E2A 001: Authority Through Authorship – Taking Your Business to New Heights 

 March 15, 2021

By  Scott A. MacMillan

The power of writing a book...of articulating and sharing your knowledge and expertise in a long-form, written work, and publishing it for the world to read. And of becoming a well-respected authority – a thought leader in your field – in the process.

Writing a book is one of the most effective authority-building strategies a business owner can undertake. And in this inaugural episode of The Entrepreneur to Author Podcast, your host Scott A. MacMillan lays out not only the rationale and the benefits of authorship but the Entrepreneur to Author STEPS Method for getting it done right.

As Executive Publisher at Grammar Factory Publishing, Scott publishes entrepreneurs who become expert authors. But what's more? He is an expert author himself.

Listen to Episode 1 of Entrepreneur to Author now and learn the five critical things you must get right to write and publish a book that gets results.

Episode Transcript

Scott A. MacMillan: You're listening to The Entrepreneur to Author Podcast, Episode One.

Mike Manz: Welcome to The Entrepreneur to Author Podcast…the podcast that brings you practical strategies for building authority and growing your business. And now here's your host, Scott MacMillan.

Scott A. MacMillan: You built a business. Congratulations. It's no small feat. In fact, it's life-changing. You sacrificed…long days and sleepless nights. You've arrived. Haven't you? Or, is something missing? That missing piece that allows you to scale up without burning out? Where's the media attention? The event organizers? The influencers?

Scott A. MacMillan: The fact is, standing out is hard. But there are exceptions, aren't there? Some entrepreneurs just seem to attract attention. What's their secret? How did they become such authority in their field? How did they find a way to stand out. They're not just good at what they do. They codify their expertise. They package it and use media to amplify their message and build authority. And what remains one of the most effective strategies to do this? Becoming a published author.

Scott A. MacMillan: I'm Scott MacMillan, and welcome to Entrepreneur to Author.

Scott A. MacMillan: The Entrepreneur to Author journey is exactly that - a journey. And what a ride. The ups and downs, the ebb and flow. The creative rush followed by the frustrating dry spells. I've helped others through it. Then I experienced it…firsthand. What better way to guide you through the journey than by doing it myself?

Scott A. MacMillan: Who am I? It's been a journey getting here. Twenty years in media and strategy. Happy husband, proud father publisher, author…and now podcaster. These last two - author and podcaster - they sort of fit together. Both are geared towards helping professionals find and amplify their voice. That's what I do. Leverage experience and expertise to build authority and credibility.

Scott A. MacMillan: Yes, it still is a thing. It always will be. In 2021, more than ever, authority and credibility count. Let's face it - in a world of 280-character tweets, Facebook memes, and 15-second soundbites, a professionally published book stands out, doesn't it? Simply put, an expertise-based, nonfiction book delivers credibility that's really quite hard for competitors to copy.

Scott A. MacMillan: I'm a numbers guy, so, indulge me for a moment. If you're an entrepreneur and have been sitting on the fence about writing a book, stop what you're doing and turn up the volume. Here are just some of the benefits entrepreneurs see from writing a book. Consider these stats from a survey of entrepreneurs-turned-author…

  • 34% double their rates, regardless of whether the're a startup or an established business when they become published;
  • 81% are featured in the media, including 10% on national television;
  • 72% get paid speaking engagements;
  • 74% find new referral partners; and
  • 26% partner with influential brands in their industry.

Scott A. MacMillan: Now those are all impressive numbers, but a couple stand out, at least for me. 81% are featured in the media. And more than a third of entrepreneurs who author a book, double their rates. Those numbers paint a really interesting story of publishing a book…or should I say, they WRITE an interesting story. Regardless, you get the point.

Scott A. MacMillan: And here's something to consider. Let's call it the Triple-A Rule - Authorship amplifies authority. Think about it - Authorship amplifies authority.

