05 Oct 2017
12 Ways a Book Can Help Your Business
When it comes to branding and marketing, no matter your business, how you communicate who you are and what you do is in flux. Do you exchange business cards, or put your number is someone’s phone? Do you continue to print your catalogs as cheaply as possible or do you go entirely to online product displays? What will make you stand out? How will you get your client’s or customer’s attention? In this increasingly digital marketplace, the answer might seem counter-intuitive.
Try a printed book. Print is the thing that will get someone’s attention and advance your work because it’s authoritative and unexpected.
It might be hard to picture how a print book can help a business that doesn’t even print a catalog, but here are 12 ways a book can make a difference for you and your business:
1. Hand a show-stopper to prospective clients and employers. You have the advantage of the unexpected here. The pleasure of leafing through beautiful pages will hold attention and create in-person conversation better than scrolling through a PDF. And it’s those in-person conversations where the big magic in business happens.
3. Create a full archive of your work. Your portfolio can live in volumes, giving you room for all the backstory and reflection as you and your company grow. If you’re a law firm, medical practice, or design firm, having the full scope of your work and its evolution over time lends credibility and depth in a crowded, ephemeral marketplace.
4. Create something truly beautiful. We may be beyond the days of mail-order catalogs, but it isn’t about that. It’s about creating an experience with your product before it’s even in your customer’s hands. Leafing through beautiful pages is an experience in itself, let alone how much text and imagery can convey on a page that entices people to linger.
5. Create catalogs that are incognito. A book about your product can cover the ground of product listing and even price, but it can also showcase products that would never normally be listed in a catalog. Expensive products deserve a high-end, tangible presentation. Real estate. Architectural buildings. Bespoke tailoring. Furniture. Wedding planning. All of these could use more than a product grid on a web page to communicate their true worth.
6. Monetize your content. You work hard every day to create meaningful, useful, marketable content for your fans. After a subscription model, turning all that work into a powerful print experience is the best way to entice your fans to pay for what you offer.
7. Motivation for someone to join your mailing list. Take some of your best performing content over time and transition it into something that will build that long-term relationship with your reader, like a free ebook.
8. Prove and sell niche expertise. One reason you may have a successful blog is that there wasn’t already content or print material in your particular niche. If your following is passionate about a certain vintage fountain pen, situating that artifact in a History of Fountain Pens may be a worthwhile book for your readers. The same goes if you have a food blog about Armenian food and heritage: Those readers need a cookbook. If you’re a fashion blogger with a distinctive body type and cultural background, don’t you think your under-served readers could use a style handbook from someone who truly understands them?
9. Use a book instead of a flyer or business card. With a more targeted distribution, you can create longer, deeper relationships with possible customers. A business card or flyer is easy to toss, but people will think twice about a book.
10. Discover new markets for your product by selling your book. If your book on fitness strategies or holistic wellness finds its own audience, you may have found a wealth of future clients for your in-person or digital coaching services.
11. Find your focus. Creating a business book forces you to think about who you are, where you came from, and why you do what you do, and where you’re going. These are key touchstones you’ll need if you’re ever going to grow into your vision.
12. Open doors for speaking engagements. Your book may not be what generates the revenue, but once you’ve created it, you can leverage it to show your expertise and speaking fees. Furthermore, your in-person expert appearances provide an excellent opportunity for your listeners to take something home with them.
Have any other suggestions for putting a book to work? Let us know in the comments below!