The Formula for Getting and Engaging With New Clients

I was asked this week to comment on the following email by the wife of a client, and so I’ve tried to simplify the response as best I can while ensuring the gist of the information is as clear as possible. You see there really is a formula for growing your database, getting and engaging with new clients, and getting the ball rolling in terms of:

  • Read the article
  • Visit the website
  • Sign up for the newsletter
  • Autoresponders with more engagement
  • Send ongoing news and information of value and interest.

Here’s what she wrote (Q:), with my responses (A:) in italics:

Q:I’ve made some changes to my website to jazz it up a bit and I now need some help understanding my options for loading/distributing new articles/quotes/videos/etc online and directly to my database.

A: Ok – there’s a pretty simple formula for this…  1) Upload the articles into LI, as a variation of a ‘blog’ or article post in your website… maybe an extended version on the website and so a ‘for more on this, click here’ at the bottom of the LI version.  That directs to your website.

Q: I only want to use my website, Linkedin and a “newsletter” type distribution to my mailing list.

A: So you’ll need to also dangle a pretty good hook for visitors to your site to get them to sign up on your Mail Chimp database.   Again it’s a bit of a formula.  Simple version is this:  Have a ‘video, white paper, report, checklist or something of perceived good/high value’ for readers to want enough to give you their email address for.  They sign up, they go to a landing page which they can download the ‘thing’ from, then they get a download link. 

A follow up email is then ideal so that they can be reminded of what great   value you have to offer – another freebie is good to send a few days after that… then ensure they get a regular flow of newsletters etc to maintain their enthusiasm for your stuff.

Q:  I have in my mind that I’d load new content onto the Blog page of my website, send out a “newsletter” pointing people to that content and somehow link Linkedin to that content but I don’t know if this is the best idea and how all this can work without too much effort each time I want to add new material.  In case you need to know, my website is on Wix.

A:  I’ve no experience with Wix, only WP, and with WP it’s all very easy to integrate.   The FREE option of a WIX site might not be in your best interests, as my understanding is that it lacks some of the simplicity and overall capability of WP via all the WP plugins etc.  

Hope that all helps.. the key to this is ensuring you have a a good couple of freebies, good database management of autoresponders etc, and quality follow on efforts to engage. LI is really great for getting people to like your articl and click to your website for more of you and the incentive waved under their noses to sign up.

I know that from the number of inquiries I get about this that there are a lot of people scratching their heads over how to do this.   I’m not saying its always easy, and can take some serious time, effort, and a solid focus to get the results you want, but it can return fantastic results, and long term, you want to engage with your fans.

I hope you’re finding this helpful too, and if you want to turn your freebies, or your stories that can become great ebooks or books that sell (and work hard as part of your marketing strategy) then let me know – happy to help.

Dixie

Posted in Business Communication, Living and Learning New Things

Eating an Elephant… one bite at a time!

I love that old saying – how do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time!  But sometimes it just feels endless doesn’t it?  I mean, the very nature of this industry – writing for a living – is one that takes time to develop.  It doesn’t matter how much you think you’ve done, there’s always something more to do.  And so my daily and weekly author task list helps, but it sure is a long list!

A typical week for me looks like:

  • Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – check, post, review, reply and advertising.
  • Canva – keep developing new images for posting with blogs and social media.
  • Amazon – check stats, sales, and moderate anything that needs it in my uploads.
  • AMS – Amazon Advertising, to check, measure, and add campaigns.
  • Blogs – writing, checking, reading.
  • Keywords – adding new ones, checking what’s working and what’s not, and reviewing – constantly reviewing!
  • Mailchimp – newsletters, lists, automation, and reviews of activities.

And that’s before I even start to write! 

Plus there’s reading – the blogs and posts from other authors and those whom I follow to learn from .

Research – sometimes this can be just one more endless task too but so very necessary!

And finally – study time.   I’m currently enrolled in three new courses to ensure that this year I maximise my abilities to build up my career as a full time (well paid) author.

