Rhonda G Mincey of Great Success On How To Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book

Authority Magazine Editorial Staff
Authority Magazine
Published in
17 min readJan 24, 2023

Know how to use social media wisely. When it comes to book marketing, social media can play a considerable role for authors. However, part of its challenges is where to focus. There are different rules of engagement and benefits of the various platforms. For example, LinkedIn might be the best fit if your book is about business. Or you could teach chapters from your book on YouTube. An author should find out where their target audience hangs out and put their efforts there.

Also, persuading their friends and colleagues to comment and share gives their book more exposure. Social media works with algorithms, so increase their shares, interactions, and comments. Identify other authors and follow their lead toward what’s working well for them. Another suggestion is to engage in building their platform as a thought leader in their space. They can do this by posting quotes from their book, excerpts, helpful content, press hits, advice, etc.

As a part of our series about “How You Can Grow Your Business or Brand By Writing A Book”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rhonda G. Mincey.

A former educator and nonprofit executive, Rhonda G. Mincey, M. Ed., is the Chief Inspirational Officer of Great Success, LLC. Rhonda is a consummate communicator, speaker, author, and award-winning mentor. With a diverse background spanning 25+ years of entrepreneurial experience, she now helps entrepreneurs and individuals share their stories to expand their brand, elevate their authority, and increase their impact. In her free time, Rhonda loves to travel around the world.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share a story about what motivated you to become an expert in the particular area that you are writing about?

Countless people are afraid to take a leap of faith to pursue their dreams. Instead, they are yearning for someone to give them permission and a little push. I was one of them. Because I’ve dealt with the same thing, I’m using my life’s lessons and success stories to guide them along their path to achieve their goals.

In January 2020, I spoke at a Fearless Women Summit, where I did just this. I boldly and passionately spoke on “Live a Fearless and Fulfilled Life.” And at the end of my talk, I realized that fear and doubt no longer held my dreams and aspirations captive and that I could accomplish anything if I made my mind up.

So building on the energy I’d created at the women’s summit, I wrote my first book for women: Unbridled Dreams: Change Your Mindset, Achieve Your Goals, and Live the Best Story of your Life. I hope the reader will hear my heart, heed my words, and continue to pay it forward. My motivation to leave a powerful legacy for others is now my mandate.

Can you share a pivotal story that shaped the course of your career?

I’d love to. Decades before taking the stage at the Fearless Summit, I received an invitation to speak and share a poem at a conference. I was elated and anxious when they called my name to come to the stage. Then with courage and conviction, I began reading my poem.

I wondered if the audience could hear my heart beating like a Congo drum. I hoped my voice didn’t tremble too much and distract me. I read the 1st stanza, but I didn’t know if I could get through the remaining four stanzas of my poem without anxiety overtaking me. So right there on the stage, I decided to read only the 1st, 3rd, and 5th stanzas. After all, I reasoned that since no one knew what I’d written, they would not realize I’d skipped over any parts of my poem. So verses 2 and 4 didn’t matter. Or did they?

The audience applauded. I smiled and stepped off the stage with a sigh of relief, taking my seat. I gave myself kudos for facing my fear of public speaking. Yet, I felt like I’d let myself down and short-changed the audience.

I failed us both because I did not do what I came to do — deliver my message line for line. While I believe I did the best I could at the time, I did not “leave it all on the stage.”

But instead of getting discouraged, I became determined. I vowed never to allow fear or the imposter’s syndrome to keep me from sharing my God-given gifts of writing and speaking. Nor would I settle for complacency and mediocrity. I had a choice to make: either cheat myself or challenge myself. So it stands to reason that the themes of potential, purpose and legacy are the foundation of most of my writing, speaking, and teaching.

Many years after this turning point, I spoke at the summit, ending my talk with a poem I wrote. And I performed the poem with such passion that people stood clapping and cheering, some with hands raised and tears streaming down their faces. This reaction confirmed that I could inspire, affirm, and even challenge women — to make them pause, ponder, and push forward. This time, when I took my seat, I knew that I had delivered. Not only my message but inspiration.

As I continue writing instructional and inspirational content, I give my all — heart, mind, body, and soul. And when I support others in sharing their stories, I encourage them to do the same — lay it all on the line.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Are you working on any new writing projects?

I am working on several projects that bring me joy. First, I am creating a premium magazine membership as part of an exclusive online community for women. Containing strategies for success and inspirational anecdotes, the magazine will also do what I love — shine the light on accomplished, purpose-driven women. But it gets better. I will donate a portion of the revenue to nonprofits that provide educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for women in underserved communities worldwide and those involved in human trafficking.

