Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

By the end of 2010, many of us have incorporated social media into our marketing campaigns. It is a no brainer to have a FaceBook Fan page or Twitter account for getting traffic to your website. Some have gone beyond and created their own blogs and even their own communities to get the word out to their tribe. Now the “BUT” part….in doing so, we have forgotten why this all started in the first place.

The concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. Many companies have demonstrated their skills in promoting deals, managing customer grievances and even hiring using social media. Bravo! for the increased “customer satisfaction” and “personalization” of their customer interactions.

But looking into the future, I have a question that pops up in my head. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”

I guess I was impressed but after certain goals have been met and since it is all “the new normal”, I am  asking the question – “When are we doing to think outside of FaceBook?” OR “Is the number of your Twitter followers any measure of your influence?”.

Why I ask these questions is because we are now using social media mindlessly, sometimes, even without any specific objective behind it. The best analogy that I can think of is “It is like having your morning cup of coffee, whether it helps us wake up or not, we need it since we do it everyday”.

Here is what you need to look into as you plan for your engagement…

  1. Is Facebooking work? Recently I was pointed to an article Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction, where the author states “ I know I can read a book, but then I’m up and checking Facebook,” he says, adding: “Facebook is amazing because it feels like you’re doing something and you’re not doing anything. It’s the absence of doing something, but you feel gratified anyway.– “. If you are Facebooking – loading  or seeing pics, commenting on friends status while in the middle of a meeting or a paper you are writing – is that really work?
  2. Are you trusted? There is a growing mistrust with the rise of concerns regarding privacy on these channels and it is getting harder to engage your friends to “Like” or “Comment” or “Tweet” to garner support for your social campaigns. The only true measure of success in this scenario is “Trust”.
  3. Are you innovating your marketing? Winners are going to be the ones who are experimenting, failing and trying new approaches — again and again. New sites like Quora, Shoutlet and Foursquare will need to be considered when planning your marketing mix based on your marketing objectives.

So, if you thought that you have mastered Facebook and Twitter and are set for your social media marketing…Think Again. You have just scratched the surface…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? Are you a Dinosaur or… are you still in the GAME?


Week In Review : Dec 12 – Dec 18, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on December 19, 2010

The Origin of Leaders #4: Self-discipline. Cultivating the habit of completion

by Conor Neill, Dec 13, 2010

The only people who can change the world are those that want to. Many don’t want to. Some want to, but don’t accept the discipline of hard work. Anything you want will never be as hard as you imagine it will be! So, get started and push on through. Do it “just because.” Even if it is a failure as a product, it will teach you. You will come out stronger. more…

Chaos and Complexity #14: What makes Complexity complex?

by Gary Monti, Dec 14, 2010

The hallmark of complex systems is emergent behavior. The components of this behavior are Adaptability, Connectedness, Interdependency and Diversity. It is the responsibility of the leader to maintain a balance among all four variables and each of these attributes must be at the “in-between” setting to create positive tension. more…

Social Media and Tribes #24: Getting better with Social Media – Christmas Wishlist

by Deepika Bajaj, Dec 15, 2010

Social media was a boon for Deepika while she was confined to bed rest after undergoing surgery. She could stay in touch with friends, help others, blog, shop and more. If only Social Media could make you Starbucks and chicken soup:) more…

Flexible Focus #32: Folding the Square

by William Reed, Dec 16, 2010

Origami and general the art of folding is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. This is an essential aspect of Japanese sense of creativity and aesthetics. The reason is that, not only does it result in a host of useful and practical solutions to problems and products, but it also illustrates how many possibilities open up when we work within a certain set of limitations. The Mandala Chart can facilitate the process of connecting discipline and spontaneity through flexible focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #3: How to make your writing Crisp, Flavorful and Satisfying (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Dec 17, 2010

Clear, sharp writing is almost a lost art.  And it is sad because to get along in life you must be able to explain yourself clearly. In business if you cannot craft a grammatically correct, well-written document that people find pleasing to read, you will always be working for someone else who can. There are five key considerations in writing: Purpose, Audience, Content, Style and Mechanics. This post is about Purpose. more…

