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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

"I Couldn't Bare to See My Book as a Booklet"

Someone said that to me today on the phone. The good news was that I hung in there to explain it was an "and" not an "or," and the person on the phone hung in there long enough with an open mind to hear about it. The booklet is often a parallel product to a book. It's the "Cliff Notes." It's not usually intended as a substitute for a book, in many cases. And sometimes it is.

The booklet becomes a good marketing tool for a book, a good entry point to the expertise for someone's first experience of the topic. It's a less expensive item for some companies and organizations to use for a promotional campaign than a book. They may come back for the book later, once they see how much success the booklet brought in attracting new clients, leads, and website traffic.

So before jumping to some of the many possible conclusions you might have about a booklet, take a breath. Take a step back to look from a longer perspective at what could be accomplished with a booklet that has been excerpted from your book. It can be a "both/and" rather than an "either/or."

Until next time,
Paulette - reminded that few people have experienced 17 years in the booklet business

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Booklet Motivation

What motivates you to write and market your booklet(s)? Periodically I address this because there's such a range of motivators that it's important to be reminded that *your* motivation is as valid as the next person's.

Here's some possibilities (though certainly not exhaustive):

* There's a message you want to spread about your opinion, experience, or expertise.
* You want to make money by leveraging something you know or believe.
* You view your booklet(s) as a marketing tool for your business.
* You'd like to be known as an author without having to write a 200-page book.
* You're out to impress a relative, friend, neighbor, boss, enemy, or someone else.

There's no "right" answer here. Once you realize what motivates you, it lets you do more of it!

Until next time,
Paulette - motivated by the marketing and money-making parts

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Can People Find Your Booklet?

A colleague introduced me to the latest, greatest, best (and easiest) keyword tool this week. Plugging your likely key words into it to see how many people are searching for your words or phrases is like trying to eat only one potato chip. The more words or phrases you plug in there, the more ideas you'll get for other words to plug in there. This is so useful for so many aspects of writing and promoting your booklet, your spin-off products, and all the promotion you do for your products and services.

You'll get there through:

Have fun and make money!

Until next time,
Paulette - who spent way longer there than expected

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Paulette wants your opinion, please

Tell me what you think. Your opinion as a visitor matters in developing a new service to further your success with information products and your entire business.

Please take just a few moments to answer a short list of questions so you can have what works best for you. I promise it's a short list. You may want to ponder it for a little bit or it could be an instant and obvious set of choices for you.

Either way, please do this sooner rather than later so you get to benefit sooner rather than later!

As a thank you, once you complete the short survey (did I say there were only a few questions?), there's a Special Report for you to download, hot off the press this week, written especially for you.

Go here to give me your opinions and collect the Special Report.
You'll be glad you did!

Until next time,

Paulette - eager to take the next steps together



Monday, July 21, 2008

Cool Free Domain Name Tool

When you're starting or expanding your business, or naming your booklet, it's crucial to have a good domain name for your web site or pointing to a particular page of your site. Here's a free tool you'll love to help you choose a domain name that's perfect for you.

It’s called http://www.bustaname.com

To use it, you list several keywords you want in your domain and it creates various combinations of those words to come up with domains that are available for you to register. You also have the option of having it add things like "I" or "E" or plural combinations or having certain words be used as the first word.

Have fun!

Until next time,
Paulette - happy to share something so useful

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Friday, July 18, 2008

What Have Your Clients Said?

The success rates of some promotional campaigns are easy to measure. Others are not. "Get a free gift when you buy from this issue of our catalog, or sign up for our newsletter, or open a new account" are easy to measure. The numbers don't lie. The sales and marketing people have solid data on which to make future decisions such as buying more booklets or other formats of your product from you.

Years ago when the consumer mail order catalog company Lillian Vernon licensed my booklet for a promotional campaign, they were able to measure results very accurately. They shared with me the fact that they experienced a 13% sales increase that they tracked specifically to offering that booklet free, as a gift with any purchase in one specific edition of their catalog. They were so pleased with those results that they continued with similar offers each year for a number of years. Because it was early in my own booklet journey, I didn't have other products to sell them, so they went to other colleagues!

Ask your clients if they measure results from using your booklet. If so, request permission to use those quantified results as testimonials in your own sales and marketing efforts. There are prospective clients of yours who will be positively influenced to also buy from you because of other companies' results.

Until next time,
Paulette - appreciative that Lillian Vernon Catalog was willing to share their data

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unsticking Yourself

Jill Konrath of www.SellingToBigCompanies.com gave what I view as a universally useful piece of guidance in her newsletter this week. It definitely applies to writing a booklet and to selling it, and to your (and my) business in general.

