What is it that some authors are doing that makes them more successful? OK it depends how you define success, but let's assume that means some combination of:
selling books (on autopilot)—every authors dream!
being seen—raising their visibility so that they get invited to speak, or offers to partner with other businesses, PR and media online/offline.
a thriving business. The definition of this will vary for you.
a flow of well-qualified potential clients and customers for their other products and services. It doesn't have to be big in terms of numbers; to some author-experts one or two new clients a month is enough.
a balanced life. For many of us work is not everything in our lives and we want to build a business around a life that we love, we want to be happy, with time for those we love.
making an impact. Many of us want our work to be meaningful in some small way.
Here’s What Successful People Do
What I've noticed is that these 'highly visible' authors do some things differently to others who seem to be struggling, or just starting out. Whether it's part of who they are, or whether it's learned (probably a little of both!), they show most of these seven characteristics:
They focus. They know they can't do everything and they don't try to. They say NO. Whether that's social media
They have clarity about themselves and where they are going. They are clear (to a degree) about where they are heading and who they are on that journey. This one often comes from experience. I spoke to a coach recently and I was asking him about his ideal clients. "They're often in their third business", he told me. Because at first it's all about the business, only later does it become about who they are and how they are showing up.
They consistently produce content. They know success is not overnight and they stick at it. Whether it's writing to 71 agents, or self-publishing 5 books, or running webinar after webinar on the same topics because new people turn up each time and their audience grows exponentially. They don't give up just because only three people registered for the first one. Reader by reader, customer by customer. Every small success is building that larger success.
They exhibit mastery of their topic/content.
They are not afraid to invest money as well as time. Success is not accidental, and these authors invest in things that boost their business. Be it courses, cover design, commitment to writing classes. It doesn’t have to be a lot but it’s a mark of ‘going pro’.
They monitor what is working and do more of it. If guest blogging gets results, double down and do more of that. If that podcast seems to help you get speaking gigs (assuming you love it!), then do more of that.
They are generous in their interactions with others. Not all authors are extroverts and always to be seen on around social media. But, in the right set of circumstances, perhaps in an interview, these authors are generous about sharing their secrets to success. Readers are not a scarce resource and the more we bring people to the work of others, the more it may come around to us in one form or another.
They have clarity about the long-term and where they’re going. Now I say this slightly reluctantly because that doesn’t mean you need a ten year vision, but it does mean you have sight of the next step and you can see that a little bump in the road is not a reason to stop.
They don’t take themselves too seriously… Huh?? The reality is that we don’t actually know what leads to success. I know from studies of human behaviour that what we think makes us successful isn’t always what actually brings results. We’re very bad at analysing success, and we’re very good at creating a story and finding evidence to support it. Don’t get too attached to what you think is right
At the end of the day, I don’t think there is a single one right ‘recipe for success’. What there is is an attitude of openness and a commitment to ‘doing’ that are traits you will see in those who are successful in any area of life.
Take a minute to reflect on what this means for you and then go implement!
All the best!
the Author Unlimited team