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How to Set Up Your Content Planning for Success

Behind the “Seens” with Lizzy Fox, Social Media & Brand Strategist at By Elizabeth Fox

Lizzy Fox is a Social Media Manager and Brand Strategist at By Elizabeth Fox. She joins me to discuss content planning. She shares her insights about content strategy with the goal to help us all get organized to be more effective, starting today.

Like all of us, Lizzy was affected by the whirlwind of events in 2020. The same exact situation happened to everyone around the world, and while people were losing jobs and businesses were shutting down, some people saw an opportunity.

Lizzy opted for a career change. Lucky for us, she chose to help a friend with her business startup. She discovered her passion for developing websites and content strategy.

“I exist to set others up to win”

Lizzy walks us through her thought process. Understanding the mindset and logic behind why you do things a certain way, or why things should even be done is critical when it comes to anything, especially managing the social media and content for your business.

It gets overwhelming in content management fast! Take a deep breath, grab your coffee, a pen and a notebook, and dive in.

Beginning with the end in mind and planning backward is a strategy that Lizzy also uses, but before you get there, let’s orient ourselves around what content strategy and social media management are.

Lizzy gives the most direct definition of and it’s worth memorizing.

Strategy is your why, management is how you accomplish it.

We dive into explaining how a developed strategy is executed so it grows your business. Lizzy encourages you to understand that setting up your strategy, which is largely researched-based, will help you navigate what you will and will not do.

“When you have that why that creates the boundaries in which you’re going to engage online.”

According to Lizzy, without a strong why, your brand and social accounts can just sound like NOISE. It’s also the problem that leads to burnout, which we are all trying to avoid.

Lizzy Pro Tip: set a timer as a “physical” boundary to get on social media to like, comment, or go live

While Lizzy gets you through the ABCs of content management, she also discusses resources and tools you can use to make planning the growth of your business and managing your social accounts much easier.

Now for some goodies!

Lizzy and I mention a few resources and tools that we find to be very useful and as promised I want to share those so you can check out what may or may not work for your business.

Build-in time, creativity, and efficiency into your content planning and it will remove much of the stress and frustration. Lizzy’s success with planning started with a scatterbrain 5th grade Lizzy that lost 10 jackets in one school year!

I know all the moms are cringing at the thought of this, but this is where Lizzy discovered her now-superpower to plan and execute so well.

Favorite Tools Mentioned:

Asana – a project management system that’s simple and team-friendly

Google Drive – Docs, sheets, calendars are all great ways to share real-time

Evernote  – personal blog post for ideation – digital file cabinet

Hootsuite – social media manager, great for 10+ clients specifically writers and business professionals

Later.com – great for creative, changes on the fly – analytics

There are tons of resources, and the key is to not get overwhelmed. Try something and see what you like, what you don’t, what features are an absolute must for you. If it’s too much of a struggle to use, chances are you won’t use it at all.

Lizzy Pro Tip: leave your digital project management system and calendars open on your computer so you always see them (don’t ignore them)

Lastly, although digital is incredible and has changed every one of our lives, sometimes pen and paper are still best to have. Lizzy likes to use a physical planner to also track personal life with business life, and that’s important.

Our Favorite Planners (for now)

Golden Coil Planners

Best Self Planner

Best Laid Plans Podcast – a podcast dedicated to planner addicts that we both adore!

“In order for me to remain in a creative space and not just be a systems person which can sometimes be where I hide in order to not show up the way I need to online […] I need to have spaces where I’m constantly pushed to do that.”

Continue to nurture your creativity and never neglect your self-care!

Build an incredible business and change lives for the better. Be confident knowing you can tackle social media and content planning with more clarity.

Want customized best practices, better content ideas, and a game plan for social media for your business? Check out Lizzy’s Content Strategy Intensive! Take the guesswork out of content planning and start showing up online like the expert you are!

