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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Booklets - Expertise is What You Think It Is

In the past 24 hours, I've had polar opposite opinions demonstrated to me from two different people on my booklets radar. One professional person who has known of my work for a long time shared with me in a phone conversation a nagging and sabotaging question about herself of "who am I to think I'm somebody, enough to be a published author of a booklet or anything else?" Wow. Really?

The other end of the spectrum is someone I've known in the publishing world for a decade who consistently becomes an instant expert. As quickly as she learns something, she tells the rest of the world how to do it, sometimes before she's got all the rough edges polished, too. And there she goes again.

When someone comes to me full of self-doubt, it represents a deeper challenge than learning how to write tips, put together a booklet, and then sell it. All of that is something that can be learned. The self-doubt is a different deal. It's from the inside out. And, in my experience, I find that the most well-educated people often have the biggest challenge with this, not the ones who are self-taught and figuring it out as they go.

In the early 1980's when I became a professional organizer for a decade and a half, there was no training, no certification, no track record. The industry was young, and I was just joining it. When someone asked what made me think I could help them, my answer was some form of "because I know I can." The people who wanted some credentials were not my clients. The people who wanted results and to be helped were my clients. By my sharing my confidence about what I could do for them, they got what they needed, and I had the personal and financial satisfaction of doing what I knew I could do.

The same is true with your booklets. You've got some body of knowledge that is helpful to others. Not everyone is your client. And so what? There are plenty who are.

Until next time,
Paulette - who knows what I know, and is still learning what I don't know

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Booklets and Respecting Your Colleagues

One of my most favorite ezines is SpeakerNetNews. It arrives every Friday in my inbox, and while speaking is not a primary part of my business, it's rare that there isn't something of value in each issue. It can be a resource or an opinion that resonates big-time. I always look forward to reading it.

There is usually a Topic of the Month that someone puts out there for others to give their input. The topic of this month has been about what happens when a colleague asks for a favor of some kind, and how you handle it. Some replies were more gracious and generous than others who were more direct and matter-of-fact in their limitation.

Unless you live under a rock somewhere, you've had the experience of a colleague asking you for something, and you were more or less thrilled about it.

When a colleague asks for a piece of information that is something you typically charge consulting or product dollars for, how do you handle it? If a colleague asks you for a lead or an introduction, where does that sit with you?

One of the approaches I liked in the replies was in leading with an offer before then asking for a favor. You may want someone to review your booklet or suggest some marketing direction or give you their experience in the sales process or any one of a dozen other possibilities.

Yesterday someone asked me what suggestions I had about how to price a licensing deal after the person received a no-cost educational tip in my weekly ezine. While the person is someone I like and who has been a long-time client, it stunned me to think the person didn't know the question was much more than a one-sentence answer, and that I have products and consulting services that address this very topic. It felt disrespectful, which I have the feeling the client didn't realize, and I didn't mention until I am mentioning it here now.

Next time you are thinking of enrolling a colleague in your business and/or professional education, think about what you can offer first. And then ask.

Until next time,
Paulette - who likes to be generous and also make a good living

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Booklets - Life Changing or No Big Whoop

On any given day, someone reports back that discovering the concept of creating a tips booklet has changed their (business or professional) life for the better. On that same day, the polar opposite reaction can be experienced, that a booklet is a lowly outcast of the real thing, you know, a book.

Both responses are correct because they are opinion not fact. Yes, opinion is very important in much of your business decision-making. It's up to you to determine which opinions are the most predominant and worthy of acknowledgment.

When an opinion is supported by a lot of knowledge, it can have more weight and credibility than otherwise. For instance, when a person reacts based on seeing a booklet sitting next to a book, and that's the entire basis of their opinion, they have missed a huge amount of what's possible with a booklet. Here are just a few things that render a booklet MORE useful than a book:

* It costs less in time and money to write and produce since it is shorter.
* It can be sold faster because it costs less.
* It lets a reader "test drive" the information so they can have more later with a book.
* It can be more easily used as a give-away and promotional tool since it's smaller and costs less.

That's only four reasons of the dozens that exist. So, if you find yourself on the receiving end of someone looking down their nose at you when you talk about your booklet, remind yourself that they have yet to know the brilliance that a booklet can bring, as you laugh yourself all the way to the bank.

Until next time,
Paulette - who knows, first-hand, what selling a million copies of a booklet really means

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Booklets Are Different Than ...

...many other things they have been called. And they are a brand unto themselves, having become one quite accidentally over the past two decades.

They are simultaneously a teaching tool, a source of income, a marketing piece. They are written in short sentences and short paragraphs with a short number of pages and a small physical presence. They can be written on any topic and focus on how to do something.