While these things all need time and attention, they all seem to need the same amount of input from me.   If I don’t keep on top of Social Media, I lag behind in sales.  If I skip reading blogs, doing my study program, or even just reading for pleasure (which I try to do for about two hours per week to keep my own writing skills sharp) then I notice I fall behind in sales and development, and of course I can’t afford to stop the actual writing either as I put pressure on myself to produce content.

While it’s a full time job to be a writer, no one ever said that more than half of an author’s time is spent doing everything but actually writing.  But that’s the way of it now.  The Ernest Hemmingway fantasy of sitting over a typewriter amid a cluster of sandflies while banging out a new chapter or three every week for an editor and publishing team who sees that the production phase is all taken care of while his agent keeps him steady with income and drink is just that – a big fat old fantasy. So is the level of income derived from writing for most of us.  And I have learned that you can’t just ‘decide at school to become a writer’ and go at it like you would an accounting or nursing career.  You have to focus on continual learning, feeding your mind and imagination, being prepared to starve until you sell something, and accept there are no guarantees of anything – ever!  But that if you manage to get the formula right, and create a great book (or five), then you really can anticipate success at some level as a writer.

So what’s the formula? Is there one?

Yes, I believe there is.  In fact, several – from the writing, to the production, to the marketing and distribution there are formulas for developing and publishing GOOD books.  But just as important as the formulas, is the need for patience.  Because it does take time.   As with most ‘overnight success’ stories, there are thousands of hours (nights) that go into creating anything truly outstanding in the creative arena.  And so you can’t enter this industry lightly, hoping for a magic carpet ride towards the big bucks and fancy awards!

This coming weekend I will be presenting a workshop session on publishing for thought leaders.  So this topic has been high on my mind this week.   Just what does it take to eat an elephant? Patience enough to consistently keep chewing away at it, one bite at a time!

Want FREE author resources?  Join my mailing list here for access to author specific resources you’ll love…  www.tinyurl.com/SelfPublishingHelpNow 

 

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The Consultant’s Journey Towards Early Retirement

Here’s Why you can’t rely on having a job anymore! This is the age of freelancers and consultants and investing in becoming one might be your only option for a healthy retirement.

I have two sons. One works for a very large corporate industry and it’s hard to imagine his life ever taking a turn where he can’t get work.  Or for that matter, that his current job might ever become replaced by robots.  But as the old saying goes – yeah right!  Remember the last 30 years of privitisation, industrialisation, and mass redundancies despite fierce unionisation?  Not to mention the looming spectre of robotisation of just about everything we do…

My other son is talented, creative, works in a job that is typically transient, and service oriented, and he’s working on becoming a ‘something’ in the performing, creative, or entertainment industries.  And in my opinion, he’s the lucky one.

How is that possible?  Well, he’s in a great position to learn and enhance those skills that make it possible for him to earn from a multiple range of income sources, freewheel his way through use of his entrepreneurial skills, and live by his wits.   And while I do hope he is more than a smiling barista or struggling actor in his dotage, I know that the freedom he gets to enjoy while making flexible choices will be worth it for him.

But remember when we as parents all hoped for our kids to grow up, leave school, go to college, then settle into a nice long term job with a solid company offering good prospects for promotion?  The sad reality it that the entire world has changed, and this is no longer possible for most of the kids coming through the universities and tech institutes these days.  Plus, add to that the ever widening range of choices, and the temptation to jump from one career path to another while finding your passion is an added complication.

So – what is the best course for anyone concerned about how the world works and how that work might dry up faster than a puddle in the desert for this millennium?  Find out how to embrace all your skills market them, and your Expertise, Wisdom, Experience (EWE) and get some leverage on those.  And if you think you don’t have enough EWEs to set even a small part of the world on fire, then go out there and get some.

Being a freelance consultant was once the option for only a few people, but these days we’re in the era of consultant-ization for most industries, hobbies, and in particular for management of those industries or hobby sectors.    Master a few different areas of something that other people want to know more about and add that to your resume.  Write a book about your stories, EWEs, or your own credible version of other people’s shared wisdom and make that part of your tool kit for being a paid coach or consultant, adviser or mentor.  Everyone has something to talk about, whether it’s better ways to get chickens laying larger eggs, or how to tackle a career change as retirement looms.

