By k | June 30, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my July releases
is part of a multi-author series.
The strength of multi-author series
is that the authors pool their marketing resources
and share readers.

We all have ideas on what marketing works.
Some of us are scientific
about testing what works.
(waving my hand)
Some of us feel in our guts
what works.

I’ve never sold romance novels off a blog tour.
I find other marketing venues
are a much better return on my time.

However, some of the authors
strongly believe in blog tours.
They have blogs
and they really want the rest of us
to zip around the blogosphere.

So I am.
Why?
Because their goodwill is worth
a few blog posts
and because I’d like them to participate
in my marketing ventures.
The blog tour is a good investment for me
but not in the way the blog-loving authors think.

Sometimes it is easier to simply do the wrong thing
than convince people that it IS the wrong thing.

By k | June 29, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my romance readers
is a highly intelligent woman.
She knows SO much.
However, not many people listen to her
because she presents dry facts,
emotionless information.

We all have enough information.
We don’t need any more.

What we need are stories,
engaging stories filled with emotion.

As John Furgurson shares

“In an effort to “push valuable content”
to prospects,
some internet marketers are inundating people
with more and more information.
And there’s something troubling
about the quality of that content:

Most of it is totally devoid of emotion.

The model that’s emerging
seems to rely on dry, analytical information.
And lots of it!
Occasionally, when someone gets really “creative,”
they take the data and spruce it up
with an “infographic.”
So it looks a little cooler,
but that doesn’t make it any more interesting
or relevant.

What’s missing is
a compelling narrative.”

Even the driest facts
can be dressed up in stories.

These marketers entertain
and when they entertain,
people pay attention.
They’re engaged.
They can be sold to.

Facts don’t sell.
Emotions sell.
Infuse your facts with emotion.
Tell us a story.

By k | June 28, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

At writer chats,
writers often invite a friend
to talk with
and ask/answer questions.

This friend breaks the ice.
She’s first.
Once that first question is asked,
other readers chime in
with their questions.

Speakers use the same tactic
at presentations.
They’ll seed the audience
with friends who ask questions.

Heck, I know CEOs
who use this tactic
because they know interaction
is part of a good employee meeting.

No one wants to be first
so assign this job to someone.
If you’re hosting the event,
do the presenter a favor
and supply that someone.
If you’re a presenter,
give the host a list of questions
or have someone in the audience.
If you’re attending a presentation,
BE that someone.

It should only take a couple of seed questions
before audience members take over
but those couple of questions
will make a big difference.

Be prepared.
Seed the audience with questions.

By k | June 27, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We talk a lot about making things easier,
streamlining processes,
allowing transactions to flow quickly.

This is usually a great thing.

Usually.

There are occasions
when you’ll want to deliberately
create friction.

Paying expenses
by credit cards, debit cards,
and smartphones is easy and fast,
especially if you’re using company cards.
Do you want your employees
to spend company money easily and quickly?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Consider building friction around
the spending of your scarce resources.
(and yes, this includes your precious time
- this is one of the reasons
CEOs have assistants)

By k | June 26, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday, I mentioned
that ‘free’ marketing
might not add as much value
as marketing you pay cash for.

However, I DO love using
free marketing
(or rather
no money marketing)
to test sites I’m considering
buying an ad on.

A cover art ad
(standard for romance marketing)
might snag
a few curious clickers.

But will these ever be buying readers?

If I submit a post
including my cover art,
my blurb,
and a juicy excerpt,
and I receive no click-thru’s,
I KNOW the site’s readers
are NOT my target readers.
The cover art clickers
are simply tourists.

Consider using ‘free’ marketing
to test a site
before you buy advertising.

By k | June 25, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Recently Yahoo ran an article
about a woman who is supposedly living without money…
except she isn’t,
not really.

Sure, she doesn’t pay for anything herself
but that is
because the people she’s staying with
are paying for her upkeep.

She is also paying a price.
She completes chores.
She hasn’t a great relationship with her family.
She is constantly on the move.

There is unlimited ‘free’ marketing
for writers and… heck… any business.
For example:
Bloggers are always looking
for blog posts
(not this blogger though).

Except this ‘free’ marketing
costs time and effort,
time that could be applied
to producing income-increasing products.

Take into account
all of the costs
when looking at marketing alternatives.
Marketing you pay money for
might be a better value
than marketing you invest time in.

Amended: It seems that Seth Godin and I
are on the same wavelength this morning.
His post on opportunity cost is awesome!

By k | June 24, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Better marketing brains than mine
have written articles
on how aggressive
the Olympics folks have been
protecting their brand
so I won’t cover that.

I WILL mention
something that all writers know.

You don’t have to directly mention
a brand, object, event
for viewers, readers, prospects
to make a connection.

Everyone knows the Olympics
are this year.
Every second commercial on TV
is tied to the Olympics.

So if you show a sport,
say a sport that will be represented
at the Olympics,
prospects will make the connection.
The athletes could be younger or older
and the connection will still be made.

Don’t mess with the Olympics brand.
It is too risky
and there’s no need to.
Be creative with your creative.

By k | June 23, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

“Sink or swim,”
that was what one of my managers told me.
He “delegated” a project to me
and then walked away.

Completely.

I was a contract employee,
brand new to the company,
without connections,
without deep knowledge
of how the company worked,
and my manager was MIA,
refusing to meet with me.

I struggled.
I didn’t have employee support
because my manager’s hands-off approach
signaled I didn’t have HIS support.

I wasted precious time.
I made big mistakes.
I almost quit.
I ended up succeeding
but barely
and I vowed never
to take another contract position
at that company again.

Delegation is NOT the same
as abdication.

As Professor George Kohlrieser shares

“Clearly, leaders need to delegate tasks.
Yet delegation should not mean
emotional detachment.
Leaders who assign tasks
and walk away
with a completely hands off approach
abandon their people.
Good delegation relies on
continued connection and accessibility.
You can maintain
a sense of connection
by signaling that you are willing
to be available.”

Delegate
but support the employee
you’re delegating to.

By k | June 22, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m working on a new story.
I LOVE the premise
of this story
and I know it will sell.

When I shared it
with a loved one,
a non-romance reading loved one,
he thought it was bizarre.

That didn’t phase me.
Every great idea
has been called bizarre.

As Mike Michalowicz shares
about his own idea

“The next day
I shared the plan
with my key employees,
who told me the idea was ridiculous.
Perfect!
A clear sign I was onto something huge!
If there is one thing I have learned
about being an entrepreneur,
it’s that every game-changing idea
is challenged.”

Any idea you have
will be challenged.
Expect it.
Embrace it.

By k | June 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies,
a brilliant writer,
has three stories on the go.
None of these stories
are close to completion.

Yesterday,
she found what we call
in writing circles
a new shiny,
a call for submission
from yet another publisher.

A bunch of us
did an intervention.
We told her
“no more new projects
until you finish the projects you have.”

She didn’t like it
but she didn’t argue.
She knew we were right.

Robin Sharma has a wonderful list
of 44 master moves
of remarkable entrepreneurs.

#41 is
“They are good at starting things.
And even better at finishing them.”

Finish your damn projects.