EP 259: Managing The Creative Process With Brooklyn Book Doctor Founder Joelle Hann

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • How Brooklyn Book Doctor founder Joelle Hann manages the process of book writing for her clients
  • What her book coaching experience taught her about creating and managing a group book proposal writing program
  • The tools Joelle uses to track her clients’ progress and coach them along to completion
  • Why it’s key for Joelle to consider the human element at every stage of managing a book writing project

What happens when project management and the creative process collide?

I think we expect a mess. A gnarly pileup of missed deadlines, unrealistic task lists, and artistic prerogative.

But what if the creative process was manageable?

What if there was a way to do your best creative work while also honoring your commitments to the more objective pieces of your project?

That’s the question we’re asking today.

Managing the creative process is exactly what my guest, Joelle Hann, does.

Joelle is the founder of Brooklyn Book Doctor. She works with authors to help them complete their book projects—whether it’s crafting the proposal or completing the manuscript.

Her job is to be as much creative partner as it is project manager.

After Joelle and I wrapped up our conversation, she told me: “the human element is a huge piece of the puzzle.”

And, honestly, if you listen for this idea throughout this interview, I think you’ll see what she means.

Joelle has become a master of managing for the human element in the creative process. And while Joelle has to manage the human element with her clients, we have to do this for ourselves every day.

I believe that all business owners are creatives in one way or another. Whether your version of creativity is expressed in product development, code, design, marketing, or management, you’re creative.

And that means we’re tasked with managing the human element—that’s us—in the creative process each day.

It’s the reason we can fail so epically at developing systems, documenting our work, or shipping new work. It’s the reason we can expect a team to follow our procedures while ignoring them ourselves. And it’s the reason why the technology we use and the way we approach that technology can make such a difference in whether we follow through on the work or not.

Be sure to listen to this conversation for not only some ideas on working with your customers or clients—but working with yourself.

Joelle and I talk about the tools she uses to manage different types of writing projects, what she’s learned about managing projects for creative people, and how her project management system blossomed into its own offer for working clients through the book proposal process.

Now, let’s find out what works for Joelle Hann!

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By Tara McMullin

Writer, Podcaster, Producer. Founder of What Works.

Jan 14, 2020

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EP 299: How To Design Your Own Sales System

This week, I’ve got 4 more stories to share with you from small business owners who have intentionally done things their own way when it comes to sales and selling. They’ve found what truly works for them–even if it bucks the prevailing wisdom or would make a bro marketing expert role his or her eyes.

These stories come from business coach Ashley Gartland, marketing expert Amy Lippmann, designer Mel Richards, and work reinvention coach Lydia Lee.

Listen for how they incorporated these same considerations into finding their own unique sales systems. They designed their systems with personal values, strong relationships, reduced anxiety, and agency in mind.

EP 298: Creating A Less Harmful Sales System with Wanderwell Founder Kate Strathmann

This show is called What Works for a reason.

Sometimes it’s a declaration: this is what worked for this small business. And often, it’s a question, “What works?”

Today’s episode is very much a question, many questions, really:

What works when it comes to selling when you want to avoid manipulative or exploitative practices?

What works when your values conflict with many of the best practices of selling online but you still want people to buy your stuff?

What works when it comes to sales in a business that is actively anti-racist and anti-capitalist?

And even more bluntly: Can you even sell things without causing harm or perpetuating harmful systems?

My friend Kate Strathmann is the founder of Wanderwell, a bookkeeping and consulting firm that grows thriving businesses while investigating new models for being in business.

Recently, Kate took a bit of a detour from how she’s used to building her business, which is 90% referral based and fueled by deep relationship- and community-building. She decided to offer a small group program called the Equitable Business Incubator as a way of exploring anti-capitalist business practices and how they apply to the small businesses we’re building.

To fill the program, Kate need to sell differently.

Which led her to asking the question: Can you even sell things as a anti-capitalist?

While that might not be your specific question, I have a feeling that you too have wondering how you can effectively sell your offers without causing harm, perpetuating harmful systems, or damaging relationships. And that’s why I knew Kate and I needed to explore this topic on the show.

This is a conversation about what a kinder, less harmful sales process could look like—and it probably contains more questions than answers. But I’m confident those questions can help you find the answers that are right for you and the sales system that you want to build to make your business stronger.

We start out by defining what we’re really talking about when we talk about capitalism and anti-capitalism. Then, Kate shares how the Equitable Business Incubator came to be and how she ended up selling it. And then we dig into what makes many of the sales formulas and best practices being taught today problematic—and how to think differently to create your own alternative practices.

Now, let’s take a look at what works for creating less harmful sales systems!

EP 297: Selling A New Program With Proof To Product Founder Katie Hunt

Today’s guest is Katie Hunt—who is a member of the former group and serves the latter group.

Katie is the founder of Proof To Product, which helps creative entrepreneurs run and grow thriving product-based businesses. She works with designers, illustrators, and artists to help them develop in-demand product lines and get them sold in stores all over the world.

Not long after the pandemic threw her business and the industry she serves for a major loop, Katie and her team launched Proof To Product Labs to provide a completely digital, ongoing support opportunity for business owners when they needed it most.

And that launch was a smash.

Katie and I get into all of the nuts and bolts of how she adjusted the offer to meet the moment and how she warmed up her audience before the campaign, as well as the exact mix of emails, podcast ads, and social media content she used to sell the offer when it went live. We also talk about how she sees the sales system evolving in the future and how the offer has been received now that people are using it!

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support