By September 17, 2016 0 Comments

Marketing for Coaches by Publishing your Own Book

loadsa-books-1568319No matter what kind of coaching you’re involved in, whether it’s business coaching, life coaching or anything any other flavor, it always a struggle to create enough business to really thrive.  This article is all about addressing that problem in a way that most people don’t consider because they consider it to be too hard, too much work and too competitive.

What if, however, publishing a book was quick, simple and inexpensive? What if publishing a book generated lots of new business, made it easier to convert the leads you already have and established you as the author voice in your field?

That’s the kind of thing that can really grow a coaching practice. And we’re going to show you how in this very article.

In this article we’re going to cover four things.

  • Firstly, we’re going to talk about the old story of publishing vs. the new.
  • Then we’re going to talk about the 3-axis model, which allows you to map your business against three important criteria.
  • Then we’re going to identify four amazing sources of business growth.
  • Finally, we’re look into publishing a book on Amazon to gather great traffic, create extraordinary conversion and grow your business.

Let’s start by addressing the main concern that comes to mind when you mention writing and publishing a book; that it sounds a lot like hard work! The old story of publishing, that’s still stuck in most people’s mind, goes something like this.

Old Story vs. New Story

The Old Story

The reason most people don’t consider publishing a book is that their story of the whole process is simply too hard. It involves things like –

  • Working for years to perfect a manuscript
  • Shopping that manuscript around to agents
  • Dealing with endless rejection letters
  • Then, if you getting an agent, shopping the manuscript to publishers
  • Dealing with more rejection letters
  • Then, if you get published, becoming one of the 90% or more authors that never sells out their first print run

Sounds depression, right?

On the plus side, the public knows this story, too. They understand that getting a book published is a one in a million shot. They understand that to have a book, you clearly have to be quite special. It’s normal to assume that an author, therefore, is a very special, very talented and elite person who has managed to make their way through all of these barriers.

This, it turns out, works in our favor.

The New Story

The new story of publishing is that you can not only have direct access to the publishing platform but also all of the helpers you might need along the way.

  • You really don’t need an agent or a publisher at all.
  • You can hire your own editor without breaking the bank. There are platforms designed to connect you to experienced and amazing editors for hundreds of dollars for a complete manuscript.
  • You can hire illustrators, designers and graphic designers in exactly the same way.

So, the new story of publishing is that you can get a book written, published, online and on sale in as little as a few dozen working hours.  It’s possible, I know because I’ve done it. As we speak, we’re about to release my eleventh book. And, as it happens, we do it quite a few times each year through our agency for our time-poor CEO clients.

So now that we know publishing is actually a quick, simply and inexpensive possibility, how do we leverage that to support business growth through marketing?

The key is to consider the benefits that a book can bring your coaching practice through the lens of the 3-Axis Model.

The 3-Axis Model

Let’s take a moment to look into your business as it stands right now using the 3-Axis Model.

Every business, whether it’s a coaching business or any other, has three critical axes.

  1. The first is traffic. Traffic means online and offline visitors to your business.  In the old days when you had actual shops, whether were in a mall or on the street, traffic was people driving by in their cars, stopping, getting out and walking into your shop. That’s traffic.  These days it’s primarily virtual or online traffic. It’s people stopping by your social media page or your YouTube channel or your website.  And the more traffic you have, the better off you are.  Without traffic, a business is constantly struggling.
  2. The second axis is conversion.  Conversion is taking someone from “this is interesting” to “I’m in”. It can be something small such as someone liking your Facebook post or subscribing to your YouTube channel. Better yet, conversion can involve someone sending you some money for some coaching, or better yet sending you a check for some money every month.  That’s the kind of conversion we’re interested in here.  And all the traffic in the world means nothing if you can’t convert.
  3. In turn, loads of traffic and great conversion means very little if you a solid slate. A slate is a list of products and services that vary in price and in delivery over time.  A good slate has something cheap, something moderate and something expensive. It has something you can buy once alongside options you need to renew monthly or annually. I’ve run into business whose cheapest proposition to the market is a $20,000 service.  It’s really hard to hire those guys.  What about a $10,000 offer, or $5000 or maybe $500 or maybe even $50? Maybe a book would fit in there nicely at the lower end of such an out of balance slate.

When you are doing well in these three areas, you’re doing well in business. If even one axis is unhealthy, you’re likely in all kinds of trouble. Luckily, there’s a solution at hand that supports all three of these axes; publishing a book.

  • A book brings traffic through web sites like Amazon.com and beyond
  • A book brings conversion by creating authentic relationships, making a contribution and positioning you as an expert to new and potential clients
  • A book widens your slate by adding a low cost, low barrier to entry product to your slate

So let’s take a look at Amazon, where our story really begins.

The Truth About Amazon

Amazon.com is the online home of what we term purchasing traffic. The people who visit Amazon are typically looking to buy. Compared to people searching via Google, catching up with their friends on Facebook or checking out great pictures on Pinterest, those visiting on Amazon are looking to buy right now. They’re typically already set up to do it with a credit card, a mailing address and a trusting relationship with Amazon to actually deliver the goods. In other words, this traffic is hot.

