Discovery, How To & Tutorials, Marketing, Opportunity

The Secret Ingredient To Making Your Low Content Book Publishing Work

99% of low content publishers miss this simple step.  It’s easily the strategy that will cause your business to thrive.

Miss this and you risk becoming a slave to the upload and upload and upload again and again grind before you fizzle up and die trying to make it work.

The benefits of being able to communicate with your customers is key if you want to grow your business. Find your ideal customer and serve and serve and serve. And you will be rewarded proportionally to your effort.

But what about those you know you could help but for whatever reason they hesitate to purchase?

In this video I share how digital designs can be used in lead generation and helping the side-liners bet to know, like and trust you and find an easier way to make a buying decision for your products.

Here’s an example of my lead generation. https://gumroad.com/l/cTkHzq

It’s a powerful, easy to consume report that the reader can immediately turn around and use in their business even if they don’t buy from me. It is also so good that they will want to buy from me.

How can you use this tactic to build your own business?

Commercial Use Rights, Discovery, How To & Tutorials, Marketing, Opportunity, Production, Research

First Name Digital Stickers: What They Are Good For & How To Profit With Them

Congratulations!

When you purchased a “First Name Digital Stickers” pack from BuyDigitalDesigns, you invested in a premium product.  Today I am going to walk you through all the benefits and give you concrete ideas on how to develop products which make your customers happy to buy your offers.

Let’s start with the premise:

All of my products must pass through my robust Digital Asset Triangle Principle.  That’s important for you because it means I’ve taken great care to make sure you have a product that is designed to work for your success.

And if you are successful with my products, you’ll be back for more and I’m all for that!

Digital Asset Triangle Principle

digital assets triangle principles

The Digital Asset Triangle Principle is the filter through which every single product of mine must pass.  I begin with one question:  what is the market asking for?

marketingMost people think of marketing as YOUR job.  And in a sense that’s correct.  Whatever you produce from my designs will require your attention in your marketing in order to secure solid sales.

But, I see marketability as my number one question to answer:  is the notion or idea I have something you can take to market with ease?  Will you, my customer, be able to market products you create with my designs?

(If I cannot come off with a resounding yes, I bin the project.)

The good news?  All of my First Name Digital Stickers have passed this test!  So then it’s time to move to the next vital step in the Digital Asset Triangle Principle:

Research.

reseach

Now obviously there was some research involved in the marketing assessment.  In order to really grasp the needs and desires of your ideal target audience, I have to have a general idea where to look and this is driven by some preliminary research.

But in this phase, I dive DEEPER.  These are such key concepts, I decided to give it a more thorough work over in the next chapter.  For now all you need to understand is before I finally get to the production stage, I’ve assured myself that I would be creating something that you can easily market based on in-depth research.

Marketing and research still supporting a thumbs-up for you, my favourite customer?  Awesome, then and only then do I move to the production phase.  I think you are beginning to see the value of my Digital Asset Triangle Principles.  These principles lead the way for everything I do so I know I am offering top products you can take to the bank.

Production.

production copy

It likely doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but by the time I’m hitting photoshop, adobe illustrator or ProCreate, I’m all jacked up.  It’s truly a magical moment because I know something you don’t yet know and it’s a gooooood secret.

With love, an attention to detail, a touch of perfectionism and a pinch of “are-we-there-yet” enthusiasm I burry myself in my atelier and get to work.  Sweet!

Each time I get to this phase I’m hyped, no joke.  I know soon I will launch a product you will be excited to get your hands on, mix and match with other digital assets you’ve acquired or even created yourself and YOUR BUYERS will be so pleased with your products – this fuels me throughout the production phase!

Do you feel the excitement with me?

First Name Digital Stickers – what are they good for?

Now, on to the specifics underlying each and every first name sticker you will find in my store.

Please forgive me a short story, I’m sure you’ll get where I’m going fairly quickly.

I remember when I was a kid and we’d go on family vacations, like that year we went to Niagara Falls.  My sister and I would stop at every souvenir display and poured over the offerings.  Today, with six kids of my own, my appreciation for my parents’ patience keeps on increasing :).

