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

Today is Halloween
(in some areas of the world).

There’s a movement
to stop trick or treating.
Kids don’t need the candy.
It isn’t safe to be knocking on doors
(though an adult should be with the kids).
Parties are more efficient.

These are valid reasons
not to trick or treat.

But there are valid reasons
TO trick or treat.

Trick or treating is often
a kid’s first experience at ’sales.’
She is knocking at a stranger’s house
and asking for candy.
She knows she has to do something
(dress up and
give the prospect an experience)
for the candy.
She also has to ‘ask for the sale’
by saying trick or treat.

Sales is a valuable skill
for everyone.

Kids have to interact
with people face-to-face
while trick or treating.
They aren’t messaging the person.
They’re talking to the person.

They’re exploring
their creativity
while thinking about costumes.
They’re actively thinking
‘Who do I want to be?’
They’re planning for the future
and looking at steps to achieve
that future.

Halloween is also a community building event.
It is often the one day a year
where almost everyone in the community
is involved.
I believe it is important to show kids
that a community can pull together,
can support a common goal.

These are the reasons
I believe in trick or treating.
Have fun tonight!

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

The huge craze
over the holiday season
last year
in the book industry
was adult coloring books.

Writing buddies
in the Romance Novel industry
have been crafting
their own coloring books
as promotional items.
Readers are thrilled with these,
collecting them.

On Friday,
I received a promo coloring book
from the city I live in.
Even the images
on the coupons could be colored.

Yes, the recipients could share
their ‘art’ with the world
while saving money.
I thought it was brilliant.

The good news is
promo coloring books
are fairly inexpensive to craft.
They double as marketing
and gifts.
They’re likely to be kept
or passed on
to coloring enthusiasts.

Consider a promo coloring book
for the holiday season.

By k | October 29, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A loved one, Super Sales Guy,
is facing a reorganization
in the company
he sells for.

Industries are being
redistributed.

Every sales person is vying
for the biggest target market
in their geographical area
- the banks.

Super Sale Guy
is vying for that target market also.
But he is also vying hard
for the number two target market
- insurance
and NO ONE else is.
He is the only sales person
to request that huge target market.
He has zero competition for it.

I’ve seen this
in the Romance Novel business.
Writers fiercely compete
for the number one niche
in a subgenre.
The number two niche
has very few competitors
and almost as many prospects.

Consider the number two market.
It might earn you more sales
than the number one market.

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

When we think of business mentors,
we first think of
people in the business world.

It IS good to have businesspeople
on our teams of advisers.
They’ve been there,
done that,
have been in similar situations
as we will eventually experience,
can guide us.

However,
educators can add value also.
They have a wealth of research,
connections to former students,
insights others might not have.

Gwen Whiting,
co-founder of
The Laundress,
shares

“When we conceived
of The Laundress,
the natural thing was
to reach out
to our Cornell network.

We knew
this was her specialty,
so we asked her
to meet with us.

She taught us
the science of detergency
in a crash-course weekend
and has been our mentor
throughout the journey.

As an educator,
she never told us
what to do.”

Consider adding educators
to your mentorship team.

If you have to choose
one online retailer to promote
this holiday season,
make it Amazon.

Last year,
almost 40% of all online sales
during the holiday season
(November 25th
to January 1st)
came from Amazon.

This year,
their online market share is predicted
to increase
to 51%.

What does this mean?
On Facebook or blog posts,
consider
putting the Amazon link first.
On Twitter,
make certain the Amazon link is there.
Mention your product’s availability
on Amazon
on as much of your online marketing
as possible.

Ensure your listings
at Amazon are updated.
Check your pricing.
Look at your keywords.
Are they still relevant?

Amazon will be
where many of your customers
are holiday shopping.
Make the most of that knowledge.

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

There’s a niche
in the Romance Novel Industry
that is shrinking.
I didn’t know why this was happening
…until I wrote a story in it.

The readership for that niche
has very specific ideas
about…well… everything
- covers, titles, marketing copy,
the content of the books themselves.

And they are organized.
If a book doesn’t follow their ‘rules’,
they try to kill its sales
and they usually succeed.

So many writers have stopped
producing books for it.
The risk of failing
to meet the readers’ demands
is too great
and
the market is too small
to warrant that risk.

An overly demanding niche market
is unlikely to grow.
It will remain small.
Factor that into your business plans.

By k | October 25, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

Yesterday, a writing buddy
asked me for my “brutally honest opinion”
about her cover.

My brutally honest opinion was…
the cover isn’t as good
as the story is.
It won’t help sell books
(the main purpose of a cover).
I gave her suggestions for improvements,
including examples of covers
from bestselling books in her niche.

My writing buddy replied with
a long list of reasons
why the cover was good enough
for that series.

She was irritated
because I didn’t love her cover.

I was irritated
because I spent time and effort
evaluating her cover
and giving her suggestions.

She likely won’t ask again.
If she does ask,
I certainly won’t give her
my honest opinion.

Honest opinions take
time, effort,
and trust.

Don’t ask for an honest opinion
unless you truly want one
and are prepared to incorporate
the feedback.

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

A client k reader
emailed me
about yesterday’s post
on Chris Evert.

She said it was easier
for Chris Evert
to become successful in business
because she was
successful in tennis.

She’s right,
but not in the way
she thinks
she’s right.

Being a recognizable name
will only get you so far
in business.
It might actually hurt you.

But Chris Evert was successful
in tennis
because she worked REALLY hard.
She surrounded herself with coaches.
She played all out
while she was on the court.

Those are the same traits
that help to make business builders
successful.

Success IS easier
for successful people
because they’ve discovered
the factors that help create success.

Learn from them.

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

Every January,
masses of newbie writers
decide they’ll write
their first books.

By now,
the end of October,
they’ve quit.

Not because they didn’t have talent.
They have sufficient talent
to build a career.

Not because they didn’t have time.
We all have the same hours
in a day.

But because they didn’t stick
with the writing.
It wasn’t as exciting as they thought
it would be.
It wasn’t a quick as they thought
it would be.
They gave up.

Chris Evert,
tennis player
and entrepreneur,
shares

“Get good advice
from other business people
and don’t go in over your head.

Be conservative
from the beginning.

Find a passion you love
and believe in what you are doing.

But, really,
it is most important
to surround yourself
with the right people
and keep at it.

Soon, you will see things
start to happen.”

Keep at it.
You can do this.
I believe in you.

By k | October 22, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I knew a certain series
(product line)
was going to be a success
before the sales
started to increase.

How?

Writers approached me
to ‘team up’ on promotions.
Others suddenly
wanted to be my friend.

As Rachel Green
points out,

other brands seeking
to do business with yours
is a sign
you’re building a successful brand.

If others are approaching YOU,
take that as a compliment.
You’re doing something right.