Posted in Cool Stuff

The Difficult Job of Staying on Task…Writing from Home…

April 7, 2017- Writing from home is excellent! I love being able to write comfortably from anywhere, but there’s something to be said about writing from home specifically, but I will say that lots of people I’ve met and talked to think that this line of work is fun and games all of the time. They believe that we stay home in our pyjamas, plugging away on our laptops in inspired thought surrounded by fluffy white duvet covers, purring cats and someone who tends to our every need for a fresh cup of coffee.

Hmm…not exactly. It’s about to get real. Writing from home takes DISCIPLINE. You need to treat your time at home as a 9-5 job. This is a BUSINESS. Rather than bring you on a tour of my day, I’ll share the things that you need to do to stay focused and be successful while working from home.

  1. Stick to a schedule-This is so important because, without a clearly defined day, other things can steal your attention. For example, I know that my day starts at 9 and ends at 5. That is 8 hours of productive time, and during this period I act as though I’m at any business. That means I’m not throwing in a load of laundry or cleaning the garage, it means from 9-5 I’m working on my business.
  2. Block of chunks of time-This goes into further detail about the point above. Yes, I may have 8 hours of work to do but what work am I talking about? That’s why I block off chunks of time for different things. From 9 am until 11 am I write, I schedule 1 hour for returning emails, calls, and inquiries. I schedule 2 hours for marketing and building new business, we don’t spend time talking about things that aren’t important. I go in with an agenda, and we get right to it. I schedule another 2 hours to meet with my authors and illustrators. I spend another hour getting my blog posts for the week started. Boom…8 hours vanished.
  3. Put down your phone-Put down the phone and turn off notifications for anything that is going to distract you. This includes email, Facebook, Pinterest, the internet and cat videos. Seriously, super distracting and not good for work or productivity.
  4. This is your business and life so treat it as such– Have a business banking account, an accountant, write off’s, a business license and whatever else you need to set up your writing as a BUSINESS. Yes, it’s up to you to ensure the success of your company, your writing, your future, your employees and yourself but that being said, remember to pay attention to the people in your life. Take a break from things when you can, make your spouse/loved ones/kids/pets/family feel important by giving them your undivided attention. That means when the work day is over, it’s over. Let voicemail pick up the call from the client that can wait until tomorrow, leave a few unfinished things on your desk so that you can play with your kids, turn off your laptop, unplug and call it a day. The work will still be there in the morning.

As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned for more tips for success.

LLB

female-entrepreneur

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Posted in pandamonium publishing house

How to Connect with Other Humans…and Sell More Books

April 3, 2017- It’s been said hundreds of times, but I’m going to say it once more, You only get ONE chance to make a first impression. It’s true! In this blog post, I’m going to touch on a few points that will help you connect with other humans and not only sell more of your books but also create a lasting first impression.

  • First Impressions set the tone for success more often than class, credentials, and education. When you’re meeting a prospective buyer or contact, you need to make a lasting impression. Greet your potential clients as if they were an old friend, be kind, be warm and be friendly! Dress your best and be confident!
  • When people like you, they see the BEST in you, and when they don’t like you, they see the WORST in you. Sure, you may not be everyone’s cup of tea 100% of the time, and that’s ok. Sometimes no matter what you do or say people will just not like you! If you’re planning on doing business with people, it’s important that they have some degree of connection with you. The cheapest, most efficient way to connect with others is to look them in the eye and smile. Another tip for making a great first impression is to be like a chameleon. This makes people feel as if they already know you. If they’re standing across from you and are confident, arms crossed and serious, you should do the same. If you subtly mimic your client, it lets them know that you are on the same page. For example, if your client was shy, withdrawn and quiet the last thing you want to be is in their face, loud, brash and flashy. Not only will they feel uncomfortable but you’ll almost always lose the sale. Take your cues from their behaviour and body language.
  • Capture the Imagination and you capture the heart-Imagination triggers emotion, and emotion triggers attitude, attitude drives behaviour and behaviour triggers sales. Remember this simple formula and you’ll be successful in whatever you do. Make people FEEL something and you’re on your way to the top. 
Posted in Cool Stuff, News

Tips to Succeed at Events as a Vendor/Business Owner…Part 3 of 3

March 27, 2017-I hope that you’ve enjoyed this mini-series of tips to succeed at events as a vendor/business owner and that you’ve started incorporating them into your game plan.

