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Getting your articles syndicated is challenging but worth it

Getting your articles syndicated is challenging but worth it

I’ve worked on syndication strategies for a number of authors with the designed intent on increasing newspaper and magazine coverage as a means to achieving the platform and name recognition necessary to command a spot at major syndicates like Creators. It’s very difficult to be successful unless you commit to growing your devoted fan base audience and network over a long period of time. The competition is cutthroat. The demands are incredible.

The plan very simply, you create a pitch that offers a formatted ready for publication column designed for cut and paste utilization and you pitch it out there to your target media with four or five additional installments.

You tell the media, try it for free, and if you like it (e.g., the feedback they get helps them sell more subscriptions), then maybe they will buy what you offer on a regular basis. You must be prepared to sell each column cheap $1 to $5 a week for newspapers) and you raise your prices to whatever your market can handle. So $5 a week from each of 100 newspapers is $500 a week. 200 newspapers is $1000 a week. Sounds easy? It’s not.

We have been only semi-successful at this for most people who have tried it. Media actually tell us, “why should we pay you when we have so many people offering to do this for free?” The answer has to be “Quality and Sales” and you have to prove it quick and keep on proving it or they stop paying you.

Sometimes, we pitch single articles and get offered a regular column. Does it pay enough to justify the effort? It depends. Can you syndicate from a single position? Yes. Look at Dave Barry. His humor posts from the Miami Herald were syndicated nationwide.

Can you write something that turns people on like Dave Barry does? Prove it.

Of course, nowadays there are content mills out there that will take contributions from *anyone* who wants to give away content. It helps them grow, but the benefits to the author are often very low, even non-existent. Even a regular contributor position on the famed Huffington Post doesn’t automatically mean that much any more.

The ROI of course really depends on the person and whether the writing produces the interest and conversion to sales. People with expensive or multiple books, products or services income streams have an easier time achieving a break even plus. The ROI (return on investment) and ROTI (return on time invested), is worth it when you make more money off very few sales.

You have to test and pitch and improve and test and pitch again and again and again and again. You don’t just write in a vacuum. You develop, test, deploy, analyze and improve.

My simple acronym for this process is this: CACA

C – Create

A – Ask

C – Create again

A – Ask again

Your objective is to keep on placing things before YOUR people so they can decide to participate, play or purchase. But just realize that this is hard to do. Think about it! When was the last time you read the newspaper, and went and grabbed your credit card.

Few authors realize that creating the book is only the beginning. To be successful they have to find satisfaction in connecting with people again and again till they get enough action to pay for their investment in the work they created. It’s not just mechanics and technology. It’s not just fine art or excellence in creative writing.

There’s persistent, dedicated systematic communication outreach that has to drive people to action.

Success often lives or dies with the close monitoring of the one-to one relationship developed between the author and his or her audience. That is where the author must determine “what did I do and say that turned you on?”

Learn this and you can use the incredible array of media technologies.

Fail to learn this and nothing happens.

Just remember triumph is TRI with UMPH added.

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks

I read with a pen in my hand at all times. The real trick is to not only underline the good ideas and passages, but open up a notebook and write down the idea and develop an action, identify who else needs to be brought in, identify a completion date and deploy the action plan to turn the idea into a reality with benefits. Even if it is inspirational, fiction or non-business related, identify the good stuff and share it with someone. Sharing and caring someone else’s life’s work can bring joy to the world. Being a force multiplier is where I get my kicks.

Book marketing – face to face up close and personal

Book marketing case study of book marketing success by a self published author

NYT Randy Kearse story
I love this. Here’s a story that illustrates one of my primary rules for getting publicity.

Take a look at The NY Times July 9, 2010 feature story about self published author Randy Kearse selling over 14,000 books by himself on the subways of New York City

This story illustrates The DPAA+H Rule. The story captures the five essential elements of a great human interest feature story:

It’s DRAMATIC and PERSONAL

It tells a story about a real person who seeks ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Finally it adds in an element of HUMOR.

It’s all here and this story shows how it can be done.

This story illustrates another of my key concepts – The Miracle of the Microcosm.

Randy has developed an experience based communication script that captures his magic words that turn people on and get sufficient numbers of people to take action. They buy his books.

He has a specific goal and knows that he must present to enough people to hit his goal each day.

He has developed and documented a systematic repeatable process for achieving a known level of financial success each day.

The article talks about Randy in ways that make him very likeable and very approachable. Several of his books are also mentioned along the way and he is positioned as being a very helpful dedicated and innovative individual who seeks to achieve financial success while he does his best helping others.

This is a beautiful example of the best publicity one can get.

Congratulations to Randy Kearse.

