By k | September 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball
set records on Vevo
for most views.

Yes, controversy has helped
her success
but plenty of other artists
have tried to use controversy
and it hasn’t worked for them.

Why did it work for Miley?
The controversy is believable.
She’s 20 years old,
the age many people rebel.
She’s been smacked with
the very restrictive goodie-goodie label
and the public expects her to go a bit crazy.
They’re waiting for it.

Of course, it is manufactured.
She pushes the boundaries
but she doesn’t truly break any rules.
But it feels authentic.

She also has a track record
of success
and the song,
according to Miley Cyrus fans,
is good.
She’s using this controversy
to promote a solid product.

Controversy seems like
an easy way to market.
It isn’t.
Put thought into a controversial campaign.

By k | September 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I’ve completed my research
on alternatives
and I still can’t make a decision,
a loved one will often
make the decision for me.

If I agree with this decision,
I’ll go along with it.
If I don’t agree with this decision,
I’ll fight for my choice.
Either way,
I make a decision.

Jason Brick

“Often, procrastination
is a symptom of indecision
—you don’t start on a project
because you haven’t decided
yet how you want to do it.
When faced with a choice
you’re having trouble making,
flip a coin.
This forces you to decide
in a few seconds
what you could otherwise stall on for weeks.
Don’t necessarily accept the coin’s decision
—if the result of “heads”
makes you want to cheat,
that reveals the decision
you’ve been wanting to make all along.”

If you’re indecisive
about a business decision,
force the choice.
This could show you
what you truly want the decision
to be.

By k | September 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I started out
in business,
I didn’t understand
why managers/companies
would give employees
certificates of merit
and other purely paper awards.
It’s a piece of paper.
Why would that matter to people?

Now that I write romance novels
I understand.
The hero can make a huge sacrifice
for the heroine,
almost dying.
He can tell her he loves her.
He can kiss her
as though he can’t live without her.

But if he doesn’t GIVE
the heroine something, anything,
a token of his love,
I ALWAYS receive emails
from distraught readers
wondering if he truly loves her.

It isn’t about the value of the gift
(usually the opposite
- the gift has a meaning
only for the two of them).
It is about the giving of the gift.

THIS is why certificates of merit matter.
Many people need this physical representation.
Don’t be stingy with the paper.

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

I don’t click on any emails,
tweets, or Facebook posts
touting financial services.
Many of these are malicious.

It turns out
I’m not alone.

Nevin Martell

Recent college graduates
may be online constantly,
but they aren’t necessarily
researching new credit card opportunities.
According to Packaged Facts,
approximately 6 percent of social network users
have a downstream visit to
a business or financial website.
Even fewer Twitter users
– just five percent –
head to a business or financial website
after tweeting.
That’s why it pays to stay
in the direct mail game.
In a 2007 study,
Bank of America procured
26 percent of new customers
through this method.
By comparison,
the Internet accounted for
only 14 percent of new customers.”

If you’re selling financial services,
direct mail remains
one of the best marketing options

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

I write for three types of publishers.
I have a huge New York publisher,
a big eBook first publisher,
and a small eBook first publisher.

If I have a hot book idea,
an idea I want to launch
right away
to capitalize upon a trend,
I don’t even bother pitching it
to the big New York publisher.
I know even if they love the idea,
they’ll take a year
bringing it to market.
The odds are also good
that they’ll think it is too risky.

Being nimble
and being willing to take a chance
are two huge benefits
of a smaller company.

Glen Stansberry

“Red tape. Committees. Boards.
These are the types of things
that slow a marketing team
to a grinding halt,
because in this day and age,
many large companies often
can’t run an ad that hasn’t been approved
by the legal department, the subcommittee,
the marketing director, the boss,
his boss and finally the family patriarch
whose name is on the side of the building
(who should have no business
reading ad copy).

You, on the other hand, have it easy.
You are deft and nimble,
and you can run circles around
big companies’ ad departments
because, well, your “marketing team”
is most likely just you.
So take advantage of it!
Find something timely
like OREO did within your industry
and capitalize on it.”

