By Mindy Gibbins-Klein, Founder, The Book Midwife and Panoma Press

As the marketplace continues to improve, now is the perfect time to ramp up your profile and go in search of business that is just waiting for you. But in an increasingly crowded marketplace and the continued rise of new businesses and freelance consultants, how can you ensure you stand out from the crowd and your years of experience shine through against the sea of new market entrants? In this article, Mindy Gibbins-Klein reveals the business benefits of having your own book and how this can be leveraged to raise your profile and win more business.

I know quite a few people who are experts in their little area, and yet they don’t have the brand recognition or the market penetration that they could have. Does it matter? If no one knows about them, what good is their expertise and how much impact can they really have? But I have to reiterate here that it only matters if they feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied with their results. There is nothing wrong with being a small fish in a small pond. However, to achieve positive change and influence larger groups will usually require a bigger and bolder plan.

I would like you to consider becoming a household name. Can you imagine how it would feel to be known by all of the prospective clients that need to know about you? Would it help you achieve your business and personal goals a bit faster? You could also command higher fees if the demand on your time were greater than the time you had available. People will pay more to work with the thought leaders of this world.

Extending reach is usually seen as a job for Marketing and PR but it is not solely the responsibility of Marketing to extend the reach of your company. As head of your business, you need to be involved. No, scratch that. You need to own the job of extending reach and do whatever is necessary to make sure your addressable market knows about you and your products and services. I have seen too many cases of top executives abdicating their responsibility in this area and then blaming the marketing department or the PR company when things do not go as well as expected. Conversely, with good direction from senior leaders, the PR company and the marketing department can finally do their best work and execute on the vision.

Of all the marketing strategies that exist, writing and publishing is the best way to achieve greater reach. Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I? But it’s true. And I’m not the only one saying it. If you want to get known, you absolutely must be writing and publishing. How else could you get your message out to as many people as possible. If you want to get known, you absolutely must be writing and publishing.

Anthony Robbins has achieved most of his following from people who have read his book and listened to his tapes. Many years after original publication, the bestselling Awaken The Giant Within continues to sell well and attract people to his live events. The Secret, in book form and DVD, spread the message about the Law of Attraction widely and rapidly, giving many of the experts showcased a huge new market and household name status. Most business people I know had not heard of Dr. John Demartini or Bob Proctor before The Secret, despite the fact that those experts were speaking to thousands of people every year for many years. With books and other products, great leaders with innovative ideas can be instantly catapulted into the mass market. Think about the bestselling business books over the past few years, books like The One Minute Manager, Good to Great, The Tipping Point, The E-Myth Revisited. How many of those authors could have achieved such a level of popularity and recognition without having a book? It certainly would have taken a lot longer without the book. Remember, there may be people who will never get to hear you speak in a live environment. They may live too far away, have financial constraints or physical challenges preventing them from attending your talks. And there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to speak to the whole market in person! The only way you will be able to reach these people is with your books — and remember, when I say ‘book’, please read ‘products’.

If you are a speaker, you have some very good reasons to think about reach. Imagine a scenario where someone hears you speak and buys a book. After reading it, the person could then give your book to his friend. Now you have reached someone else who has never met you and may never get to meet you. The possibilities are endless. The best result is when the book gets into the hands of someone who has the potential to invite you to speak. All professional speakers have heard that they need to have a book.

A book can help the speaker’s business in countless ways, including reinforcing the material from presentations and going beyond the talk into more advanced information. However, the strongest reason of all for a speaker to write and publish is to extend their reach quickly. The great thing about books is that they can carry your message to the far reaches of your market, across the country and across the globe.

Remember, your books, articles and speaking are all just different ways of getting your message out to your target market. They should all convey the same message and, in fact, complement each other so that if your market sees any of your products, it knows it’s one of yours.