By k | June 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

You WILL have to raise
your product’s prices
eventually.

When I worked with a major beverage company,
we raised prices in multiple ways
(not all at once).
We changed unit sizes
(7.8 oz vs 8.0 oz),
package configurations
(a 2×12 pack vs a 4×3 pack),
units in a package
(a 10 pack vs a 12 pack),
added a bonus with a smaller pack,
late payment fees,
etc.

Rieva Lesonsky
shares 12 tips to raise prices
including

“Customers are far more likely
to accept higher prices
if they’re getting something extra
in the bargain.
Consider what you could throw in
with your current product or service
that would cost you little
or nothing
but would have higher perceived value
to the customer.
For instance,
you could offer free gift wrapping
or a free ebook about a relevant topic.”

Have a strategy for raising prices.

By k | June 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Why would anyone self-fund a start up
when they have access to investors?

Noa Santos,
co-founder of
Homepolish
shares

“We did try to talk to investors early on.
Ultimately, they were concerned with
our ability to scale.
We knew we could do it,
so we built it organically.

Now we have investors calling us
every couple days.
We are constantly juggling
whether to scale organically
or take outside funding.

Of course,
there are things we could do
with a lot of money,
but—on the flipside—
the mistakes we’ve made
in the last few years,
we’ve been able to make cheaply.
If we had money,
they would have been more expensive mistakes.
We are going to stay self-funded
as long as we can.”

Self-funding gives entrepreneurs freedom
and the ability to make their mistakes
on a smaller scale
while growing.

Consider self-funding
your start up.

By k | June 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve worked hundreds of different jobs
(I’ve been working multiple jobs
since I could walk).
Were they dream jobs?
Of course not.

Is my current job as a writer
and entrepreneur
filled only with tasks I love?
No.

Did I find happiness in these jobs?
Yes.
Because happiness is a choice
and I choose to be happy.

Why?
Because being unhappy doesn’t change
the job I have to do.
It doesn’t make the job easier.
It might actually make it more difficult.

So why would I choose unhappiness?
I wouldn’t.

You have a choice
to be happy or unhappy
in your current role.
Choose happiness.
(and YES,
it IS as simple as that)

By k | June 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was approached to join
a group of writers “serious”
about promo.

For an entire week,
they’ve been talking online
about their kids
and their day jobs
and the weather,
everything except promo.

I scan the emails
but I don’t reply.
I don’t have time for small talk.
Two solid selling writers
have already dropped
this “serious” about promo group.
They don’t have time for small talk either.

Doers DO.
They don’t talk about doing.
They get sh*t done.

If you want to attract doers,
eliminate the small talk
as much as possible.
We’ll learn about each other
as we tackle projects.
Give us tasks.
Now.

By k | June 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In May’s CPA Magazine,
Julie Miller
shares

“If tardiness is a habit
-if others expect it from you
rather than being surprised by it
-you’re not being accountable.
In effect, what you’re saying is,
“I don’t value your time.
I believe I’m more important than you.
It’s not important to me
to honor the agreement we made.”

When I consider partnering with someone,
I look at what they do
vs what they say.
If they show up late once,
I assume they’ll be late for everything,
that they won’t make any of their deadlines,
that MY project will end up
launching late
because they can’t stick to a time table.

This prospective partner
is STARTING with this mark against them.

If I have a choice,
I don’t partner with people
who show up late.

By k | June 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Almost every marketing expert
agrees that
a word of mouth,
viral campaign
is the best for sales.

Unfortunately,
this type of campaign is almost impossible
to manufacture or to predict.

Publishers promote hundreds, thousands of books
every year
and they have no idea
why one book has word of mouth appeal
and another book doesn’t.

What we CAN control
is the base of initial purchasers
from which this word of mouth might originate.
The bigger this base is,
the more likely one of these customers
will become a super fan
and spread the word.

If there’s no base,
there’s zero chance
of a viral hit.

If you want to increases the chances
of having a viral hit,
market your a$$ off.

By k | June 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Writers know the power of a name.
They often change
their titles
when they reissue stories.
Making the title more modern
can boost sales.

As Mike Michalowicz
shares

“If you think
there’s no power in a name,
think again.
Consider the “used car.”
Less-than-ideal connotations
in that label, right?

But what about a
“certified, pre-owned car”?
Sounds much better, doesn’t it?
Sounds like something
you might even be willing
to pay a premium for.
In fact,
that’s exactly what consumers do.
If you label a car as “used,”
the chances are very good
you’ll get less money for it
than if you labeled it as
a “certified, pre-owned vehicle.”"

Consider renaming your older products.

By k | June 13, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Reviews from bloggers
are key in driving sales of romance novels
(and, I suspect, any other product).

I don’t send bloggers snippets of my stories.
I send them the complete story,
with the cover,
the back cover copy,
everything.

Bloggers want to review
what their readers
will actually be buying,
not something manufactured
just for them.

As
Julie Bawden Davis
shares

“Be generous with product samples.
Send only full-sized samples and products
that best represent your business.
Never ask reviewers
to return products
once they’ve been reviewed.
And offer a second sample
to be used as a promotional giveaway
to the blogger’s readers.”

Be generous with bloggers.

By k | June 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I received some emails
re: wishing my Facebook friends
happy birthdays.
Doesn’t that take a lot of work?
Who has the time?
Etc.

Of course, if you have an email list,
you can automate the birthday wish process.
Use the customer’s first name.
Consider making the message look
more like an email from a friend,
than a spamtastic email from a giant corporation.

With my Facebook readers,
I don’t automate anything.
I contact them one at a time.

Why?

Because this is how
romance readerships are built,
the one-to-one contact.
It is a very high touch business.
In print days,
this was accomplished at conferences
and at book signings.
Today, we do this online.

Is it worth it?
I think so.
You have to make your own decision
based on your customers
and your vision of your business.

But one thing to remember is…
your customers are dealing with
a smaller business for a reason.

If you treat them the way
they expect a small business to treat them,
they’ll be happier customers.

By k | June 11, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the things
I admire about Angelina Jolie
is
she goes all in,
balls to the wall.

She plays a wicked fairy in Maleficent?
She goes to almost every premiere
on the planet,
dressed in black gowns
that wicked fairy might wear.
She brings the family,
proving it is a family film,
talks to the fans,
works the media.

She doesn’t bellyache about
how she’s more than her character,
that her acting should speak for itself,
or any of that other bullsh*t.

She promotes the d*mn product.

I’ve received many promotional opportunities
because I don’t mind sacrificing my pride
to promote my products
(my books).
This attitude is surprisingly rare
in Hollywood,
in Romanceland,
and likely in your business also.

Promote like Angelina Jolie.
Put your product first.
And have some fun with it.