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Creating and selling planners - with Janet Murray
Episode 8422nd October 2021 • Bring Your Product Ideas to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Janet Murray is one of the UK's leading content marketing experts and creator of the Courageous Content Planner - an A4 desk planner packed with content ideas/prompts, planning templates, and checklists. Janet joins me on the podcast today to share the process of creating and selling a planner, and her tips for creating your own fantastic content.

EPISODE NOTES

**Please remember to rate and review the podcast - it really helps others to find it.**

Today on the podcast I'm talking to Janet Murray, one of the UK's leading content marketing experts.

She’s the creator of the Courageous Content Planner - an A4 desk planner packed with content ideas/prompts, planning templates, and checklists, the founder of Courageous Content Live - a virtual content planning event for coaches, creatives, and entrepreneurs, taking place this November. Plus Janet is the host of the Courageous Content podcast and a regular keynote speaker. 

Janet also has ADHD (Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder) and is (in her own words) ‘one of the most disorganised people on the planet’. Making her one of the unlikeliest people in the world to launch a desk planner. 

In this episode, we discuss what inspired Janet to create a planner, the community that she has built around her product, and how this community has influenced the way her offerings have evolved. Janet talks through the process and practical details of putting together a planner from choosing your binding to finding a printer.

Plus I couldn’t pass over the opportunity to ask a renowned content marketing expert for her top tips on how to create fantastic content. Janet talks through her key pillars for building content, with a particular focus on product-based businesses.

Listen in to hear Janet share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:10)
  • The inspiration behind creating her own planner  (02:15)
  • The process of creating a planner (07:20)
  • How to find your printer, and why asking Janet for her printer’s details isn’t a good idea (17:36)
  • Building a community around your products (23:40)
  • The evolution of the Courageous Content Planner, and introduction of live events (26:33)
  • Planning your content marketing for a product-based business (33:10)
  • The types of content you should be creating for your business (38:20)
  • Her number one piece of advice for product creators for creating really engaging content (44:00)
  • An exclusive discount code on Janet’s products for all listeners (46:04)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Janet is giving a 10% discount on her products at www.JanetMurray.co.uk to Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast listeners. Just use the code Vicki at checkout.

Janet Murray Website

Janet Murray Instagram

Janet Murray Facebook

Janet Murray TikTok

Janet Murray Twitter

Janet Murray Linkedin

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

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Work with me 






Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the, Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Today on the podcast I'm talking to Janet Murray.

Vicki Weinberg:

Janet is one of the UK's leading content marketing experts.

Vicki Weinberg:

She's the creator of the Courageous Content Planner an A4 Desk Planner

Vicki Weinberg:

packed with content ideas, prompts, planning, templates, and checklists.

Vicki Weinberg:

She's the founder of Courageous Content Live a virtual content planning

Vicki Weinberg:

event, the host of the Courageous Content podcast and a keynote speaker.

Vicki Weinberg:

So today we're talking a lot about planners.

Vicki Weinberg:

We talk about how to curate them and how to sell them.

Vicki Weinberg:

I also mentioned that Janet is a content expert.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so we talk a lot about how to create fantastic content around your

Vicki Weinberg:

products and your products business.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's a great episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

There's lots to learn and Janet even has a special offer for you towards the end.

Vicki Weinberg:

So do keep listening.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'd now love to introduce you to Janet.

Vicki Weinberg:

Say hi, Janet.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for being here.

Janet Murray:

Thanks so much for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Could we start with you, please give an introduction to

Vicki Weinberg:

yourself, your business and what you sell.

Janet Murray:

I am Janet Murray.

Janet Murray:

And I guess, I think, think of myself as an accidental

Janet Murray:

product based business owner.

Janet Murray:

I never imagined that I would launch a product, but I sell a planner.

Janet Murray:

So it's a content planner for entrepreneurs, coaches, and creatives.

Janet Murray:

I do that alongside, I have an online membership community and, uh, I also

Janet Murray:

have, uh, an event that I do a concept planning event, but the focus is

Janet Murray:

really on this content planner um, going forward as is to help people

Janet Murray:

stay consistent with their content and also to help them come up with ideas.

Janet Murray:

It's got awareness days and key dates and content prompts and ideas.

Janet Murray:

And I think I'm right in saying it's the fifth year I've done it.

Janet Murray:

I think 2017.

Janet Murray:

Was the first one.

Janet Murray:

So I think that's actually that year six.

Janet Murray:

I don't know, but it's a, it certainly, it was an idea that it kind of started

Janet Murray:

off as a bit of a whim on the back of an envelope and a product that has

Janet Murray:

developed over time shall we say..

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I've got so many questions, cause you say you accidentally created products.

Vicki Weinberg:

What inspired you to create that first planner?

Vicki Weinberg:

Five years ago or however long?

Janet Murray:

It was, uh, it was really about solving people's problems.

Janet Murray:

So before I was working in the online space as an

Janet Murray:

entrepreneur, I was a journalist.

Janet Murray:

In fact, I was still kind of working some of the time as a journalist then.

Janet Murray:

So having created content professionally for a living, I got online and everybody

Janet Murray:

was like struggling with content and they were like, I don't really know

Janet Murray:

what to post and when to post it.

Janet Murray:

And I was like, well, that's, that's easy.

Janet Murray:

Isn't it?

Janet Murray:

Because I was a journalist and I was used to having to work to

Janet Murray:

basically a content calendar.

Janet Murray:

So when you work on a newspaper or foreign newspaper, there's two types of content

Janet Murray:

you create there's on diary and off diary.

Janet Murray:

So on diary is the events like the parliamentary debates or the events

Janet Murray:

in your industry that are coming up.

Janet Murray:

Big things like Royal weddings or, you know, things that people expect.

Janet Murray:

And then off diary is like your breaking news, like your Facebook and Instagram

Janet Murray:

and WhatsApp going down and sending everybody into, into a, into a spin.

Janet Murray:

So, um, and I was very used to working with a calendar and

Janet Murray:

planning forward, like they could actually call it forward planning.

Janet Murray:

So I also had this sense as well of timing.

Janet Murray:

So my editor would always say to me, Well, why do people need to hear about this now?

Janet Murray:

And so we called it a hook like you wouldn't publish anything, unless there

Janet Murray:

was a reason for you to publish it on that day, that made it timely and relevant.

Janet Murray:

So I guess I had this innate sense of what kind of, as a journalist,

Janet Murray:

obviously you're creating content, particularly in the kind of digital world.

Janet Murray:

It's, it's, it's all about the clicks.

Janet Murray:

So you're creating content, which is designed to get people to engage

Janet Murray:

with you I had a sense of, of what people were interested in, but

Janet Murray:

also how important timing was.

Janet Murray:

Uh, I was used to not working with the sort of sillier awareness days

Janet Murray:

because working for, I worked for the guardian and they were cut, they were

Janet Murray:

a bit kind of like not snotty about it, but, you know, there were only

Janet Murray:

certain ones were allowed to use.

Janet Murray:

But, um, I, I was used to thinking about, you know, key a breast cancer awareness

Janet Murray:

week or miscarriage awareness week.

Janet Murray:

I was used to thinking about those kinds of dates on the

Janet Murray:

diary and planning ahead as well.

Janet Murray:

I was used to kind of looking ahead in July or August and thinking about

Janet Murray:

what I was going to do at Christmas.

Janet Murray:

And it was something that other people seem to be struggling with.

