Building a book funnel

Earlier this week, I had a book published. From Single To Scale is now available on Amazon Kindle, Amazon print on demand and Blurb.com.

I’ll no doubt have a post and training soon on how to write and publish a book. But I wanted to talk through how we’re going to be building a book funnel.

Books can fulfil a variety of purposes. I originally wrote the book, following Honoree Corder’s book You Must Write A Book, to use it as a business card.

Giving a book away would be 100x more impactful than a piece of card. It’s a great giveaway and I can use it for a splinter product.

My good friend Rob Cubbon (a prolific book writer and loads of training and courses), also talks about writing a book and how important it is to your overall income.

Having a book is like any product, once it’s out there it can be sold. You just have to concentrate on promotion and publicity and advertising.

Now that I’ve published my book, I wanted to share how I’m going to use it in my business. The book is aimed at single-person, micro-businesses and entrepreneurs who want to scale their business to profit.

It suits the Sell Your Service audience as well as a few other communities I’m a member of. So how am I planning on using the book?

It’s nothing I had really planned on or thought too much about. After extensive research and interviews, it’s clear that there are a lot of options for all books.

It doesn’t even mean that you only choose one of these options for your book (or your customer’s books either). You have as many options for a book as you do any other product.

Before you decide what type of funnel to build for a book, you have to decide what you want from the book. What do you want the book to do for your business?

What’s the purpose of the book for your business?

Publishing a book (even self publishing) has already given huge weight to what I have to say.

“Scaling a business? I wrote the book on it mate.”

I was very clear on what I wanted the book to do for my business. Looking back, my next books will probably take a very different purpose.

From Single To Scale is my process for growing a business, if you’re just one person, to scale and profit. It follows the 3 laws of scale and shows you how to build a scalable product, scalable audience and sell products to that audience.

Even if you’re a freelancer, consultant, designer, therapist or anyone else who feels they can’t scale, I show you how you can.

I wanted this book to generate me more revenue, position me as an author and be something else I can offer to my clients.

Michael Gerber, Tim Ferriss and hundreds before have taught almost the exact same principles. It’s unlikely that I could position myself as the expert on growing a small business.

But scaling from single person to scalable, profitable business is possible. It’s a specific market (and could be more narrow). You have tons of options for what your book does.

Speaking

One of the goals was to give me enough credibility to get more speaking gigs. I know the types of speaking events where my audience hangs out and I know what speakers have done to get there. They’ve written a book.

By being an author, taking the times to write a book (it’s not small either – just under 90 000 words/400 pages), and selling it positions me as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Authority

Publishing a book can also position you as the expert in a field. I’ve talked about category design before here. If you want to get real clever, you can read the BOOK on category design from the creators of category design here. Al Ramadan and the team at Play Bigger talk about how you can create a niche so specific and be first in it, that you’re the leader before anyone else has a chance to compete.

Publishing a book is a route to position yourself as THE expert in your space. Experts publish books, but books position them as the expert. Chicken and egg. Control the chicken. Publish the book and be seen as the expert.

Revenue

Books provide great opportunities for passive income. Assuming you have an audience, you can offer books and promote them to anyone in your market.

Something I’m very clear on, is that books being on a marketplace like Amazon or Blurb don’t automatically create customers. Like any product, you have to promote the book and market it to customers to make a sale.

This has become a key part in my strategy.

Content

Another reason I wrote the book, was because I wanted to give my audience more content. I wanted to help people with what I know.

The book is pure content. It has templates, examples and processes. Parts of it are motivational, some parts are a process. But it’s all stuff that my audience wants to know.

Status

Finally, I’m officially an author. It’s not a best seller yet, but it is selling. More importantly, I can be someone who HAS, rather than IS.

“Yeah I’m writing a book” or “I’m thinking of writing a book” or “I was going to write a book” are all I hear now.

My first answer is now “what’s stopping you?”

Time, obligations, no confidence, don’t know what to write. Lots of excuses.

I got up at 6 am for 2 months every day to write more content. I got into the habit and now write every day.

But I’m now an author and I love it.

Where does the book go in the funnel?

So what role does the book have in a funnel? I know some guys like Frank Kern use the book as a lead magnet. Others use it as their final product. Some use it as a lead to a wider product.

Before we know what the book does in a funnel, we have to know the end goal of the funnel.

