February '24 Newsletter  

Leap Forward

 February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is packed with special holidays and events.  This is American Heart Month and Black History Month, we celebrate Valentine’s Day and SkillBites’ 12th anniversary, and various book holidays, including Library Lovers Day and Read to Your Child Day (both on February 14), and Clean Out Your Bookcase Day on February 21.  

In celebration of SkillBites’ anniversary and all of the other events in February, I have a special offer for you that you can read about below.

And it’s leap year, so we get one extra day.  Our calendar of 365 days is designed to reflect the time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun; but it actually takes 365.2422 days for that revolution, so every 4th year, an extra day is added to keep the calendar in track with the seasons.

1. Get Your Book Done in 2024

If you’ve set a goal of getting your book written this year, I want to support you in achieving this goal. Writing a book is a great way to increase your credibility and enhance your reputation, as well as attract your ideal prospects and grow your business.  As a business owner or professional, you may have lots of questions, such as:

  • How do I find the time to write a book while running a business?
  • How do I decide what topic I should write on?
  • Will anyone be interested in my book?

You can learn the answers to these and other questions in my upcoming workshop, It’s About Time … To Get Your Book Done.   Click here for more information.    

In honor of SkillBites’ anniversary this month, I am offering a free 1 hour strategy session to help you with your book (a $300 value) to anyone who signs up for this workshop. 

2. SkillBites Podcast

Each month, we bring you an expert to help you get your book done, leverage your book, grow your business or improve your life.  The shows are recorded, and you can listen to the recording by clicking here.

In this month’s episode, my guest is Julie Coraccio.  Julie is an award-winning professional declutterer, life & end-of-life organizer, certified life coach, and author of 15 books.  She is passionate about supporting people in clearing clutter in all areas of their lives; getting organized; and becoming more mindful and aware. 

Listen to this episode to learn about:

  • the bigger picture of clutter;
  • mistakes people make when decluttering;
  • how to overcome challenges to decluttering

and much more!

In last month’s episode, I shared various tactics for optimizing your meta data to increase the likelihood that your book will be found by your target reader when searching online for a book on your topic.  More specifically, I talked about how to select the right keywords and categories and how to write a compelling book description. 

To listen to this episode, click here.

Do you have expertise that you believe would benefit the SkillBites community of entrepreneurs and authors? If you would like to be the guest on the monthly SkillBites Show, contact me at judy@skillbites.net or 610-783-4519. If there is a topic you would like to hear on the podcast, let me know and I’ll look for an expert to cover that.

3. New Rule on Independent Contractor Classification

If you use independent contractors, you need to know that the Department of Labor published a new rule last month that makes it harder to classify a worker as an independent contractor, meaning some of the folk you have retained as independent contractors may be deemed employees, and thus eligible for overtime pay and other benefits.  The rule is effective March 11, 2024.

The rule contains a 6-factor test for determining whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or employee:

(1) opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill;

(2) investments by the worker and the potential employer;

(3) degree of permanence of the work relationship;

(4) nature and degree of control;

(5) extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the potential employer’s business; and

(6) skill and initiative.

The Rule is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/misclassification/rulemaking.

4. Tip of the Month: Strategies for marketing and promoting your book:  Step 2 - Develop a strong online presence

Last month, I delved into the first of 7 effective strategies for marketing and promoting your business book:  defining your target audience.  Understanding your audience will help you tailor your book’s message and your marketing efforts to reach the right people.

This month, I cover several strategies for developing a strong online presence In today's digital age, it is crucial for authors to have a strong online presence in order to reach and engage with their audience. Building a robust online presence can help authors showcase their work, create meaningful connections, and ultimately expand their readership. Here are some effective strategies for authors to develop a strong online presence.

  • Create an author website: This serves as a central hub where readers can learn more about the author and access their work. The website should include a bio, list of publications, book excerpts, a blog, and links to social media profiles. A clean and user-friendly design is crucial for visitors to navigate the site easily.
  • Engage on social media platforms: Social media is a powerful tool for authors to connect with readers and fellow writers. Identify the platforms that align with your target audience, whether it's Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or other platform, and consistently share content that is relevant and engaging. Interact with followers, respond to comments, and take part in discussions related to your genre or industry. Social media can also serve as a platform to promote book releases, events, and updates.
  • Start a blog: Maintaining a blog allows authors to share their thoughts, insights, and writing tips with their readers. It helps create a loyal readership and strengthens the author's online presence. Consistently publishing high-quality blog posts not only establishes the author as an expert in their field but also increases traffic to their website. Collaborating with other authors or inviting guest bloggers can bring fresh perspectives and introduce the author to new audiences.
  • Engage in guest blogging, guest podcasting and collaborations: Writing guest posts for other established websites, appearing as a guest on podcasts or collaborating with fellow authors can significantly boost an author's online presence. This strategy helps reach new audiences who may not yet be familiar with an author’s work. By offering unique and valuable content to a broader platform, authors can attract new readers and gain credibility within the writing community.
  • Participate in online communities and forums: Engaging in online writing communities and forums can prove invaluable for authors looking to establish their presence. Platforms like Goodreads, Reddit, and writing forums offer opportunities to connect with readers, receive feedback, and share experiences. Actively participating in these communities helps authors build relationships with like-minded individuals, gain support, and spread awareness about their work.
  • Leverage email marketing: Building an email list is crucial for authors to communicate directly with their readers. Offering a free eBook or exclusive content as an incentive to sign up can help grow an email subscriber base. Sending regular newsletters with updates, blog posts, book recommendations, and behind-the-scenes information helps foster a personal connection with readers and ensures they are aware of new releases or upcoming events.
  • Utilize multimedia content: In addition to written content, authors should incorporate multimedia elements to enhance their online presence. This can include creating book trailers, conducting virtual author interviews, or hosting podcasts. These interactive mediums help engage readers in different ways and expand the author's reach to a wider range of audience.

Building a strong online presence takes time and effort, but the rewards are significant. By creating an author website, engaging on social media platforms, starting a blog, participating in online communities, and leveraging multimedia content, authors can effectively establish their presence, connect with readers, and gain more recognition in the digital landscape. 

Thanks for supporting SkillBites. If there is anything you think we ought to be doing better or anything we should be doing that we’re not, please let us know. We value your input.