Author's Sidebar: I never planned to write a book. And, I definitely never planned to start my own business! In fact, I think that most of us never expected that we would be writing a book or running our own business. Why? Because school and college, for the most part, don't teach us how to become authors or how to become entrepreneurs and start our own businesses.
Health Advocacy: How to Get Started With Helping People?
Most people who want to help others usually start out after they have survived a major health scare of some kind; or, lost a lot of weight and people noticed.
Helping others is a form of health advocacy -- being a health advocate for your local community, your church or your family.
Being a health advocate or a steward of health is not for everyone. But, if you sincerely want to help people, here are some things that you can do to help others with their health.
The best way to begin helping people is to share your story of recovery from your health scare or some other event. By sharing your story, you will tap into people's emotions while building trust and establishing your credibility. If you don't have a story, then, share the story of a friend or relative.
Start by sharing your story 1-on-1 with individuals at work, home, on the street, etc. Then, share your story with small groups, churches, community groups, support groups, health groups, families, etc.
Talk, talk, talk, talk -- but, don't overdo it and become rude! :-) Learn how to interject your story into conversations.
Write down your story and create a 1-page pamphlet that you can hand out to people. Develop an elevator speech. Write your bio.
Note: If you need help with creating your pamphlet, contact our office.
Since most people now have smartphones, video-record and/or audio-record your talks. This is one of the best ways to create your own videos/audios and share them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
Identify what makes your story unique and expand on that -- add some humor to your story if possible.
Share your story with individuals: 1-on-1, small groups, family, friends, co-workers.
Share your story with small groups: Start with local churches, support groups, health groups, book clubs, online groups, etc.
Network with others that have similar interests, build relationships.
Collect names, email addresses, phone numbers.
Get a copy of your medical records, lab work -- especially if your story may be difficult for people to believe.
Research research, research.
List the benefits of changing one's diet and lifestyle.
Collect clinical references to support your claims.
Educate yourself -- take some classes.
Get some free publicity: Get your story in the local newspaper. Get interviewed on the radio, but, practice first! Get interviewed on TV -- but, be prepared!
These are just some simple ways for how to help others and get started as a health advocate.
If you're not sure if this is right for you, look inside yourself and find your Purpose in Life. Once you find your Purpose, you'll know if helping others with their health is a good way to fulfill that Purpose.
Now, if you want to make money, then, you can build upon what you've been doing as a health advocate -- by turning your pamphlet into an ebook or book; and/or by turning your video/audio recordings into a DVD or CD. Read (below) for more details about making money and starting a business.
Writing a Book
Concerning writing a book, many of you have been told to write a book because of your inspirational story. But, in most cases, you laugh it off, right? That's because you underestimate the impact of your own story. Also, most of us are too humble to believe that a stranger would actually be interested in our own story. Well, nothing could be further from the truth!
Writing a book is a lot easier than you think! The key is whether you want to spend the time to do the research and share your story. [For more details about writing a book, refer to the How to Write a Book section (below)].
Starting a Business
When it comes to starting a business, I think that many of us (unless you're already in the medical field) are presented with the idea of running our own business usually via a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that sells health-related products.
All that is required is some knowledge about food and nutrition and a strong desire to want to help people with their health problems.
And, so we purchase a kit, invite some friends over, get a few to buy in; and, we're on our way.
Working in multilevel marketing (MLM) or network marketing is one way to get started in the health business, especially if you don't know how to start your own business.
However, just like any other business, multilevel marketing requires hard work, dedication, organization and patience.
Also, keep in mind that MLM has limits and may prevent you from growing and expanding your business into other areas.
Also, some MLM businesses have been cited for dishonest business practices and being outright scams, so be careful. You don't want your reputation ruined because of another company's practices, so do your homework.
The real key is to figure out what type of business aligns with your knowledge and skill set; and go in that direction. Then, obtain any education that you may need about science, biology, food, nutrition, health coaching, diseases, other health problems, etc.
And, make sure that you treat your MLM business like a business, not a hobby or a social gathering!
Many years ago, I worked in the MLM world where I met a lot of great people, but, I also met some people who weren't that great. :-)
Even though I was doing well financially, it wasn't until I survived a diabetic coma and wrote a book that things really took off for me from a business perspective.
So, the key is to combine your personal experience of improving your own health (or the health of your child or a friend) with your skills and people connections to write a book and/or start your own business. And, don't forget that your business is YOU, not the products that you sell.
The primary ability or drive that you need to start your own health-related business (or write a book or be a health advocate) is the desire or motivation to want to help other people.
I know ... I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. But, as long as you have a strong desire and drive to help others, this will allow you to overcome the excuses that have been keeping you from starting your own business (or writing your own book).
Beyond having the desire to help others, the minimum set of skills and abilities that you need to be a health advocate, start your own health-related business, or write your own book include:
- Socializing (with family, friends, colleagues, etc.)
- Networking (with others in-person, phone, email, social media)
- Speaking (1-on-1, public, group)
- Reading Comprehension (to understand what products/services to sell)
- Writing (To create text documents, write-ups, emails, letters, posts, etc.)
Beyond those basic skills, some additional skills that will help to make it easier and save you some money include:
- Research (To be able to perform research in the library and on the Internet about nutrition, diseases, products, etc.)
- Accounting/Mathematics (To track your business expenses and profits)
- Empathizing (Ability to "connect" emotionally with others)
- Computer (Email, MS Word, PowerPoint)
- Internet (Websites, Blogs, Social Media)
- Marketing (to promote yourself and your business)
- Selling (to engage customers to believe/buy your product/service)
- Science (to understand disease and biology )
It is not necessary that you have all of these skills and abilities, but, it will make it a lot easier to start your business and keep you from having to spend a lot of money to get started with your health business/project. Also, it would help tremendously if you have a great idea for your book or for your business.
If you are already a healthcare, wellness or nutritional professional, then, you probably already have more than enough skills to expand your business and grow your revenue streams.
If you are a community health advocate, at some point, assuming you want to reach more people, you will have to start a business. Even if you're not selling a book or even if it's non-profit, technically you're still running a business!
This is one of the classic mistakes that health advocates make! They're motivated to help others, so they start out doing just that -- helping others. But, as they get more involved, it starts to take up more of their time. Then, they begin to feel stressed and tired; and, will eventually burn out. Why? Because they treated their advocacy like it was a hobby instead of like a business.
FYI: Here is what the structure of a small business or health advocacy project looks like. In fact, this is how most companies are structured in Corporate America! Even though you're running the health project or business by yourself, you wear many hats and perform many different functions and you may not even realize it!
Each of the color boxes in the organizational chart (above) represents a major function and a set of major tasks/activities that should be performed on a daily or weekly basis as part of your business or project. You can easily see from the number of boxes why you're feeling tired and feel like you can never catch up! ☺
It's not just the number of tasks that makes you tired. It's the switching from one task to another task and then switching back to the previous task or switching to a new task that can become very tiring. Also, if you feel that you're not making a lot of progress, that can add to your fatigue and stress.
On the other hand, if you don't feel tired, then, more than likely, you're probably not performing all of these tasks. ☺ And, if you're not performing these tasks, then, your project or business will suffer.
In addition, when you're running your own business or health advocacy project, it is imperative that you operate your business (or project) in balance with the rest of your life. If you don't, your business will suffer. But, more importantly, your health and your family life will suffer. 😟
As a health advocate, we usually tell our clients that they must eat healthy foods and eat them in balance in order to get healthy. Ironically, we should take our own advice and run our business in balance with the other aspects of our life, including family, work, health, education, finances, environment, etc.
If you have never worked in Corporate America, then, at the minimum, you should get the author's 400-page How to Start a Business & Write a Book ebook, so that you know how to structure and organize your health business or health advocacy project. This will enable you to be organized in order to plan and operate your project versus the project running you. You should also get this book if you want to write your own book.
If you're doing a lot of counseling and health coaching, then, you should get our Health Coaching ebook, which provides different coaching and counseling models to use with your clients.
If you need to know a lotmore about diabetes, science, business, marketing and communications, then, get one of our Professional Diabetes Training Programs and Training Kits.
Author's Perspective: Being an engineer I may be somewhat biased, but, I believe that technology is a beautiful thing -- especially if you know how to use that technology to improve your life. Two of the most powerful technologies from the 1980s and 1990s have grown such that more and more people are able to live better lives. Do you know what those two technologies are?
Hint: If you're reading this web page, then, you are using both of those technologies -- namely, the personal computer and the Internet.
The convergence of the personal computer and the Internet has fueled a major shift in the way we live, work and communicate. This convergence allows us to learn about things that used to require us to go back to college or it required us to spend a lot of time in the library doing research.
Now, you can accomplish a lot of this and other activities in the comfort of your own home -- especially if you like to write and do research. Unfortunately, most of us either misuse or under-utilize our personal computer and its connection to the rest of the world via the Internet. Most of us use our computer for things like paying our bills, shopping online, playing video games, and socializing via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
But, the real power of the personal computer and the Internet can help you address two of the top problems that most of us will face during our lifetime. One of those problems is financial -- unless you're related to Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. 😃 The other problem is our health -- sooner or later either we get sick or a loved one in our family gets sick.
Fortunately, there are thousands of ways that your computer and the Internet can help you with your finances and/or your health -- as long as you're willing to put in the time and effort -- to first figure out how to help yourself, and, then, use that experience to help others. But, if you're just going to sit around and complain and blame the government or regret what has happened to you, then, your computer can't really help you.
On the other hand, if you're motivated to either improve your health or improve your finances, then, your computer can be a true Godsend to help you connect with your local community and churches. Sorry, actually, that's a fib -- you don't need a computer initially. All you need are your legs and a car to get started locally. Initially, you should avoid Facebook and especially Twitter (I'll explain later).
Once you've connected locally, then, you can start using some of the free Internet tools and social media platforms to expand your reach, i.e. Google, Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, SlideShare. Some of these platforms will actually pay you! Technology is great if you know how to use it ...
If you're not sure how to get started, read this web page for some ideas for starting a health project or for generating a secondary income for you and your family.
But, more importantly, before you jump into this, take some time to think about who you are. What do you really like to do? If you didn't have to worry about paying bills, what would you be doing with your life? What would get your juices flowing such that you would jump out of bed every morning with enthusiasm and joy?
Then, think about the major challenges and problems that you had to overcome and deal with during your life. Some examples may include things like raising a family, putting your kids through college, getting a college degree, improving your health, losing a lot of weight, serving in the military, fighting city hall, overcoming abusive parents, helping others ... the list goes on and on.
Then, think about what you're really good at -- writing? talking? planning? science? mathematics? raising your children? working? tutoring? arguing? helping others? convincing others of your point of view? making new friends? fixing things? giving parties?...
Then, think about how to converge what you like doing with what you do well and with the challenges and problems that you've had to overcome during your life.