Week In Review: Oct 10 – Oct 16, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 17, 2010

Developing your financial management talent

by Brian Superczynski, Oct 11, 2010

IT financial management has not evolved into a discipline with its own academic programs and certifications. In addition to learning on the job and tailoring programs for your organization, ITIL and PMI courses/certifications will help. But the first step is to recognize this as a  unique area that needs to be developed in your organization. more…

Chaos and Complexity #5: Chaos vs. Complexity

by Gary Monti, Oct 12, 2010

When patterns emerge in chaotic environment, adaptation happens. This is called complex adaptive behavior. This is driven by self organization. The hallmark of emergent, complex adaptive behavior is it brings about a change from the starting point that is not just different in degree by in kind. more…

Social Media and Tribes #16: LinkedIn gets a local makeover in India!

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 13, 2010

India’s economy is growing by leaps and bounds and it’s professional class is utilizing social media to keep up. Brijj is the local equivalent of LinkedIn, but it has some local twists. more…

Flexible Focus #23: Manners make the man

by William Reed, Oct 14, 2010

Some of the Japanese traditions from the Edo period are still relevant. It shows how to live with respect, culture and style. In this article William has a short list of some key aspects of the Edo manners. You can also download the EDO SHIGUSA MANDALA to start integrating Edo Manners in your life. more…

Worry and Anxiety – Can we really overcome them?

by Vijay Peduru, Oct 15, 2010

We worry about a lot of things. But if you carefully analyze those worries, you will realize that more than 90% of them are needless. Worries only lead to bad situations like relationship problems are health issues. Overcome your worries by understanding that worries are stories we invent about a future situation. These stories will more than likely never happen. On a positive note, invent a good future situation and deliberately think about the good things that will happen in the future. more…

Week In Review: Oct 3 – Oct 9, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on October 10, 2010

Project Leadership #1: 7 Ways to have a kickass kickoff!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Oct 4, 2010

A project manager’s real purpose is to provide CLARITY to a project. That happens when all the stakeholders are on sync regarding the purpose and outcome of the project. Project kickoff is a golden opportunity to provide this CLARITY to the team. If you follow Himanshu’s tips in this article, you can make your project kickoff purposeful and it will lay the foundation for a successful project. more…

Chaos and Complexity #4: Push on or Regroup?

by Gary Monti, Oct 5, 2010

A hallmark of a complex situation is unpredictability. One doesn’t know where things are leading. That’s why the situation is “complex” or worse yet “chaotic”. A good project manager (PM) should enable the team to identify possible solutions that will help eliminate the complexity. That’s just the first step. Coming up with the right schedule, dealing with the politics, etc can put the project at risk. Ideally the PM should avoid these situations by staying with reality. more…

Social Media and Tribes #25: A tribe of foodies – Connecting food to life

by Deepika Bajaj, Oct 6, 2010

Still in India, Deepika has been exploring the various tribes. Food is an integral part of the culture, but the tribe works differently. Food is not a standalone interest, but it is tied with other local flavors like Bollywood and roadside stalls. more…

Flexible Focus #22: New degrees of freedom with a digital mandala chart

by William Reed, Oct 7, 2010

Owning a car does not preclude you from using your feet. Similarly, you can print out a Mandala Chart and use it. Or, you can access an online program to create, save and share them. http://www.mandalachart.net is an eMandala Chart website that you can leverage. more…

Alternate Sales Partnerships #4: Ways to keep a healthy sales relationship (Part-2)

by Tina Burke, Oct 8, 2010

When the head of Sales in an organization changes, there will be radical changes. The new person will shake things up. This may lead to loss of revenue for agents. So, it’s very important to have good contracts and have them reviewed by attorneys. It may not be cheap, but in the long run it will help save tens of thousands of dollars. more…

Information products are an author’s best friend; they offer far more profit potential than authors can earn from book sales alone. Last week, we explored the 3 main issues involved in creating profitable information products: copyright, format, and topic.

