Episode 77: How to Plan a Business Planner with Tammy Fink

December 28, 2020

In this week’s episode, Tammy Fink shares what goes into planning a business planner, the different uses for planners,  how they can enhance your customers’ experiences, and make you more money.

Resources mentioned

Website: www.bluewaterdesigns.biz

Planning the Planner Workshop

Coming soon! www.bestsellerbreakthrough.com/challenge

3 Key Points

Planners can enhance any program or be an upsell to a program.

You can start a planner any time of the year depending on what your goal is for the planner. Just leave it undated.

You need to have your planner done no later than September for a January release.


Hi and welcome to Episode 77. Today my guest is Tammy Fink. Tammy is a customer-experience consultant, author, speaker, who works with online businesses to create connections with their memberships, fans, and followers. She has over thirty years of experience working in marketing and graphic design and created her own business in 2004- that’s the year I created mine as well- Blue Water Design and Supply Company.

And I met Tammy because I was actually looking for somebody to talk about the topic that we are going to talk about today, which is writing a book that is a planner. So, welcome to the call, Tammy.

Tammy: Thank you so much for having me great.

Ellen: I’m excited because, I was really interested in having somebody come on to talk about this because we’re getting to the end of the year. There always people looking for planners at the beginning of the year, but also what I found out talking to you is it doesn’t have to be the beginning of the year, right?

[01:57] Tammy: No, it doesn’t. That is tends to be one of the times where people are really thinking about it. Getting ready to schedule their events or getting ready to lay out their entire plan for the year. So, that kind of gets into that New Year’s resolution piece, I think is really what catches us here. So, how did you get into this?

Tammy: Like I said, I’ve been doing graphic design for thirty years. I really started working with a lot of coaches and a lot of authors over the last five or six years. And what they wanted to do is figure out how they could make a bigger impact with their clients and their customers.

And so, we started looking at what kind of materials, what kind of items they could either sell, a lot of people come to me with that idea they want to sell a planner or do something that way. And what we found out was that it’s really more of an impactful piece if you can add it to maybe a program or something that you’re already doing and you’re using it as a training platform, as well as just kind of putting something together that you could do an upsell from say a book that you’ve written, maybe it’s a secondary piece that they could add

[03:11] Ellen: Well, what do you mean a training?

Tammy: Well, you know how people do workbooks?

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy: What we found out with the planners, and what my customers were wanting, was a way that their clients could make an impact on what they were learning, right? So, it’s getting their eyeballs on your materials every single day. So, it may be something that you’re trying to teach. Maybe you’re in health and wellness, or maybe you’ve written a book about a business proposal or what they need to do, connections. You want them to track how many connections they make a day, right? That might be something that you do. You can put that in a part of a planner, so that they’re looking at an outline every single day. So, it’s part of your training materials, right?

[03:55] Ellen: So, what’s the difference between a workbook and a planner then?

[04:00] Tammy: The planner actually will go through and help them to track what it is they’re doing over a period of time. And really it is that timepiece that most workbooks are missing, right? A workbook may help you go through the different things that you are you’re teaching, right? You’ll have chapters on different things and that’s part of the workbook and maybe you’ll deliver a speech or have part of your book, and then you’ll have an underlying part, right? where they fill in the blanks and that sort of thing. That’s kind of a traditional workbook with a planner. It’s actually figuring out what do they need to track throughout the day and be able to schedule. So, your program, right? unless you’re doing a program that lasts today, and then it’s done in two hours, a workbook might make more sense, but if you have a six-week program or a six-month program, this allows a checklist for people to see your materials.

Ellen: Oh, I see.

Tammy: And it goes for a time period.

[05:01] Ellen: Oh, that’s awesome. Okay. So, how do you create a planner?

Tammy: There’s a lot to think about. I put together…

Ellen: That’s another thing why I really want to talk about it cause people think, “Oh, you just make some lines.

Tammy:  Right. And you can, that’s called a notebook; it can be a journal, a fancy one’s called a journal, but basically what you’re looking for and what I, what I help my clients with is look at it from your client’s perspective first. Figure out what is it? Are you teaching mothers? Maybe your niche market is a mom group, right? So, the things that they do, they’ve got kids, that’s part of the thing. Now we’ve got homeschool on top of everything else; there’s all the different pieces and parts to it.

