This is called multi-tiered topic spoking and it is #15 of our 16-item series about “How to Sell 75% of Your Freelance Writing.” It will make a lot more sense if you’ll also read my April 8 blog, #14, too where I talk about multiple sales at the article-writing level. Why not now?
Recall, in #14 I drew a circle, wrote WHALES in the middle, and drew eight spokes from the center, past the circle, and each represented an article topic I wrote about and sold, using for each article a lot of the pool research (the 20 hours invested before I queried or wrote) from that center circle.
But let’s change the topic here (because whales sort of works but not nearly as well as 100 other topics, like the one I now suggest). Let’s say here you are writing about CLOSING THE SALE instead of WHALES, and you have also done #14 about writing articles to various publications about “closing the sale.” In the process you spent that starter time (the 20 hours above—the number of hours is flexible) and created the information pool, found many experts to quote, lots of examples to cite, and you have written down several dozen potential ideas for articles.
The biggest difference here is that each new circle has a different information dissemination means qualifier. The first, that we’ve discussed, will be for magazines or articles. In the middle that would say SALE CLOSING/ARTICLES.
But your others, each a circle with as many spokes as you can find ways to sell the concept, might say SALE CLOSING/AUDIO, SALE CLOSING/SPEAKING, …/VISUAL, …/E-BOOKS AND REPORTS, …/BOOKS, …/CONSULTING, …/PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, and more.
Let’s focus on one of these topic-spoking diagrams, then let your mind and pencil wander. (All of this is leading us to the last unit of the series next week, where you can become a well paid expert by empire building!)
Let’s say you also want to sell information about sales closing through live talks, speeches, workshops, breakout sessions, keynotes, training programs… so the center of the circle says SALES CLOSING/SPEAKING.
Create that circle and tentatively add in six spokes. Say that’s on one sheet of paper and the articles circle with spokes is on another. And you also create a separate sheet for the other six information means above (like books and consulting).
Then imagine each of these sheets all flat but 3” apart, tiered one over the other, with the centers lined up. That’s a 3-D (multi-tiered) topic spoking diagram. And envision all the information you gathered in the center circle for the article sheet also being accessible on all of the other sheets, plus all of the information you gather in the future about any phase of sales closing also being available for any other sheet!
Then go to the SALES CLOSING/SPEAKING sheet and write down ways that you could sell that information orally (much of it the same information you shared in print). For example, the spokes may say: (1) national convention breakout session for the ABC industry in Chicago, (2) keynote at the regional ABC industry in Dayton, (3) radio interview on KXXK on the business show Tuesday nights, (4) talk to the round table of sales honchos about YYY, (5) presentations to the employees of three of the round table sales honchos, (6) workshop through the local community college extended ed program about closing sales (check my link here), and so on… Put down the doable ones at first, then keep adding in more spokes as you get comfortable with the means and the marketing needed to make each work.
You can do the same to any other means that is appropriate to your idea and for which you have the needed information and ability—the last can be developed!
Is it clear that much of the information you share at your speeches or seminars is the same information you gathered for the articles, and will be similar to the audio CDs you create and the radio show on which you appear? And that lots of the listeners at every spoke will be buying the book you create from your book tier?
That’s a quick look at the concept. I know it works because that’s precisely how I and dozens (over time maybe 100) of my friends and acquaintances earn their living. It usually starts with one article or a wee talk to anybody who will read or listen to it.
It’s a lot more than selling 75% of your freelance writing, but that’s how it starts and how it evolves.
I’ll wrap this up next week. Just go back and pluck out the other 14 sections, print them out, try them, and share what you find useful with others.
P.S. Take a peek at my newsletter too, free and monthly. A lot of the topic-spoking process and all of the 75% steps are also in my Travel Writer’s Guide. Somebody is going to get paid to write those articles and give those speeches, and all the rest. Why not you?