Q: Are you a Business Writer or a Writer in Business?

Here’s a question. Think about it for a second.

Are you a writer who’s in business?


A business person who happens to work in the writing industry?

Of course, this doesn’t apply to writers only. What we’re looking at here is your angle on business.

I’ll give you an example.

In the red corner.

A very good friend is a driving instructor. He’s very reliable. Most of his students pass their exams at the first try. Which is very flattering until you realise that this means they don’t need refresher courses or other lessons before the exams. He sees himself as a teacher, and as a teacher he’s excellent.

In the blue corner.

Another driving instructor sees himself as a business man. When the students are coming up to exams, he recommend an intensive training course, usually the day before the exam. As nobody wants to fail and repeat the exam, most take him up on the offer.

When they finish the course, he gives his students a coupon for their friends. 25% off their lessons AND a free refresher lesson for the person who gave the referral. Many pass on the coupons generating more business. Most are too busy to take the free refresher course.

He also follows up every year, usually around winter to see if they need driving lessons, for example, to handle the car on icy or wet surfaces. It’s a good idea and many take him up on the offer.

If you meet him, he’ll admit that he’s not the greatest teacher in the world. Good, adequate, but not great.

He asked my red corner friend, ‘Are you in the teaching business or in the driving business?”

My red corner friend hadn’t seen it like that before. Which was is it?

If you run your own business, or plan to do so, even part time, remember that you’re in the business of being in business. Look at how you can increase the amount of business you do every week.

Three suggestions:

  • Refuse lunch invitations where people want to pick your brains for free. Time is money. Arrange a one hour session instead. If they say no, you’ve lost nothing and saved time.
  • Look for ways to sell additional products, tools, or services that compliment your product line.
  • Remember, it’s easier to sell more products to existing customers that find and convert new customers.

This last point is worth thinking about. These people trust you, value your expertise, and have probably recommended you to others.

Instead of writing another blog post, learning another SEO hack, or sharpening your ‘landing’ pages make a list of what you could do to help them.

It’s probably obvious when you think about it, right?