This week, we’ll take a look at creating a process to produce, market, and schedule information products.

As I’ve stressed throughout this Author Journey, the goal of a system, or process, is to help you increase efficiency, reduce stress, and increase the likelihood of success.

The same systems I described to help you write your book also apply to creating and marketing information products that leverage off your book. The ideas I described when we discussed finding the time to write your book are equally applicable to creating information products. In both cases, success involves breaking big tasks into a series of smaller tasks, each with their own starting and completion dates.

Creating a process for Info-product success

The starting point to creating a process for managing and marketing your information products is to use a worksheet similar to the Info-product Production Worksheet, shown here, that I created for myself and my book coaching clients.

Like all Published & Profitable worksheets, it is designed to be downloaded and printed and filled out by hand.

The choice of format is important: in a world where we are usually tethered to our computers, there is often something liberating about writing by hand. Perhaps its the freedom to jot down ideas as they occur to you, and perhaps its the freedom to work wherever there’s a flat surface- -even if there’s no computer available.

The purpose of this worksheet is to be used after you have decided on the info-product formats and topics for your back-end products and services. (Other worksheets are available for evaluating options and prioritizing the information products you’re going to use to create back-end profits based on your book. )

Working with the Info-Product Production Calendar

Here are some ideas and tips for working with the Info-Product Production Calendar worksheet:

  • Multiple copies. Start by making several copies of the worksheet. Print a separate copy for each project you’ve decided to create and market. Print the worksheets on 3-hole punch paper, and store them in a a 3-ring binder. Add the project name and the current date at the top of each worksheet.
  • Dates. Note that for every task, there are spaces for entering 3 separate dates; a Starting Date, Goal date (i.e., desired completion), and Finished Date. The Finished Date is there to help you and your Info-product Team track your progress.
  • Create tasks. Begin by identifying the steps needed to create the Info-product. These tasks break down into Planning, Production, Copywriting, and Bonuses. Planning involves testing and market research. Copywriting involves preparing the marketing copy that will form the basis of online and offline product descriptions, downloadable one sheets, and press releases. Bonus are there to remind you that Info-product best practices include offering bonuses, often audios and videos, that enhance the perceived value of your offer.
  • Market. Many authors make the mistake of concentrating their time and energy on producing information products, then compromise the quality of their marketing materials by rushing them to completion. The purpose of the Market section of the worksheet is to encourage you to prepare the online pages needed for marketing your Info-products as far ahead of time as possible. Luckily, WordPress and other online marketing tools allow you to prepare drafts that won’t be published until your Info-product is ready for sale.
  • Distribution. Likewise, it’s important to schedule your time so that you and others you’re working with have time to set up and test your delivery system, such as shopping carts to take and process orders and autoresponders to deliver them.
  • Tracking. One of the most important sections of this worksheet is the final section, which permits you to track the results of your marketing and compare page visits with the resulting sales. You can also use the Tracking section to identify and test variables, such as price, headline, or marketing copy, in order to constantly refine your marketing for each product or service.

Worksheet benefits

Worksheets, such as the Info-Product Production Calendar, are valuable in many ways. They remind you of the numerous tasks involved in marketing and selling even a relatively simple Info-Product. They make it easy for you to track your progress. They improve quality and reduce stress by helping you plan your time so you’ll avoid “deadline madness.” And they provide an easy way to consolidate a lot of different project information on a single sheet of paper.

Visit Published & Profitable’s Active Garage Resource Center where you’ll find examples of many of the worksheets described in previous Author’s Journey installments, as well as other resources to help you speed your journey. And, if you have any questions or suggestions, or examples of your favorite Info-products or Info-Product marketing, submit them as comments, below.

Recently, I have been to many conferences where people are talking about how they have an email account that is just set up to receive garbage emails. One guess for the what are garbage emails. These are emails from marketers shoving their premier offers on you. Asking you to buy this OR that. And somehow they even get your work email and stuff starts showing up in your Work Inbox. And if you are an iPhone user like myself, you spend 5 minutes in the morning TRASHING garbage in your inbox.