Janet Murray:

So that's my long-winded explanation for how I suddenly thought to myself.

Janet Murray:

Oh, wouldn't it be good if there was a planner that had all these kind of

Janet Murray:

awareness days and key dates in them, because there are many websites that

Janet Murray:

you can go to that have got awareness days and key days, and wouldn't there.

Janet Murray:

Wouldn't it be good if there was somewhere where you could just kind of

Janet Murray:

write down what you're planning to do.

Janet Murray:

And actually then I was more helping people with press coverage rather than

Janet Murray:

social video content or website content.

Janet Murray:

But wouldn't it be good if there was just somewhere where you could

Janet Murray:

sit and you could plan and you could think and you could jot down

Janet Murray:

your ideas and be more strategic.

Janet Murray:

I think that's the, the real key thing about it.

Janet Murray:

So in my kind of usual way, I think I had the idea, which is, I now

Janet Murray:

realize it's a really bad time.

Janet Murray:

To, to launch a planner for sales.

Janet Murray:

It's not the worst, but the earlier the better, but I had the

Janet Murray:

idea, I think the first time in November and I just thought, right.

Janet Murray:

Okay.

Janet Murray:

Let's see if people buy by this.

Janet Murray:

So I got my designer to knock up a picture of what this planner would

Janet Murray:

look like, just the front cover.

Janet Murray:

I kind of said, what would be inside it?

Janet Murray:

I created a really simple landing page using a tool called lead pages, which

Janet Murray:

a lot of people were using at the time.

Janet Murray:

And I said it was going to be £19.50 if people bought it before a certain date.

Janet Murray:

So I did like a test offer.

Janet Murray:

And enough people bought it, like not in the numbers that buy it now, but I

Janet Murray:

think it was probably over a hundred.

Janet Murray:

I can't even remember to be honest, but it was basically enough to

Janet Murray:

justify the cost of printing it.

Janet Murray:

I did some sort of initial research just to get a sense of how much

Janet Murray:

it would be to, to print it.

Janet Murray:

Um, you know, I had a rough sense of.

Janet Murray:

Well, not a rough sense.

Janet Murray:

I had a sense of how many pages it would be, uh, what kind of binding,

Janet Murray:

what kind of materials we would use.

Janet Murray:

So I knew roughly what my break even point would be.

Janet Murray:

And that first year it was really about will people buy this?

Janet Murray:

Can I break even, I didn't really have any plans further than that, I've ended

Janet Murray:

up creating this whole planner business, which is ironic because I'm actually quite

Janet Murray:

a disorganized person in lots of ways.

Janet Murray:

But, um, but yeah, it just kind of started by accident.

Janet Murray:

And I did a lot of things there that I probably didn't even realize I was

Janet Murray:

doing like research and development and testing and creating a prototype.

Janet Murray:

I just kind of did it, people bought it.

Janet Murray:

So I made it and sold it.

Janet Murray:

And each year I've just tried to make it better and better.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think actually what you did was really smart.

Vicki Weinberg:

So having, you know, mocking up something and selling it before you'd

Vicki Weinberg:

actually print it out or hundreds, um, seems like a really good way round.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I found it.

Vicki Weinberg:

I smiled a little bit when you said that you launched it in November, cause I

Vicki Weinberg:

know now I see you talking about your planner, like so much in advance of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

We'll talk about that later.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so let's talk a bit about the process of creating a planner.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you don't mind.

Vicki Weinberg:

And we'll only go with sort of in a broad sense, but it would be really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think to know what's involved in that and I'm sure that's evolved

Vicki Weinberg:

over the years as well as you've learned more about the process.

Janet Murray:

Well, this is the thing we were talking about earlier.

Janet Murray:

A lot of people will DM me and just say, Hey, I want to launch a planner.

Janet Murray:

Can you give me the name of your printer that you use?

Janet Murray:

And we can talk more about why I don't give it later, but what I

Janet Murray:

will say at this stage, Is that there's a lot more to creating a

Janet Murray:

planner than people people think.

Janet Murray:

And if you were to just ring up a printer and say, Hey, I've got

Janet Murray:

an idea of which some people do.

Janet Murray:

I've got an idea for a planner.

Janet Murray:

How much will it be?

Janet Murray:

Well, they're not going to be able to tell you because they need to

Janet Murray:

know how many pages they need to know what kind of paper you're using.

Janet Murray:

They need to know what kind of cover you're using.

Janet Murray:

You might be using.

Janet Murray:

Different kind of material for the cover.

Janet Murray:

They need to know about the binding.

Janet Murray:

They need to know about what type of printing there's.

Janet Murray:

So, so basically you won't be able to get an accurate quote for printing

Janet Murray:

your planner unless you do all of that.

Janet Murray:

And you've basically created a plan.

Janet Murray:

It's called a flat plan where you plot out exactly what's going on each page.

Janet Murray:

And that's the thing that often puts people off, but you will not be able to

Janet Murray:

get a price on how much it's going to cost to print, to print, and therefore

Janet Murray:

whether or not you can afford to make it, whether you can make your money back.

Janet Murray:

A lot of the time.

Janet Murray:

You know, breaking even maybe the first time that they print it, it's

Janet Murray:

very expensive to print planners that you can't sell or any publication that

Janet Murray:

you can't sell, which is why I did it.

Janet Murray:

Exactly that.

Janet Murray:

But I think the key thing is you've got to know, well, actually let's step

Janet Murray:

back a sec, cause I've immediately got into the kind of production, but.

Janet Murray:

There's a, there's a lot of planners out there.

Janet Murray:

If you go on Etsy, like there's planners for everything like haircare

Janet Murray:

or planners for your garden or planners for like so many, like really, really

Janet Murray:

niche things and niche interests.

Janet Murray:

And there is actually often quite a lots of competition.

Janet Murray:

So I think the first thing is like, is there a market for this?

Janet Murray:

Will, will people actually want to buy this thing?

Janet Murray:

Sometimes we have an idea for a planner and we think, oh,

Janet Murray:

that'd be really fun, but.

Janet Murray:

Only we would like to do it.

Janet Murray:

It's interesting.

Janet Murray:

I bought a planner from, um, I bought a planner from a,

Janet Murray:

is a piano practice planner.

Janet Murray:

And recently I wasn't sort of keen on the, the kind of way it was laid out.

Janet Murray:

Maybe that's another something else for me to go into the future, but

Janet Murray:

like, They've aren't really many of those kinds of resources around.

Janet Murray:

So it's about, you know, doing a little bit of research, seeing what's

Janet Murray:

out there, just because there's already a planner in your space.

Janet Murray:

Doesn't mean there isn't room for yours, by the way.

Janet Murray:

Um, that, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it, which I

Janet Murray:

guess you would say the same with selling things on Amazon as well.

Janet Murray:

Actually, sometimes it could be a good sign that there's, there's already

Janet Murray:

planners out there, but the first thing.

Janet Murray:

Have you got, sometimes people come up to me, it was really kind

Janet Murray:

of vague, like journal ideas that you kind of think, well, why, why

Janet Murray:

would anyone want to buy that?

Janet Murray:

How would it help them?

Janet Murray:

And that's really what I'm getting to is like my planner it's really clear.

Janet Murray:

It solves two problems helping you to get organized and to actually

Janet Murray:

create the plan and also to stick to it and come up with ideas.

Janet Murray:

Like it solves the problem.

