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

Tonight,
kids in North America
will be dressing up
as their favorite characters.

They are telling us visually
‘I have chosen THIS costume
out of all the thousands
of costumes available.
THIS is the character
I want to be.’

As I’m in the writing business,
I look for the fictional characters,
the characters with strong stories.
What about these stories
appeals to the kids?
What is common in all of them?

If I was in the marketing business
(and aren’t we ALL in the marketing business?),
I’d look for colors.
Is there a certain shade of blue
that is popular?
(With book covers, the hot color
is turquoise.)
Is there a unique color combination
I can borrow and use?

Kids might not be
our current customers
but they will be our future customers.
Pay attention
tonight
to what they like.

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

One of my writing buddies
has a very successful series
(product line).
Her covers (packaging)
for this series
is distinctive.
As soon as I see the cover,
I know it is her book.

So, of course,
another writer (the competition)
is now
copying her style,
putting similar type covers
on her books,
hoping to interest
my friend’s readership
(customer base).

There’s not much
my friend can do about this.
The covers, titles, etc
are different.
Copyrighting a style is difficult.

So my friend changed
her style,
hoping to differentiate herself.

Yes, I can hear that collective groan.
That was the worst thing
she could do.
She has handed her readership
to the other writer.

If the competition imitates you,
that’s a great opportunity for a
‘When you’re the best,
others imitate you’
campaign.

It is NOT time to change
your product.

By k | October 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Arguing with people
sucks up quite a bit of time
and
accomplishes
very little.

When I was young,
for example,
I would try to convince everyone
they should read romance novels
(use my products).
I argued with thousands of people.
I didn’t change one person’s mind.
Not one.

Now, I don’t bother arguing.
If someone tells me
they don’t like romance novels,
I shrug
and move onto the next person.

I prefer to spend my time
selling to the people open
to my product.
They are more likely to buy.

Your time is limited.
Don’t spend it
arguing with people
who will never buy.

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

When someone does something
awesome,
I will often post or write
“You ROCK.”

I prefer that
over
“Congrats.”

Why?

Because ‘Congrats’
doesn’t imply
they DID anything.
It could have been
a stroke of lucky,
being in the right place
at the right time.

Sure,
there’s an element
of luck
in every success
but we can’t influence that.

We can influence action
and people are more likely
to take action
when past action has been recognized.

A phrase like
‘You ROCK’
says I recognize
they had something to do
with their success.

It is a small thing
but, over time,
it makes a difference.

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

Our ‘truth’
is what we see or hear or touch
every day.

If everyone in our neighborhood
is doing well,
we tend to think
everyone everywhere is doing well.

If everyone we know
is wearing a certain brand,
we think
everyone everywhere is wearing that brand.

The average person wants to be like everyone.
We’ll wear that brand too.

Seth Godin
shares

“If you can be
locally dominant,
the locals will instinctively decide
that you are globally dominant.

Have 100 customers
in one neighborhood
(virtual or real)
is worth much much more
than having one customer
in each of 100 neighborhoods.”

Seek to dominate a small niche
first
and then grow that niche.
You’ll likely grow faster
than trying to be everywhere.

By k | October 26, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A writer I know
recently told readers,
“If I don’t see sales soon,
I’ll quit.
I won’t release
the final book in my series.”

I believe
he was hoping
this would push
some of his super fans
to promote his books.

The issue with this strategy
is…

1) No one likes
to be forced to do something,
to have a brand
hold them hostage,
especially when they originally associated
with the brand
because it made them feel good.

and

2) No one wants
to be associated with failure.
What happens
if the super fan
helps the writer promote
and he still quits,
he still ‘fails’?
The super fan
will be closely associated
with this failure.
She’ll have to tell her friends
the writer she was promoting
quit.
No one wants to do that.

There are a thousand ways
to increase sales.
Threatening to quit
isn’t one of them.

By k | October 25, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

KFC reportedly follows
only 11 people
- 5 Spice Girls
and 6 guys named Herb.

Yes, this is a nod to
their famous
11 herbs and spices.
Super clever
and this Easter Egg has gone viral.

An Easter Egg is
“a hidden message,
as a cryptic reference,
iconic image, or inside joke,
that fans are intended to discover
in a television show or movie.”

I put these in my stories
and often in my marketing campaigns.
Readers (customers) love them.
They feel clever for discovering them
and tend to share them,
to ’show off’ their intelligence.

The best part of this is
it’s usually free to do!
And any business can do it.

Live on 692 Main Street?
Follow 692 people.
Have a 99 cent special?
List creative silly things
folks can do
with their pennies back.

And don’t tell people
what you’re doing.
Let THEM figure it out.

Your customers are intelligent.
Trust in that intelligence.
And have fun
with your marketing.

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

Most of us know about
the Law Of Reciprocity.
If we do something
for someone,
they are more likely
to do something
for us.

We give a prospect
a freebie.
They are more likely to buy
something from us.
We help the competition.
They are more likely
to help us.

Unfortunately
this can be abused.

A writer I know
asks for a favor
after she does something
for me,
whether I want this thing done
or not.

When she shares
one of my posts,
I cringe
because I know
I’m about to receive
a message from her
asking for something.

No…just no.

Use the Law Of Reciprocity
sparingly.

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

One of the most difficult parts
of the Romance Novel Business
is writing the blurb,
the marketing copy
that ‘describes’ the book (product).

It is usually around 150 words long
yet can take me
8 hours or more to write.
I then have the blurb
edited by another ‘expert’
at least 3 times.

One wrong word,
one misplaced sentence
can make a difference
between great sales
and not-so-great sales.

Whenever a writer posts
about the pain of crafting blurbs,
a usually new writer
always comments about
how he loves them,
how he finds them easy to write.

This writer COULD be a natural
at writing blurbs
but that is highly unlikely.

If an expert finds a task challenging
and you don’t,
ask yourself why.

By k | October 22, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There was an awareness campaign
this week
about sexual harassment
and sexual assault.
Any woman who had experienced this
was encouraged to put
Me Too on her social media status.

Almost every woman did this
because almost every woman
has been sexually harassed
or sexually assaulted.
(I have been.)

Then came the usual male push back.
Men are worried about being fired
because they’ve been wrongfully accused.

I understand.
A male loved one was recently fired
when he was wrongfully accused.
It DOES happen.

But it is less likely to happen
if men take the same precautions
women have been taking
…well… all our lives.

Don’t be alone with a person
you don’t trust.
Don’t say anything
that might be misconstrued.
Don’t behave unprofessionally.

If you want the full list,
ask any woman.
She thinks about this
on a daily basis.

Will it eliminate all of the danger
of being falsely accused?
Considering it hasn’t eliminated
all of the danger
of being sexually harassed or assaulted,
I doubt it.
But it will reduce the risk.

If you’re male
and worried about being falsely accused,
ask a woman
for advice on how to increase your safety.