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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Promote Your Business With a Book

One of the best ways to promote your services and products and to enhance your professional reputation and visibility is to write a book that relates to some aspect of your business. Here are just a few of the things you can do with your book:

• Give it away to potential clients. For example, an estate planning attorney client of mine gives away copies of a book he wrote on the whys and how’s of asset protection planning as a tool for increasing the amount of business his firm is getting in that area of the law.

• Turn it into a new income stream for your business by selling the book from your web site or setting up a new web site that’s dedicated to the book.

• Use the book to help turn yourself into a recognized expert -- someone the media in your community and/or the national media turn to when they want to do an interview related to one of the topics in your book. A book can be a great way tool for taking your business to the next level. I helped one client of mine use his books as springboards for developing a national reputation as an expert on consumer money troubles. As a result of that reputation, his business grew dramatically and new opportunities came his way that he would not have had without the books.

These days given the new publishing options available to authors, like print-on-demand and e-book publishing, you do not need a literary agent and a traditional publisher to get your words and idea into print. Not only are a growing number of businesses entering the field of non-traditional publishing but also authors who publish using these alternatives are no longer looked at as second rate. They are being judged by the quality of their writing and the value of the information they share in their books and far less on who published their books.

If you don’t have time to write a book, consider co-authoring one with an experienced writer. Another alternative is to hire someone to ghost the book for you.

Of course getting your book into print is only the beginning. You’ve got to let the members of your target audience know about the book and what it’s all about. That’s where publicity and marketing come in. Here are some of your get-the-word-out options:

• Schedule media interviews about some aspect of your book

• Get your book reviewed

• Promote your book on your web site

• Do a blog tour

• Use social media sites to promote your book

• Speak before groups, at seminars and conferences about a topic in your book

• Host a workshop on a subject related to your book

• Sponsor a webinar

• Make a video about your book and post the video on YouTube and on your web site

The right book marketing mix for you will depend among other things on the nature of your book, your comfort level doing media interviews and public speaking, and on your book promotion budget. Suggestion: If you don’t feel comfortable doing media interviews or if you have little or no experience doing them, I highly recommend that you invest in some media training. A good media trainer will help you learn how to deliver your messages clearly, concisely and professionally.

Mary Reed is the owner of MR•PR, a marketing and public relations firm, www.get-your-message-out.com. She has years of experience working with the media -- local and national -- helping business owners become recognized experts in their fields, and she has co-authored or ghost written 21 books for clients on a wide range of nonfiction subjects. Most of those books have been published by traditional publishers, but she has also worked with print-on-demand publishers and has published two e-books.

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