The second thing is that, according to some estimates, as much as two thirds of all online sales happen through Amazon. This one web site now sells more than Walmart, through all of its brick and mortar stores.

The Basics of Amazon SEO

And happily, with all of this amazing traffic, Amazon is an SEO environment like Google. In other words, if you follow the rules of Amazon SEO, you can get amazing traffic.

Let’s consider Google SEO for a moment. To get Google SEO right, you need to consider on-page and off-page tactics. On every web page you wish to rank with Google, you need to have the following factors all pointed in the same direction –

  • The H1 tag (which is the heading of the page and what it’s about)
  • The H2 tags (which are the sub-headings)
  • The copy itself (which need to focus on what the page is about)
  • The names of the image files (which shouldn’t just be DSC8391.jpg)
  • The alt tags of the image files (which describe the image)
  • And the text should contain more than 300 words

Amazon SEO works in a very similar way. You need to have the following factors all pointed in the same direction –

  • The name of the book (which is like an H1 tag)
  • The tag-line of the book (which is like an H2 tag)
  • The description of the book (which is the body of the copy)
  • A great cover image (named appropriately)
  • And you should have as many reviews as possible

When you do those things well, having aimed your book at the right keywords, you will be able to rank your book on Amazon, get traffic and sell books.

Of course, it’s possible to go more deeply into Amazon SEO but these are the basics.

So how do you find your keywords?

Finding Amazon Keywords

OK – now this is where we get a little controversial. You see, it’s possible to find out the keywords that people are already searching for on Amazon. Not only can you find what people are searching for but you can also find out how many other books are competing for those search terms.

Imagine doing the research that yields the kinds of keywords that have high search volume and low competition, then using those as the chapter headings in your book? What you have there is a recipe for success on Amazon before you’ve even begun.

You can use web sites like www.merchantwords.com or just type ‘Amazon Keyword Search Tools’ into Google and investigate the options for yourself.

And what about finding the competition for any given keyword? Well, let’s say we like the keyword phrase ‘business coaching’ which has a volume of 36,000 searches per month at the moment, according to MerchantWords. I simply visit Amazon and type ‘business coaching’ into the search box.

Now, consider the Amazon results. It lays them out, category by category! Right there, under the search bar – like in this screenshot. We can see, for example, that there are only 424 competitors under the Training sub-category today. And since we find that we can rank for pretty much anything under 10,000 competitors, this is hot traffic waiting to happen!

Now that we have our keywords, let’s talk about a few more tools you’re going to need.

 

 

The New Tools of the Trade

Let’s assume, for a moment, that you have a bunch of keywords that will inform your chapter outline and that you’re ready to write. What are some of the new tools of the trade that make everything possible?

Let’s list them out, right here.

  • To publish your book – createspace.com is the publishing platform we use. It’s free to sign up, it automatically connects to Amazon and allows you to publish both paperback and ebook. They charge you a percentage when you sell but take care of everything else. There are other options, too; for hardcover we use www.blurb.com. I actually know Eileen who is the CEO over at Blurb, so that one’s for you, Eileen!
  • To edit your book – upwork.com is the freelancing platform we use. It’s also free to sign up and you pay a percentage of the fees charged when you hire people. It’s an extraordinary way to connect with the hundreds of thousands of editors waiting to edit your book.
  • To design your cover, create illustrations and layout your manuscript – well, why not go back to upwork.com? There are hundreds of thousands of talents creatives waiting there to help with each of these issues.

Wrapping it Up

Every successful coaching practice needs three things; traffic, conversion and a slate. A book can help you in all of these areas. And of course, if you’d like to know more about this process, I’ve written a book about it (!) called the Fast Book Handbook which is available, you guessed it, on Amazon. Or, feel free to take what we’ve shared in this article and run with it. Either way, I encourage you to consider what publishing your own book might bring now that you know how easy it is to actually achieve.

And let me finish with this.  There is something about a book that still holds extraordinary status in the marketplace. Simply put, people think that if you have a book, you are an expert.

And ask yourself ‘Who would I hire, if I needed a coach?’

Given a choice, you’d most likely pick the proven expert in the field, the voice of their generation, the coach with the book.

Tim LevyAbout: Tim Levy (3 Posts)

Tim Levy is an Australian author, speaker, consultant and coach. He runs a strategic marketing and production agency based out of Austin, Texas. His company works with purposeful CEOs and entrepreneurs on clarity, strategy and digital content production for business growth. He routinely speaks for leading organizations like Vistage International, Conscious Capitalism and Secret Knock. He has a particular focus on web technology and digital content including books, CDs, online training and broadcast television. He has written and published ten books including The Fast Book Handbook which shows how to write and publish a book in a matter of 20 hours or less (available on Amazon). His nationally broadcast television show The Life Unlimited ran for three seasons. He is focused beyond the dollar on things that are meaningful, intentional and bring a little something extra to the world.


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