Over the next few weeks we are going to be featuring some of the people who have completed the Professional Author and Speaker Training and Certification Programs.
This week we’re shining the InstructionSmith spotlight on Jennifer Holstad.
Jennifer has been married for 28-1/2 years, has a 23-year-old son, and a Golden Retriever named Autumn. She is an elementary school spelling bee champion and loves doing jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, spending time with family and friends, playing board games, watching movies, reading, and watching stock car races.
Jennifer has been in business for 22 years and has been blessed to have such wonderful clients (authors, speakers, and business owners).
Jennifer is a graduate of both the Professional Author Assistant and Speaker Assistant courses, completing PAA in August 2010 and PSA in April 2013. Before taking these courses, she had already been in business for 15+ years and had already done some work with authors and speakers. She also has an AA degree in Computer Information Systems.
We asked her what interested her most about the courses. She shared with us that she knew there was more to be learned about helping authors and speakers. She was also attracted to the flexibility of being able to work through the material and complete the courses at her own pace and in a timeframe that best fit her schedule. What appeals to her still today is having lifetime access to the material and resources as well as support if she ever has any questions.
One of Jennifer’s most interesting clients was a former stock car driver who lives in Phoenix. He got her name and number from the Yellow Pages (remember those?) because she was first on the list of secretarial services. He wanted someone to help with editing and proofreading his second book on stock car racing. She told him she absolutely loved stock car racing, and he was obviously happy to hear about that. After the project was completed, he was so impressed with the work she had done, he hired her to help him with his other six books (all on stock car racing).
She told us that knowing a speaker’s presentation went off without a hitch or that an author finally got their book published are the top highlights of the work she has done.
We asked for her advice for someone considering becoming a PAA or PSA. “There is a lot to learn even if you already work with authors and speakers. It is great to be able to be Certified plus you will also have access to lots of resources and people who are currently doing this,” Jennifer shared. “You don’t have to be good at all parts of these certifications, but you will at least have the knowledge on how to help authors and speakers with everything they need. Your clients will appreciate that!”
Like many of us, she doesn’t include every single aspect of what a Professional/Author Speaker Assistant can do in her services. Jennifer says, “Don’t feel like you have to be all things to everyone. Focus on what you do best. I focus on editing, proofreading, follow-up, and any details that could be missed in the hubbub of business. I am a behind-the-scenes details gal. I am not a good marketing person, therefore I don’t do the marketing parts as a PAA or PSA. I can subcontract out for those parts or give those to another PAA or PSA to help with. So even with this certification, I still don’t do all things for all people. I specialize even within this niche. I still feel like I have learned so much more and now have the resources that I can turn to with any questions.”
She once had someone come to her to help him with typing, editing and proofreading his work. When everything was completed, he then told her that he was going to show it to his wife, who was a former high school English teacher. She asked him why she didn’t help him, and he told her that she was way too busy. Several weeks later, he called and said he had something to tell her. Of course she thought, “Uh oh, did his wife find something?” But he called to tell her that his wife was extremely impressed, and she couldn’t find one thing wrong with it. Talk about doing a happy dance!
Jennifer’s Business and Contact Information:
Business name: A Byte In Time