Four Ways to Get Stellar Results When You’re Working With a Copywriter

Today’s guest post is from Debra Jason, a copywriter, speaker, author and multi-faceted marketing mentor who I have had the pleasure of connecting with online. Her specialty is in helping people develop the content needed for websites and direct marketing materials that successfully positions the brand for maximum results.

I know many of you are great communicators, but struggle when it comes time to “sell yourself.” You may become tongue-tied and have no idea what to say. Working with a copywriter takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on what you do best. Debra’s post shares with us how to get stellar results when you do.

If you’re an author, speaker or entrepreneur getting ready to launch a website or marketing campaign, but unsure about writing promotional content, you may turn to an independent writer to assist you.

Working on any promotional literature, be it a website, brochure or an extensive direct mail package, is a team effort between you, your copywriter and graphic designer. It’s a partnership created to develop the best tools for promoting your product/service. Each person in the partnership has certain responsibilities.

Debra Jason, author of Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

The purpose of this post is to help you be aware of your role – obtaining and organizing the valuable information a copywriter needs from you.

Being organized and prepared before you meet with the writer for an input meeting will save you time and money in the long run. And, it increases your chances of getting the results you’re looking for – record-breaking ones – as soon as the first draft.

4 Tips for Working with a Copywriter

The following four steps will help you gather the appropriate information you need to pass along to your writer:

1. Define your goals — convey them clearly.

What is it that you want to achieve with the project you’re going to assign to your copywriter? Do you want to sell more product, gain name recognition/brand awareness, create an image or generate new leads?

Remember, if your objectives are too complex then you risk confusing your copywriter. Simply state your goals. It sets your copywriter off in the right direction — to create an effective, results-oriented promotion for you.

As an independent copywriter, I take the time to listen to you. Tell me what it is you need to say. I’ll tell you how to say it. I make sure that I clearly understand your goals, translating them into fresh ideas that sell your product/service.

2. Don’t be shy — tell her everything.

You know your product/service best. A copywriter knows how to write to promote that product. So, don’t be shy. Tell her everything about it. If your copywriter asks you a lot of questions, be grateful. The more you can tell her, the better your chances are of getting what you want — as soon as the first draft.

What is the single strongest benefit of your product/service (i.e., the benefit that harnesses the greatest selling power)? List all of the additional benefits. Why should someone buy your product over the competition? What makes yours special?

Your writer’s goal is to create a piece that converts prospects into loyal, raving fans. If you have printed materials in the past (i.e., marketing plan, brochures, testimonials, etc.), provide those to your writer as well.

3. Know your audience — introduce her to them.

It is important for you to know who you’re speaking to. Tell your copywriter about your audience. Better yet, imagine you’re introducing her to one person from that target market. Then, tell her what you know about that individual.

First, what keeps your ideal clients up at night? What are the challenges/issues they’re facing on a daily basis? How does your product/service solve their problems and make their lives easier?

What are the demographics of your audience? And, what do you know about their lifestyles (i.e., psychographics) such as what kind of cars do they drive, do they dine out or eat at home? Do they use credit cards or pay with cash? Is your product/service familiar to your audience (how aware are they that you/your product exists)?

Do your best to answer questions such as those mentioned above and tell your copywriter what you discover. Keep in mind that the tone of a brochure or website will differ if you want to reach single professional women, 25-35 years old vs. married women in their 50s.

Don’t hesitate to introduce your audience to your writer. The more you can tell her, the easier it is for her to “get acquainted” with them before she starts to write. The resulting piece us one that attracts prospects’ attention, makes an impact and motivates them to buy your product or service.

4. Hire a copywriter who is not only talented — she’s reliable & trustworthy.

The project you’re about to assign — be it a brochure, website, direct mail package — sends a message out to the world about your product/service. You want to make a good first impression.

Your copywriter should also make a good first impression — with you. Of course, you want her to be talented. But that’s not enough to get your project done. Have you established a positive personal rapport? You should both feel comfortable sharing opinions and making compromises to achieve your goals.