Janet Murray:

So when somebody is thinking about investing their money in the planner,

Janet Murray:

They can rationalize it and say, okay, well, if I spend that it's 47 pounds

Janet Murray:

then that's potentially going to save me this amount of time and money.

Janet Murray:

And people generally, even when they're buying for themselves, you

Janet Murray:

know, like haircare or, um, there's even a planner for the curly girl

Janet Murray:

method or piano practice that they want to save themselves time or money.

Janet Murray:

They want to be more productive.

Janet Murray:

So I think that's your first step actually, um, is, is doing some,

Janet Murray:

some, some research, but even then you will not know whether anyone

Janet Murray:

wants to buy it until you send people a link and, ask them to buy it.

Janet Murray:

So that's how I approached it.

Janet Murray:

The way that I did, you could make the most beautiful plannerin the world that

Janet Murray:

you think is amazing and that you want.

Janet Murray:

So you could also do research where you ask people like, will they buy it?

Janet Murray:

And they might tell you that they will, but until you actually put it

Janet Murray:

for sale, you really do not know.

Janet Murray:

So, you know, you can make some good decisions based on looking

Janet Murray:

at the market and saying, you know, what, what is sellingthere?

Janet Murray:

But if there's a big for me, a planner is about often it's about a community.

Janet Murray:

It's, it's, it's not a physical product.

Janet Murray:

You're often bringing people from a community where they

Janet Murray:

have shared interests together.

Janet Murray:

So my planner.

Janet Murray:

It's not just a planner, but it's a community of people

Janet Murray:

who care about planning.

Janet Murray:

You know, the, the piano practice planner was about bringing people

Janet Murray:

together who are learning piano and wants to get more organized and wants

Janet Murray:

to, you know, get better at piano.

Janet Murray:

So do some research about that.

Janet Murray:

Then when you get to the actual product development, it really is you,

Janet Murray:

you do need to know some stuff and.

Janet Murray:

But when you're going to people often say, well, how, how much do you

Janet Murray:

think it would cost me to print it?

Janet Murray:

I mean, it depends, like we've really developed our product from the first year.

Janet Murray:

We use much better quality products because we've obviously been able

Janet Murray:

to, to look at feedback and, oh, this got a bit scuffed in my bag.

Janet Murray:

So what may you know, then we started to add it, uh, sort of, um, can't

Janet Murray:

even think what it is a kind of.

Janet Murray:

Uh, almost like a kind of film on the front of the cover to stop

Janet Murray:

it from, um, get, you know, this, this year we've gone hard back.

Janet Murray:

Like we've, we've completely, you know, we want to make them really durable

Janet Murray:

and wearable, um, things like, um, why a bound or spiral bound for a planner.

Janet Murray:

I think it's really important to be able to open it out on the desk and be able to

Janet Murray:

like turn it around and, and, and be able to kind of, it's gotta be really usable.

Janet Murray:

So you need to actually talk, try things out.

Janet Murray:

Like one bit of research I would say is if you want to sell a planner, like

Janet Murray:

buy some or go to the shop and spend some time looking at some and actually

Janet Murray:

holding them and opening them and seeing what the potential problems are.

Janet Murray:

Cause something like whether it's spiral bound or perfect bound, they call it, um,

Janet Murray:

that can also impact on your pagination.

Janet Murray:

So, I knew this cause I was from a publishing background, but if you're

Janet Murray:

going perfect bound as in, you know, not, not spiral bound and you can only

Janet Murray:

go up or down in multiples of four.

Janet Murray:

So you can't kind of like suddenly decide to take out a few page

Janet Murray:

you know, add an extra page.

Janet Murray:

You have to add four pages or you can't suddenly decide to take out a page.

Janet Murray:

You have to add, you have to take four out.

Janet Murray:

So I th I think that you really need to like, actually dive into.

Janet Murray:

But this is for any product, like what is it that you're wanting to make?

Janet Murray:

Like, you know, find out about it, like go and look at some, like buy some,

Janet Murray:

hold them, you know, try using them.

Janet Murray:

Um, and then you can start to, if you ring up a printer, they'll start

Janet Murray:

asking you, like, you know, do you want matte, or do you want gloss or

Janet Murray:

do you, you know, start asking, like, if you know that they'll, they'll

Janet Murray:

be wanting to know, you know, with.

Janet Murray:

You know, what kind of printing and stuff.

Janet Murray:

And if you can't answer any of those questions, you're going to struggle

Janet Murray:

to get off the starting blocks.

Janet Murray:

So does that kind of help as a starting point?

Vicki Weinberg:

That's so helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm actually really not surprised and not surprised how similar it is

Vicki Weinberg:

to any other kind of products that you create, how the steps are so similar.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I think one thing you've touched on that's really key is the research bit.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's often the bit that people don't necessarily want to do it.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just so important because there's nothing worse than ploughing

Vicki Weinberg:

forward and putting all your energy and enthusiasm into something just

Vicki Weinberg:

isn't going to sell wherever it is.

Janet Murray:

Yeah.

Janet Murray:

And I think with the planner thing, one thing that comes up a lot.

Janet Murray:

Well, can I design it myself?

Janet Murray:

And I'm like, well, yeah, again, you're thinking about pricing.

Janet Murray:

Like, unless you are a designer and you have experience of creating a really high

Janet Murray:

quality publication, then using Canva templates or using, um, Creative Market.

Janet Murray:

is a resource that people use, it's not probably not going

Janet Murray:

to look that professional and.

Janet Murray:

So, although this can be, you know, a lot of people want to do things on the cheap,

Janet Murray:

but actually it's making decisions there.

Janet Murray:

Well, do you want to create a really high quality product?

Janet Murray:

That's probably going to have a better profit margin for you

Janet Murray:

because you can charge more for it.

Janet Murray:

If you create something that's a bit homemade, you'll only be able

Janet Murray:

to create your own to be able to charge homemade if you like.

Janet Murray:

Um, so, um, I think it's although it's hard.

Janet Murray:

Cause like when you get an idea off and you just want to run with it, Just taking

Janet Murray:

the time to just think about some of these things and do your research and learn

Janet Murray:

about, learn about printing or publishing.

Janet Murray:

And I, you know, I felt like I had an advantage because I'd

Janet Murray:

worked on a newspaper and I knew about things like flat planning.

Janet Murray:

Um, when I I've got this online masterclass I sell and it's like

Janet Murray:

a massive penny drop moment when I teach people how to flat plan.

Janet Murray:

Cause they're like, oh my God, I didn't realize that you would have to know

Janet Murray:

what was going to be on every page.

Janet Murray:

I was like, we don't need you to know, like have every word written, but you

Janet Murray:

do need to know what's on every page.

Janet Murray:

Part of how you do that with a planner, as well as looking at other planners

Janet Murray:

and seeing how it's, how it's done.

Janet Murray:

And, you know, if you're, if it's a dated planner, you're going to

Janet Murray:

need to have certain sections of pages together you're going to need

Janet Murray:

to have, um, even just things like you, you're going to want to have

Janet Murray:

certain things on the right hand page.

Janet Murray:

Um, and when I was checking our planner through, before it went

Janet Murray:

to print I'm obsessive about this, but I was just like really paranoid

Janet Murray:

that the important pages wouldn't be on the right-hand page because.

Janet Murray:

If you accidentally put a publication together and you split a spread that

Janet Murray:

should be together or something like that, there's actually publishing is

Janet Murray:

a, you know, there's a reason why.

