Scribe Media Update: How We Launched A Series Of Online Courses

$1,300,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
51
Employees
product
Scribe Media
from Austin, Texas, USA
started August 2014
$1,300,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
51
Employees
72.8K
alexa rank
2.66K
followers
3K
followers
6.74K
subs
market size
$110B
avg revenue (monthly)
$1.18M
starting costs
$26.9K
gross margin
10%
time to build
9 months
average product price
$16
growth channels
Word of mouth
business model
Consulting
best tools
Ahrefs, Upwork, Airtable
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
23 Pros & Cons
tips
11 Tips
Start A Publishing Business

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

My name is Tucker Max. I’m a 4x New York Times Bestselling Author and the Co-Founder of Scribe Media, a professional publishing company.

Scribe works with entrepreneurs, consultants, executives, and others who want to write, publish, market, and own their books.

We offer four primary book writing/publishing services ranging in price from $12k-$120k+:

  • Publishing Only - Authors do all the writing, and we do the proofing and publishing.
  • Guided Author - We guide Authors through the writing process, then we do the publishing.
  • Scribe Professional - We interview Authors for the content. We also do the writing, editing, and publishing.
  • Elite Ghostwriting - Authors get a bestselling Scribe and a customized process to fit their needs.

We also offer several marketing services designed to raise your authority, generate new business, and cement your legacy

Since we first began as a start-up in 2014, we’ve worked with over 1,700 authors, including high-profile CEOs, famous entrepreneurs, professional athletes, and many other people with incredible personal stories (like David Goggins and Tiffany Haddish).

You can see a full list of the books we’ve published here.

how-we-adapted-to-online-courses-and-launched-marketing-services

Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

The last time I shared my Starter Story was at the beginning of March in 2020—you don’t need me to tell you how much has changed in the world since then.

When COVID hit and everything began to shut down, there was a ton of uncertainty for everyone, including us. Our business is essentially a luxury marketing service—that can be a tough sell during a worldwide pandemic and economic crisis.

Every interaction we have with our clients has a major impact on our reputation and our growth. And remember, it takes years to build up a reputation, but only minutes to ruin one.

But our team immediately went into action to brainstorm how we could continue to grow despite the circumstances.

The result? Scribe Book School.

In the course of just two weeks, we put together a live online masterclass where we walked people step-by-step through our book writing process. The same process that we use with clients who pay tens of thousands of dollars.

And we did it all for free.

Why did we do this? For one, we wholeheartedly believe in our mission of helping everyone on Earth write their book. That means even those who can’t afford our services. But also, many people suddenly had a lot of time on their hands. It was the perfect time to bring in a wider audience and introduce them to Scribe.

We ended up having thousands of people join in the first masterclass, and we held several more classes throughout the following months. We made it abundantly clear that we were not there to upsell our services, but we did provide participants with information about what Scribe offers in case they wanted additional support for their book.

Not only did several participants go on to purchase those services, but there was also such a high demand for additional support that we ended up creating an entirely new service called Coached Author. So, giving our information away for free was actually the catalyst for hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.

While we are no longer holding live Scribe Book School masterclasses, we have adapted it into a series of online courses that are free and available for anyone who wants to take them. It’s proven to be a great lead generation source for us—many who go through the courses end up purchasing our paid services because they’re so impressed with our resources and process.

Beyond Scribe Book School, we also launched our marketing services at the end of 2020. We already offered these services to our clients internally, but we decided to make them available to non-Scribe authors as well. There’s been such a high demand that there’s now a waiting list.

As a result of all these initiatives—in addition to maintaining an excellent level of service—we had our biggest profit year yet.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

Here’s a lesson I re-learned this past year (and one that I shared with the rest of my company).

I was re-writing some of the resources we provide for our authors, and I went on something of a rant. I realized that I knew this all along, but never explicitly said this to myself in this way.

I wrote the lesson for books, but this applies to literally every activity any of us do. Ever.

Replace the word “writing” with whatever it is you do for your job or hobby or anything. Try it and see:

__________________

When I started writing years ago, I had all sorts of confidence issues that made me afraid.

