By k | April 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My boss told me
“You know, you’re a smart person,
and
people like working with you.
If you joined in more,
you’d be hired on the spot.”

To which I replied,
“Exactly.
That’s why I don’t join in.”

He was taken aback.

“I like short term contracts,” I explained.
“My goal is to give you a great short term contract,
not to be hired full time.
If I leave you happy
that you’ve hired me,
the contract has been a success.”

One of my author buddies is a New York Times Bestseller.
People point to her as being successful,
but my buddy shared that
she never had achieving NYT Bestseller status as her goal.
Her goal,
to write and publish one hundred stories,
hasn’t yet been met
so she doesn’t consider herself a success.

You can’t judge success
without knowing a person’s goal.

By k | April 29, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was watching the broadcasts
covering the pre-Kate and William parties
in London.

The reporter interviewed the young man
delivering the port-o-potties
for Royal watchers to use.

He beamed,
saying he was proud
and excited to be part
of such a big moment
in history.

THAT is how you inspire people.

Convince them
they’re making history
and they’ll do anything for you,
even happily deliver toilets.

(And why would you start a new company
if you didn’t believe
you were making history?)

By k | April 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I recently was in a meeting
in which a contractor slagged the agency
he worked for.
Although I agreed with some of his points,
I didn’t speak up supporting his views.

Why?

Because I work for my agency,
not the client,
and I’m loyal to the company I work for.

But even if I didn’t feel I worked for my agency,
I STILL wouldn’t speak ill of them
in public.
I’m associated with them.
If I didn’t like how the agency did business,
I should sever the connection.

We like to work with people we trust.
If you heard me
speaking ill of
my employer, my coworker, my friend,
would you trust me?

Hell no.

On the other hand,
if you heard me
defending
my employer, my coworker, my friend,
would you trust me
and want to work with me?

Of course you would
because you’d assume
I would do the same for you.

Be loyal to those around you.

By k | April 27, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the best ways
for romance writers
to increase sales
is to write more books
within the same world.

Reading about the same world
is easy for readers
(people ARE lazy).
They know the rules.
They know the setting
and time period.
They know and CARE about
some of the characters.
Words work harder because
there’s a history behind
the phrase or comment.

A recent trend in music videos
is the ’series’ of videos.
We follow the singer
and his/her love interest
through a full relationship
spanning multiple songs.

Again, the readers start to care
about the characters
and they associate deeper emotion
to every image.

We can do the same
in marketing
by using the same actors
(or spokespeople),
and
by linking our marketing
through a storyline.

We can create a world
revolving around a product
that prospects and customers
can care about.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot,
a local business created a saga
with plain text classified ads,
but it does require some planning.

Consider creating a saga
around your brand.

By k | April 26, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The company I currently work for
has a policy of walking employees out
when they put in their notice
if they are going to
work for the competition.

They cite concerns
about leaking corporate intelligence
as the reason.

This, of course, is bullshit.

The employee KNEW
she was putting in her notice.
She knew the reaction
her current company would have.
So if she wanted to scoop
corporate intelligence,
she would have done that
before handing in her notice.

The real reason
companies walk these employees out
is to stop other employees
from also jumping ship.
They don’t want the soon-to-be ex-employee
putting thoughts in
the current employees’ brains.

Which is kind of condescending.

If you want to keep employees,
create a satisfying work environment
filled with meaningful work.

If you want to stop secrets
from flowing to the competition,
hire ethical employees.

Walking leaving employees out
simply adds to the workload
of existing employees.

By k | April 25, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A loved one was bellyaching
that many of his friends
have today off
and he didn’t,
so I asked him
“If you had the day off,
what would you do
and how would it make
a difference in your life
in 30 years?”

He thought I was telling him
that a day didn’t matter.

I wasn’t.

I was telling him the exact opposite.
If he used the day right,
it would matter.
That one day would lead to other things
and it would eventually change his life
forever.

Ask yourself this same question.
If the answer is…
‘the day wouldn’t make a difference’,
tweak what you do
so it DOES.

Life is too short
not to make every day count.

By k | April 24, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You likely have a goal
that other people,
average people,
will think is impossible.

When you bring this goal up
in conversation,
people will tell you you’re crazy
and it can’t be done.

One of my friends
confessed to me
that he never shares these goals
because of the negativity
and the general lack of useful advice
he receives back.

What he DOES share
is the next smaller goal
on the road to his impossible goal.

So instead of saying
he wants to retire when he’s 40,
he says he wants to take a course
on incorporating a business.
No one will argue
that taking a course is impossible
or crazy.
People will support and encourage
this smaller goal.

Yes, sharing your goals
increases the likelihood they’ll be achieved
but sometimes your biggest goals
should be kept to yourself.

By k | April 23, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As the days count down
to the Royal Wedding,
the media is going bonkers
with coverage.
We’re hearing what the couple might eat
and what guests might wear
and what kind of toilet paper
the washroom stalls will use.

I’m thrilled.

As a marketer,
I know that what we dwell upon,
what we promote,
has an impact
on people’s behaviors.

A month ago,
the media was covering Charlie Sheen’s antics.
In other words,
they were promoting crazy,
marketing abuse,
giving bad bahavior the star treatment.
I avoided the news
because I found myself losing my optimism
and becoming a bit crazy myself.

Now, the media is promoting
love and hope and new beginnings.
My coworkers are smiling more,
even the guys complaining about the coverage.
There is talk of other weddings,
both in the past and in the future.

Yes, media and marketers
make a difference.

Market with negativity,
and the world becomes more dark and negative.
Market with optimism,
and the world becomes happier and more hopeful.

Decide the world you wish to live in
and market accordingly.

By k | April 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This year, I released a short story
featuring a cupid hero.
Other than the cupid,
it didn’t have any other tie
to Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately,
I put Valentine in the title.

Why unfortunately?

Because I could have linked
the story to the holiday
through my hero alone,
taking advantage of Valentine’s Day promo,
without restricting my sales
to that one holiday.

The bunnies do it right.

Every Easter,
plush bunnies sell as gifts.
They aren’t ‘Easter bunnies’
but they are associated with the holiday.

After Easter is done,
plush bunnies continue to sell
(though not as well).
They have a seasonal sales surge
yet they sell year round.

If you’re launching
a holiday-themed product,
consider if you can tweak your product
to sell it all year round.

By k | April 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As a writer,
I’m faced with unlimited promotional opportunities.
Many of these opps are free,
and even if I worked 24/7 on promo alone,
I couldn’t hit them all.

So I have to pick my promo.
I do this by asking others
what promo routes work for them.

I especially pay attention
to writers a step ahead of me
saleswise
and writing similar things.
(because promo changes
so what launched the established writer
may not now work for me)

I then concentrate my efforts
on these routes.

I promote daily on the site
of a major romance reseller.
I respond to comments.
I give away short stories
(i.e. samples of my writing).
I’m part of the community.

I’ve noticed that the many, many, many
fly-by promoters
are ignored.
They are ‘noise.’
Only by establishing a relationship
do I sway book sales.

Are you spreading your promo time
too thin,
becoming a fly by promoter?
Consider concentrating your efforts
on fewer venues,
and own that space.