To Brand or Not To Brand: You Are the Question

The art and science of personal branding has given entrepreneurs, authors, and speakers a huge advantage in connecting with audiences. When you distinguish yourself from others, it's easier for people to make decisions about how you might help them, and whether or not they relate to you.

Personal branding in the workplace has revolutionized professional advancement, human resources practices, and even the culture of a given company. 

Here's where it gets dicey

Is it a good idea to focus on branding only yourself, particularly in place of branding your company, ideas, programs, products, or services? The answer depends on asking a few more questions.

Before you spend time and money on branding or rebranding, ask yourself:

  • Do I want the focus to be on me or on my solutions, products, and services?
  • Is my personality, background, or experience the main thing I offer?
  • Is my business (or book) built around me or around solutions that others could promote?
  • Do I ever want to sell, franchise, or create a joint venture for my business?
  • What choices allow for the most flexibility and growth?
  • What choices allow for a realistic (and profitable) exit strategy?

The reasoning behind some of these questions is fairly obvious. If you want to sell your business down the road, branding it Laura Smith, Inc. might not be the best idea (no offense to all the Laura Smiths out there!). Likewise, if you're branded by your name alone, will your expertise, books, products, or services have any relevance after you're no longer promoting them?

On the other hand, if you're an entrepreneur, author, or speaker whose industry favors personalities--fashion, fitness, health, entertainment, and life coaching come quickly to mind--then your name might be your best distinguishing feature. Putting the branding focus on yourself allows you to build your recognition and reputation for as long as you need.

Best of both?

And what about co-branding? The concept has many, many iterations, but in this discussion it's expanding one brand by tying it to another, creating a de facto association in consumers' minds between the two brands. Each brand could stand alone, but each is strengthened by association with the other.  Examples in commerce, philanthropy, and sports are far too numerous to mention, but Michael Jordan/Nike or Martha Stewart/KMart are a couple of famous ones.

But more to our point, take the case of Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book series. She used her personal brand as COO of Facebook to launch Lean In, which not only grew multiple alliances and affiliations with other women's efforts into an international support network for women, but also advanced the stature of women inside the admittedly male-favored Facebook culture. Here we see multiple levels of co-branding--based off of a personal brand--lifting all brands beyond where they'd be one their own. But without Sandberg's personal brand identity none of it would have happened!

Another example can be seen in the book graphic that accompanies this post.  My client, Jamie Broughton, is a preeminent expert on the topic of emerging leaders. He also owns a leadership consulting and training company, Footprint Leadership, but the purpose of placing himself on the front cover of his book was to co-brand him personally with the concept of The Emerging Leader. He is North America's Emerging Leader Specialist, or, said another way, he's The Emerging Leader Guy! The idea is that when people hear or see, "Jamie Broughton," they think, "Emerging Leader Expert."

You're in good company

The process of deciding whether to brand yourself, your company, products and services, or some combination of them, isn't clear-cut. Multiple factors come into play. For many, it comes down to whether they see themselves as their business, and whether or not their personal brand would be a hindrance or a help in other ventures. 

These days, of course, personal branding is becoming something of a prerequisite in the professional world. The things that make you special and set you apart--and how you promote them--are often what determine whether people "buy" into you or pass you by. The benefits of personal branding extend into all your professional relationships, and can add very powerful dimensions of credibility and appeal to how people perceive you.

As an entrepreneur, author, or speaker it's vital that you think very carefully about what you want people to focus on, and what you're offering in exchange for money. Is it all about you?

For more information, contact Write To Your Market, Inc--"Branding You as the Answer"--at or call 715-634-4120.

What Makes a Good Subtitle (and how long should it be?)


By Susan Kendrick

Write To Your Market, Inc.

(NOTE: We got a call from a doctor in Los Angeles who found this post and called us for emergency help with her subtitle. She and her agent had been working on her title and subtitle for months, but then realized they had left out significant key words. The challenge was how to include them without making the subtitle too long. She found this post (on our original blog) by searching "book subtitle tips," and we're glad she did. We did an on-the-spot consultation that resulted in a subtitle she is now taking to publishers as part of her book proposal.)

We all agree that a great title is important for any book and willingly give it the attention it deserves. For many, however, the subtitle is often an afterthought, something quickly thrown together before moving onto back cover marketing copy and book cover design. Please don'tdo this to your book. Your subtitle is not just some front-cover formatting slot to fill. It is a critical piece of marketing real estate for creating your brand and selling your book.

