Turn “Absolutely Not!” into “Tell Me More!”


NDC Speaker Nancy O’Brien tells us why overcoming tough objections is possible.

Ad salespeople—do some days feel like you are smacking up against a brick wall of “No?”  Do you encounter prospects who cross their arms and purse their lips tightly, all the while glancing at their cell phone or desktop every 30 seconds?

Everyone in the ad sales profession faces rejection. But how do you overcome the persistent, teflon-coated objections of a really good prospect—one you know you can help? We checked in with Nancy O’Brien of Aviation International News—and ad sales rock star in her own right—to see what works best.

Niche Media HQ: We have featured posts from you in the past on this blog where you talk about overcoming objections. What are some early warning signals that clients show so an ad salesperson can know they are heading for trouble? What can they do to turn it around? [Read more…]

Advertisers Don’t Want to be Advertisers Anymore!


Don’t throw your arms in the air. You can sell to those very same advertisers who are telling you “No!” Carl tells us how.

Seriously, advertisers don’t want to be “advertisers” anymore. That means ad sales people are finding that selling an ad page is very difficult. Add banners to the list of undesirable products, too. So, what do you do?

Here’s the situation: Buying ad sales is out. Buying booth spaces is so yesterday. But buying custom sponsorships is in, baby!!! Just give them what they want and make more money. Not such a bad deal if you play your cards right.

My point: This is the very same advertiser who is turning you down for the traditional buy, so you better figure out how to give them what they want.

Why are they doing this to ad sales reps? [Read more…]

The City and Regional Secret Sauce: Insight from Publisher Cathy Williams


Publisher Cathy Merrill Williams knows what’s working in the digital space for city/regional magazines.

For city & regional publications, there’s huge potential in developing “hyper-local” online strategies for content and advertising. But what is really working for savvy publishers in the digital space?

We caught up recently with Cathy Merrill Williams, President & Publisher of Washingtonian Media. We asked her about the inside scoop on their efforts to create digital content and grow digital revenue.

Niche Media HQ:  For City/Regional publications, can you give us a couple of examples of digital strategies that have worked for you to grow revenue? [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: How to Cultivate Timeless Content


Great idea: Focus on evergreen content!

It’s not enough to just strive for quality content anymore—it has to be fresh, fresh, fresh. Ideally content must always be relevant and top-of-mind. What kind of content topics are perennially popular for your niche?

We walked to Domink Grau, Managing Director and Publisher of WatchTime magazine. He has found that delivering a certain kind of content to their niche can reap big rewards and catapult growth.

Dominik shared their great idea with us:

Focus on evergreen content. Align your content schedule with stuff that’s relevant for many years. Forget news editions–they will not deliver growth. Instead of writing up tons of news every day, our mini-team (1 person on watchtime.com) focuses on useful, practical content that delivers immediate knowledge. Our content gives advice, can be consumed quickly, printed and saved, and is updated every couple weeks. We still do news, though, but it is not the main focus.”

The results? [Read more…]

Dig into Your Customers’ Digital Presence


Become an expert on your clients by studying their digital presence.

Yes, all you ad sales pros are super-busy-every-single-minute. But you have to schedule some time—yes, schedule it, or it won’t happen—to READ.

Why? So you can become an A++ student when it comes to your prospects and clients.

What should you read? Your clients’ e-newsletters, blogs and websites. A lot. Consistently. Make a point of devouring your clients’ online presence. What’s working well for them? Anything they could use some help with? What matters most to them? [Read more…]

Bite-Sized Tips for Digital Ad Sales Success


Digital Sales Guru And NDC Speaker Ryan Dohrn chats about developing successful strategies for the long-term.

No matter where you are in the digital revenue landscape, new ideas and solid strategy are critical to your success.

We asked digital sales guru Ryan Dohrn what he would suggest for niche publishers who are planning out their digital strategies for revenue growth:

Here are just a few from of my “Digital Ad  Sales Success” list:

  • Price and ethically sell your social media channels.
  • Create video partnerships for advertiser revenue success.
  • Distribute your own ad sales eNewsletter to your clients, WITHOUT the editorial team.

[Read more…]

Summer of Niche: Find New Ways to Tell Your Niche’s Story!


This publisher thinks outside the box and created a truly unique event!

Here’s not only another great magazine idea to share, but if you’ve been reading our Summer of Niche series you know that niche publishers creating unique, dynamic, NEW events is becoming a serious trend–one that produces a whole new level of brand awareness PLUS  a successful revenue stream.

STORY is a Kentucky lifestyle magazine that went beyond the scope of typical regional/city magazine partnerships to create a very innovative event and also took the step to film a documentary about “the-behind-the-scenes-and-concert” to further the life of the event.

Julie Wilson, STORY Founder/Publisher/Chief Storyteller, tells us how they did it: [Read more…]

Small Gifts Give You an Ad Sales Edge


Summer: Perfect time to send your advertisers a small gift.

Let’s face it — summer is tough in the ad sales world. People are more breezy and relaxed or on vacation. Even if they are at work, they seem to be in a non-committal frame of mind.

So of course most of us get through the dry sales season by preparing for the fall when you’re selling next year’s long term contracts.

But what else can we do?

Let’s try some summer fun! Timing is everything and this is typically the time of year I send my advertisers gifts. I’ve sent all sorts of stuff over the years to perk up advertisers and get their attention. Plus sending a little gift gives you another reason to talk to an advertiser.

These gifts don’t have to be expensive. In the past, I’ve sent logo coffee mugs, bags of Jelly Bellies, Starbucks gift cards, gas cards, and of course  — cats in the mail. (Way back in 1990!)

People LOVE getting little, fun, thoughtful gifts. Plus you can send out email teasers about the surprise gift and then follow up with your advertisers. It always works. [Read more…]

3 Ways Niche Publishers Can Create Successful Mobile Strategies


Expert Andy Swindler shares his insights on creating a successful mobile strategy.

Everyone has talked mobile strategy for years now, but what does a “real” mobile strategy look like? How can niche publishers demystify the ever-growing opportunities to take their publication(s) mobile?

We asked agency whiz kid Andy Swindler about some quick ways that publishers can decide which mobile path to take and how to get started.

Niche Media HQ:  What are some starting-point guidelines publishers should consider when creating a mobile strategy? 

 Andy Swindler:

“Don’t just jump at a platform or attractive technology. Like anything in business, your strategy should be guided by your business objectives. If you have an existing subscriber base, you may wish to engage in market research to ask them what they would want out of a mobile app and to learn how they use their mobile technology. [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: Make Connections with Reader-Submitted Content!


ITN tells us how they connect their readers with great success.

Niche magazines are reaching out to readers/subscribers and maximizing their reader-generated content more than ever before. With that in mind, this week’s Summer of Niche profile is International Travel News (ITN) with a great idea to connect readers through the content they provide to the magazine.

Marketing Director Susan Tuggy tells us how they do it:

“One of our greatest strengths is “THE MENTION.” Most of ITN’s content is written by our subscribers. They share tips, tales and warnings based on their latest trips outside of the US. [Read more…]