Essential resources, ideas and updates for coaches, trainers and consultants thinking about writing or publishing books, audio or online programmes.
- The Kara Sutra #7—Satisfy Your Desire
Be Passionate About Your Book—Don’t Just Write the Book You Feel You Should
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Seven
Many new authors, especially in the business arena, set out to write the book they feel they should be writing. They focus on what everybody else is doing, what others say is on trend and constantly ponder how they will be perceived by others.
As a business author, you want to share a powerful and transformative message with the world, to be authentic and to claim your space within an already overcrowded market. You want to make a difference, to be successful and to catapult your business to new levels of achievement.
You have a burning desire within… a unique and extraordinary perspective. This is your truth, your life-experience, your distinct message to the world. Chances are, however, the book you want to write—the book about this very personal passion is not the book you will actually start to write.
You so want to reveal your mastery—to become a leader—yet the prospect of doing that, goes against the norm. It is different to what other authors and business people are doing.
On the one hand you have this extraordinarily different perspective and on the other you have the pressure to be accepted. The thought of what your existing clients would say, the negative reviews and the embarrassment of being all on your own within your field, all push you away from your core message.
The heart says, write that book on Accountancy for Cat Lovers…
Talking Crystals and How to Market Them…
…Interpretive Dance on Your iMac,
The head says, write a book on accounting, marketing and using an iMac. And so on.
Every profession is so jam-packed with experts, preaching their expertise and trying to outdo each other, it is just boring to audiences. We now live in a world where just doing what everybody else is doing just gets you lost in a smog of content.
To achieve what you want to achieve, do not do the norm, do what you are passionate about. Take your special and unusual perspective and allow it to change you from yet another expert in the field, to the leader of the field.
The audience for the book you want to write is out there… if your current audience are advocates of your brand, they will also follow you. Those who do not like the finished book—even if they write a bad review to prove it—will only demonstrate their own lack of innovative thinking.
And as they get lost in the same smog of content that threatened to drag you down, you will be rewarded for being the pioneer; the one who journeyed where nobody had dared venture before.
- The Kara Sutra #6—Keep ‘Em Wanting More!
It is vital you play hard to get when writing your book…
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Six
Behind the scenes of most businesses, there is no time or patience for stories. Most people want you to get to the point and to do it yesterday! So, we find ourselves constantly running full pelt to the finish line as quickly and concisely as possible.
When writing a book, however, getting to the point is not the point of writing the book.
As an author, you are seeking to engage your audience; to lure them into your world and once they are there, to tease them, play with them and generally have your way with them!
This is achieved through story—the more you master your art as a storyteller, the greater your storyselling.
For, once the audience is in your world, you can lead them from moment to moment, product to product.
They will not mind being sold to, because they enjoy the experience of the story… and you will not have to force them to buy, because storyselling is subtle and offered with an open hand (rather than a closed fist held to your client’s throat).
The challenge is, before you can master the craft of storyselling, you will need to transition from… getting to the point, to meandering to the point.
Most business authors charge out of the starting gate and head, in a dead straight line, to the finish. They have no time to offer their reader except when stating facts, figures and the occasional anecdote for illustrative purposes.
That approach has worked well for many years, but now it is failing more and more.
Why? Because the audience is so saturated in sales and marketing, they have become exceptionally adept at filtering it out of their awareness.
It takes microseconds for the savvy, modern brain to make a decision. If you are attempting to get to the point in that time, you will lose them, whether or not you are going at light speed with those facts and figures or not.
In less than a second, you have time to do one thing and one thing only…
Raise their heart rate.
If you achieve this, you will have them for them for a minute more, maybe several minutes. Then you can begin to tell your story, engage them and compel them to keep going on this journey. All the while you are walking beside them, sharing your story and meandering past different events.
The building of these events through narration, creating tension and the release of tension are not to the point—the purpose is not to get to the point, but to enthral your audience; leading them from one dramatic event to the next.
Everything in your story needs to be designed to keep the audience wanting more. And if you craft your narrative with powerful storyselling techniques, there will come a point in your book where the reader will relax into the story and begin to trust you.
Their trust is the most important aspect of the author/reader relationship. For when they trust you, you can offer them value in the purchases they make and the relationship you develop together. You can turn basic information into profound transformation.
- The Kara Sutra #5—Fluid Desire
Keep the adventure in this moment…
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Five
When you write your book, you are doing so in the moment. In this moment right now. Regardless of how long it actually takes you to complete your book, you will always write in the moment and within the context of that moment.
Your reader always reads your book in the moment. In this moment right now. Regardless of when you actually completed your book, they will always read in the moment and within the context of that moment.
So, your reader may be in this moment a few months after you are in this moment. They may be in this moment, two-hundred years after you are in this moment.
Think about that for a moment. Take it in.
You have the ability to change the life of a person, two centuries from now. You will never meet them or know of the impact you had upon their life, when they reach the end of theirs. You will never know important your book is or was or could be.
Yet, they will know you through your book. They will grow a relationship with you. They will love you in a way that transcends time and space. And in this moment you will know them too. You know your readers so well—so completely—they are real, whether they are alive today or in the distant future.
So, when you fully realise the importance of your book and its place in the world, you will also understand how important it is to keep your narrative relevant, no matter when it is read.
Be aware of factors that date your book and—unless your book needs to be firmly indicative of this time period—avoid these as much as you can.
The easiest way to date your book is to use time specifics. Telling your reader the year, presenting a year and then describing your temporal relationship to that year, or indeed qualifying a relationship to any fixed event or period in time, will date your book.
Technology and science can also date your book, as well as many social, spiritual and political attitudes. Your linguistic and language patterns may date your book. And the big no-no is attempting to be futuristic from the present moment!
This is when an author describes the future with their current range of experiences. Think Tomorrowland! However, you can be futuristic from a retrospective point of view, such as the Steampunk realisation of Space Mountain.
Dating your book in an earlier timeframe may date the book, but because you have positioned it with the sophistication of future-proofing, it will always be a retrospective, yet relevant narrative.
Chances are that social, political and spiritual attitudes will shift and change as well, therefore, if you want to maintain your book’s fluid nature, you will need to be ultra aware of sharing your views on these. Many a profound personal development book has not aged well, because of throwaway, unnecessary and outdated comments on race or gender.
Authoring your book in a moment; one that can be any moment, will ensure your work stays fresh and relevant throughout time… Offering the promise of a better world, a lasting legacy and a deeply rewarding paradigm for all time.
The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.
In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.
- Should “Thought Leaders” Be Banned?
Have you bumped into the phrase thought leader recently?
In the last few years this phrase, initially used to describe someone who was a stand-out authority and in-demand leader in a field, has appeared throughout entrepreneurial events and material.
As often happens this has become vastly overused and its meaning diluted.
To the point where it has become meaningless.
Any Tom, Dick or Harriet who has put pen to paper now seems to see themselves as a thought leader.
