My name is Ivin Viljoen and my story is rather unusual. I have always dreamt of writing and one day, after realizing I had time-sensitive material that people wanted to read, I wrote and published my first book in two weeks. When I started blogging in my niche, I knew I can blog on publishing since I have developed many systems for it and became a self-publishing expert in the process.
The word Expertizing® was actually coined and trademarked by Fern Reiss. It is her tireless promotion of this practice through guests posts on Self Publishing Basics that inspired me to write this post here. I have found lots of inspiration and self-publishing gems from following her career the past few years. If you want to know more on the subject I have no hesitancy personally recommending her as a brand positioning expert. Following are some tips on how you can become an expert too.
Let’s first look at the benefits of establishing yourself as an expert:
- You have the opportunity to rise above the crowd.
- You can develop an edge over your competition.
- With a good work ethos and willingness to help people you develop an immaculate reputation.
Being a sought after expert means the following:
- You develop leverage, bringing you more business with less effort.
- You are able to command higher fees.
- Journalists hunt you down for info and opinions.
- You get invited to speak at conferences and workshops.
- You become the go-to person when your industry or niche is involved.
- Your abilities are pre-sold and you have exposure to prospects
You might be asking yourself ‘How can I possibly establish myself as an expert?’ The answer to that is explained in the rest of this post.
Establishing yourself as an expert.
The first and easiest way to establish yourself as an expert is to publish your own book. I don’t mean get a big publishing house to recognize you, send numerous book proposals to countless executives who throw your proposal in the trash before they’ve even read it. In days past this blog post would have been titled ‘How To Get the Attention of a Publisher’, but times have changed.
When exactly are you considered an expert?
You can establish if you’re an expert in your field if you have around 1000 hours practical experience. There are roughly 1600 – 2000 working hours in a year, so you can become an expert in less than that. For instance, look at Oprah. Every real expert she gets on the show has to give her the last word, and she wings it well (she has so many hours talking about different subjects).
The benefits of publishing your own book are:
- You become a household name, like for instance Robert Kiyosaki. Anyone who doesn’t know who he is doesn’t read or he is not interested in money.
- It establishes expertise on your behalf. Tracy Cox was a sassy Aussie woman with a sexy column who no-one knew until she published her first book: ‘SuperSex’. This book has developed into more titles along the same lines (getting more specific), games and other products (more on this a little later).
- It will generate additional income. The difference between publishing through a conventional publishing house and self publishing is thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of units you move.
- You have the opportunity to develop brand identity. Look at Kevin Trudeau’s Mega Memory program which was spawned by a book.
After you have self published a book, be consistent in cultivating your expert reputation. Doing this you will win new clients and customers on a consistent basis. Your name becomes recognized and associated with your field and you become reputable.
Okay, you now know what the benefits of becoming an expert are and how you can make sure you’ll pass as one. You might be asking me how you can publish your book. Hey, that’s a whole lot of detail for another time. However, I will give you a few pointers on how you can get this done.
How can you write a book?
- If you don’t have much faith in your ability to become a writer to produce a page turner (we are talking about non-fiction here), you can always hire a ghostwriter to write your book on your behalf. He can simply take your notes and write them into congruent, sensible, readable and factual writing. He waves author rights in a contract.
- If you have a blog with targeted pillar material written (for the period mentioned above), you are halfway to publishing your book because your material is practically already written. All you do is call up posts you’ve written in a particular category, sort out the material you don’t feel fits in your book, compile your manuscript from the posts in each category, and edit. (You can hire someone for this too!). Every category on your blog can become a chapter in your new book.
- Your book doesn’t have to be too long. From 50 – 120 pages should do it. If you don’t dawdle too much and stay on topic it should be a great read.
- You can use a transcriber. I personally use the Naturally Speaking Dragon Transcriber. It has given my writing (of articles and books) a pace that I think gives me an edge no matter what niche I choose to dominate. You simply talk, it writes down what you say using your preferred word processor. Then you should give it a quick once-over before sending it for proofreading and editing. (Do not skip this step.) This is a great method for those who have all their knowledge ‘up-here’ (pointing to my cranium). You can just talk and your book practically writes itself. I have written an entire 22 chapter book on grace in a matter of 20 days (and for me that’s slow).
Methods of self-publishing.
You can go the conventional printing-book way using two different methods:
- You can go to publishing houses and try selling them your book through a book proposal coupled with a very ingenious and exciting pitch. They don’t normally publish people’s books that don’t already have a huge following and pre-sold orders. You need to basically already be an expert, so this method might not be for you. It’s tedious, difficult and crushes dreams (and you make a lot less money too!). That brings me to office printed or bound books. I have more information on this method on my blog.
- I wrote my first published book in 3 days and printed the pages on an office printer. (You do need to do some research on what specifications are needed). Remember to get an ISBN, otherwise the book is NOT published or doesn’t belong to you!
Then you can look at the following methods:
- You can print on demand. This means you have limited outlay and you print only when you get orders. The printing should rather be done by a printing house (with my way you should really know what you’re doing). A great way to do this is on Amazon’s CreateSpace program. I have some video tutorials available here.
- You can electronically self-publish books for Kindle. This is also an Amazon product but the benefit is that it causes books to go viral quickly. I have more details on my blog too. Remember that expert power is in holding the printed book in your hand, so perhaps this could be an additional method for you.
Promoting your book.
You can promote your book in some of the following ways (There are more methods but these are some general ones):
- Standard social media marketing.
- A dedicated website.
- A mailing list.
- Book signings and industry talks.
- Trade shows.
- Radio interviews.
Books open up development opportunities.
After you have published your first book, extend the longevity of your book idea by developing your material into more detailed products, like:
- Training DVD’s/online videos.
- Virtual products available for affiliates to sell on marketplaces like Clickbank or CommissionJunction.
- Offline training and workshops etc.
To summarize. You can expand your earning potential and become an expert by following these methods:
- Write a book, looking out for these self-publishing tips and stumbling blocks.
- Establish yourself as a self-publishing expert.
- Expand your business’ product inventory.
- Multiply your income potential
In conclusion, imagine yourself doing a talk at a convention for groups in your field. You’ve been invited because you have a blog on the subject and it seems you know what you’re talking about. Most people are ho-hum, some listen, some yawn and others take notes, until… You whip out your book! Ta-da! The heavens open and angels start singing.
I’m just kidding, but when this happens peoples’ jaws tend to drop to the floor and you will make more money that day (besides your speakers fee, if you charged one) because you will have books and audios to sell. You will be invited to more talks and your competition and protégés will read your book to see what you’re talking about. 3 months after that they will also be teaching those methods. Congratulations, you’ve just become a trendsetter.
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Stop dreaming and make it happen!
Ivin Viljoen is a columnist, scriptwriter, freelancer, blogger and published author. He blogs daily at Authopublisher.com where you can download his free Self-Publishing ebook on How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book. Join the Authopublisher Self-publishing forum for community Q&A and support.
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