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Hannah Perry of The Giggling Pig: “Growing your email list helps you build a relationship with target customers”

Creating my first book “Picnic & Puddles” was HUGE for me. Not only did it give me direction with opening my business, but it also helped me develop different areas of the business. The books are the foundation upon which my business was built. Before the books The Giggling Pig Art Studio was just an […]

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Creating my first book “Picnic & Puddles” was HUGE for me. Not only did it give me direction with opening my business, but it also helped me develop different areas of the business. The books are the foundation upon which my business was built. Before the books The Giggling Pig Art Studio was just an art studio. Although we were well known, it wasn’t until the release of the first book that I saw a huge difference. Suddenly I was able to build a merchandise line, offer book signings to schools, making children and families more aware of who I was. I grew from a small 400 Sq Ft location to owning 2 store fronts and seeing enough value in it to franchise!


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 Hannah Perry.

Hannah was born and raised in England where she attended Beverley College to study childhood education and development. After graduating in 1998 Hannah made her way to Switzerland and a year later was offered a position in Connecticut which she accepted and hasn’t looked back since. After 10 years in business and successfully navigating 2 stores and an online business through Covid-19, Hannah has expanded the business as a franchise! She has created a wonderful brand around her books and in 2017 was recognized by the Stevie awards as a Gold Winner for Female Entrepreneur of the year. In 2016 she also took home 2 Silver Awards including Maverick on the year! In 2018 Hannah was recognized in Fairfield County as one of 40 under 40 Rising Stars.


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?

With a background in childhood education and development I was always looking for ways to connect with children and help them develop in a positive and creative way. I was motivated to write books that encourage kindness, friendship and compassion as I saw such a need for it. I noticed as a nanny that children were struggling with various things from self-confidence to making friends and feeling as though they didn’t fit in. I wanted to create a book that gave examples of friendship, what that should look like and showcased characters that were relatable to all children across America.

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

Starting out as a nanny, I was able to look at family dynamics with a different perspective. I heard conversations that were going on in the home and wanted to create positive messages that would be shared through story telling. I want families to understand the importance of the messages their children are hearing, and how they impact a child’s life.

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

I am working on completing 2 more stories at the moment that focus on new characters that I have introduced children to. I love when the kids fall in love with the characters prior to a book so that I can really see what will be popular. It made me realize there was an opportunity to create merchandise and so I have started designing and selling collectable creative items from plush to keychains and art kits.

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?

My book(s) are written to encourage kindness and compassion towards others. They show children what being a friend looks like. I think all too often we assume children know — but they are only mirrors reflecting back to us what they see. What we forget is that what they see is not always kind. In my second book “Spike’s magical glasses” we learn that Spike is very shy and lonely. The others in the village come together to make him feel welcomed and apart of the community through helping him with his confidence. The story really shows kids the difference a hello can make in someone’s life.

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?

I am a creator, so for me this is the most valuable trait I have. I create in my mind before I ever start writing. I know how it will look, feel and the impact I want it to have.

I am a very self-motivated and determined individual. When I make a decision to do something, I work non-stop to achieve it. When I was creating my last book, I had to take time off work at the studios and kind of lock myself away for a week until I finished every illustration and word. I gave myself a deadline to meet and I didn’t stop until it was met. I don’t need anyone to push me.

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? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

Creating my first book “Picnic & Puddles” was HUGE for me. Not only did it give me direction with opening my business, but it also helped me develop different areas of the business. The books are the foundation upon which my business was built. Before the books The Giggling Pig Art Studio was just an art studio. Although we were well known, it wasn’t until the release of the first book that I saw a huge difference. Suddenly I was able to build a merchandise line, offer book signings to schools, making children and families more aware of who I was. I grew from a small 400 Sq Ft location to owning 2 store fronts and seeing enough value in it to franchise!

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

I would say that it is important to just start. It may feel there just isn’t enough time, and so you must learn to manage your time to fit it in. Hold yourself accountable. Not only does writing a book give you more avenues to promote yourself and your business, but it also helps you stand out in a crowd. You’re offering something that not everyone has. It positions you as someone who is an expert in your field, opening the door to conversations that you would have missed otherwise. It’s a great way to grow your brand, credibility and your dividends.

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 some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

I wish I knew I didn’t have to juggle it all. But as a mother and business owner it was something I was quite used to so just carried on. It exhausted me and honestly, I didn’t know enough to do it successfully alone. I think if I could go back, I would have focused more on the things I was really good at, like social media, engaging customers and building the excitement with kids.

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

I think it’s important to get the exposure you deserve after all the time you put into the book and having an expert do this for you will ease up your time to do what you do best. There are things that we as authors are very good at and we all have our strengths. So, know yours and work on that. Then pass off the rest to the experts.

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.

Before promoting your book, it is imperative that you know who you are trying to reach. If you understand the audience, you can create better messaging that appeals to them. Websites are one of the most important pieces to this puzzle. Your customers need a place to visit to learn about you, read about your books and find all the places to follow you on social media. It’s important that your information stays up to date and that there is a bio and photo of you. I even recommend a place for book reviews and video content too!

Anyone wanting to buy your book will have an interest in you, who you are and what you do. They will want to learn about you. Make sure to include this information on your website so that they can feel connected.

Growing your email list helps you build a relationship with target customers. I also like to add discount codes and special offers in my emails and make customers feel important by mentioning their reviews and adding images.

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, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I’d love to be able to have a conversation with Martha Stewart. As a female entrepreneur running an art business with a brand and books built around that — Martha would be an obvious choice. I feel I could gain so much knowledge from her and have many questions answered. What she has created over the years has really opened pathways for others and I would like to thank her for that.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can find out more about my business through my websites and social media pages:

Website: www.thegigglingpig.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegigglingpig/

Facebook for business: https://www.facebook.com/thegigglingpigshelton/

View merchandise: www.thegigglingpigmarket.com

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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