May 8, 2019-We often put up with things in our lives because our standards aren’t high enough, or we don’t have any standards in place, to begin with. You may be settling in your life and your writing career because the expectations you have for yourself and your work are too low. What you can do right now, is decide that you aren’t going to settle for anything less than what you’re willing to work for. You’re going to raise your standards and know better, do better, and be better.
Grab a pen and paper to get really clear on what your standards are for:
- Your business-How do you want your business to be run? How much money do you want to make? How will you know if you’re successful? What are your goals? What are you not willing to compromise? etc.
- The clients you take on– Here’s your chance to make a list on what your ideal client looks like!
- Your relationships (work relationships too)- Who do you want to work with? What kind of relationship do you want to have with your workmates, buyers, readers, etc.?
- Your travel/lifestyle– Where do you want your work to take you? Where do you want to work from? Do you want a mobile office? Certain work hours? etc. Do you want to less time working?
- Your work– What is your legacy that you will leave behind? What is the point and purpose of your work?
- Your team– What do you want from your teammates? What kind of things will you expect? What will happen when expectations aren’t met? What kind of team do you want to play for?
If you don’t have standards, or again, those standards are too low, you’re selling yourself short. Make a promise to your self that you will do better! Time to raise the bar and in six months from now you’ll be happy you did. Your life is about to change. Now get to work. X LLB
April 29, 2019– Many years ago there was an ad in a very famous newspaper of a stern-looking executive in a suit with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. The copy read:
I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your company, I don’t know your company’s product, I don’t know what your company stands for, I don’t know your company’s customers, and I don’t know your company’s reputation…now what is it you wanted to sell me?
Whoa, talk about powerful and true. We’ve all been in situations where we are approached by someone trying to sell us something and sometimes it feels icky. It feels that way because we don’t know the person, the company, or the product. This happens to me on Instagram, constantly; someone will either slide into my DM’s or they will comment on my post about how I should buy their product, or sell their product or follow them or their friends. It’s obnoxious and leads me to more often than not blocking them and the person they’ve recommended. Harsh? Maybe, but I don’t have time for BS. The bottom line? People ONLY buy things from people they feel comfortable with, from people they trust, and from people that their friends recommend.
If you’re an indie author who is trying to sell your book please keep in mind that it’s a long road and you’ve got lots of work and years ahead of you. This isn’t to discourage you, but to remind you that you’ve got to spend time building relationships before anyone will be interested in buying your work. Relationships are the key to everything and they must be authentic.
And if you own a business, you need to make sure that people know who you are, that they know about your company, your products, what your company stands for, who your customers are and what your reputation is! Only then, can you begin to even THINK about selling.
March 29, 2019-You may find yourself squinting at the title of this post. Yes, I’m talking about the business of writing and why it’s so important to qualify your customers! Let me back up for a second and explain what I mean; this may be hard to believe, but sometimes, it’s a good idea to turn away paying customers.
If you run any type of business where you sell services, you’ll understand exactly what I’m saying! Some customers just aren’t worth the time, energy, attention, or risk. Harsh? Maybe, but this is where qualifying your customers is going to save you a headache (at the very least) in the long run.
To qualify your customer means to determine whether or not that they’re a good fit for you and your business before they sign a contract for your services. By evaluating them before you decide to work with them, you’re minimizing the chances of wasting your time and theirs. It’s essential for you, as a business owner, to decide and be very clear about who your ideal client is; you’ll screen out the ones who don’t fit that description and this will allow you to focus on serving your best customers well.
I personally meet with every single potential client who wants to hire Pandamonium Publishing House for our services so that I can decide whether or not we are going to work with that person. It’s also important to know that this is in the client’s best interest as well! Here’s how I evaluate the clients that want to work with us:
- Do they have a positive attitude? This is essential and that’s why it’s at the top of my list. It’s much easier and much more enjoyable to work with someone who is positive!
- Are they open communicators? If they’re not a good communicator, this is a red flag for me! Because if they’re not, how can we possibly work together on a project that requires constant communication for it to be completed?
- Are they clear about what they want? How can I know what they want if they don’t? I’m not a mind reader and if they’re not clear about their vision or how they see the end result, there’s no possible way for me to deliver it to them.
- How do they take constructive criticism? People who get defensive, or who think that they know it all, or are offended and irritated by constructive criticism are not good fits. Imagine telling this prospective client that something in their manuscript needs to be changed and they flip their lid, or sulk, or call you every name under the sun…sounds fun doesn’t it? NEXT!
- Can they take direction and instruction? Same as above. If they can’t take direction and they’ve hired us to oversee a project, there can’t be two cooks in the kitchen.
- Do we have matching values? You’ll never EVER see me publish a book about zoos, animal abuse, or animals in captivity because all of these things go against my personal values. Working with people that have values that parallel your own is essential. I’m not saying they have to believe what you believe, I’m saying that you need to remember what matters to you and to be authentic to your own self and your own beliefs. That goes for both parties.
Now, remember, my business and I are not the best fit for everyone and that’s ok! It’s essential to know what you want, who you are, what you stand for, and who you want to work with as well as who you don’t want to work with. Clarity as key. I urge you as a business owner to make a list of your ideal client and stick to it. X LLB