By Christina Katz
But not everyone is cut out to make a living from writing. A lot more people are cut out to make a living by combining professional pursuits that include writing.
For example, I teach, write and speak. I don't only make my living from writing. I'm too restless to do one kind of thing all day. I'd rather juggle a few things (but not too many) than just do one thing. How about you?
Often services like coaching, consulting, counseling, and training earn a better hourly rate than writing. So, if you think you might like to offer these types of services to leverage your expertise and supplement your writing income, it might be a good idea for your bottom line.
But here's the thing that I've already hinted at. If you try to do too many more things in addition to writing, you probably won't do any one of them well enough to see the kind of professional progress you'd like to see. So, when it comes to coaching, consulting, counseling, or training consider the traits of people who do each well, and make your best match.
Let's say your expertise is that you've started and run several small businesses. Well, this is definitely the kind of expertise that could be leveraged into a consulting service. Who are your potential clients? You'll have to ask some specific questions to find your niche. What phase of starting a business are you best at? What comes the most easily to you? Where do you have the richest vein of insights? This would be the place to find your niche. Then you could determine how to target market the folks who need these insights right at the time when they need them. Next thing you know, you're doing a few consultations on spec, building yourself a website, and growing a consulting branch of your platform. Like every branch of your platform, your consultancy will grow slowly and steadily and gain momentum as you produce satisfied clients.
The process is really the same with coaching, counseling, and training. Get clear about what you offer, who it's for, when they need it, why you are someone they should trust, where you will work, and how you connect with your clients, and you are ready to start drafting your promotional materials.
If you really want to get off to a good start as a coach, consultant, counselor or trainer, I suggest you run your credentials through the one-pager exercise in section three of Get Known Before the Book Deal. The one-pager format works just as well helping you evaluate your credentials as a service provider, as it does in helping you evaluate your credentials as a writer.
Best of luck launching a service that will support and compliment your writing career!
Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer's Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she teaches
writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.