Are you interested or planning to start creating a paper product of your own? In today's episode, I am going to bring you behind the scenes of my 2024 Dream Planner Collection!
If you have a dream on your heart to create your planner or paper product, I am so thrilled for you! I want to share my experience and process with you, so you can print with excellence and have a quality product you are proud of! I am going to share what I have found to be the general timeline to create a quality paper product, the steps in the creating process, and where I currently am in this process with my new planner.
Behind the Scenes on the 2024 Dream Planner Collection
It might be a little crazy to think I have already gotten started on my new planner now, as the expected launch date is October 2023. I start early because good things take time.
With my first planner, I started planning in August and launched in November. Since then, I have found that while the process itself can be simple, getting the quality product I want doesn't happen overnight.
Now, let’s take a further look into the timeline for a quality product, the 4 steps to go from idea to printed product, and where I am currently at in that process.
I have been creating different paper products for 8 years now, and I have found that the timeline to have a completed quality product is about 6 to 9 months. Is it possible to bump up that timeline? Sure, you could do what I initially did and use a domestic printer that cost me at least ten times what I pay now and get your product in hand quicker, but quicker is not my goal.
My goal is printing with excellence. Think leather bound, gold linen cover, gold foil stamping, stickers, and a box the product comes in. All the bells and whistles, and that design and editing journey takes time. But the reward is a better, more profitable product!
If you want your product faster because say you are running behind the printing schedule, consider the cost and what that means for your business. To get your product quicker, you are going to have to pay significantly more for rushed shipping. I am talking upwards of four times the cost. This added cost eats into your profitability.
In the Christian space, we tend to get uncomfortable talking about profit, but if you consider your business, profit is self-care. I wouldn’t have a company without profit. You must have profit in order to have a business. I am thankful for profitability in my company because it has also allowed us to regularly donate.
As a company, we donate 20% of our profit quarterly to fight human trafficking. And as of now, we’ve raised over $70,000 through our partnership with A21, who are out there rescuing people right here in the United States.
Now that we’ve discussed the timeline, I want to share with you the 4 steps to go from idea to printed product in hand and share with you where I am currently at with my new planner.
4 Steps to Go From Idea to Printed Product
This is the step I am currently in with my 2024 Dream Planner. What does this step look like? Ideation is simply taking your idea from your brain to paper.
Since this isn’t my first planner, I have my template and system in place. This process will look different than if this were my first planner. For me, ideation will include rewriting my welcome letter and seasonal prayers and redesign.
I really like to take time, pray and ask God what He wants me to share with you. We are designed to create, and for me, designing paper products is what scratches that itch and allows me to be a part of something bigger than myself.
If you have this burning flame in your heart as well, I hope you know this is all possible for you!
If this is your first planner, I would encourage you to think about what you want to create and who you are creating for. Once you have determined these key points, it will be easier to start creating.
The second step in the creating process is design. During this step, you can choose to either hire a designer to create how you want the product to look, or you can design yourself. If you are designing the product yourself, there are programs such as Canva or Adobe that are helpful to use.
I personally love getting to dream up the designs for my covers! I am doing a little dreaming already, and I have actually decided to put out a survey for my 2024 Dream Planner design for you all to vote for your favorite, once I have decided what my favorite designs are.
The third step in the process is printing. After you have print-ready files, you will pay to get one sample made from a printer. I would recommend starting with getting just one sample to save on cost up front.
The fourth and final step in creating is marketing. Once you are at this stage, I would recommend using the one sample you printed for marketing purposes. With this one sample, aim for about 100 pre orders, and use the money from those pre orders to place more orders.
I have found this method to be the best way to get your quality product without having to spend a high dollar amount upfront. When I first started, I paid over $28,000 to get 1,000 planners made! That is not what I do today or teach today. I want to eliminate that risk for you as well. If you are in my Print School, I even go as far as to pay for my students' samples! This is what I am invested in and what is important for me.
Hope you enjoyed a little behind the scenes!
That is a little behind the scenes of my 2024 Dream Planner Collection and where I am at in the creating process. Be sure to listen to the full episode where I dive deeper into the details of the 4-step process. Stay tuned for my March update!
If you want to get started on your paper product, and are interested in learning more, I have a free workshop for you!