Optimize Market Perceptions to Maximize your Media Company’s Valuation



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Thinking about selling your media business? Here’s some sound advice from Media Investment Banker
Michael Alcamo.

Considering a sale of your niche media business, but not sure how to get your highest and best price – while also keeping your team focused on growth?  We recently consulted Michael Alcamo, President of media investment bank M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. and a popular speaker at our Niche Media conferences. In this post, Michael will address Key #5, Maximizing Market Perceptions.

When thinking ahead to a sale in twelve to eighteen months, it’s critical to condition the market of potentially interested purchasers.

Here are five important steps you can take to optimize the perception of your business among the M&A staffs of the most relevant buyers.

1.  Labeling is Key.  

The public profile of your business should reflect your operations and your ambitions. Consider the way the world perceives you – starting with your name.

If, for example, your business owns a series of education and conference products that have grown larger than your legacy print platform, then make sure this is reflected in your business trade style.  The same holds true if your ambitions lie in developing conferences and meetings. [Read more…]

Selling Your Media Company? Get Your Team On Board to Maximize Value!



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Thinking about selling your media business? Here’s some sound advice from Media Financial Guru Michael Alcamo.

Considering a sale of your niche media business, but not sure how to get your highest and best price – while also keeping your team focused on growth?  We recently consulted Michael Alcamo, President of media investment firm M.C. Alcamo & Co., Inc. and a popular speaker at our Niche Media conferences.

Alcamo says he explores the ways that an owner can think 12-18 months ahead, and put the building blocks in place for a successful sale at a high valuation. “We often talk with owner in depth about the Six Keys so they can achieve the highest and best valuation.”

Here are Michael Alcamo’s 6 Keys to Your Best Valuation:

1) Employee talent

2) Operations

3) Financials

4) Products

5) All-important market perceptions

6) The components of valuation

In this post, we are going to address Key #1, Employee Talent:

How Do I Talk to My Employees About a Sale?  [Read more…]

How to Recruit and Retain an Ad Sales Rock Star



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Pump it up by recruiting and retaining ad sales rock stars.

Every magazine publisher wants to find and retain great salespeople.

Sales Rock Stars are high-energy, self-starting, persistent, creative, engaging, hungry and competitive. And they must be able to quickly build rapport with others. But how do you find them, and then how do you keep them?

Fred Parry, President and Publisher of Inside Columbia, gave niche magazine publishers a road map to finding and keeping the ad sales rock star earlier at the Niche Magazine conference earlier this year. We thought it’s worth sharing again.

Think of it as a recruitment refresh.

Good places to recruit ad sales rock stars:

  1.  Ask your own customers: Often your best customers deal with many ad sales people and they hear who’s out there and who’s good. Don’t underestimate word-of-mouth.
  2.  LinkedIn: Don’t just look for profiles. See who is participating in professional industry groups and what they have to say. [Read more…]

Top 5 New Big Ideas for Managing My Media Company



Every time I attend a conference, I wonder what, if any, take-aways there will be for me as a niche magazine publisher.  I recently attended the 2013 Niche Magazine Conference in Tempe, AZ, and  I got pretty inspired.

Here are my 5 top ideas from the conference that I can apply to my media company:

1. Not all Magazines are created equal:  Even though I print on the same paper with the same quality of editorial, I won’t be able to charge as much per thousand for a family magazine (B2C) as I can for a B2B magazine or a doctor’s (Association) magazine.

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Adding a new magazine to your portfolio or comparing ad rates? Type of magazine makes a big difference in ad pricing.

 

2. Be transparent:  Put our rate cards on the web and talk about the competition and our promotions.  Finally, I get it!

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Make your advertising rates easy to find, and make it easy to tell if your magazine is or isn’t a good fit for a prospect.

[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…]

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!

How to Get the Most Out of All That Conference Face Time



We really want everyone attending next week’s Niche Magazine Conference to have a great experience. We really do, we’re just like that.  So, because we want YOU to get the most bang for your buck when you are attending the conference in Tempe next week, we have some tips for you. Even if you are not able to attend the conference this year, these tips will help you when attending any conference. Except maybe Comic Con. Scratch that–have you seen the Superheroes who plan on attending the Niche Magazine Conference?

