By k | May 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There are unlimited story ideas.
I have a list of 100
and ideas are added/drop off
that list
every week.

It only makes sense
to publish stories
readers want to read.
(Writing a story
might be an exercise for myself.
Publishing a story
is for others.)

To sell these stories,
I need a marketing hook.
If I don’t have one,
publishing the story
isn’t the best use of my time

So I write the marketing copy first.

Yes, the story will likely change
but I can apply myself to it
knowing that there’s a possibility of readers.

Consider writing the marketing copy first.

By k | May 20, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on presentation of data
and the number of books read
last year.

I’m certain the trend
is correct.
Fewer people are reading.
But I’m also certain
than many people
think a ‘book’
is a print book.

I asked five random readers
and two of them
told me they don’t read books
anymore.
They read on their Kindles.

If the average person
doesn’t know what a book is,
your average customer
might not know
what your product is either.

Test any survey question
(yes or no, numbered, multiple choice)
on a group of prospects first
and probe for more information.

Ensure that you’re asking
the right question.

By k | May 19, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The first time
a loved one and I
went to Pizzeria Uno
in Chicago,
we were served a frozen pizza.

This loved one
recently traveled to Chicago
for a business trip.
His co-worker wanted
to eat at Pizzeria Uno.
My loved one told the co-worker
his story.
The manager overheard
and promised that the frozen pizza
was an exception.
The pizza would be perfect this time.

So they ate there
and the pizza was served cold.

My loved one, his co-worker
and I will never eat there again.

If you’re given a rare second chance
to impress a customer,
make certain you get
this second chance right.

By k | May 18, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was recently part
of one of the biggest Facebook parties
in Romanceland
(thousands of attendees).

Some people think
the success of this party
was because of
the big name writers involved.
It was.
Partially.
But it was also due
to the smaller name writers.

Big name writers
tend not to promote an event.
They’re attending.
That’s their contribution.
They don’t spread the word.

Smaller name writers
promote.
They want to be associated
with the event
and with the big name writers involved.
They tell EVERYONE.

Without the smaller name writers,
few people would have heard
about the event.

Resist the urge
to fill your event
with only big names.
Invite smaller names
(preferably aggressively promoting
smaller names)
to also participate.

By k | May 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the most common questions
I receive from newer writers
is
“Should I self publish my story
or submit it to a publisher?”

This is the classic
“Should I go it alone
or partner with someone?”
debate every entrepreneur has.

Only partner with someone
if that someone
is bringing skills or connections
or something else
to the venture
that you can’t supply.

When I first started writing,
I didn’t know what a selling cover
looked like.
I didn’t know what a selling back cover copy
looked like.
I didn’t know which subgenres sold,
which words turned readers on or off,
what a great editor was.

Partnering with publishers
taught me all of this.
Now that I have the knowledge,
I require other things from a publisher
(like marketing, contacts, readers)
when I partner with them.

There ARE benefits to partnering
with another person or business.
Ensure they’re benefits
you want and need.

By k | May 16, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the most valuable assets
we purchase
when we buy an existing business
is the customer base.

So how do we make
the changes we envision
without isolating existing customers?

We move slowly.

Erin Johnson,
co-founder of
Fork & Anchor,
shares

“Our tactic was
to keep the store running
—business as usual,
working through the inventory
we bought through the business purchase,
while slowly,
over the course of a year,
phasing out things
we weren’t interested in carrying
and introducing new products
and a new menu.

It was important to us
to maintain the customer base
that had frequented the store for years,
and at the same time,
pique the interest of those
who’d never stepped foot
in the store
with our new range of products.”

Consider making changes
to an existing business
slowly.

By k | May 15, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was struggling
in April
with building the writing business.
The just started rush was over.
Readership/customer build
was slow.
It felt as though
I wasn’t moving forward.

Then I reached one of my milestones
(making the USA Today Bestseller List).
Suddenly, I was revitalized again,
excited to produce books,
to build readership.

Bruna Martinuzzi,
President of Clarion Enterprises Ltd.,
shares

“Milestones are important
for team members
working on projects,
especially longer terms ones
where it’s easy
to become discouraged
and overwhelmed.
They’re opportunities for leaders
not only to track progress,
but to celebrate progress
and recognize the team efforts.
And they can oxygenate the team
to persevere.”

Have you set milestones?
Do you celebrate them
when you reach them?

By k | May 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my pen names
has the reputation
of being one of the most accessible authors
in Romanceland.

I have thousands of readers.
How do I interact with all of them?

I don’t.

The majority of my readers
simply want to read my stories.
They don’t want to email me
or belong to my newsletter list
or interact with me
on Facebook.

A smaller group
wants to be informed
of new releases
and that’s it.

An even tinier group,
around 1% of my readers,
want to interact with me.
When I post a question to readers,
I’m responding to less than 100 readers,
not thousands.

However,
ALL of my readers know
they have the OPTION
of interacting with me.

THIS is why social media
is important.
Your customer might not speak up
but they know they have the ability
to contact you if they wished.
And they SEE
that you respond to questions/comments.

Consider responding to social media comments.

By k | May 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Whenever we’d pitch a product
to a board,
we’d start with a story.
We’d talk about ONE possible customer
for that product,
telling the board
why she or he would like the product,
how it would solve a problem,
make a difference in her/his life.
THEN we’d pitch the financials
and other details.

Story telling
is essential for selling and marketing.

Carmine Gallo
shares

“When I analyzed the content of
[civil rights attorney Bryan] Stevenson’s
TED talk for Talk Like TED,
I categorized each sentence
into one of three buckets
consistent with Aristotle’s guide to persuasion:
Pathos (emotion, stories),
Logos (logic, data), and
Ethos (establishing credibility).

Remarkably,
personal stories—pathos—
made up 65 percent of Stevenson’s content.
Stevenson spent 65 percent
of his time telling stories
and 25 percent of his time
supporting the stories with data.
Stevenson’s references
to his background or experience
(ethos)
made up the remaining 10 percent
of his stage time.”

Ensure you tell stories,
not simply recite facts.

By k | May 12, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I love white space.
Surrounding words
with white space
puts emphasis on them.
The less words there are,
the more attention
readers pay to them.

This is true of images,
of actions,
of anything.

As Filmmaker
Jean-Marc Vallee,
in the
May/June 2015
The Costco Connection,
shares

“Less is more.
Not just in film,
but in life.
Dream all you want.
Want all that you want.
Rebel in every way you want.
Make your noise.
Be loud.
Tell your parents to buzz off.
But remember, too,
that less is more.”

Don’t be afraid
to reduce.