If you missed Part 1 of Putting Marketing Hooks in Your Book, find it here.
Your book, in its entirety, is one large commercial for your business. It highlights your skills, your experience, your successes. But, like any good advertisement, your book needs to find your target market and call on them to take action. Let’s start with finding your target market.
Your title and subtitle have done the first “rough sort” to find your target market. Unless your topic is easily confused with an entirely different subject matter (for example, hard money refers to a type of real estate loan and a type of political contribution), anyone who picks up your book and flips through the pages (physically or virtually) has identified themselves as being a potential prospect.
One of the best ways to continue the sorting process is by using case studies. First of all, people love stories. We learn through story, we understand how stories work, we’ve been listening to stories all our lives. We like hearing stories. A case study is just another type of story.
Using case studies is a way to talk about your products and services (which you will do throughout the book) without coming off as pushy or slimy. You always want to bring up the stories in context and (hopefully) as subtly as possible. Your book is not the place to hard sell people. You want to use the book to grow your “know, like, trust factor.” Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
Using Case Studies
Use case studies to illustrate:
a. The types of problems you solve
b. The types of people you work with
You want to have a case study for just about every type of person and problem you want to work with. Think about diet books. The author often starts by laying out the problem—people have weight issues but there are all sorts of people and all sorts of causes. An author looking for a broad audience will choose case studies using various types of people: a woman who has had kids and can’t get rid of the baby fat; a former active guy who now has middle age spread; a woman in menopause (pre and post), a senior citizen on a walker. They will use people with different ethnic backgrounds, different ages, different lifestyles. They’ll also use case studies to show how well the diet works for people with different medical conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. An author who is going narrow might use case studies only using menopausal and post-menopausal women who want to be fit more than thin.
Most people specialize in their business. A physical therapist might want to only work in the sports medicine field; a psychotherapist may specialize in divorce transitioning. They may be able to work in various niches and specialties, but they want to attract clients in the field they most want to pursue. So the psychotherapist won’t use case studies of children with ADHD or bipolar serial killers. The physical therapist will concentrate on telling stories about the various athletes and their injuries that he has helped them overcome.
Think about the people you want to work with. Who is your ideal client? What case studies can you put in your book that match the type of people you want to work with and the type of problems you like to solve? Go back through your client files and look for past clients who match those parameters.
Then tell the story. Case studies don’t have to be exercises in creative writing. They usually have a very simple structure. How did the client find you? What was their background? What was their problem? What did you do to solve that problem? Most important, how did the client feel after you helped them? You must tell the after-result so the reader can experience that client’s success and feel as if they too can have that success… through working with you.
Telling stories builds the readers’ belief that you are
competent, experienced and most important, THE
person who can help them.
Marketing Hooks to Build Your Email List
When you are selling a book, whether it is online through Amazon/Kindle or from a brick and mortar store, you have no way of knowing who bought your book. So, yes, it’s great that you made a sale, but it would be so much better if you not only knew who bought your book, but had a way to contact them and stay in touch.
There are several ways to get this information and the most common way is to offer additional related content on your website. It works best when that additional information is not something you can put in a book, for example, an audio or video training. Another giveaway that makes sense is a downloadable checklist. Yes, you will have a copy of that checklist in your book, but many people don’t like to write in a book (or can’t if it’s an eBook) or it’s just inconvenient to carry the book around. (Not to mention that photocopying from a book results in off-center copies and usually a broken book spine.) If you have a lot of checklists or worksheets in your book, a downloadable workbook puts everything in one place for your readers.
Put the trainings or downloadables “behind” an opt in form. That means people need to give their names and email addresses in order to access the free material. If you have a lot of opportunities to send people to your website, you might not want to put everything behind an opt in. Go for at least a 50/50 split between “open” content and that which necessitates filling out an opt in form. You can send people to your website to read a blog post or listen to a relevant podcast interview. Or, you could put all the freebies on a single page that readers can access after giving you their information so they don’t get frustrated by having to reenter their information every time they want to access something.
If you have a freebie that is specific to a product or service you offer, you might consider having a separate opt in form for that and “tagging” everyone who uses that form so you can send out specific information to those people. It all depends on how deep you want to go.
Ninja Trick: Put an opt in freebie in the first few pages of your book so people who use the “look inside” function can see the offer even if they don’t buy your book. If they have bothered to look inside your book, they have some interest in your topic. Giving non-buyers a no-purchase-necessary freebie benefits you in several ways. First, you collect someone’s name and email address, so you’re building your list. This gives you the opportunity to continue marketing to them, allowing them to get to know, like, and trust you. It also triggers the law of reciprocity. When someone gives you something, you want to give them something back, return the favor. If someone receives something of value from you, they are more inclined to purchase something from you in the future. That purchase might be your book or it may be something else you offer.
Invite People to Contact You
Have a contact email address in the book in at least two places. The first place I put contact information is on the copyright page for bulk book sales—it immediately puts the idea into people’s minds that this book could benefit employees or association members as well as allows casual browsers a way to contact me.
Throughout the book, ask a question whenever it is relevant. This is especially beneficial when you would like to get some “field data.” Ask people to send you an email about their experiences. (You don’t have to give out your personal email—it’s simple to create a separate, unique email for your book.) Most people won’t email you, but some will. Send a personal response if you can; the people who take the time to contact you have the capacity to become raving fans and/or clients. If you are lucky enough to be inundated, you can have your admin (or hire a VA) go through the emails, respond to them or forward the ones that fit whatever parameters you specify.
Your “About the Author” page should have links to all your social media profiles, your podcast, YouTube channel, blog, and any other platform where people can follow you. Ask them to follow you; don’t assume they will see the link and take action. Then give your email address again. People may not email you, but they will likely follow you on social media or check out your videos. If someone has made it all the way through your book (where the “about” page usually is), they like what you have to say and probably want to hear more from you.
Note: I talk more about email and autoresponder platforms in the section about building your platform. As a business owner, you need to have a way to contact people who are interested in your products and services. You can keep a manual list of people and their email addresses and use that to send out messages (at the very least, please use bcc, not cc) but you run the risk of being marked as spam and getting your email shut down. Once you have over a few hundred people on your list, managing it becomes unwieldy. Using an email provider such as MailChimp (which is free up to 2,000 names) Constant Contact, or the one I use, ConvertKit,* allows you to segment your lists, send to your entire list or just parts, automate nurturing sequences, and allows the people on your list to unsubscribe easily if they no longer wish to hear from you.
* That’s an affiliate link. If you choose to sign up for Convertkit through my link, I get some sort of compensation. Can’t for the life of me remember what.
Fabulous suggestions, Barb.
I especially Liked
“Your “About the Author” page should have links to all your social media profiles, your podcast, YouTube channel, blog, and any other platform where people can follow you. Ask them to follow you; don’t assume they will see the link and take action. Then give your email address again.”
Most people who do not use analytics or heat maps realize that an “ABOUT PAGE” is typically the first place interested people will go when arriving “on-site’