Is writing a book worth the effort?

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Writing a book can be a worthwhile project and significantly benefit your career. It can also be time consuming and intimidating. Unfortunately, as a two-time author, I know too many advisors that are ready to put pen to paper, but can’t decide if it’s worth the time and effort.

The upshot is that a book is a major platform to speak directly to your best clients and prospects. The project can communicate your philosophy of advice and give prospects an opportunity to learn about your services in a non-threatening way.

It also provides almost instant credibility since the public generally views authors as having unique wisdom, meaning writing a book immediately positions an advisor as an expert.
There are also several ways you can use a book to enhance your marketing strategy, including asking clients to share the book with friends and business associates who might enjoy the message. Your book can be an effective part of a content strategy to attract new prospects.

Although such a strategy takes time to develop, and should be multidimensional, publishing can be a big part. For example, my first book, combined with a referral and content marketing strategy, helped our firm grow assets by approximately $160 million since publication. I’m hopeful that my second book will yield similar results.

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However, the process may be rocky. I learned some hard lessons the first time around that made my second book much easier. I took a year to personally draft the manuscript for my first book then paid an editor to help with the final draft, which took several months. I used an online service to establish a cover design, which also took several months, and finally self-published. The process took two years and cost several thousand dollars.

For my second book, I hired a service for a fee of $1,800. I scheduled two conference calls with their ghost writer to discuss the book outline, using a template they provided, and they turned the transcript into a rough draft, which I then edited into a final version. Their team came up with several cover designs to consider, which took about a week. We then produced my final version, and had the book on Amazon and my custom webpage within weeks. The total time to produce the book was about three months.

Summer reading list: Top adviser picks
Books that help advisers self-improve and build their practices.

If you’re on the fence about writing a book, ask yourself a simple question. Do you have a specific message you are passionate about, because your book project is only worth the effort if it positively impacts the clients and prospects who read it? Although there are business development benefits from writing a book, it must start with a valuable insight. It may be a productive first step to start by publishing a blog, or article series, which can form the basis for a book later on.

There are significant marketing benefits to writing a book that could very well turn into lasting relationships with clients and greater assets under management. Make sure you have a solid message and pick a process that is right for you and the book could very well write itself.

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