When to write a book, pt. 3 – Establish Authority
If you own a small business (lumber, bookstore, mattress store, catering, flower arrangements, etc.) it’s hard to explain to a prospective customer or client why they should choose your services out of the literal millions available to them in today’s world. “I’m the best” or “I’m a man of my word” might have swayed a few customers twenty years ago, helping you build a loyal client base, but no longer. With the internet at the core of our society now, it’s well known that customer reviews can be faked, that bad reviews can be removed, and anyone can claim to be the ‘premier’ or ‘#1’ in anything, based on a sampling of even just two or three opinions. Five star ratings mean very little when the only review is your favorite aunt, who just loved those flowers – they might have been an hour late, but then when you came in, her friends all got to see her Big Shot Niece who’s running her own business and isn’t that just WONDERFUL?
But if you have a book in your store window, professionally bound, traditionally published and cleanly written, you become the logical choice for their flower/catering/mattress/lumber needs, as you clearly know your trade incredibly well, and even if they don’t read the book, the moment they buy it, they feel they know you. A customer or client might very well have occasion to say who they hired, and when asked why, “Oh, I read their book, and I just knew they’d do an amazing job.”
If you don’t have a storefront, the chances are you’re going to meet your client somewhere to discuss your services – they’ve found you through a friend, or that ad you pulled the money together to run. You’ll meet at their office, your office, or a coffee shop if you work at home, and they’ll want to know why to hire you, instead of the four other people they’re meeting with. “Have you read my book?” – you are now the most knowledgeable person they’ve met with. Bring a copy with you, let them look it over. Just sitting there, holding it in their hands, you have now given the impression of true authority in your industry, the person they want to hired.
Very few authors become rich off their books – but a book can still make you rich.