Digital Well Publisher

Write + Cook + Travel -- The Road to Reinvention

TWITTER CHAT RECAP: How to Build Your Online Platform


Build your online platform with Halona Black #coachingwithvette

One of the biggest mistakes I see coaches, speakers, and experts who write a book make is that they did very little to build their platform.

A platform is the foundation upon which you build your career. Very similar to a political platform, your author platform uses your message as the base upon which everything else in your business is built upon.

I was invited to do a Twitter Chat all about creating your own platform hosted by Sharvette Mitchell of Mitchell Productions, LLC. Sharvette is excellent at doing web and graphic design. You can check out the recap here.

 



Create Your First Online Course with Janet Kafadar

How to Create Your First Online Course

If you have ever wanted to create a course using your book content — or even just your book idea — then you want to pay attention to today’s post. I just hosted a wonderful teleclass with the awesome Janet Kafadar, an Online Course Specialist. She works with coaches, speakers, and experts like yourself who are ready to touch more lives using an online course.

Why an online course?

I love courses because they allow you a fantastic opportunity to go more in-depth into what your clients need from you. Think about it… While you may have some wonderful books in your library, you may not have fully grasped some of the concepts until you further engaged with the content. This can include…

  • having a discussion about the book with your friends
  • reflecting on your thoughts and feelings using written journal exercises
  • watching other videos about the topic
  • creating a project based on what you learned in the book
  • use acronyms to help you remember complicated terminology (…anyone remember, “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,” when learning order of operations in middle school???)

Honestly, creating courses (much like writing a good book), can get a bit complicated if you don’t have the right support system in place to do it right the first time.

If you have questions like…

  • What should I do first — the book, or the course?
  • When is the right time to create and release a new course?
  • Should my course be a short challenge, a live course, or even pre-recorded course?

…then you definitely want to stop what you are doing and listen to Janet’s teleclass on How to Create Your First Online Course Using Your Book Content — RIGHT NOW!

Janet was also gracious enough to share some goodies. You can grab her free Course Creation Starter Kit & Planner.

If you know that you are ready to move forward with your course, I highly advise that you connect with Janet Kafadar in her Facebook group and request a 1-on-1 session with her.



Are You Using Facebook Ads to Boost Your Business?

Are you using Facebook ads to build your business

I have been learning to use Facebook ads to connect with more business owners who are ready to publish and profit. Since August 2015, I have used ads for everything from webinar signups, to my 7-Day Best Selling Author Platform Challenge, and generating more traffic to blog posts.

There was a time when I just didn’t get the whole pay for Facebook thing. I was thinking with my consumer brain instead of thinking like a business woman. You can only do so much with free tools. Eventually you have to make an investment into your own business so that others will believe you’re serious about what you do.

Facebook is a platform that was built to help you make money (OK, Facebook is making money too…). And if you are not using it to generate income, you are missing out. Not only have I been able to grow my email list, but a percentage of those people on my list have become paying clients. These are people who probably would not have known about me had I not used Facebook ads.

The cornerstone of any successful Facebook ad campaign is to set up your Facebook business page. This is NOT your personal page, but a page that you use strictly for business purposes. Don’t have a Facebook business page yet? Here is a useful tutorial from Facebook on how to create one immediately.

Once you get your Facebook business page running, you then want to spend some time getting people to LIKE your Facebook page. You can LIKE Digital Well Publisher here. You can get started by simply asking your other connections on Facebook to LIKE your new page. The last time I checked, you needed a minimum of 30 LIKES before you can actually start running ads — which isn’t hard to do at all.

If you are interested in how you can start to use Facebook to market your books, your expertise, and your business as a whole, book a 1-hour consultation with me so you can get started!



What’s an ISBN — and Do You Need One?

What’s an ISBN???

There are so many little odds and ends to publishing a professional book — and I look at it as my job to help demystify the whole publishing process for you.

I made you a short tutorial on what an ISBN number is to help get you out of your overwhelm and get you publishing.

What do I cover in the video?

  • What is an ISBN?
  • What purpose does an ISBN serve?
  • Do my ebooks and print books need an ISBN?
  • Where do I get an ISBN?

So hopefully, this should answer all your questions as it relates to getting an ISBN for your published books.

Got questions about ISBNs — or any other part of book publishing? Leave it in the comments below.



