Alanna is a graphic designer at Raspberry Stripes
Specialising in PDF eBooks, co-creator of Pen, Polish and Publish (a course and community dedicated to bringing your eBook to life), and creator of online publication for lady bloggers and entrepreneurs ‘Raspberry Magazine’. She started her online business 2.5 years ago after taking a redundancy from her cubicle job!
I was lucky enough to speak to her about her entrepreneurial journey, and chat about her new online program that has just been launched! Read on for some juicy tips about her success and tips for creating your own online successful business.
1. You’re a designer extraordinaire and your Ebooks are incredibly gorgeous, how did you get in to designing and creating eBooks?
Well that’s very kind of you, thank you!
My journey has taken a bit of a meandering path. It all began when I studied journalism at university. I loved magazines and dreamed of working for Cosmo one day! I was lucky to work for a few great publications as a writer and production assistant, and eventually ended up working for a book publisher. We were a small team and I quickly learned design skills and to create book covers for published books.
Later, after my redundancy, I tried my hand at coaching for a while. I wrote and designed my own eBook for my website at the time, and was surprised to get a lot more enquiries about the design than the content! I said yes to a few requests to design books for others, and it just organically took off. I’ve been gratefully doing this full time ever since!
2.You’ve worked with the beautiful Belinda Davidson and Claire Baker on their eBooks. Do you have any favourite projects that stand out?
Every project is so unique and tailored to the author and their brand, so I love every one equally! Like children, I guess 😉 But I have to say working with Claire Baker is rad because she literally lets me do whatever I want! (That’s secretly what designers dream of! Haha)
3. You are also the founder of ‘Raspberry Magazine’ for lady online entrepreneurs, was this always your intention to do a magazine or had it been something that’s developed over time?
As I mentioned, being a magazine editor was literally my dream from childhood. But when I began designing eBooks, I guess that dream was partially fulfilled. I was able to tell interesting stories in an aesthetically pleasing way, and the need to create a magazine kind of fell dormant. It wasn’t until my business coach at the time, Julie Parker of Beautiful You Coaching Academy, asked if I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, that the idea of the magazine resurfaced. Julie has her own online magazine, and made the idea seem actually do-able!
Once I had created the first issue (within a month of having the idea – I was so excited) I couldn’t even imagine a time when the magazine wasn’t part of the life! That’s how right it feels ☺
4. You’ve just recently launched ‘Pen, Polish and Publish’ with Katie Smyth, could you tell us a little more about this program?
Absolutely. Well, the idea for a course came to me because I get so many enquiries for eBook design, and
a) I only have so many hours in a day and sadly can’t take on every design project, and
b) not everyone who has a brilliant eBook idea is in the position to pay a professional designer. I thought an affordable online course teaching people how to design their own eBook would be a great idea.
As I began creating content, I realised I wanted the course to be about more than just design – to really step the participants through everything from the idea, to writing, editing, design, marketing and launching! The whole shebang. So I teamed up with copywriter Katie to make what has become Pen, Polish and Publish, a course and community dedicated to bringing your eBook to life! We’re just about to run the first round starting on 1st July 2015, and we are so excited.
5. If someone has been procrastinating about creating their own eBook and doesn’t quite have all their copy written yet, would your program be for them?
Yes – totally! We dive deep into coming up with your killer idea (if you haven’t clarified it yet), and the actual writing process – including moving past procrastination to productivity!
6. You are a woman of many talents in your business. Do you have a favourite thing you love to do?
Oh well, thank you! Favourite biz thing would be wrapping up a design project – it’s so exciting to see the final product! And life-wise… reading a good magazine in a hammock can’t really be beaten.
7. What would you say are the top three skills or qualities needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Great question. I would say ability to think laterally, willingness to learn constantly and become a jack (jill) of all trades, and sheer determination. Things can get really hard, and if you’re not 100% determined, a cosy 9-5 job could lure you back!
8. What advice would you give to those who want to build a successful business online?
Get really clear on how you can help people. Successful businesses are fulfilling a want or need for their clients or customers, so focus on being their dream solution! Then, provide value consistently!
Also, take time off. Or you’ll burn out.
Quick Q & A (fill in the answer )
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? Magazine editor slash hairdresser!
I love… Great food and wine, beautiful friends and family, boxer dogs, doing meaningful work, and travel. And binge-watching Netflix.
There’s nothing more I dream of then… Mexican seaside holidays. Hello, hammocks and guacamole.
The craziest thing about me… I’m a Gemini, and prone to fairly swift mood swings!
I’m inspired by… Alex Franzen, Gala Darling, Marie Forleo, Melissa Ambrosini, Sarah Wilder, (gosh I could go on and on, there’s so many incredible ladies killing it right now) and animal/political/environmental activists – people who really go out of their way, often at personal cost, to make things better for others.
My favourite quote is… “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Gandhi)
“There’s so little I need to consume — and infinite ways to contribute.” (Alex Franzen)
Check out her new program here www.penpolishandpublish.net
Get more Alana!
Email: [email protected]