Everything has a story behind it, but if that story isn’t told, who cares? If no one had written down the tales of Camelot, King Arthur and the Round Table would be unknown today. No matter how great a story is, it doesn’t pass itself down on its own merits. Someone has to share it.
Your company’s story is no different: It must be told to make an impact. And leaving behind a legacy isn’t the only benefit — there are a number of ways it can help your business now.
Putting yourself out there
One of the main objectives of any business is to build trust with potential clients and partners. Not only does writing a book give validity to your expertise, but it enables prospects to learn more. A book can also provide added revenue through sales.
It’s important, however, to tell the right story about your business to succeed. Here are two ways to find the best angle:
- What do people want to know?
Research the most common questions and issues people have regarding your field. You can use Google Trends or survey your customers; you can also run test posts on your blog to see what grabs attention.
- Filter topics based on your knowledge
Determine which issues most align with your expertise, and find a way to add a unique perspective through case studies or personal experiences.
Doing it right
If you’re going to put the time and energy into writing a book, you might as well do it right. Keep these things in mind:
- Personal experience: Readers want a story they can connect with on a personal level.
- The good and bad: Don’t write only about successes. Show what you’ve learned through mistakes. This makes your story — and company — genuinely human.
- Be honest: Don’t sugarcoat the truth. If you sponsored a charity for exposure and not the cause, tell us. It helps us better understand your story and lends the credibility that comes with honesty.
- Reach: Expand your audience by making your lessons applicable to a wide range of readers.
- Takeaways: There has to be something gained by reading your book. Otherwise, what’s its value?
However, avoid writing about others (especially if you can’t cast them in a positive light), getting uncomfortably personal, or supplying boring information.
By crafting the right story, you’ll find new opportunities at your doorstep. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk ( author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World) and Dave Ramsey (author of EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches) both became New York Times bestsellers. While they were undoubtedly successful before, their stories propelled them to titan status in their fields.
So start looking for your company’s sword-in-the-stone moments. You just might end up the King Arthur of your field.