No one is paying attention. No one is interested. No one is buying.
That’s a question I ask myself A LOT. What would I need to believe to create the reality I want to see?
Because your thoughts and beliefs create your reality.
So if you want to achieve something or have something show up in your life, you need to be directing your thoughts and beliefs toward that goal or that thing. And the more you do that, the more your brain will accept it as real until one day it actually will become real.
You’ll be able to see it, hear it, touch it, maybe even taste it and smell it (depending on what it is). It will have manifested in your life.
The more you give your time to directing your thoughts and beliefs, and focusing on the things you want to create, the easier and faster you’ll see these things show up.
This whole ‘thoughts become things’ may seem crazy when you first hear it. It’s contradictory to everything you’ve been told about life and how the world works.
But even as contradictory as it sounds… there’s this weird feeling in you that, it may actually be true. Because when you hear it, your ears and your brain perks up. It resonates with you.
Or it might scare the fuck out of you.
Because the idea that you’re in control of what shows up in reality and that your beliefs and thoughts create the reality that you see around you… that puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
You have to actually take control of yourself and your life.
The whole ‘thoughts become things’ scares me at times, too. But I’ve practiced it enough now to know that it actually DOES work. And it’s INSANE at times when stuff shows up in your life after you’ve thought about it.
And the Universe is always giving you little signs and signals to tell you that what you’ve been thinking about and focusing on is showing up. I see signs of my dream life ALL the time.
Lately I’ve been writing in my journal that my novels get turned into movies. This is my ultimate dream for my fiction—to turn my novels and my stories into movies on the big screen, with big-name actors and actresses. And of course, I get to help with the screenplay and have a cameo in the movies 🙂
Now no one would know that I’ve been writing about this in my journal unless I told them, right? (I haven’t told anyone until right now.) And yet the other day, a girl in my free Facebook group posted the craziest message… she had a dream that she was on the movie set for my novel, SoundCheck.
HOW CRAZY IS THAT??!!
OK, maybe that’s too woo-woo for you and you’ll brush it off as coincidence or random. It’s totally fine if you want to do that.
But here’s what I know: coincidence doesn’t exist. It’s not random when things happen that you’d usually call a coincidence.
It’s a sign, a signal from the Universe that what you’re asking for is unfolding. All you have to do to continue seeing signs and signals, is to KEEP GOING.
So I ask myself all the time what beliefs (and thoughts) I’d need to have to see what I’m asking for show up in my life.
When I look at this novel-to-movie dream, some of the limiting beliefs that pop up for me are:
- No one I know has ever done this
- What makes me think my stories are good enough to be on the big screen?
- Being a Hollywood screenwriter is a pipe dream
- There’s too much competition for me to achieve this dream
- Millions of other novelists have this exact same dream—to see their novels as movies on the big screen—what makes me think I’ll be one of the novelists who actually does it?
Thoughts and beliefs like that are NOT going to help me achieve my goal of having my novels turned into movies.
That’s why I have to ask myself what I’d need to believe in order to create what I want to see, so I can dig out those limiting, negative beliefs and thoughts that are going to hold me back.
When I think about the beliefs I’d need to have to align with my novel-to-movie goal, I think of:
- Nicholas Sparks, Sophie Kinsella, JoJo Moyes, Stephenie Meyer, Kathryn Stockett… just a small handful of novelists who have seen their novels turned into movies. If it can happen for them, it can happen for me.
- I know my genre and I know my readers and I know my stories would make awesome chick flicks
- You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to… even this
- There’s no such thing as competition because no one else can ever be me
- Shared dreams are powerful connectors between writers, and it motivates and inspires them to know what’s possible for one writer is possible for another
Beliefs and thoughts like that are much more likely to get me to my end result of seeing my novels turned into movies.
And that’s why I spend time each day creating and crafting my reality, exactly as I want to see it. First by writing about it in my journal as if it’s already my real life; and then visualizing it and feeling as if it’s already real; then going into my day acting like it’s already real and taking action in alignment with the belief that it’s real.
I taught a workshop locally last weekend all about my Bestselling Author Mindset Formula, and after I explained my daily mindset practice to the group, one man raised his hand and said that what I’m doing is a self-hypnosis exercise that focuses your brain.
And that’s really what writing your reality and crafting your thoughts and beliefs is. It’s reprogramming (or self-hypnotizing) your mental computer to focus on, think about and believe what YOU want it to.
Not what society has told you to think and believe. Not what you were taught to think and believe. Not what you see other people thinking and believing.
But what YOU want to think and believe.
That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that matters. Yes, action is involved too. You’re not gonna create your dream life sitting on the couch watching Netflix. You have to take daily actions that align with your goals.
But you knew that already.
What’s hard is getting yourself to take the actions and take them daily and consistently, like you know you need to be. And that’s where the beliefs come in.
Because when you believe something is already true, you’re much more likely to take action and do the work. When you believe it’s possible for you to have, do and be something, you’ll turn off the Netflix and get to it.
But when you have beliefs and thoughts that contradict the goal you have, that’s when you’ll use Netflix (and procrastination, and binge-eating, and wasting time on Facebook) as a way of sticking your head in the sand and avoiding the work.
Which is why you’ve gotta get your mind to your goal before your life will get there. Beliefs create thoughts which create actions which create results.
Want to hear the best part?
You can get wherever you want to go in your writing life, by starting right where you are right now. And by consciously deciding that you will direct your thoughts and beliefs toward the outcomes and results you want to see in your life.
I really challenge you to take this one on. To spend 5-10 minutes a day consciously directing your thoughts and beliefs to where you want to go. Do it first thing in the morning if you’re able to. (Here’s a book and journal that can help you do this.)