What are they doing throughout the day? Where are their timeframes that they’re going to devote to your program, right? Or, your training.  is it an hour a day or thirty minutes a day? Is it all day long? What does that look like? So, you have to start thinking about what it is that you want them to know and learn how they can check off the list.

[06:10]: Because at the end of the day, the planner, one of the nice things about a planner is that it’s a record, right? It’s a record of what they did all day long. And so, it is proof that your program works if they work the program. Or, if it’s part of your book that you’re putting together if they get to the end of your book, they can track these things, and then they can remember where they started and where they ended. So, all of those things, you want to bake into the planning.

So, what I tell my clients: make a list. Start with a list of the things that you want your people to track, or you want them to write about. Sometimes, they converted into a type of journal where you want to be able to write notes. Maybe they’re reading your book, right? And you’re wanting them, after this chapter you want them to have this concept, write their personal feelings, right? Whatever it is they’re planning for the future. So, you walk them through all of those pieces. You need to know that upfront before you even start laying out a planner,

[07:09] Ellen: So, you could have a workbook and a planner. You could have both.

Tammy: Absolutely, absolutely, and you can combine them. This is yours, you know? So, when you’re creating it, you can do things like if you’re in health and wellness or your book is about health and wellness, or you want to put that piece of it, maybe you need to track water usage. So, you actually do…we designed little icons of how many bottles of water do you drink a day?

Ellen: Oh, that’s a biggie. That’s a biggie that and exercise. Yeah.

[07:40] Tammy: And that falls into not just health and wellness, but let’s say you’re a business coach. Right? Remember, Oh my gosh. I said, as an entrepreneur, do we sit behind our desks all day long? How many times do we go get water? We look up and it’s three o’clock (and) we haven’t had lunch, right?

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy:  So, writers and stuff are that way too. That self-care is that a part of your program? And if it’s not, maybe you’re not worried about self-care, but maybe your clients are, right?

[08:10] Ellen: Yeah. So, how long does it take to create a plan or usually wait, when you work with them.

Tammy: It really depends where you’re starting from. Sometimes, by the time usually, my clients come to me, they have a rough idea on what they’re doing. Sometimes, they have it all laid out, sketched out on a bar, napkin, or whatever it is, they have the idea they’ve been dreaming of; they’ve looked at other people’s planners. Sometimes, I get that, like, I want a planner just like this. So, it is, it’s figuring out what that looks like. So, it could take anywhere in the concept of it several weeks in the design process, once you’ve kind of figured out what it is that you want. You figure out how long you want the planner to be, because you go to Walmart and you buy a ready-made planner, right? Or Hobby Lobby or whatever you’re doing that way. You’re probably going to get a twelve-month or an eighteen-month calendar, sometimes, they have a twenty-four months (one) , but you’re looking at all of those pieces.

[9:06] You really just need to come up with what are they going to do every day? What does each day just fit into the week? At the end of the week do you have something that you want them to tally up for the week that they’ve accomplished? You know? And then, you take that; there are fifty-two weeks in a year, so, you duplicate that. So, really you take it step-by-step and you look at your program or how much of the client journey are you going to go with them? How much do you teach, six weeks? And then, they continue for the rest of the year?

[09:39] Ellen: That was my next question. Let’s say it’s only twelve weeks or sixteen or whatever, but then you want them to track it for a year or…

Tammy: You can do that.

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy: You can that. Also, I’ve had clients that we do quarterly. So, we do quarterly and you can buy a second, third, fourth rendition of the same thing. And that way you can kind of go in and tweak it, you know? So, when I work with clients and stuff, when they come to me, we talk about how many they’re going to start with, right? We worked it out where we can do beta tests. So, maybe we do twenty-five planners, and then you test them with your groups, right? They get to play with them. You’re not buying…

Ellen: I like that. I like that. Yeah.

Tammy: Right. They’re not sitting in your garage.

Ellen: Right, right. The old garage tricks.

