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funnel with a book coming out

Do you want to bring in new clients for your business? Or how about making existing clients feel like they’re part of your team?

A book can make that happen.

When you pour yourself into writing a book—your knowledge, thoughts, principles, and values—you give people an entirely new way to connect with you and your business.

That’s why your book marketing strategy is really a business marketing strategy.

You can use your book to:

  • Connect with customers & clients in a meaningful way
  • Find the people who will be most excited about your business
  • Build a relationship with them before they buy anything

In fact, writing a non-fiction book as a self-published Author is one of the best ways to promote your business.

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to build 4 different book funnels that can generate fantastic leads for your business.

What Is a Book Funnel?

To put it simply, a book funnel is a sales funnel that includes a book.

If you’re not familiar with a sales funnel, think of it as any process that takes people step-by-step through the sales journey. They start out knowing nothing about your business, and they ultimately end up becoming a paying customer.

A book funnel either:

  1. Drives people toward buying your book (which usually isn’t profitable)
  2. Uses your book to drive people toward buying something else

The second option is when your book can start really making money.

Either way, a book funnel is like any other sales funnel. It generates leads and then converts those leads through different stages of the buying journey.

Potential customers start out not knowing anything about you, and they end up buying what you want them to buy.

What Does It Mean to Generate Leads?

Let’s say you want more investors for your real estate investment company. Obviously, you’re not looking for just anyone. The people you’re trying to connect with need to have enough money to invest, and they need to be interested in real estate.

Whenever you find someone who fits that bill, it’s called a “lead.”

Lead generation is any process that helps you find those leads—people who will genuinely be interested in your product or service.

Businesses usually find leads through advertising and other kinds of promotion, but a book is one of the very best ways to generate leads.

  • It tells potential customers far more about you and your business than any ad ever could
  • It motivates them to be excited about your business and what you do
  • It helps them feel connected to you

Better yet, your book is highly targeted at the people who are most likely to become your best, most enthusiastic customers. If you’ve positioned it well, the people who are interested in your book will also be interested in your business.

How Do Book Funnels Work and Why Are They So Effective?

Books have tremendous potential to bring customers in the door, but it usually takes a bit more than that to build the relationship you really want.

While it’s possible that someone might pick up your book, read it, and immediately call you, most people won’t. Be honest: how often have you done that?

Instead, they’re more likely to remember your book for a little while, maybe tell a few people about it, and then move on to other things.

To hold their interest (and keep them coming back until they’re ready to invest in your real estate company), you need to keep communicating with them.

A book funnel helps you do that by using your book to build your email list. By building your email list, you can stay in touch with those leads through your newsletter.

But that only works if your book is generating good leads for your business.

Let’s say you wrote a cookbook of your grandmother’s barbecue recipes. There’s no guarantee that anyone who reads that book will be interested in real estate investing.

But if you wrote a book on why you got into real estate investing, why you love it, and how to succeed at it, the people who want to read that book will be great leads. Why? Because:

  • They’re all interested in real estate investing.
  • They’re going to learn more about you when they read the book and start connecting with your ideas, principles, and systems.
  • They’re going to see you as an expert. After all, you’re the person who literally wrote the book on real estate investing!

The point is that book funnels only work when your book can generate GOOD leads for the product or service you’re really selling.

Assuming your book is aligned with your ultimate goal, here are 4 ways to use that book to generate great leads.

4 Proven Book Funnel Strategies to Generate Great Leads

1. The quiz funnel

Let’s say you wrote a book that talks about 7 sales strategies and how they match the personality profiles of different salespeople.

For a book like that, one option is to create an online quiz that tells people which personality profile they fall into. On the quiz results page, you can offer them the book. That way, they can read about the sales strategy that’s right for them.

Now, you can use the quiz to sell the book if you want to—but that won’t generate a lot of sales. At least, not usually (and definitely not on its own).

Instead, I suggest you use your book as a reader magnet. Offer it to them as a free download in exchange for the reader’s email address. Then, add their address to your email list.

Through newsletters and emails, offer them genuine value, continuing to build that relationship. Over time, this will build their trust in your expertise and compel them to sign up for your expensive sales course (which is where you make your real money).

Of course, not every book can be turned into a quiz like this. You have to have the right book for it.

