Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Tim Levy (USA).
No matter what kind of coaching you’re involved in, whether it’s business or life coaching, it is a struggle to create enough business. This article is about addressing that problem in a way that most people don’t consider because it seems to be too challenging.
What if publishing a book was quick and inexpensive and could generate new business, convert your leads and establish you as a published expert? That’s the kind of thing that can really grow a coaching practice!
In this article we will show you how by:-
- Comparing old publishing vs. new publishing.
- Exploring the 3-axis model, which allows you to map your business against three criteria.
- Identifying four amazing sources of business growth.
- Exploring book publishing on Amazon to gather traffic, create conversion and grow your business.
The main concern when you mention writing and publishing a book is that it sounds like hard work!
The Old Publishing Story
The reason most people don’t consider publishing a book is because they believe the whole process is simply too hard. It involves things like –
- Working for years to perfect a manuscript
- Shopping that manuscript around to agents
- Dealing with endless rejection letters
- Then, if you get an agent, shopping the manuscript to publishers
- Dealing with more rejection letters
- Then, if you get published, becoming one of the 90% or more authors that never sells out their first print run
On the plus side, the public believes the same. They understand that getting a book published is a one in a million shot and that to have a book published, you must be special. They assume that an author is a special, talented and elite person who has managed to make their way through all of these barriers, and this works in our favour.
The New Publishing Story
The new story of publishing is that you can have direct access not only to the publishing platform, but also all the helpers you might need along the way.
- You don’t need an agent or a publisher at all.
- You can hire your own editor without breaking the bank from platforms designed to connect you with experienced editors for reasonable fees.
- You can hire illustrators, designers and graphic artists in the same way.
The new story of publishing is that you can get a book written, published, online and on sale in less than a dozen working hours. I know it’s possible, because I’ve done it. I am about to release my eleventh book, and our agency publishes several books each year, for our time-poor CEO clients.
The key to leveraging books to support business growth is to consider the benefits that a book can bring your coaching practice through the lens of the 3-Axis Model.
The 3-Axis Model
Let’s look into your business using the 3-Axis Model because every business, coaching or not, has three critical axes.
- Traffic – online and offline visitors to your business. In the old days, traffic was people walking past your shop. These days, it is primarily people stopping by your social media, YouTube or website. The more traffic you have, the better off you are.
- Conversion – taking someone from “this is interesting” to “I’m in”. It can be something small such as liking your Facebook post or subscribing to your YouTube channel. Better conversion is someone sending you money for a coaching season, better yet sending you a check every month for a coaching program. That’s the kind of conversion we’re interested in, and all the traffic in the world means nothing if you can’t convert.
- Goreat traffic and conversion means very little if you don’t have a solid slate. A slate is a list of products and services that vary in price and delivery time. A good slate has something cheap, something moderate and something expensive with something you can buy once alongside options you need to renew monthly or annually. There are businesses whose cheapest offering is a $20,000 service, and it’s really hard to hire them.
When you are doing well in these three areas, you’re doing well in business. If even one axis is unhealthy, you are into all kinds of trouble. Luckily, there’s a solution that supports all three of these axes; publishing a book.
- It brings traffic through websites like Amazon.com
- It brings conversion by creating authentic relationships, making a contribution and positioning you as an expert
- It widens your slate by adding a low cost, low barrier to entry product to your slate
The Truth About Amazon
Amazon.com is the online home of what we term purchasing traffic. The people who visit Amazon are looking to buy, as opposed to people searching via Google, catching up with their friends on Facebook or checking out pictures on Pinterest. If they are on Amazon, they’re ready to buy, so this traffic is hot.
The second thing is that, according to some estimates, as much as two thirds of all online sales happen through Amazon. This one website now sells more than Walmart, through all of its brick and mortar stores.
The Basics of Amazon SEO
Amazon is an SEO environment like Google, and if you follow the rules of Amazon SEO, you can get amazing traffic.
To get Google SEO right, you need to consider on-page and off-page tactics. On every web page you wish to rank with Google, you need to have the following factors all pointed in the same direction –
- The H1 tag (the heading of the page and what it’s about)
- The H2 tags (the sub-headings)
- The copy itself (which needs to focus on what the page is about)
- The names of the image files (not just DSC8391.jpg)
- The alt tags of the image files (which describe the image)
- The copy of more than 300 words
Amazon SEO works in a similar way. You need to have the following factors all pointed in the same direction –
- The name of the book (like an H1 tag)
- The tag-line of the book (like an H2 tag)
- The description of the book (the body of the copy)
- A great cover image (named appropriately)
- As many reviews as possible
When you do those things well, having aimed your book at the right keywords, you will be able to rank your book on Amazon, get traffic and sell books.
Finding Amazon Keywords
It is possible to find the keywords people are already searching for on Amazon. Not only can you find what people are searching for, but you can also find out how many other books are competing for those search terms.
Imagine doing the research that yields the kinds of keywords that have high search volume and low competition, then using those as the chapter headings of your book? What you have there is a recipe for success on Amazon before you’ve even begun.
You can use web sites like www.merchantwords.com or just type ‘Amazon Keyword Search Tools’ into Google and investigate the options for yourself.
Amazon lays the results out, category by category like in this screenshot. We can see that there are only 424 competitors under the Training sub-category, and since we find that we can rank for pretty much anything under 10,000 competitors, this is hot traffic waiting to happen!
The New Tools of the Trade
Let’s assume that you have a bunch of keywords that will inform your chapter outline and that you’re ready to write. What new tools of the trade will make everything possible?
- The publishing platform we use is createspace.com. It’s free to join, it automatically connects to Amazon, and it allows you to publish both paperbacks and ebooks. They charge you a percentage when you sell, but take care of everything else. There are other options, too; for hardcover we use www.blurb.com.
- To edit our books we use the freelancing platform upwork.com. It’s free to join and you pay a percentage of the fees when you hire people. It’s a great way to connect with the hundreds of editors waiting to edit your book.
- To design your cover, create illustrations and lay out your manuscript you can also use upwork.com. There are hundreds of talented creatives waiting there to help you.
Wrapping it Up
Every successful coaching practice needs three things; traffic, conversion and slate, and a book can help you in all of these areas. If you want to know more, read my book ‘The Fast Book Handbook’ (!) which you can buy on Amazon. I encourage you to consider what publishing your own book might bring now that you know how easy it is.
There is something about a book that still holds status in the marketplace. People think that if you have published a book, you are an expert.
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