Do You Really Need a Book as a Business Card?

By Rachelle Ramirez

We've all heard some know-it-all business expert say something like, "The book is the modern-day business card. Write one to grow your profits." Yet Amazon is flooded with forgettable books that entrepreneurs put considerable time, effort, and money into that aren't producing returns. Check the lack of reviews on most of these books, and you'll see what I mean. It's no surprise, is it? Most people hate business cards.

For most of us, writing a book is not going to lead to financial wealth on its own merits. If you're a successful entrepreneur, you understand that building a reputation doesn't solely come from writing a book. A good reputation comes from doing great things. Probably the best you can do for your business is to do exceptional work and market those services and products. If you don't really want to offer your knowledge to others, there are much better ways than writing a book to make money and improve your social status.

But, if you are also one of those rare few who know your actions and words make an impact on people, and you are intent on making your mark on the world, writing a book might be your answer. If there is something inside you that says you must share your knowledge with others, create value for them, and that the book form is the best way to do it, I'm here to help you write it. And though it might help grow your business, we're not going to call it a business card. It's a Self-Help, How-To, or Big Idea Book, and it can solve problems for your reader.

Don't get me wrong, writing one of these books can help your business by drawing more attention to you and demonstrating your authority on a topic. You can use it as a business card, but this only works if your book works; if it's well-crafted, makes promises, and delivers on those promises.

You can learn what it takes to craft a well-written book. You can learn how to use the written word to add value to the lives of others and thereby increase how much value they see in you and your work. I've written a great article on how to write the Big Idea Book that will help you do just that.

Once you've written your manuscript, and hired a good editor to review it, you can use your book to grow your career as an entrepreneur and author of other publications. Marketing a book related to the non-writing work you do can help find readers for your other books. Let’s meet some authors who have some ideas that you might want to copy:

"I decided I had to put my business book in front of market influencers with more efficacy than emails or phone calls. Email was great, but I needed something else. I sent my book to prospective clients with a personal note. I'd write something like, 'I thought you might be interested in this book I wrote that can solve your problem on such and such. Will you call me after you read Chapter 3?' I got a lot of clients this way."

Karen K., Pittsburgh, PA

"When I meet a prospective client or influencer, I hand them a copy of the book you helped me write. I make a personal connection and gift my book so that they are more likely to trust me enough to hire me or invite me to speak or write for their platform. I've had a lot more influencers help promote my work since I started using that book."  

Christi D., Pasadena, CA

"I do low-cost workshops. You know, networking groups are always in need of speakers. I contact the leaders and ask to get on their speaking schedule. At the end of my workshops..., I raffle a few copies of my book off. I end up selling more at the back of the room, and later online if I do a raffle at a workshop, but the big thing is doing the workshop in the first place."  

Mark W., Dublin, IE

"I always ask my presentation participants who else I can help with my work; who else could use my book and presentation. I figured out a way to get more speaking gigs this way. It really works!"

Sarah S., Manchester, NH

"Reaching out to people who are already influencing people is the way to go. They don't have to be famous. I'm talking about organizers for a community college, library management, etc. I ask them to offer a class based on my book. I target people I know my book will solve a problem for...Then, I offer to teach the class for a fee. Notice I didn't say, 'free.' I update my curriculum with each new semester, but they are always based on the teachings of my books."

Thomas L., Salem, OR

Now you have some great business building ideas to try with your Big Idea, How-To, or Self-Help book that should work a lot better than just considering your book a business card. These ideas might not rocket you to success, but I'm confident they will help you find the readers who will benefit from what you have to share.

If you want assistance developing or improving your manuscript, I'd love to chat with you about your work. For a free 30-minute editing consultation, select a time on my calendar, and I'll give you a call.

If you want some more ideas on building your author platform and marketing your book, you can grab a spot on Sue Campbell's calendar for a free consultation as well.

What are you waiting for? Try one of these tips. Your readers want to discover what you have to share.

Rachelle Ramirez