Working with my clients is a team effort — a partnership created to develop the best marketing tools for your product. Talented copywriters take pride in the fact that these relationships include mutual trust and respect. Remember these four steps the next time you’re looking for great results from your copywriter.

Have any other tips you’d like to suggest? Please share them in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks a million and here’s to your sweet success.

 

About Debra Jason: Marketing and writing with heart, not hype, Debra encourages you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans – even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past. Visit her at WriteDirection.com.

Speaker and author of the award-winning book Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget™, she not only inspires and educates, she empowers creative solopreneurs with relationship-building strategies that help them create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. Seeking a dynamic speaker for your next event, contact Debra at DebraJason.com.

Doc Swiner is Your Favorite Social Media Family Doc

Today’s guest post is from C. Nicole Swiner, MD, whom I recently met through a Facebook group we both belong to. She is a family medicine/general medicine expert (look for #docswiner), covering a broad spectrum of both medical and mental health issues, as well as an author and speaker.

Your Favorite Social Media Family Doc…

…that’s what I like to call myself.

C. Nicole Swiner, MD

C. Nicole Swiner, MD

When I first started practicing Family Medicine, I didn’t even know what Facebook was. I avoided it like the plague, wondering why anyone would want to share their private moments and pictures with strangers on the Internet. But as I began to write articles and started to blog, my husband (who I think is a Marketing genius) encouraged me to consider it more. I was new in my practice, getting ready to start a private practice, and decided to soon write a book, so it made sense. I needed to be on social media. Most importantly, it was free.

I was new in my practice, soon to be starting a private practice, and decided to write a book as well, so it made sense. I needed to be on social media. Most importantly, it was free.

After a while, I became a pro (or addicted, some might say!) and I was on all of the popular social media outlets. I later developed a separate business page just for my medical blogs and, from those, my book How to Avoid the Superwoman Complex was born.

Not many of my colleagues had written a book and most didn’t use social media at the time. For me, it has been a necessary and effective tool for building visibility my book and brand.

I owe the success (and funding, for that matter) of my book to Facebook and social media.

By using GoFundMe.com, I was able to raise money for publishing my book and start taking pre-orders, while the word spread like wildfire. Within a month or two, I’d raised money and pre-sold a large number of books. Thereafter, whenever I sold a copy or spoke to someone about the book, I asked him or her to post a selfie with it and tag me in it. Every time, at least one of their friends asked about the book and bought it. That’s a win-win.

I’ve also become a fan of repurposing one thing and using it in multiple ways on social media to be efficient. For example, I still write my blog, so this is how I repurpose it:

  • I do a live biweekly broadcast on Periscope on a given topic.
  • I have someone transcribe what I’ve said and post it as a blog.
  • I share the blog post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Then I share the article with Facebook groups I belong to, who may use it to post to their collective networks or in a magazine.
  • Soon I’m going to start doing webinars, based on the blog post, and add a Powerpoint presentation to it.

When speaking in the community, I draw topics from the conversations there to discuss with my online following. Why re-invent the wheel?

So, as you can see, I couldn’t do business without social media. It’s another way for me to practice medicine in this tech-savvy world and to reach people I’d otherwise never meet. It’s a must for entrepreneurs of all types now. You’re behind the times if you’re not online.

3 Tips for Getting Started with Love-Based Marketing and Copywriting

Today’s guest post is from Michele PW (Pariza Wacek). She is the best-selling author of Love-Based Copywriting books that teach how to write copy that attracts, inspires and invites. Michele is also the owner of Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, the premiere direct response copywriting and marketing agency, through which she guides entrepreneurs in attracting more clients and boosting their business. Grab your FREE Love-Based Biz Kit here.

So. You’ve written a book.

Congratulations! Publishing a book—from conceptualization to outline to first draft to final copy—is a huge accomplishment.

Now, it’s time to get your book into the hands of the people you’ve written it for.

Michele PW

Michele PW

Are you ready to start marketing?

If that thought just made you shudder, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

If you’ve ever felt like marketing is icky, slime-y or filled with hype (like it makes you want to run for the shower), I want to introduce you to Love-Based Marketing and Copywriting… a marketing philosophy that replaces the fear that drives traditional marketing copy with love.

