The Easiest Way to Start Your Book Today


Welcome back readers.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I want to write a book?” Or, maybe you’ve heard an increasingly large number of entrepreneurs are writing books and you want to jump on the train. Maybe you want to spread your story and expand your audience beyond your current clientele. We’ve heard these types of comments and questions from many people and we are here to help. Over the past month we have put together a guide for authors, speakers, coaches, and businesses owners to start the book they’ve always wanted to write.

Today I’ll break down what we created and why we sectioned it out the way we did. From the first day of writing to finding your readers’ problems to brainstorming ideas for your cover and everything in between, we have you covered.

What we did?

Making it easier to start your book!

“Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” is our way to help people who want to write a book but do not understand where to start. One of the hardest parts of writing a book is starting. Newton’s first law, as stated probably one too many times outside of the field of physics, still holds true – “An object in motion stays in motion, an object at rest stays at rest.”  The aim of our guide is to help writers to just start, to create a certain time to write in a creative place, and to begin planning the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing their future book.

Each manuscript goes through three main processes, which you have probably heard from us before: writing, publishing, and marketing. We divided our ten days into three, three-day blocks tackling the three tasks in each period block. But, that only adds up to nine days. The last day, and in our opinion the most important day, is the day in which we encourage our writers to take the time to plan out the rest of their book, and to take the next step forward.

If you want to learn a bit more about how to start writing your book, download “Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You” today and begin your path to publication. Or, if you know of someone interested in writing a book, please share this post with them. We appreciate it! 

Until next week,


Ten Simple Steps to Discover the Book Inside You

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Announcing Telesummit Experts and Topics, Oh My!

We’re excited to announce the experts and their topics for our Capstone Telesummit event on April 1. We’ve extended the day since we have two bonus experts sharing their information! The hours are now 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST. If you can’t make the entire day, that’s okay; all audio is recorded and we’ll send it to everyone whether you’re online all day or not. That way, you can go back and absorb the material at your leisure!

The next segment of the Teleseminar, “It’s More Than Just Words,” is Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 4:00 PM. “See” you there. Thanks to the following experts. We couldn’t have accomplished this without you!

We’re Grateful For:

Michelle Arbore

Social media marketing for authors; what works for fiction might not work for nonfiction writers.

Michelle Arbore Headshot

Diana Ennen

Best-Selling Author and PR Expert Shares What It Takes to Market A Book; the Pitfalls to Avoid and How to Create Magic for Sales.

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Kay Fittes

From Speaker to Author – The Author’s Guide to Creating Confidence and Credibility.

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Beverley Golden

During her interview, Beverley discusses how “writing was the easiest part. It was the editing, publishing, and marketing where most of the energy was spent.”


Tonya Hofmann

How being published establishes credibility as a speaker, what publishers expect, and once you’re published it’s another avenue of revenue!


James Ranson

Comprehensive Book Plans: Why You Need One to Create a High-Quality Book.


Michelle Scappace

Authors Can’t Do It Alone; Your Focus is Writing. PVAAs Have Training and Expertise, Provide Guidance, and Encouragement…


Janica Smith

Self-Publishing Options: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Janica Smith and Michelle Scappace are also going to talk with us about how authors can find a certified PVAA and the benefits of someone taking their course through Instruction Smith to become a certified PVAA.

For more information on our experts, visit their sites and also sign up through our expert page!

There’s an extra bonus for you too – Sign up before March 15 and receive all recordings of our audio, all freebies, and one hour of coaching with Colleen and Peter. We can discuss your book, your process of writing, where you’re at and where you might want to go, clear up any objectives or goals… But, the deadline is March 15. What’s stopping you? Your book; It’s More Than Just Words!

Five Crucial Points to Consider When Identifying Your Target Market

target market

Whatever business you offer – coaching, writing, accounting… defining your target audience is the ultimate goal and it does not mean you are limiting yourself; it means you are choosing where to spend your money and time to reach those groups or a certain group on a deeper level. Keep in mind these important factors when identifying your target market:

Develop relationships with potential customers.

