By k | January 31, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

New product developers
come up with new products.
It is what we do.
We get a zillion ideas
and it is difficult
to turn this process off.

But we have to turn it off
because staying focused
and success
go hand-in-hand.

In January/February’s version
of
The Costco Connection,
Marc Anthony,
hairstylist to the stars,
shares

“Be passionate about what you do.
Surround yourself
with the right people.
Stay focused and
true to your core values,
and you can realize your dreams.”

Stay focused.

By k | January 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

If the goal of your blog
is to keep people reading
as long as possible
(That is NOT the goal of this blog.
My goal is to inspire you
as quickly as possible
so you can go out there
and change the world.),
linking to other content
is a great strategy.

Erika Napoletano
shares

“First, does every blog post you create
link to another blog post?
In the paragraph above,
I linked to a previous article
I wrote about Google Analytics.
It’s relevant and gives you
the opportunity to click through
and get started using that tool directly.
By linking to your previous content,
you’re both giving your reader
the opportunity to stay on your site longer
and refresh something
you might have written
a moon or two ago.
A good rule is to always link to
at least one previous blog post
—just don’t get crazy with the links.”

This also a great strategy
if you wish to sell more books.
At the end of every book,
I link to another book
the reader might like.

If you have the content,
consider linking to it.

By k | January 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my series
is gaining momentum.
Other people now promote this series
more than I do.

How did I accomplish this?

I released a ‘different’ product
in a very small niche,
focused on that niche
became known for that niche
and then slowly expanded
outside that niche.
The success in the first niche
snowballed into success in the second
and the third
and the fourth.

I didn’t start the process
by trying to dominate
a huge category.
I started small,
owned that small space
and expanded.

Dominate a niche
and then expand.

By k | January 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Recently,
I gave all of my newsletter subscribers
a free exclusive-to-them story.

Some people
had problems downloading the story.
I reached out to each of these readers
and personally sent them a copy.
This took time.

But wonderful things happened.
I made a connection.
These readers became more than readers.
They became friends.
They became supporters.
They shared posts
and convinced their reading buddies
to read my stories.

Every time a customer
reaches out to you,
you have an opportunity
to tighten the connection
between you and this customer.
You’re making your relationship stronger.

Embrace these moments.
Make them magical.

By k | January 27, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Gillian Anderson was offered
half the salary
David Duchovny was offered
for the X-Files reboot.

She is equally important to the show.
She negotiated for equal pay.

She was able to do this
because she KNEW
she was being lowballed,
that she was being treated
as ‘less than’
(likely because she’s female).

Some companies encourage employees
to keep their salaries secret.
They do this because
an employee is being treated
unfairly.
That’s the ONLY reason
to do this.

Thankfully in this information age,
this happens less and less.
Employees talk.
They might realize
they’re being lowballed.
They negotiate for more.

If you’re asked
to keep information secret,
think about why
you’re being asked this.
What are you being asked
to support?
Ask yourself
if that’s the legacy
you wish to leave in this world.

By k | January 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When Southwest Airlines
makes an announcement,
passengers assume it will be humorous.
They’re known for their lighthearted view
of flying and the world.
Before they say a word,
passengers often smile.

One of my writing buddies
is known for her rants.
She’s often angry at the world.
When she attends events,
readers brace themselves.
They know there will be drama
and some hostility.
(And this WORKS for my buddy.)

Your default tone
is what customers and prospects expect.
It is what they look for
and will likely find.

If you want to deviate
from your default tone,
you might wish to warn
the people you’re communicating with.
“It is usually all fun and games at Southwest
but today, we need to talk about something serious.”
or
“I’m known for my rants
but even I can’t get angry about…”

Tone is part of your branding.
It is powerful.

By k | January 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Expressing sympathy
is one of the ways
we can bond with our customers and prospects.

Sympathy is listening.
It is not necessarily
expressing that we’re going through
the same thing.
In fact, this tactic is likely to
backfire on you.

Why?

Because it feels like a competition.
One of my loved ones,
whenever I share that
something bad has happened to me,
will tell me how she has it worse.

Instead of feeling better,
I feel like she’s not listening to me.
I no longer talk to her
when I’m feeling poorly.

I express sympathy
with a simple
(hugs) on social media.
I listen.
I tell the person
that I feel for her/him.
I’m thinking about her/him.
I don’t talk about my own issues.
This is all about them,
about supporting them.

Express sympathy
in a sympathetic way.

By k | January 24, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Your online business is growing.
You’re considering a bricks and mortar store
but you’re not certain about the location
or the investment
or if you’re ready.

Consider a pop-up store.

Gord Woodward,
in January/February 2016
The Costco Connection,
shares

“Welcome to
the world of pop-up shops.

Also known as flash stores,
these temporary outlets “pop up”
at different venues,
enticing buyers
with the promise of
something surprising and exciting.
They usually shut down
almost as quickly as they opened.
But the merchants behind them
are finding the results they achieve
are anything but temporary.”

Yes, a bricks and mortar store
doesn’t have to be a long term investment.

Consider testing
with a pop-up store.

By k | January 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Fifty Shades of Grey
had a multitude of grammar, spelling
and research problems.

Readers didn’t care.
The emotion was intense
and that more than compensated
for these errors.

For many writers,
this was eye-opening.
We’d been told by publishers,
editors, reviewers,
that these factors were important
to readers,
only to find out
that they didn’t truly matter.

Right now,
in your industry,
professionals are also focused
on factors that don’t truly matter
to customers and prospects.

Don’t assume that these factors
are necessary or key.
Talk to customers and prospects.
Find out what THEY think is important.

By k | January 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yesterday, I talked about 
how we need to do something different
to break out.

We need one big idea.
ONE.

Not fifteen.
Not five.
ONE.

The biggest challenge I have
as a writer
is focusing on this ONE idea
and ignoring the zillion other ideas
I get (almost every day).

Romance readers love series.
They like a bunch of stories
(five, ten, fifteen)
centered around the ONE big idea.
Sales usually don’t build
until after the third story.
If a writer switches ideas
before then,
she’ll never gain a huge readership.

For other businesses,
the length of time spent on
that ONE idea is also key.
Sales come with time
and with constant sales and marketing.

Focus on your ONE idea.