As a small business owner, you might struggle to recruit loyal customers, especially in the beginning. There are many ways to market your business and products or services, but one way to achieve a connection with your community is by sharing your thoughts and experiences with them.
One way this can be done by writing and publishing a book. It doesn't have to be a 400-page story about your business, but it should be relevant enough for readers to be engaged. Whether it's a self-help on entrepreneurship or a memoir about how you got where you are today, your book can build trust and foster a more genuine connection with your audience. Here's everything you need to know.
How to publish a book
Before starting your book, think long and hard about what you want to say. Is there a gap in the industry you want to fill? A specific point you want to make? A story you want to tell? Whatever it is, make sure you're passionate about it. That is what will get the job done – and well.
"I believe it is important to write on a topic that you deeply know and have a depth of direction, insights, experience and wisdom to share," said Brad Deutser, founder and CEO of Deutser and author of "Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit and Performance" (Wiley, 2018). "When a book is personal, it has the chance to be more powerful and authentic."
Writing a book is no easy feat, but if you approach it one chapter at a time, it won't feel so daunting. Set realistic goals for each week and hold yourself accountable to meeting them. Once you dive in, you might even find yourself doing even more than you expected.
It's important you enjoy the entire process, not just the idea of having a book published and seeing your business thrive from it. Both of those are important, sure; but if you dread the hard work you're putting in each day, it shows in your writing.
Keep in mind that you don't have to (and shouldn't) do this alone. Involve other people. Ask for advice from other writers or publishers, hire an editor, collaborate with another writer – anything that might ease the process.
"As with any profession, having an expert is helpful, especially to build a great structure for the content of the book, much like we build a structure for companies when consulting," said Deutser. "It was … very helpful to have someone to spark ideas about what readers might find most interesting about the topic you've spent years understanding."
The editing stage might be grueling, and it might take months going over the same chapters. That's why it's crucial to have a second pair of eyes look over your work. It's easy to miss errors or become attached to work you've spent months, even years, on.
When you feel your book is ready to be read, you can either self-publish or find an agent and/or publisher to represent you and your story.
Deutser opted for the second option. "The wisdom, expertise and support of an established publisher has been invaluable," he said.
How it might help your SMB
Deutser's book helps leaders become more innovative and purpose-driven. Through his experience writing it, he was able to build on his own ideas and share those lessons with his audience. He told Business.com that the experience has been one of the greatest growth periods in his life and has elevated the dialogue around his business.
"The process was invaluable in challenging 'traditional' thinking, elevating thought, creating new concepts and further validating our research and work," said Deutser. "It has been transformational to the intellectual well-being of the company and … important for clients' deeper understanding and acceptance of the platform. It has ultimately raised our profile as thought leaders in our space."
He added that writing a book can establish you as an expert in a particular field or on a specific topic. This will build trust in your business and both professional and personal connections with customers.
"One of our core values is love what you do, and it shows," said Deutser. "My book is a living example of that value. I have loved learning, growing and sharing. And, it will be the foundation for our growth for many years to come."