By k | August 21, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was asked six times yesterday
to tweet the news
about a fellow writer’s release.

I’m cool with helping with promo.
I can’t write enough stories
to keep up with the demand
from my readers.
Sharing good stories
helps the other writer,
helps my readers,
and helps me as it gives me
something to talk about.

But every single one of these writers
didn’t give me a tweet
to retweet.
When asked, they gave me buy links.
They expected me to craft my own tweet.

There are a couple of issues with this.
a) They’re asking for a favor
yet they’re not making this favor easy to do.
and
b) I don’t know their market
as well as they do.
I don’t know which hashtags to add
or which users to copy.

If you ask for a favor,
make that favor as simple as possible.
If you want someone to tweet
about your product or service,
craft a tweet for them.

By k | August 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I once worked with a perfectionist.
He was known for doing amazing work
but he wouldn’t be rushed
and he wouldn’t submit his assigned part of a project
until it was exactly right.

How we managed him
was by only exposing him
to his small part of the project.
He didn’t see any of the other parts.
He didn’t see how his part fit into the whole project.
We assigned his task first
and then let him perform his magic.

Robert Moskovits
advises

“If a project is on a tight deadline
and there is no time for perfection,
delegate the work to others
or outsource it completely,
but don’t make the mistake
of asking a perfectionist to deliver something
that they consider to be less than perfect.

You can also split the project
between team members.
The perfectionist won’t be happy
about losing control over part of the project
but it’s better than the alternative.”

Perfectionists won’t be happy
unless they can complete their task perfectly.
Manage them with this in mind.

By k | August 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A big publisher distributed a call
for a certain type of story.
My writing buddy didn’t want
to write this type of story.
She pitched them something else.

I don’t see anything wrong with this.
It’s a long shot
but it doesn’t cost anything to pitch
and you never know.
I’ve pitched different stories in the past
and garnered interest from publishers.

Except when I pitched these different stories,
I KNEW the odds of the publisher being interested
was low.
These were bonus sales,
nothing I counted on achieving.

My writing buddy didn’t understand
her pitch was a long shot.
When it was rejected,
she fell into the depths of despair.
She hasn’t been writing.
There was a cost associated with her wild pitch.

If the prospect asks for something
and you pitch her something else,
it IS a wild pitch.
Pitch it anyway
but don’t count on the sale.

By k | August 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I wrote a four story series.
It was designed to be only four stories,
not one story longer.
This series sold very well.

Great!
Success means freedom, right?
I should be able to write whatever I like next.

Nope.
Success means increased expectations.
I was pressured to write a fifth story.
I resisted this pressure.
I had promised my readers
there would only be four stories
and there will only be four stories.

But my publisher is ‘encouraging’ me
to consider writing a similar type of story
in a brand new series.

Success increases expectations.
We are LESS likely to have the freedom
to do whatever we like.

By k | August 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Of course,
if your business is closely tied
to back to school,
if you sell backpacks, paper,
computers, dorm furniture, etc,
you should be marketing
during July and August.

But what about other businesses?
Should we be marketing also?

As Barry Moltz
shares

“If your business does not directly
provide products for this industry,
tie content marketing and promotions
to some type of “higher education”
or “fresh start”
for the consumer.
For example,
this can be learning a new skill
(yoga, Latin dancing or French).
September is also
typically a time to restart
and learn a new way of solving a problem.
This can be buying a new car,
remodeling the kitchen,
changing vendors
or planning the next vacation.”

Consider marketing your business
during back to school ’season.’

By k | August 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last year,
over 10,000 romance novels
were published.
543,000 new U.S. businesses
are started every month.

When I applied for a job
at a major beverage company,
human resources looked
at the first 800 resumes
and discarded the rest.

It doesn’t matter which businesses we start
or which careers we choose,
we will face competition.

Yes, you should be aware of the competition
and know the odds of success
but you can’t allow
fear of competition to stop you.

If it DOES stop you,
consider whether or not
you truly want to pursue the business/career.

By k | August 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I dread telling people what I do
when I attend social gatherings.
I always know how the conversation will go.

Stranger: What do you do?
K: I write novels.
Stranger: Oh, I’m going to write/am writing a novel.
(said flippantly as though writing a novel is something
he/she can simply sit down at a computer
and do)

The reason everyone thinks
they can write a great novel
is because the true masters at writing
hide all of the work involved in their novels,
showing only the magic.

I figure skated in the past
and a former coach told me
that the audience should never see me sweat or grimace,
should never hear me huff, puff, grunt.
Great skaters make skating look easy.
Hiding the effort is part of being great.

It takes on average
10 years of hard work
to write at a professional level.
It takes as long or longer
to become a professional figure skater.

If a career appears easy,
it likely isn’t.
Investigate before you make a change.

By k | August 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies is self-publishing
a series of novels.
She’s working completely for herself.
She doesn’t have any firm deadlines.

Unfortunately, this means
there’s no urgency.
She has been giving
every other ‘emergency’ priority
and she has been procrastinating.

Her book was supposed to release in July.
Now, she’s talking about
a January release date.

When we work for ourselves,
we HAVE to give ourselves deadlines
and we HAVE to meet these deadlines.
Make yourself accountable.
Tell family, friends about your deadlines.

One of my loved ones plans a special event
after each of my important deadlines.
If I don’t make the deadline,
he cancels or goes without me.

If no one else is giving you a deadline,
YOU have to give yourself a deadline.
Get it done.

By k | August 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When I applied for jobs,
I’d tailor my resume for each position.
I wasn’t subtle.
I would ensure
that the employer’s needs
were CLEARLY addressed.

If the employer said
they wanted an analyst
with three years of experience or more,
I stated baldly that
I had more than three years of experience,
even if I had ten years of experience.

Why?
Because the hiring manager
was scanning the resume looking for ‘three years.’
Now
many companies use programs
to scan resumes looking for key words.

As Ben Weiss
shares

“In a 2012 interview
with Infusive Solutions,
Peter Cappelli
- a Wharton School of Business professor
and the author of
“Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs” -
explains how hiring requirements
have shifted
from hire for attitude and train for skill
to in most cases
considering only candidates
who can contribute immediately.”

Tailor your resume.
Address requirements directly.

By k | August 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As Leyl Master Black
shares

“Everyone wants to be part
of a major trend,
whether it’s being a “big data” company,
a “slow food” restaurant
or a “mompreneur.”
The problem with relying
on these buzzwords to define you
is that the more popular they become,
the less impact they have.
People begin to simply tune them out.

This doesn’t mean
you can’t use popular category phrases at all.
Just use them sparingly,
and pair them with words
that differentiate you
and pack a unique punch.”

Romance writers do this all of the time.
We use key words
like ‘billionaire’, ‘beast’, ‘Duke’
in our blurbs/marketing copy.
This attracts certain groups of readers.
But we also use words
that show readers how unique our stories are.
Maybe the hero is a blind billionaire
or a science-loving beast.

Use buzzwords as a base.