The Creative Penn Podcast For Writers

Hosted ByJoanna Penn

Information, inspiration and interviews on writing, self-publishing, book marketing and making a living with your writing.

If you need help with writing your book, or you want to learn how to navigate the new world of publishing and book marketing, then join Joanna Penn and her guests every Monday. Also covers the business of being a writer and how to make money with your books.

Building A Creative Business Brand With Pamela Wilson

How do you build a creative business that you love — and makes you money? Pamela Wilson talks about her non-fiction business model, how to choose a niche, plus how to pivot your brand over time.

In the intro, I talk about my pilgrimage walk and how we all need to weigh up risks and reward, especially when the need to fill the creative well becomes overwhelming! You can find the pictures on Instagram @jfpennauthor. I also mention my Courses for Authors, and my latest episode on Books and Travel where I talk about fear and assessing risk, which is something we all have to do.

Pamela Wilson is the author of Master Content Marketing and Master Content Strategy and is an online educator and keynote speaker. Her company, Big Brand System, teaches people how to build online businesses they love, which is particularly important as many people are pivoting after the pandemic.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript below.

Show Notes

  • How images and words form the two halves of content marketing
  • How books lead potential clients into other premium offerings like coaching and courses
  • Tips on choosing a niche to work with and serve — that you enjoy and will also make you money
  • Should you build a personal brand or a business brand?
  • What happens when you want to change the audience you focus on?
  • Tips on rebranding
  • Listening to your gut when it comes to building a creative business

You can find Pamela Wilson at BigBrandSystem.com/goodies and on Twitter @pamelaiwilson. You can also find her courses at The Content Lab and the Image Lab (affiliate links).

Transcript of Interview with Pamela Wilson

Joanna Penn: Pamela Wilson is the author of two books on content marketing, an online educator and keynote speaker. Her company, Big Brand System, teaches people how to build online businesses they love, particularly important as many people are pivoting after the pandemic. Welcome back to the show, Pamela.

Pamela Wilson: I am so happy to be here and hear your voice and just be here with your community. Thank you for having me back.

Joanna Penn: It’s great to have you back on the show. Previously we have talked about content marketing, both of us are big fans of that. But today we are talking more about this building a business. So set the scene for us.

Tell us a bit more about what your creative business looks like. What are your multiple streams of income and how do books play a part in that?

Pamela Wilson: The good news is books play a part in all of it, but my principal streams of income are my two, I call them my lab courses, and they are the Content Lab and the Image lab.

The Content Lab is about profiting from content marketing like blog posts, like this podcast, and video series. And the course really teaches you how to map out your content and get your content produced, but also how to tie it to your promotional plans so that your content marketing actually builds revenue.

Then the other half of the content coin, because we exist on the internet these days, the internet is not all words, it’s also images. So that other half is images, and that’s where my Image Lab course comes in. It helps people who have no design background learn how to use a specific kind of image.

I call it a signature branded image. It’s an image that communicates a message and it communicates your brand at the same time, and that course trains you how to do that even if you say, you know, ‘I can’t draw a straight line and I’m not an artist,’ and all of that. It really trains people how to do that.

And the fun thing is, I had a recent student in the image lab who is an app developer, so he’s a techie person. And he wrote to me and said that suddenly, because he’s gained these design skills, he’s being asked all the design questions at his job. So it really does teach people.

The Content Lab is the same thing. It teaches people who feel like they’re not content creators, they’re not writers. They feel like they don’t have what it takes. And I really take them through the whole process. So that’s the lab courses.

I have a membership course that is for people who are in the early stages of building an online business, and that is called the BIG League. And it has short training courses on all different aspects of building your online business, so getting your initial website set up, and setting up your email marketing, and creating your sales pages, and things like that. It includes live group coaching every week, which I love. Wednesdays is when we do our group coaching and Wednesdays are some of my favorite days of the week because of that.

