Nike is absolutely right. Just Do It!

Despite what we may think about the power and flood of information coming at us from a multitude of different places, there is still something we all crave: consistency.

We want it.

We need it.

We value it.

So Just Do It; right?

No matter what your platform, no matter how you send out your information, the importance of consistency can’t be overlooked. 

We all have so much coming at us all day long, but we do look at what resonates with us.  If you have your message targeted to your key audience, they will want to read what you have to say.  

If you’re sending to people who have no interest in your work, they hit the delete button.  This makes it critically important to know your audience and give them what they want.  Each and every time!  If you expect your favorite show to be on a certain channel at a certain time each day, you will stop what you are doing and tune in – regardless of how busy you are.  

We are creatures of habit. 

Keep your followers happy by giving them what they want when they expect to get it and they will continue to follow you and pass the word to their networks who are interested in what you have to say.    

The value of being consistent became very Real to me many years ago when I was trying to get Wal-Mart (when they had only 66 stores) to buy my product.  I called my buyer every morning, precisely at 9:00 a.m.  I did not call at 8:57 a.m. and I did not call at 9:02 a.m.  I called for 46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.  On the 46th morning, my buyer’s assistant told me my buyer would see me at 11:00 a.m. that day!!  Well, the rest is history and the consistency of that phone call started a chain of events that changed my life and grew my company to 72% worldwide market share … far beyond my wildest dreams.  

Those on the A-Team or the TCO Groups are learning about the value of consistency. I know consistency continues to make a difference in my world every day.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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WIIFM

Today was spent working with a client on the east coast who has finished writing his book. It’s ready to go for final edit. We worked on his book promotion/media strategy.

Here are some of the things we completed you might also find valuable:

  • Complete a great media kit
  • Polish up your bio
  • Write 3 media releases, each from a different angle.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, find what’s in your book that will DO Something for the reader; solve a problem the reader is having.

Finding the benefits to your book might seem like a pretty simple task, but touting that “It’s a great read!” won’t get you very far. To determine what your book will do for your reader, you’ll have to dig deep, sometimes deeper than you thought. Especially if your book is fiction, this task of finding benefits will require some serious brainstorming. The key here is, be different. If you have a diet book, don’t offer the same benefits a million other books do: you’ll lose weight. Instead, offer a benefit that is decidedly different than anything that’s out there.

If you think you can’t find a different approach, go back to the beginning. Why did you write your book? It must solve a problem you could not find solved in the books already written.

Or, try to couch a similar benefit in a different way.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the WIIFM factor: what’s in it for me? If your reader likes what’s in it for them, they’ll buy your book.  Make sure your audience finds the answers to THEIR needs within your book and all of your interviews. If they stop hearing about them and their needs they will drift away and you will lose them.

Be sure to keep the WIIFM foremost in your mind as you write your media release and all your sales materials.

People only care what your book will DO FOR THEM.

The idea of not selling your book also holds true when you’re doing an interview. Never, ever answer an interviewer’s question with: “You’ll find it in my book.” If you’re the author, of course the answer is in your book.

The uniqueness of your benefits can also directly relate to each particular audience. For example, if you have different levels of readers or readers from different backgrounds, it’s a good idea to work up a set of benefits for each of them. Then any interview you do (or speaking engagement) will offer benefits with that audience in mind as opposed to a more generic form of, “Here’s what my book can do for you!”

Creating a list of benefits for your book can aid your campaign in a number of ways: first, it’ll help you get away from a more “salesy” type of approach, and second, it will help you create the tip sheets that can add substance to your media kit.

BONUS TIP:  When you are preparing for your interviews, speak to your audience as if you are speaking directly to one person at a time.  Don’t try to speak to the whole audience…make your answers specific to one person’s needs.

BONUS TIP:  If you’re working on the benefit angle of your book early enough, you can incorporate these into the back copy of your book.

The point is, never, ever sell your book. Be a step ahead of the competition and sell what your book can do for the reader, and let them know why it’s better than the competition.

In the end, that’s all anyone will care about.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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To Honor John (Jack) Compton

Late last week Uncle Jack Compton passed away at 101 years of age. He was a tremendous inspiration to many. It’s fitting today, Memorial Day, to share his memories recorded when he was 100 of his landing at Pearl Harbor during the bombing. Please enjoy his recollections and remember all those who bravely serve our country and preserve our freedom.

https://vimeo.com/29379502 (hoping if you copy and paste you will be able to view)

Thank you, Jack, for being a part of my life. You lived your life as such an example and will be very  missed.

