I wrote that title and then I wondered how many people still know what a divining rod is. Then I figured, you’re smart people: if you don’t know, you’ll pretend you know and go Google it, just like I do when I see some hip new phrase and go scurrying for the Urban Dictionary. (Is hip still a word or just something we have replaced? And if so, what replaces hip?)
As you’ve probably heard me say before, I ask new prospective clients two basic questions during our initial consultation:
1. What do you want the book to do for your reader?
2. What do you want the book to do for you (and, inherently, your business)?
Today’s post addresses that second question.
Your book should work as a divining rod, leading you to your ideal clients. A divining rod is a forked stick that is used to find ground water or minerals, telling the dowser (person using the divining rod) where the water or treasure is.
Your book should do the same thing for you. Sure, it’s a credibility builder, it raises your visibility. But what you really want your book to do is to resonate with your ideal client. You want that person to read your book and say, “THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!” And with that, they are also saying “This is WHO I’ve been looking for.” (It’s also wicked good if they say “EUREKA!”)
How do you do that?
First, you need to be authentic. You need to write your book with a high level of honesty otherwise you won’t resonate with the right people. I have been through the world of “fake it til you make it” people. Very few are able to pull it off. When you write a book that makes unfounded claims (or, in the vernacular, LIES), when you pretend to be more successful than you are, when you are selling a solution that doesn’t really work, it’s going to bite you in the butt. Big time.
More than that, it’s going to attract the wrong people to you. If you misrepresent who you are and what you do in your book (or any advertising), you are going to have to do more sorting of prospects and you will probably have dissatisfied clients or at best, less than raving fans. You have to be real to find your people.
Hopefully, you are going to have relationships with your clients that last for a long time. Even if you provide a solution fairly rapidly, happy clients are the best source of new referrals. So if you start a relationship pretending to be someone other than who you really are, you’re not going to be able to keep the charade up. You’re going to slip. (Usually after the second drink.)
And the truth is, you want to work with people or even be friends with people who like you for the way you really are. I scare a lot of people away. That’s okay. They’re not my people. They are someone else’s people. Your book should be honest enough to pre-sort out the people who don’t want to work with you and to encourage the people who do.
Write to the Level You Want to Attract
Second, you want your book to define the level of experience your ideal client should have. You can write a book on financial planning, but if you want to work with people with a net worth of over $1,000,000, your book is going to have a different focus than one that teaches young people how to budget and save. Use your introduction to clearly define who the book is for. You can make the target audience as broad or as narrow as you want, but I recommend leaving it a bit broad: today’s struggling entrepreneur could be tomorrow’s next millionaire. Allow people to grow into your services. You may not want to work with totally inexperienced people but you should target people who are not quite ready for you but are growing as well as your ideal clients. Give people a path.
Model Your Ideal Clients
Third, use stories and case studies that star your ideal clients and situations. And use a range of situations and people. There is a reason why diet books have the college coed, the menopausal grandma, the former male athlete turned middle-aged couch potato, the busy mom, the stressed older executive. They give readers multiple chances to read a story and say, “That person is like me. I’m in that same situation.” Of course, you want to show all your types having successful outcomes.
There are many ways to structure your book while you are writing it so it can do a bang-up job for you as a marketing tool. So think about who you want to work with. You can go as far as finding a picture (or two) of people who represent your ideal client. Keep that picture in front of you and write to that person. It will make your writing easier, more conversational and your book will be much stronger.