“Now, the best way to increase your Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability is to write a book,” she started. “So let’s write that book! Take out a pen and paper, and I’ll help you map your book in the next 20 minutes.”
I sat up straight, wide-eyed, wondering what this person could possibly accomplish with a room full of 300+ hungry, aspiring messengers in 20 minutes.
They moved the room through a mind-mapping process, with the prompting question of: “On what topics do you have the most knowledge and credibility? On what topics would you like to be the visible expert? On what topics could you make good money?”
When we were done, the woman with intense green eyes and a brilliant smile sitting next to me said, “Well, that was easy!” and showed me her map.
My breath caught in my throat because I knew she wasn’t
the only one in the room looking at a paper like this,
and I decided to help her over our lunch break.
We discussed her big vision for her work in the world, and it wasn’t long before she realized that several of the topics she’d written on the paper were not at all connected to her vision. Whoops!
We talked about her message, and she quickly saw how much clarity she was lacking in her grasp of her true message and secret sauce approach to it. Uh-oh!
We uncovered some of the not-glaringly-obvious repetition that was already on the paper, and she discovered that the trainer’s suggestion to write one chapter on each of the topics would have created confusion for her while she was writing and repetition and frustration for the reader. Oh dear!
Map your book in 20 minutes?
Sounds awesome, right?
Well, sure…it would be awesome…
if there weren’t some seriously important foundational work to do first.
Foundational work like drilling down to the core message, so that you don’t get lost on rabbit trails. Like clarifying your vision and asking yourself how your book is going to help you achieve it. Like digging deep for how your book will be different than all the other books on the topic, so that you don’t accidentally dilute your vision, your secret sauce, or your branding.
That work alone takes a whole lot more than 20 minutes. And, this may sound a little melodramatic, but I believe it’s downright dangerous – to your vision and brand, your confidence, and your pocketbook – to write the book without doing that work.
But that’s what I’ve seen a lot of people do because of coaching like I witnessed in that room and so many others. And the consequences are steep. The message never gets off the ground, and the messengers give up. Or, in my estimation, worse – the message gets off the ground, but the lack of foundational work makes it impossible for the messenger to sustain or grow their Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability.
As a messenger coach, of course I agree that a powerful book can help
to create Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability.
I just know that it will only do this IF you don’t write it
for ONLY these 3 reasons.
Have you ever opened a book that was written purely for the author’s Credibility, Visibility, or Profitability? I know you have. That was the one that made big promises on the cover, but when you opened it up, you were disappointed or disconnected after the first few pages.
Do you know WHY you were disappointed or disengaged after only a few pages?
Well, when people write books for THEIR Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability, they often make the mistake of COMPLETELY FORGETTING ABOUT THE READER.
That’s right. They essentially write the book for THEMSELVES…and gosh darn it, you can feel it, can’t you? There’s no connection, no engagement, no empathy because they are focused on themselves and their goals for writing the book.
It’s like a parent who makes all of their parenting decisions (consciously or unconsciously) based on how the child is going to make them look and the respect that the child will earn them when they “turn out right.” Have you ever met the child of a parent who cares more about their own image than the health, happiness, and meaningful life of the child? They are the ones who feel absolutely USED and INVISIBLE. They usually grow up to be angry rebels, depressed minions, or model narcissists.
I’m not saying that these messengers are narcissists, especially because I know a ton of them were NOT inspired to write the book for themselves in the beginning. Most people are inspired to write books to help other people navigate a journey they have already completed.
But when someone – ‘an expert’ – told them that they have to earn
Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability to be seen and heard and respected,
their focus shifted just enough to nudge out
the ones who matter the most.
And I’d argue that’s one reason why A LOT of people don’t finish writing. When you were originally inspired to help others, it doesn’t feel good to do something that has you ignoring the readers and the people you wanted to help.
And…losing your readers and audiences in a few words (yes, this goes for speakers and trainers as well) is NOT good for your Credibility, Visibility, or Profitability.
I bet you can list of a handful of authors and speakers who have lost you the same way.
You probably felt like you were watching THEIR SHOW, where they were the star and it didn’t even matter if you were there. Or maybe you felt like they were simply focused on delivering content carefully designed to drag your wallet out of your purse/pants. They were focused on profiting from their message, and…ugh…that just feels gross, doesn’t it?
Now, don’t get me wrong here.
I am NOT saying that Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability are bad. No way! I’m a messenger and I know that I need all three of these to continue helping others and doing what I love.
What I AM SAYING is that you have to have a GOAL BIGGER THAN THESE to make the type of impact you want to make…and have these other goals follow naturally.
If you shift your focus back to your reader and audiences, and you craft a book/talk
that makes them feel connected, engaged, and empowered
with real insights, tools, and skills…
well then, my friend, you will have achieved your True Intention
AND the Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability will eventually follow.
You just have to keep true to your intention…
And keep showing up…
That’s why I spend so much time with my messengers working on the foundation of their vision and message. Without that solid foundation, it’s too easy to lose your way…to hitch your train to someone else’s formulas that may not actually be in alignment with you or where you’re headed…and worst of all, to lose sight of and connection with the people you want to reach the most.
If you’re a mindful messenger who wants to make sure you are achieving your true intention and keeping your vision bigger than simply Credibility, Visibility, and Profitability, then check out my New Year’s Special: Get Your Book/Talk Done and Give Your Message Wings in 2017.