In Part 2 of this interview with tips expert, Paulette Ensign, you’ll discover how to write tips for maximum leverage and how to find the best opportunities to sell them. This two-part interview is gold for experts and authors who want to reach a bigger audience and/or make good money from their writing. It’s advice you can also use to sell more books too!
Contact Paulette Ensign
3 Key Points
Hi and welcome to Episode 102 of the Books Open Doors Podcast.
Today I’m back with Paulette Ensign and we’re going to be talking some more about creating booklets. So, let’s do this!
Music: Welcome to the Books Open Doors Podcast. Are you a mission-driven speaker, coach, consultant, thought leader, creative entrepreneur, or author who wants more credibility, financial abundance, and wants to make a bigger impact in the world and leave a lasting legacy, and who wants to have fun doing it? Then stay tuned for today’s inspiring podcast with your host, Ellen Violette.
[0:41] Ellen: We’re back. So, if you’re just joining us, let me tell you about Paulette Ensign. She is the founder of Tips Product International. She helps subject-matter experts like you convert your knowledge and content into cash, online and offline, as new and unique income streams, marketing tools, or both, with less attachment to your calendar and clock. If you missed part one of this interview, you can find it at https://booksopendoors.com/podcast/booklets.
[01:16] Ellen: We just talked about how companies will buy huge quantities of your booklets and that people need to think bigger. So, let’s listen in.
Ellen: I think a lot of times solopreneurs and small business owners are intimidated at going to big companies. And I love that you did that and that people can see that it’s doable, that you can just see-
Paulette: Not only is it doable, but the thing that I found that was so crucial in that, because as I said to you, I was one of those who was afraid to contact corporations. In fact, one day I thought that I was going to reach out to Staples marketing department because so much of what I had really was ideal for them. And I had phone paralysis for about three hours. I kept going to the next to the last digit of the phone number. I could not get … Wait, this is going to be a laughable story in a second. Finally, I uttered some words to myself that I wouldn’t necessarily (say) in polite company and I let it go through. That person was not in the office that day.
Ellen: Of course.
Paulette: So, that was the cosmic joke right there. And from that point on, I realized they all put their pants on the same way we all do.
Ellen: Right. I’ll too, I go through that. It’s like sometimes when I go, okay, it’s time to do outreach, and there are certain people I’m very comfortable reaching out to, I’ve known them a long time. And then there are other people where I feel exactly like what you just said.
[02:56] Paulette: Yeah Well, the point here is that it’s important to realize that there’s a lot of things that fall into our lap and that we could easily not notice. In the old days, when direct marketing was a big thing, and it’s starting to come back a little bit now, I don’t know if you recall getting those shrink-wrapped plastic packages of cards that were highly focused.
And because I was an organizer and my name showed up places, I would get them that would include all kinds of manufacturers and retailers of office supplies. And it was also before the days of unlimited long-distance phone calls. So, I would open these packages that were very targeted, and I would call on that company’s 800 number. And I would go to the department that was responsible for whatever product was being promoted on that card. Now that was leads being delivered at no cost to me.
[04:06] The way that I got the consumer mail order catalog company was that was a corporate member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. At one of our conferences, I walked up to their representative, who happened to be the son of the owner of the company and let him know what I had. And he was speaking New Yorkese, which I’ve been known to do in the past. And he was going as fast as he possibly could, and he’s giving me all this information. This is great. You should license us. I don’t know, quarter of a million copies, somewhere between a nickel and a dime a unit. This would be great. That was a lot of valuable information. I went to him at seven and a half cents a unit. He countered with a nickel a unit or no sale. And I said, a nickel a unit times 250,000 copies, $12,500. Yeah, that works. And we did it.
[05:08] So, there’s a lot of information that is given to us as a content owner that puts us in very favorable positions to approach prospects. It’s a matter of being attentive, to listen, to look, to notice things, to see how they can be converted into an opportunity. And that doesn’t happen overnight. Like anything else, it’s a matter of educating ourselves to pay attention to things that we might not have otherwise. Who’s already buying full-page advertising in a magazine? Who’s already spending the money to get that visibility, to get that exposure? That’s an important awareness.