Landslide PR Success Story – Get out there and help the people you can help the most

Lessons learned from a landslide PR success for a self published author

I can’t take 100 percent credit for delivering this landslide of publicity, because all I did was provide guidance, counsel and help along the way. What I did was just one of the many things the author did that helped set the situation up so that it could happen. It took several months of consistent, dedicated, concerted team effort for this to happen. Lots of faith, blood, sweat and tears, several people, and then of course, karma and luck.

About six months ago, I started working with a Houston based new self published author D. Ivan Young on his book Break Up, Don’t Break Down.

When the book first came out he did a lot of social media marketing and sought to do a bunch of radio talk shows. He did quite a few blog talk radio shows for the first month. Then I transmitted a news release outreach and he got about 30 book review requests, several additional blog radio interviews and some prime media interviews around the nation.

Then last week he was called and interviewed for a story by an AP reporter who was doing independent research for a story about a particularly viscious and very well reported celebrity breakup about two of the people on “The Bachelor” one of the prime time reality TV shows. He had searched on Google and found Derek and his website, his book and links to his recent media coverage and interviews. The reporter called and got an expert quote from the author, the only book author quoted in the article.

The article came out in the Associated Press on July 4. It then showed up in over 1,000 media overnight.

If you do a Google Search in quotes like this:

“D Ivan Young” and “The Bachelor”

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22D%20Ivan%20Young%22%20and%20%22The%20Bachelor%22&hl=en&ned=us&tab=nw

On July 6, it revealed 1,010 stories – although this will go up and down from here out.

The Google News Search a few minutes later on the same words in quotes shows the link to the AP story and the New York Daily News story and 768 similar stories. This will fade away over the next few weeks.

A grand slam homerun as regards publicity for him and his book. He is quoted saying some remarkably intelligent things about relationships (I’m talking about a guy talking about relationships here, really a regular guy talking about relationships!) and his book is named.

All I could do is say something banal and boring and maybe sing a bar from that song by Neil Sedaka over forty years ago, that breaking up is hard to do.

Duh.

Lessons learned:

Get out there and help the people you can help the most.

Get media experience doing interviews (all types of interviews) and be sincere, authentic, energetic, expert, and knowledgeable about your subject.

Be prepared – because you never know who is going to call.

Persist! Don’t ever give up.

Congratulations to D. Ivan Young.

Major League Mini Brag – PR Success Story – Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest

Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest make the LA Times, GMA and the Today Show

Right on Sisters! Perfect Trifecta!

Congratulations to clients Sue Bain, Laurie Gawne, and Roxie Roxford – creators of www.Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com and the founders of The Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest. The announcement for the 2010 winner got them a story in the LA Times last Friday, a Saturday morning spot on Good Morning America, and then Kathie Lee and Hoda covered the contest this morning on the Today Show!

Photos from the contest can be seen here: http://www.cheap-chic-weddings.com/wedding-contest-2010.html

What did we do that hit the media hot buttons? The news release was transmitted Thusday moning. We championed and showcased the dedication, innovation, and exquisite skill of individuals who achieve true artistic creativity and excellence. We made it easy for media to run with a ready to go story complete with galvanizing color photos. We gave the public and the audience something to smile and talk about that made them feel good, be inspired by, and experience a moment of awe and admiration.

You can see the simple news release we used here: http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/TPWinnerrelease2010.pdf

The release was transmitted to a custom targeted media list of fashion and women’s editors.

Here’s to you ladies!

Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest Winner 2010

TP2

Getting book reviews can be hard even with a really good book

Getting book reviews can be hard even with a really good book

Client had me send out a news release for a crime fiction mystery novel. The news release was transmitted on Feb 16 and produced 50 requests for review copies in four days.

It’s now April (three months later) and he has received exactly three reviews. Those reviews were all quite favorable.

But the client wonders, “is that all there will be?” He wrote “I originally thought by sending out the press releases, that all I had to do was to wait for those who solicited a copy of my book to read it, then they would do a review.”

It was not hard getting the book review media interested. 50 requests for review copies off of a single emailed news release for a fiction book is really quite good.

So why the low coverage? Why the lukewarm response from the book reviewers?

Is it the book? Maybe. It’s a relatively thick book, 426 pages, clearly self published, limited national distribution. Author is Canadian resident. Cover could be improved.

Is three reviews good or should there be more? There may yet be more to come, but three out of 50 is six percent, and that may be a very good reflection of what the media sees as the relative number of people who will be interested in this genre. It may be a very good reflection of the perceived interest in the marketplace.

Buit this is pure armchair speculation. You need hard data to make business decisions.

So what can you do?

