7 Reasons Why You Need To Have An Ebook (If You Want To Be An Entrepreneur)
Published on Jan 14th, 2019
I remember 4 1/2 years ago, shortly after I left my job (only halfway voluntarily) to become an entrepreneur, I was listening to a podcast in my car.
The host and the guest were comparing stories about how The 4 Hour Work Week had inspired them to start their online businesses. Now they were location independent entrepreneurs and were trading tantalizing travel tales.
I remember thinking “I bought The 4HWW when it first came out! Why am I still struggling to launch my business, getting behind on rent every month and not knowing what to do, while these guys have already hit it big?!”
I got mad at myself. I had some amazing adventures in college- riding motorcycles through Central America, living in a kickboxing gym in Thailand, volunteering in West Africa, going to the Running of the Bulls in Spain.
And here I was barely scraping by, looking from the outside-in at the life that I so desperately wanted. I was watching my own life sift through my fingers.
Looking back, I realize now how obvious the problem was: during that period I thought entrepreneurship meant “startups.” I thought I had to create a high-tech app or a complicated SaaS product. I was sinking all of my energy into business ideas that I was completely unequipped to launch.
Fast forward several years, and I had stumbled my way into an amazing career. I worked for James Altucher, Mike Dillard, Drew Canole, Brandon Hampton…some of the biggest and most successful online entrepreneurs. (That’s a story for another day.)
And you know what I realized? The amazing epiphany I wish I had learned years earlier? None of these guys ran SaaS products or apps. None of these guys had crazy, high-tech products.
But what they all had in common: e-books.
Drew Canole built his entire business off of an ebook that taught people how to reset their bodies by drinking green juice. He originally sold it, then eventually gave it away for free in order to sell higher-priced backend products (today it’s been downloaded over a million times).
Mike Dillard wrote a marketing manual for his employees. It was so good his colleagues started asking for copies. He’d print them at Kinko’s and take them to the post office himself. A couple years later that one book turned into a whole publishing company that made $25 million.
James Altucher grew one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes, and then created ebooks he could give away to grow his email list. While most podcasters struggle to monetize their audience, James’ e-books and email list allowed him to turn his show into a juggernaut of an online business.
So, if you’re trying to launch your own online career, one of the absolute best ways to start is by writing an ebook.
Here are 7 reasons why:
To give people a way to give you money
Did you know that the size of the global economy is $107.5 trillion? That means that every day, trillions of dollars are exchanging hands. People buying and selling from each other, deals getting made, products being shipped back and forth.
I like to think about this like a roaring river teeming with fish. Each fish is a dollar, and every second millions of them rush by.
Most wantrepreneurs stand at the banks of the river and say “I want to start my own business but I don’t know where to start! I need to make more money but I don’t have an idea!”
They stand there confused, but it’s not complicated. They simply need to make a pole or net to stick into the river. They need a way to put themselves in the middle of those transactions and divert some of those dollars into their wallet.
That’s exactly what an ebook does. It’s a net. It’s tool that allows someone to give you money.
What if you were flying on a plane and you happened to sit next to a successful businessman? He asks you what you do and when you explain that you’re an aspiring entrepreneur he says “That’s great! I love supporting hustlers? What can I buy from you?”
Unfortunately, most wantrepreneurs would stammer: “Well, uh…I have this app idea but I’m trying to figure out how to code it…”
Imagine how the conversation would go if you had an ebook: “Great! I have an ebook called XYZ and you can find it at XYZ.com. Here’s the important problem it solves, and if it doesn’t apply to you I’m sure you can think of a friend or family member that it does- I’d be happy to send it to them on your behalf.”
Do you see how important it is to have a product? And luckily ebooks are probably the fastest and easiest products to create. Over time you can scale up and create more complex products and services, but for now it’s important to just put yourself in the river of dollars, and ebooks is the easiest way to do it.
To build your email list
If you read entrepreneurship blogs or listen to business podcasts, you’ve undoubtedly heard countless experts talk about how important it is to build your email list. Here are just a few examples:
Michael Hyatt: “I have literally built a million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my #1 business priority and asset.”
Natalie Sisson: "Basically you can build a whole business from one engaged and responsive list — no matter how small. If you are not working on building your list then you’re not capitalizing on the KEY tool to grow your sales and business."
Gary Vaynerchuk: “There is massive benefit to email that not everyone realizes. Email is your own list and you control it. It is its own channel that you control without being at the mercy of other platforms.”
Russell Brunson: “I tried a LOT of things online when I got started almost 10 years ago — but it wasn’t until I built my own list, that I was FINALLY free.”
Mike Dillard: “When you have a list, you can literally make income on demand by sending a single email. And as your list continues to grow, that income potential becomes absolutely incredible.”
Amy Porterfield: “The energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list.”
Convinced yet? You should be!
So how do you actually start building your list? It’s no secret that you need a lead magnet.
A lead magnet, also called an optin bribe, is something that you give away for free in exchange for someone’s email address.
There are many kinds of lead magnets- instructional videos, template files, membership trials, and countless others- but free reports or guides are some of the most popular because they’re so easy to make.
For example, if you have a blog, take pieces of old posts and reassemble them into something new and offer it as a free report. Or if you’re planning on selling a product with lots of text, like a full-length book or a course, break off one chapter or unit and turn it into a standalone report.
A great thing about using ebooks for lead magnets is that you’ll probably have to split test your offer until you find one that converts the best. If you film a video lead magnet it’s really difficult to go back and change the video. But with an ebook, it’s easy to test different headlines and update the text accordingly.
