Diana M. Needham, The Book Shepherd, joins me today. I met Diana at a LinkedIn Live networking event and really enjoyed speaking with her and learning how she helps people get books published. Diana works with her clients to not only write a book, but market it, and obtain the result that they really want.She is the owner of Needham Business Consulting.

Diana works with business leaders, small business owners, and service professionals that have a big message to share and want to use that message to grow their business. A book can be a very powerful marketing strategy and lead generation tool that helps you stand out from your competition and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Most of your competitors may not have written an article, not to mention a book! Consider your book as your $4 business card that can be leveraged not only as a product to sell but a tool for attracting ideal clients, referral partners, and new opportunities.

I mention my book writing process.. There were challenges, but I received help along the way. It really is a team effort!

I asked Diana about how someone could write a book without it being so daunting. Her answer? Start by identifying the biggest challenge your ideal customers have. Your solution (which can be steps to follow or key concepts you teach) become the chapter content.

Your last chapter should not be a conclusion. It should be “next success steps”. What do you want the reader to do now? Is it to call you, set up an appointment, or visit your website for your newsletter or free gift? If you do not move your readers to your email list, you can’t follow up, deepen the relationship, and move them to the next step to do business with you.

There is no better time to be an author. You can use a book to promote your products, services, and website. Especially with digital books, you can add hyperlinks to direct readers where you want.

How is a book more powerful than social media, email, or press releases? A book shows people what you know, not just what you do. Use your book to share your personal story and examples or case studies of how you’ve helped clients.

You need to get your book out there! At times, offering it for free for some time can generate reviews, which may help others buy your book. Diana mentioned someone that is doing a library tour and a book signing tour to raise awareness. You can use events and conferences to network and promote your book. Offering your book as a gift and sending your book through snail mail allows you to obtain physical mailing addresses, which are much more valuable than an email address alone.

Make sure that your book looks professional. It needs to have a professional cover and professional editing. I share about how my first book was self-published and the quality is not that great, but that I worked with professional editors, layout artists, and a graphic designer on my second book.

As you begin the book process, there are key questions to ask (and answer) to build the right foundation for success with your book. Some of those questions are: Who is your ideal client? What is the biggest problem they have? What is the end result you want?.

I admit that I am good at “vomiting on paper”, then going back and clean it up. You just need to get the content out of your head and heart and on paper. Your first draft will be crappy (let’s be honest, everyone’s are!), but you can get help to polish it. Editors are trained to do just that. My editor really helped me a lot! The right editor has your best interests at heart and while some feedback may sting, it is all intended to help you create a better product that will get the results you want.

“The person that changes the most through this process is the author,” DIana shared. When we write a book, we become more clear about our message, approach, and process. We gain confidence in our abilities and skills. Recognition and opportunities follow.

Get started. Find someone like Diana to help you build the right foundation and get the book written, published, and out there. You will be glad you did.

Gold tip: share your powerful personal story. The main things that make you different are your experiences, training, education, view of your topic, and learnings (that many times come the hard way!). Leverage your powerful story as your introduction to stand out and get your readers’ attention.

Visit www.dianamneedham.com for great content tied to this topic and get your special report with those 5 questions every author should ask and answer (ideally before they start writing).


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  • Hank Hoffmeier

    Hank is an author, speaker, podcast host and Sr. Manager of Marketing Operations at Kickbox, a Ziff Davis company. With a passion for all things digital and social, combined with more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, he has been dubbed the Digital Marketing Infotainer because he makes marketing fun and successful.