Can You Afford to Have a Book?

By New York Times bestselling author Michael Levin, CEO, BusinessGhost

Let’s face it—the Internet has almost biblical power to raise the humble and lower the mighty.

That’s a fancy way of saying that if you can work the algorithms, Google doesn’t care whether you’re a huge wire house or a one-person firm.

The Internet, because it offers buyers so many choices, tends to turn pretty much every seller of goods and services into a commodity.

And commodities are judged primarily, if not entirely, on price.

In other words, the biggest threat that financial advisors, consultants, and pretty much all professionals face these days is that people won’t look at them and say, “Wow— look at all that experience!”

Instead, they’ll say, “Who’s the cheapest?”

Life was so much easier for companies and professionals before the Internet came along, because competition was limited to whichever companies had brick and mortar buildings within a short drive of the consumer.

That’s no longer true.

Today, a financial advisor might live a thousand miles from you.

Same thing with your accountant.

Or your attorney.

Or everybody with the possible exception of your obstetrician.

Ah, you say. But I have a website!

Super.

So do all of your competitors.

And chances are, if someone took your website and swapped it out with that of your closest competitor, neither you nor he or she would even notice the difference.

That’s because, unfortunately, most professionals view a website as a box to check on their marketing to-do list.

Pretty much every website for any sort of professional—doctor, lawyer, financial services provider, insurance agent, and so on—looks almost exactly the same as everyone else’s.

For example, pretty much every financial advisor in the country has that Viagra-looking, fit older couple on the tandem bicycle on the beach at sunset.

Gag me.

So if your marketing looks like everybody else’s, and you’re allowing the Internet to commoditize you, shouldn’t there be something else that you’ve got that allows you to tell your story in full?

This is why I’m so passionate about books.

A custom-written, elegantly published book—and it’s gotta be good—allows you to tell your story in full.

Admit it—people just scan websites, no matter how much time was put into them.

But they read a book carefully.

Books may have plummeted in popularity over all in our technology-driven society, but paradoxically, respect for anyone who has taken the time to actually write a book has skyrocketed.

Why shouldn’t you be getting that respect?

Your book is your opportunity to show the world everything you know, not just to give them a few thin slices, as on a typical website.

Has anybody even read the white papers on yours?

In a book, you get to explain your motivation for having chosen your career path, and your philosophy of service. How and why you do what you do.

You get to show the reader how you solve problems, that you truly understand the reader’s problems, and that you’ve solved them for other people already.

You get to solve the “knowledge gap”—the fact that you know so much, but your prospects have no way of knowing just how much you know.
Because if they did know, they’d hire you.

Books also allow your prospect to convince fellow decision makers, whether they are executives or a spouse, to come on board as well.

Maybe you’ve had the experience of convincing a prospect to hire you, only to meet, and the spouse is staring at you, arms folded, not believing for a moment the other spouse’s claim that he or she “found the right person.”

I could go on about how gratifying and fun it is to hold your book in your hands and put it up on your website as a free PDF in exchange for contact information to build your prospect lists, how books give you speaking engagements and media attention, but I think you get the point.

If you’re tired of being commoditized by the Internet, if you’re tired of being judged primarily or solely on price, if you want people to know just how much you’ve learned in your career and how well you can serve them, the question is not whether you can afford a book.
The real question is this: How can you afford not to have one?

If you’re thinking about a book, contact me at michael@businessghost.com or call us at 1.800.637.6856.

    As one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 100 books, of which nine are national best sellers. He appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on January 20, 2012. In the past, Michael has published with Simon & Schuster, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Putnam/Berkley, and many other houses. His works have been optioned for film and TV by Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, and others. One of his own novels became Model Behavior, an ABC Sunday night Disney movie of the week.