s about Bacon: Relationship Marketing in a Social Media World,” has led to a series of related seminars, webinars, speaking presentations, a Mastermind group, podcasts, coaching assignments and – so far – four more books and the business goodies they bring.
Two points should be made about Basilico’s books:
* They’re generally worth reading, filled with helpful information Basilico has gleaned from a long sales-marketing-coaching career.
* The goal isn’t to hit the top of the bestseller lists. Instead, the best use of a business book is to help set you – the author – apart from competitors who sell what you sell but don’t have a book to differentiate themselves.
The question is whether a book you write will do what Basilico’s books have done for his business activities. The idea is worth exploring, assuming as a practical matter that your book topic and business are related.
Basilico’s books are traditional ink on paper, partly because “having a physical book is more impressive,” he says. He self publishes, using Amazon’s CreateSpace. Partly because of the Amazon name but partly because it is relatively easy to use, CreateSpace seems to be one of the more popular book production systems. There are some free and some pay-for CreateSpace services.
While Basilico does sell his books, he uses them in many business-generating ways. “You have to market the book,” Basilico says, but much of the marketing markets Basilico and his services.
Basilico, for example, takes books to his speech presentations and sells them. That’s fitting; the book often plays a role in securing the presentation – typically a matter of connecting with the program chair or marketer at an event he’d like to appear before and sending a copy of the book along with a suggestion that the content fits the event audience.
It takes time to generate interest. “Start promoting the day you put pen to paper,” Basilico says. “The cover is the first thing I do, so I have an image to use. You should have a book launch party, hosted by one of your business friends. Do a book signing, too.”
© 2017 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com. Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at www.kendallcom.com/podcast.