For the last two weeks I have been working flat out on getting a branded planner out for my personal brand Legacy4Life Planners.
A branded planner is a well known name planner like Erin Condren, Passion Planner, Day Designer’s Daily Planner, and Plum Paper Planner.
A few people asked me why I decided to do this.
When I first got started in the Low Content Book publishing niche, it was very easy to make money on Amazon and Etsy just by publishing multiple versions of blank and low content books. I had a goal to get 1000 books up in the first year and I succeeded.
But over time my Amazon sales have dropped. More and more people were publishing low content books on Amazon and so the exposure of my books started to go down. Even with paid advertising my revenues were down.
Then I started drilling down into more niche type of books. I created health and fitness journals, different types of trackers aimed at a specific target market etc.
That improved my sales considerably, but soon everyone else was doing niche orientated products.
I am always aware that the market can change on a dime, and I constantly evaluate my business models and how can I be different to everyone else out there.
Now creating a branded planner is nothing new, but there are only a few planners that are well known. They all had to start somewhere, so why could I not do it as well?
Here are the advantages of creating a branded planner:
- You do not have to create thousands of different journals and planners
- You can focus your energy on creating a top quality product with the extra time
- Instead of promoting multiple products, you can focus your promotion on the branded planner
- That saves you time and money because you are not spreading yourself too thinly across the product range.
- You can create additional revenue by creating monthly branded packs of templates, stickers etc that complement the planners
- Each year you bring out a new version and loyal customers will continue to buy it
There are downsides to this approach of course. It could bomb completely for a number of reasons:
- People just don’t like it
- You did not get the promotion and advertising right
- People don’t like the format
- The price is too high/low
- Customer’s don’t see the value (which is your fault)
- You have not researched the market well enough
So it is a risk. But then again, so is all business.
The only way to figure out if it will work is to bite the bullet and get it done. Do the research. Design the interior layout. Get your marketing materials ready. Have a plan of action to launch so that you don’t stumble over the starting gate.
As my Legacy4Life Planner is an 18 month planner, that gives me plenty of time to promote it for the current and new year.
I have worked out a marketing and promotion schedule for the next 6 months.
Here are the first steps:
- Create the planner in all the formats that people use i.e. printed spiral-bound or perfect bound book, a printable pdf 8.5 x 11 version, a OneNote Digital version and then a Goodnotes/Digital version with hyper-linked tabs for smart devices.
- Create the marketing material such as graphics, review videos, and social media posts.
- Create 15 second videos for Etsy listing (new feature on Etsy)
- Create a content marketing calendar for the next 6 months.
- Do a soft launch to my groups and email lists with a substantial discount (half price on all formats) for a short period of time. (The discount code is mentioned in my groups and the email that I sent out today)
- Activate paid advertising on Etsy on just the Legacy4Life Planner brand and monitor results.
- Activate paid advertising on Facebook and monitor results.
- Give away free copies to non-profit organisations (You can do this with the pdf and digital versions at no cost to yourself)
- Create a video showing people how to use the planner in it’s different format
- More …
I do have a more comprehensive plan outlined but I wanted to give you a basic idea of what I am doing so that you can apply it to your business.
One of the reasons I am offering my list and groups a substantial discount on the planners is because I want the Etsy algorithm to kick in if there is a high volume of purchases.
That will increase the chances of my planner being found in a generic search as well as increase my advertising exposure. Etsy wants to promote products they know are selling because they earn a small fee on every sale.
This is why I am launching on Etsy first and not my own website. I have a far greater chance of reaching a wider market.
Will this work? I actually have no real idea but if I don’t at least try, it will not happen anyway.
All I would have lost is some money and time, and in the process learned some valuable lessons.
So what is stopping you?