It's funny to me how some PR-related topics go dormant for months at a time and then become really popular. No less than 3 times in the last several weeks have clients and colleagues asked me about the PR advantages to publishing their own eBook or, in one case, a printed book.
A very good friend of mine, Stuart Rosenfield, just published his own eBook, Kickstart Your Job Search!, a well-written guide with what he calls a 3-week proven plan. I admire Stuart not only for writing something that could seemingly help so many people find work, but also for his wisdom in sharing his own journey.
That's what got me thinking about PR opportunities to publishing your own book. Whether you're fortunate enough to have a publisher who wants to buy your book or whether you want to publish something yourself, here are 3 advantages to help any PR initiative for your firm or company:
- Gain Visibility. Seems like a no-brainer, but some CPAs and accountants really don't know how to do this. Short of standing on the street corner wearing a sandwich board, anyone in business wants others to know about their company or organization. Publishing a book helps because you will be noticed if you and/or the publisher promotes the book. Remember that on the Web, everything is searchable and search engine optimization plays a key role. Add to this the fact that Stuart's book is available on Amazon and he just exponentially improved his odds of being found.
- Positon Yourself as an Expert. In Stuart's case, he's a marketing professional who works for a large high tech. Yet, on the side, he's spent quite a bit of volunteer time teaching others how to find work based on his own experiences in being out of work. His eBook strategically improves his reputation as an expert in this area. I also have no doubt that he will also land some larger speaking opportunities as a result of the eBook.
- Improve Your Client Retention and Recruitment. Once you publish, you can provide gratis copies to clients and even send your prospects copies to incent them to consider your services. In addition to positioning yourself as an expert, you've now given them something visual to look at and review on their own time. This is important because it provides a frame of reference to your services and another touchpoint that demonstrates your abilities as a provider of accounting services. You may even have some prospects who won't connect with you right away, but may months afterwards when they recall your book.
Keep in mind publishing a book takes time, talent and energy! This isn't something that can be done overnight. Some authors of books like the one Stuart wrote tell me they've spent months and years on these kinds of projects. I think that's great if that's how you want to spend your time and pursue your passion, but also remember your goals and aspirations along the way.