Janet Murray:

people, go and learn how to do publishing, you know, because there is an art to

Janet Murray:

putting a publication together and that's not to put anybody off as a

Janet Murray:

newbie, but it's just about, you know, educate yourself and printers will

Janet Murray:

also, if you want to get a good deal with a printer, then the more that.

Janet Murray:

You know, if every question they ask you, you sound like you don't

Janet Murray:

know what you're talking about.

Janet Murray:

There's probably more chance that they're going to, um, you know, I'm

Janet Murray:

not saying that printers are going to rip anybody off or anything, but

Janet Murray:

you're going to sound like a newbie.

Janet Murray:

Whereas if you can get on there and have a conversation, like somebody who knows

Janet Murray:

what they're talking about, I think you're much more likely to be able to

Janet Murray:

get the best deal I think for yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And be taken a bit more serious now.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, these kind of printers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Janet, you mentioned earlier that, you know, you don't want to tell people

Vicki Weinberg:

which printer you use and I'm, by the way, I'm completely with you on this.

Vicki Weinberg:

I do think it's a bit rude people often say to me, have you got a

Vicki Weinberg:

manufacturer who can make X, Y, or Z?

Vicki Weinberg:

And I do, but I don't share them that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you want to talk about that briefly?

Janet Murray:

Yeah, so I will often get DMS from people.

Janet Murray:

Um, and sometimes they will have listened to a podcast that I've

Janet Murray:

got on it and they'll have , but they'll still say I can't find

Janet Murray:

a printer and I'm like, come on.

Janet Murray:

Like I want I recommend to my class so I don't mind sharing here is that you,

Janet Murray:

you do what you would do with anything.

Janet Murray:

You know, if you were getting a decorator to come and do your house,

Janet Murray:

you'd probably get three, three quotes.

Janet Murray:

Wouldn't you you'd find three local people who offered a service that

Janet Murray:

you, that you wanted, or three people who offer whatever service it was.

Janet Murray:

And then you would weigh up between the, not just in cost, but you would,

Janet Murray:

you know, but for some reason, people seem to think with the planner that it's

Janet Murray:

some kind of dark art, and I'm just like just Google, like printers, ring up some

Janet Murray:

printers, tell them what it is that you're looking to do, and then ask them, you

Janet Murray:

know, would you print a publication of X number of pages, um, with, you know,

Janet Murray:

this type of, and actually you can.

Janet Murray:

Part of your research is to ring printers and say, look, you know,

Janet Murray:

I've got an idea for this publication.

Janet Murray:

It's probably to be about this sort of page.

Janet Murray:

You can ask them to send you samples as well, because you

Janet Murray:

know, it's really important.

Janet Murray:

I think if you're gonna print a planner that you hold the materials in your

Janet Murray:

hand, you know, because again, if you get the wrong material, And people

Janet Murray:

are complaining after like two weeks because the planner is all scuffed

Janet Murray:

or it's falling apart or whatever, like this stuff's really important.

Janet Murray:

And so while you're doing your research and you're gathering your quotes, you can

Janet Murray:

actually ask them to send you samples.

Janet Murray:

Um, and you know, or you can go in and I would always say the first time you do it.

Janet Murray:

So it's actually really good.

Janet Murray:

If you can actually go into a printer and like to talk to them and actually

Janet Murray:

say, oh, could you show me an examples about the things that you've done?

Janet Murray:

But I, I think, I don't know if the people get a bit scared or a bit

Janet Murray:

lazy, um, This idea that it's this dark art, it's just like, you know,

Janet Murray:

find some people who have printers.

Janet Murray:

If you just Google your phone printers, bring them up.

Janet Murray:

If you have a look on their website, you'll normally get a sense of the

Janet Murray:

kind of stuff that they've done before recommendations can be good.

Janet Murray:

But the reason I don't share it is partly because it's, it's taken me years of

Janet Murray:

research to find the right people, right.

Janet Murray:

We've kissed a few frogs along the way, but also just because they're the

Janet Murray:

right printers for us doesn't mean that they will be the right printers for you

Janet Murray:

because I don't know what your project is.

Janet Murray:

And, and I don't know what it is that you're trying to do.

Janet Murray:

I'm six years on.

Janet Murray:

So.

Janet Murray:

I, I used a very different printerthe first time because

Janet Murray:

my needs were very different.

Janet Murray:

And actually, I probably wouldn't recommend that someone starting

Janet Murray:

out doing what we were doing, like, you know, particularly if it's your

Janet Murray:

first book, just kind of, you kind of testing the other side, part of

Janet Murray:

it is it's commercially sensitive.

Janet Murray:

So I have, um, I have, um, competitors who would probably love to know where I

Janet Murray:

got my, my planner printed so that they could get a quote as well, you know?

Janet Murray:

W we actually, the people who work with me on my team, when they work with me, they

Janet Murray:

have to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Janet Murray:

And if they were going around telling people who are printers were like, Like

Janet Murray:

get the sack basically, or, you know, whatever you can do to a contractor.

Janet Murray:

So I think it's also understanding how important, you know, you wouldn't, I would

Janet Murray:

say like, you wouldn't go to like the Colonel Sanders and ask for the secret

Janet Murray:

recipe, would you that's it's equivalent.

Janet Murray:

That's what you're doing.

Janet Murray:

And I always felt so, so I feel like there's that side of it.

Janet Murray:

It's commercially sensitive.

Janet Murray:

It's just having the name of a printer.

Janet Murray:

Doesn't mean that's the right printer for you.

Janet Murray:

It's important that you do your research, but also there's that side of it as.

Janet Murray:

You ringing my printer or me giving you the name of my printer, isn't going

Janet Murray:

to get your project off the ground.

Janet Murray:

What's going to get your planner project off the ground is you doing this

Janet Murray:

research and you taking the time that you actually do need to talk to different

Janet Murray:

printers to hold the materials to, um, even things like size, you know, like.

Janet Murray:

Every year, we have people who complain that my planner is A4.

Janet Murray:

They complain that they want it to be A5 this is obviously a thing about products.

Janet Murray:

Like you can never make it perfectly for everyone, for anyone, but, but,

Janet Murray:

um, you know, there's a reason why it's not a, um, and that's through

Janet Murray:

research and testing and, you know, and, and it's, it's not a random reason.

Janet Murray:

So to create a really great product that people actually want to buy

Janet Murray:

and that you can charge, you know, what, what that product is worth.

Janet Murray:

It's really important to do this research.

Janet Murray:

And it's not actually helpful for me to tell you the name of my

Janet Murray:

printer but also I will say that is commercially sensitive information.

Janet Murray:

I think if you're going to start out with a product that's just kind of

Janet Murray:

basic know how would you agree, Vicky?

Janet Murray:

Like, you know, just understanding business as well that you can't do is go

Janet Murray:

around, asking people to, to, uh, give you the, the suppliers, you know, that,

Janet Murray:

that you've never met or kind of thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm, I'm always a bit surprised when people ask and think they can ask.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know, I know that finding the right supplier, whether it's a print or

Vicki Weinberg:

anything else is daunting for people.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's the thing that people I work with often find the scariest

Vicki Weinberg:

and is scary and is daunting, but like anything, there is a process to it.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think if you've done your research and you're going into

Vicki Weinberg:

it confidence because you know exactly what you're looking for,

Vicki Weinberg:

you've got, you've got your spec.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that makes the whole thing so much easier because you can phone

Vicki Weinberg:

someone up and say, can you do this?

