This is part of our series highlighting businesses that have been operating for two years or less. In this article Nick Pavlidis shares her experiences and insights since opening Ghostwriter School.
How did your business get started?
After practicing law for more than a decade, I was sick of all the energy I had to give to arguing and negotiating things that had had less than a 1% chance of occurring. I loved the writing, speaking, and analytical side of the law but hated that in order for me to win someone else had to lose. So, I started writing outside the practice of law, first my own content and then for others.
I made a lot of mistakes but built a ghostwriting business that allowed me to quit the practice of law within one year of starting. And the best part about it is nobody needs to lose for me to win. I win by getting paid to learn and write amazing content for passionate experts. My clients win by getting high quality content that allows them to reach more people and focus on what they do best. And the people who read the content I help create get help in the written form that they might not have otherwise received if the author had to write everything herself.
Since then, I have mentored others about ghostwriting and what an amazing profession it can be when done well. In 2018 I decided to formalize that instruction and created Ghostwriter School, comprehensive online training that details everything I learned to build my ghostwriting business. Ghostwriter School teaches everything I know about building a profitable ghostwriting business. I share everything I learned in there. Someone could literally take the course, apply the lessons, and put my ghostwriting agency out of business. That is very intentional. I believe there is plenty of business to go around and when people invest in training they should get all the best lessons from the instructor.
Who do you serve and why?
Aspiring writers. I help them build ghostwriting businesses for part-time or even full-time income.
What makes your service different?
It is not just theory. It teaches exactly how I built my ghostwriting business to the point that I could quit the practice of law within one year of starting. And it is all online, so you can learn on-demand wherever and whenever you are. If you can access the internet, you can learn how to become a ghostwriter.
We will be adding a certification program as well with the goal of finding great writers to add to our team, too.
What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to start your business?
Logistics and timing. My ghostwriting business is busting with demand. We have more work than we can handle. That is a good problem to have but it caused the course to come together slowly. We are growing organically, putting the course together piece by piece, still upgrading from a “minimum viable product” and adding lessons.
What has been the most rewarding experience for you since starting your business?
By far it is people reaching out saying they have a potential new client and want advice. We have only done a soft launch so we do not have many students in the course yet. But when people reach out asking questions about a specific opportunity, it tells me the content is not just informational. It also helps inspire people to take action.
What has been the biggest mistake/lesson you’ve learned?
Everything takes longer than you expect. I wanted the course to be live early 2018. It only got live as a beta in December 2018.
If you could do it all over again, what one thing would you do differently, and why?
I would hire an experienced team to help me produce the course materials faster, especially post production. I did most post production myself and that made me a big bottleneck.
How do you keep things fun and interesting for yourself and your team?
We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We have 3 full-time people and help from another 10 part-timers and freelancers. We celebrate wins and make light of mistakes, learning the important lessons but not letting them define us. For example, one of my team members accidentally put two tabs at the beginning of every paragraph in a long piece of content. It took quite a bit of time to get rid of them. We now call him “two tabs.”
Who do you admire and how has that person helped you to reach your current level of success?
My friend and mentor, Dan Miller, has been instrumental. He opened my eyes to the power of books.
What is your primary business focus for the next 12 months?
Helping great writers build location-independent writing businesses to spend more time with their families, pay off debt, buy new cars, etc. The written word is alive and well. I want to help people write their way to their dream lives.