The formula for writing a business book that makes a massive impact
Let’s face it, there are a lot of experts, consultants, and speakers writing books these days.
And no wonder, because having a book to your name is one of the most powerful ways to boost your credibility and establish your authority. It proves you know enough about your subject, and have the staying power, to write thousands of words on it.
But today, simply being the author of a book for your business is no longer enough. Your book has to be one that stands out, gets you remembered, and – most importantly – brings new clients to your door. To do that, it must impress its readers.
And here’s the thing. Readers don’t care how long it took you to write your book or how much effort you put into it. They’re only interested in what they’ll get out of it. This means it must add enormous value to their lives if it’s to be one they treasure.
But how to write a business book that stands out? Where to start?
It all comes down to thinking about your content in a special way. This is called …
The value formula
I’ll admit it – this formula isn’t my idea; I learned it from transformational coach Michael Neill. Although Michael has written numerous excellent books, the context he explained his formula in to me was that of how customers will pay according to how much they value what businesses have to offer.
My personal twist is how you can apply this formula to your book. This is how it works.
The amount you can charge for your work is mainly linked to how much difference you make to your clients. Big difference-makers earn a lot, small difference-makers earn less. Makes sense, right?
What’s more, there are two ways you can make this difference: through scale or through scope.
Scale means you make a big difference to a small number of people, such as the impact a heart surgeon has on their patients. Scope means you make a small difference to a large number of people, such as the impact a movie star has on their millions of fans when they entertain them for a couple of hours.
Neither is better or worse than the other, but you can see that the greater the influence you have on people’s experience, the more value you have as a professional and the more you can charge for your work. I can think of few examples of anyone who achieves both equally, so which side do you sit on: scale or scope?
But there’s more, and it’s the concept of scarcity.
If there are few other people who can deliver the same impact as you, you’re a scarce resource. And if there are many others who can deliver exactly the same impact, you’re not so special. People are usually willing to pay more for a scarce resource than for one they can easily find, which is why the third part of the value formula is how much of a ‘one off’ you are.
Scarcity is therefore a key part of the value formula, which can be drawn up like this: (Scale x Scope)/Scarcity = Value
So how does this help with creating a strategy for your business book?
Your business book’s scale versus its scope
A key decision to make before you write your book is whether it’s designed to go into a niche topic in depth, or a wider subject in less detail.
You can see how either option can hold value for your readers.
The first will make an impact on a relatively small number of people but will be incredibly useful for them – there aren’t many authors who know enough, and are prepared to write about, a subject at that deep level. You will impress your readers with your knowledge and commitment.
The second option will make a difference to larger numbers of people but won’t have the same strength of impact. So more people will buy it, but it will probably be less memorable for them. On the other hand, you’ll have put your name and expertise in front of the crowds rather than just a small group.
If you think of business and self-help books that have ticked both the scale and scope boxes, they are few and far between – a tiny number of bestsellers, or those authored by well-known names. Your aim is not to try to do everything, but to be clear on which end of the spectrum your book will sit. If it hovers in the middle, it will have less of an impact because it will be less valuable.
Your business book’s scarcity level
Here’s where it gets really interesting.
How easy would it be for your target readers to find a similar book (in other words, a book that answers the big question they have), but written by someone else? You can see that the more unique your book is, the higher it rises on the scarcity scale and the more value it will therefore have for its readers.
But how do you write a book that’s a rare beast? There are two main ways: through your content and through your style.
Your content is what makes your book special in terms of what your readers will learn from it. I call this the ‘gold’ in your book, and you can find out how to discover it here. It’s surprisingly simple to uncover that gold when you start looking for it, and I encourage you to do this before you write a word.
Your style dictates what experience your readers will have of consuming your book. We all want to be entertained – nobody buys a business or self-help guide and willingly wades through acres of turgid prose. They’ll more likely give up by the end of Chapter 1 without recommending it to their friends, and that won’t send your book up the bestseller lists. If your book is on a technical subject, this post will help you, and whatever your topic you need to know how to include stories. Here’s the post to go to for that.
Here’s a summary of the extra posts on this topic:
Create your business book’s value
Now you know how to make a massive difference to your readers with your book, and turn it into a scarce commodity at the same time. It’s time to start planning and writing the book that will put you in front of more clients, more opportunities, and more connections.
If you’d like some help with consolidating your ideas, a free Strategy Session with me could be what puts you on the right track. Click here to apply.