Vicki Weinberg:

And they'll say yes or no.

Vicki Weinberg:

And if they say yes, you'll ask for a price.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know I'm simplifying it a bit, but I think that research a bit

Vicki Weinberg:

upfront is the key to everything.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, because that will dictate who you can work with as well, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

based on what your margins might be or the kind of price you're looking at.

Vicki Weinberg:

All of that will depends because like you say, your printer won't be

Vicki Weinberg:

right for everyone because everyone's needs are going to be different.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's the same with all products.

Janet Murray:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Janet earlier, you mentioned, um, you said through our

Vicki Weinberg:

community, when you're talking about your partner, when you mentioned that

Vicki Weinberg:

people weren't, despite a planner, they were buying into a community,

Vicki Weinberg:

which I totally get, because I know that they have, uh, even for planners,

Vicki Weinberg:

I've been told that they were planners don't have like a formal community, but

Vicki Weinberg:

they were like communities of people who like love planner, you know, they

Vicki Weinberg:

get together to just talk about the plannerand how they use the planner.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I know you actually have communities built around your planner, so

Vicki Weinberg:

it'd be really good if you don't mind to talk about how your planner, which is your

Vicki Weinberg:

physical products works alongside some of your services and perhaps how that's

Vicki Weinberg:

evolved a little bit over the years.

Janet Murray:

I think what happened.

Janet Murray:

And I think it's just an entrepreneurial thing to do is that you have a

Janet Murray:

product and you're always looking about how you can make it better or

Janet Murray:

how you can make people's experience with that product or service better.

Janet Murray:

So, I, I just started every year.

Janet Murray:

I'd notice things and I'd be looking at, I'd be looking at the negatives

Janet Murray:

basically like, you know, when I get that email saying, oh, I'm not buying

Janet Murray:

this year because, um, I didn't, didn't use my planner last year.

Janet Murray:

That's an opportunity to say, okay, well, you know, not to be offended, but say,

Janet Murray:

oh, but why did that person not use it?

Janet Murray:

And what could I do to either.

Janet Murray:

Either make sure that that person, you know, that person could use it and get

Janet Murray:

a better experience with a product or integrate that whole separate issue.

Janet Murray:

It could be about, you're not targeting the right people.

Janet Murray:

But, um, so w what I noticed from the outset is.

Janet Murray:

And this still happens.

Janet Murray:

It's still a problem that I'm trying to tackle in different ways every year is

Janet Murray:

that so some people buy a planner and they think it's got like hundreds of awareness

Janet Murray:

days and key dates and they'll go right.

Janet Murray:

Okay.

Janet Murray:

I've got my planner.

Janet Murray:

Right.

Janet Murray:

So I don't need to do anything now.

Janet Murray:

Um, and their response can come out as oh, right.

Janet Murray:

Well, I thought that I wasn't going to have to do anything and your planner

Janet Murray:

was just going to be full of ideas and I don't have to do anything.

Janet Murray:

It can come out like that.

Janet Murray:

But I think what's really going one is panic and fear because just

Janet Murray:

because you start a business, my clients are mainly business owners.

Janet Murray:

That doesn't mean that you automatically know how to create engaging content.

Janet Murray:

So you've got all these dates, but you know, if you've never created a

Janet Murray:

social media content for a business, like you don't know where to start.

Janet Murray:

So over the years, I've tried two different things over the years to, to

Janet Murray:

try and, um, T to try and support people.

Janet Murray:

So Facebook groups is a really simple thing.

Janet Murray:

So having groups of people that can ask questions about how to use the

Janet Murray:

planner, but also other problems in so people who are using my planner

Janet Murray:

generally are they have things that come up with social media, like challenges

Janet Murray:

that they're having, or, you know, they might, there might be something

Janet Murray:

new or like happened last night.

Janet Murray:

Facebook went down and Instagram and WhatsApp.

Janet Murray:

And so they want to talk to other people about, about content creation.

Janet Murray:

So we've had groups, but then.

Janet Murray:

What I started to notice is actually, as I had this, this planner, but, but

Janet Murray:

not enough people were implementing.

Janet Murray:

So they were buying the planner and then they weren't actually using it.

Janet Murray:

So I was thinking about, okay, what can I do to help?

Janet Murray:

So community is one way, but then I started running these content planning

Janet Murray:

events to give people accountability.

Janet Murray:

So I started running annual content planning events this year.

Janet Murray:

It's Courageous Content Live before that it was 2021 Sorted and 2020 Sorted.

Janet Murray:

Um, and I'd bring people together and we'd actually do

Janet Murray:

the plan together at the event.

Janet Murray:

That's moved on even since that.

Janet Murray:

And now we're this year going to be creating content at the event, as well

Janet Murray:

as not just doing during the plan.

Janet Murray:

And then I, then I was looking at some of the other problems that people had.

Janet Murray:

So they're busy and they they've got this planner, but they're not

Janet Murray:

quite sure how to turn the dates in this planner into, um, into content.

Janet Murray:

So I kind of thought, what could I do to help?

Janet Murray:

So, um, W I, I thought, well, maybe I could send people an email with some ideas

Janet Murray:

on how to use the dates every week, but you know, that's valuable information,

Janet Murray:

so why don't we charge for it?

Janet Murray:

So I ended up really with planner, events and the membership, um, which is designed

Janet Murray:

to support people with the planner.

Janet Murray:

So you can either just buy the planner or you can buy this fullpackage,

Janet Murray:

which in the past has included.

Janet Murray:

I get an email every Monday with these things are called grab

Janet Murray:

and go posts where I just take about five or six of the dates.

Janet Murray:

Just blast a load of questions that spark posts and people really like

Janet Murray:

those newsletters going forward.

Janet Murray:

Um, the content planning club that goes with the planner is going

Janet Murray:

to be called the Courators Club.

Janet Murray:

Um, and there's also, um, co-working like weekly planning sessions.

Janet Murray:

So you put it on your calendar and it comes together with others in the

Janet Murray:

community to plan your concept together.

Janet Murray:

Um, monthly planning sessions, quarterly, and then there's

Janet Murray:

also a monthly master classes.

Janet Murray:

So it's almost, it's like a club for people who are.

Janet Murray:

Who are into content planning will have to be into content planning because they

Janet Murray:

have to create content for business.

Janet Murray:

And all of those ideas from that product just came from thinking

Janet Murray:

about how I could help people to use my product more effectively.

Janet Murray:

It wasn't like, well, how can I make more money from them?

Janet Murray:

Which obviously is a perfectly valid thing to do is think about upsells

Janet Murray:

and cross sales, but it was more about how can I help people have a

Janet Murray:

better experience of this product.

Janet Murray:

Something that we're trying this year is giving a master

Janet Murray:

class alongside the planner.

Janet Murray:

So everyone who buys a planner gets this masterclass, which will take them

Janet Murray:

through basically how to use it and how to create ideas and give them examples.

Janet Murray:

So for that person, who's stumped, then they've got this

Janet Murray:

resource I know from experience.

Janet Murray:

Uh, an hour long, an hour long video is video class might be really helpful,

Janet Murray:

but it's not going to take somebody who's never created content for business

Janet Murray:

before to suddenly creating viral content that's going to make them loads of sales.

