Here you are, wondering how to monetize all the vital information you have about helping individuals find financial success.
And there they are, your “tribe,” in the words of Seth Godin—the specific people you could help, if only they knew you were out there. How do you close the gap?
As someone who is responsible for two New York Times bestsellers and seventeen national bestsellers, I’d like to share a five-step plan with you for crafting a finance bestseller that will catapult you to the front ranks of the “name brands” in financial services. So let’s jump in.
- Pick a niche.
The most successful finance authors never try to be all things to all people. Instead, they pick one niche audience and dominate it. Dave Ramsey targeted working people who need to take control of their financial lives. David Bach initially did it with professional women. Suze Orman owns the millennials.
What about you? Who’s your one particular audience whose problems and solutions you know best? Write a book for them, and don’t worry about anybody else.
- Identify a problem.
Every niche audience has a specific problem that haunts them and keeps them up at night. For Ramsey’s people, it’s credit card debt. For Bach’s women in professional roles, it’s creating a financial future that is not based on getting married. For the millennials, it’s student debt. Once you’ve identified your niche, then ask yourself, what problem do they face that you can solve? Focus your book on the solution to that problem… and stay focused like a laser beam on solving that problem for your readers.
- Explain why you’re the expert.
You’ve got to tell your audience over and over that you are the most trustworthy authority to whom they can turn, but you cannot do it in a way that turns them off. The secret is to make the reader the hero of the journey, not you. Instead of talking about how great you are, keep talking about people for whom you have solved the problem, and how happy they are. Let your readers see themselves in the case studies, war stories, and examples you provide. Just remember, it’s never about you. The reader has to be the hero of the journey.
- Solve the problem.
Offer a 3-step or 5-step or 9-step or however-many-step solution. Take that big problem and chunk it down into smaller, bite-sized, easy to implement steps. Provide plenty of encouragement, and help readers to keep their eyes on the prize. If it’s not about solving the specific problem facing your specific niche audience, leave it out.
- Have a Back-End.
Once readers fall in love with you, they will want more and more of you. Emerson’s Law of Compensation means that they will have an unconscious desire to repay you grandly for the service you’ve already provided, which will far outweigh the cost of the book they bought.
This means that by the time your book is out, you want to have some serious back-end offers—webinars, courses, actual classes that you will teach online or in person, workbooks, or videos. Remember that the relationship with your reader isn’t a one-off. They want to have a deeper relationship with you, so give them the options that will allow them to do just that.
Follow these five steps and before you know it, you’ll be at the top of the bestseller list… and even more importantly, the best earner list among financial professionals!