Are You Using Linkedin to Grow Your Business?

Copy of How Much Money Are You Making on that Unpublished Book-

When it comes to book and business marketing on social media, the landscape is changing everyday. Facebook continues to be a favorite amongst coaches, speakers, and experts who want to build their network and even buy ads to get people on to their list.

However Facebook can also a very crowded space. I belong to more FB groups than I care to actually participate in — and to be quite honest, most of the groups I do look at are more about self promotion than they are about support and networking. Twitter can feel like you are shouting into a deep hole. And of course, there are several new contenders in the livestreaming space like Blab.im, Periscope, and Facebook Live.

But what about Linkedin? I am sure you have heard everyone talk about how Linkedin is such a great platform because it was built strictly for professional purposes. You may even have a Linkedin profile. But are you using Linkedin to its full capacity?

For example, did you know that you can publish your presentations, build your email list, as well as connect with meeting planners and other decision makers who book speakers on Linkedin? There is so much opportunity on Linkedin, however the average coach, speaker, or expert has no idea how to take advantage of it.

Now I’m on a quest to learn more about Linkedin and how you can use it to not just sell books, connect with professional organizations who are looking for speakers, and grow your business in every way you can imagine.

BUT I NEED YOUR HELP!

I need 500 coaches, speakers, authors, and experts to fill out this SUPER SHORT social media survey. Whether you use Linkedin or not, I want to hear from you. It will only take you 3 minutes to complete.

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate from Amazon. And yes, I will be sharing what I learn with you. The contest ends February 29th at 11:59pm PT.


Are You a Conscious Entrepreneur?

Are You a Conscious Entrepreneur?

One of the things that I love about my business is the opportunity to work with conscious entrepreneurs. What’s a conscious entrepreneur, you ask?

A conscious entrepreneur is someone who has created a deeply meaningful business that is an extension of her or himself in pursuit of the greater good. Many of you started your businesses, side hustles, or have developed a particular expertise after having an experience that left you changed forever. The experience could have been a wake up call to change your health. It could stem from a deep desire to model being in a healthy relationship for your children. It could be wanting to see more people choose a life they love rather than an ill-fitting default life that is just “good enough.”

I took a look at the many people that I work with as well as other entrepreneurs I admire and I broke down the ideals of conscious entrepreneurs into five characteristics. How many of them can you find within yourself?

1. Conscious entrepreneurs are motivated by a strong personal mission to create change. This can be a change within themselves as well as within others. While creating cash to fund your lifestyle is important, you also want to feel good about how you chose to make your money. You are interested in creating a legacy that benefits not just you and your children, but many generations of people to come.

2. Conscious entrepreneurs understand that it is your right to be paid well for what you do. This means no more martyrs for the cause. Coming from a background of working in nonprofits, community development, and teaching in low income communities, I know all too well what it means to serve from an empty cup. I was always in constant fear of my job being cut because one grant didn’t come through. Or even when the grants were all there, it was considered noble to make do with scraps. This doesn’t have to be. When I made a decision to become an entrepreneur, I vowed that I would make my pockets a priority so that I could I truly serve from a place of overflow and not be stressed about it.

3. Conscious entrepreneurs seek to connect with like-hearted collaborative partners for the advancement of business and social change. No entrepreneur makes it to the top on their own. I and many others have achieved what they have in life and business due to mentorship and support either through paid coaching, generous conversations, creating networks, or even just reading books written by women and men they admire. How do you find these like-hearted collaborative partners? You focus on being of service to others. Your service can be as small as sharing another person’s blog posts, volunteering at an event, or even connecting people to one another.

4. Conscious entrepreneurs possess a commitment to joy through self care. Let’s face it: creating change is hard work. It requires patience with yourself as well as with the conditions within which you are trying to build your empire. Even though you may want to quit more times than you can count, you go to bed only to wake and try again the next day. This kind of relentlessness requires self care. I recently went and got an ayurvedic massage and facial. I’ve gotten massages before, but nothing like what I experienced in this ayurvedic spa. The use of soothing massage oils and invigorating essential oils creates an experience that is unmatched by any other massage I have ever experienced. You can bet that I will be in there next month and every month after that. What kind of self care do you need to renew and refresh your commitment to your joy?

