Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's about moderation

This past weekend when I was teaching in Zanesville the topic of my course was "Getting organized for Greater Efficiency". The purpose of this course was to try to change the way the participants thought of their to do lists, to organize their goals and targets and then-I hoped-they'd take steps to reach those goals.

As I've worked through my writer's path I've had to learn a great deal about moderation. I tend to dream big and hope big. While these are excellent traits to have-they can get a person in trouble. Back when I was a Unit Leader as part of a network marketing business I encountered a woman who'd gone nearly broke selling her products. I'd asked her how in the world that could happen.

"Well, I knew if I bought products at 50% I could resell them at full price. So I took my $1,000 tax return and bought products. That way when I sold them I'd have $2,000 instead of $1,000."

Well, if she'd had an established customer base that would make sense, but she didn't. What she did have was almost $2,000 worth of products in her cupboard a year later.

For writers this is important as well. Once you have this book contract [or leading up to it] make sure you're not spending unnecessarily. You can't assume if you buy 2,000 bookmarks instead of 1,000 you'll sell twice as many books. You must be deliberate in what you do and have a reason for each action you take.

As part of my Writing Career Coach: Intro to the Writer's Life I tell students to think through these marketing ideas before the excitement of the first contract clogs their thinking. While a first book deal has some additional expenses [like establishing a website] also keep in mind the long haul. Can you make things that focus on you or your "brand" that can be used in conjunction with ANY of your book releases? Can you create a product that says "Check out the new release by Tiffany Colter by visiting...." Then you can stick those in books past and present. You can hand them out when you speak [but don't have a book coming out or just released].

And when doing this, spend wisely. This last speaking season I paid $50 for my first set of Cds. I had a series of speaking engagements that would get progressively larger. Once I sold the first set I took out my initial $50 investment and put it back in checking. Then I purchased additional CDs with a bit of the profit. So, by the end of the season I had recouped my initial outlay, sold additional CDs for profit and only have 5 copies left over. If I'd assumed that more CDs=more customers I'd likely have been stuck with a debt and a case of CDs.

So when looking at your marketing budget, use moderation. Know how you're going to accomplish the goal you have and then get it done.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
Learn more about Tiffany's Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Read Tiffany's award winning manuscript "A Face in the Shadow" on her fiction blog.

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