Should financial advisors write a book?
Many advisors have considered writing a book but aren’t sure where to begin. Because while writing a book has many benefits, it can also be intimidating.
I’ve written several books throughout my career, as well as dozens of newsletter issues, hundreds of blog articles, and thousands of emails. At this point, writing is second nature to me but I’ll forget how daunting the process seemed at first.
Why Write A Book?
Having a published book is the pinnacle of authority marketing. We regard books are intrinsically valuable and treat authors with respect.
It makes sense because a book gives you a sneak peek of the author’s deep grasp on the subject matter. Nothing else builds credibility quite like a book. And because all financial advisors want to build trust and credibility with their target audience, a book can be a perfect fit.
You can’t fake your way into a good book. Either you know your stuff or you don’t.
A book also shows that you’re committed to your subject. If you’re a financial advisor who specializes in working with a niche and you write a book for that niche, it’s the ultimate symbol of dedication. It shows your market that you’re serious about helping them.
Some people will tell you that a book is the new business card but I think a book is far more impactful. Because you can order business cards in about five minutes - it takes no special talent or skill. Anyone can order business cards. Very few people put in the time and effort to write a book.
Should You Write A Book Yourself?
Not all financial advisors are natural-born writers. I totally get that.
That’s why ghostwriting services exist. You would be shocked at how many of the most popular business books are ghostwritten. Ronald Reagan even joked about his autobiography by saying, “I hear it’s a terrific book. One of these days I’m going to read it myself.”
A ghostwriter’s job is to help you articulate your ideas into written form. If you’re considering hiring a ghostwriter, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you willing to invest time and energy into writing a book?
Do you have the skills to professionally communicate your ideas in written form?
Do you enjoy the writing process? (You may have the time and the skills but if you don’t enjoy it, why bother? Life’s too short.)
If you’re considering hiring a ghostwriting, make sure you do your due diligence. Ask to see examples of the writer’s work. If he or she can’t provide a decent portfolio, move on.
Also, be sure to provide as many resources as you can. The more you can help the ghostwriter, the better your book will be. You should come prepared with LOTS of stories and anecdotes he or she can include in the book.
Perhaps the biggest downside to hiring a professional ghostwriter is the cost. Ghostwriting fees can vary depending on the ghostwriter’s experience and the amount of work required. You should expect to pay at least $20,000 for a full-length book. Elite ghostwriters can charge $100,000 or more for their services.
However, hiring a ghostwriter can be tax-deductible for you. (Of course, make sure you verify this with your accountant.) It may make sense to hire someone else to write your book because your time is not deductible. If you spend 500 hours writing your book, you can’t deduct any of the forgone income. But if you hire someone to write the book for you, you should be able to deduct that cost.
How To Get Your Cover And Title Right
People DO judge books by their covers, so don’t go cheap. Hire a professional designer to ensure your cover doesn’t look like it was made in Microsoft Paint.
Look at other covers in your industry or niche to see if there are any themes. Don’t be afraid to use some of these tropes because they will help people identify your book as being in the genre you want to be in. You want your cover to stand out by looking awesome, yet ensure it meets your niche’s expectations.
One of the best ways I’ve ever found to pick book covers is this: get a few mock-ups and run an engagement ad online asking people in your niche to vote. If one cover gets an overwhelming amount of votes, you have your winner.
You can also get input by posting your covers on social media, sending an email to your list, or asking friends in your niche. The idea is to identify which one of your mock-ups resonates the most with your audience.
You can use this same idea when it comes to picking your book’s title. Write an article summarizing the contents of your book. Then, run an ad targeting people in your niche but change the title to reflect your book title.