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Getting Published: Positioning Yourself As An Expert Faster with Judy Weintraub
We’re going to talk about how to position yourself as an expert. How to do that at a faster pace and how can you do that optimally? Also, in that context is how to do it through writing a book and some specific tips on that with a great guest, Judy Weintraub who is here with us. She is an accomplished entrepreneur, a business executive, an attorney and a bestselling author of The Essentials of Negotiating Effectively. She’s also the author of How to Build Successful Business Partnerships. She’s the Founder of SkillBites, providing book writing and publishing services designed to help authors to get their books written and published easily and quickly. That’s what we’re all about here. In addition to SkillBites, Judy runs Weintraub Legal Services providing dispute resolution services and corporate law services to small business. Welcome, Judy.
Thank you so much, Penny.
You are a woman with many hats.
I am but I love helping business owners succeed. That’s how I got into the book writing business.
Tell me more about that because that’s a far cry from being a lawyer and negotiating. What makes you passionate about the entrepreneur and helping them to write?
I help entrepreneurs in my legal practice. One of the things that I can see is that a lot of business owners aren’t able to grow well because they’re not attracting enough prospects. Getting a book published is a great way to attract more of your ideal prospects and that will enable you to grow your business.
It is the entrepreneurs’ dilemma. Most entrepreneurs get into business because they’re good at something, but it doesn’t mean they’re good at sales. It doesn’t mean that they’re good at finding a business. It means they’re good at delivering the product or service that they do.
You know because you’re a bestselling author as well how incredibly powerful it is when you can say you’re a published author.
Let’s talk about how an entrepreneur can position themselves more efficiently, effectively as that expert in the marketplace and earn more money as a result of writing a book. Tell us about your perspective from that.
Once you’re a published author, you’re almost immediately perceived as a thought leader or an expert in your field. A lot of people won’t do business with somebody unless they know, like and trust them. When you’re a published author, you gain that trust from the people who perceive you as an expert, who are aware of your book and may have read your book. It can be great for enhancing your credibility and greatly expanding your visibility, all these people that come across your book that you might never have known and couldn’t attract before.
It opened many doors for me. I already had a good reputation. I used to be a Tony Robbins’ business coach. I had some accolades or credibility and that context. I do believe that having the book opened up different platforms to me and got people to know me without having to interact with them. People are like, “I feel like I know you from reading your book.” It gives you a leg up.
You don’t even have to have people read your book. If they know that you’re a published author, without reading your book at all, they’ll still perceive you as a thought leader or an expert.
What are some of the things that have opened up for clients of yours, for entrepreneurs that have done this?
They’ve had speaking engagements and joint venture opportunities. One of my authors submitted her book as part of a proposal in response to a request for proposals for a significant job that she would never normally have been considered for. She was a subcontractor for a major job. The contractor saw that she had this book, he selected her as the subcontractor on this massive job. She would not have been able to be considered for that had she not had a book. You have to use the book. You have to put that in with your proposal and let people know about the fact that you’re a published author.
It’s an incredible tool and it’s a speed to trust. We’re talking about Take Back Time on this show. If you’re an entrepreneur or you feel like you have a story inside, writing a book is a fantastic way to get exposure fairly quickly and to get that status. A lot of entrepreneurs are like, “That sounds great but I can’t write.”
Fortunately, that’s not a big issue. I would say the bigger issue for most of my clients is how you find the time to write when you’re trying to run a business. The fact that you have the expertise to run business means you’ve got enough material whether you write it, whether you speak it, whether you have a ghostwriter and get the thoughts out of your head. There are ways to get it done. The bigger issue is how do you find the time to write?
What time are we talking about? I want to write it myself or I write it with a ghostwriter, what time commitment are we talking about in each of those scenarios?
It’s going to depend on the size of the book that you’re trying to write. It’s going to take a lot more time if you’re writing a 300-page book than writing a 50-page book. I’ve got a lot of authors who are writing the short 30 to 50-page books because they can be written a lot quicker, it’s a lot easier for their target market to read. They can narrowly target these little books to exactly what their audience needs and it’s less expensive to publish as well. When you do a number of them, you’re a serial author and you can bundle them. There are a lot of advantages to doing shorter books.
You may have busted a belief that some people have, “I have to write a 200, 300-page book.”
That can be overwhelming.
I do think that people hold that in their head, “I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I don’t have the skills,” because they think it’s such a big book. Let’s take that example. If somebody is going to write a 30 or a 50-page book, what time commitment would they need to set aside in order to do that?