Anyway, with names such as ours, both Andrea and Heather, it never took long to find pens, t-shirts, mugs or even hats and notepaper which was personalised and something we just HAD TO HAVE.

It wasn’t until my oldest two became more aware of these types of articles for sale that I realised I had robbed them of an iconic childhood experience.  How?

We gave them non-German names while knowing full well we are raising our kids in Germany.  Those racks of personalised items can only hold so much and it’s obvious that store owners love to make those sales, so they focus on the hottest names – the ones that are the most popular for the birth year of the target audience.

personalized earthenware cups

Recently we took a family trip to the Wartburg near Eisenach.  It’s a castle and historical and very picturesque.  Here’s one photo I snagged while we walked though Eisenach.  (That’s my husbeast in the background.)

No worries, I’m not gonna get all personal on you.  But I do want to share with you that even in the midst of a pandemic, personalised products are still being sold in souvenir shops probably world wide.

And there is a one compelling reason for that:  they sell well.

The packs I sell have been honed down to a specific gender, specific age range and with hours of research distilling the top names of the underlying birth year.  This process usually requires pooling census information from various sources and by sifting and reordering to get the ultimate list together.

Let’s put that into concrete context.

I pooled together multiple top names lists of 2008 for girls born in the US and came up with the lists you can see in my product range.

Now, what could you possibly create with these lists?

Here’s what you know about the girls with these names:

They were born in 2008.  Likely still live in the US.  They are still tweens or fresh teenagers.  That means:  grade 6, 7, 8 or maybe grade 9.

Do you notice your wheels turning yet?

Add this to your considerations:

Jasmine-100Scarlette-942

The truth of these two names lies in the number of their ranking in popularity on one hand.  Jasmine is the 100th most popular girls name for those born in the US in 2008.  Scarlette is 942.  So where you might find personalised products on sale for Jasmine, poor Scarlette soon learns to not even look for her name on anything.  Why set herself up for disappointment, right?

Here’s a key question for you:  do you see the powerhouse I have given you when you purchased a First Name Digital Sticker Pack from me?

Now you can open your own shop and truly your imagination is the only limit.

First Name Digital Stickers – how to profit with them?

I am 50 years old.  Not that you care, I suppose.  I just mention that to illuminate two points:  personalisation has been around for a good while.  And my generation (and yours, too) has seen unbelievable and exciting game changers in the product creation arena.

You will not have to look far to find ways to use your stickers to create winning products for your target audience.

But I would be doing you a disservice if I just listed websites that would help you create the mugs, books, beach towels and what have you.

There are two critical points I strongly suggest you take a moment to consider before you develop the first name digital stickers into awesome products.  Ignoring these two points can be the deal-breaker for your success and that would make me sad, sad, sad.  You don’t want me to be sad, do you?

I am going to assume you have an idea, something you would really like to see in the form of a personalised product with these stickers.

What you want to do before you start adding your magical touch is Research as well as Opportunity Validation.

Now this does not take away from the fact that your purchase is based on very solid research and opportunity validation principles.  Still, your success will be sealed the more you can give your attention to these two processes yourself.

Don’t worry, I’m happy to share exactly what I mean so you know you are on the right track.

Your Research:

Let’s work with examples.  If you wanted to create something for KDP.  A personalised diary, journal or bucket list book?

That’s a fantastic idea!

Now you will go over to amazon.com and begin to research, validate that your idea has a chance of being seen.

Look for keywords like tween diary or journal for 13 year old girl.  Dive deeper.

Do you find independently published works serving this market segment and by ranking well (say BSR of 100,000 or lower) and clearly proving to you that you have a chance of grabbing a piece of the pie?

If your answer is yes, I sure hope you took note of the various keywords that helped you validate that idea!

Etsy is likewise a great place to search for products serving this age group.  Look, don’t miss out on the fact that schools ended the year in 2020 almost all in some form of remote teaching.

