By k | September 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Reader chats are a big part
of promoting romance eBooks.

Some new authors will jump in
right away
with blurbs and buy links
and the hard sell.

That irritates readers
and there’s no need for it.
An experienced chat moderator
will always ask authors
about their latest releases
and for their websites.

As Chris advises on the Problogger blog

“I didn’t simply write
“buy this now to be successful!”
Rather, I took the time to engage
members of these sites in conversation
about similar topics.
Eventually, someone would ask for more information,
or if I had a website.
That’s when I would promote my ebook,
and it worked amazingly well.
All those people who were reading the conversation
but not contributing ended up
buying the ebook,
not just the few involved directly.

This is a life lesson for selling anything online:
don’t try to sell outright.
Instead, focus on answering questions.
If your ebook is the answer,
then you can feel confident
recommending it within the discussion!”

By k | September 29, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A major book reseller
puts their advertising on sale
from time to time.

Not all the advertising.

I notice that certain classes
of advertising
are always discounted,
and others are never discounted.

I also noticed
that the advertising
that is NOT discounted
works
(at least, for me).
Authors tell other authors
it works.
The spots sell out.

If advertising works,
there are no need
for sales.

So when you see
advertising on sale,
ask yourself WHY.

By k | September 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

On the road to business building,
you will, unfortunately,
have days
when you question WHY.
Why are you building this business?
Why are you sacrificing time spent
with your family
for a success that might or might not happen?

This WILL happen.
It is normal.

So plan for these days.
Design a support system
to help you work through the doubts
and continue.

One of the tricks I use is
when I start a project,
I’ll send a loved one
a list of reasons
why this project will succeed
and why it is important.

I ask the loved one
to send this list back to me
whenever I sound like
I’m doubting myself.

Because the encouragement
is written for myself
by myself,
it uses words and concepts
I understand.

Doubt is normal.
Doubt is to be expected.
Plan for it.

By k | September 27, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Singer/Songwriter Burton Cummings
shared his thoughts
on Justin Bieber.

“I’ve got nothing against Justin personally
but I don’t think he writes
and when you don’t write your own stuff,
you become a victim sometimes
when the song finding machine runs dry,
and we’ve seen that happen
with Kenny Rogers and even Elvis Presley
to a degree.
As big a star as you are,
if you’re not writing your own stuff,
you’re not controlling your own destiny
and your own future.”

In music,
great songs are key for success.

Coca-Cola considers outsourcing
every step of the process
EXCEPT production of the syrup.
That step is key for their success.

In reporting,
reliable sources of information are key.
That’s why reporters will go to jail
to protect their sources.

Decide upon the key steps
for your business’s success,
and control those steps.

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

Blake Landau has a great post
on 14 myths about Gen Y’s.

Gen Y’s were born between 1980 and 1995.

One myth is
they won’t be long-term employees.

“You can turn us into long-term employees.
You’ll just have to do it one day at a time.
Remember we don’t trust anyone,
considering what we’ve seen unfold
in corporate America in the last ten years.
The last two years
–Wall St., Madoff, and the decline of Main Street
–make the Enron scandal look like small potatoes.
We will be loyal,
but you have to earn our trust
through consistent “trustworthy” behavior.
We crave this feeling of “safety”
so to those organizations who can create
this atmosphere based on trust,
you will find the most loyal, committed
and hard-working millennial employees.”

This is now true for ALL employees.

As a Gen X’er,
I gave day-to-day loyalty.
I worked for a large quick service restaurant chain.
I had a great job,
and an admiration for the brand.

Then they did something
I couldn’t ethically stomach,
and within days,
I put in my 2 weeks notice.

You earn your employees’ loyalty
one day at a time.
Don’t take it for granted.

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

The road to writing success,
as with most success,
is long and hard.
Some of my writing buddies are
getting discouraged.

I’ve thus far avoided this.

How?

By surrounding myself
with up and coming writers.
Their joy and enthusiasm
is contagious.
I feel as hopeful as they do.

One of my business buddies
mentors up and coming entrepreneurs.
She feeds off their enthusiasm
and brings that back
to her own business.

An easy way
to feel that joy again
is to be around those
who are feeling it for the first time.

By k | September 24, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Headliners
(rock stars, comedians, etc)
have opening acts.
This isn’t an act of generosity.
This is because
a warmed up crowd
is a happier crowd.

“But…but…
I’m an entrepreneur,
not a performer.”

Of course, you’re a performer.
You’re competing with hundreds of others
for your customer’s/employee’s/business partner’s
attention.

There are many ways to warm up
the crowd.

For example,
in our monthly writer’s group meetings,
we start with book raffles.
During the raffle,
I call out the number I wish chosen.
It rarely gets chosen,
so I sigh and tease
the raffle organizer and the winners.
By the end of the raffle,
folks are laughing and
calling out their own numbers.

THEN we start the workshop.
The group is excited and talkative
and they ask more questions.

Other leaders start meetings
with a story,
or by sharing customer feedback.

If you want your audience’s attention,
warm them up first.

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

I read a lot of dumbness
on loops, chats,
and in emails.

I KNOW these opinions can’t be changed.
I KNOW that responding to them
will only bring me trouble.
But I HAVE to respond.
I simply HAVE to.

So what I do
is I press reply to the email,
I delete the email address
(a VERY important step),
and I draft up my response.
I put as much care and research
into that response
as I would into any of my replies.

And then,
instead of pressing send,
I press delete.

I feel the same validation
and sense of relief,
yet I suffer from
none of the nasty side effects.

Allow yourself to respond to dumbness.
It’ll make you feel better.
Simply don’t send that response.

By k | September 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Receiving advice from experts
is truly that easy
(and everyone is an expert)

As Scott Ginsberg shares…
“Affirm the value of people’s accomplishments
by constantly asking them,
“How did you do that?”
This allows you to become
a stand for people’s greatness.
And it gives them a front row seat
to their own brilliance.
Plus you might learn something cool.”

Asking how something is done
is a sincere compliment.
It states that
you admire the results so much,
you wish to replicate
the person’s success.

I get excited
when someone asks me
HOW to become a romance writer.
I happily tell them
all of the things I wish I had known
before I started.
Unfortunately, I don’t get asked
this question very often.

Ask an expert
“How did you do that?”

By k | September 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We’ve all made mistakes.
We all have challenges.

Ryan Blair,
CEO and founder of ViSalus Sciences,
knows this better than anyone.
He is a former gang member
with a criminal record.

Yeah…
talk about challenges.

Yet, he learned some valuable business lessons
while in prison.

One lesson?

“…adaptation is the key to survival.
In jail the guy who rises to power
isn’t always the strongest or the smartest.
As prisoners come and go,
he’s the one that adapts
to the changing environment,
while influencing the right people.

You can use this in business,
staying abreast of market trends,
changing your game plan as technology shifts,
and adapting our strategy around
your company’s strongest competitive advantages.
Darwin was absolutely right
— survival is a matter of how you respond to change.”

Are you adapting to change?
Can you figure out a way
to learn and benefit from your challenges?