Becoming an author was one of the best things for my business and brand. I never intended to make a fortune off my book, my goal was to share my knowledge and expertise with those who needed it.
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 Onyinye Anike, a certified confidence coach & online business strategist, international bestselling author, speaker, and host of “The Imperfect Mompreneur Coach Podcast.” She helps mompreneurs coaches, consultants and experts to confidently grow and scale an online business by clarifying their message, elevating their authority and landing high ticket clients organically without sacrificing time with family. Onyinye is a cancer survivor and founder of Holistic Life Purpose Coaching. She has been featured on various radio and tv shows and podcasts such as TedEd and Biz Talk Radio. Onyinye shares her expertise on entrepreneurship, work/life balance, and cultivating a resilient and confident mindset. She is a recipient of the Brainz 500 award for her success, achievement, and dedication to helping others. Onyinye is a Brooklyn native but resides in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and two children.
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?
I am a mom and an entrepreneur, so it just made sense because of my experiences and willingness to share with others what I had learned in my journey. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY to immigrant parents who mapped out what life “should” look like for me, that includes a degree, a career, marriage, kids and retirement. We did not have entrepreneurs in my family and the idea seemed farfetched and unattainable. However, after meeting my husband and a cancer diagnosis that forever changed my life, anything seemed possible. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I worked in Higher Education for 10 years and intimately knew the power of mastering one’s mindset and developing oneself, personally and professionally. Consequently, I discovered that entrepreneurship is the greatest form of personal development and the path to impact, income, and freedom. I wanted to share my knowledge and expertise with other women who wanted to embark on this path and encourage, inspire, and empower them to overcome the challenges and create the life and business they wanted.
Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?
COVID greatly changed everything for me in my business. I did not realize I had to sink or swim until we were forced to quarantine. My business was still relatively new, and I had to adjust to being home 24/7 with two children under the age of 4, trying to build a business and pivoting to the online space with no clue as to what direction to go in. It was more of a mental game because of all the doubts, fear, guilt and insecurities that arose navigating this new “normal.” I had a lot of resistance to being online at first but when I realized I was incurring debt, not signing any clients and I was crashing and burning horribly, stressed and no longer the businesswomen or mom I wanted to be, I knew something had to change. I decided that I was going to make this work and the first step was changing my perspective about marketing online and getting help. I hired a coach, worked on my mindset, and quickly built up my client base using social media. I contributed to the anthology that would go on to be an international bestseller and leveraged that book to gain media, speaking and other major opportunities for my business and the rest is history.
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 currently working on a brand-new premium group coaching program for other coaches, consultants and experts who are moms like me. I am rebranding my new podcast which hit 1k downloads and just got featured as part of the top 50 podcast for Mompreneurs and I am also re-writing an eBook to help entrepreneurs land high ticket clients and become the CEO of their businesses with simplicity.
I am currently in the process of writing a new book focused on my first two years in business as a mom during a pandemic and the lessons learned. I want to motivate, inspire and encourage my fellow Mompreneur to know that it is possible to start, build and scale a 6-figure business and have the freedom they desire without feeling like they are sacrificing time with family or their own self-care. I am sharing the steps I took, the transformation I underwent and how I leveraged my experiences to gain media and speaking opportunities to create a successful thriving business in a short amount of time. This will give them the blueprint to do the same in their business. My hope is to release it in December of 2021.
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 “Yes I Can’’ is a unique look at different perspectives from the lens of women entrepreneurs on the lesson learned from having to overcome adversity in their lives and applying it to their business. It reveals strategies, key principles, success habits and wisdom each writer has learned in building success in their specialized field. The value in this book is that if you apply what you learn, you could within a year be living a freedom-based lifestyle and earning a great income doing the things that you love while giving your family the best possible future.
My chapter is focused heavily on cultivating a mindset of resilience, taking imperfect action, practicing gratitude, and embracing your entrepreneurial journey while stepping the CEO role in your business grounded in faith.
Throughout the book, I share my own personal story growing up, dealing with bullying, beating cancer and challenges as a new entrepreneur. These stories all helped to highlight and provide tangible examples of how I was able to overcome adversity and how the lessons learned from each situation helped me in my business to succeed. These stories help the reader see themselves in the book and how they too could apply the lessons learned to their own unique situation both in life and business.
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?
You must be a risk-taker and get out of your own head. I decided I was going to share my story and not let the mind drama (fear, doubt) get in the way. Our brains are meant to protect us, keep us in our comfort zone and views any type of change as dangerous. As a result, we do not like putting ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable. Writing a book and putting it out into the world, opens ourselves up to be judged, criticized, or rejected by those who may not agree. It can be a scary thing. When you recognize that your book is not about you, but about your audience and how it can change someone’s life in a meaningful way, you are able to push through the resistance in your mind and launch that book.