You can call the media who received the review copies and ask them for feedback.

It may be that they simply haven’t gotten to it yet. They are busy people with their own lives, businesses and priorities.

It may also be that once the book reviewers actually see the book, they simply decide “this is not right for my audience”.

But without calling to ask them and see if they will be frank and give an honest and objective appraisal, this is pure speculation.

Call and ask. But be prepared for some hard to accept feedback.

People may not like your book.

They may resent you asking for this feedback.

They may not give you what you are asking.

You may not like what they say.

So if you do call media and ask them, be prepared.

Are you tough enough?

Smart, Intelligent, and Broke… and What to do about it

Tactics for creating a writing or services business that makes money and helps the people you can help the most

I’m a copywriter and a publicist and an author so I guess I do make a living writing. I’m happy to share with you what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

I wrote my first news release in 1977. I went online with my first website in 1993. I’ve built up my copy writing and publicity services company at home and online over the past 15 years.

You can read the story about how I created my business in the book “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul” published by Health Communications in November 2006. It’s titled `Ripples’. Fun story.
If you want to see it click here Ripples

The marketing I do is pretty nominal but it is consistent, and I take baby steps to keep it going nearly every day.

I’m of the belief that if people and companies have employees doing work that you can do and have more work that you can do than they have employees available to do that work, then getting paid is easy.

Can you do it?

Yes you can!

You just need to present them with a very desirable alternative turnkey to hiring you as an employee. Make it attractive and make it easy and it’s a done deal.

I’ve found that if they have employees doing something, then outsourcing to you is often a very attractive option. You can normally charge four to six times the hourly rate of pay that they pay full time employees to do exactly the same work, but without them having to carry the overhead that they have to carry for an employee. So if top technical or professional employees are making $50 an hour, then you can charge $200 an hour. Most companies will not bat an eye at these rates these days. You can run the numbers and see, at these rates, it’s not hard to bill over $100,000 a year and do it part-time from home. The Internet and email can be a wonderful place.

So no matter what the employees or you do, you can create a short menu of options and fees that break both the services you will provides (just like an employee performs, or the deliverables they create), and format this into a short list of the fee based time or product deliverables that you can perform or deliver on demand or by schedule.

So instead of a resume, create a one page brochure that says “menu of options”. Then itemize options so people can hire you in bite size chunks of payable time or for products or services by known typical units of performance (by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the page, by the document, or whatever).

This menu allows you and the client to select what you do and price it in advance, and build this into a one page contract or an email or even a phone call.

I’ve found that the best marketing tactics that work in this business are ones that allow you to leverage professional branding with your target audience. You should not waste time, effort and money unless it brings a professional branding message in front of someone who will potentially be amenable to doing business with you.

So I recommend you experiment, test and most importantly and track and analyze what you do, to identify how you are getting clients and where the biggest income streams come from. Then apply the basic rules of systematic continuous improvement to what you are doing. Simply put, if it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

You can use my business as an example. To this day, I get most of my new business by:

* meeting people at conferences at which I exhibit, and giving short but personal consults on the fly, and once I hear what they are all about giving them recommendations that help them a little and indicate what they can get by involving me more.

* writing and publishing articles (problem solving tips articles) in magazines, to demonstrate skills, expertise, ability, knowledge and wisdom, and create desire once they realize they want more of what I can offer.

* posting articles and responding to posted questions in newsgroups and on discussion lists, to do the same.

* adding more free articles and free downloads to an extensive highly educational and focused website, to educate and motivate people to do more themselves, or hire me if they can’t do it themselves.

* adding more success stories and testimonials to my portfolio, to again demonstrate and affirm.

* sending really value added email introductions to prospects, to supply them with a plan of action that leads them to hire me.

* doing 30 minute consultations by phone, learning what clients need and delivering strategic advice and one page action plan proposals by email.

* answering prospect questions as though I was already working for them.

* carefully cultivating word of mouth off prior exceptional performance.

* speaking engagements, giving workshops and training sessions for free and for fee, but only to the right targeted company or audience.

* meeting people for lunch and listening to their project needs or dreams.

* sending them one page email proposals.

* building off referrals, and speaking engagements, and seeking to leverage host beneficiary relationships.

This last one is perhaps the most crucial. As you satisfy clients, of course, you can get repeat business. If you do work for a headquarters or a home office of a company with lots of offices all over the country, your host contact can lead you directly to many other prospects. You then get to pitch them all or better still, the headquarters contact shares you and everyone in that business network then contacts you. This situation can be phenomenally beneficial. Lucrative in fact. Same thing can happen with speaking engagements at associations. The local speech or workshop travels up to the headquarters.

