Category: Marketing

Marketing
Ghostwriting to Build Authority: The Easy Way to Develop a Reputation

Why do people publish books?

Everyone has their own reason. But ultimately, it comes down to two things:

  1. There’s something so monumentally important that you need to share it with someone else.
  2. There’s something you need to prove to others about your own personal expertise.

Today, we’re going to focus on the second.

In academia, it’s often called publish-or-perish. The easiest way to show that you’re an authority within your field is to publish a book about it. The problem is that people who are skilled experts within their field aren’t always able to convey it to those who are outside of their field.

Consider an expert in artificial intelligence and machine learning. They may be able to discuss the intricacies of AI to their colleagues, but they may not be able to do it in a way that really “sells” it to those who are interested in their services. Even though they can discuss it from a technical standpoint, they can’t publish a book that is readable to the average person—and it’s the average person that they need to reach.

Ghostwritten books are the perfect way for those who have technical expertise to articulate their thoughts to those who have a need for that expertise.

Books can be used by:

  • Business coaches to describe their point-by-point business-related strategies.
  • Financial managers to introduce their new and revolutionary financial strategies.
  • Medical professionals to explore new medical processes from a patient point-of-view.
  • Software companies to explain the pain points that their software solutions address.

Any time a professional needs to describe something that is intricate and technical, a ghostwritten book can help.

Professionals often understand their industries too well. They don’t know what the consumer or client doesn’t know about their field, and can consequently move too fast or leave too much unsaid. A ghostwriter’s role is to make sure that these gaps are filled, so that the layman has a more thorough understanding of why the professional is an expert and what role the professional can fill.

And there’s a certain weight that comes from having a book. While the professional may not have “written” the book, they came up with all the ideas and concepts within the book. The audience for the book knows that the professional has this incredible body of knowledge, whether or not they actually read the book.

This is an incredible benefit. Simply having a library of books under one’s name imparts some level of authority even if no one reads those books. Of course, it’s better to have a good book. It’s even critical. But even when the title and the subject are all that an individual knows, it still indicates that a professional at least has put that amount of thought into their career.

With all other things considered, a book is something that imbues a person with an automatic level of authority. It’s a process and an endeavor: No one “accidentally” writes a book. No one simply gets a book because they have tenure. It’s a conscientious effort, and something that not everyone can do.

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Do You Have Enough Content to Publish a Book?

You’ve been kicking around the idea of a book for some time. But you have one question remaining: Do you actually have enough content to publish a book?

How Much Content Do You Need for a Book?

Not as much as you think. Consider the last time you talked passionately about a subject. Could you talk about that subject for an hour? Two? Three?

In general, a one hour conversation is about enough for a chapter. A book will usually cover a number of topics, each specific and complex. When you think about the outline of a book, think about it as a list of “topics.”

It’s likely that you have more content than you think. Writing a book is a lot like having a conversation—it’s just a conversation with an audience.

Do You Really Need to Write a Full Book?

A “book” is really a lot of things. A book could range anywhere from 150 to 300 pages. If you have a very light book, that’s not a bad thing. It can be a short book. It can also be filled with diagrams, statistics, or pictures.

But you also don’t need to write a full book.

It’s possible that you only need an eBook. You might need a book from 20 to 50 pages long, that only goes over the major points of your strategy, service, philosophy, or history.

You may also only need a sequence of authority-building articles, or a sequence of short stories. It depends on what your ultimate goals are, and the amount of content that you really want to present.

The Importance of Not Stretching It

With rare exceptions, it’s better to write a punchy 100 page book than a 300 page book that is stretched for content. There’s nothing that people hate more than having their time wasted.

Today, there’s been a push for longer and longer pieces of content. Blogs have gone from 400 words to 2,000 words. Even tweets became longer! This push for longer content is really a push for engagement. The more time you can get someone to spend on your content, the better the relationship you’ve built with them (or so they say).

But people are becoming fatigued. They are inundated with content today, and they really want to spend their time on things that are unique and insightful. So, if you have less content, you don’t want to push yourself to provide more. Instead, you want to find the right medium for the content that you have.

What If You Do Want More Content?

If you have your heart set on a 200 page book, but you have 100 pages of content, there’s still one secret trick:

Research.

This is the hidden role of the ghostwriter. You may want to talk about a certain medical process that you’ve studied. But a ghostwriter can dig down deep and find out more about the history and the context of that medical process.

Ghostwriters are able to build out content significantly by doing additional research surrounding it. Rather than just “padding” the content, they produce valuable information that works contextually with the information that you yourself have provided.

If you’re wondering whether you have enough content, the best thing to do is connect with a professional. It can be difficult to really figure out how much content you have without sitting down, writing an outline, and exploring what you need to say. Most people have more content than they think they do—they just need some help expressing it.

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