After more than two decades in the industry, Phil Wood began thinking about writing a book in 2010 but was intimidated by the process.
So the president and chief executive of Omaha, Neb.-based wealth management firm One Price Portfolio turned to a new platform designed to help advisors become authors from coaching firm Platinum Advisor Strategies in Summerfield, Fla.
“I wouldn’t be doing a book right now if not for Platinum’s help,” Wood says. “It was all too intimidating, and I just didn’t have the time to do it all myself.”
Wood is one of a growing number of financial advisors using the services of coaching firms such as Platinum to help realize their dreams of becoming authors. The program at Platinum, which costs $17,500 and includes 100 copies of the book when completed, features coaches who meet with advisors for 24 hours and who complete the publishing process in about six months.
Since launching early this year, the service has netted Platinum more than 50 advisor clients.
“While I had the concept in place, it was very helpful to have periodic conference calls with a writer/editor to flesh out my ideas and then get a manuscript back for my approval,” Wood says.
“Our goal is to be able to [give] every advisor in our network with the desire to write a book the ability to do so,” says Robert Sofia, co-founder and chief operating officer of Platinum. “The book is going to endure...for a very long time.”
‘EVERGREEN MARKETING TOOL’
Adam Witty, founder and chief executive of business book publisher Advantage Media Group of Charleston, S.C., has been publishing for books for advisors since 2005 and formed a partnership with FPA last year.
His program called “Talk Your Book” assigns an editor to conduct interviews with the advisors over the phone. These conversations are recorded and transcribed to help create a manuscript for the book.
Once the manuscript is completed, the book is typically published within 60 days, with the entire process taking about four and a half months.
“It is an evergreen marketing tool that is with the advisor for the rest of their career,” says Witty, whose coaching service costs about $25,000 and includes printing along with help promoting the book. “It is far and away the most effective marketing tool in an advisor’s arsenal...It creates that dramatic differentiation that most advisors struggle with.”
'COMMAND RESPECT AND ATTENTION'
Platinum’s book publishing division is headed up by Michael Levin, a bestselling author who has published three novels with Simon & Schuster and two with Random House.
Levin, who appeared in season three of the hit ABC entrepreneur reality show “Shark Tank,” emphasizes how much more an advisor can accomplish with branding from a book versus a website.
“Books command respect and attention,” he says. “When you offer a book, you immediately achieve the preeminence and distinctiveness that a mere website cannot confer.”
Steve Morton, a certified financial planner and founder of Greensboro, N.C.-based Morton Wealth Management, first considered writing a book in 2000, but took no action before connecting with Levin through a strategic coaching program both took part in a few years later. With Levin’s help, Morton’s book titled “Ten Common Mistakes Retirees Make” was published in 2007 about nine months after the process began.
“He really kept me focused on knocking out a chapter a week,” Morton says of Levin. “It kept me on task.”
Morton is still seeing dividends from his book seven years later. He gives a copy of the book to each new client, with many passing it off to their friends, thus enhancing his reputation.
“It is the cornerstone for getting new clients in the door,” Morton says. “You start right out of the shoot with incredible credibility.”
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