By Georgia Kirke with special guest Derek Allen Mason
Do you need to be a professional or established writer to write a book?
There was a time where being a published author was seen to be confined to an elite or select group of people but now the power of your message and your ability to reach the hearts and minds of your readers is so much more important than who you are or where you’ve come from.
That said, “who you are seen to be and where you are going” can be radically transformed for the better if your name is on the front cover of a book!
The more “unlikely” you are to write a book, the more you stand out for doing it. Derek Mason is one of the structural engineers who worked on the construction of the 2012 Olympic Stadium. He’s also the Founder of Superstructure Associates, and best-selling author of Will It Stand Up?: A Professional Engineer’s View of the Creation of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Derek might be considered an “unusual author” because he’s more of a numbers person than your typical wordsmith but it’s brilliant to see firms leveraging content in such a powerful way. In this blog we’ll explore five ways that he uses content to stand out from the crowd and win new business.
- Expert positioning.
Derek: “I use the book as a differentiator to help showcase my expertise. Our clients are very impressed when they hear that I’ve published a book and it sets me above my competitors. I’m not going to get rich by selling copies of my book but it’s there to help me win more of our ideal clients and projects. We regularly publish blogs, which again is quite rare for structural engineers; it helps make us interesting.”
- Brilliant return on investment.
Derek: “Because of the book we’ve won business awards and six-figure projects; the return on our investment has been phenomenal. It’s always difficult to pinpoint exactly which projects we have won because of the book or blogs but I could pinpoint at least four or five because the book has helped us stand out from our competitors. The clients have been convinced that we were the right engineers for the project and for their team. It’s a brilliant pay off.”
- Building and nurturing relationships.
Derek: “The good thing about a book is that it works for you 24/7 all over the world. People have bought the book in America, Australia, New Zealand and all over Europe. I did a webinar during lockdown and we had more than 250 international participants because we were doing something different. As a structural engineer and best-selling author I was taking participants through the seven principles of running a successful project. It was a way to impart my years of industry knowledge on how to run better projects so that people can take real value from the book and apply it.”
- Reaching your target audience.
Derek: “My target audience was really architects, contractors, project developers and people in the construction industry who could use the seven principles within their own division. I like to think that my contribution has helped people advance their careers and become more successful; people enjoy their careers even more when they maximise their results.
The book and blogs are a brilliant way to attract the right people to what we do. I think people are far more interested nowadays in learning about who people are and in the book I talk about my mindset and how as a 15-year-old I was told to forget my dream of becoming a middle distance runner because the coach thought I was wasting his time.
I decided to show him he was wrong and within two years I held every school record; now I’ve completed more than 100 marathons and I’ve done ultra marathons. Being able to share stories like this means the right people resonate with you.”
- The book has longevity.
Derek: “There are so many different ways to share content online but a social media post doesn’t stay at the top of a news feed for very long. It doesn’t have longevity and it takes a lot to capture people’s interest. The book has longevity and carries a lot of weight in our industry.”
If you’re wondering if writing a book is an all-consuming process then trust that you can create a strategy to suit you and your business. When Derek decided to write Will It Stand Up?: A Professional Engineer’s View of the Creation of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium he committed to two hours per day, five days a week for three months. Writing your book doesn’t need to take as much effort as building an Olympic Stadium, though planning is just as important!
Do you have a book that you’re desperate to unleash into the world? Do you have ideas but no clear direction on where to start? Do you have a successful business that you’re ready to take to six or seven figures by becoming a published author? If so, we’d love to hear from you.
At Write Business Results we’re passionate about supporting aspiring authors like you to share your brilliance and build your personal brand so you attract the right crowd for your services and products. Whether you’re looking for gentle guidance or a team of experts to write your book for you (using your expert knowledge and wisdom), we’ve got you covered. Get in touch.
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