Guest Post by Cynthia MacGregor
Here’s a silly question for you: Are you looking for more clients, or customers, for your business, whatever it is? Whether you’re an accountant, the proprietor of an antiques store, a financial advisor,
or a hairdresser, more clients equals more income, and that’s certainly a goal we all strive for.
Now ask yourself, “What brings clients to a business’s or professional’s doorstep?” Chances are you did not answer, “The Yellow Pages”! Chances are, you thought in terms of reputation. People want to do business with an individual or a company that has a good reputation.
One way to gain a good reputation is by word of mouth. Do business well and ethically, go the extra mile for your clients, know your field well, and people will spread good word about you. Another way to gain a good reputation is to have a newspaper or magazine write a positive article about you. To a limited extent, you can help bring this about if you take on a high-profile client. (Think of lawyers who represent famous—or infamous—people.) But again, there is just so much you can do to engineer the paper’s running an article about you…especially if famous clients never seek you out.
Ah, but there is a third road to spreading your good reputation, and one you can take into your own hands: Write a book on your subject, if you’re truly knowledgeable about it. People look up to authors. If you’ve had a book published, people think you really know your stuff. They seek you out.
For these purposes, printed books are preferable over e-books. You want to have something people can hold in their hands, something you can display on the desk of your law office or the counter of your retail emporium. Something people can’t help but notice: “Jane Dough knows all the latest
hairstyles. She’s even written a book about the right style for your facial shape.” “John Munny must be a savvy accountant. He wrote a book on ’10 Tips to Keep the IRS’s Hands off Your Income.’”
If you can’t get a mainstream publisher interested in your book, you can self-publish, listing your book on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. You can also give speeches and then sell your book in “back-of-the-room” sales afterward.
And if you know your subject but don’t have writing skills? Hire a ghostwriter or co-author, giving him or her the necessary information. (As a professional writer who’s done her share of ghosting, I’m well aware that “by John Q. Smith” does not always identify the person who really
wrote the book.) Once you’ve written a book, people look up to you. They respect and admire you. And they seek out your professional or business services. Want to magnify your reputation and help spread the word about your business or professional services? Write a book!
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Cynthia MacGregor’s credits include 54 conventionally published (print) books, over 50 e-books, and quite a variety of ghosted books for which she cannot take official credit. She also writes business materials, web copy, and “just about anything else you need except grant proposals.”