As the founder and owner of The Love-Based Copywriting Company, I have worked with innumerable clients who struggle to market themselves, because the whole process feels inauthentic to them.

But what if you could create marketing campaignsand write copy to promote your bookthat feels good to you and your readers… and that helps you grow your business?

You can, using the Love-Based method.

Before I share three tips for getting started, I want to give you a quick explanation of what the love-based philosophy is all about.

There are two “master” emotions: love and fear. All other emotions can be categorized under them.

  • Love-based emotions include love, hope and joy.
  • Fear-based emotions include fear, anger, grief, shame and guilt.

Much of what we consider “traditional marketing” uses fear tactics to get people to buy. These tactics include guilt, shame or fear in various formslike that of missing out on something important (for example, “Imagine how you’ll feel when your house burns down and you don’t have homeowner’s insurance”).

But marketing doesn’t have to be this way. When you’re marketing under a love-based philosophy, you come from a place of love (for example, “Imagine how much more peace of mind you’ll have, knowing you’re covered if your house catches on fire”).

Bottom line: Using Love-Based Marketing and Copywriting, you invite your ideal clients to do business with you by triggering love-based emotions versus fear-based.

I’d like to share with you 3 tips for getting started with Love-Based Copywriting and Marketing.

Tip 1. Answer the question, what’s stopping you from marketing yourself?

It’s been said that owning your own business is one of the best personal development tools out there. It’s my belief that marketing plays a big part in making it so.

Marketing is critical to your success as an author, but it’s also a huge trigger for lots of people as it brings up fears: fear of success, failure, money issues, time freedom, going “big,” having to sell yourself, and more.

Once you know what you’re afraid of, you can begin melting away the resistance you’re facing, solving each challenge with love. For example, if you believe you just don’t like marketing, I challenge you to find at least one component of it that you do like. It’s so multifaceted, you’re sure to find something.

Then, spend most of your time and energy on the marketing activities you enjoy, and your enjoyment will shine through, attracting, inspiring and inviting your ideal clients to learn more about you.

Here’s an exercise to help you begin identifying your resistance.

(I recommend using pen and paper, rather than typing your answers out.)

Answer the following questions honestly, without censoring yourself. Don’t overthink, just write. And write down everything you can think of, for each question.

  • How do I feel about marketing in general?
  • How do I feel about myself when I market myself?
  • What is my number one frustration/dislike around marketing, and why?

Now, make a list of 3-4 other marketing-related frustrations/dislikes. For each, ask yourself why it bothers you and write down the reasons. (Consider this a mini-brainstorming session and write whatever comes to mind.)  Repeat this two or three times to make sure you capture as many resistances as you can.

Completing this exercise may not uncover all your resistances, but it gives you a solid start.

Tip 2. Get to know your ideal clients.

Once you’ve discovered and begun melting away your resistances to marketing, it’s time to begin crafting your marketing materials. Getting to know your ideal clients is the first step in writing copy that speaks to the people you’re meant to serve.

You’ve probably identified your niche market or target market, but I believe it’s critical that you go deeper. While niche markets or target markets are usually based on external factors like demographics (age, career choice, number of children, income level), your ideal clients are based on internal factors like values, motivations and core beliefs.

Get to know your ideal clients like you would your friends. Then, when you sit down to write your copy for your marketing materials, write to those friends.

Here’s an exercise for doing so.

Close your eyes and think about your favorite client. It doesn’t have to be someone who even paid you. It could be someone you helped for free. Then, open your eyes. Write down a description of your favorite client. What did you appreciate about that person? What did he or she appreciate about you?

Don’t rush this process. Take the time you need to really dial in on your ideal clients’ values, motivations and worries.

The better you get to know your ideal client, the better you’ll communicate with him or her through your Love-Based marketing materials.

Tip 3. Know the difference between pain and pleasure.

Before you begin writing any marketing materials, it’s critical to understand that it’s actually a disservice to avoid talking about your ideal client’s pain.

