Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:16
Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling. Every day they built for hours and hours but didn't ship and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no code wealth podcast came to help them find a way because of this, makers became founders and live the lives they deserve. Because of that founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping or live the war in Ukraine. Even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now I'm rebuilding my life. One more time. 1% a day sharing the wisdom of luminaries have interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Forbes, Technology Council, Harvard Financial Times, even a priest from the Vatican church. Everyone is welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Juliet Clark. Juliet is a sixth time author, speaker, and podcaster, who has spent the last 20 years helping authors, coaches, speakers, and small businesses all over the world build expert audiences. She started out as a mystery novelist and is best known for her books, Gypsy, Granny heist, dead by dawn, and pitch slept at age 46. She received a black belt in Taekwondo, and he is an avid hiker, and gold for Juliette, how are you today?
Juliet Clark 2:23
I'm great. Thank you so much for being here. I've never heard your intro before. Fascinating.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:30
Thank you so much. And we're actually going to speak even more about this today. I don't know exactly how your approach like author personal branding, but let's approach it as a character creation exercise. What do you believe, makes either an author a coach or a character fascinating so that people will want to learn more, they will follow the next installment in the theory. And they will become like feeling that this character is real and multi dimensional?
Juliet Clark 3:09
Wow, that's such a great question. And just exactly what you did in your intro, the storytelling aspect of it, because, you know, none of us are perfect, there's no perfect story. We've all faced adversity and obstacles, and our audiences want to know that, that, you know, we're part of that human experience. And this is what we've been through, and not in a victim sort of way. But just really in a every step along the way I've learned and every step of the way, amazing things have happened.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:45
Thank you. And to clarify my own perspective to how to not come across as a victim. As long as you either improved or have a plan to overcome the adversity or the character weakness, or whatever it is, then you're not a victim. But if you're only like sharing the weaknesses without a plan for improvement, then you're basking in victimhood, but to speak with you even more, let's say I'm an author, or I'm in hope, like an upcoming author or anything like that. And I'm like, I hate bragging. Yes, I can create characters. I can make them wonderful, but when I'm speaking about myself, I'm so boring. I can personally brand myself, what would be your advice? What would you recommend to someone so that they get a handle on as well as understand what it means to create your own personal brand as an author, coach, small business person or a human being in this 21st century?
Juliet Clark 4:56
Wow, there's really interesting so we you know what? We see this a lot with creatives. They they don't acknowledge that skill that they have. And they really downplay, I would say, especially women don't like to brag about themselves, but they really downgrade or downplay that talent that they have. Because not everybody can create characters, and not everybody can create a story. So I think, first of all, the first piece is acknowledging that you have a gift. And that gift needs to be shared with the world. And then being authentic about it and getting out and sharing. I feel like authors are hiders sometimes, because, you know, they, they want a best selling book, but they don't want anybody to know who they are. It's like, you know, the Greta Garbo leave me alone type of thing. So I think it is just really embracing and being grateful for that talent you have and understanding that not everybody has that. And how can you storyteller around that without bragging? Because you definitely you definitely can do that. But how can you emphasize that talent you have?
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 6:10
Thank you. And even when it comes to bragging, you know, it has a bad rap. And I'm against it as well. But I was noticing one time, there was this guy who came and began braggin, braggin, braggin all the time, and I hated it. But then I paid attention that I respected that person more because of what they were saying about themselves and all the cool things they were up to. And I thought, Look, if they were like some boring person, I know it's a trap. You're you shouldn't like go on purpose to try to one up people or whatever. But it was beneficial to this person. Because although I felt some kind of animosity. I still felt Wow, this is a unique human being with an interesting, like life experiences and achievements and things like that. What is your perspective on it? Especially that I know that especially women have a lot of high agreeableness character traits and the personality trait? And therefore they're not comfortable with, with conflict, which is funny, because story is all about conflict.
