Want to write a business book? Read this first.

When you’re writing a business book, you need to be clear on your unique offering for the reader.

Do you have years of experience in sales, or are you presenting a new approach by blending two disciplines? Do you have a method for the reader to follow?

One of the main problems I see with early drafts is the writer isn’t yet clear about their target reader. Knowing your reader will make writing so much easier. Your book can’t be for everyone, particularly in the crowded business book marketplace.

So, ask yourself:

  • Which one person am I trying to reach? For example, Nadia, 35, has been working in client relations at ABC Company for six months. She was hired while on parental leave. Her boss told her she needs to land five clients before the end of the month.
  • What problem is that reader trying to solve? Nadia’s problem might appear to be “land five clients, and quickly.” But what’s the deeper problem? Perhaps it’s working with a demanding boss, or trying to find work-life balance with a newborn and a new job.
  • How will you help them solve that problem? Does your reader value logic over emotion? Will they respond well to stats or stories, or a mix of both? Do they like visuals, such as infographics? Do they want a step-by-step process they can implement immediately?
  • What can the reader do themselves to connect to your method? If you give exercises, including journal prompts, make sure you try them yourself first. The reader can tell when your exercises are tips or suggestions, rather than exercises.

And remember: you don’t need to get it right the first time. That’s the power of revising, and that’s why having an editing mindset is a true act of self-kindness.

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