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5 Reasons Your Project Went Off the Rails and What to Do About It

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Your project was going along quite well and then one day things just went crazy. Or maybe things were pretty bad off right from the start, a fact you realized as soon as you landed the project, and now you feel stuck with a client who constantly complains, keeps changing his mind, and is never satisfied.

Whether the bump in the road cropped up suddenly or the discontent has been brewing all along, managing a project where you and the client are at odds can be frustrating for both parties. And, unfortunately, such occurrences can be a fact of life when you run a service business, especially one built on creativity and subjectivity like a writing business. If you’re in business long enough, you’re bound to run across such a situation. But fortunately, those situations can be few and far in between, when you know what to look for.

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A Publisher Is Offering You a Book Deal — Now What?

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A client in our book ghostwriting business recently called to tell me a publisher was interested in offering him a book deal. Of course I’m always happy when clients see success with projects we’ve helped them create, and this time was no different. We talked about the merits of accepting a book deal, which got me thinking about several things to consider when deciding if a book offer from a publisher will be a good fit for you. When I landed my first book deal (which I later terminated) and even my second one, I didn’t know much about book contracts. But now, as an experienced author and editorial consultant to other authors, I have learned just how important it is to read through the contract and negotiate your points — or skip the contract and stick to self-publishing.

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7 Secrets to Building a Successful Writing Business

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Just yesterday, RootSky Books, our book publishing company, turned 12. It’s been through many changes since those early days where my only aim was to self-publish my own books and get my words out to the world. And through those changes, I’ve learned a lot. A lot that can help you as you grow your writing business.

First, a bit of the history.

I accomplished my first goal of self-publishing my own books and as a result, landed a book deal. I self-published my first two novels, As If Nothing Happened and Sacrifice the One before landing the book deal. As If Nothing Happened came in 2002 and Sacrifice the One two years later. The agent came in 2005 and the book deal in 2006, I believe. (Memory gets a little hazy on the details.) Self-published books? Check. Agent? Check. Book deal? Check.

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10 Keys to Finding Your Dream Clients

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When you’re running a freelance writing business, or actually any type of service business, you will get to a point where you want to be a bit more discerning in the type of clients you take on. Sure, when you’re just starting out, you might scramble to get any client who comes your way. But as you gain more experience, confidence, and success, you will realize there are certain types of work you prefer.

One of the reasons you launched your freelance writing business may have had to do with the freedom to choose. Well, this is one area where you absolutely can choose!  Yep. You don’t have to take every piece of business that comes your way. Instead, you can focus on doing your best work for clients you enjoy, and on projects that excite you. When you focus your marketing efforts on the clients you do want, you can build a better, stronger — and more enjoyable freelance writing business.

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5 Secrets to Building Your Personal Brand Online — When You Have a Service Business

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Figuring out how to stand out when you’re a solopreneur or small business owner can be confusing, intimidating, and daunting.

But setting yourself apart doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you learn how to distinguish yourself from all the others offering similar services, you can build a stronger business and get better clients. Building a solid personal brand is key to that process. Whether you are a writer, designer, coach, consultant, speaker, or other person building a business around what you know, you’ve got to build a personal brand. We all have personal brands, by virtue of the footprint we leave. But those who manage their personal brands and play up the unique aspects of those brands are the ones who succeed.

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8 Types of Content You Can Create to Help Your Business Grow

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So you know you need to create content to grow your writing business. But what kind? Determining the right kind of content to create can help you reach your business growth goals. Good content can bring new customers and clients your way, as well as open the door to new opportunities as you become known for your content.

As a business book ghostwriter, I naturally believe anyone in business needs a book. A book (or ebook) is a great piece of content because it allows you to share your perspective and to educate your potential customers and clients at their own pace. But books aren’t the only type of content. Let’s look at several, starting with books:

1. Books and ebooks: Books and ebooks have several benefits. They immediately set their authors up as experts or authorities. Even though publishing has become easier than it has ever been before, readers still hold authors in high esteem. So if you have a business, cause, or idea you want to get more attention, then a book or ebook must definitely be seriously considered. You can write the book or ebook, have it edited and designed, and publish it on your schedule. Today, you can self-publish a book or ebook, with complete creative control over the product, so you get it the way you want it. If you’re not sure how to publish your book or aren’t in a position to write it yourself, then hire a business book ghostwriter or an editor.

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10 Bad Freelance Business Practices to Leave Behind

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I recently spoke with a woman who had received a request from someone wanting to do business with her. She wasn’t sure of how much to charge. Her initial thought when we talked was to charge a really low rate — about half of what others in her industry charge for the same type of work. Why would she charge so low? Because she doesn’t quite value what she brings to the table. She knows she can do good work, and has done it for the handful of clients she has had, but she is intimidated by the idea of competing with others doing the same type of work. She doesn’t quite believe in her business. Beyond that, this new potential client is a rare sight indeed, as the woman doesn’t really market her business and so isn’t sure if she wants to scare off this one potential client by charging a fair rate.

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7 Reasons You’re Not Succeeding as a Writer

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Maybe you’ve quit your job to write. Or maybe you’ve been trying to write on the side, in the off hours from your day job. Maybe you’ve been going to networking events kinda hoping for that big break.

Whatever the case, your writing life isn’t exactly going great. In fact, it’s not going at all. You may get the occasional project, but nothing consistent and certainly nothing that even hints at the kind of money you dreamed of when you left your job. If this is you, then the only way to fix your writing career is to find out what’s wrong. Here is a clue to what might be ailing your freelance writing business.

Don’t make these freelance writing mistakes

1. You want to be a writer for “everybody.”

Wanting to appeal to everyone is death for your freelance writing business. You simply can’t settle on wanting to appeal to everyone. This is a tough lesson for many new freelance writers to learn. It’s tempting to want to serve everyone, but it won’t work. Pick an audience. If you try to appeal to everyone, then you’ll give conflicting messages in your marketing materials. Or you may dull or dilute your message to such an extent that those who check out your website or marketing materials go away because they don’t see that you are speaking to them.

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Connect Beat 101: Seven Ways to Make Your Next Networking Event Work for You

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So you’ve pulled out your best — or, er, only — suit and spruced up for a networking event. You’ve avoided face-to-face networking for a while, as you can’t stand small talk and the idea of being in a room full of a bunch of strangers makes your eyes cross. Yet, here you are, at this networking event, looking for your next client.

Now what?

If you’re like a lot of writers, you enjoy working online because it means you can meet people and network from the comfort and safety of your home, just you in your pajamas in front of your computer. You can comment on blog posts, Tweet those whose work you like, and send Facebook friend requests in a nonthreatening way that doesn’t make you feel weird.

But you’ve now realized that, as great as the online world is, it doesn’t hurt to get out into the real world every now and then and meet people face-to-face.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Writing Business at the End of the Year

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The end of the year can be a slow one for many writers, as clients are distracted by end-of-the-year demands and the holidays. Couple this distraction with a desire by some clients to shut down spending so they don’t run out of cash by the end of the year, and you can have a pretty quiet time. In other words, no cash flow, no money. Broke.

Not exactly the holiday season of your dreams.

But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. After all, many other freelance writers find the end of the year a busy time, as they find clients who still need projects done.

If you’ve been in the position of suddenly finding yourself broke at the end of the year and wondering how you can make a living writing, then here is how to make sure that dreaded slowdown doesn’t happen to you this year: Step outside your comfort zone! Writers, freelancers, and other solo entrepreneurs often rely only on their favorite marketing efforts to bring in new business, but stepping outside your comfort zone can provide just the infusion of new energy you need as a professional writer.

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