Juliet Clark 7:18
Yes. So that is such a really great question. I assume you mean, you know, in relationship to their branding of themselves? Yes. So do you have to get out of your shell, that's the first thing. And so we actually, inside of our publishing company, we have a lot of authors, especially women that we refer out to Jen koken, who works with imposter syndrome, because a lot of that is just a lack of confidence. It's not, it's not just that we're humble, but it's a lack of confidence. Because how do I put this nicely, writing, writing is all about getting putting yourself out there. In a really like authentic and naked fashion, like you, you're very vulnerable because people are critiquing what you do. So getting yourself out there being really humble about putting yourself out there, but also learning to ignore the criticism. And here's what I mean by that. And it's gonna sound so weird. On my third block. Somebody I had a really poor editor on it, and someone wrote a review that said, great story, who edited this a monkey. And my feelings were really, really hurt. Because I've been very vulnerable getting that story out there because you always worry about what are people going to think about this? Will they like it? Will they buy it? And it was very interesting because I talked to my coach at the time about those feelings. And what she said to me is, I'll make you a bet that 99% of the negative criticism about that book has been written by somebody who has never accomplished that. So pat yourself on the back for accomplishing it. Be grateful be humble and don't take it personally. Was that your question?
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 9:09
Yes, it does. I love that answer. It reminds me of a few things although the way I approach it is a long long time ago you know if defense or whatever you had a song or one of the lines he said everything I said was from my heart so it's gonna be always number one on my chart. So to me as a writer like when I'm writing I don't approach it in that I'm writing for an audience and I you know, there is a lot of advice against that and you should write and the way that you people will like etc. But I am my own audience. I write things that sound to me melodic, that have the right ringing that have the right structure. That is entertaining to me. That is fun. And then that excitement from me like creating Something that I become a fan of, I want to share it with the world. And therefore, I don't really expect criticism. It's like, you know, when somebody cooks a meal, and it's so delicious, and you're like, I want to share it to the neighbors come take a bite or whatever they say, No, you're like, these people are crazy. They don't know what they're missing. So to me by changing the focus from not even I mean, I know sounds funny, but not even considering the audience at all. But writing for my own creativeness or in a way, I don't know, I don't know about you. But when I write the words, and the structures, and the whole story has a ring to it, it has a way that it wants to be told that if it's not told correctly, it sounds wrong. But when it's told, right, it's so much fun. And then you want to share that fun. That's the way that I approach it so that I don't have an impostor syndrome. What are your thoughts about this?
Juliet Clark 10:59
See, I love that, because one of the things that happened for me was, and I probably didn't tell you this story before we before we got on here. But when I wrote my first mystery novel, I was going through a horrendous divorce. And I actually killed my ex husband in the book. And it you know, it was far better than going to jail. It was a lot of fun. But it was also cathartic and healing. So I feel like sometimes when we write those stories for ourselves, we are bringing our life experience to the story. And I don't mean like I kill people. But you know, it's a mystery novel. But we're bringing our life experience to the story. And we're bringing our point of view to the story. But we're also I think, in many respects, with creative writing, we're healing something inside of us. So I love that you write it for yourself, because I feel like you're honoring your growth in that way. And if other people see that inside of a story, and not necessarily like, Oh, I see he's growing, but they feel that that passion and that emotion, it's all the better.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 12:12
Yes, I love that you're using the world. That is cathartic, as well as killing your ex husband. In the story, which reminds me of like dreams and meanings where somebody's dying means it's a new chapter, a new beginning, the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. So it's more symbolic and wonderful. But let's go back to personal branding. Yes, people have a hard time with it. Yes, a lot of writers, they actually got to the craft, because they want to be at home alone, making coffee and writing and not interacting with other human beings. With this kind of illusion that, then being at home, writing wonderful stuff, posting it online, millions of people will pay them for that. And they will be famous without ever needing to be outside the comfort of their own soul fires or whatever chair they used to write. But again, about personal branding. Imagine I'm a human being in my brain, I say I am everything. How can I limit myself to a few things that will be my personal brand? How can I be that rebel if I'm also like, a good person at the same time, and I'm an intellectual. And sometimes I like to have fun and dance. And sometimes I like to joke. And sometimes I'm thinking about all like the archetypes from Carl Jung and other stuff. That could be also characters, there'll be like, Why should I limit myself to only a part of my personality, and the best thing I heard is two things. One, that when you're communicating about yourself or writing about yourself, the media shrinks you. So you need to, like be bigger and larger than life in one dimension that people can remember so that you will get attention if you would write who you are, as you are in reality, you will be an impressive, what are your perspectives on that?