Online education became a thing for virtually EVERY SINGLE TWEEN AND 13 YEAR OLD GIRL.

What does that mean?

It means that more and more girls in this age bracket are gaining greater access to iPads and tablets in order “to keep up with school” <– see what that means?  It means search for keywords such as “digital school planner” or “goodnotes planner” on Etsy.  Huh?  HUH?

Opportunity Validation:

Uncover it.  Validate your opportunity and you know exactly where to invest your energy.  Take the stickers and build something you KNOW will be purchased.

Now it’s important for me to state that research and opportunity validation run a tight game.  They belong together.  Once you sense you’ve uncovered an opportunity in your research, you’ll have to continue to dig.

Opportunity brings a lot of juicy details you’ll want to keep researching.

I hope you are taking notes of everything you uncover:

  • who else is on the scene (who is your competition, who is running complimentary offers)
  • divide those into influencers, brands, independent publishers
  • consider how you can use the above knowledge in your own marketing

And hey, opportunity and research means even more!  Believe me, if you fill a simple notebook with all the points I just mentioned documented?  You’re prepared to take your product to market and make bank.

Here’s what you also want to take note of:

  • grasp the feeling and sentiment of the market (and for this market specifically you can and perhaps should collect that for TWO segments:  the moms (because they buy the products) and the girls (because they use the products)
    Tip:  read reviews whenever you can.  This will uncover emotions.  Emotions are GREAT.
  • take note of the brands, especially smaller ones, and consider:  with 1000 first name stickers, you could possibly create your own brand.  What would your values be?  What would your brand stand for?  How do you want to be known in this space, how can you differentiate yourself from all other brands?
  • get a glimpse of your growth potential
    Most are blind to this simple fact:  12 year olds are next year’s teens are 18 year olds before you know it.  What is coming for this 12 year old down the line?
    Specifically:  12 year old Scarlette will be entering high school very soon.  What merchandise can you start to consider developing in order to continue to sell to Scarlette?  How can you secure your future by continuously anticipating needs and serving your existing customers?

You see?

Opportunity is more than just finding an opening in an amazon keyword for a decent chance at a great BSR (best selling rank).

Are you now armed with solid information and still ready to create a fantastic product with your First Name Digital Stickers?  I thought so!  (I knew you are a smart cookie the moment you stepped into my world!)

Let’s move on to production phase!

Understand Your Rights, Your Licensing

With my First Name Digital Stickers pack you have “commercial use licensing” and they are pretty liberal.  The only thing you are not allowed to do is sell the digital stickers as-is.  That’s just one way of saying:  you have to use the stickers to create a new product and you’re good to go to market.

Maybe you’re like me and you love to create new stuff.  Grab your iPad and ProCreate and make some fancy schmancy extras or backgrounds, anything that will make your First Name Digital Stickers POP off the product.

But don’t you start thinking I’m all about original work 100% of the time!  No siree!

I also buy PLR (private label rights) or commercial use rights for my products to and assemble just as much as I do create from scratch.

Here’s a sample of a cross-creative process:

first name digital sticker product creation

As you can see, I’ve pooled a few different resources together for this cover image.  The book interior will also be a mix and match but definitely a unique book for Sarah!

There’s one important thing to always understand:  your rights when purchasing and your rights when using purchased items when it comes to selling your products.

It’s just as important to understand your limitations when purchasing elements to compliment your design.  Most major shops have a clear statement concerning your rights and they have well staffed support.  There is no excuse for not asking if you have a question before you buy.

Equally, small fries, like me?  You should reach out with questions if you have them.  Small fries like me will respond within a day or two and you should be able to get a clear understanding of your rights.  If you do not get the answers you need, my best advice is:  think of a different work around (a different element from a different website?  A different product idea that works with the rights granted?  You figure it out.  Just don’t move forward if you are unsure in any way about the rights granted and your planned project.)

You can also commission work to a creative person who makes something exclusive to you, the rights will correspond with the price tag, likely.  And you can always give the creative process a good go, who knows?  Maybe you join my ranks and become a trusted colleague?  That would be soooo cool!