Here are the final keys to success!

7) Make friends with the vendors and the event organizer-You never know who you’ll meet at any of these shows so it’s best to arrive early and set up so that you can take a few moments before the show starts to scope the place out. I’ve had more vendors buy my products at shows than I can even count. People want to know what you’re selling, but more importantly, they want to make a connection with you. All of us have something in common, we’re all at the same show and we’re all trying to make money and contacts. At every single show, I gather business cards from other vendors tables to keep in my files. I’ve made so many contacts this way and have even hired people to do work for me because I liked what they were selling. I also hand out MY business cards in case I have something that another vendor is interested in. Maybe they aren’t but know someone who is. The opportunities are tremendous! Be sure to thank the organizer for having you and keep in touch with them, so they’ll invite you to their upcoming events in the future.

8) Have a draw at your table-A chance to win a prize is always a cool way to draw people to your table. I NEVER do a draw for the product I’m selling on my table because people say, “Let’s hold off buying the book in case we win the draw!” See the problem? You want people to buy your product, but you also need people to come to your table. If they come to your table and you engage them, they’ll probably buy what you’re selling. I use a prize draw at my table for two reasons, 1) To entice people to come to my table and 2) to collect information about my customer. Here’s how it works: I’ll do a draw for a $25 gift card to either the movies or for a pre-paid Visa card. The chance to win is displayed clearly on my table, and I have cards laid out with some pens so that people can enter the draw. On the draw card, I ask for their name, phone number and e-mail address and a little box that they need to check off saying it’s ok for me to contact them via e-mail. The customer fills it out and drops their entry card into a fishbowl. I contact them later to say thank you for entering the draw, I let them know if they won the prize and also invite them to follow my blog. 99 times out of 100 they’ll follow! This info is invaluable to your business but be careful not to break any privacy laws.

9) Enjoy yourself-This seems like a silly tip but I want you to know that it’s super important. It’s necessary to have fun and enjoy yourself because people can feel tension. They can sense desperation and if you’re trying to hard-sell them. This is not only a major turn-off for potential buyers but it causes you, the seller, unnecessary stress. Life is too short to be broke and stressed! You’ll be both if you take yourself too seriously. Body language is essential because most of what you don’t say is what people pick up on. Uncross your arms, stand up, smile and engage your customers. Be interested in what they have to say and enjoy the connection with other humans who you might otherwise never come in contact with.

10) Some people are rude, miserable and mean but there’s nothing you can do about it-Anytime you deal with the public you’ll come across that one special human who doesn’t like you, your product, your looks, your qualifications, your voice, your price…you get the picture. You can’t make everyone happy so don’t let the snarky comments of a single person get to you.Never let them dull your sparkle!  For every miserable person out there, there’s five standing behind them waiting and willing to engage with you. You’ll get your share of miserable, rude people at events but that’s a reflection of them, not you. No matter what, remain professional at all times. I was at a show a couple of weeks ago and a woman said to me, “You don’t belong here, you know that right?” Her exact words, I’m not even kidding. I smiled sweetly and said, “Sure I do! I paid my money to be here just like you did and as far as I know, you’re not the event organizer who gets to decide if I belong here or not. I hope you have a great show!” Sure it was a bit on the snarky side but I smiled and looked her in the eye. I wanted her to know that she couldn’t shake me or my confidence. Funnily enough, she warmed up to me later and guess what? She was a part-time writer who needed a publisher…shoot, if she only knew someone! LOL. Be nice that’s all I’m gonna say.

I hope that you’ve learned a couple of things from the tips I’ve shared and that you’re successful in every endeavor that you choose to embark on. Thanks for reading and for following my blog.

LLB