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Eloise Skinner of The Purpose Workshop: “Perspective”

Finding a niche (for me, purpose-focused work) is really helpful when it comes to building a brand. It’s enabled me to produce associated products and materials (courses, workbooks, downloadable resources) which align with the main theme of the book. In this way, a book can become the foundation of a person’s brand, helping the author […]

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Finding a niche (for me, purpose-focused work) is really helpful when it comes to building a brand. It’s enabled me to produce associated products and materials (courses, workbooks, downloadable resources) which align with the main theme of the book. In this way, a book can become the foundation of a person’s brand, helping the author develop expertise in related areas.


As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Eloise Skinner.

Eloise is an author, teacher and therapist. She is also the founder of two businesses: The Purpose Workshop (a purpose-led consultancy) and One Typical Day (an ed-tech start-up). Eloise was born in East London, studied at Cambridge and trained at Oxford. She practiced as a corporate lawyer, but — after some soul-searching, including a year training as a monk! — Eloise followed her passion into psychotherapy. Eloise also teaches fitness, yoga, barre, meditation, mindfulness and nutrition.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

Over the last decade, I’ve thought often about the topic of ‘purpose’. I’ve tried lots of different careers (lawyer, writer, teacher — even briefly becoming a monk!), and I’ve explored philosophy, theology and psychotherapy. Along the way, I learned a lot about purpose, and how to find it. I wanted to pass that information on to others. My book, The Purpose Handbook, is intended to be a guide for people who are searching for their own sense of purpose.

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

In 2017, I started training in a monastic community! It was only a year-long program, but the experience of practicing as a monk was incredibly fulfilling. I learned a lot about my sense of self — my identity — and about what I wanted to give my life to. When the program ended, I returned to the world with a sense of energy and passion.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

Yes! I’ve just finished the proposal for my third book. It’s a book about how to design your life to reflect the multidimensional, unique person that you are. It’s based on the idea that we are all co-creators of our own existence, able to shape and form our own lives.

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

‘The Purpose Handbook’ is a guide to navigating the topic of ‘purpose’ as it evolves throughout your life. Packed with practical exercises, strategies and advice, this book is a companion on the journey towards a purpose-orientated lifestyle.

Here’s a passage from the introduction:

“This book doesn’t tell you precisely what to think about the topic of purpose, and it doesn’t instruct you on how to approach it. It’s not promising to fix your life. Instead, think of this book as your guide as you navigate the questions of meaning and purpose for yourself. Part manifesto, part manual, this book will walk you through the reasons why developing a sense of purpose is so important, and will give you a number of practical strategies as you begin to navigate your own path. There are also sections covering the practical aspects of this work, and a chapter dedicated to supporting your journey with some overall wellness tools.”

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

1. Perspective. I always try and come to my work — including my books — with a sense of perspective. I try to stay focused on the reader of my work, and write something that will be practically useful to them. I also focus on the books that the market might be missing — I think about what I wished I’d read when I was younger, and try and tailor to that.

2. Grit. Writing and publishing a book is a long road, and the marketing and promotion side is even longer! It helps to pace yourself, to stay focused and to stay connected to the reason why you want to publish the book in the first place.

3. Purpose. This is the ultimate source of my energy: a sense of meaning and purpose behind what I do. I know that my fundamental intention is to contribute something to the world through my work, and I try to stay as close to this purpose as possible.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book?

Finding a niche (for me, purpose-focused work) is really helpful when it comes to building a brand. It’s enabled me to produce associated products and materials (courses, workbooks, downloadable resources) which align with the main theme of the book. In this way, a book can become the foundation of a person’s brand, helping the author develop expertise in related areas.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming an author and promoting a book? Can you explain to other leaders why they should invest resources and energy into this? Can you share a few examples of how writing a book in particular and thought leadership in general can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

A book is a fantastic way to develop brand awareness. Along with the actual launch (which often generates media attention and coverage), a book is a physical product that you can distribute. It means that people can leave your talks or events with something to remember you by, and you’re much more likely to make a lasting impact.

The other element is expertise. A book helps its author develop in-depth knowledge, since the writing and research process is so lengthy (as well as all the marketing and promotional opportunities). Over time, the author becomes an expert in the relevant field. This sets the author up for speaking, teaching and consultancy opportunities.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share a story about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

With my first book, I wish I’d been more prepared for launch. I hadn’t really planned anything, and I was even a little surprised when my own first copies turned up! In retrospect, I think it’s a great idea to lead up to the launch — to get your audience interested well ahead of time, and launch with energy and excitement!

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging a book publicist or marketing expert?

I’d recommend creating a media kit for yourself: a basic bio, good headshots and some quotes about your book. Then, reach out to your community (social platforms, newsletter, podcasts, etc.) and tell them about your work! After that, you can pitch your contacts in the media or other influencers — ask if you can partner with them to tell the world about your book.

After you’ve exhausted all of your personal options, you could turn to a book publicist or marketing expert for assistance.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Diane Morgan. A friend mentioned her work at imperial Business School (as Associate Dean), and reading about her career path — covering tech, business, education, innovation, and much more — has been a great inspiration on my own entrepreneurial journey.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My website is www.eloiseskinner.com, and my Instagram is www.instagram.com/eloiseallexia. My newest book is available to order here!

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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