This is where so many authors and entrepreneurs get hung up in their marketing and copy. They don’t want to talk about their prospects’ pain, because it makes them feel “icky.”

Here’s what you need to remember:

Buying is an emotional experience.

Your ideal client–the one who truly needs the message you deliver in your bookis experiencing some pain right now, right? It’s the reason he or she would purchase your book. There is a problem in her life she hopes your book will solve.

This is why pain is an essential part of copywriting. You must mention their pain. Otherwise, how will you give them the opportunity to move forward from that pain and experience the transformation you can provide?

The great thing about love-based copywriting is that you can use it to tap into positive emotions like hope and love, and guide your ideal clients toward taking action to get out of the pain they’re in (as opposed to mentioning pain and then twisting the knife to cause suffering, like so much traditional copy does).

What I’ve covered here is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to get your own copy of any of my books (Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites, Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites, or the NEW Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love And That Loves You Back) you can find them on Amazon or my website.

A quick review of LucidPress, FlipSnack and Publitas

Last week, I mentioned a short assessment I did for a friend that looked at LucidPress, FlipSnack and Publitas. (You can see the start of this story in “Putting an End to Overwhelm.”)

I promised those who were interested in the actual assessment that I’d share it this week.

Just to give a little context, a friend had posted on Facebook asking for someone to recommend a magazine designer.

I know a fantastic graphic designer who has the skills necessary to design a magazine, but depending on my friend’s requirements, he might or might not be a good fit.

Evaluating LucidPress, FlipSnack and PublitasSo… I asked some leading questions, trying to determine whether to recommend my designer, figuring at least if I couldn’t recommend someone, others reading the post thread would have more information to jog their thinking with.

These are just a few of the questions I asked:

  • Did she want her magazine to be online, in print or both?
  • Did she want to design her magazine online or upload a PDF that was displayed in an online reader?
  • Did she want flexibility in her design (for enhanced creativity) or did she want a template she could work from (for ease of use)?
  • Did she want just text and images in her magazine or other types of content like video, MP3 and ecommerce options?

The important thing to note here is that the tools I reviewed aren’t just for magazines. They can be used to create any kind of online book. For example, a brochure or catalogue.

Or, if you have a PDF that you want to make available to read online on your website, it provides an attractive reader for it instead of just simply opening the PDF itself. This could potentially allow you to grow your mailing list by granting access to the content, without actually giving them a PDF that could be freely shared with others.

One of the tools in particular also enables you to integrate a shopping experience into the PDF itself, meaning that someon could click on an item they’re interested in, get more product information and see the price, then add it to a shopping cart and purchase it.

As a publisher, I can see many possible uses for that, including a sleek edition of my catalogue that would be embeddable on my Facebook page and website as well as shareable in social media. Nice!

A quick review

Anyway, what follows is my unedited review of the platforms she was curious about, and my reasons for making the final recommendation I did.

LucidPress

Lucidpress is going to have a little less flexibility in terms of design, since it has you create your publication using its templates. You work online and then drag-and-drop content in from social media, DropBox, Google Drive and elsewhere. It makes it easy to use, but limited in its capabilites if you want to “get fancy.”

From there, you can export what you create into a PDF for printing else where. You can also save it as a JPG or PNG (not too certain of the value of that for something that’s multiple pages!), share it on social media and embed it on your site.

It does allow real-time collaborations, so you could have more than one person on your team working on it at a time. But I don’t know how relevant that is to you.

It also offers a revision history of the magazine (possibly not of interest to you) and analytics (which should always be of interest). 

Since it encourages “saving on printing costs” by sharing your publication, I am curious as to how well it handles PDF creation, but that’s one of those things I’d have to test out to know for certain.

I will say that as soon as people start telling me there are templates, it says that they’re targeting a DIY audience.

That’s not a bad thing, but the problem with templates is that it limits your ability to be creative.

For that reason, LucidPress would not be my top choice. (Plus, looking at the magazine templates, I didn’t see anything inspired or inspiring…)

FlipSnack and Publitas

So, next to look at FlipSnack and a competitor that I found this morning, Publitas. Both take a PDF you’ve designed and convert it to an online publication for you. You can then embed that publication on your website and Facebook page. Social sharing is enabled and analytics are available (although depending on your pricing plan, it my only be available for the past few months).