Ellen: It really is. Yeah, it doesn’t matter how great what you’re selling is if you don’t have people with the money to buy it. And especially as you scale, because when you start, this is my experience. When you start, it’s easy, your prices are really low, anybody can get in, and as you add value and as you get better at what you do and you get more confidence, you have to change who your market is.
Paulette: Yep. Exactly.
Ellen: And you then have to keep changing your thinking, to think bigger and bigger to get those bigger opportunities.
Ellen: Well, that’s why my company is Books Open Doors, but then you have to walk through the door. And a lot of that is mental.
[06:43] Paulette: I’ll tell you one other thing, and I know you and I have discussed this in the past, at some point, I noticed about the collaborative books that have become so popular. And I did a bunch of those in the booklet format, where I have fourteen people who in some way, whether it’s the theme of the booklet or whether they’re coming from the same industry or profession, different aspects, different kinds of service providing provision. And I did this about ten or twelve years ago, and I wasn’t charging a lot for it. My confidence was where it was. And when people would say that it would take them a few months to gather together a few hundred dollars. I let it die a natural death. Well, about three months ago, I thought to myself, let me take this back out of the vault.
And I expanded what the offer is. And I bumped the price up and I made it into a very respectable joint-venture product, where I could give a substantial revenue share to anybody who wanted to partner with me on it, where all they needed to was bring together fourteen people, and my company does all of the rest of it.
Well, what’s so fascinating about it is, it becomes a 14-person team of people who are promoting everybody in the booklet. And I’ve gotten quite positive feedback from people about it. So, while some folks are concerned, they might not have fifty-two tips, or they may not have at this moment, the wherewithal financially to do that, there’s other options. And here we go.
[08:38] What’s a starting point? Any of our listeners who might be interested in doing that, you’ll definitely find information on my site, which is tipsproducts.com. And I’m always happy to talk with folks to answer additional questions. So again, I’m walking my talk here about providing choices, yet not so many that it becomes overwhelming.
[09:05] Ellen: That’s great. So now, there might be some people who are just uncertain about how to write their tips. So, can you tell them how you would write them? Is there a certain way that you do that?
Paulette: There is, and I’m so glad you asked. I have gotten the formula down to a very manageable bit of information and it goes like this: start the first sentence with a positive verb, an action word, telling the reader or listener what to do. A second sentence explains why or how with a total maximum of fifty, 5-0, words for both sentences.
Now, Ellen, that formula was an example of a tip and was only thirty-three words. Less is more and serves as an appetizer to wet the appetite, to be hungry for the main course, which is more information, once the simple and easily digestible tip has been consumed. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, there’s many ways a tip like what I just read, and the one I gave earlier, can be delivered, which we can explore, and we have touched upon. We can explore when someone is interested in creating tips for themselves.
[10:29] If you find yourself starting a tip with the word don’t or avoid-
Ellen: Yeah, don’t.
Paulette: Ask yourself what you want the reader or listener to do. So, you can flip it around. Anybody who’s had challenges with their weight, for instance, it’s very clear what not to eat. And if that’s your expertise, your area of expertise, when you start a lot of things with “don’t” and “avoid”, you’re leaving the recipient of that information eating dirt, because you haven’t shared with them what to do. That’s a pretty extreme example that I think a lot of people can relate to, which is why I pull that one up.
And the thing too is giving people so much information that they’re overloaded is not doing them the service that you intend, which is why a booklet can be a terrific marketing tool and companion piece, bonus if you will for all of those folks who have written books already, who are thinking about writing a book, a booklet of fifty-two tips can be an excellent skeleton, an outline to then flesh out for a book that you feel you want or have to write.
[11:50] Ellen: Yeah. My book, where is it? Let’s see … My book, this book, 21 Simple Strategies to Jumpstart Your Book Marketing Online. You could easily call it 21 Simple Tips.
Paulette: Yep. Absolutely.
Ellen: And it’s the same idea and these are really easy to write. I wrote it in three days.
[12:09] Paulette: Yeah. Yeah. Well, here’s a couple of three examples of booklets and these booklets printed, are four by nine, fit in a number ten envelope. This is a booklet written by a physical therapist about managing knee pain, which lots of folks who are contemporaries of mine and yours are dealing with. And even age is not an issue. This can be for high school athletes. So, how to manage knee pain before considering injections or surgery. I have another person who’s a financial planner, who wrote The Prosperity Project and he is in the process of writing a book.
