When I set up my copywriting business, one of the first things I did was hire a writing coach.
Now, for someone who had been working as a journalist for the past 15 years, this might seem like a waste of money. Hello, haven’t I proven time and again that I can write well? Shouldn’t I use the money to pay for a social media marketing consultant and web designer instead?
After all, entrepreneurs need to invest in what will pull in the most clients and sustain their business. But since I’m in the writing business, having thousands of Facebook fans or a website with all the bells and whistles won’t attract clients.
Being a (surprise, surprise) topnotch writer will.
Here’s how a writing coach helps me build my business:
- A writing coach speeds up my learning process
There are different types of writing coach. Some serve as a novel doctor – they help you develop plot, characters and the tone of your novel. Others give you advice on how to write press releases. I blog for entrepreneurs, so I decided to hire a writing coach who has succeeded in blogging and helps other bloggers do the same.
My modest success as a journalist won’t work in the blogging world. Sure I can write – but writing in a detached, objective and critical way won’t work for blogging. And I have no time for the old-school trial-and-error method.
My writing coach helped me find my writing voice (more personal and straight from the heart) without forgetting about my readers (like the need to put a call to action at the end of the post). Long-time professional bloggers may think this elementary, but it’s not for those who earned spurs in traditional media.
(In fact, a lot of journalists just don’t “get” blogging… but that’s a topic for another post.)
- A writing coach serves as my business mentor
No matter what business you want to get into, you need a mentor who can guide you through the ins and outs of the industry.
My writing coach has succeeded in selling writing–related services, e-books and courses over the net. I learned a lot from her experiences, and she pointed me to online resources like Men with Pens to further my education on the writing business.
- A writing coach gives me regular feedback
According to the novelist JA Konrath, praise is like candy. You like it, but it’s not good for you.
The only way I know if I’m improving as a writer is to get consistent feedback. I have a lot of writing friends, but I can’t rely on them to comment on my work regularly and track my progress.
My writing coach points out my strengths, suggests what changes I need to make and keeps my writing tight and focused. Those criticisms help me serve my writing clients.
- A writing coach helps me attain my goals
Even before she gave me a detailed critique of my work, my writing coach asked what goals I wanted to attain from the critique session. She also asked me where I want my writing career to go.
Then she gave me a critique and suggested specific action points to help me achieve my goals.
If you’re keen on having a writing coach, you might want to know how I met mine. The thing is, I haven’t! It’s impossible for us to meet in person, as we live in two separate continents.
I found my writing coach through her blog. I liked her blog so much and enjoyed the fact that she’s serious about the craft of writing while building a business as a blogger. And oh, she’s a nice person, too! It’s easy for us to enjoy good rapport.
So here’s my last piece of advice before you hire a writing coach: Don’t limit your choice to a coach within your circle. The person may be physically located near you and share the same culture, but that doesn’t mean that person can help you as a writer and as an entrepreneur.
Find the right person who can help you achieve your goals, even if you only deal with them online.