Georgia Kirke: A Childhood Obsession with Books to Growing a Publishing Empire
By Sujany Baleswaran
Starting her business in her box room with just a laptop, Georgia Kirke, embarked on a mission to help fellow entrepreneurs share the stories that have made them who they are today. After learning that 83% of adults want to write their own book, yet less than 1% actually do, the writer and marketer found her niche in the business world. Going from being obsessed with books when she was a child to juggling a 9 to 5 job to growing her own branding and publishing empire, Georgia Kirke hit a bump on her road to success after suffering a life-changing injury whilst rock climbing. However, with grit, determination, and great communication amongst her team, Georgia was able to navigate the business through the accident and the global pandemic.
You started your business in your box room six years ago with just a laptop. Do you remember the first moment you realised that this is the business you wanted to create?
Prior to starting Write Business Results, I was working for a brilliant business coaching organization that works specifically with entrepreneurs who are established and doing well but have reached a ceiling and are looking to take their business to the next level. This environment flicked a switch within me. I started to notice common questions within my entrepreneurial networks such as, “How do I get my message out there?” and “My business is unique, we transform our client’s lives, but my biggest barrier to growth is not enough people know about us. How can I get seen and heard?” I’ve always been an avid reader and writer, and I started to give these questions more thought. It occurred to me that social media posts are one thing, but they are short-lived, and there is a lot of noise online. Posting status updates is not enough to stand out. So what kind of messaging format is compelling? What can entrepreneurs produce that has the capability of transforming someone’s life?
I thought a lot about what kind of messages had shaped my life and found myself thinking back to my childhood spent with my grandmother. She used to take me to this travelling library that would drive through the little village in North Lincolnshire where she lived. The library was actually a caravan that a couple had converted, and to me, it was absolutely magical. Granny always knew when it was coming, and I remember her holding my hand as we waited at the end of her driveway. I could choose three books each time, and she’d help me read them. I was reading novels from quite a young age and read all of the reading books in primary school a year and a half before I finished. They said in the end, “We’re not sure what to do with you, no one’s really done that before, so just bring in your own books from now on”. I just had this innate passion for books and connected so many positive experiences with them.
The big lightbulb moment for me was the day I realized that I could help this specific group of people with something they didn’t have easy access to anywhere else in the world, in a way that helps them expand their businesses and profiles, creates a legacy, and gives them something tangible to encapsulate all they’ve created and are proud of. I designed a process specifically for busy entrepreneurs – the Book Creation Process™ – which we still use 6 years later with every book that comes through our doors. Using my process, entrepreneurs can have a fully planned, edited, written, designed, and published book without doing any of the writing, but it’s solely still their content written in their tone of voice. The Book Creation Process™ takes the pain out of book production. So that’s when I knew that I had to create a business and eventually I was approached by someone. A book is just the perfect way to achieve recognition, respect, and visibility. Books, when written and designed to a high standard, are unique, and they stand the test of time. They are not simply marketing. They’re a person’s legacy.
How has Write Business Results developed over these 6 years, and what has been your biggest achievement as a team?
For the first few months, I was running off raw passion, like a lot of entrepreneurs. I was working fairly intuitively. I had a core delivery process and a couple of excellent freelancers, but I didn’t have a lot of the other kinds of systems and key people that a business really needs. We leverage technology a lot now, but AI for small businesses wasn’t around as recently as five or six years ago, and it took a few months before I found a cost-effective transcription service, so I was hand-writing the notes for the books, as the clients spoke over Skype!
Zoom wasn’t mainstream, Facebook was only just becoming normal for organic marketing, and ads cost a fortune back then, book production was laborious, and marketing for authors was challenging. And that informed the next set of questions I got from people. It was like, “Okay, great, we’ve got a book. Now, what do we do with it?” So that was another challenge I wanted to solve. I expanded the Book Creation Process™ from three to five modules – plan, produce, publish, promote, propel – and optimized the solutions in each one. So now, it’s a complete turnkey solution for authors, and that is something I’m incredibly proud of. It’s taken years to develop and has only been possible through actively listening to every author that comes through our doors, as well as building an amazing team.
