What to Expect When You’re Expecting (to sell your brand)



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Media expert Tim Hermes shares his insights into what to do right when selling your brand.

The American Dream. Launching, growing and selling a business. All those years of work paying off. The courtship, the dinners. The (sometimes fake) laughter. The new people who impress. The ones who don’t. New systems, new twists, new visions. A big check. The renovated bathroom your spouse wants (yeah this happened – good call, honey.) [Read more…]

Are You Publishing Sideways?



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Do you want your salespeople buried in admin stuff or selling? Tim Hermes tells us how to avoid publishing “sideways.”

Back in the day, it was so much easier for media salespeople.

In the print world, it was make a call, make a sale, collect the material. Move on. Nice model. Rate was high. Yield was high. Post-sale work was low.

Then print gave way to digital.

Now in order to meet sales goals, reps are selling smaller units at lower costs at a lower yield. We’ve become slaves to high-frequency media. However as a mentor told me once, “…doesn’t matter the size of the sale, the back end work is the same.” And although every salesperson would say a personal assistant to help traffic materials would be the greatest thing since Game of Thrones, most would still want to do it themselves for the “touch point” with their customer.

Last month I had one of my clients go through an exercise where their top sales rep kept a minute-by-minute diary of her work activities in a week. Her media portfolio includes email newsletters, websites, events, webcasts, and video. When we totaled her time, here’s the result based on a 40-hour week: [Read more…]

The Social Media Time Commitment: How DO Niche Publishers do it??



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Is social media a giant time-suck or does it have real value for niche publishers? Tim Hermes explains.

So I’ll start by saying my personal social media efforts are lacking.

Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, or other made-for-TV celebrities who have oodles of time on their hands, keeping up with social media posting from a corporate perspective is daunting. Many people perceive social media as a fun hobby or a casual, person-to-person experience. But in the publishing world it can be serious business and even a single-character mistake can have a profound effect. For example:

Just finshd a bd conversatn w XYZ Cmpny 2day. Need more discuss. #XYZ
vs.
Just finshd a gd conversatn w XYZ Cmpny 2day. Need more discuss. #XYZ

Can you imagine if your editor made a mistake like this if they were in a hurry? [Read more…]

Top 12 Tips for Launching a Niche Media Brand



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Publishing expert Tim Hermes shares his top 12 tips for launching a niche media brand.

How do you launch a brand as a niche publisher? Guts, risk, timing, funding, content – even geography – play a role. The chances of launching a successful new niche publication of course depends on these things and more. Moreover, the famous “four P’s” of marketing play a role, too. If I was to add a few more “P’s” – plan, preparation, proposition of value, public relations – you’d have an even higher success rate.

As a niche publisher in both the corporate and entrepreneurial world, I have found the following things play the highest percentages in a successful launch. Here’s my “Top 12.” [Read more…]

8 Reasons You Should Read This Blog



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Lists not only help keep YOU organized, but they can help you attract more eyeballs too!

So did you make it past the headline? Are you still with me? Good.

If you are like me, you live by your to-do list. Even sometimes when you complete a task that wasn’t on your list and you then write it down and cross it off.

C’mon, you know who you are.

Lists can be extremely effective when it comes to editorial strategy. In fact, many consumer publications – mostly in the health/fitness and lifestyle markets, make list-based editorial their main features. In fact, Cosmopolitan pioneered this style of editorial decades ago (Ten Quick Makeup Tips, Five Ways to a Better Job, etc.,). Travel magazines use it more than anyone (Ten Great Caribbean Getaways…).

For B2B media, list-based editorial is great because:

1. It lends itself beautifully to becoming a regular column for an editor.Our (insert your industry here) Top Ten for the Week of…” [Read more…]

Take Ad Sales From “Meh” to “YEAH!!”



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Do you have a sinking feeling your follow up emails are all wet? Here’s some tips on becoming more confident.

Hi there, I was wondering if you’d read this post. I’m hoping you have time.

Not.

I WANT you to read this post.

I’m SURE you’ll have time. This post is short and sweet.

If you have ad sales reps, urge them to look carefully at their language in follow-up email correspondence.

