Has writing a book always been in the back of your mind? Are you hesitating because you’re worried about the time you’ll spend writing it? Do you wonder how you could use a book to further your business?

This was certainly the case for Greg Hammond and Ron Ware. Both financial planners had tossed around the idea of putting pen to paper for years. “I had always had a personal goal of writing a book,” comments Greg. “I also wanted to use it to create credibility and visibility within our industry,”

Ron echoed Greg’s comments, “I had leveraged other people’s books for almost twenty years to develop new business and new client relationships. The idea of having my own book was much more compelling.” Their desire to become authors grew after meeting one other through a group called the Donor Motivation Program. “We both have financial practices that strive to help individuals and couples to live better and give more,” says Greg. “We knew we had a message to get out. We felt that by writing a book, we could take the message we were each distributing to a wider audience.”

So, Greg and Ron decided to co-author a book in a wise move to combine resources and talent. With this decided, they then had to figure out a way to write and publish it. “I think for anyone who is looking to write a book, probably the most daunting thing is the thought of actually sitting down and typing it all out. Most of us just have busy schedules,” notes Greg.

Then, fate stepped in.

A Chance Comment Leads to a Unique Solution

In the January 2012 meeting of his mastermind group, Greg spoke of his goal to write a book that year. One of the other attendees mentioned that he had a “wonderful publisher” to recommend. He then connected Greg to Advantage Media Group.

Advantage Media Group specializes in helping business owners and professionals write and publish books to grow their businesses. When Greg contacted Advantage, he discovered their Talk Your Book® program, which allows authors to write books simply by talking with professional editors. Greg knew immediately “it made sense” to work with Advantage.

While Ron and Greg had a “pretty clear vision” of their message, they were pleasantly surprised with the process to develop an outline. Advantage staff first engaged Ron and Greg in conversations about their goals for the book. As the outline developed, staff also provided feedback and recommendations to improve the book’s flow.

From there, they were assigned an editor. During regularly scheduled phone calls, Ron and Greg ‘talked their book’, using the outline as a guide. The editor then transcribed their conversations to produce a manuscript for review. Ron and Greg’s book, You Can Do More That Matters, was published in August 2013.

“We are both process guys in our planning practices,” explains Ron. “So the idea of using a process that was executable and easy to plug into from beginning to end was attractive.” And Greg found another, unexpected benefit: “I think our outline was a little more detailed and thorough than what Advantage is typically used to. But having the editor walk through it with us definitely flushed out a lot of good ideas.” As Ron says, “One of the advantages of our book is the multi-faceted ways we can use it.”

When writing their book, Ron and Greg kept three end-users in mind:

  • The individual or couple who reads it and then wants to work with either Greg or Ron
  • The non-profit organization who can use the book to stimulate more conversation about planning and legacy giving with their donors
  • Other advisors who want to do more holistic and philanthropic planning with their clients

“We wanted to use our book, not only to generate business for our firms, but also to impact both the non-profit industry as well as our own financial service industry,” explains Ron. To help Greg and Ron reach these audiences, Advantage worked with them to design a website for their book, www.doingmorethatmatters.com. But Ron and Greg didn’t stop here.

“An Incredible Opportunity”

Ron and Greg would encourage anyone who is thinking of writing a book to go for it. Ron is upfront with this advice: “It’s going to a commitment of some work and some money, but an investment that will be well worth it in the long run. It’s an incredible opportunity to further crystalize the message you have that’s unique within your industry. And for the two of us, it has really honed our ability to articulate our message much more clearly and compellingly.”

But the benefits don’t stop here. “It’s also expanded our horizons big time in terms of how we can build our core businesses and also how we can develop opportunities that are way out of the box for us,” continues Ron. “And quite frankly, I think without the book, we may not have discovered some of those things.”

They would both advise anyone considering a book to work with Advantage Media Group’s “professional and flexible” experts. “I’ve been very pleased and amazed at their willingness to adjust their schedule to meet our expectations with what we wanted to do,” says Greg. “They worked with us in our own timeframe.”

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