She suggested that a way to get unstuck in a situation is to ask yourself a question starting with the phrase "How can I...?" That could be
  • "How can I find more content for my booklet?"
  • "How can I sell more of my booklets?"
  • "How can I develop more connections for my business"
  • "How can I expand my product line?"
... or anything else that may be stumping you and your business at any given moment.

That technique seems to allow a flow to begin in the creative part of the mind and possibilities begin to present themselves. It's worked well for me since reading that. How can you use that approach for yourself?

Until next time,
Paulette - marveling at how many ideas have shown up this week

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Did You Ask?

There's many times a sale gets made because the buyer was asked for the sale, as simple as that. Many, if not most, of the more-than-a-million copies of my own booklet were sold because I asked, in some way. And I asked some people who hadn't ever considered buying the booklet before the question was posed to them. Those have been some of the most fun sales, in fact.

I asked numerous companies what a booklet would do to increase their sales when they gave it away as an incentive to buy their product. I asked audiences how the booklet and other products of mine would improve their life. I asked readers of articles in which I was interviewed how the services and products of my company would give them a better platform for the message they want to get out in the world. I asked associations how my Collection of Experts booklets service would be a new service to offer their members as a way to easily market themselves.

The results are pretty incredible when you ask. See what happens. What services and products of Tips Products International will be the catalyst for your next steps? Let me know.

Until next time,
Paulette - forever asking

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Booklets - Knowing It All First

Robert Middleton, of www.actionplan.com , made an excellent point in his weekly "More Clients" newsletter today. He commented that many people hold back on their marketing because they (you and I) believe it's crucial to know how it all works before being able and/or willing to get started. He was talking about that in the particular context of social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook). However, those are not the only outlets where this concern appears and applies.

AMAZING GRASP OF THE OBVIOUS ALERT: Like much of life, there is no way that any of us can know all there is to know about much of anything. You and I learn as we go. That's true with writing, producing, and definitely with marketing a booklet. There's things I know, which I share, because it's how I went about doing it. Most of my booklet journey has been expanded and embellished by a willingness to do new things and by listening to and observing what clients and prospects have brought to the party. They have taught me plenty.

I know a teeeeeency bit about LinkedIn, and nothing about Facebook. However, there's probably some teenagers in my neighborhood who know plenty about Facebook, who can be hired to help me market there. I do know that part, for sure, plus I know they are more inclined to explore that for me than I am. The part that I know is that it's pretty easy to fill in the blanks. How about you?

Until next time,
Paulette -- having some small idea of some of what it is I don't know

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Monday, July 14, 2008

What Part of Booklets Is Fun for You?

Over the years, it's become obvious that certain parts of the booklet journey are more interesting and enticing to booklet authors than others. And it really is a mixed bag, too, depending on how you (and I) are hard wired, what's going on in life at that moment, what you view as your current skills and those you're willing to learn, and numerous other variables.

It's not uncommon to hear you, the booklet author, say you like to write the booklets and want someone else to produce and/or market them. Or you may think of yourself as someone who can't/doesn't want to write, though you can and will market and sell just about anything. In a perfect world, you may be someone who does it all. That, however, is the big exception rather than the rule and, in fact, is probably not the best use of your time and talents on further examination.

Once you've determined what part of the experience really gives you the most joy, delegate the rest. Yeah, yeah, I know, you don't like to delegate because you can do it better than anyone else, and by the time you teach someone what you want you could have already done it. Uh huh, heard it before. You might as well shackle at least one ankle to the leg of your desk...permanently!

Keep yourself at the high-level decision-making position, and find others to do the implementation of the parts you don't enjoy or don't do as well. It works. It really truly works.

Until next time,
Paulette - who doesn't do floors, windows, graphic design, or lots of other things

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Your Former Booklet Clients Are Gold

I got a phone call yesterday from a vendor I bought from several years ago. They are a manufacturer of packaging for the home study kits I created. They were always good to work with, had a fair price, and their product was good. The only reason to move on was that they didn't have a product to satisfy the need when the home study kit changed over from cassettes to CDs. There were other companies who did have that at that time. So off I went.

Yesterday their rep phoned to see what it would take to woe me back as a customer. Once I told him the situation, he had a colleague who was more knowledgeable about this product return the call to me. They now do have what I need, as a stock item, at an excellent price. I will most likely be returning to them.

You may have clients or prospects who love what you have and, for whatever reason, they haven't needed it in awhile. Now you have it in a different format or added more titles to what you've got, or now understand the concept of licensing, or whatever. If they bought from you before, you're ahead of the game. Give them a shout to see what happens.

Until next time,
Paulette - connecting with former while continuing to generate future

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Flexibility of Booklet Authors

If you've gotten as far as even just thinking about writing a booklet much less actually doing one or more, you are way ahead of the game in general, and specifically in the current economy. Have you noticed who it is who is hurting and complaining right now? It's the "big boys." More and more small and micro businesses are among the many who are thriving. There's a very simple reason for that. We have the greatest flexibility of all. I've always tauted the fact that, as a solopreneur, I can wake up in the morning with a great and/or new idea (not all of which are great!) and have it implemented by noon if I choose. There's no layers of decision-making to go through other than the resident committee in my head.

