Today, you need to have authority to be successful online. So many people are trying to become influencers, and it’s become crowded out there. Sort of.
We’ve always had many influencers in our lives, but they were limited to celebrities or politicians or authors who wrote books or wrote for newspapers or magazines. Our parents, grandparents, teachers, and clergy were also some of our influencers.
Now, thanks to social media and the ease in which we can publish content online, it’s become easier than ever to be an influencer. All you need is a following of people who are interested in what you have to say.
To be a successful influencer, you need to have authority. The very definition of authority is the power to influence. To build authority, people need to trust you and be interested in what you have to say. They want to look up to you, even if only in one area of their lives. When you have authority, you have that trust.
You don’t need to be have millions of followers to be an influencer. Even if you have only a small audience of a few thousand or even a few hundred people, you are still someone who influences them—you are an influencer.
You create authority by being seen as an expert. You don’t have to have advanced degrees and years of experience to be an expert. All you need to have is expertise, which means that you know something that you can teach to other people. If you can teach, you have expertise, which means you’re an expert. If you’re an expert, you have authority.
One of the best ways to create authority is to teach. When I used to teach high school science and math, I carried a lot of authority. As parents, we teach our children, which brings another level of authority. Pastors, preachers, and priests also have a lot of authority, and they spend much of their time teaching us.
However, teaching people in person, while it does build authority, also limits our circle of influence. We need a way to teach people around the clock, wherever they might live. We want to teach once, yet let our lessons continue teaching people over and over.
Which is exactly what your book or booklet does.
My epiphany about booklets
My epiphany was discovering that big influencers like Lewis Howes and Grant Cardone were publishing booklets to build their authority faster, dramatically increase their list, and make tons of money.
A booklet is like a mini-book, usually around 4 x 6 inches or so.
I always knew that writing and publishing a book was a great way to build authority and make a lot of money but writing a book can be hard and takes a long time. One day, I was ordering a booklet from Grant Cardone called The Millionaire Booklet – How to Get Super Rich when it hit me. A booklet is super easy, and most people already have enough content for one or two (or more) booklets. But the next thought that hit me was even more powerful. A booklet is even more effective than a book!
You see, most people buy books and then only read a tiny bit of it or none at all. (If they’re honest with themselves.) But a booklet has a laser focus on one important thing, and when you buy that booklet, you are excited to learn about it and make your life better. So, you usually read the whole thing right away. You then feel much better about yourself because you accomplished something. You transfer those good feelings to the author and then you want more. The back of the booklet shows how you can learn more from the author, so you go to their page and sign up for more.
With a book, the opposite is often true. When you don’t finish the book, you feel let down and not very happy with yourself. But you’re human, so you usually transfer those bad feelings to the author. Also, you rarely get to the back of the book to even see their offer.
Which experience would you prefer your potential customer have?
Can you still write a book?
Sure! Books are still effective and definitely have their place in your branding and marketing. But I suggest you write a series of booklets first and then combine them into one book. Each booklet becomes a chapter in your book, and then add an introduction and conclusion to finish. That way, you can leverage the branding and marketing power of each booklet separately and then leverage the book as well.
Or, collaborate with a few other people, have each of them write a chapter, turn each one into a booklet specific to that author, and then combine all of them into one shared book. Charge them for the service and suddenly you’ve completely paid for your own booklet and book, plus you’ve built valuable relationships and can leverage their audience.
Often, your book is more effective for establishing relationships with other influencers than it is for reaching your potential customers.
How to build authority fast
Building authority is one of the best ways to build your business. We want to connect with people, and we want to hear their story. People want to hear your story. They want a glimpse into your life. They want to learn from you.
One of the best ways to build authority is by publishing content such as video, audio, photos, and text. Social media is one way to provide this. Between Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Medium, podcasts, and a hundred other platforms, you could spend every waking moment publishing content. It’s not the most effective, but if you post enough content, you’ll slowly build your brand.
There’s an easier way—write and publish a book or a booklet. Look at all of the people who have blown up their brand and built authority because of their books: Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes, Brendon Burchard, Grant Cardone, and on and on. Yes, they’ve done a lot of other things, but it was their books that put them on the map.
Why do books or booklets do such an amazing job of building authority? There are two big reasons. One, the process of creating them usually involves distilling a lot of skill and experience. Reading Brendan Burchard’s book, High Performance Habits is like taking a semester-long course in high performance. Reading Lewis Howes’ booklet, The Millionaire Morning, is like spending an entire weekend learning from Lewis himself.
Two, physical books and booklets hold a hefty amount of perceived value. There’s a visceral feeling of high value and potential we experience when we hold them in our hands. We feel as if we hold the knowledge of the ages, and the possibilities open to us seem unbounded.
Because of these two reasons, even though your booklet may have the same amount of words as five to ten long Facebook posts, the impact it has is many times greater. Social media posts take a long time to build up in your system. Each time we see someone’s post, it adds a tiny bit of credibility. If you don’t see any posts for a while, you stop thinking about them, and when they start posting again, it takes a little bit to build that back up before you can continue forward.
With a book or booklet, however, it’s like getting several months’ worth of the benefits of social media posts in one big shot. It carries a lot of weight. Not only that, but you can extract a lot of social media posts from your booklet and get the benefits of both!
Also, the effect of your book or booklet continues to work for you, even when it’s not being read. Try doing that with social media. We don’t put books into a drawer or box somewhere, we put them in a special piece of furniture specifically designed to hold them where even a glance reminds us of our favorite authors. We’re reminded of the value of that book—even if we never even read it. I can buy someone’s book, never crack it open, put it on my bookshelf, and their brand still grows even though I don’t read it. That kind of influence is hard to beat.
About Chris O’Byrne
Chris has been a chemical engineer and a science teacher and has grown JETLAUNCH into a successful, process-driven business. JETLAUNCH has published well over one-thousand books for entrepreneurs, coaches, and many other professionals. They provide a complete set of book writing and publishing services, including editing, design, and marketing. You can get your free copy of “Get Paid Upfront to Write Your Book” at Jetlaunch.net.
Join us on January 16, 2019 when Chris discusses How to Build Your Author Business with Booklets and Mini Books during our weekly teleseminar.