By Dianna Booher—
We’ve heard all these or similar comments before, but they keep coming:
––“The culture here encourages us to stand up and keep quiet.”
––“I feel invisible during meetings. When I comment, total silence, long pause. Then they move on.”
––“I passed the idea on to my boss, but he took credit for it himself.”
––“I work twice as hard as my three colleagues, but we all get the same earnings.”
The best way to get around all these bottlenecks and drawbacks? A published article or a bestseller to showcase your ideas and your work. No no no. Don’t bow your head and say you don’t know anything worthy of a published book or magazine article. You do.
According to humorist Will Rogers, “We are all ignorant – just about different subjects.” So your challenge: investigate the ignorance. Focus on what you know others don’t know, need to know, and would be willing to pay a lot of money to know.
Here’s a starter kit of ideas to boost your thinking:
- Mastery of XYZ software to achieve a specific goal
- Organize your space at work or at home
- Leadership tips for every level of the organization
- Dealing positively with change
- Increasing personal satisfaction through career steps
- Set clear, achievable goals
- Caring for family elders without sapping your energy
- Establishing excellent educational practices
- Resolving conflicts with colleagues
- Remove prejudices
- Spend wisely
- Budget while living in style
- Living comfortably in retirement
- Write clear, concise reports
- Choose your dream community
- Decide when to see a doctor
- Stay fit and healthy
You get the idea. Think about the positive feedback you’ve received over the years about your achievements, talents, and skills. Identify and elaborate 3-5 key points for an article. For a book, select about 10-15 subtopics to help your reader master the topic or skill.
So what’s to be gained from published books and articles? A lot.
Media attention for your products and services:
We’ve all seen social media posts go viral. So if you have a major publisher promoting and distributing your book, reporters will find their way to you. As a guest or interviewee, you have the opportunity to mention your expertise and related products or services that you want the public to know about. The reporter or presenter gets your time and you get their audience. The arrangement works well for both of you.
Impressive business card:
Many sole proprietors and entrepreneurs use their book or published article as their primary marketing and sales tool. When I started my consulting/training business over three decades ago, the thought of cold calling left me, well, cold. So I thought about what I needed to do to differentiate myself from the competition.
Visibility in your organization and beyond:
How many people in your organization have published an article or a book? I suspect you can count them on one hand, even including executive ranks. Yet that usual mandate in the academic world of publish or perish has now hit the market. Celebrity CEOs often write their memoirs when they retire, as do politicians and government employees when they leave office. As a published author, you are part of a very “select” group.
I still get royalty checks for books written four decades ago, though the checks have gotten smaller in recent years. Even if you only write short articles for online outlets that don’t pay, you will gain experience and confidence for larger writing projects that do pay.
Immediately, four fields that confer “celebrity” status come to mind: Pro sports. Politics. Movies. Authorship. My quick personal assessment: Not strong enough to throw a football. Couldn’t shake enough hands to become a politician. No acting talent to land a movie contract. So to generate incoming calls, writing books remains as the main marketing route. Forty-nine books later, I can say that the writing has put food on the table. Calling customers with a book in hand ensures that they say “yes” fairly quickly. Many of my coaching clients comment on the same phenomenon.
So if you’re in a stifling environment or just want to escape the pack of competitors, consider authorship to boost your credibility in a crowded field.
Diana Boher is a bestselling author of 49 books. She helps organizations communicate clearly and individuals increase their influence with a strong personal presence – and often a published book.
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