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

When I was a new writer,
I hustled for sales.
I told myself
that I had to get to
a certain size
and then I would have a staff
to take care of this.
It would be easier.

I’m still hustling today.

Yes, I outsource
many of the tasks
but I have to manage
the people I’ve outsourced
these tasks to.

There are also exceptions,
many, many more exceptions.
Those require management also.

Seth Godin
shares

“As your project
and your organization
grows in size,
it’s tempting to hope that
at some point
it will take care of itself.
That customer service
will get better
without a herculean effort
to keep it un-industrialized.
That quality will be consistent,
without extraordinary efforts
from truly committed people.

Alas, that’s not what happens.”

Bigger doesn’t mean easier.
It simply means different.

By k | November 19, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I made the
USA Today Bestseller List
for the first time,
I was part of a boxed set,
a collection of stories
from different writers.
We shared promotional efforts,
reduced costs
and all of us grew sales.

That’s the upside of
partnering on promotion.

This week,
I learned a painful lesson
about the downside of
partnering on promotion.

One of the writers
in a boxed set
I also participated in
(thankfully not the bestselling
boxed set)
was accused of plagiarism
(and it looks like
she’s guilty).

We rushed to remove
the boxed set
from booksellers
but it is impossible
to delink our names
on the many
review and reader sites.

My pen name,
the pen name I’ve spent years building,
will now forever
be linked to plagiarism.

Be careful whom you partner with.

By k | November 18, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You got lucky
and are attending a
dinner/workshop/presentation/meeting
that is way above your current level.

You’re a middle manager
and have been asked to sit in
on a board meeting.

You’re a beginner marketer
and you’re taking an advanced marketer class
(because no one filtered
your inexperienced a$$ out of it).

You do your best
to learn as much about the subject
as possible
before attending
but you arrive
and there are still terms
and insider language
you don’t understand.

What do you do?

You take mental notes,
filing questions to be asked later,
and shut the hell up.

If you can,
after the event is done,
you grab an attendee
and ask them to translate
over a cup of coffee.

Or you research the answers
on your own.

You don’t ask your questions
at the event.
If you do this,
you’ll stop the natural flow
of conversation.
They’ll realize
you’re not one of them.
They’ll often bring the conversation back
to your level,
which negates the privilege
of being at this event.
There will also be resentment.
They had sh*t to talk about
and now they can’t
because you’re there.

Sitting at the big girls’ table
is a privilege.
Listen and learn.

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

If your answer is
“To make money”,
rethink the business you’re building.

Why?
Because
1) At some point in business building
(usually for years after you start),
you won’t be making money.
If making money is your sole goal,
it is logical for you to quit
when you aren’t achieving this goal.

and

2) You deserve more.
You deserve to build a business
that, yes, makes you money
but also makes a difference in the world,
a difference that YOU believe in.

Seth Godin shares

“The purpose of a company is
to serve its customers.

Its obligation is
to not harm everyone else.

And its opportunity is
to enrich the lives of its employees.

Somewhere along the way,
people got the idea that
maximizing investor return
was the point.
It shouldn’t be.”

Have a bigger purpose
than simply making money.

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

A group of writers had a b*tchfest online
about how the market is over-saturated
(which it is).
Their solution was
for ‘hobby’ writers to withdraw
their books
from the market.

This would work
except that this solution hinges upon
everyone else taking action
and no one thinks
they’re this ‘everyone else.’

It is also d*mn
difficult to convince someone else
to do anything.
If it was easy,
no one would have a sales issue.

Unfortunately these types of solutions
get bandied around
at every brainstorming session
in every industry.

When looking at solutions,
concentrate on the options
that you can tackle,
that don’t require other people
(especially competitors)
to take action.

Don’t ask everyone else
to get out of market.

By k | November 15, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Seth Godin
shares

“When people wake up in the morning
expecting good things to happen,
believing that things are possible,
open to new ideas
–those beliefs become self-fulfilling.”

This is part of what marketing does
–it sets the expectations for your product.

If I market one of my stories
as being funny,
my readers will look for humor
and since they’re looking for it,
they’ll likely find it.

If I say ‘Good morning’ to someone,
they are more likely
to have a good morning.
I’m also starting my interaction
with them
on a positive, happy note.

We help set our prospect’s beliefs.
Do this consciously.

By k | November 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

What is one tactic
you can use
to improve your sales?

Daniel H. Pink,
author of
To Sell Is Human
shares

“Take the other person’s perspective.
You generally cannot force people
to do something.
Instead, you have to understand
their point of view
and their interests
and find common ground.”

I can sell my latest story
to almost anyone
if I know her well enough.
The story has over 50,000 words.
One of those words
will appeal to her.

Selling is easier
when you see the world
from your prospect’s perspective.

By k | November 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I guest hosted
at a Facebook party today.
The party was to promote
a new release
by another writer.

It was held
by a marketing company.
The writer outsourced
all of the work.

That’s fine.
Plenty of people do that.

Except he didn’t even show up
at his own party.
He didn’t contact the 10 guest hosts
volunteering their time,
sharing their readership.
He didn’t thank readers for attending.

What happened?

It turned into a general party,
not his release party.
The guest hosts,
including myself,
weren’t going to promote
someone they didn’t know,
especially someone
who disrespected his readers
by not showing up to his own party.

Outsourcing marketing is great.
But you can’t outsource all involvement.
You have to show up
at your company’s events.

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

Whenever I read a back cover blurb
(marketing copy)
for a book
and it is super complicated,
I stop reading
and move to the next possibility.

Why?

Because if the marketing copy
is too complicated for me to understand,
the product likely will be also.

You might not be selling books
but this is how your target audience
views your marketing copy.
If it is too complicated,
they don’t struggle to figure it out.
They move on
to a product that is simpler.

Follow the rule of one.
One message.
One emotion.
One target readership.
One concrete use for the product.
One great story of how people use it.

Keep it simple with your marketing copy.
If your prospects ask for more,
you now have a conversation with them.

By k | November 11, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

It is
two months after
my sleeper hit story released
and I continue to write
a guest blog post a day
promoting it.
That’s over 120 guest posts
(2 months before
and 2 months after)
and there are hundreds more sites
in my tiny niche
I can appear on.

I can’t appear on all of them
but I can appear on
one a day
for the rest
of my writing career.

With every appearance,
I make at least one new supporter
(the blog host).
Ten, twenty years from now,
I’ll be unstoppable.

Ten, twenty years from now,
if you promote at a different venue
(blog, Facebook group,
newspaper, YouTube channel, etc)
every day,
you’ll be unstoppable also.

Where did you promote
your business/product
today?