#BEYOUROWN MEETS DANIELLA BLECHNER
Daniella Blechner is an Award-Winning Publisher, founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing, bestselling author and Book Journey Mentor who is passionate about inspiring and empowering authors to transform their stories, messages and powerful journeys into books of impact and influence.
Daniella assists authors through the publishing process and helps them to create, publish and market professional books of value and significance. Over the last three years, Conscious Dreams Publishing has published over 60 books, 15 of which have become bestsellers. Daniella has also mentored over 180 authors and aspiring authors and has been shortlisted for the National Diversity Entrepreneur of Excellence Award and won Best Business Award at the CA Awards. She is passionate about empowering authors through this process and is always looking for authors with powerful messages and stories to share with the world; ones that educate, inspire and empower. She runs a workshop for aspiring female authors called The Power of Your Story to assist them in gaining clarity and vision for their book as well as get clear on the self-publishing and writing process.
She is passionate about providing a platform for women to have their voices heard and stories shared in a space of empowerment. Her conscious dream is to ensure that our unseen images and unheard voices are portrayed positively on a global scale and that those stories are told by those who experience them.
It is great to have you with us, Daniella! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
So my name is Daniella Blechner. I am an Author, Book Journey Mentor and Founder of Conscious Dreams Publishing. I work with authors all over the world and help them to get their powerful messages and stories out here in the form of professional books. Having published my first book Mr Wrong, which became a bestseller in 2014, lots of women were coming to me asking me how I did it. I found myself connecting them with editors, designers and typesetters and mentoring them through the process as a labour of love. Then, having seen the success they had with their books, I had a growing demand for more authors who wanted to publish their books and so Conscious Dreams Publishing was born. Over the last three years, we have published over 60 books, I’ve personally mentored over 180 authors and aspiring authors helping them develop their skillset in writing, publishing, book marketing, social media, public speaking and confidence. I love doing what I do because I am passionate about providing a platform for unseen and unheard stories that can educate, inspire and empower for generations to come.
Can you talk us through why you are so passionate about inspiring and empowering authors to transform their stories, messages and powerful journeys into books of impact and influence?
I believe everyone has a unique story, a unique journey, experience and message. No one can ever quite share your story, your journey or your message in the same way that you can. Knowing that we all have the ability to touch, connect inspire, empower and transform another by sharing excites me. Publishing a book can be very healing also both for the reader and the author. There are so many unknown authors out there who are just not getting the attention of the traditional mainstream publishers and we are living in an era now where we can do so much ourselves and self-publishing is becoming a more and more credible way of publishing a book and gaining global success, Also, seeing the look on authors’ faces when they receive their first proof copy is priceless!
How you are balancing the work/life strife?
I’m still trying to figure out how to create that balance. Sometimes work does not always seem like work as I am passionate about it and doing what you love feels more like fun as opposed to work. In saying this, as my business has grown and got busier and busier, I understand and value the importance of creating boundaries and balance. My top tips for new business owners in regards to creating that balance are:
Create you time.
When you are running your own business there is no cut off time but it’s important to have one. Switching off should be part of your business plan. Invest in activities and relaxation time that is reserved only for you so that you can reset and recharge.
Spend time with loved ones.
It’s easy to become swamped in our business and neglect and friends and family but remember, spending time with those we love, creates treasured memories which make everything you are working for all the sweeter.
Create boundaries with clients.
When I first started I had a small client base and so it was feasible to get back to emails within an hour time period. But then came WhatsApp and Facebook messages. And then as we grew, I nearly suffered burnout and overwhelm due to the sheer volume of messages. I was waking up to 7 WhatsApps, 5 Facebook messages and 10 emails from clients asking questions before I’d even got up and I began to resent my business.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to create automated systems, give clients a realistic timeframe as to when you will reply and only deal with clients through my work number at set times and email. This gave me peace of mind and made me feel like I was no longer on call and I began to draw boundaries with myself in the morning too. Not checking my phone first thing. Meditate and self-care first! I don’t always get it right but I cannot stress the importance of creating this balance enough.
