Using your book to build your network

book as network builderForget GSOH, the book you’re writing is a much more appealing quality when it comes to attracting a potential partner. And by partner here I don’t mean life partner (although, who knows…), I mean the key influencers in your field, those you’d like to get to know better. 

Your business sits in a complex network of relationships. Right at the core you have your existing clients, your closest social media communities, and your email list (which will also include prospective clients, past clients, and in there hopefully some raving fans). In that inner cirle too there are partners and suppliers, peers, network coordinators and connectors, mentors, and other contacts such as friendly journalists or people in related industries. But beyond that there’s a whole group of people with whom you don’t have a relationship right now, but you’d like to – your future clients, the rockstars in your field, whoever, all of whom will be connected either directly or indirectly to someone in your existing network – Facebook did some research recently that showed we’re no longer separated from anyone else on the planet by 6 degrees of separation, it’s now just over 3.5 degrees of separation on average.

It’s worth planning how you can use the process of writing your book to build your relationships and your network strategically, and that starts long before the book is actually published. What you choose to do will depend on your wider business strategy, but here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • If you want to get speaking gigs, start introducing yourself now at networking meetings as ‘author of forthcoming book on … ’ whatever it is, identify the best-connected people and tell them you’re actively looking for speaking opportunities.
  • If you want to connect with potential clients who don’t know you yet, can you contact them to request an interview to include their case study or their opinion in the book? Most people are flattered to be asked, and it’s much more likely to get a warm reception than a simple pitch of your business. 
  • If you want to connect upwards within your sector, can you approach a big name to write a foreword, or at least an endorsement? You’ve nothing to lose and again, often people are pleased to be asked.
  • If you want to build engagement in your Facebook group, how about posting the table of contents inviting people to comment, or to offer themselves as beta readers? You could even invite your fans and followers to become part of your launch team: in return for a free copy, they promise to post a review, post to their network, share your posts, come up with marketing ideas and generally get the word out there. 

How have YOU used the book you’re writing to extend and develop the relationships that matter to your business? Leave me a comment and you might end up featured in The Extraordinary Business Book Club!