Yet most who seek the mantle of thought leadership appear to do very little original thinking—most of their material, if not all of it, is rehashed, regurgitated and repackaged from others.
The difference that makes a leader is…
Now there is definitely a place for easy introductions or simple breakdowns of complex areas, but this is simply the process of teaching and explaining, not thought leadership. Many little books tackle this challenge admirably. They distil methods, tools and strategies into bite-sized activities that can be tackled daily to gain excellent results.
Many of us would love to be seen as a leader in our field. The reality is that most of us simply won’t reach this position..
We cannot become a leader in our field by rehashing other people’s models or anecdotes. We cannot become a leader in our field by regurgitating reams of information and statistics. We cannot become a leader in our field by simply repackaging various approaches with new names or pretty design.
We cannot become a leader simply by layering a few anecdotes from our experience onto existing information.
We become leaders by evolving a vision that is unique, that is powerful, that is compelling and inspirational for others. We become leaders by sharing that vision in a way that enables others to get great results. We become leaders by being deeply thoughtful, sticking with the challenges of deep thought when others would rush away to seek simpler solutions.
Partners in thought and deed…
When we first started mPowr Publishing we already knew that books could be revolutionary, transformational and inspiring.
Since beginning to work with business coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers and entrepreneurs through Immersive Publishing we have consistently held out the challenge for authors to seek genuine leadership. When an author has a powerful desire to create a book, a vision, that changes the way the reader thinks, feels and acts then the work of thought leadership begins.
What a privilege to be involved in this journey!
Seeking genuine thought leadership? Then start the thinking here…
- The Kara Sutra #4—The Narrative Position
Invite your reader in by opening the door, rather than demanding they enter!
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Four
The narrative position is such a simple factor in your authoring, yet so many new and self-published authors fail to realise how important it is. The position involves that of the reader and where they feel they are in relation to the narrative.
Are they in the story—a character fully immersed in your narrative? Are they sitting beside you in some unknown place faraway? Or are they at their desk on their lunch break, reading your book whilst scoffing a sandwich?
The narrative position that is ignored will achieve one result… the reader may read your book, but will never be touched by it, moved by it, transformed by it. This could be called the Report position, because it amounts to simply reporting information to your reader.
The narrative position of you as a disembodied narrator will have the reader come to you, but they will never be sure of their bearings, unless you make these very clear.
The reason this is the most popular form of narrative position is not because it is the most effective, it is down to how much we use it. People are so accustomed to reading in this style—it is so acceptable and safe—that it has become the default.
More than sufficient for blog posts, articles, reports and other everyday forms of media, the Narrator-Out-There position will suit many needs. However, when it comes to writing your book, this same position will create a finished book that promotes your bland, not your brand.
The Story Narrative position, grabs your reader and pulls them in, not by shouting at them to be a part of the story, but through inviting them into the excitement, drama and thrills that exist within the world.
Storytelling—or in the case of business books, storyselling—is the most powerful form of narrative. It will enthral, enchant and literally transform your reader’s life, through the emotions they feel and the relationship you share together.
Yet, this approach does meet with resistance on both sides… new authors find storyselling very challenging to write, because there is a lot to learn if you are going to get it right!
Readers find it easy to escape the story and just go for the bullet points… because the author has not fully committed to their narrative position. Even confident writers are known to play it safe with a get-out clause! This sends a message to the reader… There is a really good story here, but if you do not have the time/inclination to read it, here is a summary…
The Story position builds a world, opens the door and invites your audience in. The summary is a signpost outside that describes what is inside. So, not only is there no need for the reader to enter the world, they have also destroyed any mystery or value for them.
When a storyseller gets it right; the audience not only immerse themselves in the world, they never want to leave! This is where they are transformed by your expertise, their lives changed for the better and you gain an army of loyal, fervent advocates.
The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.
In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.
- A portfolio of businesses or a portfolio business?
There is enormous upheaval ahead.
All of us are at risk.
There are also exciting possibilities for those who can ride the wave of change carefully.
Automation, ageing and the changing shape of globalisation and de-globalisation will lead to significant shifts in the coming years.
At a recent event, I was intrigued by a conversation that revolved around this rapidly shifting terrain for workers, both corporate and freelance.
Do the changes ahead mean we need to shift focus?
One successful freelance trainer I spoke with was struggling with the implications for his own business and was beginning to explore his options for creating a portfolio of businesses. This might mean him training online on one topic, doing coaching locally in a completely different area and doing project-based work on whatever he could get hold of.
His emerging strategy was to look at training in and developing some basic skills in lots of different areas. Then he hoped to be able to at least keep something going if the other areas dried up…
It was quite a challenging conversation. I could see the threat/challenges. I just wasn’t sure about the strategy, indeed whether it was strategic or merely desperation.
The trainer in question was highly experienced, one of the top experts in his field in the UK. Yet he didn’t really see how this expertise could survive as a business on its own.
This isn’t an unusual situation, lots of people are struggling with similar options, questions and tempting solutions (that may not be solutions at all).
I was puzzled, the skills he had acquired over the years, the insights into organisations, individuals and team dynamics were extensive and unique. Yet the live training arena was his current context and he couldn’t really see anything beyond this with his current skillset. Hence the search for something else to do…
Is your plan strategic or panic?
When we work with business authors we are encouraging them to think about the future of their business and how books, audio or online programmes can help them navigate and structure a future for their business. This isn’t a random foray into other areas that they don’t really know about, but a focused use of the insight and expertise in new contexts that can benefit from their wisdom.
For example, the HR consultant who has many years of experience in hospitality settings can begin to pull out the underlying principles of excellent customer experience and translate these for other business sectors in high-value books/products/training.
The creation of a product-range business that sits alongside and complements an expert’s current business maintains the centre of gravity around their expertise. Attempting to start lots of new stuff or offer lots of very different services will lead to a disintegration and loss of quality.
We never resolved the situation for the freelance trainer during our chat, however, my instinct is that our expertise is our strongest asset and delivers the greatest results.
Do we want to create a range of different businesses that are unconnected and risk poorer results for the client?
Or should we look to the future with a product-range business that maintains our quality in different contexts?
There is enormous upheaval ahead.
How will you ride the wave of change?
- The Kara Sutra #3—The Textuality Paradox
Beware of paradoxical contentment!
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Three
One of the more subtle, yet most commonplace of rookie author errors is the creation of internal paradoxes within a narrative. This is not necessarily the story-based paradox that is frequently involved in time-travel fiction, but a paradox of logic.
For instance, the phrase…
Don’t do what you are told
…creates a paradox. To do what you are told, you cannot not do what you are told. When you do not do as you are told, you are doing what you are told! And so on.
This is an obvious example, yet so many authors, particularly when it comes to business books, create more convoluted forms of paradox.
These transition from the very mild—yet very damaging—telling your reader not to do a thing that you then proceed to do yourself, to complex and hard to detect paradoxes.
