Designing the First Ebook for Your Insurance Agency
You're not an aspiring author, and you don't want to be a novelist. Insurance marketing is your goal, but an ebook can be your pathway to future sales. When you're designing an ebook, you're designing a high-value product that will educate your clients and make them value your expertise in the field. It's much more than a short marketing blurb, and you need to treat it as such. Here's how to create a standout ebook design.
Creating Your Ebook
Your ebook must have strong content, but the design elements of your ebook are critical to its success as well. As you create your ebook, consider how you'll integrate these elements into your book design:
Cover Art: First impressions matter. Choose your cover art carefully. Your images should connect to your theme, but they should not be obvious stock photography. You'll need a large, clear title that's easy to read even if the image is a thumbnail. Your cover image should inspire curiosity and bring to mind the theme of the book, however subtly.
Length: Your ebook should be the right length for your audience. It needs to be longer than a substantial blog post, but it doesn't need to be hundreds of pages. When people read online, they read shorter documents in shorter chunks. Design your book so that your customers can read it in small bursts.
Language: Your customers need to be able to read your ebook with ease. Even if you publish the book itself, ask someone else at your agency or someone external to your agency to read it and comment on its structure and grammar. Having poor spelling in a flagship ebook is the equivalent of having a big piece of spinach in your teeth at the most important networking event of the year.
Design for Access: Format your ebook so that it's available on popular programs. For example, your ebook should convert to Kindle so that customers can read it on their e-readers. If your customers are stuck reading a download on a desktop, they'll be less motivated to finish it.
Should You Design Your Own Ebook?
If you have a wonderful graphic designer and talented writers in your office, you may decide to design your own ebook. However, even if you have talented staff, there are pros and cons to designing your own ebook. An ebook can showcase your in-house talents, and you can ensure that the ebook represents your original vision and voice when you create it with your own staff.
However, from writing to formatting and fonts, creating an ebook is a huge investment of time. You need to make sure that you do it right. Writing, designing, and marketing an ebook isn't an all or nothing proposition. You can take charge of specific elements of your ebook and get help with others. You may decide to secure a professional editor or hire a graphic designer to develop a striking graphic for your ebook cover. You may bring on a social media expert to develop a buzz about your ebook before it hits the virtual shelves.
Ebook Creation Tools
To create an ebook, you need a mixture of publishing tools and graphic design tools. Here are some of the best tools for new ebook creators:
Creativist has a wide variety of structures for ebooks, magazines, and other publishing formats.
eBook Maestro is a very simple publishing program that looks clunky but is remarkably flexible.
iBooks Author has unique formats, but it's sometimes slow uploading.
Issuu is a platform for publishing ebooks. Choose from many different presentation formats. Issuu is best for those who have heavily-visual ebooks.
PagePlus is similar to InDesign, but it's easier to use. It's a relatively simple program with exceptional functionality that allows you to create professional-looking ebooks.
Canva is a graphic design service that offers free and low-cost templates and images. It can make you look like a pro graphic designer without trying.
If you'd like to hand out paper copies as well, Blurb offers professional-looking ebook templates that can also convert into printable ebooks.
An Ebook is One Part of an Insurance Marketing Campaign
Your ebook also needs to be part of a cohesive insurance marketing strategy. It doesn't need to stand alone, lonely and unloved. Instead, surround it with a community of similar products such as webinars, blogs, and in person classes. This will allow you to upsell your readers and connect them to each product in turn, no matter what value-added product they choose.
At American Agents Alliance, we're here to help you build your business. We help independent insurance agencies create strong insurance marketing programs by hosting conferences and networking opportunities and creating continuing education partnerships for our members. Contact us to learn about our many membership benefits.