Archives for July 2016

5 Proven Ways to Get Book Reviews

Getting a book published is a lot easier, and simpler, than in years past. From idea to publication it can be a matter of weeks, even days and in some cases… hours.

As in the past, publishing is the easy part. Sure, in the eyes of the author, that may seem farfetched. Yet, ask any author who has made money from their books and they will likely say the marketing takes more effort.

You see, once the book is written, it’s done. With marketing, it’s an ongoing process. One that must be attended to on a daily basis, if you want to get the best results possible.

The main thing you have to do is generate interest in your book. There are countless ways to generate interest including media releases, email broadcast messages, blog posts and paid advertising. One of the best, and often overlooked by an author, is reader reviews.

Reviews give readers a sense of what the book is about thus increasing sales. Reviews are also excellent social proof that the book is worth reading. Granted, some authors get bogus reviews, but ethical authors do what they can to get “real” reviews.

reviews

To give your reviews a lot of weight, avoid paying for them. Actually, your book can be banned from some sites if it is found the reviews have been paid for.

Additionally, avoid the, “I’ll review your book if you review my book” temptation. This is a hard road to travel and Amazon frowns upon this practice.

The surest way to get great reviews is write a quality book.

Although you definitely should not pay for reviews, you can be proactive in your approach. The following will get you moving in the right direction.

  1. Your immediate circle of influence including family, friends and business colleagues who would be willing to review your book.
  2. Influencers in your industry whose review would make a difference to a potential buyer.
  3. Connections, friends and followers on your social networks.
  4. Other reviewers. Check out reviews of other books in your genre and contact the reviewers to see if they would be interested in reviewing your book.
  5. Members of book clubs. There are lots of book clubs with members eager to review books.

The key is to be proactive about asking people. Once you have a few reviews, other readers will likely leave reviews. One way to encourage readers to review you Kindle book is to add a page at the end of the book requesting their feedback.

valueSomething like, “I appreciate reader feedback and would appreciate a review left on Amazon.” You can add a live link to make the process of them going back to the book page as simple as possible.

It's not unheard of for a reader to really enjoy the book and fail to leave a review. Yet, when asked, they are more than happy to do so.

It's really about you, the author, being proactive in your approach to promoting your book. And again, reviews are one of the best ways to do so.

Have you been thinking about getting a Kindle book done, but have not yet gotten around to it? Feeling like you don't know where to start?7-26-2016 7-17-21 PM

Join me and my buddy, Jim Edwards on August 18th for a FREE webinar – Create Your Own Unique Kindle Books in 3 Hours Flat. Register at http://3hourkindlebookwizard.com/kathleen-webinar

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3 Erroneous Beliefs That Prevent Authors from Succeeding

A fabulous expression of one’s beliefs often manifests into a book. For many, this is the ultimate outlet for their creativity, expression and beliefs.

There is nothing that quite compares to the writing and publishing of a book. Yet… this is where many authors stop. Many fall short of doing what needs to be done to make their potential readers aware the book has been written.

If an author puts a lot of time and effort into writing their book, wouldn’t it make sense that they put equally as much effort into getting their book into the hands of eager readers? One would think so, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

A great many authors erroneously believe that somehow, some way, their book will take on a life of its own and make its way into the hands of their readers.

This is just one of three erroneous beliefs that hold authors back.

This is the very belief why many authors will never be more than hobbyist writers.  There’s nothing wrong with being a hobbyist writer unless your goal is to make money.  In that case, you absolutely must put effort into marketing and promoting your book(s).

Actually, there are three top erroneous beliefs that prevent an author from reaching their full potential with book sales.

Erroneous belief #1: You don’t need a marketing plan because a well-written book will find its way into the hands of lots of readers.

FACT: Having a well-planned marketing plan can make a huge difference in the success of a book. Marketing a book should start long before the book is published. It needs to start in the time period referred to as pre-launch. This is the period when a book website is developed, messaging for promotions of the book is created, interviews scheduled, media releases sent out to create ample visibility opportunities.

Pre-launch can begin as far as six to twelve months before the book is published.

Erroneous belief #2: Expecting the book to be an overnight success.

FACT: It takes time and planning for a book to become a success. Not only are there online means of getting the word out about your book, there are plenty of traditional methods including selling from the platform. What “selling from the platform” means is to give a power-packed presentation followed by an offer. When done right, this can be an incredible way to sell books.

On the other hand, many authors have fallen flat with an offer from the stage due to rushing through, making an offer to an audience who is not a good match for the subject matter or feeling uncomfortable when they make the offer.