The challenge created by every paradox—unless you are using them knowingly—is they undermine your authenticity as an author and business person. This is because paradoxes highlight gaps in your own expertise, logic or self-awareness.
- The self-proclaimed pioneer who just does what everybody is doing.
- The sales guru, who fails to sell their readers.
- The authority in their field, who writes without authority in their book.
Here are some actual instances of the narrative paradox—can you spot them?
A Selection of Tweets…
Are you giving too much value? Don’t give people advice they haven’t asked for.
Where there is light there can be no darkness.
I can imagine haha any1 can write a book now cause 2days world we tak authority(author) as truth instead vice-versa [sic]
58 Experts Share their Best Personal Branding and Authority Tips…
Several times per year, I do something that is difficult and original. There are three of them:
- Publish a book
- Run a conference
- Do original research
I’ve done each of these for years. They all started small, but they’ve gotten easier (and bigger) over time. The book, Content Chemistry, is in it’s fourth edition. This was the fifth year for our conference, Content Jam. The research, our Survey of 1000+ Bloggers, was just published for the third time.—Andy Crestodina
But in order to reach this level of influence, you have to be known and on people’s minds regularly. You have to be everywhere at once… We know exactly where our target market is and we go there. —James McAllister
The New Pioneers, by Tania Ellis…
Einstein’s famous quote: ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it’, says it all: the finance, environmental and social challenges of the 21st Century cannot be met with solutions based on 20th Century mindsets, models and designs.
Inspirational Book Writing, by Dave Thompson…
This is a book written in my unique tone and conversational style. I don’t know anyone that reads 18th century [sic] English literature, so I may not always follow the perfectly proper conventions of spelling and grammar. Honestly, I’m not fussed about it—the message you hold in your hands is FAR more important than a missing full stop 😉 [sic]
Communication Mastery, by Zayne Parker
[The first paragraph of the first chapter]
In this first chapter, we have given you a lowdown on the importance of being a good communicator and in the subsequent chapter we have covered the above-mentioned 50 techniques in a detailed and comprehensive manner.
The textuality paradox is not merely a slip of narrative tongue; it is a demonstration of how your professional expertise is diminished by your lack of authoring skills.
There are powerful, noble and transformative ideas beneath the text, but the act of writing from own’s own perspective, rather than authoring with an understanding of what it is to be the reader, develops the paradox.
And, whilst most will not notice the paradox consciously, somewhere inside they will feel uneasy—and this sensation will be linked to your writing, your brand and your business.
The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.
In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.
- Are your readers in Waterstones?
Next time you are outside a bookshop take a wander in.
Enjoy the atmosphere, soak up that wonderful, new book aroma and then mosey over to the business section.
Look at the size of the bookshop, then look at the size of the business section, then look at the shelf space dedicated to your particular topic of interest.
It will be an illuminating experience.
When we first start to work with business authors one of their first concerns is that their book will be available at bookstores. We reassure them that yes, all books published by us can be ordered and purchased from Waterstones, et al.
Then we tell them that Waterstones, or the other bricks-and-mortar stores, are probably the last places they need to worry about.
Think back to that shelf space at the back of the bookstore containing the behemoths of business books The One-Minute Manager, The 7 Habits, etc.
The reality is that, for most business authors writing for specific niche audiences, prospective readers are not prowling the shelves of Waterstones desperately seeking their title.
This is not a bad thing.
In fact, it is liberating.
There will always be a role for the physical bookstores for particular kinds of books and for highly popular authors in mass market areas. But for the rest of us, for those with expertise, services and products in niche arenas, our hungry audience is elsewhere.
Thankfully we can reach them more easily than ever before.
Fighting for shelf space in Waterstones reduces your title to a mere commodity and also massively reduces the profitability of your book project.
When you are visible to your target audience where they gather your book is not a commodity… it is a solution, a way out of their predicament, a welcome relief from their pain, a map to the future and a toolkit for their success.
Oh, and when they buy directly from you the return is so much more rewarding!
If you focus on Waterstones you are probably thinking more from ego than from a calculated business strategy. Much better to reach your audience where they are gathering in numbers, connect with them, demonstrate your unique perspective and value and offer them ways to learn more from you through your book(s).
Develop your online (and offline) content marketing strategy long before you publish your book, or even write it. Don’t just focus on the launch period. Think about supporting the growth of your ideal clients for the long term.
Your potential readers are online, don’t fight for shelf space—build connections, grow an audience and nurture your tribe…
If you must fight… Don’t fight to get your book on Waterstones’ shelves, fight to get it in your audience’s awareness, then you’ll find it makes its way to your tribe’s shelves!
- The Kara Sutra #2—Aural Pleasure
You are having a conversation, but not THAT sort of conversation…
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Two
A mistake so many new authors make is writing as they speak. The written word comes from a different part of you to the spoken word. This is true even for those authors who dictate their writing—they dictate for the narrative word, not the conversational.
Even when we consider audio books, the writing immerses the listener in narrative; it evokes a sense of reality that impromptu conversation does not necessarily have. Whilst in conversation, the listener is usually preparing a response—when listening to audio they are imagining they are in the story-world.
When in discussion, all parties use the same parts of the brain whether they are listening or speaking. When conversing through writing and reading, the author and audience are using different areas of the brain. If they encounter a narrative tone, too similar to a spoken conversation, they will start replying in their head, rather than just letting go and enjoying the story.
Now, the written word is a form of dialogue—an interaction between you and your audience. However, the conversation is sculpted, designed and polished to very specific effect. The cadence of writing is different to that of speaking.
Simply writing down words as you would speak them (without subsequent honing of the narrative), does not come across as informality or friendliness—it provokes a defensive/offensive position, instead of a trusting relationship.
To avoid the conversation trap when you are authoring, pay particular attention to these aspects of your work…
- Shortening words such as I’m, Don’t or Wouldn’t (possessives are fine, for instance… Sandra’s car). Remember that it’s is not possessive, it is a shortened version of—it is—and therefore it is not suitable.
- I believe, I would say, In my opinion—of course you believe, you would say, it is your opinion… it is your book!
- I remember… As I recall… When I think about it… any form of conversational position that places the reader with you, rather than in the narrative world.
- We use a lot of superfluous words in spoken conversation, for example: All of the decision-making vs. all the decision making.
- Habitual words (or phrases), are another example of superfluous words, such as—do not overuse that… the people that we know/the people we know
- Vagaries, such as perhaps, maybe, should, etc. Also be sure of yourself—I was fourteen or fifteen at the time—this really does not work when immersing the reader!
When you are in debate, discussion or generally conversing with others, you are improvising, giving impromptu information, getting to the end as quickly as you can so they stay interested. When authoring, you are storytelling—even in a non-fiction, educational or business book.
You are seeking to meander along a path, so interesting, enthralling and profound, your audience follows. You are creating a trusting relationship. You are focusing on the effect your words are having upon the reader as they journey onwards…
- Breaking the rules of publishing
“You can’t sell a paperback book for £50!”
