I am excited to introduce you to today’s guest. Sue-Ann at Write Mix For Business crafts and produces high quality, original web content. She helps business clients connect with people while creating a positive business image and brand.
She will write for your business as if it were her own!
Today we’ll hear Sue-Ann’s story about how she went from employee to business owner to successful solopreneur.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
Study the Solopreneur – Write Mix For Business with Sue-Ann Bubacz
Below is a quick introduction by Sue-Ann followed by her video interview and post. Listen in & get inspired!
Thank you so much, Dana, for inviting me and I’m elated to be here.
Sue-Ann is my name, and words are my game. I use them for creating on my Write Mix for Business blog and on my podcast, MIX/SIZZLE & SHAKE YOUR BUSINESS. And, of course, for client writing and creative projects of all kinds.
I believe writing is at the core of everything, and so, there are a million things I can do as a business content creator to produce digital content assets for a variety of business purposes. I love working with a mix of digital media and learning about the industries and businesses of clients. But, I’m also a proponent of creativity as a vital business driver and I believe business should be fun not work, even if it’s hard.
1 – What did you do before becoming a solopreneur?
I think I was born a solopreneur because I’m the kind of person who does my own thing. I’m pretty sure my parents mixed me up or maybe it was Marlo Thomas’ Free to be You and Me. But I always follow my heart more than the crowd. When you work for yourself, you’re in control and that’s the best part. At the same time, I don’t think anyone can make me work harder than I push myself. In the end, I love running a business and working with businesses.
Business and marketing are fascinating and always have been! But, to me, the peak in business transpires at the intersect where you value your customers AND they value you. Only then does the magic for truly good business emerge.
Before starting my business, I worked in several departments of a bank, in public relations at my undergraduate college, and as an administrative assistant in a bigtime corporate office downtown at a high level. Finally, the position I had just before accidentally starting a business, was as an advertising exec in a small but mighty ad agency. All fun. And of course, 2nd or third jobs at pizza shops, restaurants or bars, and banquet halls, along the way.
In my teens, I was a girls’ softball umpire, a boys (AHAUS accredited) ice hockey referee, competed in and taught ice skating, and was a hostess.
2 – What inspired you to make the change? What made you decide to go into what you’re doing now?
As I mentioned, my first business started by accident. Here’s a cool marketing (not) tale from when I was starting out to give you an idea of things.
My writing career started in second grade in my mind, but tumbling into it for real this late in the game is insane. And so much fun and learning and frustration and possibility…but, mostly, my feet needed a rest:)
What attracts me most to both careers, I think, is creativity is like air to me!
3 – You’re a successful writer, but I know you opened up a physical business before going into this. Tell us about that.
Well, for about the last 30 years I’ve had the pleasure of working with tons of businesses and corporations, organizations, and people, as a professional catering production and event design company.
It was great fun but much harder work than most people realize.
Staying small became part of the challenge over the years but staying unique was in some ways the core concept to our continued success and good reputation. In that industry, being a resource for new, exciting, and unusual (innovative, even) grabs attention.You can make your name by not being like the next guy! For me, that was easy because I have a big imagination and not the usual culinary school training of my competitors. @SueAnnBubacz #freelancewritingClick To Tweet
Walking away from a successful, fun business is bittersweet. Actually, it’s been quite hard for me. But, the more immersed I get into my new and exciting content creator projects, writing assignments, and other creative collaborations and work, the happier I am!
4 – What do you love most about what you’re doing?
I LOVE ALL OF IT! However, one of the best and unexpected results is making new friends in business in a bigger radius than with a local physical business. The bigger picture for growing online is well, sort of, limitless. (I’m just realizing!)
Because I love learning and creating, the digital experiences I am having are bringing me so much more than I expected. For one thing, I keep surprising myself! I am doing things, especially tech stuff, I never imagined me doing. At the core of it all is my love of writing and I am writing every day.
So really, what’s not to like? Learning each day, writing my brains out, connecting with clients and colleagues and having mega fun…I’m in!
5 – I know you’re well-connected with many other successful solopreneurs in the blogging community. How did you build these relationships?
