How My Business Took Off When I Wrote a Book

Male hands typing on laptop computer keyboard, closeup portrait.

Last year I left a financial planning job with a large wealth management company to start my own business. I loved the company and learned so much from my time there; however, I was interested in working with people on building their wealth rather than just investing their wealth. I didn't have the tools and resources at my former firm to help these individuals; however, I do now.

As any entrepreneur will tell you, the first few years of starting your business are incredibly difficult. Even if you have the best products and services, you need to get your name out there and despite the fact we have numerous online tools to help us promote our businesses, it is difficult to break through all the noise that is out there. I knew when I started my company that I would have to compete with the noise and break through somehow.

One of the first things I did was start my blog, Financially Blonde. My blog is a great opportunity for clients and future clients to hear my voice when I am not with them and gain a better understanding about working with me. I have gained a few new clients from the blog, and many of my current clients are subscribers.

In addition to writing on my own blog, I started writing on other websites like AOL Jobs and Money Saving Pro to get my name out there as much as possible. All of these opportunities have helped me break through the noise and gain traction for my business.

My latest step in growing my financial planning practice has me the most excited, though, and it is my book, Train Your Way to Financial Fitness. The book was just published this week; however, I have been working on it fo
Shannon McLay financial fitness
River Grove Press
r over a year now. I wrote the book as a marketing tool for my business. As one of my mentors said to me, "Your book is a $15 business card." He told me that books are a great way to gain authority and grow a business, and I am already seeing the truth in his statement.

One of my plans for growing my financial planning practice is to engage in more public speaking opportunities. I have created programs educating individuals on financial fitness and making smart money choices, and I have three different versions of these programs. I have a program targeted for high school students, one for college students and then one for companies to include as part of their employee benefits education programs.

The first few months of my business, I presented these ideas to numerous groups; however, I did not get much interest in return. This is understandable as I was a relative unknown entity with seemingly minimal credentials to speak on financial fitness, despite working as a financial planner.

As I have neared my publishing date, though, I have reached out again to those groups and similar ones to make them aware of my book and how it ties in with the type of education they should be providing, and amazingly, the reception is completely different.

I have been overwhelmed at the change in response from people and the only different between my pitch last year and my pitch now is my published book. Even my clients are excited about the book because now they have an easy way to tell their friends and family about me because they can just send them a book.

With thousands of financial planners out there, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd and grow your business. If you find that your growth has stalled, perhaps you should think about writing a book yourself.

There are so many wonderful tools available for you to self-publish if you have trouble finding a publisher. Amazon makes it very easy for you to get your self-published book on their site, and even has a company to help you get it printed.

A book is truly a wonderful marketing tool to help you gain credibility, grow your brand and spread the word about what you do. If you want to grow your financial planning practice, or any other business for that matter, I advise you to start writing. You won't regret it.
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