Many authors struggle with finding just the right topic for their books. Of course if you are writing a book just as a hobby or simply because of your ego, then any topic will do. But if you are writing a book to help you in business, then it needs to have a winning topic.

When you are writing a nonfiction book to help you build your brand, get new clients, and attract new opportunities, then the winning topic is about what will appeal to and help your target reader. That means first determining your audience — before writing the book. Many authors write books and then go look for the audience that will buy the book. But a better approach for the small business owner, freelancer, entrepreneur, leader, or professional is to think about the audience first.

Knowing who your audience is will help you to write the book. Knowing your audience is important because that will affect the tone, language you use, and of course, the content. While many aspiring authors boast that their books are for “everyone,” no one book can of interest to everyone. If you write a book for an audience of “everyone,” you are writing a book for an audience of no one. That is because you will be writing something that is too general, bland, or confusing, as you attempt to appeal to so many different types of readers. I repeat: You simply cannot appeal to every reader in one book.

Don’t believe me. Consider this: Let’s say you determine that your book is for mothers. Well, is it for mothers of preschoolers or mothers of high school students? Both groups are mothers, but their interests and challenges are vastly different, due to the ages and stages of life of their children. If you write a book that is all about the concerns of mothers with preschool children, but you try to market it to the mothers of high school students, you won’t get very far. Yes, both audiences are mothers, but they aren’t the same audience.

So determine your audience.

Next, figure out what this audience needs. What are the problems this audience faces?

If you are in business and are writing a book to appeal to people who would be potential clients, then you likely know the problems they face, because you already solve at least one of these problems.

Once you have figured out the problems this audience faces, determine how you can solve at least one of these problems. The more pressing the problem, the better.

Now look at what you have written down. Within this, is a winning topic. Where your solution meets your audience’s pressing need is where you find the winning topic for your book.

When you write a book that helps your audience fix the problem that keeps it up at night, that audience will absolutely welcome that book.