Robin Waite was a web designer who got increasingly frustrated with clients who only thought about websites. He understood, although they didn't, that your website is only part of your online strategy and your personal brand. Online Business Startup was written out of frustration, but the result was the transformation of Rob's own personal brand.
This is also a masterclass in how to write a book at speed: despite having a new baby and a full-time job, Rob managed to dictate, transcribe and edit his bestselling book in just six weeks, and he shares the full details of how he did it in this interview.
'My book's sold several thousand copies, my videos are going into tens of thousands of views across Facebook and Youtube and Vimeo. I've couldn't have had that impact, without having the book and the personal brand and this whole ecosystem set around it.'
This is an interview packed with practical ideas: don't listen unless you're ready to be challenged and to take action.
In business today it's personal. Across every sector, businesses are shifting their emphasis from the transaction to the relationship, from simple communication to community. Membership, says Robbie Kellman Baxter, is a transformational trend.
In this episode we talk about the implications of that trend, but we also explore Robbie's own approach to writing her book The Membership Economy - how she discovered the power of writing as a problem-solving tool and how she used the research period to extend her network upwards and outwards.
Robbie's approach to her own book is refreshingly and challengingly direct: 'I didn't write the book to sell a lot of books and make money as a book author. I wrote the book because I'm a consultant, and I wanted people to have that kind of one pound business card to understand this is Robbie Baxter and this is how she frames the challenges in the business world, and if we worked with her this is how she looks at things.'
There's SO much good stuff in this interview for you if you're running a business and writing about it.
Steve Krug tells it like it is. 'People don't read nearly as much of [your book] as you think.'
Painful though it is, much of writing is actually editing: reworking sentences, cutting out fluff, converting long paragraphs to bullet-points, so that you get your point across.
Steve used all these tricks and more when the wrote the bible of usability experts - Don't Make Me Think. He wanted it to be readable in a two-hour plane journey, because that's about how long his target reader would be able to give it. And to achieve that he did a lot of 'throwing stuff overboard'.
Writing, says Steve is like usability: 'it's all about 'keeping the user in mind and trying to be as kind to them as possible and trying to make it as rewarding an experience for them as you can.'
Invaluable, practical and refreshingly sane advice whether you're writing a book or a page of website copy.
"What separates the successful writers from those who 'kind of want to' write," Bec Evans realised during her time working at a writers' centre, isn't talent or even the original idea, important though they are. "What made them successful was their persistence, building that writing habit, and, fundamentally, finishing their projects."
And so she developed WriteTrack, 'Fitbit for writers', a clever way of using technology to hold yourself accountable for your writing progress.
In this podcast she dives into the psychology of setting goals, establishing a writing habit and understanding how to trick yourself into achieving success.
I'm particularly taken by the idea of rewarding myself with a bottle of champagne after a solid 250 words...