Taking Time to Say, “Thanks!” is Just Good Business



ID-10091687

A business best practice: Saying “Thank you.”

Niche Media HQ recently received a handwritten note, thanking us for a shout out on our blog.  We had found a great video online and shared it with our readers. The note writer even gave us a Starbuck’s gift card in appreciation.

We didn’t expect to get a thank you, but it sure made our day. That someone took the time to actually write a personal note and mail it to us was really cool.

And it got us thinking about the power of saying “thank you.”

We all know verbalizing our gratitude strengthens relationships in our personal life. But what about our work life? [Read more…]

Maximize the Impact of Your B2B Magazine’s Native Advertising Campaigns!



Implementing even one new idea can have a HUGE return! Have fun with 50!

Native advertising is a hot new revenue stream for niche magazine publishers, but you’ve got to do it right!

What is Native Advertising, really? What does it mean for B2B niche magazines?

Native Advertising, by its very nature, is supposed to be transparent. No blatant sales pitch allowed. And it shouldn’t “feel” like an ad. What is it then?

We don’t know the answer yet. But we DO know that the way we market and sell is changing dramatically. [Read more…]

Media Buyers are People Too! How to Sell More Magazine Advertising by Improving Relationships with Buyers



ID-100132942

Follow these guidelines and media buyers will LOVE you!

Media Buyers.  For publishers, those two words stir up both good and bad memories; perhaps even terror!  But no matter if they are good, bad or ugly; buyers are the flame to illuminate the path to publishing success.  Use them right and they can be a great resource; use them wrong and you may get burned.  So what can publishers do proactively to improve their success in the media buyer relationship? We asked seasoned media buyer Ryan Keough to give niche magazine publishers some tips on how to make media buyers love ad sales reps. It isn’t as hard as you might think!

  1. Know YOUR readers and be prepared with the data to prove it.
    The days of buyers trusting anecdotal perceptions of who you think reads your publication are over.  Today’s media buyers use data more than ever to compare their options and make their purchasing decisions.  Luckily, technology has made it cheaper than ever for you to get it.  Survey your audience, gather both quantitative and qualitative data, and make it a regular part of your media kit.  If you have a web property, get an analytics product (Google Analytics is FREE!) and get the hard numbers the buyers NEED! [Read more…]

Amazing, All-Inclusive Niche Digital Conference Package Available!



Register today for the 2013 Niche Digital Conference in Nashville and you not only save up to $600 with MEGA MARCH discounts!,

You also get ALL these AMAZING extras included for FREE!:April1

1st Class, round trip airfare (for you and a +1) with the airline of your choice*

-Luxurious Hutton Hotel (penthouse suite) included

-Included airport Hummer-limo pickup with driver that looks and acts like Jimmy Fallon (Well, we are trying to book Jimmy Fallon.)

-Complimentary Dom Perignon champagne by the case and chocolate-dipped, organic strawberries harvested from the trellised hillsides of  Patagonia each night of your stay

-We’ll cover all mini-bar expenses, including the mini-bar in the neighboring room if you run out

-WSJ delivered each morning to your room along with an inspirational koan hand-delivered by Tibetan monks

Free laundering service at the hotel and the right clothes will actually be returned to you

Complimentary salon services including “Niche Media HQ” tattoo in location of your choice, hot stone massage for 2, & no attempts by staff to up-sell you to the honey-dip treatment [Read more…]

When Swans Attack! (A Parable for Publishers)



Sorry, Poobah, we really are. But we just have to tell them. We know that Ted Bahr, most excellent past speaker at the Niche Conference will be able to sympathize. (Even if his story involves demonic turkeys instead.)

Here’s a true, little story for your Freaky Friday:  

One beautiful spring day, Grand Poobah decided to walk to the office. His mind was swirling with great ways to create networks for Nichers.  He walked along briskly with furrowed brow, thinking and thinking about niche magazine publishing. (He actually ponders like this.)

Poobah had many cool ideas to write out so he wanted to get to Niche Media HQ more quickly.  Aha! I will take a shortcut through the park.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that Poobah did not notice the new blooming blooms nor budding blossoming trees nor morning mist rising from the water in the duck pond.  He plowed on.  All of a sudden, out of NOwhere, two vicious, blood-thirsty, super-pecking swans attacked him!  They really did. [Read more…]

Social Media Revenue for Niche Magazines? It Does Exist!



Social Media is not a buzz word any more. It’s a integral part of doing business for everyone now. At least is should be if you don’t want to get left behind. Left behind with the people who still bust out a paper map to search for the nearest pay phone. Billions of Facebook fans  “like” and Tweet is now very much a verb, but most niche magazines still struggle with one simple fact:  How do we make any money with social media?