Janet Murray:

Unfortunately, people do tend to think that that's the case,

Janet Murray:

but, um, it's gonna, it's gonna help them get to the next level.

Janet Murray:

But some of those people may well choose to come and join the

Janet Murray:

Courators Club because they want more support and ongoing advice.

Janet Murray:

And so it's about I've just seen lots of opportunities along the way.

Janet Murray:

I've actually dropped all of my other things that I do because

Janet Murray:

it's become so all consuming.

Janet Murray:

There's content, content planning.

Janet Murray:

It's like a whole niche itself, but I've just seen these ways to kind of add value,

Janet Murray:

but bringing people together around the products and really interesting thing

Janet Murray:

that happens and this is maybe we can talk about this, to do with your marketing and

Janet Murray:

how you, how you build your marketing up.

Janet Murray:

But.

Janet Murray:

In a couple of weeks from when we're recording this, my planners will

Janet Murray:

that we still presell them now.

Janet Murray:

So we still, um, pre-sell them before they're made.

Janet Murray:

Um, and that obviously gives us the confidence to go in and print them.

Janet Murray:

Cause it's expensive to print thousands of planners.

Janet Murray:

Uh, not knowing you're going to sell them, but, um, we, um, when they, when

Janet Murray:

they actually kind of get dropped in, in a couple of weeks, I think it's the

Janet Murray:

20th of October they're due to land.

Janet Murray:

We run our events beginning of November.

Janet Murray:

And those people who are taking part in the event, they are

Janet Murray:

privileged are part of the tickets.

Janet Murray:

If they get the planner first, as soon as the planners hit doormats, like

Janet Murray:

everybody's on social media, sharing them, like showing pictures of them,

Janet Murray:

videos of them using like people who love planners, love planners.

Janet Murray:

So we've got stickers this year, so everyone's going to be quite

Janet Murray:

excited about the sticker thing.

Janet Murray:

We've got new packaging this year, because that's another thing we have

Janet Murray:

learned over the years about packaging.

Janet Murray:

We've tried different things and we've had good experiences and bad experiences.

Janet Murray:

So, you know, we've got a new type of packaging, which

Janet Murray:

will make it quite exciting.

Janet Murray:

I think, when it drops through the door, um, but there's, there's all this kind

Janet Murray:

of excitement and build up and community.

Janet Murray:

And I think people who have one of my planners, they, they see themselves

Janet Murray:

as a plannerowner, you know, and that they're like, uh, I've got a Courageous

Janet Murray:

Content Planner and that's really for, I think, of a product to grow.

Janet Murray:

That's people need to almost like I identify with it.

Janet Murray:

I've actually come up with this concept this year, a courator.

Janet Murray:

So this is a courageous content courator, like who is that?

Janet Murray:

Well, that person is somebody who shows up and publishes content consistently.

Janet Murray:

They try not to, you know, they don't have to have everything worked out.

Janet Murray:

They just show up, they just do it.

Janet Murray:

They just commit to getting better and better.

Janet Murray:

It's about bringing together.

Janet Murray:

It's not just about selling the product, if you like in the

Janet Murray:

materials it's about selling.

Janet Murray:

And I was like an idea or selling an identity.

Janet Murray:

Does that kind of make sense?

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

It sounds more like an experience as well as being a part of something and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess that feeling you get from being a, having this products

Vicki Weinberg:

and being part of a community.

Janet Murray:

Yeah.

Janet Murray:

Even though you in the club, you know, and I often think about, um, like people who.

Janet Murray:

He's sort of.

Janet Murray:

So for example, I was posting on my Facebook page yesterday, about how

Janet Murray:

people ask me if they could be an affiliate for my planner, even though

Janet Murray:

they have no intention of buying it.

Janet Murray:

Can I sell it for you?

Janet Murray:

Even though I have never had one before and I, I am, I don't have

Janet Murray:

any intention of buying buy one.

Janet Murray:

Well, no, you can't because I, my personal values are, I only want people promoting

Janet Murray:

my products, who know, them and like them, because it would feel disingenuous

Janet Murray:

for me to do otherwise for someone else.

Janet Murray:

They don't care if somebody is selling the product, that's fine.

Janet Murray:

But I think that's all part of it too, as well.

Janet Murray:

Like people buy into your values.

Janet Murray:

And although I'd probably be richer if I, if I have people selling it for me, um, I

Janet Murray:

think that that's all parts of it as well.

Janet Murray:

And I think often I find product based business owners when I'm helping them

Janet Murray:

with their marketing, they get very stuck into the product and what they forget.

Janet Murray:

like you say people are buying an experience they're buying, they're

Janet Murray:

buying the person or firm behind it, or the culture behind it and the values.

Janet Murray:

And.

Janet Murray:

It's so much more than the actual physical product, if that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes total sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And let's talk a bit more about the marketing if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I mentioned to you, when I, when we first started talking about

Vicki Weinberg:

this podcast, that I always see you as someone who markets your product really,

Vicki Weinberg:

really well, and really ahead of time.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can you perhaps talk for a little bit about what you do and then maybe if

Vicki Weinberg:

we've got time, we can also cover some ideas, but other product businesses.

Janet Murray:

Yeah.

Janet Murray:

So I want to start by saying, and this is meant in the nicest possible way,

Janet Murray:

but one of the things that drives me mad about product based businesses,

Janet Murray:

because I am one as well as it is, they see themselves as differently as

Janet Murray:

different in terms of marketing service.

Janet Murray:

So I get also a lot, for example, with my planner, well, will your plan to work for

Janet Murray:

me because I have a product based business well I have a product here and I use it

Janet Murray:

and I think that product based business often get so bogged down in the fact that

Janet Murray:

they're selling a product and then not for the reasons that we've just talked about.

Janet Murray:

So, so what they'll often be doing is just showing up and just

Janet Murray:

posting pictures of their products.

Janet Murray:

And that's all very well.

Janet Murray:

And for some products, particularly very well-established ones, you

Janet Murray:

know, people will just buy something because it looks beautiful.

Janet Murray:

But for most products, people, they need more in terms of the content.

Janet Murray:

So.

Janet Murray:

We have a really kind of, quite a long buildup to it.

Janet Murray:

So we start promoting the next year's planner.

Janet Murray:

Well, we start promoting it soon as we sell out, we have

Janet Murray:

a wait list for the next year.

Janet Murray:

Um, but we'll start sort of July time.

Janet Murray:

So the planner goes on sale in August.

Janet Murray:

Like we started off in November and we've come further and further

Janet Murray:

back because we've realized that people like to buy planners earlier.

Janet Murray:

We do a pre-launch pre-order week.

Janet Murray:

Hmm.

Janet Murray:

Last year.

Janet Murray:

It was the beginning of September this year.

Janet Murray:

We've brought it back to the end of August and we don't just kind of rock up and

Janet Murray:

go, Hey, the planner is on pre-order.

Janet Murray:

We have, you know, w we, we get people to vote on the covers.

Janet Murray:

So we have eight covers and then people, we have a whole thing in June,

Janet Murray:

July time where people get to vote down to the final four and people,

Janet Murray:

oh my God, is mine going to be in the pot and the final four wherever.

Janet Murray:

Um, and, uh, and, uh, we say that people book pre-order, they will

Janet Murray:

get their guaranteed choice of cover when we get towards the end of our

Janet Murray:

sales, because it is a seasonal.

