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Booklet Tips From Paulette

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Booklets - How Do You Want to Be Known?

While recently shopping at a nearby factory outlet store mall, I walked into a well known brand name shoe store to see what they had for sandals. I’m all about getting the best quality I can for a price that makes sense to me, in general in life. Sometimes that’s a lower price or a mid-range or an upper end, based on how I assign value.

What I saw caught my attention, enough to share it with you here. Most of the sandals were priced $74 on the box. Generally, (though not always) that’s more than I would be inclined to spend on sandals. However, throughout the store, the dozens and dozens of open-shelf stored shoe boxes and the displays of sandals indicated 60-80% off.

It got me wondering about the whole psychology of it. It wasn’t the end of the season, so it was not that they were attempting to dump the inventory. And the brand name tends to be on the higher end of mid-range prices in the shoe industry. A conflict in positioning from my point of view. I haven’t researched this at all to find out what prompted this.

Then there’s a computer repair and components place here in San Diego who prides themselves in being the low-priced leader.

And I know an electrician in New England who has always positioned the company as high-priced equaling high quality.

I’ve read, and you may have, too, that it’s a tough road to lead on low price. Something gets sacrificed along the way, in human cost, cash flow, product quality, or something else. Walmart attracts a certain customer that’s very different than Nordstrom’s. Yes, I know that’s an amazing grasp of the obvious. However, it can be easier to consider when removing the example to something completely outside your own everyday ponderings for your business.

Where do you want to be? How do you want to be known? I’ve changed my pricing structure many times in the years I’ve been in the tips booklet business, experimenting to see where my current market is situated. It’s been an eye-opener several times. Just when I think I’ve found the “sweet spot,” something changes. How about you?

Until next time,

Paulette – finding so much to learn from out there in the world



Thursday, June 24, 2010

Booklets - What Will They Do For Me?

Whether you are selling a single copy or a large quantity to a single buyer, whether it's the downloadable or printed version, the question the buyer is thinking is "what will these booklets do for me?" Your buyer may be very conscious of that thought or it could be somewhere in the background of their thinking, influencing their buying decision.

And the longer you're in business, if your like me, you may be inclined to sometimes short-cut your communication about that all-important element. After all, isn't it obvious what that booklet will do for you?? Sheesh. C'mon.

Nope, not so obvious to lots of folks.

For the individual reader of your booklet, the intention is to somehow improve their life with the content in the booklet. Well, the same is true for the large quantity buyer. The booklet is intended to improve their business life. It could be a tool to help them sell more of their product, give them greater recognition out in the market place, warm up their buyers to buy more at some later date, help the company cut expenses since it could be a reward for a survey, or on and on.

The value will be different from situation to situation. It's your responsibility to stay conscious and alert enough to shift gears and tune in (mixed metaphor, but you get it) to who it is you're addressing. There are times the value will be obvious to you and other times you'll need to dig around some in the buyer's thought process and circumstance. Regardless, until that buyer is aware of what your booklet will do for them, they probably aren't your buyer.

Until next time,
Paulette - who sometimes still struggles to remember this, especially when tired or stressed

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Booklets - Follow Up in Duplicate Duplicate

A quick follow up of an email with a voice mail or a quick follow up of a voice mail with an email can make the difference in making a booklet sale or not. Sometimes you won't even know that something has fallen through the cracks from one of those communication formats unless you make contact in multiple ways.

Today brought a glowing example of that very thing. I got an email from someone. His phone number was in the signature file of the email so it served as an invitation to pick up the phone to reach out. The phone was answered by voice mail, so I left a message. And then I followed up with a summarizing email.

Good thing that I did. The person I was contacting saw the call and source on the caller ID while on a different call on his cell phone. Apparently he had not yet fully set up his telephone's voice mail feature and couldn't access my voice mail. Had I not followed it with an email that included my phone and email address, we probably would not have connected. What a loss that would have been for both of us, since it looks like we will have some excellent business to do together.

The double double contact allowed us to go forward.

