By k | August 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was invited to join
a boxed set
yesterday.
Stories are due
November 15th
but the organizer told me,
because I’m a ‘big name’,
I can submit my story December 1st.

I’m not a big name.
I’m solidly midlist.

But being called a big name
made me smile.
It caused me
to seriously consider
the opportunity.

And it didn’t cost
the organizer
a dime.
There is a possible
15 day delay
in putting the boxed set
together
and that is it.

Treating your customer
like a star
is often free.
Why aren’t you doing it?

By k | August 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

It is tempting
to market on hate.
It is an easy strategy.
Simply spew about the ‘other’,
whomever or whatever you decide
the other is.

The issue with this
is…
you attract haters.

Haters hate.
If you and a hater
were the only two people
in a room,
that hater would hate you.

And eventually
you WILL be the only person/business
in the ‘room’ with the hater.
Eventually the hate
will turn toward you.

Be very careful
when marketing on hate.

By k | August 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Some writers were hesitant
about posting
about the KKK
(or White Nationalists
or whatever they’re calling themselves
this week)
marches
this past weekend.

They didn’t want to
‘alienate’ readers.

There’s no need
for hesitation.
Readers (customers)
already know your stance
on race.

If there are no people of color
in your ads, your marketing material,
your products
(in the case of romance novels),
your stores,
your businesses,
people notice.

I notice and I’m white
because it doesn’t reflect
the world around me.
It is unusual
and stands out.

If your prospect is a racist,
he/she will notice
if there ARE people of color
associated with your business
and he/she will likely not be
your customer.

So you’ve already alienated
one type of customer.
There is nothing to lose
from embracing your stance.

By k | August 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A writer posted
a question
to a Facebook group.
He ended the post
with,
“Please answer honestly.”

I didn’t answer at all.
Why would I?
The person is assuming
I’m a liar.

With my readers,
I assume the opposite.
I assume they’re honest people.

If they mess up a download,
I send them a new eBook,
no questions asked.

If they enter a contest
that requires a newsletter sign up,
I assume they’ve signed up.

They are trusting me
to tell a great story.
The least I can do
is trust them
to tell the truth.

As business builders,
we set policies
and many of these policies
are based on
how much we trust our customers.
We could trust them completely,
not at all,
or, more likely, somewhere
between these two extremes.

Make this decision consciously
as it will affect future policies.

By k | August 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There will be
a solar eclipse
in North America
on August 21st.

This is a wonderful event
to market around.

Why?

Because it will affect
everyone.
Female.
Male.
Old.
Young.
Every culture.
Everyone.

You don’t need
to have solar eclipse ‘products’
to market around this event.

I’m having some fun
around the solar eclipse,
creating marketing campaigns
about how my heroes
are the best beings
to see this event with.

Consider
marketing around
the solar eclipse.

By k | August 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The entire point
of negotiating
is
one party gives a little,
the other party gives a little,
and
the two parties agree
somewhere in the middle.

What this means is…
we have to allow
the other party to give a little
without looking weak.

We keep negotiations private.
We don’t,
for example,
threaten the other party
on Twitter,
where the entire world
can see.

We make it easy
for them to relent.
Maybe we point out
how one of their demands
can be met in a different way
or
why it isn’t that key.

We might give a little first.
We are the stronger party
and back down
on one of our demands.

Create a situation
where the other party
can give into some of your demands
without looking like they ‘lost.’
THAT’s how negotiations happen.

By k | August 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In the Romance Novel Business,
there are tropes,
story ideas that often appear.

The average writer
follows a trope.

A GREAT writer
tweaks the trope,
spinning it a little bit differently.

This is what
we should consider doing
with the businesses
we’re building.

Kate Silver
shares

“At dinner one night,
the mentor noticed that
[Yaniv] Masjedi
[chief marketing officer
of Nextiva]
kept looking at his phone.
It was around 2011,
and Nextiva’s customers
and prospective customers
had begun posing questions
to the business
on Facebook and Twitter.

His mentor gave him
this piece of advice:
‘He said
if you’re going to [respond],
do it in a way that’s different.
Why don’t you make videos
instead of replying via text?’”

Do it in a way that’s different.

By k | August 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A character’s history or backstory
is the reason many romance readers
continue reading a story.
They want to learn
why the character is the way
he/she is.

Media also knows the power
of backstory.
That is why
a common interview question
asked of business builders is
“How did you think of your idea?”

Carmine Gallo
shares

“[Matthew] McConaughey saw
the backstory of Kentucky bourbon,
a uniquely American spirit
with a 200-year history.

He knows that
a backstory is critical
to getting moviegoers (or consumers)
to care about the product.

The first 30 minutes
of nearly every successful Hollywood movie
begins by introducing
the characters of the film
and the struggles or challenges
they must overcome.

Your product or brand
may not have a long history,
but every product has a backstory.

Perhaps you had to deal
with a common problem
faced by others in your field,
and your product is a unique solution
to solve it.

That’s a backstory.

Every product has one.
Look for it
and share it.”

Craft a great answer to
“How did you think of your idea?”
If no one asks that question,
volunteer the answer.

By k | August 10, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was working in corporate,
we always knew
who was the next in line
for a job.

How did we know this?

Because that person would fill in
for the present job holder
while she was on vacation.

Of course,
we can’t simply plunk
future leaders into our jobs.
This requires some mentoring,
some training,
and some support.

Bonnie Hagemann,
CEO of
Executive Development Associates,
shares

“Anytime you’re pulling someone up
into a position
that they are not quite ready for,
you want to surround them
with support.

So when the current leader
goes out on vacation,
you want to pre-arrange
that there will be a peer
of the current leader’s
who will act as a mentor.”

In the case of a small business,
this support might be our phone numbers.

Use your time away
from your business
to train future leaders.

By k | August 9, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There are some
marketing tactics
that can only be used once.

For example,
in the Romance Novel Business,
there’s the
“Banned by Amazon”
tactic.

A writer writes a story,
crafts copy,
creates a cover
that breaks Amazon’s terms of service.

The story gets banned.
The writer and her crew
talk about censorship,
getting the community riled up.
The book is made available
at other booksellers.
That book and the writer’s backlist
see sales lifts.
And the next time
the writer releases a book,
everyone knows her name
and is in a rush to buy the new book
in case
it also gets banned.

It is a proven marketing tactic
but a writer can only use it once.
The second time,
readers don’t react nearly as strongly.

With one time only marketing tactics,
you really have to think
about whether or not
now
is the best time to use them.

With the “Banned” tactic,
the writer ideally should have
a healthy backlist of books
(i.e. other products available).
She should also ideally have
the next book releasing soon
before the readers forget about her.

Maximize the use
of the one time only marketing tactic.