Attend live networking events and learn about the people there, follow-up with them after the events, ask them for coffee, chat, and you’ll find out if they are a fit for you or maybe they’ll know someone who needs your service. It takes time, but if you don’t go out there and meet people you’ll never build any type of relationship to find out… If you have a virtual business, interact with people online via social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, etc. Interact conversationally with people, find out what they do, what they like, who they are; it is not always about selling. Build the relationships; in the long run trust wins out.

What problems do you solve and how do you stand out from other services?

What pain point do you solve for clients? Are you a fitness trainer who helps someone live a healthier lifestyle? Are you a bookkeeper who assists people with the day-to-day accounting issues with their business? As a content writer, do you help improve business’ messages so potential clients understand what services they offer, products they sell, etc.?

If you are a fitness trainer, why would someone choose you over another trainer? Do you make it fun instead of dreadful to workout? Do people smile when they walk into the gym and see you, or are you the type of trainer when your client sees you their muscles tense if they can’t keep up and they feel like a loser? What type of trainer are you? Different people need different types of trainers, but which type of person do you want to target? As a bookkeeper, do you want to work with small or large businesses? Do you work with one system only, i.e. QuickBooks or are you open to others?

Whatever service you offer or problem you solve, be clear and dig deep to figure out what it is you excel at and how you want to work with clients when they contact you and make sure it’s a fit on both sides, but when you know what problems you solve and who your ideal client is, your marketing efforts are much easier.

Determine where to find your audience.

You’ve decided who you want to serve and have compiled your client profile, so now where do you find them? What websites do they frequent, what social media platforms are they using, are there certain apps they prefer to play with? Research, research.

Speaking of research… Market research is critical.

If you don’t know what your potential clients want or need, no amount of advertising will prompt them to buy from you. There are several types of market research to find out what they’re looking for from you:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, education, mobility, environment, and technical savvy are types of demographics and their goal in research is to better understand your audience. Demographics can potentially reveal who your customers are or aren’t and this type of research should be conducted .
  • Publications: many publications track industry trends, sales information, and believe it or not, a lot of consumer information is gathered from people browsing the internet!
  • Surveys or polls: conduct informal surveys or polls to people you have identified as your target audience and ask what service you can give that other companies aren’t, how can you make a difference from how they worked with other companies, what you can do better…
  • “Niche” isn’t a four-letter word.

    Obviously, it’s a five-letter word, but you know what I’m saying. When you target market, in a way, deciding to niche, it’s not all bad. “Inc.” magazine wrote an article, In Praise of Niche Marketing, and states that niche marketing can be very attractive and self-limiting; however, today entrepreneurial companies realize the importance of making the person happy and as Amazon has filled the void of many small niches to satisfy individuals and having many small successes leads to much success over time!

    Finding your target market takes time, doesn’t happen once and you’re finished, and is challenging, but the work is worth it in the long run and so is the success of your business. Don’t waste your time working on products or programs to sell if there isn’t a market to purchase them.

    What type of target marketing do you use for your business? Do you enjoy it or find it a challenge? Pete and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Until next time,


Six Articles Every Facebook User Should Read


A collection of the best articles about Facebook

In a 2014 study, the Pew Research Center stated that 57% of American adults use Facebook. With numbers like this, it’s no wonder why some of the largest companies use Facebook to interact with their customers.

Whether you are a large multi-billion dollar company, or a small start-up business, or an individual, Facebook is almost a necessity in today’s world to “stay in touch.” If you are new to the world of Facebook, you might have a few questions about how to appropriately set up your account to maximize your social reach and ROI.

Many a blogger has created their own guide on how to best use Facebook and today I am sharing articles from some of the best sites on how to best use Facebook and all of its features.