Direct your thoughts and beliefs every day for the next 90 days. Report back.
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What old belief(s) are you going to let go of? Create a new belief(s) and share it in the comments.
Want to reprogram your beliefs and thoughts so you can align them with the writing goals you have? Grab a free copy of my eBook–The Bestselling Author Mindset Formula: How To Think Your Way to #1 here.
Did you know that you can make yourself into anything you want to be? That you have the power to create who you are and what your life and reality looks like?
It’s inside you. Right now.
It always has been.
It’s been with you since the beginning of time. Just sitting there, waiting for you to use it.
But you have to actually use it.
There are two ways to go through life:
1. Reacting to everything that happens around you in your current reality
2. Intentionally creating everything you want to experience, be, do and have
Which one sounds like more fun to you? Which one excites you with possibility and opportunity?
Option 2. Obviously.
And yet so many people are choosing Option 1, living their lives being reactive to all the shit that goes on around them. Letting the energy and vibe of their day be decided by the first Facebook posts or emails they read.
Getting out of bed and reading the newspaper or watching the news on TV, first thing, before they’ve even finished their morning coffee.
It’s like playing roulette with your life. Having your vibe for the day decided by someone or something else… and you never know what it’s gonna be.
Some days it might be uplifting stuff that makes you feel really good. While other days it may be stuff that makes you angry or annoyed or feeling like the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
You never know what kind of day it’s gonna be until you check your social media or emails or whatever other thing you read online first thing in the morning.
And this is your life. Over and over again, every day. Reacting to things that are happening around you.
I used to wake up and the first thing I did was check my Facebook alerts and my emails. Most days would be a good day, because I tend to follow positive, uplifting people online.
But some days I’d get a hate email or some other kind of bad news, and it would throw my day and my mind into a tailspin for the rest of the day. (Back to bed, try again tomorrow.)
It wasn’t until I started to choose Option 2—to consciously create how I wanted to feel, think and be all day long—that my life got better.
And then even when I’d get bad news or saw something that didn’t make me feel good, I had already decided on how my day was going to be, and nothing was going to penetrate that decision.
How do I create my day with intention? Here’s what I do…
- Get outside and breathe in fresh air first thing in the morning when I take the dog for a walk (or even just outside to potty if the weather prevents us walking)
- Write a freestyle entry in my journal and then write out my reality as I want to see it in my actual life—I declare who I am now deciding to be, what I’m now deciding to have, and what I’m now deciding to do.
- Visualize for 5-7 minutes a day—I have to force myself to do this one some times (and sometimes I only do 4 minutes, which is my bare-minimum), but visualizing the reality that I want to see in my actual life helps me to feel like I already have it. And that helps me to bring it to life.
- Put first things first—after my mindset practice, I move on to writing my daily think different blog post, sharing what I’m thinking and feeling in the moment. After that I spend 30-60 minutes working on my book(s). Then I post my blog on my website and set it up to be sent out as an email to my community. And then I do at least 15 minutes of fitness (aka: yoga, another walk with the dog, weights, cardio, etc).
I do all of what I just listed out BEFORE I check my emails. BEFORE I go on Facebook. BEFORE I read my text messages. BEFORE I’ll answer my phone (I rarely ever answer my phone anyhow). BEFORE I let anyone else interfere with my vibe or my energy.
It took time to develop this daily habit of not choosing Option 1 and not allowing myself to be reactive to the world.
Now I intentionally create my day and my life. I make myself. Every single day. Over and over again.
I decide who I am and who I’m choosing to be. I declare it in my journal every single day…
I am a bestselling author. I am the best at what I do. I am growing a multi-million dollar writing empire transforming writers, authors and creators lives, doing all the things I love to do and making a fuck load of money from it.
I used to be afraid to write things like that on paper. I felt ashamed to even want the things I wanted. Because it was programmed into me from a young age that you should feel guilty when you have more than other people or when you have something that someone else doesn’t.
And so I always played life small. I always kept my dreams to mediocre things that I felt were possible for me. If I didn’t know how I could make it happen or if I didn’t believe it was possible for me, I wouldn’t allow myself to want it. I’d push it down and pretend like I didn’t care and it didn’t matter to me.
But inside I was dying.
Because you can’t push away the things you desire and the dreams you hold in you and think you’ll be OK. You won’t be.
You’ll think about it all day, every day. Even when you manage to push it away, it will still pop back to remind you that it’s there and that it wants to be expressed.
You can’t run from your dreams and think they’ll eventually leave you alone. They won’t. They’ll be there with you ’till the day you take your final breath.
And it’s up to you to decide how your life goes down before that happens. You can either choose Option 1 and spend your life reacting to the world.
Or you can choose Option 2 and create yourself and your life exactly as you’ve always dreamed it to be.
I’m not gonna lie—choosing Option 2 takes work at first. Because you’ve got years of momentum going with the old programming that tells you to choose Option 1. It’s a lot to overcome and the momentum gives it power.
So you have to build a habit around choosing Option 2. You have to make a conscious choice every single day, to create yourself and your day and your life exactly as you want it to be.
And you have to decide that you’re not gonna let the world in until AFTER you do that.
I know it’s SO HARD not to check your email in the morning or to see what’s happening on Facebook. But even taking an hour for yourself first, to do your mindset practice and handle your first things first activities, will totally change your life.
One of my mentors always says you get to choose what you give your life for. Because you’re always giving your life for something.
You can either give your life for your dreams, or you can give it for the other BS excuses and life chaos that’s happening around you. The choice is yours.
So…which option do you choose?
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Which option are you choosing from here on out? Share in the comments.
And speaking of creating yourself into who you want to be… if who you want to be is a published author, I’ve got something for you: Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days. This action-taking workshop will help you take that idea in your head and turn it into a published eBook that can be purchased on Amazon.
