I've been reading Rob Fitzpatrick's “Write Useful Books” while on hols.
Yeah, I know, super boring. But there are some very obvious applications beyond books for our marketing, our courses and services.
Fitzpatrick has authored two hugely successful books that – very unusually – have grown their sales over time rather than peaking at launch. “Write Useful Books” is about how to do that with your books but the principles apply much more widely.
The “secret” is to get your current readers to regularly recommend the book to others. Obvious really – but there are a few keys to it.
The first key, not surprisingly, is to pack your book with value per page. You need to wow your readers if you want them to recommend your book.
But how many books have you read that are really just a decent article stretched out so that the author could say they'd written a book?
Far too many.
That doesn't serve your audience and it won't get your book recommended.
And the same goes for online courses, or even our live work. Clients are buying the results they get from you and the faster that happens the better. More hours is bad not good.
The next key is to make sure your book (or service or course or lead magnet) provides a clear solution to a problem lots of people ask about.
When do people recommend things? When someone asks for recommendations. Or says they've got a problem.
That means your thing must be ultra-specific. But just being specific isn't enough.
It needs to answer a question that many people often ask or a problem many of them have and tell people about.
It can't be a solution to a problem your clients don't know they have. Or that they won't admit to in public. Or that only a few of them have,
So it takes work.
It takes actually talking to potential clients.
Which is where the third key comes in – I'll talk about that soon.