Welcome to Change Your Mindset (formerly known as Improv Is No Joke) where it is all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. The way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant, will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while, growing their businesses.
Ep 43 – Cathy Fyock – The Biz Book Strategist
Cathy Fyock is an author of eight books and a book coach, and she hates to write. In spite of that, she wrote most of her books in just six weeks!
In this episode, Cathy shares a number of excellent and actionable tips for writing your nonfiction book, getting started when you’re struggling, and the benefits of publishing a book for you and your business.
Her most recent book, Blog2Book: Repurposing Content to Discover the Book You’ve Already Written, is also the title of a seminar that I attended in February 2017. I really connected with what she said and, in large part, that is because she identifies with the pain of struggling to start writing, or struggling to get the words out of your head and onto the page.
Before you even start the writing process, you have to prepare.
- Get hyper clear about why you want to write this book. Is it just because you have always wanted to write a book, or are you writing a nonfiction book around your area of expertise as a way to establish your thought leadership, get more clients, more business, or as a revenue stream? There can be a number of reasons that you may want to write. They’re all legitimate, but your reason may inform how you go about writing the book.
- Get hyper clear on what this is book about. A lot of people get stuck because they know a lot, and they could potentially write several books, but you can only write one book at a time… and even that is sometimes tricky. What is your thesis statement? What is your 30-second commercial?
- Establish your target audience. Who is that reader? Get very specific about who that target market is, and then start to think about what it is that you really want a reader to know. What is it that they have questions about? What are the issues that they would want to have addressed in a book on this topic?
Here’s a hot tip: To help her clients get clear on what their books are about and learn more about their audience, Cathy has “Ask Me About My Book” buttons. These are a valuable research and motivational tool because answering questions about your book will reveal what is compelling about your topic, if you have honed it properly, and get you thinking about the project more often.
Now you are prepared with an outline, a reason, and a business plan. How do start writing a book, even if you hate writing?
- A lot of people make the mistake of starting with the first chapter, but that’s one of the hardest chapters to write. Start with whatever chapter in the middle is calling to you. The first and last are the hardest to write because you need to have that big vision of where you’re going and where you’ve been. Just start with a page – it doesn’t matter which one.
- After you have something written (and that first win!), continue to write out of order. You just want to create momentum. You want to create energy and excitement for yourself, because this is a big and arduous task.
- Don’t get hung up on editing. You need to write the book first, then you can edit it. Writing and editing are two different brain functions, so trying to do them both simultaneously is exhausting. Just get it all out there, raw, and polish it later.
- Learn when you write best. Early in the writing process, set timed writing sessions in the morning, afternoon, and late at night to assess when you are most productive. You may not be a morning person but still do your best writing in the morning.
- Learn where you write best. Try writing in different environments to see where you are the most productive. Some people thrive in a hectic environment (like the coffee shop or a restaurant), but others need to be in a cave.
- Use writing prompts. Just google the term, use an app, or think about something weird. The most different writing prompts can sometimes produce the most creative results, because thinking about two disparate subjects can result in lateral thinking.
- Practice time blocking. Schedule the times that you will write, put them on your calendar, commit to actually blocking off that time, and be very detailed with your plans. You don’t have to finish a whole chapter. Give yourself one small, but achievable, goal with each time block so that you can continue racking up wins.
Another way to chunk out the writing process, and the premise of her most recent book, is to write a blog first. You still need a plan and a theme, but writing 500-1000 words once or twice a week is much easier to chew than a whole book. By the end of the year, you will have a great outline for your next book, and you can use the blog to market the book throughout the process.
After you are done writing, publishing a book offers distinct benefits for you and your business. It can increase your authority in the eyes of your clients, customers, and prospects and differentiate your business from the competition.
Your book is your new business card. If you give someone your traditional business card, more likely than not it’s going to end up in the trash can. However, no one throws away a book. It can sit on a desk, on a shelf, or anywhere.
People can see your book, and every time they do you’ve made another impression in their mind… or, worst case scenario, they give the book to someone else. Another touch point.
If you are thinking about a book, don’t know where to start, or lack clarity, get in touch with Cathy for a complimentary strategy session. She wants to help you get started!
- Connect with Cathy: Website | Facebook | YouTube
- Blog2Book: Repurposing Content to Discover the Book You’ve Already Written
- If you are thinking about a book, don’t know where to start, or lack clarity, get in touch with Cathy for a complimentary strategy session.
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