Not too long ago someone asked me a very good question about writing booklets. They wanted to know if they had to stick to one genre. They said they had so many ideas, which fell into several different genres, and they couldn’t imagine only choosing one and sticking with it.
If this scenario describes you listen to me carefully. Can you write booklets, books, and create other products for more than one genre? Yes. You absolutely can. But should you?
The answer to the second question depends on how much you want to be known as an expert, how much time and money you have, and how much you want your business to grow.
Few people are known as experts in more than one area. You’ve probably heard the expression, “He’s the go-to guy for x.” That go-to guy is only the go-to guy for one thing, but he knows that one thing inside and out and can give you exactly what you need. You know that old saying about the Jack of all trades being the master of none? Jack is never the go-to guy. He just happens to be around when you need someone – anyone. But, it’s the go-to guy that makes the real money.
This is something that doctors and lawyers know very well. That’s why your family doctor or general practitioner doesn’t make as much money as the podiatrist or the brain surgeon. And that’s why when you need a lawyer you see listings for every possible kind – from the bankruptcy attorney to the entertainment lawyer to the family law lawyer. Ever wonder why lawyers can get away with charging so much? Now you know! They’re specialists.
Another thing to consider is your time and money. Marketing takes both. If you write for more than one genre, you’re writing for more than one market and reaching out to both is going to cost you twice as much as reaching out to only one.
Also, if you follow your first booklet with a second one on the same subject and therefore the same genre, you can leverage your marketing dollars because now you’ve got two booklets to offer the same market rather than two booklets for two different markets. Your market got to know you with your first booklet. They like you and they like your work. Now you can offer them your next booklet, and you can cross sell the two booklets to new customers. This is something you can’t do when you have two booklets for two completely different markets.
Marketing is what makes your business grow. Your business is only as big as your customer list. It doesn’t matter how many products you have if they’re not selling. You’re not doing business if your products are sitting. and that’s precisely what they’ll be doing if you’re spreading yourself and your money too thin. You won’t be able to do justice to either booklet in the marketing arena and that will stunt, and more likely stop, your business’ growth.
Writing for more than one genre may sound more exciting, but once you really get going with your business you’ll find you have plenty to keep you busy! And there’s so much you can sell to just one market. The idea is to go deep rather than wide. In other words, keep coming up with new booklet and product ideas for the market that’s currently buying from you rather than trying to continually sell new items to new markets.
Is there ever a time to sell to a new market? Yes. When your booklet has been selling to your current market and has done very well, you can then take that same booklet and sell it to another market. For example, your vegetable garden tips booklet has been selling very well to individuals, and now you want to target garden clubs. The advantage here is that you’ve already got your booklet, and possibly more, to offer the new market without having to spend more time and money to create the new booklets and other products. You can focus on marketing to the new market, and you’ll have more money to spend on your marketing because your booklet has been doing so well with your first market.
Sticking with one basic topic and one genre makes the most sense from the standpoints of time and money. It sounds like it would be limiting, but when you consider other businesses out there and what they do, you’ll find that they also stick to one thing. Wal-Mart sells to families and budget conscious consumers. Nordstrom sells to the lower rung of high end consumers. You won’t find Wal-Mart selling to high end consumers, nor Nordstrom marketing to the budget conscious. McDonalds sells fast food for cheap. Ruth’s Chris is an expensive steak house. Neither establishment will cross over to the other’s market.
Stick to one topic in one genre and become the expert. Create more products to suit your market. Then watch your profits and your business grow!
To your riches!
PS: I welcome your comments as always!
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