5. Conscious entrepreneurs seek opportunities that expand their possibilities. We understand that perpetual learning is essential to advancement. One of my mentors (in my head), Carol Sankar, the author of The Confidence Factor for Women in Business: Strategies for Limitless Success, says she reads 1 to 2 books a day! If a woman who’s making million dollar corporate real estate investment deals has time to read at least a book a day, then I should be able to knock out AT LEAST a book a week! What are some other opportunities you can use to expand your learning? Conferences, networking events, traveling to places where people are different from you. There are loads of conventional and not so conventional ways for you learn as much as you can.

Do you identify as a conscious entrepreneur? What would you add to this list? If you have a burning message you’d like to share in a book, I want to talk to you! Sign up for a free strategy session to help you figure out what you need to help you grow your business with a book!



Ep12: Creating Your Brand with Jaha Knight

Ep. 12 Creating Your Brand with Jaha Knight

Does branding confuse you?

Does the very mention of the word, “BRANDING,” make you want to turn around and run home?

Well, I have a very special surprise for you on today’s podcast episode.

jaha Knight, named a Branding Amazon by the clients who LOVE her, will help you to figure out what branding is REALLY all about (hint: it’s all about the INNER game, rather than the external stuff like logos and website colors).

If you would like to connect with jaha to learn more about her projects, services, books, and podcast, then you can check her out on her website.

As one of the nations leading experts on strategy, clarity of purpose and execution, Branding Amazon, jaha Knight is the founder of Karasi Media Group. Karasi Media Group is a branding agency focused on aligning technology with operational innovation across companies. There, jaha works with entrepreneurs to build their business brands, dominate their niche and serve clients with a consistent and repeatable experience. Through brand coaching, brand identity design and brand management, jaha takes new entrepreneurs from A-Z in business by teaching them leadership strategies and how to develop their world-class talent into multiple streams of income.

 



How Do You Know What Book to Write First?

Blog Post- What book to write first- (1)

If you are anything like me, then you have a million book ideas whirling around your head. You may have multiple passions that all seem urgent. The problem is that you don’t know what book you should write first.

It’s always a good idea to do a self assessment on anything regarding you business — especially your book. Why? Because there really is no wrong or right way to be an entrepreneur who self publishes. There are a few proven tactics that have worked for some. However what works for you and your business depends upon the business model you use and your own personality.

Question #1: What do you want people to know you for?

People will always know you by what you wrote about in your first book. That is why it is so important to ensure that your overall message for your brand is strong in the beginning.

No matter how many books about writing books I sell, people will always know me for writing my first book about my experience with uterine fibroids and my message of self care for black women. It was that message that helped me to transition to becoming a business writer that caters to health companies and organizations. You see, I made my message work for me. You have to do the same for yourself.

If you’ve been a 5th grade teacher for the last 12 years of your career, but have had a side business as a cake designer that you want to grow, then why write a book about teaching? While you may be a talented teacher with plenty to say on the subject, if you no longer want to be seen as a teacher, then you should focus your first book on a topic related to you new cake designing business.

Question #2: How do you envision people using your book?

While the topic of your book is important, you should also be clear on how you envision your reader consuming you book. Depending upon how your business model functions, you should decide whether it is best to have a book that is an ebook, print book, audiobook, or multiple formats.

I have worked with several business owners who do most of their work online and creating a series of ebooks works well for them. They are able to create a reading experience using ebooks that works for their business structure.

Others who do live speaking engagements at corporations, conferences, or even their own live events may also want to do print books so that they have physical products to sell to their audience.

Furthermore, if you work with high level figures like corporate CEO’s or other high level people, you may want to consider making a series of audiobooks as that crowd tends to multitask while consuming their books. They can run, walk, or do other work on an airplane ride to their next high power meeting while also listening to your book.

Take an inventory of how your audience consumes books and allow that to lead how you plan what format(s) you will focus on when creating your books.

Question #3: What other products and services can you create as an extension of the book?

For most entrepreneurs who also write books, the majority of their income does not usually come from book sales. It is often the coaching programs, consultation calls, retreats, speaking engagements, etc. that come as an extension of the book.

Start thinking about other income streams that are a natural extension of what you do.

Answering these three questions should help you start to nail down the topic of your first book. If you’ve been mulling your book topic in your head for weeks — maybe even years — it’s time to get some help. Getting an objective opinion from a book writing professional can move you from procrastination to author in as little as 30 minutes!

