If you’re ready to not only grow a business, but set yourself apart as an authority in your niche, today’s guest, Chad Allen shares why writing a book is one of the BEST business growth strategies. In addition to his amazing business ideas, he’s giving you the practical tips to start writing now.
Well, today’s guest, Chad Allen, is here to share why authoring a book of your own is THE best way to grow a business and set yourself apart as an authority in your niche.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER:
Speaking of books, be sure to grab a copy of Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl that Chad spoke about in this interview!
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Courtney Elmer 0:00
Welcome back. It's the System's Made Simple™ Podcast and this is episode 114. Today, we're talking about why every single entrepreneur should write a book, and how a book will help you exponentially grow a business.
I am really excited to welcome my good friend, Chad Allen. Chad is a 20 year publishing professional. He's here today to share with you why writing a book will help you grow a business and how a book can open doors for you to opportunities that would have otherwise never crossed your path.
Plus, he's going to give you some practical tips for establishing a writing process and get right down to the nitty gritty of how to do that to make this dream of yours of writing a book, actual reality. So if you're someone who has considered writing a book of your own to grow a business but you've never pulled the trigger because life has gotten in the way, this episode might be the sign that you're looking for.
Courtney Elmer 4:21
Chad, welcome! I'm very excited that you're here.
Chad Allen 4:46
Thank you so much, Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 4:51
One of the things that you do is really helping writers get their books into the world which can help them grow a business.
Chad Allen 6:00
A question for your listeners, what are the books that have made the biggest difference in your own life? Because my guess is, anyone listening to this could point to a handful of books or more, that have had a major impact on their own lives, and probably have helped them either get started in business or have helped them grow a business.
Think about business Courtney Elmer. I mean, they're there in the reason that's the case is because books are a durable technology. They have stood the test of time. They may change different forms; audio books and ebooks now like crazy, but they're still books. And so if you want to have as big an impact as possible, grow a business, I think a book definitely serves that purpose.
It also supports your own credibility as an authority in your space. It will grow a business, both in terms of the sales revenue from your book, but probably more importantly, the book as an entree into other services that you provide. Courtney Elmer, I've seen this happen with clients and and members of my membership program. The book is helpful in its own right, but it's sort of a door that opens up all these other possibilities for impact and growing a business. So there's a handful of reasons for why I think entrepreneurship and business owners who want to grow a business should certainly be thinking seriously about writing a book and getting it into the world.
Courtney Elmer 7:53
There's a couple of things that you said that really jumped out to me. As someone who is working on a book of my own and growin ga business- number one, credibility. Number two, the ways that it will help grow a business.
The direct impact that it could have to the world as a larger hole in the people that you're trying to reach with the book and with your message. Also the impact that it can have to grow a business. So I'd love to dive a bit deeper into each of those things. And let's start with credibility. How specifically can a book help you become more credible and grow a business?
Chad Allen 8:38
Well, for one thing Courtney Elmer, it opens doors to venues that may not have been as receptive to you as possible when a radio show a podcast or a TV show hears that you have a new book that's coming. They are more likely to want you on their program where you can get exposure to their audience. So so that's one very tangible way that it builds authority to grow a business, it opens doors to media outlets and platforms, that may be harder to get to without a book.
But then the other thing is by virtue of having a book with your name on it, that builds credibility which will grow a business. Now, obviously, it has to be a well written book, it has to be a good book. But assuming that's the case, you are giving people an opportunity to have an extended experience with you as a voice of authority in their lives that can have a dramatic impact on on their lives and on growing a business.
Courtney Elmer 9:41
I like what you said and extended experience with you as a voice of authority in their lives. I mean, when you think of the biggest books that have made a difference in your life, and I can name five off the top of my head right here right now. And thinking about how those authors who I didn't know from Adam, necessarily, right? It wasn't like I knew that person before reading their book.
