By k | September 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

What is crowdfunding?

According to Wikipedia,

“Crowdfunding is the practice of
funding a project or venture
by raising monetary contributions
from a large number of people,
typically via the Internet.

One early-stage equity expert
described it as
‘the practice of raising funds
from two or more people
over the internet
towards a common Service, Project,
Product, Investment, Cause,
and Experience or SPPICE.’”

Crowdfunding could,
not only provide funding,
but also feedback on projects.

In the September/October
Costco Connection,
successful crowdfunding entrepreneur
Tom Korzeniowski
of Design Directive,
shares

“It provides quick access to capital
and, more importantly,
customer validation
before significant resources
are committed to projects.”

When exploring funding possibilities,
include crowdfunding as an alternative.

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

When I have an issue
with one of my romance novel plots,
the first person
I talk about it with
is my husband.

He’s not a writer.
He’s not even a reader.
He definitely doesn’t read romance novels.

I’m not looking for input
(though he gives it
and I listen).
By talking through the problem,
I usually find my own solution.

Whom I talk it over with
doesn’t change this solution
but it DOES change my relationship
with this person.

My husband feels included.
He feels important
in the loop,
involved.

One of my buddies
talks through (child appropriate) business issues
with her children.
She’s been doing this
since they were babies.
Her children feel like
they’re an important part
of their mommy’s business.

Whom you talk problems through with
matters.
Make these talks count.

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

You and I are doers.
We get things done.

That usually means
we have a sh*tload of tasks
on our to-do list.

It is tempting to do
the easy tasks first
but these easy tasks
often don’t make a difference.
We’ll reach the end of the day
and have been busy
but not feel as though
we have accomplished anything.

In the September/October
Costco Connection,
Leaders Who Care’s
Chief Inspirational Officer
Pauline Fleming
shares

“Ask yourself daily,
‘What one inspired action
can I take
that will make the biggest difference?’”

I force myself to tackle
that inspired action first.
At the end of the day,
when I wonder what I’ve accomplished,
I can point to that task
and feel good about my progress.

Take that one inspired action
every day.

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

A romance blogger
requested my participation
in an experiment.

She told me
that ALL it would cost me
was time,
as though that is a trivial cost.

It isn’t.

For a writer,
time and money is the same thing.
If I donate time,
this means I’m not writing,
not producing goods to sell.

Time is also THE most important asset we have.
A skilled person can make more money.
She can’t make more time.

When someone trivializes
the value of time,
I can almost guarantee
she’ll waste my precious minutes, hours.

Give time the high value
it deserves.

By k | September 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I don’t use my tablet
without my keyboard very often.

Why?

Because it is rare
that I’m simply reading
or watching something.
When I read/watch,
I usually comment on
what I’m reading/watching.
When I read a business eBook,
I’m making notes for clientk.
When I read a romance novel,
I’m making notes about the story,
phrases, word choice, etc.

Seth Godin shares

“When the masses only connect to the net
without a keyboard,
who will be left to change the world?

It is possible but unlikely
that someone will write a great novel
on a tablet.

You can’t create the spreadsheet
that changes an industry
on a smart phone.

And professional programmers don’t sit down
to do their programming
with a swipe.”

If you want to change the world,
use tools
that enable you to do this.

By k | September 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A writer I know employs practices
that many believe are ethically challenged.
She insists they aren’t,
stating that she’s not breaking any laws.

These tactics WORK
…for her.
She has made all of the best selling lists utilizing them.

A buddy decided to copy these tactics.
She believes these tactics are ethically challenged
but she forced herself to use them.

Her attempt failed.

Why?
Because she didn’t believe in
what she was doing.
She was an honest person
using dishonest tactics.
It felt wrong
and
that guilt didn’t allow her
to put all of her energy
behind the tactics.
Readers also didn’t feel it was authentic.

It is very difficult
to find success
with tactics or a product
you don’t believe in.

If you believe tactics are unethical,
don’t employ them.

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

Marketing to kids can be tricky.
Not only do you need to adhere
to often strict
rules
which vary by region,
but you’re marketing
to a surprisingly sophisticated target market.

Brian Selander,
executive vice president
of The Whistle Network,
a media network
aimed at kids ages 7 to 17,
shares

“Younger audiences have
a higher demand threshold
for authenticity and accountability.”
“They’ve grown up
being able to find out
anything about anyone or any brand.”
“They’re particularly wary of fake cool.”
“They can see
when a brand or creator
is changing their language or message
in an effort to connect with them.”

Marketing to kids isn’t child play.
Do your research.

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

The purpose of marketing
is to prompt prospects to do something,
to take a next step.
Stating this next step
is known as a ‘call to action.’

As Shawn Porat
shares

“On a Web page,
a call to action might be as simple as
“Click here to receive your free gift.”

Your call to action
must be easy to see
and understand.
In both traditional print media
and online,
it should be highlighted
or in bold
so readers are sure to see it.”

The clearer the call to action is,
the more likely
prospects are to take that action.

When testing a marketing campaign,
one question should be
“What will you do now
that you’ve seen this marketing campaign?”
If the prospect doesn’t know,
the marketing doesn’t work.

Does your marketing copy
have a clear call to action?

By k | September 12, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I received an email
from a budding young entrepreneur.
He expressed understandable frustration
over the fact
that I never give absolute steps.

Yesterday,
I didn’t tell you
that you MUST call your customers
friends or buddies or family members.
I suggested that you think about it
and make your own decisions.

Why?

Because…
I don’t know what your goals are.
I don’t know what your vision
of your company is.
I don’t know your industry.
I don’t know your customers.
Hell, I don’t know enough about you
to make ANY of your key decisions.

There are entrepreneurs
who have been successful
(whatever their definition of success is)
doing what I suggest
and there are entrepreneurs
who have been successful
doing the exact opposite of what I suggest.

YOU have to decide.

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

Do you call the people
who buy your products
customers?

Why?

Facebook calls them friends.
Coca-Cola calls them
members of the Coca-Cola family.
I call them
reading buddies.

This is done deliberately.
I have a much different relationship
with my reading buddies
than other writers have with their readers.

One example:
I receive hundreds of messages/emails a day
from my reading buddies.
A writing friend at the same readership level
is lucky to receive one message/email a month
from her readers.

The relationship might or might not be better
for sales
but it IS different.

What you call your customers matter.
Make this a conscious choice.