However, I’m leaning more toward Publitas than FlipSnack.

It emphasizes making its product light, meaning that it loads fast and that their focus is on maximizing your page’s display, without adding a heavy frame or navigation to it. If you take a look at their examples, you’ll see what I mean. (I just like the look and feel of the Publitas version more).

Publitas also allows you to include things in your publication that FlipSnack doesn’t seem to offer, like integrating video content into it and adding ecommerce. (You can click on an item for more info and get a pop-up with the product description and price.)

Since this publication is intended to be part of your business model, understanding how you’re going to monetize it is important, and Publitas makes that the easiest to do. You can sell tickets to your next event or course, include affiliate or JV partner resources, etc. directly within the publication.

So, that would be my recommendation. I like its look and feel, ease of use, flexibility, and capabilities.

However, since both FlipSnack and Publitas take a PDF as its source, you could always test them out from the same source and see which one appeals to you more from that standpoint.

I know there’s a lot here, but hopefully, it helps you to make your decision. For what it’s worth, it’s also highly rated on Alternative.to, when you look for alternatives to Issuu. 

So let’s dream a little

With all of the features that are available using tools like these, how might you integrate something like this into your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

How many times have you had an idea that doesn’t move forward because you’re caught in the bottleneck of a decision? Feel free to pick my brain and I can help you in the exact same way.

New to All the Book Marketing Stuff?

I came across a post in a book marketing group recently. It read:White teddy bear reading a book

Hello, fellow authors. I have a question. I just published my 1st children’s book using CreateSpace. I was wondering how do you market your book? What helps you get your book out there? New to all the marketing stuff. Thank you for your help and advice.

The members of this particular group are extremely helpful. They advised her to have a website, start a mailing list, create a Facebook page, sign up for a monthly newsletter that offers free marketing tips each month, etc.

It’s human nature to dive right into the “doing.” So much so that we tend to avoid the planning.

The problem is, strategic planning is what minimizes the amount of “doing” we have to do. Consider it the lazy person’s way out of out working too hard.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend a few minutes planning so that I can reduce my workload in that one area, and apply the time and effort to another project. What about you?

First things first

I believe the first piece of advice anyone new to marketing needs to hear is this:

The first step is to figure out two things. Who would be buying your book? And who would be reading your book?

For children’s books, that may be two completely separate people. As the reader gets older, it’s often the same person.

Once you know those two things, start figuring out what they typically do online. (You can often find that information through Google searches.) Which sites do they frequent? What social media platform do they use most? Which apps are they using?

Then start strategizing your approach from there.

Plan your marketing efforts accordingly

Yes, you’ll need a website and a mailing list. Those are givens, in my book. However, don’t waste your time on a Facebook page if your buyers and readers aren’t on Facebook!

(Given Facebook’s TOS, I’m sure the readers of this person’s illustrated children’s book aren’t. However, you may find many of those readers watching YouTube videos. So, how about strategically placing a short ad at the beginning of content they’re likely to watch?)

Instead, spend your time and effort wisely by focusing your marketing efforts where your readers already are. Don’t pull readers away from one place so that they can come where you are. Go to where they already are and introduce yourself to them there.

That means providing content on sites that are already popular with your readers and buyers. You’ll need to experiment with whether a guest blog post, a strategically place ad, or a joint venture makes the most sense. But as you build out these relationships, that decision-making process will become an easier one to navigate. You’ll start recognizing those things that work for you, and those that don’t, much more quickly once you get going.

Every book is unique

So each book’s marketing plan has to be unique to them. But that’s what makes them so fun to create!

Taking the time to learn about the entertainment and buying habits of your readers gives you greater insight into them, sparking further creative ideas for later books you can write or products you can make.

So if you’re just starting out and you don’t even know what options to consider or how to get started, you may find my DIY guide on creating your book marketing plan useful to you as you figure things out. 

 

A Blab with Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com for the BiztoBook Conference

Lain Ehmann launched her online BiztoBook conference last week, and there have been some stand-out speakers thus far.