It’s such a joy to see something that was created in my spare room with no investment, no help, and no team six years ago blossom. WBR now has five employees and several other regular amazing freelancers. We more than doubled the size of the company throughout the pandemic, which is a testament to the team, amazing clients, and our commitment to solving their biggest content problems. We were over the moon to win The Ultimate Entrepreneur Award a few months ago after competing with many other business owners, some of them turning over millions. More recently, we’ve been nominated for two further awards.
And our clients get great results. Four out of five of the books that we’ve produced in the last 12 months have gone on to become number one bestsellers, and a number of those get picked up by major publishers including Wiley Capstone, Orion Spring, Simon, and Schuster. We’ve had authors reporting 1,200% plus returns on their investment with Write Business Results. We’ve had people reporting multiple seven – and even eight-figure revenues that they can directly tie to their book. We’ve also had clients leverage their book to facilitate the exit of their business. On top of the financial results, we help our clients put books together because they want to leave something behind for their families, as well as their businesses. Others’ books are being endorsed by some of the biggest names in business, whom they didn’t even know before they started the process of working on their expert positioning. Our clients’ willingness and commitment to actually implementing what we help them with is key. So we collaborate with our clients. It’s not a transaction, it’s a partnership. And we’re fortunate enough to continue working with them for years.
I’m really proud of our achievements. They make me excited for the future of the business but also our future as a group.
You battled one of the most challenging times of your life just before the pandemic, and spent the lockdown in limb reconstruction surgery and slowly learning to walk again. How did you handle your business with the pressure of recovering from surgery as well as keeping it running during a lockdown?
There have definitely been a number of challenges! I’d decided 2020 would be WBR’s biggest year yet. I had plans, goals, a growing team and decided it was time to go for it. And then, in January 2020, just as the pandemic descended, I had my own personal pandemic of sorts when I fell while rock climbing. My foot had become stuck, and as I fell, it was severed from the rest of my leg. I was rushed to the hospital, where I stayed for the next month. I had limb reconstruction surgery and was told it wasn’t clear whether or not I would lose parts of my leg or at least my ankle joint. They didn’t know if I would walk again. And then the pandemic hit.
To say that was a spanner in the works is an understatement. I remember speaking to everybody who works at Write Business Results and just saying, “We’re potentially in for a bit of a hard time here, and I’m going to really need all hands on deck like never before because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me or the rest of the world. But I believe that with communication and commitment, we can come out of this better than ever before. Are you in?” And everybody involved just being like, “Yeah, we’ll do this, we’ll manage it.”
I don’t think I’ll ever stop being grateful to everyone for that. This goes for clients as well. They weren’t even remotely worried. I think because we all communicated and they could see the team’s efforts. Their questions were more like, “Okay that’s fine, I know you’ll handle the book. But how are you, how can I help?” So there was this huge pull together in the WBR community and that’s when I started to think about what we do as a network and as a community, and the power of that.
I created a Facebook group for clients. We started communicating there and just bringing everybody together. The power of what we were doing multiplied as clients were able to support each other. Many of them are now friends and do business together. So it’s a powerful network because of the human element. You can have the most organized and systemized business in the world but unless you have culturally matched clients who you love and respect and vice versa, and a strong team who you love and respect and vice versa, things will be harder than they need to be. Results-wise, we achieved our biggest ever year after all. Our revenue and turnover more than doubled, and profit increased exponentially.
That situation could have been a significantly harder time in business than it was. When I came out of the hospital a month later, I had a metal frame holding my leg together, and I was
unable to walk or move. It had to be up above heart level. It couldn’t have gravity working against it. And I couldn’t even get dressed properly, I couldn’t make myself food, I couldn’t do anything, it was really difficult.
Building a business while going through something like that was really tricky, but to be honest the accident just reaffirmed my commitment to what myself and the team are creating. Our bigger picture vision outweighed the hardship, and I realized that I was working on something far bigger than myself. That mindset helped me put my personal difficulties into perspective and forced me to dig to new internal depths, uncovering new capabilities and setting a positive example as a leader. Ultimately, that facilitated bigger and better results, so in that sense, I’m grateful for the experience and the lessons that came from it.