Then, do your own research in an area that garners a lot of interest from you. Don't focus so much on how to make money -- instead focus on how to help others -- learn how to be a true servant first.
If you do this, you'll be well on your way! If you have any questions, feel free to call our toll-free number or contact us via email.
Personal Observation: I have met many healthcare professionals and business entrepreneurs in the health & wellness industry over the years. It simply amazes me how so many people spend so much time pushing "the next great supplement" or some other product -- while ignoring their greatest product of all -- themselves! So, the most important piece of advice that I can give you is to not underestimate your own story and strongly consider writing your own book. And, if you lack certain skills (i.e. writing, public speaking), then, take a class at your local community college or go online.
Another Observation: Social Media has provided an environment for angry and incompetent people to have a voice. Because of the controversial issues with Big Pharma and Western Medicine, some scientists and engineers like myself get attacked because some people who don't understand science think that all science is bad! Ironically, we also get attacked from the other side by doctors and Big Pharma reps. Although I welcome the attacks because angry and egoistical people tend to show their ignorance, this may not be your cup of tea. 😃 So, do your homework and educate yourself -- there are a lot of angry and manipulative people out there who will manipulate you and destroy your credibility and your reputation ...
Social Media Awareness: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are excellent ways to reach a lot of people.
Some people like to use Facebook and other social media platforms because it's easier to use an existing platform than it is to build your own platform. But, these platforms are set up for them to make money (via advertising) when you create a project or a movement that attracts a lot of people.
If you take a look at successful people involved in health advocacy issues, you'll notice that they usually have a website, a blog and/or a book that they use as their primary platform. They don't use social media as their primary platform. They use social media to further their agenda and their business goals and objectives.
Most people don't know how to build a website/blog or write a book. So, they use Facebook or another social media platform as their primary platform. This may seem to be okay in the short term, but, if your goal is to reach a lot more people, you have to build your own brand -- instead of building Facebook's business and its brand.
Facebook makes it very easy for us to reach like-minded people so we are able to help a lot of people. But, most of us don't own any parts of Facebook. Facebook wants us to bring in more people because that's how they make their money! So, in a way, you're working for Facebook. You need to use Facebook to further your agenda, not theirs.
Who Gets Involved in the Health Business?
Author's Perspective: Most people who get involved in health care and the health & wellness industry do it because they want to help people improve their health. The good news here is that there is such a broad range of professions and required skills that almost anyone can get involved in these industries.
If you are fortunate, you end up with a job that you love, a job that allows you to take care of your family, and a job that is fulfilling and allows you to help a lot of people. Unfortunately, some of us end up with a job that we love, but, it doesn't bring in the income that we need to take care of our family.
But, as you are aware, you can expand the scope of your job by getting some additional education in a specialty field or complementary field that allows you to make more money and relieve the stress of not making enough money to pay the mortgage and other bills.
In addition, you can use your experience and skill set to start your own business to supplement your salary. For example, if you like to talk, you can be very successful conducting lectures and 1-on-1 counseling.
Another example: if you like to write and do research, you can make money as a blogger, a writer and/or a researcher working from home on your computer! Having the skills of a writer and a researcher is ideal for making money working from home. But, most people are unaware of how to use all of the free technology and tools on the Internet to run a successful business from home.
Author's Sidebar: I started out in the health & wellness business years ago by selling various MLM health products. Although, I was somewhat successful (financially) in the MLM business, I realized that a majority of people in the MLM business were making the same mistakes, preventing them from generating a significant revenue!
I also realized that I could help a lot more people and make a lot more money by starting my own business (along with my MLM business).
I also realized that working with Corporate America (where I spent 25+ years) would generate a lot more revenue than going after customers on a singular basis. As a result of my success, we now provide support to organizations, companies, professional groups, and thousands of diabetics and non-diabetics in the U.S. and around the world.
The key is to leverage and optimize what you do well to help more people and, as a result, make more money. However, be careful not to make the same mistakes that some people make when they start their own home business, i.e. no bio, no skills analysis, no business plan, no marketing plan, treating business like a hobby.
Other mistakes include not using the 12 marketing strategies, overlooking the 6 marketing communications methods, focusing on the wrong area, lack of drive/motivation, mismatched skills, lack of skills, poor branding, ineffective website, misuse of Internet tools & technology, poor networking, poor communications, and weak relationships.
Health coaching and other alternative healthcare professions are growing at significant rates because more and more people are looking for non-drug solutions to their health problems.
Diabetes is growing at epidemic levels, plus almost 1 out of every 2 people in America is overweight and 1 out of every 3 people has high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.
So, there is a huge market for alternative care solutions such as health coaching, dieting programs, etc.
But, more than 90% of these healthcare businesses fail or they limp along and don't make any significant income.
Here's a classic mistake that health coaches and other business people make when they start their business: They get excited about a great business idea so they design a website and 6 months later, they're disappointed because they're not making any money, so they move onto something else.
Unfortunately, they fail to realize the business/marketing mistakes and website design mistakes that they made, so they're doomed to keep making the same mistakes ...
There is an even bigger mistake that health coaches and other business people make. This one mistake limits their ability to generate multiple revenue streams, preventing them from producing business revenues in the 6-figures range.
If you are just starting out as a healthcare professional or if you have an established health business, you can generate additional revenue for your business by utilizing the Death to Diabetes Program in one of 4 ways:
1. Affiliate Program: You can join our affiliate program by filling out the DTD Affiliate Form.
2. Sell Books: You can purchase our books at a bulk rate discount and sell them at retail. Contact our office for the price points.
3. Conduct Workshops: Use our DTD Health Coaching & Training Program to run your own workshops and training classes.
4. Provide Health Coaching: Use our DTD Health Coaching & Training Program to provide health coaching to your diabetes clients.
Please Note: Actually, you can use all 4 methods to generate additional revenue for your business.
How to Make Money Right Away with the DTD Program
Here are just a few ways to make money with the Death to Diabetes Health Coaching Business Program:
- Purchase DTD books in bulk to get a bulk-rate discount and then sell them at retail.
- Conduct diabetes workshops, lectures, etc.
- Conduct online diabetes training classes, seminars, etc.
- Provide diabetes wellness training to other healthcare professionals.
- Provide online training to diabetics in other countries.
- Provide corporate wellness education to the employees of various companies, organizations, and groups.
- Conduct 1-on-1 health coaching consultations with diabetic clients, families, etc.
FYI: Selling the author's book is probably the easiest way to get started and make a profit. However, if you like public speaking, then, conducting your own workshops and classes is a lot more lucrative. All you have to do is download the PowerPoint slides and press Play! (The author speaks on each slide, so you don't really have to know that much about diabetes!)
Author's Perspective: Despite what you may have heard, you don't really need a lot of money to start your own small business -- just a good idea and your passion and drive to want to help other people.
And, if you learn how to leverage two of the greatest technological inventions available to all of us, you can live the life you were meant to live.
In fact, many of you have probably already tried to start your own business, working as a health coach, life coach, teacher/trainer, personal trainer, dietitian, nutritionist, diabetes educator, wellness consultant, diabetes health coach, health advocate, chef (or cook), multilevel marketing wellness consultant (MLM), or other healthcare professional.
But, at this point, you're not really sure how to get your business going or where to start. Or, if you've been in business for a few years, you're probably disappointed that you're not making a lot more money. Right?
Well, don't worry! -- it happens to the best of us! So, don't give up! You have skills and gifts that can help others. You just need to figure out how to market and leverage your skills!
Many entrepreneurs and people like yourself who sincerely want to help others end up in some aspect of the health & wellness business by becoming one of the following: a health coach, trainer, personal trainer, dietitian, nutritionist, chef/cook, diabetes educator, wellness consultant, counselor, trainer, teacher, health advocate, or other healthcare professional; or, by joining an MLM company or similar business.
Over the years, most people have acquired a rich set of skills from their parents, high school, college, trade school, servicing our country, working for a living, helping their church, doing volunteer work, teaching a class, raising their kids, etc.
Unfortunately, most people take their skills for granted, and fail to realize the true value of their skills; and, how to leverage those skills to start a business and make some real money.
In most cases, you are able to help people, which makes them feel good, and it also makes you feel good. But it doesn't really help to pay all the bills or allow you to significantly improve your standard of living. And, if you have growing children or even teenagers or young adults, they're not benefiting from what you're doing.
Because most of us don't know how to start a business, we sometimes defer to something like a multi-level marketing (MLM) company that already has the built-in infrastructure to allow you to sell their products to your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Or, maybe we do volunteer work or teach a community class about something we do well, i.e. math, gardening, cooking.
The MLM company provides a slick marketing presentation that convinces you that their product is "the best". But, in most cases, the products are low quality and/or over-priced in order to generate enough revenue to clear a profit. New clients such as yourself are bamboozled into pulling in your family and friends to buy this new-fangled MLM product that is "the best in the world".
Within a matter of several months, you discover that your focus has shifted from helping people to figuring out how to make more money. But, the only people who are really making a lot of money are the people at the top of the MLM pyramid.
After a few years, most people become disappointed and move on to a new MLM company, thinking that this time it's going to be better.
Note: If you are currently involved in network marketing with an MLM company, you have it within you to be successful by leveraging the infrastructure of the MLM company. But, even if you are already successful, we can still help you and show you how to grow your business beyond what you expect.
On the other hand, if you are struggling a little bit, we can still show you how to leverage your network marketing skills to be very successful. Based on the author's experience with network marketing, he has discovered that most network marketers inadvertently make the same 3 mistakes over and over, preventing them from creating multiple revenue streams for their business. This is addressed in the author's business training program to avoid these common mistakes.
Note: Some MLMers are unaware that they are nothing more than a free sales labor force for the MLM parent company! The MLM company reaps all the benefits and takes no risk -- they don't have to pay out any salaries or pay for any health benefits, while taking in huge sales revenues for overpriced products, while paying out a miserly commission! However, you can still reap tremendous benefits by leveraging the company's infrastructure to grow your business.
If you're not involved in the MLM business, maybe you're a community volunteer, or maybe you teach a community class about something that you do well, i.e. math, budgeting, gardening, cooking.
I went through this and quickly discovered that this type of MLM business model was seriously flawed for the majority. This led me to hundreds of others in similar businesses that were failing. So, I quickly learned not to make the same mistakes; and, how to "connect" with the customers.
I also went through this as a volunteer math tutor -- the organization that was sponsoring me benefited, the children benefited, but it didn't really put any money into my pocket -- not that I was looking to get paid. :-)
Note: For more details, refer to our MLM Business web page.
Author's Perspective: After I recovered from my near-death coma, I was asked to speak at several churches, several health fairs and a couple of conventions. But, I knew that all the interest and enthusiasm that people had about my miraculous recovery, would eventually dissipate and people would stop showing up for my talks and lectures.
