Is Writ­ing a Book Worth It?

If you’re on the fence about all the ef­fort in­volved, ask your­self a sim­ple ques­tion: Do I have a mes­sage I am pas­sion­ate about?

Financial Planning - - Contents - BY ERIK STRID

If you’re on the fence about all the ef­fort in­volved, ask your­self a sim­ple ques­tion: Do I have a mes­sage I am pas­sion­ate about?

Writ­ing a book can be a worth­while project that sig­nif­i­cantly ben­e­fits your ca­reer. It can also be time-con­sum­ing and in­tim­i­dat­ing. As a two-time au­thor, I know many ad­vi­sors who are ready to put pen to pa­per but can’t de­cide if it’s worth the time and ef­fort.

The up­shot is that a book is a ma­jor plat­form that en­ables you to speak di­rectly to clients and prospects. This can com­mu­ni­cate your ap­proach to ad­vice and give prospects an op­por­tu­nity to learn about your ser­vices in a non-threat­en­ing way. It also pro­vides al­most in­stant cred­i­bil­ity, since the public gen­er­ally views au­thors as hav­ing unique wis­dom.

There are sev­eral ways you can use a book to en­hance your mar­ket­ing, in­clud­ing ask­ing clients to share the book with friends who might en­joy the mes­sage. Your book can be an ef­fec­tive part of a con­tent strat­egy to at­tract new prospects.

Although such a strat­egy takes time to de­velop and should be mul­ti­di­men­sional, pub­lish­ing can be a big part. For ex­am­ple, my first book, Em­pow­ered Val­ues, com­bined with a re­fer­ral and con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­egy, has helped our firm grow as­sets by ap­prox­i­mately $160 mil­lion since pub­li­ca­tion. I’m hope­ful that my sec­ond book, Clar­ity, will yield sim­i­lar re­sults.

The process may be rocky, how­ever. I learned some hard lessons the first time around that made my sec­ond book much eas­ier.

I took a year to per­son­ally draft the man­u­script for my first book, then paid an ed­i­tor to help with the fi­nal draft, which took sev­eral months. I used an on­line ser­vice to cre­ate a cover de­sign, which also took sev­eral months, and fi­nally I self-pub­lished the book. The process took two years and cost sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars.

For my sec­ond book, I hired a ser­vice for a $1,800 fee. I sched­uled two con­fer­ence calls with their ghost­writer to dis­cuss the book out­line, fol­low­ing a tem­plate the ser­vice pro­vided, and they turned the tran­script into a rough draft, which I then edited into a fi­nal ver­sion.

Their team came up with sev­eral cover de­signs to con­sider, which took about a week. We then pro­duced my fi­nal ver­sion and had the book on Ama­zon and my web page within weeks. Over­all, it took just three months to pro­duce it.

If you’re on the fence about writ­ing a book, ask your­self a sim­ple ques­tion: Do I have a spe­cific mes­sage I am pas­sion­ate about?

Your book project is worth the ef­fort only if it pos­i­tively im­pacts the clients and prospects who read it.

My first book took two years and cost sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars. My sec­ond cost $1,800 and took just three months to pro­duce.

Although there are busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ben­e­fits from writ­ing a book, the project must start with a valu­able in­sight.

You may find it pro­duc­tive to start by pub­lish­ing a blog or a se­ries of ar­ti­cles, which can form the ba­sis for a book later on.

There are sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket­ing ben­e­fits to writ­ing a book that could very well lead to last­ing re­la­tion­ships with clients and greater as­sets un­der man­age­ment.

Make sure you have a solid mes­sage and pick a process that is right for you. The book could very well write it­self.

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