And then I offer one-on-one coaching. It’s called Momentum Coaching. And that’s for people who are operating at a different level. They are usually at mid-six figures to low seven figures. And I’m helping them navigate that growth and really leverage their assets and sometimes manage their teams and figure out how to eke more profit out of their existing offers and things like that.

The interesting thing is these are all very different offers, but my book has helped with all of them because I talk to people and they say to me, ‘I read your books. I heard your books.’ I just talked to someone yesterday, for example, who said that she had taken a cross-country trip here in the U.S. and listened to my audiobooks twice. So that’s four listenings because it’s two books.

She listened to each book twice on this long trip and she wanted to work with me as a coach. And she was basically pre-sold. She was saying, ‘I love your work. I want to work with you. You’re the person I want to work with,’ because I think she felt like she knew me and knew the way I thought and understood how I taught and knew I was the person she needed to work with.

I find that the books really warm people up to what I do in a way that goes way beyond anything that you can do as far as just marketing.

Joanna Penn: I have a friend who’s been on the podcast and podcast, Mark McGuinness, who is a creative coach. And he has said the same thing, that his books and the podcasts act as lead gen for his more profitable coaching business. And you’ve basically got this kind of funnel as well.

So a couple of questions there. Did you self-narrate that audiobook where that lady decided to do your coaching afterward?

Pamela Wilson: I did. It’s funny. I’m not a professional narrator, but she was on the call with me because I do these free strategy calls for people who want to work with me as a coach just to see if there’s a fit between their needs and what I can do. And so we’re on this free strategy call and she said, ‘Actually, it’s kind of strange to hear you talking to me because I feel like I’ve heard your voice so much.’

Joanna Penn: People say that a lot to me too on the podcast!

Pamela Wilson: I think there’s something to that. People feel you’ve been in their heads, in their ears. So they feel very connected to you. The power of audio is amazing. I know I don’t need to tell you that, but it’s incredible.

Joanna Penn: That is a really good tip. So people listening who want to build that kind of personal connection coaching business, which is a higher ticket, narrating your own audiobooks is a really good investment of your time. And it is hard, isn’t it?

The investment of your time to do that is paid back by people who join your coaching or buy your courses because they feel like they know you.

Pamela Wilson: Yes. It’s amazing because part of those strategy calls is I’ll say to people, I’ll ask them, ‘Why do you want to work with me?’ And more often than not, they’ll say, ‘I bought your books. I read your books. I listened to your books.’ It’s all about my books, which is so shocking to me.

It’s amazing to me because it’s something that I worked very hard to do, but years ago, and it’s still producing for me. And it’s funny, Joanna, you’re probably going, ‘Yes. Well, I know Pamela because that’s what I teach,’ but I had heard that before.

I just hadn’t experienced it. And now that I’ve experienced it, I am a true believer. It is definitely worth the effort and the time that you put into getting a book produced.

Joanna Penn: And then so people know, because I think what you’ve described is quite a normal, I say normal in inverted commas, nonfiction business where the book is lead gen with these different courses, and membership, and coaching on these tiers.

Is there any significant income from book sales alone? Would it be like 5% or is the money is not the point?

Pamela Wilson: It’s probably 10% of my monthly income.

Joanna Penn: Okay. That’s pretty good then.

Pamela Wilson: It’s not a huge amount of money. I did explore advertising a couple of years ago, but I haven’t done anything. And as far as advertising recently, I go on to podcasts like this one and talk about my books and try to keep those coming at a steady pace.

I’ve written mostly about content marketing and it’s kind of a perennial topic that people want to understand better. And I have a process that’s pretty easy to layout in audio form. So it ends up being something that podcasters are usually pretty open to hearing about and sharing with their audiences. So that has worked really well for me, podcasting rather than trying to take out Amazon ads, for example.

Joanna Penn: Yes. A bit of time instead of money. And also, again, the reason why you and I love content marketing is that it’s more evergreen. We’ll record this and some people will hear it as soon as it goes out, but more people will hear it years and years potentially later. And so you get that kind of constant trickle.

