One of the things I love most about reading business books is that I don’t always have to invent brand-new ideas for my business; instead, I can find great ideas in the pages of these books. Starting in April, I’ll be leading a book study of Brandscaping by Andrew M. Davis for the Small Biz Book Club, so today I wanted to share an example of how this book gave me a great idea.
Of course, you already know that I got the idea for the entire book club from Brandscaping, but that wasn’t the only gem I found when I read it. I was actually able to get an idea to help one of my consulting clients, too! Here’s how:
Advertising: Worth it or not?
My client and I were discussing an opportunity she had to advertise in a local community magazine (this client runs a brick and mortar craft supply shop). The advertising cost was somewhat steep, but she felt it might help her generate some local business for her shop. After all, that is often our go-to place to drum up business, right? Advertising. However, that doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.
Since I had read Brandscaping, I knew that advertising only gets you so far: a little bit of exposure in a single publication. Let’s be honest – how often do you actually read the ads in a magazine, instead of just skimming over them to get to the content?
Don’t advertise – Brandscape
With that in mind, I suggested to my client that instead of paying for an ad, she pitch herself to the magazine editor as a prospective contributor.
I told my client that she could write regular articles for this publication, centered around a topic that would be of interest to the local readers and help to promote her shop. (In this case, the topic was home decor tips using handmade projects, for which the readers could come to her shop to purchase supplies.) This is a win-win scenario, because the magazine editor gets regular, fresh content for her publication and the shop owner gets free advertising (heck, the magazine might even pay her to write the pieces!).
Share the Love
I told my client that if she was worried about generating enough content for regular publication, she could extend the “brandscape” even further by inviting a few other shop owners to contribute to the column as well. They could team up and divide the work so no one would have to find the time and inspiration to write one article every time the magazine was published. As long as she chose shop owners who could also write about the general topic without directly competing with her for business, this would be a great way to take some of the pressure off of her and add a few more networking relationships with other small business owners.
If I hadn’t read Brandscaping, I never would have had this idea. What will be the next great idea YOU have for your business? Will you find it in a book?
If you’d like to read Brandscaping and get a FREE weekly study guide to help you stay on track and apply the material to your small business, sign up below to be notified when the study guide goes live. It’s entirely free, and I hope to see you in the club!
Starting in April, I’ll be facilitating a read-along study of Brandscaping, by Andrew M. Davis. Reading this book earlier in 2016 actually inspired me to start this new venture: the Small Biz Book Club.
Content is King
One of the main concepts in Brandscaping is that you should find ways to connect with your audience members through high quality content. An add-on tip to this idea is that YOU don’t have to be the person who creates that content; there’s no need to reinvent the wheel if good content already exists that would be interesting to your audience. The key is to find ways to leverage that existing content in ways that will be useful to your readers.
Serving my Audience
Inspired by that idea, I started to think about the content that already exists that would appeal to small business owners. I realized that the book I was reading was an example of that content – as were the other business books I had read. There’s a wealth of information available to small business owners within the pages of books, but many small business owners don’t take the time to read them.
Big Concepts for Small Business
I realized that for some small business owners, reading a business book was overwhelming, because in general the “big name” business books are written for bigger businesses. They might discuss scenarios from businesses like Wal-Mart or Ford, and if your business is nowhere near that size then it feels like those scenarios don’t apply to you. Boiling down these big ideas into applicable steps and tips for small businesses is something that comes easily to me, so I realized that if I could facilitate that process for other small business owners, it would be a way to help them apply the lessons in business books to their own experiences.
And thus, the Small Biz Book Club was born.
I talked to my assistant and we determined the format: weekly lessons delivered for free on my website or via email, which would provide insights and guidance to help make it easier to read these business books and get something out of them for your small business. We’ll include the option to join a private Facebook group for further discussion, to really get into the details of how to apply the lessons we’re learning. And then when we’re finished with a book, we’ll package up all of those lessons into a downloadable study guide for anyone who wants to read the book again or anyone who missed the first read-along.
If you’d like to read more business books AND actually apply the lessons from them to your small business, I’d love for you to join us for the Small Biz Book Club. We’ve got two options:
- Sign up to read along with Brandscaping, by Andrew M. Davis. Click here to read more about that, and join us for the read-along study if you like what you see. You’ll also have the option to sign up to be notified, just once a month, of the other books we’ll be reading. You’ll have the option to join in on any of the read-alongs, or sit them out.
- If you aren’t interested in Brandscaping but you still want to be notified about the Small Biz Book Club activities and have the option to read along with future books, enter your email address into the box below. You’ll get one email per month introducing you to the next book we’ll be reading, and if you choose to read along then you can do so by visiting my website or by signing up for weekly email reminders for that book only. Any month you may choose not to read along with us, and you won’t hear from me again until the following month when there’s a new book.
I hope you’ll consider joining us for the book club!