Once every few years I create an innovative post card and do a mailing. My most recent mailer was a one pager back-to-back. If you want to see my most recent one, send me an email message request and I’ll send you the pdf file. I was using US Mail for mailings until two years ago. Now we participate in coop mailings and use email.

Nowadays I also use a show off business card. It has a picture of me fishing. It’s a memorable experience to look at and to hold. It brands me as a distinctive writer.

I use email, short letters and one page business proposals extensively to close deals by email and phone. In fact, I have a rule which basically says that you never have a conversation with a prospect without making a customized personal proposal. It works very well.

I actually don’t need or use formal contracts at all. I just take credit cards and bill them at the time of performance. I take very few checks and only in advance if the client insists upon paying that way. Client satisfaction with this arrangement is nearly 100 percent for many years now.

I spend NO money on advertising at all and do not care about search engine placement or ad words. Clients who call me have either heard about me or find me online through research or referral. They basically have decided to hire me before they call me so I actually do very little selling.

I’ve actually found that in my business, the people who search using search engines aren’t the clients I seek to work with. Most of them don’t have the products or businesses that I enjoy and can be successful with. The people who find my site online rarely are quality clients. So search engine ranking and placement mean very little to me. I can be found very quickly if people search for me nonetheless. In fact, search on my name and you’ll see thousands of links going back 15 years.

I’ve also found that the decision to hire is based on people having convinced themselves that you offer needed value that can be acquired no where else at the costs that you present. What you need to do is just learn how to make the product or service you give remarkable and personal, unique, and phenomenally effective. You also need to learn how to communicate this to them quickly.

Do that and your business will grow consistently with everything you do. The key to enjoying yourself along the way is to simply focus on helping the people you can help the most. You also need to know when to say no to a project that is problematic and where you know won’t be able to satisfy yourself or the client. The rule should be `no unhappy clients’.

I learned this business model by studying a variety of other consultants and copywriters. This model is actually very easy to operate and fairly low cost. I incorporated a few years ago as a full C Corp to take advantage of the tax structure since the business bills over six figures a year. I pay myself a salary. I also just use QuickBooks Pro to do the day to day bookkeeping myself but do hire a professional accountant to do the taxes each year. I use the merchant credit card services offered with Quicken and it does the bookkeeping entries as it processes the credit card authorizations.

The skills I acquired to conduct my business the way I do is mostly out of books. I am a voracious reader. This is in addition to reading or skimming all the client books that come to me (Fed Ex and UPS stop here nearly every day Monday through Friday). I read at the health club, I read during the day and at night, and in front of the TV. I basically am reading (or searching and surfing the Internet) if I am not writing or on the phone.

My house is totally wireless and there are two computers on plus two laptops available for use by me and the rest of the family at all times.

I can even take my cell phone and my wireless laptop in my boat and take client calls and work while fishing along the Columbia River because of the many hot spots and homes with unsecured wireless routers along the river. It’s amazing! The technology really is wonderful these days. That makes for some very pleasant days working (yes really working) while catching salmon, steelhead and walleye! If you’ve ever called me during the day you may hear me tell you that if I get a fish on I’ll have to get off really quick, but I’ll call you back! OK, enough bragging.

I just looked over my library and I highly recommend you basically commit to reading most every business, sales and marketing book published and get whatever you can out of each and every one of them. I still probably spend $100 to $200 a month on books in this area and have for years. My wife says it takes more to keep me well read than it does to keep me well fed. I have a 25 year collection and I still refer back to them constantly.

My favorite book authors and the books I can point you to for the best answers to this question the most are:

* Harry Beckwith (everything he writes is golden including: Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, The Invisible Touch, and his new one, You, Inc.)

* Bob Bly (again, anything he writes is worth owning. The Copywriter’s Handbook, Secrets of a Freelance Writer, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Write More, Sell More, which is still one of the best books ever written on running a writing business).

* Ralph G. Riley (The One Page Business Proposal is perhaps one of the most important books you’ll ever find. It has made me tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars).

* Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate and No B.S. series)

* Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, and Unleashing the Idea Virus)

* Mark Stephens (Your Marketing Sucks)

* Jay Abraham (Getting Everything You Can Out of All You Got)

* Dr. Jeffrey Lant (this dates me! No More Cold Calls, Cash Copy, The Unabashed Self-Promoter’s Guide, and Money Making Marketing. Good luck finding these but if you do, consider yourself lucky)

* Jeffrey Fox (How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Become a Marketing Superstar).