You almost never know where your traffic’s coming from with content marketing, especially with podcasting because there’s no clickthrough link, It’s all based on someone going, ‘Wow, I’m really interested in learning more about Pamela Wilson. I think I’ll put her name into Google or go to the URL or whatever.’

It is so hard to know. People say, ‘With an ad, I can measure my ROI on the click, my return on investment.’

With podcasting, it’s very difficult, isn’t it, to measure how marketing works?

Pamela Wilson: Right. Not right now, not for the books. I’m doing paid ads for the courses and for other things. So I do think it’s smart to have a mix of organic and paid when you can do it, especially if you’ve worked out funnels that you know are working and it’s a matter of just sending people to them, sending people to whatever it is that you have in place to promote your product and getting them through that process until they see an offer. I think it’s smart to do both.

Joanna Penn: You do sound very focused. You do have this clear funnel of products, you’re focused with what you do to bring people into that. I feel like you’ve understood niche.

Obviously, you’ve been doing this for a while, but I think many nonfiction authors listening or people who want to build a business around nonfiction struggle with where they fit and who to serve.

How did you decide where you fit, and who you want to serve, and how can other people make those choices with their business?

Pamela Wilson: The way that I teach this is that it’s really great to have some experience with your niche. So either you have been in the group that you want to serve and you’ve felt their challenges yourself or you’ve worked with them closely and you’ve experienced their challenges firsthand.

To me, those are the strongest niches to enter because otherwise you’re just throwing darts at a dartboard and you can’t really get inside their heads. But if you have either been them or worked with them, you can serve them. And I think that it works best if you have that emotional connection to them and their challenges, but if you also put them through this process.

When I teach this, I always tell people, you have to have three things when you’re looking at a niche. So let’s say you have a group you want to serve. Before you decide to really focus on them, you need to check and make sure that they know that they have the problem you want to help them solve.

They need to know they have it because it shouldn’t be your job to educate them about the problem that they have. They need to know they have that problem, they need to have some awareness of it.

And the next step is they need to feel badly enough about this challenge or this problem that they know they want to solve it. They’re ready to actually make a change. So the problem is causing them enough pain that they’re ready to do something about it.

And then the final step is they need to have money to spend on the solution. As long as you are running a business, if you’re running a charitable organization, that’s a different animal, but if you’re running a business, you need to target people who know they have a problem, know they want to solve that problem, and have money to spend on the solution. And if any of those are missing, your niche is not going to be profitable.

Joanna Penn: That last point, I was, nodding, nodding. And then the last point is that is exactly what I feel many authors get wrong, is that most authors aren’t initially focused on money because most authors are creative people first, not business people.

With a nonfiction book, like my first nonfiction book was about career change because I was miserable in my job. So I did have that feeling bad and helping people solve a problem that I experienced. But then I discovered I did not want to go down the career change business.

I could have built a pretty good business with that book, right? A nonfiction business around that book. But I discovered that was not what I wanted to do, and end up building a business around self-publishing, which in 2008, 2009 was not really the place to be because it was considered pretty terrible. And it did take a long time, really, for me to make income.

Although I have a good business now, if I look at how some people kind of zoomed past me in other ways, understanding those points that you have there is really important.

But then I feel like the issue with many authors is ‘okay, like here’s a few things I’m interested in right now.’ Long-distance walking and pilgrimage, particularly, non-religious pilgrimage, intermittent fasting, and obviously writing. I’m always interested in the craft of writing.

I imagine there are also people listening who are like, ‘But I’m interested in this, and this, and this.’

How do narrow your interests down and say, ‘All right. This is what I should do. This is how I should actively build this type of brand.’

Pamela Wilson: That’s such a good question. The thing about picking a niche is you have to ask yourself, ‘Is my passion for this topic something that I’m experiencing right now or is it going to be something that I feel I can devote myself to for years?‘ Some of those things may fall away.

If you think about, ‘Am I willing to explore?’

