By k | April 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Whenever I change something,
something like
where my books (products) are sold,
the pricing,
or
the length of the books,
I lose readers (customers).

Why?

Because they have to think
about the purchase.
There’s something new.
That causes them
to re-evaluate buying the product.

Steve Belmonte,
founder and CEO
of
AccuZIP,
shares

“People like consistency
and depending
and trusting their brand.

So that’s why
the price-lock guarantee
was hugely important
—they can depend on the fact
that their budget next year
will be the same
when it comes to this type of product.”

When you make changes,
be aware
that these changes
might cause customers
to re-evaluate their decisions.

Don’t make changes
for trivial reasons.

By k | April 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some business builders
feel ‘funny’ about loving
their own products.

They feel that love
should be obvious.
They wouldn’t have launched
the product
if they hadn’t loved it.

It isn’t obvious.
And there are quite a few reasons
other than love
to launch a product.

I’ve released plenty of stories
I didn’t love.
Maybe it was requested
by the publisher
(the middleman).
Maybe it was requested
by readers
(the customer).
Often it is missing the magic.

That’s why
I only buy stories
I know the writer loves.

How do I know
she loves a story?

She tells me
and the rest of the world
about it.

It is okay to love
your product/service.
It is also okay to tell people
you love it.

By k | April 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There are quite a few
great memes and posts
on social media.
It is tempting to simply forward
some of them.

Many people do this.
MANY.

Which makes creating original content
powerful.

I’ve also noticed
that leaders in their fields
tend to favor original content
over sharing.
When they DO share
(which is rare),
they add their own unique angle to the post,
including their comments, etc.,
making it their own.

(For creatives,
like myself,
I think original content
is even more important
because that is what we do.
It is expected from our followers.)

Consider slowing down
on the forwarding
and creating original content instead.

By k | April 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Some products, if made smaller,
can represent the full product.

A piece of chocolate,
for example,
can represent
what a full box of these same chocolates
taste like.
A full box is simply more.

A month of TV service
can represent a year of TV service.
The full year is simply longer.

The customer experiences
are similar.

However,
there are some products
that,
when made smaller,
don’t represent the full product.

Giving a shopper
a sleeve of a shirt
won’t show her
what wearing the entire shirt
feels like.

Giving a reader
a 40 page short story
won’t help her decide
if she’ll like a 400 page novel.

These are two different experiences.

Ensure your sample
represents your full product.

By k | April 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many of my writing buddies
tell me they don’t have time
to read the industry magazines.

I read every industry magazine
I receive.

How?

I put them
in the bathroom.
Every time I do my business,
I read a page or two.

That might be
too much information
but those mere minutes a day
add up.
It gives me a strategic advantage
over my buddies.

Seth Godin
shares

“If you practice five minutes
of new, difficult banjo music
every day,
you’ll become a better banjo player.
If you spend a little bit more time
each day
whining or feeling ashamed,
that behavior will become part of you.”

Minutes matter.
Use them wisely.

By k | April 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I spend
much of the second draft
of crafting a story
simplifying.

I remove as much unnecessary detail
as possible,
focusing the story,
ensuring the reader notices
what is truly important.

Because simplicity is powerful.
Focus is powerful.

Richard Branson
shares

“The best solutions
are the ones that break down
and simplify a problem,
making the solution obvious.

Entrepreneurs who pin their hopes
on complex ideas
forget the age-old truism:

Life is really simple,
but we insist on making it
complicated.”

Simplify as much as possible
without taking the magic
out of your product or service or idea.

By k | April 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Unicorn Frappuccinos
from Starbucks

were what everyone was talking about
last week.
Stores were selling out.
Customers were posting photos.

People were complaining.

Whenever anything becomes popular,
there are complainers.
Folks who tell others
that the thing they’re enjoying
is contributing to the end of civilization
as we know it.

As a product developer,
you can’t prevent this.
You could craft the perfect product
and there would be complainers.
There are some people
who simply don’t want other people
to be happy.

What we CAN do,
however,
is create a space
that is hater-free,
a space
where folks who love
the product or service
can gather
and be with others
who feel that love too.

Writers often offer that
to readers.
We’ll set up ’secret’ pages
for readers to talk about books.

Consider creating
a hater-free zone
for fans of your products/services.

By k | April 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I hear
“It is company policy”
as an excuse
for not making
the customer happy,
I want to scream.

It isn’t ‘company’ policy.
It is one person’s policy
that the majority of executives/managers
agreed was a great idea
and decided to make standard.

As Seth Godin
shares

“There is no industry,
no economy,
no market.
Only people.

And people,
people can take action
if they care.”

As a business builder,
you’re in the position
to link a face to every decision.

You know it wasn’t ‘company’ policy.
It was Jill’s policy
that others thought was a good idea
and supported.

Jill could have been wrong.
She’s human.
Humans make mistakes.

Every so often,
evaluate your company policies.

By k | April 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
my romance novel business
is solidly midlist.

The next level
is bestseller.
To get to that level,
I can’t merely do more
of what I’m currently doing.
It doesn’t scale that way.
I have to do something different.

Seth Godin
shares

“Showing up takes some effort
and it often pays off.

Showing up a bunch more
is often worthless.

If you want to truly be great,
you’re going to have to
do things most people couldn’t imagine.
That’s what makes it great,
after all.
The scarcity of it.”

To move from
good to great
requires more than doing more.
It means a shift in thinking.

By k | April 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Tamara Mellon
shares

“During my time at Jimmy Choo,
I negotiated three sales
of the company
to private equity firms.

It was during one of these sales
that I discovered something
in the paperwork of the deal
—I was being paid less
than the men who worked for me.

As the Chief Creative Officer
and co-founder,
my salary was less
than comparable C-level positions.”

I can guarantee
that if you’re female
and you’re working for a company,
you’re being paid less
than you should be.

One of the best pieces
of advice
I ever received
from a business mentor
was to ask for a raise
at EVERY evaluation meeting.

It didn’t matter
if it was a midterm review
or a monthly review,
I should mention salary.

I got turned down
quite a bit
but I also received
quite a few raises.

A funny thing happened
with those raises.
Executives valued me more
and they listened to my opinions more.
This is about more than money.
It is about being valued.

Ask for a raise.