Tips Hints crossword

You've seen this type of article a lot, I'm sure. Readers Digest, for example, is full of them. This is the "Five Essentials…" "Seven Secrets for…" or "Ten Tips About…" type of article that gives you some key points you need to remember about something.

A Tips piece is the kissin' cousin to a How-to article. It provides some practical information that people can use in everyday life. Just like the its cousin, the Tips Piece is normally not time sensitive and can be written at your leisure.

The Tips Piece – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

If you have been in business for even a few years, there are certain areas where you have built some expertise. Your increased capabilities can become some of your best marketing material by sharing some of your insights with your clients and potential clients.

Years ago, many of us were told never to share our expertise for free – this was your “secret sauce,” something others may not have. This is just not the case. First, as the old adage goes, there is nothing new under the son. Information and expertise are readily available; the important thing is how this content is positioned.

Actually, these insights may be your best tool for developing new business. Whether you are in the B2B or B2C world, the key is to become the “go-to” person in your profession or industry. The Tips piece can help bring this about.

Tips Basics

Here is a basic approach for writing a tips piece:

  • Take some time to sit down and write out some topics where you can provide some insight or expertise on approaching a problem, tackling an issue or thinking about a situation. If you get on a roll in putting down some basic Tips ideas, remember you can "bank" them and run them on a schedule, which keeps your content fresh.
  • For each item, list the major factors that are critical in bringing about a positive outcome.
  • Then, list problems that people might face regarding the topic.
  • Take both lists and combine them into a numbered sequence of memorable words, phrases or short sentences.
  • For each of these, writer a few short paragraphs, explaining each in more detail.

If you look above at the five reasons I listed, each of those can be expanded into a tips piece on "Five Reasons Why Tips Pieces Are Important to You Or Your Reader."

Tips pieces make great content for website postings, blogs, white papers, newsletters and more. They also make fantastic links for social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you adventurous and ready for something new? Turn your tip into a video or audio presentation for posting on your site and use the written piece as a take-away. Be sure to keep your program to five minutes or less. YouTube and other sites like Vimeo make it easy to store your work online and link to it on your website.

Seeing Results

When your reader takes your advice - and it works - you have gained their confidence and this confidence can lead to new business. A lot of tips pieces also have a long shelf life and can be used for a very long time.

As with other articles, remember that getting the word out about this content is important. Simply posting it is never enough. If you are active in social networks, toot your own horn! The key is to get the word out; let as many people as possible know that this material is being offered and where to find it.

Next week – One of the best ways to illustrate your USP