[10:22] Tammy: We don’t want them for Christmas.

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: But you can work with somebody that will help you through that part of it, looking at those twenty-five planners, test them out, find out what you love. The next time you run a secondary printing, a second edition, you can make the changes.

[10:40] Ellen: If you’re doing that, then, my next question is it doesn’t sound like you would put that on Amazon. It sounds like it would just be part of your program or would you also put them out separately?

[10:51] Tammy: You can, you can certainly put things out on Amazon. There’s the downside of doing straight with Amazon is this and this is what people will tell you is that they are Amazon’s customers at that point,

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: it’s Amazon’s customers. You don’t get to sell them a secondary, anything. That’s basically all…

Ellen: Well I have ways to get around that when I work with people.

[11:10] Tammy:  Right? And I’m sure you can help with that.

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy: Figuring out how do you make that next connection with them?

Ellen: Yeah, absolutely.

Tammy: Amazon isn’t bad because you can do certain number with Amazon, but you’re going to have to have it just like offering a book, right? If you decide that you’re going to add an additional chapter or you’re going to take something out, or, “We’re no longer listening to CD tapes,”

Ellen: Yeah, right, right.

Tammy: Or, you have to revise that, you have a new edition. So, there are new additions that you can do. And there are shorter periods of time. If you’re dealing with business people, business people deal in quarters,

Ellen: Yes. Ninety days.

Tammy: Everything is in quarters.

[11:46] Tammy: So, you can have a quarterly and it can be updated. That’s something that most people think that everything has to start with January one, right? And, that goes back to that’s how they market to us. (Inaudible) But realistically, you can have things that are undated that you can go in and start wherever you want to start. And some of those times that sometimes that makes perfect sense for people, just to be able to pick up and start whatever part of the program that you want to bring people in and for whatever length of time.

[12:18] Ellen: So, what else should I be asking you?

Tammy: There are things when you’re designing, you have the design part of it, and that’s the only part of the step. So that’s only the part, the beginning pieces. I know that I have some specifics, you know this is a hard-back cover plan.

Ellen: Oh, uh-huh.

Tammy: And so, this planner whatever, maybe black and white, black, and white is going to be less expensive than color pages, but maybe you do want some color pages. Maybe you want some places and stuff where (inaudible).

Ellen: That looks really nice.

[12:54] Tammy: You can add that in as well. You can have areas in your planner for creativity. Maybe creativity is part of who your client is.  And knowing who your clients basically are allows you to kind of come in and tweak this so that it means something. My products and stuff that I help clients put together, and it could be planners, it could be affirmation card decks, it could be anything that we come along and help to create another piece of the puzzle for you to make a connection with.

That’s kind of my sweet spot is helping you create those. Once that’s done, once that’s put together, and then you have to have these things printed, and you have to put it together. It can take six weeks just to get the hard-back covers done on your books. Now that would be outside. That’s the ones that I have I do in addition to. Amazon, you know I’ve done some of the Amazon stuff, the workbooks that they do the bindery and all of that. They’re not quite as fancy as what some of these are when you’re doing your own. I’ve done some phenomenal books and stuff. We’ve put together some pieces that you can go in and still do add some of the same features in Amazon and test it there.

[14:00] Ellen: Well, who’s your favorite publishers then to do these with, do you think they should go local or do you have specific ones that you recommend?

Tammy: The thing I like about local that you go and have something printed at UPS. That’s always an option. It’s going to be expensive. I’ve gone in and been shocked. just when I’m looking for something, it’s like, “I need something really quick. I’m going to a conference. I need to have this printed out.” Some of them, they’ll do spiral binding like that, but you’re may spend $60 or $70 having this thing printed. And it’s one.

Ellen: Oy!

Tammy:  It can be crazy expensive when you’re…

[14:36] Ellen: Yeah. That won’t work. Well, it might work if you have an expensive program.

Tammy: It will work for you to be able to edit your own stuff, to be able to take notes with, to be able to change things up, look at how it’s going to react. I’m all for that. That one-off and stuff, spend the money; do that because, a lot of times, if you’re going to find mistakes, that’s when you’re going to find the mistakes, right?