If you need attitude adjustment to get into the right frame of mind for running a business, then I highly recommend:

* Jack Canfield (The Success Principles)

* Napoleon Hill (Law of Success)

* Steven Scott (Mentored by a Millionaire)

* Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement and many others)

* Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner)

The real trick to reading is that you have to create a written plan with the ideas that come to you.

Reading and not writing simply isn’t productive. Writing a plan of action turns the idea into something tangible. You must add in the tasks and place dates and performance measures so that you know that you have completed the task.

Knowledge is valuable but to turn a fantasy into reality you must take action and try, try, try till you actually succeed.

You need to create two independent processes:

The first is the process for creating quality work (writing) that you can get paid for.

The second is the sales process that you use to get customers and get money.

Once you create these success processes for yourself then you apply technology to get more of each done in less time, with less effort and expense.

In fact, if you do both of these enough, it all becomes second nature, much like riding a bicycle or a car.

At some point, it can even get boring. To avoid losing faith and being unhappy, you have to find your happiness in delivering whatever happiness and help you can to others.

And that is my belief in what life is all about. .It’s my definition of success:

You achieve happiness and success when you help the people you can help the most and get rich at the same time.

The bottom line is that I believe that the opportunities to be a well paid writer right now are simply phenomenal. You can specialize and focus on any one or more of hundreds of markets. The country is huge. There are 300 million people in the US. There are 30,000 towns. There are simply millions of companies all of whom can be helped again and again.

Don’t be shy. This isn’t that hard to do and you’ve got the skills. Focus and go for it.

BTW, here’s the link for the pdf file containing the story `Ripples’ from Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, or if you want the latest flyer I used in my mailings, just send me an email request. I’ll send you the pdf files.

Hope this helps. Questions welcome!

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
800-457-8746 509-545-2707
Paul@DirectContactPR.com

Publicizing and Promoting By Helping People the People You Can Help the Most

Tactics and strategies for getting the best publicity that creates interest and sales

It’s perhaps the most common question I hear after a client walks in the front door. I wrote a book, now what do i do?

I reviewed many years of doing PR and marketing for thousands of clients and from experience, it appears that it all comes down to …

HELPING THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP THE MOST

What is the most effective communication that you can put in front of people that will get them interested in what you have to offer? What type of message will attract more of the right type of people to you and will create the best and lasting impression? How can you maximize your sales with the lowest possible budget?

There are several types of news releases or marketing communications that you can choose to use to get peoples’ attention and interest. Sure, you can create a product announcement, a book review or a personal story about your quest to create a book or a product. But these types of messages tend to produce a relatively low impact on how much coverage you get and how many products or services you sell. That’s because it’s all about you and you fail to really give the media what they want the most.

The best media coverage results when you offer something of value that appeals to lots of people in the audience at a deep personal level.

By far, the highest impact media coverage and sales comes from value-packed problem solving messages placed before needy people in a dramatic way.

What this means is that you if you want publicity and sales you need to craft your messages and couple them with actions so that you help the people you can help the most.

With authors and publishers this usually means that you create and use a problem solving tips article approach which identifies a crucial problem and offers your best advice on how to solve or alleviate that problem.

Then when people read or see this type of message, they experience hope and desire for these benefits, and they contact you and purchase the book, product or service that you offer.

There are three key questions you need to answer to use this technique successfully.

• What can you do to help people?
• Who are the people you can help?
• How can you reach them to let them and others know you can help them?

This technique is very powerful. Helping people in need gets attention. It brands you as a helpful person. It motivates people to find out more about you. Depending on the value of your help, it even creates a sense of obligation that triggers a reciprocal response. Of course, the beneficial impacts this has on your relationships with your prospects and customers dramatically reduces the barriers to sales. It can also be so powerful that people realize that to get as much of you as they really need, they need to hire you or buy what you offer.

With non-fiction books, products and expert professional services this technique the help you offer is based on the topic in which you are most expert. The people you focus on are those who need your expertise the most.

Even if you are a fiction author, you focus those people who are most interested in your type of work and you choose to be helpful, entertaining, inspiring and galvanizing so that they get interested in you and what you have to offer.

What is Help? To help means to give support or assistance that solves a problem or improves a situation in some tangible way. To help means to give a remedy or provide relief to someone or do something for someone else that enables them to achieve something they want, need or desire.

Help can be a noun. You can give people something tangible or intangible that they do not have enough of.

Help can be a verb. You can do something for people that they cannot do by themselves.

To offer help you must identify a problem or issue that people are experiencing. You can identify the barriers or challenges people face. A barrier to progress is an opportunity for problem solving.

Then you must identify what they must do to address or overcome that barrier. You have to look inside yourself and find knowledge and experience that you are particularly qualified to present in a fashion that people will trust with confidence.