The book title, Courageous Parents Confident Kids, was already in place by Dr. Amy Tiemann when she came to us for help with her subtitle and back cover copy. (She had already successfully published her first book using this same process with us.) What we developed for her this time is an example of how a longer title--or a title with longer words--often benefits from a short subtitle. This subtitle also has a tagline, sing-song quality that both clarifies the title and is highly memorable at the same time. In other words, it is an example of an ideal subtitle that along with the title creates a complete and compelling message. See more examples and subtitle tips below.

First, the Role of Your Subtitle

There are many important things your subtitle can do for your book:

__ Identify and draw in your target audience

__ Quickly differentiate your book in a crowded market

__ Clarify a major benefits of your book

__ Add definition to a provocative but possibly obscure title, like those in Malcolm Gladwell's

     bestselling series, which includes Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers.


Long or Short--Is There a Rule?

We get asked this a lot: "How long should my subtitle be?" The answer is--it depends. There are no hard and fast rules. Say what you need to say. Simply do it in as few words as possible to keep your ideas crisp, authoritative, and memorable. An example of a long subtitle is Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods. That's a lot of words, and some long ones, but they work hard together to say what this book is about in a personal, refreshing way. While longer subtitles are the exception rather than the rule, it's helpful to see how they can work when handled skillfully.

Part of Tim Ferriss's successful book series brand, The 4-Hour Work Week, has a subtitle that contains a generous nine words and consists of three different elements. But, every word serves a specific purpose and also includes elements that help establish Ferriss's 4-Hour Work Week brand. Your subtitle can do the same for your book or book series.

This brings up a related point: If you are planning--or even considering the possibility--that your book will become a series, bring this to the title and subtitle discussion as well. You can build elements into the first subtitle that help you establish that series brand should you choose to add more books later. Additional books can address specific parts of your message or apply your expertise to related topics and therefore help you reach out to new markets.


Depending on your book, your message, and your target audience, a range of subtitle lengths will serve your book well. The following book subtitle tips will help you think about your subtitle as a way to attract readers, potential clients, your industry, and the media to what you have to offer, without tangling them up in excess words or jargon.

Again, these are general tips. Creating the right subtitle for your book can break all the rules if done for the right reasons!


Here are some tips to help you think about and recognize what will work for your book:

__If your title is long, keep the subtitle short. And, if your title is short, you have

     more flexibility with the length of the subtitle.

__ Do not repeat in the subtitle words that you have already used in the title.

     If your subtitle repeats words in the title, it looks like you have already run out of

     things to say--not a good signal to send.

__Practice economy of language. Four-letter words work just as well as 12-letter

     words. And, often the same thing can be said just as well if not better in seven words

     than 14.

__ Consider your target audience. This may go without saying, but books on investing,

     entrepreneurship, and leadership, for example, will all have a different feel as will books

     about improving your medical practice, or nurturing teens, or caring for elderly parents.

If you would like help with your book title and/or subtitle, or if you are simply ready for some feedback on your ideas, get in touch with us. Call us at 715-634-4120 or email

Your Book Cover IS Your Brand

By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.


Branding Experts Helping a Branding Expert

Creating the marketing message on your book cover--your book's front and back cover copywriting--should be a once-and-done function. You are not just creating "blurbs," you are choosing how to identify and communicate adn attrace people to your brand. Take a look at the book brand we developed for Brenda Bence, a world-reknown corporate branding expert (it just shows that even a branding expert needs some help from the outside). We created Brenda's three "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" book titles as a series for her. These book titles and more enable Brenda to continually expand her now well branded expertise to other niche markets through books that are adding value to her consulting practice.

Making the Leap to New Niche Markets--Whatever That Means for You

With more than 25 years experience within Fortune 100 multinational corporations--from Procter & Gamble and Bristol-Myers Squibb to Mattel and Pizza Hut--Brenda Bence has been responsible for marketing some of the world's biggest-selling consumer brands in nearly 50 countries across four continents.

Building a Brand That Grows Every Part of Your Business

Also a certified career coach, Brenda Bence has now married her passion for corporate branding and her passion for coaching to create a personal branding system. This system is based on the same methods she has developed and used to help her corporate clients grow powerhouse name brands.  In e ach book of her "How YOU Are Like Shampoo" series, Brenda translates these methods into ready-to-use techniques for professionals, job seekers, and even college grads. The result is a series of step-by-step guides she now uses to attract a whole host of new markets and potential new clients to her expertise.