For example, I like intermittent fasting as well. I do it myself and I love it. I love the way it makes me feel. It’s been fantastic. So at this moment in time, it’s something I’m fairly passionate about. And I think it’s something that’s out in our culture right now.

I think fasting was associated with religious traditions in the past and now fasting is something that the general population is using for better health. But you have to ask yourself, ‘Five years from now, is it going to be as interesting to people as it is now?’ So that’s something.

And then you ask, ‘Is it going to be as interesting to me? Am I still going to want to be writing about fasting and doing presentations on fasting and creating books about fasting? Do I really want to spend that much time on it?’ You put it through those filters and that should help to eliminate some of the topics that maybe don’t fit that criteria.

Joanna Penn: It’s great that you do intermittent fasting as well. I agree with you on all the health benefits, but it’s interesting because I’ve thought about this and gone, ‘Do you know what?’ Once you, in inverted commas, learn about it, you go through that phase of, ‘Oh. This is so exciting,’ a bit like many people who become authors and learn about self-publishing, they’re like, ‘Oh. This is amazing.’ And then they get to a point and you’re like, ‘Yeah. Okay. You just do it. I don’t need to talk about it.’

Pamela Wilson. Right. Exactly. It’s a little bit of the phenomena of the recent convert. Somebody who is a recent convert to this new, whether it’s way of thinking, or religion, or way of managing their health, and they see results. So they’re super excited. And they’re so excited that sometimes they’re annoying their friends because they won’t talk about anything else.

That’s what you have to ask yourself, ‘Am I excited about this topic because I’m a recent convert and I am in full honeymoon period here or is this something that I will still be interested in five years?

And as it relates back to content marketing, you could potentially be creating content about that topic for years. Are you sure you want to do that? You have to ask yourself that.

Joanna Penn: I think that’s interesting too because I definitely did not feel that with career change. And I think many people make the mistake with their first book. It’s they get a URL for their first book. And I did the same because you’re so in love with that one book. And then you realize quite swiftly, if you do podcasts like this or you do PR or something, people always ask the same questions and you have to be content with answering those questions over and over again.

This brings me onto my next question and something I’m definitely going through. I’ve been doing this for 12 years as we speak, well, 11 years on the podcast, but 12 years with my website, focusing on authors and the author journey, and I’ve got 11 nonfiction books, and I’ve got courses.

I don’t do coaching like you do. I don’t do even much speaking anymore, but I have a nonfiction, I have affiliate income. So I have a business around that nonfiction niche. But what I am feeling now is I see one more or maybe two more nonfiction books within the niche because that’s how I feel like what’s left. And at the same time, I want to pivot more into these other areas.

For example, the pilgrimage interest and the long-distance walking actually fits with my fiction, my fiction brand, and my research behind my books. So this is the challenge, and I know some people listening also want to change brands.

My question is if you want to change your brand or change one up and one down over time, how do we do that?

Can we take people along with us when we pivot or do we just have to leave things behind?

Pamela Wilson: Some of this has to do with how you position yourself from the very beginning. So, for example, you have a brand name, Creative Penn, but really, you have a personal brand, so people know you and they know your work. That can make it somewhat easier because when you’re ready to pivot, it’s just Joanna’s interests are changing.

You will lose some people, but you’ll also gain some people who are interested in this new interest that you have. It’s a matter of communicating that.

I do think if you’ve built some name recognition yourself, then it can feel very natural that as a person, your interests changing and expanding. That’s something that happens to all of us. It’s an easy story to tell. It’s an easy story for people to understand.

When it comes to your brand though, the one thing I tell people is that brands are really organic. I like to think of them more like a tree where you have a tree that’s growing and you decide you want something different. You want it to have a different shape. Well, you don’t chop down the whole tree to a stump and plant a new one, what you do is you go to your existing tree and you prune some branches and you train it to go in a different direction.

What that does is it builds on all the brand equity that you’ve already established, in your case over 12 years, all the brand recognition, the audience you’ve built, all of that, and you can bring along as many of them as will be interested in your new direction.

