Every small business could use some free publicity. And tip sheets are the perfect way to get that free publicity. Sandra Beckwith, author of Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans, says, “It’s one of the hardest working and most useful tactics available for generating publicity.” And in an article published by StartupNation.com she adds, “They are probably one of the most valuable publicity tools a small business can use.”
Media outlets love tip sheets because they are complete, ready-to-use publishing and reporting fodder. And once your tip sheet runs in a newspaper or is picked up by the local news channel, you’ve demonstrated your expertise and shared your contact information all at the same time. And for free!
But how do you write a tip sheet? It’s actually easy! Here are 10 guidelines to help you write a winning tip sheet:
- Write a catchy title. Look to trendy women’s magazines for guidelines. Good titles include a number: “5 Ways to Drop Ten Pounds before Swimsuit Season,” “12 Christmas Crafts for under Ten Dollars,” “10 Guidelines on Writing a Winning Tip Sheet.”
- State a problem. You must convince your readers that there’s a need for your product and/or service. How will it benefit their lives?
- Include an expert quote. To bolster the validity of your tip sheet, it’s good to include a supporting quote from an expert (see the first paragraph of this article for an example).
- Use a numbered list. Numbered lists are easy to read. They also present information in manageable chunks. The best tip sheets include 6 to 12 tips.
- Use active verbs. Each tip should include a verb that moves readers to action.
- Focus. Don’t get distracted by tangents or lengthy explanations. Remember, less can be more, especially with a tip sheet.
- End with a call to action. Invite your readers to call you for more information or to visit your store or call you to discuss specific benefits they could be enjoying.
- Include your contact information. This is one of the most important elements of a tip sheet; you want readers to know who they can contact when they need your expertise.
- Keep it to one page. That’s why it’s called a tip sheet rather than tip sheets. Any longer and your readers will loose interest.
- Get your tip sheet into the right hands. Once you’ve finished the tip sheet you need to give it to your local paper, news channel, or radio station to see if they’d be interested in running your story. Also remember to take it with you when you go to conferences, workshops, and presentations.
It’s important that you look for inexpensive ways to market your business. A good accountant can help you evaluate your current marketing expenses and determine whether or not they are effective. Call us for a free consultation today!
Beckwith, Sandra. “How to Write a Tip Sheet.” sandrabeckwith.com.
Stewart, Joan. “The Basics of Tip Sheets: Get Publicity by Providing Publications with Useful Information.” 11 December 2000. Entreprenuer.com.
Turner, Marica Layton. “Tip Sheets: One of the Most Effective Tools You’ve Ever Heard of.” startupnation.com.