Cathy Paper, M.A., markets select authors and promotes unique speakers to National status. She designs and creates powerful products to guide individuals to create better results through inspiration, reflection and action. Think dynamic growth catalyst!
RockPaperStar and its team specializes in accelerating speakers and authors into motion through business planning, promotional marketing, and product development. The company provides creative growth solutions to provide turnkey marketing maps for others to gain lift off on their ideas and reach desired results.
MO: You already founded and sold three companies before creating RockPaperStar. What factors contributed to starting a marketing and training company after all these years and why have you focused on the publishing world?
Cathy: My mom wishes I weren’t marketing books as she’s so worried about the physical book industry. I like all the changes and the melding of online and offline experiences. It’s an adventure. I wanted to start RockPaperStar because I saw a need in leadership inside organizations. Employees were always given books to read by their bosses, but rarely were there strong follow up programs or connections to why the content mattered. I had been doing consulting and product development with my previous companies and I knew that content is king. I approached Harvey Mackay, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Swim With The Sharks, about bringing his message to life online. As we started to work together more, he brought me in on more projects and soon I was helping with book launches and the business implementation. And, boom, RockPaperStar was born as I kept honing my focus to product development, publishing and implementation.
MO: With 17 years experience in the industry what would you say that the major changes have been in how you approach consulting with and promoting your clients?
Cathy: I used to make more complicated proposals and plans and spend a lot of time on the upfront strategy. It made things take a lot longer and often the clients would be confused by might not have spoken up until we were down the wrong path. Now, I keep things simple. I use more grids, more real time updates, more results based sheets. In promoting my clients, it’s all about encouraging them to use their relationships but stretch a little bit further than they think they can. People writing books always have a list of who they want to endorse their book, but many don’t even ask the person they think is unreachable. I encourage my clients not to edit their goals. We can make most things happen.
MO: I read a lot of testimonials that mentioned how witty and fun you are. Do you think that having a sense of humor and using elements of play contribute to your success?
Cathy: Me, funny? I can’t even read a joke in a book and laugh but I guess my wit carries through with my clients. So, yes my humor helps. I learn more and remember more when I laugh. I think so many people think business has to be serious to get results. I like to keep it real and when I promote an author I want to capture their most powerful and approachable self and humor is a great intersection of those two things. Plus a friend told me to tweet only If you’re funny, important or interesting and I thought funny was my only chance so I went with it.
MO: What would your ideal client look like?
Cathy: Ideal client is someone who wants to leave a legacy and share their insight with others. They’ve got to have a real story that they want to tell for their own benefit and for the benefit of others. If it’s just about them, it will never connect. If it’s too much about the other people it will be too mamby-pamby. The ideal client will want to be creative, show up differently than their competition and want to do the work to become a National Bestseller and a World Class speaker. I don’t know if everyone realizes how much work it takes to be a great speaker or is that coachable deep down.
MO: As a serial entrepreneur, are there any tips that you will pass on to our readers looking to start a business of their own?
Cathy: Two things helped me launch my business. One have a group of people who know your goals, want to help you on good days and bad days and will help you grow. Listen to these people. Your banker, your accountant, your designer etc. They will tell you things based on reality. The more you listen, the easier your launch will be. Second thing is focus. When I launched my first consulting business I was doing too many different things. Now I’m more focused than ever, but it really helps and then other people know what rockpaperstar does with books and promotions. If you look on linked in, hopefully you see that same focus in our company descriptions and our collective voice.
MO: You have a book launch and product creation workshops in 2012 to help other authors learn from each other. How large of a network have you managed to put together and what sorts of exchanges are you most excited to see take place?
Cathy: The workshops are amazing. We’ve been doing them for the past 18 months and the people who show up are at various stages of their book and speaking careers. What works is that people can all immediately see what makes another persons message so powerful. And they can all share resource like finding self publishing vs. Big House or when to hire a publicist or how many speeches to do for free etc. So many of the workshops out there on book publishing and speaking have been very informative and helpful. I, of course, think ours is really fun and we might be the only one that takes polaroid pictures of everyone.
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