Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

Writing Journal 42: Show Your Expertise In an Ebook

My writing journal for Tuesday, September 23, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The end is in sight for the novella. I wrote 1,200 words, setting up the major scene which I mentioned yesterday.

So, I’m ready to write the scene. However, since I’m way ahead of the schedule on this book I decided to spend some extra time on the nonfiction book proposal which I’m creating for a client’s memoir. I made good headway on the overview, so Julia’s sending that off to the client for her input.

It must be spring, because Honey’s outside. She didn’t want to come in this morning; she’s enjoying the warmer weather. I’ve got to call her in and make her breakfast.

I read email while I’m eating my toast. We’re almost all caught up with email, because I did a heavy push on it last night. Several students sent me their stories; I’ve got just two left on which I need to provide feedback.

Next, work with my new coaching client.

Showing your expertise in an ebook

I’m working with a new coaching and ghostwriting client who’s starting her own business. She’s got wonderful expertise in her profession, so I suggested that she capitalize on that.

Firstly, we’re setting up a website for her, essentially so that she can collect email addresses of prospects. At the same time, we’re developing a couple of ebooks. One she’ll use as an inducement to sign up for her mailing list. The other, we’ll publish on Kindle Direct Publishing; this will help her to show her expertise. If it happens to make a little money, that will be fine too. :-)

A year ago, I would have suggested that she build out her website into an authority site to get traffic. However, the online world has changed. Yes, you still need all the SEO you can manage. But it’s hard to get search engine traffic for a brand new website, no matter how large and authoritative it might be, so we’re going to skip that for at least a year.

My client needs the ebooks, and social media, AND partnerships to get traction.

I love working with people who are good at what they do; helping them to provide value for others. Our first step will be to work out exactly what she’s offering, and how she’ll brand her new business.

It’s time for my walk. I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, because I have a couple of meetings, so I need to go today.

I’m back from my walk, and spend some time updating my schedule for this week and next. Then I have lunch while browsing social media.

After lunch, I get on with the company history book, using the cluster diagrams I created yesterday. I manage to do 2,000 words on this. Excellent.

The new blog launch

In our meeting yesterday, we discussed the company’s branding, and their new blog. I’ve got to do a proposal and scope. This means a lot of research.

Research tip: only do as much as you need to do.  Start by deciding exactly what you need to know, and create some research questions to answer.

After spending a couple of hours on it, I need a short break. I decide walk to the park with Honey so that I can get some fresh air, and think.

It’s late afternoon; time to I catch up on email and phone calls. I’ll try to work on a couple of short stories tonight; I need to keep up with them so I can get them published in October.

I complete my daily review, count my words, and I’m done for another day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Write to Sell and to Brand Yourself FAST

Want to build your brand? Consider this: Amazon gives you the opportunity to write to sell, and to build your brand at the same time.

Write to Sell and To Brand Yourself

Currently I’m working with a couple of clients who are writing short ebooks to build their brand. One is a personal trainer, and the other is a financial consultant.

Both have professions which involve a lot of education.  The trainer needs to teach his clients to improve their health with better nutrition and exercise, and the consultant needs to give his clients ways to improve their finances.

Their writing helps their work, and it will over time give them standing and credibility in their chosen fields.

What about you?

Could writing help you to build your brand?

Blogging is one way to build your brand, and for years, I’ve encouraged many of my clients to blog. However, a blog is a commitment. If you’re pressed for time, blogging may not be for you. Twitter or Instagram makes more sense: you can inform and teach your current clients, and find new ones, in seconds.

A short ebook helps you to share your knowledge fast. It helps your current clients, attracts new clients, and helps you to make a side income  too.

You’re wondering, how short is SHORT?  Writers think in terms of word count, so I suggest 5,000 words. In page terms, this is around 20 pages. Of course, with ebooks, pages are irrelevant.

I’m helping the trainer to create a small library of ebooks. He’s not only aiming to help his clients, he wants to spread his message further. The consultant’s creating a single ebook, plus a print edition. He’s selling on Amazon, and he’ll be selling both digital and print versions from his website.