But it could have been that someone recommended that book to me, or it was a topic like growing a business that grabbed my attention, or a topic about something I was struggling with in my life or in growing a business that I needed clarity and guidance on, and how those have been the voices that have shaped my own path forward in helping me learn whatever it was that I needed to learn or experience the growth that needed to be experienced in order to make the next step or to move forward. And when you think of the impact that that has, I mean, that's it gives me goosebumps to sit here and think about that, because that is so powerful.
Chad Allen 10:46
I work with a lot of writers who love writing, but but have a little more difficulty on the marketing side of things. And something I'll hear sometimes is, I'm not into self promotion. I don't want to I don't want to promote myself. And I always, always counter that by saying, well, this isn't about self promotion, it's about promoting your book, it's about promoting your message or your story.
I always point to an author I'm sure you're aware of and who's had a big impact on my life, Michael Hyatt, Michael Hyatt, is excited about promoting his books And the reason he's excited about promoting his books is because he knows that if people pick up his book and read it, it will transform their lives, he knows that.
When you have a book that you feel really confident about this goes to your to your comment about the impact books can have, when you have a lot of confidence that your book can make a real difference in someone's life, you are that much more likely, first of all, to invest the time it takes to write a great book. But second of all, to get out there and promote the stink out of it, because that it's going to help people.
Courtney Elmer 12:08
When you come at it from that angle, it suddenly kind of takes the fear, I guess, of being boastful maybe or self-promotional because it really centers the focus on the person you're seeking to help. And I find that to be true in growing a business as well. I remember struggling with self-doubt. And Oh, am I enough? Do I know what I'm talking about? Am I enough of an expert to actually grow a business?
It's amazing how that changes things. And then they feed off of your excitement to because you're excited about it, you're excited about helping them and they're excited about you helping them so it kind of creates this really cool energy flow back and forth. I would love to talk a bit more about the marketing side. Having a book can definitely help you grow a business. And there are multiple ways that it can do that- the book revenue itself can help grow a business, the credibility that it lends to you and your brand can help grow a business. And like you said, being a teaser of the other programs or services that you might offer can help grow a business. And then warming people up to want to work with you will help grow a business.
For people listening maybe have thought of writing a book to grow a business, that that idea has crossed their mind at some point. But there have been constraints that have kept them from doing that. Maybe it's time. Maybe it's fear, maybe it's the thought of writing it, promoting it, marketing it and all the work involved with that, that it becomes a dream that gets pushed to the backburner. I know that's been very true for me.
So, Chad, where would we begin to unpack this? In terms of the marketing aspect, the work aspect, the payoff of growing a business, I think maybe that's where we can start is because what's, what's the payoff? What's really in it? I think there's a fear there that if I'm going to sit here and put all this work into writing a book, what if it's not successful and I fail to grow a business? What if it's a big waste of my time? Shat would you say to that?
Chad Allen 14:39
Well, I could tell you Courtney Elmer, I've worked with lots of business owners and entrepreneurs. Nothing will grow a business like a book, I promise you. Again, it has to be a good book, but nobody listening to this has the intention of writing a bad book, right? So I really do think if this is something that has crossed your mind and you feel like yeah, I do have a book in me, I want to encourage your listeners to say, if this has been on your mind, it really can have a dramatic impact and grow a business. So in terms of, on a practical level, how do you deal with how much time it takes to, for example, write the book, what I would say is different writers have different processes, you have to find what works for you.
I know some writers who will schedule multiple writing retreats over a year or a six month period of time, they will schedule multiple writing retreats to get away and do nothing but work on the book. And that is a way that a lot of people make massive progress on their book. Other writers take one full day of each week, and they tell people around them, this is my book day, please do not bother me. And by the way, if you can hold me accountable to that, that would be really helpful. I talked with a writer earlier today Courtney Elmer, who said, she's going to write from nine to 1130 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, that's her process.
I think you have to get really clear about what your process is. And it has to be realistic, and sustainable. And if you if you're not able to stick to it, that you don't beat yourself up, you kind of go, Okay, I let that one go, I'm gonna, I'm gonna try to be as consistent as I can going forward. , those are all the tips and tricks that I've seen work for writers, when it comes to the promotion side and fears related to the book, maybe not not being successful, or all the work it takes to build a platform to support a book in the marketplace.
