By k | September 30, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the best
marketing campaigns
I did
with the Romance Novel Business
was to band together
with other writers in our niche
(i.e. the competition)
and promote.

Not only did we share readership
(customers)
and grow the niche
but
we also brought readers in that niche
together.

They were no longer alone,
the only person reading this niche.
They were a group.
They had met readers like them.

That’s powerful.

Seth Godin
shares

“Competition is a signal.
It means that
you’re offering something
that’s not crazy.
Competition gives people reassurance.”

We WANT competitors,
especially if we don’t have
an unlimited marketing budget.

Consider using competition
as a way
to validate your niche.

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

I was in the co-op accounting program
at unversity.
We would go to school
for 4 months
and then work in an accounting position
(paid)
for 4 months.
We’d alternate school terms
and work terms
and were encouraged
to take different placements
on these work terms.

One work term,
we might be working in
an accounting firm.
The next work term,
we might be working in
the accounting department
of a huge company
or a tiny company
or a start up
or a charity.

These placements
allowed us to figure out
where we wanted to work
full time.

As Seth Godin
shares

“The best way
to plan a house
on a vacant piece of land
is to move into a tiny shepherd’s hut
on a corner of the property.
It’s not fancy,
and it’s not comfortable,
but you can probably stay there
for a week or two.

And during that week,
you’ll understand more
about the land
than you ever could
in an hour of walking around.
You’ll see how the rain falls
and the sun shines
and the puddles form.”

If you’re thinking about
building a business
in a new-to-you industry,
consider working in that industry
for a week or two or ten.
Test the industry
before investing all of your resources
into it.

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

In almost every industry,
there is a proven ‘fact’
being disputed.
In the medical industry,
this is the effectiveness of vaccines.
In the energy industry,
this is the existence of climate change.
In the romance novel industry,
this is reader adaptation of eBooks.

The folks heading these disputes
of the facts
are almost always the old guard,
the established companies,
the giants.

They have a vested interest
in fighting these facts.

As business builders,
as the new kids on the block,
we don’t.
We can build our businesses
around these facts.
We can embrace the future.

(Ironically,
many of the established businesses,
the businesses disputing the facts,
are also preparing for a time
when these facts are undeniable.)

Build your business
around facts.

(Seth Godin has a great post
about this.)

By k | September 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A study from
Brunel University
and Goldsmiths, University of London
has shown that
internet trolls are more likely
to be male.

What does this mean?

As someone
who personally knows
many males masquerading
as female romance writers
online,
I can attest
that you can’t judge
a commenter
by his/her name
or his/her profile picture.

That ‘female customer’
who is harassing you,
who won’t be appeased
with apologies
and free product,
is likely to be male.

Take that into account
when you deal with him/her.

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

My Romance Novel Business
wasn’t the first business
I’ve launched.

I made many attempts
at other business ideas.
Some broke even
but didn’t grow.
Some failed.
Spectacularly.

Logic says
the failures should have
dissuaded me
from starting another business.

They didn’t.
If anything,
they convinced me more
that I was meant
for business building.

I had DONE it.
The venture might not
have been successful
but how many people
could say
they started a business?
Not many.

In August’s
West Jet Magazine,
Chris Riccobono,
co-founder of UNTUCKit,
shares

“I tried to escape
the corporate world
a few times.

I launched a video wine blog
in 2009
[called Pardon That Vine]
because of my love of wine,
especially from Italy, France,
and California,
and because I wanted to
try my own business
- I don’t like
working for other people.
I tried to make it into a business,
but it wasn’t meant to be.

It did give me confidence
to attempt something else,
though.”

Don’t be afraid
of failures.
Allow them to fuel you.

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

If you’re a business builder
and you’re female,
your appearance
will be supplied
as a reason
for your imminent failure.

If you’re young/small/beautiful,
you’ll be told
no one will take you seriously.