You then organize these actions or ideas into a presentation and deliver them to the people you are trying to help so that they can receive the support or the assistance and can act on your advice to receive and experience the benefits you offer.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE?

Step one is to identify what you can do to help people.

There are lots of ways you can people. Think about what you do best. Think about what you created. Think about how you have learned to make a difference to people in their lives. Decide to focus and harness your energies to help people. Think about the biggest problems people in your target group face. Identify what you can do to help them.

Look over this list of possible ways to help people. Then come up with your best ideas.

Physically

Go to them
Go with them
Be with them
Lift them up
Pick them up
Transport them
Shelter them
Protect them
Bring whoever they need to them
Bring whatever they need to them
Bring them wherever they need to go

Mentally

Guide people to better choices
Consult, give advice, provide counsel, listen and console
Teach people how to do something better
Explain how to do something important
Explain how to do something better
Tell people exactly how to build, create, develop, find, or achieve something
Tell people how to avoid disaster, pain, anguish, or negative experiences
Provide interpretation to help people achieve greater understanding
Simplify and explain a complex poorly understood issue, topic or mystery
Tell stories to demonstrate a concept
Provide information to fill in a lack of knowledge

Materially

Give people what they need or want
Give money, food, shelter, materials, water, staple items, essential sundries, tools,
Provide tangible aid, support and resources where too few are available
Provide personal or technical expertise
Volunteer time, expertise, services
Send manpower — people to provide capability
Canvass a neighborhood asking for material supplies for the needy
Collect and store material supplies for the needy.
Deliver supplies to the needy.

Socially

Introducing someone to others who can help them
Giving referrals to others who can help someone
Communicate with others on behalf of someone
Get other involved or engaged in helping someone
Raise awareness of a need or situation
Enlist others to devote energy to needy people
Lead or manage an effort to get an organization to focus their resources and effort on a problem

Financially

Give money – donate funds
Give time to help raise money
Tell people about someone else’s financial needs
Create a fund for someone
Conduct or support a fundraiser for someone
Ask others to give money
Get visible in public raising money
Call people by phone to raise money
Write people by letter and email to raise money
Go see people and ask them for money and support
Get other involved, motivated, and committed to give or raise money.

No doubt there are lots of other ways to help people. Use this list as a checklist to identify the things that you can do.

There are things that fall in the category of ACTIONS.

There are things that fall in the category of IDEAS, ADVICE, OR GUIDANCE.

Most authors will tend to focus on the advice and guidance elements. But some of the best publicity that creative people can get couple advice with real social action and when thy go out into the community to find and help the people who need their help the most. Action attracts people. People in motion doing things gets attention.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP?

Step two is to identify the people who you can help the most.

Look at your customers. Consider that each one is representative of other people with similar interests and problems.

This is the miracle of the microcosm. It is the most powerful tool for creating a targeted marketing plan there is.

When you solve the problems of one, you have a solution that you can now offer and deliver to for many others with the same problem.

So no matter where you are, you can develop a process for helping someone and achieving a sale. Then you can target these people and re-play the messages that resulted in you being able to satisfy your original customer.

So look at your customers carefully. Identify their:

Age
Sex
Personal characteristics
Social characteristics
Employment characteristics
Religious characteristics
Physical characteristics
Education
Professional credentials
Professional affiliations
Hobbies
etc.

Do this for each of your customers. Make a list of these factors. Identify the common characteristics of your customers.

Do this systematically for each type of customer you have.

Now this is very important – now identify how many customers fall into each factor and what they spend or are worth to you.

Now put them into a tentative priority list from most value to the least value.

HOW CAN YOU REACH THEM TO LET THEM AND OTHERS KNOW YOU CAN HELP THEM?

Step three requires you identify how you can effectively reach the people who you can help the most.

So where do you find more of the people you can help the most?

For each one of the demographic characteristics you identified, think of where you will find more people just like your customer. Now you need to identify where you can help them and how you can communicate effectively with them.

You can communicate with people by taking action, by writing, by or by speaking, either in person or from a distance.

Where can YOU do this readily and comfortably? What exactly do you need to propose and get people to agree to?

You can communicate with them using directly in person, by phone or by email and the Internet.

You can also use media to communicate with them. To target media you ask the question: What do my customers read, watch or listen to, particularly when looking for the type of help that I’m offering? The targeted list of newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, news services, syndicates and Internet media that results is a structured set of people that you want to contact to see if they will help you reach your target audience.

You can also identifying the key places where you will find more people of like mind:

Groups
Associations
Clubs
Institutions
Foundations
Support Groups

Search to find ways to reach out and touch more people just like your customer. Use the communication technologies that these people are accustomed to using to communicate with their friends and peers.