One idea that that I have enjoyed interacting with lately Courtney Elmer, is a riff that comes from Tim Grahl gr a HL, author of my favorite book on Book Marketing, called your first 1000 copies. He has this idea that when you're building a platform, as a writer, as an author, and maybe we could say this to about entrepreneurs and business owners, what you're really doing, ideally, is gathering a community of people who like to geek out about the same things you like to geek out about. And for me, like that is so much more fun. If I take that approach, it's so much more fun and enjoyable to think about gathering like minded people than it is to think about selling a certain number of books. So I hope that I hope there's something in there Courtney Elmer that your listeners can take and implement into their own practice to grow a business.
Courtney Elmer 17:56
Those are such helpful tips to grow a business. I mean, first of all, circling back to getting very specific with your process and making sure that it's something that works for you. And that that might not look the same as it would for another writer. And there's almost a freedom in that to know that it doesn't have to be this prescribed way of doing it. But that you do have to define what that is for you. And when you do as you said to be as consistent with it as possible. And I, I would imagine falling into that rhythm of writing like that, it almost would then become second nature, like anything new, there might be a bit of a learning curve or some resistance or sticking points as you get it going. But then it becomes easier and easier.
And as become something that you do essentially becomes part of your identity. I am a writer. And I love the thought of that. And then of course, what Tim says and that that I've heard you share before and that I think is so relevant is this idea of building a community of like minded people. And I found, especially in the marketing space, we're taught all of these prescribed notions, you have to pick a niche, and you have to talk about one thing and you can't deviate from that thing, because that's the thing you want to be known for. And all of these things that we're told, that maybe aren't actually true, and we sit there and examine them, or maybe that's not the only way.
Thinking about building a community of like minded people I know that gets me excited. And it also gives me the freedom to talk about other topics and things that are of interest to me. But that might not necessarily be related to this one central theme. I would imagine that the book, certainly you'd want that to be centered on a specific topic, but that doesn't mean that within your community, you can't also be sharing aspects of you the writer, because that's what creates that connection. So for someone listening right now who doesn't know where to start. What do you recommend for them?
Chad Allen 20:19
Great question Courtney Elmer. I think a great place to start is what's your process? What are you going to do this? How can you schedule it? Who are the people that can support you on this journey to write and grow a business?
Start with process before you even start thinking about concept and ideas and chapter structure. And audience, what is your process that's going to help you figure out all those other things? What are you gonna have to let go to make this happen? Do you need a writing coach? Do you need someone to bounce ideas off of? That's where I would start. Figure out your process so that you can begin, initiate activate that process. If you can start writing on a regular basis, you can figure the rest out as you go. So that would be my advice Courtney Elmer. Start with your process.
Courtney Elmer 21:45
I love how practical that is. I think sometimes the simple practical things get overlooked. And we have this big idea like growing a business, and this big dream of writing a book, and we want to bring it to life. But we don't always know how to break that down into the step by step actions. And I found this to be true for me, even though I am a big picture person. And I'm also pretty gifted at systems and processes and breaking things down into steps.
Sometimes when it's your own thing that you're working on, it can be a little bit more difficult to see clearly. Because we have a tendency to get up in our head about it and overthink things. And we don't take any action because we're not sure exactly what action to take. So that's so practical, first look at your schedule. How can you make this work? , instead of looking at it like, oh, I don't have the time.
Chad Allen 22:47
Yeah Courtney Elmer. My guess is most people listening to this don't have to work really hard to remember to brush their teeth in the morning, right? It's what we do. Well, that can be true for your for your writing and in growing a business too. We've all done things before that required sustained effort. I'm right now I'm I'm training for my second triathlon. Well, I have a training plan, and I don't stick to it absolutely perfectly. But I do have a training plan. And if I stick to it more or less, I know that when race day comes, I'll be ready. And your listeners have all done things like this, whether it's read a certain number of books in a year, or completed a work project, we have all we all have some success.
