Nobody knows your business better than you do. It also may be that nobody knows your industry or at least some part of it better than you. Then why not share that knowledge with others who could benefit from it – customers and prospects, partners, suppliers, investors and even prospective employees – by writing a book? I’m specifically speaking of eBooks because of the ease and low cost to produce and distribute them without the need for an agent or publisher.

You can offer your eBook to target audiences as a way to introduce your products and/or services. Your eBook can establish your industry authority and in turn inspire trust for your offerings to help generate sales and referrals. As an example, if you are an IT consultancy, write an eBook about replacing legacy phone systems with unified communications. A law firm could write an eBook about family trusts and wills.

Use your eBook for content marketing

ReadingIn today’s content driven marketing, your eBook should be a key piece of your content strategy. Use excerpts of your eBook for a blog – your own or as a guest on an another blog  – and use portions as posts to tweet and share on Facebook and other social channels. Recognition for your eBook also can help you land speaking engagements at trade shows and conferences. Conference coordinators always are looking for speakers; and authors are prime candidates.

While the task of authoring an eBook may seem daunting, let’s clarify that I’m not talking about writing a pithy tome or the great American novel. Your eBook should fit the needs and interests of your audience in a style that will engage them. You can create an eBook based on a series of customer case studies or a how-to-guide. Keep the tone conversational tone, unless you are writing to an extremely technical audience.

Offering your eBook

Offer your eBook for free in a number of digital formats – as a PDF; HTML files, which can be read via a web browser; or as a Word doc. You also can use a format such as EPUB so that audiences can read you eBook on a smartphone, tablet, and eReader, as well as a PC. (MOBI is the native format for all Kindle eReaders and tablets.)

You can effectively offer your eBook on your website and attract traffic via social media. To download a copy, ask visitors to provide their name and email address. You also can use your eBook as part of an email marketing campaign. Create a call to action that directs readers to a specially created landing page on your website where they can download the eBook after providing contact information and some company information.

Still feeling unsure of your authoring talents? There are plenty of writers and editors for hire who can help you by ghostwriting the book or editing your copy. As the saying goes, “there’s a book in everyone.” Why not make 2013 the year you tell your small business story?