You’ve got to have a plan, do you have a plan? 
Kit De Luca, Pretty Woman, 1990

I recently created a planner for the very lovely Jessica Lorimer. Perhaps you heard us chatting about her Smart Leaders Sell 90 Day Planner on her podcast here.

Even if I do say so myself, this planner is rather marvellous. You can sneak a peak at the planner below or just buy it!

But before you get #PlannerEnvy I want to share how you can create a planner that sells, rather one that looks lovely and you’ll be using copies of it for the rest of your life, because no-one bought it.

It all starts before we even talk about what it’s going to look like…though that is my favourite part!

Do these 4 things first.

Your network is your net worth

Seriously.  Who.  Can you name them?

Now if you’ve got a mum like mine (she’s my number 1 cheerleader) she’ll absolutely want one, just because it’s got my name on it. That’s one sold.  I also have an inner circle of business buddies who would buy it too. Right now I could easily sell 10. Without even trying. BUT outside of those die-hard supporters who else would buy it?

If you don’t know, ask your audience. Sounds too simple, right? You’ll be surprised how many people don’t do their market research, so ask them. Remember, people love to be asked an opinion, and if your audience is anything like mine, they’ll love to share it.  So ask them.  But before you go off to ask them, you need to think about this….

Why would they buy it?

It’s not about the price, yes that is a factor.  But before you even get to price, think about how the “planner” is going to help them.

What’s your planner promise?

Let me give you some examples to get your creative juices flowing.

If you’re a sales coach like Jessica Lorimer, her planner helps people sell every day for 90 days by focussing on the key activities that drive sales.  The promise of her planner is simple:   "Do what Jess says to sell more",  If you want even more help selling, check out her Amazon best-selling book "Smart Leaders Sell".

If you’re in the health industry, like my good friend Rebecca Boulton who is a Nutritional Therapist and Hormone Mentor her planner promise could be: “Buy this planner and within 3 months you’ll feel 10 years younger and shopping for a new wardrobe.”   I don’t know about you but I’d buy that planner. Why? I don’t want to lose weight for the sake of it, I want to feel good and I want to look good, and what better reason to buy a new wardrobe than losing a few kilos!

If you’re a coach in a specific niche, like my good friend Emma Heptonstall who is a divorce coach, her planner promise could be: “Buy this planner and save thousands of pounds on solicitors fees”.  Now I'm a married woman, but I do have a copy of Emma's Amazon best-selling book "How To Be a Lady Who Leaves" at home...I do like to keep husband 1.0 (aka Mr Wilkins) on his toes!

Now you may be thinking, well it’s not 2019 yet, people don’t buy planners mid-year.

Sorry to disappoint you, that’s simply not true.  Yes, it’s highly unlikely that I’d buy a 2018 diary past Valentine’s Day.   But a planner doesn’t have to be a diary.


Anyone else got a Paperchase addiction? That’s one of my guilty pleasures, I love cracking open a new notebook.

What is the planner for?

I’ve given you some examples of what you could offer and shown you some examples of planners and a promise you could make, But let’s dissect this further.

What I want you to do is think very carefully about your planner:

  • Who is it for?
  • What does it help them do?
  • Over what time period? e.g.1 month, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, five years.
  • What will be the result (or promise) for completing the planner?

Get outside, go for a walk, and have a think whilst your strolling….and if like me you think better when moving, take your phone with you and leave yourself a voicemail (that's an old trick from my Corporate days....did you do that too, leave yourself a voicemail, or was that just me?).

Would anyone actually want it?

Remember I said, ask your audience. Well here’s the thing, my mantra is “if you don’t ask you don’t get”.   So what I want you to do now is some market research, and find out if there is an appetite for your planner.

Go to your business buddies and other raving fans and ask them:

Ooh! I’m thinking of creating a planner that [insert planner promise]. What do you think?

Now please, don’t just ask that question, wrap it up with some “blah blah” that’s in your style, otherwise your buddies will think you’ve lost the plot!

Though make sure your question is open, i.e. so that people can comment freestyle, without a simple Yes or No.  If you’ve got an engaged tribe of raving fans, go ask them.   And if you’re doing this on social media, please respond to every single person who comments, and perhaps ask them another question.  This feedback is going to be fundamental to your success.

Honestly, there is no point creating anything that no-one’s going to buy.

Ever seen Dragon’s Den and some clever inventor has spent tens of thousands of pounds on a new “widget” only for Peter Jones to say “why would I want that widget, when I have a widget today that does the same thing”. I don't see a market for your widget".

I know you’re passionate about your planner idea, and I don’t want to rain on your parade.

But I beg of you. 

Find out if your audience think it’s a good idea before you invest any money in your planner!

In fact, I won’t help anyone bring a planner to life, until they’ve done their research. Not even if you’re my heroine.

To sign up to learn more about how to bring your planner idea to life and the next steps, click here.  Or press the great big button below.

Every day, for 7 days, I’ll send you an email with a short action list of things you need to make decisions on to help you decide if a planner is commercially viable for your business.

Full disclosure: during this email sequence I may pop in some information about my services and at the end I'll invite you to join my weekly newsletter on all things content marketing related infused with a dash of fun and a smidgen of British wit!  And of course, you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Jessica Lorimer's Smart Leaders Sell Book and the 90 Day Planner.

Jess visiting Ninja HQ, December 2017.

Sneak peak of the inside of the 90 Day Planner.

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