Connect with Lizzy:

Lizzy Fox Website

Lizzy Fox Instagram

Interested in exploring where you are in your writer or author journey? Let’s chat! If you want to learn more about how to be seen, be found, be heard, please connect with me on the socials or let’s set up a call to chat.

The Ideal Working Relationship Between an Author and Editor

Behind the “Seens” with Brooke White 

While Brooke and I met waayyyy back in our magazine publishing days, she has since worked in nearly every capacity of the book publishing world. She now balances her book work between the roles of ghostwriter and book editor. In addition to being one of the most fun AND funny people I know, Brooke has really smart things to say about helping authors.

Here are the highlights of our conversation:

Brooke’s journey from magazine publishing led to book publishing work (Hello South Beach Diet!) then a stint with a literary agency and onto a hybrid book publisher, on the editorial side. Now she has her own firm supporting authors as a ghostwriter or editor. 

Authors need a ghostwriter when they have a really great idea for a book but they don’t feel comfortable writing it themselves or they don’t have the time. One of the most important things ghostwriters can do is get into an author’s head and articulate their thoughts and their messages and also being able to do it in the author’s voice so that their brilliance, knowledge and insight comes through. 

Typically, people know when they need ghostwriting help. But for the best success, they need to be prepared to be real, be vulnerable and be raw! Everyone has a story and a why. Brooke likes to help them figure out how to pull that story out – as well as how to present it. 

Often, when working with a ghostwriter, the initial book idea takes a turn and the original story will evolve from where it began. Also, the process typically takes a little longer than expected. And for a truly successful book and rewarding experience, authors should still expect to be involved and collaboratively.

Now what happens if a person has a manuscript and feels ready to go? 

EVERY SINGLE BOOK NEEDS TO HAVE AN EDITOR!

No matter what. 

The role of a book editor is to elevate the author’s words of the book to be the best it can be.

A book editor is that crucial second pair of eyes that can go very deep and will help expose the weaknesses in the story, fix them and make the book so much better. 

When going the self-publishing route (versus traditional publishing when an editor is provided) an author needs to find the right editor. Otherwise, you are uploading a Word Document to be printed! Don’t do this! Also, we explore how a hybrid publisher works in the middle of traditional and self-publishing. 

What makes the best working relationship between authors and editors/ghostwriters

  • TRUST!
  • Respect for deadlines
  • Flexibility and patience for the process
  • Ability to think about the reader

Brooke thinks publishing a book and releasing it into the world is like birthing a baby!

If you are going the self or hybrid publishing path, it’s key to think about who you want on your team (yes, there are so many specialists!) to support you. In addition, to an editor, consider marketing support (yay marketing!) and also start doing your research about publishing partners as soon as you can!

Connect with Brooke by email, Linkedin, or check out her portfolio on her website

Interested in exploring where you are in your writer or author journey? Let’s chat! If you want to learn more about how to be seen, be found, be heard, please connect with me on the socials or let’s set up a call to chat.

Tips & Trends in Good Book Design

Behind the “Seens” with Book Designer George Stevens of G Sharp Design 

Even though George started with his design passion way back in high school and carried him through college, his journey to become a book designer was anything but straightforward. Being part of a publishing start-up out of college George got immediate exposure to client facing work. Nearly 12 years later he had grown into the “Creative Director” position with a staff larger than the entire company when he had started.

He started out on his own as a designer for branding, logos, posters and of course books. But his passion and attraction for book design led him to focus solely on becoming a book design shop, working primarily with self-publishing clients. 

George specifically does not call himself “creative director” now because he wanted to be back in the trenches, more involved creatively and less focused on the admin that had become too much a part of his job at the publishing company. He also has more nuggets of wisdom for designers who want to launch their own companies. 

How is book design different from general design?

What defines non-fiction book design is a balance of subjective and objective. 

Book design is not simply a cover or the pretty part of their book process. It is complex and holistic if done right. There are many pieces, steps and decisions to be made for the design of a book. 

