A book excerpt is a handy repurposing tool when it comes to marketing your book and building your list of potential readers and clients. One of the early discussion topics with my business book clients is about creating a lead generator. They all get that same expression in their eyes: “WAIT! WHAT? I just spent all this time writing this book and now I need to create a lead generator?”
“Fear not,” I tell them. “You already have.” (Probably.)
Have you ever read a novel and at the end there’s a “sneak preview” of chapter one of the author’s next book? You read it and you’re like, “Oh man, when will this be out?” It whets your appetite but it can also be a frustration point because you may have to wait months for the book to come out.
We’re not going to do that to your readers, but we are going to steal a bit from that idea. To market your book and your business, take an excerpt from your book and use that as your freebie, opt-in lead magnet to give people a sample of what your book is like and to let them know that you have good information.
What should you choose to excerpt? Here are two factors to keep in mind:
#1: Make it a Complete Action
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting something and then finding out in the middle that you have to buy something else to complete the project. You want your lead generator to make people like you, not piss them off.
Look for something that is complete within itself. The first few chapters in many business books are foundational and there is usually an exercise of some sort that lays the groundwork for the rest of the book.
In my Small Business Marketing Mastery Series, I use the Target Market Analyzer as a downloadable giveaway because whether the person continues with me or not, knowing who their ideal client is will help them in their business. It’s not the whole marketing enchilada by any means, but it’s a foundational piece that needs to be in place before you do any marketing.
#2: Make it Easy to Understand or to Do
I bought Quantum Physics for Dummies in one of my more ambitious (delusional) moments because I would really like to have at least a basic understanding of it. I’m fairly bright, but quite honestly, by about page seven, I was lost. At that point, I gave up. If I’m lost on page seven, I’m not going to get this. Ever.
Your lead generator has to be something that is not going to discourage your potential readers and clients. It can’t be so easy that it’s insulting, but it shouldn’t be so hard that they abandon ship immediately. You want your lead generator to give people the confidence that they can benefit from (meaning actually use) your information.
Look through your book for something you can excerpt that fits these two parameters. You will most likely have to edit your excerpt a bit to make it a standalone piece of content. That’s to be expected. By using an excerpt, you’ve saved about 90% of the work of creating a lead magnet.
Let Them Know There’s More
Once someone has completed whatever process you taught them in your excerpt, let them know that this is part of a bigger whole. Yes, they can use just this part of it, but if they do the whole thing, they will have bigger and better results.
For example, if you are a personal finance coach, you might start with an excerpt on creating a tracking form or spreadsheet for a household budget. It’s fairly easy to do and once people see how all those little expenditures add up, they realize that they need to rein in some spending or reallocate funds. The first step—creating the tracking sheet—was a complete act that leads them to the realization that they need to do something else. Which is where your book or your consulting comes in. They got what you promised, but now you can offer them the next step.
You might also add in (if you don’t have it in the excerpt already) a case study of a client who went through the exercise, figured out from there that they needed to do more, and worked with you on some level and had these specific results. It’s always a good idea to show that something works in the real world.
Then Tell Them What to Do
Give them a clear call to action at the end of the excerpt. Tell them to buy the book, or contact you directly, or send them to the registration page for your course. Yes, you have their name and email address already and you will be marketing to them, but if they’ve just read the excerpt and have actually gone through the exercise, they are more likely to take action at that moment. A day or a week later, it has fallen by the wayside or been put on the backburner. You have their attention at that moment—don’t lose it.
You worked hard on your book. Make your book work hard for you. Go through your book(s) and see what you might be able to use as a lead generator. And, if you’re still writing your book, keep the idea of an excerpt in mind as you’re writing.
The Small Business Marketing Mastery Series is available on Amazon.
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