In helping Brenda create this "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" book series and brand (yes, she actually had trademarked YOU™), we created complete front and back cover book marketing copy that draws people in and quickly develops loyal fans. Here is just one excerpt from the book back cover marketing copy we developed for Brenda's first book. It creates that all-important transition from Brenda as corporate branding expert to personal branding strategist:

"This groundbreaking book provides you with a start-to-finish system for defining, communicating, and taking control of your personal brand at work. Modeled after the world’s most successful big-brand marketing methods, How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo guides you step-by-step through proven corporate branding techniques never before adapted for personal use."


The rest of the book's back cover copy includes other critical
components that "s
eal the deal" for prospective readers/buyers:

- Captivating headline
- At-a-glance, buy-me-now bullet points
- An expert/author
endorsement, which we created for source approval
- High-profile bio and lead generator
- A technique that drives traffic to Brenda's website that also includes a
  name-capture device on her website when visitors get there.

Each of these book cover components is part of Brenda's now "once-and-done" brand marketing strategy. It gives her a brand on which she (and we) continue to build. If, like Brenda, you'd like to transition your expertise into new areas, give us a call. It may be that you are just getting started or looking for a fresh start. Either way, getting your marketing message and positioning right early on helps you make the leap smoothly and successfully so that you, too, grow a powerful and profitable presense that just keeps growing. Email us at or call 715-634-4120.


Listen for Great Book Titles

Great Book Titles Ideas Are Everywhere
LISTEN for Phrases That Catch Your Ear!

By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

NOTE: This is an set of tips we orginally posted spring of last year on another of our blogs. It has been a favorite of ours and our readers, so here it is again, a timeless way to discover a great book title.

This past week I was listening to public radio while driving and captivated by the very energetic introduction to the next program, "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders" hosted by Jean Feraca. The guest was an expert on grains, but not in the eat-these-they're-good-for-you way. Somewhere in her early adulthood as a journalist living on frozen pizza, she had rediscovered a moment in childhood when a small bag of sweetened Greek dessert had delighted and transported her during a very sad time.  And now this writer, journalist, and cook has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, and Gastronomica, as well as Marie Claire, and Elle.

In the introduction to this guest and her celebration of grains as comfort food, desserts, and more, I heard phrases like "gorgeous grains" and "ancient grains for modern meals." Feraca spun a web of words so rich, I couldn't wait to hear if the guest had a book and which of these delicacies was the title.

The guest, of course, did not disappoint. Maria Speck was passionate, personal, joyful, and highly articulate about every nuance of her topic. And, yes, she is the author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More.

Take-Aways You Can Use

The Reason I am posting this book title and radio interview here is because there are a couple of good take-aways. First, a good book title needs to clearly communicate your topic, but a great book title "sounds" good doing it. It rings. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals is a great example of three good book title strategies that make this title sound good:

(1) Rhyming--Ancient Grains

(2) Alliteration--Modern Meals

(3) Parallel Construction-- Ancient Grains is a simple,
     two-word descriptor that sets up another simple,
     but contrasting two word descriptor, Modern Meals

Now, granted, authors and publishers do not always and do not need to create book titles on such a dissected level. These types of book titles are usually equal parts intent and serendipity. So listen. Listen to how you talk about your topic. Get your friends and collegues involved. See what rises to the surface in conversation. A great book title is easy to say, hear, and remember. It says what is new and different about you and your book.

Listen to this broadcast for a good example of how great a book title can sound.

One More Thing That Works

The other thing I noticed while listening to the introduction to this interview was all of the other descriptors that came up and initially had me wondering which one was the title. Was it "Gorgeous Grains"? Was is "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals"? This is a good time to point out that any phrase that does not make the final cut as title, can still be used to great effect as a headline or sound bite about your book. In this case, I imagine that "Gorgeous Grains" could have been on the table at some point as a possible title.

So, as the saying goes ... "Listen and Learn." We are here every day working with experts, authors, consultants, and publishers, creating book titles, subtitles, branding, and marketing. Email us at or call 715-634-4120.

Are You an Expert in Search of a "Platform?"