(Frankly, I have to admit, I don’t like the format of the conference. There is as much as 3 hours of content a day, and you have 48 hours to listen to it before it expires, even while new content is rolling out each day of the conference, including over the weekend. I’ve already missed more than half the speakers, which is disappointing. But there is an option to purchase all of the recordings at a discounted rate that ends today.)

Anyway, my personal favorite of the topics I’ve been able to catch thus far was Lain’s Blab with Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com and PatFlynn.com.

He’s someone I’ve been following for years now, so it was nice to listen in as he shared some of his recent success in the publishing world.

Pat recently wrote Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money. This was his first self-published book. (He had an earlier book, Let Go, that was published using a little-known platform called Snippet.)

In this Blab, Pat Flynn shares how he wrote and published his new book, and discussed his astonishment when it reached #1 in the Amazon rankings for various categories, as well as hitting the Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller list.

Listen in to hear what he had to share.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue [Infographic]

The folks at CopyBlogger have done it again! They’re the experts when it comes to creating great content, and this infographic is no exception.

As they acknowledge, even professional writers sometimes get stuck for content ideas. And the same is true for authors and speakers. There are times when the well simply runs dry.

So, what do you write about then?

I’m hoping the ideas that are shared here will help get those creative juices flowing.

And thanks again, CopyBlogger, for always being willing to share!

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Get Greater Distribution for Your eBook Using Smashwords

For many of us who write, Amazon is the default “go to place.” And that’s for good reason! Statistics show that the majority of sales of digital content comes from there.

However, if you talk with any content creator, they’ll always tell you that you need to find as many ways as possible to extend the life (and expand the reach) of your content. That means finding multiple outlets and various formats that the same information can be disseminated in.

I’ve been hearing about Smashwords for years, but have never taken the time to study or appreciate its unique properties.

Smashwords Udemy course coverRecently, I was spending some time on Udemy, looking at the latest course offerings there and looking for those that might be suitable for my readers, when I came across one called “Self-Publishing with Smashwords.”

I decided to scan the content and listen to the promo video, and by the time I was done with that, I knew I needed to take a closer look.

I introduced myself to the instructor, Jason Matthews, who proved to be a very knowledgeable man when it came to self-publishing with Smashwords.

I took the course and, when all was said and done, here’s the review I left for it.

Udemy Smashwords course review

In 26 lessons, Jason walks you through things like:

  • What makes Smashwords special.
  • Formatting your content for Smashwords.
  • How to handle your Table of Contents so that Smashwords likes it.
  • Special considerations when it comes to cover design.
  • How to choose the right file format for uploading your content to Smashwords.
  • The next steps to take after submitting your content to Smashwords.
  • Publishing extras that will make your work stand out from the others.

In all, there’s about 90 minutes of content to the course.

As is my nature, I listened to most of it at 2x speed, so was done in under an hour, including taking notes. But the great thing about Udemy course content is that the platform makes it very easy to speed up, slow down, pause and take notes, rewind to repeat, and anything else you need to do in order to grasp the content you’re consuming.

So, if you’ve been wondering how to go about expanding the distribution of your self-published content, and you want to see your book on sites like Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Library Direct and many more, this course may be just the thing you need in order to break through the barrier that’s been holding you back.

I know distributing The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books is definitely on my end-of-year plan to put on Smashwords!

 

Can’t Find the Time to Write Your Book or Are You Just a Slug?

After a presentation I gave recently, an attendee wrote on the evaluation form:

I had no idea all of this existed! I am very interested in writing a book buy cannot find the time. Might it be more helpful when my last child is out of the house? Or am I just a slug?

Of course, the question made me smile, but I know that plenty of people wrestle with the same issue.

They want to write a book.

They want the visibility and authority that being a published expert in their industry affords them.

But finding the time to actually sit down and write seems nearly impossible! A book is a means to an end for them, not the “be all, end all.”

So, is there a solution to this problem?

Of course there is!

Speak Your BookAnd it’s one that actually works well with business experts who want to incorporate their book into the brand.