But – here’s where The Consultant’s Journey Towards Early Retirement gets tricky…and why only a few people actually make it.

1)  You have to harness what you want to share with others into a means of communicating it effectively.  You can’t just hang a shingle at your door anymore and hope the masses (townsfolk) flock to your place for a quick fix by you. How are you going to deliver your EWEs?  By download, over coffee, in a boardroom for a day, or by packing and sending a physical item.

2) You have to know how to market yourself as a EWE Thought-leader or specialist. This takes time, and there are SO many ways to do it really well or to get it completely wrong.  The people who fluke it or fake it till they make it are the exception – not the rule.  So find out what you have to know how to do yourself and what you can subcontract out to VAs or Employees, or contractors.

3) Writing a Book won’t make you rich – unless you are extremely lucky, clever, blessed by angels, or  somehow manage to beat the system that most people work for years to understand and perfect before becoming an ‘overnight sensation’.  By this time most authors or speakers are onto their 4th or 5th book, have also done a lot to develop their material into workshops and key note speeches, and rely on their book(s) to enhance their credibility and increase their fees, rather than simply relying on book sales to feed the family.

4) Most people don’t get that this is a journey – not a destination.  This ideal you may have of creating multiple incomes from various sources of places people put their money into is fraught with challenges, money pits, minefields, and time wasters.  You’ll go to conventions, sign up for courses, realise half way down the track that you missed a turning point or vital piece of the puzzle, and have to go back and learn something over.  You’ll spend a lot of money and time on becoming the serious entrepreneur you once envisioned yourself to be.

But if you are persistent, back yourself, get really really good at what you do and how you can best share it, you can reach a point when retirement looms, at any age – from 30 – 70 – that it was worth it, because you have finally got it.  You finally understood that while others around you are worried about their retirement savings, and what the heck they are going to do with their extra time off, you’ll be enjoying traveling and doing more of what you always loved to do, and getting paid to do it. ‘Time off’, will have become something you enjoy anytime you decide to just take a break, and there will always be someone else waiting to ask you for help and be happy to pay for your time.

My husband and I are now in our 50s – God that makes me feel old to say it – but we’re planning and working towards a non-retirement where we don’t have to rely on the savings we didn’t start out contributing to as young adults, or the inheritances from wealthy parents or aunties that we don’t have, and yet we’re on track to be more than ok as we age. Mostly this is due to having gotten our heads around the four key points above from early on.  But it takes time, and focus, and persistence, and learning from as many people as possible over the course of the journey.  Our lessons have included property, antiques, writing, publishing, social media and marketing, people management, and events.   And you can’t get the kind of knowledge that accumulates over time to become expert enough to really use these tools by going to university, getting a good job and sticking with that for decades.

You have to get out there and be flexible and get far better than ‘average’ at how you apply those lessons.  

Freelance work is one of the most consistently well paid options you can find.  Maybe it’s to support your ‘job’ or you want to do this to bring in extra money at home during the baby years.  The thing is, there are no limits to how you want to develop your  ability to bring in freelance income or take it further and become a high paid consultant.  Once you ‘get’ how it works, you can basically write your own ticket, work from anywhere, and enjoy the lifestyle.

But remember it just takes a lot more than deciding to hang your shingle out for the townsfolk now.  Becoming a freelancer might be one of your best career moves, but the journey towards it can be more expensive than earning a degree, and more frustrating than a dozen years in a going-no-where job.  The difference is, consulting and freelancing into your (early) retirement really does have a lot of light at the end of the endless tunnels.

***

To start thinking about writing a book about your expertise, consider this option, or connect with me for more ideas about turning your EWE’s into freelancing or consulting opportunities.

Or visit my Amazon Author Page

To sign up for a FREE resources for SME’s, Entreprenuers, and EBooks, please click here

Posted in Becoming a High-Profile Expert, Living and Learning New Things, Writing Books | Tagged , , , ,

The Concept of ‘Guru-Dom’ and Sharing your expertise

The concept of Guru-dom is not about what we call ourselves but how we do what we do when we share wisdom, expertise, and stories that help others. 