Here's What to Include and How to Overlap,
to Make Each Piece of Your Marketing Do More for You

By Graham Van Dixhorn
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Regardless of your profession--business, health care, mental health, legal system, education, or personal development--you've probably heard that you need a "platform." Authors seeking a publisher, consultants seeking more and better clients, physicians seeking greater recognition for their expertise, or CEOs seeking greater visibility for themselves and their firms, all are scrutinized by their visible qualifications, reach, focus, and reputations. But what is a platform, and how do you build one?

Loosely defined, your platform consists of your brand and positioning, your presence and exposure both virtual and literal, your endorsements and affiliations, and your offerings, products, and services.

Okay, so a platform is what people see and interact with when they find you. Leaving aside for now the challenges of having people find you, how do you create a platform that reflects the depth and breadth of who you are and what you offer? Well, it starts with branding and positioning that is compelling, well-designed, and appealing to your target markets.

Who are you, what do you offer that's unique and different, why should people "buy" from you and not the next person, what are the benefits of your offerings to your target markets, these are the core questions answered by a great brand properly positioned. Many experts need help in this area, but for those who are already well-branded and positioned, what else supports the platform?

An easy way to keep it all organized in your mind is what we like to call the "Four Pillars" of marketing for experts.

  • Products, Services, Offerings--this is the stuff you offer, or sell, along with the print versions (if any) of your marketing and advertising.
  • Speaking--these are public or private appearances at which you share your unique insights, solutions, and, hopefully, products, services and offerings!
  • Web--this is your website, obviously, but also importantly blogs, webinars, and social media.
  • Media--this is broadcast programming and print publications.

You've probably noticed that there's a lot of overlap on these items. And, the most successful experts coordinate multiple areas for efficiency and greater exposure. For example, you might book a speaking gig and a radio interview on the same day in the same city, having already been written up in the area newspaper and having blogged about it and flagged it on your website, all of which you did to promote your book or your services. Your website is given when you speak, during your radio interview, and in the newspaper article. Oh, and you plugged your upcoming webinar every chance you got.

Platforms don't just happen. They're built on a foundation of great branding and marketing. If you'd like to learn more about how to build your platform, email us at or call 715-634-4120.


Reach Multiple Markets with One Book Cover

By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Your nonfiction book cover is a conversation with a potential buyer that makes them say, “Yes, that’s it! This book is just the solution I’ve been looking for.” Whether that solution focuses on health, medicine, leadership, funding your retirement, raising thoughtful kids, or making a career change, your expertise shines. But, who else could benefit from your approach. And, where are your own interests taking you?

What we find with many author experts is that while the books they are writing are a culmination of their existing expertise, their sphere of influence and interest is already growing into other areas and markets, even while they are writing those books.

So, what to do with all that other expertise and the fact that you know you can help even more kinds of people, in a variety of situations, and that your own passion are already leading you in those directions?

Build that flexibility and growth right into your book cover. Note that doing so is about more than what should already be included in your back cover bio--that you speak, consult, etc. Somewhere else in your copy, without getting “salesy,” mention the other ways you can and want to help. Advertise for more of what you can and want to do.

Here’s an example of one way to do this, from the book back cover copy we developed for our client, Joe Keller, author of “Single Effort: How to Live Smarter, Date Better, and be Awesomely Happy”:

“Heartfelt, funny, and always practical, Single Effort is a must-read for single guys everywhere. It’s also perfect for anyone (male or female, single or not) in search of unique dating and lifestyle ideas for a more fulfilling life.”

Did you hear that? We let readers know that Joe Keller, while an expert on the single guy, is also a trusted resource on taking dating to a new level as a way to enhance your whole life, not just one phase in the dating journey. Think of the doors this opens for Joe and how he is now positioned as an expert on a range of related topics. Now, think about how you could do the same with your expertise and passion, growing it into areas that interest you and where you can reach out to more people in more markets.

You grow by publishing a book, and then you keep growing. Make sure your book cover helps take you there and develops a loyal, enthusiastic following and profitable business in the process. To help you get your ideas to market faster and more successfully, find out how we can help. Call Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn at 715-634-4120, or email about writing a book to build your business.

