“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”
Harry S. Truman
As you start reading this post, you'll find yourself asking a question. What has this got to do with digital disruption in the funeral industry?
Do you read books? As Truman said, leadership is about learning. If you want your funeral business to lead the way in your area, then you must acquire new methods of approach. The old ways of doing business in the funeral industry if not gone, are disappearing quickly. Within five years I predict the funeral industry in the UK will be unrecognisable compared to today.
Here are five books that I have read that will prepare you for the future. I guarantee if you take the time to consume this knowledge, it will have the greatest positive impact on your funeral business. It will help you to meet the challenges of running a company in a fundamentally digital marketplace. Why not assign your firm's Digital Ambassador the responsibility of reading one of these books? Then ask the to give you ten ways your funeral business could adapt lessons from this book, as a task. It will save them Facebooking their friends during works time.
I Do Not Have Time To Read!
Rubbish! Books do not have to be the paper kind anymore.
I love a new book. Literally! I caress the pages. I listen intently for the "crack" as you bend the book open for the first time. Yes, I know, it is a bit weird. I even love the smell of a new book!
“I know every book of mine by its smell, and I have but to put my nose between the pages to be reminded of all sorts of things.”
I Do Not Have Time To Sit And Read A Book.
That is ok, books these days can be digital. For example, I subscribe to Audible. For £7.99 a month (the price of 2 coffees in some places), I get one audio book download a month. Walking the dog, or middle of the night when I cannot sleep or driving the car to funerals, I read a book a month or more in bite size pieces by listening. How much time do you spend waiting? Here is a quick and straightforward way to "read" books while you wait, walk or exercise.
Would you like one of the audio books below as a free gift? You can have it! You can sign up for a free book and a 30 day trial at Audible by clicking here. Yes, I want a free audio book. I have added the specific links for these books below on Amazon.*
Peter Diamandis and Steve Kotler
In many posts, I have referred to this book. This book explores the future by guiding you through the exponential technologies that are digitally disrupting our world. It is a fantastic read of emerging technologies. Take the lessons you observe in this book. Then reimagine them in the funeral business marketplace.
Biggest learning point - Gartner Hype Circle. The astonishing impact of breakthrough technology on a marketplace.
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
Joe Pulizzi, a content marketing strategist, reveals a new model for success. Content marketing, simply put, is developing valuable content. It means connecting with an audience around that content, and then showing how a product for that audience fits. Whether you are seeking to start a brand-new funeral business or drive innovation into an existing one, Content Inc. provides everything you need to reverse-engineer the traditional approach of finding new clients.
Biggest Learning Point - Patience - it takes 9 - 18 months to see success. Better start now rather than later!
Many funeral businesses think marketing is a weekly add in the local paper and an insert in the local hospital magazine. These worked well once. May still do a little. However, in most cases are irrelevant these days. Scott Strattern's book is a revelation on how to do marketing in today's digital age. It includes new information on building relationships through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Biggest Learning Point - the sales pyramid between relationship and trust. Think how you can build this model into your funeral business with family referrals.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
David Meerman Scott
This is the fifth edition of the pioneering guide to the future of marketing. It offers a step–by–step action plan for harnessing the power of modern marketing and PR to directly communicate with buyers, raise visibility, and increase sales. This book is full of practical ideas, plans and cases studies. The latest edition covers live streaming platforms which are now becoming commonplace at funerals.
Biggest Learning Point - the diversity of options available in this digital marketplace to reach new clients.
Michael Hyatt is one of the top business bloggers in the world. He provides down-to-earth guidance for building and expanding a powerful platform. I like this book because it describes in detailed steps what you need to do to build an online platform for your funeral business. He does not assume any knowledge and guides your through each process in detail step by step.
Biggest Learning Point - the most common blogging mistakes to avoid.
“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Charlie "Tremendous" Jones
Reading, whether by picking up a book and thumbing its pages or listening opens the mind to new opportunities. To paraphrase Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, your funeral business might only exist in five years time if you meet new people and read new books. Every type business is being disrupted by the advance of technology. The Internet of Things (IoT) will change what we wear, how we eat and how we lie in a coffin connected to the internet. (For real) Now is the time to act. Now is the time to read and learn, to change and adapt.
I would love to hear your opinions. What are your favorite books about change? Please drop a note in the comments below or contact me.
*Disclosure - Please note that the above links are affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase a book from Amazon or sign up for an account with Audible then I would receive a small commission. This does not change the price of the product for you but helps me! Thank you if you choose to do this.