Juliet Clark 14:12
So I completely disagree there. But the stories usually don't have to be all about you one of the funnest things that me and my family do is we when we go out to restaurants and stuff we people watch and we talk about it. And I don't mean I don't mean like we talk about people in a mean way, but we'll we'll talk about mannerisms. Sometimes I'll even pull out my phone and you know, take some undercover pictures because that allows me to go out and recreate a quirky character that I may have seen or an event or even scenery you know, I'm I'm a pretty avid hiker. So I think one or two of my books involve you know, scenery that's hiking. So you it doesn't have to be all about you and your growth. I mean, if you're protagonist is that's, that's great. But, you know, it's all about the other characters too. And you can build those other characters from observations that you've made that you find interesting, and you think other people would find interesting.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 15:15
I agree. 100%. And to you imagine a writer came to you, and they're like, a female writers told you look, I hear personal branding. I'm not sure what it is. I mean, is it that I should dress and like pink colors? or green? Or wear or wear a yellow hat or something like that? Or what does it mean? How can you explain it? What how to go about it, what is important, the meaning the parts and definitions and practices of personal branding so that you get the attention that will get your work read and the respect and success it deserves.
Juliet Clark 15:58
So just be you. That's the first thing. One of the things that happens a lot with authors is when I meet them in person, their online persona is different from when I meet them in person. So if you're authentic, and every respect of that, then people aren't surprised when they meet you. The other thing is that you need to be not only consistent in that area, but consistent about where you're visible online. What are those colors like nobody's really thinking like, you know, my chair that I'm sitting in someday will be in the Smithsonian, because I'm such an amazing writer. For most of us. We, if you write from the heart, and you post and you create your personal brand from the heart, it will, it will float. I'll give you an example. Janet Ivanovic is one of my favorite mystery writers. And she is quirky and funny. And even in real life, I've met her once. She's very, very funny. But I love like one of her quotes that I read from a book about her, so that she used to be a romance novelist. And then she switched to mystery because she ran out of positions. And I thought, well, that was blunt. But it was kind of cool at the same time, because if you read her books, that's the kind of quirky, fun stuff she has in her books. So, you know, be consistent with who you are, and what you write, and all of it from the heart. And all of that will blend together.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 17:34
Thank you. At the same time, I feel that's much, much harder to do than to say, because for me, I will say people aren't so introspective, even writers, and that they don't know their own motivation. They don't know, really, what kind of humor makes them laugh. They don't know who they are. Like, if you ask them, Why do you write, they will say, Okay, I write because I want to express myself or I want some success, or I can never, you know, accept to have a boss or a job or whatever is the reason. But they never dig deeper to understand Oh, wow, like, for me, for example, growing up, I wasn't good at expressing myself, because I was too introverted. And therefore, whenever I my mind will raise so fast that when I say something is already two or three steps ahead of the logical chain that would explain to people what the hell I'm talking about? Like, what do you mean, I have no idea what you said. And I'm like, Well, if you think about this, and then that this becomes the logical next step. And they'll be like, This is too weird now. So I will write an order to learn how to speak with myself to understand myself to express myself. And therefore, the writing was, for me, the dojo where I trained and honed my skills in expressing myself in a way that will be relatable to other people. And therefore, it gives me the human connection where I won't feel isolated or ostracized or weird in any way. And therefore, that's my deeper motivation about it. Many people don't take the time or they're in the rat race, or they're, you know, the they don't have time because they have bills, bills to pay, and don't take 30 minutes to journal about, like, who am I? What do I want so that they will authentically self Express? And therefore, when you tell them Be yourself, they're like, I don't know myself and therefore, I'm probably a fraud and therefore, imposter syndrome. You know what I mean? So what are your thoughts about this?
Juliet Clark 19:43
Wow, analyze much. I'm just getting you. What do I think of that? I think that as long as you approach this as a growth tool, you can use that life experiences to show the growth of your characters and if you do that, you know that that is not only acknowledging your own growth and understanding that you're not a fraud, you're just growing all the time. It's sort of lessons that what you're thinking of yourself in that respect. I'll give you an example. I mean, obviously, I was having some anger issues when I killed my ex husband in my first book. But when I looked at the genesis of my character, my main protagonist, as the other books came out, there was a lot of growth, like there was a lot of healing there that was going on. So if you could just acknowledge yourself at every step of your writing, that your characters that your protagonist, everything that you do is growth on your part, then I think you'll be less harsh on yourself. Because there are a lot of people out there who don't grow. And if creative writing is where you get your growth spurt spurts, then you know, that's, that's amazing. Because, you know, as you as you create interactions between the characters, sometimes you're mimicking communication skills in your own life, and you can begin to see patterns, and you can begin to see new things. So I always look at every book I write as a growth experience. And, and I've written novels, the creative, and I've written a business book, and I have to tell you, there was so much growth that went on during those creative books, that didn't happen with pitch, slap the business books. So that's, I think that's the best way to approach it is to be gentle with yourself and say, you know, this is my growth. This is where I'm analyzing a little bit of what I'm doing. And I can improve my life with this. So why not do it?