I’m also writing another book. I am finishing H.O.P.E. on the Horizon: Turn Pain into Power, Grief into Gratitude, and Despair into Destiny. Based on a foundation of faith and my own experience, it’s a “survival guide” to get to the other side of your storm, containing practical and tactical steps to live powerfully, peacefully, and purposefully despite life’s challenges. Featuring Heroes of Hope™, this book will also provide much-needed inspiration in today’s changing times. I believe it will be my most important work.

And finally, I am co-authoring an ultimate guide and creating a course that will help entrepreneurs build a solid personal brand.

Thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. Can you please tell us a bit about your book? Can you please share a specific passage or story that illustrates the main theme of your book?

Over the years, my mother has given me many cards for my birthday. But there are two that I particularly treasure. One says, “On this day and age, a woman can be anything she wants to be.” The other says, “Here’s to a strong, beautiful woman who will not be denied.” I framed these motivating and affirming cards and then hung them on a wall in my office, where I see them frequently.

They’ve given me the silent nudge to take strategic steps towards reaching my wildest dreams. For example, one of my biggest dreams was to meet Oprah. Since I was all about empowering girls, I traveled to South Africa to see the Oprah Leadership Academy for Girls. Although Oprah wasn’t there, seeing what she’d built awoke something in me. Standing on the soul stirred my soul as I stood there in awe of her impact across the world. It exemplified the power of one, and my resolve to meet her deepened. A few years later, I finally met Oprah, the woman I’d admired from afar for decades.

As I mentioned in my book, women have an opportunity to shine and reach an enviable position in their personal and professional life. In addition, they can improve their own lives and inspire other women to do the same, just as my mom and Oprah did for me. But sadly, many women miss the mark and resort to living a mediocre and lackluster life.

So I wrote Unbridled Dreams: Change Your Mindset, Achieve Your Goals, and Live the Best Story of Your Life as my way of paving the way and paying it forward. It takes women on a journey of self-discovery, changing their mindset, figuring out their dreams, and giving a voice to their passions. Unbridled Dreams meets women right where they are and gives them the tools to live a truly remarkable life. For some, the book is a strategic roadmap for them. For others, it’s a subtle reminder to them to reach for the stars, much like my mother’s cards are for me.

The following poem I wrote, “I Dare You,” is the foundation for the book and is my challenge to all women:

I DARE YOU

Dare to Dream.

The dream that births opportunities. The dream that leaves legacies.

Where you’re the essence of royalty, then wake up and make it a reality.

Dare to soar.

Soar higher and faster than you have before with a wind force that no one can ignore;

Above excuses and pettiness — to a place of readiness.

Dare to be different.

Different from the models in the magazines where their image is many times borderline obscene.

Recognize that it’s not your genes but your mentality that makes you a powerful queen.

Dare to share.

Share your stories of success; how you’ve failed and passed the test.

How you labor but still find rest so you can be the best of the best.

Dare to make choices.

Choices that inspire, not kill; choices that give life and heal;

Choices that build and don’t destroy; choices that yield an unspeakable joy.

Don’t allow yourself to be misled and choke on the lies that you’ve been fed.

Don’t be blurred by the tears that you’ve shed. There are much brighter days ahead.

When doubt and fear come your way, do not sway or dismay.

When people’s attacks try to destroy and distract, remember mercy and grace have got your back.

So, what is the dream that’s been burning in you? What is the thing that’s been yearning for you?

What is the one thing you’ve been told you can’t do? That might be the dream that you make come true.

So dream! Soar! Be dif-fer-ent! Don’t be dismayed by the days you’ve spent

settling for second and indecision. Make your dream come to fruition.

Some of the greatest things you’ve heard or seen have been done by people who’ve just dared to dream.

So, go ahead. Dream! Push! Pursue! Show me the power of what a made-up mind can do.

And see for yourself that your dream will come true. I dare you to dream. I double-dog dare you!

You are a successful author and thought leader. Which three character traits do you feel were most instrumental to your success when launching your book? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I credit three characteristics that contribute to my success when launching my book: resourcefulness, perseverance, and optimism. Resourcefulness was a key contributor because there were so many things I didn’t know.

So I spent countless hours researching what other authors had done that worked well for them. I also explored reputable book marketing and publishing sites, such as Book Bub and Reedsy. I then subscribed to their sites and immersed myself in reading their blogs, watching their videos, attending live trainings, and downloading their checklists. I also came across virtual book tours and blogs where writers could promote my book, and I hired a few of them for a nominal fee. By doing my homework, I found many ways to launch my book.

