The growth of any business starts with developing a strong personal brand. That’s because it gives your target market insight on who you are, what your company stands for, what goals you want to achieve, and how your products and services can make a difference.
At the same time, building a strong personal brand can help establish you as an expert and thought leader in your niche. Not only does this help you stand out from your competitors but also gain the trust of your potential customers. These are incredibly crucial in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.
We live in an age where internet technology significantly revolutionized the way we do business. 67% of a customer’s buyer journey now happens online, thanks to the wealth of marketing technology we now have at our disposal.
It’s for this very reason that gaining your customers’ trust plays a far more crucial role than ever. In fact, studies show the level of trust and credibility a company earns from its target market is one of the significant factors for a customer to buy from them.
As solopreneurs, you need to find ways to boost your personal brand without busting your budget and still have time and resources to build your business. One of the best ways to achieve all of this is by publishing an ebook. Here’s why.
1. Ebooks Help You Grow Your Email List
A massive email list of leads is perhaps an online business’ most valuable asset. The people in this list are those that expressed some interest in a company’s products and service and trust them enough to provide them with their contact information.
Inbound marketers understand that they need to give these people an offer that’s appealing and irresistible to get these contact details. Creating an ebook packed with information they consider valuable can entice your prospects enough to transform them into leads that you can now nurture and convert into paying customers.
2. Ebooks Can Help You Establish Your Credibility
When you write an ebook, you’re able to showcase to your prospective and current clients your knowledge and expertise on a particular topic within your niche. Doing this helps you establish yourself as an authority on the subject. At the same time, you are showing your prospective clients that you’re someone who not only takes the initiative but also follows through to get the job done.
3. Ebooks Open Doors to Collaborate With Movers and Shakers
Writing an ebook is hard work, especially if you’re someone that’s just starting to make your personal brand known in your industry. You can make the process of writing an ebook easier and more fruitful by collaborating with influencers within your niche on creating your ebook.
Collaborating with someone established in your niche on an ebook helps you in three ways. First, it enables you to deliver more value to your target audience. As the saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” By working with someone that’s well-established in your niche, you’re able to go deeper into your chosen topic and provide your potential leads with high-quality and in-depth information.
Second, your readers associate your brand’s reputation with your more-established collaborator. When your visitors see that you’re closely affiliated with someone highly respected in your industry, they immediately assume that if they were willing to work with you on your ebook, it means they must have high regard for your business and what you have to offer.
This was precisely the case I experienced when I collaborated with a reputed influencer platform to work on an in-depth guide on influencer marketing. Aside from getting a boost on my lead generation efforts, it also opened doors of opportunity for me to contribute to reputable websites like HubSpot to talk more about influencer marketing.
Finally, you’re able to promote your brand to a broader audience. That’s because you’re not the only one that will promote your ebook using different lead generating strategies once it’s finished. The person or persons that collaborated on the ebook with you will do the same, expanding your reach and further promoting awareness about you and your brand.
4. Ebooks Provide an Avenue to Repurpose Your Content
If you’ve been doing inbound marketing or content marketing for some time, chances are you already have some blog posts that resonated well with your target audience. Repurposing them as an ebook will help extend your content’s value and ability to generate leads and convert them into customers.
It’s no wonder, then, why ebooks are the most common type of opt-in offer brands use to generate leads. However, the fact that online marketers so widely use it can make using this to boost your personal brand also challenging.
Customers don’t just share their contact details unless you give them a compelling reason to do so. That said, your ebook offer should be something that’s valuable, stands out from the crowd, and is irresistible to them.
Here are 5 steps to publish an ebook that will solidify your brand and capture your visitors to turn them into leads.
1. Review Your Buyer Persona
Before sitting down to write your ebook, take a closer look at your buyer persona’s pain points and challenges. These are crucial because these are the topics your target audience wants to solve, so they will be more attentive to content offers that provide them with possible solutions.
If you don’t have a buyer persona yet, you can create one using a tool like HubSpot’s persona generator.
Screenshot from HubSpot’s Buyer Persona Tool
2. Target One Specific Problem to Solve
You don’t have to solve all of your target market’s problems in one ebook. Instead, pick the one that’s the most pressing and challenging pain point, and use this as the topic for your ebook.
Quora is one great site to use. It gives you a list of all the different questions people are asking about a specific topic. Scroll down the list of questions posted, and take note of any similarities.
Screenshot from Quora
Another tool to use is BuzzSumo. Here, you’ll find the most popular posts and other pieces of content for a specific keyword.
Screenshot from BuzzSumo
Take note of the blog posts that get the most shares on social media. These are the ones that resonate with your target audience so much that they are willing to share this with those in their network.
If you have been blogging for some time, visit your Google Analytics to find your top-performing blog posts. These would make excellent topics for your ebook for two reasons. First, you know that these are topics that already resonate with your target audience. Second, you’ve already done most of the initial research. All you have to do is to expand this so that your ebook provides more in-depth details.
3. Make Your Content Quick, Simple, and Actionable
Your ebook doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long to give you results. In fact, the average length of ebooks used as an opt-in offer is between 2,000 and 2,500 words.
The key when writing content is to present the information so that it’s easy to understand.
At the same time, it should also offer tips and strategies that are quick to implement and produce noticeable results for your readers.
Start by planning out the table of contents of your ebook. That way, you have an outline that will guide you on what you will be covering in your ebook so you can stay focused on the topic. At the same time, you’ll be able to gauge if the content you’ll provide in your ebook will provide the help and solutions your readers are expecting.
4. Provide Content Not Offered on Your Website or Blog
If you’re aiming to use your ebook as an opt-in offer to your potential and current customers, make sure that the content here is something that they can’t find elsewhere on your blog. Otherwise, your visitors won’t be willing to give you their contact information to gain access to this.
5. Stay Consistent With Your Overall Branding
Your ebook’s cover design is just as important as the content inside. That’s because it’s the first thing that your visitors will see once they arrive on your ebook’s landing page. It’s also what would set the expectations of your visitors when it comes to the content in your ebook.
A well-executed ebook cover design should be one that visually provides a glimpse of what your visitors can expect from the content. It should also convey your personal brand and image so that it matches your overall brand message.
The most common way entrepreneurs deal with this is by hiring a freelance graphic designer to create their ebook’s cover design. The problem with this is that you run the risk of hiring someone that won’t be able to create a design that meets your expectation. This not only can lead to significant time wasted because of the number of revisions that need to be done but also cause you to spend more.
A better option would be to run an ebook cover design contest on a platform like Designhill. This option allows you to review designs submitted by several graphics designers based on the specifications you provide.
Screenshot from Designhill
Not only are you able to increase your chances of finding an ebook design cover that matches and resonates with your personal brand, but also pay when you’re satisfied with the design submitted.
Your personal brand helps you stand out from your competition. More important, it’s one of the crucial factors that will determine the level of trust your target audience will give to you and your brand, and whether they’ll be willing to do business with you.
Writing and publishing an ebook is a time-consuming project. However, by creating one following the steps provided in this blog post, it’s an effective way to boost your personal brand by establishing you as an authority and expert thought leader in your niche. You can use this as an opt-in offer to promote brand awareness and generate new leads. It can even be an avenue for you to build relationships with other influencers in your niche, further strengthening your personal brand.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.