Scott A. MacMillan: A couple more numbers to think about, especially if you yourself have ever thought of writing a book. In a different survey of business owners, 70% of respondents said that they, too, have a goal of writing a book. And that's consistent with similar data I've read that around 80% of the population at large feels like they "have a book in them". But, you likely know where I'm going next. Of those, only a very small percentage - a fraction, really - go on to actually write, let alone publish, one.

Scott A. MacMillan: Okay. Now, you've heard some of the numbers. They make sense on the surface. Authorship seems like a logical next step in your journey. But as you edge your way along and glance over the edge, that inner voice you relied on when starting your business, maybe saying, "Okay, I want to write a book. But how? What's the first step?" And the biggie, "Do people really want to read what I have to share?" Now think about those two questions and prepare yourself for the answers. "How do I get started writing a book?" and "Will anyone be interested?"

Scott A. MacMillan: Tucked within the heart and soul of an entrepreneur is a creator, a builder. Someone who wants to create change, leave a legacy, have an impact. Someone with an idea, a thought. And they want to share it. You have a story to tell. Really, when you think it, we all have a story to tell.

Scott A. MacMillan: Now earlier, I used two words: experience and expertise. Those are great words. They represent thousands and thousands of hours of learning, of working, of making mistakes, adapting and trying again. Experience and expertise. Great words, and both necessary professional pillars. You use them to solve your customers' problems. If you didn't, and didn't do it well, you wouldn't HAVE customers, would you? But here's the thing…while experience and expertise are key to solving your customer's problems, they alone are not sufficient for establishing authority. For building your profile. For becoming a leader in your field and scaling your business sustainably.

Scott A. MacMillan: To do that, you need to go a step further. You need to distill your knowledge, experience and expertise into valuable intellectual property. Codify it. Package it. And publish it out to the audience who needs it most. By doing that, all your knowledge and experience will help many more people. It'll raise your profile. It'll position you as a leading authority in your field.

Scott A. MacMillan: So the good news is this… If your business solves an important problem for a specific niche of customers, I can almost guarantee that you can write a book that people will want to read. But here's something else to think about for the entrepreneur. Authorship is about more than simply writing a good book. Really, that's table stakes. The true goal of going from entrepreneur to author is writing a book that gets results. That's critical. Let's think about that for a moment. Sure, I can write a book. But, if I'm going to take the plunge and invest the time and resources, how can I ensure I'm getting a return on that investment? How do I produce the best book I possibly can? How do I write stories that stick? A message that matters? And do it in a way that supports me and my business.

Scott A. MacMillan: I've worked with business owners across many industries around the globe, and I've found there are five things that you really need to get, right? They're absolute musts. These are the five elements that are key. If you want to write a book that builds your authority and grows your business. Both work hand in hand, right? The more authority you build, the higher your profile, the more opportunity will find you. Now I'll be honest with you. I've gone through this process, myself. Skip any one of these steps and you're in trouble….your book's in trouble…and it won't deliver the results you're looking for. You don't want that. And I don't want that for you.

Scott A. MacMillan: Okay, the five key elements make up what I call the Entrepreneur to Author STEPS Method.

The first is Strategy and Planning.
If you want your book to deliver results for your business, you have to conceive it with strategic rigor. When it comes to strategy and planning, you really need to have three things in place. First, you need a business strategy for your book that's aligned with your business goals. Second, you need a reader strategy that is crystal clear about who it is you're writing to. And third, you have to have a content strategy that lays out precisely what question your book will answer for your readers and how.

The second element is Transfer of Knowledge.
You have knowledge. You have expertise. You have experience. In fact, you've probably already created some content based on it. Maybe you've written a blog, or articles for industry publications, maybe you've shot some videos. Heck, even emails tapped out at two in the morning can be content gold. But most entrepreneurs get stuck when it comes to codifying their expertise in a book manuscript. Why? Because they lack a system. An approach for getting things out of their head and onto the page in a coherent way. So, Transfer of Knowledge is about using a structured, systematic approach to planning, writing, and then refining your ideas into a high-quality manuscript. It's work. I mean, real work. I won't sugarcoat it. But it is entirely doable if you have the solid, subject-matter expertise…which you do have, as an expert in your field.