Our business has broken the rules of traditional publishing since we started back in 2009.
- The pre-internet model relied on tying up your capital in pallets of books sitting in warehouses.
- The pre-internet model priced paperback books low and created hardbacks at a premium, with the hardbacks coming out before the paperbacks.
- The pre-internet model rarely invested in design and illustrations for standard titles as these were expensive (and because you spent the money you had on stock sitting in warehouses).
The original product range that mPowr Publishing (the publishing imprint behind Immersive Publishing) launched doesn’t follow these rules.
Over the first four years, we developed an in-depth training programme in a unique complementary therapy. The Celtic Reiki product range now includes introductory titles (priced around £13), little books (£10), audio CDs (£13-£60), manuals (six of these, the cheapest of which is £40 and most expensive is £120).
When people buy the manuals via the website at www.celtic-reiki.com they receive free online training and support for up to 38 weeks. This massive online training programme (hundreds of hours of video, audio, online and email material) is exclusive to the site.
Occasionally someone will purchase the manuals via Amazon or another retailer but they aren’t able to access the training.
- We have no manuals sitting in warehouses unsold. (Capital is invested in projects instead.)
- All the Celtic Reiki books and manuals are paperback and retail at premium prices. (Recouping the investment costs.)
- Only the very first two books (introductory titles) are not illustrated. All the others incorporate extensive illustrations and some of the manuals are richly illustrated throughout in full colour. (Ensuring high satisfaction and improved engagement.)
Students buy these books and manuals because they are uniquely valuable, written by the authority in the field, allowing access to rich, additional material. Breaking the rules of publishing has allowed us to invest time and energy in developing a unique high-quality offering in what is usually a very low-price and low-quality market.
You too can build a comprehensive product business. Step by step. A little book, an introductory online course, an authority book, a complete suite of online training modules, workbooks and in-depth niche titles.
If you are thinking of writing a book to either market your business (a little book) or take your business to the next level (an authority book) do you think it wise to work with those who are wedded to the old rules or those who can create strategies for today?
- The Kara Sutra #1—The Ego Trap
It is all about you, but it is not about you…
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part One
You want your readers to view you as arrogant; a self-centred, smug egotist!
You cannot wait to bore people to tears with your book—to make it difficult for them to get through the first page!
Your book needs to demonstrate how simplistic, rough and amateur your writing abilities are!
Nobody sets out to write a bad book—one that bores reader, sends clients elsewhere and generally gets you disliked. Yet, so many inexperienced authors do this without knowing.
They plan to write a book that shares valuable information with their readers, yet what they write is…
It’s all about me and what I think, because you know that my option is so much more important that anything anybody else has to say—and even when I’m talking about somebody else or even you as my reader, it’s not really about you, it’s about me and what I feel you need to hear about me and my opinions!
The secret to creating a magnetic, powerful and valuable book that your readers will cherish is to stop just giving information and focus on transformation.
Avoid writing about what you know and instead, translate what you know into the experience of your audience members and what they want to know.
What are the benefits?
How will your book help them achieve their goals and lessen the pain?
Why will their lives be better when they make your words their mantras?
When you filter your experiences of the world through their experiences of the world, you share wisdom with them, instead of ramming your ego down their throats.
- Different kinds of books – different results for your business
If you settled down to read The Lord of the Rings hoping to find out about space flights to Mars and the colonisation of distant planets you would be very disappointed.
Likewise, if you cuddled up with Steven Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People looking for a series of quick-win, instant-fix tools you would also be disappointed.
Each book is unique, has its own message, style, method of communication and purpose for the reader and for the author.
Yet, when business owners have heard that they should write a book to turn themselves into an authority in their field they are presented with a simple one-size-fits-all template.
Now, I’ll come back to the mistaken notion that writing a book somehow magically turns you into an authority at another time… For now, let’s see what many of those who are seduced into cobbling together an ‘authority’ book do.
They go through a simple brainstorming, listing, mind-mapping process which elicits their knowledge together with some anecdotal incidents. Next they structure this brain-dump into discrete chapters and then write up their book (within anything between a seven- to thirty-day process) and get it published.
After this, it usually joins the mass of other business titles that disappear into the aether.
Usually, the resulting books are between 80 and 120 pages long. They use quite big print and lots of white space. They claim to be authoritative guides but only have the content of a large pamphlet. They merely regurgitate common information and approaches together with a sprinkling of personal anecdotes that add no real depth to the material.
In the business publishing world in recent years many, many authors have thought they were creating an ‘authority’ book when they were merely going through a basic information-giving process.
Now, don’t get me wrong—there is a place for books which are created using a relatively simple template in a rather brief period of time. But they are not authority books.
They are marketing-oriented little books.
If the authors had sat down to create a simple, powerful book that would deliver great results for the reader then the brain-dump could be harnessed much more powerfully.
These little books can act as great introductions to your existing business and raise interest in your own skills and expertise. At first they seem quite insignificant, but they can deliver real results for the reader.
The padded-out pamphlet pretending to be an authoritative guide to everything about a topic delivers only frustration for the reader.
Before you begin writing your book get clear on what kind of book you want to write.
- A little book that will be incredibly useful as a marketing tool and promotional tool for your existing business and services—sustaining your current business.
- An authority book that transforms the reader’s understanding of your field and delivers outstanding results for them, demonstrating your unique perspective and effectiveness—taking your business to the next level.
Just as there are places for The Lord of the Rings and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People there are places for the little marketing books and the meaty authority books.
Avoid the mistake so many other businesspeople make, of thinking they’re making one when they’re really doing the other…
- Video: Stop delivering information and deliver ???
If you wonder how to create content that stands out and engages your audience rather than overwhelms them take a look at this brief talk—delivered to business leaders in London earlier this year.
- You Know You Want To…
…but can’t find the time, money or energy to Write Your Book!
Authority publishing is an essential aspect of any modern SME business.
Every serious, savvy and trustworthy business needs to get its message out in the most powerful way possible. Amongst the marketing mix there is a way of demonstrating your authority that is more compelling and persuasive than any other.
The book is where an expert in their field reveals their authority; not only demonstrating their expertise and offering guidance to the reader, but also forming a relationship with your audience over many hours of interaction. This level of trust-building is of immense value to your business—it transforms your role from an expert in your field, to the leader in your field.
Overcome the challenge of less-competent competitors
Yet, your authority book is not simply about you and your reader; it is a powerful solution to the challenge of competitors who know less than you in your field, but are more willing to employ slick, usually slimy, sales and marketing techniques.
This not only loses you potential business, but damages the reputation of everybody in your field—when the sleek-marketeer-and-professional-novice doesn’t deliver.
Writing your authority title takes time, a lot of time and real commitment… and the frightening, yet absolutely vital, need to be bold in your narrative choices. Bland and generic business books are everywhere, saturating an already overcrowded arena.
To stand out you need to author something that is unlike anything else… something uniquely you!