What does this mean for the marketeer?

They are still using this fast dying technique to spread the word on something they want to market. They fail to realize that EMAIL has become a JOKE. And it is the user on the other end who is having the last laugh. Dumping it because there is no scarcity of such offers so there is no value they hold for him.

What does it mean for the career of the marketeer?

He is outdated and the technological advancements won’t stop. Email is DEAD. The newer web marketing is based on the foundation of TRUST with your Tribe.

So, how do we go about BUILDING Trust within our tribe.

Getting back to BASICS.

Tribes are a concept that has existed for a long time. Like as in the older times, cyber tribes are build on the people coming together, being authentic with each other and being in constant communication – which is nothing like the one way communication we see in email marketing.

A marketer who has mastered the ‘The art of building a tribe” is Lady Gaga. She doesn’t just sing and entertain.  She has connected people on an emotional level and has developed a Gaga “tribe” through a story.

Here is how to build TRUST with your tribe:

  • Tell your story: And tell it like it is. Don’t look good. Don’t even try. When you hide things, people can sense it – the disaster recipe if you wish to build TRUST. Lady Gaga is one person who is not trying to look good – she is just who she is – if she ever sat next to you on an airplane, I bet you will not be able to recognize her – she has a new wig everyday and she does a class act of being herself.
  • Build and Nurture your tribe: This does not happen overnight. It is a discourse. Be in touch with your community. Tell them about what you are doing, share your challenge. At the same time, hear their stories. Leverage social media to stay in touch. So that people can relate with you and with one another. Don’t ignore building a Tribe since you are what your Tribe says you ARE.
  • Authenticity, Authenticity, Authenticity – Please Authenticity. This word is used so loosely that it is almost shocking how it is misused. In the world of self-centered email marketing, people are craving for authenticity – for the real deal.  You can’t just make something up and expect to build a tribe. You must deliver on what you promise. Be accessible, tell who you are, what you after creating, what is the possibility you are in the world – repeatedly and consistently communicate it

Branding within a tribe requires two-way relationship. Be accessible, tell who you are, what you after creating, what is the possibility you are in the world – repeatedly and consistently communicate it. We can differ on how good an entertainer Lady Gaga is BUT her brand identity is visible by how her tribe continues to grow.

So, I invite you to become the part of your Tribe. If you have a Twitter account, you can join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”… and if you don’t, create a Twitter account, join 99tribes and create your own TRIBE!

As we’ve seen in the past 5 blog posts, an author’s marketing and promotion responsibilities begin long before their book’s publication date. It’s never too early to begin marketing and promoting your book!

In this post, we’re going to examine the advantages of building your network among the experts in your field, which usually includes the authors of existing titles in your field.

The main reason to build your expert network as early as possible is so you can obtain pre-publication quotes for the front and back covers of your book. The better known the expert, the more credibility their quote will add to your book!

Books by new authors, especially, benefit from the credibility that an established author’s name and comment can add to your book. When a recognized expert endorses your book, some of their fame and trust rubs off on you; this reduces the hesitation involved in buying a book by a new author.

Why will authors of competing books endorse your book?

On the surface, you may wonder why authors are usually willing to endorse competing books.

The reason is simple; when their endorsement appears on the cover of your book, their endorsement benefits them almost as much as you. Their name and quote on your book cover reinforces their expert status in the field. Equally important, it maintains their visibility and reminds readers of their book, or books.

Their endorsement of your book also positions them in a favorable light, demonstrating their willingness to “do the right thing” and help newcomers to the field. In addition, I’ve found most authors like to help other authors. Chances are, when they were starting out, they benefited from the guidance and support of earlier experts. The support they offer you is their way of giving thanks and keeping the good vibes flowing.