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 21:51
I agree, writing is the most powerful self development tool there is, whether it's fiction, or self referral, reflection, or even a business book, it lets you really understand and get into the core of a topic. So again, how do you help people? And why did you find the need to create your company? And because, okay, I understand, but I want you to clarify to maybe an author who is listening, and can relate and think, wow, I can see myself in what she's sharing. What kinds of problem did you notice among authors? Or what kind of solutions Did you find? And how did you do you help them in a way that really helps them? You know what I mean?
Juliet Clark 22:40
Yes, yeah. So um, I actually started in traditional publishing right after college, I worked for price stern Sloane, who, you know, if you're a person in the US of a particular age, you probably remember madlibs, and HP Books. And from there, I went to Shai de Marte, and worked on the Nissan account. So I went from, you know, the publishing world to the marketing world. When I wrote that first book, I decided I was going to Self Publish, and self publishing was brand new. And I thought, well, I've got all this knowledge, I'm going to go that route. And when I went that route, I noticed a couple things about the company I worked with. The first was they were selling me things that didn't make any sense. So I'm gonna give you a great example. You know, for $2,000 you can get, we'll send your book out to our list of over a million people. And having that marketing background, I realized that they were trying to sell me something. And those weren't mystery. Those weren't a million mystery enthusiast. Those were a million people who had inquired about publishing with them. So that really wasn't a marketing tool that benefited me, it benefited them, and they wanted me to pay for it. And the other thing I noticed is that they were taking a piece of the back end profits, meaning the royalties. And I really sat down and thought about that for a minute. You know, in traditional publishing, yes, we did that. But we did that, because we had done all the work we had. We've done the publicity, we had formatted the book cover design, the book, you know, got that person out there. But that wasn't what was going on with self publishing. It was I hand you my manuscript and money, and you give me back a product that can be published, and then you upload it to some platforms. So I felt like with that first experience, that the self publishing companies weren't author centric. They were all about themselves. And so with my second book, I learned all the technical aspects of uploading that we didn't have when I was in traditional publishing. And I added in Author Platform building, like how can these authors get out there and promote themselves? and not buy stupid things. And I hate to word the Youth use the word stupid but ineffective marketing tools from these big companies? How can they get out there and generate buzz themselves? How can they build a platform, especially with a business book? How can they relate that to their business, to lead people to bigger products and services? So with that second book, and then my third book doing that I had sold over 25,000 copies. And then I started taking on clients. So in the client, the clients were almost accidental, people saw my success in the community I was in and they came to me and said, Will you publish my book? Can you help me do that? So I felt like when I got into it, I was a little bit of an industry rebel. Because I didn't like that the industry was an author centric, they were almost setting authors up to fail in the self publishing world, because they wanted to hang on to their traditional influence that they had. So yeah, it was tough getting started, because that's a big machine I'm fighting against.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 26:05
You're doing wonderful, wonderful work. And if people want to read some of your writing, follow you on social media and check out the services you offer. What are the best links, and I'll make sure to write some in the description of the episode.
Juliet Clark 26:23
Oh, that'd be amazing. So you can find me over on LinkedIn, Juliet Clark, and super brand publishing. And then as far as a place to find me as well, I would love to invite your viewers to download our free subscription of breakthrough author magazine, you can find that at WWW dot breakthrough author magazine.com. And if you read through it, you love it. There's a quiz that is attached to the thank you page. And if you go over and take the quiz, you might be offered an appointment to find out more
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 27:00
wonderful, I recommend to everyone to go take that quiz. And it's great to hear because it helps people really, really get answers. Thank you, Juliet. This was my privilege, my honor, and such an enriching conversation. I wish you success. Keep going. And thank you very much.
Juliet Clark 27:24
Oh, thank you.