Does writing a book sound like a daunting challenge or an exciting adventure to you? Many advisors have thought about writing a book but aren’t sure where to start or if the benefit would justify the time investment. Without a doubt, most of the advisors I know have more than enough experience and expertise to fill several books. But few ever make it happen. So, should you write a book?
The reality is that writing a book can be fun, fulfilling, and an incredibly powerful marketing tool. I’ve seen books open doors for advisors for speaking engagements, media appearances, educational seminars, and more. By creating a hard copy proof of your expertise, it’s easy to engage your ideal prospects and share what makes you different.
What Are the Benefits of Writing a Book?
Creating a publication that showcases your expertise gives you instant credibility. Publishing a book can turn you “from the hunter into the hunted” when it comes to prospecting. Gurus like Tony Robbins and Ken Blanchard built their empires on the books they’ve published. Writing your book can provide:
- Collateral to engage prospects
- A foot in the door for speaking engagements
- Content for future blogs, presentations, and more
One advisor I work with created a book that has been approved for Continuing Education credit for medical professionals in his target market. His ideal prospects are required to read his book (or take an in-person class) and become familiar with the value he offers his clients. He quickly gained credibility with the book and is now the sought-after expert in his niche.
Who is Your Reader?
Writing a book is a lot like blogging, and the cardinal rule of blogging is that people want to read your opinion on a subject that interests them, not read about you. The same is true for a book. Write in your authentic voice and write for your ideal client. Visualize your favorite client to paint a picture of which topics interests folks in that segment. While you write, use the same voice with which you would speak to them and consider asking for their guidance along the way.
What Should You Write?
One trick to deciding what to write about is to consider what you think about in your idle time. When you have no obligations and a few minutes of quiet, what do you research, ponder, and analyze? For many advisors, it could be investment philosophies or financial planning strategies. For some, it’s a step-by-step guide for clients to set and pursue their financial goals. Often, the topic of a book is born out of one experience or story. What do you read about in your spare time? In which topic do you feel you are an expert? Be honest about your intrinsic curiosities and writing your book will be fun and exciting.
Whether You Think Your Book Will Take You 30 Days or 30 Years, You’re Right
The hardest part about writing a book is getting started. The average book on Amazon has 64,000 words or about 240 pages. A review of the length of literary classics confirms that length does not correlate with quality. George Orwell’s Animal Farm has just under 30,000 words while War and Peace has over half a million words.
In today’s digital world, I recommend 150-200 pages as the perfect length to engage readers, yet allow people to not feel overwhelmed by your book. This length makes readers more likely to start and finish your book, which makes everyone feel good. That amounts to about 46,000 words.
Most writers complete at least 1,000 words per day, and from experience I know that when you’re in the zone, it’s easy to write 2,000 words per day. So, if you were writing full time about a subject you love, it might take you only 23-46 days to write your book. By writing 20% of your time, or one day per week, it would take you six months to one year to finish your manuscript.
One Surefire Way to Finish Your Book? Outsource the Job
Outsourcing the writing of your book is like hiring a maid to clean your house. Does it matter that you didn’t mop the floors yourself? No, the result is the same, if not better, and takes you much less time. Experienced writers can create something better with your ideas than you could on your own. They’ll bring new solutions to the table, prod you to take your insights further, and most importantly, get the project done on time. Because writers are paid when the project is completed, they are perfectly incentivized to get your project done on time.
Check It Off Your Bucket List!
The desire to write about one’s experience is as old as the invention of writing itself. With millions of books in circulation, publishing is still at an all time high because completing a book can be incredibly fulfilling. Writing a book is in the top 10% of bucket list items, just behind running a marathon and traveling to an exotic place. The difference is, it’s much easier to achieve than running a marathon!
If you’ve been thinking about writing a book, I challenge you to make it happen this year. The time and energy you invest will pay off next year in your marketing, and the sense of fulfillment will stay with you for many years to come. Have you written a book? Share your challenges and results with me. Writing a book now? I want to hear about it! Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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