July 3, 2023

Episode 27: Cracking the Idea Code: Unveiling the Ideal Idea for Your Client-Attracting Book

Learn the step-by-step process for identifying the ideal idea for a client-attracting book.

Episode 27: Cracking the Idea Code: Unveiling the Ideal Idea for Your Client-Attracting Book

by Carma Spence | The Author Switch Podcast


Discovering the right idea for a client-attracting book is crucial, and in this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, host Carma Spence unveils a step-by-step approach to cracking the idea code. She shares her three-step (MSV) process, which includes generating a list of ideas, sifting them through a set of filters, and validating the remaining ideas.

Recap & Takeaways

  • 03:00 The M in MSV
  • 04:48 The S in MSV
  • 11:09 The V in MSV

Transcript for Episode 27: Cracking the Idea Code: Unveiling the Ideal Idea for Your Client-Attracting Book

Hello and welcome to the Author Switch, the podcast that is here to support you in turning on the author switch and keeping it on. Today we’re gonna be talking about cracking the idea code, unveiling the ideal idea. For your client attracting book. So what I’m gonna be covering today is sort of a high level overview of the idea identification process that I walk my clients through.

And the reason why it’s important to go through this process is because if you end up writing a book that’s based on the wrong idea, Then you end up with a book that does nothing for you, nothing for your potential clients and nothing for your business. It just sits there and collects digital dust, and you’ve wasted all this time and energy, and you may even just throw in the towel because this one book didn’t work.

And I know this from experience because I’ve written the wrong book multiple times before I came up with this process. And I mean some of those books I probably still would’ve done, but I would’ve had a different mindset around writing them. I would’ve not gone into it thinking this book’s gonna build my business only to find out this book did not build my business, cuz it wasn’t aligned properly.

And the process I’m gonna be walking you through in today’s episode will help you come up with an idea that is aligned with you, your business. And your ideal readers. So the first step, and actually this is sort of the pre-step. The pre-step is to really understand your brand, to understand what your values are and how those values intersect with your potential clients, and to understand your brand promise so that the book can deliver on that brand promise.

And finally to understand your target market and what they are looking for. So now that you’ve got this free work, you fully understand your brand and what it delivers, regardless of how it’s delivering it, and you understand who your ideal target market is. Now you can go through what I call the M S V idea generation process. And the first step starts with M and that stands for Mindstorm. It’s sort of a cross between, uh, brain dump and mind mapping, so, or brainstorming. Anyway, so this process is where you start. You ask yourself some questions so that you can come up with a list of potential ideas.

And the main question is, what problems do you or your business solve? Get a sheet of paper and a pen or your laptop and your fingers and open up a document. It could be a Google Doc, it could be a text document. Doesn’t matter. Get your favorite communication tool and start documenting all the problems that your business solves.

And the reason why I’m focusing on problems is because when people look for a book, at least non-fiction book, they’re looking for an answer to a problem. It may be a little problem, it may be a medium sized problem, it may be a big problem, but it is something they want to solve. And. If they can’t find the answer that they want on blog posts, or they think that they want to dive a little more deeper into the potential solution, they will go to Amazon and look for a book.

So you wanna understand what problems you solve because these are going to be your best potential field of ideas for a good book that will attract ideal clients. So now you’ve got this big list of all the problems that you solve. Big ones, little ones, all the in between ones. Now you’re gonna go into step two, which is sifting.

You’re gonna sift through those ideas using specific filters, and one of the main filters that you’re gonna use is what I call a Customer Transformation Journey Map. Basically your business, or you take your customers from an A state and you move them through various milestones into a Z state, and all those milestones are “B” through “Y”.

Or less. You can usually break your transformation journey into about five steps. I’m just allowing for there to be more if you want them. So for example, my customer journey map is I take people from, I have no clue what to write about or I have so many ideas, I don’t know which one’s the right one, and I take them all the way to, hey, here’s my client attracting book, and people are starting to call me and I didn’t even meet them. That’s, that’s the full transformation. And in between, there’s all these different steps. There’s idea generation, there’s outlining, there’s writing, there’s publishing, there’s book marketing, book launching, all these different steps that can happen in between, “I don’t know what to write about” and “my book is now attracting clients.” So that’s my customer journey map, and that kind of gives you an example of what you can think about for your Customer Transformation Journey Map. So now you’ve got that tool and you’ve got your list of potential ideas.

You’re gonna sift through them. The first filter I like to use is, which one of these problems that you solve match your ideal client’s hot topics. Because remember, you’re gonna be solving lots of problems, but some problems are okay, I’d like to solve that, but it can wait. And then there’s other problems that are like, if I don’t solve this now the world is gonna end, my business is gonna end.

All sorts of horrible, tragic things will happen if I don’t solve this problem now. Those are your hot topics, and what’s interesting is that a hot topic, can be lukewarm at some points in a person’s entrepreneurial journey and extremely hot fire under one’s butt problems at another point.

So take a look at the problems that you solve and figure out which ones do you think are the hot topics that would attract a client who you enjoy working with. So that’s sort of a, a sub filter there because there are gonna be some problems that you solve that if you lead with that, you’re gonna attract people you don’t want to work with.