Ellen: That’s when you want to find the mistakes, yeah.

Tammy: That when you want to find the mistakes, for sure. And then, like I said, the secondary part of that is can you put together and do twenty-five of these. Like I said, you may do that beta test with a group, people that you know and like and trust.

[15:12] Ellen: And if you don’t want to spend $70 on the twenty-five, where do you go?

Tammy: If you don’t what I mean, there’s going to be local printers and stuff that you can do. So, you get out of paying shipping or doing anything that like, I have the sources that I use because I’m in the printing industry and stuff. The sources that I put together and stuff are people that I vetted for years and stuff. And I have that wholesale accounts with. So,  those are the kinds of things, the relationships that I feel

Ellen: Oh, so they can get a cheaper when they go through you.

Tammy: They can get it cheaper. If they can go through me, we can go through and put together the best, best prices and stuff. That way there’s more and more online printers and stuff that you can do yourself. You’re going to end up with those pieces. Then you’ve got 25 of them. You’ve got to get rid of, you’ve got to stick in the mail. You’ve got to do all of that part. We offer sources and stuff that we’d do all the resourcing. So, we do all the warehousing and order fulfillment and all of those pieces for you, so that you’re not doing that yourself. But if you want to, you need padded envelopes, you need the things that you need to do him hand address, or be sure that you hand mail all of the pieces that you’re going to have to be sending out, and then get feedback from your clients.

Don’t just send it out there and let it go find the good, the bad, the ugly, all of those pieces, you want to be sure and get that feedback because this is going to be something that’s a part of your program, a part of your upsell, whatever that looks like. You want to be sure that it’s good and quality, not only quality printing and all of that, which is like some in the backside, but you want to be sure that they can follow things.

Ellen: Yes.

[16:48] Tammy: We’ve seen it that it doesn’t like, Oh, all of a sudden, it doesn’t make sense for you to do these things. You strip out ten pages that you didn’t even need to do because they’ve already done it somewhere else in the workbook or in the planner.

Ellen: Right, or people think that it’s clear and it’s not clear to other people it’s clear to you. And so, that’s why a lot of times when I’m working with somebody and I’ll say to them, “Well, what does this mean?” And they go on a long explanation of what it means. And I go, “People do not have cliff notes when they go to Amazon or wherever they’re going to get this thing. And you’re not there to explain it to them. It has to be easy to follow.” That’s super important, no matter what you’re doing, what kind of book you’re writing.

[17:28] Tammy: No. And I think that is one of the things I think people do miss on this.

Ellen: Yeah. It’s easy for most people in the miss, yeah, because they, like I said, it’s in their brain a certain way and they know it. So, it doesn’t always compute to what’s on the paper.

Tammy: No. And I think that, that is one of those things that as we’re looking at, right? Where can you make your missteps? That’s the part that you can figure out. You’re an expert in your field, but you’re not an expert when it comes to putting this down on paper and getting people to follow it. So, maybe you’re not a good teacher. It’s some people have that. Some people have that gift of being able to teach and discern what needs to be learned at what point. That’s a great place to be, but you may not have that skill. And then there’s the production. We do welcome boxes for clients and stuff. I don’t know if you’ve seen where you can include, maybe you’re going to include your book and the workbook and that sort of thing. Okay,

[18:22] Ellen: Nice. Oh, I love that.

Tammy: But we, we create the boxes, dealing with the box companies. If you’ve not put together a box and you understand how all the pieces do to design the box, you’re going to need to work with a designer. You’re going to need to work with somebody who has that understanding some stuff, you can just do and take to ups and they’re doing a beautiful job with it. But there’s going to be specific other pieces that you have to know how to do it. I get clients coming to us sometimes with Canva, right?

I love Canva, huge fan of Canva, but there are some places that Canva does not lay out a book very well. There are some places and stuff where it really makes sense to work with somebody who can put it together so that you’ve got all your bleeds. You’ve got all of the printer things that you have to do, all the cropping and all of that, that they know how to do that. It’s their zone of genius.

Ellen: Right, right.