However, for anybody who doesn’t know anything about managing their money, doesn’t have anything to do with your intelligence. It’s just a topic that you just haven’t learned about yet. Last one that I’m showing you as an example, Travel Balance, 52 Tips to Stay Energized, Healthy, and Balanced While You Travel. This works for professional salespeople who are traveling a lot, or at least in the past and we’ll see what happens in the future. It also serves a person very well, who is an avid leisure traveler, and that traveling a lot can really wreak havoc on your health.
[13:41] Ellen: So, let’s pivot to books now. What would you tell people who are thinking about writing a book?
Well, Ellen, that is a great segue from what we’ve been talking about, about booklets. The first and most important thing that I would tell someone thinking of writing a book is to get clear on your reason for wanting to write a book. If it’s to make lots of money from the book itself, well, there are ways to do that, some of which you may not have considered, like selling the book in large quantities to decision-makers at companies and associations rather than, or in addition to, bookstores online or offline.
Paulette: Those large quantities are used as promotional tools that bring new income to the company or association who’s buying from you and can also be used for professional educational uses by those organizations, letting you help more people at a time than selling a single copy to one end user at a time.
[14:46] Ellen: Right. Exactly. Which is what we talked about, yeah. So, do you ever sell a book with a tip booklet too?
Paulette: Yes, I do. Absolutely I do. And what has happened also, that sometimes the company will buy booklets first just to test out what the content is and that whets the appetite of what the information is about. And then they come back to that decision-maker and says listen, our budget is able for us to buy books from you. Or if you want Ellen to give us some kind of a webinar, we can tag the book onto that.
[15:34] Or, if you are somebody who likes to come and speak live, any of those are among the possibilities. Plus, we’ve also got the PDF of the book. So, we’ve got a lot of ways that we, we can help your marketing and your promotional departments in ways that you might not have thought about, whether it’s hard copy of the book, PDF, as an add on or as a bonus to promote anything that you are doing within your company.
[16:07] Ellen: Well, this has been really great. Why don’t you tell people how they can reach you?
Paulette: Yes, they can reach me a variety of ways, tipsproducts.com, and on there, you will find all the contact information of my phone. You also will find my calendar where you can go in and schedule a brief discussion with me by phone or Zoom. I am in sunny San Diego, as I know that you are as well, Ellen. So that’s Pacific time zone, and I keep hours that are Monday to Friday, [9:00] to [5:00] Pacific.
And the reason that I do that, just wondering, is I live alone, work alone, and really do self-care by regenerating my energy in the evenings and the weekends. And I found that if I did not do that, I’ve made mistakes, I’d be resentful and God don’t like ugly, you know? So, I definitely subscribe to the concept of, I want to bring you my very best version of who I am. And that happens Monday through Friday [9:00] to [5:00] Pacific, tipsproducts.com. Thank you, Ellen, so much, for your interest in helping me share this information with your followers.
[17:33] Ellen: Oh, it’s my pleasure. I just want to say, my hat’s off to you because mine is [11:00] to [5:00], and if somebody needs to get with me in the morning hours, I will accommodate people, but I leave the mornings for me for that reason. I didn’t always do that, but I learned the hard way that it’s really important.
Ellen: Okay. I added her, guys. I outed her.
Paulette: I want to sound intelligent as possible with just following themselves. At any rate, yeah, that’s the amount of time that you and I both have realized we are at our best.
[18:27] Ellen: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much.. Okay, well that’s it for today. To get the transcript go to www.booksopendoors.com. If you want to write your own book or write books faster or easier, be sure to pick up the Rockstar Author’s toolkit. It’s got three checklists in it for writing, doing your titles, and the 21 Simple Strategies to Jumpstart your Book Marketing Online, which is the companion to the book and also the Kindle planner. So, that’s it for now.
Till next time. Bye-bye.
Music: You’ve been listening to the Books Open Doors podcast, with your host, Ellen Violette. If you’d like to connect with other mission-driven speakers, coaches, consultants, thought leaders, founders, creative entrepreneurs, and authors who are changing the world one book at a time, join us in the Books Open Doors community at facebook.com/groups/booksopendoors. Let’s rock your business with books.
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