The 3 Secrets To Becoming A Million-Dollar Consulting Author

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What’s the one thing you can do to make everything else easier — or even unnecessary — when it comes to growing your consulting business?

Gary Keller hit the nail on the head in his book, “The One Thing.”

“What’s the one thing you can do such that by doing it, everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?”

-Gary Keller

And it’s a principle that deeply resonates with the process of writing a book to take your consulting business to the next level.

In this article, I’ll show you how you can write your book using a system: one that aligns with your brain’s natural workflow and doesn’t demand more than 30 to 60 minutes of your day.

With this approach, you’ll write your first book and become an author: unlocking new avenues of authority, client attraction, and higher fees.

In my experience, spanning the writing of five books, dedicating an hour a day for about 35 days was the longest it ever took me to write a book.

When I engage with clients, we expedite this process, ensuring they can either have the book written for them or be guided through a systematic method. With a daily investment of about 30 minutes to an hour, their book is ready to hit the shelves in approximately 35 days.

By leveraging a book as your strategic tool, you’re not just adding a credential to your name; you’re creating your own category.

This strategy is timeless. It has worked for over 100 years and will continue to be relevant because it aligns with the human psychological trait of seeking authoritative information.

In this article, I’ll share three secrets that will help you write your first book:

  • Secret 1 – Transformation, Not Textbook: This is all about structuring your book. It isn’t about overwhelming your reader with everything you know, but instead, taking them on a transformative journey from where they are now to where they want to be.
  • Secret 2 – The Unique IP Experience: Here, we delve into extracting and leveraging your high-value intellectual property (IP). By unpacking your distinctive insights and methods, you create a unique category that sets you apart from your competitors and stand out as the premium option.
  • Secret 3 – Exponential Referrals: The final secret revolves around using your published book as a tool to multiply your referrals. It’s about creating a ripple effect that continuously expands your client base.

Writing a book elevates your position from a consultant to an authority.

This isn’t just about writing a book; it’s about writing a new future for your consulting business.

Secret 1: Transformation, Not Textbook

Your book should not be an impenetrable textbook but a clear guide to transformation.

It’s not about overwhelming readers with content, but instead, taking them on a journey from their current problem (Point A) to the solution they dream about (Point B).

The structure is key, and here’s how you’ll do it:

1. Transformation: From A To B

Real decision-makers in business don’t want to know how to do what you do. They want to understand clearly what transformation is possible, and they want to see that you have a roadmap for them.

The structure of our book outlines this roadmap.

We want to create point A (their current state and the problems they are facing) and point B (their desired future state, and how they are dreaming of how their life can look).

2. Unique Mechanism: Your Yellow Brick Road

Worried about giving away too much in your book? Don’t be.

Clients aren’t looking to become experts in your field; they want reassurance that you have the process to help them.

Your unique mechanism, or what I like to call your “Yellow Brick Road,” is the proprietary method you use to navigate clients to solve their problems. It’s the heart of your book.

3. Bigger/Better Future: The ‘Oz’ Experience

The climax of your book is the reveal of the ‘Oz’ experience – the bigger, better future clients can expect.

It’s crucial to articulate this desired future, solidifying their understanding of the tangible benefits you offer.

Use real success stories to bring ‘Oz’ to life, allowing readers to envision their own success and reinforcing the value of the journey.

4. Best Case/Worst Case: Emotional Contrast

Finally, your book should leave readers with a resonating emotional impact. Outline the best case (reminding them of ‘Oz’) and the worst case (the stagnation or decline of inaction).

This emotional contrast is crucial.

It spurs readers into action, transforming them from passive readers into active participants eager to work with you to acheive this transformation.

Real-Life Success: The Story of John Phillipe

This approach isn’t theoretical; it works.

Take John Phillipe, a consultant from Houston, for example.

Within hours of launching his book, John secured a $38,000 contract from a client who recognized the value he could add based on his book’s promise.

In the first month, he closed an additional $115,000 in new business, all from the network that now understood precisely what he offered and the transformation he guaranteed — all thanks to his book.

Writing a book elevates your position from a consultant to an authority.

Secret 2: The Unique IP Experience

Becoming a standout in the consulting realm isn’t just about expertise — it’s about leveraging your unique intellectual property (IP).

1. Unpack Your IP

Unearthing the goldmine of your unique IP starts with an excavation of the brilliance within your mind.

Often, the gems are hidden in plain sight, obscured by familiarity and the curse of knowledge.

It’s crucial to distill this wisdom, and our preferred methodology involves a structured interview process.

When we guide clients through this introspection, we encourage them to simply talk through their practices. This exercise often reveals treasures they’ve overlooked.