Write a Book to Build Your Business

(Even if Writing Is Not Your Thing)

Graham Van Dixhorn,
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Writing a book, like so many things in life, is often hardest the first time you try it. Many aspiring author experts work on their unfinished manuscripts--or outlines, ideas, etc.--for years before making a push to actually finish them. I had a client tell me recently that he had been "working" on his book for six years, and it still hadn’t even come close to being finished.

Still, some 2.2 million books were published worldwide in 2010 (the last year for which complete data is available), with around 328,000 of them published in the U.S. and 206,000 in Great Britain, so obviously not all authors are sitting on their hands, so to speak.

Nonfiction authors are leading the way. Why? Books build businesses, reputations, and careers. And, self-published books now outnumber traditionally published books by three to one! The reasons are legion, but suffice it to say that the speed to market, total control, and greater income potential that characterize self-published books are at the top of the list. The downside includes having to oversee the process or hire someone to do it for you. But, but you'll never have to shop your manuscript around, receive rejection letters, hire an agent, or wait for someone else to see the value of what you offer before getting it out to a market of prospective customers eager for your expertise.

But, not every entrepreneur, topic expert, executive, health professional, celebrity has the time, writing skills—or, let's face it, desire--to create a ready-for-press manuscript. What's a person to do? Focus on what you do best and hand off writing about it to someone else. Even if you are perfectly comfortable writing major sections or chapters, you can get support organizing, beefing up, and/or finalizing your manuscript.

Enter the manuscript developer, ghostwriter, creative collaborator. The ideal relationship is flexible enough for you to contribute at whatever level you prefer while you get help with the rest. You can also get help at any point in your process, from book structure, content development, and speaking to your audience demographic, to finding the right voice and tone, and, of course, grammar and editing. If you feel some help along the way will help you get your ideas to market faster and more successfully, find out more about what kind of support could be a good fit for you. Call Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn at 715-634-4120, or email about writing a book to build your business.

Writing a Book to Build Your Medical Practice - Part II

How to Get Organized, Get Help, and Get Going

(See "10-Point Book Writing Plan" below)

By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

Like Part I of this two-part series for physicians writing books, anyone can use this information. We've also included a free mini-course (see below) by John Eggen of Mission Marketing Mentors. We work with a lot of John's clients who are becoming published authors to build their businesses. John provides top-notch publishing guidance, including even more ways to start making money with your book before it's released, such as using your status as a forthcoming author to increase your visibility, consulting, and more. We work with these author experts to create their book titles and subtitles and book back cover sales copy they can immediately use to market and sell their books, while their books are being written. We also work with his clients that want help conceptualizing and writing their books rather than going it alone.

Free Mini-Course: Here is the link to John Eggen's free mini-course. John is a great contact and his publishing strategies work. Go to:

The 10-Point Book Writing Plan
While there are many ways to approach writing a non-fiction book (see John eggen's free mini-course above) one is the 10-Point Book Writing Plan. Here’s how it works:

• Choose a topic—see Part I of this series for ideas and approaches.
• Tell readers why you wrote the book and what they will get out of it. That is your Introduction.
• Identify 10 key points you want to make about your topic. Those are your 10 chapters.
• Break each of those 10 chapters down into manageable parts: An introduction, 3-7 key points, quotes, examples, stories, etc.
• The ideal length for a non-fiction book starts at around 144 pages, including the Table of Contents, Acknowledgments, Copyright page, and author bio. That means each of your chapters will be approximately 11-12 pages long. Think of it as writing a long letter to a good client or prospect.

You don’t have to go it alone. Busy physicians regularly hire ghostwriters, transcribers, and editors to assist them in the book writing process. You can even partner with a physician or non-physician to co-author the book with you. For more on organizing and writing your book or help with your book idea, see our Manuscript Development page. Or, contact Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn at Write To Your Market, Inc. - or 715-634-4120.

Writing a Book to Build Your Medical Practice - Part I


By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

While this post is primarily for physicians writing books, this information can apply to other areas of expertise as well. I was encouraged to write this two-part series by my client, Dr. Kenneth Cohn, a board-certified general surgeon/MBA. Dr. Cohn reaches out to physicians through his physician websites, the Health Care Collaboration Blog, "Improving Physician-Hospital Relations" and The Doctorpreneur, "A complete resource for physicians interested in pursuing non-clinical career opportunities."

