If you’re like me, you meet someone and talk business, then you take their business card before you leave. “Hey, give me your card! We should have coffee sometime!” You exchange cards and go on about your way. Think about the next time you call that person.
Oh, wait! If you’re like me, you never call the person again! No, instead, several months later when you’re clearing out your George Costanza-sized wallet, you see a stash of old business cards – most of them faded and unreadable in places from the creases – and you wonder, Who the heck are these people?
Now, granted, I’m a pack rat, and I do hold onto stuff. But say you’re not a pack rat. Non-pack rats will go home, realize they’ll never call the person on the card again, and throw the card out.
This is disturbing for multiple reasons: Cost of printing (those business cards aren’t free, you know), environmental (how many of those business cards have you distributed?). Most of all, though, it’s the shame of a missed opportunity: a missed opportunity for a potentially great friendship or business contact (and let’s face it, in these tough economic times, having both is the best).
So what if you knew that no one would ever throw away your business card again? Are you intrigued? And what if you could know that your business card might be looked at over and over and over again? I’m not talking about graphic design. I’m not talking about welding your card onto someone’s dashboard. And I’m not talking about buckoos of cash! Some of you may know where I’m going with this, and I’ll go ahead and say it: You need to write a book!
Write a Book? Me?
I knew there was a catch, you might be thinking. “What are you talking about, Thompson? I can’t write a book!” Why not? I’ve heard it said many times that everyone has a book in them.
So, what’s your story? You should write it down. And now, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever for you to write your story – whether it’s about your company, about your passion, about your charity, about your fictional story, or about your own life and experiences (but for the sake of the business card argument, let’s stick with your business).
Why Books are the New Business Cards
Remember when I asked you to talk about that business card from the guy you met earlier in this post? You had thrown it away, right? Why is that? Because that’s what people do with business cards. More than 80 percent of people who take your business card will throw it away. And sticking it in those fish bowls at Qdoba? Forget about it! That was a whole $0.78 you’ll never get back!
But when was the last time you threw a book away? My guess is, unless you live in a Communist country, you have seldom – if ever – thrown a book away. Books don’t get thrown away. They might get sold at yard sales or to a used book store, but most people find it hard to toss something like a book.
And usually for a long time before that happens, even if that business contact doesn’t read your book immediately, she will almost certainly place it on a shelf in her office or home book case. And books that sit on shelves and bookcases get noticed. Make no mistake, they get noticed. And if your content is compelling enough, passionate enough, and your title is intriguing enough that it begs to be opened, your book WILL get read!
The Cheapest, Fastest Ways to Publish Your Books!
Okay, maybe I’ve sold you on the potential power of giving out books to your business contacts or clients, but I haven’t sold you on writing your own yet. “I don’t have that kind of time,” you might say, in which case, I can’t help you. You have to make your own time, but I can tell you, unless you are a circus performer with two Blu-Tooth headsets on and the President of the US on one of them giving you secret service commands every waking minute of the day, you have the time.
If you do decide to make the time, you may be wondering, “Don’t I have to pay for publishing? Isn’t that extremely expensive? And what if nobody reads it?”
My answers: No. No. And that really depends on how interesting your book is.
If your book is interesting, you can publish it for next to nothing. You may try a print-on-demand publisher that takes your material and prints it and distributes it only to the people who order it. I think some POD publishers extremely fast, reliable, and have great quality.
So, what’s your story?
All right, so I’ve told you my story. So, what’s yours? Have you written a business card aka a book? Have a great idea for one? Let’s talk!
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