You can use the list brokers and also search the Internet and make use of online subject directories and databases.

This can be done nationally, regionally or this can be done locally town by town.

If you use search engines in particular you can target the places where you find similar groups of people with similar interests or needs. Use a plus these plus a to zero in on web sites in specific geographic areas like this:

Then you create and present the right type of pitch to offer your help to them.

If it is direct aid you offer, you say, “Can I come over and help you?”

If it is an speaking event, you say “Can I talk to your group?”

If it is an article, you say, “Will you publish this helpful information?”

If it is an interview, you say “Will you let me share these ideas on the air?”

And so on. You craft your offer to help to match the situation and your capabilities. You also craft your messages to convey the appropriate ideas and actions.

Do it. Get out there and help the people you can help the most.

1. you know how you can help
2. you know who you can help
3. you know where they are located
4. you know how they communicate with each other
5. now take action to help them and communicate with them

Helping people is a natural attraction to media. It is very easy to get media to pay attention to a community involvement event.

If you schedule an event to help people let your local target media know what you are doing.

Write up a problem solving tips article that presents your support or assistance or describes what you do or did to help people. Let the media know when and where the event will happen.

Target similar people with similar problem solving actions and advice.

Create a value-packed problem solving action, package or article. Target the right media and ask them to share your message so that you help people. Target the organizations and support groups that your target audience belongs to and ask them to share your message so that you help people.

Use your value packed problem solving abilities, stories, and content in a variety of ways:

News releases for articles
News releases for interviews
Email
Business proposals
Phone conversations
Street mail
Brochures
Pamphlets
White papers
Audio
Videos
Live, taped, telephone or web presentations, speaking events, workshops or seminars

You can also tailor this same content and use it for

Search engines for key word discovery
Web page content
Blog posts and tours
Ezines and newsletters
Mailing Lists and discussion groups
Forums and Article Posts
Social media

Adapt your problem solving stories and tips articles so that your best most helpful actions and guidance are also incorporated into your marketing communications.

Leverage your core content and make use of the diverse technologies and places where you find the people that you can help the most.

Realistic chances of success for a memoir

Tips on how to help guide an author of a self published memoir

Here is my November 21, 2008 response to a post to the online discussion group Small-Pub Civil at Yahoo groups:

>>Hello, everyone! One of my authors has written a 250+ page book about his open-heart surgery. The bulk of it is autobiographical, including childhood memories, interviews with
everyone from the surgeon down to the cleaning staff and an entire chapter of get-well emails from his friends (he has their permission, BTW). Since he produces and hosts a long-
running regional TV show with a reasonably-sized fan base and is promoting the hell out of the book, I am confident he will sell a few thousand copies. But he’s expecting big-time
national success, including being stocked in the chains and selling on QVC. He is seriously counting on coverage in the NYT.

>> When I try to point out that this is unlikely he accuses me of negativism. Am I just being negative?

———————————

I encounter this with authors all the time. It goes with the territory. It could be a truly remarkable memoir. It might contain experiences that can make people smile, cry and laugh as they read. But then again, he may not yet have gotten any meaningful feedback from people, or the feedback he has received may be designed to make him feel good and congratulate him on his effort and accomplishment with having written a book.

I wrote an article to try to get people to grasp the significance of their dream and what it means to them if they really want to see other people appreciate their writing, especially if they really intend to now use that writing to achieve fame and financial success.

I work with hundreds of authors and publishing companies each year and really and truly, very few of them have really created a book that it good enough to achieve fame, glory and financial success for the author. Most are labors of love. There’s a sizable financial investment and personal emotional investment that’s required to go from “author” to “best selling author” and few really have what it takes to make it through the gauntlet of the marketplace.

What I recommend people do is go slow. Show and tell one on one. It’s possible to learn how to sell. That’s the miracle of the microcosm. If you learn what you need to say to people in your little neck of the woods, chances are you can then say the same thing anywhere and everywhere you go and you’ll be equally successful selling your products wherever you go.

But you need to learn those magic words first.

You have to write to sell, and the job of writing isn’t done until the book sells. This is where most self-publishers go astray. They publish their book without verifying it was really ready for market.

You have to test your ideas and test your product and test your mar-com (marketing communications) on real live people. You need to identify your end users and the people who will buy the book for your users. Then you need to learn what to say to get these people to take the action you want.

Write to sell and test, test, test. Do this in small doses till you get the right buy signals. Reliably. Not just once or twice, but repeatedly and reliably.

Do 25 to 50 POD versions and test it with these important people.

You’ll know by their behavior and response whether you are really ready to publish the book.

