By k | July 12, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’ve built my romance novel readership
one reader at a time.
I’ve interacted in some way
with everyone who buys my books.

No writer wants to hear this.
They don’t want to hear
I’ve put a gazillion hours of work
into fighting for every reader.
They want the short cut,
the secret to instant readership.

It is a secret
I continue to search for.
Until I find it,
if it does exist
(which I doubt it does),
I build readership the slow way.

A loved one
is a salesman for a huge tech company.
He builds his customer base
the same way
- one call or email or meeting
at a time.
Even when he hosts events,
the customers he reaches out to
during the event
and talks to one-on-one
are the customers
who are most likely to buy from him.

There are very few short cuts
to building a customer base.
While you’re looking for them,
consider also employing
the tried and true method
- building your customer base
one person/company at a time.

By k | July 11, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’ve talked in the past
about starting now,
about how we shouldn’t wait
to build our businesses.

Starting a business
and opening a business
are two different things, however.

I plan to finish a book
this month.
To maximize sales,
I won’t release that book
until September.

How long to wait
and when
to open a business
depends on the business.

I talked to the owner
of a toy store
yesterday.
Sales in his industry
are concentrated in December.
He opened his store in May.
That means he has to survive
SEVEN months
without half-decent sales.

Work on your business today.
There are a gazillion things
to be done before a business opens.

Open your business
when it makes the most sense
sales-wise.

By k | July 10, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I received some spirited emails
from client k readers
about yesterday’s post
on the lack of representation
in the Forbes article.

Some business builders are sick and tired
of political correctness.

This is client k.
I don’t give a f*ck
about political correctness
here.
I talk about a$$hole vendors
and how to get raises
from bastard bosses.

I was using that article
to talk about
marketing correctness.

If you want to sell to a group,
show folks from that group
in photos.

It sends a signal
that hey, you notice them.
You take their preferences
into consideration.
You want to do business
with them.

If you don’t show
folks from a group,
you send the opposite message.
This product or service
isn’t for them.
They should keep looking.

You get the customers
you market to.

By k | July 9, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

This past week,
I’ve been citing
Forbes’ article
on Productivity.

This is a great article.
I think everyone should read it.

However, as I flipped through
the slides,
I noticed one thing
- the lack of business women
in the photos.

There are 17 photos
and only 2 had women up front.
1 of those 2 photos
had two men vs the 1 woman.

A male friend
flipped through the slides
and he didn’t notice
the lack of representation.

I did.
Being female,
I notice if there are no females
in photos.

If you want to appeal to a group
(and perhaps Forbes doesn’t want
to appeal to women),
assure they’re represented in photos.
The group will notice
if they aren’t represented.

By k | July 8, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I officially run
a one-woman business.
I’m the only full-time employee.

But the only reason
I can do that
and be successful
is by delegating some tasks
to other business partners.

As I grow,
I suspect I will delegate
even more tasks.

Kevin Kruse
shares

“Ultra-productive people don’t ask,
“How can I do this task?”
Instead they ask,
“How can this task get done?”
They take the “I” out of it
as much as possible.

Ultra-productive people don’t have control issues
and they are not micro-managers.
In many cases good enough is,
well, good enough.”

Delegate tasks.

By k | July 7, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Every once in a while,
I take a cyber vacation.
I take a break from social media.
I only check email once a day.

Why?

Because this trains me
to dial back
responding to messages.
I concentrate on the tasks
I have to complete.

Kevin Kruse
shares

“Ultra-productive people
don’t “check” email
throughout the day.
They don’t respond
to each vibration or ding
to see who has intruded their inbox.

Instead,
like everything else,
they schedule time
to process their email
quickly and efficiently.

For some
that’s only once a day,
for me,
it’s morning, noon and night.”

Consider limiting
your access to email and other messages.

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

When I worked
in New Business Development
for a major beverage company,
we would spend time
every year
with the customer.

Not to sell them anything.
Not to talk about our products.

We would spend time
following our customer around
as she went through her normal day.

We would do this
with our immediate customers,
the stores we sold into,
following,
for example,
the employee who stocked
the shelves.

And we would do this
with our final customers,
following,
for example,
the mom of two
as she went through
a typical shopping trip.

Knowing our customers
allowed us
to better design our products
to make them happy.

Consider living
like your customer
for a day.

By k | July 5, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I love my to-do lists
but I don’t simply
list the tasks.
I schedule the tasks
in my calendar.

Having a time slot
for the tasks
increases the odds of
completing them.

And this is easy to do
in today’s world.
We can access our calendars
at any time
from any where
with our phones.

Jordan Harbinger,
co-founder of
The Art of Charm,
shares

“Use a calendar
and schedule your entire day
into 15-minute blocks.
It sounds like a pain,
but this will set you up
in the 95th percentile…”

Don’t simply list your tasks.
Schedule them.

By k | July 4, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my writing buddies
runs release day sales.
She wonders why
her readers don’t pre-order
her books.

Why would they pre-order
her books?
They’d pay less
if they waited.

I have a reviewer
who always posts spoilers
of my books
on release day.
I suspect she’s doing this
to ruin my sales.
Instead, she’s training my readers
to pre-order my books
and read them as soon as possible.

Seth Godin
shares

“If you frequently
run last-minute sales,
don’t be surprised
if your customers stop
buying things in advance.
You’re training them to wait.”

“The way you engage
with your customers
(students/bosses/peers)
trains them on what to expect
from interactions with you.”

What are you training
your customers
to do?

By k | July 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m a USA Today Bestselling writer.
I have a readership
many writers dream of having.
I’ve been writing my entire life
and have taken hundreds of courses.

I’m taking a writing course this week
and on the FIRST day,
I learned something new.

You don’t know everything
there is to know
about your industry.
You don’t.
That’s impossible to do.

And what you don’t know
might be holding you back,
might be hindering your success.

Take a course.
Read a book.
Talk to an expert.
Expand your knowledge.

It can’t hurt you
and it will likely help you.