Making Niche Publishing History: The Philadelphia Magazine Story



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Bernard McCormick’s “The Philadelphia Magazine Story” has some magazine publishing insights to teach us.

Every once in a while it’s important to look back where we came from in order to understand where we’re headed. Acclaimed writer, editor and publisher Bernard McCormick recently published a “bookazine,” The Philadelphia Magazine Story, about a magazine–but it’s also a fascinating glimpse into the history of niche magazine publishing, too.

The Philadelphia Magazine Story is a moving tribute to the publishing of Philadelphia, a magazine pioneer 60 years ago. As one of the first regional/city magazines in the nation, the magazine broke through the barriers of the time to emerge as a powerhouse. McCormick takes us through the tumultuous 1960’s to the excess of the 1980’s to today’s media world –with keen insight into truly great publishing. [Read more…]

Sell More Advertising…By Informing, NOT Trying to Sell!



One of the biggest mistakes that I see ad sales people make is they spend most of their time just dialing for dollars, trying to sell the next issue that’s coming right up. That’ s a reactive plan. What you need to be a truly effective ad sales pro is a proactive sales plan!

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Learn how to become invaluable to your advertisers by helping, not selling.

Just think how much easier your job would be if the companies you call on are all eager to hear from you and will stop what they are doing just to talk to you!

How can you create this selling environment and give your ad sales revenue a kick in the pants?

One of the secrets to successful ad sales is to position yourself as a marketing consultant.  Your primary job is to provide customers and prospects with pertinent, valuable marketing information that will help the customer do their job better.

The best way to do this is to become an expert in your niche. Give them concrete analytics about your magazine’s audience and their customers and how you think they would engage best with your advertiser’s product and why. [Read more…]

We’re Off to the Niche Digital Conference! Here’s Some Great Ideas Until We Get Back.



NIM141 ND pub logo 2013Team Niche is leaving today for the Niche Digital Conference in Nashville, TN. We’re exhausted, excited, nervous, and elated all at the same time!

Great things always come from our conference attendees and speakers, so we can’t wait to see what great ideas are shared this time. We promise to bring back a bundle of great revenue ideas for niche media companies to share with the niche world. For now, here’s some of the great ideas that have come out of past conferences. We hope you can apply a few to your own magazine!

50 Revenue Ideas for Niche Magazine Publishers

15 Digital Revenue Ideas for Niche Magazines [Read more…]

What’s the “Curb Appeal” of Your Media Business?



In a recent blog post, media investment banker Michael Alcamo shared with us the 6 Key Areas to focus when you are thinking of selling your media company.

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Thinking of selling your media business? Here’s Key #2 of 6 areas to focus on for the best outcome.

This week we’re focusing on key area #2: increasing the “curb appeal” of your media business before you try to sell it. Get your financial house in order and you’ll get the best return on the sale!

#2: Make Operational Improvements and Resolve “Staging Issues”

A homeowner gets the best price for his or her home when the house is painted, the dishwasher works well, and the roof is in good shape.  In real estate, it’s called “curb appeal.” Similarly, when you sell your media business, think how your business will stand up to a “house inspection” as rigorous as one conducted on a house.

 Here is a five-part checklist that we give our clients for improving the “curb appeal” of their business well in advance of a sale.

            First, revisit your profit & loss reports top-to-bottom.   If you have had a long and fruitful relationship with your major vendors, now is a good time to negotiate for a 5% reduction in large fixed costs – such as rent, technology, or production.  A printer, for example, will likely offer a discount to a purchaser of your company to keep the business, so why not try to lock in that improved pricing now? [Read more…]

Manage Your Time – Please! 5 Steps to Time Management Selling



OK, I don’t know why, but the way most ad sales people manage their time these days drives me crazy. Maybe there are too many disruptions. Maybe we are constantly inundated by too much technology.

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Time means money! Here are Carl’s 5 keys to “Time Management Selling.”

You CAN take your time back, and you need to if you really want to find time for prospecting for new clients and putting together big custom packages for advertisers. First you have to know what you’re doing. Here are the basics:

It’s also purely a numbers game. The more accounts you develop a relationship with — the more you sell. How you go about it and manage your time is critical.

Here’s Carl’s 5 keys to “Time Management Selling:”

1. You need a good CRM tool. This is the simplest way to organize yourself and set up your calls for the next day, week and month.

2. Stop replying to the latest email you received. I understand you are a sales person and you can be distracted/mesmerized by shiny objects. (I know, I’m a sales guy, too.) The most recent shiny object is the latest email in your in-box. Stop the madness! Develop a priority in-box based on importance. Or save all your replies for a certain time of day. [Read more…]

Think Content First! Aaron Kahlow on Online Marketing



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Aaron Kahlow, Online Marketing and Social Media Guru, (and Niche Digital Conference keynote speaker next week) shares his insights with us.