This takes time and a commitment to learning how you match your authoring skills with your professional expertise.
Do you really want any weaknesses in your writing abilities to undermine the reader’s perception of your professional expertise? Yet, most wannabe business authors ignore this danger, forgetting that when the reader sees poor quality or boring text they also think that your expertise is of poor quality or uninteresting.
Yet, take the time to begin to match your writing skills with your field of expertise and you’ll stand out powerfully, for all the right reasons!
Your book… Your business!
With such a high commitment of effort, time and money, developing and writing your authority book is daunting and often perceived as an impossible goal. Thus, many well-meaning and excellent professionals regard authoring their authority book as second in line to running their business. Your book is not an addition to your business… it IS your business.
Every day you do not have a book to offer your potential clients is a day your business is gradually diverting away from success.
However, there is an alternative in the short term. This other option does not negate the need for an authority title, but it will buy you time, whilst you learn your new craft and get your authority title written.
If you are daunted… start with a little step, a little book…
The answer is a little book that demonstrates your expertise in a quick, easy to read and highly transportable way. As an introduction for your audience (and for yourself into the realm of authoring), the pocket-sized wealth of wisdom does something the authority book does not…
The little book becomes a daily pickup and delve, rather than a large time commitment for your reader. The power of the authority title exists with your reader investing a large amount of time reading it… they explore the many themes and stories within; they walk with you and learn to like you, trust you, learn lots more from you.
However, if someone is cold and unprepared, this hefty commitment of time can be a challenge and cause them to disconnect. If this happens, the authority book will never be read.
Pitch your little book just right and your new audience will get into the habit of taking it with them as a quick-fix reference and inspirational tool. As this habit forms and sticks with them, they will become desperate to read your next book… the authority title… and will be much more enthusiastic about spending time exploring your meatier efforts.
The empty promise: ‘Write your book in thirty days…’
The little book is so powerful as a temporary solution that many book coaches and media content gurus actually sell programmes that create little books that pretend to be authority titles. These are padded with extra pages, large font sizes and lots and lots of white space—something that makes the author appear to be overreaching and content-light.
Crafting a little book with finesse and an appreciation for what the book needs to achieve is a very different goal than writing a little book disguised as a bigger book!
One is intended to be a portable, quick win… The other is a temporary fix hidden behind the promise of a lasting solution… Are you prepared to stake your brand, your business and your livelihood on a bland, safe and throwaway Band-Aid?
The big idea behind the little book
Writing a little book brings great rewards. When you know how to sculpt and develop your book it can also be completed very quickly. So, if you are planning to write a book, make that book part of a longer-term, bolder strategy—a series of books that will achieve so much more for you and your business.
- Why our book won’t be a bestseller and why I’m fine with that…
A few weeks ago I was chatting about the book with a friend and explaining that I didn’t expect it to be a bestseller—this took him by surprise.
“Well, why write it then?” he asked.
So I explained that, in the UK, there are many author coaches and author services companies offering quick-fix, instant-book solutions to wannabe business writers. They offer a simple, template-driven approach that churns out a stream of low quality books that don’t have much of an impact on anyone.
Most coaches, trainers, consultants or business experts who settle down to write a book have a quick win in mind—write a book, raise my profile, grow my business. They will never put the work in to ensure their book is truly revolutionary for the reader.
Write THE book, not just any old book…
Martyn and I have spent the last few years pondering this challenge and exploring ways in which we can support those business experts who truly want to write THE book and not just any old book. The Heist: Cracking the Marketing Code Through Authoring a Book is part of our response.
We wrote The Heist so that it would resonate with those who already have the characteristics we are looking for. A business expert who could partner with us to create something distinctive, powerful and transformative for the reader.
- Information alone does not change anything or anyone.
- Years of experience and expertise, developing authority in their field, comes before authoring a book.
- Sharing anecdotes about yourself does not automatically mean that people will put your suggestions into action.
- Emotional connection comes before inspiration, motivation and action.
- A powerful story, with an embedded message, remains in the heart and mind. It then influences us much more powerfully than any six-step, quick-fix formula ever could.
- The expert’s story, their experience, is NOT what the reader is looking for. Even if they say it is…
- The only story that matters is the reader’s story. Their journey from pain to pleasure, from barrier to breakthrough, from frustration to freedom.
These experts, who genuinely seek to become leaders in their field:
- Have an open, inquisitive mind.
- Are slow to dismiss the different or unusual.
- Look below the surface, play, experiment, investigate and look for connections that almost everyone else misses…
- Are prepared to be bold and extreme, standing out from the world of bland to ensure their ideal clients find them and get the results they need.
So, the market for The Heist is a very small subset of the business market. Yet, if it attracts a few of our ideal partners and puts off the quick-win writers then our investment in it will be extremely worthwhile.
The Heist is available online and through booksellers, though most sales will probably come when Martyn or I speak to business audiences. It it unlikely to become a huge bestseller, however, it may well open the door for us to work with the business expert who will write the bestseller. Then we’ll have cracked our own marketing code!
- VIDEO: If beginners and amateurs deliver information… what do experts deliver?
What do you think experts deliver that beginners and amateurs don’t?
Find out in this five-minute presentation to business owners and leaders in London.
- 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.
- Is it ever better not to work with a book writing coach?
The eighth secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book…
Have you ever been at a business or networking event and found it tricky to make small talk?
Imagine my delight when I met a young marketer at a networking event who mentioned he was in the midst of writing a book. I said to myself, “This is going to be fun!”
I was keen to find out
- how the writing was going
- who his ideal readers were
- what the message was
- what results it would offer
- how his own personality and quirkiness were going to appear in the book, etc.
Then I discovered he was writing his book as part of a write-your-book-claim-your-space-become-the-go-to-authority-in-your-field sausage factory that one of the big internet marketing companies has created.
He was about two-thirds of the way through writing the book, but struggled to explain what it was about.
One of the big selling points is that the budding author is coached through the process so that they can complete it and get it out there. He was two-thirds of the way through the book, had been working on it for a couple of months… and couldn’t remember the name of his book coach or really describe what they’d helped him with.
The role of a book writing coach
If you’ve already written books and enjoyed success with them (whether through large sales or through fewer sales to perfect readers who then become big-ticket clients), then it is unlikely you need a coach to take you through the book planning, writing, development and publication process.
For everybody else…
A great book coach:
- Has a personal, professional relationship with the author
- Is able to probe, question and uncover layers of expertise the author doesn’t value yet
- Encourages the author to clarify their message and audience
- Helps the author to write the book the reader wants and needs
- Assists in the development of all the writing and structural skills that other kinds of writing don’t need
The list goes on an on.
So, how do you choose a good book coach?
Well, if you meet someone who is a book coach and you’re thinking about working with them review your first encounter or conversation with them.
On reflection did they:
- Connect well with you—were they professional and able to listen?
- Ask great questions that made you think about things in a new way?
- Help you get clarity about how to speak with your audience?