Other benefits of expert networking

Once you establish communication and create an e-mail or telephone relationship with an expert in your field, of course, there’s no way of knowing where that relationship will take you. If you and the expert “click,” the benefits might extend to:

  • Interviews. You might be able to interview the expert for your book, and the expert might recommend others who might provide additional information or testimonials.
  • Increased presence in your book. If the expert really likes what they see of your book, they might be willing to provide an Introduction or Foreword for your book. They might even consider providing a chapter, or more, for your book.
  • Introductions to other experts. An expert might be able to pave the way for you to successfully re-contact individuals who, previously, did not respond to your initial e-mail or telephone communications.
  • Referrals and pass-alongs. Another advantage of establishing your expert network is that they might pass your name along to meeting planners looking for additional speakers, or refer coaching and consulting prospects to you when they can’t take on the project themselves.

So, the networking you do to obtain book cover quotes from experts in your field might be just opening the door to future opportunities and projects.

3 Steps to Success

Today, thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to communicate with published authors and other high-visibility experts in your field.

The following is a simple 3-step process that has worked for me and many of my book coaching clients.

Step 1: Target the right experts

The first step is to identify the experts whose endorsement will do the most good for your book. Begin with the authors of existing books in your field, then expand your search to others who may have had firsthand experience with the problem or goal you are addressing in your book.

As you broaden your search, search for bloggers, reporters, and other commentators who write about the topic. Search for educators who may have conducted research in your field or spoken on the topic. Finally, if appropriate, consider searching for well-known business owners or celebrities who may have had personal experiences with the topic you’re writing about. If the celebrity approach makes sense, don’t try to make direct contact, but locate their publicist who could put you in contact with them.

Most important, develop a system to track the results of your expert search. In addition to their website and contact information, for example, jot down how you located them and the reason their endorsement will add credibility to your book.

During the first step, avoid prematurely contacting the individuals. Continue your research before moving on to Step Two.

Step 2: Prepare your initial contact

The key to success in building your expert network is to create connections, or build bridges, to the expert. You must pave the way for your initial contact. Here are some ideas:

  • Authors. If they have written a book, read it. Pay particular attention to the chapters that are relevant to your topic, and take detailed notes.
  • Social marketing. If they have a blog, familiarize yourself with their previous posts and comment whenever appropriate on their latest posts. Reference their blog posts on your blog. Follow their Tweets on Twitter.com and Retweet when appropriate.
  • Speeches. If they are speaking or presenting in your area, attend the event so that you can later reference the event in your communications. Likewise, if possible, try to attend their teleseminars, webinars, and workshops.

Look for connectors who may already have an established association with the expert. Connectors take many forms. Perhaps they are peers, perhaps they studied with them, worked with them, or have hired them in the past. Any plausible connection that can be expanded into the subject line of an e-mail is preferable to a cold call from a stranger.

Next, prepare a package containing detailed information about your project, but don’t include your entire manuscript, and don’t immediately send it! What I have found works well is a PDF containing:

  • 1-page mission statement describing your book’s “big idea,” it’s intended market, and a brief statement of reader benefits.
  • Detailed table of contents, with primary and secondary headings.
  • 2 sample chapters.

Experts are busy; avoid information overkill. Send the minimum needed to communicate the quality of your project. If the recipient wants to see more, they’ll let you know!

In your initial communication, be as concise and polite as possible as you explain why you’re contacting them. Reference their article, book, blog, or speech. Describe its relevance to your book.

Conclude by asking their permission to send them more information about your project, and ask them if they prefer an electronic PDF file or printed copies.

If they express interest, send your information package as soon as possible. (That’s why you want to prepare it before you contact them.) The goal of your initial communication is to get them to agree to taking a look at your materials, not to immediately generate a suitable endorsement. Remember: you’re asking a favor, and a significant one; you’re asking them to put their seal of approval on your book.

Step 3: Follow-up and track the results

Don’t despair if you do not immediately receive a response to your initial communication. Never assume a lack of response is a rejection.

Instead, allow a week, or 10 days, to go by before you re-contact them. Send a follow-up e-mail, and- -again- -keep it as short as possible.

