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

Many experts advise
using a contact email address
to make your company appear larger.

Yes, that works
but there are also benefits
to using a less generic contact email

Having a contact name
reassures prospects and customers.
It makes them feel
as though they’re personally taken care of,
as though someone is accountable
for their happiness.

When I worked in a charity,
we’d tell donors
that if they ever had any issues,
they could call back and talk to Margo.

There wasn’t a Margo working in the charity.
When someone called for Margo,
they’d be transferred to
the supervisor.
The supervisor would then
convey his/her real name
and take care of the call.

Donors loved this approach.
It reassured them and
made them feel special.

Does your contact email
reflect the company you wish to build?

By k | September 29, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I watched interviews with the casts
of Reign
and Scandal.
The actors on these popular TV shows
have very similar issues.

Both shows are known for
killing off characters.
All of the actors
know their experiences
with their shows
might be short-lived.

The cast of Scandal
was noticeably nervous.

They talked about
how they read the last pages
of each week’s script
to see if their characters lived.

In contrast,
Torrance Coombs,
one of the actors
in Reign,

appeared relaxed
and he should be.
Fans LOVE him,
guaranteeing him a role on another show.

He has built
his short-lived secondary character role
on the show
into a huge Twitter following.

He responds to EVERY SINGLE tweet.
(he has over 97,000 followers)
During his interview,
he talked about superfan followers,
reciting their Twitter handles.

Right now,
one of your opportunities is short-lived
(whether you know this
or not).
What are you doing
to take advantage of this opportunity?

By k | September 28, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In Romanceland,
as soon as a book is successful
or a marketing campaign works,
there are hundreds,
perhaps thousands
of copycats the next day.

The innovating writer
normally maintains her breakout sales lead.
The copycat sales are usually average.

If a writer wants to break out,
she has to do something different.
She can’t simply copy the success.

Peter Thiel

“The next Bill Gates
will not build an operating system.
The next Larry Page
or Sergey Brin
won’t make a search engine.
And the next Mark Zuckerberg
won’t create a social network.

If you are copying these guys,
you aren’t learning from them.”

Don’t copy.

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

I never publicly say anything negative
about anyone.
And in this connected world,
almost everything is public.

The friend you might think is unconnected
to anyone at your workplace
could be Facebook friends with your boss
or she could post your info with your name attached
and any fool with Google then sees your complaints.

I have a couple of people
I b*tch and complain to.
These people don’t gossip.
They aren’t addicted to social media.
They believe in privacy.
Even with these buddies,
I often don’t use names
or get into gritty specifics.

Ben Carpenter

“The lesson is …
always follow the Golden Rule
and never say anything negative
about anybody in your company.
To do otherwise is unprofessional,
unnecessary, and
more often than not
will come back to haunt you.”

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

When I first joined corporate,
I knew I wanted to be the boss
(either of that organization or my own).
The issue was…
my coworkers all had being the boss
as their expressed goals also.

I had a lot of competition.
I felt intimidated,
struggled to stick to my plans,
knowing only one of us could be the boss,
only one of us would be successful.

Then I realized
I was one of the few people staying late
on Friday nights.
I was the one of the rare few
volunteering for the high risk extra assignments.

According to a CareerBuilder survey,
only “about a third of workers
wish to be leaders,
just 7% are interested
in joining the C-suite.”

This has been my observation also.
Almost everyone will claim publicly
that they want to be the boss.
Few people truly want this.

This is true of
writing a book
or starting a business.
Tell a stranger you’re starting a business
and you’ll hear
his plans to start a business.

This isn’t potential competition.
This is dreaming
and often just talk.

Very few will follow through
on their words
with action.
Don’t be intimidated by talk.

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

I become frustrated
when talking to
established million dollar earning writers.
They don’t remember
what it is like
to have no readers.
Their marketing advice
always revolves around
marketing to their existing readers.

Talking to midlist and building writers
tends to be more helpful.
They remember
how it was
to start from zero readers.

Christian Shelton

“It’s very good getting lessons
from people who are
10 to 20 percent ahead of you
because the advice is a lot more real.”
“You can feel great
talking to someone who’s extremely successful,
but a lot of times
those lessons are really not relatable
to your situation.”

Consider finding mentors
who are merely a couple steps
ahead of you.

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

There’s so much competition
for eyeballs.
Every company is marketing,
trying to get prospects’ attention.

Once we get one person’s attention,
we want that person
to forward, share, talk about
our marketing campaign.

Average won’t do that.
A ho-hum blog post won’t be talked about.
A me-too Facebook button won’t be shared.
A boring video won’t be forwarded.

But it is almost impossible
to knock it out of the park
with every blog post.

Every week,
on my romance blog,
I have four great blog posts.
These are informational,
maybe sharing reviews
or fun facts about my books.
They’re written
for blogging/book review buddies
or existing readers.

I also have one
absolutely awesome blog post
every week.
This post is long.
It has humorous one-of-a-kind photos.
It covers a sought after topic.
The goal of this post is
to be talked about
and to interest new-to-me readers.

THIS is the blog post I promote.
It is often shared
because it is unique
well… awesome.

Not every post has to be a cornerstone post
but at least one post a week
should be.

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

I was a guest writer
on a Twitter chat last week.
It was hosted by a prominent romance magazine,
supported by my large New York publisher.

I spent hours preparing for it,
an hour participating in it,
and I’m still dealing with tweets on it.

I didn’t sell one book.
I gained one Twitter follower.
The other writers had the same result.

My publisher told me
it ‘got my name out there.’
Readers know me now.

How out there
could my name be
if I didn’t sell ONE 99 cent novella?

Could I have allocated my time
to a promo
that boosted name recognition
resulted in sales?

If you’re participating in promo
simply for name recognition,
you’re not making your promo
work hard enough for you.
Expect more.

By k | September 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

As yet another executive
is busted
for lying on his resume

about having a college degree,
business builders should ask themselves
“Is being college educated
a must-have
for their employees?”

In some fields,
the answer is absolutely

I’m a designated accountant.
My four years of post high school education
focused on accounting rules
and situations.
I then studied even more
to secure my designation.
I’m required,
by my professional membership,
to keep current,
and when I was practicing,
I relied heavily on this training,
a training almost impossible to replicate
without formal education.

I would prefer to hire
an accountant
with a degree/designation.

Clearly, it makes no sense
to prefer to hire
a communications expert
with a college degree.
The senior executive at Wal-mart
was doing a great job
without a degree
(which is why he was being promoted).

Are you valuing a college degree
more than talent, hard work or experience?

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

we talked about crowdfunding,

the sourcing of small dollar amounts
from a large number of people,
usually through the internet.

As with any financing,
entrepreneurs should have,
at least, a rough business plan in place.
The pitch is usually done
via video.
The copy should be tight.

And as Gord Woodward,
in the
The Costco Connection

“It’s a matter of marketing.
Word has to be spread.
Your circle of contacts has to be tapped
(experts suggest 25 to 30 percent
of the goal has to come
from people you know).
And you must be prepared
to answer questions
and provide more information
to potential donors.”

Each site usually has its requirements
and, as always,
it is recommended that you study
the pitches of successful projects
on these sites.

Do your research
before you ask for funds.