Resilience and Persistence is crucial because you will have challenges and roadblocks that come your way when launching your book. You may have people say no to you or not follow through on their end to promote the book or you may run into technical challenges as we did or people pulling out at the last second to sponsor your launch and the list goes on. No one is more invested in the successful launch of your book as much as you are, so you have to remain persistent and determined to keep pushing forward through those challenges.
The last one is being an action-taker. Writing the book is only the first step. The next step is promoting it and getting it into the hands of those who are meant to see it and be impacted, inspired, and transformed by it. The promotion does not stop after the first week the book is launched, because a book on a shelf collecting dust is useless to everyone. I acted by sharing it with my email list and Facebook group members. I told my family and friends about the book; I posted on all my social media platforms and hired a PR agency to help me do a radio campaign. You must take the right action to get the results, you want.
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?
Becoming an author was one of the best things for my business and brand. I never intended to make a fortune off my book, my goal was to share my knowledge and expertise with those who needed it. However, becoming an author and having an international bestseller opened doors for me that helped explode my business. The book gave me the immediate credibility and authority in my niche, in a matter of days, that would have taken months if not years to establish. I was able to book podcasts and nationally syndicated radio interviews. Influencers and other experts and entrepreneurs within my niche reached out to me inviting me to speak at their events, host workshops and summits including the TedEd women series. I was able to land high ticket clients and leverage my book and media appearances to grow my business.
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?
Author = Authority in the minds of your audience. My book gave me immediate credibility and elevated my expert status in the eyes of my audience because I had written a book that became a bestseller, and I was vocal about promoting it. People are always looking for new, creative, and innovative ideas, insight and guidance on various topics. Being seen as a thought leader can explode your business and help you stand out from the crowd. I think if you are plateaued in your business, writing a book is an excellent way to elevate your brand and authority and such a great way to speaking opportunities, media, podcasts, other book deals, gaining more clients and so much more. It really comes down to how you leverage it but it is worth the resources, energy and investment for sure in my opinion.
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?
I had the privilege of promoting it with my co-authors. However, that was only for a few days. After the initial 3-day launch, we were left to continue promoting it and really leveraging it for our business. Promoting is not a passive thing where you just put a link somewhere and hope others see it. It is something you must keep front and center and top of mind of those in your audience. When the launch was over and the dust settled it was like cold water being splashed in my face, reality hit, and it was my sole responsibility to do the work and keep promoting the book if I wanted to leverage it for greater opportunities. It took me a few weeks, but I started linking the book in my bio, social media platforms and website. I started sharing excerpts and takeaways from the book in workshops, podcasts, virtual events and to my email list, which garnered interest and eventually opportunities and clients.
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?
On their own an author can build excitement around the book prior to launch date with their respective audiences on various platforms and email lists. They can create a special raffle or giveaway for the book launch to incentivize people to pre-order the book. They can reach out to other entrepreneurs in their circle and ask for them to share their book etc. They can do a book tour and speak in different groups and platforms about their upcoming book. With social media it is a lot easier, more attainable and cost effective to promote your book yourself. However, if you want to reach a wider audience and get on major popular tv, radio, magazines, and podcasts then I think hiring a marketing expert or publicist would make the most sense.
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.
- Build your audience early. You are writing for them so know where they are and have a plan in place to start sharing how the book can provide value to them. You can build anticipation for the book by sharing excerpts that could give them a glimpse into the book content. Share this with your email list and social media followers.
- Have a launch team that will help you promote the book. Consider, who in your network can help you promote and support your efforts and reach out to these people. Have a plan to create graphics, promotional material, emails, and delegate responsibility. My book “Yes, I Can” is an anthology. All the authors of the book put our collective time, energy, and efforts together to reach more people during our launch which led to becoming international best sellers.
- Leverage Authorship. Yes, you are not technically one yet but in promoting your book, you can pitch media, podcasts, be a guest blogger, let them know you have an upcoming book because it already elevates your status and makes it more likely they will say yes.
- Know when it’s time to hire a publicist or marketing expert to increase your reach and widen your audience. I hired a PR agency to do a press release and get me on radio and major podcasts, so I could bring more exposure & awareness to my book.
- Promotion does not end when the launch does. A book can really open doors for you, but you need to actively know how to leverage it to create opportunities after the launch is over whether its speaking, media, landing high ticket clients, sponsorships etc. Your book can open doors if you remain persistent, persevere, and take action.
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 🙂
I am a huge personal development and mind hack fan. Anything to do with the brain and how we as people think and behave, I am fascinated by it. I can share a list but for this article, I will say David Bayer and Mel Robbins come to mind. Mel Robbins because I love the simplicity and yet powerful concept of the 5 Second Rule. It truly is all about bridging the gap between your thoughts and actions. As for David Bayer, I have been following him for about a year and he is truly revolutionary in the world of hacking the mind and getting to the deeper root of limiting beliefs and rewiring our thoughts to become unstoppable in life and business.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
I am online both on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram under @onyinyecanike and you can learn more about me and actually receive my free gift for Mompreneur coaches, consultants and experts looking to land high ticket clients and build sustainable six-figure business by going to…..
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.