By k | March 21, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

We talked yesterday
about why we should qualify prospects.
I received emails
asking how to do this.

Usually, we apply friction.
If we want to discourage
folks who aren’t serious
or who are looking for freebies,
we give them a task to do
(for example, a survey to fill out)
or charge them something
(buy X to get the free gift).

I simply don’t market to the prospects
I don’t want.
I need paying customers.
I don’t market my books around pricing.
I talk about how customers
will want to read my books
as soon as they release
or they’ll risk hearing spoilers.
I give exclusive free stories
to newsletter subscribers only.
They’re part of a club,
a club with members who BUY books.

You’d think that would discourage readers
from trying my books.
It does the opposite.

You don’t want every customer.
You want the RIGHT customer.
Don’t be afraid to qualify prospects.

By k | March 20, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of the most powerful things
I’ve recently done
with my writing business
is realize that some readers (prospects)
will never be my readers (customers).
And that I don’t want them
to be my readers (customers).

Once I realized that,
I could focus on the readers (prospects)
I DID want,
ensuring I made them happy.

Mark Henricks
shares

“Atlanta-based marketing coach
Melissa Galt
claims one of her best moves
in her previous career
as an interior designer
was to start strictly qualifying prospects
before taking them on.
“My workload dropped in half
and my income doubled
over the course of nine months,”
Galt says.”

Qualify your prospects.

By k | March 19, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There are plenty of better written stories
(better products)
than mine.

The issue is…
no one knows about them.
No one is promoting them.

Readers (prospects) DO know
about my stories (products)
so they buy them.

Richard Branson
shares

“There’s no point
coming out with a great idea
unless everybody knows about it.
And what you’ve got to try to do
is get yourself on the front page
of the newspapers,
even if it means
making a fool out of yourself
or try to make people smile
at the same time,
rather than a footnote
in the back of the newspapers.”

Every market is too crowded
to simply produce a great product
and hope it will be discovered.

If you believe in your product,
promote it.

By k | March 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My goal with writing
(product development)
is to produce a better book
(product)
every time.

That’s continual improvement
and it is doable.
Even the best person or company
in any industry
can improve.

Tommy Hilfiger
shares

“We read a survey
where we’re number one
in a certain category
or in a certain country
or we’re number two
in designer names in America
or something like that
and I never take those things seriously
because I think that,
okay, that was written yesterday.

You have to think of tomorrow.
And the minute
you stop thinking of tomorrow,
you lose.

Don’t forget about the past
but think about tomorrow.”

Always improve
and always look to tomorrow.

By k | March 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is St. Patrick’s Day,
a day many of us
associate with luck.

I believe there’s an element of luck
in every success.
However, I also believe
that MANY of us will have
these lucky moments
but only a few of us will
both recognize these moments
and do something positive with them.

Lucille Ball
once shared

“Luck?
I don’t know anything about luck.
I’ve never banked on it
and I’m afraid of people who do.
Luck to me is something else
: Hard work -
and realizing what is opportunity
and what isn’t.”

Learn to recognize lucky opportunities
and act
when you experience them.

By k | March 16, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Everyone has fears.

Whenever I start to promo,
asking readers to buy my books,
my stomach twists.
What if they say ‘no’?
What if they’re angry
because I dared to market to them?
What if they don’t like me?

I don’t allow my fears to stop me.
That’s one of the differences
between successful people
and not-as-successful people.

Shonda Rhimes,
writer and producer,
shares

“The very act of
doing the thing that scared me
undid the fear;
made it less scary.”

If we really want success,
we have to do
things that scare us.

Don’t let fear stop you.

By k | March 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is March 15th,
the Ides Of March,
the day Julius Caesar was assassinated.

A group of senators did the deed
but the most notable of these
was Brutus,
Julius Caesar’s supposed friend.

As we enjoy success
or survive failure,
we’ll see the true nature
of friends, family members,
other loved ones.

Some people,
believing they’re doing the right thing
for themselves or loved ones
or even yourself,
will betray you.

This will happen
(and it is normally
not the person you think
will betray you).

Prepare for it.
Expect it to happen.
Try not to be too hard on yourself
when it does.

Failures happen
and that’s all this is
– a friendship failure.

Appreciate the friends
who are successes.

By k | March 14, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My most successful book series
was rejected by my agent.
She thought it was so unmarketable;
she wouldn’t even pitch it
to publishers.

Believing in it,
I self published it
and I marketed the hell out of it.
One reason I did this
was to prove her wrong.

And I did.
Much of its success
was BECAUSE she rejected it.

Seth Godin
shares

“When George Martin
first met the Beatles and
became their producer,
he liked their sound and their energy,
but he didn’t think they could write songs.

So he licensed a song,
handed it to them and
had them record it.
John and Paul hated doing this,
so they asked if they could write one.

That became their first hit.
Faced with opposition and competition,
they became better songwriters.”

Prove the doubters wrong.
Show them you can make
your product/company/self a success.

By k | March 13, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

My first draft of any story
is word vomit.
I barf the story onto the page.
Then I take two, three, four
or more drafts
revising it.

The number one thing
I’m doing during revisions?

Making the story simpler.
The simpler the story,
the shorter the words,
the easier the concept,
the more readers can focus on emotion.

Emotion sells stories.
Emotion also sells YOUR story,
your marketing copy,
your products.

Carmine Gallo,
in his newsletter,
shares

“Most scientific explanations
of complex problems
go over people’s heads
because speakers use jargon
or esoteric words
that are hard to grasp.
The human mind doesn’t handle
abstractions;
there’s power in specificity.”

(I’m a writer
and
a designated accountant
and I had to look up the word
‘esoteric’,
which means
“only taught to
or understood by
members of a special group
: hard to understand.”)

Be simple and be specific
if you want sales.

By k | March 12, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Years ago,
I was approached to contribute
to a multi-author series.
The series was certain to increase my sales
but it was to be written
in first person,
something I’d never done.

My first instinct was to say ‘no’.
What if I couldn’t do this?
I suppressed that reaction,
said ‘yes’ to the opp,
and
THEN figured out how to write
in first person.

The two stories I hit
the USA Today Bestseller lists with
were written in first person.

Mickela Mallozzi,
founder of Bare Feet,
a New York Emmy-winning travel series,
had a similar experience.
She shares

“I met her and I said
—I didn’t have a TV show—
but I said, ‘Look, I have this TV show.’
Two months later she said,
‘Yeah, we want to start airing
this next month.’
I was like, ‘Great!
I don’t have a TV show!’”

As entrepreneurs,
we’ll be approached with projects
and opportunities
that we might not know
how to complete.

Consider saying ‘yes’ first
and THEN you can figure out
how to do it.