Successfully writing a book to build your personal brand involves more than communicating helpful, relevant information; you book also has to inspire your readers to act.
Your book, and your brand, must encourage readers to take action – and continue to take action – until they have solved their problem or achieve their goal. Your book has to change their habits by inspiring them to work towards their desired change.
To do this, you have to write your book in a way that makes readers’ feel that success is inevitable once they decide to take action.
Unless your book inspires your readers to act – unless you convince them that success is possible – your book will fail to build your brand.
Tools of inspiration
- Empathy. The starting point is to engage your prospective reader’s attention by showing them you understand their needs and wants and share their concerns. Avoid writing from an expert’s perspective; write from intended readers’ and target markets’ perspective. Your book must be a conversation – a meeting of equals – not a speech from an expert to a commoner.
- Focused. Selectivity plays an important role in writing a book that inspires others. Focus your book on your reader’s needs. Instead of writing an encyclopedia, or a textbook that tells everything about your topic, focus on just the information readers need to solve their problem or achieve the goals.
- Practical. In order to inspire action, your book has to communicate the practicality of the solution you’re offering. Readers are looking for simple and easy ways to solve their problems or achieve the goals. One of the ways your book can communicate practicality is by breaking a big goal down into a step-by-step process, and providing detailed guidance at every step. You can also inspire readers to overcome their inertia and commit to action by making the first steps as easy as possible.
- Tools. Reader engagement tools, like exercises, questions, resource recommendations, and tips, provide further assistance, building your reader’s confidence in their ability to take action. Your book and your bran will be judged by the guidance and resources you provide.
- Proof. Prove your claims to help your readers solve their problems and achieve their goals. Provide proof of how your book, and its problem-solving or goal-achieving ideas and tools have helped others. Case studies, comments, interviews, and quotations from individuals helped by your book will increase your book’s “inspiration-power.”
- Memorable. Make your book memorable by choosing an easily-understood, easy-to-remember title that clearly identifies who your book is for and how they will benefit from it. Choose a book title that resonates because of its clarity, the way it reminds readers of metaphors, culturally-significant terms like song or movie titles, or because it invents a new word.
A word about style or grammar
Many authors focus on the wrong things. They try to write for “everybody” and they often include too much information. They weaken their books by writing for a broad market, instead of a reachable market niche. Authors also often provide more information than needed, making their book longer, more expensive, and larger than it has to be.
Today, readers want books that offer concise, focused information they can quickly read and put into action.
In addition, authors often set themselves up to fail by having unrealistic expectations for their writing. Few published authors get it right in the first draft. Often several revisions are needed before they submit their manuscript to their publisher…for even more editing and proofreading.
When writing a book to build your personal brand, don’t obsess about the details or “getting it right” in the first draft. Instead, focus on your target market – the individuals you want to get noticed by or build relationships with. Books that successfully build their authors’ brands rarely tell “everything.” Instead, inspire them to take action by focusing on simple, practical ways your reader’s solve their problems and achieve their goals. What’s your favorite example of an inspiring book?
Roger C. Parker shares ideas for planning, writing, promoting, & profiting from brand building books in his daily writing tips blog and his latest book, #BOOK TITLE Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, & Event Titles.