I’ve resisted the word Guru for years.  I don’t personally think of myself in that way and the very few people I’ve met in the world who have referred to themselves as ‘guru’s are often best avoided charlatans of one kind or another.   However, I’ve also met many really interesting people who are totally at the top of their game, blessed with so much knowledge, wisdom, expertise, and experience that it’s easy to see why others might refer to them using the G Word.

My work is with people like that who truly have a lot to share, and are ‘the real deal’. But what to call them? How is it possible to group these people under a word that actually conveys this. Competitions, brainstorming think-tanks and late night wine-fueled table talk have all yielded nothing better.  And so – I’m writing today about the very concept of what I have begun to refer to as ‘Guru-dom’.

Guru-dom (def.) is that state which highly knowledgeable, articulate experts use to share their wisdom for the benefit of others who seek to learn from them.

There are rules for those entering the world of Guru-dom such as:

Never refer to oneself as a ‘guru’.

Never refer to your own self using the G-Word because it’s just unnecessary. Real people with high levels of knowledge, wisdom, and experience to share are best to share it without being ego-driven.  Self-proclaimed Gurus are usually highly driven by ego.

When Sharing Your Expertise, Always Speak Your Truth.

Always speak Truth because egg on the face of any enlightened talented expert is going to be continually icky.   Icky in a smelly rotten egg kind of way.  The kind of smell that lingers, follows you around and eventually catches up with you again someday when least expected or desired.

Sharing your expertise for the benefit of others, freely, and with a smile on your face.

Share for the benefit of others with a smile on your face simply because you feel drawn to share. It’s part of your life’s journey.  Don’t do it just for the money – by all means you should be paid, and well rewarded for sharing, but don’t hesitate to share for the good of sharing when there’s a chance to do so too.  That’s also how we can change the world… one smile and story at a time. So share your expertise freely.  It will come back to you.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel!

If you are someone who should be part of the Guru-dom concept and the world of sharing, then it serves no one at all to be less than you can be.  It serves no one at all for you to hide your stories, tell only part of the story, or hold back on being the very best version of Continue reading

Posted in Becoming a High-Profile Expert, Writing Books, Writing stories for business marketing | Tagged , ,

Can You Really Write a Book in 48 Hours

How is it possible to write a book in 48 hours?

I’ve recently been hearing about publishing coaches who offer to help people write a book in only 48 hours.   Intrigued I looked into this further and am surprised to find this really is a trend. However, having written, published, co-authored, and developed dozens of quality books in the last 10 years I can honestly tell you that there is a process, and it’s a reasonably lengthy one. Significantly longer and more complex than what can be achieved in under a week.

How long does it REALLY take to write a book?

Well some would argue that you can simply write a book by planning a few sexy chapter headings, dictate your material then give it to a publisher.  That does sound like a very good short cut way to become an author.  However the reality is that getting your content out of your head is only a small part of the process.

For a start, there are LOTS of barely average books hitting the market every day.  Millions of new titles are being released every year.   If your book is going to even see the light of day, it has to be good.  Your content has to be far better than average, well edited and reader friendly. Without these boxes ticked, there’s a very high chance that your book might even do the opposite of promoting you positively to your market.

Your relationship with your publisher and editor can make or break your chances of success as an author. Transcribed spoken material reads quite differently than written content.   For example:

  • If I’m going to speak this sentence, it will sound like:  Loved meeting over dinner th’other night; great range of options on the menu too. 
  • Written it is more likely to be:  I Loved our chance meeting on Wednesday night.  I was really impressed with the range of options on the menu too.  

Subtle differences, but when you are reading a lot of text that is not well written, after a while it becomes annoying and sometimes even hard for the reader to remain focused.  That’s because we are taught to read differently than the way we hear.  We process the information slightly differently too.

I’m not saying that voice recording your material is a bad thing. In fact, for many writers it’s a preferred option for getting ideas out of their heads.   However, just having those recordings typed up, without a good editing process in place will show your book very quickly to be of sub-standard quality.

Remember this – if your readers are regular readers of anything, they will be discerning readers.  Your professional reputation is at stake if you don’t measure up and put some real effort into conveying your expertise in a way that represents quality sharing.

