Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Christine Kloser, @christinekloser. Christine is the founder of TransformationalAuthor.com where she has taught nearly 70,000 entrepreneurs, messengers, and leaders from more than 100 countries how to write their transformational books. For more information about Christine, visit www.ChristineKloser.com.
SmallBizLady: Why should small business owners write a book?
Christine Kloser: The biggest reason small business owners should become authors is that it opens doors of opportunity for their business. Nothing compares to the impact you can have in your market when you say you’re the author of XYZ book. Even if you enjoy a six or seven-figure business (or more), are a speaker, have built a large network of colleagues and supporters, or created the best program in your niche…. it doesn’t compare to the clout and opportunity that comes with being a published author.
SmallBizLady: What are some of the biggest benefits of being a published author?
Christine Kloser: First, the credibility and expert status authors gain is invaluable. Being an author sets you apart from the crowd, attracts prospective clients and customers, invites speaking engagements, publicity, etc. But perhaps even more important… what I’ve discovered in my nine-year career coaching authors is that some of the most powerful benefits are increased clarity, confidence and courage. Who the author becomes through writing and publishing their book gives them an inner strength and confidence that is often unmatched by any other business activity. And that boost in confidence can be a true game-changer!
SmallBizLady: What’s the biggest pitfall small business owners need to avoid when writing their book?
Christine Kloser: The biggest pitfall aspiring authors need to avoid is writing their book BEFORE creating a solid foundation for it. Too many authors, especially those who “go it alone”, don’t know what they don’t know and write without any plan. Many don’t know who their ideal reader is or what problem their book will solve, or how to succinctly communicate what their book is about. It’s tragic, because they write their book and then try to figure those things out when it’s already too late. The foundation must be laid before beginning to write.
SmallBizLady: How do you suggest aspiring authors get past “writer’s block?”
Christine Kloser: This is one of the most common questions I hear… despite the fact that there’s really no such thing as “writer’s block.” For example, if I asked you right now to write a letter to someone you love, no matter how “blocked” you thought you were, you could write it! The “block “authors face is often internal and stems from some fear of not being good enough, worrying about what others will think, feeling exposed, inadequate, etc. The best way to overcome this and write is to imagine – like the love letter I just mentioned – that you are writing your book to only ONE person who you care about and know you can help. This will help dissipate the fear, eliminate the “block” and allow the writing to flow.
SmallBizLady: What’s the first thing an aspiring author must know to write a book that grows their business?
Christine Kloser: The key to writing a book geared toward helping you grow your business is to sell yourself without being pushy. What that looks like in your book is showcasing your expertise, sharing case studies of client successes, mentioning the ways you help people through your business, sharing personal stories of how you gained the knowledge you have now, etc. Your book is the perfect place to toot your own horn. And as you do it’s important to not be so pushy that your readers feel like they are being “sold” on every page. Shine the spotlight on yourself while making gentle invitations toward your business.
SmallBizLady: Is it true that being a published author can directly impact the bottom line?
Christine Kloser: Absolutely! Being a published author can have a huge impact on your bottom line. But here’s the key. The bottom line will not be impacted much be your book sales. Books are better known as a lead generation tool than an income generation tool. So don’t expect to make tons of money from book sales alone, but do leverage the leads you generate from your book… because that’s where the money will come from the most.
SmallBizLady: Why is back matter so important for authors who want to grow their business with a book? (And what is back matter?)
Christine Kloser: The back matter of a book consists of the information on the pages that follow your core content. Thus the term “back” matter – it is at the end of your book. This is where you’d include information, invitations and offers regarding your business. In addition, you’d include your author bio, contact information and anything else needed to ensure your readers know what you do, and how to get in touch with you to learn more about your business services.
SmallBizLady: How do you suggest aspiring authors deal with the concern that nobody will hire them if they put all their knowledge into a book?
Christine Kloser: Most of the authors I’ve coached have this concern – if they put their “best stuff” in a book, it eliminates the need for them to be hired. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you are generous with your information – versus holding it back to get a sale – your readers will discover how knowledgeable you are, feel they can trust you, and will have a deeper understanding of the value of your wisdom. The vast majority of the time your generosity will make them want more of your expertise… thus enticing them to take action to contact you for further help.
SmallBizLady: Can you share an example of how being generous with content increases sales?
Christine Kloser: One of my favorite examples is my client Dallas Travers, who went through my Get Your Book Done® program to write her book, “The Tao of Show Business.” Dallas was an acting coach who knew deep down inside how valuable her information was for aspiring actors. Through our coaching, she gained the confidence she needed to write her book and share all of her treasured “secrets for success.” As a result, she went from being a relative “unknown” in her industry to being one of the leading experts in her field. But not only did she gain the respect of her peers, her business experienced massive growth.,. both multiplying her impact and her income immediately following the release of her book. She shared everything on the pages of her book, and it made her readers want a lot more of what she had to offer.
SmallBizLady: What are a few specific ways small biz owners can use a book to grow their business?
Christine Kloser: The most common way small business owners can use a book to grow their business is to include multiple calls to action within the book. For example, if you publish a print or digital newsletter you can provide information on how to subscribe. If you provide free consultations for prospective clients, you can include information on how to request a consult with you. If you provide programs or services your readers can purchase online, then you can include brief descriptions of those services with links to learn more and make a purchase. If you are a speaker, you can include a synopsis of your talk topics and contact information about booking you to speak. The possibilities are endless.
SmallBizLady: How can a small business owner write a book, run a business, enjoy their life and perhaps manage a job all at the same time? How can they find the time to write?
Christine Kloser: There are two essential answers to this question. The first one is that you must assess your life and realistically determine when you can write. It may be that thirty minutes every morning is best for you, or on your lunch break, or after the kids are all asleep, or for five hours on Sunday afternoon. The next thing is to follow a system – so you always know exactly what to do when you sit down to work on your book. If you leave it to “chance” you’re likely to waste hours, weeks, months or years trying to “figure out” what you should be doing. Following a system (which is why I created by Get Your Book Done® program) takes the guesswork out of what to do and the order to do it… which makes for the best use of the time you set aside to write.
SmallBizLady: What are the most important words an author will write for their book?
Christine Kloser: Believe it or not, the most important words you’ll write for your book are not inside the pages of your book! They are the 250 words that will comprise your back cover copy. Why? Because the purpose of your back cover copy is to clearly and succinctly communicate the value of your book. Back cover copy is your marketing copy, yet also serves as a guidepost for you. Writing the back cover copy first, before your book, ensures you know what your book is, who it is for and provides you with a “north star” to keep you on track and focused while you write.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz
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