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Booklet Tips From Paulette

Writing, producing, and promoting tips booklets for marketing, motivating, and making money.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Booklet Exclusivity

"We want to buy (license) a gazillion copies of your booklet, and we want exclusivity." A booklet author told me today that a prospective large-quantity buyer posed that scenario to her. The prospect wanted exclusivity in the industry within several particular states. And furthermore, this prospect was not the biggest of the bunch within the field.

What do you do in a situation like that? There's a few things that come to mind:
  • Accept the limitations of the prospect, as presented, and be happy with the sale.
  • Have the prospect name specific competitors to avoid, and decide if you can live with that.
  • Limit the length of exclusivity (which you would do in the agreement anyway).
  • Expand the exclusive licensing deal to include more uses, making the deal more lucrative.
  • Narrow the deal to grant exclusivity to only one application of the content, with no restriction on other uses of the content.
Decide what you want the final outcome to be and look for ways that can happen. Everything is negotiable.

Until next time,
Paulette -- still thinking about possibilities and abundance

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Choice Works

Many who know me know I am a big fan of the concept of possibilities. That automatically means choices. It means going beyond the obvious to see what does work instead of making rash decisions about what doesn't work.

Sometimes it can be uncomfortable to explore those possibilities. It often comes down to believing something is not affordable, prompting a 'no' decision. Notice I said 'believing something is not affordable.' There are times I've had people say no to buying booklets or services or other products before they ever heard a price because they believed it was out of their price range.

It is at that point when the fun begins. Offering creative payment plans or introductory sizes of something are just two ways to turn the 'can't afford' belief around. Next time someone says 'no,' dig around a little to see what would work for them and you. There's usually some solution that allows you and your client to have exactly what you each want.

Until next time,
Paulette -- known in some circles for the phrase 'Are you open to the possibility?'

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Excerpt Yourself

Writing articles has become a great way to promote your products and services. The articles can be instantly published through the thousands of online article directories, as well as in hard copy publications.

Excerpt a few tips from your own booklet. Put an introductory paragraph at the beginning, with a grabber of a first sentence and a terrific title. Add a few bulletted tips from your booklet. Finish it off with a summarizing paragraph. Be sure you include a resource box at the bottom with some enticement to visit your website. Poof, you've got an article ready for broad distribution. A good length is in the 500-750 word range.

Massage the article for different readerships and you can keep going indefinitely. My "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life" can easily become "110 Ideas for Organizing Your Real Estate Office" or financial planning practice or chiropractic office or association or classroom, or, well you get the idea. Yes, it's that easy to get your name out there with no cost to you and just a little bit of time.

Until next time,
Paulette - always looking for leveraging

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Did You Get Me to Buy So Quickly?

That was a great question a booklet author asked me today during a consulting session. The person wanted to know what technique I used to 'convince' her to buy the home study kit so fast. That's something that was never posed so directly to me before, and I loved it. My response was simple, and not something that was a conscious thing on my part.

1. The client was already in 'buying mode' when contacting me. It was obvious in the initial email I got. There was no convincing of anything, she was already convinced way before contacting me.

2. There were choices. I have a product called "How to Promote Your Business with Booklets" that is the entry point and always suggested. However, that product is in three different formats and three different prices. It's available as a 100-page stand-alone manual either in hard copy or downloadable. It's also available as a full home study kit with audio CDs and some consulting time. The home study kit is the best value, however not the least expensive cash outlay. It wasn't whether a purchase would be made when she phoned me. It was about which format suited her best.

Your booklets need to be in various formats so someone who is already in buying mode (or not) has a choice that makes the answer always 'yes.' Make the booklet manuscript into a booklet, an audio CD, a card deck. Have it available as a downloadable PDF, audio MP3, and as individual tips on autoresponders. That's 6 products from one manuscript, and we've only talked about English!

