By k | June 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A romance writer told me
yesterday
that she didn’t give a shit
about Brexit.

I care.

The UK is my second largest source
of romance eBook sales
(the first being the USA).
That alone makes the situation
worth understanding.

Brexit will have a major impact
on what stories are popular.
I haven’t yet figured out
where tone will go.
I suspect stories set
outside the real world
will gain in popularity.
Contemporary romance
will be even more challenging to sell.

And that’s simply the impact
on the romance novel industry.

The world significantly changed
last week.
Even if you only do business
within the USA,
Brexit will have consequences
for your business.

Whether or not
this change is good or bad
depends on your industry
and your business
and how you respond to it.

You don’t have to understand
the details of Brexit
(I don’t think anyone
fully understands that)
but you should try to understand
how it will change your business.

The world is small.
Major world events
will change the future
of your business.

By k | June 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A healthy vibrant industry or niche
has competitors.
Why?
Because competitors push
each other.
I write more words
when I know
other writers are writing.
The big beverage company
I worked for
constantly tried to outdo
their competition
with creative marketing.

But constantly comparing
yourself or your business
to others
can
be damaging for your confidence
IF
you do it the wrong way.

Katie Bingham-Smith
shares the most common error.

“The thing is,
when we compare ourselves
to others,
more often than not,
we are comparing
our worst moments,
our weaknesses,
to
their strengths.”

If you’re going to benchmark
against someone,
track ALL their movements
-the good and the bad,
the successes and the disasters.

By k | June 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

David Cameron resigned
as Prime Minister
after Britain voted
to leave the EU.

I understand why he would do that.
He represents the people.
That’s his job.
And, after the vote,
he realizes
he’s out of touch
with what his people,
both his employers and his customers,
want.

As business builders,
it is easy to find ourselves
in the same situation.

We sell baby clothes
but our own kids
are now teenagers.

We manufacture dairy products
but we’re now lactose intolerant.

We sell to low income customers
but we now live
in a middle class gated community.

What do we do?

One option is the David Cameron option.
We step aside
and allow someone more in touch
with our customers
to lead the company.

OR

We put in the work
to stay in touch with our customers.
We hang out where they do.
We watch the TV shows they do.
We learn everything
we can about them.

To increase the odds
of success,
the leader of your company
HAS to stay in touch with your customers.
Either give the job to someone else
or make staying in touch
part of your job.

By k | June 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A year ago,
I was the least seasoned,
least successful writer
in a boxed set of 20 writers.

It was a bit intimidating.
They were better than me
at…well…everything.
I felt stupid and useless.

So I kept my mouth shut
and learned.
I learned more with that boxed set
than I’d learned in the previous year.
Not only did that boxed set
end up on the USA Today Bestselling List
but my skills jumped
two or three levels.

Seth Godin
shares

“It takes guts for an employee
or a group member
to aggressively try to persuade people
more passionate,
more skilled or smarter
to join in,
because by raising the average,
they also expose themselves
to the fact that they’re not as good
as they used to be
(relatively).”

If you want to improve
quickly,
team with people
who are better than you.

By k | June 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I always knew
I’d be a published writer
some day.
However,
I had sh*t I wanted to do
in other industries first.
I launched new products,
implemented new systems.

And I didn’t talk about
my writing goals.

I wasn’t ready
to work on the writing
and I didn’t want people
to ask about it.
I had other things to talk about.

Seth Godin
shares
another reason
to keep plans for the far future
quiet.

“At first,
it seems as though
the things you declare,
espouse and promise
matter a lot.
And they do.
For a while.

But in the end,
we will judge you on
what you do.
When the gap
between
what you say
and
what you do
gets big enough,
people stop listening.”

Don’t share your plans
before you’re ready
to take action on them.

There are buttons
floating around
social media
stating
the posters
are NOT Game Of Thrones viewers
and they’re proud of it.

This is NOT the person
you want
as your marketing partner.

Why?

Because over 10 million people
watch Game Of Thrones

every week.
It is so popular
that many of the people,
who don’t watch it,
still know about it.

If a marketer
isn’t interested
in figuring out
why Game Of Thrones
is attracting such a large audience,
you don’t want her
working with your brand.

I don’t like Supernatural
but I watch it
because it makes me a better marketer.

Marketing professionals
should be in touch
with popular shows, books, video games, etc.
They don’t have to like them
but they should know why they’re popular.

By k | June 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Sunday revealed episodes
of two big TV shows
- Game Of Thrones
and Penny Dreadful.

Normally,
the time slots for these shows
are different.
Viewers can watch both.

This week,
Penny Dreadful,
the show with the smaller viewership,
overlapped their two-hour ending
with the Game Of Thrones slot.
This forced viewers to choose,
which made viewers unhappy
and lowered viewership
for both shows.

Why they did this?
I don’t know.

Recently,
I found out that a much beloved writer
in a niche I’m writing in
was re-releasing a popular series
along with a new story
in the same month
as one of my books was releasing.

I changed my release date.

Readers, book bloggers and reviewers
were thrilled.
They didn’t have to choose
who to support,
who to promote,
who to read.
They viewed it
as me being respectful of their niche,
identifying me as one of their tribe.

The other writer was grateful.
She is promoting me
to her much larger readership.

If you can avoid
head-to-head competition
with other people/companies
in your niche,
consider doing so.

By k | June 20, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Any time I speak with a group
of newer writers,
the conversation turns
to support.
“My mom/husband/sister/former school teacher
doesn’t support my writing dreams.”

Why do you give a shit?
The dream is yours.
It isn’t your loved one’s dream.

None of my family members
read my books.
My hubby doesn’t read my books.
Very few of my close friends
read my books.

That hasn’t hindered me.

But-but-but you WANT their support,
you say.

You want their support?
Earn it.

Finish the book.
Sell the book.
Win an award.
Make a bestseller list.

This thinking applies to entrepreneurs also.
Fabricate a prototype of your product.
Make a sale.
Snag some media coverage.
DO something.

If you want your loved ones
to expend effort
and support you,
expend some of your own effort
first.

Give them a reason
to support you.

By k | June 19, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In the book industry,
newsletters are
THE most powerful form
of marketing.
A writer’s newsletter list
determines
whether or not
she hits the best seller lists.

Formatting the newsletter
and other emails to readers
is key.

Gabriel Shaoolian
shares

“When recipients open their emails,
they don’t expect to see
as much text
as they would
when reading a full-length article,
so it’s essential
you keep it concise.

Use large text
to convey your main messaging
and keep your copy to one column
—if you start adding
multiple columns of text,
you run the risk of overwhelming readers.

Whether you want users to “request a quote”
or “buy now,”
calls-to-action should be prominently displayed
in the email,
making it as simple as possible
for the user to take the next step
that will lead them to your website.”

Pay attention to
how you format your emails
and your newsletters.
It will influence sales.

By k | June 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I wanted to do
something fun,
something different.

As a value-add to readers
and to encourage them
to sign up for my newsletter,
I offered readers
an exclusive free story
set in a favorite world.

This story was available
for download
on a secret page.

Readers LOVED the story.
They hated
not being able to download it
from their favorite booksellers.
That caused them stress.

I don’t want stress
associated with my books
(products meant to entertain)
or with my newsletter.

My readers have also asked me
for updates on their favorite characters.
They want to know what the characters
are doing now.

Easy fix
- I load the freebie stories
to booksellers
and I put exclusive updates
in the newsletters.

If you’re doing something different,
something that hasn’t been done,
listen to your customers
and expect to tweak your project.