By k | June 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Every product, every person
has critics.
It’s human nature
to want to win over
these critics,
to get them to like us.

But can we
and should we?

Romance is one of the largest genres (categories)
in publishing.
Fifty Shades Of Grey
has sold over 90 million copies
(as of two years ago,
and it hasn’t dropped off the best selling lists
since then)
and plenty of romance readers
haven’t yet bought this book.
That’s how big the genre is.

There are reviewers, readers,
other influentials
who don’t like romance.

Should romance writers exert resources
to try to win over these critics?

Hell no.
Especially if that attempt means
upsetting the millions of people
who do love and appreciate romance.

And I don’t think winning them over
is possible.
Many of these critics
have built a reputation on
hating romance.
They’ll never admit to liking one.

Think about whether or not
you want to win over a critic
and realize that,
if the answer is yes,
this will come at a price.

By k | June 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, my computer monitor died.
I had a promo event
I had to virtually show up for
in a couple of hours.
I wanted to access my hard drive
as it had the information for this event
already set up.

Lucky for me,
we had a replacement monitor
in the basement.
It was old, heavy and
the resolution was fuzzy
but it did the job.

For key equipment,
you want to have
a backup plan
in case it fails.

You don’t need to have
a replacement unit in your basement
as I did
but you should have access
to one.
This could mean crafting
a list of nearby
friends or family or business partners
with the same asset.

(Manufacturers often have a list
of co-packers
or other manufacturers
with similar equipment
that they could call
in case of an emergency.)

Have a backup plan

By k | June 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As a writer,
I often find myself
wishing to pull my punches,
to not go places
that might make readers
uncomfortable.

I resist this urge
to dial it back.
to play it safe.

Almost every market is crowded.
Average, safe, okay doesn’t appeal
to anyone.
It doesn’t sell.

Be fearless.
If you’re targeting five year old girls,
be unashamedly sparkling, pink, fluffy.

GO THERE.
Resist the urge
to play it safe.

By k | June 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My editor for pay told me
that my most recent story
was the best I’ve ever written.
I believe her.
Why?
Because she has told me
in the past
that this story or that
would ‘disappoint readers’
i.e. sucks great hairy donkey balls.

A salesman buddy realized
he was weak
in written communications.
He enlisted my help
(as I’m a writer
AND a business person).
I read over all of his emails,
memos, presentations, etc.
I push him
to become better
with each correspondence
and tell him when he isn’t improving.

In a year’s time,
he’s went from that skill
being a weakness
to that skill
being a strength.
Other salesmen now come to him
for advice.

Who is pushing you
to become better?
Are you allowing this person
to be honest,
to tell you
when you’re not performing?

By k | June 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Five years ago,
I was asked to join
a group with four other writers.

We all wrote romance.
We were at the same stage
of our businesses/career.
We were aggressively building
our businesses
but we were still considered
entry level writers.

We all wanted success
BADLY
and we were willing
to work hard for it.

Saying yes
was the best writing decision
I ever made.

We exchange daily emails
pushing ourselves to work harder.
We share advice and opportunities
and insider knowledge.
All five of us
might write romance
but we provide different products.
Our voices are very different.
We often apply for the same opportunities
but we don’t compete.
If C wins the opportunity,
then the person wasn’t looking for me.
I wouldn’t have won it
even if C hadn’t applied.

And when we see individual success,
that individual success
helps the others in the group.
For example:
I’m now a USA Today Bestselling Author.
They all now have cover quotes
on their websites or book listing
from a writer with those credentials.
That gives them a little more
credibility,
which helps with sales.

Could you do this
with fellow entrepreneurs?
Of course.
It’s even easier
because your products
will be vastly different.

Consider linking up
with fellow entrepreneurs.

By k | June 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Over decades of reading
entrepreneurs’ stories,
I’ve seen trends.
Entrepreneurs tend to start working early
and, as young people,
they hold an assortment of jobs.

Shannon Rogers,
President of
Global Relay,
shares
her early working career.

“Even in law school,
I spent time at different jobs
to make enough money
to go back to school
the next year.
Through most of law school
I was a cocktail waitress
at a bar in Montreal.
I started with a paper route,
and I was a fish and chips waitress.
I also lived in Zambia
for about a year
and worked at a Safari camp.
It was an entrepreneurial venture, too,
getting the camp built and set up.”

If you want to hire
an entrepreneurial minded employee,
that’s the sort of crazy résumé
you’ll looking for,
the kind that makes
the average Human Resources employee
wince.

If you have this sort of résumé,
it doesn’t guarantee
that you’ll be successful
as an entrepreneur
but I doubt you’ll be happy
in a non-entrepreneurial environment.

By k | June 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Like many viewers,
I tune into The Bachelor
and The Bachelorette

for pure escapism.

I hadn’t watched
any of this season,
turned the show on
Monday
because I couldn’t deal with
anything serious.

Only to discover
that the bachelorette
was having a fake wake.

Every person over the age of eighteen
has had some experience
with death.
It’s rarely a happy light experience.
To be reminded of that
wasn’t pleasant.

Yes, this ‘twist’ was controversial.
It had people talking.
I’m certain their social media numbers
were up
so, from the outside,
it looked like a successful episode.

Except it disappointed
regular viewers.
Concentrating on the marketing
f*cked up the product.
The product failed to deliver
on its promise.

Product first.
Marketing second.
Always.

By k | June 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Things will go wrong
with every project.
That’s guaranteed.
How you handle these challenges
will determine
whether or not your project is a success.

That is one reason why
positive attitude is necessary
for leadership.

As June/July’s
CPA magazine,
shares

32 percent of CEOs
in a 2011 survey
“identified ‘positive attitude’
as a key characteristic
of top leaders.”

Learn to look at situations
with a positive (yet realistic) attitude.

By k | June 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You’re running a small business.
You can’t afford the time
(and often the money)
to trek across the country,
visiting with vendors
and partners.

What do you do?

You hold a
videoconference
(via the internet).
It’s more intimate
than a phone call,
and
can often mimic
a face-to-face meeting.

But videoconference the right way.

As
Stephanie Tarling,
in June/July’s
CPA Magazine,
shares

“The first rule of videoconferencing
is to realize
it’s a real meeting.
Seems obvious,
but you’d be surprised.
Videoconferences are not the same
as dial-in conference calls
during which people tend to multitask
(doodle, text, check Facebook, etc)
when they’re not directly participating.
In this case,
attendees are listening and watching,
so be aware of clothing choices
and background scenery
(read: know what is behind
and around you).”

Treat videoconferences
like face-to-face meetings.
Choose a professional spot
to hold them
and dress as you would dress
for an in-person meeting.

By k | June 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

If you’re serious about gaining sales
or being successful,
you have to learn how to deal
with rejection.

Steve the Copywriter
shares

“There is something
you DO need to cope with
- and it’s what kippers
99.999% of salespeople.

You have to deal with
endless rejections
“No, No, No…”

Most salespeople get “rejected”
more often in month
than others are in a lifetime.

It can be tough
and it does take resilience.

But you can’t be successful in sales
without the rejections -
mathematically it’s impossible
(don’t let anybody tell you differently).
It’s all about numbers.”

I get rejected every da*n day,
often multiple times a day.
I also ‘offend’ people
(because some people are offended
when you simply mention your products
- in my case, my books).

Learn how to deal with it.