Is there another way to woo and win clients, position yourself as an expert and get paid for it in the process?  Consider the humble self-published tips booklet.

What is a tips booklet?

  • Tips booklets educate a target audience with tips, techniques, or strategies.
  • Tips booklets have simple design, with minimal graphics, photos, and colors.
  • Tips booklets measure 3 ½” x 8 ½” and fit in a standard business envelope.
  • Tips booklets are 16 to 24 pages.
  • Tips booklets typically sell for $1 to $5.

“Tips booklets are an imaginative way to promote your business at low cost and high impact,” says Paulette Ensign, who has been dubbed the “Booklet Queen.”

As founder of San Diego-based Tips Products International, Ensign works with individuals and organizations to help transform their knowledge into tips booklets to use for marketing, motivating, and making money. Personally Ensign has sold almost 1 million copies of her booklet, “110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life,” without spending a penny on advertising. She has students who have now surpassed her own sales results.

“How many times have you heard the same sound bites come out of your mouth to your clients, prospects, and audiences, almost boring yourself to tears in the process?” says Ensign. “Imagine generating money directly from those pearls of wisdom that effortlessly trip off your tongue.”

Ensign offers the following 10 steps for getting paid for your tips:

  1. Capture those tidbits of information as soon as they come to mind. Jot them down in a notebook or get them into a Word document. They can be in a raw format, with just enough information to jog your thinking about what you mean. There will be time to refine them later.
  2. Let a couple weeks go by, allowing most of the information to surface in your thoughts. It rarely happens by declaring two hours on a Thursday afternoon to sit at your computer to think of it all.
  3. Refine and organize the tips. Divide them into categories and edit the text. Use a writing style similar to what you are reading here.
  4. Be sure to include your contact details so readers can easily reach you. Add a brief section about your background so people will know your qualifications for presenting the information.
  5. Hire a graphic designer to make the words look good on the page. Your completed product will be a tips booklet measuring about 3 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches when printed. The designer will create their part of the finished product as a PDF file.
  6. Send the PDF file from your graphic designer to a printing company. Do an initial print run of 1,000 copies.
  7. Think about who can benefit from using your booklet to promote their own product, service, or cause. Send them a sample of your booklet and a cover letter describing some of the ways they can increase their sales or further their cause by using your booklet as a promotional tool.
  8. Consider corporations, associations, publications, and any other group that seems appropriate for the topic of your booklet. Reach out to as many of them as you can, on whatever budget of time and money you have available to you.
  9. Realize that every time one of the large-quantity buyers sends out your booklet to promote their own product, service, or cause, they are also marketing your business. Your contact information in the booklet allows the reader to reach you directly.
  10. Enjoy the expansion of your customer base and your checking account. You are now reaching a larger audience than you are likely to do single-handedly, thanks to the large-quantity buyers of your booklet. And you have been paid by your buyers to reach those new people.

“Those sound bites you have been saying for years will now be reaching far beyond your current clients, helping your buyers, their clients, and your own business,” says Ensign.  “It doesn’t get any better than getting paid for your marketing materials.”

What do you think about the tips book idea?