Until next time,
Paulette - remembering what making assumptions can really mean

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Booklets - Done Is Better Than Perfect

A soon-to-be booklet author is like many delightful people I've had the good fortune to know in this booklet journey. She is in extended hard labor in birthing her booklet. While I am certain the new arrival will bring her joy, it really doesn't have to be as painful as she's making it. The only "drug" I am suggesting she internalize is the one labeled "Done Is Better Than Perfect."

Because she is a bright, capable, discerning person who has lots of content on her topic, she's having a tough time determining what information to include, how much depth to go into, how much is enough, and how much is too much.

I have assured her that this first booklet can easily have course corrections applied to it if necessary once it sees the light of day. After all, how many course corrections are applied to that human baby? More than can be calculated, no doubt. And the kid grows up to be a fine contribution to society more often than not, even tripping over its own feet innumerable times.

By the way, two paragraphs above, I intentionally included the word "discerning." That word was misspelled in the first 50,000 of the million copies of my booklet that I've sold so far. Yes, sold, even with a typo!

Have you sold 50,000 copies of your booklet yet? Oh, it's not done yet? Ah, got it.

Until next time,
Paulette - who will do everything possible to ease your process

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Booklets - Look and Listen for Clues

A large quantity booklet prospect can show up in some of the least likely places:

  • You're having lunch with a colleague who says their company's profits are dropping. Hmm, how would that company's sales department like to distinguish their firm by packing one their products with a tips booklet, adding value and increasing their sales?
  • At a party with friends, you overhear some people who are members of a community non-profit group looking for ways to increase donations. Imagine how a tips booklet could add to the choices of possibilities that prompt donations.
  • You do a Google search for something related to your booklet topic. Along the right side of the page you see the paid ads. What does that tell you about companies that have a marketing budget that are relevant to your topic?

These and many more clues are often right within your immediate range. Once you notice them, they become large quantity sales prospects for your booklets and other formats of your content.

Until next time,
Paulette - who notices more on some days than others

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Booklets - When Letting Go Makes a Sale

You know a lot about your booklet topic. You may even know a lot about how to sell your booklets and other products, who your market is, and how to do business with them.

And there is a whole lot more you and I don't know. That point was brought home yesterday as I sat visiting with a long-time booklet author client of mine who was in town to attend someone's seminar. We explored how we might joint venture with each other.

There were components of her business that seemed ideal for introducing booklets to her people, until she characterized the behavior of those folks. I realized, no, I concluded, that after talking with her for about an hour, we had nowhere to go. I was about to remove myself as graciously as possible, when she started asking me about some other people she knew. These were people who were advisors and colleagues of hers, people I had known of and who likely know of me, yet I had no direct connection with them. My client is enthused enough about the concepts of tips booklets, what I bring to the table, and the benefit to other people that she suggested introducing me to these other folks.

That had not been anywhere on my radar at all when I sat down to talk with her. She also told me about a product she had developed that she's now licensing, which could be useful to many contacts I have, something I knew nothing about before we talked yesterday.

Once I let go of thinking I knew what to discuss with her about how to work together, a huge range of possibilities presented themselves that I had never considered when we first started talking. These possibilities reach much further in benefiting many more people and are considerably more lucrative for a lot more folks.

All I could do was chuckle about what happened, and look forward to my client getting back to her office in the next few weeks so we can start exploring the possibilities that got unearthed once I let go of what I thought I knew!

When you approach a large quantity booklet buyer, start with what you know, and be open to all kinds of other possibilities that you have no reason to imagine.

Until next time,
Paulette - who is still getting a kick out of yesterday's meeting

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Booklets - International, Local, Both

Some booklet authors feel strongly about having a local business and keeping all their connections and contacts within their own zip code/postal code. They don't see the possibility of referrals coming to them from anywhere else in the world as even remotely likely.

I have had this conversation for many years, in two different businesses I've had, first as a professional organizing consultant and now with tips booklets.

The truth is that yes, referrals, resources, and cash-paying clients/customers/patients do, indeed, come from literally anywhere. When I was a professional organizer, it was early in the life of that industry. No matter how strongly some of my colleagues insisted that their business was conducted within, oh, let's say, a 25 mile radius, things happened outside that circle that brought them business. Someone on the other side of the country wanted or needed to buy organizing services for a family member, for instance, because the cross-country person could not travel to help the person get organized. It was only logical to ask for a referral near where the person who needed the help was located.