Perseverance was undoubtedly instrumental in launching my book. Officially releasing my book was both exciting and emotionally exhausting. Doubt and overwhelm engulfed me. I wondered if I’d have enough time to get the seemingly endless tasks done in time for the launch date. I asked myself what would happen if no one bought my book. I questioned what if someone bought it and left a negative review. But I knew that I had to persist in getting it across the finish line.

I reminded myself almost daily to stay the course. These three words became my mantra. Then I pushed the launch date back a month to allow me more time to check all the boxes, giving me greater confidence and peace to launch my book.

Maintaining a positive attitude and outlook is my third characteristic contributing to my book launch’s success. As I mentioned above, successfully launching a book requires preparation, coordination, and work. Also, it can push you outside your comfort zone, as it did to me when I videoed myself sharing the book’s benefits to others.

Still, I remained optimistic throughout the book’s pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. I accomplished this in a few ways. For example, when I felt I wouldn’t meet the deadlines, I told myself that I was fully capable of getting it done. I also pre-determined my definition of success.

So if I didn’t make anyone’s Best Seller list, I wouldn’t feel like a failure. Instead, I reminded myself of the many advantages of publishing my book. For instance, I can change someone’s life for the better, gain exposure for my business, and eventually attain the lifestyle I desire. My optimism helped me persevere and became a magnet of positive energy that drew people to me.

In my work, I have found that writing a book can be a great way to grow a brand. Can you share some stories or examples from your own experience about how you helped your own business or brand grow by writing a book? What was the “before and after picture?” What were things like before, and how did things change after the book?

When I wrote my first book, A Girl’s Guide to Being Great, I wrote it to help girls navigate the challenging path of middle school years. I was pleasantly surprised by the opportunities that came because of the book. Before I wrote the book, I’d been the founder of a nonprofit organization for girls, Made 2B More. But I could only impact a limited number of girls who participated in our programs. I was also a college professor, but my teaching was strictly for the students in my class.

However, after I wrote my book, my reach and influence expanded. I had a launch party and book signing, and the mayor of my town praised the book as a foundational tool for girls. Also, several local newspapers featured my story. As a result, I began receiving requests to speak at schools on two topics from the book: Setting Goals and Dreaming Big. Then, a school social worker expressed her interest in using the book for her entire 5th-grade class.

So I created a program — the GREAT Girls Club™, complete with a toolkit containing a facilitator’s guide, templates, PowerPoint slides, bookmarks, and t-shirts. When the girls completed the program, they eagerly demonstrated their leadership skills in a celebration with parents, school administrators, board members, and elected officials in attendance. I didn’t realize I was creating case studies in real-time and that years later, I would tell stories and write case studies for clients, as I do now.

My name became synonymous with greatness, success, mentorship, and leadership. The GREAT Girls Club™ expanded to other school districts, college conferences, philanthropic organizations, and Boys & Girls Clubs. Although I wrote this book many years ago, I still get requests today to speak to schools or serve as a panel judge for their scholars.

Writing my first book gave me the confidence to write my next book. Because I released Unbridled Dreams during the pandemic, it didn’t gain a lot of traction initially. But it has now become the topic of countless podcast interviews, offering much-needed inspiration and actionable steps for the hosts and the listeners. I’ve also released the audiobook, written the companion workbook, and created inspirational downloads centered around crucial points in the book.

If a friend came to you and said “I’m considering writing a book but I’m on the fence if it is worth the effort and expense” what would you answer? Can you explain how writing a book in particular, and thought leadership in general, can create lucrative opportunities and help a business or brand grow?

I’d tell anyone on the fence about whether or not to write a book to get off and do it. While you’re straddling the fence, you are missing out on opportunities. Sure, writing a book is time-consuming, but the time and effort are worth it in my experience. And yes, there is a financial investment. Still, the benefits far outweigh the cost of writing, publishing, and marketing a book.

For one, as a published author, you have the unique opportunity to share your knowledge, experience, and passion with others, providing insight and inspiration to them. Not only that, but because your business book is intellectual property, you position yourself as an expert and thought-leader in your field. As a result, people seek you to consult with them or speak for them, creating more visibility for your brand and increased financial gains.

Finally, as a leader, there are many opportunities to expand your book’s content. Your book is a gold mine of content that you can repurpose. For example, you can turn your book into a podcast, online course, Mastermind group, YouTube series, or slide deck. And if you’ve not written a book but have a series of blogs, you can turn them into an eBook for a lead generation tool.

What are the things that you wish you knew about promoting a book before you started? What did you learn the hard way? Can you share some stories about that which other aspiring writers can learn from?

