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If you are like most consultants, you’ve thought about writing a book. You know intuitively that it will be valuable to your brand and your consulting career. Yet finding the time is difficult—if not impossible—in your busy consulting schedule.
According to Elaine Biech, an established expert on both the profession of consulting and authoring books (she has published almost 80 books), writing a book has become a requirement for every consultant who desires to demonstrate authority. And, she adds, you don’t need to give up your consulting practice to write a book.
“It’s become a cliché to say that ‘a book is the new business card,'” says Biech, keynote speaker at the Second Annual Business Writers Conference and author of Training and Development for Dummies (Wiley, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-119-07633-9, $26.99). “But it’s so much more. Calling your book a ‘business card’ underestimates the true value of just how important a book can be to your career.”
The conference—which took place April 19-21, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama— attracted 100 executives, service professionals, and entrepreneurs from an array of industries seeking to network and learn best practices from some of the most accomplished experts in business book publishing.
Biech delivered a keynote as well as a full-day pre-conference workshop where she helped new authors understand the publishing industry, compare the differences between using a publisher and self-publishing, and gain skills to market a book. Most importantly, she shared her secrets for writing a book in two weeks. Biech states, “It doesn’t need to take a year to write your book.”
Biech’s most important message is that every consultant needs a book to demonstrate their expertise to current and potential clients. Here are five reasons why she makes this bold claim.
1. Your book is a marketing tool. A book can generate new business, close a pending deal, and remind previous clients that you are still available. Consider all the ways you can use your book to market your consulting. You can give it to contacts who will spread the word about you, your book, and your skills. You can send it to potential clients. You can send a copy to people you would like to meet or with whom you’d like to network or partner. A book can be a powerful tool to help open doors that may not have been within your reach in the past or close a deal that’s been hanging open for a while.
2. Your book helps you establish your expertise. You are probably already an expert in what you consult about, but a published book adds legitimacy to your career. When people see that you have a published book on bookshelves, they naturally assume that you are a top-notch authority—more brilliant than before you wrote your book. And actually you will be. The act of writing a book forces you to think more clearly and more deeply about your area of expertise. The content that readers can hold between the two covers in their hands boosts your credibility.
3. Your book can help you build your reputation and your brand. Writing a book about your consulting practice sets you apart from the rest. If given a choice of someone you would hire to solve your most pressing problem, whom would you choose? A published author or an unknown entity? Yep! Most people would choose the author. By writing about your models or the principles upon which your consulting practice is based, you help your clients and potential clients understand what you represent, what you value, and how you will be valuable to them. A book demonstrates the philosophy, skills, and tools you incorporate into your work better than any discussion can.
4. Your book can increase your name recognition. You will be viewed as a thought leader, and people will recognize your name and the name of your book. It raises both your profile and respect for your company. This can help when submitting proposals to speak at conferences or to keynote for corporate or association events. Your book generates attention, raises your visibility, and gives you multiple excuses for media coverage. A book can position you as the expert in your field.
5. Your book can help you make money. Don’t be fooled into thinking you will get rich from book sales. Almost no one does. However, your published book gives you and your consulting practice the legitimacy to increase your rates and an entrée to attract more work with less marketing investment. A book can help potential clients find you. When people look for experts, they often search for “who wrote the book on…?” Having a book helps people find you with their search. That’s one of the reasons selecting a title is extremely important. Remember, you will make more money through the business it generates than the sales it produces.
A book serves double duty for a consultant. “It can be a quality marketing tool and at the same time prove your capability and expertise,” says Biech. “Your book doesn’t take a lifetime to write. You can do it in as little as two weeks. Don’t waste your life wishing you could write a book. Get that wish out of your head and between two covers. Start your book today!”
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Elaine Biech, president of ebb associates inc, an organizational development consulting firm, has been helping clients work through large-scale change for 30 years. She is an award-winning consultant who has authored and edited almost 80 books including The Business of Consulting and Training and Development for Dummies. She has presented at over 100 national and international conferences and has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Management Update, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune Magazine. For more information, please visit www.ebbweb.com.
The Business Writers Conference is an immersion experience that provides you with access to the experts, resources, and inspiration to learn how the book-writing process works and how to develop books and articles efficiently. Attendees will have access to keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and hands-on workshops.
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