I also realized that I couldn't afford to keep running around town doing lectures for free, especially with gas prices starting to rise. :-)
The talks and lectures started to become even more expensive when people and organizations outside my state would call or email me requesting me to speak in their city. As a result, I had to request that they pay for my room & board, and travel expenses (gasoline, airplane ticket); and, also pay for my time for doing the lecture.
So, you would think the number of requests would decrease, right?
But, instead the number of requests increased! And, because of the number of requests, I couldn't meet the demand. So, I trained others, and developed a train-the-trainer program.
As a result, my business grew beyond "just the book", which led me to other products and services for my business.
But, the key was I started in one niche market, became an expert in that niche market and, later, was able to expand to a new niche market.
Over the years we have met a lot of healthcare professionals (i.e health coaches, wellness consultants, nutritionists, nurses, dietitians, trainers, etc.) and other people trying to launch various health-related businesses, and we have discovered that they make the same 7 common mistakes over and over!
In fact, even experienced entrepreneurs make some of these mistakes! These mistakes include no business plan, no marketing plan, limited use of the 12 major marketing strategies and 6 marketing communication methods, no real passive income strategy, lack of multiple revenue streams, limited focusing on the wrong market, lack of drive/motivation, mismatched skills, lack of skills, poor branding, ineffective website, misuse of Internet tools & technology, poor networking, poor communications, and weak relationships.
The good news is that if you avoid these mistakes, you can make a lot of money and help a lot of people at the same time!
So, think about it: The health & wellness industry is growing and health coaching is growing, so why is the failure rate so high?
How do you avoid from failing? How do you avoid the 7 common mistakes that most health coaches and other healthcare professionals make, even the experienced ones?
If you want to learn how to avoid these mistakes and if you're really serious about starting a successful business, or generating multiple revenue streams, then, I recommend that you get my 400-page How to Start a Business With Little Money book.
This comprehensive 400-page business book is one-of-a-kind because it goes far beyond just explaining the business and marketing strategies. It explains step-by-step how to use the 12 key marketing strategies and the 6 marketing communication methods, which will grow your business and increase your revenues.
This book explains how to implement multiple revenue streams -- not just the one or two that most business people do! This book is one-of-a-kind because it shows you step-by-step how to implement these marketing strategies almost immediately and how to re-design your website to optimize your business and attract new customers all within 30-45 days!
If you want to improve your skills and help others improve their health and their understanding of nutrition; and, if you want to gain credibility while growing your health and nutrition-related business, then, get my How to Be An Effective Health Coach book.
Note: This book will still help you even if you are a life coach instead of a health coach.
According to the U.S. Gov Small Business Administration, the small business trends are positive with the business revenue increases, employment increases, and business bankruptcies trending down over the last few years.
However, the overall survival rate of startups as reported by SBA.gov follows a curve, which hasn't changed much in the last 15 years, where 80% survive the first 2 years of business, 50% survive year 5, but, only 25% of startups survive 15 years or longer. However, internet-based businesses have a much lower success rate of 50% for 2 years of business, 20% survive year 5, and, only 5% survive 10 years or longer.
About 70% of home-based businesses will succeed in their first 3 years, compared to 29% of other business ventures, according to the Home-Based Business Institute.
Annual Revenues of the Home Business Industry
Entrepreneur magazine estimates that $427 billion is generated each year by home-based businesses. Pittsburgh Business Times states that’s bigger than General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all put together!
Spare time turns into full-time for 50% of home based business owners.
Female-owned businesses are being created at about twice the rate of male-owned business.
There’s an estimated 10.7 million self-employed women, a 77% increase since 1983, compared to a 6% increase in the number of self-employed men.
About 44 percent of all home-based businesses require less than $5,000 for startup costs.
The Internet Home Business Success Rate
Only 1 out of every 20 internet home-based businesses succeed. That's a 95% failure rate!
A well-structured and organized home business can develop numerous streams of income for you, including passive income that can enable you and your family to grow to be financially well-off and even develop lasting wealth (financial freedom).
You can improve your odds for success. For starters, you must be certain that you actually want to pursue a home business. Although you can get rich online, as millions have done, and even though it is quicker than traditional company ventures, creating an effective and profitable company takes knowledge, credibility, time, effort, and consistent work. Individuals who are looking for a way to get rich without putting in the work will eventually fail.
One more frequent pitfall of internet home-based businesses is trying to sell just one or two products, or products that are questionable or possible scams. Most of these types of businesses fail within 1-2 years, which can be quite frustrating for those who invested months of time trying to make it work.
Another pitfall is that entrepreneurs fail to invest in themselves and acquire the necessary knowledge and education that they need to successfully run a home-based business. Just because it's a "home" business does not mean you don't need to educate yourself! Take some courses and/or read some books on starting a business, and on network marketing and advertising.
Success of Home-based Businesses
As the economy clings stubbornly to a recession, the home-based business market still continues to grow. With record levels of unemployment and job uncertainty for those still employed, the investigation of home businesses and start-ups increases. Here are some statistics.
Home Business Growth: The number of home-based businesses ranges up to 38 million, depending on who is doing the counting (U.S. Census statistics). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of home-based businesses in the U.S. exceeds 18.3 million businesses.
Home Office Households: In addition to home business activity, between 34.3 million and 36.6 million U.S. households have active home offices (research firm IDC), and these numbers are growing substantially. The number of U.S. households that operate a full or part-time home-based business exceeds 12 percent (Office of Advocacy, Small Business Administration).
Success Rate of Home Businesses: Although difficult to track, it is estimated that nearly 70% of home-based businesses succeed for at least a three-year period (compared to 29% outside the home business ventures). The higher success rate is due to the ability for home-businesses to be operated part-time around a day job.
Note: HBM estimates that 50% of the households in the United States will be involved in a home-based business.
You may be pleasantly surprised to know just how well health coaching is taking off as a career choice.
Studies which verify their effectiveness are beginning to gain traction, and corporations and physicians’ offices are beginning to take note.
Dr. Mehmet Oz has said that health coaches are crucial in changing the culture of wellness in America. More doctors now agree that health coaching will not only help the patient, but, will help the doctors as well. Why are doctors changing their minds about health coaching?
First of all, Alternative Medicine has been growing because people are tired of taking so many drugs offered by Western Medicine. People are looking at various therapies offered within Alternative Medicine because they're looking for non-drug solutions to their health issues.
Medical doctors in Western Medicine don't want to lose their patients to the world of Alternative Medicine. Hiring a health coach is a small price to pay to keep one''s patients.
In the meantime, because of the demand for non-drug therapies, and because of the growth of Alternative Medicine, the field of health coaching is growing even faster.
Within the field of Health Coaching, the demand for diabetes coaching is growing significantly faster than the other major types of health coaching (i.e. life coaching, weight loss coaching, general health coaching).
Why is the demand for diabetes health coaching growing so fast? Because diabetes (specifically Type 2 diabetes) has continued to grow at epidemic levels during the past 10 years.
As a result, the demand for more diabetes health coaches has continued to exceed the available supply of diabetes health coaches who truly understand the complexities of this disease. If you are looking for a field that is growing and will continue to grow for the next 20 years, then, diabetes health coaching is a great choice.
Note: Even though the demand for diabetes health coaching is growing, the available health coaching training programs do not adequately cover and explain the science of diabetes and nutrition.
As a result, most health coaches are not equipped to effectively help most Type 2 diabetics with their disease. This has led some companies such as the Death to Diabetes, LLC company to offer a health coaching business book and diabetes training program for health coaches who are interested in diabetes and are also interested in growing their business.
Health Coaching and Healthcare Costs
As opposed to a traditional health care system in which the patient is prescribed drug-focused treatments by their doctor, a health coach helps the patient to be more proactive in their medical care utilizing non-drug behavioral treatment methods such as dietary and lifestyle changes. The health coach can help in focusing on the aspects of the patient's health that is most important or most troubling, and work to find a treatment approach that meets the patient's personal needs.
With healthcare costs continuing to rise, and health crises (such as diabetes) so difficult to manage, this burgeoning field of health coaching aims to support clients and patients in taking better care of themselves for the short term and long term.
You can now find health coaches in your local doctor’s office, at your local pharmacy, or they can be hired by healthcare facilities (hospitals, private practices, etc.) or even business corporations as a part of a company’s preventive health care program.
Due to the rise of corporate wellness programs, companies want healthier employees to increase productivity and lessen health insurance claims which explains why health coaches are becoming more and more employed or consulted in this work setting. And, as credibility gets established, demand will grow even more.
Although most insurance companies may not yet cover health and wellness coach consultations, given the requests from so many employees, it may not be long before health insurance carriers add the health coaching service to their benefits packages.
If you are interested in starting your own health coaching or consultant business, you may want to consider taking an online training course. They are often affordable, self-paced, professional and can give you very specific information for your area of need or help you clarify your life direction and career path. For more details, refer to our blog post about training schools.
If you would like to become a personal health and wellness coach, you can begin your own business after taking an online health coaching certification program, including the program offered by the Death to Diabetes, LLC company.
Why Some Health Coaches Struggle
Although health coaching is one of the top-growing businesses in the wellness industry, it can still be a struggle in the beginning.
Unfortunately, some of us may inadvertently restrict our revenue growth and not even realize it! We also tend to make the same mistakes as other business entrepreneurs.
Some examples of those mistakes include (but are not limited) to the following:
- Trying to service everyone and ending up servicing no one.
- Underestimating your own experiences; and, failing to design your company around who you are -- your strengths and skill set and why you're really in the health coaching business.
- Note: Trying to do what someone else is doing is a recipe for failure.
- Not recognizing your true VOD or USP -- what separates you from your competition and why clients should come to YOU.
- Every business (no matter the size) performs 7 major functions. But we tend to focus on the obvious 1 or 2 functions, i.e. sales, marketing.
- Not getting the right training or not realizing what skills we're missing.
- Misusing or not taking full advantage of technology and all the free stuff out there (incl. those that will pay you!).
- Focusing on a market because that's what others are doing or because it "sounds good."
- Not putting the necessary infrastructure in place, i.e. website, blog, work processes, network, communication platforms, sw tools, etc.
- Not having a sound business plan, or having a plan that is weak or out-of-date.
Note: Obviously, you can make money without a business plan (I did and so have others). But, I found out later that I could make a LOT more money with a business plan (and infrastructure).
Everybody has ideas about starting a business, but most people don't act on those ideas. Why? Because they don't know how to get started.
When your business idea is fresh and exciting, it's easy to start without a thought to how it will pan out and whether it's really a good business idea for you. There's nothing worse than an unfulfilled idea. It can completely ruin your confidence. and your outlook on life. To prevent that from happening, use the following steps to guide you on your journey:
- Come up with an idea, product or service. Put it down on paper. You're more likely to succeed if you plan. Put down things like name of the business, the type of business, what resources you need, short and long term business and financial goals, etc.