If you want to be successful as an author, there is a lot more to ‘writing a book’ than just ‘writing’ a book.  It takes time, focus, energy, money, and a good knowledge of the publishing options available to you to make it.  Average does not cut it in this industry.  I mean the Thought Leaders and Author-ity industry.  To stand out, take the time and do it well – create an excellent book.

If you want to know more about writing a non-fiction book that is well mapped out, for the reader’s benefit, well produced, and then marketed and distributed in order to reach your market and gain leverage on your expertise, then please take time to grab a copy of my latest book – the updated edition of From Idea to Author-ity,

Here’s the link. 

 

Posted in Becoming a High-Profile Expert, Business Communication, Writing Books, Writing stories for business marketing | Tagged , ,

Mind Mapping to get the best out of your story line

Mind Mapping Your Ideas and Stories

Whether you are writing for business, a blog, or a novel, you need to know that a good story will hugely help your own writing style, and the readers to absorb what you’re trying to tell them. Mind mapping is one of the easiest ways to do this.

I had a call from my son Alex this morning, who is doing a great job of working through a script writing project for a TV pilot.  It’s a competition and as a lover of acting, theatre and a great story, he feels up to the task of developing a big idea.  But of course, while he’s already published and produced a play for amateur theatre, a TV pilot is a much bigger step and he’s still learning his trade.  So we talked about this plot he’s created, which is complex in so many ways.

This led to my suggesting that I as a visual person needed to SEE something like mind mapping  – a drawn outline of something with branches for all the parts needing to be articulated – to understand the direction and the characters and how they relate to the story.   Yes I mind map! He agreed and is busy creating that while I write this.

The point is, that if you take the time to map out what you want to write, get the stories, the examples, and the connections well established before you even start to write, the entire writing project is so much easier.  And even if you are not a primarily visual person, many of the people you might be working with throughout a writing project, including your editors or design team, may be.

Being able to articulate the project’s intricacies as well as the big picture side of things easily is your biggest challenge.   How to simplify and narrow down the main points, without taking too much of your readers or viewers attention away from the them with hyperbole and jargon. That’s the trick.

In my recently released book From Idea to Author-ity, I’ve shared a simple and effective way to map out a business book, presentation, story, or even a speech or article.

Basically you want to divide the outline into three main parts, then break those down into further parts, that give you the flow in one  easy process that you can stick on a wall or read as one page.  I have used this process many times for my authors and it works insanely well.  It’s just So easy.   If you get stuck at this stage of the game at any level of communication, then you’ll find it helpful to have a system to use.  Scrivener, the best software program for writers also features a fantastic white board and note pad style of mind mapping.

Remember, the key to effectively sharing anything of complexity is to mind map it, develop the story line, and then write it.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Posted in Business Communication, Writing Books, Writing stories for business marketing | Tagged , , ,

International Business is Different

Doing business on any level is different than ‘back home’.   It sometimes takes a trip to the outer regions of where you normally reside to fully understand them, but the differences are huge – even when it’s another English speaking country.

I was in the USA recently, and then Mexico.   While there I got to experience several different levels of customer service, productivity, and cultural changes that made it clear i was definitely far from home – even if the feel of the place was sometimes not so alternative.  From a resort in Mexico that was very ‘international’ to cater to a wide range of tourists who all expected high quality, non-Mexian with just a little spice, to hotel chains that are presumably the same all over the world – each had unique ways of doing or setting up simple things.

Hotels are an easy to pick on option when you travel and I’m going to save that one for another day.  Instead,  let’s talk customer service and expectations in a more general way. And let’s dissect this with Tipping!

Tipping for service is not something we do as a regular thing Down Under unless we feel particularly that we’d like to reward someone for a noticably good service or meal.   In the USA, the wages are so low for many people that the reliance on tips is a way of life.   This translates in many instances to wait staff and drivers to go out of their way to impress with efficient friendly service.  Not always unfortunately but in the majority of cases we were treated to outstanding care and consideration by people we encountered everywhere.  Of course when you don’t tip with some care, they do let you know in subtle ways sometimes, that your ignorance of this custom is not appreciated.

