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A Content Marketing Ghost Writer

Where do you reside currently?

Orlando, Florida

What do you do?

Content marketing

I own a content marketing agency that helps B2B companies get found more easily on Google and to look like experts once they do. We write blog articles on a variety of topics for a variety of companies, from financial technology to manufacturing to software-as-a-service.

What is your top personal value?

Integrity. It means that I keep my word to people, do what I said I would do, and following through on promises and offers. It's hard to tell a story of doing what you said you would do. "I committed to going to a meeting and so I went." "I promised my client I would deliver my articles on time, and then I did." That's not much of a story. But I can also point to the fact that I've been married for 28 years as my most favorite example of personal integrity. We both made a promise to each other and we've worked hard to keep it.

What do you do when you aren't working?

I love to read, especially British murder mysteries. I also do some woodworking and have been learning to play the bass guitar. My woodworking has allowed me to build some interesting projects over the years. I've built a workbench in each house I've lived in, as well as my current work-from-home desk. I've also built the second floor of an old house and finished the entire basement with my father-in-law.

What makes you unique?

As a writer and blogger, I've gotten to meet several celebrities and athletes over the years. I had media access to the Indianapolis 500 for seven years and interviewed several of the drivers. I've even gotten to talk with two of my favorite drivers, Dario Franchitti and Justin Wilson. I also got to meet Stuart McClean, the host of the Vinyl Cafe, which is the Canadian equivalent of Prairie Home Companion. Stuart visited Indianapolis several times, and I got to meet him and interview him for my blog. I was devastated when he died in 2017.

What do you love about what you do and how do you help others?

I'm a professional writer, which I think is about the best job I could have. I love to write so much that it's my hobby and my sideline, so I consider myself very fortunate to actually do what I love to do and get paid for it. Imagine getting paid to do your most favorite hobby in the world! I interview clients about the things that they're passionate about, and I can hear it in their voices. We'll talk about things that will make most people's eyes glaze over, but they're ON FIRE about these topics. SoI try to capture that passion and use the things that I love to do and share their story. The nice thing about their passion is that they love to dig into the tiny details of their work. The little slivers of interest that can take up an entire blog article. As they continue to explore their business, they'll have material to share with their readers, which means I'll continue to work in the job that I love.

What is the number one goal you are trying to achieve in your professional life?

I just want to be able to take care of my family doing what I love. I don't want to create a big agency, I don't want to be a Type-A overachiever whose life is ruled by money and they find they're unfulfilled in life. I want to get paid for making art.

Can you define the word Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a risk taker. They set out to do something new and change their world.

What did you do before you became an entrepreneur or business owner?

I worked as a sales and marketing director for a agricultural marketing company, software company, and a direct mail company. I was also in crisis communications for a state public health agency.

What happened to inspire you to start a business or buy one?

I became a business owner by accident. I was working as a blog manager for the company I now own. After a few months of working there, the owner sold the company to me and the other employee. The two of us worked together for four more years and then I bought him out.

How do you assess an idea, risk, or opportunity to ensure it is the right one for you?

I go with my gut. If I don't feel confident or comfortable about the idea or opportunity, I don't take it. If I feel bad about it, I'll never feel passionate about it, and it will never succeed.

What is the number one skill a successful Entrepreneur or Business Owner needs to possess to be successful?

Communication! You can have the greatest product or service in the world, and no one will buy it if you can't tell them about it. If you can't speak and you can't write, then you need someone who can. I've been successful at my business because it's literally all about communication. I communicate about communicating and I do it clearly and in a way to make it interesting.

When you started what mistake or failure taught you the most about running a business?

I tend to overcommit to things. Even now I take on too much and my work can suffer for it, so I have to consciously choose to turn down certain projects and opportunities. Early on as a business owner, I was learning about the company and our clients, and I took on a book ghostwriting project. I was getting 4 hours of sleep a night for several months with an afternoon nap, just to keep going. In fact, I worked that way for several years until I finally decided I was done with that kind of life. I had plenty of work, but was not spending time with my family or taking care of myself.

What support did you have?

I networked with other writers and continued to grow my skills. I was constantly practicing, reading books about writing and social media marketing, and learned from some of the industry's experts.

How do you stay motivated to keep trying when there is a set back?

Some days, the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that this is how I take care of my family. I may be disappointed from time to time, but I can't let that stop me from doing the rest of my work. I've learned to let the disappointments of rejection and setbacks slide off of me. I can be upset about something for a day, but that's it. Tomorrow is a new day and there's work to be done.

Share a success you are very proud of. How did you find the opportunity, what did you do with it, what was the result and did it lead to new opportunities?

I'm very proud of the different books I've co-authored. It started with helping my friend, Kyle Lacy, ghostwrite his book, Twitter Marketing for Dummies. We had such a good time that we persuaded one of Pearson's imprints (Que Biz-Tech) to publish our next book, Branding Yourself. After that, another friend, Jason Falls, and I also persuaded that imprint to publish No Bullshit Social Media. All told, I wrote three books in three years, and have worked on co-authoring and ghostwriting several other books after that. I've made ghostwriting books a sideline and I've been able to help other authors meet their goals. It all started with that first book.

From Erik's Website

Blogging is both the easiest and hardest thing you can do to market your business. It’s easy because blogging is informal, you can write short posts, and you can use your own voice and style. It’s hard, because you need to do it 2 – 3 times a week, every week, without fail. All while trying to get the rest of your work done and going to your meetings. That’s where we come in. You provide the inspiration by talking with your professional blog manager. We do all the work by taking your ideas, researching and sourcing them, and then writing, publishing, and promoting blog posts that get results. You talk to our blog manager for an hour each month, and your work is done. We come back with eight finished blog posts ready to publish.

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