This week has felt somewhat underwhelming after my revelation last week about finally finding my niche. The elation and excitement are wearing off and in its place, the reality of what a total rebrand and repositioning of myself actually requires.

Come to think of it, I’ve never rebranded a business before. Every person or team I’ve worked with has been at the very start of their journey. I’ve always had a clean page to begin with. There is no history. We are taking the first steps together and the energy is high.

A rebrand feels more weighted. There is a history. There is a whole ecosystem that revolves around the current branding. There are more areas of consideration. Can I improve on what already exists? 

The answer must be YES or why bother, right?

So, how can I objectively take what already exists, harness what works and drop what doesn’t? 

The answer lies in having the niche or speciality clearly defined. Refining your mission down to a single statement gives you the ultimate filter. Every move I now make must improve and enhance my mission, which is:

To help authors design, market and sell their own books.

It's so much easier to objectively make big decisions if your mission is to genuinely help someone else achieve their goal. In my case, I have to ask if the choice I’m making is going to help an author design, market and sell their own book. 

If the answer is YES, then it makes the cut. If the answer is No, I get rid of it. It's that simple. 

Because it's that simple, I find myself making bigger decisions, more quickly. Things that I may have agonised over previously appear more black and white - having focus has removed the grey area of indecision and uncertainty.

It has also opened up the possibility of new directions I probably wouldn’t have considered before. This week in my online course we had to choose a channel to focus on for attracting clients. So referrals, Facebook/Instagram, content creation, LinkedIn or Google Ads for example. We can only choose one. 

A week ago I would’ve said Facebook or Instagram because that's where most people are but diving deeper, I think I’ve found a better solution for helping my authors - content creation in the form of online tutorials.

Over the past few months I’ve been reflecting on the way I work with the authors whose books I’m designing. I’m a firm believer in separation of concerns. Authors should be focused on the writing and I should be focused on the typesetting. There are however a few things I require to make the job flow smoothly.

Styling the manuscript is an example. Whether you are using Microsoft Word, Google Docs or Markdown, styling the text correctly saves hours and hours of work further down the track.

Two scenarios:

  1. Perfectly styled word doc with all text formatted using styles rather than keyboard shortcuts. I can typeset a 300 page novel in 1 hour.
  2. A manuscript where styles have not been used or have been manually overridden. I have to manually style the text which is a tedious 6-8 hour job.

I may have just lost you there but what I’m trying to get at is that these things matter. They may not matter to you but they matter to me when I’m trying to get a whole book designed in a few days - which is what I want to be able to do for my authors. Time is money. Spending some time analysing my process has made me realise I need the authors to do some work for me. I need my manuscripts properly styled and I need the author (or external editor) to be able to edit their own books using InCopy (Adobe word processing software).

If I’m asking for their help then the least I can do is create some guidance for doing so. I’ve decided to go down the content creation path and start making some tutorials for authors and collaborators so they can reduce the cost and turnaround time of their own book by creating my ‘best case scenario’ - beautifully styled manuscripts and seamless InCopy edits. 

I believe that including the author in the production of their own book is going to be an empowering experience. Most authors would agree that there is nothing quite like holding your own book for the first time. I want to be part of that.

I’ve been using the HeadSpace app lately on my amazing sister’s recommendation. They use short animations to help explain ideas on mediation and wellbeing. One short video resonated with me in regards to my mission. It was about happiness and how we are more likely to experience it if we focus on trying to make other people happy, rather than chasing down happiness for ourselves. It's this week's video of the week and I highly recommend spending the 1 minute and 15 seconds it will take to watch it.

As I start down this path of content creation, please join me. Sign up below to receive the Bulletin Board weekly into your inbox. I would be forever grateful and am going to really appreciate your support and feedback when I start releasing the online tutorials.

Video of the Week
Headspace | Meditation | Why Focus on the Happiness of Others?
Podcast of the week
Ceridwen Dovey on hustling to survive, exploring outer space and the compulsion of writing.
Font of the Week
Blackest: Font of the week designed by Francesco Canovaro and Andrea Tartarelli

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