Today we meet Karin Beery of Write Now Editing & Copywriting Services. At the risk of dating both of us, I’ll share that Karin and I met nearly 20 years ago now in college, where we were fellow English majors and sorority sisters. I’ve known about Karin’s writing and editing work for a long time, and I was excited when she decided to join the Digital Product Challenge to create her first digital product.
When we think about digital products, we often think about passive income, and that’s definitely an important benefit from all the work that goes into the creative process. However, Karin’s story shows what can be an even more important benefit for some entrepreneurs, and that’s how you can receive opportunities to showcase your work that might not have surfaced otherwise.
Let’s hear from Karin Beery about her digital product journey so far.
Laura: Where did the idea for your digital product first come from?
Karin Beery: The idea for my first digital product, Writing and Distributing an Effective Press Release, was born out of my frustration from being on the receiving end of bad press releases. I knew what people were trying to do, but doing it badly was only wasting their time – the newspaper never called anyone who sent a bad press release.
Unfortunately, none of the small business owners I know can afford to pay for a professional copywriter. I thought a brief how-to might help many of them produce better press releases without having to hire a pro.
Laura: What were some of the more challenging parts of getting from idea to done, and how did you work past them?
Karin Beery: For me, it’s all about motivation. I’m pretty classically ADD – if I don’t have managers, teachers, or deadlines telling me what to do when, it’s easy to get distracted by a thousand different things. That’s why I needed the Digital Product Challenge – to give me a deadline.
Laura: What were some of the opportunities that surfaced as a result of starting to work on your first digital product? And what shifts did these opportunities create in your business?
Karin Beery: The first came from one of my beta readers. She works at the local chamber of commerce, and she wanted to know if I’d be interested in teaching the chamber members how to write press releases.
That inspired me to reach out to the local college – they offer extended education courses (non-credit classes in everything from knitting to Excel to yoga). I pitched the idea of a copy-writing-for-small-businesses class. They loved the idea, and I taught my first class in October.
That inspired me to approach our local SCORE chapter. I set out to tell people about my product and have started teaching all kinds of writing classes.
Laura: What did it feel like to see that first sale come in? And what’s happened since then?
Karin Beery: I was absolutely tickled! Since the first sale … I haven’t actually sold another tool kit. That fault is on me – I finished my digital product and jumped right into an intense four months of nonstop family visits, working two jobs, traveling, etc.
I had to pick and choose where to focus my time and energy, and launching my product didn’t make the list. That’s one of the reasons I signed up to do another digital product challenge – not only will it help me create another product, but I plan to re-launch the press release tool kit when I launch my new product.
Laura: What actions and steps do you feel were most critical in creating the opportunities you’ve experienced?
Karin Beery: It all started with having one digital product – I knew I had to get myself out there to let people know that I had something to offer (besides my services). That inspired me to start teaching the classes, which has produced so many opportunities. Now I’m doubly inspired to create more digital products so I can direct people to them after they take my classes.
Laura: Can you give us a peak into what’s coming next in your online business?
Karin Beery: As far as copywriting, I’ll be teaching my content writing class at the college again in March, and I’m currently working on a digital tool kit to help people write more authentic biographies for their websites.
When I worked up the nerve to pitch the idea for the content writing class, I figured I might as well try to do more teaching (and digital product creation) for my fiction writing, so I pitched a couple of class ideas to the college and a local writing conference. Both were accepted.
Coincidentally, my recent teaching experiences helped me land the job of fiction-editing instructor for a large network of professional editors. I had already been thinking about creating digital products for fiction writing; I will now have to create them for these editing classes, and I’ll be able to sell them on my website (as well as on the organization’s site).
It’s all sort of snowballing, and I can honestly say it started with my desire to put myself out there so I could spread the word about my first digital product.
Laura: What would you recommend to other women who are putting together their first digital product?
Karin Beery: FINISH IT! Your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect – Anne Lamott famously encourages writers to write a shitty first draft, because you can’t fix what you don’t finish. The same is true for the digital product. Just finish a shitty first draft, then polish it. It’s too easy to start something without finishing it, which is exactly what I would have done without the Digital Product Challenge.
Laura: Thank you so much and congratulations!
Check out Karin’s first digital product, Writing and Distributing an Effective Press Release. To learn more about Karin, visit KarinBeery.com and her Write Now Editing & Copywriting Services website. You can also connect with Karin on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to sign up for her newsletter.