By k | December 31, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is December 31st.
Many of us will be making
New Year’s Resolutions tonight.
We will be dreaming
and planning
for our perfect 2018.

Dreaming and planning
is fun.
It’s easy.

What determines
our success with these goals,
with these resolutions
is what we’re willing to do
and often willing to sacrifice
to achieve them.

Mark Manson
shares

“If I ask you,
“What do you want out of life?”
and you say something like,
“I want to be happy
and have a great family
and a job I like,”
it’s so ubiquitous
that it doesn’t even mean anything.

A more interesting question,
a question that perhaps
you’ve never considered before,
is what pain do you want in your life?
What are you willing to struggle for?
Because that seems to be
a greater determinant
of how our lives turn out.”

What goals are you willing
to struggle to achieve?

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

There’s a rumor
going around
the Romance Novel Industry
that Amazon,
our biggest reseller,
no long price matches
to other booksellers (resellers).

The issue with this
is…
Amazon doesn’t allow
eBooks to be listed
for less than 99 cents.
If a writer (business)
wants to run a free promotion,
she has to list the eBook for free
at other booksellers
and ask Amazon to price match.

Which rumors are saying
is no longer possible.

Except it is possible.
I asked Amazon to price match
one of my short stories
(sample products)
and they did it immediately.

If it pertains to your business,
go directly to the source.
Don’t rely on rumors.

By k | December 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Have a product
that wows during demonstrations?
Consider taking those demonstrations
online
with instructional videos.

As with live demonstrations,
it is important to make them brief
and entertaining.

Also
Jason Hsiao,
co-founder of
Animoto,
shares

“Unlike a theater-going audience
where you know people
will watch a movie
until the very end,
viewers of online video
have a much shorter attention span.

So start with
what’s most important
and ensure people see
what the end state can be.”

Consider instructional videos
for products that wow
during demonstrations.

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

The writing business
can feel very personal.
The primary product
comes completely from
a writer’s brain.

It can be challenging
to hear criticism of our products.
It feels like criticism of ourselves,
of how our brains work.

Seth Godin
shares

“You are not your work,
embrace criticism”

Which is easy to say
but more challenging to do.

One way I separate myself
from my business
is to use a pen name.

When my pen name
is criticized,
I tell myself
readers (customers) are not really criticizing me
because they don’t know
anything about me.
They don’t even know
my real name.

The pen name puts some distance
between my products
and myself.

This is one reason
why I caution entrepreneurs
about naming businesses
after themselves.
An attack on the business
might feel like
an attack on yourself.
It is more challenging to react
calmly, professionally
to that.

Try your best
to emotionally separate yourself
from your business.

By k | December 27, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all fear failure.
No one wants
to look like a dumb a$$
in front of the world.

I don’t sleep
the night before
a book releases
because I worry
no one will like it.
It will be a failure.

Yet I write the book
and release it anyway
because I want THAT
more than I fear failure.

Seth Godin
shares

“Failure
(and the fear of failure)
gives you a chance
to have a voice….

Because failure frightens people
who care less than you do.”

If fear of failure stops you,
you don’t want it enough.
Find something
you WILL risk failure
to accomplish.

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

Today,
being the day after Christmas,
is normally when I look at
the wonderful presents I’ve been given,
and
evaluate what I will use
and what I won’t ever use.

The gifts I won’t ever use
are re-distributed.

Why?

Because giving the gift away
might benefit
someone else.

Holding onto it
won’t benefit anyone
and has a cost to it.
I must store the item.

I try to redistribute the gifts
as soon as possible.
The quicker I do this,
the more valuable
the redistribution often is
to others
(especially in the case
of trendy or fad gifts).

This makes me feel good
but I have a selfish reason
for doing this also.
I’m hoping someone redistributes
something I need
to me.

I do the same thing
with business leads,
ideas,
prospects,
and opportunities
I don’t want.

I redistribute them
and often,
in return,
I receive what I truly want.

Consider redistributing
the gifts you don’t need.

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

You can’t do great,
world-changing work
if you’re burned out.
You won’t build the business
of your dreams
if you’re exhausted,
if your creative wells are dry.

If you can,
take the day off.

Spend the day with loved ones.
Relax.
Listen to the important people
in your life.
Dream a little.
Envision your perfect life,
your perfect business.

I love the writing business.
I would do it for fun.
But I do take time off.
It is necessary to keep me healthy,
excited, thinking clearly.

Time off is a business need.
Put it on your list
of things to do.

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

I sent out a newsletter recently.
All of the links were wrong.
All of them.
The text appeared correct
but when it was clicked on,
subscribers were sent
to the wrong book.

I knew I had to send out
another newsletter
with the correct links.
I also knew that would likely
irritate readers.
They would view me
as being spamtastic.

So I wrote a super short story
around the links,
why they were wrong
(hinting that one of my characters
was responsible).

Readers LOVED it.
They wrote back,
telling me that sounded like
the character,
that they couldn’t wait to read
what he’d done next.

A disaster became a win.

Not all errors
have to have negative consequences.
See if you can put
a positive or entertaining spin
on the situation.

By k | December 23, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

As you likely noticed
holiday sales
started early this year.
Black Friday started on the Monday.

Next year,
it will likely start
November 1st.

Brandon Chopp,
the digital marketing strategist
for iHeartRaves,
shares

“We’re really pushing sales
earlier with Black November
—sales the entire month.

Sales don’t start
on Black Friday anymore
as most companies start earlier
to try to top each other.”

Next year,
plan for Black November.

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

I know when a story of mine
hits 1,000 units sold,
sales will likely take off.

That’s the minimum critical mass
(MCM)
for success
in my niche.

That’s the point
when word of mouth
starts to really sell product.

Seth Godin
shares

“…the best marketers
do three things
to increase their chances:

They engineer the product itself
to be worth talking about.
They create a virtuous cycle
where the product works better
for existing users
when their friends are also using it,
or a cultural imperative
where users feel better
when they recommend it.

They choose their seed market carefully.
They focus on groups
that are not only easy to reach,
but important to reach.
This might be a tightly-knit group
(like Harvard)
or a group that shares
a similar demographic
(like the early readers
of Fast Company)
or a group that’s itching to take action…

They’re hyper-aware of the MCM
and know whether or not
they have the time
and the budget
to reach it.”

Know your minimum critical mass
and know whether or not
that is achievable for your product/service.