By k | July 31, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I entered the romance novel business,
I decided I wouldn’t
post my image anywhere online.
I value my privacy
and few readers recognize
their favorite writers.

Has this slowed my readership build?
A little.

I don’t attend conventions
or book signings
where I have to be physically present.

But I compensate in other ways.
I’m known for character play
(attending online events
as my heroine or hero)
and readers love this.
I share stories about my life
that create a bond with readers.
I attend and host online conventions.
I’m very active in the community.

When you’re deciding what you WILL do,
also decide what you WON’T do
and how you might compensate for this stance.

By k | July 30, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If I can’t sell a story
to readers,
I don’t submit it to publishers.

I might write the story.
Writing is both an art and a craft
and sometimes
giving the muse free reign
is a way to grow.

But I don’t send the story
to my publisher.
My publisher is running a business.
If I send them a story
they can’t sell,
I’m wasting everyone’s time.

As Seth Godin shares

“A great architect isn’t one
who draws good plans.
A great architect gets great buildings built.

Now, of course,
the same thing is true for
just about any professional.
A doctor has to persuade the patient
to live well and take the right actions.
A scientist must not only get funded
but she also has to persuade her public
that her work is well structured and useful.

It’s not enough that you’re right.
It matters if it gets built.”

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

Does location matter?

Rob Gentile,
the chef and founder
of Buca,

doesn’t think location is as important
as it has been in the past.

Chef In The City,
he shares

“Nowadays, you don’t have to be on the street.
You don’t have to have that big storefront.
You don’t have to be where
everyone can physically see you.

You just have to be known.

If you have a good reputation,
you can open a restaurant in the middle of nowhere
and people will come.
Or down an alleyway in a basement.”

If you’re not known,
location can be one method
to become known.

Location is still important
but not as important as it once was.

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

Names matter,
company names, product names,
even your name.
They determine
if you’re easily remembered,
sets the tone
for an interaction,
change expectations.

Chef In The City

(a must watch documentary
for any aspiring restaurateur),
Chef Matthew Basile

Fidel Gastro literally started off,
not as a joke,
but as an accident.
I used to be a copywriter so being a copywriter,
your job is to look at a product
and just write.
How do I feel?

For whatever reason,
I wrote Fidel Castro
on a piece of paper.
Then I turned the C into a G.

I knew that there was an instant love
I had for the name and
no other name could have rivaled it.
It would have been impossible
to come up with something better.

I find that because of
the sheer name of my company
I get remembered or recognized
that much faster.

If I had just named the company
Matt’s Sandwiches,
I don’t think it would have done
nearly as well.

And that just shows the power of branding,
the power of connectivity
to your audience.”

Put time and thought
into your company
and product names.

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

When anyone promises
to do me a favor,
I send them a thank you email,
reiterating exactly what they promised.

Why do I do this?

Because unless it is in writing,
it isn’t real.
No one is accountable.
It isn’t a contract.

Seth Godin shares

“Write it down.
All of it.
Everything that people expect,
everything that people promise.”

“Send a note confirming
that you wrote it down,
specifically what you heard,
what it will cost
and when they will have it
or when they promised it.”

Write it down.
Keep everyone accountable.

By k | July 26, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

at a quick service restaurant show,
the CEO of a major chain
announced that they were investing strongly
in coffee.
This chain dominates their coffee market,
selling 78% of all units sold.

Why would they invest millions of dollars
in an area they’re already #1 in?

Because they want to continue
to be #1.

They know that
their competition is investing in this market.
If this #1 player doesn’t invest,
they’ll lose market share.

They also realize to be the leader,
they have to LEAD.
Leading is active, not passive.
It is pushing forward,
not standing still.

Ensure your strong products
remain strong.
Invest in them.

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

You achieved your definition of success.
Your work is over, right?


When my latest release ranked high
for sales,
I was flooded with
promotional and other opportunities.
Book bloggers, reviewers, writers
who previously wouldn’t return my emails
are contacting me.

These opportunities might not be offered again
so I’m doing my best
to take advantage of
as many of them
as possible.

But I also want to keep
my previous supporters happy.
The new contacts might fade away
if my next release doesn’t sell as well.
My core supporters will remain.

This translates into
even more hard work,
a happy challenge to have
but still a challenge.

Prepare for the hard work
to continue
once you achieve some success.

By k | July 24, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My latest release
was near the top of the rankings
for only a couple of days.

What I did
during those couple of days
was contact everyone I wanted
to partner with.

I contacted the top selling writers
in my genre
and asked them to guest post
on their blogs
or join their Facebook parties.

I did the same thing
with the top bloggers, reviewers,
and other influentials.

Yes, I received rejections
but about 5% of these contacts
accepted my offer.
I doubt they would have accepted
if my story hadn’t been ranking well.

Success can be fleeting.
Be prepared to work your a$$ off
and take advantage of
a small window of success.

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

I contacted
over 1,000 media outlets
and yes, some of these outlets
were very small.

I was tempted
to only contact the large media outlets
but I’m glad I didn’t.


Because I snagged more attention
and more sales with the smaller outlets.
A blogger with 1,000 daily readers
often has a close relationship with these readers.
She posts.
They buy.

A blogger with 10,000 daily readers
often doesn’t have this one-to-one relationship.
She posts.
A very small fraction of readers buy.

The smaller media outlets
also featured me prominently.
The post about my release
was often their only post for the day.
Some of them featured my release
for the entire week.

The larger media outlets
post twenty or more releases
on the same day.
Yes, one or two would feature
my release
and then sales went crazy
but, for most of them,
I received a handful of sales.

Don’t ignore the smaller media outlets.

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

In this mass emailing world,
touch (one-to-one contact)
can be a competitive advantage
for up and coming companies.

I personally reached out
to over a thousand bloggers,
and Facebook page owners,
asking them to promote my new release.

I had an 78% success rate.
My assistant had 11% success rate
with the same message.
The media folks I contacted
were flattered
that a writer would reach out to them.
It didn’t matter
that they hadn’t heard of me.

YOU, as an entrepreneur,
a smaller business owner,
have the advantage with this tactic.

The CEO of a large company
is unlikely to contact media.
They have people for that.

YOU can.
You’re the CEO,
the founder,
the product developer,
and media will find it flattering
that you contacted them.

Success, for start ups
and smaller companies,
is often high touch.