So you’ve heard about Ebooks, you may have even downloaded a few in your time, but when it comes to your own business you either dismiss them out of hand – too much hard work; what do I write about?; everyone is doing ebooks; come on, they’re so last year!

Or you see the benefits but you just never get round to putting one together. Yes you’ve got the content saved somewhere in various blog posts, workshop notes etc but you’ve never had the time to collate them into one coherent message that you can put in an Ebook. And every time you think about it, well it just feels like too much hard work.

So you either give up on Ebooks or you cobble together some content and slap it up on your website hoping that it will attract a few sign ups to your mailing list.

And it more than likely doesn’t do anything.

Why? Because you don’t have a strategy.

You just want to get people on your subscriber list so any old content will do.

And yet I know from my own personal experience how valuable Ebooks are to market your business. I’ve got a lot of my clients from the Ebooks that I offer on my website. The reason for this is that I am sharing valuable and relevant content that is aimed at my ideal clients and is related to the services and products that I’m offering.

People who read my Ebooks are looking for help on that subject; if they like what they read and decide that they need more help on a deeper level, then who they going to come to?

Me, of course!

Because I’ve used the Ebook to showcase my knowledge and expertise and used it as a way of making an initial connection to that person so they can see that I understand the issues and challenges that they are facing in that particular area.

So if you’re not using Ebooks effectively, then you’re missing a massive trick with your online marketing.

Cutting and pasting paragraphs from your blogs or articles, or (horror!) content from the internet, and then adding fuzzy low res pictures from Google images is not the way to go with using Ebooks to attract your ideal clients.

You need to be creating good quality content that is professionally formatted to showcase your brand and your expertise to your online contacts.

Digital Publishing Services

So if you are struggling to attract the enquiries you want then here are the key reasons why you will never succeed at Ebooks.

Your Ebook isn’t aimed at your target market. Your Ebook must be aimed at the kind of clients that you want to attract to your business and be related to the services or products that you are offering. It definitely is not a case of slapping your logo on any old content!

Information copied and pasted from the internet. Copying and pasting information from other people’s blog posts or articles that you’ve read on the internet not only contravenes copyright laws but is deeply unethical and not the behaviour of a legitimate business.

You use PLR material straight out of the box. PLR can be great and I’ve used it myself. But you need to put your own personality into your content to make it unique – remember you are using Ebooks as a way for your target market to get to know you. They won’t be able to do that if you’re just sharing generic material that’s exactly the same as hundreds of other Ebooks out there – you’ll just come across as bland and boring – and nobody wants to be that, do they?

Don’t include call to actions. As a business owner, you need to be generating income from your marketing activities and that includes your Ebooks. Add call to actions to your content whether its links to your website or social media profiles so people can start to connect with you, or asking people to call or email you for more information.

Don’t share information about you and your business. Ebooks are a promotional tool so should always have a page that tells readers more about what you have to offer – this includes a page about the author (that’s you!) with details of who you are, what you do and how to contact or connect with you.

Content is 99% waffle. You resent giving too much away for free, so end up saying nothing at all. By sharing valuable tips with your online contacts, they will get to know, like and trust you – meaning that they are more likely to become leads for your business.

No company branding. Having consistent branding across all your marketing materials means that your online contacts will instantly recognise you. If they have been following you on Twitter or Facebook and download one of your Ebooks, you’ve already made a connection with them so they are more likely to be responsive to your content.

All text, no images. You’ve got some great content but no one is going to read it because you’ve formatted it in to long paragraphs of text. Most people won’t read large blocks of text so keep paragraphs short, and add chapter headings and images to break up the text.

Inconsistent font or colour styles. Some sections are in Times New Roman but you’ve also got some Arial thrown in for good measure! Make sure your text fonts are consistent throughout your Ebook. You can have one font for the body text – usually sans-serif – and a different serif font for the headings. But don’t use Times New Roman – it’s overused and looks cheap.

Contains spelling and grammatical mistakes. Proofread, proofread, proofread – yes it needs saying three times. Don’t just rely on spellcheck – and get someone else to read your copy to make sure that the language is clear and concise and flows naturally from one topic to another.

Don’t tell anyone about it. If your Ebook contains valuable information that your target market would be interested in then aren’t you doing them a disservice if you don’t tell them about it! If you are using email marketing (you are using email marketing aren’t you?) then offer your Ebook as a free giveaway in return for people signing up to your list. Or if you are planning to sell your Ebook then create a product page on your website with either a buy button or a link to the Ebook page on Amazon, iTunes, etc.

Then share that out to your social media followers, add it to your business cards, promote it at speaking gigs, workshops etc.

You never start on it. So many people I speak to tell me that they want to offer an ebook to their subscribers but they have just been too busy to put something together. Schedule some time in your diary to start writing your Ebook – start with an hour a week as a minimum. Remember that your Ebook doesn’t have to be the business version of “War and Peace” – you can do the top 10 tips on a topic, write each topic on a separate page – and you’ve got a 10 page Ebook.

No compelling title. Who is your Ebook for and why should people read it? Make sure that your title makes people say to themselves – “Wow, that’s for me – I need that”. Instead of a title that says “Top 10 Productivity Tips”, say something like the “The top 10 tips for stressed out executives who want to become more productive with their workload”.

No cover image. A cover image will help to promote your Ebook to your subscribers. Remember that visuals attract attention so if you have a cover image of the Ebook on your sign up form or page then people are more likely to check out what you’re offering when they land on your website.

It’s all about the money. You may be selling your Ebooks but the real benefit that you will gain is not monetary but the social proof that you get from people leaving 5 star reviews on Amazon etc, or leaving glowing testimonials on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is what will attract the leads to your business – people will want to get to know you because they can see that other people like you and you know what you’re talking about.

No follow up. Remember that people downloaded or bought your Ebook because they liked what you had to offer. So if you’re not following up with them then you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to turn those people into leads and advocates for your business.

So these are some of the reasons why you will never succeed at Ebooks.

However, we can turn that around for you so you can have high quality Ebooks that your subscribers will want to read. Check out our Digital Publishing Service to find out more about how we can help you use Ebooks to start raising your online profile and attracting your ideal clients to your business.

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About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

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