Copyright 2006 Donna Gunter
I first heard of tips sheets and tips booklets from the author of Making a Living Without a Job, Barbara Winter, http://www.barbarawinter.com, a completely delightful writer and entrepreneur who aspires to have everyone create an inspired business. I then attended several teleclasses by the woman I consider to be the tips booklet queen, Paulette Ensign, http://www.tipsbooklets.com, where I fully understood the idea of how a tips booklet could help you leverage your expertise.
Ensign describes a tips booklet as a pamphlet-like publication that serves to educate a target audience with tips, techniques, or strategies. They typically have a fairly simple design and minimal graphics, usually measure 3 ½” x 8 ½”, and typically contain 16 to 24 pages.
If you’ve been thinking of writing a book, and feel that project to be overwhelming, a tips booklet can be the vehicle to become a published expert, instead. The publication of a tips booklet will help you promote your product or service, distribute value-added products, generate additional revenue, or become an established expert in your field. How do you decide on your topic? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
1. What are the biggest problems that your clients report having?
2. What are 10 solutions (or more) that you can write about which would help them deal with these problems?
3. What issues/problems do you commonly help clients with that appear to you as “common-sense” but in reality aren’t?
4. What result, or benefit, do you want the readers to experience as a result of reading your tips booklet?
5. Are there ancillary markets in the industry who can also benefit from this information, like manufacturers, suppliers or other kinds of distributors?
6. What kinds of stories or case studies do you have that can support your tips? I think people learn much from the stories we tell.
Now, how can you begin the writing process? First, start capturing those sound bytes of information that you tell over and over again to your clients over the next few weeks. You can jot them on a pad or note them in a Word doc in their raw state, or use a very cool outlining/notetaking program that I love called Evernote, http://www.evernote.com. Once you have written down a collection of tips, begin to organize and refine them. You may want to divide them into categories and elaborate or rewrite some of the initial tips you jotted down. Then you can hire a graphic designer to typeset the booklet for you, and you can make a decision to distribute it in PDF format electronically or have it published as a soft cover booklet.
Who’s going to receive your booklet? You can give it to or sell it to members of your target market, or send it to the media in a campaign to establish credibility with them in your target market. Your biggest bang for the buck, however, will be in licensing the content to corporations, associations, publications or any other group that might want to distribute the booklet to their client base. Any time you sell a large quantity of books, or license the content, you’ll be reaching a much larger audience than you could on your own, as they are also marketing your business with every booklet they distribute. You can sell an electronic version of your tips booklet at Paulette Ensign’s site, http://www.tipsbooklets.com.
Here’s the info on a great booklet of a client of mine, Certified Retirement Coach Lin Schreiber, http://www.revolutionizeretirement.com/tipsbooklet.htm. Lin has completed a media campaign and distributed the booklet and an introductory letter to members of the media who cover retirement issues. She also sells the tips booklet on her website, and we’re currently working together on a booklet licensing plan that will create a multiple profit center for her business as well as serve as a phenomenal marketing tool for her coaching services.
Become known an expert in your field by publishing a tips booklet. It’ll be a short-term project that will result in long-term rewards for your business.