Getting very granular about it, the one thing I tell people is see if you can change your business tagline first, and that may be all you need to do.

A business tagline is that line that explains what your business does.

When I started out BIG Brand System, I was focused on helping people to use design and marketing to look like a big brand. That was literally how the name came about. My first tagline was, ‘Grow your business with great design and marketing.’ And I used it for years.

But I realized at a certain point that my true interest was to help people build online businesses and online businesses they loved to own, and they loved to run, that worked for their lifestyles, that were an expression of who they were as people. So that business you love thing encompasses a lot, but I basically kept the same business name, BIG Brand System, and I started using, ‘Build an online business you love.’

It was a very easy change. And then I communicated that in all my marketing and started attracting an audience of people who wanted to go in that direction with me.

The business name is usually kind of a legal entity. Oftentimes it’s your URL, it’s a registered trademark. It’s kind of permanent. But a tagline is a piece of marketing copy. It’s pretty easy to change. So that can be the first thing that you explore changing, and then it’s a matter of just communicating that in everything you do.

Joanna Penn: I love that. That’s a great idea. For The Creative Penn I did have taglines and I’ve changed them and added other keywords. And I do have something in mind. I keep wanting to do a redesign, but redesigning things is so much work when you’ve got a website that’s 12 years old.

Pamela Wilson: Let me tell you about redesigning. I’m glad you mentioned that because I do have some advice about redesigning as well. And it goes along the same lines of what we just said because what I just shared with you really was how to handle your verbal branding.

A brand is really two parts, it’s the verbal part and it’s the visual part.

So it’s what you say about your brand, what you call your company, your tagline, maybe the description of how you describe what you do, and who you help, and what you offer. So that’s all the verbal, the words.

Then there’s the visual brand. And the visual brand is your logo, your colors, your fonts, and things like that. And what I recommend is, again, you’ve got brand equity. So the colors and the branding that you’ve used have now built up, there’s some recognition that when people see your site from a distance, they know it’s your site because you’ve just been out there so long with it.

In order to continue to leverage that brand recognition, what I recommend is that you change one element, maybe it’s just your logo, or you just tweak your colors. Maybe you use the same basic colors, maybe you make them a little brighter or something.

Or maybe you’re tired of your website font, so you change your text font on the website or your headline font. Again, it’s this thing, don’t chop down the whole tree. Just prune some branches and train it to go in a different direction, but build on what you already have.

I think those of us with mature brands don’t always realize how incredibly valuable it is to have that brand equity that we’ve built up over so much time and we’re way too quick to just chop it all down and burn that firewood and start from scratch. And there’s no reason to do that. You can refresh a brand without having to completely overhaul it.

Joanna Penn: That’s a great point.

Often we get bored with our own stuff because we look at it all the time, but most people aren’t looking at it all the time, so they’re not bored.

Pamela Wilson: All the time. From years of doing that work with clients, I will give you the line that I always gave to my clients, which was right around the time that you are getting sick to death of your brand, that is right around the time that people are starting to recognize it as your brand.

So you really have to stay the course. And it’s hard. It’s hard because you’re just like, ‘Oh, my gosh. These brand elements I’ve been using them forever.’ But like you’ve said, we are seeing them every day, no one else is. So you really have to stay the course and try to maintain that brand equity that you’ve built up.

Joanna Penn: That’s really good. I like the pruning the tree and kind of training it in another direction. And I feel like the publishing industry often will reboot an author with a new pen name rather than prune the tree and put things in another direction. They’ll be like, ‘No. We just need another pen name.’

I know a lot of indie authors copy that, but I wonder if pruning them things and going in a slightly different direction. It is a really interesting thing to think about, but I do know that a lot of people listening most likely won’t have a mature business or as mature as ours is, having been going for so long at this point.

