I recently sent my wife and kids to my in-laws' 400 miles away, barricaded the door and sat down to write a book about how to sell on LinkedIn.
In less than 72 hours, I had a completed manuscript and the book was already live and selling on Amazon. Even better, I strategically built funnels into the book that drove readers to landing pages on my website for bonus training videos and free webinars as a natural extension of what they'd discovered while reading.
You can (and should!) be doing the same thing with your business. And, before you tell me, "I don't know how to write a book, are you nuts?" I'll show you why you already likely have your book done and just don't realize it.
Content Marketing = Earning The Right to "Ask"
Before we get to that, I need to start here: In 2016, it is no longer viable to expect your ideal clients or prospects to just give you their time, attention or money because you're asking for it.
Instead, you must earn the right to ask.
Content is how you prove your credibility, authority and expertise before someone ever speaks to you in person. It's also how you get discovered, recommended and referred for business by complete strangers online.
And while online content (videos, podcasts, etc.) is all the rage, and justifiably so, let's not forget about the oldest form of content marketing on the planet - books.
Best of all, using a simple platform like Amazon's CreateSpace makes it easier than ever to write, publish and sell your book online.
With that in mind, here are 3 key lessons I learned about marketing while re-writing my latest book, and how you can apply them to grow your business as a result.
Lesson 1 - Look at What You've Already Done
If you are using any type of content online to market and grow your business, you already have the makings of a book in hand.
In fact, I "rewrote" much of my new book by copying, pasting and re-formatting 9 months of blog posts about LinkedIn.
My point: If you're already putting out blogs, videos, podcasts or other content online, you have a book-in-waiting!
Recent high-profile examples of this include Lewis Howes turning his "School of Greatness" podcast interviews with A-List business celebrities into a bestselling book of the same name, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk turning his popular "#AskGaryVee" online Q&A video series into a bestseller as well.
In both instances, the content was already there - Howes had countless hours of audio interviews with thought leaders he could transcribe and share in a book format, while Vaynerchuk had hundreds of viewer questions that he'd answered in a "Dear Abby" type video format online.
Vaynerchuk went a step further, incorporating hundreds of audience questions (and his answers) into a Google-type #AskGaryVee search engine on his website.
Lesson 2 - Repurpose!
The key here is finding fast and efficient ways to repurpose your existing content so you can turn it into a book or other resources.
If you have audio or video clips, use a site like SpeechPad to get them transcribed for $1.00 per minute. I love SpeechPad because I can send them a 5 minute audio or video clip, and get back a cleaned-up, typo-free Microsoft Word document of 400-500 words that I then can copy-and-paste into a section of my book. All for $5.00.
It also works well to transcribe audio and video because when we write like we speak, it comes across to readers in a conversational, easy-to-understand format and tone.
Lesson 3 - Build in Funnels and Links to Online Resources
Use your book as a funnel to grow your email list, drive people to sign up for online trainings and webinars or access exclusive online "bonus material" that you house on your website.
Regardless of what your plan is, the key is to capture readers in the heat of the moment, while they are enjoying your content, and move them further into your funnel online or in-person.
Remember, your book is your platform - don't be afraid to let readers know about the different products or services you offer if they've enjoyed what they're reading so far.
Why Books Work So Well
Remember, books have such a long shelf life (online or elsewhere) that they can drive in new business opportunities for years to come. It might seem daunting initially to create one, but being a published author (self-published or otherwise) still carries a level of credibility, proof and authority that makes people sit up and take notice both online and in real life.
So get out there and do it!