Bottom-line on selling from the stage; believe in what you have to offer and plan out your offer.

Erroneous belief #3: Doing a high run rather than using POD.

logo-csp-no-tmFACT: This is likely one of the costliest mistakes an author can make. Years ago, high runs were the rule rather than the exception. Until POD (print on demand) became readily available, the financial burden to authors was extremely high.

With the popularity and choices now available with POD, the best choice to launch a book is with low runs. The beauty of POD is you can literally have one book printed at the same unit cost as 100. This allows a great deal of flexibility for authors.

Conclusion

Writing, publishing and selling your book is definitely a dream come true for many experts. There are ample opportunities that open up as a result. However, in order to fully optimize what you are doing, it’s essential to know how to minimize the cost and time you put into the end result in order to get the highest return on investment.

If you’re wricropting books simply for the pleasure of writing, this is one conversation. If you’re writing books to enhance your market position, expert status and increase revenues, take the time to plan out exactly when the book will be published, the marketing behind the book and the back-end opportunities. The payoff will be worth it.

Want to learn how to effectively market your book(s)? Access my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon click here.

 

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Use your business as a vehicle to influence positive change

Can our businesses contribute to solutions to many of the world problems we are experiencing more frequently every day? As entrepreneurs, are we able to fuel much needed shifts in perceptions, beliefs and reality of what is possible? Is it wise for entrepreneurs to speak their truth publicly beyond simple business as usual?

Personally, I believe we have a responsibility to be more visible with what is possible to make life better for others. Our businesses are a powerful vehicle to fuel the change.

Demand what you want (naught)

Recently, there was a post on Facebook that simply read, “Demand peace.” This got me thinking about what it means to demand anything.

Sure we can demand something, but demanding accomplishes very little over the long-haul. Demanding equates to blowing smoke.

Do not demand what you seek to experience, but rather, live it. It is in living what we desire, we will have more of whatever it is we desire.

Focus matters

What we focus on, we do get more of. There is so much evidence of this and the focus must be consistent. You cannot set the intention for something, make a commitment to staying the course and then after a day or two, go back to old beliefs and behaviors.

“I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.” Mother Theresa.

Commit to change

Change occurs when we are more committed to the change rather than the comfort of the familiar.

If you want more love, you cannot demand someone love you. The way to have more love is to be more loving. ‪#‎beloving‬

If you want more health, you cannot demand your body to suddenly become healthy. You must take healthy actions on a daily basis. ‪#‎healthychoices‬

If you want more understanding, you cannot demand someone to understand you. ‪#‎understandfirst‬

If you want peace, you cannot demand people. You must live in peaceful ways. ‪#‎liveinpeace‬

Demanding something may get a temporary result. However, for long-term results and true change, it is up to each one of us to live in the space of love, hope, caring, compassion and forgiveness.

It is never too late to shift one's perception and recognize the fact that children take on beliefs, actions and assumptions based one what they see, hear and are taught through the behaviors of others on a daily basis.

May we walk hand in hand with others from all walks of life in the solution from this moment forward.

In reality, our businesses are vehicles for change. And change we must. We must change what it means to contribute. We must change what it means to be a successful entrepreneur. We must change our level of willingness to contribute in a positive way.

The world of business HAS changed in some amazing ways. To hold on to the old way of doing things is counterproductive and in many cases a waste of our resources.

Many entrepreneurs go into business for more than simply to make money. We start businesses to make a difference, impact change and influences the lives of those we are privileged and entrusted to work with.

What are you committed to making a difference with?

For those who offer information products and coaching/consulting services, you can impact change through your coaching skills, consulting excellence, books, information products and speaking engagements. It simply takes the willingness to allow the information to work through you.

For those who have store fronts and sell various types of products, you can impact change through the care you put into how you run your business, how you treat your staff, how much you care for your customers and the conversations you engage in.

Change can, and must, happen.

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Your purpose is defined by your moment-to-moment actions

How often have you asked, “What is my greater purpose? What am I here to do?”

Consider this; life purpose does not have to be some grand vision, some over the top expression or some huge undertaking. It is, in fact, very simple.

A profound way to live your purpose is simply through the day-to-day actions you take that create the tapestry of your life.

It may, in fact, NOT be about a grand vision, but rather the little acts of kindness you express. All of which lead to the grand vision.

When we erroneously believe the only way we are living our purpose is to be doing things on a grand scale, we miss what is right in front of us. When we set our mind to living our purpose and accepting that we ARE our purpose, so much becomes clear and very simple.