What Writing a Book Can Do for You and Your Medical Practice
Physicians regularly write and publish books for a variety of professional and personal reasons. The following are some of the most common incentives: 

  • Stand out as an expert in your field
  • Showcase a unique approach that differentiates you and your services 
  • Expand your reputation in a specific area of expertise
  • Attract patients and others who are eager to work with you
  • Create additional streams of revenue, such as speaking and information products
  • Transition to a non-clinical career
  • Or, simply revive your passion for your practice and your life

* Write To Your Market, Inc. developed titles, subtitles, and back cover
marketing copy for the following five books by physicians.

What Kind of Book Should You Write?

Can you reap the benefits of being a published author only by writing about something related to your medical practice? Not at all. Professionals in many industries find that writing a book about a personal interest can also be a great way to connect with existing and prospective patients and partners. Telling people something about you as a person builds trust, which goes a long way toward creating and cementing relationships that build your practice.

Create a Lead-Generating Brand
Building a professional or personal brand is a great way to improve your medical practice, and writing a book has long been recognized as the best way to build a brand. According to Alan Weiss, international consultant and bestselling author of How to Establish a Unique Brand in the Consulting Profession, writing a book is, "the best branding technique of them all."

Ask Yourself These Four Questions to Get Started

- What energizes you—either in your practice or your personal life?
- What sets you apart from others in your field or specialty?
- What would you like to learn more about?
- What would you like to be known for 3 to 5 years from now?

Depending on what you want your book to do for you, you can choose to write about something related to your medical expertise, or you can focus on a more personal topic. Or, you can do both. Again, the reason that writing a book or a series of books is such a good outlet for physicians is that it does very positive things for your reputation, your practice, and your personal well-being.

Professional, Personal, or a Blend:

Writing a book gives you a way to reach into yourself and out to others in an extremely rewarding way. It begins to bridge what may have become a wide gap between who you are as a physician and who you are as a person. You can even write a book for other physicians about how to survive and thrive in your professional. Based on your own experience and interviews with colleagues, you can cover a number of areas, such as how to reduce stress, find time to get to the gym, spend time with family when you’re on call, or just relax and recharge.

Expand Your Medical Practice or Expertise
There are many books on the market that demonstrate the success of books written by doctors on some aspect of their medical expertise. We have worked with many doctors who use that expertise to delve into an alternative approach they have developed to a common health challenge.

Or, Take the Personal Route
On a completely personal level, you can write a book about your passion for gardening and describe the health benefits of eating food you grow yourself. Do you like to travel? You can write a book about how travel helps relieve stress and renews your body, mind, and spirit. Do you love to spend time with your kids? Outline some of your favorite suggestions for activities, road trips, or “vacations” in your home town when you don’t have a lot of time but still want to create family memories. Describe how doing things together builds relationships that benefit the emotional and physical health of your family. Depending on what you care about and what excites you, the possibilities are endless.

An important thing to keep in mind is that the topic should be one that will support your expertise and your interest for a long time, both in the creation of the book and in promoting it. For more on organizing and writing your book or help with your book idea, see our Manuscript Development page. Or, contact Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn at Write To Your Market, Inc. - or 715-634-4120.


Next in This Series: Part II - "Organizing and Writing Your Book"

Six Ways to Build Profitable Relationships with Associations - (Part II)

By Susan Kendrick
Write To Your Market, Inc.

In Part I of this two-part series, One of the Most Profitable Relationships You Can Develop, we looked at how building relationships with industry associations can help you introduce yourself, your business, your services, and your book to your industry and to new markets. The beauty of it is that you do it by offering to help the association at the same time.

Here are 6 ways to get things rolling

1. Contribute: You can start by offering to do something as simple as contributing articles to the association newsletter, ezine, print magazine—however and wherever it communicates with its members. The association gets great, educational content. You get your message across to a group of prospects eager to get the most from their membership through access to expert guidance.

2. Membership Incentive: Associations face a major challenge on a daily basis that you can help them solve—membership. Associations of all kinds are continually trying to acquire new members and keep existing members. Offer your book, ebook, consulting session, or some other package to the association at a volume discount as part of a new-member incentive package or as a renewal incentive for existing members.

3. Support Its Cause: Become a champion for one of the association's causes and post regularly about it. You attract those interested in that cause to you as a reputable source of information, and the association gets exposure to your followers as well. You also gain recognition as someone valued by the association and the team that runs it. You are part of a vital mission in this new market you are getting to know and that is getting to know you. It's good for both you and the association, which, again, is the key to a profitable association relationship.