In branding, nothing beats writing a book to give you presence. These days, writing a book is easier than ever.

Yes, you can go the traditional publishing route, as some of my clients do. However, that presents challenges of its own. Many publishing houses have conglomerated or have disappeared over the past decade. Those that remain, want their authors to have a platform before they consider their proposal. If  you want to write a book to help you to build your brand, you have real challenges.

Publishing ebooks makes much more sense; particularly short ebooks. You can write your ebook yourself, or get help writing it, or you can hire someone to ghostwrite it for you. Either way, the entire project takes weeks, rather than months — or years, in the case of traditional publishing.

If you’re interested in writing to sell for any reason, check out Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories; the program includes coaching.

Write Short: Sizzling Success from Short Reports and Short Stories

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

It’s All About You: 5 Tips to Help You To Make Social Media Work For You

It’s All About You: 5 Tips to Help You To Make Social Media Work For You

Is social media working for you? Often, it just isn’t. You blog and tweet away, and no one cares. Consider this: your social media contacts can’t care, if they don’t know who you are.

Complete your profile on the networks you choose. Add an image, and a capsule bio. No matter how intriguing your updates, it’s impossible to engage with a blank slate.

Tip 1. “Who Are You?”: introduce yourself.

In “This Is Me”: Quick Ways to Get Found With a Profile Page, I said:

“Who are you?” That’s the most common question when someone sees your name online. You need to be able to share who you are… A profile page is your online calling card…. It can tie all your social networking sites together, to build a picture of who you are, without a website.

If you don’t have a website or blog, create a profile page. You can do that in minutes. Then link to your profile page from your social media profiles on the networks.

On the other hand, if you do have a website, update your About page, but first, create a positioning statement.

Take a sheet of paper, and briefly, write who your audience is, and how you help them. You should also include the ways in which you can’t help them. Once you’re clear in your own mind about this, draft your positioning statement in a few simple sentences.

Begin your statement with this phrase: “My perfect customer is…”

Introduce yourself on your About page, targeting the audience you described in your positioning statement.

Tip 2. Know what you want.

What results do you want from your social media interactions?

Maybe you want “traffic” to your website. However, with 27 million pieces of content shared daily, consider focusing on conversions:

Measuring the effectiveness of your content via traffic is easy, so that’s what everyone does. Instead, consider measuring via conversion rates, rather than traffic. If you do that, you’ll start thinking differently about your content.

Write down what you want from social media, and create a plan to help you to get it.

Tip 3. You’re an expert. Show it. Help.

You’re the expert on your business. I’m sure that when someone calls you, and asks you a question about your business, you talk. And talk. Responding is easy, when someone’s asking you questions.

On social media, it’s just as easy. Questions are asked on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the rest, all day long. Answer questions. Help.

You can answer questions on your blog too: reveal who you are, and what you do.

Tip 4. Be there. Be consistent.

Consistency counts on social media:

When I mentioned Twitter, the client snapped: “We tried it. Social media doesn’t work!”

I’ve heard that before. After the meeting, I checked the contentious Twitter account – what there was of it. Twenty random tweets over three months.

You don’t need to let social media take over your life. Decide how many minutes a day or a week you’ll devote to social media, and be there, at the times you’ve scheduled. Apps like Buffer can schedule your updates, so that you can post when your audience is online.

Tip 5. Pick a network or two. You can’t be everywhere.

Explore the various networks, to discover where your audience congregates. Be sure to check your competitors’ social media accounts. Where are they spending their time?

Then, pick one or two networks. You can’t be everywhere, and you don’t need to be.

You can make social media work for you: it all starts with showing who you are: create a branding statement and bio, then engage on your chosen social networks. And most importantly – don’t forget the “social” aspect of social media marketing… have fun, and promote your business at the same time. :-)

Need help? Contact me.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

Content Marketing: Top 10 Creative Ways To Use Info Products in Your Business

10 Creative Ways To Use Info Products in Your Business

Content marketing is HOT for a simple reason. It’s cost-effective. You get an awful lot of bang for your content marketing buck.