Oftentimes, an expert talks a million times a day about their subject matter.

They speak as a form of marketing their business and building their brand.

They know their material inside and out so that they can answer questions at the drop of a hat. (Are you liking all the cliches?)

The point is, they know their stuff.

If you’re sitting there reading this, nodding your head, thinking to yourself, She could be writing this about me! you’ll be happy to know that there is a solution to your problem.

You most certainly can write your book. You don’t have to wait until your last child moves out. You simply have to be disciplined and creative, and technology these days makes it easy to do both!

My friend, Ann McIndoo, first introduced me to this concept back in 2012, and I’ve adapted it to fit my own needs and used it frequently since for myself and my clients ever since. I use it for content as short as a blog post, and as long as a book. And you can use it to write your book too.

Here’s the secret: You can speak your book!

What does that mean?

Well, if you spend a little time planning the structure of your book, creating an outline, knowing who your target audience is, you can fill in the gaps by digitally recording its content.

Personally, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to do that. The benefit there is, it transcribes my speech for me into the written word. (I use the Premium edition rather than the home version so that I can record using my digital recorder, and then come back at a later date and plug it into the software for transcription.)

Sometimes, people prefer to simply record themselves speaking and then have their assistant or a service like Speechpad transcribe it for them.

Either way, the idea is to dictate the book’s content and have it transcribed (real-time or after the fact). With that starting point, you can either fill in any gaps you find yourself or hire a ghostwriter to help you. Then, when the content is all written, be sure to work with an editor to polish things up.

The benefit to “speaking your book” is that you can do it whenever you have a spare moment. I’ve recorded an entire chapter while driving to pick up my kids somewhere or while exercising on my stationary bike. I’ve even recorded blog posts while washing the dishes and folding laundry!

It’s really not that hard to do. And if your business would benefit from the authority that being an author and a recognized expert would lend to it, then what are you waiting for? You’re doing a disservice to your future clients and your brand if you keep putting off writing your book.

One of the greatest benefits of writing a book is that it actually helps you clarify your message, making it easier both to present your brand to others and to fill any gaps in your knowledge or services that you might have overlooked before.

Our sister company, Emerald Lake Books, offers all of the services necessary to edit, design and publish your book when you’re ready. We even do market research as well, if you need help settling on what to write about. So, if you find yourself needing help or encouragement along the way, let us know!

Remembering What It’s All About

A friend shared a video on Facebook this morning that I found particularly inspiring. Although she shared it in the context of a responsibility that speakers have, the same message applies to authors, to coaches, to artists and to those who stand in a public spotlight sharing their thoughts and ideas with the world, in whatever medium them use.

For some creatives, we get caught up in the process of creating. Passion for our art fulfills and sustains us, and that’s enough.

The problem is, that’s a very self-focused view of what we do.

For other creatives, there’s the ego-boost that comes with having our work recognized, whether through awards or rampant sales.

And once again, it’s a very self-focused view.

That’s not to say that we ignore the business aspects of what we do, because we do need to earn a living in order to keep creating. There’s no two ways about it, unless you’re independently wealthy already.

However, we also have a responsibility. And the success of our business and the reception of our message, no matter what form it takes, can only be assured when we remember who we’re doing it all for.

If I cook a meal that looks delicious, but tastes awful, what have I accomplished?

We need to always remember the experience that we’re giving our audience. They are our customer, whether they’re paying for the experience or not.

It doesn’t matter if, as a speaker, I have an audience of 2 people or 2,000. I have to give the same performance and imbue my delivery with the same energy, because those 2 people deserve my very best.

Quality counts.

I don’t care if you’re self-publishing a book, choreographing a dance piece, giving a presentation at work, performing on TV, coaching a new client, or whatever other unique skill and talent you have to share with the world.

If you don’t take that responsibility seriously, you may as well not do it at all. Or at least, don’t try to build a business around it.

If it’s about you, it’s a hobby. If it’s about the person who’s going to experience what you have to offer, you’ve got a business.

Care to see the video that got me all fired up today? 🙂

Jamie Fox and Steve Harvey