Being small has its benefits!

By k | September 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I write edgy romance stories
and I tend to receive equally edgy feedback
from readers.
Some of these readers are fans.
They read everything I write.

When they don’t like a story,
I tell them that’s okay.
Not every story I write is for everyone.
I usually give them some insider info
about the story,
sharing why my characters made the decisions they did.
I talk about future stories.
Mostly though,
I reassure them
that I care what they think
and I care about them.

Erika Napoletano

“When a fan of your brand
brings up a legitimate complaint,
your ears should perk up.
Your torso should tilt forward.
Your mouth should close.

This is the most serious
of all sources of negative feedback.

In these instances,
I’m responding instantly
(or as close to instant as I can get),
offering explanations and
seeing what I can do to rectify the situation.

Without fail,
these cases have always offered an opportunity
to learn and improve—
and if I’m lucky,
show brand fans that I do read my email
and I do care about what they think.

While I can’t please everyone
(including my fans) all the time,
I can let this person know
that I take their feedback to heart.”

We WILL receive criticism.
How we handle this criticism
will decide how our brand is perceived.

By k | September 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Before going on vacation,
I would look at the things I normally do
during this time
and delegate what HAS to be done.
Then I would seriously ponder
whether or not the other tasks
EVER had to be completed again.

Rohit Bhargava
takes this idea
one step farthe

“When you are busy,
one of the challenges of going on vacation
is how to handle your work
when you’re gone.
Some people simply save it
until they return.
The smart people, instead,
actually hand off some of their work
to colleagues or employees
to handle while they are away.

But here’s the really smart part:
When they return,
instead of assuming all their old activities,
they watch how people are performing
and ask themselves
if they really need to take that task back.

Taking vacation, in other words,
can be the ultimate method
to get out of long-term, time-consuming tasks
that you no longer need to do anymore.”

Use vacations
as an excuse to prune or delegate tasks.

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

When leaving an out-of-office
autoreply message,
value the other person’s time
as much as your own.

Kevin Roose

“If your auto-responder includes
more than two ways
to get in touch with you
in an emergency,
you’re doing it wrong.
By the time you get to
“If your message is urgent,
contact me through,
then text ‘50445′
to my Google Voice number,
then shoot an e-mail
we’ve already given up.”

Keep it short.
Keep it simple.

By k | September 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A new grad told me recently
that she quit her first full time job
because it was ‘a toxic environment.’

What was toxic about it?

Her boss yelled at her,
calling her an idiot,
and that’s abuse, don’t you know?

Well, sure it is,
but she had no work experience,
she didn’t know what she was doing,
and there isn’t exactly a labor shortage right now.

We all work shitty jobs
when we first start out.
We work long hours for little pay
and we usually don’t have the best managers.
One of my managers could be heard yelling
from the parking lot.
He threw things.
I would come home every night
and cry.

But I sucked it up
because I had a plan
and I needed that job
to get me to the next level.
I didn’t stay there
but I also didn’t quit
until I had another job.

Yes, get the hell out
of a toxic work environment
but leave on your terms.

By k | September 11, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all mess up.
ALL of us.

When I was a junior jammer k,
I hid these f*ck-ups.
I never talked about them.
I rarely admitted to them.
I only talked about my successes.

Then a loved one told me
that I didn’t understand what he was going through
because I’ve never failed.
I’ve never f*cked-up.
I’ve never been nervous or worried about failing.

I realized I was doing the world
and my loved ones
a disservice by not talking about my mistakes.
I was making it more difficult
for THEM to succeed.

Yes, when I talk about my mistakes,
some critics judge me harshly
and yes, there are more critics in this world
than there are doers.

But the doers are who matter.
And they learn from my experiences.
They benefit from hearing about my mistakes
and this helps them change the world.

Seth Godin recently talked about
one of his mistakes.
I’m certain some critics will judge him harshly also.

But I’m also certain
that his post will help
someone change the world.

Consider sharing your mistakes
with loved ones
and other people who matter to you.