The third element is Editorial Excellence.
We're all storytellers. It started when we were kids. Now, sure, some people are better storytellers than others. But that that's okay. I'll let you in on a little secret here. Nobody writes a great book in one shot. Nobody does it. It's the iterative process of writing, reviewing, and refining that delivers the goods. If you do the hard work of getting your ideas out of your head and onto the page, a good professional editor will help you turn your manuscript into something that you may never have thought you could produce yourself.

The fourth element is Presentation.
This one is about professionally packaging, your manuscript. Productizing and taking it to market. Now, this includes the obvious: choosing the right title, a great cover, internal layout that enhances rather than detracts from the reading experience. But it's also about which formats to publish, and where to distribute them, and putting in place all of the logistical elements and metadata needed for your book to play nicely in the global publishing ecosystem. You've worked hard to write the material, but it doesn't matter how gripping the text is. It simply won't get found and read, if it's not presented well.

And the fifth and final element is Sales Conversion.
This final piece is important for obvious reasons, because it's the payoff. It's the monetary reward for hours, weeks, and months of hard work on your book. Sales Conversion is partly about promoting your book. But, more important than that, it's about integrating your book into the broader ecosystem of your business. It has an important role to play in your sales funnel. Even if that funnel differs somewhat from business to business. Sales Conversion is also about leveraging your book to build your authority. And it's about prioritizing which strategy you'll use to monetize your book.

Scott A. MacMillan: Now, in future episodes of this podcast, I'll dive deep into the three main Entrepreneur to Author monetization strategies. But, as a bit of a teaser, here they are…

  • The Lead Generation Strategy, which is about using your book to drive sales of your existing products.
  • There's the Product Development Strategy, which uses your book as the launch pad for an entire ecosystem of products based on the IP in your book.
  • And there's the Serial Author Strategy. This one's about building an author platform by writing multiple books on related topics, and then building a loyal following of reader fans.

Scott A. MacMillan: As we wrap up this first episode of Entrepreneur to Author, I really want to land this with those of you who are feeling the pull to take your next Entrepreneur to Author step. I'm going to nail this down and remind you of a few tangible takeaways.

Remember this…

Scott A. MacMillan: How did the leaders in your industry become influential authorities in their field? By creating publishing and monetizing intellectual property? That's a powerful tool for influencing perceptions and building credibility. And that's why successful entrepreneurs do it.

Scott A. MacMillan: Remember this. One of the most effective authority building strategies for entrepreneurs is publishing a book and it's very much accessible to you if you have the existing knowledge, experience, and expertise to codify in a book manuscript.

Scott A. MacMillan: And remember this. This podcast isn't just about how to write a book. Sure, we'll talk about The How. I'll give you tips, tricks, and insights about how to write and publish efficiently and effectively. But Entrepreneur to Author is about much more than that. It's about The Why. Why you're writing. And why you need to. And The What. What you're writing and how it supports your goals as a business owner and your life's mission.

Scott A. MacMillan: Entrepreneur to Author is about the sticky, the necessary, the impactful. Disciplined strategies that work. Strategies that will bring you the return on your time and effort that authorship should bring. That is what Entrepreneur to Author is about. It's the roadmap that leads you to an entirely new chapter in your professional life, both figuratively, and literally. I hope you've enjoyed listening as much as I've enjoyed sharing.

Scott A. MacMillan: There is no better time to begin your Entrepreneur to Author journey. This is your time. Your time to write. To publish. To grow. Your audience awaits.

Scott A. MacMillan: I'm Scott MacMillan, until next time.

Scott A. MacMillan

Scott A. MacMillan is a speaker, international best-selling author, entrepreneur, and the President and Executive Publisher at Grammar Factory Publishing. He and his team help expert entrepreneurs write and publish books that build their authority and grow their business.

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