When we were young, our imaginations ran wild. We might have dreamed of being a superhero or follow in the footsteps of a role model in our lives. We imagined growing up to achieve greatness.
As time goes on, the dream of being a superhero (for some) passes, we still have those dreams of grandeur of helping others and being on top of our game.
In the business world, we have to do something a little extra—give a little more to stand out. And one way to stand out and be the leader or expert in your field of expertise is to write a book.
What better way to stand out than to say I wrote a book on that topic? You automatically rise to the top, become the authority and can gain respect in that industry.
But, what happens when you’ve never written a book and are staring at a blank page with the cursor flashing waiting for input? Let me share with you a few quick tips to make that happen with very little effort.
The first step is pretty easy—determine your topic. I say this is easy because if you are a business owner or getting ready to start a business, you already have an area of expertise picked out.
Once you know your topic, the next step is to think of a question that will invoke a response. For example, as a coach, you would want to have potential customers asking about your area of coaching. Obviously, you would know the answers, but by doing this, you find out what their challenges are to what your coaching topic is. That’s a win-win, right?
Let’s look at this step a bit more. In my case, I wouldn’t want to just ask “What questions do you have about website coaching?” That’s a little too vague. I would want to phrase it in a way that not only piques their interest but also encourages them to submit an answer—something more like… “What is the single biggest challenge you have with converting more website visitors into customers?”
Don’t we ALL want to have more customers? By phrasing it with the single biggest challenge, you are letting them know it’s just one response you are asking for. It’s not a 15-question survey or some lengthy interview—it’s just one simple response.
There are other questions you could ask but I think this is one tends to work best when used for the method of creating a book or information product.
I take that question and put it on a website as a simple form so people can submit their question. I prefer to use a service such as Yurpl.com which allows me to generate the needed form and capture the responses in one centralized location.
Once the form is in place, you simply drive traffic to it. If you have a list, email them and ask for their thoughts. You will be surprised how many people have wanted you to ask them their thoughts on the subject. Additional ways to drive traffic are Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Facebook ads, Google ads, etc.
Simply write a post that says something like “I need your help. I’d like to know what your biggest challenge is. Etc…” They then submit their questions, and you are on your way.
The next step is to look over the results from all of the questions submitted and decide what questions to answer (if not all of them). What I’ve done is pick the thirteen most asked questions and then host a live session or webinar to answer these questions. I like thirteen because I’ve found that is the perfect amount of questions to answer in an hour time frame and creates some good content.
One strategy I like to use is when setting up a form is to have them go to a “thank you” page after submitting their question. On this page you say something like, “Thank you for submitting your question. On (pick a date) I will be answering the most asked questions that have been submitted, and you’re welcome to join me.” Then put the details of how they can attend your webinar.
This helps in multiple ways. It lets them know you are action driven and deliver on your promises, but it also pushes you to answer the questions and create the content and possibly even convert some customers with an offer from that session.
If you are uncomfortable doing a live call, I recommend co-hosting it with a friend or colleague and have them ask you the questions and you can answer them. Be sure to record this session. If you’ve done a Facebook live event or a webinar you can record through those systems. With that recording you simply have it transcribed and there is the content for your book. There are several transcription services and software. Of late I have been utilizing Descript.com.
Many people leave it in the question and answer format, but you could edit it and change the flow from a Q&A to something more of a normal book format. If that is not something you are comfortable doing, there are editors or book coaches that can assist with that step.
You’ll need to decide if you are going to sell this as a digital book or a physical book and then have a cover created or create it yourself. I have a service called iMakeBookCovers.com for creating either. I have a training course called “Quick Publishing” that walks you through all the steps of publishing a book yourself.
Or, if you’d like someone to walk you through this process, Jim & Chris Howard (fellow Marketing University members) have a service they offer through Renegade Author. They only take on a few clients at a time, but they can help you from the start of creating an outline for your book all the way through seeing it published. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell them Frank sent you!
My hope for you is that you can follow the simple process I laid out and achieve that next step of reaching your goals and dreams.