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As a business person, one reason you’re writing a book is probably to enhance your credibility and show your potential clients and customers that you’re an expert. But you can’t just come out and say “I’m an expert! Buy my stuff!” — Well, you can. And people do it all the time. But that approach makes you look desperate, and doesn’t really help readers like and trust you. Besides, there are much better (and more subtle) ways to demonstrate your expertise.

Here are three elements to include in your book that will help people transition from readers to clients or customers.

#1 — Plant Seeds

Rather than blatantly asking people to hire you, plant little “seeds” throughout the book that let readers know you are in business to help people just like them. These mentions are like little seeds that can grow into large accounts over time.

  • Talk about your clients.
  • Talk about programs and products you are selling.
  • Talk about the do-it-yourself services and done-for-you services you offer.

But don’t overdo this. It’s meant to be subtle. You’re not selling anything; you’re just dropping hints now and then. You can write things like, “Most of my clients like to do it this way…” or “In my coaching program, 90% of students use this technique successfully.”

#2 — Use a Three-Dimensional Call to Action (3-D CTA)

In the old days, business books were kind of two-dimensional. There were two ends to the book: the author and the reader. It was difficult for the reader to get in touch with the author and ask questions. If they worked really hard, readers could track down the author through the publisher and maybe they would become a client. But the reader had to be extremely motivated to take those extra steps.

It’s much better if the author has control of the contact. As the author, you want a natural, easy, low-pressure way to contact everyone who’s bought your book so you can offer them other products and services. That’s the 3-D CTA. It’s a third piece that connects the reader and the author.

You’ll need a website, an email list, and some relevant content that’s not in the book. This extra content can be in a video or audio format–information that isn’t easily conveyed in written form, and it should be extremely valuable to the reader.

For example, if your book is about starting a dog grooming business, you might tell the reader they can get access to a video that walks them step-by-step through the process of setting up a website. All they need to do to access this extra content is give you their name and email address. They are signing up for your email list by accessing this valuable extra. So now, instead of a 2-D relationship (author and reader), you have a 3-D relationship (author, reader, and website).

Once you have a reader’s email address, you have control of the conversation. You can send them emails, make offers, and give them assistance and encouragement. There are all kinds of things you can do once you have that email address. This is how you get around the problem of not knowing who bought your book. The readers who are interested in building a relationship with you and your company will let you know by signing up for your list.

#3 — Offer a High-Value Bonus (HVB)

Give your readers a gift, which they access by subscribing to your list. In my book, The Profitable Business Author, I offer readers a companion workbook that helps them get started on their books. You could offer a webinar, a valuable discount coupon, or a 20-minute consultation. It can be anything you like, as long as it’s valuable to your target audience.

If you provide a lot of value in your bonus, you can attract clients and customers who never even buy your book. They might just happen to see it on Amazon and decide to take you up on the offer without buying the book. This is okay! The goal is to get them on your mailing list.

Help them solve the biggest problems they have, and you’ll win loyal followers.

Once you know what you want to offer, dedicate an entire page to this bonus within the first few pages of your book. Be sure to include a short description of the offer and the web address (URL) where it can be accessed. The reason you want this offer page in the beginning of the book is so people browsing on Amazon will see it when they click on the Look Inside feature. Sometimes browsers will click over to your website to get the free offer, even if they don’t wind up buying the book. You will request their name and email address to gain access to the bonus, which means you get another subscriber on your list. Once they’re on your list, you can talk to them, build a relationship, and make other offers.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, to pre-sell your readers, include seeding, one or more 3-D CTAs, and a high-value bonus in the front of your book. Start planning out what these will be ahead of time, so you can have the corresponding web pages created as you’re writing. You’re going to want all these offers ready to go when the book is published. Take some time to write down what these various offers and bonuses might be. Keep in mind they could be products or services you currently offer. You don’t always have to create something brand new.