Bikram Choudhury (love him or loathe him) is the world’s most infamous yoga instructor who built a wildly successful business based on just 26 yoga postures. So what can Bikram yoga teach us about writing a book?
Who are you writing this book for? Who is in your target audience? What is the problem they are experiencing and how are you going to solve it for them?
Though there are many people in a Bikram class – often all squashed in nose to toe with each other – there is actually only one person in the audience. That’s you. Everyone else in the class is just a distraction.
The same applies when writing a book.
Sure, there are plenty of people out there who are going to read your book, and get a lot out of it, but when you’re actually analysing your IP and choosing the content that will make up your framework – what is relevant and what is not – you focus on one specific target audience. I’d even say you focus on writing to one representative person of that group.
Who you’re writing to determines:
- what content goes in the book – or, more importantly, what stays out
- why that content is important
- how your readers implement your strategies into their own lives.
Maybe your book is for senior leaders of organisations who need to get others to buy-in to their big-picture ideas, a.k.a Simon Dowling’s Work with Me, or individuals like those entering the workforce for the first time or changing careers who could learn business storytelling techniques to land their ideal job, like Gabrielle Dolan's Storytelling for Job Interviews.
Writing your book to ‘all leaders and CEOs’ is way too general and broad to be achievable or have the right impact (Remember to get SMART like in Hot Tip 3).
Fill in the following elevator pitch, stick it above your desk, or on your laptop and keep revisiting it as you write:
- I’m writing a book on [your topic or area of thought leadership] for [your audience] to solve [the problem you are solving for them].
One of the most common mistakes I see authors making is that their first draft becomes a brain dump of information, with no set intention, clear purpose or audience.
Don’t let this be you!