If they’re going to write it themselves and they already have some material that they’ve created, let’s say they have blog posts, presentations or articles, it can be done fairly quickly. You can repurpose a material that you’ve already created into a 30 to 50-page book in a couple of months.
That’s my favorite word, repurpose. I love that word. As an entrepreneur, I have blog, articles, audios that I’ve done and presentations. They could bring their phone with them and record a presentation that they’re doing and that can be transcribed. It can be used in a whole host of different ways including the book. Being able to repurpose everything that they’re already doing is so powerful.
A lot of people won't do business with somebody unless they know, like and trust them. Click To Tweet It will save them so much time than having to recreate the material.
That’s another belief buster that if somebody is thinking, “I don’t have the material and the content. It is going to take so much time.” It’s so much easier when you use what you already have.
Another advantage or strategy for getting your book written more quickly is to carve out some time that you know that you can devote to your book. Develop a game plan. When would you be able to write? Is it early in the morning? Is it late at night or some time that you can work uninterrupted? It ought to be a time that your mind is still fairly active and creative. If doing it at night is the only uninterrupted time but you’re exhausted, that’s not going to work out well for you. See if you can carve out an hour or so a couple of times a week so that you can get into a flow and make progress. You want to identify the time, you wanted to identify where you’re going to write, what days you’re going to write or how long you’re going to write? Once you have that game plan and you try to stick to it, then you’ll get your book done. It’s when you try to find the time, catch-as-catch-can that it takes forever.
You’ve got to schedule it. You’ve got to create a system for yourself. That’s what I did when I was writing my book. I woke up an hour before my kids got up in the morning and I would write for an hour before they got up. I would also write after they went to bed. Everybody’s going to be different. Find the energy and find the place that you’re going to be uninterrupted. That’s an important thing is to plan for that time.
If you identify a timeframe that you want to have the book written, you publicize that perhaps on social media, you let some friends know or whatever then you’ve gotten a built-in accountability standard that will also help you get that book done in the timeframe that you want.
I do that too. It’s like you hold your feet to your fire. You announce it to everybody on a certain date. You have a responsibility because you’ve put it out there and that’s a great idea. It allows you to work with the end in mind, work your way backwards and create your plan from the end date. That’s a smart way to do it.
I was going to go into another tip that I find help most of my clients. Not everybody works well from this but most people find it much easier to write from an outline than to write on a blank piece of paper or a blank screen. I suggest creating an outline of your book, starting with doing a brain dump of everything that you want to include. You can categorize things into the different chapters, subtopics and write from that. You don’t even have to go in order. You can start anywhere where you have a particular mental thought as to what you want to say. It could be in chapter five, chapter nine or whatever and keep writing all the pieces. When it’s all done, you can go through, put in transitions and move things around but you’ll get it done that way.
What are all the things I need to think about and plan for ahead of time? A lot of times when we do things, we don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into. What resources does somebody need to think about in terms of planning for the investment, both of their time and money?
If you don’t have an overview of what’s at stake in going into this project, you could find that you’ve spent a lot of time getting your book done and then you don’t have the wherewithal or the desire to go through and get it published. You’ve wasted your time. A critical factor is knowing what you want to get out of the book and who you’re writing it for. If you’re going to write a book that isn’t going to get you where you want to go, then it’s not worth writing. Know what your objective is and who you’re target audience is that you want to read the book. Write a book that will help you get to your objective by helping the target reader that will hopefully come to you for whatever the product or services that you’re trying to sell. You should be aware of all the things that have to happen to get your book done besides the writing of the book.
What are some of those? Most people aren’t aware of that and it will be helpful for them to know.
Number one is you need a good editing job. If this is going to enhance your reputation, then you don’t want to put something out there with grammatical errors, typos or things like that. It’s like if you have a resume that’s got an error in it, you could be the most qualified person but it’s not going to come across well. You’ve got editing. You’ve got book layout, which is taking your manuscript and making it look like a book. Putting in things like the copyright page, the table of contents, headers, fonts, margins and all the things that make a book a book instead of a paper between two covers. You need to have an attractive front cover. You need to have good information on the back cover because that’s what people look at second after they look at the front cover. If your book is thick enough to have a spine, you want to have the title, your name on the spine and all that requires that you pay attention to the cover specifications of whoever’s doing the publishing of your book. Generally, that person that does a cover should be a cover designer because graphic artists and others don’t necessarily understand cover design specifications.
You mentioned publishing. That’s a piece in itself too. It’s either to have somebody do that for you or to understand what needs to happen in order to get that published.
