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The Devil In The Detail – Why Too Much Expert Content Can Sabotage Your Business Book’s Success  By Ivan Meakins

What was the last business book you read, that kept you glued to the pages, added heaps of value and that you actually acted on?

It’s likely that book sits proudly on your bookshelf, ready to be recommended to your friends at a moment’s notice. Being so enthralled by it, you may have even gone one step further and purchased some of the author’s products/services or subscribed to their other content channels? 

What was it about that book that served you so well and left you hungry for more?

The truth is, it probably did a lot of things right, but of all the little bits and pieces it did amazingly well, one of the most important things it nailed was this:

The content – whatever system, process or idea it was – found the sweet spot when it comes to sharing information. They didn’t skimp out leaving us feeling short-changed, nor did they drown us with hundreds of pages of the fine print.

They got it just right.

At Write Business Results (WBR) we specialise in helping authors get their ideas out of their heads, onto paper, and into the hands of their audience, so I thought I would share some of what I have learnt about what I refer to as the Goldilocks Zone of detail for you all.

The curse of knowing too much

At WBR, most of our authors are experienced business owners and real experts at what they do. They have a TON of amazing ideas and solutions to their clients’ problems. 

The challenge arises when these industry experts and thought leaders want to share everything with their ideal readers in one go. This can create a real problem for their readers and their business: it’s a lose-lose scenario.

  1.  The reader loses engagement due to information overload
  2.  The author loses out on a potential client because their readers are too busy trying to piece together everything they have been taught – if they make it to the end of the book!

Find the balance 

At WBR we know that there is a fine balance between providing valuable information that keeps your readers curious and complete overwhelm. But how do you know when enough is enough?

If you don’t have a specific business strategy for your book, you definitely need one! You should think of your book it as the first point of contact between you and your readers/customers. If we assume the book will act as a lead magnet for your business, then there needs to be a smooth and seamless process from reader to paying customer.

The devil is in the detail

Too much information in the book will sabotage that strategy. It can create a bottleneck situation, delaying anyone from experiencing the rest of your business because they are too busy staring cross-eyed into this black hole of information you have created for them.

The thing is, most people are lazy (guilty as charged). They want quick answers and they will happily pay for someone to fix their problems for them.

Your job with a business book (that you want to use to generate clients), is to act as a filter for you, qualifying the right kind of customers and convincing them that you know your stuff. Your book is not meant to actually fix all their problems. 

If you try, you will only bog people down in heavy detail that they will never end up implementing, and you will end up twiddling your thumbs wondering why your book isn’t getting results. 

Reverse engineering your book’s content 

So, rather than spilling out every single solution you have to every problem, let’s reverse engineer this process. Think of what your reader wants, and one or two problems that are preventing them from getting it.

Then, start thinking about what information they need now to start solving those problems.

For example, if your ideal readers/customers are small-business owners who have little to no knowledge of digital marketing, then it’s probably not worth explaining every single detail of split testing Facebook ads, and the nuances of copywriting. 

Instead, you may want to focus on a more panoramic picture and give them a general breakdown of the basics of internet marketing today, with one simple action point they can take away from each section. Maybe give them a simple roadmap to running their first campaign?

On the other hand, if you just want to teach your audience about writing great sales copy, you are going to want to do a deeper dive into the world of copywriting and stay on that course. Don’t get caught down a marketing rabbit hole talking about how to build a brand – it’s not important in the context of your strategy or the specific problem you want to solve.

Keep your content deliberate

Most readers of business books just want a clear process to get them started, and have it delivered in a way that gets them excited about taking further action. Of course, it will need to be unique, engaging, well structured, etc., but none of that will matter much if your book goes too far off-piste with the content, or into too much depth for your specific audience.

A lot of this comes down to knowing who your audience is, and what level of information they already have.

Look at it this way, you are reading this article because you want to learn how to deliver the right volume of high-value content that leaves your readers (potential clients) wanting more. You don’t need me to start talking about audience awareness levels or how to use stories in your business book because that’s not why you are reading this. 

As interesting as that information is, it’s probably best saved for another blog …

Until next time!

For more information on how to get you content ideas out of your head, and into the hands of your audience, feel free to reach out to us at or book a discovery call using the link below:


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