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

Many marketers talk about
targeting
the twenty-something sweet spot.

That may be the AVERAGE sweet spot
but it might not be YOUR sweet spot.

Elizabeth Arden’s sweet spot
is the older woman.

Scott Beattie,
CEO of Elizabeth Arden,
shares

“Frankly,
if you look around the world,
the most attractive demographic
to sell to
is that woman between 45 and 70.
They had control of a disproportionate
amount of the world’s disposable income.
And, in fact,
they have a lot more wealth
than many of the younger generations.
And they’re living longer.
They care more about their appearance.
They’re investing more in things
like anti-aging and make-up
that brings anti-aging kind
of characteristics.”

“They’re much more in tune
with understanding the product.
They’re less in tune
to celebrity endorsement
or fancy ad campaigns.
If they find a product that really works
and they believe in,
they’re much more loyal customers
as well.
And that would apply
around the world,
not just in North America.”

Don’t forget about the older woman
as a possible target market.

By k | November 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Under one of my pen names,
I first released
a dozen humorous romances.
I then released
a seriously toned romance.

Readers expected humor
and they, somehow, found humor
in this very dark, gritty story.
I received emails from readers
saying it was
“my funniest story ever.”

Their perception of me
and my writing
changed their reality.

Seeing how powerful
perception is,
I no longer write purely serious stories.
Readers expect humor.
I give them some humor.

Are you working with
or against
your customer’s perceptions?

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

Every great project manager
has a solid understanding
of critical path.
She plots out the steps
of a project
and determines
the order the steps
must be taken in.

Unfortunately,
not everyone in the organization
realizes how important
the critical path is.

Seth Godin
has a great method
for showing people visually
the importance.

“We did some critical path analysis
and pretty quickly identified
the groups of people
that others would be waiting on
as each stage of the project developed.
It’s a relay race,
and right now,
these four people are carrying the baton.

I went out and got some buttons
–green and red.
The deal was simple:
If you were on the critical path,
you wore a green button.
Everyone else wore red.
When a red button meets a green button,
the simple question is asked,
“how can I help?”
The president will get coffee
for the illustrator
if it saves the illustrator
three minutes.
In other words,
the red button people
never (ever) get to pull rank
or interrupt a green button person.
Not if you care about critical path,
not if you care about shipping.”

The critical path incorporates
the word ‘critical’ for a reason.
Communicate how important it is.

By k | November 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

My figure skating coach
once told me
that the sign
of a great figure skater
was she made skating
look easy.

The truly great
do this.
They make very difficult tasks
look easy.

In the November/December
The Costco Connection,
Astronaut Chris Hadfield
shares

“On paper,
my career trajectory looks preordained:
engineer, fighter pilot,
test pilot, astronaut.
Typical path for someone
in this line of work,
straight as a ruler.
But that’s not how it really was.
There were hairpin curves
and dead ends
all the way along.
I wasn’t destined
to be an astronaut.
I had to turn myself into one.”

Just because something looks easy
doesn’t mean it IS easy.
Even the truly great
have to work.

By k | November 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Every successful business, service
or book
receives 1 star (bad) reviews.
1 star reviews garner attention
and there are trolls who relish this attention,
who enjoy stirring up negativity.

Having published over 60 stories
under one of my pen names,
I have some experience with trolls
and their games
so I usually take action to block them.

For example:
In romance,
the number one sales killer is
no happy romantic ending
(which is the ONLY definition of romance).
Trolls will leave a 1 star review
and state the story had no happy ending.

To prevent this,
I put that this story is a romance
and has the expected romance ending
in the blurb or From The Author information.

Mike Michalowicz
shares
his tips for dealing with trolls

“First of all,
your response should never
be argumentative,
and you should never justify your behavior.
Most times
—especially when you suspect the complaint
isn’t from a legitimate customer
—your first step should be to professionally
and clearly ask them
to help you sort out the problem.
Explain that you have no record
of the transaction
(or of them as a client)
but that you’re committed to
making the situation right.
Give them your contact information
and ask them to contact you.
If a reasonable period of time elapses
without contact from this “customer,”
then you can post a follow-up,
explaining that you have done
everything in your power
to locate the customer
and have been unable to.”