I feared I wouldn’t be good enough, smart enough, or skilled enough to write a book people wanted to read.

I used this fear to push me to work hard, conquer my demons, and write the best book I had in me.

My assumption at the time was that if I was successful once, everything would be easy.

After all, the most successful people seem so fearless from the outside, don’t they?

In my experience, success unearthed more and different fears.

Now, even though I’m very successful, I’m afraid I’ll lose what I built. More people are looking at me now. What I do matters. I feel pressure to get better. I feel I must work harder to prove I belong. That my early success wasn’t a mistake. And every bit of success makes it worse. As I become more successful, the potential fall becomes greater and more painful.

That fear of failure leads me to do nothing. I do nothing, I write nothing, I release nothing, and that way I am not a failure. I simply withdraw.

I tell myself that’s not a failure: “I didn’t do it, so I can’t fail at it.”

That’s a lie. I know that’s failing.

Possibly the worst kind of failure, because I betrayed myself.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Does this ring true to your experience with writing a book (or creating anything at all)?

Then you and I are the same—even though I’m a 4x New York Times Bestselling Author that created his own literary genre, sold millions of books around the world, and started a company that has helped thousands of authors write and publish their own books—we feel the same.

Well...what if we didn’t fear failure?

What if we didn’t fear that we won’t be successful?

What if we didn’t fear that we weren’t enough, that we couldn’t measure up, that we didn’t have what it took?

There’s a way to do this.

And it’s open to all of us, at any level.

If we write with love for our readers, we will not fear.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to feel both love and fear at the same time.

Love pushes the fear out and makes space for creation.

This will not get rid of your fear forever. I still feel fear. Fear is natural and necessary. It keeps us alive and motivated in the face of danger, but it’s not useful for writing or creation.

When I do feel fear I imagine the people my writing will serve and my love for them, and I can write.

My fear is replaced by flow, and I end up creating something far better than I even imagined when started.

You can do this too.

Anytime.

Imagine who your writing will serve, and your love for them, and then let the writing flow.

Go try it.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

This year, we’re focusing on building upon the success of 2020. That means maintaining the same level of excellence our clients have come to expect, while also finding ways to bring in new Authors.

First, to support our rapid growth, we’re focusing on proactive hiring. At the start of last year, we had less than 50 full-time staff. We now have over 60, with plans to hire more in the coming months.

We’re also working on developing new ways to bring in clients. For example, we’ve created a week-long Book Blueprint Challenge that gives participants support in starting their book (while introducing them to Scribe’s methods and services).

Over the next few years, we have several long-term goals. I touched on this in my first Starter Story, but I believe there is a potential to expand Scribe outside the world of books. Beyond just, helping people write, publish, and market their books, the essence of our mission is ultimately to help share their wisdom and leave a legacy.

We’ve already started to do this through our marketing services, but there’s a lot we can still do. We want to help spread information across the globe and ideally have a generational impact.

Have you read any good books in the last year?

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

I cannot understate this: reputation is built action by action. Everything you do in your business matters.

Why? Because people talk to each other. They make decisions based on what their friends, family, and colleagues say.

But it’s not only about the actions you take as the leader of your company—it’s also about the actions of your entire team.

Quality and pride in workmanship are crucial to the success of your business. Henry Ford framed it well when he told his employees, “I don’t pay your wages. I only handle the money. It’s the quality of the product you make that pays your wages.”

Every person who talks about Scribe (and thus drives sales) does so because they felt seen, heard, understood, and excellently served by multiple people in our company—not just with me.

Every interaction we have with our clients has a major impact on our reputation and our growth. And remember, it takes years to build up a reputation, but only minutes to ruin one.

On a separate, but equally important note, make sure you take time for self-care while you build your business. A huge reason Scribe Book School worked was that I took a ton of time to do my self-care work—and I still prioritize it now.

Self-care IS part of work.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Scribe is currently hiring for several positions (both full-time and freelance). You can view available roles here.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Tucker Max,   Founder of Scribe Media

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