I would look back if you if you're struggling with this, at the things you've already accomplished in the in the many times that you have set particular periods of time aside to do a particular thing. And rest in that know that look, I've done this already. I've done this here and here.I need to do it here as well. I have to decide it's important enough, make it a priority. And I know that the Courtney Elmer listeners can do it. If if they look at it without perspective.
Courtney Elmer 24:13
Chad would you say having a goal with a specific deadline (like running a marathon) for when that goal must be met can be valuable? And to have someone hold you accountable and help set that in motion so that you're not working towards this open ended idea of writing a book but that it's actually tangible and there's the finish line? Would you say that that same logic could be applied to book writing and growing a business?
Chad Allen 24:52
Absolutely Courtney Elmer. You can set a big goal like I want to have written a 55,000 word manuscript by this time next year, that's fine. But be sure to break it down into into increments. How are you going to reward yourself for hitting those incremental goals along the way? Reward yourself because what that does is creates momentum to keep you moving forward.
The other thing I would say Courtney Elmer, if you miss a goal, don't get discouraged. get back up, accept it and move on. Nobody is 100% perfect, this is about a process. It's not about perfection. It's about engaging a practice that leads you to an outcome you're looking to achieve, keep engaging that process, even when you lose your way you miss a day of writing, you stay up late last night, and so this morning, you didn't get up to do your writing, take it all in stride, keep going.
Courtney Elmer 26:36
I am a perfectionist as an Enneagram one, or if you're familiar with the Enneagram. Those listening, the number one is nicknamed the perfectionist. And so that has been a personal challenge that I have had to work through and learn from through the years. Making that progress can really help to remove some of that pressure, I've found in my own experience of growing a business at least.
For someone listening to this episode, they're seeing it as the sign that they need to take the next step but maybe there they feel like they're going to need some extra accountability, or they don't know where to go to find a community of people who are like minded who are on this journey as well of writing their book. What are some of the ways that you work with people and tell us a little bit about how you can help?
Chad Allen 27:46
First and foremost would be my blog. And if you sign up for my email list,you'll know about any new content that's coming. Plus I start by sending you my most popular blog posts. And then I have this community called boot camp. It's a training center for helping writers get their books into the world.
We start with helping writers establish a writing habit. The first step is to figure out how to develop a writing habit. Then we help you build a platform, develop your concept, write a book proposal, and get published and then launch and promote your book. There's Some other options too. But those those I think are primary, Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 30:04
That's awesome. And I'm a member of the bootcamp community, which I can vouch for, and say that it is an incredible community, Chad that you have built of writers from all ages, all backgrounds, all genres.
Chad, thank you so much for all that you do with writers and helping us use our voices and getting our messages out there and growing a business through a book. And for sharing your immense knowledge and wisdom on writing, and how valuable that can be for someone who wants to grow a business.
Chad Allen 31:40
It's my pleasure. Thank you, Courtney Elmer for doing the work for this podcast and helping people to grow a business.
Courtney Elmer 31:54
Now coming up next week on the show, I have a PR and visibility strategist joining me who is going to show you the secrets to breaking through the noisy digital landscape, which can always feel like such a mystery. I'll see you back here next week. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.
CEO Chad R. Allen Consulting
Chad Allen is a writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. A 20-year publishing professional, he has worked with such bestselling authors as Michael Hyatt,Caroline Leaf, Mark Batterson and Phyllis Tickle. He is the creator of Book Proposal Academy, an online course, and BookCamp, a mentoring and community hub for writers. His passion is helping writers get their books into the world, and he blogs at http://www.chadrallen.com/. He has been published in such online places as LifeHacker, The Accidental Creative, MichaelHyatt.com, Goinswriter.com, and The Good Men Project. Chad holds a B.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an M.A.in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Alyssa, live with their two children in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hear more from Chad on his blog, orby following him on Facebook and Twitter.