Anyway, after exhaustively researching online about “How to Make the Most out of Attending a Conference,” here are the best of the best, with a few of our own thrown in:

Before the Conference: Get Ready!

  • Check out speakers and other attendees online beforehand to find out who you want to meet and learn from while you’re there.
  • Tweet about sessions you want to see before you go, speakers you are excited about, what sessions you plan to attend.  Tap into the preconference buzz.
  • Prepare thoughtful and thought-provoking questions to ask during the sessions that you plan to attend–and try to make your questions not about your own personal issues but ones that can benefit others in the session too.
  • Craft a quick bio for when you meet people there –simply who you are, what you do, why you are attending, what you want to learn

During the Conference: Stay present!

  • Ignore all the work emails on your cell phone. Look away. Don’t start answering work emails or you will slide into the abyss and you will end up wasting an hour, gritting your teeth and that dull headache will come back.
  • Network as in “Helllooo!”  Introduce yourself, smile, and don’t look at that phone.
  • Participate fully in sessions and events. Ask questions, sit in front, show up on time, shake hands and be a schmoozing, albeit very charming, fool. It’s good for you.
  • Tweet a bunch–what sessions you attended and liked and why.
  • Snap photos during events and post them to your social media of choice, even your magazine’s website. Be kind.
  • Remember it’s quality vs quantity. Try to make some meaningful connections instead of blanketing the room with a biz card (with the photo from 5 years ago.)
  • Hydrate and wear comfortable shoes. And if you go outside, yes–wear sunscreen! It’s the AZ desert.
  • Listen, Learn and Laugh. Repeat.
  • Don’t just hang with your co-workers or even your niche colleagues you already know. Get out of your comfort zone and meet Supercreatives outside your niche too. Try this: Split up your cozy little group, learn some new things about people, come back to your group later and share. Think of it as a networking scavenger hunt.

After the conference, keep expanding your network and don’t forget to follow up with all the cool people you just met.  Now go pack your suitcase and get ready for some Niche Magazine FUN.  See you on  Facebook or Twitter!

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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! 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research Makes You An Ad Sales Superstar



We interviewed Nancy O’Brien recently, a popular speaker at our Camp Niche Ad Sales Trainings. She knows a simple, straightforward way  to make you a Superstar in Ad Sales. “When talking with your customers about ad sales, it’s important to also provide valuable research that they can use in their business. Think of yourself as not just an ad salesperson but also a marketing consultant with information that will make your customers look good,” Nancy tells us.  The carefully gleaned information you provide to your customers can be about a product, service, industry or about marketing in general–just as long as it’s helpful to them.
Here are some solid reasons for doing your (and their) homework:

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Research should be a key component of your advertising sales plan.

  • Research can prove that the customer made the right decision buying advertising from you in the first place
  • Marketers love research as it helps them understand their customers and their own products better
  • Providing research sets you apart from your competitors by providing a valuable service
  • Very few ad sales reps offer research for their customers – it puts you in the Big League
And don’t wait for your publisher to do it – be proactive and do it yourself. Make it part of your routine to research on an ongoing basis to provide your customers with current market trends. Sure, you do research for feedback when a new ad campaign is launched–but do it again at 12 months and at 18 months. Use a search engine to compile data. The search feature on your own website may be a goldmine of data for you.
And what’s in it for you to do all this “extra” work? Every research project you do MAKES you learn more about your customer and your marketplace. Who knows? If you become consistent at providing great customized data, you could have access to executive level decision makers who want to see what you have to show them. Solid research will also keep your customers coming back for more at contract renewal time too.
Want to learn more? We’ll give you 6 ways next week to conduct research for your clients and prospects. You can also ask us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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! 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

Is Your Niche Magazine Pinteresting Enough?



Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler  By Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

  Sticky, viral and doesn’t go away. No, I am not talking about the latest new flu strain. Pinterest still continues to be one of the fastest-growing platforms in social media since its inception in 2009. Are you using it to your magazine’s full advantage? Have you ruled it out completely, as it is only effective for wedding, apron, knitting magazines, or other B2C’s? Guess again, publishers. Whether you are a Business-to-Customer (B2C), Business to Business (B2B), or an Association magazine, this applies to you. User rates continue to increase rapidly and they are spending an average of over 80+ minutes on some boards.  ID-10066060

That’s not only supremely sticky, it’s ROI. Why? Because if your magazine actively engages in Pinterest, you are putting out powerful visual images for your current readers, future readers, and advertisers to learn more about who and what you really are. It’s branding and it’s easy.

I stumbled upon this great free tutorial from Marketing Profs that really explains well the reasons why any business should take full advantage of Pinterest. It was published last year, but it’s still very relevant to what you need to know. (It’d be a quick read on the plane, tuck it in your carry-on.) Still not convinced that Pinterest is worth evaluating as a social media tool for your niche magazine? Check out these stats  from Forbes Magazine.

Pinterest’s user engagement does not decrease like Twitter. It’s highly viral, with 80% of pins being re-pins, according to Marketing Profs. Think about it: If your niche magazine is about software usage or scrap material or for accountants, you can pin an “Infographic of the week” or “Inspiration of the week” for your particular niche. You just need to use your imagination. How does your niche magazine effectively use Pinterest? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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! 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

 

 

Buzzwords that Matter for Your Magazine’s Social Media Plan



Diana Landau, Niche Content WranglerBy Diana Landau, Niche Content Wrangler

Hello all you astute B2C, B2B and Association Niche Magazine Publishers! Today I would like to discuss the latest technological advancements of GetGlue and Viggle.  I’m kidding. That’s a discussion about the burgeoning Social TV medium for another post at another time. However, with our rapidly changing content marketing world there are new terms to be learned every single day. Sometimes more. To create your own buzz, you must know the buzzwords, grasshopper.

Some of you may know all of these words or terms below, use them frequently, are totally immersed in the concepts of each, plus you enjoy the side benefit of greatly impressing your colleagues or at least your mother.  ID-100124017But there are also some of us out there who are wide-eyed and learning, not afraid to say “What does that mean?” Also possibly sweating a bit that we don’t always know as much as we should.

Although there will be no Official Niche Magazine Pop Quiz later, here is a handy little glossary below for your education and/or amusement:

  • Break through the clutter:  All the web chatter out there. Break through it. You may need to attend the  Niche Magazine Conference in Tempe in February to learn the best ways to do this.
         
  • Data Miner:  Person within an organization who mines or sifts or surfs through data for patterns and trends, interesting new content and/or updated contact information. This activity should include interns, assistants, sales, marketing dept—wait, ALL the depts plus the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief.
         
  • Digital storytelling:  There are many kinds of online storytelling today–such as Visual (video), Data-driven (infographics), Audio (through podcasts) and more.
         
  • Going for the longer burn:  Similar to oft-used term “long tail”, but this refers to a PR strategy that keeps lighting the interest fire through an integrated multimedia plan that includes video, analog, print, blogs, etc.
         
  • Newsjacking:  It’s walking the fine ethical line of dovetailing on a current event. Sometimes you can use today’s news to piggyback and share some info about your magazine with your readers.  Here’s some good advice on how to do that right.
         
  • Noisy:  Constant content with no substance. For example, some could say that if our U.S. Congress has a blog, it is, um, noisy.
         
  • Snackable content:  Short little content pieces or visuals that give a little something tasty for the reader to munch on–works great for Business-to-Consumer magazines on Pinterest.
         
  • Supercreatives:  Those that excel in the brave new content marketing world. You network with them at Niche Magazine Conferences all the time.
         
  • Stumbler:  Someone who is actively engaged in Stumbleupon. Second definition is someone at a niche magazine that does not learn how to integrate their media plan.
       
  • Tactical Enthusiasm:  Jumping into all the media streams (blog, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Google Plus, Pinterest, etc.) without having overarching communication goals and strategy first. Not necessarily a good thing.
         
  • Vlogging: The concept of combining videos with blogging.

There are many more buzzwords out there we haven’t even touched on. Share some of your best buzzwords with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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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!

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