Janet Murray:

People sometimes just have to take whatever they can get.

Janet Murray:

And I have had people practically begging me.

Janet Murray:

There was a pink one, one year, and this woman was like,

Janet Murray:

surely you've got one at home.

Janet Murray:

Like I'll even have a damaged one.

Janet Murray:

I was like, well, I wouldn't even sell you a damaged one if even

Janet Murray:

I have one, but, but I don't.

Janet Murray:

But, um, so we kind of, we build it up and it's about making

Janet Murray:

people feel part of the process.

Janet Murray:

So they're almost co-creating it with you and showing them behind the scenes and.

Janet Murray:

You know, making them feel part of the launch, but not just rocking up

Janet Murray:

and saying, Hey, this is on sale now it's about like having a buildup.

Janet Murray:

So when I think about my planner launch, like we start back in sort

Janet Murray:

of June, July time and we start doing the kind of vote on the covers.

Janet Murray:

And then we have a wait list going throughout the summer.

Janet Murray:

And we're telling people when it's going to come on sale, it's only going to be

Janet Murray:

available for preorders forthis one week, and we usually do some kind of extra,

Janet Murray:

extra kind of a bonus during that week.

Janet Murray:

Uh, we're showing pictures of the cover and people hanging out.

Janet Murray:

I like this one.

Janet Murray:

I'm going to get that one or whatever, or I'm not sure I can't decide.

Janet Murray:

So there's this whole kind of buildup before it goes on sale.

Janet Murray:

And there's actually six phases to my plan.

Janet Murray:

I'm working with it in a new Facebook ads agency this year.

Janet Murray:

And they're, I think they've been a bit kind of shocked because the thing is,

Janet Murray:

if you're selling a product, you can't sell it the same way for like we sell.

Janet Murray:

Between August and January, you can't just keep rocking up with the same content.

Janet Murray:

So we break it down into phases.

Janet Murray:

And so we'll have, for example, we have our pre-order phase and then we

Janet Murray:

move into our event and planner phase.

Janet Murray:

But then in November we start talking more about Christmas gifts.

Janet Murray:

Then in December, we'll have a, uh, lead up to our, um, you

Janet Murray:

know, last Christmas posting.

Janet Murray:

And we have like gift sets that we send and things like that.

Janet Murray:

So, so we start back, we start in January, like when we want

Janet Murray:

the last one to be sold, ideally.

Janet Murray:

And we work back from that, but we know that we can't just keep

Janet Murray:

selling it in the same way.

Janet Murray:

So we have to almost seem so I had a photo shoot done in the summer

Janet Murray:

and I was out in my Christmas outfit and stuff, having photos taken.

Janet Murray:

And we had some new year like, uh, photos.

Janet Murray:

Cause cause also the other thing, a key, a key phase for us.

Janet Murray:

In between Christmas and New Year, as soon as everyone's had

Janet Murray:

Christmas, they're bored at home.

Janet Murray:

It's a really big sales time for me.

Janet Murray:

Um, so.

Janet Murray:

We, we switch our, the messaging and our promotions to kind of like, okay,

Janet Murray:

if at Christmas you fed up of Turkey and Christmas TV and chocolates, like now you

Janet Murray:

want to get sorted for next, you know, so we do a lot of sales seem to Christmas and

Janet Murray:

New Year, but for me, it's about planning and, and also just creating concept for

Janet Murray:

those different phases and making sure that you're switching it up and moving it.

Janet Murray:

Does that kind of make sense?

Janet Murray:

It's, it's, it's, it's much more strategic.

Janet Murray:

I think probably than a lot of people would do.

Janet Murray:

I'm not saying it's perfect, like get things wrong every year, but it's

Janet Murray:

strategic and we think quite far ahead,

Vicki Weinberg:

then that's really helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, um, yeah, it is really interesting because as you say, I think we've

Vicki Weinberg:

as a products business and I also have products, so, and I've also

Vicki Weinberg:

been guilty of just posting pictures of my products, um, for lack of

Vicki Weinberg:

anything original or even original, a lack of any thing else to share.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, what are some things that people can be thinking about

Vicki Weinberg:

with products businesses?

Vicki Weinberg:

I know you said it's same as services.

Vicki Weinberg:

What can people kind of content?

Vicki Weinberg:

Can people be thinking about creating?

Janet Murray:

Okay.

Janet Murray:

So one of the modifications we've made to the planner this year say modifications.

Janet Murray:

That makes it sound done.

Janet Murray:

It isn't easier, but we have these four styles of content.

Janet Murray:

So I've come to conclude.

Janet Murray:

You know, most people are posting too much four styles of content four days a week.

Janet Murray:

It's quite enough.

Janet Murray:

And so there's four types, which are I'll quickly take you through.

Janet Murray:

So, um, they spell out nice, which is handy to remember

Janet Murray:

So news and trends so that might be about something, you know,

Janet Murray:

breaking news in your industry.

Janet Murray:

So let's say for example, I dunno, you're, you're, uh, trying to think

Janet Murray:

of what product you might sell.

Janet Murray:

Maybe you sell some kind of haircare product or something and, um, Know,

Janet Murray:

somebody might be using trends like somebody famous or something

Janet Murray:

like that has her suddenly started styling their hair in a certain way.

Janet Murray:

And, um, your product really supports that.

Janet Murray:

So you, you, you know, you might do something like, oh, you know,

Janet Murray:

at the Oscars we saw that Jennifer Aniston was styling her hair in a

Janet Murray:

certain way, and this is how you can do it and use our product.

Janet Murray:

So it's that kind of thing where it could just be breaking news

Janet Murray:

about stuff that's happening in the industry, or it could be about your own

Janet Murray:

Inspiration I think a lot of people don't realize that people don't always

Janet Murray:

want to be sold to all the time.

Janet Murray:

They get bored of it.

Janet Murray:

And they don't want to be educated, which is another type of content

Janet Murray:

that gets you in a second.

Janet Murray:

So inspiration is when it's about making people feel better.

Janet Murray:

So for example, I did a podcast interview with a lady who has a children's toy

Janet Murray:

business, wooden toy, and she was posting.

Janet Murray:

Products of her, her pictures of our products, I should say.

Janet Murray:

And I say, actually, people wants to kind of like be inspired.

Janet Murray:

The value is driving her business.

Janet Murray:

We're actually about the reason she chosen wooden toys is because she wanted, she

Janet Murray:

really values people passing on gifts.

Janet Murray:

Like, you know, Down the, uh, down the generations, she values, um, you

Janet Murray:

know, looking after the environment.

Janet Murray:

So actually you could create content about if, if for that kind of business,

Janet Murray:

you know, here's, here's some ways to use less plastic, you know, which wouldn't

Janet Murray:

seem immediately like, you know, or, or here's how to, um, you know, uh, oh

Janet Murray:

God, here's a really great gift that you can buy that, you know, you can pass

Janet Murray:

down the family or something like that.

Janet Murray:

And then you've got community, which I think a lot of product

Janet Murray:

based businesses don't do enough.

Janet Murray:

It's just about getting to know your audience.

Janet Murray:

You can use awareness days, like in my planner to do, to, to

Janet Murray:

inspire those kinds of things.

Janet Murray:

So just asking questions, like I ask questions all the time.

Janet Murray:

Like, what was your first car?

Janet Murray:

What was the first record that you bought?

Janet Murray:

And it doesn't work so well on Instagram, but community can be it.