An ancient Taoist master once said: “Nothing in the world is difficult for those who set their mind to it.”

In working with clients, I have often said, “The world is in a world of hurt and needs your wisdom and expression now more than ever.”

Our expression is in the willingness to not hold back that which we are here to do. It is in the way we treat our customers and clients. It is in the way we treat our vendors. It is in the willingness to do what we must to get our books written, our speeches presented, our products created. It is in the willingness to have integrity in all we do.

It is also in the way we treat the animals, our neighbors, homeless individuals, strangers we come in contact with and every creature we encounter.

How often do we mistakenly believe in order to make a difference we must do something grandiose? Because of this belief, many people miss the opportunity to consciously live their life purpose through the day-to-day actions they take.

Life purpose can simply be setting our mind with a focus on love, peace, community, all lives matter, unity, forgiveness and harmony and consciously choosing to express this in all we do.

The majority of people want to live in peace. The majority of people are confused and dismayed by what is currently occurring. The majority of people would help a stranger regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion or what country they come from.

Let us remember that each one of us is the answer. Each one of use can lend an ear to someone who is in pain and needs to talk. Each one of us can give a hug of comfort. Each one of us can be kind to a stranger who needs a helping hand. Each one of us can walk in love rather than hate. Each one of use can be the answer.

Be the answer. Be the solution. Be the change.

Live your purpose with simplicity every moment of every day.

 

 

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5 Ways Solo-Entrepreneurs Sabotage Their Success

Ask most solo-entrepreneurs why they are in business and they will tell you it’s to make a difference AND make money. Yet, the majority make the road to success much more difficult than it needs to be. In essence, they are sabotaging their success by what they do and by what they don’t do.

Let’s begin by defining just what a solo-entrepreneur is.  A solo-entrepreneur can be a speaker, author, consultant, coach or business advisor.

Solo-E.com founder, Terry Zwierzynski, has a very clear definition of a solo-entrepreneur. “A Solo Entrepreneur (Solo-E) is a professional who chooses to go into business by themselves (go solo), collaborate with others, grow their business without boundaries and, more than likely, without employees. The Solo Entrepreneur may also be called a free agent, freelancer, solopreneur, self-employed, sole proprietor, personal business or home based business owner (although not all Solo Entrepreneurs are home-based.). Other terms used by government agencies (like the U.S. Census Bureau) that count and classify solo entrepreneurs include: nonemployer business, no-employee business, microbusiness (which usually means less than 5 employees), and SOHO (small office – home office).”

Every day, men and women are joining the ranks of the self-employed and solo-entrepreneurs. According to a recent report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), sponsored by Babson College and Baruch College, finds that 27 million working-age Americans–nearly 14 percent–are starting or running new businesses.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of these won’t survive to see the light of day due to one very simple reason; few potential clients know they exist.

When you look at the numbers, it’s no surprise that many “stars in their eyes” startups will fail. Many will blame it on the economy, competition, their spouse doesn’t support them, it’s too expensive to do all they need to do or any number of justifications for not fully going for it.

The bottom line is this; there is more opportunity today than ever before. In order to succeed you absolutely must be willing to get outside of your comfort zone to create the success you want.

To succeed, it’s essential to identify the most common ways you set yourself up for failure. In other words, what are the top ways you are sabotaging your success?

  1. Not having a clear vision for your business
  2. Not saying NO enough.
  3. Not being visible to potential clients.
  4. Not having a sense of urgency.
  5. Not having a clear path for people to do business with you.

Create a clear vision

It’s amazing how many so-called entrepreneurs haven’t taken time to determine where they want their business to go. They barely create a vision beyond, “I want to succeed.”

What does that mean? What kind of revenues do you want to generate? What products and services will you offer? How much of each will you need to sell in order to reach your numbers?

Without a clear vision of where you need to be, how will you know when you’ve arrived?  Additionally, you must know how much, at a minimum, you need to generate to keep your doors open.

Just say NO

Entrepreneurs love to help others. That’s one reason we go into business. We want to make a difference. Yet, it’s absolutely essential to know when to say no.

Equally important is the need to say yes when the right opportunity arises. Not long ago, a client I’ve worked with for a few years, had a great opportunity to present a keynote to 500 people.

“I don’t think I’m going to do this,” she said during one of our calls.

I was somewhat taken aback due to this being the very type of opportunity she had been working toward.

She told me the reasons she was going to say no. What it boiled down to was fear. Every reason was really an excuse.

