By k | May 31, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You attract the customers
you design your marketing material

If all of your photos
feature short-haired men,
you will attract
short-haired men.

Long-haired men,
anyone not a short-haired man
will look at your promo,
not see themselves in it,
and assume the product/service
isn’t for them.

If all of your marketing copy
uses he/him,
you will attract men.
Anyone not male
will read the copy
and believe
they are not your preferred customer.

Because, truthfully,
they aren’t.
You didn’t think of them
when you designed
your marketing material.

If that is intentional,
If it isn’t intentional,
if you’re looking at your customer base
and the lack of diversity
makes you nervous,
be more aware of whom
you’re designing
your marketing material

You attract the customers
you want.

By k | May 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Writers change
business names
quite often.
If a series flops
or the market changes,
we re-invent ourselves.

Often we don’t want
our readers to follow us.
We’re looking for different readers.

But sometimes we do.
In that case,
we’ll often forward
the old websites
or social media accounts
to the new one.

For months or longer.

I’ve been forwarding one
for well over three years.

Aaron Price,
CEO of

“Have clear and consistent
messaging on email,
social and web channels
for at least several months
prior to the change
so that people don’t get confused.

We changed our name
from Propeller,
and even though
it’s only three letters different,
some people were confused
by our new name.”

You’ve spent time
building your previous business name.
It will take time
for customers to become
accustomed to the new one.

Give them that time.

By k | May 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I wrote and published
full time
for five years
before I found a series
that made good money,
that could pay the bills.

I worked hard
- 12 hour plus days,
7 days a week.
There were
very few days off.

If I hadn’t loved it,
I would have given up
after two or three years.

The irony is…
I was ‘lucky.’
The average successful writer
takes 10 years,
twice as long,
to make money.

Frank Schilling,
founder and CEO of

“I started my business,
in the third bedroom of my home
and would sit
in front of the computer so long
that I lost track of time.

Ten years later,
I realized I was still
as engrossed in my work
as when I started.

I could have never lost
so much time
if my business had failed
to match up with my strengths.”

You won’t love everything
about your business.
I certainly don’t.
But you should love
the core of it.

unless you’re very lucky,
it will take time
to find your customers.

Loving your business
can push you through
that dry spell.

By k | May 28, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was working
in New Business Development
with a certain huge beverage company,
we would have,
what we called,
Blue Sky Sessions.

We would brainstorm
the strangest, most out there projects.
Space Cola
Air in a bottle
Drinks that changed
You name it.
We thought about it.

We didn’t ever develop
any of these products.

So why did we do this?

1) It expanded our thinking.
We were no longer locked in
on what was possible,
what had already been done.


2) It made us creatively happy.
New Business Development
is a creative position.
Our muses need to stretch,
to think of the different.
If there are
too many ‘work’ projects,
the muse rebels.
Sometimes it shuts down.
Sometimes it makes us dissatisfied
with our current positions.

When you’re brainstorming
new projects,
include the fanciful.

By k | May 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

By now, we must have all seen
the footage of a certain world leader
pushing another world leader
It was extremely disrespectful.

I suspect, going forward,
that pushy world leader
is going to face
much more disrespect.

Not merely from
the world leader he pushed aside
but from all world leaders
who viewed that act.

Because disrespect
is contagious.

Disrespect someone
and she, if she has any pride,
will feel obliged to
disrespect you back.

The good news is
respect is contagious also.
Respect someone
and she will likely respect you back.

If you want respect,
show respect.

By k | May 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I cringe when
new business builders
give ‘making money’
as a goal.

Making money might be important to us
but it is an intermediary goal,
something that gets us
to our true goals.

Maybe we want to make money
because we want security
or we want freedom
or we want to show love
or some other reason
I can’t think of right now.

It is key to know
this ultimate goal
so we’ll know if our actions,
if our decisions
bring us closer
or farther from it.

If we make money
by doing something illegal,
for example,
we are risking our freedom,
our ultimate goal
to satisfy our intermediary goal.
That makes no sense.

Know your true goal.

By k | May 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

This past month,
I hosted a week long workshop
for my writing chapter.
I’ve benefited quite a bit
from this organization
and I wanted to give back.

That ensures
others benefit
as I did.

We, business builders,
will change the world.
We should ensure
others can change the world too.

Ironically, this ensures
we change the world
even more.

An upside?
This makes us feel good.
It makes us feel confident,

You don’t have
to give a week.
You could give an hour,
an article,
one piece of advice
to a less experienced person.
It all matters.

Give back
to the organizations
and the people
that have helped you.

By k | May 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You’re working hard,
building a business,
trying to change the world.

You send out a newsletter
or post information
about your product/service
on social media.

And you receive complaints.
Not a gazillion complaints
but a few,
enough to make you feel bad.

Someone marks your newsletter
as spam,
even though they signed up for it.
Someone makes a post
mocking your product/service.


They’re not your customer.
Repeat after me.
They’re not your customer

They might have been
your customer
a year ago.
They might still be using
your product/service today.

But they’re not the person
you created it for.
They’re not the person
who will appreciate it,
love it,
look forward to your newsletters,
welcome your posts.

Those people are unlikely
to say anything.
They will see your newsletter
or post
and quietly buy
your product/service.
THAT is how they tell you
they love your product/service.

Focus on them.

By k | May 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some of my biggest breaks
in the writing business
have happened
because I was the last minute
for another writer.

I reacted quickly.
I was open to the opportunity.
I was willing to hustle
to make it work
on the organizer’s deadline.

Valerie Gordon,
co-founder of
Valerie Confections,

“She [a writer at the LA Times magazine]
asked if I’d ever heard of
the Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake;
I said yes,
that it was a cake I grew up with.

She wrote the piece
and included a tiny picture of
my crunch cake.

The following day
I got 125 calls
from people who said
they hadn’t seen that cake
for 30 years.”

THIS is why
we try to build
some buffer, some flexibility
into our work days.

Opportunities often appear
out of nowhere.
Be open to them.

By k | May 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was helping a buddy yesterday
craft her marketing copy
for an upcoming book.

One of the things
we worked on
was deciding
which ONE emotion to focus on
and then crafting copy
that intensified that emotion.

Why one emotion?

Because if we focus on two
or three or four emotions,
it decreases the impact
and usually results
in the prospect feeling nothing.

I spend my entire day
every day
trying to invoke emotions in people.
That is what great writing is.
And I still find it damn difficult.

Look at your marketing copy.
Study the power words,
the words that make an impact.
Do they all invoke the same emotion?