how she did it

Case Studies // Building an information busine...

Building an information business

Ever wondered how to set up your own publishing business? Well Tanya White had the same idea & made it happen. Read how she did it below…

Tanya White // USA // BabyBird Guide // Publishing // 30s

Tell us about your business…     

BabyBird Guide was launched on one fundamental concept that would become the tagline of the company: Knowledge in Bite-Sized Pieces™. We offer practical guides to life from business to travel, from wine to fitness, and more. Like CliffsNotes or Coles’ Notes, but for life, each book is designed to be read in 30 minutes. Our mission is to provide information in an easy-to-consume, fun style that is available for any device the reader prefers, including Kindles, iPhones/iPads, Kobo Readers, Sony, etc.

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

The most important piece was to lock on the brand positioning for these books, to confirm that what we were going to offer is truly different from what is already available. From there, we worked on getting all the basic business building blocks in place, registering the company, securing the URL, etc.

What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?

We’ve had a lot of success in working with the press to promote our books. Each book has a unique target audience and there are many niche publications seeking fresh content, whether it’s article contributions or press releases. It’s been a lot of fun too!

What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?

It won’t be a shock for anyone to learn that prioritizing activities is a hurdle when getting started. As the business owner, it’s an ongoing issue to consider where your time is best invested…is it hiring a marketing intern and ramping them up, or is it faster to do it yourself?

How did you overcome these challenges?

I’m a collaborator by nature and my first order of business was to create a team around me and that has been a tremendous help to the prioritization issue! I have a strong, and relevant, advisory board, as well as a small team of marketing interns. Having their support and help has provided a major boost to the exposure for my company.

What do you love about running your own business?

The freedom: working with the people I want, offering the value I want, making the decisions that I believe are best for the business and for all the people I support, including the authors and the team. It’s liberating to feel the pressure of it all and test my own confidence, as well as be open to being wrong and adjusting direction.

What advice would you give to other business owners?

Be clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing! Is it about making big bucks, or is it about offering a service to an under-served community of people/businesses, or is it simply an adventure where excellence supersedes money? Whatever it is, knowing your motivation will ensure you point your activities in the best direction.

How do you keep motivated through difficult times?

Some days can be a real drag. It’s always some minor detail that blows up to drive me crazy. Like the team working on a manuscript and it gets corrupted (true story) and having to re-do the entire book. I start by reminding myself that we’re not saving lives and our deadlines are self-determined. Missing them does not have dire consequences (even though it can feel like it momentarily). In addition to that, I have a ‘happy folder’, a digital one and a physical one, with every thoughtful birthday card, “you are amazing” note, and even my mom’s “this is cool” comments. I just browse those a little to see what others see in me and then I get back to work.

What’s your favourite quote?

“Be like the eagle as it soars above the abyss. It does not think that it flies, it simply flies”

{Native American proverb}

Who inspires you?

That little guy you’ve never heard of who followed his heart and made something big happen, despite what any data or experts told him. I come across stories all the time, whether it’s learning that Julia Childs didn’t start cooking until her late 30s, or that Oprah was told she was too fat for TV. Those are the stories that inspire me – it’s not any one person, it’s about the culmination of all the little messages from the universe that remind me to follow my instincts.

Do you have a business philosophy?

Excellence in what we produce. I want everyone to feel good about what we put into the world and will hold-the-presses if you will when we aren’t there yet, no matter the deadlines. Combine that with a learning mentality and we cannot help but be successful in whatever way we define it.

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