Small business owners are facing intense competition, from other small businesses and from much larger companies. The latter are currently looking to win smaller orders to plug gaps in their order books as their larger clients, including Government organisations, are currently cutting back on expenditure.
One of the biggest challenges for all small businesses is getting noticed. Without the right visibility in their chosen markets, small business owners will struggle to win orders. When you are up against some of your larger competitors there is another added complication. These companies have much larger marketing budgets and the manpower to embark on major marketing and price discounting campaigns.
You will never match your large competitors for marketing muscle which means finding other ways to ensure you stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is to write and publish a book. Once you are a published author, you will stand out from the crowd. It will propel you into sales situations that would otherwise not be open to you.
Publishing a book isn’t really about how much you will earn from book sales. It is much more about positioning you (and your company) as leaders in your industry and worthy of being considered as a potential supplier by buyers in your marketplace.
Here are some of the key benefits of becoming a published author.
- The very fact you are a published author separates you from your competition. You will be thought of as an industry expert and a source of considerable knowledge. It will pay you to gain more visibility through appearances in the media, writing articles for industry magazines, presenting at conferences / seminars and attending industry networking events.
- Maximise the benefits you gain from the hard work you have invested in writing your book. Use material from your book to produce articles, blog posts and social media posts to give yourself maximum visibility. Everything you produce should be added to your website and to other Internet portals, such as www.ezinearticles.com which will help you to reach a wider audience. Your enhanced online visibility should make it easier for potential purchasers of your company’s products/services to find your website. You might even secure some additional book sales too.
- Once you have one book published then you will find it easier to generate free publicity, both for you and your business. Ideally, you will write a series of books so that you can give the media something new to look forward to seeing from you. This keeps your message fresh and retains the interest of the media. When you approach the media, as soon as you tell them you are a published author they will assume you are one of the key people in your industry. You must back up your approach with knowledge about your industry, especially its trends and pressures and how these will impact businesses operating in the market.
- Once you have written materials available, these can be useful for incorporating into your eZine or newsletter. Your might adopt the approach of producing an eZine every two weeks. Each issue will focus on a particular theme. You could produce the eZine with an article you have written plus an article from a guest author to give a different viewpoint. You can find plenty of useful material at www.ezinearticles.com and once you have found an article to use, contact the author. Explain what you are doing and ask if they would be prepared to reciprocate by putting one of your articles into their eZine. The worst that can happen is they reject the idea. If they accept, you will get some visibility for the first time to a new audience and this may ultimately lead to you gaining additional sales.
- You can leverage your written materials (book, articles, blog posts) by converting them to audio and video. It would depend on the nature of your business how effectively it would be for you to embrace audio and video. You might be able to produce audio podcasts which can be downloaded to smartphones, laptops or tablet computers. Your video clips could either be hosted on YouTube or as webcasts via your own website.
- As your visibility broadens in your target markets, prospects will start to notice you and will investigate your online presence in more detail. This will lead to you getting more enquiries which you should (eventually) be able to convert into more sales.
- Writing a book from scratch is not easy. It takes plenty of self-discipline and commitment over many weeks (sometimes months). Start by writing some short articles or begin a blog to which you post something every few days. This gets you into the habit of writing.
- When you have your book idea developed, set out to write a minimum number of words every day.
- If you begin your writing “career” with articles, you might consider developing an eBook based on a collection of, say, 10-12 of the articles you have produced.