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

I hate being interrupted.
I find it rude
and frustrating.
If I’m interrupted
more than once
in a conversation,
I usually stop talking completely.

I suspect your employees,
partners, customers
feel the same way.

Richard H. Anderson,
CEO of Delta,
shares

“Our goal is to be clear
about the courteous culture,
open communication,
financial discipline,
and efficient operations
that Delta should maintain.
Some of the rules are extremely specific
—for example, “Don’t interrupt”—
because we believe that behavior matters.
That is how you demonstrate values.
I am 59 years old,
but I still sometimes have to be told
to keep quiet
when others are speaking.”

Make this an exercise
at a meeting
or one of your holiday parties.
Go an entire conversation
without interrupting once.
It is amazing
what people will tell you
and you will learn.

By k | December 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The hot discussion
in the romance writing world
is whether or not
writers should switch
from Facebook
to TSU.

Facebook has been limiting
post views so much,
that it isn’t worth
many writers’ time
to post there.

I’m still debating this for myself.
What I DO know
is
we should be building
our own platforms.

There will always be
hot new social media formats.
These will be great places
to meet prospects,
potential new customers.

It makes NO sense
to chasing our existing customers
from format to format.
We should be coaxing them
from these formats
to our newsletters,
websites,
blogs.

Give your existing customers
a permanent social media
home.

By k | December 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My stories get a sh*tload of reviews.
This isn’t because I’m a great writer.
There are plenty of great writers
who don’t receive reviews.

It is because
I promote the reviews
I receive.
I mention them on social media.
I mention them on my blog posts.
I add them to Amazon listings.

Everyone does something
because she or he wants something
in return.
The reviewers, superfans, partners
who promote us,
promote our businesses,
usually,
at the very least,
want recognition.

If we give them this recognition,
they’ll continue to promote us.
If we don’t,
they’ll assume we don’t appreciate
their efforts
and allocate their time
to other activities.

Are you promoting
your great reviews?

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

You and I are likely
working during the holidays,
during that week
between Christmas and New Year’s.

Odds are
your partners, vendors,
employees, contractors
are working also.

But suspecting this
and expecting this
are two different things.
I don’t mind
voluntarily working
during the holidays.
I begrudge
being told I’m working.

Look at the
before the end of the year
tasks
you need other people to complete
and
assign them now.

Allow them to decide
when to complete them
and whether or not
they’ll be working
over the holidays.

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

As we creep closer to year end,
to New Year’s Eve,
many of us will be
making resolutions
and setting goals for 2015.

It is a worth while exercise
to first think about
what our life’s mission is.
Be specific.

I was discussing this with a loved one.
He said “I want to make a difference.”
“Do you?” I asked.
“Yes, I want to be remembered.”

Making a difference
and being remembered aren’t necessarily
the same thing.

I could donate a large sum anonymously
that would make a difference
in the world
but I wouldn’t be remembered.

I could schedule a reminder
on social media
but not necessarily make a difference.

Think about what you truly wish
to achieve.

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

If we’ve learned anything
from the Sony Hack,
it’s that everything
we say or text or email
can go public.

All information is stored in a system somewhere
and every system is hackable.
EVERY system.

If we’re not recording our deeds or thoughts,
someone else is.
Every public moment can be recorded.
Everyone has a phone
and every phone has a camera,
or some sort of recording ability.

There’s also no longer
any debate in the media
about whether or not
a story should be reported.
It WILL be reported
by someone,
either someone official
or an anonymous person on the internet.

What does this mean?

Watch what you do or say or write.
Ensure that the people
you’re open with
can be trusted.

Realize that if you become famous,
you WILL be named in some scandals.
Pretending to be perfect
is a very risky branding.

But all this shouldn’t stop you
from doing,
from changing the world.
It’s worth the exposure.

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

Being a romance writer,
I’m expected to talk about my family
but I like to maintain their privacy.
My solution is to call
my husband
‘My Dear Wonderful Hubby.’

After a year of doing this,
my reading buddies
also now call him that.
They assume he’s wonderful
(and he is).
They see him in a very positive light,
almost as though he’s one of my romance heroes.

And I see him
in a very positive light too.
Even though I gave him the label
of ‘wonderful’,
I see him as more wonderful
because I refer to him as
the ‘Dear Wonderful Hubby.’

Labels matter.
Details matter.
A guest will see herself differently
than a patron.
A patron will see herself differently
than a customer.

Put conscious thought
into which label you give people.

By k | December 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

When I partner
or hire someone,
I want to know this someone
will provide results.
The sooner I see these results,
the sooner I trust her.

If she brings a done deal
to the table
(this is extremely rare),
I usually hire or partner with her
quickly.

Michelle Damico,
founder of Michelle Damico Communications,
shares

“If I’m in discussions
with a potential client,
I contact one or two editors
who accept byline articles
and ask whether my prospect’s
area of expertise
is something they’d want to read about
in a self-written article.
If the editor says yes,
then I bring that opportunity
to the prospect,
who’s usually impressed that
I did some legwork
even before landing their business.”

“It validates my news instincts.
It also quickly shows the prospect
that I know how to make
the contacts he or she needs.”

If you truly want a contract
or partnership,
bring a (minor) deal to the table
during negotiations.

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

One of my buddies
wrote an anti-Christmas themed romance
last year.
Her assumption was…
there are many people
who don’t like Christmas.
This is a book for them.

It sold terribly.

Why?
Her publisher explained
that people who don’t like Christmas
don’t want to be involved
with the holiday at all.
An anti-event
will discuss the holiday
it is against.
When it is promoted,
it will be grouped
with that holiday.

A better positioning
would have been
‘For (some other theme)’.

If you’re planning an anti-event,
think about framing it
as a for-event.

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

Recently,
a prominent reviewer was removed
from an equally prominent writer’s
group of friends
on Facebook.
The reviewer assumed it was personal,
that the writer was punishing her
for not reviewing her books.
She vented.
The writer became upset.

After some heated words,
they discovered
it was a system bug.
Facebook randomly unfriended them.

Unfortunately, their relationship
will never be the same.

Social media isn’t perfect.
Facebook randomly unfriends people.
Twitter randomly unfollows people.
Blogs send legit comments to spam.

Social media is a tool
to help us communicate.
Don’t assume this tool works perfectly
and NEVER assume
actions taken via this tool
indicate the status of a relationship.