By k | April 30, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Most bloggers,
myself included,
get a request a day
for a ‘link exchange.’

This is the internet equivalent
of a stranger walking up to you
and asking for your wallet.

Only the insane say yes.

My readers are important to me
(if they weren’t,
would I blog every day for the past 5 years?).
I’m not going to hand them over to you
blindly.

As Pamela Slim from
Escape From Cubicle Nation
states
““Link exchange” is a thing of the past.
Before someone knows
if they want to share you and your ideas
with their audience,
they want to get to know and trust you.”

Blogging is about building relationships.
Business is about building relationships.
Don’t ask for the ’sale’ on the first meet.

By k | April 29, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A popular cost saving ‘trick’ for companies
is to cut an employee’s hours and pay
by 20%.
In other words, the 4 day work week.

The employee has a choice,
go somewhere else
or deal with the decreases.

For a regular employee,
this is close to a disaster.
For the entrepreneurial employee,
this is the equivalent of a lottery win.

You now have the stability of full time employment
(usually with the health plan)
but paired with the flexibility
to start up a business.
3 days to work on your own business,
4 days to work on someone else’s.

Don’t squander it!

Oh, and ask for the Wednesday off
so you are only two days away
from your own business.

By k | April 28, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was on a prominant writing site today
hosted by an author
outspoken about copyright infringement
and eBook pirates.

There was post after post
of ‘borrowed’ photos.
Photos she should have asked permission
and likely should have paid royalties
to use.

Your customers are smart.
When they’re asked to pay for something
the requester steals for free,
they cry hypocrite.

Either you stand for something
or you don’t.

By k | April 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In his awesome free eBook
279 Days to Overnight Success
Chris Guillebreau (The Art Of Non-Conformity)
addresses how most entrepreneurs and artists
start by working for free.

“Several people all said
that they were insane
to work for free
when first starting their business.
When I read those
comments, I thought,
“Am I missing something here?
I thought everyone
works for free
when they are starting something new.
That’s the whole
point of risk and reward.”

Working for free may be insane in the outside world,
but with most small
businesses it is actually quite normal.”

Not only normal, required.
Start ups mean long hours
with only the hope of getting paid.

That’s why advising a recently laid off employee
with no savings
to start her own business
might not be the best idea.

By k | April 26, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Some writers wonder
why my core writing site is
BusinessRomance.com,
rather than KimberChin.com
(though both URLs go to the same place).

Easy answer.
I’m building a business,
not a personal brand.

Kimber Chin is my writing name.
I don’t plan to ever sell it.
I may, some day, sell BusinessRomance.com
(likely not for decades but…).
Anyone can run BusinessRomance.com.
Only I can be Kimber Chin, the romance writer.

John Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing
has a post
discussing this difference
in more detail.

By k | April 25, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’m working on
a 40 page free read
to help promote
my February 2010 release.

The feedback from test readers
is
‘Why give this away?
I’d buy it.”

That’s the point.

Samples should AT LEAST
be as good as the full priced product.
They have to be
in order to wow prospects
into making a purchase.

Don’t skimp on quality.
Sample the best.

By k | April 24, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my favorite forums
won’t let me post.
Why?
Because it now requires more user information.
Information like birth date
(including month and day)
and address.

For an online forum.

I’ll likely make up something
(make myself 100 years old)
but it bothers me.
They don’t NEED that information.
Why do they ask it?

It especially irritates me
that they’re holding my account hostage
until I supply it.

Having
users, readers, customers
is a privilege.
Don’t abuse it
or you’ll lose them.
They have choice.

By k | April 23, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every rational company
runs credit checks
on new customers,
especially if purchases are large
(i.e. ‘theft’ of that purchase would greatly
hurt the company).

Not as many companies
run credit checks on existing customers
but with bankruptcies rising,
this is a prudent move.

As customers can see
who runs credit checks on them,
it is best to have a policy
(so they don’t feel they’re a concern).
One company I know
runs a credit check every year.
Another runs
credit checks for purchases or balances
over a certain amount.

Credit checks add to the selling costs
and the turn around time
but are well worth it.

By k | April 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

What has been made painfully clear
by the Miss California situation
is that
just because you have an opinion,
doesn’t mean you have to share it.

AND
when you are representing
something bigger than yourself
(like the Miss America Pageant,
or your company
or your charity),
you don’t have the right
to express your own opinions.

That’s why it is called
REPRESENTING.
You are supposed to mirror
the opinions of
whatever it is
you’re a spokesperson for.

The job Miss California was auditioning for
was to represent
the Miss America Pageant
(it is NOT, as some people believe,
to represent America).
THAT opinion is what she should have shared.

What if you don’t share the organization’s belief?
You either keep your mouth shut
(externally, internally debate all you want)
or you find another better fitting
organization.

By k | April 21, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Very few of us
thank our employees.
That, alone, will make you stand out
and increase loyalty.

Almost no one thanks
their employees’ parents.

No one except for PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi.
Not only does she send a quarterly hand written letter
to the spouses of her 27 top executives
but she also sends letters to their parents.

As she says
“The outpouring of emotion and response
I got from them was incredible.”

The top people don’t work strictly for money.
Thank the people
who truly motivate them.