Aaron Kahlow, CEO & Founder of the Online Marketing Institute,  knows whole bunch about how Digital Old + Digital New = Maximum Digital ROI. It’s one of the many reasons we were able to snag him as a keynote speaker for our Niche Digital Conference in Nashville next week. We caught up with him recently to chat about online marketing and the new frontier and wanted to share his insights with you:

Niche Media HQ: How do niche publishers determine the right blend of email programs and content marketing? What are 3 factors to consider?

A Kahlow: As a Niche Publisher, it’s a given that every communication we have is purely about relevance to the “niche” we serve.  Being a “niche” publisher myself for the digital marketing space, I think an example of how to blend email and content marketing on our end of things will serve best.

1)  Think content first, email second.  What I mean by this is think about the content… a.k.a. the articles, the webinars, the blog posts, etc. as your core.  Then think about how best to “push” your email communications to highlight this content. For example, when OMI has a new video class, we talk about how to blog about that class and after we have a good post, then how to highlight that post in an email or e-newsletter communication.  So, the class in this example is the content and email is the second step after we look at how it plays out in getting the word out. [Read more…]

How to Create Effective, Customized Content for Your Customers



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Here’s fresh tips on how to to create customized content for your client database.

As an ad sales rep, you already know you should be blogging or creating a newsletter to build connections and become an information resource for your advertisers.  When your audience is fully engaged, your custom publication (your newsletter or blog) brings more ROI for your business.

Yet, in this digital age, the danger of information overload is always there, particularly for the people you most want to reach.  Nobody has time to read your publication if it’s ordinary, or if it only addresses your internal issues.

So it’s up to YOU to stand out from the crowd.

A successful custom outreach program to your advertisers follows a 2-part formula:

  1. Niche your client base further in order to deliver the most relevant messages to each group.
  2. Provide content that is valuable and can make your readers’ lives better. [Read more…]

Selling Your Media Company? Get Your Team On Board to Maximize Value!



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Thinking about selling your media business? Here’s some sound advice from Media Financial Guru Michael Alcamo.

Considering a sale of your niche media business, but not sure how to get your highest and best price – while also keeping your team focused on growth?  We recently consulted Michael Alcamo, President of media investment firm M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. and a popular speaker at our Niche Media conferences.

Alcamo says he explores the ways that an owner can think 12-18 months ahead, and put the building blocks in place for a successful sale at a high valuation. “We often talk with owner in depth about the Six Keys so they can achieve the highest and best valuation.”

Here are Michael Alcamo’s 6 Keys to Your Best Valuation:

1) Employee talent

2) Operations

3) Financials

4) Products

5) All-important market perceptions

6) The components of valuation

In this post, we are going to address Key #1, Employee Talent:

How Do I Talk to My Employees About a Sale?  [Read more…]

Manage Your Time – Low-Stress with High-Productivity for Ad Sales Reps Isn’t a Fairy Tale!



What’s a day in your life like as a Niche Magazine Ad Sales Rep? What can you learn from another rep’s life?

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An Ad Sales Rep’s job is not always easy. Here’s some tips from Joseph Bass on how he structures his typical day.

We recently came across a great post by Joseph Bass, a niche magazine ad sales rep for Keep Sharing, which produces several publications in Mobile, Alabama, including Montgomery Parents and River Region’s Journey.

As he says on his blog, “I believe that there is a very close connection between technology and people, and I try to understand that connection better every day.” [Read more…]

Do You Have a Fan Plan for Your Magazine’s Brand?



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Do you have a fan plan for your niche magazine? Here’s some ideas on how to create one.

An iron-fist approach to brand preservation is, well, nutty.

We recently read this story about a young woman, Sara Rosso, who is a huge Nutella fan. She created a fan base of about 40,000 on her Facebook page devoted to Nutella and established a “World Nutella Day.”

How do you think the brandkeepers at Nutella reacted? They sent her a cease and desist letter.

This is a perfect example of a company holding their brand, their processes and their procedures so tightly they miss the whole point. World Nutella Day

Fear of losing control is a dated concept in the social media age. Think about it: Can any media organization really ever control what’s said about them?

As a niche magazine professional, take note of the Nutella story and ask yourself these questions about your brand:

  1. Do you know your base of super-fans? If you are doing your job right, you should. Even if you are not sure if you have  a big base of super-fans, you surely have dedicated readers who are avid “connectors” and share what they think with others.
  2. Do you encourage them to promote your brand? Determine what that looks like for your organization. Forget the fear and work on a positive outreach strategy. [Read more…]