How to keep those sales coming in… even when your product has been out for a long, loooong time.

Aviator Sunglasses by Ray-Ban. The Wrap Dress by Diane von Furstenberg. And of course… Chanel No.5 Three classic, timeless products that still sell — consistently — despite being far from “new” and “shiny.” What’s the secret to that kind of consistency? It’s a great question. One that lots of people ask me. “Melissa, I’ve got a product/service that sold OK at first, but now, sales are dwindling. How do I keep people excited about it… once it’s not ‘new’ anymore?” If you’ve got a product, service, class, etc. that’s feeling old, musty and ignored, here are three ways to pump up the sales: 1. Refresh your visuals & descriptions. When’s the last time you took some enticing new photos? Or updated your product description? If it’s been a loooong time, your website visitors probably don’t even “see” the product, anymore. It’s such a familiar sight, it’s been tuned out. Refresh … Read more …

How the heck do you run a successful business and find time for screenwriting?!

If you’ve been swirling around my world for a while, you probably know that I wrote a screenplay for a decadent, sexy, supernatural TV pilot. (I just pitched my show to The Sundance Institute for a storytelling fellowship! Squeee!) I’ve been working on this project for about a year — writing, editing, tweaking, going to meetings in LA, working with a top scriptwriting coach to refine the pilot episode and the outline for the first season, and of course, fantasizing about what I will wear to accept my first (of many!) Emmy Awards. ;) Several people have asked me: “Melissa, how the heck do you run a business and find time to write, too?” Here’s the honest truth: it’s not always easy to create time for everything you want to do — in life, or in business. You have to make choices, ruthlessly edit your schedule, and decide what your … Read more …

Don’t get stuck in the mud.

Recently, I booked a trip to Los Angeles. Oh, I had big plans. Writing workshops. Play dates with friends. Snowcone Margaritas. Spending an afternoon frolicking through the cutest stationery store in the history of ever. I even rented a co-working space with polka dot and striped walls. Swoon. Life was going to be…amazing! Except, on the second day of my trip, there was a storm. An epic, apocalyptic storm. The storm made the mountains of Malibu —where we were staying — scary mudslidey and rocky. So much so, that we were trapped. The roads were closed. No more workshops. No more play dates. No more polka dots. All plans cancelled. Effective immediately. I couldn’t believe my bad luck —and for an hour or so, I went into major grumpy mode. What about all my plans and visions? My cute stationery shopping spree? Stupid weather. This SUCKS. But then, I came … Read more …

How to get your customers excited about how you’re changing your business… instead of causing a mass exodus.

Mountain snow thaws, turning into tumbling rivers. Springtime blossoms grow, then turn into autumn leaves. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez get together…then break up…then reunite…then release moody, black & white break-up music videos. What I’m trying to say, with my Bieber-infused, poetical metaphors, is that… Change is inevitable. Your business must change and evolve, too. But your clients & customers have become accustomed to a certain way of doing biz with you. When something changes, it can often feel like they’re about to grab the pitchforks and revolt. Whyyyyyyy? I liked the old way!!!!!!!! The change that you want to make could be a change in your pricing. A chance in how you structure your services. A change in how often you send out newsletters. A change in the topics you write about. A change in the way you process new workshop registrations, handle refunds, respond to emails…whatever. If you’re … Read more …