By k | July 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently,
at a quick service restaurant show,
the CEO of a major chain
announced that they were investing strongly
in coffee.
This chain dominates their coffee market,
selling 78% of all units sold.

Why would they invest millions of dollars
in an area they’re already #1 in?

Because they want to continue
to be #1.

They know that
their competition is investing in this market.
If this #1 player doesn’t invest,
they’ll lose market share.

They also realize to be the leader,
they have to LEAD.
Leading is active, not passive.
It is pushing forward,
not standing still.

Ensure your strong products
remain strong.
Invest in them.

By k | July 25, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You achieved your definition of success.
Your work is over, right?

Nope.

When my latest release ranked high
for sales,
I was flooded with
promotional and other opportunities.
Book bloggers, reviewers, writers
who previously wouldn’t return my emails
are contacting me.

These opportunities might not be offered again
so I’m doing my best
to take advantage of
as many of them
as possible.

But I also want to keep
my previous supporters happy.
The new contacts might fade away
if my next release doesn’t sell as well.
My core supporters will remain.

This translates into
even more hard work,
a happy challenge to have
but still a challenge.

Prepare for the hard work
to continue
once you achieve some success.

By k | July 24, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My latest release
was near the top of the rankings
for only a couple of days.

What I did
during those couple of days
was contact everyone I wanted
to partner with.

I contacted the top selling writers
in my genre
and asked them to guest post
on their blogs
or join their Facebook parties.

I did the same thing
with the top bloggers, reviewers,
and other influentials.

Yes, I received rejections
but about 5% of these contacts
accepted my offer.
I doubt they would have accepted
if my story hadn’t been ranking well.

Success can be fleeting.
Be prepared to work your a$$ off
and take advantage of
a small window of success.

By k | July 23, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I contacted
over 1,000 media outlets
and yes, some of these outlets
were very small.

I was tempted
to only contact the large media outlets
but I’m glad I didn’t.

Why?

Because I snagged more attention
and more sales with the smaller outlets.
A blogger with 1,000 daily readers
often has a close relationship with these readers.
She posts.
They buy.

A blogger with 10,000 daily readers
often doesn’t have this one-to-one relationship.
She posts.
A very small fraction of readers buy.

The smaller media outlets
also featured me prominently.
The post about my release
was often their only post for the day.
Some of them featured my release
for the entire week.

The larger media outlets
post twenty or more releases
on the same day.
Yes, one or two would feature
my release
and then sales went crazy
but, for most of them,
I received a handful of sales.

Don’t ignore the smaller media outlets.

By k | July 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In this mass emailing world,
touch (one-to-one contact)
can be a competitive advantage
for up and coming companies.

I personally reached out
to over a thousand bloggers,
reviewers
and Facebook page owners,
asking them to promote my new release.

I had an 78% success rate.
My assistant had 11% success rate
with the same message.
The media folks I contacted
were flattered
that a writer would reach out to them.
It didn’t matter
that they hadn’t heard of me.

YOU, as an entrepreneur,
a smaller business owner,
have the advantage with this tactic.

The CEO of a large company
is unlikely to contact media.
They have people for that.

YOU can.
You’re the CEO,
the founder,
the product developer,
and media will find it flattering
that you contacted them.

Success, for start ups
and smaller companies,
is often high touch.

By k | July 21, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my pen names broke out last week,
nearing New York Times Best Selling List
level of sales.

When this happened,
I did some things right.
I also did some things wrong.
This week, I’ll talk about these lessons
because they can be applied
to every ‘unexpected’ success.

And the first lesson is…
this WAS unexpected.
Yes, I invested in marketing.
Yes, I had a great product.
Yes, the price was right.

But I had that combination
with previous releases
and was unsuccessful.

The bulk of the sales also didn’t happen
when I expected them to happen.
The sales happened many days
after my marketing push.
The team
(because there IS a team
behind every book release)
thought they wouldn’t happen.
Then BAM, the sales went through the roof.

There is an element of luck
with every product release.
You can increase the odds
of being lucky
but you can’t guarantee it.

By k | July 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I often hear from innovators
and product developers
(and especially writers)
that they want their products
to be ‘perfect.’

They delay launching,
attempting to achieve this perfection.
This isn’t possible.

As Smart Time Management Tips
shares

“I believe that
you will never actually reach perfect
even though you can get close.
When you think you have reached perfect,
you have just reached
your boundaries of knowledge,
experience or competencies.

Therefore perfect is subjective
and what seem like 80% to you
might seem like 100% to others.”

My view of the ‘perfect’ story today
is much different
than my view of the ‘perfect’ story
ten years ago
because my knowledge base is bigger
and my expectations are higher.

Your product won’t ever be perfect.

By k | July 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Every story I write
has the same theme - tolerance.
Do I tell readers this is the theme?
Nope.
I don’t need to.
My books (products) reflect this belief.

Chick Fil A
doesn’t have to declare
to the world
its religious affiliations.
The fact that it isn’t open on Sundays
(and the wording of their promo material)
tells prospective customers this.

Did they have to share
their stance on homosexuality?
Nope.
I knew their stance
before they publicly declared it.

As an entrepreneur,
your business and your products
come from you
and
they likely represent your causes or beliefs.
(because it is difficult to separate the two)

Some businesses decide to go public.
This might garner them some publicity
and please like-minded customers.
It, however, might also force
NOT-like-minded customers
to make a stand.
They can’t pretend they didn’t know.

Incorporating your beliefs
in your product/business
can be a subconscious choice.
Being open about your beliefs
is a conscious choice.
Think before you make it.

By k | July 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In every business,
every job,
there are tasks we don’t want to do.

It can be challenging to delegate
all of these nasty/mind numbing/awkward tasks.
We have to do them.

So why not make them fun?

For me,
making bad tasks fun
starts with deciding they WILL be fun.

I’m not a morning person.
I post notes over the house
saying
“This will be a GREAT day.”
In the past,
by the time,
I arrived at work,
I believed it would be.
My co-workers thought
I was a morning person.

I also like to ‘keep score.’
If I have to compute my expenses
for the month,
I’ll try to guess the total
or I’ll make it a speed test
or I’ll award myself a point
every time an invoice ends in 9.

I might team up with other writers
in the same situation.
A day might be edits day.
We’ll compete
for how many edit points
we can address.

Life is too short
to do tasks you hate.
Either don’t do these tasks
or figure out a way
to love them.

By k | July 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies
has been winning
every writing contest she enters.

She’s gifted.
She works hard.

She never finishes a story.

She has a huge collection
of contest winning stories,
stories editors have asked to see.
None of these stories have an ending.

If she doesn’t finish a story,
it doesn’t matter
how talented she is
or how hard working.
She’ll never be a published writer.

There are NO successful
unfinished projects.

Finish what you’ve started.