“Writing a book is a tremendous experience. It pays off intellectually. It clarifies your thinking. It builds credibility. It is a living engine of marketing and idea spreading, working every day to deliver your message with authority.” – Seth Godin
There is nothing new about writing a book to use as a marketing tool. It is a tried and proven method across many industries to separate one business from the rest. As a Mortgage Broker, the clear benefits that come from having your own book are:
- It tells people you are an expert so you don’t have to.
“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.” – Robert Rose
In the chapter on becoming a Trusted Advisor I said that someone who is a Trusted Advisor doesn’t tell people he or she is an expert, others do it for them. This is a clear area your book will help you because the moment you give it to someone or they see it, it tells them you are an expert without you having to puff yourself up.
- Instant boost in lead generation.
I hate to say that my book is a ‘magic bullet’, but it’s the closest thing I’ve ever had. It opens doors and gets people talking to me that otherwise wouldn’t, and ultimately that is all we need. No brochure, business card or slogan I’ve ever had gets people’s interest like my book does.
- It is the perfect business card
“Marketing that works is marketing that people choose to notice” – Seth Godin
My book does many things, but its first impact is as the ultimate business card. Sure it costs me about $6 to produce one, but it has a far greater shelf life than any business card and gets them talking to me. When you pull out a book that you have contributed to and give it to someone you have made an impact.
When was the last time you spoke to someone expecting them to try and sell something to you and they gave you their book?
- It gets opened when mailed
When I post someone a copy of my book I know it doesn’t get filtered into the junk mail and straight into the bin. It definitely makes it through the front door because it is a weighty package compared to a sales letter. Curiosity at the very least will get the person to open it and read the accompanying letter I enclose with it so they know why someone sent them a book.
Just the other day I got a package in my letterbox and eagerly opened it right away. Unfortunately, I realised it was one of my own books that I had mailed the week before that was being returned as I had addressed it wrongly. But it did get my attention over all the other mail!
- It increases referrals from clients
When their loan is approved, do you say to every client — ‘Can you give me the names and numbers of a few other people who I can help, just like I’ve helped you?’ I don’t know about you but I’d feel very much like I’m moving into pushy salesperson territory if I was to say that. But you do need to have a method for asking for referrals, hopefully one that actually works.
When you have a book, it’s a lot easier and a lot less ‘salesy’. As I’ve discussed already, the Brokers that work with me give their clients a few copies of their version of the book (i.e., one that has been personalised and branded to them and their business).
What we simply say is some version of ‘Congratulations on getting your loan approved. It’s been great working with you. If you don’t mind, I’ll leave you with a few copies of my book, feel free to give them to your friends, it’s how I get the word out about what I do.’
The end result is that the client has a few copies of our book sitting on their coffee table, reminding them to pass them to the next friend that drops in. We aren’t imposing on them; we’re making them look good to their friends by allowing them to give them this gift of a book. At $6 per book to produce it’s not a big expense at all, but it is perceived as a lot more valuable by them, which is what you always want with any client giveaway item.
What we have also done is to control the message of the referral that the recipient hears. When people read it they are hearing what we want them to, not just what our client might say about us. We are educating their friend about the value of our service through the book in a more comprehensive way than our client can, hopefully reinforced by their recommendation. In a way, we are almost forcing them to, at the very least, let their friends know they got a loan through us, giving us immediate social validation, as very few people ever like throwing out a book (unless of course we did a really bad job).