- Figure out your strength (writing or speaking). Then, use that strength to communicate your message of health advocacy. For example, Mr. McCulley felt that he was a better writer than a speaker. Consequently, he focused on writing a book because it allowed him to utilize his writing skills. So, if you're better at writing, then, a book or ebook may be the best product to start developing. If you're better at public speaking, then, a CD, DVD, or being a trainer who teaches others may be a better place to start. Note: If you've written a book but it's not selling, then, you probably made 1 of the 7 common mistakes that first-time authors make when they write their first book.
- Leverage two of the greatest technological inventions available to all of us to start your business. Those two technological inventions are the personal computer (PC) and the Internet. More than 99% of homes in the U.S. have a TV, but less than 61% have a computer and access to the Internet! With a computer and access to the Internet, you can take full advantage of all the free software technology tools to build your own website, blog, write your own book, etc. Use these free software technology tools and platforms such as Google, YouTube, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc. to empower you to live the life you meant to live!
- Use self-reflection to determine what significant problems you've overcome. All of us have had to overcome several significant problems during our lives such as a health problem. For example, Mr. McCulley had a serious health problem (diabetic coma) that he overcame.
- Use self-reflection to determine how you can use your skill set to help the less-fortunate. Many of us have had the opportunity to help the less-fortunate because we were good at something, like organizing an event or teaching others. For example, Mr. McCulley was a volunteer math tutor for one of the local high schools because he was so good at math.
- Define your business idea based on your strengths. Some people start a business because it's a great idea, but it turns out that it wasn't a great idea for that person! So, make sure that the great idea aligns with your strengths and skill set! For example, try to find a problem in your life that you had to overcome, and either write about it or speak about it. Why? Because no one can better explain how you overcame that problem better than you!
- If you are a health advocate, you can transform your advocacy into your own health and wellness business. Or, if you happen to be selling MLM health-related products, you can also transform that into your own health and wellness business.
- Don't try to be an expert in every area! Focus on one area, become an expert in that area, and then expand to another area. Because "health and wellness" is such a broad area that contains many niche markets, you must select a specific area to start your business.
- Develop a business plan and a marketing plan. You can't start a business that will be successful unless you have a business plan and a marketing plan! You must develop a business plan based on your business idea. A business plan is is a document that defines your business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, the plan for reaching those goals, a description of your products, and a description of your services. It may also contain background information about the organization attempting to reach those goals. A marketing plan is a written document that details the necessary actions to achieve one or more marketing objectives. It can be for a product or service, a brand, or a product line. Note: If you need help, contact our business office to set up a business consultation or get the How to Start a Small Business ebook/PDF to help you develop a business plan and a marketing plan for your new business.
- Sell the products of another company. If you don't have your own product to sell, you can sell the product(s) of another company by getting their products at bulk discount or by becoming an affiliate.
- Sell MLM products. Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)/Network Marketing is another way to sell someone else's products. Find a product that you believe in and sell it to your family, friends, co-workers, etc.; and, convince them to also sell the product. However, the problem with this approach is that it’s very close to a pyramid scheme and you can lose some friends or family members if you bug them too much. In essence, you make money from signing up people who sell the product. Do your own research first and make sure that the product really works -- don't rely on the company's research! Be true to yourself. Otherwise you will be wasting your time and you'll end up upsetting your family and friends.
- Develop and sell your own products! If you can write, then, publish a book or ebook -- it's easier than you realize! (We can show you how to write an ebook in 2 days!) If you're a good speaker, then, publish a CD or DVD. If you need help to figure out what product to develop, contact our business office. It's not as difficult as you think.
- Develop and sell your own services! If you're a good speaker, offer your services to be a keynote speaker at some event. If you're a good trainer, offer your services to train others. If you connect with people on a personal level, think about becoming a life coach, health coach, or counselor.
- Define your Unique Selling Proposition. Explain why people should buy from you instead of your competitors. Also, figure out how you're going to market your product. Newspapers? Website? Blog? Social Media? Through word of mouth?
- Develop your marketing and selling skills. If you don't have any experience with running a home-based business or selling a product, one way to get this experience is to become a multilevel marketing (MLM) person who sells health products for another company. Or, take an online college course or take a class at a local community college.
- Check out your competitors. How much are they selling a similar product for. Can you add something to it to make yours different and hence a better price?
- Chart your way to financial success. What price do you intend to sell your product or service for? How much will it cost you to produce? Work out a roughly estimated profit remembering to factor in fixed costs like rent, energy etc.
- Decide what type of business you would like to be -- an incorporation, LLC, etc. This is important for tax purposes. Also, this limits your liability exposure to possible law suits. You don't want your home-based business to be the cause of you losing your home and other assets!
- Think of how you're going to finance your business initially. The bank, venture capitalists, angel investors, SBA grants(government), your own savings are all options.
- Make your products and services available to customers using your marketing strategy above. Use (free) platforms such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to promote and sell your products.
- Build a website to sell your products beyond your local community. Keep in mind that selling products on the Internet is a lot different than selling the products locally in your hometown! If you need help with your first website or if you want to improve your current website, contact our office.
- Find a free web host provider to build and store your website or blog. Warning: If you build a website from a host provider that's not charging you, keep in mind that they own your website, not you!
- Find and pay a web host provider to build and store your website or blog. i.e. GreenGeeks, GoDaddy.com, BlueHost.com, Just Host.com, iPage.com.
- Keep a close eye on your running costs and keep them in-line with your projections. Financial tracking is important especially if you don't have unlimited finances.
- Get your bank, checking, business and other accounts in order right from the start. This will save you tedious work later.
- Get a merchant account. A merchant account is a contract under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wishes to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. Without such a contract, one cannot accept payments by any of the major credit card brands.
- Build your business locally. You know your community and the people in that community. If you can build your business locally, you can use that success to build your business beyond your local community, using the Internet.
- Build personal relationships. Building relationships is critical to the long-term success of your business. Making money is important in any business, but, you must build sound relationships with your customers, business contacts, media, and other entrepreneurs. You can use social media to help build your following, but, don’t forget about the personal contacts, the 1-on-1s, the speeches, the lectures, the coaching, the training classes. Personal contacts are far more important than the impersonal contacts via Facebook or Twitter.
- Write an ebook. Write and sell ebooks and other information products. Infopreneurs make up a new class of entrepreneurs, creating and marketing information products. If you have the skills of a writer and a researcher, this is ideal for making money working from home. But, most people are unaware of how to use all of the free technology and tools on the Internet to run a successful business from home. Instead, they waste their time submitting their articles to someone else's website! No!! Do it yourself! If you don't know how, call us.
- Get published. Write and publish your own book. Outside of getting on TV or the radio, there's nothing more powerful than writing your own book and getting it published. Then, sell your book locally, but, also market your book online to increase sales volumes and your royalties.
- Write online articles. A lot of sites such as Demand Studios will actually pay you to write various articles online. Some offer up front type payments for the work, but a majority of the sites offer revenue sharing. This means that depending on how many views your article may receive, you would get a percentage of the profit. Here's where the nice part comes in though. If you do get any acclaim with the article views, then the profit you receive is generally each month- forever. As long as the article continues to get views you're getting paid!
- Talk. Talk. Talk. But, record your talks, lectures and speeches. Then, create a CD or DVD to sell. This is especially great for people who don't like to write but love to talk. The key is to RECORD your talk -- we'll show you how to convert your talk to a CD, DVD and/or YouTube video -- and make money.
- Affiliate Blog. Build an affiliate blog, promote the blog, and use it to promote affiliate offers. Start with an affiliate site like ClickBank or Commission Junction.
- Write articles. Write for revenue sharing content sites, such as eHow, Xomba, HubPages, Suite101, Squidoo, Associated Content and Helium. Choose 2-3 sites to concentrate on and build up a large collection of articles on your chosen sites.
- Online Blogging. Some bloggers earn six-figure incomes from one niche blog. Once the blog is established, you will earn residual income from older posts as well as new ones. Again, having the skills of a writer and a researcher is ideal for making money as a blogger.
- Website Ads. Add well-placed ads to your website or blog from places like Google and Media.net If a visitor to your site clicks on the ad and buys something, you get paid! But, it takes a while to build this up because you have to have a lot of people coming to your site.
- Get the word out! Publicize! Advertise! Use street marketing (also called guerrilla marketing). It is all about getting your name out there and advertising your business with little or no money. It is about replacing an advertising budget with time, energy and imagination. Every day, tell someone about your business. More importantly, if you have an inspirational story (i.e. lost weight, survived a coma), tell that story instead! People love that stuff! If you need some examples of guerrilla marketing ideas, refer to the list at the bottom of this web page.
With the advent of the Internet, online businesses are probably the easiest way to start and very much less expensive in terms of start-up cost than an offline counterpart.
However, make certain that you put in the time and the money to increase your website's visibility on the Internet. If people can't find your website, they won't know about your products and services, and you won't make any money.
If you are interested in the health industry, there are hundreds of "health & wellness" areas, i.e. nutrition, supplementation, a specific disease, detox, fitness & exercise, alternative therapies, health coaching, weight loss, spirituality, training/workshops, webinars/seminars, controversial topics, etc.
If you like to write, then, write a book or an ebook.
If you like to talk, then, record your talk to create a CD or DVD.
If you can't write or speak that well to develop your own product, then, join an MLM company and sell their products.
You can sell someone else's book if it's a good book. Buy their book at bulk rate discount, so that you'll clear a profit selling their book at retail price (Contact us if you want to sell the author's book).
You can become an affiliate and get commissions for sales referrals.
A franchise is also a good option if you don't want to start from scratch and you have the money. A franchise is a great idea although the start-up capital is way too high for most people.
Find a direct selling company that will provide you the training and support. Most direct selling companies have low start up capital compared to a traditional brick and mortar business. You can also break even rather quickly compared to the traditional business.
Keep in mind to always provide VALUE to those who may be your customers.
Find a personal business mentor that you can trust and someone who is successful in business.
If you need help setting up your first website, contact our business office concerning your website design project.
Secondary Income for You and Your Family
This message is for any of you who like to help people or happen to be involved in the health and wellness industry, e.g. health coaches, life coaches, trainers, teachers, personal trainers, dietitians, nutritionists, diabetes educators, chiropractors, wellness consultants, health advocates, cooks/chefs, retired nurses & doctors, and other healthcare professionals, and people involved in the wellness business or multi-level marketing (MLM).
If you want to increase or create a secondary income for your family, or if you want to grow your current health-related business, we work with several other companies to provide several options, depending on your business goals and skill set:
How to Be An Effective Health Coach Book: explains how to improve your skills and help others improve their health. This will enable you to gain credibility and grow your health-related business.
How to Start/Grow Your Business or Write a Book: explains how to start a business and write a book with little or no money, and how to leverage your skills to grow your health-related or other online business.
