The creation of simple, profitable products not only gives you an additional stream of income when you are booking speeches; it gives you much needed copyright and trademark protection. You may be thinking about creating products that carry your message. How do you start? Which products will best showcase your business? How much will it cost? Do you need to trademark them and, if so, how do you go about it?
I can’t teach you the whole process here, but let’s start at the beginning. Think of it as mining for gold. First, sift through key words, phrases, memorable concepts and signature stories that relate to your business. Sort through these valuable intellectual properties until you are left with only THE BEST, the shiny nuggets which are distinctive and memorable. Use your audience, clients and friends to help you identify the most creative and memorable material.
Next, see if your words or phrases are available. I recommend three methods. First, go to www.uspto.gov (US Patent and Trademark online site) and do a quick trademark search (TESS). You can see if any of your phrases have already been trademarked or are pending trademark status. Second, Google the phrase (use quotes around your entry) and see if anything similar or matching comes up. Finally, go to www.dogpile.com for a broader search. These steps will give you an 80 – 90% accurate idea about whether you should proceed with your keywords. In order to be completely sure that your keywords/phrases are not already in use, hire an attorney who specializes in intellectual property.
Take the first, simple step to protect your properties, if you haven’t already done so, by placing a very small TM (the abbreviation for trademark) to the right of the word or phrase. This puts others on notice that you are staking your claim. At a later date, you may want to consider filing for a registered trademark.
Now that you’ve targeted potential phrases, what products should you choose to showcase them? I recommend a simple first step. Design a bookmark—a content driven, artistic and inspirational piece that captures the essence of what you have to share with people. This simple and powerful product will protect and test your concept and can generate revenue without a lot of investment. Bookmarks make a nice revenue add-on when you book your next speech. They are a great way to remind your audience about you and encourage them to visit your web site or contact you down the line.
For example, your bookmark might read, “Five Hot Tips to Turn Your Cold Calls into Hot Leads!” Put a TM to the right of it. List your five tips in an attractive way on the front and, on the back, put your contact info, copyright and logo. The sales will follow.
There are over twenty-five great product categories and hundreds of product ideas to maximize your speaking impact, create a revenue stream and drive business.
Come to the Colorado Chapter of the National Speakers Association www.nsacolorado.org, May 7, 2010 at the Denver Athletic Club from 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. for the full story on products, trademarks and licensing.
Your True Nature, Inc.