If you’re thinking about using content for marketing, you may confine your ambitions to blogging, and Facebook pages. While there’s nothing wrong with that, consider broadening your horizons, to info products.

Blogs and social media pages have a big challenge: they’re ephemeral. You can create a wonderful, traffic-generating blog post, which gets a trickle of traffic for years. While it’s valuable, and can do a great deal for your business, it’s still just a blog post.

A book on the other hand is a book. Suddenly you’re an author. At a more humble level, a white paper or a report is a product. It’s a discrete entity. It’s not that I have anything against blog posts and the like. Heaven forbid. I’ve been blogging since 2000, and loved blogs while other businesses were still scoffing at “online journals.” A blog’s wonderful, but info products are entities.

Let’s look at creative ways you can use info products in your business.

1. Use content marketing to demonstrate expertise: become a thought leader

Want to become a thought leader in your industry? Write a book. Seth Godin is the pattern card for thought leaders in marketing. The man’s a genius, no question. Authors are respected.

No time to write a book? Hire a ghostwriter, or write a white paper, report or short ebook.

2. Generate income opportunities from info products

You can generate income from info products in many different was:

  • Offer them as inducements to sign up to a mailing list;
  • Sell them on Amazon or the Web;
  • Create online classes and courses;
  • Attract traffic and links.

3. Get more traffic (Google isn’t the only search engine)

Speaking of traffic: Google isn’t the only search engine which sends you traffic. Aside from Yahoo and Bing, consider that Amazon, iTunes, and YouTube are search engines which can send you traffic.

Podcasts and videos are popular info marketing tools for this reason: traffic.

4. Generate more leads using info products

As we’ve said, a blog post is just that. Millions of blog posts are created each day. (3.7 million, in August 2014.) That’s a LOT of competition.

If you create an info product however, it’s something for your website visitors to download, pass around, and keep.

5. Build your brand

Content marketing with Info products builds your brand. Produce a book, and you’re an author… an authority. Produce ebooks, or a magazine, and you’re a publisher as well as a business person.

In 2014, many more businesses use info products like magazines to publish regularly to build their brand — see Flipboard, if you’d like to create a (free) magazine for your business too. I love Twitter, but a tweet has a life span measured in seconds. Every info product you create builds your brand now and in the future.

6. Become an author: build reputation

We’ve mentioned Seth Godin. He’s an info product powerhouse, who understands marketing and publishing. His reputation rests on a sold foundation of books.

7. Create ebooks to enhance sales

In the early 1990s, if you strolled into a bookshop, you saw brick-sized software manuals stacked to the ceiling. Yes, they were necessary. I can remember reading my Lotus Agenda manuals as if they were holy writ.

Those manuals were also content marketing. Businesses displayed those manuals on bookshelves.

Nowadays you don’t have to kill a forest. You can use ebooks to enhance your sales. Think about what you wish your customers knew about your products. Create a downloadable ebook to tell them.

8. Create workbooks to help customers get more from your products

Most products lend themselves to a workbook or two.

Selling T-shirts? Create a workbook which shows customers how to draw their own designs onto your T shirts. Then create a contest for the best designs.

In real estate? Create a workbook/ journal/ app to help your clients to move house.

9. Create white papers and reports to inform

Your business produces a mass of research and stats. Use that information to create white papers and reports.

Tip: get creative with this. If you can’t stand to read your own white paper, your customers won’t read it either. Use straightforward language, and don’t be boring.

10. Create videos and podcasts to entertain (and inspire)

Your videos and podcasts are info products. By all means upload them to YouTube. Don’t stop there however. Make the most of them by compiling them into downloads on your own website, where your customers can find them easily. Info products you create to teach your products also promote your products – and they’re info products in their own right.

Techsmith for example does an amazing job with their tutorial videos as you might expect from a software company devoted to helping their customers to create images and videos.

Here’s what I like about the way Techsmith handles its tutorials: they’re entertaining, and informative, as well as being inspiring.

So there you have it — ten creative ways to use info products in YOUR business.

Updated July 24, 2014.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.