On this week’s Member’s Corner Blog, we’re so happy to introduce you to one of the best ghostwriters and copywriters in Arizona, Shandee Niswander.
Shandee is an amazing talent that just instinctively knows where the words should go. They take your content and translate them in a way that resonates with the hearts and minds of your audience.
To know more about Shandee, we asked her the following questions:
Tell us about your background, hometown, family, hobbies, passions?:
I hailed from a very tiny and sleepy town in Louisiana, over near Ft. Polk. I moved to Scottsdale as a caretaker to my brother because it is a professional and eclectic place full of culture, arts, and humanitarian efforts. We originally planned to stay a year to sort of ‘explore the world’ a little bit. But we instantly fell in love with this place and the communities we joined.
I LOVE to write. When I am not writing for work, I am writing to play. Or I am learning new projects to write. Or I am working on a new reference book to write (My first name was published last year!).
Moreover, I love to help others. Businesses are trying to connect with their audience. People are trying to put their mish-mashed ideas into words. People want to read content that improves their life in some way. I love them all. I also help out at local food bag programs, a fresh produce distribution event, and more. It’s all about connecting and improving our lives together!
What do you love about Arizona?:
Informally? The dry heat! Back home, you needed gills and mosquito nets to survive the humidity 70% of the year. I think we got a few stares prancing through Old Town Scottsdale at the tail end of a heatwave. We could breathe!!
On a more personal basis, we love the melting pot of cultures, beliefs, and walks of life. We love to go to the Sunday Affaire at the civic center park one week, and a culture fair the next. The arts. Creativity. And most of all the people!
Tell us about your business. How long ago and how did you get started? What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?:
I began writing articles for others in 2013, during the economic downturn. We’d just closed our family bookstore to focus on caring for our mother full time. Copywriting was a skill set I could use to pay extra bills while maintaining the flexibility for treatments, doctor visits, and everything else. I loved it. I soon started expanding into ghostwriting, books, pdfs, and everything else.
Today I am a one-stop writing shop for everything that goes into keeping an online presence: Ebooks, blogs, podcast scripts, emails, written app content, and more. All researched, credible, and easy to follow.
Who’s your ideal client? What’s the biggest problem you solve for them?:
My ideal client loves their audience. The client wants to do more than sell stuff. The client celebrates their readers’ triumphs. They feel their pains. They want more than anything to improve their quality of life somehow. When it’s more than SEO and word counts and bounce rates- it’s the people.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?:
Up until recently, I have worked almost exclusively on Upwork, and I do keep a profile there to secure more extensive projects. Now that I know we will spend our lives here in Scottsdale, I am looking to reach out and network on a more local level. I’m currently working on updating and reworking my website Nisfreelence.com for that purpose.
Tell us some of the challenges and lessons you’ve learned since you started your business.:
Rejection is a big one! When you first start out, it takes a little while to get your name out there. Sending out pitches and proposals that get passed over for your more experienced competitors in the market? It can weigh heavily on you at first. It takes a while to wrestle through doubts and imposter syndrome and all of those scary things.
But nowadays, I see rejection as the right opportunity at the wrong time. I never know when someone who told me “no” in the past will ask me for a quote in the future!
To what do you attribute your success?:
My community. They celebrate with me when things go well. They keep abreast of my latest studies and projects. They give me hugs and chocolate when I want to put my head in my hands and cry from life or work frustrations. If there is anything that keeps me going, it’s the awesome people who believe in me!
Whom do you seek advice from for your business? Whom do you like to follow in the business world? Why?:
I follow various experts on AWAI, The Professional Writers Association, and others. I don’t subscribe to any singular individual, because the great thing about writing is it is so personal. It constantly evolves! The more voices and insights, the better.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?:
“Your goal isn’t money.”
It’s freedom. Or expression. Or getting to talk all day about something you love. Financial security maybe? The ability to take Thursdays off for your kids’ games?
Before going into writing, know WHY you are becoming a writer. It will help direct your niche, your services, and your pricing. It will guide how you structure your deals. It will be a guide to what a ‘bad deal’ looks like to you. Before you talk prices and niches, start with “Why.”
How do you achieve work-life balance?:
Scheduling is key! Unless I am on one of those energetic rolls, I do not work past 7 pm, and I am in bed by 10. I also make sure I slot in dedicated time for volunteering, cleaning, bills, “me time,” and everything else.
Favorite quotes or book recommendations:
“When Opportunity Doesn’t Knock- Build a Door.”- Milton Berie
Don’t forget to check out Shandee’s offer on Avontage!