Best guides for setting up your Facebook account

Some of the best articles to help you set up and run your Facebook account

The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook

Mashable has a good blog out there for Facebook beginners. This is a good article for the basics. The article discusses topics such as the timeline, friends, news feed, tagging, liking, etc. If you have never been on Facebook before, read this article first.

Facebook Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Kissmetrics wrote this article a few years ago but the information is still relevant. It discusses some great topics for beginners including what a fan page is, how to use these pages for marketing, and an informative discussion about targeted ads on Facebook. This is great for people just starting out as well as a beneficial refresher for all of us who are already on Facebook.

Best guides for content

What do you post on your Facebook page?

Okay, so now what do you post on Facebook? Are photos a good idea? What about hashtags? Here are my favorite posts about Facebook content.

How to Craft Perfect Posts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter [SlideShare]

This SlideShare from HubSpot shows you some of the best content to post on Facebook. Not only do they explain what to put in your post but also when are the best times to post.

INSTANT TIP – Photos encompass 93% of the most engaging posts.

The 15 Best Facebook Posts Ever Written

Writtent’s blog shows you the Facebook posts that have garnered some of the most engagement. My favorite part of this blog is you can read the posts, see the pictures, and analyze the posts yourself. This allows you to take your experiences and match them up with these 15 Facebook posts in addition to the short synopsis by the author.

Best guides for images

Effectively use images to increase your social media presence

On Facebook there are many places for images. Starting with your profile picture and including your banner picture and images you post on your timeline, pictures are everywhere. Here are some helpful articles to read on how to effectively use photos and images on Facebook.

The Mega Guide to Ideal Image Sizes For Your Social Media Posts: All Six Major Social Networks

If you are a reader of this blog you probably know that I am an avid Buffer blog reader. This might be the most inclusive article for images on all platforms.  What is great about this Buffer Blog post is the great minds at Buffer update the post when photo specs change. This post only describes the size for images you post.

A Detailed Guide to Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & More [Infographic]

This HubSpot blog is a more inclusive infographic for all images on Facebook. What I love about this post is there are specs for all the images you use on Facebook, including your posts, your profile picture, your cover photo, as well as other images. This infographic also shows you the size of videos you upload.


What we’ve learned

There are many ways for you to use Facebook for your company’s marketing. From the set up to the content there is much to learn about Facebook. I hope that you can learn about some of the great parts of Facebook to get you off the ground.

Look in the future for more in-depth articles on how to best use Facebook. Also, we will be putting together a post about these entry-level tips for other social platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.

Until next time…

The Four Top Reasons Authors Need a Professional Virtual Author’s Assistant

[Part of this information taken from the Virtual Author’s Assistant Program.]

Four Top Reasons 9.2015

Yes, most of us would like to think we are superhuman when, in reality, deep down we know we aren’t! Shocking, I know…

Authors can’t do it alone:

  • Your focus is WRITING
  • Our focus is organizing the process

Special Training & Expertise:

  • We understand the methods/industry/technology
  • We have industry resources and connections

Collaborative Synergy:

  • You/We win with excellent communication skills
  • We provide guidance and encouragement
Guiding You Each Step of the Way

We help you #WriteYourWay by providing worry-free writing. Your attention should be concentrating on the characters, the plot, and the flow. We organize all the tasks surrounding the successful completion, publishing, and marketing of a book. All successful authors have an author’s assistant, and first-time authors can have one too – virtually!

Below are the four biggest reasons an author’s assistant is an essential member of the author’s success team:

  1. There is too much work for one person. So many new or aspiring authors have day jobs and this is what they must do until their writing pays the rent. Until an author can clone him or herself, he or she must rely on others to help carry the load.
  2. An author’s assistant has special expertise. From preparing a manuscript to writing a book proposal to coordinating the self-publishing process to running a virtual book tour or an Amazon best seller campaign, an author’s assistant can do this and much more.
  3. The cost is greater when you do it yourself. There is a high learning curve for anyone who has never made the publishing journey. Whether the author is paid $70 an hour or $270 an hour as a coach, therapist, attorney, or entrepreneur, the author’s assistant is a tremendous value at a much lower per-hour cost. With an author’s assistant the author has the freedom to concentrate on those things only the author can do, especially writing the best book he or she can. Expect to pay from $30 to $60 an hour (and it goes higher with greater expertise) for a qualified virtual assistant.
  4. Synergy and collaboration. An author’s assistant is there to help you take each step so precious little time goes by between your writing and preparation for publishing and marketing. If you set the date, the author’s assistant will be there with support and encouragement to help you make it happen.

