Sales

Understanding Sales through Mastering the Basics

understanding salesUnderstanding sales can only be achieved if you are able to master the basic concepts underlying it. There can be thousands of various sales books advocating different techniques to boost your sales. With little knowledge about the basics, however, you could be left groping in the dark.

Understanding sales doesn’t have to be very complicated. Remember that multi-awarded actors celebrated chefs, and victorious athletes all succeed because they never lose sight of the basics. So how do you even begin the process of understanding it?

Principles to Keep in Mind when Understanding Sales

For a better understanding of sales, you need to know the following concepts by heart:

1) Sales is essentially a two-way communication.

Understanding sales means understanding how communication works. This is because sales is actually all about communication. There are two parties involved – the customer and the sales person.  The customer is making known his needs and preferences to the sales person who tries to understand them. Both have the goal of helping one another. Understanding sales therefore, is also about knowing what you can do as a salesperson to be of service to your prospective customers as well as your loyal ones.

2) Customers buy products and avail of services for the benefits they get out of them.

Understanding sales means not only understanding your product. The common misconception among people is that sales is only a matter of promoting one’s product. However, this is not the be all and end all.  You need to fist understand what your customers are looking for. They will only buy from you if they know you can offer them what they need and want. Usually, customers consider utility, quality, economy, and convenience in buying a product. This said, understanding sales is also about understanding how the minds of your customers work. Remember that what you offer them is merely a method for them to achieve a target result.   The role of a salesperson, therefore is to communicate this result to customers so that they will be aware of it. More than focusing on your product itself, promote the results that your customers can get from experiencing your product or service.

3) Keeping your Communication lines open with your customers is a must in sales.

Understanding the psychology of buying can lead to understanding sales. From getting new accounts to selling existing ones and servicing them, you need good communication skills. Do not be deceived into thinking that selling is all about talking. Selling has actually a lot more to do with listening than talking. The same is true here. To forge a good, lasting relationship with your clients, you need to have continued communication with them.

The Right Perspective in Understanding Sales

In understanding sales, always take different perspectives. Assume the role of both a buyer and a seller. If you are the buyer, think of what would your ideal product or service be. If you are a seller, what will you do to get your customers see how ideal your products and services are. Once you get the right perspective, understanding sales will come to you naturally.

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Book Marketing

Selling Your Book the Right Way to Gain Repeat Sales

selling your bookSelling your book is one of the most exciting things you would do as an author. Selling your own book however is very much challenging. And what’s more challenging? Selling again and again. I’m talking about repeat sales.

When you are selling your book, apart from collecting payment from your customers, there’s another more important thing that you should collect, and that is their contact information, including email addresses.

How collecting info connects to selling your book

You might be thinking why you should be collecting customer information as well when you’re selling your book. This is because the reality is, you will not get rich just by selling your own book. If you want to get rich, you have to establish a good relationship with your readers and customers. That means selling your own book, a one-time big time transaction is not enough. You have to be in constant communication and interaction with them so that next time, selling your book, among other products and or services, would be much easier.

The thing about keeping constant communication with your readers more than just selling your own book, actually turns you to not just an author, but also an expert on that particular subject matter that you wrote about. And who doesn’t want to be treated as an expert? People, most especially your readers and customers, valuing your expertise means you have gained their trust that they will be listening to you more, and that selling your book, and your next books would be a piece of cake. That means, you are not just a one-hit wonder, but a certified author and expert.

As an author, you are probably skilled and more focused in writing and selling your own book, but you may ask, how do you keep up a customer database and constantly keep your network on the loop? What you actually need is an autoresponder.

Selling your book and Autoresponders

Apart from focusing on selling your book, you should also utilize an autoresponder. There are two kinds of autoresponders, the paid ones and the ones for free. The latter ones can afford to be free but they usually come with marketing messages at the end of every email that you will send. Not exactly ideal but if you currently do not have the budget for an autoresponder and would like to focus more on selling your book, this would be the best bet so far. If you have a budget for a paid autoresponder however, you can check out the one I use that can be found in www.aweber.com. You can also do your own research to suit your own set budget and needs.

Steps in setting up your autoresponder

  • In your site where you are selling your book, make sure you set a sign-up page or button. Say that you are offering regular newsletter or e-zine to those who will sign up. This is the part where you will get the pertinent information of your visitors and customers. Even if they do not end up buying your book, at least you will be able to get their contact information and perhaps be able to convince them someday.
  • Set-up a link to PayPal on your download page. When a customer pays via PayPal, he is usually redirected back to the original site after he pays. After the purchase, he is now a certified customer of yours. You should then have a registration set-up for these customers. You can ask for their name, e-mail address, address and contact numbers. The more information they give, the better for your customer database. This is different from the previous number because this list includes those who are now sure customers.

It has been proven time and again that selling your book would be much easier when you do have a set-up visitor and customer database so if you want sure success, you should start yours now.

