You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”- Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Dr Seuss said something similar when he said…

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”- Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

A New Purpose For Books

I have a confession. I love reading. I’m a book-a-holic. I am constantly reading books, articles, blogs, etc. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of reading 4-5 books at the same time.

Books are a great way to discover new ideas and a great way to share your ideas with others. They always have been. But some people today are using them for another purpose.

Let me explain. I read an article online recently that revealed a unique purpose for writing a book that you might not have thought of.

The article was in The New York Observer. It was called “Talk To Me, Malcolm Gladwell!” and was written by Nick Summers.

The article is about the booming speakers market where journalists are in high demand on the lecture circuit. In fact, they are in such demand that many of them are actually discovering a new way to make a living as a journalist.

Summers says, “For most writers, an idea is only good for a single article, or a single book–and a single paycheck. But that same idea rendered in speech form can be delivered many, many times.”

That’s an amazing thought, isn’t it?

But that’s not the part the got my attention.

It was something he said just a little bit later when he explained how the speaking model has flipped around.

The Old Book Model Has Changed

Listen to what he says about the new model, “Old model: tour the country to promote your book. New model: write a book to tour the country. It’s interactive. They both support each other,’ Mr. Leigh said. ‘Initially, the speaking promotes the book, and afterwards the book promotes the talks, and then the talks go on keeping the book alive.‘”

Then he said, “The book doesn’t even need to be good. You just need to have written one good book, to get known,” said a longtime magazine editor who has worked at several large media companies. “The book is just the loss leader for the speech.

Do you understand what he just said?

Books are becoming a form of content marketing for speakers.

Have you ever thought about using a book as a form of content marketing to expose you, your ideas, or your business to others?

I authored two ebooks because I wanted to help business owners to survive and prosper in a recession. One was released in 2002 and the other was released in 2008.

But I also confess, I had a side-purpose. The purpose of the ebook was to sell an additional product. A product called ”me, myself, and I.”

You see, at that point in my life I had been involved in online marketing for 2 years or so. I began working on Volume 1 of my recession ebook in the Fall of 2001.

Up until that point, I had learned a lot from using content marketing to promote and grow a website in a small, obscure niche. (I did this before the term “content marketing” was invented and even though I didn’t know I was using it!)

I saw that site grow to become probably one of the top five sites in that little niche. But in spite of that fact, I wasn’t known in what was then called the “internet marketing” arena.

I knew that the book would help elevate me from obscurity. I knew it would, at the least, legitimize who I was and begin to expose my abilities to others.

And it did.

I’ve personally seen the benefits of using a book as your content marketing vehicle, so I know it works. Here are just four benefits:

4 Benefits Of Using A Book As Your Content Marketing Vehicle

1. It establishes you as an expert. People assume if you’ve authored a book, then you are an expert. You will get more respect as an author than you ever would without becoming one.

2. It gives you a product to sell. The great thing about a book is that people expect to pay for books. They don’t expect to pay for articles or blog posts. It’s a way for you to create a perceived value around your ideas that can bring you income while you share your ideas.

3. It allows you to be discovered by prospects as opposed to you having to chase after them. When you’re chasing down prospects and begging them to work with you, you are in a place of weakness. You seem needy. You automatically cause your prospects to put up their guard. But when they discover you and approach you, the whole thing changes. You gain a place of strength. Your customers automatically have a different perception of you. Their guard is down and their minds are open to the possibility of working with you.

4. It causes your ideas to spread. This allows you to spread your ideas and the knowledge of your business farther and wider than they would or could without having a book as your content marketing vehicle.

An Example Of The 4 Benefits In Action

Let me give you an example of how these four benefits play out for an actual business.

I was in Barnes & Noble recently and I saw a book called Engagement marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World by Gail Goodman, the CEO of

It’s about turning clients into engaged fans who spread the word about your business across a variety of online platforms using what Gail calls “Engagement Marketing.” It’s a great book and has some really great ideas in it.

But what I want you to see with this book is that it provides the content marketing vehicle that allows Gail to spread the word about her company. It does that indirectly just based on who she is, but it also does it directly.

Besides the great ideas that Gail shares in the book, she also shares about some tools you can use to participate in engagement marketing. And what is one of the tools she mentions?

Don’t get me wrong.

The books is NOT a veiled information product for her company. It contains a lot of great ideas and methods for you to use. But it IS a form of content marketing. It is a content marketing vehicle to promote Gail, her ideas, and her company.

Do you see the four benefits I mentioned in action here?
The book establishes Gail as an expert (#1).
It gives her a product to sell (#2).
It allows more people to discover (#3).
And it is causes her ideas (and her company) to spread (#4).

*Don’t misunderstand me. A book is not just a content marketing vehicle for speakers. It’s a content marketing vehicle for anyone who has a message, whether you ever get up on stage to share that message or not.

Every business has a message, a viewpoint, or perspective to share. And with as many options as their are nowadays for producing a book, you have no excuse for not writing one.

Besides, I’ll eventually need some more books to read.

Photo by eflon