To Build Credibility, There’s Nothing Like A Book PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 28 September 2012 15:24
How to Create Yours with a Minimal Investment of Time, Money
By: Michael Levin

How do you build trust with clients when people have lost their faith in the markets – and advisors, too?

And how do you stand out from the pack when investors can go online and find dozens or even hundreds of advisors from whom to choose, not to mention the Fidelitys and ScottTrades of the world?

For more and more financial advisors, financial planners, and owners of financial services firms, the answer is writing a book.

When you’re an author, you’re the authority.

But how are you supposed to write a book when you’re jammed with taking care of your current clients and prospecting for more?

A process of 10 simple steps involving a minimal investment of your time and money can make you a published author in a matter of weeks. Your book will be full of your own thoughts and ideas, and convey just the tone you want. Best yet, you never have to sit down to write a word.

Keep in mind, you aren’t going into the book business — you’re using your own book to build your business.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t sell a single copy.  The idea is to demonstrate to prospective clients that you are the most trustworthy, knowledgeable authority in your field.  That going it alone is not a great strategy.  And that the value you provide far outstrips anything they could get from a website or from your competition.

You already know far more about your field than you could easily fit into a 150-175 page book (the best size book for today’s shortened attention spans).  People need to realize just how much you know about your specific area.  They need to know that you have a plan and a process for protecting and growing their hard-earned money.  That’s something only a book can do – not a white paper, not a website, and certainly not a 140-character tweet!

So how do you write a book without bringing in a ghostwriter?

• Step 1. Define your market niche.  Who do you want to reach?  Who can make you the most money?  Don’t think about writing a best-selling book – think about a best-earning book.  Your niche will make you rich.  So who’s at the heart of your target audience?

• Step 2. What’s the biggest problem they face?  Are they retirees, afraid of outliving their money?  Are they parents trying to fund their children’s education?  What keeps them up at night?

• Step 3. Ask yourself how you’ve solved this problem for other clients in the past.  Break down your solution into a multi-step process.  Each step in your process is going to be a separate chapter in your book.

• Step 4. Hire a college or grad student in journalism from a local school — see some clips first, before you make an agreement — to interview you for an hour a day on each step in your process.  Tell the person all the war stories, facts and figures, successful client engagements, everything that relates to each specific chapter of the book.  Pay the student $250-300 per chapter for the interviewing and writing.

• Step 5. Fact check the completed manuscript and have it professionally proofread.  You can find proofreaders online.

• Step 6. Have a cover designed for your book on a website like, which aggregates graphic design work for a remarkably low fee.  You can get a great cover for less than $300.

• Step 7. Upload the book to Kindle Direct – have someone tech-savvy in your office follow the fairly straightforward process.  Within hours, you’ll have a book that’s available on Amazon as a download for the Kindle.

• Step 8. Offer the book as a free PDF download to people who visit your website in exchange for contact information.

• Step 9. Use Amazon’s CreateSpace program to get physical books printed, which you can use as leave-behinds with prospects and as a way of getting lucrative and valuable speaking engagements.

• Step 10. Throw yourself a book launch party – put it in the local news media – and invite current clients to come and bring friends.  Sign books, create amazing new credibility for yourself, .and laugh all the way to the bank!

About Michael Levin: New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin runs, which specializes in ghostwriting books for financial services professionals.

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