Ebooks are not going anywhere anytime soon. They have become a billion dollar industry and in 2019 even after seeing a slight dip, ebooks still represented 25% of all book consumption in the United States. If you’ve toyed with the idea of creating an ebook as a marketing tool for your business you’re probably wondering if the effort will actually pay off in the end. After all, writing an eBook is not a quick and easy task.
Before putting in all the time and research it takes to even come up with an outline, let alone write and design the whole thing, you should definitely consider what your goals are. There are a few great benefits of having an ebook even if you don’t get a huge readership though. Let’s go over the ways that having an ebook might help you market your business.
Establishes you as an authority in your field
Even if nobody reads your ebook, a lot in business comes down to perception. This holds especially true in business with high ticket sales like luxury real estate. In high ticket sales industries adding just a few more clients a year to your business can have a massive effect on your bottom line. Having a well designed and thoughtfully constructed ebook on a topic in your field immediately sets you up to look like an expert in the eyes of potential clients.
You might wonder why though. After all, can’t anyone write and publish an ebook? The reason it has such an impact is that even though anyone can write an ebook almost nobody does.
Like most marketing tactics that don’t involve spending lots of cash, ebooks take a long time to write and publish. This time factor is a huge deterrent for most people to take on the task. Because of this hurdle, ebooks are generally something people don’t do and it’s a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Let’s take on the vantage point of a potential customer and give this perception test a run. Let’s say you’re in the market to buy a multi-million dollar home in Malibu but you don’t know which real estate agent is going to get you the best deal.
You decide to go to good ol’ Google and start sniffing out a malibu realtor and find a handful with decent looking websites. They all have listings and general information about the Malibu housing market but there, on one of the agents’ websites, you see that he’s written a book called “Negotiating with Giants: how to get the best price on multi-million dollar homes.”
Wouldn’t having a book like that intrigue you? That curiosity, that perception of expertise (even if it’s unearned) is often the perception that separates winning a deal from losing one.
Ebooks are great a tool to get email subscribers
If you’re looking for a way to grow an email subscriber list that you can constantly market to, you need some kind of incentive to get people to sign up. Sometimes just having a great blog, or offering something as simple as a printable pdf calendar or other worksheet is enough to get them onto your list, but the more time goes on the more people realize that they don’t want to clutter their inbox and are being more conservative with giving away their emails. It’s become apparent to most marketers that if you want people to give you their email you have to really make it worth their while.
Also, if someone is going to sign up for your email list and all they get out of it is a pdf that they probably never even end up printing, chances are that they’ll either ignore your emails or unsubscribe pretty soon after signing up.
The trick to developing an email list of people who trust you and listen to you is to provide them with content that is actually valuable and helpful. An ebook is a great way to not only get people to sign up for an email list but to instantly show them that being part of your list is going to mean that they’re going to get the inside track on things.
By giving away 50 pages or more of fantastic content you’re instantly telling your subscribers that you care about them and put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep their attention and that is a sure-fire way to get someone to open the emails you send to their inbox and develop the kind of relationship that often blooms into sales.
You can promote products and services in the eBook
Just because you are writing an ebook to assert yourself as an expert or grow an email list doesn’t mean that it has to be a complete loss in terms of generating revenue. You can look at an ebook as a way to pitch several products and services to your audience. As long as the whole ebook doesn’t sound like one big sales pitch, people totally understand an author pushing his or her services from time to time when it feels appropriate.
If you’ve written a ton of useful information on a topic in your industry and people are actually taking the time to read it, you’ve essentially gotten permission to pitch to them. If a reader actually reads more than ten pages, generally they are looking to you as an authority figure in your space and will actually want to ask for your recommendations on how to move forward – that’s where your pitch comes in.
The one thing to keep in mind is that you have to provide great information first. If you’re going to think that you can hold back all the good stuff and useful information people are looking for and just sell yourself as the answer to everything it will leave an awful taste in their mouth and you’ll actually end up pushing clients.
Also, if you have related products or services to what you are writing about that you don’t offer yourself, you should set up a deal where you get commissions for those products and services you recommend in the ebook if they result in a sale. If the services are digital, you can actually sign up for what are known as affiliate programs and add links to the products in your book with a special tracking code that automatically assigns the sale to you.
While writing an ebook can be a daunting task to take on, it can yield some incredible results if you position the finished product in the right way. Even if you’re not a writer, there are a lot of ways to create an ebook without actually writing much of the content.
You can hold interviews with other people, hire a ghostwriter, offer to write a collaborative book with multiple people in your industry, the methods are endless if you get creative. It’s important, however, to figure out the end goal with the product so that you know exactly what you’re going to do with the ebook and how you can leverage it once it’s complete.
A quick final thought, ebooks don’t have to exclusively be ebooks. If you write something that’s long enough to feel like an actual printed book (usually over 100 pages) you can always print a few up on demand for a pretty nominal cost.
Having a physical book with an ISBN Serial code on the back that you can hand to prospective clients sometimes packs a bigger punch than sending a pdf and who’s to say how many of the books have actually been sold?