Most people who start working with a virtual assistant are hooked. One of the keys to success is to have clarity about the tasks you need completed and the payment arrangements – and then put them in a contract. Another key is to find someone with demonstrated training and experience since the first-time author may be in the dark about what tasks are actually needed.

Take it from the established successful authors, don’t go it alone. Find the support you need and you will be well on your way to publishing success.

If you have questions about the manuscript process, the traditional or self-publishing process, or where, what, when, or how to market after publishing, ask us and we’ll be glad to help.

Until next time,

M. Colleen Wietmarschen (MCW)

New Website, Focus – Consistent Dedication and Successful Approach

change-your-mind-picture-quoteWhen I worked in Corporate America before starting my business in 1996, the office manager told me, “Colleen, the only thing that is constant is change.  Nothing stays the same.”  Well, the definition of change is to make the form, nature, content, future course of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change course.  If I continued to stay the course with Clerical Plus, it probably wouldn’t exist in about a year or so.  Now is the time for change!  I can either dread it or embrace it.  I must welcome this change.

Now, the exciting, but daunting news: leaving my comfort zone and offering services we are skilled at performing, but rebranding Clerical Plus from the ground up after 16 years.  It’s like the song from the Sound of Music, “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…”  I literally did not really have to market Clerical Plus for 15 years (I did because that’s what you do), but almost every client obtained during those years was by word of mouth.  The phone just rang.  How lucky can you be in business for that to happen?

After 16 years in business who would have thought I would be completely redirecting the course of my business.  Yes, you must keep learning in business; to do otherwise would be toxic when running a business.  I did all the correct things: kept up with technology, took continuing education classes, went to seminars, marketed the business, joined professional organizations, volunteered…  Two-thirds of my business – lost in the last year.  I want to emphasize it is not about our quality, but the changes in the medical transcription industry. It’s a work in progress!

I’m looking at this new time as a challenge; one that I will overcome! This is our amazing new website; I’m offering new services and I’m starting my second year in business with my business partner, Amy Ostigny, The Strategic Connectors. Putting our expertise of a combined 36+ years of experience allows us to offer services we have always wanted to focus on but never had the time: strategically connecting people to events, people, places, networking, etc. to save them time and money because ultimately time is money, and teaching people about public relations and landing their stories in the media be it TV, video, print, online, or radio. Everyone has stories to share and we want to assist you in discovering your stories and landing in the media so your business grows to the point you want!  The Strategic Connectors’ 2015 North American PR Workshop Tour starts in Columbus, Ohio on January 14. For more details click here; we’ll be in 24 cities in the US and Canada in 2015. We’ll add to the list as cities are confirmed.

Follow our blog as we proceed into the future, and its aim is to provide you with humor, helpful hints, industry information, inspirational thoughts, PR topics, more books in our series, “Strategic Winning Tips That Deliver Results… The Series” and more.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”  Joshua J. Marine

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]M. Colleen Wietmarschen has owned and operated her own business since 1996. Within three years she was managing a multi-six-figure business. She is a published author and an award-winning writer and loves working with anyone who wants to grow their business, wants help creating a professional image for their business through writing, marketing materials, PR, etc. Colleen believes the written word is still important when conveying your professional image; no matter what. In January 2014, Colleen and Amy Ostigny joined forces and opened The Strategic Connectors, Your Mental Rolodex – connecting you in all things for business and life![/author_info] [/author]