If it’s just to sell more books, I’d give away 2 chapters and have an autoresponder to sell the book.

If I wanted to have the end goal as someone buying a program based on the book (Frank Kern’s model), I’d make sure there are other product and a program at the end.

You have to know what the end goal is, before we plan out our book funnel. Do we want customers, sales, speaking events or revenue from the book only.

Giveaway

I’ve got paperback versions of the book for giveaways. These are physical copies that I’ll bring to events or networks and leave with well qualified prospects.

Interestingly, I’m also going to be giving these to current customers and super fans. People who rave about my business deserve recognition.

We MIGHT give the book (eBook at least) to new customers who sign up. The problem is that I don’t want it to be just another load of content on top of what people have already.

I was told that the most common hurdle that new authors face, is giving their books away to people that should be buying.

My fans and customers, will want to buy. I know they want to buy. But’s it’s REALLY hard to not give them the book for free. As a reward for being such a great previous customer.

But what’s the point in building all that goodwill, earning the right to sell, if I don’t use it?

Admittedly, if someone bought the paperback I might give them the PDF or eBook too for free. But making sure that I serve my best audience with a price that’s fair, is paramount to me.

Splinter product/trip wire

I could also use the book as a trip wire or splinter product. After signing up a new subscriber or lead, I could offer them the eBook for a low price (it’s already only $9) or offer the paperback for printing and shipping.

Using the book as a splinter product, as an eBook was always my main intention. Something physical to give to new subscribers that would increase their trust in me.

End product

Or if the book is the end product, the traffic strategy is very different. I might want to just drive a bunch of traffic to a sales page with the eBook and paperback on display.

However, using the book like like usually means that there is another product or course/program sold within the book.

Having a website for the book, with it’s own funnel built behind it, would have been ideal.

I could have offered worksheets, examples, videos and more inside the book. Driving readers from the book to sign up and become a part of my community.

As it stands, the book is in a good enough shape to be sold as is. I might advertise the book and drive traffic to a sales page which offers the book OR to a squeeze page that offers two free chapters.

What else is in the funnel?

Audio book

I’m already putting together an audiobook. recording of me reading the book out. I’ll offer that on Audible.com and as an upsell to new eBook and paperback customers.

eBook

Although I’ve already published the eBook, it’s worth using that as an upsell to customers who have bought the paperback. I’ll also offer it as an upsell to those who just buy the audiobook.

Training program

Finally, I want to have a more in depth training program based on the content of the book. Presented around the 3 laws of scale, it’d be an online course with worksheets designed to help single person businesses scale.

Future strategies

What about book 2 and 3 (which I’m already working on)? Well, the strategies will be very different because I’ve already published one book. I want to try new strategies to increase my audience size, increase my authority and help more people.

Best-seller strategy

The best seller strategy relies on selling 5000+ books in a week AND being in a super specific category so that I become number 1.

I’d love to have “best selling author” next to my name. This is probably the strategy for the next book.

Launch funnel

A launch funnel is part of a best-seller strategy. It’s also a part of being everywhere for a few days. Social, adverts, posts, publicity, videos, PPC and more.

The idea is that you create a thunderclap of momentum around the book as you go live. A launch like this requires two things.

Audience and budget. At the moment, my audience isn’t large enough to “launch” like that. Budget isn’t really a problem and I’ll probably be putting budget behind the promotion anyway.

Worksheets

A big strategy in the next version of this book AND my next book, will be to include worksheets and exercises that people can access. I want to drive as many readers to get involved with my online community  as possible.

Training website

Finally, a fully functioning training website, utilising the worksheets above will become a standard part of the book process. I’ve already got singletoscale.com in the works and we’ll be adding more content to that as time goes on.

Books need to become a part of your business, but also become a business in themselves.

Your book can become a category leader. You could become an author specifically for SaaS businesses who need to increase online signups.

There’s no need to be general with your book. Specificity is what sells and you can quickly position yourself as the industry expert for that area with a book.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.
  • Congrats on your book Mike! I have been busy with family issue these two weeks and finally back to work now. Love that you share this publishing process and definitely would like to read your article about the book funnel. In fact, I’ve been thinking about relaunching my Kindle Station to focus on book landing page and funnel only. Perhaps I could interview you after that. Right now, let me grab your book first!

    • I’d be more than happy to jump on a call Hazel! Have you built funnels for books like above, before?