I strongly encouraged her to say yes to this incredible opportunity. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to say yes.

Not only did the audience give her a standing ovation, her consulting business filled up as a result of this one engagement.

There are times you must say NO and other times you absolutely must say YES! The way to determine which is to evaluate if the activity moves you closer (or further away) from your overall goals.

Gain visibility

Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken belief they will somehow get discovered with little effort to gain visibility on their part. If people don’t know you exist, how can they possibly do business with you?

Case in point: recently I was searching for information on how to Feng Shui my office space. Over and over, one expert’s information showed up. Not only did he have articles written, I found blog posts, videos and reports by this gentleman.

From my perspective, that of a potential client seeking an answer to a specific question aka problem, “How to Feng Shui my office,” the person who stood out was the one who was very visible. Not only did I read and watch much of his information, I signed up for his 60-page complimentary report.

There are likely many Feng Shui experts I would be willing to learn from, but I haven’t a clue who they are because they are not visible.

It is very apparent; the expert I am now following put a lot of effort into gaining visibility.

As obvious as this fact is, it’s amazing how many experts don’t focus daily effort on raising awareness in order that potential clients know they exist.

To not do so is one of the top five ways you sabotage yourself. However, to get the most out of your efforts, you must concentrate your efforts on where your market hangs out.

Create a sense of urgency

The sooner people know you exist, they know about your level of expertise and they know about the products and services you offer, the better. To succeed in today’s fast paced world, you absolutely must have a sense of urgency in what you do.

Urgency does not mean panic. It simply means you know time can either work in your favor or against you. Urgency means you know there are things you must do on a daily basis to get the momentum going.

Everything today is moving faster than ever before. This is even more prevalent in the business environment. There is a need for speed, but with focused effort. It’s not about simply throwing mud up on the wall and hoping it will stick. It’s about being incredibly strategic with all you do, especially how you manage your time and what you do with your time.

Create the mindset that you need to take as much inspired action as possible while in your office. The more focused, targeted and strategic you are, with a sense of urgency in what you do, the greater your results.

Make the path to do business with you incredibly clear

When I sought out answers to my Feng Shui questions, I was very impressed with how simple the one expert I gave my contact information to made things.

First, he made it very easy to find him. Next, he made it easy for me to opt in for his report. Next, his thank you page was easy to navigate. Next, he offered more high value information that continued to position his expertise.

Within a few hours, he sent me another tip on how to get the most out of the information I signed up for.

All of this was automated and very seamless. The only thing he didn’t have was a book on Amazon. Admittedly, I was disappointed.  With as much as he had established his expertise, I would have likely bought a book written by him.

Although he did a great job of getting me, the potential client, into his funnel, he did miss a great opportunity to get me to make the first purchase with him.

Conclusion

The question that begs to be answered is this; are you setting yourself up for failure or success? When you read through the five ways entrepreneurs sabotage their success, where are you with this?

  1. Do you have a clear vision for your business?
  2. Are you saying NO enough?
  3. Are you visible to potential clients?
  4. Do you have a sense of urgency?
  5. Do you have a clear path for people to do business with you?

Your answers will determine the next indicated steps you need to take to create the success you desire.

hit#1-amazonLooking for success with getting your book to #1 on Amazon? Get my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

 

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Running a Business IS Like Running a Marathon

There is so much evidence that the more visible we are, the more opportunity we create. Yet, many people continue to hide out, thinking somehow they will be discovered

Without a doubt, when you are open about who you are, what you do, hobbies you have, this is when opportunity appears to come out of the woodwork.

Opportunity abounds

A great example is my recent speaking engagement at BlogPaws2016. BlogPaws is an organization designed to help animal blog pawsbloggers increase their effectiveness in all they do. The annual conference is off the charts amazing, attracting bloggers from around the globe.

Although I am not an animal blogger professionally, on a personal level I am passionate about animal rescue. It was as a result of a fund raiser I did for one of my rescue dogs that I gained visibility within the pet space. In the last year, I have spoken at two of the most influential conferences including BlogPaws and WIPIN (women in the pet industry) with more engagements on the books.

I also have private clients who are in the animal industry space. The only reason this transpired is due to my openness around my love of pets.

Multiple areas of interest will serve you

Another area I am gaining some visibility is with people interested in running. Although not a fast runner, I do participate in easter1races of varying distances. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined people would ask for my insights on races.

Having been 40 – 50 pounds’ overweight at one point, now in my 60’s and in great shape with incredible 193.8energy, I was recently asked for my input on running a marathon. Again, I definitely am not an elite athlete, but I have accomplished something only a small percentage of the population has done… I finished a marathon.