If people are going, ‘I don’t know whether I have a business or is it the right time to start a business.’ We’ve talked a bit about maybe which route to go down, but when does an author who wants to take it to the next step, when do they go, ‘Okay. I’m now going to start a business,’ which as you say may mean some kind of registration, incorporation, depending on what the word is in the country that you’re in?

When does an author who wants to take it to the next step, start?

Pamela Wilson: The thing about this is I actually think that being an author is a business. And I think you do a beautiful job teaching that. If you approach your writing as a business, you’re going to make smarter decisions about how you release your books, how you market your books, how you maybe package them together, and in some case, maybe even what you write next, if you think about it as a business.

And, again, outside of all of the registering and making things official, just thinking about this venture of being an author as a business, something that will produce revenue for you. And, of course, I mean your business as a creative outlet.

This is probably going to be the topic of my next book, actually, just so you know. But businesses as a creative outlet, they’re not mutually exclusive of businesses as a revenue source. You can think about your books as this is something I’m doing because I’m passionate about them and the topics I write about, and they’re a creative outlet. That’s all great, but they can also produce revenue.

If you think about them that way and think about these creative objects as things that fit within an ecosystem that actually are a business, whether or not you register it, you’ll make really smart decisions about how you manage your author journey.

And then as far as, do you expand into other things, do you offer courses or do you offer one on one coaching? If you’re a nonfiction author, especially, I think when it comes to that, you really have to listen to your gut and you have to listen to your readers.

In some cases, let’s say you have an ask me anything question and answer, hosted question and answer thing and you get a chance to really interact with your readers, or maybe in a different world than the one we’re in right now, you go to a book signing and you’re interacting with your readers and they start asking you for more, basically, you should listen, you should listen to them and check in with your own gut and see if that’s something that you do want to expand into, offering courses or offering coaching.

You should do it because you feel called to it by your guts and by your readers. I think that’s the way to know.

Joanna Penn: It’s difficult though, isn’t it? Because I feel like we were saying earlier about the initial enthusiasm that can get people started in an area.

I’m happily child-free personally, but I went through a phase where a lot of my friends were having children and a lot of the women I know are very entrepreneurial and all of them were going to start businesses around babies and young children. They were going to do this and the other around the baby niche because that’s where they were.

Within two, three years, they had moved on from that, and now the kids who were a bit older and now they weren’t interested in doing that baby thing anymore. And it’s like the life stage you go through also changes your interests. So it is difficult to know what is going to last. And as you mentioned the personal brand, you have BIG Brand System, you don’t have Pamela Wilson.

Pamela Wilson: I do have pamelawilson.com actually.

Joanna Penn: But that’s not your business name.

Pamela Wilson: No. It’s not my business name. It redirects to my About Page on BIG Brand System, actually. So, that was intentional. I really wanted to have a business name that delivered, that talked about the benefit that I was delivering to people.

I still think that my business, even though it has pivoted somewhat, it’s really about building a brand that is solid and that will support you in all your business needs. It’s something I still continue to talk about and I don’t regret doing that.

But you’re right. That is kind of a core. And as a matter of fact, if it’s something you’re interested in, I can send you a link. I actually have a post that has been very popular on my website called ‘Personal Brand or Business Brand‘ and it helps people to go through a process of deciding which one.

Joanna Penn: I often say to authors, it’s better to have a website with your name. So, joannapenn.com redirects to the Creative Penn. But I also have JFPenn.com for my fiction brand. I feel like that gives us the greatest flexibility, but equally, for nonfiction authors, in particular, if you’ve got this other ecosystem around it, then like with your business name, you’re almost stating your niche with a nonfiction business and you’re saying, ‘This is what I do,’ which is great because you have a niche, but it could be bad because you feel hemmed in. With my career change angle, I was like, ‘I do not want to talk about this ever again.’

Pamela Wilson: Right.

Joanna Penn: We’re almost out of time. Just a couple more questions.

I feel like one of the things that is the biggest issue is time. And it’s funny because, again, we’re talking about having a mature business over a decade in, but many people are just starting out and they’re like, ‘Why isn’t this happening faster?’ So what do you say when people are in a hurry? They’re like, ‘Why can’t I have the revenue right now?’