Persistence pays off! Keep on their radar scope with short, relevant, e-mails at consistent intervals. It may take several e-mails, but, that’s okay! The expert may be traveling, on deadline, or on jury duty, only responding to e-mails from recognized clients or peers.

Eventually, however, the pressure will go away. At that point, they may go through their unopened e-mail and be intrigued enough by your persistence to respond favorably to your request for permission to send them information and samples from your book.

Indeed, they may even pick-up the phone and call you, to find out who’s the person behind the e-mail!

Visit my Active Garage resource center, where you can download a worksheets for expert networking, and previous Author Journey topics

One sheets are single page, 8 ½ by 11-inch, marketing documents used by authors to promote their books and build their profits by attracting speaking invitations and promoting their coaching and consulting services.

One sheets can be as simple, or elaborate, as desired. You can create them using either one, or both sides, of a sheet of paper. One sheets are typically formatted and distributed as Adobe Acrobat PDF files. They can be downloaded from your website, or sent as e-mail attachments. One sheets can also be printed, or commercially duplicated, as needed for face-to-face meetings or special events.

How authors use one sheets

Here are some of the ways you can put one sheets to work:

  • Sell more books. Authors typically prepare separate one sheets for each of their book titles. Each book is typically described within the broader context of the author’s qualifications and previous publishing experience.
  • Attract more invitations to speak. One-sheets make it easy for authors to showcase their qualifications and experiences to conference planners and event organizers. You can create a generic speaker one sheet that describes the different topics you speak on, or you can prepare a different one-sheet for each specific keynote or presentation topic. See sample speaker one sheets.
  • Products and services. One sheets make a lot more sense than the typical pre-printed 2 or 3-fold brochures used for promoting events, like teleseminars, and coaching and consulting services. Because of their low cost, one sheets can be targeted for specific markets. Authors frequently use them for marketing information products like e-books, e-courses, conferences, and software templates.

Print them as you need them

In many ways, one sheets are replacing traditional 2-fold and 3-fold printed brochures. Internet distribution means there are no minimums that need to be printed, and there are no distribution delays or mailing costs.

Even better, you can quickly and easily update and target your one sheets for new products or specific prospects or market segments.

One sheet power at work

As you can see from the example of Steve Savage’s speaker one sheet, one sheets formatted as PDFs combine space for a detailed message with a lot of visual impact.

It’s important to remember that, unlike web pages, one sheets formatted and shared as Adobe Acrobat PDF file’s preserve their design and formatting when downloaded and printed on conventional desktop printers.

The ability to print and share one sheets distributed as PDFs is extremely important. For example, when an event planner wants to hire a speaker, they typically will share the author’s one sheets when seeking their boss’s and co-worker’s approval. .

Characteristics of successful one sheets

Here are some content ideas to bear in mind when creating one sheets:

  • Headline. Each one sheet should begin with an engaging headline that appeals to the prospect’s need to solve a problem or achieve a goal. The headline should summarize the problem the author’s product or service addresses, or how attendees will benefit from the product or service.
  • Benefits. Each one sheet should tell a complete story. It should provide all of the information that a book buyer, event organizer, or prospective client needs to know. Categories of information include contents, the author’s qualifications, background, and contact information.
  • Proof. One sheets should prove the author’s ability by including reader or reviewer comments, typical clients, and testimonials from previous attendees, buyers, or event planners.

One sheets can benefit from direct response copywriting techniques. The headline should engage the prospect’s interest and sell the importance of the first sentence. The first sentence should sell the importance of  the next sentence, and so on through the one sheet. The goal is to lead the prospect to the inexcusable conclusion that the speaker, product, or service represents a quality, “safe” investment.