Every time I run this workshop, more than half of the students who sign up actually go all the way and publish their eBooks. Including Joanne Young Elliot, author of Find Your Writer’s AHA!, who had this to say about her experience in the workshop:
“If you’re a procrastinator and dream of publishing a book, you have to check out Jennifer’s eBook course. I swear I don’t know when or if I would have ever published my book if I hadn’t. She walks you through all the necessary steps to get your book out there. Doing this took away the overwhelm and fear about the process. Once you learn it, the world of authorship opens up to you. I can’t wait to publish my next book!”
Are you ready to write YOUR nonfiction eBook? We start on March 13!!
I woke up this morning, took the dog out, did my journaling and mindset practice… but I didn’t want to write. Right after I finish my journaling is when I usually sit down and write my blog post for the day and then work on some fiction (or whatever book project I have going on).
But today, I didn’t feel like it.
I had nothing to say. I couldn’t think of any ideas. And it’s GORGEOUS out today. It’s a beautiful spring day in Western NY and the temperature is 63. In March!! SO not the usual for us this early in the year. Usually we’re buried in snow for another two months.
But today, it’s beautiful.
Surely this kind of weather in the beginning of March can be an excuse for not doing my writing for the day. I did my writing for the last two days, so I don’t need to do it today.
And besides, I don’t feel like it.
This nagging voice inside… telling me that I need to. That even though I don’t feel like it, it’s my responsibility to sit down to the page and show up.
Even if I don’t feel like it.
But, UGH!!! I have nothing to say! I’m out of ideas. I’ve written enough this week!
And yet, the voice nags on…
You’re a writer. You were BORN to write. So you have a RESPONSIBILITY to SHOW UP every day and do the writing.
Writers who are born to write are messengers for the world. They have ideas and stories and stuff inside that needs to be unleashed—that people NEED to hear. And it’s IRRESPONSIBLE and WRONG to keep that stuff to yourself. To hoard it and not bring it out into the world where it rightly belongs.
Your community, your readers, your people need to hear those stories, those ideas, those messages. They’re waiting to hear them. Waiting for the moment when you come along and write something that changes their lives. That makes them think. That entertains them. That causes them to wake up and take action in their own lives because they’re so inspired, motivated and blown away by that little piece of writing you put out into the world.
These stories and ideas came to you for a reason. They CHOSE you.
Because you’re the one who’s meant to channel them from stories and ideas and messages in your head, to words on the page.
And by NOT writing, you’re doing a disservice to all of the people who need to hear from you. Who wake up and the first thing they do is wonder what you have to say today. Who check their emails every morning, looking for a blog post from you.
Who are DISAPPOINTED when they don’t find one.
Because your community, your readers, your fans WANT to hear from you. They want to hear what you have to say. They need to hear it. So they can keep going. So they can put one foot in front of the other today. So they can stay focused on their dream life and creating it for themselves.
Are you really going to DENY them of what they need by not writing today?
OK—I get it! Loud and clear.
I must write. I must write every day. I must write and create and unleash what’s inside me. The stories, the ideas, the messages.
Even when I don’t feel like it.
Even when I don’t have the time.
Even when it’s the last thing I want to do.
I must write. I must write for those who need to hear from me. For those who are motivated, inspired and empowered in their own lives by reading my words.
So I take the dog for a walk and I ask a question, out loud, to the Universe: what does my community need to hear from me today?
And then we walk. Soon after, a phrase comes to me… the responsibility to write.
Now I’m getting impatient. Dog—stop smelling everything in sight! We need to get back home so I can write. The words are piling up in my head with every step we take.
Responsibility to write… You must… It’s a non-negotiable when you’re born to write…
Back in the apartment, I sit at my computer, open my doc and let the words flow.
What comes out is this post. This post that I didn’t want to write. That I didn’t even feel like writing.
But I wrote it anyhow. Because that’s what a pro writer does.
And you’re a pro writer, aren’t you?
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How do you get inspired to write when you don’t feel like it?
I’m always thinking about how I got where I am in the moment. Looking at the journey I’ve taken so far and trying to figure out what, exactly, brought me to this point.
And I especially love to compare where I used to be to where I am now, not only to remember how far I’ve come, but also to remember how much I’ve overcome.
I’ve learned A LOT over my decade+ being an online entrepreneur, and while there are so many lessons and insights I could share, probably the BIGGEST one and the one that will get you where you want to go the fastest, is this…
Success is a discipline.
A lot of creative people avoid discipline because they see it as stifling and uncreative. I used to feel the same way. I used to procrastinate and avoid doing the work, all the while telling myself that one day I’d get my shit together and my dream life would start to unfold.
The problem was that I wasn’t doing it. Because I bought into the BS belief that success is something you stumble across, rather than create.
Maybe you’ve heard people say—“some day I’ll be…” or “one day I’ll do…” (insert whatever dream the person has). And the problem with some day and one day, is that IT MAY NEVER COME.
Because success is NOT guaranteed. Your dream life is not guaranteed.
You may have been born fully deserving and worthy of the life you dream, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to come to fruition.
I avoided creating habits around success for a really long time, because I believed that habits and discipline took my freedom away from me. And my core value in life, above all else, is freedom.
I wanted to live free and be free and control everything and have it all on my terms and I didn’t want to answer to anyone. From a young age, I dreamed of freedom. I dreamed of having everything I’ve ever wanted, exactly as I wanted it.
That’s all I remember thinking about as a kid… freedom. To do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it.
But for a lot of my adult life, I didn’t feel free. I felt totally under lock-and-key; first with my day jobs, and then after I quit my job, succumbing to the addictions that were holding me back—sugar, watching TV, procrastination.
When I thought about it… how much sugar I was eating, how much TV I was watching, how often I procrastinated on the things that actually mattered to me… I realized that I wasn’t free.
All I ever wanted was freedom. That’s why I quit my day job to be a full-time entrepreneur, so I could answer to no one but myself and do whatever I wanted to do, all day, every day.
But I didn’t have that. I wasn’t free. I was being controlled by a substance (sugar), and I was being controlled by bad habits (watching too much TV and procrastination). So while I had avoided creating good habits and being disciplined for years because I thought it would take my freedom away, I found myself totally stuck and being controlled by outside factors.
And that is NOT freedom.
It’s only when I rose to the occasion—when I started to consistently show up and to put first things first and to make sure I did what actually mattered every day—that things started to change.
Suddenly, I felt freer. I felt like I was in control. I felt like I was writing with a purpose and living with intention. Something I’d been so afraid to do previously because I thought it would take my freedom away.
But over the years I’ve discovered that freedom comes from being disciplined. It comes from doing what matters and doing it first thing before you do anything else.
I’ve even started getting up earlier every day (for me, anyhow!), because I’m starting to see that getting up early actually creates MORE freedom for me.
You have no idea how AMAZING it feels to have completed my journaling and mindset work, finished writing my blog post, worked on my books, and spent at least 15 minutes exercising… all before Noon. (Some days before 11 a.m.)
For a while I wasn’t even starting my get-shit-done time ’till after 1 p.m. when I finally got my ass out of bed and got moving for the day. And at first I thought that was freedom. I was intentionally choosing to stay up really late, to sleep in, and to avoid doing any real work ’till the afternoon time.
Until recently when I discovered that I wasn’t actually free doing things that way. I was giving my life to sleeping half the day away and then bumbling around for 2-3 hours after I got up, not really doing much of anything, and then getting caught up in life stuff during the afternoon, and not ending up working on anything of any importance until well after 7 p.m.
That’s not exactly freedom, even if I was intentionally choosing it.
Because I wasn’t fully creating the success I wanted to see. I was sleeping during what turned out to be my most creative and productive time of day… the mornings.
I’m a night owl. Always have been. When I was kid, I used to do whatever I could to find ways to stay up as late as possible. I hated going to bed, even when I was tired. And being creative and getting stuff done at night was working OK for me… but it didn’t feel very free.
Because most nights I’d have to skip out on whatever was going on in my actual life—fun stuff like hanging out with my husband and our friends or making plans to actually leave the house and go do something—in order to do all the stuff I didn’t do during the day.
Because I procrastinated. Because I slept way too late. Because I was watching way too much TV.
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been experimenting with getting up early (or at least, early for me!) and honestly it shifted something in me.
I’ve never been a morning person, because I prefer the nighttime. But what I didn’t realize is that I prefer the nighttime to do whatever the fuck I want to do—read, watch movies, go out and do something, just chill and relax. And I wasn’t getting to do that because I had to make up for my lack of daytime productivity by hustling my ass off at night. Sometimes until 2 or 3 a.m.
Not exactly freedom, is it?
But on the days when I get up early, I’m insanely productive and creative and inspired and motivated, and by 1 p.m. when I’d usually just be starting my work day, I’ve already got all the most important stuff I needed to do that day FINISHED.
Creating the success you want to see in your life comes down to discipline and habit.
If you don’t have the success you dream of currently, I’d look at your habits and the things you have discipline around. Oh—what’s that you say? You don’t have any discipline or productive habits?
Well, that’s why you don’t have the success you want.
I’m saying this to myself as much as I’m saying it to you. Discipline creates freedom. And success is a daily habit.
Success is a way of thinking, a way of being and a way of acting. Until I realized that, I was actually sabotaging my own success.
Now I’m creating the success I want to see, by becoming habitual and having discipline around the things that really matter.
I totally get it now, the whole success thing. So many people think success comes from being special or from knowing more than everyone else or from having better connections or rich parents or a bunch of money to invest or whatever. But it’s NONE of that.
The truth is, success is a habit. It’s a discipline.
Success requires consistency. It requires you to show up every single day and do what matters. Over and over again.
THAT’S what creates success. Nothing else.
Wrap your head around that and you will change your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine right now.
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What habits can you create in your life to ensure that success is inevitable for you? Share in the comments.
P.S. Today is the FINAL DAY to join us in the Six Figure Author Society!! We’re kicking things off tomorrow (March 1) with building your marketing foundation. If you want to create discipline and habits around doing what matters for your marketing and book sales, you’ll definitely want to check this out and join us: www.jenniferblanchard.net/sixfigureauthor
Marketing is a big part of being a successful author. It’s almost as big as writing a book that’s worth publishing and selling (as that is definitely the pre-requisite to marketing).
Problem for most authors is they have no idea how to do marketing. They either never learned, don’t want to learn, are afraid to learn or think they don’t have enough time/don’t have what it takes to build a following.
I often hear writers in my free Facebook group say that they have no idea how to market themselves. And while it’s totally fine to not know what you’re doing, it’s NOT fine to let that be an excuse that stops you from learning what to do and then doing it.
I talk to a lot of writers on a regular basis, and one of the commonalities is their ultimate dream—to make a living from their books, to have their novels turned into movies, to have millions of readers all over the world, to land on the NY Times Best Seller list.
Sure, not all writers want this, but I’d argue most do and just aren’t willing to admit it or to fully allow themselves to want it because they have no idea how they’ll bring it to life.
And the truth is, all of those dreams stem from one thing: marketing.
If you’re a professionally self-published author (or are going to be) or even if you go the traditional route, marketing is absolutely a skill that you must master. Because in the digital age, authors aren’t just writers, they’re also marketers and sales people.
