The Great Ideazine
     March 31, 2010Volume 9   Number 9   Issue 257     
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Introduction

Well, I managed to stay on topic for the third week in a row. I finish up the down and dirty methods this week.


Quick and Dirty Physical Products - Final

by Jim Green

The Full Business Budget

Outsourcing

You may be in a position to outsource a lot of the tasks. You can take advantage of the options given in a previous newsletter – no reason to spend more money than you need to, just because you can.

You'll need, of course, to weigh such factors as convenience, speed of production and expense.

Having a full business budget, you're at that happy place where you might want to consider outsourcing all or part of your physical product preparation.

Your best bet might be a product fulfillment service. Here’s a handy list of product fulfillment companies – and an overview of what you can expect them to cover. (Just don't forget to make sure you're left with a profit, once you start selling your product!) NOTE: The list was lost as part of my computer crash. I'll put it up when I re-find it.

Upgrading Your Equipment

But there are a few things you may wish to consider investing in, depending on what you're going to do, and how you're going to do it. A top of the line laser printer (super fast and print-house quality) might be one.

Here are a few others:

Screen Capture

Camtasia Studio - $299 The full version, with all the bells and whistles

Streaming Video Software

Instantvideogenerator – Allows you to create streaming video (as long as you have a web cam and microphone). It’s true you can't save it – but if you have the proper video editing software, you actually can capture it. Note: This software is $39.95 per month.

CD’s and DVD’s

Again, Kunaki is definitely an option, but you now have the luxury of checking out Lulu for CD/DVD production too. Both companies emphasize different elements, and work a little differently, so it’s really up to you.

Video Editing Software

Adobe Premier Elements – At $149.99, (currently thier web site shows a $30 discount available) it’s been rated as the most user friendly video editing software, with the capability to download and edit AVI, Windows Media, MPEGs and QuickTime files. It is a bit like Windows Movie Maker, however, in that depending on your computer and its age, you may have to save often, to avoid the occasional “freeze”. But definitely worth checking out.

Audio generation

Instead of settling for one of the older free versions of audio creation software, you might want to check out Sony’s products. For example, Acid Pro 7, retailing for $299.95, directly from Sony. (And you can download a free trial first, to try it out.)

Graphics

You can probably afford to hire a graphic designer or artist specifically for your project.

And if you can, you should. But watch out for those “graphic designers” who think that selling you a canned graphic with your book title Adobe Photoshopped in is “original art”. (I just had the unhappy experience of seeing one of my peers ripped off like that, paying custom-designed prices for untouched clip art.) Just check out their portfolio first. Make sure their style “gels” with your message and product. And that their work truly is unique.

Wrapping It Up

Well, there it is. This special report is not a complete “how to” by any means – but hopefully I've given you enough information to be able to visualize your physical product, and start checking out your options.

It’s really not as hard as you'd think to make the jump from digital to physical. Like any other marketing project, you need a plan, and you need preparation. And having the right tools, of course.

Oh. And there’s one last thing: Always make sure you provide…

Outstanding Customer Service

Practice this, and your subscribers will be eagerly awaiting your next physical product before you've put this one to bed!

Some “must have” tips in customer service, when supplying physical products…

Prompt shipping – that’s where companies like Lulu, Cafepress and Kunaki are really a godsend.

Email/Snail mail them a copy of their invoice with a hand-written sentence, thanking them for their purchase.

Prompt customer refunds and replacements (but most marketers find they have less returns with a physical product.

(And a product fulfillment service can handle customer service for you, if you have the budget).

BONUS SECTION: Off-line Tips For

Marketing Your Physical Product

You can still market your physical product on the net as enthusiastically as always – but remember, now that you have a physical product, there may be other ways to boost your sales.

Try promoting your book or CD (bring a boxful of copies) at your next business networking meeting.

Write a press release celebrating its “birth”.

Don't forget to contact your local radio, and see if you can get a guest spot to talk about your product.

Contact podcasters, and offer to be an interview guest.

Volunteer to be a guest speaker at local business events. Refer to your book (and have that box with you!)

Be ready to provide your own posters and signage, when speaking at events. (An 11” x 17” high quality printout, laminated and mounted on a display board is perfectly suitable.)

Make sure the image your book projects is reflected in your dress.

Create your own book signing. (And if the very thought of a book-signing frightens you to death, here are some tips to make sure it’s a solid success).

Create bookmarks to hand out for the people who sign age buy a copy at the event. (If you can, have them designed by a graphic artist, with a memorable quote from your book showcased – and your CD or book title and contact information discreetly worked in.

Bring a bottle of water to sip! It’s amazing how dry our throat gets when we talk solidly for more than a few minutes.

Do create as much “buzz” as you can locally before the signing.

Do call the local paper and ask them if they have anyone to cover the event.

Bring your press kit and lots of business cards.

Bring a cash tray with petty change, and a receipt book.

Talk to people. Ask them about themselves. (HINT: If you age the shy type, just start by making eye contact, smiling and saying a simple “hello”. Pretend that you are walking down the main street of the smallest town in the world.)

Invite people to come to the book signing! Anyone you know – minister, doctor, mailman, paperboy, the waitress at your favorite diner…

Don't stay behind a table. Get up and mingle.

Do bring promotional material.

Have plenty of spare pens – there’s nothing worse than having someone want you to sign the book – and discovering you Don't have a pen!

This one might seem obvious, but always thank the staff of whatever store or organization has arranged for your book signing.

And finally, have fun!

Good luck with your physical product!


Final Notes
from Your Faithful Editor

For a complete step by step video tutorial on domain flipping, including how to find good keyword domains, how to add value to your domains, and where and how to sell them for the highest price, check out 7DollarDeal.com.

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