They are not brochures or pamphlets, which tend to be about features and benefits of a product or service. They are not books, which usually have more pages and are often (though not always) written in a different style. They are not tips guides, which one person recently insisted on calling them.

An electronic version is still an ebooklet, not an ebook. Someone recently suggested I fall more in line with what others are offering by presenting "How to Write an Ebook in a Weekend." Let me count the many things that just don't work about that in my business!

What's different about your product/service? It doesn't matter if thousands of other people are appearing to do what you do. How do you distinguish yourself and what makes yours different? Is it the way you name yours or how you describe it? What used to be called "consulting" is now what I refer to as "Rent a Brain." Because I didn't protect the phrase, at least one of my very own clients is now also using it! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? Or is that mere laziness on my client's part?

Be consistent in your choice of word(s) in identifying your product/service or your marketing benefit. One collaborator landed on a particular phrase to promote a joint venture with me and asked to have the sole use of it.

Make it easy for people to connect you with what you offer by consistently using some word, phrase, or concept.

Until next time,
Paulette - whose printer knows exactly the ink color I mean when I ask for Paulette Purple

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Booklets - Repeating Is a Good Thing

Repeating the message that's in your booklet is a Good Thing.
  • Presenting other formats lets people learn in their best style and situation.
  • It's rare to learn something on first exposure.
  • The timing wasn't right the first time it was presented.
  • Humans often enjoy confirmation of something they previously learned.
  • Re-stating slightly differently can make it easier to understand and retain.
  • They may not have seen/heard/experienced it the first time you presented it.
Those are just a few reasons to repeat what you teach. Yes, go ahead, repeat it. You serve your audience and your business by reinforcing the concepts from your expertise as often and as thoroughly as possible.

Until next time,

Paulette -who sometimes needs reminding that people need repetition for learning and for purchasing

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Booklets - Creative Sources

Where do you get new ideas -- for booklet topics, product formats, marketing methods, or how to run your business?

In case you hit one of those still points when you want to turn up the volume on your business or increase your enthusiasm with what you've been doing, see what triggers you into action from this short list of possibilities.

  • Poll your current clients and prospects for what they want.
  • Attend teleclasses or seminars on topics other than yours.
  • Take a walk anywhere away from your office.
  • Speak with people who are unrelated to your business.
  • Have a beverage or a meal with a colleague.
  • Read a printed mass market magazine or newspaper.
  • Do something that has absolutely nothing to do with your business.

Did you notice how few of those things have a direct relationship to your business? You may be surprised to see how much creativity surfaces in your thinking once you take a step away from it all. Sitting at your desk, willing yourself to be creative is often like squeezing a balloon that is already filled with air. It breaks when there is no room for expansion.

Choose something from the above list or come up with something on your own. See what happens, and let us know, would you?

Until next time,
Paulette - who finds walking on the beach a mile away to be a huge source of creativity

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Booklets - Your Perfect Client

Who is your perfect client in any part of your business, whether it's booklets, other products, or services? Do you know?

My perfect client is someone who:

  • Makes decisions quickly and takes action quickly
  • Follows through on what they say they will do when they say they will do it
  • Respects my expertise by generally following my suggestions
  • Is open to looking at things differently than they have done before
  • Has a sense of humor that's obvious
  • Has the money to invest in themselves and is willing to spend it

There are probably a few more characteristics that further define the person. These come to mind right away.

Did you notice that this is about the person rather than the product or service? That's because this is and will always be all about people, no matter what business you are in or what product or service you offer.

The perfect client makes the day fun and financially lucrative. More of them are showing up in my world lately, the clearer I've gotten about who it is I can serve best and who just simply isn't a fit.

Who is your ideal client?

Until next time,
Paulette - who loves to play with people who are a fit rather than those who cause a fit!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Booklets - Titles That Simply Show You Understand

Titles matter. The increased popularity and sales from a title change of books, booklets, workshops, movies, and anything that can be titled proves that.

Years ago when I presented full-day in-house corporate workshops as a Professional Organizer, the sessions were first titled something about getting organized. It was like pulling teeth to get people to register. Once the title of the exact same class was changed to Managing Multiple Priorities, people flocked to the sessions.

The first title reflected a shortcoming, a negativity, a deficit. Who wanted to admit that by registering for a class? The second one was more like "oh thank goodness someone understands! I'm there!"

Words like "overwhelmed," "over-scheduled," or "under-appreciated" accomplish a similar result. And keep it simple. Say what it is without being cutsie or esoteric. You'll be thanked in sales.

Until next time,
Paulette - who truly appreciates YOU