Tammy: So, let them do the things that they do well, and you come along and figure out, “Does this work?” And then, like I said, put it out there and then hush. Let people tell you, or ask them the questions. Don’t tell them what they need to learn, but find out what they’re learning and planning from your information. And that’s how you know.

[19:30] Ellen: Yeah. And get your ego out of it because people are going to tell you stuff. And I’m telling you, even when I’ve done things where it’s basically really good. There is always somebody who has to tell you something negative.

Tammy: Yeah.

Ellen: And that’s a good thing. But one of the things that I always talk about is how to discern when to listen and when not to listen to what people say. And for instance, I used to be in the music business and we wrote this song that radio said was a hit record. And  everywhere we would go, every A and R person would say, “That word sticks out to me.” There was one word they didn’t like it was too high-faluting for them, and I hated to have to take it out. But at some point, I said, “Oh, look, do you want to get a cut or do you want to stay attached to this word?” And finally, I took it out. If you get the same criticism over and over, the same feedback over and over, then you really have to take it seriously. If you have some crackpot who just loves to say negative stuff-next!

[20:35] Tammy: Well, and it is. And it maybe here’s the deal that I always tell people, you may or may not want to ask your mother to read this.

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy: Because you’re going to have either one of those mothers who never has anything positive to say and all it’s going to be is junk or who do you think you are, or you’re going to have the mother that says everything you do is wonderful.

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: And so, pick who you listen to as you kind of go through this, listen to your end-user, listen to your client.

Ellen: Your ideal clients.

Tammy: Your ideal clients, because that’s who you want to attract. And that’s everything from color to the design copy, who are these people and who are you attracting? As entrepreneurs, people starting off, I hear this and,I think it’s the same way, in the book industry and stuff as well is who are you writing for? Right? Who is your audience? And who is that person? You need to know that. And by the time you’re done with the book, you better know that-at least have it.

[21:28] Ellen: You better know before you write the book.  That’s one of the things I always tell people is you’ve got to know who you’re writing it for and what their problem is before you write your book.

Tammy: Yes. And like I said, color makes a big deal and you have designers and stuff. There’re things we live in color, right? We live in design stuff. We dream in Photoshop. I mean, there’s all of the things that we put together with this. When you work with a designer, they have that expertise that you may not have. But it is at the end of the day, still, even about the designers, they need to attract, be attracting your ideal client, your ideal customer with the box, with the planner, with the book cover, all of those things factor in.

Ellen: Right, because even if they’ve already bought a program, you can still get refunds.

[22:12] Tammy:  Always.

Ellen: So, how much does the box run?

Tammy: The boxes, depending on again, I work with people that do small runs and stuff on the boxes. We can design one box; it’ll be forty bucks, to design a box, to put a box together. So, you get one box forty bucks, but you get to take pictures with it and you get to do all the things, and play with it and stuff to see if it’s, if your book’s going to fit in a, if the t-shirt that you want to have in it, if all the things that you do, we design that into the original box.

[22:40] Ellen: Do you do that as well? T-Shirts and other mugs and that kind of…

Tammy:  Absolutely. I do. What my specialty in this is figuring out those connection pieces. So, you have an audience, you have the people that maybe you have a membership. Sometimes, they have memberships and stuff that are involved, or you have your communities. We figure out how to help you bridge that gap between in real life and in-person, so it is about putting boxes together, things they get in the mail. It’s about making those connections, not only with the planners and the journals and those… I was going to show you this too. This is a journal that you can have done or whatever. And we can customize the printing and stuff on the leather. This is leather and, oh my gosh.

Ellen: Nice, nice.

Tammy: Smells so good. But you can do covers for this, and then we can design the books that this one shows blank pages, but we’ve designed the books and stuff that go inside of these covers.

Ellen: Oh, uh-huh.

[23:35] Tammy: Right. And put together for those so that you have the journals that have the writing prompts, you have the different things that follow along with what you’ve already created, right?