If you’re older/curvy/not beautiful,
you’ll be told
no one will want to buy from you.

This has happened
to EVERY successful female business builder
but you know what?
These naysayers were wrong
about these now successful women
and they are wrong
about you.

Jamie Kern Lima,
Co-Founder of
IT Cosmetics,
shares

“And a defining moment happened.
I met with a potential investor
who was a pretty big deal
in private equity
at the time
and after diligence,
he decided to pass
on investing in IT cosmetics.

And I’ll never forget
when I asked him why.
He said to me,
‘I’m just not sure
women would buy makeup
from someone
who looks like you
– you know,
with your body
and your weight.’

And I remember
looking at him straight in the eyes,
kind of in shock,
and I felt something
deep down inside myself
that said
‘No. You are wrong.
And if by chance, he’s right,
I’m going to make it
my mission to change that.’”

People WILL buy
from someone like you.
People WILL
take someone like you
seriously.

Build that business.
Don’t allow comments
about your appearance
stop you.

By k | September 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was a brand new writer,
I was desperate
for a book deal.
I signed a contract
that gave the publisher
total control over my name
FOREVER.
That publisher
also under reported my sales,
paying me a fraction
of the royalties
they owed me.

I had to reinvent myself,
launching a new pen name,
to survive that mistake.

Desperation leads to
bad business deals.

Master P,
Rapper
and Music Mogul,
shares

“This story is going
to show the world
that we’ve got to use our minds
sometimes, too.
We shouldn’t be in a rush.

I tell people all the time,
don’t do a business deal
when you’re desperate.

At that time
I was living in the projects;
I was desperate.
So if I did that deal
it just would’ve been,
“That’s it for me.”
I would’ve sold
the rights to my name.
I never would’ve been
able to use my name again.
So we have to be able
to read these contracts.”

If you feel desperation
over a deal,
consult someone
whose opinion you value
and LISTEN to that someone.

We all make stupid decisions
when we’re desperate
and those stupid decisions
can haunt us forever.

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

Yesterday, I talked about
intentionally excluding a group.
The thing is,
when we intentionally exclude a group,
we shouldn’t be surprised
when that group crafts its own solution.

Romance Novels
are one of the best selling genres
in publishing.
For decades,
romance novel writers and readers
have been trying
to have romance novels
made into films.

If you’re a male writer,
like Nicholas Sparks,
you’re likely to be successful.
If you’re a female writer?
Not so much.

A group of women
said ‘fuck it’
and they created PassionFlix,

a company that brings these stories
to the screen.
It is heavily crowd-funded.
That’s how much of a demand
there is for this type of product.

When looking at
new business ideas,
consider servicing groups
other companies exclude,
especially if that exclusion
is based on bias.

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

Nikon recently hand chose
32 professional photographers
to represent their new Nikon D850.
They are ALL male.

Considering there’s
healthy female representation
in the photography industry,
I assume this was intentional.

Folks ARE talking about it
and
the increased exposure
COULD offset angering
over 50% of the population.
But it is a risky move,
one that will affect
the brand forever.

There’s a difference
between targeting a group
and pushing away other groups.
The first can be temporary.
The second is often permanent.

Think before
you intentionally upset a group.

By k | September 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The average person
has 2.24 credit cards
and
3.14 people in his/her family.

The average person
isn’t your target market
because the average person
doesn’t exist.

Seth Godin
shares

“It’s tempting to look at
pop music, network TV
and the latest hot fashion
and come to the conclusion
that the recipe for success
is to focus group everyone,
average it up
and make something
that pleases the big hump
in the middle,
while not offending
most of the outliers.

But few things are up
for a majority-rule vote.
Instead, the tail keeps getting longer,
and choice begets more choice.
As a result,
people don’t need
to abandon their hump
to head
to the non-existent middle.”

If your target market
is the average person,
consider rethinking your strategy.

Trying to please the average person
means not pleasing
anyone at all.