There are many things I wish I knew and had done differently. I’d done the research and knew the steps I needed to promote my book, but I was solely responsible for many tasks because I didn’t have a “street team” in place. So I missed out on exposure from their email lists and followers on social media.

I also wish I had promoted Unbridled Dreams earlier. But I was so busy writing the book that I didn’t announce its release until I finished writing it. Instead, I could have spoken on podcasts and created book swag and giveaways to build buzz about its release. It’s critical to make your marketing assets while you write your book.

Based on your experience, which promotional elements would you recommend to an author to cover on their own and when would you recommend engaging a book publicist or marketing expert?

Four factors primarily determine when an author should hire an expert. The first one is the author’s skillset. For instance, my strong suit is creating graphics and videos, so I made my own. I’m also an organized person, so I initially booked podcast appearances. But I would never design my book cover, nor would I suggest it to someone. Image is everything, and it’s too important not to get this right.

The next factor is the author’s timeframe. If they are pressed for time, hiring a marketing or PR expert can free them to do other things. To illustrate, when I became overwhelmed by promoting my book and growing my business, I hired a podcast agency to handle this aspect.

The final two factors to consider are your goals and how much money there is to hire a professional. Specifically, the author should determine if they want to be an authority. If so, do they need significant media coverage? Or do they want to write a book for a lead magnet or something else? Finally, they should ask how much money is in their marketing budget. They might have to handle many tasks themselves or outsource projects to a virtual assistant if they have a shoestring budget.

Wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your own experience and success, what are the “five things an author needs to know to successfully promote and market a book?” If you can, please share a story or example for each.

1. Know how keywords and SEO work.

Having a firm grasp of SEO and keywords can help readers find an author’s book. So, an author should create about five to fifteen related keywords that reflect their readership’s search for their book. They can do this by employing the services of keyword analyzers. Still, the simplest option is to enter the keywords and review suggestions from previous Google searches. Getting the right keywords is also essential if an author wants their book to be a bestseller.

2. Know when and how to send Advance Reader Copies (ARCs)

An Advance Reader Copy is a new book that is almost complete and sent to people to read before it’s published. For instance, I created an ARC of my book to get feedback and testimonials. I then used the reviews in my promotional materials and on my website to generate pre-publication buzz, gain followers for my work, and get written reviews on Amazon. I used Book Funnel to distribute the ARCs.

3. Know how to use an email list.

An email list can be considered the ultimate book marketing channel. Their customer’s email addresses are theirs once they subscribe to them. However, the author doesn’t have access to their potential customer’s data on social media. So if Facebook or Twitter decides to close shop, they will lose their followers on those platforms.

An author can also direct readers to the point of purchase (PayPal, Gumroad, Amazon, etc.) through email. One more consideration is that email is considered very personal (even more than social media) and is fast, inexpensive, and engaging. They can build their email list in several ways — through lead magnets, quizzes, book giveaways, or contests.

4. Know how to use social media wisely.

When it comes to book marketing, social media can play a considerable role for authors. However, part of its challenges is where to focus. There are different rules of engagement and benefits of the various platforms. For example, LinkedIn might be the best fit if your book is about business. Or you could teach chapters from your book on YouTube. An author should find out where their target audience hangs out and put their efforts there.

Also, persuading their friends and colleagues to comment and share gives their book more exposure. Social media works with algorithms, so increase their shares, interactions, and comments. Identify other authors and follow their lead toward what’s working well for them. Another suggestion is to engage in building their platform as a thought leader in their space. They can do this by posting quotes from their book, excerpts, helpful content, press hits, advice, etc.

5. Know how to create their author’s brand.

Creating an author’s brand goes beyond designing the logo and selecting the colors for your website and promotional materials. Instead, it’s telling their brand’s narrative (their story). Their brand also helps define their readership and positions their area of expertise.

An author needs to know how to write in their writer’s voice. Their writer’s voice differentiates them from many other authors and demonstrates their distinctive style. This difference allows them to attract a loyal fan or customer base. For instance, you know what you’re getting when you buy a book authored by Les Brown, Joyce Meyers, or Seth Godin. They’ve generated a large fan base because they established a strong brand.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them :-)

I’d be delighted to meet with First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle is the epitome of class and success yet is humble. She is genuine, relatable, and relevant. Michelle remarkably exhibited grace under fire while being the first African-American female in the White House. And her fight for women’s education worldwide is a cause I’ve supported for decades.

And Barbara Corcoran, Businesswoman Extraordianire

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Twitter: @rhonda_g_mincey
Instagram: @rhondagmincey

Facebook: Great Success, LLC
Website: www.rhondamincey.com

Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success with your book promotion and growing your brand.

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