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After decades of writing activities of all kinds, Dick Kuiper founded his own writing service called GhostWriter Help based in the Portland, OR area. He has written hundreds of articles, blog posts, website content abstracts, marketing collateral pieces, flyers, brochures, training booklets, technical manuals, speeches and a great deal more. As a ghostwriter, Dick is happy to put his huge storehouse of experience and wealth of knowledge to work for his clients by writing works for them to be published under their name. Not wanting to put words in other people’s mouths, he listens closely to his clients as they verbalize their thoughts, ideas and opinions and then transforms their spoken content into “gift wrapped” works ready for publication. Dick uses the experience he gained as a research analyst and vice president of a global industry analyst firm in New York to augment his writings with rich insights from myriad sources.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I got started working from home 30 years ago when I had a corporate job that allowed me to work from my home office. From that job, I found others that allowed me to work from home. While I still held jobs in corporate America and some outside of the U.S., I decided to start my own entrepreneurial ventures I could run from my home office. I got to the point where I no longer wanted to put up with the corporate world and was generating enough income to jettison those anchors. I had over 20 different side gigs long before that term was coined.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I came from a career in IT and management consulting and always had a marketing fetish while in my string of corporate jobs. I was the ultimate intrapreneur. The first independent gig I started was that of an IT consultant. That did not go particularly well because it takes LOTS of time and money to get your name know in that sector. From there, I hung out my shingle as a marketing consultant – a little more success but not a home run, at least not at first. My marketing activities morphed into writing, a skill I had really fine-tuned to the max in my corporate adventures. I got heavy into B2B blogging and developing marketing collateral.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
To get started, I reached out to former clients from my corporate jobs to get work for my own ventures. Since I’ve launched more than ten of my own ventures across several uniquely different market segments, my methods varied for each venture. Five of those are still viable today and I work 7 days a week “having fun” with them. In addition to reaching out to past contacts, I got heavy into networking to find clients. I started with a few Chambers of Commerce and graduated to more target rich environments.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
My first several clients were previous contacts I had made in my corporate jobs and travels.
5) How do you market your business?
Again, with so many different industries in which I was involved, my marketing approaches differed as well. Even with my existing ventures, I use multiple marketing methods simultaneously. Number one on the list is LinkedIn – especially given all the advancements they have made in the past year. In the past month or so, I’ve launched 5 marketing campaigns using LinkedIn and all are generating lots of success. On one in particular, I obtained the names of 500,000 hot prospects to pursue.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I start every day by resisting the urge to jump out of bed and get right to work. Instead I lie in bed with the lights out and simply brainstorm for at least 30 minutes. You might want to read the blog post I wrote for my LinkedIn profile called: The Early Bird Gets the Worm (But Who likes Worms?) I think of the challenges I face and let my brain wander through the field of possible ways for meeting those challenges. In addition to challenges of my own I think about what challenges others might face where I may have a solution. That’s where I get epiphanies for new business ventures or new blog posts to write.
After I do get out of bed – never after 6:00 AM, begin responding to emails I received late the previous day and overnight – since the entire planet is my market, it’s a 24/7 prospect funnel. Then I spend an hour or so doing new prospecting on LinkedIn. Next, I write at least one blog post either for my own purposes or for one of my clients as a ghostwriter. I spend the rest of the day diving into projects in a prioritized order. With the exception of the first 2-3 hours, every day is different.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Having been raised with the mentality of “going for the gold watch after 40 or so years with a single company,” I did not realize the tremendous opportunities available to entrepreneurs just for the taking. Networking is such an overworked term, I hesitate bring it up. However, had I realized the full potential of networking done the proper way a few decades before I did, I would not have struggled so hard to get new customers. In my early networking days, I was under the mistaken idea the main purpose of networking was pitching your wares. Huge mistake! Knowing now that giving value to others without expecting anything in return has changed my whole approach. It works like a charm.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Build the discipline to start each day with a well-developed routine before you start looking for fires to put out.
Reach an understanding with yourself that anything is possible, and then keep reaching for more.
Don’t pressure people for sales – cultivate mutually beneficial relationships and sales will follow without worrying about them.
Learn to get creative with marketing via social media – LinkedIn for B2B and others such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. for B2C.
Never worry about having too many irons in the fire, just build a bigger fire theough alliance and partnerships.
Find Dick Kuiper Online:
LinkedIn: Ghost Writer Help
Facebook: Dick Kuiper