By k | August 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Cliques have been given
a bad name
over the past few years.

They’re associated with bullying,
with mean behavior,
with exclusion.

In the Romance Novel Business,
writers will sometimes declare proudly
that they’re not part of any clique.

Actually, they are.
They are part
of the romance novel writing clique.

A clique is simply a group of people
with similar interests.
Being part of a clique is normal.
It is healthy.

I’m part of a smaller
romance novel writing clique.
This clique consists of
all the writers
I’ve mentored.
It started with one writer.
It now has hundreds of members.

Is this clique a bad thing?
Of course not.
We don’t use our togetherness
to inflict harm.
We use it
to help each other.

As a business builder,
you belong to cliques also.
Use these cliques to help yourself
and others.
Make cliques a good thing.

By k | August 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I saw a project
I was interested in.
I contacted the organizer,
asking her
how I could donate to her project.

I received a response
that was clearly cut and paste.
There was no mention of my name
or the details of my email.
I was directed to a link.

Yeah, that’s cold.
I didn’t make
a donation.

I’m not saying
don’t use autoresponders.
Often they’re necessary.

I’m saying,
at the very least,
learn how to use
those autoresponders.
Make the messages appear like
they’re semi-personalized.

A personal request
requires a personal response.

And, for goodness sakes,
if someone is willing
to give you money
for nothing,
spend a minute on your reply.

By k | August 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a kid,
I told people
I wanted to be a millionaire.

My family was dirt poor
(yes, here in North America).
We didn’t eat every day.

NO ONE in my immediate circle
thought my goal
was at all possible.

Thankfully, I had mentors
outside my immediate circle
who not only believed
it was possible
but believed in me
and
had plans to help me
achieve my goal.

Arnold Donald,
CEO Of Carnival Corp,
shares

Then, the biggest challenge
became aspiration
and self-confidence.
There were lots of people saying,
“You’ll be lucky to get a job.
You’ll be lucky to finish high school,
let alone go to college.”

Even those closest to you
would only encourage you
to aspire to so much.
In their lifetime,
they had never seen anybody
have the opportunity to do much.
I overcame that
with tremendous support and guidance.

My high school was awesome.
Three times a day
this message would play
on the PA system:
“Gentlemen, prepare yourselves,
you’re going to run the world.”
It taught us to say,
“I don’t care what society is telling you.
You can be whatever you want to be
if you apply yourself
and don’t make any excuses.”

You CAN reach your goals.
Believing that
is the first
and most important
step.

By k | August 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was invited to join
a boxed set
yesterday.
Stories are due
November 15th
but the organizer told me,
because I’m a ‘big name’,
I can submit my story December 1st.

I’m not a big name.
I’m solidly midlist.

But being called a big name
made me smile.
It caused me
to seriously consider
the opportunity.

And it didn’t cost
the organizer
a dime.
There is a possible
15 day delay
in putting the boxed set
together
and that is it.

Treating your customer
like a star
is often free.
Why aren’t you doing it?

By k | August 17, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

It is tempting
to market on hate.
It is an easy strategy.
Simply spew about the ‘other’,
whomever or whatever you decide
the other is.

The issue with this
is…
you attract haters.

Haters hate.
If you and a hater
were the only two people
in a room,
that hater would hate you.

And eventually
you WILL be the only person/business
in the ‘room’ with the hater.
Eventually the hate
will turn toward you.

Be very careful
when marketing on hate.

By k | August 16, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Some writers were hesitant
about posting
about the KKK
(or White Nationalists
or whatever they’re calling themselves
this week)
marches
this past weekend.

They didn’t want to
‘alienate’ readers.

There’s no need
for hesitation.
Readers (customers)
already know your stance
on race.

If there are no people of color
in your ads, your marketing material,
your products
(in the case of romance novels),
your stores,
your businesses,
people notice.

I notice and I’m white
because it doesn’t reflect
the world around me.
It is unusual
and stands out.

If your prospect is a racist,
he/she will notice
if there ARE people of color
associated with your business
and he/she will likely not be
your customer.

So you’ve already alienated
one type of customer.
There is nothing to lose
from embracing your stance.

By k | August 15, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A writer posted
a question
to a Facebook group.
He ended the post
with,
“Please answer honestly.”

I didn’t answer at all.
Why would I?
The person is assuming
I’m a liar.

With my readers,
I assume the opposite.
I assume they’re honest people.

If they mess up a download,
I send them a new eBook,
no questions asked.

If they enter a contest
that requires a newsletter sign up,
I assume they’ve signed up.

They are trusting me
to tell a great story.
The least I can do
is trust them
to tell the truth.

As business builders,
we set policies
and many of these policies
are based on
how much we trust our customers.
We could trust them completely,
not at all,
or, more likely, somewhere
between these two extremes.

Make this decision consciously
as it will affect future policies.

By k | August 14, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There will be
a solar eclipse
in North America
on August 21st.

This is a wonderful event
to market around.

Why?

Because it will affect
everyone.
Female.
Male.
Old.
Young.
Every culture.
Everyone.

You don’t need
to have solar eclipse ‘products’
to market around this event.

I’m having some fun
around the solar eclipse,
creating marketing campaigns
about how my heroes
are the best beings
to see this event with.

Consider
marketing around
the solar eclipse.

By k | August 13, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The entire point
of negotiating
is
one party gives a little,
the other party gives a little,
and
the two parties agree
somewhere in the middle.

What this means is…
we have to allow
the other party to give a little
without looking weak.

We keep negotiations private.
We don’t,
for example,
threaten the other party
on Twitter,
where the entire world
can see.

We make it easy
for them to relent.
Maybe we point out
how one of their demands
can be met in a different way
or
why it isn’t that key.

We might give a little first.
We are the stronger party
and back down
on one of our demands.

Create a situation
where the other party
can give into some of your demands
without looking like they ‘lost.’
THAT’s how negotiations happen.

By k | August 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In the Romance Novel Business,
there are tropes,
story ideas that often appear.

The average writer
follows a trope.

A GREAT writer
tweaks the trope,
spinning it a little bit differently.

This is what
we should consider doing
with the businesses
we’re building.

Kate Silver
shares

“At dinner one night,
the mentor noticed that
[Yaniv] Masjedi
[chief marketing officer
of Nextiva]
kept looking at his phone.
It was around 2011,
and Nextiva’s customers
and prospective customers
had begun posing questions
to the business
on Facebook and Twitter.

His mentor gave him
this piece of advice:
‘He said
if you’re going to [respond],
do it in a way that’s different.
Why don’t you make videos
instead of replying via text?’”

Do it in a way that’s different.