The Tools Of The Trade

What I absolutely love about low content book publishing or print on demand products is the absolute low cost of entry.  (Have you noticed that I’m using the free version of wordpress for this blog?  I walk the talk, baby!)

Sure you can stock up with an iPad and ProCreate and I won’t lie, it’s really fun to play with.  Or you can get a subscription to Photoshop (and pay more for hours and hours to just learn how to do the basics).

But you don’t have to.  Not at all.

Here’s a list of tools you can use for free:

  • Canva for book covers and interiors (check your rights when using any of their design elements or bring your own to the platform)
  • Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets  for your cover images as well as  interiors
  • Keynote on your Mac or PowerPoint on your PC.  OpenOffice should work too (but I have not tested it at all.)
  • KDP has a bunch of information which I find useful again and again.  How to calculate your cover image size needs and even templates to download.  Other platforms have similar tools, such as Lulu.com

Here’s a list of tools that are paid:

  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator
  • ProCreate (iPad app)
  • Check out my favourite vendors list to see who I follow and buy assets from

If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to take everything and pull it together in the

Assemble Stage

All I can say is play with everything.  Seriously.  That above image with Sarah and the Ice Cream Cones?  I had a blast.  And the longer I took to just play with the ideas, the bigger the whole bundle became and it was FUN and PRODUCTIVE and likely will end up in my store for you to buy one day 🙂

paul question for pricing.001

Isn’t that just ridiculous?  (Would you believe me if I told you I have 104 base background designs in this set when all is said and done?  Insane!)

So yes, play with it.  Let it sit over night or a day or two.  Come back with fresh eyes and marvel at what new ideas pop into your head.  These ideas?  Not random at all.  Remember, by the time you get to the product creation phase you’ve seeped yourself into the niche, the market, the emotions, the vibe of your ideal customer.

You are ready for this creative flow and I’m rooting for you!

Last but not least, you’re ready for

Marketing

Darling, it’s always, always gonna cost something.  No one is gonna be this honest with you.  Trust me when I say there is ALWAYS a cost.

Got it?  Good.

Let’s start with the free options.  Hehe.

Blogging

Look, I have a free blog on wordpress!  And in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m marketing to you!  Oh yes, I am.  And? I bet you’re loving it 🙂

Regardless of your selling platform (I use gumroad, zero upfront costs for me, look into it if you sell digital or physical products), it may be beneficial to create a niche blog, maybe even two:  One speaking to your target audience (12-13 year olds) and the other speaking to the buying customer (mom or dad or auntie or granny).

In appropriate manner you will speak to your ideal reader on the blog and get them excited to join you in your venture and hop over to buy your product.

Now as I type this I do not see any adverts on this page.  But I’ve been around long enough to know once I hit “publish” that wordpress will try to monetise my content.  So any ads you see placed within this post that are not clearly coming from me and my words, that’s a cost.  The cost of free.

It’s also a cost to sit down and write a fancy schmancy blog post.

However it also affords me a few luxuries.  An RSS feed (oh these are really sweet, I should write a blog post about them for you!), a voice (yes, my opinion can be stated here and you get to hear me and learn more about how I work and why I do what I do and you think I’m really cool, so cool that you’ll even forgive me my horrible run-on-sentences.  True.)

And guess what?  This blog, this free blog, allows me to write up excellent and useful content for your benefit and doubles as a non-spammy social share for me.  I can pin this, do a video spin-off on youtube, I can tweet about this post and share it on Facebook. Who knows?  If I do a really good job, you might even share this on YOUR social media and wouldn’t that be nice?

(See, you can have those benefits, too.  If you start a blog.  You are welcome.)

Social Media

At the time of writing this TikTok is all the rage.  Ahem.  I am 50.  Not so sure how to embrace TikTok HOWEVER I have downloaded the app.  Just sayin.  It will cost me time and energy to find a slant and run with it over on TikTok.

Pinterest is my clear favourite simply because I love the ideas all over the place there.  It costs me time but gives me joy and done correctly, I should be able to get some good leads to my blog(s) and products thanks to Pinterest.

