104: Rachel Richards – Retired and Quit Her Job at 27 Years Old

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Money Honey 10k in Passive Income

Only 27 years old, former financial advisor Rachel Richards has made a name for herself in the personal finance realm. In 2019, Rachel quit her job and retired, with over $10,000 per month in passive income!

Rachel is the bestselling author of Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide for Getting Your Financial $hit Together and Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence (& how to get started!).

Rachel is also a real estate investor with 35 rental units. Her valuable money lessons have helped thousands of millennials work their way out of financial despair. She has successfully done what no one has done before: made the topic of money management fun, entertaining, and simple!

What We Discuss with Rachel Richards:

  • Why a book about finances and why millennials as her audience
  • The book writing, editing, and publication process
  • Book launch strategies (even if you don’t have an audience or a list)
  • Lessons learned and what she could have done differently
  • The decision to have an audiobook version and the difference in sales

[01:34] Writing Her First Book

She started writing Money Honey in January 2017 and launched it in September of the same year. But she already had the book idea as a former financial advisor all throughout high school and college.

Personal finance isn’t exactly the most fun topic. It can be intimidating and complex.

Her family and friends would come to her for financial advice. Rachel wanted to take this topic and turn it into something that is sassy, fun, humorous, and simple. That’s where the idea of her book came from.

[04:07] Why a Book on Finance and Why Millennials as Her Audience

When you’re writing any book, you have to be able to say what’s different about your book than the thousands of other books that are already out there.

Personal finance is a topic that’s been written about endlessly. So she had to figure out a unique value proposition.

She noticed from her female millennial friends that they were not okay with not understanding money. They were all eager to learn. They all want to be in control of finances and understand it. But they didn’t have a resource that resonated with them.

Millennials sometimes get this stereotype of being lazy, entitled, and they don’t care about their money.

She then saw a market need for this so she wanted to make a topic accessible and approachable for female millennials specifically.

[05:56] From Zero to Many

Rachel had zero online presence before this book. While writing the book, she was working full time as a finance analyst. She didn’t have any following outside of her normal personal profile on Facebook and Instagram.

After her first book, she turned that from zero following to 5,000 followers and over 4,000 people on her email list.  

[06:42] Book Production Mistakes and Lessons Learned

A lot of people think it takes thousands and thousands of dollars to publish a book. Being a financially frugal person, Rachel didn’t want to take a huge financial risk. So she tried to do it for as cheaply as possible – at $600! The majority of her $600 went to a great editor.

Do not cut costs by deciding not to hire an editor or by hiring somebody without a lot of experience.

Rachel went on Fiverr and Upwork for her cover design and hired four people so she’d get four options to choose from. She wasn’t satisfied with the designs so she ended up doing it herself using Photoshop. You can’t pay $15 for a good book cover. 

You have to have a great book cover in order to leave a good impression. When you’re starting out with no following a no platform, you have to find every way possible to make yourself credible and to appear credible, professional, and trustworthy. 

[09:24] Book Launch Strategies and Ideas

Facebook Group

Rachel was part of a Facebook group of 13,000 female professionals where she soon became a credible source of information related to finance. They referred to her as the money guru. When she brought up her book idea to the group, everyone was just delighted and they were giving their ideas. 

By the time she launched the book, she had a “launch team” of 13,000 people. These were people emotionally invested in the success of her book and couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. She didn’t do this on purpose but it went well.

Amazon Reviews 

Money Honey has over 500 reviews, which are a lot of reviews for a self-published book. 

When you put your book up on Amazon, anyone can go and look at the first few pages of the book to take a sneak peek. She had freebies like free download of budgeting worksheets, balance sheets, or other things for money management. This was her way of building up her email list.

With her email list, she had an automatic email campaign set up. After somebody downloads the freebie, they get a series of three emails asking them for review. 

Make it easy for somebody to leave a review.

Follow Up

Rachel followed up with people, family, and friends who had downloaded her book and asked them for a review. On her first day, she got 60 reviews which grew to 100 in just 2-3 days from the book launch.

[16:29] Key Takeaways in Book Production and Marketing

Hire the right people.

Invest in a great editor and a great book cover designer. Hire a book formatter to make uploading the books much easier.

Give yourself more time than you think you need. For them to come together the right way, you just have to have your timeline planned out from the get-go.

Don’t Mess with Amazon’s Algorithms

Only announce your book to your platform so you don’t mess up Amazon’s algorithms. You really only want your book to be marketed towards your ideal reader, your avatar. In Rachel’s case, it’s the female millennial.

Instead of giving them the direct link, tell them to find your book on Amazon because that will help your algorithms.

Strategize Keywords and Categories

Strategize your keywords and categories the right way and you can almost always have the number one bestseller next to yearbook because you’re in such a specific category. Having that number one bestseller badge on your book all the time makes a huge impact on your sales.

[24:09] Putting Your Book in Many Formats 

Consider who’s going to narrate your book and which audiobook platform to use.

Think of incentivizing people who use the audio platform. Because it’s subscription-based, once people stay, they tend to stay for a long time. 

There’s really such a large portion of the market that you’re not even reaching if you don’t have your book on audio. 

Put your book in as many formats as possible from the get-go (ebook, paper book, audiobook). This allows you to make as many income streams as possible. 

[32:25] Leveraging Your Book to Create More Powerful Income Streams

It’s all about passive income and how you can create and grow your passive income streams. One of Rachel’s big passive income streams is real estate, and the other one is book royalties. Rachel now has $7,000 a month coming in from book royalties. But she never intended on writing or launching books for the income.

You can use your book as a lead magnet at some point along the book writing process. For example, they can get a free copy of your book if they sign up to your email list. Some of them will sign up for your online courses or your mastermind, and you’ll make more money either way.

Episode Resources:

Find out more about Rachel Richards on MoneyHoneyRachel.com or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Rachel’s books:

Money Honey: A Simple 7-Step Guide for Getting Your Financial $hit Together

Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence (& how to get started!)

Book mentions:

Published by Chandler Bolt

Other Resources:

Dave Chesson’s Kindlepreneur

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