Implementing even one new idea can have a HUGE return! Have fun with 50!

Sponsored product tabs, posts/tweets, and contests can increase your magazine’s revenue AND keep your page fresh for your fans!

Here are my 10 tips to get you started:

1. Most niche magazines have more Facebook fans than People, GQ and Rolling Stone magazine! This is a selling point with advertisers!

2. Create new tabs to highlight sponsored product debuts. If you do not know how, Google it or hire a consultant. [Read more…]

2013 Nichee Magazine Award Winners Announced!



We love niche magazines and their publishers so much that seven years ago we made an award just for them: The Nichee Award!

Nichee Awards capture the spirit of niche magazines and recognize the creative talents of the very best niche publishers. Judges take into account the size of each magazine’s market and the needs of the specific niche it serves to create a level playing field. These magazines all do what they do well, find innovative ways of serving readers, and find creative ways to generate revenue.

We had an outstanding group of magazines this year and gave a record seven awards this year!  Here are this year’s winners and what makes them great:

Nichee Award winners

2013 Nichee Magazine Award Winners!

Business-to-Business Category

We had a tie between Process and Multi-Unit Franchisee for Best Niche B2B Magazine.

Process is beautifully designed and printed, but it is more than just a pretty face –  it combines innovative design with solid content for its readers.

Process magazine

Process Magazine

Multi-Unit Franchisee does a great job of talking to the day-to-day needs of its audience. It delivers solid business information, profiles, and case studies with concrete, real-world examples.

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Business-to-Consumer Category

We recognized three Consumer magazines – each with a different focus.

Best Niche Consumer Lifestyle Magazine: VegNews. Our judges’ comment after reviewing this vegan lifestyle magazine: “they do everything right.”

VegNews

VegNews Magazine

Best Niche Consumer City/Regional Magazine: CHARLIE: Celebrating Progressive Culture in Charleston. This magazine has a great interplay between digital and print. It started as an online-only magazine and then made the jump to print with art-house quality, long shelf life special issues without duplicating content. Both the print and digital versions are solid resources for anyone living in Charleston, SC.

CHARLIE - ReadCharlie.com

CHARLIE magazine

Best Niche Consumer Hobbyist Magazine: Bird Watcher’s Digest. This magazine combines great content, compelling photography, and a pocket-sized form factor that’s just right for its audience.

Bird Watcher's Digest

Bird Watcher’s Digest

Wildcard Categories

Sometimes we want to recognize a magazine for a particular outstanding feature. This year we had to give a shout out to both Marions-Nous and Lawn & Garden Tractor.

Best ROI Strategy: Marions-Nous – Let’s Get Married. From packaging to production values to sheer, overwhelming volume of ad pages, this regional wedding publication makes a statement to advertisers and readers.

Marions-Nous / Let's Get Married

Marions-Nous / Let’s Get Married

Extreme Niche: Lawn & Garden Tractor. Just when you think you’ve addressed the smallest audience possible, you find a finer slice. We encourage target interest publishers to “niche their niche”, and L&GT is a perfect example – Ertel Publishing also publishes Antique Power and Vintage Truck.

Lawn & Garden Tractor

Lawn & Garden Tractor magazine

The Nichee Awards party was held at Gordon Biersch in Tempe, AZ on February 13, 2013 – the final day of the Niche Magazine Conference. Many thanks to Quad Graphics for sponsoring the great awards party!

Connect with Your Prospects – Weird Database Fields for Better Ad Sales – Part 2



I have always had weird Ad Sales database fields that yield great results. You need a better Ad sales database if you want to target your clients better, know your clients better. It means going beyond the typical fields with typical contact info and creating the weird database fields  I wrote about on a previously. Here is one key, kinda weird database field that deserves special attention:

Special Interest of Clients: When you talk to new prospects they often go into this monotone “Yes-and/or-No” robot mode when you call them. They are trying to give you no sign of life with the hope you will just go away.

DALMATIAN

Find out what your prospects enjoy in their spare time and you will be “spot on” in grabbing their attention.

A long time ago I had a big time prospect that would do this all the time. In frustration I said, “Jim, I just want to ask you ONE question and then I’ll let you go.  If you could do anything you want on a Saturday afternoon what would it be?”    I “heard” an immediate smile in his voice and he said, ” Play with my Dalmatian puppy.”

