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

One of my publishers
is getting into a legal pissing match
with me.
They assume that,
like many writers,
I don’t have the resources
(money, connections, time)
to fight them.

They know f*ck all about me.

And you know f*ck all
about the people around you.

Your number one employee,
the lady who arrives at the job
before everyone else
and leaves after them,
might not be desperate
to hold onto her job.
She might be independently wealthy
and simply LOVE her job,
LOVE being part of your organization.
She might be the second cousin
of your number one customer.

You don’t know.

When you go into battle
with anyone,
there are likely to be
some surprises.
Assume the worst.
Prepare for the worst.

You’re battling the unknown.

By k | March 30, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My books (products) usually have
3 rounds of revisions
with a professional editor.

The first round looks
at all of the huge story problems.

The second round looks
at any remaining big problems,
medium problems
like pacing,
and the smaller errors
like grammar or word usage.

The third round looks
at the small errors.

Why doesn’t my editor
look at the small errors during round one?
She could
but why?
If the scene doesn’t work,
it makes no sense fixing a sentence in it.

I see this in business building all the time.
Some folks dwell on the little details
when the big problems haven’t been solved.

Seth Godin
shares

“There are endless small details
to get right
before you have something
that you’re truly proud of.
No doubt about it.
But there are frightening and huge holes
in any bridge to the future,
and until you figure out
how to get across,
I’m not sure it matters
if you have a typo on page 4.”

Focus on the big problems first.

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

I don’t like promoting and marketing
my books.
I believe in my products (my stories).
I believe they make my customer’s (reader’s)
day a bit brighter,
a bit happier.

I’d simply much rather
be creating,
than promoting.

But if I don’t promote my products,
I don’t have the sales needed
to create them.

So I put marketing on my to-do list.
I suck it up
and do it EVERY day
whether or not I want to.

You need to promote
your product/service/brand/whatever
every day
also.
You might not need to spend hours
promoting it
but you need to spend some time
(yes, even if you delegate this task
- you still need to manage
that delegation).

Put marketing on your daily to-do list
and get ‘er done.

By k | March 28, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If we’ve disappointed a customer,
delivering on our original promise
is the bare minimum of we must do
but that bare minimum
won’t make up for the disappointment.
It won’t make it right.

(If you’re confused on
what the original promise is,
ask the customer
“How can I make this right for you?”
Her first answer is the BARE MINIMUM.)

Replacing a defective product
won’t ‘make it right.’
It won’t compensate
for the disappointment
and the hassle of having to contact us.
It likely won’t keep that customer.
She’ll look at other companies
the next time
she needs the product.

Making it right
means doing more.
It means giving disappointed customers extra,
going that one step farther
because we know
we f*cked up.

It usually means sending a bonus
with the replacement product.
This bonus could be an additional product,
an extended warranty,
a package of chocolates,
a personalized handwritten note
from the CEO.
This something should surprise and delight
the customer.

To overcome a customer’s disappointment,
we should do MORE.

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

I received a few complaints
about my post on PMS.
These were from male readers
who were ‘uncomfortable’
that I was dealing with
‘female’ issues.

I was asked
by Jscott to blog for him
(on the old Road To Forbes site)
over a decade ago
because he felt I had insights
to share
and because there weren’t
very many business babes blogging.

There still aren’t.

Most of the advice I give
here
is applicable to any gender.

But,
as one of the few females
in the business blogosphere,
I feel it is my responsibility
to share female-specific advice
also.

Does this mean
I’m writing these posts
for my female readership only?

No.
Because, if you’re a man,
odds are…
you’re working with females,
perhaps managing females,
perhaps selling to females.

You should know this shit
or, at the very least,
be aware of it.
You don’t want to be the asshat manager
who asks a female coworker
why she schedules more meetings
during a certain week of the month.

So yes, I will deal with female issues
and I should deal with them
because there aren’t many of us
tackling these subjects.

By k | March 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The ideal number of tasks
on your to-do list
is three.