What was the setup process like for Conscious Dreams Publishing and how is it funded?
In 2015, I was awarded a £10k loan from Virgin StartUp loans which helped a lot. I was told by one of the reps that it was one of the best business plans he’d seen. I was completely new to the business and this was a real boost! Before that, I was literally paying for everything out of my pocket.
Who are the team behind you and do you currently have any mentors?
As the years have gone on, my team has grown. I have a global team of 3 typesetters, 3 in house designers and 5 freelance illustrators, 3 editors, a Book Promotions Content Creator and a VA. My first VA Claire Lockey started with us in 2016 and she honestly was a lifesaver. I learnt the importance of outsourcing. She literally scheduled all my Social Media content, wrote blogs and has helped me with branding. She is now a Branding Content Creator who helps our authors promote their books. She also creates press releases and is a huge part of our marketing team. Every business owner needs a Claire. No entrepreneur is an island!
Mentors are key for any entrepreneur. Every great mentor should have a mentor. I often attend GTEX (Growing Together Exponentially) events run by the awesome Simone Vincenzi and Ben Shorter and the information and workshops are priceless!
I am also part of Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole’s Self-Made mastermind which includes some one to one assistance on my business. The sessions are invaluable and it’s great to learn from experts and meet so many other entrepreneurs on a similar journey to you.
What platforms are you using as marketing tools for Conscious Dreams Publishing?
Facebook is was a lot of my clients initially came from. I also did regular Facebook Lives and have a show called Book Journey Mentor Uncut which airs every Wednesday at 7pm so a lot of my clients started off watching these live streams. I always shied away from the live video but it has been an absolutely huge part of my business as many clients, had had been silent viewers too start with, became our biggest authors years down the line. You never know who is watching!
I also used Linkedin and Instagram. I wasn’t a huge Instagram user until my first VA and Branding Consultant Claire Lockey created some lovely tiles for me to use for my Instagram!
I use Linkedin too as well as Twitter. I find that I also get a lot of clients through the good old fashioned way of face to face meets, going to networking events and speaking at live events. The Power of social media is enormous but sometimes we underestimate the power of live events too.
In regards to marketing tools for authors, we promote them on our social media platforms and show and assist them with radio and television interviews. However as stats have it by 2020 80% of marketing will be video, one of my favourite marketing tools we use for authors is our Book Trailer Package. There is something beautiful about having a visual message played out in video to enhance the value of your book and engage readers in a creative way.
Do you currently use any apps or tools to help the functionality of your business practice?
I use Canva for creating marketing images and posts. After the crash of Facebook’s dual broadcast function, I’m learning to use Be.Live to use for interviewing authors and experts in the publishing industry. I also use placeit.net to create 3D images of new book releases and create fun images
Who is the most influential female powerhouse that you admire and why?
It just has to be the late great Dr Maya Angelou. To have gone through what she went through in the throes of injustice, trauma and in a city sweltering in the heat of racial and gender oppression, she gets my vote every time. At 8 years old she became a selective mute having endured trauma that would have broken many and when she finally let that caged bird sing, she not only sang for herself but she sang for a legion of others who came before her and will exist way after her. She said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside.”
This is the very foundation of which Conscious Dreams Publishing was built. Why hold in your story, your message or experience when you can use it to help so many others and in doing so, set yourself free? It’s the same for experts in their field, why keep that knowledge and valuable information inside when you can use it to educate and empower others, and perhaps even help heal the world?
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN means to live life on your own terms. To not follow the trend but create your own, to lead the way unapologetically and to pave a way for others. We live in a world where sadly there are so many closed doors, where #BEYOUROWN means that when you see that closed door you are not afraid to create your own door and leave it open for other trailblazers to walk through after you.
What does 2020 look like for you?
BIGGER. BETTER. BOLDER.
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