Janet Murray:

It's just about bringing people closer to you.

Janet Murray:

So.

Janet Murray:

Product-based businesses.

Janet Murray:

What people love is behind the scenes.

Janet Murray:

They love seeing the making.

Janet Murray:

They love seeing you packing an order, unpacking an order.

Janet Murray:

They love to see what it looks like in your studio or the anything that's

Janet Murray:

just behind the scenes, into how you do what you do and that's community.

Janet Murray:

Cause that's about bringing people closer to you.

Janet Murray:

And that's the kind of stuff you can just pick up your phone and just do you know, I

Janet Murray:

I'm harranging our printers at the moment to say, can they please send some film of

Janet Murray:

them, of our printer.of my planner on the press, you know, it's that kind of thing.

Janet Murray:

Um, it's just about kind of making people feel part of your world.

Janet Murray:

Instagram stories is brilliant for that as well.

Janet Murray:

You know, just, just showing them what you've been up to,

Janet Murray:

what you're making today.

Janet Murray:

You know, people love all of that.

Janet Murray:

And the last one is educated.

Janet Murray:

This is the ones that a lot of product based businesses.

Janet Murray:

They just don't get this.

Janet Murray:

So I'm going to see if I can explain it in two minutes.

Janet Murray:

Um, so people.

Janet Murray:

Uh, a great place to start is to think about all the reasons people would not buy

Janet Murray:

your product and the, or the problems that they have, which which might bring them

Janet Murray:

to consider buying a product like yours.

Janet Murray:

So I know with my, my planner it solves two problems, people who are struggling

Janet Murray:

for content ideas, or people who are struggling to stick to, to a plan.

Janet Murray:

So what kind of questions those people can have not necessarily about my product,

Janet Murray:

they're going to have questions like, um, so how many times should I post on

Janet Murray:

social media of a week or, um, what's the best platform for me to be on?

Janet Murray:

So if I pick another random products and say, you, you sell hairbrushes.

Janet Murray:

What's the best hairbrush.

Janet Murray:

If you've got curly hair, like, you know, is it really true that

Janet Murray:

you shouldn't brush your hair?

Janet Murray:

If you have curly hair, it is totally by the way, there's natural curls.

Janet Murray:

Um, so it's just about thinking about the problems that your

Janet Murray:

ideal customers or clients have.

Janet Murray:

A lot of people think, well, how will that help me?

Janet Murray:

Because I sell a product, how's it going to make people

Janet Murray:

buy my product, but they will.

Janet Murray:

If they see you showing up providing value and they're going to want to

Janet Murray:

come back, like why would they want to come back just to keep looking

Janet Murray:

at pictures of your products?

Janet Murray:

They, they wouldn't, um, there's loads more that I could say on that Vicki.

Janet Murray:

Does that give you a bit of an idea into.

Janet Murray:

The kind of almost like mental shift that you need to take.

Vicki Weinberg:

That was really, really helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you, Janet, because I think you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

It is a bit of a sh of a shift because it's almost, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think I, for myself, with my products, I start thinking really narrowly.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like I can just talk about my products and nothing else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I think it just helps people to think a bit broader,

Vicki Weinberg:

a bit more creative as well.

Janet Murray:

I mentioned just one more example, opinions to people,

Janet Murray:

love to know what you believe.

Janet Murray:

So I've had a Tik TOK that's done really well recently where I talked

Janet Murray:

about why I don't give them the name of the company that prints my planner.

Janet Murray:

You know, a lot of my, um, my ideal clients are small business owners.

Janet Murray:

They have product products as well, and they care about it

Janet Murray:

and they identified with it.

Janet Murray:

So opinions, um, that that really comes to under the community for me as well.

Janet Murray:

It's about.

Janet Murray:

It's about going further than that.

Janet Murray:

Just physical product.

Janet Murray:

There's a, there's a whole world, a whole experience.

Janet Murray:

That's a good word that you use Vicky.

Janet Murray:

I think that to describe it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Uh, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I could ask you so many questions, but I am really trying to be sensible

Vicki Weinberg:

and keep an eye on the time, Janet.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'm gonna ask you one more if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that is what would your top piece of advice be for product

Vicki Weinberg:

creators and makers who want to create really good engaging content?

Janet Murray:

So I think it would be to almost put your product aside and to

Janet Murray:

focus on your ideal customer or client.

Janet Murray:

What problems is your product or service solve for them?

Janet Murray:

That's key.

Janet Murray:

But also what problems have they got that would bring you, bring them

Janet Murray:

to your product in the first place?

Janet Murray:

So to use, you know, hair products, as an example, my daughter does the curly,

Janet Murray:

the curly girl method, and I bought her all sorts of stuff like silk caps and

Janet Murray:

silk pillows and all that kind of stuff.

Janet Murray:

Like just really thinking, what else would that person want information on?

Janet Murray:

Like, my daughter is.

Janet Murray:

Multitude of videos on how to, you know, you said you might sell silk caps, but

Janet Murray:

actually your ideal client is also looking for the best brush to buy, or they're

Janet Murray:

also looking for the best, um, leave in conditioner or whatever, and actually

Janet Murray:

sometimes it's a bit about being brave enough to talk about other people's

Janet Murray:

products or methods, because that's what your ideal customers or clients want.

Janet Murray:

And rather than making them not buying your stuff, it will bring them closer

Janet Murray:

because they will see you as an expert.

Janet Murray:

That's my actually top tip actually to finish is you.

Janet Murray:

Instead of seeing yourself as someone who sells a product to see yourself

Janet Murray:

as an expert in the problem that your product solves, if that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes fantastic total sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Fantastic.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that really does make sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's about then being able to go to you for everything on that

Vicki Weinberg:

topic, whether it's the curly girl methods or whatever, and you being

Vicki Weinberg:

their go-to place rather than Google..

Vicki Weinberg:

Or somehow

Janet Murray:

You're a resource.

Janet Murray:

You're not someone who sells a product.

Janet Murray:

You're a resource for them and some, a community, a place where they like

Janet Murray:

to hang out because they get great information and they like being around you

Janet Murray:

and the other people in your community.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really inspired me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And finally, finally, before we finish, I know that you've got a discount code to

Vicki Weinberg:

have haven't you for your planner for us.

Janet Murray:

I have.

Janet Murray:

So if you had to Janetmurray.co.uk and.

Janet Murray:

My planner is on the main page, if not just navigate to the

Janet Murray:

menu and it will say planner.

Janet Murray:

Um, and if you, when you go to the, the desk, the desk, what do

Janet Murray:

I mean, the desk, the checkout.

Janet Murray:

to buy the planner, you will, uh, if you stick in the voucher code, Vicki that

Janet Murray:

will with an I that will give you a 10% discount on the planner and the event.

Janet Murray:

If you're buying before, before that the event happens.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you so much for that, Janet.

Vicki Weinberg:

And thank you for everything you've shared today.

Janet Murray:

Well, thanks for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you enjoyed it, please do leave member of you that really helps

Vicki Weinberg:

other people to find this podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you tell your friends about it too?

Vicki Weinberg:

If you think that they also might enjoy it can find me@vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

There you'll find links to all of my social channels.

Vicki Weinberg:

You'll find lots of more information.

Vicki Weinberg:

All of the past podcast, episodes and lots of free resources too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So again, that's Vicki weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Take care, have a good week and see you next.