Diabetes Health Coaching Program: trains health coaches as well as wellness consultants, dietitians, and other healthcare professionals about nutrition, health, disease pathology, etc. -- so that you can perform health coaching, lectures, and other services to their clients, who are seeking guidance with their health issues.
Training Certification Program: provides comprehensive training modules for nutrition, health, disease pathology, etc. for wellness consultants, dietitians, other healthcare professionals, and corporations (with wellness initiatives) to become certified Death to Diabetes consultants; and, provide health, nutrition and wellness training to members of their community, organization, company, etc. This will enable you to be seen as an expert, which will allow you to grow your business and increase your profits and revenues.
Train-the-Trainer Training Program: provides comprehensive training modules for nutrition, health, disease pathology, etc. for health coaches, wellness consultants, dietitians, other healthcare professionals, and corporations; also, provides health coaching and certification training, plus a downloadable CD talk-track, training book, and PowerPoint presentation slides that you can use to conduct lectures, workshops, corporate training, tele-seminars, and webinars to your clients. This will enable you to grow your business and increase your profits and revenues.
Free Website or Blog: provides you with a vehicle to increase your visibility on the Internet, share your message to millions of people, grow your business, and increase your profits and revenues. If you already have a website or blog, we can provide feedback and specific actions that will increase your visibility on the Internet and grow your customer base.
Book Writing: Everyone has a story, no matter who you are. But, most of us don't realize how special we are! Sharing your own personal story will inspire your children, your partner, other relatives, and friends; and, it provides you with a vehicle to increase your visibility on the Internet, share your message to millions of people, grow your business, and increase your profits and revenues. Learn how to get your book published, or how to get an ebook developed in less than 30 days.
Note: If you already have a book but it's not selling, then, you're making one or more the common mistakes that first-time authors make, e.g. Expecting the book to sell itself, lack of key words/content in the book, wrong title or misunderstood title, poorly-designed cover, lack of a clean, concise message or solution, no marketing plan for the book, wrong target audience, no website or blog promoting your book, not connecting with your target audience(s) on a daily basis, not enough content in the book and not enough in-depth research for you to be seen as an expert. Contact our office for help.
Most people get involved with starting their own health-related business because they improved their own health and want to share their experience with others.
If you were overweight and people noticed that you lost a lot of weight, more than likely, your family, friends and/or co-workers asked you how you did it.
And, so, you tell them and explain how you lost the weight; and, what you learned while you were losing the weight.
This happens to be the primary method that most people use to help others with their health -- they talk about it and share their own personal experience.
However, there is a second method that most people fail to use to help others with their health -- it is to write about it.
But, most people prefer talking about their experience instead of writing about it. Why? Because, talking about it is usually a lot easier for most people.
Ironically, what most people fail to realize is that talking about your health is actually the first step to writing about it! This is especially true if you talk about it almost every day or if you talk about it in public settings like at your church, or at a health fair or at some other community event.
And, if you have the foresight to record your talks or create your own handouts, this will make it even easier to start writing your book!
One of the advantages to writing a book is that, if you have decided to start your own health business, one of the best ways to be seen as an expert, is to write a book! If you are a good writer who loves to write, this may be just what the doctor ordered. 😉
The self-help book industry has been booming in recent years, due to more people looking for non-drug alternative ways to treat diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
People are constantly searching for ways to improve their lives, especially in the areas of health, finances, and relationships.
And, if you think about it, three of the top problems that most of us have to deal with during our lives are (1) problems with our health; (2) problems with our finances; and, (3) problems with relationships.
Some of the many (health-related) topics that people write about include topics such as personal challenges, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, nutrition, weight loss, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, allergies, autoimmune diseases, exercise, food, recipes, lifestyle changes, and spiritual enlightenment, just to name a few.
Becoming an author is a great way to gain credibility and build your customer base -- as long as you write a book that talks to your target audience. And, because there are so many free tools and technologies, writing a book and getting published is a lot easier today.
But, the Number 1 key to writing a book is to get started! I have met so many people who say they want to write a book, but, they never get started!
I'll let you in on a little secret. If you research how to write a book, you'll find hundreds of websites that explain step-by-step how to write a book. But, all of them overlook the most important step! The most important step is to reset your priorities so that you'll actually find the time to write your book! Then, establish a daily routine that you can commit to and implement -- that's how you'll get your book written.
If you don't do this, a year from now you will still not have written your book.
Here is a diagram that depicts overview of the process that we teach first-time authors so that they can get started on their journey as soon as they're ready.
If you look very closely, you'll notice that almost half of the steps have nothing to do with actually writing the book! Most of the work is about being a health advocate, improving your own health and helping other people! So, if you have already improved your health and/or you're already helping other people, you have more than enough information to begin writing your book!
If you follow these steps, you can become a first-time author within several weeks or sooner, depending on your level of interest and your passion for writing.
In fact, we can show you how to write a book in 30 days or how to develop an ebook in 7 days! We can show you how to offer your ebook as a gift or sell it as a product! We can show you how to convert your radio interviews into a video that you can put on YouTube so that you can reach more people with your story!
Now, you may be thinking: If it's so easy, then, why don't more people write a book?
There are 5 reasons why most people don't write a book:
- Time: Most people don't believe that they have the time to write a book about their health. Yet, most people have the time to talk about their health or spend all day on Facebook or Twitter. ☺ Tip: You can turn your talk into an audio book within 24 hours!
- Humility/Humbleness: Most people, especially mothers and homemakers, underestimate their own lives, and don't believe they have anything to write about that would be of interest to other people.
- Motivation: Most people aren't really driven or motivated to write a book.
- Writing Skills: Some people believe that they have to know how to write well to write a book. Most people are unaware that you can write a book by talking! (e.g. audio book).
- Publishing Skills: Most people don't know how to get a book published. Most people think that getting a book published is a complicated and expensive process -- it's not!
The good news is that if you really want to help people and if you're truly driven and motivated, you'll find the time to write your book or get recorded. Then, once you write a manuscript (or get recorded), you can get published and become a first-time author within several weeks!
There may be another reason why some people never write a book -- finances. It can cost anywhere from $0 to several thousand dollars to get your book written and published. It really depends on two things: (1) your computer skills; and (2) the quality of the book you want to publish.
It is very beneficial to know how to use tools such as MS Word in order to write your manuscript. Of course, it's not mandatory, but, from a cost perspective, it's imperative that you know how to use these kinds of tools.
It may also be helpful if you know how to use PowerPoint, Photoshop, Adobe, graphic tools, PDF printers/converters, audio/video recording and reformatting tools, etc., but, again, not mandatory.
It is also beneficial if you're an excellent writer or even a fair writer with good sentence structure, good grammar, spelling, etc. Otherwise, you're going to have to pay a good editor to edit and rewrite your manuscript.
One of the best places to spend some money is with the book cover. This is one of the most common mistakes that first-time authors make -- not paying for a well-designed book cover. Find a local artist or graphics designer who can help you design a professional-looking cover as a high resolution PDF file and/or a high res image file.
Printing costs is another area that you can't overlook. Try to find a local copy center (e.g. Kinkos, Staples) or a print shop where you can get a discount with bulk printing. I was fortunate because I worked at a company where I had access to large printers. 😃
If you don't have the finances, that's not a good reason not to write your book! Begin saving your money now and by the time you've finished your manuscript, you will have the extra dollars for your book cover and printing costs.
Worst case, even if you don't have the finances, for $0, you can always convert your book to an ebook until you are able to save enough money to get your book printed and published.
Can I Write a Book?
Of course you can! Despite what you have heard, it's really not that hard to write a book -- if you really want to ...
As previously mentioned there are 5 reasons why most people never get around to writing a book. Let's take a deeper look at those 5 reasons and what may be holding you up:
1. Time: Most people believe that they don't have the time to write a book.
Actually, that's not completely true. It doesn't require a lot of time to write a book. It's really about your priorities. Have you noticed that you find time to do other things? Change your priorities and you'll find the time to write your book! Also, don't try to do too much in the beginning.
Establish a routine and set aside 30 minutes each day; and, work yourself up to an hour a day.
This is the key reason (or excuse) that you must overcome if you're really serious about writing a book.
If you don't like to write, you can record your talk and create an audio book!
2. Motivation: Most people aren't really driven or motivated to write a book.
This is a tough one. If you're not really motivated, it's going to be difficult. So, try to find a reason why you should write the book. Think about how you overcame personal challenges and improved your health.
Think about how you can help other people, based on your personal experiences. Wanting to help people is a great reason to write a book.
Or, think about someone or something that you really love, for example, your children, or your husband, or your wife, or your partner, or your lifestyle.
Then, think about how your book could make their lives easier or how the book may change your lifestyle.
3. Writing Skills: Some people don't know how to write.
Actually, you don't really need to know how to write with today's technology! If you like to talk, then, get a portable recorder and record what you have to say.
Then, use an audio editor to edit your mp3 file; and, voila! -- you're just a couple steps away from having your book on an audio CD disk!
Or, you can pay a college student to transcribe your audio file into a Word document and you'll have your first draft manuscript!
An excellent way to help you with the writing is to make a list of the key topics that you like to talk about or you feel are important to you. Then, review each topic and identify any sub-topics that you feel are important.
Then, take some time each day to research and take notes about each of these topics. If you do this consistently, within a few months, you'll have more than enough notes to begin writing your book; or, you can hire a writer to take your notes and turn them into manuscript pages.
Another problem that some people have is that they have collected a lot of notes over the years, but, they can't seem to be able to connect the dots or tie it all together into a cohesive book.
But, you can get around this issue by stepping away from the details and think about what is the specific health problem that you're trying to solve. The more narrow your focus, the easier it will be tie it all together. But, if the topic is too general, you won't be able to tie everything together and come up with a concise solution.
4. Nothing to Say (Humility): Most people are humble and don't believe they have anything to write about that would be of any interest to other people. Or, they don't believe they're an expert at anything that they can write about.
Actually, we're all experts at something, usually through our job, other work experience, raising a family, taking care of the home, doing community/church or volunteer work, or being a health advocate.
But, if we didn't have the opportunity to go to college and obtain a college degree, we may feel uncomfortable about not having some letters after our name. But, think about it: Did not going to college stop you from doing research to help improve your health or the health of a friend or relative?
But, some people, such as mothers and homemakers, believe that since they didn't go to college or work in Corporate America, that no one is going to be interested in what they have to say or write about.
Well, nothing could be further from the truth! A woman who has raised 5 children and put them through college -- well that's a story! There are people out there who will want to know how you did it!
Take a man who has lost 120 pounds -- people will want to know how he did it.
Take a woman who is fighting multiple diseases -- people want to know how is that she is still alive!
Because of society, we tend to believe that we need to have a college degree to validate ourselves and to be taken seriously. People don't care whether you have a college degree, especially if you have a compelling story that will help them!