I know—SCARY, right?
Because now you can’t just sit in a room all alone writing your books. You have to actually put yourself out there and be seen and get known.
At least if you plan on accomplishing your dreams of making a living from your books, hitting the NY Times Best Sellers list and having millions of fans all over the world who love your books so much Hollywood decides to turn them into movies.
None of those dreams can be achieved without visibility and mastering marketing (unless you hire someone to do all the marketing for you, but even then, you still have to be visible).
And one of the BEST ways to do marketing that doesn’t feel sales-y or self-promotional is to learn how to create value for an audience.
Now I’ll that there’s nothing wrong with being sales-y or self-promotional IF you are creating massive value for the people who follow you (aka: your audience). Value + Selling = Making Money from Your Books. Selling or Self-Promotion by itself does not.
Example: I create a TON of free value for my audience on a daily basis. And that’s also why I sell 30+ books a day and growing, and get people signed up for my workshops and programs that I offer.
Because when you create value for an audience, they will buy from you. Multiple times over.
So what does “create value” even mean?
Value just means creating something useful. Something your audience can enjoy, be entertained and/or educated by.
I did a livestream the other day all about creating value for an audience (you can watch the replay here). If you want to become a master of marketing so you can grow your readership and your author brand, and sell more books, here are 8 ways to create value for an audience:
1. Share Your Thoughts and Feelings On A Topic You Care About that They Also Care About
This may sound strange, but people love to see what other people think and feel about a topic they care about. When I go off in a blog post, ranting about my opinion on professional self-publishing or believing in yourself or whatever other topic I decide to share my views on, that’s when my audience becomes most engaged. It’s when I get the most emails from people, replying to what I sent out, sometimes even sharing their opinion back to me.
So consider the topics that would be of interest to your audience and share your thoughts and feelings on it with them. Doing this builds the Know, Like and Trust factor, and gives them a deeper look at how you think and what you believe, and why.
I know this may seem strange—why would anyone want to hear me talk about my opinion on a topic? But that is what connects people.
Think about anytime you’ve met someone new. When you’re conversing with them and discovered all the things you have in common, didn’t it just make you like them more? Didn’t it make you feel more connected to them as a person?
Well, the same thing works for your audience.
Sure, you have to know who your audience is and what they care about, but once you figure it out, you can create some seriously awesome value for them by starting a conversation around a topic you all care about.
2. Teach Them Something They Want to Learn
People go online to be entertained, educated or both. So think about ways that you can teach your audience something they want to learn.
I’m always teaching in my free content (this blog post would be a great example). Because I know my audience well enough at this point to know exactly what they care about and the struggles they have and where I can most help them.
I teach the stuff my audience most needs to know. And that creates massive value for them.
3. Teach Them Something They Need to Know But Don’t Realize They Need to Know It
I love this one. You may not have realized that you need to learn how to create value for an audience if you want to grow your readership. But now thanks to this blog post, you know.
And not only are you now aware that you must create value, but you have a whole list of ways to do it.
That’s what it means to teach your audience something they need to know but don’t realize they need to know it.
The awareness alone creates a ton of value—because not knowing what you don’t know can cause you to get stuck or to feel like nothing is working.
4. Entertain Them
Like I said, people go online to learn how to do something or to be entertained because they’re bored. So if you can find ways to entertain your audience (and as a writer and author, you ARE an entertainer), you’ll be able to create value that makes them want more from you.
Think of all the stupid memes and videos you see online. While you may not think about them as marketing (especially when they’re random and have nothing to do with anything) they are still creating value.
Because when you watch or read, you’re being entertained. You’re laughing or having fun or enjoying the moment.
And that’s what makes it valuable.
Most people aren’t having enough fun or laughter or enjoyment in their lives. So if you can give that to them with the content you create, you’re giving them something they badly need in their lives.
5. Make Them Think
I love this one. Because as humans, we’re thinkers. It’s a part of our nature.
Which means if you can create content that makes people think, you can also give your audience value that connects them to you and makes them want more.
Making them think can be as simple as asking a question that goes deeper than just the surface-level stuff. Questions like, what would you be doing right now if you already achieved your dream life? or if you were already the author you dream of being, what would you do first thing in the morning? actually help people figure things out.
Questions create an open loop in our minds and we have to find an answer. So we think about it. And in the thinking about it we come to a conclusion of some kind.
That conclusion or response to the question could be something that totally changes your life.
And that is valuable. Insanely valuable.
6. Share Your Message
I talk all the time about how authors need to have a message to share. And that message becomes a part of your marketing and a big part of the content that you create that gives value to your audience.
For example, my message is that you can create anything you set your mind to. That is the core message in my life and in my writing business.
I share this message every day, in all different ways, through the free content that I create. And sharing this message is valuable for the people who need to hear it.
I sent you an email yesterday that talked about the fictional stories that we tell ourselves. In it, I mentioned over and over again that you can create and achieve anything you set your mind to. I may not have said it exactly like that, but it’s the overall message you pick up from reading the blog post.
I shared that post over the weekend on my personal Facebook page. And one of my college professors loved it so much she shared it on her Facebook page and told people to follow me. From there, another woman saw it and reached out to me to tell me how much it resonated with her and that she wants to step up her career as an author.
And then she joined my free Facebook group.
So by sharing my message, I connected with people and created new audience members who love what I have to say and want more of it. And, of course, created a ton of value for whoever read it and agreed with it.
Now your message may not be for everyone and some people may be turned off by it. That’s OK! Those are not your people.
A really important thing to remember about marketing is that you don’t want to reach everyone and you don’t want to target everyone. You want to think very specifically about who needs to hear your message the most or who will resonate the most with it.
