by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
A visually engaging and informative eBook can be invaluable when trying to generate leads. One of the primary reasons is that an eBook builds trust in your knowledge and brand. This is because eBooks are informative and educational in nature. They present evidence, research, and logic, and raise important questions and concerns that customers may have without pushing your product or service in their faces. They also establish your business as a thought leader and expert on particular subject matters.
Within the three stages that customers go through before making a purchase (awareness, consideration, and decision), eBooks facilitate the decisions customers make in between the “consideration” and “decision” stages. They often provide an important “tipping point” by offering useful content and showcasing your credibility.
When using an eBook for your business, the goal is to generate leads. Therefore, choose a topic that will make it easy for a prospect to go from downloading your eBook to making a purchase or booking a consultation or subscribing to your site.
Questions to Ask
As you ponder over prospective topics for your eBook, there are some questions to ask that will help you focus your efforts. Use them and others you may discover to narrow down your choices to the top three topics that will resonate most with your target audience.
Who is your ideal subscriber?
The first question to ask helps you identify your target audience. Who are you writing for? You must know to whom you are writing in order to create a resource they will need and want. It’s a good idea to develop sales personas for your target audience. Each persona contains details about your prospect that help you determine pain points to which you can direct your eBook.
What are customers asking for?
As you communicate with your current clientele, what comes up in conversation the most? What do you see them complaining or asking about on social media? Current customers will be most like the new subscribers you want, so their business pain points will be similar to those of your potential subscribers. Perhaps a survey or some one-on-one conversations with as many clients as possible would yield some valuable potential topics.
What interests you?
Ideally, your eBook will be about a topic that holds an interest for you. Even better, it could be about something for which you hold some level of expertise. However, just remember you are creating a resource to entice subscribers. Your topic needs to scratch where they have a terrible itch, so to speak. If you are a genuine expert on ice cream, and your target audience is lactose intolerant, well…. don’t expect a wealth of eBook downloads and subscribers. A great took to help identify what is being searched for is Answer the Public, type in a keyword and it will tell you what questions are being asked on Google around that keyword.
Pick a Narrow Niche
You may have heard it said, “A successful eBook provides a laser-targeted solution to a major problem.” That is absolutely correct. That’s why it’s important to identify a narrow niche. For example, here are four broad categories with suggestions for narrower niche topics given:
- Health – Muscle gain, fat loss, raw food diet, low-impact exercise, reduce stress, natural ways to lose weight, and how to thin or tone certain body parts (thighs, stomach, arms).
- Passion – Fishing, hunting, gaming, sewing, boating, skiing, skating, wines, golf, gaming, gardening, cooking, and surfing.
- Relationships – Dating tips for men, dating tips for women, break-ups, divorce, sexuality, parenting, social skills development, marriage, and long-term relationships.
- Wealth – Passive income, debt, retirement, investing, bitcoin, how to start a business, employment, time management, and internet marketing related business (ie: blogging, affiliate marketing, social media).
Once again, your niche topic needs to solve a major problem for as large an audience as possible. So, be as specific as your target audience will allow.
Decide What Train to Ride
There are two trains of thought about how to create a successful eBook. Many people have gotten on each train and produced wildly successful eBooks. The choice is up to you, and there are many pros and cons for each.
The Unique Idea Train
This train of thought requires a completely unique idea that hasn’t been tried before. If you can hit upon that one single thing no one has tried before, and make it work, that is an excellent way to jump into an over-saturated market. You’ll stand out by solving a problem that doesn’t have too much competition. This is a sure-fire way to carve out a sub-niche within a major market and be recognized.
The downside is, how many new ideas are really out there waiting to be tried? The problem with a unique product is it’s risky. It’s breaking new ground. There might be a reason that nobody has written an eBook around this topic – it doesn’t work or sell!
The ‘Me Too’ Train
The ‘Me Too’ train involves an established product that’s in a proven market. The best thing about them is there’s already a demand for this kind of information. The key to riding the ‘Me Too’ train is to have a unique selling position. You need an interesting twist or a different way of doing things. Maybe even your solution flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but works.
The downside of this train is the difficulty you will have standing out and gathering a large audience of subscribers from your eBook. If there are 75 eBooks on Google on this popular topic, it will be hard to get noticed above the others.
Whatever your process for settling on a topic for your next eBook, it MUST generate interest if you plan to use it to get new subscribers. What success have you had in the past using an eBook for your businesses? To gain subscribers? Share your stories or advice with our readers in the comments below.
Donna Amos is passionate about helping Solopreneurs grow their business using everything digital and publishing. She has 30 years experience in sales and marketing for small business. She believes the best gift you can give another is a word of encouragement.