A mini-manual is a simple way of reaching out to your customer, taking them by the hand and guiding them along through the basics of what you have to offer. Mini-manuals can also be referred to as reports, depending on what type of business you are in.
Writing a small booklet on a topic can clarify what the product or service is (or what it involves), emphasise the benefits to the customer, and position you in their heads as an ‘expert’ on that particular area.
Marketing your mini-manual
- Before producing the manual, be clear about how you plan to use it in your marketing strategy. For example, are you going to produce it in printed form to sell at trade fairs, or is it going to be used as a free download when the customer signs up to your mailing list? Are you aiming to sell advertising space within it?
- If you provide a service (for example; a Reiki therapist), a manual can be a great way to introduce people to your therapy, especially those who have no idea what the therapy entails. Likewise, if you sell products, it can help people to become aware of the quality and care that goes into them.
- Remember, the main point of the piece is to inform and educate the customer about the benefits of what your product or service has to offer, so don’t use it as a ‘hard sell’ type of document. You want them to go away thinking that you are an expert on your topic – this will build their trust in you and also help you to stick in their minds.
Writing your mini-manual
- Once you have decided on the ‘hows’ of using the manual, plan the subject. Length-wise, you should be looking at no more than 10 – 15 pages. If you are planning to give the manual away as part of your marketing strategy, then around 10 pages is ideal – if people have not paid for it they are much more likely to ‘skim-read’ and will get bored if it is much longer.
- The best titles for this sort of short and informative material are list-based benefits. People are more drawn to them because they break information down into a series of digestible chunks that can be easily implemented into their daily life.
- Lists break down the overwhelm that a customer can often feel at the beginning of the buying process – and by breaking it down for them – you help to guide them through straight to the things they need (which of course, you can provide for them too!)
- Focus on the problem your customer has as the core of your writing. For example, let’s say you provide corporate massage therapy. You could write about ‘7 Benefits of Massage Therapy in the Workplace’ – however, many of your customers won’t even bother reading, as they don’t know that massage therapy will solve their problem. ‘7 Ways to Improve Employee Productivity & Performance’ will catch the eye of your prospective audience (corporate business owners), and then you can present the benefits of massage therapy as the solution to this problem.