Booklet Tips – Sound Bites Are Great

By Paulette Ensign 

Imagine writing a bunch of how-to tips, simply telling people what to do and why to do it, all in about 40 words, based on a particular theme. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? It can be, and it can also be difficult to write something useful and meaningful in so few words. That’s the starting point. The bigger question is what do you do with those tips, those sound bites once you’ve captured them?

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Formula for Writing

Write one sentence starting with a positive verb (action word) telling the reader what TO do, followed by 1 or 2 sentences of why or how. Yes, aiming for the whole tip to be 40 words or less Is ideal.

Think of how much was in that instruction. There were numerous things to consider in 40 words. It was the entire foundation of tip writing for any use.

  1. Positive verb
  2. Second person
  3. One or two sentences explaining why or how

Give people what they can easily absorb. That makes learning easier, allowing people to come back for more when they’re ready instead of stressing over the learning process. Consider the tips the skeleton. You can add lots of meat on by way of further explanation in subsequent product formats – written, audio, video. Remember that less is more. You serve people best by first providing basics.

Why Doing Spoonfuls First is a Great Idea

Think of how you feel when you see a complete program as the first experience of a new topic. That can be 5 audios, 6 videos, 4 fill-in-the-blank templates, and 10 PDFs in Module 1, and similar amounts in each of 8 other modules.

Notice your reaction to all of that. It is likely to be overload and overwhelm rather than gratitude for the thoroughness. Your reaction is similar to other people’s reaction. Your students and potential students are coming to you to learn from you. They arrive with their apprehensions and opinions about you, the topic, the learning process, their history, their baggage, and their life demands.

There is always space to create more products for the next level of learning. Expanding the explanations is a gradual process, with more and more information as you proceed. Plan your product development initially in terms of three. That means basic, intermediate, and advanced; written, audio, and video. Each of those can also be expanded to ultimately have four different entries in each so it easily becomes a quarterly calendar delivery, for instance, or even monthly.

ACTION – Notice your own reaction when you see an article or a sidebar to an article that has 7 tips in it, or a brief and well-focused answer when listening to someone being interviewed on radio, television, or in a teleclass. It’s approachable. It’s easy. It’s quick learning. It’s inviting. Social media supports those short messages very well. It’s enough to give you something, to get you thinking, to whet your appetite to want more when something interests you. As a consumer of those tips, sound bites are the starting point to let you know that’s all you want or that it’s appealing enough to want more. The information is just the right size so you are intrigued without being overwhelmed. Go write or record your sound bites now so you can use them online, offline, and as the basis for your entire product development and promotional campaigns.

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