By Zach Obront
Many entrepreneurs dream of one day writing a book. After spending time accumulating lessons in life and business, the thought of sharing those lessons with other people can be exciting and inspiring.
When done right, however, writing a book isn’t just a selfless act. Becoming an author can build your authority, generate leads, close sales, and in many cases, be a catalyst for massive business growth.
As the founder of a publishing company that works primarily with entrepreneurs, the most successful authors we work with understand that a book isn’t an end in itself, it’s a multipurpose tool that can be used to advance their careers.
Here are four ways writing a book can help you grow your business:
1. Become the leader in your field
Being an expert in your industry is important to running a successful business, and is even more valuable when prospective customers know you’re an expert. Writing a book is a way to make sure that your expertise is known.
When you write a book, you have a unique opportunity to share your expertise—not through short blog posts or three-minute videos, but through a 200-page manuscript. This in-depth knowledge can help you build credibility with your audience. When people need information about your industry, they know that they can turn to you as their reliable source.
Take Deb Gabor, for example. As the founder of Sol Marketing, she was looking for opportunities to discuss branding with the press, but she didn’t know how to cut through the noise of other branding experts. That’s when she published her book, Branding Is Sex, and everything changed. She quickly became the media’s go-to expert on all things branding, and was quoted in The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, on NPR, and Fortune.
2. Humanize your business
You pour your heart and soul into your company, and there’s no shame in letting people know it. By telling the story behind your life and career, you can add a human element to your marketing and pull back the curtain on your business.
Maybe you went through some crazy experiences and learned important lessons along the way. Maybe your industry is a tough nut to crack, but you figured out how to do it. Maybe you went through years of trial and error before you learned just what works for you personally and professionally.
That’s what Stephan Aarstol did. As the founder and CEO of Tower Paddle Boards, Aarstol was running a successful business, but he realized that making his team work typical eight-hour workdays was counterproductive. So he developed the concept of the five-hour workday.
After seeing the positive impact it had on his team, he shared it with the world in his book, The Five Hour Workday. The company’s fans read about the concept in Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company, and immediately felt a connection with the team behind their paddleboards.
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Give people a peek behind the curtain and give fans an opportunity to build a deeper connection with you. Being honest about your personal trials and tribulations can be much more persuasive than an online ad that screams, “Buy from me!”
3. Generate speaking opportunities
With a book under your belt, you can add an impressive line to your résumé that can help you earn speaking opportunities at events or conferences. But the goal isn’t just to get on stage.