Henneke Duistermaat

Neil Patel

Henneke Duistermaat: Copywriting Expert & Educator, Enchanting Marketing: “Pick Up the Courage to Get Started”

Henneke Duistermaat is the brains and pen behind Enchanting Marketing. Aspiring copywriters flock to Henneke’s blog and online training for unique and creative advice in her warm, signature style (including hand-drawn comics and infographics featuring her alter-ego, Henrietta). She has been interviewed for Inc.com and Forbes.com, has taught copywriting webinars at Unbounce and AWeber, and her writing has been featured on sites like Copyblogger, KISSmetrics, and Entrepreneur.

Henneke’s Original Story: “Pick Up the Courage to Get Started”

I used to work in marketing but quit my job in 2012 to start my own business. I was tired working for a boss but I didn’t know at first what exactly I wanted to do next.

In my family, entrepreneurship wasn’t encouraged. My father is a GP and my mother worked as his assistant. I never thought I possessed any entrepreneurial genes so it took a long time to muster the courage to begin.

I started writing guest posts for big blogs like Copyblogger and KISSmetrics, and to my great astonishment people wanted to hire me (a non-native English speaker!) to write for them. I didn’t set out to become a freelance writer (I have a Masters in Chinese Language and Culture and a Masters in Business Administration) but I found it was a good way to generate an income while I figured out what to do with my business and build an email list. I worked for a while as a freelance copywriter but soon launched my first Kindle book and a coaching program to teach blogging. I’ve now quit freelance writing and am focused on the teaching part of my business.

Unlike most writers, I never thought of a career in writing. I didn’t see myself as a writer, and I didn’t think of myself as creative. But when content marketing became important in the industry, I realized I had to start writing – and I discovered I enjoyed it. This was just before I quit my job. When I started blogging regularly, I realized that I don’t just love writing, but also teaching. This is why I changed from freelance writing to running coaching programs and selling self-study courses.

My biggest challenge has probably been lack of confidence. I wasn’t sure whether I was cut out to run my own business. I really started it as an emergency measure. I was desperate to get away from my boss. I’d say to my younger self that even though everyone may seem more confident, everyone is in fact winging it, and so can you.

If I could share any advice with you, this is it:

Quit doubting yourself.

You may feel overwhelmed.

You may even feel intimidated by others bragging about their huge followings, their launch successes, and the amount of money they’re making.

But remember, everyone starts at zero. Zero followers. Zero subscribers. And zero profit.

Quote: “Remember, everyone starts at zero.” – Henneke Duistermaat

You may doubt whether you’re able to pull this off.

That’s normal.

Even people like Neil Gaiman, Sheryl Sandberg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Emma Watson feel like a fraud sometimes.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody knows everything. And nobody possesses the perfect blueprint. We all stumble around from time to time.

So pick up the courage to get started.

And keep moving forward.

You can do it.

Find more from Henneke Duistermaat at Enchanting Marketing and on Twitter @HennekeD.