Think about any major problem you have had to overcome in your life -- these make great stories and the foundation for a great self-help book!
Examples include: losing weight, overcoming a major health problem, raising kids, growing a garden, planning a wedding, setting up a major church event, helping your parents, surviving bankruptcy, helping your alma mater, being a health advocate for your community, running a health fair, fighting city hall, being a math tutor, being a mentor for high school students, cooking/baking, singing, being the peacemaker in family arguments ... the list goes on and on!
5. Publishing Skills: Most people don't know how to get their book published.
With today's technology, getting published is pretty easy -- as long as you have the money to pay a publisher. In fact, even if you don't have the money, you can still get published! -- as long as you have the MS Word processing and editing skills.
And, even if you don't have these skills, you can still get your book published. This is where we can help you since I have already gone through all of this in writing my first book, "Death to Diabetes". Just contact our office for a free consultation -- I'll get you going in the right direction and will show you how to get your book published in 90 days!
Stop procrastinating -- get started today or first thing tomorrow morning. If you don't, another year will pass and you'll be right back here, thinking about writing a book ...
And, for those of you who have already beaten a disease or are already in the process of helping others, believe it or not, you have already started writing your book and you don't even know it! Take a closer look at the steps in the diagram (above), which we use in our writing classes. You'll notice that you are already doing some of these steps, e.g. research, interviews, talks, etc.
So, you have to ask yourself: Why do I doubt myself? What is holding me back? What am I afraid of? What's the worse thing that can happen?
Whatever are your answers, you can overcome them. Think about it: You've already overcome a lot in your life. Why are you making writing your book such a big deal such that you are frozen or afraid or refuse to allocate the time? Don't let excuses or the world around you stop you from doing what you need to do to help other people.
I went through all of this, so I know how you're feeling. Luckily for me, I had a daughter and a mother who somehow saw what I didn't see. I had a hundred legit reasons for not writing a book, but, they knew better. They saw past my "fake" excuses and the fear that I felt about putting my beliefs down on paper versus just talking about them.
When I look back, the only thing that I regret is that I waited so long to write the book ...
Book Writing Tips
Here are some tips to help you if you're really serious about writing a book:
Use your own life and work experiences to write about a topic that you are most knowledgeable, skilled and comfortable to talk about. Keep notes or a journal of your journey to improving your health.
Research, research, research. And, keep good notes. There is nothing more important than research! You need to know more than the people you plan to help -- a lot more! And, the more you know (especially about the science), the more credibility you will have.
Maintain objectivity. Be objective and knowledgeable enough to understand both sides of a controversial issue. Some people, including some doctors, were surprised when I included some medical practices in my book. I don't believe that everything that a doctor does is bad! It's interesting to me that the majority of people who hate doctors or believe that all doctors are bad tend to be people who don't understand science! Is that a coincidence? I don't think so. If you don't have the science background, either acquire it or find a couple science people without an agenda that you can trust.
Record clinical references, studies, etc. Keep good records of clinical references, studies, reports, etc. that will help to substantiate any of your claims.
Know your audience! If you're diabetic, talk to diabetics -- that's your audience. Since you're diabetic also, you know how the disease affects you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially, etc. This will give you the insight track to being able to help others.
Know who you're talking to and be prepared. In general, from a "who-knows-you" perspective, there are 3 types of people you'll meet: (1) People who know you; (2) People who think they know you; and, (3) People who don't know you.
Why do you need to be prepared to deal with all 3 types of people? Because people who know you or think they know you already have preconceived notions of who you are. That may become a barrier in them believing your message -- especially when it comes to family, friends and co-workers. And, people who don't know you aren't going to listen to your message if you don't sound credible and engaging.
In general, from a disease perspective, there are two types of people that you must be prepared for. If we use the disease Type 2 diabetes as an example, there are two types of diabetics that you must be prepared for: (1) diabetics who take prescription drugs; and, (2) diabetics who don't take prescription drugs. And, in most cases, both groups of people will be unhappy dealing with their diabetes.
Bottom-line, you must bring a fresh perspective that will help both groups with their disease.
Join a local support group. This is an excellent way to learn how people are dealing with your disease. It's also a way that people will get to learn about you.
Focus on your primary target audience! Make sure that you don't try to take on the entire world! Focus on a niche market and learn how to be successful in that small niche markets to build your credibility. Then, leverage your success to expand to other groups. If you try to take on the whole world or too big of a problem, you will fail. Or, you will burnout within a couple years.
When I first started, although I knew a lot about a lot of diseases, I focused on Type 2 diabetes. Although people with other diseases like obesity, heart disease, cancer and Type 1 diabetes approached me, I remained focused on Type 2 diabetes. Even when parents who had children with Type 1 diabetes approached me, I stayed away for quite a few years. Why? I stayed away for two reasons: (1) I didn't know as much about Type 1 diabetes as I did about Type 2; and, (2) The dynamics of helping children is different than helping adults.
Let me explain. It was pretty easy to address the first reason -- all I had to do was invest the time into more in-depth research of the pathology and pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes at the cellular level. Concerning the second reason, that is a little trickier. Parents are very protective of their children and rightly so. It is easier for an adult to entrust their health with you -- if it doesn't work, they're okay with that. But, it's a lot more difficult to entrust their child's health with you -- if it fails, heaven forbid, the child may die. In fact, this is part of the fear factor and guilt trip that Western Medicine uses to keep parents in line with relying on drugs to treat their child.
As a result, you must have a lot more credibility if you want to help a child versus the credibility you need to help an adult. Many health advocates make the mistake by doing the exact same thing that Big Pharma dord -- they use fear! By telling the parent that child is going to suffer or even die, it raises their defense shields. Instead, the focus should be to first educate the parents and provide safe alternatives that can be tested and verified before using their children as guinea pigs!
In my situation, it turned out that at least one of the parents who had a child with Type 1 diabetes, also had the disease or some similar disease. By educating and treating the parent first, we gained credibility; and, more importantly, we gained their trust to eventually be able to help their child.
In addition, for any suggestions we made, especially about nutrition and supplements, we always provided clinical references to substantiate our claims. We also used blood tests, hormone tests, etc. to demonstrate that their health was improving. If you can't back up what you're saying or writing about, it becomes your word against the word of Western Medicine and Big Pharma.
Focus on a solution. Find or design a solution for your target audience. Don't play the blame game. People want solutions to their health problems -- not complaints. Complaints won't make your customers healthier. In fact, you may cause damage to their health by making them angry!
Now, don't get me wrong -- there are some authors who have become very successful by blaming others. Kevin Trudeau is a great example. He became a millionaire blaming Big Pharma and the government. But, his books didn't help people with their health.
Become a health advocate for your community. This will allow you to connect with your audience and other people. This is also how you build your credibility. You will also learn how to develop a thick skin. when you become a health advocate. Remember: you're going up against the establishment, the status quo -- so, people are going to attack you. But, don't take it personally.
Keep in mind that there are 5 major reasons why people will attack you:
1. Ignorance, lack of knowledge
4. Lack of self-esteem/confidence
People know very little about the science of disease and drugs, so they will attack you out of ignorance. You can counter this by educating them (talks, lectures, workshops, a book, a website, etc.).
People are fearful of change, especially when it affects their lifestyle or their children and it goes against conventional wisdom. And, when people are afraid, they become overly anxious and even angry. Politicians use fear a lot as does Big Pharma. Again, education is the key.
Some people will not accept the fact that you may know more than them. Their pride will prevent them from accepting your message. Instead, they will test you. I used to love this when someone would test me during a public talk. They assumed that they knew more or they thought I was some hokie who didn't know anything. But, I welcomed it, because many of them helped to reinforce my message.
Believe it or not, people who attack you lack self-esteem or self-confidence! But, they hide it by attacking you! It's part of the bullying dynamic. Remember the local bully in your neighborhood? He/she was more afraid of you than you were of them!
Some people may attack you out of jealousy or envy. Because they perceive that you're living this great life, they may become envious of you or even angry.
Now, you may be asking: What does this have to do with writing a book? Well, it takes courage to write a book, especially a book about a controversial topic. When you put yourself out there, you want to be prepared.
If you're prepared, you'll have fun. If you're not prepared, you will not have fun -- it's that simple.
"Be prepared, son. That's my motto. Be prepared." [Quote from Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout]
Write a bio. Write a great bio, based on how you overcame your health problem and improved your overall health. Think about your family, work, and life experiences and how they guided you to this point.
Don't underestimate your own life -- you may not think your life is important or exciting because you're living it. But, there are events and challenges in your life that you overcame that could help someone else.
Don't be shy or bashful -- be open and honest; and, expand on the challenges you had to overcome and explain what motivated you to get better, e.g. I wanted to see my children grow up and go to college.
Write an elevator speech. If you ran into Oprah on an elevator and you had 30 seconds, what would you tell her? Make sure your key message is in your bio! People make the mistake of writing long bios and forget their message or they bury their message!
Begin defining your brand. Think about who you are and what you represent. Think about what you want other people to know about you. Make that part of your brand.
Develop a program. If you have done a lot of research and taken a lot of notes, you probably have more than enough information for several book! But, you can't seem to tie it all together, right? Step back and make sure that you're not trying to solve world hunger. :-)
Select a topic with a lot narrow focus. Then, define a set of steps or instructions that will address the problem. Flush out these steps until it makes sense to you. Once you have done this, you will have an outline of your "get well" program!
Then, you can take each step, make it a chapter within your book and then start adding the details to the chapter.
Put together a 1-page pamphlet that summarizes your story of recovery and improving your overall health. Define a set of steps that explains how you recovered. And, don't forget to include your name, contact information, and, a nice photo. Then, make copies of the pamphlet on various colored papers to hand out at health fairs, church events and other community events.
Also, convert the pamphlet into a PDF and offer it as a free "ebook" on your blog or website.
Create your draft manuscript. Review, edit and update your manuscript.
Format your manuscript. Get the manuscript formatted in book form with headers, footers, page numbers, etc. Popular paperback book sizes include 5 x 8, 5½ x 8½ and 6 x 9; and, 8½ x 11 for workbooks or spiral-bound books.
Get a designer to do a professional cover design. Unless you are an artist and can do it yourself, hire a professional. They will be quick, and will help your book have visual appeal and look professional.
Get an ISBN number. An ISBN number is a 13 digit code used to easily identify and track your book. Many self-publishing sites will provide one for you, but if you plan on publishing entirely by your own, you should acquire one for yourself. You will need this so that your books can be listed in the Bowker database where bookstores pick up latest books for retailing.
You can buy a single or multiple ISBNs directly from Bowker or an ISBN service.
Get your book printed. Find a local printer and get your book printed. Then, review the book in detail. You'll be surprised how many new problems you uncover! :-)
Publish online. Use Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc. to reach a larger audience. Also, consider setting up your own online store.