This is a brilliant strategy
as many trolls are NOT customers.

Learn how to deal with trolls.
They exist
and they WILL target your business.

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

Marc Gordon,
in the November/December edition
of
The Costco Connection,
shares
this tip for working at home

“Have a designated work area.
Forget the kitchen table
- have a room with a door
to call your own.
Train your family to know
you are unavailable
when the door is closed.”

I share a home
with one other person, an adult,
and he understands
that when I’m working,
I’m working,
but I still find the dedicated space helpful.

Why?

Because when I sit down
in this office,
I know it is time to work.
I switch to business mode.

Have a dedicated work space.

By k | November 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’m asked this question quite a bit.

The short answer is
“No.”

As the November/December
The Costco Connection
shares

“A 2013 survey by HubSpot
revealed that 43 percent of marketers
generated customers
from their blogs.”

I generate a tremendous number
of new readers
from my writing blogs.
(not Clientk -
Clientk is 100% about giving back to the world)
These blogs are connected
to my publishers’ communities,
GoodReads,
Amazon,
and other sites.

I mention my posts on Facebook, on Twitter
and Yahoo reader loops.
These posts give me a reason
to post my bio information
or my signatures
WITH links to my most recent releases.

I don’t give a crap
about Google’s unique content rules
because these loops/communities are
where my readers are.

Blogs remain valid marketing platforms.
They are very much alive
and can be a great source
of new customers.

By k | November 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

No one does everything right
when starting up a company/brand.

Learning how to handle
failure is a big part of the success
of any entrepreneur.

In Carmine Gallo’s newsletter,
Scott Adams,
creator of Dilbert,
shares
“Success is entirely accessible,
even if you happen to be a huge screwup
95 percent of the time.”

“If you have a choice,
success is better than failure.”
“But life is messy
and things don’t always work.
It’s better to pick tasks and challenges,
that no matter what happens,
you’re going to come out
with some skills you didn’t have.
Maybe you’ll meet some people
or you’ve acquired resources.
I try to make sure
all my failures have that quality
so I can at least pick their pocket
before they die.”

Try to ensure
that
even when you fail,
you gain.

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

Some writers, entrepreneurs,
businesses, people
get lucky.
With their first project,
their first marketing tactic,
they are tremendously successful.

More people, however, are like me.

With my first book release,
I promoted my heart out
(not spending any money on promotion).
I was everywhere,
doing as much as possible.
I gained 1 or 2 readers.
Yes, I wondered if my promotions
had been worth my time.
Many of the writers in my same situation quit.

With my second book release,
I went crazy again
with promotion.
I gained 3 or 4 new readers.

Every time I promoted,
I added readers
until the magical day
when a READER promoted for me.
I wasn’t alone anymore.

Now, 4 years
and over 60 book releases later,
I have a street team of readers
who help me promote.
My publishers promote my titles.
Booksellers also promote my titles.

I’m reaching the tipping point
where my efforts to promote
are outshone by
others promoting me.

I doubt I would have reached this point
if I hadn’t done those first promotions
and wooed those first 2 readers.
In fact, one of those 2 readers
is the manager of my street team.

Consistent marketing works.
It might not work quickly
but it will work over time.

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

Rieva Lesonsky
shares

“Are you a worrier?
If you’re a woman business owner,
the answer is likely “yes,”
according to a recent report
and white paper from CDR Assessment Group.
The study, which focused on executives
and why women have trouble
breaking the glass ceiling,
found that 65 percent of women leaders
tend to be “worriers” under stress.
In contrast, stressed out male leaders
are more likely to fall into categories
such as “egotists,” “rule breakers”
and “upstagers.””

Excessive worrying costs
entrepreneurs money.
How?
Because they miss out on opportunities.
They don’t make decisions
quickly enough.

I’m partnered with a worrier.
He (yes, he - women aren’t the only worriers)
worries about everything
and this prevents him from making decisions.
I’m the opposite.
I’ll try something and see if it works.
I push him to make decisions.
He pushes me to think about my decisions.
We balance each other.

Worrying DOES have a cost.
Learn how to handle it.