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: So, it’s an upsell or it’s an extra, extra piece to it that makes it a little bit more special and a little bit more custom. So, creating unique customer experiences, that’s the specialty with it. And that’s everything from t-shirts and things that are really going to connect. If you can get in their closet, if you’re going to get in their kitchen, if you can get on their desk, those are the things where…

[24:08] Ellen: Is that a lot more with like events? You know, even though they’re online now, like I’ve gone to a couple of events where they send us a box and it’s got a whole bunch of stuff in it. And on some of this stuff is from the creator of the event, but then they also have sponsors. And then, they have a lot of little things in there from different sponsors too, as well.

Tammy: And some of that, like I said, some of that is fun. This is like, once a lot of times in those scenarios, you’re going to see a lot of swag.

Ellen: Yeah, right.

Tammy: You’re going to see a lot of things with their logos on it. But I tell you, if you can design, if you can work with somebody to put together something that actually speaks to your clients, I’ll tell you one of my favorite stories that I absolutely love was with a client that we worked with where her ideal clients were moms, right? And we know with moms, we give it all. We do all the things. We do everything for all the kids. We get the last piece; it’s never about us first. We send out (to) her clients, chocolate chip cookies, they got one chocolate chip cookie that came to them in the mail that they didn’t have to share with anybody.

[25:12]: So that’s the wow. And that’s like, “Oh my gosh, you’ve seen me.” Right?

Ellen: Right, right.

Tammy: It didn’t have to do with her brand. It didn’t have her logo on it. It was something that spoke to the mom who said, “She gets me.” Right? It builds a better connection. So, building those pieces like with your planners, it’s not just about buying a planner at Walmart-here’s a planner we’ll stick in a box for you to use. It’s about taking them along this journey, creating the storyline, creating the journey and the pieces and parts that help build higher retention. It gives them something they’re more accountable to. And at the end of the day, it gives them a jumping-off point where they can say, “I succeeded in finishing this.”

[25:56] Ellen: Right. Well, let me ask you one question to get back to the planner.

Tammy: Sure.

Ellen: So, we’ve talked a lot about using a planner that’s part of a program, but let’s say somebody just wants to create a planner, right?

Tammy: Just to create a planner?

Ellen: Like I have nine books I think now. And if, I wanted another one and I wanted it to be a planner.

Tammy: Okay.

Ellen: And I’m not really thinking about tying it to a course, but it kind of goes more to everything I do because they’re all related anyway. Right? So, do you have any tips about that before we start wrapping up?

[26:29] Tammy: Again? I think you have to look at who your client is. Who’s, who’s going to be that end-user, is it male? Is it a female? Is it gender-neutral? Whatever those pieces look like. What about your programs are you wanting them to connect all the pieces? Why is this a piece that they need to buy? Maybe there’s things that you can add to it that make it special, right? These are unique. What we call unique client experiences. We want the readers of your book to buy this additional book, right? That’s the overall goal.

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: And for them to be able to tie it all together. So, my…

[27:00] Ellen: Well, let me interrupt you for one minute, which is, and also to say, like, if you’ve got other books, and then in the back of the book, you say, “Check out my other books,” and one is a planner, that could be like a really thing like, “Oh,” because that’s not just like all the other ones that are training books.

Tammy: Exactly. Exactly.

Tammy: And with that, I would go undated because you don’t know when somebody is going to buy it.

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: And you can do it more than once a year. I would go undated with it. I would also tell you, as you’re putting it together, use maybe excerpts from your other books. How brilliant is that right?

Ellen: Yeah.

Tammy: Do quotes out of your other books. Notate that’s where that book, because maybe they’ve missed a book. Maybe they haven’t bought one, two, three, four, five, just down the road like you want it. So, maybe you have it, part of that. Maybe you have notes. You have areas in there for them to take notes on your other books or on your other programs, things that they’re going to want to remember. Maybe they buy the first book and they buy the secondary planner so that they can start down the process.

[28:02] So then, the next book makes sense the next quarter, the next month. Whatever ones you’re talking about, maybe you added in that way. The overall idea is to help your readers, right? at this point. You’re helping your readers to enjoy more of the pieces of the things that you’re teaching and training on. And then, as you’re putting it together, help them to discover right? a little bit about themselves in what you’re doing. And that makes it personal, so, you’re building that connection, you’re building that wow factor for them, because then maybe later on you include it as part of a three-book series and the planner, right? But you’re constantly planning for other things. You’re constantly putting a little bit of seed in that, so that they’re following you along on their customer journey.

