The elevator doors open. A couple join you on the ride to the lobby. They are friendly, chatting a bit, you exchange reasons for your presence in this hotel in this city. You realize from their conversation that these two are your perfect client. And you want to talk more…but the lobby is only 30 seconds away. Pull out your business card and hand it to them? Sure. Then hope they’ll get back to you one day.
Here’s another ending to this same scenario. Yes, pull out your business card. And mention that you are an author. Ask if they would like a complimentary copy of your book. Hand them your business card book (www.bizcardbooks.com). It is an amazingly effective, informative, entertaining, and educational tool that beats a simple card every time.
I sometimes refer to my business card book as an airplane book because it’s exactly the right size and amount of information to read while taking a flight. It takes an hour or two to read, is filled with interesting content, and is complete with your contact information.
And the best part? Nobody throws away a book. Your business card may be relegated to the circular file, but not the book.
#2 - Develop the art of promotion.
I love promoting others and helping them achieve success. (Maybe that’s why I love writing stories and helping client’s put their stories together so much.) When it comes to promoting myself, it’s not as easy. And in that, I am like most people. We are simply not comfortable promoting ourselves. Your well-written book can and will promote YOU for you.
Having your book to share with the person you are meeting is instrumental in building your credibility. Use your book to build your authority. You’ve written a book, you must be the expert. This is powerful wisdom that adds credibility to who you are.
#3 - Become a leading authority in your industry.
It’s Wednesday lunch and you are attending yet another weekly networking meeting. What essential tool do you take and use? A business card? Yes, and so does every other person there. One key to effective marketing is standing out from the crowd. Is handing out your business card standing out or blending in?
Consider using a BizCardBookTM as an alternative to a business card. I share my BizCardBook instead of a business card. It is an instant icebreaker and it never fails.
After reading, people loan (or give) my book to others they know who would benefit from my services and they purchase books for their friends and colleagues! They even tell my story for me when introducing me to their colleagues.
The icing on the cake is the trust that comes with a book. Trust is priceless and simply can’t be bought. With your BizCardBook, you are instantly an author-ity. When you share your book, you are immediately considered worthy of having business referred to you and what’s more, the referrals are educated—before you connect—about what you do and what to expect.
#4 - Leave your book behind.
Wherever you go, leave your book for someone else to find. You can mark it up, leave your business card in there, and/or write a nice inscription for the person who finds it. Maybe you even want to leave someone else’s business card in there! (Make it look like someone else bought it, loved it and accidentally forgot it. Shucks!)
I totally believe that if you put it out there, the right person will find your book. He or she might not be your ideal client, but if you write your book specifically for your ideal client, he or she will know exactly who they are going to give this “lucky find,” too. Besides, it spreads good energy. Don’t you feel lucky when you find something that you know was meant for you or someone you know?
#5 - Make your book a valuable giveaway!
It is great to get referrals, but even better to have great referral partners! If you’ve already written one book, you know how difficult or easy it can be. Here’s a way to keep the process on the easy side.
Let’s say you are in the wellness industry. You are a nutritional coach. And, that really great gym owner down the street has given you lots of referrals recently. And, why wouldn’t he? Clients who work with you have a more educated approach to the synergy of nutrition and exercise. Susie has given you lots of referrals lately, too. She has met many people at her weight loss program and gives business to both you and the gym.
What if you found four or five more people like these who have the same ideal client that you do? You each could write a section of an educational book for people looking for a healthy lifestyle. And, you could each agree to purchase so many books to hand out to potential clients. Of course, your client stories are in there, and so is your contact information and website. Now, you have syndicated your referral efforts and shared in the process of writing a book.
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This morning I am seated at a wicker table watching an angry Atlantic Ocean bring unusually heavy waves into the South Carolina shoreline. We had torrential downpours all day yesterday and I am grateful, as I sit in a condo in North Myrtle Beach, to see the day begin with rays of sun. It’s just after sunrise and I am the only one of the 6 beings in this unit stirring. Not an unusual situation, in that I usually beat both the sun and people up in the morning.
As I enjoy the sounds of the surf and watch the white runs of breaking waves, I find that I am pondering the vagaries of life as a writer and writing coach.
Yes, I am a writer. And like all writers, I face times where the words don’t come, or more accurately, the exact words I want or expect don’t come. I am also a writing coach and one of my joys is helping writers find their voice and tell their story. That happens one word at a time, of course. I am often asked what to do when the words simply get stuck somewhere between thought and paper.
In truth, the words always come, even if it does not seem so to a blocked writer. Is there a trick? A magic pill to break through writer’s block? Yes and no. The secret is so simple that writers often don’t believe it can work. It’s a matter of following an easy writing process and turning it into a habit. Writers who follow this process are never blocked.
I’m here in Myrtle for a dance event, part of a migration of Carolina Shag dancers that happens twice a year. Writing is a lot like dancing. A good start leads to a great dance. And a good start always begins with the dancers assuming the ready position: body slightly forward, weight slightly forward as well, resting primarily on the ball of one foot, the other foot weightless and ready to move at the first inkling of a musical beat. When we start a dance flat footed with weight back on our heels, we start a beat or two behind every time and sometimes never get into the groove.
What’s the secret to avoiding writer’s block? Assume the ready position and write.
Be in that same mode of anticipation that a dancer experiences. The ready position for writing is mental rather than physical, yet still requires balance and even distribution of the mental weight of intention. Whether using pen and paper or a keyboard or the touch of a tablet screen, lean forward into writing with an open and ready mind.
Having an idea of the writing topic is helpful, but not necessary. Knowing what experience comes next in the plotline for the characters does make it easier to get going at the start of a writing session, but it’s not necessary. Having an outline to follow with chapters laid out and bullet points defined can clearly be a useful tool when writing, but none of this is necessary.
Start writing. And keep writing. Do not go back and rewrite. Do not be concerned with the order of the story; organization comes during editing. Capture side thoughts in a side note using word processor’s comment tool or pencil notes on paper. Do not stop and do not look back. Charge your creative juices by listening to the music of the words and write.
Move forward into the dance of creativity. At some point, not long into this writing process, magic happens. Words catch up with intent. Everything comes together to create a solid performance whether in writing or dance.