By Denise M. Michaels
I just read a post on Facebook that stated the days of piling on free bonuses for buying a book or program are gone. What people want today are solutions, not “great information” or “tools.” The busier we are the less time we want to spend on thousands of fluffy listings.
Loading up a book purchase with a bunch of free bonuses makes it sound too complicated, too much to wade through. Many new authors report, people who buy their book don’t even return to download the free bonuses.
When people give me what they think is a compliment online I almost cringe if they say I provide “great information” or “she’s like a walking encyclopedia.” No one buys encyclopedia’s anymore. I appreciate their kindness but I certainly don’t want to be known for great information.
The value of “information” has decreased significantly because millions of people figure you can get it free on Google. Of course that’s not true with a lot of information – but that’s become the perception today. Simply ask a question on Google and it’s all right there for you. Or is it?
I like putting a short, pertinent quote at the beginning of my ghostwriting clients book chapters that sort of frame each chapter. I suggest it to my book coaching clients, too. Cortana on Windows 10 is my best friend to find those quotes. It also helps me answer basic questions. For example when a client says they love a certain book but can’t remember who the author is, search engines save the day.
Try to find information about specific arenas in business and you’ll find a lot of fluff without much actionable information. If you’ll want valuable information chances are you’ll have to pay for it. If you want valuable information that’s not generic but customized to your specific challenges you’ll pay even more.
So if you sell information what should you do? Start by avoiding use of the terms “valuable information” or “great information” ever again. We’re all drowning in information. People are pushing it away and decompressing by dumbing down. That’s how the term “information overload” got started. Stop calling it “tools” as well.
When I talk with prospective clients one question I ask is, “What do you see as the ultimate benefit of the book you envision?”
If they mention “tools,” “techniques” or “tips” I’ll ask them to dig deeper. People who provide services like coaches, consultants, speakers and therapists usually have a process or a way of doing things they’ve developed. Over time they fall in love with their process. So when they start thinking about writing a book and a possible book title, their process and the tools spring to mind instantly.
The challenge is, your ideal book readers and future clients aren’t in love with your process. They just want a solution. So, sell the solution. It’s what we’ve heard in marketing for years: sell the sizzle. You might provide some of the process in your book to back up and reinforce the solution providing credibility – but that’s not what you lead with as your big benefit.
- “Information” has the least value of all. We’re all overwhelmed with it and want to push it away as quickly as possible.
- Using the term “Experience” has some value. However, experience isn’t always tempered with good judgment. Through our current presidential primaries we can see experience doesn’t count for much.
- “Wisdom” has even more value because it indicates a person who’s been through it many times. It’s more specific because the person presenting it has developed valuable concepts or beliefs.
- A “Proven Solution” is most valuable because it gets you to the finish line without difficulty or machinations.
In junior high I used to ride my bike a couple days a week after school to the library. I read books on travel, architecture, etiquette, psychology, business and much more. I sucked up information at an incredible rate. I believed all the knowledge of the world was in books. All these years later it’s still true. Yes, there’s some information in the technology world that changes so fast it becomes obsolete quickly. But a lot of information is ever green or doesn’t change for several years.
However, if you’re a purveyor of information, especially if you’re considering authoring a book, keep in mind use emotionally compelling terms that captivate and spell value to book readers, prospective clients or customers today.
Denise M. Michaels is a ghostwriter and book coach. She helps CEOs, entrepreneurs, therapists, speakers and aspiring authors become more recognizable and influential. Using the leverage a book provides you can become the go-to expert in your niche. To contact Denise click here now.