- Inspire you with confidence that they could help you turn your information into real results for the reader?
- Suggest ways in which you could build on your existing skills?
There’s a lot more to research afterwards. Look at the kinds of projects they’ve worked on previously. Are they distinctive or dull, generic or genius, plain or passionate?
Think about how you want your effort, your message to be sculpted—then you’ll be in a position to know who can coach you to authoring success.
Then, at the very least, should we ever meet at a networking event, you’ll leave me inspired rather than deflated…
The eight secret—Not all book coaches are created equal…
- How to Get Your Book Out—From Obscurity to Smash Hit
The seventh secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book.
Deadpool—the R-Rated superhero movie that smashed the box-office records…
How did this obscure, minor hero with a potty mouth and repulsive face get cinemagoers flocking to see him? And what does this have to do with your book?
When you’re planning on writing your book what do you want most?
When you sit down to start writing the book itself what do you want most?
When your book is edited, designed and finally published what do you want most?
There are lots of possible answers, among them:
- making a big impact
- changing many minds
- reaping rich financial rewards
- being seen as the go-to expert in the field
- attracting many more clients to your business
- knowing your ideas and experience will live on after you are gone
All of these are noble intentions and desires. BUT there is a fundamental target that underpins every single one of these loftier goals…
What should you want most?
This may seem ridiculously simple and obvious but it is something that most aspiring authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, seem to forget…
Without an audience for your book you cannot have the impact you desire, the ability to influence the way people think, the financial rewards you deserve, etc.
Where are you starting from?
If you already have a sizeable audience through your existing business (an extensive email list or social media following for example) then you start from a strong position. If not, then it is vital that you begin to develop an audience-building strategy that kicks into play long before the book itself is published.
You have a unique opportunity today with the advent of social media, internet marketing and your own web presence to communicate directly to your potential fans and customers. This needs to happen before the book launches—why not share some of the ideas and strategies from your book and get feedback as you work through it?
We sometimes fear giving away our best stuff but it is one of the best ways to cement the relationship with our audience and potential clients.
You may not have the challenges of the cancer-ravaged Deadpool—the unknown with a $60M budget to recover. But there are plenty of lessons to learn from his success.
The Deadpool Strategy for Audience Building
Ryan Reynolds, who plays the ex-mercenary, clearly loved the character, the story and the movie. He couldn’t resist spreading the word in funny, challenging and provocative ways in video, tweets and public appearances above and beyond his contractual obligations… and a growing audience loved it and paid their money to watch.
Be thankful you don’t have to dress up in tight lycra, leap into the air or turn the air blue—your audience will likely thank you too… if you enchant them, intrigue them, provoke them and above all support them.
The seventh secret—Grow your audience first, publish your book after…
Please use the comment button above to share your own thoughts, questions or experience.
- DIY Publishing—Is it the Route to Success or Disaster?
Would you rewire your house?
How about replacing an archaic sewage system?
And what does that all have to do with self-publishing?
The sixth secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book.
Why do we call in professionals to deal with essential maintenance or installation of electrical and plumbing equipment in our homes?
Here are a few of the key reasons:
- Because our family’s safety and wellbeing is our number one priority.
- Because we lack knowledge or skill when dealing with these potentially dangerous elements (electricity and water).
- Because we don’t have the time or inclination to spend time and money learning the ins and outs of electrical engineering or plumbing systems so we can do it safely ourselves.
Some do go it alone…
Yet, if you have ever stumbled across programmes such as DIY SOS, you’ll know that some well-intentioned amateurs do have a go at their own electrical, plumbing or building work… Often with disastrous and dangerous results.
Now, I’m not going to argue that attempting to self-publish your book will put you in a life-threatening position. But it could cause serious damage to your reputation or credibility as an expert or professional in your field.
Self-publishing or just pressing PRINT?
Most people understand self-publishing as the process whereby the author undertakes all the preparation of their book / e-book and then uploads it directly to the various publishing platforms (Kindle, etc.). This is presented as easy to do. Why waste time working with publishers or editors, or indeed with anyone else at all if you can simply press a button and your Word document gets sucked up into the cloud and you can declare yourself published?
This isn’t publishing, not even self-publishing. It is simply the equivalent of pressing the PRINT button on your laptop, except this time it doesn’t print out on your printer it magically appears in the Kindle store.
True self-publishing recognises that a lot more goes into a powerful, compelling and successful book than simply pressing the PRINT button on your Word document.
A true self-publisher will know that, to guarantee the quality, integrity and impact of their book, they’ll need to invest in…
- editorial and development work on the text
- careful design of the cover and the interior (which many self-publishers pay little attention to)
- having an understanding of the various distribution options
- knowing which routes to market will be most appropriate
- researching the legal pitfalls and financial technicalities of self-publishing platforms
- understanding your market, audience, and how you promote your title to them
If you’ve got the time to spare it is possible to create a powerful, compelling, high quality and successful book using genuine self-publishing.
Do what you do best
But if you’d rather focus on your area of strength and expertise to develop the quality of the content then you’ll choose to rely on others whose expertise can shape, edit, design, produce and distribute your books and e-books.
Yes, you could rewire your house.
Yes, you could mess about with sewage.
Yes, you could self-publish.
But should you?
If you self-publish properly (managing your own team of editors, designers, etc.) or choose to work with experienced publishers, you will create a professional, high quality book with the greatest potential to transform the lives of your readers:
- Because your readers’ wellbeing and results are your top priority.
- Because you aren’t aware of the many hidden dangers that lead to putting out badly edited and designed books.
- Because you know that your clients want you to share your expertise with them in the most powerful way.
…and to do all this you’ll need to leverage other professionals’ skills.
The sixth secret—self-publishing isn’t the easy option, it’s the dangerous one.
- Can writing a business book damage your business?
The fifth secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book.
When you begin to write a book that will share your insight and attract your ideal clients towards you a hidden danger lurks…
I wish someone could warn the authors of bland, generic business books… warn them that a book designed simply to be a business card for their business can seriously damage their business and their brand.
The finished book can undermine your
genuine expertise and damage your brand.
Your expertise comes from a journey filled with challenges and opportunities.
No-one else can replicate the hours invested, struggling to solve a particular problem and the feeling of relief when you finally cracked it.
No-one else can replicate your worst mistakes (though they may be able to benefit from what you learned).
No-one else can replicate the fine-tuning that you bring to every situation with your clients, often unconsciously, that flows from years of experience and adaptation.
This reservoir of insight and inspiration can be shared powerfully through a business book. But most coaches, consultants, trainers or business owners who write a book will fail miserably when attempting to share their wisdom and expertise. They will undermine the very thing that makes them successful.
So how do you avoid this danger?
The quality of your expertise has to be matched by
the quality of the writing and communication in your book.
Everything you have invested in developing your mastery of your profession needs to be reflected in your ability as an author.
If you’ve got tremendous expertise but the book you write is of poor quality this will tell readers that you’re a low quality worker and you should not be trusted.