So, that's how I got the person to buy so quickly. I left plenty of space for them to sell themself as they made their best choice.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who loves it when life is so easy and so much fun

Friday, August 25, 2006

Booklets for Sale That Walk Away Instead

It's not so unusual for a booklet author to sell (or WANT to sell) their booklet at a trade show or 'back of the room' when they are speaking. The challenge, though, is to help the buyer be aware of the fact the booklet is for sale in that moment, not free for the taking. It can understandably be mistaken for a handout, especially when there are other bigger and thicker products at the same place, on the same table.

I noticed a solution to the situation at a local Starbuck's. They do have one bin that has newspapers for the taking, which are recycled from patron to patron. However, I noticed a lovely stand that had newspapers for sale, and it said exactly that on the display unit, large enough and clearly enough to let the patron know.

Next time you find yourself in a similar situation with your booklet, get yourself a stand (lots of plastic ones in places like Staples and Office Depot). Put a sign on that stand that says "Booklets for Sale" or whatever other very clear message you can think of to convey the concept. Your customers will appreciate it and so will you.

Until next time,
Paulette -- forever on a quest for clarity

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Booklets and Filing Systems - More Important Than You Think

Spanning two of my careers, booklets and filing systems have each been viewed as unimportant by some people. That is, right up to some crucial moment.

When I was a professional organizing consultant for many years, I remember some top corporate executives being very patronizing about the creation of a filing system. After all, any secretary can set that up it's so easy and inconsequential. Why would good money be spent to bring in a professional organizer to merely put tabs on file folders?

The day that filing system became amazingly important was the day that top executive needed to find a key piece of paper to be able to close a huge deal. The reliabilty of the filing system was vital. The importance of that filing system was greatly elevated.

Tips booklets -- not such a big deal, not so important, contains a whole lot of commone sense. In the past couple weeks the importance of a tips booklet shifted dramatically at Northwest Airlines. It affected a lot of people, and most likely more than anyone could truly assess. The booklet on saving money probably cost Northwest Airlines a lot of money, internally with diminished morale and people about to lose their job, and externally with people making plans to fly on a different airline. Yes, a simple little booklet about ways to save money did all of that.

Keep your perspective on the importance of things. It reminds me of the adage of what's the most important part of the body? It's the one that's hurting at the moment. Filing systems, tips booklets -- make them the useful tools they can readily be.

Until next time,
Paulette - frequently looking at things from different perspectives

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tips Booklets and Northwest Airlines - My Reply

For Immediate Release

Contact: Paulette Ensign 858-481-0890

Avoiding Layoff Tips Booklet and Other Corporate Promotion Disasters

Quite recently Northwest Airlines created and distributed a booklet titled "101 Ways to Save Money” to 60 Northwest Airlines employees apparently designed to provide helpful advice to a group of employees facing layoffs.

However well intended the effort, the booklet contained several ideas that the recipients found patently offensive and personally demeaning

The release of the booklet caused such a furor among the employees that Northwest Airlines pulled the plug on the project and ceased distribution of the publication.

Long time tips booklet publishing expert Paulette Ensign says that the booklet fiasco serves as an excellent reminder of what not to do if you are creating and distributing a booklet.

Sure, the booklet was intended to help people and it might have actually had some excellent ideas in it.

But some of the ideas contained in this little gem antagonized and angered the very people it was intended to help. This could have been easily avoided.

A timely prepublication review and a little common sense would have quickly allowed managers to realize that people who are about to lose their jobs were not going to take kindly to advice like this:

“Don’t be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”

“Borrow a dress for a big night out or go to a consignment shop.”

“Go to pawn shops to buy jewelry cheap.”

“Go to second hand clothing stores to buy hand-me-downs.”

“Dig through garbage for food.”

The booklet contained other equally demeaning and offensive tips.

Yes, a little common sense could lead one to conclude that some cost-cutting suggestions would not be well received by professional employees in otherwise good standing.

But that apparently didn’t happen.

There are some very useful lessons learned that can be derived from this experience.

Ensign recommends that the next time you design and prepare a booklet intended to help a certain group of people who are impacted by a management action:

1) Ask a group of the affected employees for their own ideas about how to help mitigate impacts.

2) Have these same employees review the ideas proposed for publication and agree by consensus on the ideas that will go in your booklet.

3) Once you have these ideas finalized, get the new booklet out immediately and promote it like crazy.

