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Author Laura Briggs: “At least half of your role is marketing”

It’s totally possible to build the service-based business of your dreams. You can do it based on your schedule and your desires, and it’s one of the biggest reasons freelancing appeals to so many people. As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had […]

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It’s totally possible to build the service-based business of your dreams. You can do it based on your schedule and your desires, and it’s one of the biggest reasons freelancing appeals to so many people.


As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Briggs. She is a two-time TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, freelance writer, and author of How to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business. That first book won the 2019 Author Elite Best in Business Award. Her second book, Six Figure Freelancer, will be published in October 2020 by Entrepreneur Press.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I used to be a teacher, but I have always loved reading and writing. That’s what inspired me to take a chance on a freelance writing side hustle years ago. That grew into a six-figure business and opened the door for three book deals.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

My very first year in freelancing, I landed a 50,000 dollars editing and ghostwriting gig as a freelancer. It was a real eye-opener. I saw that it was possible to make good money as a writer if you knew how to market yourself properly.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

I had a lot of mindset and imposter syndrome issues. Even with years of experience in the freelancing world, I wondered if people wouldn’t like my advice or wouldn’t think I was qualified enough.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

My first book launch I took on way too much. I tried to do “all the things” to market my book effectively. What I learned was that I didn’t need to put in all that effort- there were a few key things that really helped drive sales. Yes, there are lots of things authors can do, but that doesn’t mean an author should do all of them.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My second book will be published in October 2020 and I’m thrilled about that. It’s the book I was called to write first. My third book on becoming a virtual assistant will be published in late 2020!

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

I interviewed 19 other freelancers in writing this book and found that we all had a common theme of being scared to raise our prices. The advice from all of them was the same- just do it already, and do it confidently!

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

It’s totally possible to build the service-based business of your dreams. You can do it based on your schedule and your desires, and it’s one of the biggest reasons freelancing appeals to so many people.

Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. At least half of your role is marketing. You can be a great writer, but if you don’t know how to market your book, you will struggle to sell copies.
  2. Having a launch team is crucial. These are your super fans who give you the social proof you need to succeed.
  3. Spend time outlining if you’re writing nonfiction. You will thank yourself when it’s time to sit down and write. I spend hours thinking about the order of my book, the concepts, and the chapter titles. Then I get feedback from my advanced reader team to refine it. It’s well worth it!
  4. Reviews, reviews, reviews. These are some of the most important things you can get when your book launches. It tells potential readers and the booksellers that people aren’t just buying your book, but that they’re liking it. (And don’t sweat it if you get a 2 or 3-star review. It helps show that your reviews are legit and not purchased!)
  5. Be open to feedback. Agents, publishers, readers, and editors will all have feedback for you. Some of it will sting, but it might also be incredibly valid. Listen to it. Improve for next time. My second book had over 9,000 suggested changes from the editor across 70,000 words- and they made the book better for it!

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Being willing to find an alternate route. Traditional publishing is not for everyone. Self-publishing is not, either. You need to have a backup plan and a backup plan for that one. The end of one road is not the end of all roads, so be willing to adjust!

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

In the nonfiction world, I love the humorous history of Sarah Vowell’s writing and the intelligent snark of Jen Lancaster. In the fiction world, I currently devour everything written by the duo of Sarah Pekkanen & Greer Hendricks, but I also love Chuck Palahniuk and Ruth Ware. The best book I read this year was Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild and the best book I’ve ever read is Stephen King’s 11/22/63.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I run a nonprofit called Operation Freelance. Our mission is to tackle military spouse unemployment and underemployment by helping military family members break into freelance work. This flexible, freedom-based, location independent work

How can our readers follow you on social media?

The best place to follow me is www.linkedin.com/in/laurapenningtowrites

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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