The decision to hire a good book designer goes well beyond looking at a portfolio. 

A good book designer knows the practical application of how to do book design – and how to manage the book creation project. They become a project manager who understands how to work with their client and get the best book published.

What do authors need to know before working on their book design? Or here’s how George works: 

It’s helpful to have a thorough and robust process for creating the book design. 

It starts with an intake process of gathering information and goals for the book, and to learn about the author’s brand and audience. 

Ideally, the author, the designer and the market really LOVE the resulting project.

(And most clients “don’t want their book to look self-published”)

Then there are a few general concepts for review with the client. It’s an iterative process to get everything to the goals.

“Design is a process not a product.”

Book design “ is more than just a cover.”

What makes good book design is thinking about the book as a work of art beyond the cover – think layout, font, image presentation. Reflecting on the balance between subjective and objective, it has to be interesting and compelling – but it also has to work for UX – for the customer / reader experience. 

Also, don’t forget that there are big design differences between a printed book and an e-book. It’s a whole new layer of book design that requires thought, consideration and design. 

What makes great good book design? 

Book design is a speciality – and it is a process. It’s not a quick transaction. 

You need to expect to be involved in it. Being hands-on (in the right way) is key to successful book design. It’s a mindful collaboration. 

Great book design should be enduring. It’s going to look good for years. 

Non-fiction books are often a marketing asset that is part of your portfolio. They need to speak to the quality and caliber of who you are. Your book is a sum of who you are and what your expertise is – so it should reflect that. 

When so much goes into a manuscript, you should consider putting in the extra effort into the design. 

Remember that the cover is the doorway for people to enter into your book. Good formatting and design within your books will be the hallways that readers will travel. Good design is creating a great experience for the reader. 

Ideally, you should start working on your book design or with a book designer as early in the process as you can, but it is unique to each author and what his/ her book needs. As a baseline, however, when your title is defined is a great place to start!

How to connect with George on how to make self-publishing look better!

The best place to start is at his website.
Or connect with George in social media:
Instagram
Facebook

Interested in exploring where you are in your writer or author journey? Let’s chat! If you want to learn more about how to be seen, be found, be heard, please connect with me on the socials or let’s set up a call to chat.

Why You Need Brand Strategy

Behind the “Seens” with Michelle Garside, Brand Strategist at Soul Camp Creative

After going through the “brand breakthrough” process with Michelle earlier this year, I was so captivated with her approach that I really wanted her to share it with others. Listen to our conversation, where she explains the concept of branding – in an authentic way that makes sense – and is FUN!

Here are the highlights of our conversation:

After going through the “brand breakthrough” process with Michelle earlier this year, I was so captivated with her approach that I really wanted her to share it with others. Listen to our conversation, where she explains the concept of branding – in an authentic way that makes sense – and is FUN!

She started her first company in 2011 that has now evolved into Soul Camp Creative, her agency of 10+ professionals. 

Over the past 10 years she has helped fitness instructors, coaches, wellness professionals and authors with their brands – building confidence, growing clients and ultimately working for Gabby Bernstein and Teri Cole many other well-known influencers in the health and wellness space. 

Why do people need brand strategies too? 

Everyone needs a brand strategy to differentiate themselves, their messages and set the tone for lives they are building. Michelle helps them build the container to hold everything. If done well, people will get a feeling from your brand about who you are and how you operate in the world. 

Creating a brand where people understand you immediately and identify where you fit into others’ lives. Ideally, they are sold into your brand, not just your products. 

When do you know you need help with your brand?
1. Ready to go from 1:1 to one to many; building a bigger impact
2. Brand no longer fits the current or future situation – looking for a different container to hold the message.

Branding is the foundational component that does not change! It’s about: 

  • Who you are.
  • Who you’re for.
  • Why that matters. 

What is a brand breakthrough? 

A “brand breakthrough” is where you create the foundation of the brand – where you get the blueprint and footprint that can bring to life your marketing and your business.