You may solve them for people you do wanna work with, but for some reason that problem just attracts the wrong kind of people. Not that they’re bad people, not that they’re like inherently wrong people. They’re just the wrong people for you. You know who you like to work with. Choose hot topics, hot buttons for those people

The next filter. So now you’ve narrowed down that list a little bit. The next filter you’re gonna run these leftover ideas with are, which one of these problems do you love to solve? Because this client attracting book is going to attract hopefully, if everything’s done well, a lot of people. You want this influx of people to be people who are asking you to do something that you enjoy doing. So for example, in my customer journey, I love helping people come up with their idea, which is part of the reason why I chose that as today’s topic, cuz I love talking about it. I love seeing the light bulb go off over someone’s head when I walk them through the process.

And I love knowing that I’m making a difference in that person’s life because, now, they’re not gonna write the wrong book. They’re gonna write the right book that will take them where they want and need to go. So hopefully this gets you down to, oh, maybe 10 or 15 ideas. The final filter here in the sift process is of the ideas that are left over that are still there, which ones happen at the beginning of your Customer Transformation Journey? That’s why you needed that tool. So for example, in the list, I said writing’s not at the beginning. It’s somewhere in the middle. I’m probably not gonna lead with writing, but I can lead with idea generation and I can lead with writing an outline because those are near the beginning.

And that would attract more people. Now, I usually don’t lead with outlining because most people go, oh, I don’t wanna go back to school and write an outline. That’s not the kind of outline we do, but that’s what people, when they hear the word outline, they’re like, Egads, I don’t wanna do that. So I don’t lead with that.

But it’s kind of sexy to come up with the right idea, right? So I tend to leave with that.

Again, the three filters you’re gonna be running your list of problems through is which ones match your ideal client’s hot topics. Which ones do you love to work with your clients to help resolve, and which ones are closer to the beginning of your Customer Transformation Journey.

And another reason why I say near the beginning is because this is a client attracting book. You want it to attract a larger group of people, and the larger group of people is gonna be near that beginning.

So now we’re ready to go to step number three. So we’ve done the M Mindstorm, we’ve done the S sift, and we’re moving into V Validate. So now you’ve got, hopefully one, but maybe five ideas or somewhere in between. And you wanna discern which one is your best bet. And the way you validate your idea is you take your idea and you phrase it in a way that if someone was looking for information about this idea, what would they type into Google?

So for example, I. If I went with idea generation, it might be how do I find the right idea for my book? Or how do you come up with a book topic, something like that. Take your your book idea and turn it into a question that someone would enter into Google if they were looking for it. And the first place you’re gonna validate your idea is Google.

So you type it into Google and you look at the results. What you’re looking for is, are there sponsored results in your search? That’s an indication that there are people out there paying money to solve this problem.

The second thing you’re looking for is the section where it says, people also ask. If that section shows up, that means people are asking questions around this topic.

And then you wanna go down and look related searches. Are the related searches actually related? The reason why I say that is because sometimes you’ll put in a search and you’ll look at the related searches and you’re like, Hmm, that’s not what I was looking for at all.

It’s not, I mean, it’s related in that it might share a word, but it’s not getting at what you’re really trying to do. Now, if you are not finding these things, that means one of two things. It’s the wrong idea. Or you phrased it incorrectly. So if you have some of these things in your Google search, then rephrase the question and use people also ask to help you do that.

But rephrase the question and see if you get better results. If you still do not get better results after rephrasing, drop that idea. Drop it all together because people are not searching for that information, and therefore they’re not gonna look for it and therefore not find your book.

The second obvious place that you’re gonna go look at to validate your idea is Amazon. And what you’re looking for is number one, are there other books that cover this topic? So look at the first page. Don’t even go to the second page. Look at the first page. Did relevant results show up? If you’ve got a hot idea, the entire page will be relevant results.

If your idea is not a good idea that people aren’t looking for, you’ll come up with really wacky results like kitchen utensils, and what not. It’s, it’s crazy what will show up in your search and you’re like, how is that related? I don’t know. So you’re looking for, first of all, the fact that there are relevant books.

That there are books that will be in competition with your book. That’s a good, you want there to be a competition for your book because that means that people are reading this stuff and people want this information.

The second thing you wanna look for is, are there sponsored results? In other words, are people advertising their book on this topic?

Because if they are nine times outta 10, maybe eight times out of 10, that means they’ve had decent results in getting their books sold and therefore they thought it was worthwhile to invest in advertising on Amazon. So that’s why you wanna look for more than one. If there’s only one sponsored result, that could be an anomaly.

That could be just someone testing the waters to see if it works, because I listen to a lot of people who do Amazon ads and they can be tricky. And finally, the last thing you’re looking for are books that have high ratings, four stars or more. So now if you, if, and there are a couple of other places, I also recommend my clients.

But if you can get good results with those two things, Google and Amazon, then it’s very likely that your book idea is gonna be a good one. So now, if you’ve gone through this process…

Mindstorm, list all the problems that you solve.

Sift, you’ve sifted those ideas through several filters so that you come up with no more than five ideas.

And then you validated those ideas using Google and Amazon.

Now you’ve got something to work with, and the next step in the process is to create your outline again, using research, but that goes beyond the scope of tonight’s topic.

I wanna really thank you for joining me on tonight’s podcast. Again, my name is Carma Spence. I am your host. Thank you so much for joining me.

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The Author Switch is a podcast dedicated to helping experts, entrepreneurs, and small business owners turn on The Author Switch — and keep it on — so that they can leverage the power of books to take their businesses to a whole new dimension. Learn more about the show and where it is available on its page.