This system of tipping for everything does however become incredibly tiresome after a while as even for simple things you feel obligated to leave a tip that is over and above the charge – even when the bill states that tips are included as is sometimes the case.  It seems that if you notice that, it means that everyone in the place gets a share of the percentage, but the extra you leave behind goes to the person who served you.  So what you leave behind as a tip is a direct reflection of your consideration of the service given by that person.

Overall though it can be expensive.  The meals in most places are on a par with Australian prices.  Eating out is not a low cost exercise, then there are the tips on top for everyone from the cab driver or car park attendant to  the wait staff. And the expectation is up to 20% on top of the bill.

You know you are in a foreign land when everything comes with a side of fries, potatoes, slaw, or fruit, including your bacon and eggs in the morning.   You also note that you’re in a foreign land when you exchange business cards and there are no international codes on the phone numbers which is often because they don’t think globally like we do Down Under.

It’s being away from home that makes you appreciate where you come from and what you are used to.   But what you can learn from another perspective can be of great value to you.

 

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Marketing Tools For Authors

One thing that I’ve learned through nearly a decade of working in the book business, is that you can never have too much help to market your work.   So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite author tools – and some of these are recently discovered.

First: Booklaunch.io is far and away the VERY best landing page platform imaginable for authors. These make launching a new book so easy, and they look great too.   I have two novels (under Dixie Carlton) profiled on this platform HERE – and the feedback I’m getting from using this is outstanding. Booklaunch IO just easily integrates into my (other) website and yet also gives me brilliant analytics to work with for each book so I can tweak my marketing as needed for maximum results.

Second: if you are into technology, or not even hugely so but know it’s a necessary way to bring customers to your door, then you have to spend some time on these platforms:

  • Amazon – create an Amazon Author page – it’s easy, powerful, and you’ll love what you can do with it to help drive book sales and awareness campaigns.
  • Twitter – yes it does work, yes it is worth working hard to get followers, and yes you do need to post regular updates on it.  This is not a passive platform, but when you work it well, it starts to really create buzz around your books.  My Twitter feed is here for my author page.
  • Mobile Apps – I’ve had one of these for my business alter-ego Maria Carlton Marketing Coach for years, and it’s been a great way to ensure I could share information with clients and promote my brand to prospects, but since that was created the technology available to create these apps has become outstanding.  I’ve just discovered COMO and within hours have created an app that features my books, my services, and my links to all other platforms I use for marketing.

One thing to remember when it comes to marketing tools for authors is that people want to engage with you, and you want to reach out and engage with them.   These tools help you do this easily.   But you have to work on these constantly – just like that great novel you’re working on marketing is a constant work in progress.

And like my old mate Winston Marsh always says – you have to be a better marketer of what you do than a doer of what you do! When it comes to effectively marketing your books – both non-fiction and fiction – you have to build a following.  Branding is critically important and so is having a great marketing strategy that keeps you focused on the best results oriented social media options to suit your product.

Posted in Becoming a High-Profile Expert, Writing Books

5 Reasons Authors Need to Upskill – and it’s Not Just About Writing

So you’re a great writer… hell maybe you are even exceptional at it.   You’ve studied, practiced, and can churn words out faster than a hungry cheetah can run down a rabbit, but your books are still sitting there waiting for the world to discover your brilliance.

What’s the missing ingredient?

Your ability to sell your work.  If you are a writer, you can either make like a 19th century poet and call what you do art, and consider dying of starvation as an occupational hazard if you can’t find a patron, or you can man (or woman) up in this 21st century and accept that being a writer is not just about writing anymore.

It’s time to upskill and there are several areas you need to get smart in.

1) Administration.

If you don’t know how to file your taxes, pay your bills on time, or manage any simple administration system for these things, you will rob yourself of valuable writing time.   Why would you do that?

2) Commercialising at least some of your work.

If you want to hold out for the 29th pubiishing house to make a serious offer for your great manuscript, that’s fine – really it is.  But while you are working on your own version of War and Peace, you could do well to keep the rent paid by marketing yourself as a wordsmith of some description.  It’s amazing how many people really don’t know how to string two sentences together and remember that your own ability to do so is of value to those who cant.

3) Asking for your worth.

