By k | April 30, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Email works.
It has worked in the past.
It continues to work now.

Mitch Goldstone,
president and CEO of
ScanMyPhotos
shares

“We send out weekly emails,
and they get read.
Whether it’s a flash sale,
where we scored a
22 percent open rate
and a 9 percent order rate,
or simply sending news updates,
[emails] show that
your business is constantly reinventing
and has things to talk about.”

Direct mail also continues to work
as does blogging
and many other older marketing tactics.

Just because a marketing tactic
isn’t the hottest, latest trend
doesn’t mean
it doesn’t work.

By k | April 29, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Asking questions is
one of the first steps
in innovation.

Warren Berger
shares

“I love the Polaroid story,
which is something of a classic.
Back in the 1940s,
Edwin Land was on vacation
with his 3-year-old daughter.
He snapped a photograph of her,
using a standard camera.
But she wanted to see
the results right away,
not understanding that
the film must be sent off for processing.

She asked,
“Why do we have to wait
for the picture?”
After hearing his daughter’s why question,
Land wondered,
what if you could develop film
inside the camera?
Then he spent a long time
figuring out how
—in effect,
how to bring the darkroom
into the camera.

That one why question
inspired Land
to develop the Polaroid instant camera.
It’s a classic
Why/What if/How story.
But it all started with a child’s naive question
—a great reminder of
the power of fundamental questions.”

All past innovations
were driven by questions
the business founders asked.
The next big innovation
could be driven by questions
YOU ask.

By k | April 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Chevrolet Cruze has a new commercial
about fuel economy.

A man walks into the gas station.
Everyone cheers and calls him by name.
They’re happy, accepting, almost loving.
Then a Cruze driver walks in.
The gas station goes quiet.
No one knows him.
No one greets him.
They’re slightly suspicious
of this stranger.

It is a cute commercial
communicating
the fuel economy message
IF
you take emotion
and basic human need
out of the evaluation.

But Chevrolet is advertising
to humans,
not completely rational robots.

The sense of belonging,
of being cared for,
is something we pay extra for
every dang day.
It’s the reason
my street team members
volunteer their time
to promote my stories.
It’s the reason we belong to clubs
and wear brand name clothes
and eat at the hottest restaurants.

We truly DO want
everyone to know our names.
Don’t discount the need to belong.

By k | April 27, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my pen names
has existed for four and a half years.
I’ve never had a break out hit
with this pen name.
I’ve had constant releases
and constant promotion,
a slow and steady build.

However, simply having been around
for this length of time
is now differentiating me
from other writers.
I’m landing promo opps others don’t.
I’m given projects others don’t.
Readers recognize my name
and associate length of time
in the business
with quality.

In the romance world,
as in many industries,
there are many start ups
and very few older brands.

This is why you should start NOW.
Start your business.
Start your dream.
Start your marketing.

Not tomorrow.
Not next week.
TODAY.

By k | April 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Romance writers stress over every word,
knowing that each one,
especially in the early pages of a story,
makes the difference
between the reader
turning the page
or setting the book down.

The thesaurus is dangerous
because,
while words might mean the same thing,
they have very different tones.
Readers dislike moody heroes.
Many readers, however, love temperamental heroes.

That’s why it always surprises me
that businesses are so casual over
their signs, promotions, social media messages.
One wrong word could make the difference
between a happy customer
and a former customer.

Seth Godin has a great post
on this subject.

Think of how you want your customers
to react to your messages
and make every word count.

By k | April 25, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Old school management training
says you have to be
stern and harsh and humorless
to be a good manager
and drive results with your team.

That does sometimes work.

But so does being
a happy, optimistic, smiley manager,
a leader who gets her people
so revved up and enthusiastic
about the product
(whatever that product is)
that they work extra hard
and extra long
to ensure the company is successful.

Yes, you can’t be happy all of the time.
You’re a leader
and sometimes leaders have
to redirect the efforts
and correct the tone
of others.

But as a happy person myself,
I know my ‘mad face’ terrifies people
much more than
a grumpy person’s ‘mad face.’
I barely have to raise my voice
and people rush to correct the problem.

Being a manager
doesn’t mean
being a grump.
Cheerful manager get result also.

By k | April 24, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I’m looking for writers
to promote with,
I normally choose writers
at my level or above.

Why?

Because working with these writers
forces me to give my all,
to be the best I can be.
I see how hard they work
and this pushes me
to work as hard or harder.

Bruna Martinuzzi shares

“87 percent of employees report
that working with a low performer
made them want to change jobs.

And 93 percent said
working with these type of people
decreased their productivity.

High performers often report that
low performers aren’t held accountable
and that they’re often forced
to clean up the mess
made by these lazy employees.”

Work with people who are better,
more successful,
than you are.

By k | April 23, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A best selling writer
had a large street team
(a team of volunteer readers marketing for her).
Managing this street team
took effort
and she was successful
so she asked herself
why she should make this effort.

She reduced the size of her street team,
eliminating all but the most influential members.
She ‘fired’ volunteers
who had supported her from day one.

A year later,
she released the first book
in a new series.
The sales of this first book were terrible.
Each subsequent release was worse.
Her influential street team members
switched to supporting other writers.

This writer is now struggling to rebuild.
Readers,
knowing how she fired her street team members,
aren’t rushing to help her.

When you become successful,
remember who helped you
and continue to treat those people well.
You might need their help in the future.

By k | April 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My readers live all over the world
and
practice many different religions.
Religion has nothing to do
with my stories
so I never mention it.
Ever.

On Easter Sunday,
I didn’t post Happy Easter
messages.
Instead,
I posted a photo of a car
decorated like a giant bunny.

I love bunnies.
My readers love bunnies.
My Christian readers were happy,
interpreting it as a nod to them,
and the rest of my readers
simply enjoyed a cute photo.

Romance writers do this all the time.
I’ll mention a character or place or event
in one of my stories,
subtly referring to another story or series.
Regular readers are thrilled,
picking up on this reference,
inferring more into the scene.
Newer readers simply read a solid scene.

Being subtle isn’t often mentioned
in marketing
but it CAN be VERY effective.

By k | April 21, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You know you made a mistake.
You feel it in your gut.
You tell a buddy about your mistake.
Her response?
“It wasn’t a mistake.”
“Everything will work out.”
“It was the other person’s fault.”
You feel happier about yourself.
You decide you didn’t make a mistake.

So you make the SAME mistake
days, weeks, months, years later.
You don’t improve.
You don’t change.
You don’t become successful.

A great mentor,
in contrast,
will agree with you
when you say you messed up.
She’ll ask you
what you would done differently.
She wouldn’t allow you
to dodge responsibility for your mistake.

Because change is hard
and no one changes unless there’s a reason,
normally pain-filled reason
why we have to change.

Mistakes SHOULD hurt.
The pain stops us
from making the same mistakes
over and over again.