Instagram.  Kind of stuck personally on IG.  Not really sure how to drive sales.  I do stick around because it’s connected to FB and I’m sure one day I will dabble in ads.  So there’s IG.  If you really get this platform, drop me a comment.  We need to talk!

And of course Facebook.  Currently my #1 stomping ground but daily I become more and more aware that I may need to start fishing elsewhere.  See above.  Facebook is excellent because I can have immediate back and forth as well as share links, different ones on different posts.  The secret to FB is simply being a friend.  Be nice, people will be attracted to you.

I’m sure that the social media side will be in constant flux.  And all the above likely has paid advertisement options.  But you can use all for zero cash paid (but the cost of time and energy).

The cost of time and energy is small if you can develop relationships with your target audience, though.  Shallow waters run fast and a small following can be a game changer for you.

Joint Ventures

Whaaa?

Let me splain.  You are not alone in targeting your audience.  Who else plays in your arena?  With whom can you join forces for mutually beneficial relationships?

I’ll sacrifice myself as a demo:

In essence, I am in the low-content publishing realm.  I’ll let you know that I’ve got over 1900 books selling for me on amazon and other platforms.

This summer I decided to share some of my creative work, sell it.  But what can I bring, what new twist to the market, to you?

There are those who offer training (good for them, I’ll put up a resource page so you can find what I found.)

Then the interior designs and template sellers.  “Dog walkers book interior template sellers.”  (Which is a great niche, I’m not knocking it, but do your own research to validate, k?)

The tricky part comes in selling cover images.  They almost have to be single customer sales because who wants to buy a book cover that 19 other people bought with the same commercial use rights?  Maddening!

So I looked at all the various offers I could find and said:  I will sell digital assets of the coolest kind.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I found my niche, my in to the low content publishing realm as a service provider.  And I have a list of colleagues whose work compliment mine (or whose work I compliment).

Now I can approach them with joint venture offers.  Like:  I have a new pack of named stickers and I’d love to exclusively offer them to your list.  If they say yes, I offer them a nice commission or affiliate earning per sale and I get to add more new buyers to my own email list to market to.

How can this principle be put to place for you?  Again, it’s free not free, right?  It takes time to generate genuine relationships and it costs you a percentage in sales volume.  But it can bring 100, 200 or 500+ new buyers to your own list.  And that’s just plain smart marketing in my books.

Paid Advertising

First of all, don’t you dare knock it.

Second of all, even if you never spend a penny in paid advertisement, there is a BOATLOAD OF GOLD TO BE FOUND in the advertisement platforms.  Seriously.

Look, I may be pre-historic for internet things but I’ve been around for a while.  I’m not new to this.

In fact, here’s a video which will share some excellent insights in to the fact that Facebook is not really a social media platform but an ad agency.  But before you roll your eyes, this is from five years ago.  The ad side has changed, so you may not see the exact same layout.

Still, this information will knock your socks off.

I tell you, there’s massive insights in FB ad side (this is the same platform for Instagram, too).  Pinterest ad platform is different but also great, especially if you want to understand keywords.

Don’t disregard print media!  Look, you know your own area:  local papers?  Could be a gold mine!

Or magazines.  Magazines!  Look up your ideal magazine and then go find their Media Kit.  In the media kit you will find similar demographic information as I demonstrate in the video above.  Insights, my friend, that will help you in both online and offline ads or even just marketing and keyword targeting.

All good things must come to an end, my friend.

Like this blog post.

Today you have learned:

How I create all the yummy products you can buy from me.

How you can use them to make fantastic products your market is beyond ready to purchase.

How you can market your products for free and for not free.

I will leave you with a series of inspirational product creations to get your juices flowing.  Do me a favour and leave me a comment, tell me what most impressed you and how you will use this knowledge to grow your business!

If you share this to your FB profile or Pin it on pinterest, I promise you’ll be able to find this again later and I know you’ll be glad you did.

To your success!

Love,

Andrea

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