The Holiday Season is the Perfect Time to Get Ready for 2016 Ad Sales!


Here’s Carl’s 5 ways to get prepared for 2016 sales success!

Tacky ornamental sweaters, fruitcakes and your mother-in-law are coming soon. Yes, we are right smack in the middle of the holiday season–which in the business world means that unless you are a retailer, things start to slow down. It becomes harder and harder for ad sales people to get in touch with their advertisers and prospects. Clients are more focused on their upcoming holiday parties and gifts they still need to buy vs their advertising plans for next year.

So what does the smart ad salesperson do? You change your focus. Rather than concentrating on making your calls, why not focus in on YOUR plan for 2016? [Read more…]

Carl’s Top 6 Tips on How to Have a Great Sales Meeting!


You don’t want this! Here’s Carl’s 6 Tips on how to have a GREAT sales meeting.

You know the sales meeting we are talking about. Full of dread, the sales team mandatorily attends. Bad coffee, not enough windows and the management focus is on numbers, projects, numbers, goals, numbers and blah, blah blah for long soul-sucking hours where everyone at the table is mostly screaming on the inside. Plus some of the salespeople are bitching about clients, commission structure, territories, etc. Nothing about this kind of sales meeting is helpful to anyone.  

Sales meetings and trainings don’t have to be that way!!!

Here are my top tips on how to have a GREAT sales meeting—the kind of meeting where everyone, both management and sales team, is actually looking forward to attending:

[Read more…]

Sales Meeting with a Decision-Maker? Be Prepared!


Ad sales: Here are some tips to being perfectly prepared when meeting with a decision-maker.

We all know that in order to be a successful salesperson you need to engage your customers in many ways and as often as possible.  I’m talking about phone calls, emails, events, even snail mail.

But as I’m sure most of you already know, the most productive and important time with a client or prospect is when you have face time with the Majordomo:

How do you handle that coveted, nerve-wracking, face-to-face sales meeting with a major decision-maker?

Before the Meeting
1) The Basics: Do your research. Be knowledgeable about their competitors.  Be knowledgeable about your competitors.  Tag current issues with their ads and put them on the table when you get there. Clients like to see their own marketing prowess at work.  Bring every piece of sales ammunition possible (show and tell.) The tangible works. [Read more…]

Give Smaller Advertisers What They Need and Make a Customer for Life!


Get creative with these 2 ideas:
It will brighten your ad sales results!

Large, sophisticated advertisers and agencies know the value of long-term strategies using several media platforms for their advertising message, but let’s face it: most of us are dealing with small to medium-sized companies who look at their advertising budget month to month.

To sell integrated ad packages to these clients, we have to educate our customers and help them implement effective, integrated marketing campaigns with a consistent message across a wide range of media options.

This means transforming our ad sales approach from reps selling advertising to marketing consultants offering research, creative solutions, and a customized One-Stop-Shop for clients’ multimedia advertising.

Here are two ideas submitted by fellow publishers and ad sales professionals to help supercharge your advertisers’ multi-media campaigns: [Read more…]

Media Buyer Personalities #4: Savvy Susan


Savvy Susan has tons of experience and is going to tell you all about it. Here’s how to handle this media buyer personality.

We all know that selling ads to media buyers means dealing with lots of different people, each with their own distinct personality. And although we really can’t pigeon-hole people, if you have been selling long enough you know there are certain types of ad-buying personalities that seem to come up again and again.

We’ve already covered 3 other media buyer personalities and how to devise an ad sales strategy to best work with them: 

Mr. Love

Too Busy Bob

Numbers Nancy

Our next contestant (I mean media buyer) is Savvy Susan. [Read more…]

Summer of Niche: How to Create a Successful Community Partnership for Long-term Success


For Food & Spirits Magazine, connecting with its community in a meaningful way was a win-win decision.

Magazine: Food & Spirits Magazine based in Omaha, Nebraska. B2C magazine, 5 years old and going strong!

Great Idea: Creating a successful community partnership that expands brand awareness, strengthens long-term business relationships and more.

(Editors Note: This post is going to warm your heart and melt your ice cream, we are not kidding.)