Interestingly, what I have found to be key is that I talk about my passions. I post pictures of my animals and my races. I write about it without any expectation of whether or not I “will get something in return.” But the return has been interesting in that both areas have opened up opportunities in business. Why? Because today, more than ever, who we are outside of work is of interest to who we are in business.

The recent post I responded to about running a marathon was one I would not have found had a friend of mine not tagged me in.

The post started with an inquiring from someone wanting to participate in their first ever marathon. They were seeking advice on what to expect. There will be plenty of people who give input, most of whom have never participated in a marathon.

Comments ranged from what books to read, to one person posting, “Why in the world would you want to do a marathon?”

What I know to be true is this; training for a marathon is like running a business. You won’t accomplish what you want in a month. It takes time, commitment, mentorship and overcoming obstacles.

There is a process

To give you insight into my process of what it took, and continues to take, here is how I responded to the request on what to expect from participating in a marathon. You will likely notice the similarities to running a business, writing a book, getting out and creating speaking opportunities or just about anything that pushes your limits.

Having been a very crappy runner at one point and now completing my second full marathon for my 62 birthday last month (my first was at age 61) and now doing lots of 5ks, 10ks, 5 milers, 10 miles and a few occasional halves, yes, I do have some insights. Personally, my goal is to do 100 races by the time I am 70 and in the last year have done at least 10 (not marathons… races which include everything from 5ks up.)

I am not a fast runner. Started out as a walker at the standard 20-minute mile. I was thrilled when I hit 16 minutes per mile. My average now for my training days can be between 11 – 12 minutes per mile.

My goal is to always finish without injury. I pay attention to those who have “been there, done that.” Anyone who has not done a marathon seriously does not understand what it means to hit the wall at certain points during the marathon. Hitting the wall is very real and it has to do with a number of factors including:

-How well you've trained?
-What you eat and if you are carbing up enough during a race?
-Are you hydrated?
-What is your overall health?

Here are my recommendations

1. Pace yourself and give yourself time to train right. Do NOT assume you can do a full marathon in a matter of a month. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to do it right.

2. Join a local meet up group of “hobby” runners. There's a huge difference between lifer runners and those who simply enjoy the sport.

3. Consider your eating habits. What you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat is huge in your overall performance?

4. Weight training is a very important aspect of good marathon performance. Incorporate resistance training into your overall training.

5. Do some shorter races along the way. Shorter races prepare you for the big day. To not have smaller goals along the way is setting yourself up for injury, frustration, hitting the wall more than need be and a lack of understanding of pacing yourself.

I have likely read 20 plus books on running and marathoning. The two top books I recommend:

-Couch to 5k
-Marathoning for Mortals (Highly, highly, highly recommend) by Jenny Hadfield http://amzn.to/292ywSU

lindora-jennyJenny Hadfield has a Facebook group for those of us at all levels of running and power-walking. It's a very supportive group and one of the best I have found for camaraderie.

I'm definitely a fan of Jenny. She writes for runner's magazine and is very approachable. There is no elitism with her at all. She supports everyone's goals.

I love the sport and never in my wildest dreams thought I would call myself a runner. Now I can't imagine not running. On the 4th of July I am doing the Butte to Butte in Eugene, Oregon. I'm doing the 10k.

For the person who asked why you would do a marathon? Truth be told, very few people will ever push themselves to that point. It is an extreme thing to do and when you really make the commitment, you get to find out what you are made of.

Completing a marathon is not an easy accomplishment. Something that helps is to surround yourself with those who will support you and raise you up when things get tough. And trust me, they will get rough. There are times you will say, “What the heck was I thinking?”

  • There will be times you want to quit. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to cut short your training. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to give up on your goals. Don't.
  • There will be times you want to hide away and pretend you never said you would do a marathon. Don't.

There is nothing to compare with the feeling of training for months and then crossing the finish line.

As far as how long it will take you, that's hard to say. There are a lot of factors involved including how fast you currently run, how well you train, etc.

Best of luck and know that when you cross the finish line, that can never be taken away from you.

Look for similarities and go for the gold

As you can see, there ARE similarities to training for a marathon and running a business. The most important thing is to have a vision, pace yourself, surround yourself with those who know what you are going through and will keep you focused on your goals, and stay the course. It will be worth it.

Looking for ways to go for the gold in your business? Join my private Facebook group to become more involved in your own success. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PowerUpForProfits/

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