Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 3:17 PM EDT
One of the best ways to get instant credibility and visibility is to write something-an article, a blog, or an ebook. When you've authored something, suddenly you've separated yourself from everyone else. Writers are authority figures. If you can write something unique or controversial, you will gain followers. Once you have followers, you can become a leader. Become the source that prospective clients learn from and that your peers look to for answers.
Here's how I achieved fame and fortune (okay, not so much fortune, but certainly fame) from writing an ebook.
It is March 2009 and I get a call from a friend. He says he is worried about getting laid off and wants my advice on what he should do. He's got a few bucks set aside but he also has several thousand in credit card debt. He wants to pay off his credit cards with his savings so he'll feel better.
"That's a terrible idea!" I tell him. He thinks I'm joking. "No, really. I think that is the worst thing you can do right now," I add. He still thinks I'm joking. Once he realizes I am not joking (this takes several minutes), he politely tells me that's what all the "experts" say to do.
I tell him that most traditional financial advice is dangerous during a recession. I tell him, "Cash is king! Pay just the minimum on credit cards, stop contributing your 401(k), get a loan," and on and on and on.
That's when I get the idea of writing a no-nonsense, down and dirty, ebook with nothing but how-to tips and strategies to survive the recession. I call it, Plan Z: How to Survive the 2009 Financial Crisis (and even live a little better). I write it during the other 8 hours. I want to spread the message far and wide, so I decide to give it away for free.
I then enlist six separate partners to help me. I get the cover design, book layout, web hosting, web design, editing, and audio recording/production for free (much more on how I did this later). About a month after having the idea, I have a 75 page ebook, website, and audio book finished and it didn't cost anything but a little time.
Oh, and one more thing. Dr. Phil invited me on his show to discuss my "counter-intuitive" strategies and to be part of his Survival Recession Squad. It aired yesterday.
From idea to Dr. Phil in about a month.
If you like to write, create an ebook. Seth Godin's article, "You should write an ebook." discusses how his book, Unleashing the Ideavirus, became the most downloaded ebook ever.
What can you write? Start slowly. Brainstorm topics. Let them sit with you for a few days. Choose one. Create an outline. Put the kids to bed, brew some coffee, and hit the keyboard. It will be a struggle at first, especially if you haven't written anything for some time. Keep at it. Work through it. Just give me a heads up when I should tune in to see you on TV...
(Hollywood sign image by Derek Purdy, CC 2.0)
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