For me, I know multi-passionate writers, authors and creators are the people who need to hear my message. And that’s who I tailor it for. Because those are the people who make up my audience.
7. Tell Them A Story
You may not realize this, but stories are valuable. Not just fictional stories that you make up for a reader’s enjoyment and entertainment (although those are insanely valuable too), but also stories about your life and your experiences.
When I share stories about things that have happened to me, I always get people who respond and resonate with it.
For example, last week I told you I’ve been dealing with an annoying health issue that flared up from making a massive overnight change to my diet. I didn’t even share a ton of detail, just that little bit and that I’d been a lot less productive because it was causing me to need more downtime.
From sharing that little bit of story about my life, I received a bunch of emails from people wishing me well, telling me to feel better, giving me suggestions for how to move forward, and even sharing their own experiences with annoying heath issues.
I created a connection with my audience by sharing this story. And that is valuable, especially since humans crave connection.
8. Get To Know Them
This also comes down to creating a connection. When you know your audience and know them well, you will know exactly how to create value for them.
I no longer have to think about what to write my blog posts on or what freebies to create or what workshops or programs to offer. Because I know my audience super well. I know what makes them tick, I know what they love, I know what they hate, I know what they dream of.
And all of this came from spending time getting to know them.
I run a free Facebook group which creates a ton of value for my audience and allows them a safe space to learn and grow in their writing lives, and get support and guidance when they need it. And when I first launched my coaching business, I gave away a ton of free sessions so I could get writers on the phone and get to know them better.
You can create value for your audience by getting to know them too.
Ask them questions about themselves. Offer up a free call to anyone willing to let you interview them (so you can ask them the questions that will help you get to know who they are and what they need and want from you).
The value you create—aka: free content—doesn’t have to be fancy. But I always recommend mixing it up if you can and giving your audience a variety of content, like:
- Blog posts
- MP3 audios
- Whatever you can think of
Now if you’re a fiction writer, you may be thinking—this would work for a nonfiction author, but not for me. And if you think that, you’re totally wrong (sorry!).
Because what works for a nonfiction author can work for a fiction author. It’s all about knowing your audience and understanding who they are and what they want.
If you write fiction, your audience is readers of a specific genre. So what do they want? What would be super valuable for them? The same ideas I listed here apply for fiction too.
My recommendation is to take some time to go back through the list and brainstorm ideas for how you could create value for your audience using each of these 8 suggestions.
One thing I will add is that no matter what kind of free content you create, you always want a Call to Action (aka: a CTA) to tell the reader what to do next. A Call to Action can be anything from, “buy my book” to “go to my website and grab the free eBook I created” to “subscribe to my YouTube channel.”
There’s nothing wrong with being sales-y or self-promotional when you’re giving enough value.
I sell stuff in pretty much every email I send out. I promote my programs, workshops, books and offers in pretty much every piece of content I create. And some people may have a problem with it.
But most people don’t mind at all, because they know I’ve given them a ton of value for free… and if they’re not interested, they can just ignore the promo and they’ll still walk away from my blog post, video, livestream, etc., with something valuable they can use in their own lives.
And that’s what creating value is all about.
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How do you create value for your audience?
If you want to learn how to build your following and create massive value for your audience so you can sell (more) books, today is the FINAL DAY to join the Six Figure Author Society—a membership site for authors who want to sell (more) books.
We’re covering everything you need to know to build your marketing foundation, create valuable content for your audience and bring in more readers and more book sales.
The best part is that we’re all working on the monthly activities together, so you have community, support, accountability and you’ll be more productive because everyone around you is too.
Making money from your books doesn’t have to be hard. The Six Figure Author Society will show you how to be a badass book marketer, without feeling sleezy, sales-y or self-promotional.
As writers and storytellers, we’re often thinking about the fictional stories we want to tell and the fictional reality we want to create for our characters.
But we don’t often think about the fictional stories that we’re telling ourselves. The fictional programming we’ve had since childhood that’s creating our lives and our realities right at this very moment.
While the fictional stories we want to tell are important, what’s more important is the fictional stories we’re telling ourselves.
Because it’s THOSE stories that are causing us to either have it all or have nothing. To love ourselves and our lives or to dislike all of the above.
You may not realize it because it’s a mostly subconscious thing, but there are stories you’ve been telling yourself your entire life—or that you’ve been told your entire life—about the so-called reality of the world and of life and of you.
But here’s the thing… just because you’ve had those stories and told those stories for so long, doesn’t mean you have to keep telling them. Because you don’t.
You can create ANYTHING you set your mind to, and ANYTHING is possible and achievable when your mind believes it is.
So with that kind of knowledge and that kind of power… what would ever make you think that you have to continue living those old stories that you’re telling yourself? And you know the stories I’m talking about…
- I’m broke
- I can’t do this
- It’s too hard
- Money is so hard
- Life is a struggle
- Writing is a struggle
- Writers are broke
- Writers don’t make money
- Writing isn’t a real career
- I can’t get paid to do what I love
- Doing what you love is for retirement
- I’m fat
- I’m ugly
- I’m too old
- I’m too young
- I’m not good enough
- [insert your own BS stories and excuses here]
All of these (and more) are just FICTIONAL STORIES!! They’re made up, bullshit things that you’ve been telling yourself your whole life—or have been told your whole life. BUT—you don’t have to keep CHOOSING to tell this story or to let this programming run in the background of your mind.
You can consciously CHOOSE every single day, to write a new story. To wake the fuck up and realize that you are the only one who creates your reality. YOU. No one else. And no one else has ANY control over you or your life—unless you CHOOSE to give your power and your control over to them.