How much time do you think people need to give a new business in order to build it?

Pamela Wilson: That’s one of those impossible to answer questions. I have kids who are young adults now. When they were young, they used to ask me these questions and I used to call them UQs. I would say then, ‘It’s a UQ. It’s an unanswerable question,’ and that’s what this one feels like as well. It doesn’t have a straight answer.

It depends so much on the niche, on the people you’re helping, on how much you charge for your products and services. The one thing I will say, though, that might be helpful is I have been teaching more often than not when someone is starting out to find a way to package up your solution in what’s called a minimum viable product or service.

Figure out a way to take people from point A to point Z with a minimal delivery that still gives them the solution, but maybe doesn’t have all the shiny bells and whistles that you have seen other people do or that you envisioned for your solution long-term.

Sometimes that means getting people together on Zoom like we’re doing now and talking to them and coaching them. Zoom is a very inexpensive platform to use. It’s a great way to test ideas. It’s a great way to deliver something virtually and test an idea and see if it works. There is nothing like testing your idea with real people and having them pay you to develop a solution. I think that’s the smartest way to do it.

I see a lot of my colleagues out there teaching, this is how you can create your grand membership program, or your signature course, and all of this. And that’s all great, but you run the risk of spending a lot of money on education to develop something that is very elaborate before you even have an audience, before you’ve even tested to see if your idea actually helps people and works for them, and before you’ve made the kinds of improvements that you can make when you actually teach a group of people and interact with them one on one.

I can’t tell you how long it will take, but I can tell you that if you spend a lot of time building an elaborate infrastructure before you have actually tested your idea, it will take a lot longer.

Joanna Penn: Great tip. I made that mistake. The very first thing I did was built a massive modular course and I didn’t really have an audience.

[I now suggest you build a tiny course. Learn how in Turn What You Know Into An Online Course.]

Pamela Wilson: The reason I use that example is that I made the exact same mistake!

Joanna Penn: Everybody does it!

Pamela Wilson: Right. On the one hand, I don’t regret it because I learned a lot from the course that I took. It’s fine. But when I look at the education that I was producing back in 2010 versus what I am doing now with one eye closed and one hand tied behind my back, 10 years later, I’m just a much better online educator.

I have no fear of developing an elaborate course now because I’ve been teaching adults online for 10 years. I know what I’m doing. I think there is a risk of people developing this very elaborate solution before they frankly actually know what they’re doing. And they haven’t actually tested their idea.

In their minds, it delivers the solution perfectly, but no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, as they say. You have to put it in front of warm bodies and see if people actually can use the solution in the way that you imagine it. And guess what? They probably will recommend that you make some tweaks.

That’s where you have to humble yourself and be willing to learn and be willing to adapt. And I think that’s a much faster way to get traction, if you’re willing to do it that way. To take it slow and small at first but then just incrementally build up step by step.

Joanna Penn: That is great advice. And if people take it, it’s going to save them a lot of money and pain. It’s just funny that we both did that at the beginning.

I think authors of any genre probably will do the same, very common story to have people spending 7 years, 10 years, whatever, writing that first book only to realize that they just need to write another book and start building a career that grows slowly. So that was super useful, Pamela. I found that really interesting and I know everyone listening does.

Where can people find you, and your books, and everything you do online?

Pamela Wilson: The best place is I have a page on my site. It’s bigbrandsystem.com/goodies. And that has all the goodies. It has links to my books, it has links to my blog posts. It has links to free workshops that I have on my site, all the goodies and all the good stuff is on that page.

I keep it updated all the time. So, no matter when someone listens to this podcast, there will always be good stuff on the Goodies page. So that’s the link I like to share.

Joanna Penn: Brilliant. Well, thanks so much for your time, Pamela. That was great.

Pamela Wilson: Thank you.

The post Building A Creative Business Brand With Pamela Wilson first appeared on The Creative Penn.

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