For two months I continuously sent him stuff in the mail that was in Dalmatian colors–black and white. He ended up buying a $40,000 ad program from me. So, whenever I talk to a new prospect or client I always ask them what they like to do in their spare time or what their hobby is — whether it’s knitting, cooking, rooting for Alabama football or brewing beer. I put the info into my database and have sold a ton of advertising as a result.

(Side benefit for Niche Magazine Conference Attendees–you make so many new biz contacts outside your own niche that I bet they can help you with ideas on what to send that client that enjoys foxhunting or knitting or home brewing or…..) How have you improved your Ad Sales database in 2013? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

*************

Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

Image from stockfreeimages.net

Weird Database Fields for Better Ad Sales (Part 1)



A good customer relationship management (CRM) system is the life blood of an Ad Sales person. You have all the normal fields in place–Name, Company Name, Email Address, Websites, etc.

Here are some weird (aka unique) fields that I have added over the years of selling that have really helped us become more successful….    ID-10013485

  • Advertiser product/service category field:  The more personalization you can do by “category” the better chance prospects are going to be interested.  Most prospects fit under one of about 20 categories. When I ran a home brew beer magazine we had categories like: beer kits, hops, barley, glassware, educational classes, etc. When we would send out broadcast emails, it made it super easy to target emails to all the beer kit people or glassware vendors all at once.
  • A-B-C Accounts:  I have a field that defines prospects by the size of their budgets. “A” accounts have the big budgets and “C” are the small fry. Why in the world would you spend the same amount of time and effort talking to someone that potentially has $50,000 vs. someone that has just $400 to spend? But you would be amazed at how much time reps will spend on the C accounts. This is a great time management tool.
  • Mode of contacting prospects:  One of the questions a lot of prospects enjoy is when I ask them how they would like to be contacted–via phone, email, text, or in person. They appreciate and respond better. I am a little surprised how many people like to be contacted via text and respond well and quickly to it.
  • Best time to call someone:  People are creatures of habit. Clients often respond way better depending on when you contact them. I have some clients that like the early AM call,  some prefer late in the day after their work is just about over. The results can be dramatic when you contact them at the right time. I just note it in my database time field and get better results.

Keep ad sales databases weird!!! Stay tuned for the best weird database field of all time next week.

How weird or unique are YOUR categories and how do they help you? Let us know on  Facebook or Twitter.

 

*************

Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ

 

Image from freedigitalphotos.net

Magazine of the Month: CHARLIE – Moving from Digital-Only to Digital and Specialty Print In Style



Each month Niche Media recognizes a niche magazine that really stands out. This month’s pick: CHARLIE – a regional magazine and website for Charleston, SC. Cover_lowRes

How do you recognize a really great regional magazine? When members of Team Niche have been in Charleston, locals mentioned and referenced it all the time. All. The. Time. It was obvious that its target audience reads it cover-to-cover – either in print or online – and finds it valuable enough to share. We’re in California and we fought over a promotional copy when it came though the office. What makes it more amazing is that it started as a digital-only publication and later added print.

Caroline Nuttall, CHARLIE’s Publisher, tells us in her own words what makes CHARLIE special and how it made the jump from pixels to print:

“I started CHARLIE as an online-only magazine four years ago in the height of the recession. The focus was on building a strong brand through fiercely unique content and high engagement with a quality, hyper-local audience. Since then, we’ve launched several extension platforms including emails, a social calendar, a CLUB, a social buying model, and events. Our biggest extension platform came last year when we launched two special issue print editions.”

“I wanted to evolve the print model. I have tons of unread magazines stacked up around my house and I’m in the magazine business, for heaven’s sake! How do you create intense demand and consumption around a traditional model in an overly-crowded market? The answer: high-end, long shelf-life, collectible special issues. No re-purposed content between web and print. Limited runs to drive urgency.”

“The result? CHARLIE’s first-ever magazine, 50 Most Progressive, was profitable. Three hundred issues flew off shelves in 24 hour periods, 10,000 were gone in 2 weeks, hundreds of locals ordered them online for $10 a copy (they were free locally) just to ensure they got theirs. Our second magazine, The 2012 Book, was up 56% in advertising and saw a 208% profit increase. Wider brand recognition of CHARLIE, 700% increase in web traffic, happy readers and happy advertisers. We are launching four books this year.”

“It’s not digital that’s the future. It’s an evolved model of the new and the old.”

******

Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just launched a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events – blog.NicheEventNation.com  Check it out!

– Twitter: @NicheMediaHQ
– Facebook: NicheMediaHQ
– LinkedIn: Niche Media Network
– YouTube: NicheMediaHQ