Getting people involved in efforts like this on tips booklets specially designed to share a core set of ideas can be a very good thing that will help morale and communications, especially if it becomes a regular process that achieves excellence.

If you involve the employees in developing solutions to the problems the company faces you will improve morale and your bottom line at the same time.

For more information visit www.tipsbooklets.com

Paulette Ensign is a long-time booklet consultant who has developed and overseen tips booklets creation for thousands of publishers and companies worldwide.


Please feel free to use this tips article or contact me for interviews or if you have any questions.


Until next time,
Paulette - who is rarely without an opinion to improve things

Monday, August 21, 2006

Booklet Authors, Graphic Designers, Opinions, and Forging Ahead

This arrived in my email inbox over the weekend. I thought you might appreciate seeing it.


Originally I was going to use a local graphics designer. I had seen their website. It was quite impressive. I called them to see about getting a quote, and after explaining what I was trying to do they said they'd email me. They did, that afternoon, but the quote was too vague. So, I called them and told them I'd bring them my manuscripts and show them exactly what I needed.

Last Monday I took my manuscripts and a copy of your booklet into their office. I said, "I need to turn these manuscripts into a booklet like this one." to my astonishment, while looking through your booklet, one of them scoffed, "This is just common sense. Hmmm. Common sense." I replied, "Common sense sells very well these days. The author of this booklet has sold more than one million copies of it." I thought, that'll show 'em! But, no! To my further amazement they said, "Can you use this author's graphic artist?"

Can you believe it? Can you even imagine it? On the website these guys seemed so professional and their work looked so good. But, in person, I just didn't feel right about having them do the work for me. How could I? Their business ethics were horrible! They really didn't have a clue, and had I bought them one they wouldn't have known what to do with it!

I just wanted to tell you about it because I found it laughable that they would react toward your booklet that way. They never even looked at my manuscripts. They put them in a file and said they'd get back to me with a quote. Two days later I still hadn't heard from them, and I had already hired one of your recommended vendors. I called that office and told them I'd be coming in to pick up my manuscripts and your booklet, and when I got there the secretary handed me the file and I left. There was no attempt from them to secure my business. It was just unreal.

Just wanted to share.

Until next time,
Paulette - who never ceases to be amazed by ways some people choose to do business

Friday, August 18, 2006

Booklet Sales without (Paid) Advertising

You recently read a blog post here a couple days ago about Word of Mouth marketing. You may also know I've personally sold over a million copies of my own booklet without spending a penny on advertising. Advertising equals paying for space in print or electronically. I don't do that and never have.

The results of a recent survey by CNET and MarketingSherpa indicated the top three most effective ways for business executives to market are:

1. Word of mouth

2. Conferences and trade shows

3. Editorial in print magazines

For you as a booklet author, that means tell everyone you know (which you saw me suggest here a few days ago.) Without realizing it was 'the' way to go by having the benefit of this survey, I have always suggested attending conferences and trade shows. I don't suggest paying for a vendor booth as much as walking the floor of the show to see who is there. Contact them after the show to sell your booklets to them for their use as a promotional tool in selling their own products or services.

And the third item on the above list is actually where I started when my booklet was first published in 1991 -- pre-Internet! I sent a copy of the booklet and a cover letter to several hundred magazine editors, inviting them to excerpt from the booklet into articles they wrote for their magazine's editorial content, provided they put full contact info and price at the bottom of that article. 50,000 single booklet copies got sold that way, plus doors opened for other substantial opportunities.

Confirmation is always a good thing, especially when someone else of high repute paid to gather that data!

Until next time,
Paulette - passing along useful news from the big boys that's helpful to all of us

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Booklet Backlash

You may be using the no-cost Google Alert service to monitor mentions of your business or your name. I have a Google Alert set for "tips booklets," among other things. It's important to see what else is out there, how people are using booklets, what booklets are being written, and the like.

In the past couple days there's been a broadly disseminated press release about the distribution of a booklet to employees of Northwest Airlines. The booklet is about suggested ways to cut back on their personal spending since a number of ground crew in three cities are being told or about to be told their services are no longer required by Northwest Airlines.