If you can’t get people to even look at it, then you’re not done.

If they look at it and put it down, then you still have work to do.

If people look at it and grab it, you might be done. It depends what happens when they then pick it up and peruse it. If they put it down, then you’re not done.

You may have to redesign and re-write it till you know you are done. You have to work with your prospective audience to get real feedback, and you must listen to what people say and address the issues you receive.

This may take a lot of reiterations.

But one thing is for certain, there is a point that you will reach when you know that you are done. It’s a wonderful thing when you get to this point and know it.

Here’s what I’ve observed and experienced.

You know when you are done…

When people look at it, grab it, look at it again, look up to see where the cashier is, and then head to the cashier.

You show your book someone and they hold it close and won’t give it back freely.

You show them the book and they reach for their wallet.

They pick up one book, look at it, and grab four or five of them and head to the cashier.

One person picks up the book, grabs it and heads to find and show his or her friend the book, and they both grab one for themselves and buy it.

You know that you have something when kids pull it off the shelf and haul it over to their mothers and fathers with a look of desire and wanting and excitement in their eyes that says please????!!!!

I call this the hoarding syndrome. What you are witnessing I call a clutching response. It occurs when people touch something and decide that they want it.

This behavior in people clearly indicates to you that the book or object they are holding has such inherent value and importance that they are willing to pay for it. They know it and you know it instantly. They clutch the object of their desire in their hot sweaty hands and pull it in close to their body as if to possess it and protect it.

I know you’ve seen this and even experienced it yourself. You see it in stores and shopping centers all the time. I see it when my wife and teenage daughters shop. I know from their behavior when I’m toast. There is no arguing with them once they’ve experienced certain hormonal reactions to objects that they’ve been in close physical contact with. That’s they way we humans respond to certain material experiences.

Other people here have no doubt experienced this in a variety of ways. It would be very cool to hear from people about when they knew that they were done.

I work with a lot of authors and publishers, and I see success a lot less frequently that I wish I would see. I attribute this to people rushing through to publishing their books without making sure they have created a product that people will actually buy.

So this is my bottom line advice:

Write to sell. Don’t stop writing and re-writing till you know it sells, and sells easily and continuously.

Prove it with small test POD numbers. Use the technology that is available to all of us wisely. Then move it up through the publishing and promotion chain level by level.

In most cases, the author thinks the book should excite and grab people. But it doesn’t always happen that way.

So to me, they still have work to do. But they can’t speculate about what’s wrong, they need real data.

This is what I tell people to do – get the data. Figure out what you need to say and do to produce action that will satisfy your stated goals and objectives:

Go ask your candidate customers. Ask until you are blue in the face and get the hard difficult data and feedback you need to redesign and redo your project.

I had a recent publisher come to me with a book which presented his ideas on how to have a successful marriage by using a marriage contract.

Myself, I’m a former attorney and I would not pick up a book that had a marriage contract in it.

Do people want to run their marriage off of a contract? Like it’s a job or a construction project? Do they want to reduce communications and relationships to policies, procedures and stipulated provisions?

When we looked at our marriage vows, my wife said “strike the obey” and I said “and add in this here dispute resolution clause”.

And that’s what the minister did, and we still live by those words.

And that was the oral vows.

Put it in writing? Something doesn’t fit in the picture. Like ‘what’s love got to do with it?’

This is the type of process most people go through when they contemplate buying a book.

Do I want to get married to this person and his or her ideas? Even if I can get divorced from them later?

You are not done until people fall in love with your creation. You’ll know it only when it happens.

How to help improve how kids treat each other in high school

How to help improve how kids treat each other in high school

Here is a great story. It is also a beautiful illustration of how to get event publicity.

Can you imagine how much better it would be for kids at high schools if people agreed to zero put-downs, zero rumors and zero gossip.

That’s what Chicken Soup for the Soul story author Bill Saunders challenged students to achieve. And the kids agreed to do it, too. And the results were immediate and substantial.

The article titled: ‘Chicken Soup’ author urges teens to action is in the Nov 8 edition of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_597494.html

Share this with your friends.

Why did the newspaper jump on this one?

DPAA + H

This tells a human interest story which talks about local credible people in the throes of real social challenges. It is dramatic, personal, achievement in the face of adversity, and it even has some ironic humor.

It also contains a simple and unique solution to a common problem that faces lots of people.

These are the crucial elements of media coverage success.

Is there are reason to doubt why Chicken Soup for the Soul is worthwhile? Here the contributing authors show in no uncertain terms that they know how to walk the talk. This is true leadership excellence in action.

Now if only adults could learn the same lesson.