Whatever momentary challenges may visit any of us micropreneurs are well offset by our constant ability to immediately introduce a new product, a new format of an old product, approach a new market, or revisit one we previously left behind. Big companies can't do that. The just simply can't.

Celebrate you choice in being a small business owner, regardless of your area of expertise or what your bank balance might be in this particular moment. You may have to do some trial runs until you determine your next best move. I promise it's much more available to you in a shorter period of time than for most people collecting a regular pay check in exchange for hours at a particular location operating under someone else's rules in the illusion of security.

Until next time,
Paulette - grateful as can be for the willingness to live an entrepreneur's life

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

"I'll Be Giving Away the Store if I Write That "

A long-time booklet groupie finally wrote a booklet this month after years of thinking about getting ready to one day maybe do one if the stars and planets were aligned correctly. The booklet author is a service provider and was concerned about telling too much and that there would be enough content to actually write tips without "giving away the store" of the process delivered in the service.

You can probably hear this coming. Not only were there plenty of excellent tips to meet the minimum 3,000 words I suggest, the author got excited and really got into it. Sometimes it's just about getting started.

By the way, one of the things I said to this author to get things moving beyond the concern about divulging the process was this: A dentist or doctor may give lots of information to a patient about what a procedure will be, yet the patient does not do the procedure on themselves. The same is true with 99% of things anyone else might be writing that involves a specific procedure. I assure you that you will gain much more than you will lose in most situations.

Get started today if you've been considering commencing.

Until next time,
Paulette - who doesn't do her own auto repairs either (how long can duct tape hold?)

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Booklets and Only a Few Clients

Last week, Marcia Yudkin (yudkin.com) wrote in her weekly Marketing Minute newsletter about marketing ideas for service businesses who need only a few high-end clients per year. She brought to mind some booklet author clients I've known who have been in a similar position. One, in particular, was a divorce lawyer in a major US city. He was interested in increasing the caliber of the cases he served in his practice and was intrigued with the idea of a tips booklet. He knew it could be written faster and more easily than a whole book, and that people going through a divorce would find a booklet from him to be helpful.

He never intended to sell the booklet. Instead, his plan was to get the booklet into the hands of those who would be high-level referral sources for him -- judges, therapists, mediators. It turns out his plan was right on the mark. Within six months he doubled his practice and brought in much higher revenue per case, all from distributing his booklet to the key referral sources.

Until next time,
Paulette - respectful of whatever works

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Write Your Own Booklets or Booklets for Clients

Over the years, I've seen a few people start their booklet journey by writing a booklet for a specific client company, and then go on to find other buyers for that booklet. More often than not, it's been the other way around. A booklet author writes to their own expertise and then, with their innate enthusiasm and passion for the topic, seek out companies and associations to buy the booklet.

Since my own perspective is so "bottom line" oriented, I suggest that there is no right or wrong in either of these approaches. It's a matter of what works best for you. You may have a particular message and point of view that is important for you to spread as far and wide as you can. That would have you writing your own booklet and then finding buyers. Or you may be primarily a writer or marketer and have minimal-to-no attachment to the content, so you'll be more inclined to write a booklet based on an expressed desire of a buyer. That's sort of a hybrid of a "writing for hire" job and owning your material outright.

Either way, there's endless large-quantity clients out there waiting for what you've got.

Until next time,
Paulette - happy in the choice I made for myself

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Creativity - Where You Find It

A client of mine was telling me today how uncreative she was, that a colleague of hers had to bring something to her attention that seemed obvious in hindsight. I assured my client that happens to many people, and has nothing to do with her level of creativity as much as merely being too close to a situation.

Being too close to something can blind you (and me) from seeing all kinds of things. A consultant emailed me today, to ask a question, without any apparent intention of paying me for my time or expertise. Rather than be totally obnoxious about it, I did respond with an answer to the question, and included a suggestion and a link to a product I sell that has lots more info and a 30-minute consultation as part of the purchase. That was a creative way of letting the person know that I, like her, *sell* my services.

Then an autoresponder arrived earlier in the week when my newsletter went out. This autoresponder said it all:


The "XYZ" Coach will be on a TECH-FREE holiday and coaching retreat until July 15. I will not monitor or respond to emails until that date.

While I'm on the beach, meditating and devouring a dozen new books, I invite you to check out my "XYZ Summer Reading List."

Stand tall. Breathe deeply. Smile often.


Now *that's* where you can find creativity!

Until next time,
Paulette - grateful to visit my office annex, AKA the Beach, anytime I want, since it's 1.5 miles away.