Have you started a business that you had the best of intentions for? You took all the business courses, read the books, and created a website. But… where are the clients? Why does nobody know about you? How do you gain visibility in this online world?
Write a book. And the sooner the better.
Let me tell you a bit about my own business journey.
I have been editing since 2007, but in 2013, I decided to up-level from individual freelancer to full-fledged business owner. I filed a Doing Business As form in Brooklyn, NY (where we were living at the time), hired a web designer, and took my first large-investment online course (Marie Forleo’s B-School).
And nothing monumental happened.
This was not Marie’s fault; her course is phenomenal. My own lack of clarity meant that I couldn’t see how to operate as anything other than an extremely competent editor. I didn’t know what my niche was or how to position my services or how to market myself.
I floated along for a couple of years. In addition to working on theses, dissertations, essays, articles, web copy, and blogs, I’d started to attract book writers. Every time a book project came into my inbox, I lept at the chance. I found myself reading about classic book structures, story techniques, logical flow between chapters, and all of this in the evening, when I should have been relaxing!
But my business model remained the same—bring in a writing project, edit on a per word basis, and try to bring in as many per month as I could handle. But my marketing was lackluster, no one seemed to be able to find me, and I went through feast months (more work than I could sanely handle) and famine months (no work and negative cash flow). Surely there was a better way to create a business model and a sustainable audience?
One morning, while drinking a particularly strong cup of coffee, an idea popped into my head. I should write a book. I loved working with book authors. I’d read dozens of books about writing books. I’d accumulated a lot of knowledge about writing a book in a streamlined, systematized way. Shouldn’t I share that in a book?
And so, I started writing my first book in February 2015.
It was not the best or easiest time in my life to write a book.
I had three children—ages 5, 2 and a half, and 4 months. Yes, I had a newborn. My business was picking back up, but I only had my nanny for two days a week at that time (I was still coming back on after a maternity hiatus), and my husband was working long hours.
But, there I was, on the couch at 4am with my newborn, and the thought of the book occurred so strongly to me that I pulled out my laptop (okay, truth, I’d been browsing Facebook while nursing!), and I started practicing what I’d preached to others. I did free writing for 15 minutes. And it felt so good. The ideas for the book were just bubbling up, and I know how to take a divine nudge when I get one.
Between 5 and 6AM everyday, over the course of 3 months, I wrote and published my first book.
Several huge things happened for me, between the initial writing stages and launching the book.
1. I gained immense clarity on who I wanted to serve and why. I wanted to devote my attention to book writers because I believe that books have tremendous power to change minds and move hearts.
2. I understood my target market. After all those silly exercises I’d done around my “customer avatar,” I finally came to understand my ideal client’s deepest needs, wants, and fears. I’d just spent 25,000 words talking to that person as I wrote my book, and you can’t write that many words without having several epiphanies!
3. I began to value myself and my services. One of the biggest hurdles in business is gathering up the courage and the self-confidence to market yourself and your services with full confidence. After I’d spent 25,000 words sharing immense value on writing a book, I felt a ballooning of confidence. My insights were valuable! I was valuable. And my services were valuable.
So, are you ready to experience an up-level in your business? Write a book.
I completely understand that, as much as you may resonate with this message, you may still not have a clue how to start writing a book.
No problem. That’s exactly why I’ve created this free guide for you: 12 Steps to Write a Book that Boosts Your Business and Builds Your Platform.
This free guide is a condensed version of all my best book-writing advice, and it’s yours, right here, right now.