One sheet organization and design

Design will play a major role in the effectiveness of your one sheets. Like the previous example, Steve Savage’s consulting one sheet contains a lot of text, yet it is easy to read and presents a professional, upscale image. Contributing to the success of Steve’s one sheets are design techniques like:

  • Organization. Colored backgrounds organize information into logical sections.
  • Photography. The varying size and placement of the photographs adds visual impact and communicates Steve’s energetic way of engaging audiences.
  • Chunking. Information is broken up into bite-sized pieces. Lists are used to add visual interest and communicate at a glance.
  • Subheads. New topics are introduced by subheads set in a contrasting typeface, type size, and color.
  • Consistency. A few key colors are used with restraint. The same colors are used on each of Steve’s one sheets, projecting a consistent “family look.”

Templates and one sheets

Authors should base their one sheets on templates, permitting them to “design once, produce often.”

Instead of trying to create their own one sheets from scratch, (which can lead to amateurish results), or hiring graphic designers to produce each one sheet, (which can be expensive), authors should consider hiring a professional designers to create a one sheet template they can easily modify for specific projects.

Suggestion

Start your one sheet marketing by creating a single one sheet that promotes your book and the speaking and presenting topics you offer based on your book. Later, you can prepare additional individual one sheets for specific speaking topics, products, and coaching or consulting services.

Note: for one week only, you can download my One Sheet Planning Worksheet from my special Active Garage resource page.

Week In Review – May 9 – May 15, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on May 16, 2010

How to win the Operations vs. Finance battle: Become a trusted advisor

by Matthew Carmen, May 10, 2010

When organizations work in silos and don’t understand how the other group functions, there is bound to be tension. This is typical between operations and finance groups. But once the groups understand what the other group does and begin communicating on a consistent basis, the foundation for trust is built. That provides the platform for the finance person to build a relationship of trust with the operations group. This enables them to deliver the desired results to the company and also make their daily work interesting. more…

Leadership and Mythology #1: Purpose of myth

by Gary Monti, May 11, 2010

You need to have an internal compass. You should also understand the tribes you belong to and your roles in them. Just like that you also need to recognize your mythology. Don’t confuse it with myth. Basically, this is “sense making” at a personal and group level. more…

Triple Constraint Sales

by Guy Ralfe, May 12, 2010

When you change your domain of operation, you see the applicability of the old domain concepts in the new one. In this article Guy shares his experience in applying the project management mantra of triple constraint in his new endeavor. more…

Flexible Focus #1: Inside the Mandala Chart – A zoom lens for your life

by William Reed, May 13, 2010

Would it not be cool to see your life with a zoom lens? What if you could step away from the fray to see the big picture, zero in for analysis or action, without losing track of how everything is connected? William Reed has been living in Japan for the past four decades and is able to expound on how the Mandala Chart can bring clarity to your life. more…

Author’s Journey #21: Make Tip Sheets part of your book marketing plan

by Roger Parker, May 14, 2010

In this week’s installment, Roger explains what, how and why of tip sheets and how to leverage them to build your list and attract new prospects to your marketing funnel. Tip sheets are the simplest and easiest way. Also they are powerful and effective because they don’t have to be elaborate – they are judged by their value and not by the number of words or pages they contain. more…

It never ceases to amaze me that, in the current WordPress and Typepad age, there are still authors who spend great amounts of money on websites they cannot update and maintain themselves!

This is sheer lunacy. There’s no reason for it!

If you want to fully harness the Internet to promote your book and your services, the only way to go is to have a blog-based web presence; you must be able to easily update your web presence on your own, without the costs and delays of hiring outside designers.

This is not to say you can’t hire a professional designer to set up your blog presence, but you must be able to add, edit, and delete content using basic word-processing typing and editing skills.

How blogs have changed

Today’s blogs are light years ahead of their predecessors. At one time, blogs were limited to just the posts. If you wanted a multi-page web presence, with separate pages for different categories of information, you needed a conventional website.

