I’ve always been obsessed with books. Always. In fact, it drives my wife Linzi mad.
“READ THE BOOKS YOU’VE ALREADY GOT!” she’ll yell, as another book hits the doormat. Books end up double-filed on my bookshelf, sometimes stacked up nearby.
I pass on a lot of books, too. A book has to be exceptionally good to earn a retained space on my bookshelf! (Story by Robert McKee and The Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. Le Guin are notable additions this year.) I’ll often buy somebody’s book to check out their work.
A potential client who reads your book is likely to view you as an authority, just as ‘author’ and ‘authority’ come from the same root. This principle extends beyond publishing; I’d argue that authority is derived from your entire body of work.
Authority lags behind consistency and is multiplied by omnipresence. Authority only emerges due to the things people say about your body of work.
You can publish a consistent schedule of mini-books on Amazon, but authority only accumulates when people read and review them. Authority also accumulates when other people provide space for you on their platform, for instance:
– You write a guest blog post for somebody else’s site
– You appear on somebody else’s podcast
– Somebody shares one of your videos on social
– Somebody gives your book a 5-star Amazon review
In its purest sense, authority is when a potential client understands your genius and correctly labels you in a ‘category of one’.
In their mind, you’re the only person they’re interested in working with to solve the problem you solve. They’re aware of other solutions and may have been burned in the past by other providers, but they no longer see you in the same category.
Reading this series about the ‘Core Pillars of Story Selling’ is probably giving you a lot of work to do by now…
To present yourself as a leading authority, will you need an active, up-to-date blog? Probably, yes.
Will you need a podcast? It depends on your audience, but quite possibly.
Will you need to publish a book on Amazon? Well, I’ll let you answer that one! (Self-publishing a book has never been easier or faster.)
Your body of work acts as a moat around your business. The moat makes it hard for a competitor to replicate your approach; it also repels clients who don’t resonate with your approach. Very few of your competitors will be willing to do the work.
Because of the work involved, you must be clear on what you are trying to say before you set off. This is the real, but sometimes lengthy road to marketing success. There are no shortcuts. We all have to walk this road eventually.
Gaining clarity on your own story is the biggest challenge at the outset. To kickstart your marketing in January, start here.