Apparently the distribution was brought to a screaming halt at about 60 booklets and removed from Northwest Airlines' web site because of the dramatic negative reaction to the content of these booklets. Some of the tips were deemed to be insulting and demeaning to long-time loyal employees. Some of the suggestions included buying jewelry in a pawn shop, seeking hand-me-down clothes from family and friend, asking doctors for sample medications. , and worse. The biggest trigger tip was the suggestion to dumpster dive for things of interest.

You have to wonder whose brain was in fog mode to distribute that booklet without giving thought to how some of those tips would be received. At least that's what I found myself wondering as a long-time expert in the booklet business. The same booklet could be hugely useful and gratefully received in a completely different situation, not one in which tension is high and emotions are very much at the surface.

Like so many things in the Universe, something can be a weapon or a tool, used for good or not so good. Thinking they were being helpful, someone at Northwest Airlines merely served to alienate the people they thought they would be helping. And now the mishap is being shouted throughout the journalistic halls. I've had at least a dozen different mentions of it come to me through the Google Alert. And a Google search on 'NWA booklet' is showing a lot of entries.

Too bad to find a booklet attached to a candidate for the Hall of Shame. I'll be speaking out about this more in the days to come.

Until next time,
Paulette -- ever seeking to use booklets in the best ways for the greatest good

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Word of Mouth Marketing for Booklets

The first suggestion I always give people about a starting point for marketing booklets in bulk is to tell everyone they know about the booklet(s). Some of those folks will say some variation of "gee, that's nice, congratulations." And that's the end of it. Other people will be interested in the booklet for their own personal use. Yet others will understand the value of using the booklet as a promotional tool for their own purposes or for the benefit of someone else they know.

In May, CNET's business network and MarketingSherpa conducted a survey to determine which types of marketing are most productive for businesses. The top method for business executives to successfully bring in more sales was word of mouth.

That's not to say it's the only thing to do. However, that needs to be a key ongoing piece of all marketing methods you use. Tell everyone you know about your booklets. Let them know you have something that can help them and everyone THEY know improve their life in some way -- save time, make money, save money, improve the quality of life. Then watch what happens. Your own quality of life is very likely to improve.

Until next time,
Paulette -- who just loves talking about booklets to anyone who will listen

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Booklet Promo the Easy Way

When was the last time you suggested to an editor or a radio or TV producer who contacted you for an interview that they may want to join your affiliate program so they can financially benefit from having you on their show or in their publication? (Long sentence. You get the idea.)

Oh, you don't have an affiliate program yet? Hmmm, that's interesting. Every time I get contacted to be a guest on a teleclass, or be interviewed in print or electronically, I always suggest to whomever contacted me that they join my affiliate program, especially since I usually mention one of my products during the interview.

It lets the person know you're eager to add value to their business beyond providing an excellent interview, and they are that much more eager to find ways to work together for the greatest good.

If you have a shopping cart on your site, you probably have an affiliate program within it, ready to be activated. If you already have an affiliate program, use it to your greatest advantage.

Until next time,
Paulette - making it as easy as possible to work together

Friday, August 11, 2006

Repurposing, Leveraging, Slicing, and Dicing

One of the best things about your intellectual property is that it can be developed into so many different formats from a single document. Do it once, develop it in endless ways. If that's not an efficient way to build a business, I don't know what is.

The first division is the fact your product is in both hard copy and digitial version (hard copy printed booklet and PDF digital file). The next division represents the three major learning styles - visual, auditory, and kinesthetic -- booklet, audio recording, and card deck.

Wow, now you have six products:

1. Hard copy booklet

2. Downloadable PDF of the booklet

3. Hard copy audio CD

4. Downloadable MP3 audio file

5. Hard copy card deck

6. Autoresponder of a tip a day or week

All of that before you've thought very hard about it. Instant product line from a single booklet manuscript. Excited yet? :-)

How about a completely digital product line? Here's more about that in a Special Report I know you'll want to have:

Until next time,
Paulette - producing products on purpose

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Everything is One Thing at a Time

Sometimes I see a glazed look or hear a loud silence when my exhuberance gets the better of me and I go into all the many possibilites there are for selling or using booklets. I get that from the booklet authors and I get it from the booklet buyers. The glaze and the silence are profound and undeniable symptoms of overload, plain and simple.