We recently talked with Erik Totten, Publisher of Food & Spirits Magazine in Omaha, Nebraska recently about a really-great-idea and how they took it to the next level:

“In our just released issue, we creatively partnered with one of our local high schools. We’ve worked with the journalism department to have them create a two-page spread on the high school’s culinary department. We also found a sponsor to fund the effort. It’s been one of the best things we’ve ever done to engage our audience and build community while making some strong evangelizers from the school administration, teachers, students and their families.” [Read more…]

Media Buyer Personalities: Dealing with “Too Busy Bob”


Know this guy? Here are some savvy
ad sales tips to deal
with Too Busy Bob.

What fun! You never know who you are going to get on the other end of the phone in the magazine ad sales game.

I’ve found that a lot of media buyers tend to use a “quirky” personality type to get you off the phone pronto. In a previous post,  I wrote about dealing with Mr. Love.

Today let’s meet Too Busy Bob: You talk to Bob and he’s VERY busy. This prospect always seems to be right in the middle of something when you call or visit. He’s always in a HUGE hurry. Just has one minute for you and always wants to talk tomorrow.

Strategy for Too Busy Bob: [Read more…]

5 MORE Ways Your Magazine Can Boost Online Advertising Sales


Increasing online ad revenue for magazines doesn’t take a miracle – just get the basics right!

So your niche magazine isn’t seeing success in the world of digital advertising. What’s a publisher to do? Give up and be resigned to mediocre web ad sales revenue? NO! You can turn your digital ad sales around with the right sales training and not undervaluing your digital products.

Last week I gave you 5 ways we can boost online sales, including getting a quality ad banner system, having your web team craft a “web story” and more.

Here are 5 MORE things to try this week to help bolster your online sales efforts:

  1. Change the way your sales team talks about digital.  Your company’s digital story needs to be strong and vibrant.  This is critical!  Advertisers need to be trained that digital offerings, when combined with print, increase overall multi-media effectiveness by over 35%. (MPA Factbook 2012) [Read more…]

Stay on Track in 2013: Wanda the Amazing Pug’s Publisher Check-Up

Wanda with

Wanda is concerned about how your magazine is doing. And when she gets the next dog treat.

Wanda wonders—how ARE you doing?  At the beginning of the year, we let Wanda the Amazing Pug and her unbridled enthusiasm be an inspiration for magazine publishers in 2013.  We were inspired to set our goals, prioritize those goals, reach out to those who matter, and learn to look at our business in new ways.

So now it is the first day of the new month of March and a GREAT time to take a moment and evaluate where we are relative to the our January 2013 objectives. Because our niche magazine world is comprised of B2C, B2B and Association Magazines, our goals and the measurements of those goals vary greatly.

But we can focus on these three areas to keep on track with goals:

FINANCIAL UPDATE:  Review the actuals with the budgeted numbers. The first 2 months analysis is important. Figure out what projects are more profitable and areas you can cut costs. You constantly need to be looking at your financials and adjust your strategy to what’s really happening. To help with the process, we’ll be running an article on cutting costs for your magazine every Thursday in March. [Read more…]

50 Revenue Ideas for Niche Magazine Publishers

We asked the 2013 Niche Magazine Conference attendees to share the best revenue strategies for niche magazine publishers that they learned at the event. Here are 50 of the best! Do you have a great idea that isn’t on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!

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

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

1. The world of media has changed – embrace new technology by doing everything. Try out every new social media outlet to see what works for your business and be an educating source for marketers.

2. Create new content for your website, not just regurgitated material from your print magazine. This gives people a reason to constantly return to your website, thus creating more traffic for online advertisements.

3. Create spec ads for potential advertisers to boost close rates. Ask reps to submit one per month.

4. Not all magazines are created equal in terms of advertising rates. A family magazine won’t be able to charge as much per thousand as a B2B or doctor’s magazine. Take that into account in your overall advertising strategy.

5. Make a content calendar for your website (editorial calendar on steroids) that contains everything from blogs to video. Strategically plan your online content while taking into account what has been successful in the past. [Read more…]