By engaging in a dialogue, either with our team or a trusted peer, consultants can gain clarity on their invaluable insights — those nuggets of wisdom that earn a spot as a chapter in their book.

2. Build Your Unique Mechanism

With your IP identified, the next step is constructing your unique mechanism, a blueprint of your distinctive approach.

This doesn’t have to be complex. Whether it’s three or seven pivotal steps, what matters is that these steps lead to success for your clients.

We advocate enriching each phase of your mechanism with real-life success stories.

This strategy not only underscores the validity of your method but also pre-sells your services to prospective clients through compelling case stories.

3. Name It To Own It

This third segment is all about branding your process.

You might believe your approach resembles industry standards, but there’s uniqueness in your rendition.

Clients gravitate towards you for a reason, and it’s often your personalized touch — a secret sauce that deserves its own label.

4. Category Of One Positioning

By naming and branding your process, you stake a claim in your competitive landscape.

This bold move sets you apart, propelling you to a ‘category of one’ status that commands attention and justifies premium consulting fees.

Case Story: Judi Hayes & John Curry

Need inspiration? Look no further than Judi Hayes who specializes in LinkedIn marketing.

Despite a crowded field of experts, Judi distinguished herself with her branded strategy: “Elevate, Expand, Engage.” This clear, relatable framework isn’t just a tool—it’s a magnet for business.

And then there’s John Curry, our long-time client with a niche in finance. Despite initial reservations about his book idea on life insurance — a subject many would find daunting — John’s insistence paid off.

His story debunks the myth that some topics are too mundane or intimidating for a book. If a book on life insurance can captivate readers, your expertise deserves its narrative.

John’s journey from hesitation to authorship spanned almost three decades, but witnessing a competitor’s success spurred him into action. Now, his book is a cornerstone of his referral business.

What if, instead of asking for more, you simply offered invaluable? Your book, filled with your expertise and insights, becomes a gift that your clients can give away. It’s no longer about what you can gain, but what you can give.

Secret 3: The Referral Multiplier

About a decade ago, I created a method that revolutionized the way we think about referrals. It’s a concept I explored in my first book, “Unstoppable Referrals.”

The essence? Transitioning from a mindset of taking to one of giving. This method comprises four pivotal elements:

1. Shift From Taking To Giving

Traditional referral strategies feel like a constant “take.” You approach your clients and ask for a golden egg because business is slow.

It feels uncomfortable, and sometimes even desperate.

This realization hit me hard after a series of workshops and follow-up interviews with entrepreneurs. None of them had pursued the referral strategies we discussed. Why? The discomfort of ‘taking’ was too much.

Here’s the shift: What if, instead of asking for more, you simply offered invaluable? Your book, filled with your expertise and insights, becomes a gift that your clients can give away. It’s no longer about what you can gain, but what you can give.

2. Let Your Ideas Do The Selling

This approach turns the tables. Your ideas, encapsulated in your book, do the heavy lifting of selling.

Your book pre-sells your potential clients on the value you provide, transforming the sales meeting into a solutions discussion. They’ve read your work, they believe in your methods, and they’re more than ready to engage with you.

3. The Value Conversation

Central to this strategy is what I call the “value conversation.” It’s about enlisting others in your mission. For me, it’s transforming how consultants acquire clients, primarily through authoring a book.

When you discuss your mission passionately, seeking help to disseminate your valuable ideas, you’re not just asking for referrals. You’re inviting participation in a transformative journey.

4. The Power Of Exponential Referrals

The beauty of the Referral Multiplier lies in its results. Clients who’ve embraced this method average seven referrals per conversation. It’s a staggering shift from traditional methods, leading to exponential growth.

If each client engagement generates 1.1 new opportunities, rather than a one-to-one ratio, you’ve unlocked truly exponential growth.

One of my clients, Dan Staava, exemplifies this success, leaping from one referral a month to 26 in his first month utilizing his book as a referral tool.

Are You Ready To Become A Consulting Author?

I hope that I’ve convinced you that the next “BIG THING” for your consulting business is to author your own book.

By using these 3 secrets, you can get more clients, command higher fees, generate more referrals — and build a much more profitable, scaleable consulting business.

And it starts with you simply writing for 35 minutes a day.

If I can do it, you certainly can too.

Consultant, remember this: your book isn’t just a credential. It’s a key to unlock exponential growth.

Steve Gordon became CEO of his first company at age 28. He’s invested the last 20 years in the study and application of selling high-ticket services. He is the editor of four business newsletters read by thousands of CEOs, professional practitioners, entrepreneurs and sales pros around the world. Steve consults with businesses in 30 different industries, all selling high-ticket products and services in high-trust selling environments. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida with his wife Erin and their four children.

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