There’s the formatting of the book as an eBook and print book. There’s getting it up on Amazon and other platforms and getting your print copies. You can do all that yourself, the question, is that the most worthwhile expenditure of your time given that you’re trying to run a business? You have to learn how to do it. If you don’t do it right, it’s probably not going to come out well. When you are publishing on Amazon, you have certain options for choosing keywords, choosing categories, writing a description and things like that that will make your book findable. If you aren’t an expert in doing those things, nobody can find your book because you didn’t take advantage of those opportunities, what are you gaining?
You mentioned earlier about knowing your objective. There are different platforms. Amazon isn’t the only platform and depending on what one’s objective is, if they want to be in the bookstore then they want to be on different platforms. If you’re self-published, then you can’t be in a bookstore unless you’re with certain publishing platforms.
Amazon does offer expanded distribution, which means that bookstores could provide their patrons access to your book. What Amazon doesn’t tell you is that bookstores don’t use Amazon. They don’t have their patrons gain access to books that are on Amazon because Amazon gives a much lower discount to bookstores and they don’t take returns.
A critical factor is knowing what you want to get out of the book and who you're writing it for. Click To Tweet That’s the main thing. When I did my research, they want you to use platforms that will manage those returns.
Once you select expanded distribution on Amazon, you can’t deselect it later. You can deselect it but it’s not going to do any good. You can’t then get your book on the other platforms that bookstores do go to without a huge complicated mess. That’s the type of thing that if you’re not knowledgeable, you might make that mistake. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire somebody who can help you do that and do it right.
There are nuances to getting a book published and getting it to your audience. If you’re not the expert in that, give it over to somebody who is an expert in that space and can make sure that you’re meeting all of your objectives as opposed to learning the hard way.
The one other thing that is important for people to understand is that as hard as it is to get the book written and to go through all those steps to get it published, the biggest thing you got to keep in mind is the book marketing. If you don’t do any book marketing, your book isn’t good going to get you as far as it should. That’s a shame because you’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into getting your book done. If you don’t market it, nobody’s going to know about it.
That would be a waste of time. You’ve got to make sure in your planning that you’ve already thought about your target audience. Then it’s, “How are you going to reach them on the marketing side,” and getting a solid marketing plan out there so that you can get your book recognized and use it to enhance your business, which is what you wrote it for. You’ve put that thought in their head and they’re thinking about it, what else do you think is important for them to know?
They need to know what their objectives are. If you want your book to help you get someplace, then number one, it will help you prioritize the book above other things and number two, it will help you write a book that will help you achieve those objectives. You need to keep in mind all the different facets of the book, not just the writing of the book but all the steps post writing, post manuscripts, through publication and marketing. You need to develop a marketing strategy on how you’re going to use your book, how are you going to promote it and how can you leverage your book. It’s not the book sales that are going to lead to a whole lot of revenue for you. It’s leveraging your book to bring in more customers, getting more speaking engagements, joint venture opportunities or things like that. That’s where the real power of having a book is.
Where can people find out more information about you so they can get your support?
I can be reached via my email, which is Judy@SkillBites.net. My website is SkillBites.net. I wanted to let your audience know that I’ve got a workshop coming up in called, It’s About Time to Write Your Book. We talk about how do you find the time to write your book, how you take action that can help you get your book written as quickly and easily as possible.
Judy, thank you so much and sharing these great tips, especially so that they’ve got an idea of all the things that they need to think about when they’re going to write a book, write it efficiently and effectively.
That’s my pleasure, Penny. Thanks so much for having me on your show.
For all entrepreneurs, business leaders and people who think that you’ve got a story to tell there are a couple of beliefs that we’ve busted. It doesn’t have to be a long book. You definitely can get the support you need and plan out the time that you want to write it. This is one of those things I can tell you is challenging. I wrote a longer book but since then I’ve written some workbooks. I can tell you that it will boost your business and it’s worth the effort that you’re going to put into it. Think about whether it’s about time to write your book. We’ll see you in the next episode. Thanks.
- The Essentials of Negotiating Effectively
- How to Build Successful Business Partnerships
- Weintraub Legal Services
About Judy Weintraub
Judy Weintraub is an accomplished entrepreneur, business executive, and attorney and is a bestselling author of The Essentials of Negotiating Effectively and the author of How to Build Successful Business Partnerships. She is the founder of SkillBites, providing book writing and publishing services designed to help authors get their books written and published easily and quickly. In addition to SkillBites, Judy runs Weintraub Legal Services, providing dispute resolution services and corporate law services to small businesses.