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Grow a Memoir Or Writing-Based Company – Don’t Set a Fixed Price

Always tell clients that you don’t know how much a long-term project will cost. Tell them it will almost certainly cost more than they expect. This article takes the anxiety out of pricing for you and the client as you can grow your memoir writing-based company.

While clients will want to know how much they can expect a project to cost, and that is reasonable on their part, the fact is they don’t know the scope of the project they wish you to assist them with. Below are suggestions for charging for your writing services. (more…)

Avoid Memoir Business Frustration: 4 Business Strategy Steps to Satisfaction

As a group, we memoir professionals are idea people. Does this sound familiar? We start projects with great enthusiasm, work assiduously for a while, and then get begin to get bored.  We lack a business strategy or plan for our success.

How do we break the predictable cycle of enthusiasm to boredom? How can we find the energy to finish what we have started? How do we cope with the day-to-day work of running the business when it becomes tedious? To escape, we find ourselves planning new projects. Wow, we’re excited once again–for a while. (more…)

Launching Memoir Teaching – 6 Steps to Success

Launching Memoir Teaching – 6 Steps to Success

As a memoir teacher —  after you have garnered the names and contact information of sales prospects — it is important to do a follow through. You need to call, email, or write a card to the prospects to remind your contacts of who you are and how you can be of service to them in resolving their problems.

1. Contact prospective clients within a few days of having spoken to them.

Otherwise, they may soon forget about you and your services. Remember that when they spoke with you about their need for a service or product, they were not interested in you or your company. They were interested in resolving their need by purchasing a service or product. They can get what they need from you or from your competitor.

2. Repeat your offering to them.

What exactly is your product or service? How will it help them to meet their need?

3. Make a case for some speed in their selection process.

Is there a sale, an early registration discount, a limited-time, special price bundling, or a gift offer? Also, remind them of the cost of not buying your service or product.

4. Point out your value over the competition’s.

This is an opportunity to place yours as the product of choice and the competition’s as merely a second best.

5. Offer an alternative product within your line.

Speak about the possibilities of either product and let the buyer voice his or her needs. Counsel the client then about the better of the two choices for him/er. This will give the buyer a sense that s/he has a choice.

6. Ask for the sale.

A subtle way of asking is to say “What would you like the next step to be?” The prospective client often realizes the rightness of a purchase.

Good luck growing your memoir or writing-based company.

 

Teach A Writing Workshop with Two Minds

You need two minds to teach a writing workshop.

As the workshop teacher, you must always experience the session’s writing with two minds because you are always filling two functions. You are a recipient of the story who is enjoying and being influenced by the story being shared and you are always the teacher whose responsibility is to shape the workshop experience for the group according to a bigger-picture plan.

The two minds

To appreciate a story and give it appropriate feedback, you must first be someone who listens sensitively as a person who is impacted by the story. One part of you needs to be a non-judgmental listener who allows feelings to be affected by the writing. Only then can you respond with feelings. You are a “subject” of this experience, just like others in the room.

Unfortunately, if that is all you do, you will not be fulfilling your responsibility and promise to help the writer create a more masterful story. After all, that is why s/he has come to be your student and is paying you tuition. So while you must allow yourself to be impacted by the story, you must also always be a bit at an emotional remove so you can respond to it as the piece of writing it is. You must be alert to unexploited elements and lost opportunities in the writing and to possibilities each story suggests for advancing your curriculum.

The process

As I listen to a story in a workshop, I always make note in the margins of reactions I want to share with the reader and of problems that are evident in the text. These problems can be stylistic, psychological, dramatic, etc.

As the workshop discussion proceeds, I must always listen very attentively to what is being said—and not said—by workshoppers as they respond to the piece.

Generally, at first, I withdraw from the discussion and let workshoppers say as much as possible of what needs to be said about a piece of writing. In this way, individuals not only build critiquing skills but they also carry some of the heavy weight of suggesting change—always tinged with a touch of the negative that a teacher can become tainted with. This does not at all mean however that I permit myself the luxury of being passive during discussions. I am always mentally critiquing what is being said, always asking myself if the critique is appropriate, if it has gone far enough, if this is a teachable moment. I ask myself, “What has not been included that needs to be included if this manuscript is to be as well-written as it can be?”

Not all interaction is equal

Not all comments made by workshoppers are equal. Often there is a reluctance to be open. Sometimes a workshopper will say, “This is a great piece of writing and I wouldn’t change a thing!” If this is not true, you must tactfully counter this assessment.

Generally you can say something like “You were really touched by the message of this story weren’t you?” Then you can say, “Sometimes a message resonates for us because we too have lived the experience portrayed, but the same writing does not touch another person. If a piece is really well written it touches us whether or not we have shared the experience. Does anyone feel that that is the case here?”

The writer needs effective feedback not cheerleading. Many workshoppers tend to be more comfortable with relationship building than manuscript building. It’s the teacher’s function to ensure that real community is created by fulfilling the true task of the workshop: to address the writing first and foremost.