Getting comfortable with your own value is one of life’s big hurdles for most people.  It’s a learnng thing – but if you want to write for a living you really need to get out of your own way and learn this one fast.  Stop selling yourself for 10 cents a word, or $30 dollars an hour.   If you believe you are a good enough writer to be a best seller – and why else would you be pugging away at that great novel every day instead of ‘getting a real job like your mum and dad keep suggesting – then know that you are worth more than peanuts – and believe in your worth. Then when that publisher does call with an offer you’ll be ready and if need be, willing to negotiate for your worth.

4) Learning to say no. 

If someone is going to ask you to buy into their schemes for fast tracking your publishing dreams and it sounds a little too easy, or too good to be true, then trust your instincts and say no.  You might also need to employ this skill when someone asks you to get a job instead of sticking to your dream, or to give up on your writing dreams completely.  Learning to say no is really about backing yourself when you need to and NO to all the naysayers, swindlers, and promise merchants who are there on the side of the road waiting to derail you.

5)  Social Media is Magic – if you know how to use it!

Social Media is the one thing that Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde would have put to good use and it would have catapulted them through a lot of the early days of being dining on hope and dry crackers.  You have the ability in this day and time, to market yourself, and your many skills directly to your readers.  If you learn how to harness the magic of good social media marketing, the world truly is your oyster.  If you think it’s too hard, you’ll wait so much longer to ‘get that lucky break’.

Great authors are using social media to get faster results for great books, and average authors are too.   It’s about getting busy faster and using the resources you have at your finger tips to start earning an income from your writing sooner rather than later – in multiple ways.

Being a great writer is about writing, but you still have to live, and nurture your dreams along the way.  A writer’s game is an interesting one – we can create anything we like, so let’s create our own destiny as well paid wordsmiths too.

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Books for Business Owners

I’ve worked with books and around books, and with authors, and helped to shape, publish, and sell a number of great books over the last 10 years. It’s been a privilege to do this – as I believe strongly that books are the best source of knowledge we as business owners, entrepreneurs, managers can access.

When I work with clients, one of the first things I like to ask them is what they are reading. What have they read. What sort of books would they like to read? I think you can tell a lot about someone by how they answer these questions. Someone who is committed to improving their ability to work, create, lead, inspire, find solutions, will read books that help them work out how to do this. Someone who only reads mystery or crime novels wishes they were living a different kind of life, and someone who get stuck with only magazine articles because they say they don’t have time for more than that, is probably overextended in their work, an adrenaline junkie who gets off on ‘busy-ness’ and comfortable in their current reality – regardless of how good or bad it might be.

Ok – maybe that’s a little harsh – and I confess there is no survey or statistics behind this observation. It’s only my opinion. But having worked with countless managers and entrepreneurs who have easily slotted into these three descriptions based on their reading habits, it’s a fairly well educated opinion. And of course – we all have times when we’re ‘booked out’ and really just crave some good fiction for the brain to rest on.

Before you berate me for writing opinion – and remember Blogs do allow you to do that – if you really want to get better at management of people, leadership skills, working out advertising or marketing strategies, recruitment strategies of good people etc why not head to Amazon and look up books under those categories?

Sure there might be You-Tube videos you can watch and online webinars you can attend, but for serious learners, you’re going to want to write in the margins, bookmark pages, and think through what you’re learning. Video’s don’t give you the same ability to do that. When you read something, you seem to absorb it in a particular way. When you share what you’ve read, it embeds even better into your mind. When you USE it, the lesson becomes hard wired into your subconscious.

So if you want to become great at some part of your job, there are dozens of books released every month on the subject you are seeking to know more about. So if you are serious about improvement in your business, pick up a book!

Some great books for business owners I’ve read lately are:

Small Giants, by Bo Birlingham
Top Grading, by Brad Smart
Mastering The Rockerfeller Habits, by Verne Harnish
The 4 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris
Built to Sell, by John Warrilow

And – one that’s been written by 20 top trainers, coaches, and consultants throughout Australia and New Zealand is 20/20 – A Fresh Look at Business Growth 

PS – if you really don’t have time for reading – then Audio Books to listen to while you are driving, commuting, jogging etc are great too.  

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