Shaping the world

Who we are, what we do, what we say shapes the world around us. Every pound or dollar we spend feeds someone and starves someone else, through our choices of where to spend, and what to buy. Are we supporting someone who loves their work and their place in the world, or encouraging someone to stay where they are when they would be better to move to something else?

The modern world is about infinite choice and immediate feedback. The cross-section of “likes” on a Facebook post tells us vast amounts about the landscape of our world and our place in it; what we “like” is a feedback loop that shapes what we see. The way we move through a crowded street impacts the way the people we brush against spend the rest of their day; fully, deeply connecting with our family and friends shapes the quality of their lives, and ours.

My working world has been, till now, a world of books; but with the exploration of the last week, a new vista is opening. My work is all about message – my own and my clients’ – and getting that message out into the world. That isn’t changing. The medium, however, is more fluid than it was.

The timescales involved for getting a book written and out into the world, read and integrated and responded to make books a specialised endeavour. They make sense as part of a total package, a body of work with depth and breadth; for immediate impact, however, our choices are wide open: YouTube, blog, social media, conversation, live speaking, workshops, radio interviews, television. If your message is important, then let’s get it out as fast and as clear (and often, as brief) as we can.

I started doing my video writing blog because my publicist suggested blogging more regularly. It seemed to me that blogging daily would mean I did less of my “serious” writing, so I chose video instead. The first few were awful. Then I got a little better. Now, when I look into my handheld iPhone, wherever I happen to be, I sink into a place of connection, look into the lens and let go. I talk about what’s happening, in my work and my life. Life. For me, it’s about taking a snapshot and revealing life, truth, in a soundbite, short but real.

This isn’t stuff that would make it into a novel or a self-help book – not without being refined beyond recognition. It’s  immediate, about struggling mid-process, or responding to something in the moment. And in the background, the message of my approach to life comes through – the essence of who I am. Regardless of what I say, that truth comes through.

We might be less guarded, less thoughtful, when we dash off a Facebook comment or a tweet than we would be writing a book. In fact that doesn’t matter. What matters is, do we care, are we loving, do our actions match our words?

In this immediate life, our thoughts are read by those around us; who we are is what shapes our world.

Article commissioned by Business Matters magazine

The following is an article shortly to appear in Business Matters magazine – thank you, Paul, for giving me this opportunity.

Your Message, in Your Voice, Delivered to the World

Getting your book written can be fast and easy, and can have a massive positive impact on your business

Corporate social responsibility, a unique way of working, innovative ideas… What is it your ideal client needs to know about your business to become brand loyal, to love working with you, and to know they want to buy from you again and again and again?

Books are a fantastic way to let your customers know all about you. In this world of competing attention, we’re often led to believe a sound bite is all we will get to deliver. If we can’t sum up our value in twenty words or less, we haven’t a hope of being heard.

What if that weren’t true? What if you could get 40-50,000 of your words into the hands of your ideal client, hold their attention for four or five or six hours of their time, and leave them with a full, positive picture of who you are?

Let your customers know you want to make a difference

If things have been operating in the normal way of the world for your business, chances are that your customers think you are motivated primarily by money. You and I know that’s not true, that your motivation goes much deeper than that.

Money is important – very important – but it’s not the most important thing. And chances are that once your customers know what is the most important thing to you, a new bond will be formed, a new trust, a new level of doing business.

You may be asking yourself: Could I really write a book?

Many entrepreneurs are not enormously confident about writing. The creative brain is not always compatible with the confines of spelling and grammar, and that’s completely fine. There are plenty of people who can take care of that – the important thing is that you get your message out, into the world where people can hear it.

Simple book process

Most of my clients are more fluent in conversation, or in public speaking, than in writing. The process of producing their books is easy, outlined here so you can follow it yourself.

Step 1. decide who is your audience, and what difference you want to create in their lives

Step 2. decide what you want to say, in what order, and draw up a detailed plan of headings – have an interested friend or colleague help with this

Step 3. do a series of recorded interviews, where your helper asks you questions about each of the headings; or deliver the material in workshops or speaking events, once again recorded; include lots of stories to make the points come alive

Step 4. have the recordings transcribed

Step 5. have an editor transform the transcripts into correct written grammar, leaving your voice, your choice of words, your way of expressing yourself intact

Step 6. review the text and make any necessary adjustments

Step 7. have the text laid out into book form

Step 8. publish: cover design, print and digital publication

When I work with clients it takes 3-4 days of their time to plan, record and consult through the process. In around six weeks their book is completed, ready to take their full message out into the world.

7 Ways you can use your book to get your message out

1. Give copies of your book to clients and potential clients
2. Have copies on display in your waiting area, for people to read as they wait
3. Get your PR people to generate television and radio interviews to talk about your book
4. Have written and audio excerpts on your website
5. Put excerpts in your newsletter
6. Build a following on Facebook using quotes from the book, and discussion around it; link to excerpts on Twitter
7. Build a marketing campaign around the book

Jennifer Manson is a writer who works with speakers and other experts to get their message into book form easily and quickly. and