Often I have seen what I guess you’d call “weak language” in follow-up correspondence from a rep to a prospect or customer.

I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to review the proposal I sent you last week…”

I was hoping we could talk about the quote I sent…”

Sound familiar? To me, this shows a lack of confidence, in both the ad sales rep and their product. Here’s two quick sample examples to move from weak language to what can be much more powerful syntax:

FROM Meh… to…..YEAH! [Read more…]

Lights, Camera, Branding! Editors + Video = Sales Supercharger!



For many brands – if not all, then most – your editor serves as more than the content creator of the publication. Just as importantly, he/she also serves as the “human incarnation” of your brand. Take a trade show for instance…do you go to a show and leave your editor behind, riding a desk at the home office? Hope not! As my son would say, “That’s a trip to crazy-town.”

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Ad sales: Great Video + Your Editor = Successful brand image

As an editor circulates in a market, they leave a trail of spinning “brand” impressions on the audience they interact with. The brand becomes more than just the site, magazine, event.

Everyone loooooves a meeting with editors – from customers and readers to analysts. Want proof? Have an editor go with a sales rep on a sales trip and see how many more appointments they get if the client knows Mr. Big is along for the ride.

So as a sales rep, how can you magnify your editors’ industry face time – properly? 

With video. Video is the niche market’s killer app…not only does it drive higher time-onsite, but encourages interactivity with the brand and is eminently viral-capable.

But video has to be done well. A dimly-lit, poorly-shot video on a crowded trade show floor with an editor who doesn’t have a good social skill-set can also lead to a poor perception of your brand. I’ve produced a few donkeys in the day and looking back would love to have had the chance to do it right.

Here are my 6 top tips for you to execute great editor video: (An easy way to remember it: “FLAASH.”) [Read more…]

The Editor/Salesperson Conundrum – Say Hello to the Visioneer



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What?? An editor with you on a sales call? Tim Hermes tells us why it can help you and your brand be successful.

It’s a famous challenge. Editors and staff writers can be a huge asset to a salesperson, particularly if they have good “face” in the market. After all, as far as representing your brand, they often feel they walk the earth as giants. And often they do.

Editors are notoriously prickly about going on sales calls with reps. The whole church-and-state thing, you know. But there is a way that you can solicit help from an editor – heck maybe even get them to join a sales call – by appealing to their vision.

So make your editor your visioneer.  Yeah, it’s a made-up word, but I like to think of a “visioneer” as a visionary who actually implements that vision of their brand.

Engineering the vision

Everyone likes an ego stroke. And most editors like the opportunity to express their market vision and plan for their brand. So why not use this to your advantage? One approach is to ask an editor to join a call to share their vision for the brand, why they are taking a specific approach (like tackling regulation, as opposed to business issues) and how they expect readers to respond to the approach.

This strategy will often produce 4 results:

  1. Active participation in the entire meeting.
  2. Adds a layer of gravitas to the call.
  3. Explains the brand’s mission in a highly effective – and hopefully captivating – way.
  4. Elicits questions from the prospect that can be easily handled and explained by the editor.

Next thing you know, your editor is part of the whole meeting. Many editors will take this approach. The chance to have a stage can be irresistible. And after one meeting, or two, the willingness to participate in your “share the vision,” meetings with clients and prospects will increase.

OK…it doesn’t work every time, but editors do enjoy talking about their brands. Using an editor to kick off a meeting with a “vision” discussion is a great tool and asset. Also, having an editor kick off a meeting gives them a chance to excuse themselves before the nuts-and-bolts, us-vs.-them, rates-and-dates conversation starts—which is when I find that most editors would rather be “anywhere but there.”

Do you have a great editor? Give it a shot! Maybe you have a visioneer on your team who can be a huge asset to your sales effort. If so, chances are they can play a key part in increasing your ad and sponsorship sales….even if they don’t realize it.

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More about Tim: Tim Hermes is a publishing consultant with over 20 years in the b2b space. As an Account Executive, Regional Sales Manager, Associate Publisher, VP/Publisher, Owner and CEO, he has seen an industry change and embrace the excitement that multimedia content delivery presents – first-hand – from different positions.

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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!

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