By k | June 20, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Have you ever arrived

at a regular destination,

and you can’t remember the drive there?

Or you meet up with the girls

at a restaurant at 6pm ,

and then laugh

as none of you mentioned

a time or place

because you always meet them

at the same restaurant at the same time?

 

THAT is the power of routines.

 

As a marketer,

you want your product

to be part of your customer’s routine.

You want to be

their cup of coffee

in the morning,

a purchase they don’t think about.

 

As an entrepreneur,

you can use the power of routine

to get things done.

You find yourself

writing a blog post

because you always write a blog post

on Tuesday.

You get those commodity taxes filed

because it is the end of the month

and that is what you do

at the end of the month.

 

Use the power of routine

to drive your success.

By k | June 19, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Matt Krautstrunk has a great post
on the value of About Pages

“There are a wide variety
of people who will check out
your “About Us” page
after landing on your home page.
For instance,
here at Resource Nation,
about 6% of our traffic clicks
on the “About Us” page
from our home page.
This gives you great opportunity
to humanize your company
to capture and excite the reader.

If a customer clicks on
your “About Us,”
they are expecting to read about
the history of your company,
what it offers, etc…
However, if you take a different approach
–exciting and captivating the visitor
–your “About Us” page suddenly becomes
a powerful marketing tool.
This holds great potential
to gain new customers,
especially in industries known
for bland and dry content.”

Real estate,
even online,
is precious.
Do something remarkable,
wonderful,
surprising
with your About Page.
Tell a story.
Enchant your customers.
Create raving fans.

By k | June 18, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Often I’ll work on
several projects
at a time.
Sometimes these projects
will be related,
and it is challenging
to look at the second project
with the much needed excitement.

One trick is
to do a small completely different task
between the projects.

For example:
I’ll revise a chapter
in my alien abduction story
in the morning.
I’ll then go for a walk,
or make myself a sandwich,
or I’ll return emails.
Then I’ll revise the chapter
in my android space spy story.

Another trick is
to change my environment significantly.
I’ll revise the alien abduction story
in my bedroom.
I’ll walk downstairs
and revise the android space spy story
in my home office.

Or I’ll listen to country music
during the alien abduction revisions,
and I’ll listen to rock
during the android space spy story revisions.

When you switch projects,
give your body and mind
a signal that you’re doing something new.
This will help you look at
the new project with fresh eyes.

By k | June 17, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many entrepreneurs
straddle two jobs,
the money making day job
and the dream achieving business start up,
until their startups
are ready for full time.

But when are startups
ready for full time?

I make the leap
when the startup
(or my writing career)
covers my bare bone expenses
AND when day job
severely impacts
my entrepreneurial activities.

With my writing career,
I know I should write a short story
and a novella at minimum
every month.
I also have edits and revisions
to turn around
on a timely basis.
If I can’t make these goals,
I consider my writing career
severely impacted.

Going to one source
of rather untested income
is scary,
but that leap has to be done,
or you will stifle your startup’s growth.
Decide in advance
what you need to make that leap
and, when you reach that point,
go for it.

By k | June 16, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My buddy and I
decided together
on a world domination plan.
We’d publish shorter stories
every month,
and promote on
a couple of eBook reseller sites.

We stuck to the plan
for a month.
We were sending stories out.
We were advertising
existing stories.

In that first month,
nothing happened.
Neither of us made
a sale to a publisher.
We didn’t see an increase
in sales of existing stories.

My buddy decided
the plan wasn’t working.
She quit our world domination plan,
and started with a new shiny plan.

I stuck with the plan.
Three months later,
the sales of my existing stories
have jumped up dramatically.
I’ve sold three stories,
and am in negotiations for two more.

My buddy has switched back to my plan,
but she’s now starting from zero.

In this instant result world,
we sometimes forget
that we need to give a plan time to work.
Stick with your plan.

By k | June 15, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the things
many creative types
(artists, product developers, marketers)
worry about
is
managing the delicate balance
between
being unique
and
being marketable.

Be too unique
and your product won’t appeal
to very many
(or any)
prospects.

Be too mainstream
and your product is just the same
as everyone else’s
and you end up
competing in the race
to the lowest price.

I used to worry about this
with my writing.
I don’t any more.

Why?

Because I’m quirky.

I could rewrite a classic book,
following all the so-called writing rules
and it would still be uniquely mine.

If you have a VERY strong voice,
or
a VERY quirky way
of looking at the world,
you don’t have to worry
about mainstream sucking out
all your uniqueness.

You WILL be unique enough
to make a difference.
Concentrate more on understanding
the appeal of mainstream.

By k | June 14, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A loved one put in
his two week’s notice.

My advice to him?

Be happy, and positive.
Don’t say anything bad
about your current company.
Don’t do those phony exit interviews.
(those go on your work record
and they keep your work record forever)
Don’t bitch and complain.

Why?

Because your coworkers
are still working for the company
you’re leaving.
Bad mouth the company
and you bad mouth their decision
to stay.

And THAT bad mouthing
will be the only thing they remember
and the only thing they repeat.
You can forget returning to the company
in the future
when that CEO position is open
(or when you’re in between jobs)

What if you hate the company
and every single co-worker there?

Still be happy and positive.
If you’re bitter and grumpy,
they’ll be relieved when you’re gone.
You don’t want that.
You want them to be
sad
that you’re gone.
You want them to rue the day
they mistreated you
or passed you up for that promotion
or didn’t pay you enough.

Be happy and positive
about your current employer.

By k | June 13, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Hauke Borow has a great post
on solving relationship conflict.

“…conflicts can only be solved
at the same communication level.

An emotional person wants
to be taken seriously
with his emotions.
This is why you should also
respond emotionally.
It’s a kind of signal
for the other person.

This doesn’t have
to be in the same intensity.
But it must take place
at the same level.

It’s like you’re dunking
into the world
of the other one
and collect him
from where he is right now.

And if you do this cleverly,
he would never resist
to follow you.”

THIS is why telling a person
rationally that she is being emotional
escalates the conflict.

Fight emotion with emotion,
rational thought with rational thought.

By k | June 12, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I work closely with
the pricing support team.
This team approves special case pricing
offered by sales people.
ALL sales deals tend to have
special case pricing.

There’s one salesguy
that no one likes
He’s a real asshole.
He chews out the pricing support team
on a regular basis.
He is really noisy about mistakes
and really good
at weaseling out of apologies.

The pricing support team hates him
so they wait for the absolute last minute
to approve his deal,
they look for any reason
NOT to approve his deals,
and
when he asks for a special favor,
it is a no can do.

He’d sell twice as much
if he was half as much
of an asshat.

Jonathan Farrington states,
the top sales people
“Understand how to prevent sales
from being sabotaged
by an internal enemy -
they insulate themselves
by developing strong allies within.”

Treat your internal co-workers
as well
as you treat your customers.

By k | June 11, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

If I can’t summarize a story
in one sentence
with a solid hook,
I know I won’t be able to sell the story
to readers,
and more importantly,
fans of that story
won’t be able to sell it
to THEIR buddies.

As Dwayne Flinchum
states in his post
on the 11 Golden Rules of Branding
“Keep It Honest,
Simple
and
Consistent.”

“The goal is
to distill these ideas down
to a purpose statement
that is simple
— a story so clear,
so unique
that anyone can understand
and remember it.”

If you can’t describe your product
in one simple sentence,
you won’t be able to sell it
and you certainly won’t be able
to market it.