So what does this have to do with tips booklets? While my business and the majority of my clients are located in North America, there is an increasing response to tips booklets and especially the collaborative Collection of Experts booklets from people throughout the world. There have been participants in Australia, England, and South Africa, to name a few. That means that the people from those countries bring to their country a presence of the products and services of the other participants in the booklet. A couple participants in two Collection of Experts booklets made a foreign rights publishing sale to a publisher in Indonesia. Again, this brings a presence of the products and services of all those people in the booklet to Indonesia.

When was the last time you had an information-product based international marketing reach , and developed a new product and created a whole marketing team for yourself, all within 10 minutes, for under $200?

There are several Collection of Experts booklets with a few openings left in them. See which ones are right for you and contact me to see if it's a match.

Next time you think your business is only local, and someone from outside your region wants to buy something from you, you'll smile thinking back on this blog post, I'm sure.

Until next time,
Paulette - who wants you to have all that is available to you

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Booklets - I'll Get Around to It

  • "I've kept your information from when I attended a teleclass you gave ten years ago and I think I'm ready to do something now." (a real email that arrived this week)
  • "I couldn't attend your in-person seminar last year, but I've written a 48-page booklet about (fill in the blank) since then." (another real email that arrived this week from someone who has yet to invest in my materials that say a 16-page booklet is ideal)
  • "Have you changed your prices any this year?" (an annual email I get from a person who has yet to create a booklet to my knowledge, though keeps making reference to wanting me to edit one, annnnny day now)

What the heck are these people waiting for??? And if you recognized yourself in any of those questions, whether it was you or it was close enough to be you, what are YOU waiting for??? I mean seriously, really, what the heck are you waiting for???

I could see if you were insistent on writing a 300-400 page book. That can take you awhile, and doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. But 3,500 words on a topic about which you are passionate? You could do that in almost one sitting. In fact, some have!

Over the years, the reasons (aka excuses) have ranged from not having time, to having other priorities, to having no self-confidence that the information would be useful for anyone, to the dog ate my homework.

So here's the deal. Your booklet will not be perfect. It just won't, no matter what you do or how many sets of eyes review it. There will be things you've left out. There may be a typo. There could be a color on the cover that is slightly different than you wanted. And on and on. So what? Do you really think any of that matters? I promise you that it does not.

Then again, your booklet will be completely and totally perfect. There will be ideas in it that people find extraordinarily helpful. The booklet will open doors for sales of your other products and/or services. You will feel a sense of accomplishment that spurs you on to creating other products and developing other services and doing other non-booklet things in your life.

Get it?

So, when are YOU going to get around to it?

Until next time,
Paulette - who is oh so fond of course corrections, laughing at herself whenever she realizes it's warranted, and enjoying the fruits of her labors, some of which have included an "oops" here and there

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Booklets - You Look Marvelous

You may recall the American comedian, Billy Crystal (who I absolutely adore), doing a comedic bit years ago focusing around "It's more important to look good than to feel good," and a drawn out phrase he used, "Dahling, you look mahvelous."

What the heck has this got to do with booklets??? Well, while tips booklets don't have the same "cover facing out on the shelf" lofty visual requirements in sales environments that retail-sold books have, their appearance does matter to a decision maker.

Your content can be fabulous, highly useful, spot on the mark for being used as a promotional tool by a major company. And the cover and interior design and layout look shoddy and amateurish because you chose to cut corners and do it yourself rather than hire the services of a professional graphic designer for a few hundred dollars. Is that savings really worth the lost sales of many thousands of dollars??? I mean, seriously, really. Does that make any sense to you at all on any level?

There is such a wide range of graphic design services at just about any price level you can imagine. Within my own company, I utilize the services of several different professionals, based on some variables. The primary designer is Victoria Vinton at www.coyotepressgraphics.com She has done most of our booklet work for the past bunch of years. People love her work and love working with her. She presents your good information in a format that elevates it even higher.

Go out into the world looking as good as you can so the decision makers you approach echo Billy Crystal's thoughts that you and your client look mahvelous, and are happy to exchange their money for what you've got!

Until next time,
Paulette - who learned this one the hard way many moons ago