The tragedy is that many business authors who write a business book to claim their space or demonstrate their authority actually damage their brand as a result. Many don’t even know this has happened to them as their readers/potential clients won’t usually tell them.
You’ve invested years crafting your expertise—a new craft is needed when you want to share it more widely.
The mastery you enjoy in your own industry, niche, or service, has taken many years to develop. You should rightly be proud of this accomplishment. Turning that insight and experience into a comprehensive, compelling and transformational book also takes time to craft.
Unless your daily work involves writing professionally to inspire, inform and impel your readers to action you will need to focus on developing this key skill.
Choose one of the following options to ensure that the quality of your book matches your expertise:
- Reflect on how much it has taken to be an expert in your profession and invest an equal amount of time and effort in crafting your writing skills—weave this through your authoring as you plan, draft, refine, edit and design your book.
- Locate professionals who have invested an equal amount of time and effort as you have, but in the publishing field. Those whose expertise can complement your own and ensure that it is presented brilliantly.
Your family and friends can’t give you objective advice in these situations, they know how amazing you are and won’t want to hurt/criticise/disappoint you even if they do have a suspicion the book isn’t as great as it could be.
Some book coaches who work within a marketing-led model simply reduce your wisdom/insight/experience to the basics: The 27 Steps to X, The 13 Keys to Y!
While they make for catchy titles they massively undervalue your true worth and the uniqueness of your hard-earned expertise. Ultimately this will disappoint the reader who is looking for genuine depth and transformation.
You’ve spent many years building up your brand,
ensuring that it is the hallmark for quality,
consistency and professionalism.
Make sure that your book not only maintains those standards
but raises them to new heights.
Oh, yes—secret five—If your book is not of the highest quality, your readers will believe your expertise is of the lowest quality.
- Writing a book is easy… throw together your collection of blog articles
The fourth secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book
So let’s start by acknowledging that there are some good books that are simply collections of random blog posts. I’m sure there must be though I haven’t really been lucky enough to find them yet.
If only I had a pound/dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, “You write a blog, then you should write a book, it’s not that much trickier.” They might as well say, “You can write great emails you should write a play,” or, “You write great post-it-notes why not write a dissertation on quantum physics?”
Now I am being more than slightly tongue-in-cheek here. Yet the assumption that a book is simply a collection of 250-500 word bits is one that has forced a lot of business writers into mediocrity and invisibility.
The difference between blogging and writing a book
The purpose of writing a blog is very different from the purpose of a book.
With a blog you’ve got a minute or two (a few hundred words) to capture the imagination of your reader and implant a single thought/feeling/course of action.
With a book you have the potential to spend six or seven hours speaking to the reader directly inside their head in a continual conversation that can inspire, motivate, call to action, define strategies and reflect on their results.
How much would you spend to get your prospective clients to listen to you and trust your voice as much as their own?
Yet, with the brilliant book only you can write, you have that opportunity for free. The secret to doing this comes from discovering your author voice—the particular tone, character, philosophy, vision and story that will help you write in the most captivating, authentic and powerful way.
Discover your voice and you will be communicating in a way that blog writers will envy. Your voice, inside the readers head—for seven hours! But not your voice, their own voice speaking your words as if they were their own…
Taking your reader on a journey of discovery, insight and transformation in those seven hours requires you to step up your writing game. This can be done without too many challenges, but only if you can see how important it is to develop your writing skills so you can transform your readers more effectively.
Readers are smart,
that’s why you want to communicate with them!
They’re smart enough to notice when something hasn’t been cared for, hasn’t been crafted, hasn’t been tailored just for them.
When that happens the other voices in their head start to interrupt, start to heckle,
What’s the writer doing? Did they bother to check or update this? Why should I waste my time on this when the writer didn’t spend any time making it the best it could be?”
Make sure your voice is undisturbed within their mind—captivate them, lead them on a journey where they are the hero and your insight guides them to success. Your author voice, the one you lovingly and carefully craft, is hard to resist…
Oh, yes—secret four—Writing books is a craft, poor writing tells your reader you’re not worth listening to.
- Get to know what makes you different—the base for an outstanding book
The third secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book
How do you get to know the best solutions for your clients?
How do you find out what makes them tick, what makes their business tick, what challenges they face, what opportunities are ahead, what resistance they have to making necessary changes?
Chances are you’re thinking something like, “Well…
- I take time to ask them lots of questions that I know uncover the underlying issues and motivations.
- Then I’ll discover how they view the world and the challenges that model creates.
- We will explore other options.
- Then we implement strategies that can bring about the results they want to achieve.”
Yes, there is something about this that probably rings true with anyone who runs a business or facilitates change through coaching, consultancy or training. But, and it is a big BUT, you may not really know what it is that truly makes the biggest difference to your clients.
Your formula for success with your clients
You have a general, or even highly detailed process, that you are consciously aware of. Yet, how often does a client get silenced by a simple question, puzzled, struggling to answer before they respond with, “I’ve never thought of that before, I can see that now, I just never noticed that pattern…”
Could the same be true for you?
When we spend a 1-2-1 day with an author it is a real privilege. As publishers we receive masterclasses in coaching/HR/addiction… whatever the topic of the book is. Yet there are also wonderful moments when we ask questions that stump the author, that force them to go inside and figure something out.
At the end of a day with an amazing leadership coach I remember him saying, “WOW! No one has asked me these questions before!”
Could it be that what makes real change work for your clients is something you’re not entirely conscious of, something that you do naturally, something intrinsic to your way of thinking and being that you don’t even notice along the way?
Is your secret sauce, still secret?
Perhaps there is an overall process that you apply to situations that you’re not aware of. This could be the most useful and powerful of all your strategies—and you don’t even know about it.
Many business writers, even the ones who move beyond throwing information at their readers, present what they think it is that they do to lead others to transformation. But very often their books contain information, clichés and anecdotes that everyone else in the field uses. This is because they don’t realise that in order to write to teach, inspire and motivate others to transform they need to learn what truly makes them different.
What is it you do to affect the business or lives of your clients when many others have failed to do so? Are you certain that you really understand this or have you simply accepted that it all rests with your strategies or techniques?
Perhaps you are running some sort of meta-level process you haven’t been consciously aware of…
Get someone to question everything you do, they have ways of making you talk!
If you want to make your book stand out, make your book most effective, then you need to invest time discovering what it is that makes you different. Or you could short-change yourself and simply say, “I’m different because of the 10-point success formula I developed [substitute your own instant answer here].”
If you want to write the book that shows clearly how you are different, more reliable, more effective, more authoritative and more transformational than the others in your field why not do what you do for your clients?
Get someone whose expertise you can rely on to question you, to interrogate you, to draw out what is really going on, what it is really that makes you different and therefore makes such a difference to your clients.
Oh, yes—the third secret—Discover what makes you different, you may not know this yourself…
Secret four, coming soon…
- Your readers want you… not Google!
