October 2021 update

Paul GreenUpdates


Bullet point summary

  1. Personalisation placeholders are now in the designed materials
  2. Within InDesign, all personalisation is now in its own layer
  3. UK Stannp newsletter now 4 page, not 2 page
  4. Printed newsletter will be designed for prospects and clients from November
  5. Launch of Facebook Live Ask Paul Anything
  6. Coming in the months ahead:
    • Second batch of the How To videos (due end of September)
    • Cyber hygiene video
    • Templates for a sales proposal, strategic review & technology roadmap
    • More Bitesize training courses: Aiming for one per week

Full transcription

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Hi, this is Paul with your monthly update to accompany the launch of the new October content. How are we talking about October already? It feels like we’ve only just left the summer. Anyway, the October content is here and I’ve got six updates for you this month.

The first of them is to do with placeholders, so throughout lots of our design materials, things like the guide promotional images, the postcard, there is a place where we have intended you to put your logo and your contact details, and from this month, we’ve made it much more obvious by actually putting placeholders in. So for example, here on this, this is a copy of October’s guide, you can see we’ve actually put in a placeholder logo. And the idea is that you can go in and look for those and then know exactly where we intend you to put the logo. Of course, it’s completely up to you where you actually put the logo and where you put anything, but here you can see where our designer, Steve, has intended it all to be.

Now, in addition, with InDesign, we’ve moved all of the personalization to its own layer. So the way that InDesign works is you have different layers of content and you’ll now have at least two layers in design. One layer will be just content. Another layer will be just personalization, so you can press the little eye button and remove the content layer so you’re only seeing the personalization. The idea behind that is if you’re editing an InDesign, it makes it really easy for you to jump straight to the bits where you need to personalize, put in your logo or put in your contact details.

Now, the third update this month is to do with Stannp. You’ve probably heard of Stannp. It’s the service we recommend for sending out printed stuff. They print it and they post it out for you, and they have a UK operation and a US operation. Now up till now, they’ve not been able to cope with anything more than a single sheet of what we here in the UK called A4, and in the States is called letter-size paper, more or less roughly the same size. Now here in the UK, the Stannp operation can now cope with A3 size. So A3 is double A4. Essentially, you can print the entire newsletter on one sheet of paper and then fold it, which is how it was always really designed to be consumed.

So we have always produced a Stannp version of the newsletter, but that was just a two-page version so it could stay on a single piece of paper. We’ve now changed that so the Stannp version is the standard four-page version, but of course, it’s still got all the bits that Stannp needs them to be in all the right places, and of course they can print that for you on A3 and fold it.

Now, as I said, this is UK only, because at the moment the US operation cannot handle that. I’m not sure what paper size you’d call it, like a double letter-size. We have been talking to them. I know a number of our members have been talking to them. If you use Stannp in the US, send them an email, give them a call. Tell them that you use this service, that in the UK, we now can send out a four-page newsletter on one sheet of paper, but you can’t yet in a bigger market. It doesn’t make sense, does it? So the more pressure you can put on Stannp, the more likely it is they’ll go out and buy whatever machine they need to buy to get this done. And of course, the second that they do that, we will upgrade the US version of the Stannp newsletters as well.

Now, the fourth thing to tell you about also relates to the printed newsletter. So I ran a poll in the MSP Marketing Edge Facebook group a couple of weeks ago, asking who was using their printed newsletter for clients as well as prospects. So we’d always intended it, from first introduction, to be just a prospecting tool, and actually, it turns out that the vast majority of our members who use it also send it to clients. So we have said that from next month’s content, so from November onwards, we’re going to remove all the call-to-actions. We’re going to remove links into sales literature, and essentially, the printed newsletter will be designed to be used for prospects and for clients. So we’re going to really scale back the selling edge of it. It hurts me taking out call-to-actions, but there’s just one call-to-action within there. The idea behind it is that you can use it for both prospects and clients. So we’ll have that out for you in November. It’ll be on the 10th of October, that’s when we send out November is content, and I’d love to get your feedback on that.

Item number five is we have launched a live series of monthly Ask Paul Anything sessions. They’ll be going on Facebook Live, and if I can figure out, we’ll put it on another platform as well. But for this first month, we’re just doing it via Facebook Live in our members-only Facebook group, and the idea behind that is you can ask me any question, and that can be a product question, it can be a marketing question, it can be a business growth question. So there’s details of this in the dashboard. Please do go and have a look at that.

And the final thing to tell you is just a reminder of stuff that’s coming in the months ahead. So myself and my team, we took a few weeks off during the school summer holidays. We’re now back, we’re firing on all cylinders, and we have a very clear internal roadmap for all the stuff we’re going to produce to you right up, actually, till next summer. We’ve got a 12 month roadmap now. We don’t publish this roadmap because we want to be able to change things as priorities change, and once you’ve published your roadmap, you’re committed to that roadmap. So it will remain an internal roadmap, but in the months ahead, we’ve got all sorts of things. For example, by the end of September, approximately, we’ll have the second batch of the How To videos. So the first batch arrived earlier this year. We’ll have that second batch at around about the end of September.

We’ve got a cyber-hygiene video coming up. So this is a video that you can show to your clients, you can show to new users. The idea is that it teaches them good practice. It teaches them how to try and avoid being phished and all sorts of other things, just generally good cyber-hygiene. So this is another value-add video that you can show to your clients. It makes them feel as though you are taking a leadership position on cyber-crime, which is exactly the place that you want to be.

We have some more templates coming up. So we have been working on these, and we’re just fleshing them out. There’ll be a sales proposal template for you, there’s a strategic review template, and we’ve got a technology roadmap template. Now, these might be delayed a little bit more, because we want to get them as good as we can and I want to test them through a number of our members before we send those out. So those will arrive probably some point in early October, and I’ll give you an advance when we know when they’re going to arrive.

And then of course, we’ve got more bite-size training courses. So I have around about 15 subjects. Now I know what the courses are. I know the content for these courses. What I need to do is it takes around about a day to create and film each one. So I just need to find a day a week, and I’m aiming to get a course to you every week throughout the rest of this year. I won’t achieve that every single week, but I’ll do the best I can, and those bite-size training courses are there.

So for example, you wanted to immerse yourself in, let’s say, developing your staff, so one-to-ones, coaching and training, there’s a 15-minute bite-size training course. And you can literally go in, but it’s broken down into four or five chunks. So you could jump straight to look at the chunk on, say, one-to-ones, or you could watch the whole thing through. And there’s no fat. There’s no fluff in those. There’s no padding. It just gets straight to the point with those bite-sized training courses. So as I say, I’ll let you know each time I publish a new one, but my goal is to try and do one each week.

Now, if you’ve got any questions, you know how to get hold of me. If you’re watching this in our members-only Facebook group, then you can just leave a comment below, or of course, if you’re watching this anywhere else, you’ve just got to email. It’s hello@mspmarketingedge.com.

Paul Green
Author: Paul Green