How to Prepare a Mission Statement Before Writing Your Book

authors cornerPeoplePersonal BrandingSuccess Strategies

Before starting to write a nonfiction book to build your personal brand, take the time to write a mission statement for your book. The afternoon, or two, that you spend on your mission statement will ensure that you write the right book.

Don’t “jump the gun” at the beginning of a project and spend too much time thinking about titles, contents, and publishers. Instead, identify what you want out of your book.

By identifying the specific goals and objectives you want your book to provide creates a framework for planning, writing, promoting, and profiting from your book.

Preparing a mission statement ensures that your decisions at every step will be consistent with the goals and objectives you want to achieve.

A 2-page mission statement ensures that you will make the most of each of the 100-plus pages you write for your book.

Start with a vision

Bob Bly’s latest book, The Marketing Plan Handbook: Develop Big-Picture Marketing Plans for Pennies on the Dollar, begins with a great example of creating a marketing plan by working backwards from the desired results.

Bob’s one of America’s most respect direct response copywriters and the author of 78 books. I’ve been turning to Bob and his books for guidance for over 25 years.

When Bob was, himself, working with a coach, his coach had Bob write a vision statement of what a typical day in his life would be like. The 9 brief paragraphs in Bob’s vision statement described all aspects of a day in his “ideal” life, including the specific tasks to spend time on, his finances, and–most important–his personal relationships with wife and family.

Bob reports that, although he didn’t take specific action on his vision statement and his coach’s follow-up comments, he was “energized” from the process. He also reports that “somehow the goals containing within my ideal day description implanted themselves in my brain.” As he continued:

Not everything in my ideal day essay has come true, but I have moved forward it in several significant directions.

Elements of an author’s mission statement

If you’re preparing an author’s mission statement for your personal branding book, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Where is your income coming from? What is your monthly, or yearly, overhead, and how much is left over after the bills are paid? How much of a cushion, or financial buffer, do you want saved in the bank? How did you leverage your personal branding book into new product and service opportunities?
  2. What kinds of people are you dealing with? Who are the clients and prospects you deal with every day? What do you like about them? What are their characteristics? What are their concerns and concerns? How do they benefit from working with you?
  3. What are the skills you’re using each day? What are the daily duties and tasks that you look forward to performing in order to leverage the opportunities created by your book into day to date income? Did you need to master new skills to efficiently perform your post-publication ideal tasks?
  4. How do your clients and prospects discover you? Describe your ideal marketing funnel. What are the steps involved in your process, or a system, for converting readers into prospects and clients?
  5. Networking. Beyond clients and prospects, have you expanded your contact sphere through networking with others who share your interests? What kinds of individuals are new to your contact sphere, and what do you like about them?
  6. What kind of hobbies, interests, or passions, are you now able to indulge in? What do you do when you’re not working? What kind of family or leisure pursuits do you engage in? What kinds of passions and pleasures do you now have both the time and the money to indulge in?
  7. How did your book make the above possible? What was the contribution that your book played in making your ideal day possible? More important, how did each of the the decisions you took planning, writing, promoting, and profiting contribute to your ability to life a life of “ideal days?”

Starting your mission statement

Avoid procrastination. Create and save a new document entitled Mission Statement for Book and begin by entering the 7 questions above, and formatting them as headings. Then, without further ado, answer the above 7 questions as accurately and quickly as you want. Avoid the temptation to self-edit or prejudge the feasibility of your responses. (There is no “grading” involved!) When you’re through, save your work and close the file. Review it the next day, and continue to review it as you create the content, writing, and marketing plans for your personal branding book.