Not many people can claim they single-handedly created the new marketing model for the 21st century. And did it simply with a five-column graph called The Difference Map.
Well, Bernadette Jiwa can.
Which is one reason why we are so excited that she will be a featured speaker at Authority Rainmaker.
But her list of achievements doesn’t stop there. She has created brands and unique innovation strategies. The products and ideas she has touched range from football boots to a medical journal, businesses to blogs, books to Kickstarter projects, non-profits, and more.
And she does it with stories.
Mrs. Jiwa grew up in Dublin, Ireland, the capital of storytelling, and carried that gift with her from a grocery warehouse inventory counter all the way to her current life as a branding consultant living in secluded Perth, Australia, where she has managed to write — not one, but four — Amazon bestsellers in the categories of marketing and branding.
Seth Godin calls her “the master of making organizational change around marketing.” And she makes it a matter of principle to help professionals and businesses tap into the essence of their ideas, uncover their unique abilities, and tell the story of how that translates into value for people in a marketplace.
She’s an amazing writer who said the best business lesson she has learned in more than three decades is to look people in the eye and see them for who they really are.
That’s not surprising coming from such a generous person.
It’s certainly a gift that we now get the chance to look into her life and see who she really is. Thank you for sharing with The Writer Files, Mrs. Jiwa!
About the writer …
Who are you, and what do you do?
I am a business author, who leads organizational change around marketing and brand story. I consult with and speak to global brands, business leaders, and entrepreneurs from Sydney to New York, helping them intentionally craft marketing strategies and design their difference so that they can matter to their customers and build meaningful brands.
What is your area of expertise as a writer?
I am the author of four number-one Amazon bestsellers on marketing and brand storytelling: Make Your Idea Matter, The Fortune Cookie Principle, Difference, and my latest book, Marketing: A Love Story.
My blog The Story of Telling was voted the Best Australian Business Blog in 2012 and chosen by SmartCompany as one of Australia’s Top 20 Business Blogs in 2013 and 2014.
Where can we find your writing?
The writer’s productivity …
How much time, per day, do you read or do research?
I’m researching wherever I go — while standing in line waiting to go into a class at the gym, or shopping, or ordering a coffee.
Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices?
Sit in the chair, open the laptop, shut down email, and start.
Do you prefer any particular music (or silence) while you write?
Silence and a completely empty place, or, alternatively, a café in the middle of a shopping center where there is a lot going on. There is no middle ground.
How many hours per day do you spend writing (excluding email, social media, etc.)? What is your most productive time of day?
Two hours. Mornings are best, the earlier the better.
Do you write every day or adhere to any particular system?
Yes, I write something every day. My system is not to think in terms of “how to” but to think about “who for” and why the writing will matter to them. Their story always comes first.
Do you believe in “writer’s block?” If so, how do you avoid it?
I don’t. I think it’s possible to write something even on a bad day. It might not be your best work but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll get another chance tomorrow to say what you wanted to say.
Mostly, I think we are scared of putting our ideas out there and not being good enough.
How do I avoid it? Watch what people do. Notice as much as possible and think about how what I notice and write about might impact or change just one person.
The writer’s creativity …
Tapping into your soul and your intuition and allowing them to guide what you make.
Who are your favorite authors, online or off?
Seth Godin, Allan Ahlberg, Dr. Seuss, James Victore, Dan Ariely, Aaron Dignan, Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Arden, Kevin Roberts, Roddy Doyle, and Jane Austen.
Can you share a best-loved quote?
You don’t need more time, you just need to decide. ~ Seth Godin
How would you like to grow creatively as a writer?
To speak with the same clarity and brevity as I write.
Who or what is your Muse at the moment (i.e., specific creative inspirations)?
My readers, without them there is no reason to write.
What makes a writer great?
The ability to notice things other people forget to notice.
The writer’s workflow …
What hardware or typewriter model do you presently use?
What software do you use most for writing and general workflow?
WordPress and Microsoft Word.
Do you have any tricks for beating procrastination? Do you adhere to deadlines?
Start the next book or project before the one you’re working on ships. I start working with my designer on the book cover as soon as the idea is fully formed and I have an outline. Then, I know I am committed and that it will be a real thing that exists in the world.
I post to a blog three times a week — rain, hail, shine, or holidays.
How do you stay organized (methods, systems, or “mad science”)?
Google calendar. I draft every post idea as a headline in WordPress. I can also hold mountains of stuff in my head.
How do you relax at the end of a hard day?
Cooking dinner. Catching up with my boys. Going for walks along the coast with my husband.
A few questions, just for the fun of it …
Who (or what) has been your greatest teacher?
Not being picked.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
What’s your biggest aggravation at the moment (writing related or otherwise)?
Not a single thing.
Choose one author, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.
Only one? That’s tough. Allan Ahlberg.
If you could take a vacation tomorrow to anywhere in the world, where would you go (cost or responsibilities are no object)?
Can you offer any advice to fellow writers that you might offer yourself, if you could go back in time and “do it all over?”
Don’t wait for permission to start.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?
You don’t need to know how others do it to be able to do it.
Please tell our readers where they can connect with you online.
And, finally, the writer’s desk …
Every serious writer builds a shrine of some sort with hope to entertain the Muse, whether she carefully selects the perfect table at a coffee shop or carves out a quiet nook in her home.
Bernadette Jiwa is no different. This is where she parks it to write those award-winning books and blog posts. Of course with the obligatory mug of black coffee and pad of paper.
And rumor has it when it’s time for a break, she can slip down to the beach and slide her toes into the Indian Ocean. Nothing like crashing waves to clear the mind.
Ready to take your content marketing to the next level?
Bernadette Jiwa is among the powerhouse lineup of speakers who will be presenting at Authority Rainmaker May 13–15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. It’s integrated content, search, and social media marketing for real-world results.
Click here for all the details and to register before we go to full price.