Booklet authors end up not knowing where to start in their sales journey, given all the possible ways to go. Booklet buyers shut down because there are sooooo many ways to use booklets that they don't know where to start.

It is crucial, vital, all-important, and literally the only thing that works. It is the reality that everything happens one thing at a time. Yes, it is possible to have two or more things going simultaneously. However, each had to be started by itself. Think in units of one when making the decision of which marketing method to use, which client to approach, which application for booklets, which derivative of the booklet manuscript to develop. Do one thing. Then do another one thing. No more overwhelm. No more overload. No more confusion.

Until next time,
Paulette - who really can't jump rope and chew gum well at the same time

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Booklets and Teleclasses

While visiting my office annex this afternoon (aka The Beach, a mere two miles away), the topic of teleclasses came to mind. The beach is a likely place to explore ways of doing my business easier and more effectively. After all, I like the beach, and the way I've structured my business, I get to be there pretty much whenever I like. I am inspired to streamline my business however I can.

So what's this got to do with teleclasses? Well, anytime I do a teleclass, especially as a guest addressing someone else's list or network, it's an extraordinarily efficient and lucrative way to market and sell. It expands the reach at basically no cost. Yes, there is the regular long-distance phone cost for each person. That's very different than getting on an airplane, renting a car, renting rooms, and all the obvious things with a face-to-face. Don't misunderstand. I love the face-to-face, too, just spread out. During the past dozen years, I've presented or been a guest on literally hundreds of teleclasses.

The results from those teleclasses -- Besides the direct sales of products and services (gotta love that immediate gratification!), there were things I never could have forecasted. One outstanding ones was when an attendee contacted me after the class to invite me to be interviewed for a book he was ghostwriting. I always say yes to things like that. Why wouldn't I? (or you?)

This time was bigger and better. The book was being ghosted for Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway Sandwich Restaurants. My story is in that book. Beyond the momentary and lovely ego stroke, let's get practical. The book has been marketed domestically and internationally. Every time someone contacts me from my story in that book world-wise (yes, from far corners of the world), they are already in buying mode. People have bought booklets, home study kits, manuals, consulting, workshop registrations, and more from reading my story in that book. And additional publicity opportunities came from reading my story in that book. The book, by the way, is called "Start Small, Finish Big!"

This was from one free teleclass I presented. And this is one story of many from doing teleclasses. For all I know, you may have discovered my work through a teleclass, and you've gone on to do all kinds out outstanding things with your booklet and its derivatives.

One of the more popular things these days is recording the teleclasses. That allows for creating products and reaching many more people than in the live call. The digital recording can be archived on a website or produced as a hard copy CD.

Teleclasses can be fun, lucrative, and a streamline for your business. Then you can join me at the beach, or go to your favorite place. Teleclasses work best with lots of good content in a well-organized and upbeat delivery.

A resource that recently came to me gives everything you need to create and deliver your own excellent teleclasses. It's by someone I regard highly, who does top-caliber work. Find out more about this terrific resource at http://tinyurl.com/mwugp

Oh, and please invite me to be a guest on your teleclass. I'll be more than happy to joint venture that with you.

Until next time,
Paulette - sharing the best because you deserve it

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It is and Always Will Be the Benefits

It's not about the surveys, statistics, or sassiness of the title. It's not about how overflowingly excited and enthused you are about your booklet (which one booklet author, PR expert Nancy Juetten, refers to as a LAQ - the Lame Ass Quote). It's not about the price of your booklet. It's not about the size, shape, number of ink colors, number of pages, number of tips, number of words.

It's about the benefits. How will your booklet improve the life of the reader or large-quantity decision-maker? How will it save money, make money, improve health, save time, make people feel better, increase market share, increase brand awareness, introduce a new product, introduce a new service? How will your booklet do any or all of these things?

