Your Book: Bland and Generic or Distinctive and Powerful

The ninth (bonus!) secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book.

Of business cards and books…

If you’ve ever been to a business networking event there’s often a curious dance that takes place around business cards… Despite modern tech and apps the simplest way to share our contact information is still via our business cards.

After a few years networking I’ve now got a massive collection of cards—at the time of writing it stands at around 800 cards. I know of others who have thousands…

During this period I’ve heard many marketing gurus telling business owners and entrepreneurs that they need a book, that a book is the new business card.


There’s a bigger question about this statement, however, if I put that aside for the moment and just take it at face value there’s still an interesting way to explore it…

When I look at my collection of 800+ business cards about 60 of them stand out clearly.

Most are incredibly bland, generic and don’t in any way remind me of the person I spoke with. Most will have a name, contact info, logo or business title on them but no explanation of what they can help me with.

What kind of book do you want yours to be?

Unfortunately most business books I see, which are developed through anonymous marketing-led processes, end up like the vast majority of the business cards I receive. They’re bland, generic and don’t communicate anything of lasting value.

Of the other 60 business cards—the ones that do stand out and are in some way memorable—there are two different kinds.

There are the cards that might have a photograph of the person or a striking company design on it. So these cards tell me about the person.

The others may also have a striking way of presenting their company’s mission and services in a way that I can see what they can do for me or for someone else I know. Ultimately these are the cards that are truly useful and can genuinely lead to new business conversations.

Your book is so much more than a business card, however, you can take some cues from the best business cards that are out there…

Your book—Your business

Your book isn’t a business card… it is your business… the way you create it, present it, share it and focus it on solving your readers’ problems is the way you and your business will be judged.

Careful preparation, development of new skills and approaches, a rigorous fixation on meeting the needs of the readers at the highest quality will show that you are genuinely an expert, an authority who has something meaningful and powerful to share that can make a real difference.

Yet, there’s even more to it…

The time, energy and investment you put into creating your book can be leveraged in a much broader sense.

If you imagine the creation of your book as laying the foundations for a comprehensive product business (other books, audio programmes, online training, etc.) there is a tremendous opportunity to build a business that sits alongside your current business.

When you’re thinking about working with an author services company, a book coach or a traditional publisher see if they’re strategically thinking about more than simply the book… Do they also have the ability to help you design, structure and build a comprehensive product business?

The ninth secret—create your book, not as a business card, but as your business.




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