Life doesn’t happen to you. You DON’T have to live your life just reacting to what’s happening around you.
You can CHOOSE to create the day, week, life, MOMENT that you want to have, right fucking now. You can choose it and you can create it. All you have to do is set your mind to it and not deviate from that thought.
And you do not, do not, DO NOT have to do what everyone else is doing. In fact, you shouldn’t. Even if your best friend is doing it. Even if your siblings are doing it. Even if your parents are doing it. Even if every damn person around you is doing it.
That is their choice—and yes, they are making a choice, even subconsciously—to buy into the bullshit. To believe that reality is what’s true and imagination is what’s fictional.
When the TRUTH IS, it’s the OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!
Your thoughts and beliefs are CAUSE, the current reality you see around you is EFFECT. Which means your imagination and thoughts are what’s actually REAL and your reality is FICTION.
Because you can change and shift your reality anytime you CHOOSE to. You can wake up today and think a new thought and create a new, empowering belief, and act in a different way.
Normal people who know me think I’m out of my damn mind. People tell me on a regular basis that I live in La-La Land. And you know what?
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!!
Because I KNOW what’s true about the Universe that we live in and I KNOW that living in La-La Land is the ONLY WAY to make your dreams a reality.
Yes, you have to take real, practical and consistent action in your actual physical reality, every single day. BUT—if you can get your mind to your destination first (via your imagination), you WILL see the results you want to see.
It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE for you not to. Because THAT’S HOW IT WORKS!!
If you keep showing up, keep directing your mind to where you want it to go, and stay entirely focused on your dreams and on the goals you have for yourself and your life, you will get there. It’s inevitable.
You just have to find a way to IGNORE everything in your current reality that you don’t like, don’t approve of or don’t want to live as a story anymore.
I get up every single morning and spend 30-60 minutes journaling and creating the reality I want to see in my real life. Over and over and over again programming into my mind and into my beliefs what I know and want to be true for me and my life.
Some might call that insanity. I call it using your power to intentionally create the life you want.
I no longer let life’s little BS get to me. Because I know that will always happen, and it’s my perspective, attitude and choice how I respond to it that really matters.
It’s time to release the old stories. Time to figure out what you actually WANT to see and have happen in your life, and then reprogram any thoughts and beliefs that oppose it.
Because it’s totally up to you. And a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Which means you can CHANGE IT anytime you CHOOSE TO.
No, it won’t be easy. But it WILL BE easier than continuing to live a life that makes you miserable, depressed and causes you to wonder if this really is all there is.
I’m here to tell you it’s not. Not even close. Because the reality you currently see around you is just a product of—the EFFECT OF—your previous ways of thinking, believing and acting. And your thoughts, beliefs and actions are ALWAYS in your control.
Really, they’re the only things you need to be in control of. Because once you’re in control of your thoughts, beliefs and actions, you can and you will be able to create absolutely ANYTHING you want for yourself and your life.
Even if what you see in your current reality is a million miles away from where you want to be.
That gap can be filled QUICK when you tune into your inner world and connect with the power of your mind. A current reality that looks dire right now can totally transform in a matter of days—even minutes—when you get your mind in the right place.
Transformation does not have to take years and years of your life. Transformation can happen in an instant—if you’re open to it and believe that it’s possible.
Because that’s what it all comes down to. What do you believe is possible? And not just what do you believe is possible, but what, specifically, do you believe is possible for YOU?
Most people won’t take on the responsibility of caring about how they think, what they believe, how they act and how they feel. They won’t because it’s easier to just keep focusing on the negative stuff and to keep telling yourself the same old BULLSHIT stories that you have up to this point.
But really… is it?
Because living a life of struggle, of lack, of limitation, of NOT ENOUGH is one of the HARDEST things I’ve ever lived through. And it made life SUCK.
What I do now is so much easier. I get up every single day and I journal and I set intentions for my day and my life and for who I am and want to be. And then I do the work, I take action and I show up for my dreams. All the while trusting that it will all work out, because it always does.
Do I have days where I get caught up in my current reality and worrying that I’ve lost my mind thinking that things will ever change for me? You bet. We all do. It’s part of being human.
But I REFUSE to stay stuck in that. I REFUSE to let that take over my mind and all the work I do to keep my focus on my dreams and where I want to go.
I REFUSE to live my old stories of struggle, lack, limitation and not enough anymore. I just flat out fucking refuse.
Because I’m better than that (and so are you). And I know what’s possible when you believe it is. I’ve seen it and I’ve experienced it and I’ve lived it.
And that is what I will continue living. A life of ease. Of flow. Of abundance. Of unlimited possibility and potential. A life where dreams come true, success is inevitable, and I can HAVE IT ALL and ON MY TERMS.
That is the life I CHOOSE to create. And so it is.
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What life are YOU choosing to create? What old stories are you telling yourself? What can you let go of right fucking now? I wanna know! Share in the comments.
The biggest complaint I hear from authors is this: it’s so hard to sell books!
And while marketing and selling books can sometimes be a challenge, it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, you can actually have fun with marketing.
Hold up! Did I just say “fun” and “marketing” in the same sentence?
Yep. Because as my Kindle coach so wisely says, marketing and selling is just teaching people the value of something.
Looking at it from that perspective, it makes marketing seem much more doable, doesn’t it? And I feel like it gives it a purpose, other than making money (even though that’s a big part of it). Because when you realize that when you’re marketing your books, all you’re doing is trying to show someone the value of why they need to read it.
It has definitely made me feel different about my book marketing efforts, that’s for sure. Now I see that it’s my responsibility to get my books out there and in the hands of writers and reader who need them. And it’s doing my audience a disservice to not market my books to them so that they know they exist.
