In our quest to understand the impact of Visible Experts℠, we interviewed 130 Visible Experts and asked them about their path to success and expertise. On average, we discovered that these industry thought leaders use 16 different marketing tools to grow their personal brands. Of all the tools they used, books were identified as the tool with the greatest impact—and the one that had a particularly strong return on effort.

But that’s not all. We also found a subset of Visible Experts that ascended to prominence more quickly. These Fast Trackers had three characteristics that distinguished them from other Visible Experts. One of those characteristics—shared by 85 percent of Fast Trackers—was authoring a book.

So, how can aspiring Visible Experts leverage books as part of their strategy? Here are three main tips.

1. Integrate the Book Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy

Don’t let your book stand-alone. Utilize it as part of your marketing strategy. In order to resonate with your target audience, make sure your book is tailored to their needs and interests, just as you would with any piece of content.

Remember, if your book is going to help establish you as a Visible Expert, then the content needs to showcase your expertise.

Ask yourself: what do you want to be the authority on and, can your background support that goal? Be as specific and focused as possible in your approach. Don’t forget to also inject plenty of examples and case stories when possible.

It’s also important to consider your timeline for finishing your book. Is there a certain event you want to use to promote your publication? If so, be diligent in your progress so you can make sure you get your book done in time. Keep in mind that book production (writing, editing, and design) is just one component of a successful book release. You will still need to get the word out.

2. Decide on Your Format: eBook or Printblogoffer-middle-visibleexpert-book

There are pros and cons to both eBooks and print copies. With the popularity and accessibility of eBooks, you may want to consider publishing an electronic version that you can use in a lead nurturing campaign. You can gate the download with a form fill so that those interested in your book will need to exchange their contact information. This allows you to grow your list of contacts that you’re able to nurture through the sales cycle.

On the other hand, print copies are great to hand out at conferences, speaking engagements, or as part of a promotional giveaway. As a tool for business development, print copies can help you and your firm stand apart from the competition thanks to the credibility afforded by books. Today, there are plenty of print-on-demand providers that can make publishing a book very accessible.

Of course, there’s no rule that says you can’t embrace both formats and promote an electronic copy on your website and hand out print copies at special events. It’s all about figuring out which publishing solution is going to best suit the needs of your target audience.

SEE ALSO: How Prospective Clients find High-Visibility Expertise 

3. Promote It

There’s no sense writing a book that no one ever reads. To ensure your book finds its audience, develop a promotional strategy. Here are three tips for promoting your book before and after publication:

  • Use other content to increase interest in your book and drive book downloads. Piece out certain chapters and write blog posts with similar content as “teasers.” At the end of the posts, include a call-to-action for people to click through and download a copy.
  • Leverage your social media accounts to let people know about the book launch. Try including quotes, reviews, or other compelling reasons why people should purchase or download beyond just repetitively imploring your followers to “Check out my new book!” You could even run a social media giveaway contest to generate buzz.
  • Make the most of networking events or speaking engagements to share the news of your publication. If you don’t have print copies to hand out, you could print up business cards with a link for a free download and pass them out to people you meet.

While promoting your book is an important step to establishing yourself as an expert, remember to strike the right balance between getting the word out and being overly self-promotional.

Writing a book can be a great way to showcase your expertise and promote your visibility—which can put you on the fast track to becoming a Visible Expert. However, remember that simply writing a book isn’t enough. You have to take the time to integrate it into your marketing strategy and promote to your target audience.

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How Hinge Can Help:

Want to become an industry thought leader? It’s one of our specialties. With Hinge’s Visible Expert℠ Program, we can help you implement a thought leadership platform that builds your reputation and visibility in the marketplace.