Did the title of this post make you leap away from your laptop? Yeah, the idea of writing an eBook is not usually a popular one among the time-strapped financial planning entrepreneur crowd. For some reason an eBook is synonymous with hours of toiling over your laptop, stressing out about comma placement until the early hours of the morning, and living on coffee for months as you go through round after round of edits. Here’s a fun fact: writing an eBook doesn’t have to be that way. At all. Plus, the benefits that come with having an eBook as part of your content marketing strategy are countless.
Solidify Yourself as the Pro You Are
You and I both know that you have so many amazing ideas it’s crazy. You could probably talk to your clients for hours about taking control of and paying off their graduate school debt. Or about how to mitigate the impact of taxes on their small business. Or any number of other incredibly important financial planning topics that your clients find relevant and useful. That’s because you’re a pro! You have the experience and the know-how, and you work to ensure that your services add value to the lives of your clients. An eBook on a particular topic helps to solidify you as the professional you are in the eyes of your clients. It positions you as an expert in your field, and as a leader of the discussion on the topic of your choice.
Bump Up Your Expertise
Putting together an eBook, with the help of a writer or by yourself, forces you to reevaluate the specifics of the topic you’re writing about. If, for example, you’re writing an eBook on conquering student debt you’ll need to revisit the tools and resources you regularly use. You’ll want to read articles with different opinions so you can weigh the pros and cons. Of course, you’ll also want to clearly define your stance on paying off student debt. Do you have a particular system you use? Do you recommend consolidation or refinancing? You’ll need to refresh yourself on the philosophy you stick to, which will only help you hone your expertise when you’re talking to clients.
Control the Length
An eBook absolutely does not have to be 250 pages. It can be if you want it to be, but it can also be 15. Or 20. Or whatever length floats your boat and allows you to say everything you want to say. I think that length and time commitment is often the part of writing an eBook that sends financial planners running for the hills. The beauty of it, though, is that you’re completely in control of how long you want your eBook to be. I think that it’s usually best to define the purpose of your eBook and go from there.
If you’re looking to use it as a free download to build your list, a shorter, 10-15 page eBook on a given subject is a solid goal to shoot for. If you’re looking to write an in-depth exploration on a financial planning subject you’re passionate about, maybe you want to write 100-200 pages and sell it for a reasonable price on Amazon. It’s a great way to open up an additional revenue stream for your business while getting your name out there and attaching your brand to an area of planning you know is your specialty.
If you think that having an eBook as part of your content strategy is something you’re interested in but you just aren’t sure how you could carve out the time, energy, or desire to sit down and write it – consider outsourcing. There are plenty of writers out there (like me) who help people in the financial planning industry write eBooks of every length with regularity. You can either work with a ghostwriter, where you’d get full credit for the book when it was published. Or you can work with a writer who can be listed as a “contributor” or a co-author of the book.
Working with a professional writer can help to take some of the pressure off of you while still getting your ideas out there and opening up additional content marketing opportunities for your business.
Make Your Marketing Easier
Marketing an eBook opens so many doors for you. As I mentioned before, you can go the free route or you can go the revenue route. There are benefits to both of these methods of marketing your eBook. If you’re looking to use your eBook as a free download, it’s an excellent list-building opportunity. You can offer it for free to a select group of people – like your current clients or a survey group who has helped you in the past. Or you can put it on your website, social media, newsletter, and everywhere else and use it to build your email list. You can even structure an email and social media marketing campaign specifically designed to hype-up the launch of your book – which can help increase your engagement, convert prospective clients, and spread your reach as the news of your coming-soon eBook spreads around.
If you choose to go the revenue route with your book, that’s cool, too! I believe that there’s a lot to be said for having an additional stream of income to supplement what you’ve already got going on. Diversifying your income is always good, especially for those of us who run our own businesses and don’t want to rely too heavily on one client or one revenue stream to keep us afloat. If you go this route, do some research on where to sell your eBook and what price points are common based both on your length and your topic.
Bring Another Layer of Value
Of course, I’ve saved the best benefit of writing an eBook for last. As a professional in the financial planning field, your entire job is founded on the idea that you bring value to your clients. An eBook adds an entirely new layer of value to your practice. It’s another tool you can offer clients, and another way of sharing information that can inspire people to work towards financial success. There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about writing an eBook. Ultimately, though, deciding whether your eBook will bring legitimate value to your clients is key. In my experience, the answer is almost always, “Yes, it will.”