Service businesses try to demonstrate credibility with case studies, testimonials, high quality brochures, staff uniforms and other tangible signs of an established business.

Some authors worry that, if they give away their ideas in a book, the client will just buy the book and not their services.

This is exactly why you would use the book as a sales and marketing tool, as part of a methodical approach to winning new clients, and not just give the book away to anyone who asks for it.

Some people won’t buy your services because they think they can do better themselves. They are perfect readers for your book.

Some people will buy your book as a result of using your services, because they want to find out more about the subject.

Some people will want to buy your services, but will need to be convinced of your credibility, and they are the people who will read your book as part of a sales process.

A book gives the author credibility, so a business book is a very valuable asset to use in building a service business. Anyone can write a glossy brochure but a book is a unique way to convey your ideas which will make a far better impression than almost anything else you can do.

When a brochure costs only 50p to print, it’s easy to send them out to anyone who asks for one and also to many people who didn’t ask. It’s easy to go to conferences and give them out to anyone who passes by. It’s easy, when someone says, “Send us a brochure and we’ll keep it on file”, to think that they’ll do anything with it other than file it in the bin.

If a brochure or business card cost £5 to print, would you give them out as readily?

A book might cost £5 to print, so think of it as a very valuable brochure. It makes you think harder about who you might give it to, and it makes you follow up with them to make sure they are reading it. As a minimum, you expect their feedback on the book itself. You have given them something of value and you can expect value in return.

One of the benefits of having a book is that it gives you an event to market. Marketing your business is a difficult activity because the mainstream media sell advertising space and so don’t give it away for free when you’re not doing anything news worthy.

Launching a book and being able to offer the media something for their audience, such as a regular column or books to give as competition prizes is newsworthy. A book gives you something to announce, and news will always be more valuable to the reader than advertising.

Your book contains your personality, so if you send it to someone who is considering using your services, if they like your book then they’ll probably like you. If they don’t then you have saved time; your most valuable asset.

Therefore, a book will lend credibility to your business, help you to qualify potential customers and lead to better relationships between you and your clients. By using your book properly, you will grow your service business, and by growing your service business, you will develop the brand and reputation which will help you to sell more books.