THAT'S what it's about, and the only thing it's about. Wrap your brain around that, and you're destined to make more booklet sales than you are likely to ever imagine.

Until next time,
Paulette - beneficially yours

Monday, August 07, 2006

Joint Ventures are THE Way to Go

Yes, I know I just wrote about joint ventures the other day. I love joint ventures so much it's worth writing about it again today. I've done joint ventures most of the time I've been in business, even back in elementary school. Of course they weren't necessarily called joint ventures then. The longer I'm in business, the more I believe in them. They are the way to go, to get the greatest reach to make the most money with the least resources (human and otherwise).

It goes without saying (though I'll say it anyway) that the only way the joint venture works is when it benefits both or all parties. And everyone has to be doing something they want to do. Case in point -- people approach me every week to ask if I'll sell their booklet for them in a revenue share arrangement. Quite simply, no, I won't. It's not a match for what I want to do. That doesn't mean there aren't people who won't do it. In fact, I spoke with a gentleman this afternoon who may just be such a person. He's putting together some new pieces of his business right now and is definitely considering it.

Now if someone asks to host me on a teleclass they are promoting to their subscriber list, by all means, let's make a date and a deal. The same is true for promoting an in-person workshop I want to do. When a person or organization is interested in promoting my class, I'm more than happy to share the revenue and publicity with them. In fact, that was the second phone call I had this afternoon. I contacted the chapter of a national association in a community where I'll be visiting the end of September. I invited them to promote the class in exchange for part of the proceeds. The person I talked with was receptive. We'll see what her board has to say in the next few days.

In both these deals, I added no additional staff to my company, no additional tasks beyond the typical activities of a typical day in the life of a solopreneur, neither rented nor bought any additional real estate, etc. and so forth. Yet it is likely I've directly increased my revenue in the immediate and with new clients into the life-long cycle of welcome to our world, without breaking a sweat. It's what affiliate programs have come to be, yet with some minor tweaks.

Where can you create joint ventures with your booklets and entire business?

Until next time,
Paulette -- who loves lucrative ideas that benefit everyone

Friday, August 04, 2006

But This is Just Toooo Simple

I spent an hour today with a booklet author client. He's a bright, well-educated man. He has lots and lots of knowledge in his head. The notion of writing one simple tip, much less ten, or a hundred has been one of the biggest challenges in the world for him in recent weeks. He cannot fathom that his readers will be satisfied with one sentence directing them to do something, followed by one or two sentences explaining why or how to do what the first sentence said to do.

He wants to give more -- more statistics, references to studies, narrative in-depth explanations, and on and on. I have assured him there will be a time, place, and format to do exactly that as we work together on creating an entire product line. Though still skeptical, I think I saw a glimmer of hope and understanding in his eye today.

The thing that prompted that glimmer was when I put him into the position of receiving new information. I suggested to him that there was probably some subject area in his life about which he had apprehensions, something he thinks would be a challenge to learn, something that seemed monumental. I didn't press him on what that was, kind of like 'pick a card and don't show me which one it is.' I asked him how he'd feel if some expert deluged him with tons and tons of information from the outset about the topic that was new to my client. How would he feel? He said he'd probably run the other direction as fast as possible.

Need I say more? (though of course I will anyway).

It dawned on him that he has to start at the most basic and simple level so people can absorb what he gives them. Then move on to offering more in-depth information, little by little, and in other formats. And before anyone knows it, all that complex information will be the ideal match for the person who started off by reading that simple tips booklet.

Until next time,
Paulette -- making things simple one tip at a time

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Piece of the ...

While reading the monthly membership magazine, The Costco Connection, from the store of the same name, there was an article that particularly captured my attention. It was about two brothers from Michigan who have a company called StartUpNation. You can read about them at www.costco.com under Costco Magazine.

One of the 7 tips they gave that were positioned in the sidebar of the article particularly resonated for me:

Go for 10% of a watermelon instead of 90% of a grape.
Be willing to share equity and revenue in order to create
a much bigger opportunity.

Turn things into joint ventures whenever possible. It makes more for everyone.

Until next time,