Use a Vanity Publisher to publish your book. This may seem to be the easiest way to get published, but, be careful of hidden costs and giving up some control. Also, if you get your ISBN from them, they own your publishing rights!
Conduct in-depth research for your topic area. Find out what experts in that topic area have to say. Figure out what you have to offer that would be beneficial to your potential readers.
Conduct a market survey of your key competitors and determine how to position your book to sell (with a great hook). This is one of the biggest secrets for turning your book into a top-seller!
Benchmark you book against other books -- what added value will your book provide? What will separate your book from other similar books?
Of course, I wouldn't really worry about doing any market research in the beginning -- unless you don't believe your health problem is a big problem.
FYI: I remember when I was trying to convince my mother and my daughter that there was no need to for me to write a book about diabetes, because there were already thousands of books written about diabetes.
But, when I started doing the research, I discovered that most of the diabetes books were written by doctors and so-called marketing experts who hadn't experienced dealing with the disease. They were writing from a theoretical perspective!
Consequently, there was a strong need for a book about diabetes, written from the perspective of someone who had actually lived with the disease and beaten the disease.
Note 1: The business of writing self-help books is about establishing credibility as an expert in your subject area. If you expect readers to seek your book for advice, you need prove you aren’t just an amateur. So, it’s important to complete extensive research. The use of statistics can help you make points, show how certain techniques work, or let your readers know they’re not alone.
Note 2: Part of your research should include getting to know your target audience. Examine the type of person that you’ll be writing for, so you can develop a positive rapport and gain their trust by understanding who they are. It’s okay to address your reader as “you” and refer to yourself as “I.” This develops a warm and supportive tone that is imperative in a self-help book.
More Book Writing Tips
Organize your thoughts and develop an outline. Build your book around a framework of headings and subheads to help your reader easily follow along. If you're good with pictures, then, develop a flow chart or diagram that represents the structure of your book. Use a step-by-step method to explain your "program" and to avoid confusion.
Focus on just one skill or theory in each chapter, helping the reader know what they should be taking away from the material. Then, expand on each chapter to build the manuscript for your book. Use shorter paragraphs to limit each paragraph to a single idea.
Remember to stay focused on the practical – inspirational sentences and theories can be helpful, but overuse may overwhelm the reader.
Have your manuscript properly edited by a professional. You want to ensure that people don't find misspellings, typos and grammar being utilized incorrectly.
Select a great title to reach your target audience.
Come up with design for your book cover and find a reputable professional designer to design your cover as a high res JPEG and a PDF.
Make sure you tell your story as part of the book. Why? Because stories sell. Your story will create a connection with your reader and target audience.
Provide a fresh point of view that is different from other books in your genre.
For a self-help book, provide a simple solution that is easy for your readers to understand and implement. Make it as easy as possible for your readers to see how they can implement your instructions and improve their lives.
Speak their language, that is the language of your target audience. Speak in your voice or the voice of the reader to "connect" with your readers.
Author's Perspective About Selecting the Right Topic: It may take you a few months to discover the best topic to write about, so don't let it overwhelm you -- the process will guide you. For example, when I first started researching, it led me to investiage other diseases, not just diabetes. I ended up with a manuscript of more than 10,000 pages of words, tables, charts, diagrams, spreadsheets, etc. Obviously, I had gone a little overboard. :-)
But, ironically, that in-depth research helped me to better understand how most diseases break down the body at the cellular level and how the body responds to those diseases. And, by looking at multiple diseases, I began to see certain patterns about those diseases and realized that diabetes was a lot more than a "blood sugar" problem!
Consequently, I was able to design a more effective solution that addressed a lot more than the blood sugar. And, by doing that, I actually came up with a solution (a wellness model) that worked! And, because it worked, people loved the book! [Years later, I used the same wellness model to design programs for other illnesses and diseases, e.g. heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases. When I am able to find the time, I will do more in-depth research and eventually write a new book about another disease].
Because of all of the in-depth research I had done, it made it easier for me to explain why people were diabetic and remained diabetic. More importantly, it made it easier for me to design a solution that actually help people with their diabetes!
While writing your book, be careful not to overdo "the blame game". I discovered early on that blaming "Big Pharma" or the government made people angry and it didn't solve their problem with their diabetes. In fact, because they became so angry, this raised their blood sugar! So, I decided to focus more on the science behind diseases and understand them at the cellular level.
But, you may be thinking that since most people don't really care about science, how is this going to help people? Well, back then, there were a lot of disagreements about how to treat diabetes. There were hundreds of these diets, but, most of them either didn't work or they only worked for a short period of time.
So, instead of designing a solution at that time, I decided to go back to the basics of science and biology to understand the disease better. And, by doing so, I began to see why most of these diets failed! I began to see that many of the assumptions that even some medical experts had made about diabetes and food were dead wrong! [no pun intended :-) ]
Of course, this took me a lot longer to write the book, but, in the end, it was the best thing that I could have done.
Please Note: During my talks to various community groups, I quickly realized that most people didn't care about the science. So, I decided to leave out a lot of the science in my book and put that information on my website; and, years later, in my training program.
For more details about writing a book including step-by-step instructions and training, read Chapter 9 of the 400-page How to Start a Business & Write a Bookebook.
A bio is a summary of the highlights of your career and your life—your training, credits, and something about you personally, especially if you overcame any health issues. It tells the public in sentence form—unlike the columns in your resume—what experiences and formal education you have that qualifies you to help your target audience with their health issues.
A bio is useful for a host of reasons such as applying for a job, publishing an article or guest blog post, general networking etc. A bio is a great vehicle for quickly communicating who you are and what you do.
Don't underestimate the importance of a great bio. Your bio is getting more and more important and you should make sure it sells you, brings out your personal brand, and connects with your target audience.
Types of Bio: Job/Performance-focused, Event-focused (more like a story), Combo
Use the following tips to help you write an effective bio that your readers will be attracted to and become interested in your website, book, services, etc.
Think about what is your motivation: Wanting to help others with diabetes? wanting to live longer to see your children grow up? preventing the loss of more relatives from diabetes, other diseases?
Who are you? Define yourself in 1 sentence.
What gives you credibility? What makes you interesting? What helps people connect with you? Are you a member of a professional organization? Have you published any articles? Written for a newspaper or magazine? Have you helped to improve the health of others?
Think about what your primary skills are and how they play into your bio. Skills: 3 R's, 4th R: running your mouth; 5th R?: rebel (if you plan to be a health advocate or if you plan to write a controversial book
Content of your bio
Try not to include too much “resumé” type information in your bio –- info such as your education, job history, etc. tends to be boring. Only include what’s relevant to your business goals and business/marketing plan.
Consider carefully the purpose of your bio and who is the audience. Why? Because the purpose of your bio determines what type of bio to write: To impress? to target a specific audience? to connect with and attract customers? to establish credibility?
Tailor your bio to your audience.For example, if your audience is diabetics, make sure that you mention something about how you've helped diabetics.
Write in the third person -- it will make your bio sound more objective – like it’s been written by someone else – which can be useful in a formal setting (ex. for work). If the bio is personal, however, writing it in the first person will make it sound friendlier.
Don't make "lists." Describe or elaborate your skills, training, and experience in sentence form.
State your claim to fame. What are you known for? What do you do for a living? Don't leave this to the end or make your readers guess—they won't and they may well lose interest quickly if it's not up front. This should be explicitly stated in the first or second sentence. Usually, combining it with your name is easiest.
Your Opening Sentence
This is where you sell yourself to the editor. Your opening line is your introduction, the first thing the editor notices. This line can make you or break you. Your name should be the first thing you write. Start out by stating, "Jennifer Greene is a freelancer, online journal editor, e-book author." State your name and who you are. Never mention your personal life, just your professional titles.
The 2nd Paragraph
State your business: Just like a resume, you want to drop your occupation and accomplishments in there early. The reader needs to be hooked and enticed to keep reading.
Mention your most important accomplishments, if applicable. This is a tricky one, and might not be applicable in all situations. Remember that a bio is not a resume. Do not list your accomplishments, and only include them if they are relevant and you have space.
The Next Paragraph
Include personal, humanizing details. This is a nice way to invite the reader to care. It’s also your chance to get some of your personality across.
When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends time working in the garden, playing trivia at the pub, and trying very hard not be the worst pool player in the Rockies.
End your bio with your contact details or hyperlink the content to ways of contacting you like your email or your LinkedIn profile.
Note: If your bio is to be published online, be careful with the email address in order to avoid spam. Many people write email addresses online as something like: jennifer (at) fizzlemail (dot) com.
You can reach her at jgreene (at) email (dot) com.
Size of bio
Aim for at least 250 words. For an online blurb, this is just enough to give the reader a taste of your life and personality without becoming a bore. For a more serious post such as a college entrance bio, delve into the details a little more.
Elements of bio include:
- Your area of expertise;
- Key events that your audience can relate to
- Relevant business experience (if you offer related business services or you’re a speaker)
- Any major media coverage you’ve received; Publications that you write for
- Key words (for SEO/Google)
- A link to your website
- The title of your book (if applicable)
Everyone wants your bio to be shorter. The shorter your bio, the more people will read it. No one is impressed by a long series of unimpressive things. If you have a great one sentence bio, people will be curious enough to find out more. On the other hand, if you have a bad, long bio they are certain never to want to learn anything about you. When you are famous enough to appear on TV or write an article for The New York Times, your by-line will be a few words long: Author. Senator. Musician. Keep this in mind. The goal is to make your bio shorter, not longer.
Review your bio
Review your bio several times -- ensure key words are part of your bio to help with search engines finding you. Get your friends to proof your bio before you publish it anywhere. Remember that your bio is a living document and you should review it on a monthly basis. As it’s fairly short it won’t take you too long to make changes that can be quite important to the reader.
A micro, short and long bio
You will need a micro, short and long bio for different purposes. You will find that your bio will be requested in different lengths and therefore it’s advisable to keep three or even more versions. The micro bio is basically a sentence that you can use as your elevator pitch and on your Twitter profile. The short bio should be one paragraph long and cover all the need to knows. The long bio adds the nice to knows and should sum you up completely. The long bio can live on your personal site for those interested.
As a rule of thumb, the micro bio is one sentence, the short bio should be 100-250 words; and the long bio can be up 1-2 pages.
Later on, you should expand the long bio into several pages within your book.
For blogs and websites, have a short version ready that really defines who you are, what you do and, again, why you do it.
Key Point: Make sure that you really love your bio and it's been reviewed and edited by lots of people. Make sure of this before you start copying your bio and placing it in a press release or on your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Why? Because once it's in Google, everyone will see any errors, especially typos, and grammatical errors. Proof, double-proof and triple-proof it!
Before you get your book printed or published, make sure that your manuscript has been fully reviewed and edited several times.