Rieva Lesonsky
shares

“Dr. Timothy Pychyl,
who specializes in
the study of procrastination,
has theorized that
writing tasks on a to-do list
creates a feeling that
you have actually done the tasks,
which may be counterproductive.

To eliminate this phantom sense
of accomplishment,
limit your to-do list to three items.”

I have a huge to-do list
but I often
choose the top three tasks,
the tasks I MUST complete
that day.

Limit your to-do list
to three items.

By k | March 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Everyone has mood swings.
That’s normal.

I worked for one male executive
we called The Wolf Man
because he was always high strung
during full moons.
Another boss was super cranky
if he hadn’t had his coffee
in the morning.

Women are lucky
because we can usually predict
when some of the changes
in our moods
will happen.

I’m the most social
at the beginning of my cycle.
This is when I write stellar dialogue.
I expand my readership during this time,
focusing heavier on promotion
and interacting.

When I was in
the new business development world,
I’d plan meetings during this time.
I’d pitch new ideas to executives.
I’d sell ideas to others.

My creativity is usually at its highest
mid cycle.
This is when I come up
with my new story ideas
and when I do my best romance writing.

In the new business development world,
this was when I’d come up
with new products,
new systems,
new solutions for problems.

At the end of my cycle,
I’m super critical
of everything and everybody.
This is the BEST time
to edit and revise
my most important writing projects.
I also write the most powerful fight scenes
then.

In the new business development world,
I’d kill under performing projects
during this time.
I’d make the hard decisions,
the not-so-nice decisions.

I’m a better writer
and was a better business woman
BECAUSE I have these mood swings.
They are powerful,
a tool to be harnessed,
to be used to make us more successful.

Pay attention to your body
and to your moods.
Plan your tasks
to take advantage of them.

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

These are lean times
for many romance writers.
There is an oversupply
of books (product)
in the market.

Every day,
it seems another writer
announces
she will no longer be publishing,
she’ll be giving up
on the ‘dream’
because she has to get
a day job,
earn money another way.

Here’s the thing about dreams
– realizing them
doesn’t have to be a full time venture.

I wrote for years part time,
writing words on flights,
during the bus ride to work,
while standing in line
at the grocery store.
It took me longer
than a full time writer would
but I got stories written,
published,
sold.

You can do this
with the business you’re building also.
You can work on it part time.
You can dedicate every spare moment
to realizing your dream, your business goals.

And, if this sounds like too much work
(as many writers have told me it is),
well, you haven’t found the right dream yet.

If you can’t work full time
on your business,
work part time.

By k | March 23, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I respond to EVERY single comment
on my Facebook posts.
EVERY one.

It takes time
but it’s one of the reasons
I have earned such loyalty
from my readership.

The comment could be a complaint.
If I take time to read,
to respond,
the complainer usually buys
my next book.

Seth Godin
shares

“This is a challenge
that most census-structured
customer service surveys
have to deal with.
If you ask someone if they’re satisfied
and then don’t follow up later,
you’ve just made the problem
a lot worse.
If you ask your best customers for insight
and then ignore it,
you’ve not only wasted the insight,
you’ve wasted goodwill as well.”

For me,
social media and surveys
are the same type of interaction.
I’m asking my prospects/customers
to do something,
to comment or like or respond.
It is my responsibility
to respond to that,
to acknowledge it.

If you ask your customers or prospects
to do something,
ACKNOWLEDGE that they’ve done
that something
(and no, not with an autoresponse thank you,
with an individual response).

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

Seth Godin
shares

“While waiting for perfect
You’ve permitted magical
to walk on by.
Not to mention
good enough,
amazing and wonderful.”

But…but…but,
I hear you say,
isn’t perfect magical?

Usually it isn’t.
We have a saying in writing,
“You’ll edit all of the magic
out of your story.”
Magical has some rough edges,
some rawness to it.

When you get magical,
you don’t mess with it.

I had a magical scene
in my last manuscript.
It made my jaded editor cry.

Normally, my editor and I
do 6 rounds of edits.
Aside from fixing typos,
we didn’t touch this scene.

Magical usually isn’t perfect.
Perfect can be duplicated.
Magical rarely can.

Strive for magical.