It has evolved to a two-hour session – a magical process – where Michelle dives deep with you to figure out what your real true and authentic brand is. The deliverable is 6-7 page document that you can bring to life for your marketing. It will inform any designer, photographer, social media support or whoever is helping you with your marketing. 

This work isn’t about a pretty logo. Names, taglines, messaging and brand vernacular and vocabularies are Michelle’s personal jam!
Without a thoughtful and authentic brand strategy that includes this work, you are going to fall flat, and you’ll be inconsistent and often it won’t resonate with your ideal audience.

How to connect with Michelle?
Facebook
Instagram
Website

Interested in exploring where you are in your writer or author journey? Let’s chat! If you want to learn more about how to be seen, be found, be heard, please connect with me on the socials or let’s set up a call to chat.

How to Create Your Own Publishing Company

Behind the “Seens” with Kayleigh O’Keefe, Founder and CEO of Soul Excellence Publishing

Interested in learning how to take an initial step into the world of book publishing? Kayleigh O’Keefe has some answers. She generously shares her personal experience (and now career focus) in multi-author book publishing. Listen and learn how this approach might just be the next best step on your journey to becoming an author.

Here are the highlights of our conversation:

How she started her publishing company
How a third-grade passion brought Kayleigh back to writing and publishing.
Working 14 years in corporate and start-ups helped her create her entrepreneurial approach.
Seeking a change and direction in her own life, she had the opportunity to become a published author without producing her own book.
It was a simple invitation for her to share her story which really opened her eyes.
She had the “a-ha” moment that “publishing was the path” for her to help people share their own stories with this new model of publishing of leadership and multi-author books.
Kayleigh knew she could hold the vision of her company and build the community, but she sought out the right team to support her in the actual book publishing tasks: editing, formatting, book design, etc.

How to be an author without your own book
An easy way to break into getting published is for people to participate in a multi-author book.
It’s less time, less commitment.
It gives you a taste of writing on a topic that is deeply touching and allows you to get your message out.
Once you have the confidence, you can see the path to your own book.
It also builds community.

How does the multi-author book process work?
Do the participating writers have to be perfect writers?
The most important thing in deciding who makes the cut into these books is their vulnerability or willingness to share.
Deciding if you are going to participate or be invited to participate is most often a “gut yes or no”
In addition to Kayleigh’s company, Soul Excellence, where are or how do you find these multi-author book opportunities? Look for communities and collectives that are aligned with your passions.

Kayleigh’s first book published was Leading Through The Pandemic: Unconventional Wisdom from Heartfelt Leaders
Wanted to find out how leaders had to change, move forward and grow?
Evolved out of Kayleigh’s passion for wanting to learn more on this subject.
Includes the message of 24 leaders from around the world and hit best-seller status on Amazon in several countries.
The time frame for the book was September to December 2020 and published January 2021.
With multi-author books you are able to capitalize on the momentum of the moment and get it done.

Kayleigh started recruiting for next book before she had even published the first one.

Next book up for is Significant Women: Leaders Reveal What Matters Most
It’s about how women define success on their own terms. How do these accomplished leaders make decisions, what guides their paths, and what’s most important to them.
It is coming out April 16, 2021

And now she is already building and recruiting for her next book, School’s Canceled: How Working Parents Fought For Their Children’s Education During the Pandemic. Education is a personal passion and she wants to hear and learn from parents who made it work over this past year.

How Kayleigh decides what her next book will be about? It’s two-fold: a response to what’s going on in the world and who she wants to meet and who she wants to learn from.

Favorite line:
Publishing isn’t the end game. It’s this beautiful way to create community and to collaborate on something tangible in the real world.

How to connect with Kayleigh?
Website
Facebook
Linkedin
Instagram
Twitter

Interested in exploring where you are in your writer or author journey? Let’s chat! If you want to learn more about how to be seen, be found, be heard, please connect with me on the socials or let’s set up a call to chat.