Next 10 Ways (2)
- Write a pocket guide
- Produce a poster
- Produce a calendar (or other dated material)
- Produce a coffee cup, pen, or other knickknack
- Write special reports
- Write e-ports
- Record audio reports
- Produce video reports
- Audio record to a physical medium
- Video record to a physical medium
A manual doesn’t have to be big to be profitable. “Pocket guides” are typically sold for only a few dollars, but you’re likely to sell a lot more pocket guides than manuals, so your profit will probably come from quantity sales.
That brings us back to the idea of “writing a book for organizations to give away.” It doesn’t need to be a book. Selling a pocket guide in quantity to an organization can be just as lucrative as selling a book. Don’t limit yourself.
Since we’re considering printed materials other than the traditional book, let’s note that selling posters — especially motivational posters — can be very profitable for speakers. Although people usually think of “posters” as a square meter (or yard) or so in size, you can sell people anything from an index card-sized mini-poster to a large, framed wall hanging.
And, as before, don’t limit yourself to selling them to individuals. Companies may want to buy your posters in quantity.
One characteristic of “posters”, regardless of their size, is their relative timelessness. A motivational poster doesn’t really go “out of date” very fast.
The same can’t be said for calendars and other “dated” items. Now the drawback to such items is that any dated items that you don’t sell within your “window of opportunity” become worthless, so you have to be very careful with your inventory control.
On the other hand, the great thing about dated materials is that when they expire after someone has purchased them, your customers are likely to want to buy new ones! This doesn’t apply only to calendars — lots of items, from lists of rules and regulations to technical manuals, can expire quite frequently. Re-sales can be even more profitable than first sales.
Your products don’t have to especially relate to your message. For instance, you can put your logo or your catchphrase on a coffee mug or pen; but you can also use a generic motivational phrase (like “carpe diem”).
While using your own brand is preferable for marketing purposes, if you’re looking for increased income, don’t worry about what you want to say… instead, think about what your customers want to hear (or read). Then put it on something that people need, and sell it to them.
Special reports (sometimes called “white papers”) have been a popular sales item for speakers for decades, and they’re still popular today. Many people are short on time, so they appreciate a tightly focused report on a single topic. Typically sold for $1 to $2 per page (and costing only pennies per page to print), special reports can be a high-profit item in a speaker’s product line.
If you haven’t noticed, the Internet has changed almost everything. In the case of special reports, the Internet has changed them from a popular BOR (back of the room) item to an instantly-available electronic special report (e-port, for short).
They’re even cheaper to produce than paper-based reports, and because they’re “shipped” electronically, they’re not limited to BOR sales. If special reports can be described as high-profit items, then e-ports are mega-profit items.
But the Internet supports more mediums than just text….
Instead of typing an e-port to be read by your customer, you can record an audio report to be listened to by your customer. For speakers wishing to showcase their speaking voices or styles, this is a perfect product!
And audio reports lead us naturally to….
Rather than recording an audio report to be heard by your customer, why not produce a video report to be heard and seen by your customer? Video reports used to require a studio and expensive equipment to produce, reasonably good-quality v-ports can now be inexpensively produced by anyone.
But the fact that the Internet is powerful and convenient doesn’t mean that it’s the only way to go. You can record your audio report to a CD or memory stick instead of making it available via the Internet. (Of course, you could also do both!)
Physical items typically sell better BOR than downloadable electronic items, so it is definitely worth considering burning your audio reports to a physical medium also.
Of course, if CDs are good for audio, DVDs are good for video. While on-liine video reports are a terrific way to provide visual material to remote customers, DVDs and other physical products oftentimes sell better BOR.