Once upon a time, we used to hand over a business card to give people an idea of what we do, and let them know how to contact us. But the new approach is to hand over the book you’ve written about your business or area of expertise. And while this obviously takes more time and effort to create, the rewards can be bountiful.
Find your ideal clients
When business and life coach Natasa Denman launched her weight loss coaching business, things didn’t go as expected.
She only had three clients and a skinny bank balance. Then a friend suggested she write a book to explain her tips on weight loss. Denman set herself a goal to finish writing the book within 90 days.
Six months later her first book, The 7 Ultimate Secrets to Weight Loss, was out. The impact on her business was immediate.
The floodgates opened
“People started really wanting to work with me as a coach, specifically in that area of weight loss,” says Natasa.
Her book also created opportunities for her to speak publicly about the work she was passionate about, which in turn generated more clients.
Don’t draw a blank
Natasa now runs the Ultimate 48 Hour Author weekend workshop, and has authored a book with the same title, showing even the most time-poor business people how they can replace their business card with their book, by writing the first draft over a weekend.
Natasa thinks an intense writing blitz can be the best way to get started. The program has a systematic goal-oriented approach, with checklists and timelines; with the key to success being to focus on why you want to build your business, and to keep returning to that primary goal.
The power of editing
Editor, writing mentor and trainer, Shelley Kenigsberg works with writers on her Editing in Paradise retreats to get their work to that next level for publication.
Shelley says a book can be a great calling card for your business, but there’s a catch. “Of course it’s a good thing if it’s a good book, but if it’s a bad book you’re shooting yourself in the foot,” she says. “You need to make a commitment to quality and your own practice.”
The best non-fiction takes lessons from fiction
A well-written non-fiction book shares many of the elements of fiction. “A good non-fiction has the idea as its main character – it is important to have a consistent and transforming idea. And you are also building a thesis in non-fiction – and that’s the plot.”
Whatever approach you take to writing a book there will probably be moments when you feel like giving up or feel you’ve failed. But Shelley says: just keep going.
“The only real failure is stopping.”