By k | December 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

LinkedIn has a list
of the most commonly used words
on resumes.

The media has grasped onto this list
and is waving it around
as words we shouldn’t use.

That’s bullshit.


I’ve talked about the power
of clichés before.

No where are clichés
more warranted than on a resume.
Yes, state your unique experience
but also throw in the keywords.
(And I do think of them
more as keywords
than clichés.)

Why?

Because Human Resource zombies
have that damn filtering list
and they’re looking for these words.
Sometimes these filters are even automated
so if you don’t have a perfect match,
you’re screwed.

Clichés on your resume
are NOT a bad thing.

By k | December 20, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I have a sequel coming out
in March 2011
that I’m already talking about.
Why?
Because anticipation
is part of the fun
with sequels.
Readers talk about
the characters who may or may not
be in the sequel.
They talk about the perfect love interest
for the main character.
They play ‘what if?’

Much like what many people do
with Christmas.
They look at the presents under the tree.
They shake the presents.
They try to guess what is in them.
(My Mom has already guessed
EVERYTHING that I gave her).

Anticipation is part of the magic.
Dave Kurlan has a great post
on how you can put the magic
back in your sales presentations.

One way?

Don’t present immediately.
Get to know the client first,
build that anticipation,
and THEN present.

By k | December 19, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was watching a documentary
on Taylor Swift
(Talkin’ ‘Bout on CMT).
I admire Taylor Swift
for her age-appropriate songs.
These songs are age-appropriate
because she writes them.

Her songwriting prowess isn’t a fluke.
Early in her career,
she hooked up with a senior songwriter
and wrote songs with her.
They wrote EVERY Tuesday,
after Taylor’s schooling.
for two hours EVERY week.

Does she have raw songwriting talent?
Of course.
But even a tween knows
that isn’t enough.
She found herself a mentor
and she worked at it,
every week
for hours.

Writers write,
and doers do,
consistently.

Are you consistently honing your talents?

By k | December 18, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When I absolutely have to get somewhere,
I fly out on the first flight
of the day.
There are usually less people
on that flight,
the lines for security are shorter,
and the flight is less likely
to be delayed
or canceled.

Glen Stansberry feels that way
about other appointments,
stating that early morning appointments
save time.

“Schedule doctor, haircut,
dentist appointments
for first thing in the morning.
The earlier the appointment,
the less likely it will be delayed.”

The early bird DOES get the worm
or,
in this case,
saves time and hassle.
Take those first flights/appointments.

By k | December 17, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have three sets of edits
from three different stories
that I have to get done this week.
I’ve been working every night
until the wee hours of the morning
and I haven’t left my house in four days.

It is the holiday season.
I have invites for events every night
and I’ve had to turn them all down.

That isn’t great
but it is okay
because I’ve made an effort
during not-as-busy times
to be there for these loved ones.

The temptation for entrepreneurs
is to work, work, work
all year round, around the clock.
That’s easy to do
but doing that means punishing our loved ones,
our support team, our partners.

What I prefer to do
is to work like a crazy woman
when I absolutely have to
(like now)
and then make a real effort
to be there for loved ones
during downtime.

People understand
when emergencies happen.
They don’t understand
when emergencies happen
365 days a year.

Build in some time
for family and friends.

By k | December 16, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the theories
kicked around
on the Joy Behar Show yesterday
was that
Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds
announced their divorce now
because they knew that
many people were busy with the holidays
and wouldn’t make such a fuss over it.

Timing of news DOES count.

I never announce a great review
on my publisher’s reader loop
during new release day.

Why?

Because that news gets buried
under the excitement of
reading about the brand new stories.

Caring employers never
layoff Monday-Friday workers on a Friday.

Why?

One of the reasons is
because the workers
can’t take action
on finding a new job,
and that leaves them
with more time to worry
about their situation.

Before communicating good or bad news,
ask yourself if the timing is right.

By k | December 15, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

You’ve made a sale.
Now what?

You reinforce the sales decision.
You ease buyers remorse
with a follow up call,
saying you’re there to support your customer.

You call the next day,
the next week,
and then the next month,
touching base with your customer.

Why bother?

Because selling to an existing customer
is easier than selling to a new customer.
Because referrals are also easier sales.
Because you want your customers
complaining to you,
rather than Twitter.

Yes, every once in a while,
you might have to refund a purchase
but you can swing
even that scenario
in your favor
IF you know about it.

Reinforce the sales decision.

By k | December 14, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A publisher sent out an email
asking authors to tell them
when their books were releasing
and what the titles were.

WTF?

That is information
that a publisher SHOULD know.
Publishers make release date decisions,
not authors.

Sounds silly, right?
We wouldn’t ever make that mistake, right?

I’ll fess up.
I’ve made that mistake before.

While talking to a customer
I’ve asked them how units of so-and-so product are selling
when I SHOULD already know this information
by their re-order numbers.

I’ve asked them what their top selling products were
when a simple scan of grocery shelf facings
would have told me the same information.

I’ve asked
and I’ve looked like a dumbass
and my credibility has slipped.

Asking intelligent questions is very good.
Asking dumbass questions isn’t.
Think before you ask.

By k | December 13, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We often talk about
how we are living in the age of individualism.

Really?
Really?

Because
DuPont reports
that 50% of all cars globally
are painted either
silver (26%)
or black (24%).

It takes a mere 3 more colors
white (16%),
gray (16%)
and red (6%)
to cover 88% of the car market.

That doesn’t say individualism to me.
That says herd mentality.

The average person doesn’t want
a bright blue car.
She may want to be a little bit different
(to satisfy her individualism)
but she doesn’t want to be truly different.

That’s important to remember
when designing products.

By k | December 12, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writer friends
likes to write purely artsy novels.
She refuses to,
as she says,
’sell out.’
She has challenges keeping a publisher
because… well…
while her stories rock,
her sales suck.

Another friend writes stories
that are in demand.
This makes her publisher VERY happy
and earns her a decent living.
Every once in a while,
she throws in an artsy piece,
displaying the width and breadth
of her creativity.
These pieces sell more
and are wider read
than my other friend’s
because she has a larger reader base.

Angelina Jolie has a similar approach
to her movie projects.
She makes the big blockbusters
like Salt
(which grossed $289 million U.S.
world-wide)
to give her the credentials
and the fan base
for her smaller projects.

In December’s Cineplex Magazine,
she tells Kevin Williamson
“You do need to balance things
to make sure
you can always continue
to do different types and sizes of films.
You have to be conscious of that balance.”

Sometimes you have to give
your customers what they want
before giving them
what you want.