Want to learn how to start your email list today even if you don’t have a website? I show how to step-by-step in this article.
To start conversations with potential clients
When I first quit my job and dove into entrepreneurship, I spent a full year working on a tech startup idea that went nowhere. At the end of those 12 months I had a barely-working prototype, no customers, and a mountain of obstacles that I was clueless to attack.
Going into my second year of entrepreneurship, I told myself “I can’t afford to blow another year on an idea that doesn’t go anywhere.” So I decided to launch one new business every month for a full year. It would be my real-world MBA. (I have an actual MBA which is pointless- don’t get one.) This quest would force me to get good at coming up with ideas, rapidly validate them, and quickly build an MVP.
In short: throw things at the wall and see what sticks. Unfortunately... not much stuck.
But there was an unintended consequence to that year: I ended up getting good at building websites, doing graphic design, creating content, and more. Soon people started saying “I see you know how to do XYZ. Want to do the same thing for me?”
And that’s how I stumbled into the easiest business model there is: master a skill and charge people money to do it for them. That might sound stupidly simple, but in the era of apps and SaaS products it blows my mind how many wantrepreneurs don’t do this.
It all comes down to starting conversations. Can you open the lines of communication with people who could potentially give you money?
There are a lot of ways to do this- content marketing, cold emailing, referrals- but ebooks are a great way.
Write an ebook outlining your expertise and at the end explain how people can get ahold of you to work together.
Like James Altucher says: “Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book, because self-publishing is the new business card.”
People will reach out and say “I read your book. I have a question…”
To be clear: I’m not saying that you should try to sell and close everyone you talk to. But you can’t sell someone you haven’t already started a conversation with! So write a book to start those conversations.
To get people into your funnel
Say you have an idea for an expensive coaching program.
Actually… let’s use a real-world example. I used to work for Drew Canole, founder of FitLife.tv and Organifi.com.
Drew occasionally does one-on-one coaching where he flies to your house and literally shows you in person how to transform your life. He goes grocery shopping with you and shows you what to buy. He goes to the gym with you and teaches you how to work out. He lives your entire daily routine with you and shows you how to become a healthier version of yourself.
And he charges $10,000 for this.
How many people do you think he would close if he met someone for the first time and said “Hi, my name is Drew, want to let me hang out at your house for a couple days for $10k?”
But Drew’s coaching clients never even find out about his coaching program until they get to the bottom of the funnel.
Here’s an example of how someone might work their way through Drew’s funnel: first they see a sponsored post from him in their newsfeed. It captures their attention and they click over to his facebook page. After checking out a few posts and watching a couple videos, they like what they see and hit the like button.
Now over the next few days and weeks they see more of Drew’s content, learn more about his message, and eventually they find out about his powdered green drink called Organifi. By know they like him and have bought into his mission so they buy a bottle.
Eventually they buy another bottle. Then some supplements. Then some more supplements. Then they buy some of his digital information products.
By now they’re a raving fan. They hear about Fit Life Live, Drew’s in-person event. They HAVE to go so they buy tickets and fly to San Diego. They have the time of their life.
One day an email shows up in their inbox introducing the coaching program. When they see the price tag they don’t even think twice, they just say “Of course I’ll sign up! If Drew has made this big of an impact on me so far, just imagine what will happen working with him one-on-one!”
If you aspire to turn your lifestyle business or side hustle into a multi-million dollar empire, this is how you do it. Creating backend and high-ticket products that you can upsell to your current customers.
But the first step is getting people into your funnel in the first place. And that’s exactly what an ebook can do, either as a free lead magnet to get people onto your list or as an inexpensive product to qualify buyers.
The great thing is you don’t need to know what your high-ticket products are going to be right now. You can build your funnel as you move customers through it. Just create the ebook now and start asking your readers “What is the next problem that I can solve for you? What are more services that would be helpful for you?” Then build what they tell you.
To impress people
This article is already super long, so these next four will be quick, I promise!
As easy as it is to write an ebook, not many people do it. Everyone has an idea but few execute. So if you can be one of the few people who can say “I’ve written an ebook, here’s where you can go to read it” you get instant street cred.
To build authority
If I asked you to describe James Altucher in one sentence, what would you say? you’d probably call him “The Idea Muscle guy.”
Tim Ferriss? “He masters skills in ‘4 hours’, then teaches you how.”
Dave Asprey? “Biohacking guinea pig who gives you weird tips to become bulletproof.”
Now what would you say if you had to explain yourself?
Most of us would say “Well, I do a little of this and a little of that, but I’m trying to move in this direction…”
Writing an ebook can help you stake your claim and say “This is who I am.” Now people understand what you do, why they should work with you, and who they should refer to you.
To get search traffic
What is Google? It’s a search engine that can drive traffic to your site if you rank for the right keywords.
What is Amazon? Yes it’s a store, but you could also look at it as a search engine that can drive traffic to your site if you rank for the right keywords…as long as you have a book that will show up in the results!
By now I’m willing to guess you’re thinking “I really need to write an ebook” but there’s still that voice in the back of your head saying:
“I don’t know if I have enough content for a whole book.”
“I don’t know if I have enough time to write a book.”
“Outlining, drafting, editing, publishing…sounds like a lot of work.”
“I know how to write…but I’m not sure how to write a finished book.”
That’s why I created LaunchAtLast.com. You provide the ideas, we provide literally everything else.
If you're ready to launch your own information product business, click here to watch our free training presentation. This isn't motivational content, and it's not high-level theory. It's step-by-step instruction on EXACTLY how you can start building your business today.