Although writing a book remains the best way to build your personal brand, writing a book, by itself, is usually not enough. Instead, you must build upon, and leverage, the brand created by your book by consistently promoting it online and offline.
In many ways, writing a book is the first step, or “price of admission,” that qualifies you for personal branding success.
Your ultimate success, however, depends on your ability to constantly leverage your book to greater awareness, credibility, and profits.
Your goal is to make your book title and cover familiar to market by exposing it to them as often as possible.
Leveraging your book online
Here are 10 ways you can leverage your book:
- Book site. Chances are, you already have a website for your primary business. Although you’ll certainly be talking about your book on your website while writing it–and, when it appears, you’ll certainly be promoting your book on your website–you should also create a website dedicated specifically to your book. The URL of this site, like the title of your book, should contain the keywords prospects use searching for information related to your book. Each of your books should have its own dedicated site, although all should link contain links to your original, or hub, website. Hint: Avoid professionally-designed “hostage” websites you cannot update yourself. Hire a qualified designer to set-up a blog-based website for your book, then have them update your website to a blog-based site you can maintain and update.
- Article marketing. In addition to writing about your books on your own and your book’s website, you should begin to submit short articles addressing topics related to your book in article portals, like Ezinearticles.com. Each article creates its own SEO visibility, introducing you to prospective book buyers. The resource box should contain a link to a landing page containing more information about your book, a free registration incentive, and a link to your website.
- Newsletter. Newsletters make it easy to keep in constant touch with your clients, prospects, and readers. The title of your newsletter should be obviously related to the words used in your book title and subtitle. Likewise, the colors used in your newsletter, whether your newsletter is distributed as a formatted PDF or an HTML e-mail, should be the same as those used on the cover of your book.
- Business card. Your business card should contain the title and cover photograph of your latest book, as well as a link to the website or landing page containing more information. Hint: Most business cards are printed on one side only; this is a waste of a valuable promotional opportunity. If the front of your business card describes you, and shows your picture, feature your book on the back of your card.
- One-Sheets. A one-sheet is a single-page, single-sided document used as a sales tool to introduce your book to prospective buyers and resellers. Each of your books should have its own one-sheet, available as an attractively-formatted, downloadable PDF. One-sheets should be designed as advertisements, with a headline that will engage the attention of prospective readers and compel them to continue reading. Other elements should include one or two paragraphs describing your book’s purpose and intended market. There should be a bullet list of key benefits, and 1 or 2 testimonials. There should also be a sidebar which builds a bridge between your book and your qualifications for writing it.
- Postcards. Postcards are especially valuable now that the volume of postal mail has declined, making it easier and easier for a brightly-colored postcard to attract the recipient’s attention. Postcards are especially valuable for authors interested in communicating with previous prospects and clients where only their postal mailing addresses are known.
- Guest blogging. Although you probably already have a blog, and are planning to add one to your book’s website, you may be neglecting reaching out to new prospects by preparing guest posts for other blogs in your field, or serving your market. Most bloggers appreciate the new perspective provided by guests posting on their blog. Hint. Always check whether or not the blogs you’re interested in writing for want original content, or if you can submit rewrites of posts that have already run elsewhere.
- Audios and videos. Podcasts and videos are ideal for introducing your book to website visitors, as well as reaching out while writing your book. Hint: an easy idea way to build traction for your book is to begin with a short introductory video explaining why you’re writing your book. Then, you can follow-up with individual “progress” videos as you complete each chapter. Don’t try to communicate the details of each chapter; just provide a conversational description of the relevance of each chapter and a few key details or anecdotes that tell the story behind the chapter.
- Presentation template. One of the best ways to prepare for promoting your book as well as leveraging it into back-end profits through presentations, worksheets, and DVDs is to create a PowerPoint template based on the colors and layout used on the cover of your book. Once you have a template that contains a cover slide, a text slide, and a conclusion slide, you’ll be able to quickly create good-looking presentation visuals for specific occasions or downloading.
- Speeches. Even if you are not interested in becoming an internationally known speaker, you should cultivate speaking opportunities. Each time you speak, you’ll gain new followers and become more comfortable speaking in front of an audience. Hint: Start by identifying 2 or 3 list-based topics based on your book, i.e., “7 Ways to…” or “6 Often-overlooked…” The reason to base your speeches on numbers is that you can easily expand or condense the topic for the amount of available time. Prepare one-sheets describing each of your speech topics, and make them available for easy downloading from your website.
The importance of being able to leverage the brand created by your book brings up several interesting implications:
- Negotiating Your Rights. Unless you’re self-publishing your book, you need qualified agency representation to protect your abilities to leverage the brand created by your book. Your publishing contract should specify exactly what you can, and cannot, do in terms of using your book title and subtitle as key elements in a lecture or seminar series, audio and video recordings, and e-courses. You must retain the right to develop new content and projects based on your book, even if you ultimately move to a different publisher.
- Marketing and promotion never end. No matter how successful your first book is, you must commit to continuing to leverage and promote it to new audiences, new prospects, and new readers. Everything listed above doesn’t have to be created at once, but there isn’t a single “silver bullet” to success. Success is cumulative. The minute you fail to actively leverage your book’s brand, you and your book begin to lose ground.
- Qualified Design Assistance. As you can see from the above list, you either need to cultivate your own design abilities in order to build upon, or adapt, the image established by the cover of your book. To do this, and create new print and online marketing tools, you either need to know how to work with graphic images or know who you you can depend on to build upon your brand. Hint: Develop the habit of “design once, produce often.” Don’t hire a designer to start from scratch on every project. Instead, hire graphic designers to create templates that you can easily work with, and produce, yourself with the skills you already possess.
Writing a book opens the door to endless opportunities and possibilities. However, it’s up to you to consistently leverage the brand created by your book into an ongoing search for new clients, prospects, and readers.