Go Beyond “Ad Sales Rep” – Become An Expert Marketing Consultant!


Although she may look like a sales rep, she is actually a successful, expert marketing consultant.

I’ve been talking to more and more publishers lately about the challenges with getting client meetings. Yes, it’s definitely a tough environment and has been for a while. Media buyers are busier than ever, and they don’t want to make the time to talk to your sales reps.

What if instead–your clients and prospects called to meet with your sales rep? What if they sought your salesperson’s expertise on a consistent basis?

It’s possible…but the challenge is that most publishers position their sales reps as just that, typical sales reps. What your organization and your customers need are marketing consultants.

Here is my action plan. This is not easy, but it’s necessary for the future of your business.

How to Transform Your Reps into Expert Marketing Consultants: [Read more…]

Media Buyer Personalities: Dealing with Mr. Love

Many media buyers cleverly have developed QUIRKY personalities as a smoke screen to get you out of their office or off the phone as fast as possible. Sound familiar? Some of them, of course, are genuinely just weird. In any event, you need to form a strategy to deal with these personality types, build a rapport, and eventually sell them an advertising program. Ready? Your first step in selling an advertising package is to understanding media buyer personality types. Only then can you create a strategy to get your foot in the door.

Some general media buyer personalities I have identified are: Too Busy Bob, Savvy Susan, Numbers Nancy and Mr. Love. Today we’re going to take a look at “Mr. Love.”  Mr. Love is the most frustrating one to me. Mr. Love loooves you, your magazine, your audience, your website, your kid and probably your miniature poodle.


Client love is great but you need to get the sale, too.

Now as an ad salesperson, this always throws you off.  You are so used to new prospects being mean and hating everything and having no money. [Read more…]

Voice Mail is an Ad Sales Tool!


Leaving the right voice mail messages can be an effective ad sales tool.

Let’s get in the way-back machine: There was a time when you dialed a phone number and only one of three things could happen—the line was busy,  the phone rang and rang and there was no answer, or someone answered and you could have a conversation. If you were calling a business during business hours, you certainly hoped a person would answer the phone.

Technology has changed all that. Now more than likely the phone call results in a recording, asking you to leave a voice mail message.

How can a magazine ad salesperson make a pitch when they cannot actually talk with someone?

Don’t sweat it! The goal is not necessarily to talk with a live person—it can be as simple as using voice mail as a touch point. The trick is to craft an effective message that gets the result you want.

Dial the phone number with the expectation that you will not get a person on the line. [Read more…]

Niche Digital Conference – 2013 Speakers and Sessions Revealed!

Niche Digital Conference

We want to see you at the 2013 Niche Digital Conference in Nashville, October 1-2! We’ve just released all the new sessions and speakers.

If you think you just don’t have the time, can’t get away from the day-to-day responsibilities of publishing, that you can put this whole digital thing off for another year—think again. You have to make the time to get out of your office (I know it can sound impossible!) and surround yourself with your niche magazine & media company peers to take your media properties to the next level. Online, mobile, tablet, content marketing and social media & video are growing…the successful magazine of tomorrow will be the ones who create successful digital strategies today. (Plus, if you register TODAY – March 28 – you can save up to $600 with Mega March discount pricing. Don’t miss this amazing deal!)

Here’s a 2013 Sneak Peek to show you what’s in store at the Niche Digital Conference [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…]

Cost Cutting: The First Step – Measure Your Media Ad Sales Costs

ID-10093044Jim Zielinski, Founder of Zielinski Financial Advisors, LLC, knows all about cost-cutting measures to save money for niche magazine publishers.  There are always ways to look within and do a better job when it comes to margins. We are beginning a Cost Cutting series with posts every Thursday for the next 5 weeks to help YOU improve the bottom line for your media business. We’ll bring you what works and what doesn’t for magazine publishers to improve financials based on Jim’s knowledge and expertise about what works for niche magazine publishers.

The first step: Get a handle on what your expenses really are. You can’t begin to find savings for your publishing/media company unless you know where to look!  It is helpful to create some benchmarks to tell you where the culprits are lurking.  This is what MEASURING YOUR COMPANY REALLY MEANS.   After you identify these problem areas, you can then develop strategies to defeat them.Start with your sales expense. (In future posts we’ll discuss industry averages for expenses and revenues, but for now just ask yourself if you are happy with the number you find.) If it seems too high, then ask yourself these 4 basic questions to find the problem and set internal benchmarks: [Read more…]

How to BLOW AWAY Your Niche Magazine’s Competition (and Blow Up Your Ad Revenue!)

We all have competing magazine titles and websites to contend with.  If you don’t have any competitors in your market that means you’re not in a very strong market. Competition is a very good thing.  It makes you provide the very best print and online product for your readers and advertisers.


Ad Sales: Blow away your competition with Carl’s 5 tips.

Hey, if you didn’t have competition, where would you get the good leads?  The key: As an ad sales person,  how do YOU handle your competition?

Here are 5 ways to blow away your competition and sell more print and online ads:

1. Take an objective look at how you stack up to the competition—differentiation of audience, circulation, editorial, production quality, number of ad pages and views, and branding. How do you really compare to these competitors? What are you your strengths and weakness against each competitor?

2. Never bash the competitor in a sales presentation.  It just makes you look unprofessional and you will not look like a credible source anyway. [Read more…]

How to Prepare for that First Call to a New Ad Sales Prospect

We’re all nervous making that first sales call to a prospective client. Will they like me?  Will they be interested?  Will they hang up? (What, are we in 4th grade calling a girl for the first time?) Who knows. That’s what makes it so exciting!


Make the right first impression on that first prospect call.

But, to take some of the fear and anxiety out of the equation (and get better results!), here’s an idea: How about being ready?

Before you make that first call to a new prospect you should do these two things:

  1. Be familiar with their current print and online ads.
  2. Have a sense of who their “target audience” is and get an idea of the company’s philosophy/vibe by visiting their company…

               – Website
               – Facebook page
               – Twitter page
               – LinkedIn Page (see if you have any connections to the prospect)

This research should take all of 10 minutes, but it has a huge impact on your ad sales success. Now when you actually talk to a prospect or send an email to them you will at the very least be able to show some knowledge of the company and the product or service they’re marketing.

This seems like just the basics, I know, but doing this actually separates you from 95% of “the great unwashed” ad sales people who want to sell prospects ads without knowing anything about their markets or what their companies actually do.  Meanwhile,  YOU can actually have a meaningful conversation about how to help them get the most benefit from advertising with you. That’s something the prospect actually wants.  I’m just saying.



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!

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