By k | December 21, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Do you have to work on Christmas
or on New Year’s Eve
or on some other special day?

You’re not alone.
Many of us need to work.

My mother was
a home care worker.
Elderly clients
still needed to be cared for
during the holiday.
Many years,
she didn’t have special days off.

So what we did
was have our special day
on a different date.
When we were kids,
we wrote Santa,
asking him to come on
the night of the 22nd
or on some other day
she wasn’t working.
(note: we always had our special day
BEFORE everyone else.
We were the envy of other kids
because we had Christmas early.)

These early special holidays
were usually more fun
than the holidays on the ‘right’ days
because other loved ones were free.
Aunties and uncles and friends
weren’t having special dinners
at their own houses.
They could attend ours.

Holidays aren’t about
a date on the calendar.
If you’re working on a holiday,
consider having it some other day.

By k | December 20, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My first story in a recent series
has a shocking twist
in it.
Many readers loved that.
It grabbed them emotionally.

My second story also had a twist
but, knowing readers would expect one,
I also increased another emotion.

Readers said it was ‘predictable’
(and it was
because they were expecting a twist)
but it gutted them,
making them cry
so they were happy,
recommending the story to others.

Shock is a great attention grabber.
It is often quite easy to accomplish also.
Do something that hasn’t been done.

But it is difficult
to shock the same people

There are plenty of emotions
in a marketer’s toolbox.
Use shock sparingly.

If you repeat a shock campaign,
consider adding an additional emotion
to it.

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

One of my buddies
is a brilliant salesman.
He’s brilliant
because he takes himself out
of every sale.
The sale isn’t about him.
It is about the prospect,
what the prospect wants.

When I write back cover copy
for my novels,
I ask myself
“Why would a reader
want to read this book?”
I know why I want her
to read the book.
But that’s not why SHE
wants to read the book.

Seth Godin

“Marketing is the empathetic act
of telling a story that works,
that’s true for the person hearing it,
that stands up to scrutiny.
But marketing is not about
merely sharing what
you, the marketer, believes.
It’s about what we, the listener, believe.”

Take yourself out of
your sales or marketing pitch.

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

The potential for drama
is everywhere.

Two recent examples…

A writing buddy was grumbling
about Best Of lists
and how they pit book against book,
writer against writer.

That’s not how I view
Best Of lists.
I see them as an opportunity
to reach out to
the other writers on the list
and do some great
(and usually crazy)
Instead of pitting us
against each other,
these lists bring us closer together.

At a recent party,
someone verbally attacked me,
asking me why I wrote ‘trash.’
I told her I wrote about love and optimism and hope
and wasn’t it sad that, in today’s world,
many people equate that with trash?
She agreed that it was sad.
The conversation flowed around that topic.
The drama was over.

In this reality TV world,
many people think drama is normal.
They try to create it.
But they can’t,
not without help.

Drama depends on two things
–action and a reaction.
You might not have control
over the action
but you have control
over the reaction.
Change that
and you can stop
the drama.

Keep your business as drama free
as possible.
(unless drama IS your business)

By k | December 17, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I doubled my sales
every time I marketed my books
by adding two simple words
to my marketing copy
–Buy Now.

When I interviewed for jobs,
I could almost guarantee an offer
by simply saying
“I want this job.”

Asking for the sale
is powerful.

Mike Michalowicz

“You can present
all the features and benefits,
cover all the fancy options
and make your prospect salivate
at the chance to work with you,
but if you don’t ask for the sale,
you’re probably not going to land it.”

Ask for the sale.

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

When a reader contacts me
about grammar or spelling issues
in one of my (heavily edited) stories,
I know that’s not her real problem
with the story.

Because if the story had satisfied her,
made her laugh, cry, feel,
did all of the things great stories do,
she wouldn’t have noticed a couple of typos.
She wouldn’t have noticed a misplaced comma.

She’s a reader (a customer),
not a writer (a product developer).
She doesn’t know why the story
didn’t work for her
so she looks for some reason,
any reason.
Typos and grammar issues,
trivial things,
are easy to find.

Trivial complaints
aren’t usually about the trivial.
Your customers aren’t being irrational.
They simply can’t tell you
what is wrong with your product.
Don’t dismiss these customers.

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

Innovation often comes
from paying attention.

You notice that everyone is excited about
a certain movie
and you ask yourself
why THAT movie?
What emotion does THAT movie
appeal to?
What has changed in the world
to make THAT movie popular
right now?

(Star Wars, for example,
ties into nostalgia.
Baby boomers are getting older
and looking backward,
wanting to revisit the past.)

When you figure that out,
the next questions are…
How can I tweak my product
to satisfy that same need?
Do I want to satisfy that need?
Is there a need that I foresee
following that one?

(Maybe you use vintage looking images
in your marketing.)

Christopher (Chris) Litster

“When you’re out and about
or online,
take a closer look
at the businesses and activities
that attract your attention and wallet.

What’s different about the design
and layout of their website
or stores,
their approach to customer service
and other differentiators
that keep you coming back
for more?”

Pay attention to the world around you.

By k | December 14, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Publishers often sign
romance writers to three book deals.
Three books in the same series.
(i.e. the same ‘branding’)
That’s usually a year’s worth
of releases.

One of the reasons
they do this
is because it often takes
three books or a year
to figure out
if that concept or author branding
will work.
Publishers don’t expect large sales
from the first or second book.
They realize that branding takes time.

The branding of your product/company/self
will take time also.
Consider sticking with it
for at least a year.

By k | December 13, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It’s December
and many of us are thinking about 2016
and what we want to achieve
in the new year.

When we envision this,
we should do exactly that
–envision this achievement.
What does it look like?
What does it SMELL like?
Who is there,
sharing this achievement?
What does he or she say?

Lewis Howes,
and former professional football player,

“Vision is really about
deciding what your purpose in life is
and what you want to create.

This can be overwhelming
if you’re vague.
That’s why I recommend
creating a crystal clear vision
of exactly what you want to create.

Maybe it’s starting a non-profit,
hitting a massive goal in your career,
creating an incredible team,
or living in your dream city.

Beyond that though,
put details on your vision
that make it real to you
and anyone you tell.”

Add detail to your vision.
Make it real.

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

One of my buddies
has a weekly feature on her blog
talking about free books
in her niche.

She tells me about
the thousands of readers
who use this feature.

Then she wonders
why her sales are lousy,
why she receives complaints
that she’s charging for her books.

If you talk about free
all the time,
don’t expect the people you attract
to pay anything.

If you talk about sales
all the time,
don’t expect the people you attract
to pay full price.

If you want the people you attract
to care about other aspects than price,
feature these other aspects
in most of your communications.