Teachable moments

There are teachable moments occurring throughout any workshop. These are moments when stopping to consider a specific point can effect everyone’s ability to make better writing decisions. A slow beginning paragraph can be the occasion to make an impromptu presentation on qualities of good beginnings, or false statements like “everyone did that in those days” can occasion a discussion of clichés.

Teachable moments are not just contingent on the subject matter being discussed but also on the writer’s ability and willingness to be critiqued. Sometimes, if the story has been an especially emotional one, there is a limited amount of literary criticism that can be extended simply because of the personal and sensitive nature of the writing. (Clearly, the benefit here of the workshop is psychological rather than literary—nothing wrong with that, by the way.) At other times, the writer her/himself, is not ready to accept any more change or challenge. S/he has arrived at the saturation point of development. Pay attention to that, too, as you teach a writing workshop!

One reason workshops fail

If you are fearful or hesitant of exercising leadership during the editing portion of the workshop, your class will hobble along. When Turning Memories® teachers tell me that their workshoppers don’t seem to be progressing to quality writing, I ask them about how they handle the editing/critique process. Invariably they say something about not being comfortable pointing out shortcomings in a story—either because they don’t always notice them or because they are embarrassed to be naysayers when emotions are concerned. Both of these reactions will undermine your workshop’s quality and success.

The most successful of workshop leaders are active directors of writing students. This editing/critique process is at the core of the Turning Memories Into Memoirs workshop. It is attention to the writing and its effectiveness that distinguish Turning Memories Into Memoirs® Workshops as high quality experiences lifewriters return to time and again because they will be treated seriously and progress in their skills.
Good luck as you teach a writing workshop!

The Memoir Professional Package is your most effective choice for creating an efficient and profitable option for your memoir business or practice. It comes loaded with manuals, books and MP3 to jumpstart your work and streamline your effort. Grow your memoir or writing-based company.

Until Saturday March 14, 2015, buy the package and we’ll also send you the On the Road MP3 set. That’s a $69 gift [representing a $112.20 value] completely free with your purchase of the package by Saturday.

Buy your package today.

Grow Your Memoir Or Writing-Based Company

Grow Your Memoir Or Writing-Based Company – 5 Things to Do Today

Are there steps you can effect today that will change how well you will be compensated for your memoir work?

I think there definitely are—whether you are trying to earn an income from memoir work or whether you would simply like to earn a bit of extra cash.

Paying Attention Yields Huge Benefits

Here’s an example of how paying attention changed the results for me. At the gym, doing an exercise I have never been entirely comfortable with, I found myself breathing out of sync with the exercise’s extensions and contractions. I asked myself, “How would I have to breathe if I were in sync with the physical requirements of the exercise I am doing?”

That’s a very simple question that led to observing my breath. I noticed that lifting grew easier as I breathed out with the contractions and extensions and breathed in with the pauses! I did more lifts that I had anticipated. Since any growth is at the limit of an exercise, pushing how much weight you can life via proper breathing maximizes the benefits of working out. Otherwise, you are wasting your time!

Afterwards, I asked myself, “How must I ‘breathe’ (work?) in sync with my memoir business? How does one work smarter and not harder? How does one get more benefit for the same amount of work?”

Ideas to grow your memoir or writing-based company

The following suggestions presume that you are interested in earning more from your efforts.

  1. Look at the profit paths of the previous months and years. Where were the profits? where were the students? For this to have any objectivity, check your records. Did you earn more from workshopping or did editing prove more profitable? Keep repeating what works well.
  1. Study past outreach channels. Which have brought in the largest number of students. Did speaking bring in paying students or was it media profiles (newspaper, radio, TV)? Which outreach brought the most profitable clients for the least effort? Repeat those.
  1. Align “enjoy and want to” with profitability. Over the long run, of course, you cannot keep a business (however small) profitable if you do not enjoy doing the work. But enjoying the work may not lead to profitability. How to you pursue profitability and enjoyment—by paying attention to the numbers.
  1. Keep track of the numbers as they come in and let the numbers influence decisions. This is not a to-the-penny calculation. You ought to know the general numbers however. How do you earn per hour? Is this worth your while? Of course, if you are working only for the enjoyment, the hourly take is not important, but if you are hoping to (needing to) derive an income, upping your hourly take is a reasonabler and necessary focus
  1. Reach for balance between heart and mind. Owning a business is about having a larger life, not a smaller one.

The Memoir Professional Package is your most effective choice for creating an efficient and profitable option for your memoir business or practice. It comes loaded with manuals, books and MP3 to jumpstart your work and streamline your effort. Grow your memoir or writing-based company.

Until Saturday March 14, 2015, buy the package and we’ll also send you the On the Road MP3 set. That’s a $69 gift [representing a $112.20 value] completely free with your purchase of the package by Saturday.

Buy your package today.

 

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
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  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.