Create and edit your draft manuscript. Once you've finished your first draft, go back through it with a fine-tooth comb. Reorganize passages, paragraphs and even chapters where necessary. Replace mundane words and make your phrasing more interesting and clear. Correct your spelling and grammar! Use Spell-checker!
Share it with other people. Present your manuscript to your reading club or a friend so you can get an outside opinion. Stories you find impossibly funny might seem dull to someone else. Get feedback from several people if you can, so you'll have a better idea of how your book comes across to other people.
- If several people recommend cutting a certain section, strongly consider making the cut.
- Try to get opinions from people outside your circle of family and friends. People who know you might try to spare your feelings, or they might be biased - especially if they appear in the story.
Hire a copy editor. This is one of the most important things that you can do! There is nothing more devastating and damaging than having a bunch of spelling errors and poor grammar in your book! You will lose your credibility immediately!
A good copy editor will clean up your writing and make sense of your words so that the average person will understand what you're saying. Keep in mind that the average person only has a high school reading level of understanding.
Whether you're planning on getting your book published at a publishing house or using self-publishing, it's never a bad idea to have a professional editor polish your book at the end of the writing process.
Come up with a title. It should match the tone and style of your book, in addition to being attention-grabbing and intriguing. Keep the title short and memorable, rather than wordy and difficult to grasp.
Take steps to self-publish your book. Even if you don't want to worry about trying to sell your book to the public, you might want to have it designed and printed to keep it for yourself and give to your family members and other people that you mention in the book. Make sure that you research various companies that offer book designing, printing, and shipping services, and decide how many copies you'd like to order. Many companies offering these services produce books that look just as professional as those printed by traditional publishing houses.
If you don't want to pay for a publishing service, you can still create a nice copy of your book by taking it to a local printer or a copy store and having it printed and bound.
In fact, you may want to get your book printed locally first. Why? Because, more than likely, you'll find errors that you or even the editor overlooked!
Optional: Consider finding a literary agent. If you want to publish your book and share it with the world, enlisting the help of a literary agent can get you on your way.
- Start the query letter with an airtight blurb succinctly describing the highlights of the book. Situate your book in the correct genre, and describe what will make it stand out from the rest. Tell the agent why you think he or she is the right person to shop your book around to publishers.
- Send sample chapters to agents who show interest.
- Sign a contract with an agent you trust. Make sure to read the contract carefully and check into the agent's history before signing anything.
Submit a query letter directly to publishers. If you don't want to take the time to find an agent, you can submit a letter directly to publishers and see if anyone bites. Research publishers that publishes books in the same genre. Don't send the entire manuscript right away; wait until you get a manuscript request from the publisher.
- Many publishers don't accept unsolicited manuscripts or queries. Make sure you only send letters to publishers that accept them.
- If a publisher decides to move forward with a book deal with you, you'll need to sign a contract and set up a schedule for editing, designing, proofreading, and finally publishing the book.
Look into publishing your book online. This is an increasingly popular method for publishing books, and a great way to save on printing and shipping expenses for all involved. Research online publishers that publish the books in the same genre, submit your query letter, and move forward with editing and publishing the text.
Create an ebook of your book to sell as a download. This is a very inexpensive way to get "published" without spending any money. But, if you want to reach the masses, you will want to get published.
FYI: Ironically, after I got published, some customers (especially international customers)wanted the ebook! Finally, after about 4 years, I finally produced an expanded version of the book as an ebook.
Get book published in multiple languages. After you have received enough feedback and updated your master manuscript, consider getting your book published in multiple languages. If it's too expensive, then, get key job aids and charts in the book published in multiple languages.
Note: The major types of books to write include:
-- Fiction: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Science Fiction, Romance
-- Non-Fiction: Health, Self-Help, History, Biographies, Religious/ Spirituality, Current Affairs, True Crime, Business
Key Point: Write about what you know about.
Now, just because you've written a book doesn't mean thousands of people are going to buy your book! :-)
First, they have to know that you've written a book! Second, you have to make it easy for them to find your book. And, third, you need to explain why they need to buy your book.
One of the most important things that you can do while writing or after you haven written a book is getting the word out. One of the best ways to do that is to talk, talk, talk, and keep talking. :-)
Talk to others about your recovery and the challenges you faced, and exactly how you overcame your health problem. And, talk about the project that you are so passionate about.
There is no better way to promote your book (without actually promoting your book) than by just telling your story! Most people get turned off by authors who push their book. But, most people love a good story!
Don't just talk in formal settings. Talk to people while standing in the grocery store line. Talk to people while standing in line at the post office. Talk to people at work, at church, in the parking lot! :-)
Think of ways to engage people about health. Explain to people why you're drinking a green smoothie. Explain to people why you have 12 boxes of frozen vegetables in your shopping cart. :-)
In the beginning, don't rely on Facebook and the Internet solely for promoting your book. Actually, Facebook is one of the worst places to try to promote your book. Start locally and build from there. If you can't sell your book locally, what makes you think you can sell it on a national level?
Oh, by the way, when you start locally, you can make mistakes and be able to recover, plus you have time to practice. If you make a mistake nationally, it may be difficult to recover.
Where to Start:
Step 1a: The most important part of successful promoting or advertising is to figure out exactly who your customers are, where they are, and how to reach them.
Step 1b: Look for non-traditional places to share your story with others, e.g. post office, grocery store, the mall, church, a health fair, work, etc.
Step 1c: Create a 1-page pamphlet of steps or tips on how people can improve their health. Don't forget to include your contact information. Tip: Use a bright color for the pamphlet's paper so that it stands out.
Create a colorful job aid such as a chart, table or diagram that turns a complex problem into an easy-to-read solution. But, don't get carried away with the colors -- too many colors is distracting and may take away from your message.
And, don't forget to add your name with a "copyright" and your website url, if you have a website.
Step 1d: Get your story in the local newspaper. There's nothing more credible than having your story in the newspaper. Make copies of the newspaper article to hand out to people. Tip: Always carry a few copies of the newspaper article with you just in case you run into someone at the mall, grocery store, post office, etc.
Step 1e: This is the ideal to have your elevator pitch ready. There are many places besides the elevator where you will need your 30-second elevator pitch. :-)
Step 2: Once you know your target market or where they reside, speak to them directly. That means coming up with a message from your book that fits your customers.
Step 3: The hardest part of advertising your book is figuring out how to reach your target market. In the beginning, it’s a good idea to start locally. Visit churches, go to health fairs, get on the radio, get interviewed, get some testimonials, join/talk to a support group, etc.
But, don't forget to practice before you go on the radio! Use humor, but, only if it's in you. Humor relaxes people, draws them in. But, be careful -- if you try to be funny and you hear crickets, that's not good! :-)
Being an engineer, most of us are just not funny. We tend to be overly analytical and boring. We get overly excited about science and mathematics, but, most people could care less. Thanks to my daughter, she convinced me to stop talking about the science and using big words. She said: "Dad, you sound like one of those doctors who use big words to intimidate us or make us feel stupid. Talk about grandma, talk about your daughter :-) We're more interesting than science and numbers."
As it turned out, my daughter was right. Once I turned my talks into focusing more on family, it seemed to draw in more people! It also seemed to loosen me up and somehow the humor came out, which seemed to also loosen up the audience.
And, during radio interviews, I was pleasantly surprised when the radio show hosts would ask me to come back and speak again. I found out later that after my radio interviews, the radio station would receive a lot of calls about my story and asked if they planned to have me on their show again.
p.s. To give you sense of how I spoke (without the humor) versus with the humor: There are some early videos on YouTube where I was really boring, unprepared and nervous -- and, you can tell! But, in some of the later videos, you can sense the difference in my voice, my demeanor, my confidence -- thanks to my daughter ...
Step 4: Make sure your advertising is memorable and professional. Remember, first impressions are important. Create a great tagline, or slogan that people won’t forget! Add humor to your personal story.
Step 5: These days, having a good website is important. You can create a website for little to nothing. Make sure your website has all of the information your customers need about your book and your other products and services; plus, pricing, directions, and specials!
Offer a free ebook or job aid on your website to begin building your email contact list. Have visitors to your site fill out a form;and, then, send them the free ebook or job aid.
Tip: Don't use Facebook as your "website"! Use Facebook and Twitter to expand your reach to your target audience. Keep a copy of anything you put on Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform.
Ideas for Local Advertising:
Get interviewed on the local radio stations -- if you have a good story, it won't cost you anything! But, focus on your story, not the book!
And, don't forget to get a copy (mp3 file) of your interview from the radio station. If you're a "techy" person, we'll show you how to convert the audio into a video that you can post on YouTube!
Get your story into one of the local newspapers. It doesn’t have to be a city wide newspaper. Your town may have a penny saver or small alternative newspaper and your neighborhood may also have a local newsletter or neighborhood paper.
Getting on the radio creates a buzz. Getting in the newspaper creates a buzz also, but, it will gain you credibility.
Step 6: Contact Amazon.com (CreateSpace) and get your book sold online and to reach more people. Amazon will send you a monthly commissions check, based on your book sales! Tip: If you have your book published by CreateSpace, it will automatically be added to the Amazon store.
Key Point: Writing a book is a double-edged sword. If it's a great book, you'll gain credibility and notoriety and reach a lot of people. People will want to talk to you. However, if it's not a great book, you won't gain credibility and notoriety and reach a lot of people. If the book is poorly written or doesn't provide a solution that works, you will lose credibility, never gain any notoriety and not reach a lot of people.
Keep in mind that over 80% of first-time authors sell less than a hundred of their books! The primary reasons: Selecting the wrong topic; the book is poorly written, offers no effective solution, has a bad cover design and or a bad title, etc.
Bottom-line: Make sure that you select the right topic!! Know your audience! Don't assume that just because you're passionate about a topic that they will be as passionate! And, don't point fingers -- it's easy to blame others like the drug companies and the government. Most people don't care who's to blame -- they just want to get well! And, do your homework to devise a solution that works! And, test the solution to make sure it works before you publish it!
If you're not sure what to do next, or if you want to know more about starting a business or writing a book, then, get the author's 400-page How to Start a Business & Write a Book ebook.
FYI: If you're wondering why information about starting a business and writing a book are in the same book, it turns out that many of the activities associated with starting a business are also associated with writing a book. Depending on how you plan to market and sell your book, writing a book may be a stepping stone towards starting a health-related business. But, even if you don't want to start a health business, you will still need to perform some of those steps for your book. Given that, it didn't make sense to separate these activities into two separate books.
If you only need information about health coaching, then, get the author's How to be a Great Health Coach ebook.
These are inexpensive ebooks that will guide you on your journey and explain how to get started without investing a lot of money upfront and, yet, save you a lot of wasted time, especially in the beginning.
If you already have a business and you want to grow your business and revenues, then, consider the comprehensive Health Coaching & Business Training Program -- the online/physical kit version or the less expensive online-only downloadableversion.
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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