Schedule a 30 or 60 minute Author Jam Session with me to started!

 

 

 



QUICK KINDLE TUTORIAL: How to Format Your Kindle Books with Google Docs

null (1)Do you spend your Sunday nights loathing what you are going to have to face come Monday morning?
I know the feeling all too well. For many years I spent my Sunday nights with my stomach in knots, even crying real tears, all because I hated my job. Now that I’m on the other side of crappy jobs and now working for myself full time, I now realize that pulling myself into those thoughts was a pure waste of my time and energy.
I know you’re probably saying, “Yeah right, Halona. Easy for you to say now that you no longer have a crappy job.” But I really want you to hear me out on this one. Rather than letting my brain wallow in feeling sorry for myself, I should have spent that time doing something to get my business off the ground — blogging, interviewing people that are doing what I want to do, writing books, etc.
Doing the work that makes me happy puts your mind at ease and helps to propel you towards your goals. The only thing I was able to accomplish with all my self loathing on a Sunday night was screw up my digestion.
So now I want to help you out.
I will be offering Sunday Night Happy Hour Webinars once a month — usually the last Sunday of the month. The webinars will cover topics that are related to self publishing.
This month I will be talking about How to Format Your Kindle Books with Google Docs.
Why am I offering this training? Well, I just finished writing an ebook that I sell on my website as well as on Amazon and all I used to format it properly was Google Docs. I figured I would share my secret sauce on how I was able to get it done.
Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect to learn from the training:
  • What parts make up a formal ebook (front matter, back matter, etc.)
  • How to use Google Docs to organize your books and your business
  • How to create the spacing needed to create sections in your book
  • How to make a proper table of contents without pulling your hair out
As a bonus, you will receive a nonfiction ebook/print book template you can use to create your own books.
If you would like to join me for Sunday Night Happy Hour, you can click over to the following link to get signed up for this and all following training webinars:
DATE: Sunday, September 27, 2015
TIME: 6pm EDT
The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot make it. I plan to make it available for free for 72 hours.

 



Are Ebooks Still Relevant?

Are Ebooks Still Relevant-In a word… YES!

Ebooks will never really go out of style for two reasons:

  1. Easy to produce
  2. Easy to consume

As an entrepreneur who uses ebooks to teach and market my business and that of my clients, I always recommend ebooks as a great place to begin building your publishing empire.

 

Ebooks can do more than just make you money

The success of your ebook lies in the planning. I see so many entrepreneurs put all their time and energy into writing an ebook, only to have it sit on some obscure page of their website, or be completely ignored on Amazon. It’s no fun putting all your energy into a project that doesn’t make you money.

My advice is always to think through what you want out of your ebook. While we all want ebook sales, you should also be thinking about how writing one ebook, or an ebook series, can position you as an expert. I did a webinar at the end of August on how I made $25,000 with one ebook. Listeners were surprised to find that most of the money I made from my ebook came through pitching myself to companies and organizations that had the money to pay me for my expertise.

I talk a lot about eating well and healthy living in my ebook, Loving My Fibroids Away: A 10-Day Detox Plan. Mind you, I’m not a trained chef or dietician, just someone who had an experience with fibroids who wanted to help make life easier for other women suffering through the same thing. Because I had an ebook along with an online presence, I was able to beat out other trained chefs and nutritionists in places like the Whole Foods healthy eating club in Tribeca, NYC. As a matter of fact, I had trained chefs assisting me in making sure my ingredients were prepped and ready to go. Families allowed me into their homes to provide fast, healthy meals cooked in their own kitchen — all because I dared to declare my expertise with an ebook!

Are you ready to write your ebook?

If you are ready to write your own ebook, I want to make sure that you have the right guidance to get started. That’s why I started the B.O.S.S. Guide Series. Book one is about Planning, Writing, & Publishing Business Building Ebooks. I literally hand walk you through

  • positioning your ebook for success
  • identifying tools and systems you need to market your ebook and make sales
  • how to be a productive writer
  • creating an ebook title and ebook cover that sells

If you are ready to add this powerful ebook to your professional library, then you want to purchase it on my website. For a minimal investment, you’ll have the blueprint that will help you finally get your first ebook done in a matter of days — not years.