Approximately 83% of adults want to write their own book, yet less than 1% actually do, and learning this statistic sparked your mission. I‘m certain that there are still many people out there who aren’t sure where to start. What’s the first piece of advice you would give someone wanting to write their own book?
I was shocked by this statistic when I first heard it. I know that there are so many people out there who would love to write that book because we’ve all got a story to tell, but most people just don’t know where to start. It can be a real barrier to putting pen to paper. So the first piece of advice that I would give someone wanting to write their own book is to map it out first. Get a strategic plan in place for your book where you identify the overall purpose of why you’re becoming an author in the first place and be clear about the results that you expect that book to give you.
What are you looking for? Are you looking to generate leads, and if so, how many? Are you looking to be known as the go-to expert and ring-fence your intellectual niche, and if that’s true, how will you know when that’s happening? How are you going to measure your success in that area? If you’re looking to impact people, that’s noble, but how many people? How are you going to measure impact? How will you know when an impact has been made?
And when it comes to financial return, just like with any business project, you need to work on it. Be upfront about your required results with yourself and any service provider you bring in to help. So if you want to make 5-, 6-, 7-,8- figures from your book, whatever your goal is, name it so that you can start creating a book that’s going to compel your readers to deliver those sorts of results.
We do this strategic planning with every author we work with at Write Business Results. Most people don’t know where to start. And so, recognizing that if writing, strategizing, and managing the production of a book that must perform well commercially is outside of your skillset, where are your time and energy going to be best spent? Is it in building your business while somebody else works with you and consults with you to build your book? And if that’s the case, then just know that support is available and that you can do it.
You have also created your own podcast, Interviews with Experts. How did this come about?
Interviews With Experts started in May 2020 during lockdown with my right-hand woman in WBR – she was getting me to record something on Otter for social and said, “You need to start a podcast”, so we did. I remember being so happy in its first week when it got over 100 downloads. Today, 15 months in, it’s an iTunes Top 100 show.
I’ve interviewed some amazing people, some I remember watching on TV as a child and had to try not to get starstruck in the recording! Interviews With Experts is the personal branding podcast for entrepreneurs. This podcast is all about learning the personal branding secrets that enable the top 1% of entrepreneurs to continually build and scale 6, 7, and even 8 figure companies. With my guests, I talk about trade secrets, modern company-building strategies using content, and the transparency of numbers like you’ve never heard before. Each week I interview top entrepreneurs on the role that building a personal brand through content has played in growing their companies. I also share my training tips for entrepreneurs looking to build their brands using great content.
I decided to release the new season after meeting celebrity guests on the audio app, Clubhouse, during lockdown. I joined Clubhouse whilst recovering from my accident and started hosting rooms talking about personal branding. In these virtual rooms, I met incredible people such as Grant Cardone, Tyrese Gibson, and Patti Stanger who inspired me to put myself out there more. My first guest, Derrick Evans MBE, opened the new season by sharing his journey of becoming one of the UK’s most prolific personal brands – Mr Motivator! After that episode, the podcast was listed in the Top 100 in Entrepreneurship on iTunes.
The new season is full of amazing guests, including Mr Motivator, Kev Orkian, Pete Cohen, Alison Edgar MBE, and other brilliant musicians, TV stars, speakers, authors, athletes, army veterans, and entrepreneurs. They all share their stories whilst giving their top business tips and tricks.
You describe yourself as being obsessed with books as a child, and I’m sure you’re still an avid reader. If you could recommend one book to our readers, what would it be?
I was completely obsessed with books as a child. I always have been, and I still am. My office is absolutely filled with hundreds of books. For fun, I would recommend anything by Stephen King. I’m a bit of a horror lover. For a business book, it would be – okay, fine, I don’t have one book. I have three. Is that allowed?! Check out Finding Gold Dust by Gavin Scott, Turnover Is Vanity Profit Is Sanity by Dan Bradbury, and The Hidden Edge by Jodie Rogers. And Diversity Intelligence by Heidi R. Andersen. These are FOUR business books that will completely change the way you think and the way you do business.