As a small-business owner, how to grow your business and expand your personal brand is a regular concern. One way you may be able to grow your business is by memorializing your experiences in starting your company and sharing them with the public in a book. Remember, the small-business world can be very volatile and few succeed beyond the first year; those who have made it beyond those hard first years may qualify as experts to those interested in learning how to grow your business. People want to know what others did right and wrong in their business, and telling them how you did it may just help build your brand.
For example, in May I published my first book titled CEO Of My SOUL. The book chronicles my life as an early entrepreneur and details all the steps I took to open and operate my business. Everything from business plans to financing to employee management is in there. I even share how I went out of business to help others avoid my mistakes.
A reasonable question business owners may have about this strategy is "Where would I find the time to write a book?" If writing isn't your strength, there are freelance writers who may be able to help you create a book at a reasonable price. Also with the advent of self-publishing, you may be able to get your message out to a wider audience with nominal overhead. Start thinking about five to 10 main points that you have learned on your entrepreneurship journey. Then, think of the funniest, scariest or most poignant stories that support those points. Those two steps may help spark the foundation of your book.
Investing the time in memorializing your experiences may pay off both personally and professionally for expanding your brand to a wider audience. How?
1. It May Help Establish Your Expertise in the Business Community
Again, you may not want to underestimate the value of what you did to become an entrepreneur. The business community is one of great interest to the general population. So many people want to know how to create a successful business, yet you actually did it. Tell your story and you may find an interested audience.
2. You May Receive Press About Your Book and Business
Producers and editors are regularly looking for new content and covering new releases. Tying in your book's topics with current events may be an effective media coverage strategy. Your story may reach a broader audience and might have the potential to reach new customers for your existing business if it gets picked up by the press.
3. Keynote Speaking Arrangements May Follow
Area trade organizations and professional groups may be interested in having authors speak at their events. You may be able to leverage the content that you have shared with a wider audience at speaking engagements. Establishing yourself as an author and speaker may also be another source of revenue for you as an owner.
4. You're Possibly Exposing a Different Audience to Your Brand
Your normal client base may be among the first to purchase your book, but it's possible that your story may reach a broader audience of readers searching for specific content related to business management, financing, marketing and branding. Once you've established yourself as a valuable resource to this new group, there may be a natural interest from that new book customer to support your underlying business as well.
5. Writing a Book May Help Build Up a Social Media Following
The publicity that you create by getting people excited about a new book may be an opportunity to grow your social media following as well. Consider promoting your book on your social media accounts through hosting Twitter chats around your book's topic or promoting book giveaways on Instagram and Facebook.
Nic Cober, Esquire is the principal managing partner of Cober Johnson & Romney, a law firm based in Washington D.C. Nic is the author of CEO Of My Soul, a memoir about her self-love journey as a small-business owner. For more information, visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.
For more insights on how to help effectively tell your business story, access this DIY Guide to Content Marketing.
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