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Tell the Fed Ex Man Good Bye

We all spend so much money sending out copies of our work via Federal Express. Sending out books for customers, reviewers, and FOF’s gets really expensive.

Let’s all plan ahead and send our books fourth class, or media rate. There’s really no advantage to using overnight services unless we are specifically requested to do so. If it absolutely has to be there overnight, but most times it doesn’t.

Sending via fed ex doesn’t impress like it used to. Back when I was a toy manufacturer, I remember sending samples to my “Big Buyers” via fed ex, UPS red label, and mail. I wanted to make sure they got the samples.

Have stamps made to look like the cover of your book. If you email me, I will give you two great resources I’m happy to share with you.

My printer made Marriage Mouse stickers that were made from the art on the cover of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and I use those on the outside of the package.

If it’s holiday time, I gift wrap my book in holiday appropriate wrapping paper. I’ve had a few comments on how the recipient enjoys unwrapping their gift.

With some creative thought you can make sure your recipient opens what you send them – without breaking the bank paying for fed ex fees.

What’s the most creative way you can think to send your materials? Share and let’s have some fun being creative.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Would You? Could You?? Should You???

Last week at the Executive Roundtable one of the authors there admitted to “reverse shoplifting” and actually putting their book on the shelves of a store where they wanted it to sell…and it did sell!!  I’ve thought about doing this and never have.

Many years ago when I was in the toy industry, the company with whom I was working was launching a new Piggy Belly toy. It was debuting at Target. Over our lunch hour, we all went into the area Targets and each bought two Piggy Belly toys. Not quite the same as reverse shoplifting, but the principle is nearly the same.

Just for the heck of it, next week I’m taking my books into 3 retailers and leaving them on the shelves…as a gift from me. Does it sound as bad if it’s referred to as a “gift” instead of “reverse shoplifting”?

Chime in and let’s be honest here…how many of you have ever rigged your sales by forced purchasing or reverse shoplifted? Just suggesting we aren’t getting any younger and what the heck…it might be fun.

Let me know if this marketing strategy pays off for you. Listening to George Clooney and Jimmy Kimmel talk about pranks they play must have brought this out in me.  Who knows? I’m usually way to squeaky clean, straight laced.

P.S.:  Maybe we should take it a step further and leave stacks of bookmarks in the washrooms of the stores where you leave your books or other strategic places?  What says You??

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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View Yourself as Your Brand

If you were senior VP of marketing at Pepsi, you would have no problem tooting the horn of the product line you represented. Why is it different when You are the brand you must toot.

We were all raised to be humble and modest and that’s well and good.

To successfully market you and your work, you must be able to step out of your being and view yourself as the “work of art”, “the product”, the brand”. It’s very hard to do at first, but practice and you will develop the confidence to see the points others need to learn to KLT (know, like, and trust) and you will be able to promote You.

One place to start may be to write up You in the form of your marketing plan. You will be able to see how You stack up against your competition.

What are 3 things you can say about You, your work, and You, the brand in your Marketing Plan? Let’s start there.

If you get stuck, call me. I’ll be glad to help you view yourself differently than ever before.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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One Thing NEVER to Forget

 Last week while at two invigorating events, I noticed how few people had business cards to distribute.

I jokingly told a friend that  I’d rather forget to wear underwear than to forget to have a good supply of business cards always in my pocket, wallet, or purse!!

Now, never fear, I always have on clean underwear but that’s how strongly I want you to understand the lost value when you show up without your “leave behind”. Remember the old American Express commercial which asked, “What’s in your wallet?”  Put a post a note on your steering wheel which says, “Do I have plenty of business cards”? If you don’t; don’t start the engine until you do because you can’t start the engine of your business without good legible business cards.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking about your business card:

1)Have a card that stands out. Mine is inside a see-through vellum envelope. It ALWAYS stops the recipient and I get a chance to say, “I think outside the envelope” which opens up very interesting conversations.

2) Quality counts ~ this card is your first (and lasting impression). Don’t skimp on money when it comes to business card. You want to have good stock paper, print that doesn’t bleed from a drop of water, an embossed logo, and the card should feel substantial and pleasing to the touch. A poor quality card implies your business has poor quality products and services.

3) Using an Oversized Card may look chic to a designer, but common sense dictates the use of the traditional and standard 3.5 by 2-inch business card. Anything bigger will not fit in wallets or most business card holders.

4) If you give your card to someone and they can’t read it without their reading glasses…big NoNo.  A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Your name can be 12 point, and your company name will work at 9 point.

What’s been the most memorable business card you have ever received? Do you still have it?

Remember, you are your brand and let your brand start with your business card…and Don’t Ever Leave Home Without a Big Stack of them.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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