By k | September 15, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

It is easier and less expensive
to sell products
to existing customers.

With so much competition,
how do we keep
these customers loyal to us?

We build our products
so we become
more valuable to them.

In the romance novel industry,
we, writers, often concentrate
on writing a series of connected books
for this exact reason.

Readers have the ability
to start reading the series
at any point.
I design my books
so the previous books
don’t have to be read first.

But if they DO start from the beginning,
they know things new readers don’t.
They know that
a phrase has an extra meaning.
They know that
an action will upset another character.
They know that
a tool has a secret purpose
and it is meaningful
that a character carries it.

Many companies are using
data they’ve collected
about their customers
to accomplish something similar.

Having autofills on forms
so returning customers
don’t have to re-enter their information
is one basic example
of providing value.

Suggesting products they might like
based on their past purchases
is another.

Build in reasons
for your existing customers
to remain loyal.

By k | September 13, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A bestselling romance writer
went on a blog rant.
It began with how,
when she started publishing,
there wasn’t an online reader community.

She started publishing
four short years ago.

The internet, of course,
tore her post to shreds.
And it should have.

This wasn’t merely ignorant.
It was disrespectful
to the people
who had built
the online reader communities
she sold her books to.

Everything builds.

We might think
we’ve created something new
all by ourselves
but our creation
was built on a base
of other people’s hard work.

Acknowledge that work.
Know what that work was.
Respect it.

If we’re fortunate,
years from now,
someone will build off our work.

By k | September 12, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have a book releasing tomorrow.
I took risks yet again
with this book.
Readers could love it
or they could hate it.

Thinking about it
makes me a little
sick to my stomach.

Whenever I feel like this,
I know I’m doing work
that matters.

David Bowie

“The other thing I would say is
that if you feel safe
in the area you’re working in,
you’re not working in the right area.

Always go a little further
into the water
than you feel you’re capable
of being in,
go a little out of your depth,
and when you don’t feel that
your feet are quite touching the bottom,
you’re just about
in the right place
to do something exciting.”

If you feel safe,
you’re not pushing yourself.
Take some risks.
Change the world.

By k | September 10, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I often read blog posts
that tout the ‘rules’
for building a great business.

EVERY rule,
even the cash flow is king rule,
has been broken
by at least one
now successful business.

As with writing,
there are no rules
to business building.

There are guidelines,
tactics and thinking
that might make your life
and your business building easier
IF they work for you
and your business.

They might not work.
You try them and
determine that for yourself.

Listen to the experts
then make your own rules
for your business.

By k | September 9, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I receive 1 star reviews
on everything I publish.

Some of those stories
have won awards.
Some of those stories
have made the best seller lists.
It doesn’t matter.
Someone hates every story.

Someone hates every post
I make on social media also.
I’ll post a picture of kittens playing
and I’ll receive at least one comment
from a person who hates kittens.

Receiving harsh criticism is
part of life now.

Seth Godin

“If your goal is
to be universally liked
and respected
and understood,
then, it must mean
your goal is to not do
something that matters.”

Even if you do nothing,
you’ll upset someone.
You might as well upset them
by changing the world.

By k | September 8, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We talked about
online communities yesterday.

The core members
of an online community
have roles.

There are official roles
like moderators,
the policeman of the internet.

There are also unofficial roles.
For example,
I’m often the mood lightener.
When the tone gets too tense
or serious or sad,
I share a silly pun
or I tell members I love them
or I do something else
to make people feel good.

There’s the ‘expert’,
the person who brings the facts
to every discussion.

There’s the drama llama,
the person who makes everything
and often entertaining.

There are many other roles
and we usually get to choose
which one we play.

I like to choose a role
that ties into my branding.
I write romance,
a genre known for happy endings,
so I was happy to take the mood lightener role,
be the person
who makes others feel happy.

Align your role
in the online community
to your branding.

By k | September 7, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Online communities
are a valuable resource.
I don’t know what
I’d do without them.

How do you become
a valuable part
of an online community?

Seth Godin
shares this tip.

“Offer help on
something you’re good at
to the community
at least three times
before you ask that community
for help.

Someone is always
coming up behind you.”

Offering help
three times
also forces us
to spend time
in the community
before asking for the help
we need.

Odds are…
we’ll figure out
that the question
has already been asked.
Multiple times.
Frustrating core members.

I’m part of
quite a few online communities.
Every day, someone asks
a question that has
already been asked a zillion times.

They can’t be bothered
to look that answer up.
They don’t value
the community members’ time.

Don’t be that someone.
Spend time within the community
before asking for help.

By k | September 6, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A writing buddy has written
a book in an under serviced niche.
There’s a huge demand for this niche
and not many writers writing in it.

She is debating
whether or not
to write a second book
because the niche is ‘hard.’
It requires quite a bit of research.

A year ago,
there were 4,500 books
released on Amazon.
I recently learned
that number is now 6,000.

The easy niches are crowded.
The difficulty in those niches
is finding
a unique premise.
It is almost impossible.

In a crowded market
(and almost all
markets are crowded),
the easy products have all been launched.

If you want success,
you have to do some work.

By k | September 5, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I offer the first story
in one of my series
for free.
Readers have to pay for
the rest of the stories.

Yesterday, a reader
went on an impressive Facebook rant
about how writers who do this
are tricking their readers.
If the first story is free,
according to her,
ALL stories should be free.

Readers who want
everything for free
are NOT the readers
I’m interested in

I simply said to myself,
“This isn’t my reader.”
I unfriended her
and moved on.

We won’t make
every customer happy.
We can’t.
What makes one customer happy
makes another customer unhappy.

Ignore the noise
from people
who aren’t your target customers.

By k | September 4, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Making the competition happy
isn’t your job.

Your job is the exact opposite.
If you’re not
making the competition uncomfortable,
you’re not making a difference
in your industry.

This sounds obvious
but it needs to be said
because even I forget this.

I receive emails from writers,
telling me that this or that
marketing/pricing/production tactic
is ruining the industry
for other writers
and I feel bad.
I consider abandoning the tactic.

Which is exactly
what these writers,
my competition wants,
and exactly
what my customers
DON’T want.

We SHOULD be making
the competition uncomfortable.
Think before acting
on their complaints.