We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Childress and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
As a self-employed expert, I realized I had a problem because no one knew how amazing I was. So, I create consistent authority content and share it everywhere I can online. It was a risk to use my time to write about my topic instead of doing more sales calls or client work all the time. But, the outcome is that when “ghostwriting” comes up, people talk about me when I’m not in the room. I get referrals and hot leads that look me up before contacting me, and they love what they see. Today, my authority content looks like writing a twice-weekly newsletter, daily IG and FB posts, weekly IGTV videos, and monthly Medium.com articles. By maintaining a consistent and relatable social media presence, my content works for me to build my credibility and increase my reach to potential customers and clients. I also have a beautiful website and regularly speak in virtual summits now that the world has gone online. All these things continue to elevate my expert status, which allows me to charge more and choose to work on the projects that excite me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m rare to hold a Ph. D. in English and offer 1-1 services or teach writing outside academia. Currently, I’m most excited about my Crank Your Book Out in 8 Weeks group book coaching program, which serves students across the U.S. and the U.K. and Israel. In this program, I distill all my processes as a ghostwriter and teach my students to write their own books with marketing smarts and writing hacks to finish quickly and at a high level of quality. It wasn’t easy to get to this point. My business is almost four years old, and in the first two years, I had employees and ran my business as an agency instead of a personal brand because I was afraid to be the face of my company. When I made the switch, I was between staff members and chose not to replace them. I started taking less work and charging more for it. This lead to my interest in scaling my business not with more service providers and offers, and instead with me serving more people in the same amount of time online. Along the way, I’ve learned that although it’s true that people care about themselves and to know you understand their goals and issues, marketing messages that only talk about the potential client miss a big opportunity. Your leads also want to know who they’re working with, and by showing authenticity and letting people into your world, people will choose you. Plus, the people who aren’t a fit will figure that out and save time and stress for you both. I create offers based on what help my audience asks me for, not based on what I want to do or what I think people will want. This responsiveness means I’m selling what my best followers want, and it shows in my sales and positive reviews.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Terra Bohlmann is my business coach and my biggest supporter when I have a new idea or get off-track from my goals.