4. Provide Visibility: Interview the executive director of the association in a way that enhances his or her visibility and credibility. Make this interview available as a video, podcast, article, blog post, etc., for use by you, the director, and the association. 

5. Speak at Events: Offer to give the association a sample of your public public speaking abilities by doing a complimentary breakout session at the association's next big event. Even if you don’t get paid for the engagement the first time, that live exposure to decision-makers in this new market is a huge opportunity for you. Use your speaking session to give away a free gift (your book, related product, consulting package) through a drawing at the event, Facebook campaign, etc. 

6. Make It Easy: Most associations have some kind of process in place to help them select resources who will be a true value to their members. Go through that vetting process. Your book—or even your forthcoming book—mark you as a recognized authority in your field. Use it, your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter followings, testimonials, and other components of your existing platform to demonstrate your credibility and how you can add value to the association and its membership.

The idea is to enter a new market that you have identified as a good source of potential clients and revenue. Partner with an association in that market that meets the three criteria listed in Part I of this series. Then, do everything you can to add value to what the association is doing for its members in a way that introduces you, your business, and your services to those members. 

What Does This Have to Do With Your Book and Book Cover?
How effective your book is in helping you develop relationships with potential partners and in multiple markets will be a direct result not only of your book's content but its cover. The development of your manuscript and especially your book title and subtitle and your book's back cover sales copy can help you reach specific goals in your business, your practice, your future growth, and more. It will even influence who you approach—and don’t approach—for endorsements.

Your book is written for and is a conversation with the reader. The same is true of your book cover. But, your book cover is also the marketing tool you will use to create profitable relationships within your industry. Make sure it works hard to build your credibility, showcase your expertise, and open doors for you. Writing a book to build your business? Please visit our website, or call Graham Van Dixhorn and Susan Kendrick at or 715-634-4120.

One of the Most Profitable Relationships You Can Develop - (Part I)

By Susan Kendrick

What’s easier, a cold call or having someone personally introduce you to a new prospect? What’s a quicker way to build trust—jump through all the hoops of proving that you’re as good as you say you are, or have somebody your prospect already knows and trusts back you up as a great resource? In each case, either way works, but a third-party introduction and endorsement is definitely less labor-intensive. You move on much more quickly to building relationships instead of just trying to get them started.

That’s the way it is when you want to introduce yourself, your business, your services, your book, to a new market. One of the best ways to do this in consulting or any industry is to become a part of that market and for someone already known in that market to make the introductions. Rather than creating relationships one at a time, this is the way to gain access to many prospects at once. 

Who Should You Approach?

Take a look at these three criteria. It should be an individual or organization that:
• Continually offers their followers quality information, perspectives, and resources
  that will help them be better at what they do
• Has a list of followers with whom they regularly communicate and who are used to
  signing up for educational programs and purchasing resources
• Reaches out to their followers in a variety of ways: enewsletters, magazine, webinars,
  blogs, podcasts, speakers, annual events, expos, conventions, and more

Who Does All That? Professional Associations

Professional associations exist on many levels—nationally as well as by state, region, and even by sub-industry. Approach each of them like you would approach a media outlet. In other words, offer to do things that help them achieve their goals. Be a good partner, an information hub, a source for quality perspectives, insights, and educational content.  In return, you get introduced as a go-to expert to potentially throusands of new prospects. For questions or help with ideas for creating relationships in your industry, contact us at Write To Your Market, Inc. - or 715-634-4120.

Coming Next: "Six Ways to Get Started"

Creating Book Titles and Subtitles That Work in Any Format

By Susan Kendrick

It's a small, small worldfor your book cover. There's a reason the length of titles and subtitles is coming up a lot lately, and that is because of the variety of ways your book is now seen and sold.

Why Small Matters: A Brief History

Think about it. A book cover used to be written and designed primarily as a physical billboard for your book. The book needed to create interest when seen on the shelf at the bookstore or anywhere else it was displayed for sale. Then came those small thumbnail versions on amazon and other online retailers. Your book cover still has to draw people in, even in its reduced size. But, now  micro-versions continue to shrink as your book finds its way onto tablets and smart phones.
Check Out These Amazon Bestsellers ... (Take a look at the books on this Business Bestsellers on Amazon. Which ones do you think stand out in their smaller format and which
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