Do you write a blog, speak at events, Tweet or publish a newsletter to position your company as a leader in your industry? Have you ever considered writing a book to add to your profile?
I wrote my first book back in 2002 to help get Warrillow & Co on the map. I sent prospects a book and they gave me a warmer reception. I’m pretty sure we would not have landed Apple or American Express as customers without my first book as a credibility booster. Having a book also helped with existing customers who paid more attention to what I had to say. Employees and new recruits were also impressed.
The downside of writing a book – or any sort of marketing where you’re the front person – is how closely it ties you to your business; which is what Chris Brogan, the co-author of Trust Agents, found. Trust Agents became a New York Times Bestseller last year and Brogan had offers from people who wanted to buy his digital marketing agency, New Marketing Labs, but all were contingent on him personally sticking around for an earn out. (Read my interview with Brogan to get his perspective on building a sellable company and the perils of being the spokesperson for your business).
This week I also got a call from a brand name author (you’d know his name if I told you) who is looking for some help to turn his business into something sellable. He has written a number of bestselling books, which helped him to create a thriving speaking, education and events business, but it is too dependent on him personally. We’ve agreed to a barter deal where he is going to help me as a newer author and I’m going to help him turn his business into something more sellable.
I think your decision to write a book comes down to one of timing. If you are planning to sell your company in the next 5 years, I think writing a book will tie you to your business too much and may do more harm than good. If your time horizon is longer for getting out, then a book can solidify your credibility, garner respect from prospects and customers and accelerate your growth. I wrote about picking a format for your business book this week.
Do you have a book in you?
(photo courtesy of Flickr/Horia Varlan)