Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I Guarantee this One Thing Will Grow Your Sales

Hello First Word Friend-Os. True to the words of Mr. Chris Carter, what a difference a day makes. It also proves my theory that "outflow gets in flow". Just last week I was considering driving Uber to supplement my projects since it had been slow the last month or so. Of course when I told my daughter I was going to drive Uber she objected. "Mom! Someone will kidnap you! You're too pretty!" LOL ... Okay, well I'm fairly certain there are many "pretty" Uber drivers out there who are safe and sound. You have to give it to Cambria for her dramatic flair. I may just drive Uber anyway here and there for fun. Chris said I could write a book of stories about the people I meet. So back to 3L Publishing and books not driving...
So while marketing my little heart out my theory and Chris' sage wisdom all came together. I went from 0-100 in one day. My marketing and promotional efforts paid off. I'm sharing my story to teach you all the reality of business (and life). One day life is working one way and the next a completely different way. All of a sudden I was contacted to bid on a travelogue book loaded with pictures and two booklets. Then I received a call from an orthodontist interested in taking two chapters in the multi-author orthodontist book. By the time my weekend ended and some haggling in-between I had signed the two booklet project and the other projects are pending approval.
Closing these contracts alone will keep me busy through the New Year - and I won't have to "risk life and limb" to drive Uber LOL. So how did I dramatically turn it around just that fast? As I said, outflow gets inflow. The problem is many business people don't understand that the "inflow" part may not be directly connected to the "outflow" part. I always hear people when I'm doing their marketing and PR suggest my work isn't paying off. I will ask, "Is your business growing (or book selling)?" They say "yes" but the sales aren't coming directly from your activities - or so they think.
When you do marketing and PR outreach you're putting communication out into the world about your product or service. This communication goes out. People talk. Most of the time the sales lead will not come directly from the source of the communication. It's rather strange that way, but you can't always connect the dots like you would expect. Yet I always challenge people to stop doing marketing and PR and see what happens... (Now this is an expensive experiment I don't recommend). The answer is, it all stops. If you stop promoting and doing marketing your business growth will stop as fast as it started.
I can't explain this situation like a formula: A + B = C. All I know is from my 25 years of experience doing marketing and PR for various magazines and business divisions, this simple phrase "outflow get inflow" ALWAYS applies. I remember when I was publisher of a regional magazine. We wanted to grow our advertising base. Knowing I needed to increase outreach I added a monthly newsletter that was sent out to the advertisers. Strangely enough that one addition to our marketing program produced instant results - we began to grow. Now my staff poo-pooed it. No one gave that one act much credence, but when we examined what changed that one thing was part of the change.
Sometimes just one increase in your communication to your customers can increase your business.
What did I do to attract overnight business (or seemingly "overnight")? I increased communication!
First Word went to twice weekly. I noticed my readership had dwindled a bit. So, I looked for sweet spots (days when readership was at its peak) and began sending First Word out twice a week targeted toward those days.
I built a new mailing list to increase readership. I had let my mailing list become stale. So I looked for ways to add to my mailing list to do outreach to more people and spread the word about my services.
I increased my social media presence. Instead of focusing almost exclusively on Facebook and the fan page, I used Twitter a little more and added Linked-In to the mix. Of course here is a big tip:
I keep my social media messages on target for the audience. I don't post fun, cute things on Linked-In. I keep it professional. I post fun, cute things on Facebook. And Twitter ... one day I will figure out what makes Twitter audience's react.
I started looking on job sites for contract and project work I could bid on. I needed to get outside of my regular audience and find new people to work with. So, I decided to find steadier contract and project work to grow my business.
The lesson learned overall: stay the course and keep promoting. Don't give up on your goals and dreams because you're facing a few fallow days or weeks. TAKE ACTION! Yes, the sky can fall for a day or a few days or even weeks, but all it takes is one day to turn it all around. If you can remember what I'll call "the-one-day" formula it will boost your spirits. You might feel frustrated, but keep on taking action.
I live this formula! After the year I had, if I had caved in and given up I would be back working for corporate and feeling miserable. It has been very difficult, but I always apply my own lessons. So ... remember, "outflow gets inflow"!
Now go outflow away!

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