Creating an eBook for Thought Leadership

I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I've created hundreds of books over the last 15-20 years of my career. And I'm often asked for advice on what goes into creating an eBook and what kind of involvement a subject matter expert needs to have in creating that eBook.  

Start with Strong Customer Insight

Typically for most B2B companies, which would apply to B2C as well, before you embark on deciding to create eBooks, you should have strong customer insight.

Strong buyer personas should be created so you understand who you're creating that eBook for and why they should care about that content in the first place.

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer (client) based on actual research and some select educated speculation.

It goes way beyond just the demographics, and it helps you figure out the identifiers.

So, you know, when you're talking to someone who that is and can recognize that they match up with that buyer persons, what their goals are, what their challenges are, what they crave most from a company like yours, what their biggest objections or barriers are to moving ahead with your product or service or some major implementation around that what they care most about.

  • What's keeping them up at two o'clock in the morning?
  • What if they knock out of the park will get them a big promotion or a big bonus? What if they screw up will get them the opposite of a promotion?
  • Where do they hang out online? Where do they hang out offline?
  • What are they searching for?

Once you have consensus on that, once you have those buyer personas, creating solid eBooks that deliver value for your intended audience becomes much easier, much more of a sure thing out of the gate.

Before you create an eBook for thought leadership, make sure that you have a solid go-to-market strategy built on buyer personas. 

Interview the Subject Matter Experts

Once that's in place, the first step is the interview with the subject matter expert. Usually somebody and somebodies internally from your team, but they could be external subject matter experts.

The key is it needs to be a subject matter expert. It needs to be somebody who knows their stuff.

Then from that interview that's typically recorded by video. It could be recorded by just audio. But usually, a video is an excellent way to do it to have more options for repurposing.

Write and Edit the eBook

From that interview, you go into writing. From the writing, you go into a technical edit or a content review where you go back to the subject matter experts to make sure that the writing accurately captures the information that needs to be conveyed. That's especially important for technical details.

After the technical edit is completed, then you go into copy editing and proofreading.

Design the eBook, Conversion Paths, and Email Workflows

From there, you go into graphic design.

After that, you'll build out conversion paths, landing pages, and email nurturing workflows that you're going to use to distribute and use to follow up on how that eBook is positioned, distributed, where you drive traffic to from your marketing automation platform and different sources, perhaps an in-house email list, your social media channels, paid search, paid social, blogs, a variety of videos.

Launch and Promote the eBook

There are a lot of different ways to drive traffic to that thought leadership eBook.

From there, you get into organic promotion. And from there, you move into paid promotion.

So those are the eight steps that go into successfully creating, launching, and beginning the initial promotion of an eBook that is designed for thought leadership.

Are you currently creating eBooks and publishing and promoting eBooks that advance your thought leadership and help grow your leads, sales opportunities, and customers for your company?

If so, let me know what you're working on by sharing that or any questions you have regarding that in the comments section below. 

And if you're looking for some one-on-one assistance with your content strategy, feel free to look me up and send me a note on LinkedIn. 

I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run. I look forward to hearing your great success stories with creating eBooks for advancing your thought leadership.

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