As someone who has written two books and has been featured in others, I can attest to the fact that there is some validity to the idea that writing a book can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. However, it's not a silver bullet, and there are both pros and cons to consider before taking on such a big project.
It Can Open Doors
When I released my book, "From Power to Purpose," back in 2015, it was part of how I got onto the TEDx stage. And when I released "Getting Past the Gatekeeper" in 2016, we closed $10,000 worth of sales from "Getting Past the Gatekeeper" because I used the release of the book as an excuse to personally drop off copies at every company that I was trying to close sales deals with that week, not just for the owner, but also for their team members. And that got me in with the owner on deals that started to go stagnant or were starting to get stalled. So, I was able to get the contract signed that week.
It Can Help You Stand Out
Anyone can publish a book at this point, but it's still a big deal. With the advent of self-publishing availability, it's no longer the crazy big, scarce thing that so many people have made it out to be. However, it takes quite a bit of work to publish a book. With that advent, there is a proliferation of books out there, and every single one of those books is getting fewer and fewer reads. In fact, the last study that I saw said that most self-published books will be lucky to sell 20 copies in their entire lifespan.
But if you do manage to write and publish a book that resonates with your target audience, it can help you stand out in a crowded market. It can give you credibility and authority, and it can help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
It Can Be a Great Sales Tool
A book can be a great asset to get the attention of deals that have gone stagnant or try to gain the attention of people that you've been cold reaching out to, providing an ‘in’ to become a provider for their company. It can also serve as a sales tool by giving potential clients a taste of your expertise and approach.
It Takes Time and Effort
Publishing a book is a decent chunk of work. Even if you're going for a smaller book, there's still work to do with writing it, editing it, getting the cover put together, registering the ISBN, and getting it up on all the sites that it needs to be up on.
It Diversifies Your Marketing Attention
One of the drawbacks that most people don't even think about is that by having a book, it ends up diversifying your marketing attention just by default. Now you must focus on marketing your book, but you also must focus on marketing your business. The book can be part of the marketing for your business, but you still need to make sure that you're continuing to do marketing to push that book if you want to generate sales on it. You need to be coming up with creative marketing ideas, and you need to be managing the marketing and the KPIs and everything else for that book separately, in addition to the work that you're doing to market your small business.
It Doesn't Guarantee Sales
Having a book is not going to generate a bunch of sales for you just because it exists. In fact, it's not going to generate a bunch of sales for you at all if you don't have the sales skills to back it up and close the deals that you're looking at.
In conclusion, writing a book can be a powerful marketing tool for your small business. It can open doors, help you stand out, and serve as a great sales tool. However, it takes time and effort, diversifies your marketing attention, and doesn't guarantee sales. It's important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding whether to take on such a big project.