By k | January 16, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some people are pointing to
photos of this celebrity or that celebrity
with Harry Weinstein
as proof that celebrity was okay
with his actions.

In an ideal world,
that might be the case
but this isn’t the ideal world.

In the REAL world,
we have to associate with the terrible people
in our industries
if we want to be successful.

We have to attend the industry party
a person we detest is also attending.
If they approach us,
we have to be ‘professional.’
If we aren’t professional,
that will likely be
the last industry party we attend.
We’ll be labeled difficult.

We are sometimes forced
to work with people
whose business practices we suspect
are shady.
If the only distributor to a big account
is ethics-challenged,
for example,
than we either work with that distributor
or we can kiss that big account good-bye.

We also sometimes voluntarily associate
with people we don’t yet realize are unethical.
Everyone makes mistakes.

This doesn’t mean we have to approve
of this other person’s/business’ actions.
This doesn’t mean we have to duplicate
these actions.

And when we become successful enough,
we can imprint OUR ethics onto our industry,
change our part of the world for the better.

Until then,
we WILL, unfortunately, have to deal
with some bad people/businesses.

By k | January 15, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some people were surprised
that revelations about other Hollywood players
continue to be made
long after
Harry Weinstein’s abuses were uncovered.

I’m not.
Harry Weinstein was a leader
in Hollywood
for decades.

The people who had no problems
with his actions
were promoted
and had successful careers.

The people who had problems
with it
didn’t have any careers at all.

Eventually, much of Hollywood
would reflect his views.

A mentor of mine called this
the Shadow of the Leader.
Whatever the leader does or says
gets duplicated.
He or she becomes THE example
of how a person
within that group

YOU are currently THE example
of how a person
associated with the business you’re building

Is that the business
you want to build?

By k | January 14, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have never been successful
on the first try of anything.
I try, fail, change tactics,
try, fail, change tactics,
and eventually I succeed.

Then the world around me changes
and I fail once more.
I change tactics
and try again.

Katie Forrest,
serial entrepreneur
and co-founder of
EPIC Provisions,

‚ÄúThere’s so much failure
when you’re starting out
and so much learning.

So often
you will get far
down a path
and realize
you’re not on the right path

Changing course is one
of the most empowering things
you can do as a business owner.”

Change will be a constant
in your life.
Learn to embrace it.

By k | January 13, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My cover artist is super skilled.
The level of care
she puts into her covers
is amazing.

The covers she has designed
for me
have won numerous awards,
garnering my books priceless publicity.

She told me recently
my covers were the best
she’d ever crafted.

She is wrong.
Most of her covers
have been that quality
or higher.

It is merely that
I TELL her
when her covers win awards,
when reviewers and readers
share how much they love
the covers she crafts for me.

Because no other writer
tells her this,
she believes
the covers she crafted for me
are the BEST.
She loves working with me,
puts my requests
at the top of her to-do lists.

Seth Godin

“Every once in awhile,
someone steps up
and makes something better.
Much better.
When it happens,
it’s up to us
to stand up and notice it.”

If someone on your team
does great work,
acknowledge it.
If you don’t,
someone else will
and that someone else
will eventually be your team member’s focus.

By k | January 12, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

With the success
of KU (Kindle Unlimited),
Amazon’s subscription program,
I suspect, if at all possible,
other industries
will try this same model.

Subscription programs
have been around
for a while.
The customer pays one monthly fee
and has access to everything
included in that program.

Subscription programs
especially appeal to heavy users.
(Some subscription programs
don’t expect this
and they swiftly go out of business.)

A newer aspect of the KU subscription program
is how vendors (publishers/writers)
are being paid.
They are paid a percentage
of the pooled revenue.

This means
the business offering the subscription program
is guaranteed a profit.
It makes a percentage of the pooled income.

The vendors, in contrast, have very little control
over what they’re being paid.

If subscribers use X amount of their products
and use 9X amount of the other vendors’ products,
the vendor receives 10% of the remaining pool.

If subscribers use the same amount of their products
but use 99X amount of the other vendors’ products,
the vendor receives 1% of the remaining pool.

The vendor has no control over
what it is being paid
because there’s no visibility.

The business running the subscription program
has the information about the subscriber numbers
and the data on the amounts
the other vendors are selling.

If you have a choice
(and if there is no such
subscription program
in your industry right now,
you might have a choice),
I recommend
being the business
running the subscription program.

If you are a vendor
in a subscription program right now,
prepare for the day
when the program switches
to pooled earnings.

There will be more
pooled earnings subscription programs
in the future.

By k | January 11, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’ve talked about
how the average person
is selfish.
She only cares
about herself,
about her issues.

This is why
taking action
on big issues,
issues with consequences in the far future,
like the environment,
are such a hard sell.

The real problems
stemming from our actions
or lack of actions
will happen after we’re dead.
Our children
or grandchildren
or great-grandchildren
will have to deal with the fallout.

And the average person,
myself included,
isn’t thinking about
these people right now.
She is focused on herself.

Leaving the world
a better place
isn’t a great motivator.

If you want to motivate people
to take actions on these issues,
figure out a way to make it
have it affect THEM.

This might be as simple
as putting their names
on a plaque
for their loved ones to see.

If you’re selling the far future,
try to make the benefits
personal and immediate.

By k | January 10, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The average person
is selfish.
I know I am.

If the first thing
a salesperson does
is talk about her product,
I tend to tune her out.

I’m not interested
in her products.
I’m interested
in finding solutions
for my problems.

If the salesperson
asks about me,
about my needs,
I’m fully engaged.

Seth Godin

“When someone acts
in a way that says,
“can I help you buy something?”
“can I help you achieve your goals?”
then we’re on our way.”

Make any sales pitches
about the person
you’re pitching to,
not your product or service.

By k | January 9, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently returned
from a cruise
on board the Caribbean Princess.
This ship has
one of the best libraries at sea.

How do they do this?

It’s simple.
They have a paperback exchange.
Cruisers can take a book
and leave a book.

Many cruisers, like myself,
take multiple books
on vacation with them.
Instead of discarding the books
I left all of these recent releases
in the ship’s library.

Some cruisers forget
to bring books
(or they read the books
they brought quickly).
They borrow these discarded books.

For no cost,
other than some shelf space,
the cruise ship
has added value to
their customers
AND decreased waste.

Is there waste
in your company
you can convert
to a bonus
for your customers?

By k | January 8, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There’s been a cold snap
in most of the U.S.

On social media,
folks are talking about
the weather.

Which makes it
an excellent event
to market around.

I sell romance novels,
a product that doesn’t really
have anything to do with the weather.

One of my most popular memes
this week,
however, was
“If you’re cold,
he’s cold.
Bring your hunky romance hero
inside today.”

There is ALWAYS a reason
to promote your products or services.
Be creative.
Have fun with it.

By k | January 7, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The business you’re building
might be selling
a product or a service
but it is also selling an emotion.

That emotion could be fear,
pride, envy, security,
surprise, or countless others.

In the Romance Novel Business,
as with many entertainment industries,
we’re selling happiness
(also love, optimism and hope).

My books (products) are designed
to give the reader (customer)
a shot of happiness at the end.

Knowing this,
I try to craft
all of my marketing
and other material
to also give the reader (customer)
a shot of happiness.

That is my branding.
That is the emotion
I want associated with my pen names.

Any negative emotions
I communicate
can mess with that branding.
This doesn’t mean
I’m happy-happy all the time
but I keep that in mind
when I’m not-so-happy.

What emotion are you selling?
Does your marketing and sales material
reflect this?