The Secret to Building Your Business and Reputation As An Expert : Professionals generally agree that there is no technique for building your business that is more effective than branding yourself as an expert and your business as the most extensive source of information for the product line you work with.
With the new technologies that the publishing industry has developed, you can now strengthen your reputation as an expert by writing books, not just articles, about your industry and products. With this new development, you can do it with very little or no formal training. You need nothing more than the ability to take the same words you use when you talk about this subject and write them down on paper.
Let’s first take a look at the progress in article distribution. Internet-based article aggregators and distributors are the most exciting new outlet for wide distribution of the articles you write. Just as you chose to read this article because it fits your particular interest, hundreds of thousands of uninformed people around the world are seeking knowledge on various topics offered by distributors such as ezinearticles.com. Your single article can be seen by more than one million viewers.
Like an editor running a copy desk in a distributor’s office, a print trade journal editor in your specialty doesn’t search for literature. Their concern is information that will help others in your field perform as well as you do. Much like web-based article distributors, simple direct writing, similar to how you would describe a subject in a conversation, is what these magazines are looking for.
The Secret to Making Strong Articles
First and foremost, be specific. Editors and readers of the article need not be told that PVC pipes have affected sales of copper pipes. They already know that. They want to know how your staff advises customers to choose PVC or copper and why they made that decision. At the simplest level, write an article about the five most important considerations when choosing the type of piping to use for a particular job.
Hewlett-Packard manufactures a very popular brand of digital printers. Most of your readers already know this. Your job is to tell them what convinces you to stand out for your brand in your business and what features your staff promote when assisting customers in choosing a printer.
In essence, think of your article as a training session in print. You may want to formulate your work by bulleting each feature and adding details of your related selling points. Begin the article with a simple declarative statement about why you should display the HP brand on your shelves.
Then move on to the most salient facts and features of the machine, justifying your decision to invest so heavily in its potential. Then close the article with a positive statement. This may be a brief summary of what you have written or it may be a feature summary.
When writing articles for Internet distribution, it is best to keep them in the 500 to 1,200 word range. In general, articles written for the Web are shorter than those published in print journals, where the realistic maximum is 2,000 to 2,500 words.
If you think about what you want to say ahead of time and outline carefully, it won’t be difficult to cover all the key points within this boundary. Business readers are often in a hurry. They prefer short, concise and informative texts.
Expanding to Books
Again, you have two choices: e-books or traditional print volumes. You’re basically following the same procedure we recommend for compiling your article. However, this is an opportunity to expand your subject and weave in far more information than the article space limits allow.
Here you have the freedom to add more personal observations, even weaving in the philosophy you use to run your business. But again, it’s important to plan what you want to connect and outline carefully.
You’re writing what is essentially a user guide. Use a structure very similar to the assembly instructions in the build-it-yourself assembly kit. Guide the reader forward step by step by adding new information in each successive chapter. This type of informative book does not have to be extensive. Writing 25,000 to 30,000 words is relatively easy to do.
The average double-spaced typed page contains about 250 words, so by spreading your knowledge and thoughts over 100 to 120 pages, you can produce a very informative book that you can use as a promotional tool. Even if your primary goal is to use books to improve your business, you may be able to offset some of the production costs by selling books to libraries across the country. They are always looking for solid and informative work.
Publishing Your Book
This is where you benefit from the incredible advances in publishing technology. You no longer have to suffer with the huge pressure and exorbitant charges used to charge. Today, you can print the number of copies you want and keep filling in for more by using the digital services of the publishing company Publish on Demand (POD).
This newcomer takes all the tedium out of publishing. You simply send them a finished manuscript that is prepared on your computer and the production costs are relatively small (the average for this type of book is from $400 to a maximum of $1,000).
The POD House will prepare the book cover ($300-$500 if done in-house), format the interior text ($500-$700), get the ISBN number and appropriate barcode, archive for the Library of Congress Catalog, print your book, set up wholesale distribution and register it with . com: Amazon, BN&N, and Borders. All of this will be done regardless of how small your initial order is. And when you feel the need to reorder, you can simply call the POD home and in about a week, the books will be in your office.
Take advantage of these often unexplored methods to grow your business and reputation. It’s a lot easier than you think, and the results will be more than the minimal effort required. If time isn’t available, consider hiring a ghost writer to prepare the material for you.
Whichever path you choose, don’t wait any longer. In this shaky economic era, new ideas and innovative approaches are needed just to keep volume up, let alone increase it.