By Cindy Childress, Regular Columnist.
First of all, I haven’t read Girl, Wash Your Face. Maybe you haven’t either.
But it’s hard not to know about Rachel Hollis and her book because it was the second-highest selling book released in 2018, after Michelle Obama. As I commonly say, some people launch bestsellers like Michelle because you’re famous and married to a former President. Everyone else has to find another way, and that’s what Rachel did.
(Rachel also released her follow-up, Girl Stop Apologizing in March of this year, and it topped #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list—can’t wait to see how it stacks up at the end of the year).
Rachel got my attention because I’m always trying to find new ideas to make the writing I do for clients as magnetic as possible, and clearly she knows how to do that. Earlier this year at Traffic and Conversion (T & C), I arrived to her interview with Brendan Burchard early to sit in the front row. Front and center.
The T & C conference is for digital marketers, and she started her talk by saying that the people in the room might not be the audience for her book.
That comment made me lean in. I didn’t really like her book title and frankly even found it off-putting, and it was refreshing for her to say that she knows as much.
“I know my girl,” she said. “I know what she needs, what she wants, what she’s searching for in Target right now, and why she can’t find it. I also know who she’s not.”
I was floored. That’s exactly how I coach clients to develop book ideas. We get into the reader’s head and put words to their problems, then make the solutions easy and actionable, using stories and examples they will relate to.
Rachel told us that she wrote her book by using her top 21 most frequently asked questions from her Facebook Page and answering them in book chapters. It was that simple. She gave the people what they wanted.
She’s been growing her FB community for 15 years. That’s a lot of market research, but look at the payoff. She’s been going live with her 20-minute show since Facebook introduced live streaming, and as result, she has a huge following of people ready to buy everything she sells.
When she says things like, “Shave your legs all the way up,” she’s talking to her reader like she’s inside her head—and maybe also her shower. That’s how well any writer can know what your readers’ lives are like so you can write a book they want to buy, read, share, and review.
Here are my biggest takeaways from listening to Rachel talk:
#1: Not everyone is your reader.
When you stop saying your book is for everyone and decide who it’s REALLY for, you position yourself so they can find your book.
#2: Write what your followers want to hear from you about.
Don’t think, “what do I feel like writing?” She said she’d frankly rather write historical romances, but that’s not what her girl wants to read. Instead, ask, “what do my people want to hear about from me?” (Here’s some Rachel trivia. Her first book was a self-published historical romance—who knew?).
#3: Be yourself.
Some people find Rachel obnoxious (I personally do like her spunk), but by standing in her truth LOUDLY and being herself, she’s attracting the women who want her to lead them.
Whether you’re working on your book right now, marketing it, or focusing on other content pieces at the moment, who’s your one perfect reader that wants to hear from you and loves you just the way you are? Write your book to that person like you’re inside their head.
Cindy Childress, Ph. D. is a ghostwriter and publishing consultant for coaches and consultants with transformational stories who want to create a legacy in content. As a ghostwriter, three of her books hit Amazon best seller lists in the past two years. Find out more at: