By k | November 30, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A writer announced on a publisher loop
that a certain marketing tactic
didn’t work.

I was surprised.
This was the best marketing tactic I’ve used
and I had proof that it was.
So I asked her for her stats.

She didn’t have any stats.
She’d pulled that declaration
out of her ass,
basing it on emotion and her gut.

Some writers will believe her.

As some clientk readers will believe
anything I post here.
Yes, I do my best research
and yes, I post tips
that I’ve seen work in the real world
but that doesn’t mean
anyone should blindly follow those tips.

Advice is the starting point.
Every business, every case is different.
What works for others
might not work for you.

Don’t follow any advice blindly.

By k | November 29, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I asked an early mentor
whether a decision
was a good thing
or a bad thing,
he told me
“There’s no good
and no bad.
There’s just different.”

His point was
as soon as we put
a positive or negative value on an event,
it colors our decision making.
We look for that value
to prove we’re right
and we don’t see all of the opportunities
or all of the cautions.

And there ARE opportunities
in every event,
no matter how negative.

I remember this
when I’m watching the news
(which I rarely do).
The media’s job is to snag our attention
and nothing snags our attention
like an end-of-the-world level disaster.
The bigger they make the disaster,
the more viewers they’ll attract.

But it ISN’T the end of the world
and someone, maybe you,
will benefit from this so-called ‘disaster.’

Hold back judgment on an event.
View it as rationally as possible
and look for the opportunities.

By k | November 28, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m still a relatively new romance writer
(my most successful pen name is only 3 years old)
with a small but growing readership base.

I can’t compete with the best selling writers
on the marketing strategies they use.
I don’t have the bookstore distribution.
I don’t have the readership base
for book signings.
I don’t yet have the sales
to put my book on a best selling list.

However, there ARE promotions I can do
that better selling writers can’t,
promotions that will differentiate me
from these writers.

My relationship with my readers
is higher touch.
I know their names.
I know their likes, dislikes, concerns.
I host an online chat
and can personally invite them.
I use their names in my stories
and dedicate stories to them.

These tactics have been very successful for me,
so successful that in a couple of years,
I won’t be able to use them anymore.

Barry Moltz shares

“As a small independent retailer,
it is nearly impossible to compete
on price or reach
with the bigger stores.
Instead, emphasize buying local
and how it helps keep the community economically strong.
Do joint promotions
with other local business owners.
Emphasize local value over price.”

Don’t compete with the big boys.

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

I’ve seen people take disasters
and turn them into opportunities.
I’ve seen people take the best opportunities
and turn them into disasters.

How people react,
what they do,
depends upon who they are.

As Dan Pallotta shares

“All of our focus is on the doing.
We obsess over the latest models
churned out by for-profits and nonprofits alike.
The social enterprise classes
at Harvard Business School
study the things people are doing.
When a foundation asks for an impact report,
they mean the impact of the doing.

It is all backwards.

What we should be asking
is who people are being.
Are you being courageous?
Are you being authentic?
Honest? Rigorous? Unstoppable?
Because that’s what really makes a difference.

You can run the largest NGO on the planet,
and if you’re being chicken-shit,
then you’ve squandered the powerful position
you’ve been given.
It’s who you are being that matters
— whatever sector you’re in.”

By k | November 26, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I wandered from store to store
on Saturday,
talking to employees.

I asked them what incentives
they gave to customers
to bring them back into the store.
I asked them what more profitable products
they suggested to customers.

The answers were worrying.

Employees were so busy
simply processing
the overwhelming number of bargain hunters
they didn’t have an opportunity
to do anything else.

The goal of a door crasher or loss leader
is not to sell a zillion products
at a loss.

The goal of a door crasher
is to bring customers into the store
where employees can then sell them
profitable products.

Evaluate your Black Friday strategy.
Was it profitable?

By k | November 25, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My siblings and I ran
a lawn mowing/snow shoveling family business.
We ranged in ages
and we ranged in abilities.

My sister started working in this business
when she was four years old.
At that age,
she held the bags
as we put lawn clippings in them.
She would stomp on snow banks,
making them more compact.
She would only ‘work’ for an hour or two.

When she was ten years old,
she’d use the hand clippers
to trim around trees and garden beds.
In the winter,
she’d push the snow to the side of the walkway.
She’d work three or four hours a day.

Kids are capable of different tasks
at different ages.
The key to bringing your child to work
is to match the task/environment
to the child’s age.

Katie Morell has a great
Age-By-Age Guide to Bringing Your Child to Work

By k | November 24, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I don’t need to look at sales
to know how well a story is doing.
Immediate feedback from readers
signals whether or not a story will sell.

If I have to use lines and lines of copy
to sell a story,
it isn’t going to sell well.
A story that sells well
sells with one line.
I see/feel the immediate excitement.

Clearly it makes sense to pitch the one-liner
to a limited trusted group
BEFORE I write the story
(launch the product).

As Travis Steffen shares

“Walk people in your target market
through your vision.
Take their feedback into account
and look for patterns.
Your concept may make
a ton of sense in your mind,
but it may not make sense to customers.
If they don’t “get it”
or see value in it,
chances are they won’t give you money
—which is what you’re typically after.”

Pitch your one liner
and watch the reaction.

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

If I had a dollar
for every person who told me
they were going to write a book,
I’d be ridiculously rich.

Very few of those people
will ever write a book though.
They’re talkers, not doers
and they have a zillion excuses
why they don’t write.

As Mike Figliuolo shares

“Doers don’t accept excuses.
They say “no” to distractions
and get crap done
(hence the name “doers”).
Every day they focus on
a few objectives
that get them closer

to their ultimate goal.
It might be writing a business plan,
sending 10 emails to prospects,
writing a blog post or chapter of a book,
or writing some lines of code.

Regardless of what it is,
something happens every day.
That kind of focus
both on the long term goal and
on moving toward it regularly
is what differentiates
a doer from a talker.”

Get crap done
every single day.

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

Research has shown that
people that consistently experience
and practice gratefulness
are 25% happier.

They also have stronger immune systems,
take care of themselves better,
sleep longer and are more refreshed,
have more positive emotions,
feel more alive and energetic
and are more outgoing, compassionate
and feel less lonely.

Ashley Howe, relationship expert,
writing down “five things
first thing in the morning
that you are grateful for.”

That’s it.
She has a list of other things you can do
but really crafting that list of 5
is sufficient.

Boosting your happiness level,
your energy level
(and what entrepreneur
doesn’t need her energy level boosted?)
is as easy as that.

I achieve results with
only one item on my list.
I once went through a very dark place.
I told myself if I ever went a day
without finding something to be happy for,
that would be my last day.
I would search for that one thing
and I’d always find it.
It became a habit
and I know I’m a happier person
for this habit.

That dark time became
the best thing to ever happen to me.

Search for reasons
to be grateful!

By k | November 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Trolls are everywhere,
even in Romanceland
(as we call the Romance Novel Industry).

One of my trolls, Megan,
left nasty reviews for my first 8 Sci Fi romances.
She left them at my publisher’s site,
Amazon, Barnes, All Romance eBooks,
You name the site, she left a nasty review.

Reading her reviews,
I knew she was a fellow writer.
I also knew she did this
to many other newer writers.

With some of these newer writers,
this nasty tactic worked.
The writers gave up on publishing.

I didn’t give up
and when my 9th Sci Fi romance released,
Megan gave up on me.

Once trolls figure out
you’re unstoppable,
they’ll give up
trying to stop you.