Reframing things is a great way to shift your mindset around the parts of being an author that you don’t enjoy as much.
I get emails on a weekly basis from people who follow me, asking me to teach more stuff about marketing. A lot of people tell me I’m a natural marketer. And while that may seem like it’s true, this isn’t a skill I was born with. I spent 7+ years doing online marketing for publications and corporations. Which means I learned how to do it.
And if I can learn how to do it, so can you.
I’ve put together an audio training + workbook on 15 Tactics to Help You Sell More Books. These are some of the best tactics out there for making more book sales.
Some are simple and others take more work. All of them will help you sell more books.
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Which of the 15 tactics will you implement first?
Devlin Blake believes that craft matters and that great stories need structure and rhythm. Learning structure early in her publishing career changed everything for her. And now she coaches emerging horror and suspense writers on everything from craft to pacing to doing away with writers guilt. Devlin is able to write four books a year thanks to the systems she’s created in her writing life. Get free access to her best systems for writing your novel in between work, life and family here.
I randomly met Devlin Blake one day while I was hanging out in a Facebook group. We bonded over the fact that we’re both story coaches who had our lives and writing careers changed by finding story structure, and now we help other emerging authors with the same thing.
Here are some of my takeaways from the interview:
- You can “write” your books faster if you speak them–until I interviewed Devlin I never even considered dictation software, but her success with it has inspired me to give it a try.
- Your first draft should tell, not show–I loved this advice, because when I write a first draft, it’s often the bare-bones story and not much else. She says that’s a good thing and she believes your first draft should be just the bones of the story, and then when you revise you find places to turn telling into showing.
- Finding balance with writing, working full-time and having a life–even though I no longer work a traditional day job, this was advice I’d wish I had back when I was still working a job and trying to figure out how to write books and not become a social hermit.
Devlin also runs a free Facebook group for emerging horror and suspense authors. You can join her group here.
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What’s your biggest takeaway? Share in the comments.
I seriously still can’t believe it’s the end of the year. Where the hell did 2016 go?!
That being said, it was an INCREDIBLE year for me. My best so far. I’m finishing the year not only having completed so many of the goals I had, but feeling SO damn proud of myself for how much I stepped up this year and kicked ass.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know the kind of year I just had!
But it’s always good to do a check in and really take inventory of what you managed to do this year (and what you didn’t). So here’s my 2016 Year In Review:
What I Accomplished
- Wrote 9 books–published 7 of them (5 on Amazon, 1 as a freebie eBook on my website, 1 as a long blog post).
- Hit #1 on Amazon 3 times with 2 different books
- Fully replaced the income I used to make at my day job with my business income (first year I’ve done this!!)
- Participated in my first multiple day live event (with Larry Brooks!)
- Guest posted for Copyblogger
- Sold 2,300+ books in 31 days
- Was the first American guest on the U.K. podcast, Self-Publishing Journeys
- Connected with big-name people in the writing industry
- Launched my first podcast, The Pro Writer Mindset
- Up-leveled my mindset and created a new reality for myself
- Created supportive writing habits that stuck
- Continued changing writers lives through my books, workshops, digital products, free content, and my 1-1 coaching
- Kept up with my daily mindset practice and have now taken it into overdrive
- Attended a live event in the writing industry (TRIBE Writers!)
- Signed on to work with two of my dream mentors
- Took massive leaps in my business and in my writing career
- Stepped up to be the writer and author I’ve always wanted to be
- Learned A SHIT TON!
- Began trusting the Universe to show up for me and keep showing up for me
- Launched my membership site, the Bestselling Author Mastermind
- Changed my thinking BIG TIME
- Wrote 20+ emails a month to my community
- Continued to grow the membership of my free Facebook group, the 1% Writers Club
There’s probably SO MUCH MORE that I’m not even thinking of (because I honestly did a fuck load of stuff this year!). But this is the bulk of it. Whew!
And I’m not even tired! I’m energized and ready to keep going!!
What I Left Undone
With everything that does get done, there are always things that don’t get done. It’s what sacrifice is all about. And every choice you make has one.
For me, these are the biggest things that got left undone this year:
- Didn’t achieve any of my fitness and health goals
- Didn’t publish my second novel
- Dishes… oh so many dishes 🙂
While I’m not happy about the things left undone, I realize that it’s OK. Because a whole lot of other things did get done. And way more than I left undone.
Looking Into 2017
As usual, I have some MASSIVE goals for the New Year–stuff I’m really, really excited about. And while I’ll have lots of little goals for the year, I like to choose 3-5 BIG goals for the year. My big goals for 2017 are:
- Publish novel #2
- Write a screenplay
- Get healthy (fitness and food goals mixed into this one)
- Write a memoir
- Double my income from 2016
I’m taking on some stuff this year that’s totally outside my comfort zone. It’s going to be another year of massive achievement and massive growth. I’m looking forward to it.
I don’t know about you, but this is the first year where I’m ending December feeling like I killed it!! Like I seriously kicked ass and like I took advantage of every minute I could.
I know there are things I could’ve done better (’cause aren’t there always?) but overall, I’m insanely proud of myself and of how hard I worked this year, how far out of my comfort zone I pushed myself, and how much I leaned on the Universe for support.
I know 2017 is going to be an even more amazing year thanks to the momentum I built up this year.
How’d your year go? Are you landing where you wanted to? Or are you finding yourself feeling disappointed for another year gone by without achieving what you wanted to?
Wherever you’re at is the perfect place–there’s never any reason to judge or berate yourself. Your life is unfolding in perfect timing.
But it never hurts to get some clarity and self-awareness around what’s working and what’s not. So you know exactly what to focus on in the coming year.
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What did you accomplish this year that you’re most proud of? Share in the comments.