Slowly. Over time. But, I’m very lucky because I happened in and landed accidentally among the best-of-the-best. When people ask me how I made such top-level contacts right off the bat, I say because I’m too old to start anywhere else! Which is true because I am a decades long business owner but truer, in that I’m an enthusiast person and love their stuff. I wasn’t afraid to write about it, talk about it, and share it and still do!
So, I guess the answer is be nice for a long time and people can’t help but like you back. It’s my “Thank You Marketing Campaign!”
6 – How has guest posting positively impacted your business?
Guest posting for me was the turning point to first getting any blog notice. But beyond that, guest posting does this for you:
- reaches other audiences
- brings NEW traffic to your site
- targets an interested group via subject-matter
- increases your visibility
- enhances your credibility and authority
- gives you experience with editors, admin panels, and WordPress environments, etc. outside your own
The problem is how you go about it and how much of it you can manage. For example, to do well with a post, you need to take the time to understand the website and the audience they speak to, so you can be relatable and valuable with your tone or contribution.
You may want to weigh where you want to post depending on how aligned you are with their topics, or the industry, or whatever. Some of the places I post, and some, where I don’t, are usually for specific reasons. Also, as you gain business and projects, you have to be more selective.
7 – This is something new aspiring writers want to know. How did you find clients at first?
Well, how I did it and the ways others go about it or how you do it, may be quite different. The challenge for me was to do it completely from scratch, anonymously, and kind of in secret. You see, I was relying on my physical business for my livelihood and didn’t want to risk any of my clients thinking I’m not 100% still on top of that company and taking care of their needs as a priority.
On the other hand, when I came up with the brilliant idea to be a writer, I quickly realized the web offers the biggest opportunity for writing work right now. And working for myself and on my schedule after so long, I thought, I don’t know if I can change!! Not only that, but starting out in anonymity was easy on the world web for me because I didn’t even have a website or do any social for my busy busy little local company EVER.
My first practice for web writing and doing any project online was creating and writing a website for my event business! It gave me something to put in my first online writer portfolio. Otherwise I’d have writing samples from my college newspaper I guess!!
(This is from back when you did layouts by actually cutting and gluing the designs for printing! Lol)
The only problem with being an online writer, basically, was the extent of my computer and tech skills. Which was equivalent to using email, and typing (for business proposals, mainly), so I’m a tech miracle, so far. I’m doing stuff everyday that’s over-my-head and making my head spin, and still, it makes me so happy. And okay, a little nuts, too. Jump in and learn as you go and surprise yourself too!
Best advice if you’re not me? Starting out, go to everyone you know and family, friends, and especially business connections and reach out in some way to let them know you’re a writer now.
Offer to write for some of your connections or even for organizations you support, like the fire department or library, for FREE to add to your writing samples, or to create a writing portfolio.
Create a website as a priority. Today, it serves as your best sales tool and living resume. White knuckle through the dive into social media because online, it is an invaluable tool for gaining business, mostly free.
Finally, keep learning for whatever you still need to get into action, and, most definitely, handle things like a business to ensure success.
8 – What advice would you give to someone struggling with their lives/career based on your own experience and knowledge?
Well, I just interviewed Ryan Biddulph and he said this: Where your attention and energy go, GROWS. (But we’re not sure who to attribute the quote to!)
So, it’s about the steps I mentioned above, plus pitching for work, DOING THE WORK, acting as a business, continuing to learn and grow in knowledge and skills, leveling up with your abilities and honing your offerings and price points.
And don’t forget, the evil best thing ever, Marketing.
9 – What projects are you working on now? I know you also interview others on your own show, so tell us about that.
And the biggest NEWS EVER… I am Co-Creating an online course, with the ultra-awesome, Ryan Biddulph from Blogging From Paradise … called: “How to Bling Your Blog and Feed That Hog,” so stay tuned for that, please! I can’t wait to see what we conjure up, I know it’s going to be fun.
10 – Sue-Ann, where can people find you?
Sue-Ann, a boutique business owner for more than half her life, loves creating original digital content assets so businesses can make meaningful connections, build, and grow. It all starts with powerful writing! Check out her podcast, or connect with Sue-Ann via her website.