Monday, January 17, 2011

Four Business Moves You’ll Never Regret


I've gathered numerous takeaways from my years in business. I’ve also learned invaluable lessons from my time spent immersed in the publication industry. Growing relationships is one of the most critical moves you can make no matter what industry you’re in. The four moves I’m about to suggest are universally effective. You can even apply them to your personal life.

Reach Out
It’s worth it to take risks on this one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve established a bonding friendship because I was willing to shoot an email or hang around a blog for more than one comment. If you enjoy an article write a note expressing this. If you found a jackpot blog because someone shared a link, thank the tweeter.

Make it your goal to never burn a bridge. Better yet, focus on building intentionally sturdy bridges instead.
~~~
Follow Up
This one marks the difference between “Yeah, I think I remember that woman” and “Oh sure, she sent me the sweetest card in the mail and she writes me an encouraging email at least once a month.” I have a beautiful friend who champions me this way (well, more than one) but one sticks out in my mind because of her incredible persistence to follow up. Thanks,
Keli!

Be in the Know
Absorb everything you can in your industry. Know what’s selling. Study trends. I’m working to get published so I follow certain blogs, subscribe to Writer’s Digest, and readily buy books on craft. I also talk to people and remain active and consistent (
Jody, that one was for you) with social networking. I hear the buzz. I’m alert and aware of changes.

Best Practices
While I was at Microsoft, teams gathered to strategize about what was working and what wasn’t. During a specific segment of our meetings we concentrated on best practices, brainstorming ways to implement all those things that had gone well and how to magnify or multiply them. You can apply this same kind of evaluation to your blog, your marketing plans, or your word count goal.

Have you applied any of these business moves? If so, what results have you experienced?


*photo by flickr
**take a moment to remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream today.
***Super huge Congratulations to T. Anne for signing with stellar agent, Rachelle Gardner!

20 comments:

  1. Great post, as always! I love the friendliness in emails - you can feel someone's enthusiasm. It's nice to have friends you can go to for help, too.

    Have a great day!

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  2. How did I not know you were a fellow Corporate American? :) I agree...Keli seriously sends the most thoughtful, sweet notes and cards. Reaching out is usually the toughest one for me, because I always have these weird doubts like, "What if they'll think I'm just sponging?" or "They don't need another friend...They've already got 1,698." Great post, friend!

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  3. I was sort of thinking along these lines when I created my post for today on writing a story that was bigger than life. I like the idea of brainstorming and collecting all of the things that worked in other books to collaborate and create a really great work. And thank you SO much for the shout out, girl! Tag, you're next!

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  4. You have all the bases covered, dear.

    I pray desperate prayers like, "Help me, Lord, or I'll mess up again! I can't do this without you!!!"

    I think I reach out well, but the research end of marketing sucks up so much time, and I work 35-40 hours a week outside my home, so that's the one that I struggle with.

    Happy Week!
    Jen

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  5. Great post, Wendy!

    Ha! My husband is in IT...that's probably where I first heard 'best practices.' (And he used to work for the NC branch of Microsoft!)

    There's so much to learn about the craft and the industry, but there's so much information and support out there from writers--great points today about accessing it and making friends with the online community.

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  6. Great, informative post. Yes, one I try to do, (probably because I love doing it)is reading a smattering of best sellers out there. That way you know first hand what people like/buy.

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  7. Very good suggestions. I heard a very successful author say that we do not sell books; we build a business. It includes speakng, personal projection and solid business practices. Your suggestions fit perfectly in this perspective. Good post.

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  8. Yep - I try and apply the same ones everyday at my job - but also in my writing and regular relationships. It's part of relationship building I think :)

    Great post! :)

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  9. You are so right about reaching out and following up--what a great reminder. I'm going to keep these suggestions in mind this year.

    -Mel

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  10. I agree with all of these. :) I think the key is to remember and treat people not only as people, but as friends. :)

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  11. I've received several emails telling me my blog is acting wonky, slow to load, etc. Sorry folks. Hope it works out the kinks. I can tell you're swinging by b/c of the stats. so thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

    ~ Wendy

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  12. Great stuff and I couldn't agree more about Keli. She has a way of making people feel loved and special. I'm amazed by that woman and super happy about her contract with Barbour!

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  13. Great suggestions! My husband would say "It's all about the networking." and I think that is very true.

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  14. Aw gee, Wendy, you sure know how to brighten my day. But then, you do that all the time.

    Your list is great, and you're a fine example of each of the points. You make all these moves, er, I mean you implement all these strategies. You practice following up. The emails and the direct messages you've sent me on Twitter have brightened many a day.

    One of the things I admire about you is that you're genuine. Even though you're reaching out as a way to connect with others and gather a following, as we all are to some degree, you clearly care about people. The essence of who you are shines through and attracts people to you. We see your spirit, your zest for life, your amazing ability to show others a view of the world that transcends the humdrum of daily life.

    In addition to the wonderful ways in which you reach out, I see you as having a knack for using the best strategies. You know who you are, and you've created a forum in which to share the real you right here on your blog. I know that when I come to visit, I'll leave with insights and inspiration, as is the case today. =)

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  15. Hi Wendy -

    Excellent points! I do believe relationships, both with the Lord and others, are an important key to success. Learning what works and what doesn't saves a lot of time and bruises.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  16. Hi Wendy,
    These are such good reminders. I am trying to implement some things little by little. Keeping up with networking and directing a writers conference are all consuming right now, but I know how much I appreciate those who faithfully follow and comment on my blogs.
    thanks for the great encouragement.
    Jan

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  17. Reaching out. Love that. It's even better when we all get to meet in person to solidify the bond - like last year's ACFW conference. I had such a blast meeting you and 'the gals'!! Can't wait for this year, I really hope everyone is going.
    I think encouragement is super important. I know I would have given up a hundred times over had it not been for so many wonderful people who took time to read my stuff, give me great advice, and threaten me with violent acts if I dared to quit.
    At the moment I'm trying to keep up with the blogging gig. And get a newsletter started, and hunt down people and beg them to interview me or review my book - and a hundred other things...but hey, it's all good.
    Keep on doing what you're doing, you're making a difference!

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  18. Wonderful points! They apply to so many things. Thanks for sharing; it's a good reminder for me.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  19. Totally with you here. This is what distinguishes the good from the great. Many folks forget to reach out or follow-up. It sounds too simple, but it's so true.

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