Now, however, blogging software allows you to combine posts with separate pages. This has changed everything, making it very easy for authors and business owners to create separate pages describing:

  • About Us. This permits you to add a background statement and list your experience and qualifications.
  • Store. You can easily create an online store describing the products and services you offer, linked to a shopping cart for ordering.
  • Testimonials. You can easily keep your client and customer testimonials updated, each time you receive a new one.
  • Contact. In addition to providing contact information in the footer of each page, you can create a page with a contact form that will help you screen your incoming e-mail and protect your e-mail address.
  • Archives. You can easily create a page containing constantly-updated links to articles, audios, and videos.
  • Bonus content. In addition to allowing you to add and create new pages, and track their traffic and performance, today’s blogs make it easy to deliver bonus content to your readers and clients. You can password-protect individual pages of your blog, or set up blog-based membership sites with automatic, recurring monthly billing that restricts content to current subscribers.


When I wrote my Streetwise Guide to Relationship Marketing on the Internet, Foreword by Seth Godin, only those who could afford 5 and 6-figure customized content management systems could update their own websites and control access to content.

Now, you can do most of the same things for free!





Best practices for new authors

Here are some ideas for authors looking for ways to market and promote a new book.

  1. Consider creating a separate blog-based website for your new book. Instead of grafting your book onto an existing website, especially a website you can’t update yourself, use your new book as an excuse to start fresh all over again. This permits you to focus your blog on your book, and the products and services that relate to your book.
  2. Reasonable expectations. There is a difference between updating a blog-based website and creating a blog-based website. Recognize the difference between setting up a blog-based website and updating a blog-based website. Updating is fast and easy; setting-up can take a lot of time…time you might be better spending in creating content and selling your services. Even though there are numerous free and low-cost blog templates, or, themes, available, you’ll often save money by having a blog-savvy designer to set up of your blog.
  3. Know what you need. A blog, by itself, is not enough; don’t settle for a partial solution! Blogs require integration with autoresponders and shopping carts. You need autoresponders to capture e-mail addresses, build and maintain your mailing list, and deliver sign-up incentives. Shopping carts are needed to sell products and services. Your blog will also require integration with today’s social marketing media, so content added to your blog will be automatically replicated on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You’ll probably also need training to add graphics and links to streaming audios and videos.
  4. Demand design excellence. Your blog doesn’t have to look like a blog! Blogs can be as simple and well-designed as the finest websites. Today’s blogging software permits your blog to have a layout for the home page than for the inside pages. The banner at the top of your home page, for example, can be significantly smaller on the inside pages of your blog. Make sure that you use design purposefully, to project an appropriate image and to differentiate your blog from the competition. Just because you’re using blogging software doesn’t mean your blog has to project an amateur, home-grown image.
  5. Hire the right designer. Hire a designer who has both a strong design sense as well as extensive experience with blogging software. Be careful when dealing with print-based graphic designers who are migrating to webside and blog design. Be especially careful when hiring designers who don’t have a blog themselves, or who haven’t updated their blog in months. Like all crafts, the more hands-on blogging experience a designer has had, the better. (E-mail me for a free copy of my Designer’s Qualifications Worksheet.
  6. Commit to tracking your traffic. Right from the start, commit to paying attention to the website traffic to the various pages of your website. Make sure that each of your blog posts and each page of your blog contains the information needed by Google Analytics, or an equivalent traffic monitoring system. This will permit you to refine your page titles and headlines for maximum traffic and conversions into sales.

Create a content plan

Most important, don’t start blogging until you have created a content plan that specifies how often you’re going to add new content, and the major themes, or content categories, that you want to blog about in future posts.

For example, visit the content plan I created for my series of Active Garage guest posts and download my original mind map for this series. My original map, created in a couple of hours last October, continues to guide my weekly posts.

Blogging is easy when you’re doing more than simply reacting to current events or blog posts by others. You can always add new posts when needed, but you should know how often you’re going to blog each week, and the general themes of your weekly posts, before your blog goes live.

Conclusion

Avoid the temptation to write a great book, but attempt to market it using a tired, “hostage” website that tries to serve too many different purposes. Instead, use the publication of your book as an excuse to join the blog-based Web 2.0 generation that will provide a fresh start and allow you to update your own site without the costs and delays of hiring others. Once you see how easy it is to keep your blog updated, you’ll never go back to “hostage” websites again.