[28:51] Ellen: I love that. That’s why I was so excited to talk to you. This is awesome. Okay. So, any final tips before we go?

Tammy: I think, again, if you’re wanting something that starts off at the beginning of the year, most people miss this part because we get excited, right? Usually, about Thanksgiving, people start getting excited.

Ellen: Right.

Tammy: And there are some planner people, do you know that there are planner conventions? I mean, people are crazy about their planners. I’m not even, I mean, it is amazing when you start looking at it, all of the different planner stuff is just absolutely crazy. People love their planners. So, start thinking early. Like if you’re going to design a planner, especially a dated planner, you need to be thinking about this in July. And that’s not when people think about it.

Ellen: Right

Tammy: In July, people just don’t think about that stuff, but that is when you need to start planning for it so that you’ve got plenty of time to promote it, to get it out there, to do for the first of the year. If you don’t do it that way, like I said, you want to come along later on, you’ve probably got at least a two- to three-month lead time on production of a big planner. Some of them we can do. I mean, digital technology is phenomenal. At this point, you can do print on demand. You can…

[30:06] Ellen: So, you got to be done by September. period, either way, if you start in July or August, you want to be done at least by the end of September, yeah.

Tammy: Absolutely. Because otherwise, like I said,  if you do a hard cover and that’s just at that particular binding and that particular company that I know, for sure, six weekly time from the time you’re finished, and that’s the cover, everything;  that’s all of it together and you send it to them; ou don’t see it again for six weeks.

Ellen: Yeah. Okay. Well, that’s good to know.

[30:34] Tammy: And that’s, if they’re not busy, and guess when they’re busy? At the end of the year, when nobody’s thought all this through, and then all of a sudden,

Ellen: Of course.

Tammy: You’re not to go through. So, plan it early. I think that’s probably my biggest tip is plan it for that. Look for professional people that you can work with that have those extra insights that have built those relationships. That’s going to be the easiest way to save the money-that’s something you need to.

Ellen: Go see Tammy!

[30:59] Tammy: Yeah. We’ll have some coffee. I love that. But it is one of those things that as you’re putting it together, look for people that you can collaborate with. Look for other people who’ve done it before you. Right. And think about your end-user. We talk about, I’ve got that. I’ve got the planning, your own planner course and the one thing.

Ellen: Yes. And I’m going to give them a link to that in a minute. So, tell them a little bit about that but we’ve got a wrap it up. Yeah.

 Tammy: Maybe women want to put it in their purse. So, you need to decide that that’s the size that you want to do. If your clients are teachers, teachers want the really big ones that go on the desk that are huge. So, there’s all sorts of different things that you have to really consider with your end-user in mind before you start.

[31:41] Ellen: Okay. Well, she’s got a workshop called Planning your Planner Workshop, and you can find at http://ellenlikes.com/planner-workshop And of course, that will be in the transcript notes. Okay? So, thank you. This is eye-opening.

Tammy: Thank you!

Well, that’s it for today to get the transcript go to https://booksopendoors.com/podcast. You’ll also find the link to our Facebook group on that page. And I’m also very excited to tell you that I’m going to be doing my first challenge ever. It’s the five-day bestseller breakthrough challenge, planning your book from idea to outline for more impact and bigger profits. And that will be starting on January 11th. So, mark your calendar it’s free and it’s going to be awesome to sign up for the challenge. Go to www.bestsellerbreakthrough.com/challenge that’s bestsellerbreakthrough.com/challenge to get into the challenge. Okay.

So also, you’ll find on the podcast page, as I said, there’s the transcript and all of the notes and links and Facebook group. And there’s also a guide there. If you are looking to start a book or have written books and just want to do it faster and easier, be sure to pick up your own copy of the Book Planning Secrets, The simple 4-Step Guide to Writing a Bestseller. So that’s it. Til next time. See you next year. Bye-Bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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