But it’s a great way to draw people in, especially if they feel like the quiz will provide an immediate benefit or teach them something useful about themselves. Things like:

  • What kind of leader are you?
  • What’s the best diet for your body type?
  • What exercise routine are you most likely to stick with based on your personality?

People love quizzes like that.

Better yet, you can start using a quiz-type funnel even before your book comes out:

Sign up for my email list to get your free copy as soon as the book comes out!

2. The retargeting “funnel”

A retargeting book funnel isn’t exactly a funnel, but it does use your book to generate leads.

Here’s how it works:

First, you create a Facebook ad, trying to get people to buy the book by sending them to your book’s Amazon page.

Most Facebook ads won’t sell enough books to be worth the cost of the ad itself. But that’s okay. That’s not the real point of the ad.

You won’t have any idea who did or didn’t buy the book because Amazon won’t tell you. But that’s okay too. All you really care about is who clicked on the ad.

When you run a Facebook ad, the system keeps track of all the people who liked and clicked on the ad. Obviously, those people were interested in your book, whether or not they bought it.

Now, you can create an ad for the next stage of your funnel and target those same people.

What’s the next stage? That depends on your ultimate goal. If you’re trying to sell a course on sales, the next stage might be a free mini-course.

Whatever you’re selling, that ad will have a higher success rate than it would have if you hadn’t run the book ad first. Why? Because:

  1. It’s tightly targeted to your core audience.
  2. Those people think of you as an expert because they know you wrote a book.

You can even include your book cover as a part of the ad graphic, so they connect the book with the free course.

3. The sales funnel

In a book sales funnel, you send people to a landing page that you control (not Amazon).

That landing page does one of 2 things:

  1. sells the book
  2. uses the book as a lead magnet to sell other things

The total cost of the book has to be less than people would pay on Amazon or this won’t work. But, of course, that’s fine. You’re not really trying to sell the book.

You’re trying to generate leads.

Anyone who’s willing to give you money for the book, even if it isn’t full price, is definitely a good lead for the next stage of your funnel.

Better yet, you can offer them “upsells” to move them farther along the funnel. These promo add-ons can be almost anything:

  • A companion course for the book
  • Coaching services around the book
  • A Masterclass to go deeper
  • The audiobook version of the book
  • A workbook that goes with the book
  • Templates or worksheets that go with the book

Landing pages like this often add urgency by offering add-ons and upsells at highly discounted prices:

Usually $295, you can add this course to your purchase right now for only $29.50!

One way to get people to your landing page is to offer your book for free as a digital download.

To offer a free ebook for this kind of funnel, include a form that asks people for their email address and then sends them to a free download page with your upsell offers. Or offer to send them a download code for the Kindle book by email.

This kind of giveaway offer that gets people “in the door” isn’t a bad marketing strategy. But there is one more book funnel that tends to work even better.

4. The free plus shipping & handling funnel

Some of the most successful book funnels don’t use free books to build a subscriber base.

Instead, they use a free-plus-shipping-and-handling offer.

This kind of book funnel offers your print book as a freebie, asking people only to pay the shipping and handling fees (which include the cost of printing the book).

Why is this better than offering free digital copies of your book?

  • People value print books more than digital books
  • People are more likely to read a print book
  • They’ll feel like they’re getting a more significant deal
  • They’re paying enough for the shipping and handling to make these people great leads
  • Some time will pass between their order and when they get the book, building anticipation and excitement around it

If you structure this kind of funnel well, you’ll even be able to advertise it—and the funnel will pay for its own advertising.

In fact, free-plus-shipping book funnels are so effective that I’ve written a whole post on them. If you really want to make money with your book, I highly recommend them.

But no matter which kind of funnel you choose, that’s one of the most powerful things about self-publishing as an indie Author: being able to use your book in this kind of way.

No matter what your ultimate goal is, you can use your book to:

  • Convert new readers into new subscribers
  • Gather social media followers and get people talking
  • Build hassle-free lead-generation funnels for your business or career
  • Talk about your new book in the media and increase your visibility
  • Convert a reader’s email address into a major sale down the road

As long as you plan and write your book in an intentional way, targeting the right audience for your ultimate goal, there’s no limit to what a book can do for you.