The second secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book…
“Oh, I’ll just google that.”
How many times have you heard that or said it yourself?
The instructions you received from IKEA on your flatpack wardrobe/closet are indecipherable so you go to Google/YouTube to see if a video can show how to build it. Or perhaps the argument has been raging for ages about the year in which Rambo was released—a quick google will solve the issue.
Undoubtedly the speed of access to information online through portals such as Google has led to huge shifts in how we all do things. Many people thought that with instant access to information would come instant solutions, instant results, instant transformation.
We now know that the dotcom revolution has brought enormous changes but we are also aware that information alone does not bring about change. Google may provide access to gobbets of information rapidly but this doesn’t mean we know how to make sense of it or apply it powerfully in our own context.
Companies have been born, grown and even collapsed during the information revolution but there is a new revolution in the making. One you are involved in and which can lift your own business to new heights.
Rescue your clients from information overload and deliver real transformation for them
More and more people appreciate that they are drowning in information; they realise the quick-wins they sought through immediate answers and solutions were an illusion. As an experienced coach, trainer, consultant or business owner you know that often the key to turning a situation or business around is not a lack of information. The information to achieve what your clients want is already available to them in a multitude of ways online.
What makes you an expert begins with the first realisation: you understand that simply presenting people with information and strategies very often fails to achieve the desired result.
The second element of your expertise stems from your accumulated wisdom, knowledge and strategic thinking: knowing what to do, how to inspire, challenge and motivate your clients when they struggle with applying information. You may sell yourself as a trainer/consultant/coach but essentially you help people get absolutely clear about why they need to change and the benefits they will achieve through that change—your strategies, when applied, will deliver that transformation.
Information + Knowledge = Fertile Ground for Transformation
Many business writers make the fatal mistake of throwing everything at their readers.
If I push out every bit of information, every fact, every strategy, every nugget of wisdom and insight this will show I’m an expert and help my readers at the same time.”
But at the end of the day this doesn’t work. You simply become another source of information overload… More information, less transformation…
So when you think about writing your book, the book your readers really want to read, you need to see yourself as a transformation agent rather than an information agent. Most often transformation doesn’t come simply from information but from knowledge—the accumulated wisdom, experience and insight that you communicate with your clients to motivate, change and equip them in simple, effective ways to reach their goals.
So, please, don’t compete with Google by overloading your readers/clients with even more information—take time to think about the process of transformation you want your clients/readers to enjoy. Make this the heart of your book.
Oh, yes—the second secret—It’s not about information, it’s about transformation…
Remember, please use the comments button (at top of the post) to share your thoughts.
Secret three coming soon…
- Is the book you’re told to write the one your audience wants to read?
The first secret the gurus don’t tell you when you’re writing your book…
There is one lethal syndrome you never want to encounter when speaking with someone. You also definitely don’t want this to occur when someone picks up your book or looks at your product range.
TEGO (tee-go) leads to disaster, destruction and the death of your hopes for converting your audience into paying clients. It is also guaranteed to get a reader to put your book down and never give it a second thought in the future.
So, what is this mysterious TEGO?
It is the moment when the person you are speaking to finds the colour of your neighbour’s hair more interesting than your pre-planned pitch. It is the moment when a potential client drifts off into their favourite daydream whilst you share your wisdom and knowledge. It is the moment when a reader turns a page, sighs and drops your book in frustration.
You’ve experienced TEGO yourself. Indeed, you may even have triggered it in another person occasionally. Sadly, I have done this many times…
A guaranteed way to induce TEGO is to forget the essential principle of good business communication. When communicating with a client or potential client it isn’t what you do that is important. It is what you can do for them that is important.
When we are looking to grow and develop our business we either want a solution to a problem or a way of creating new possibilities for our business. We want to get rid of pain or we want to create some pleasure.”
When meeting prospective clients (in the room, online or via your book) the most important message you have to share is the one your audience needs to hear—that their problem is understood, that there is an effective solution to their problem and they can access that solution easily through you.
Most people who induce TEGO talk constantly about themselves, about the features of their product or service, about their venture-capital-backed brilliance or the 150 years of their traditional family business. They do this thinking that their prospective client will easily sign up on the dotted line. How wrong they are.
The result of their monologue is TEGO – The Eyes Glaze Over…
So many business books end up making the same fundamental mistake.
The business author writes down everything they think they know, hoping to impress the reader by demonstrating their authority and expertise. This is not how to write a business book—they fail to remember one vital point…
How to avoid TEGO and write the right book
The book you think you have to write to show your authority is not the book that will truly touch, impress and inspire your readers.
Understanding how to write your entire book for the benefit of your reader rather than yourself is, paradoxically, the only way to ensure that your book really does benefit your business.
Don’t pretend to speak with them—really take time to understand them. Show your appreciation by detailing how you will love their problems. Demonstrate your reliability by freely sharing powerful information and strategies from the first word to the final full stop.
Then, and only then, can you be confident that TEGO will not strike.
Oh, yes – the first secret – It’s not all about you!
Keep your eyes peeled for the second secret, coming soon…
Acknowledgement: A big thank you to Michael Henesy, a truly wonderful communicator, for introducing me to the concept of TEGO.
- The 8 secrets the gurus don’t tell you about writing your book
A book… the new business card?
Have you been to events where the main speaker suggested you write a book, claim your space or become a thought leader?
Perhaps you’ve been encouraged at networking events or seminars to demonstrate your authority and expertise by getting a book written and published. Experienced coaches, trainers and consultants are being told, “You should, you need to, you must write a book!”
It is commonplace now to hear that a business book is the new high-impact business card. Apparently this business card will automatically unlock massive growth and profitability for your business…
Make it a brilliant book…
Clearly, as publishers, we believe in the tremendous value a book can bring to a business… a great book, a brilliant, a compelling, a transforming and powerful book.
Sadly, the vast majority of expert coaches, trainers and consultants who invested time and money in writing a book never reaped these magical rewards. Despite what they were told by the gurus their book hasn’t made them them stand out, demonstrated their authority, turned them into a thought leader or dramatically improved their business fortunes.
So does the fault lie with the gurus who promote the creation of books purely as a marketing tool or with the naïve coaches who end up with poor books? Why is it that these books didn’t turn out to be great, brilliant, compelling, transforming and powerful books?
Avoid the pitfalls, know the facts…
It’s what the gurus don’t tell you that leads many business authors to disappointment…
As publishers who work with experienced, expert and successful coaches, trainers and consultants we know that there are some basic elements that many skip over when promoting the idea that writing a book is the key to a golden future. Once you understand these eight secrets you’ll be able to avoid the worst pitfalls that first-time business authors frequently make.
This introductory series of posts at immersive.pub will step you through the eight secrets the gurus don’t share with you. These make ALL the difference to the book you can write to drive real growth for your business.
So here’s number one on the list—look out for the detailed post to come shortly…
Secret #1 – It’s not all about you…
So, what do you think?