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Sales

Top Proven Selling Methods that will boost your Sales

selling methodsSelling methods vary according to the needs of an enterprise. However, there are top methods that work for all businesses out there. Once you’re able to effectively carry them out, your sales can increase considerably. To do so, you must first ask yourself if you really understand what your customer wants. Simply assuming what their needs and desires are is not enough to get you ahead of the game. Here are some top selling methods that are time-tested to help you gain the leverage you need in this competition-riddled market:

Effective Selling Methods Necessitate Good Communication

If you really want to succeed in your line of business, you must gain the skill of understanding your customers’ needs, wants and preferences. To achieve this, consider doing the following selling methods:

  1. Tell your clients what they can get out of choosing your business, not every aspect of what you can offer them.

A customer doesn’t have the luxury of time to go over your company details such as when it was founded, your portfolio of clients and your company’s achievement. Save these details for another separate page in your website. What they should see on your homepage are the things that interest them. What are those? Benefits! All customers would want to know what benefits they can get out of purchasing your product or availing your service.

For instance, if you are offering a diet program, do not immediately specify on your homepage how the program works or the step by the step guide to go about it. Instead, grab the attention of your readers by telling them to imagine losing several pounds in record time without hurting their pockets. This is one of the best-selling methods that can get attention of your potential customers right away!

  1. Promote interaction with your prospective clients.

A study revealed that one of the time-tested methods is keeping your communication lines with your buyers open. The study further showed that an online user can take interest in a company’s product or service after 7 views thereof. Thus, you have to make your readers visit your product page again and again. You can do this by giving them news and updates related to your offers. Also take advantage of using the “Share this story to your friends” button as well as the “Bookmark this page” button to spread the word to others. Selling methods such as this will not only help you gain future buyers but also help you maintain your loyal ones.

  1. Make your site visitors feel that you are ready and willing to answer their questions.

One of the easiest selling methods out there is to simply project an image of being customer-friendly. Your customers might hesitate to post queries thinking that they might be bothering you. If you want your methods to work, be sure to relieve your customers of this uneasy feeling. Make them feel welcomed and encourage them to ask about your products and services!

However, you can put up a “Frequently Asked Questions / (FAQs)” section that people can refer to for commonly asked queries. Such selling methods are efficient to save you time in having to answer the same questions repeatedly.

  1. Provide your customers a seamless buying experience.

For your methods to pay off, you should give your customers a smooth buying experience. Provide them with a website that is user-friendly and has ease of navigation feature. Otherwise, the client can get frustrated if they have to go through several steps before being able to finally purchase a product. They may end up not buying at all.

One of the excellent selling methods out there is by letting your customers get in and out of your site quickly. Afterwards, send a “thank you note” to them after they had made their purchase

 Selling Methods can be a game-changer for you

A small business with effective methods can eventually rise in the middle of competition. It’s just a matter of good communication, after all.

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Book Writing Creative Writing

Fiction Writing 101: Writing that Uniquely You Novel

fiction writingFiction writing is no piece of cake. Most people who read novels would think that it would actually be easy to write a novel in just one sitting. We’ll good luck with that. Because as far as I know, it demands careful planning, research, and lots of time writing.

That is because fiction writing is a process. The output can either be a novel, an essay, a non-fiction piece, or a short story. But whatever form you are trying, it all starts with a good plan.

Planning is often the most set aside of the fiction writing process, yet it is the most critical. In fact JK Rowling of the Harry Potter fame took five years in the planning stage. And look where it got her.

The secret to novel fiction writing

I’ll let you in on a secret. The key to any successful fiction writing is to write something that is uniquely you. That means your writing must contain your very own emotional truth, and that as you write your piece, your character will go through some emotional growth, just as your readers will go through it as well. As you go into fiction writing, here are the specific steps that you should keep in mind as you write.

Fiction writing part #1: The deep character journey

Your character must go through a deeper journey, and this is critical to any form. This is important because aside from it will make fiction writing easier for you, it is also one of the most memorable parts of your story for your readers.

Now you may ask, how do you start with the deeper journey of your character? Start by visualizing what value you would like your main character to discover. Write freely whatever pops up in your head. After a few minutes, you must have written a lot of values on the page. Segregate the positive values from the negative values. Group together the similar ones and cross off the weak ones from the list. After you have decided which of the important ones you would like to pursue, you can now complete the statement: I will write a story about a character who starts as a (blank) and ends up (blank).

Fiction writing part #2 Character weakness

Don’t forget that each character has a weakness. This weakness is what they need to overcome in order to reach their goal. As the writer, you should be clear about the weakness of your character. You must study how your character will overcome that weakness in order to achieve the value you wrote in the step before this. When you explore your character’s weakness, that’s when you can get the story up and running.

Fiction writing part #3 Predicament

According to the legendary Stephen King, he usually begins his stories with the main character facing a difficult situation. This difficult situation should show the character’s weakness. They know that they are stuck in a difficult situation, but they do not know of their weakness.

Take this for instance. You would like to teach your main character the value of patience. So in your story, your character gets stuck in an airport because of a strong storm. He is frustrated because he needs to get to an important client meeting. He has nowhere to go and telephone lines are down. This certain predicament lets us know the character’s weakness which is his being impatient. How does he overcome the situation? What steps must he make? Which personal values will he base his decisions on? Let the story unravel.

Fiction writing part #4 Values in Conflict

A story is not complete without a powerful conflict. There is a saying in fiction writing that states, “Nothing moves forward except through conflict.”

However, an ideal story isn’t just an exposition of many conflicts randomly, that do not mean anything to anyone. Conflict is often a string of events that place your character under pressure, pushing them to move forward. It is in the character’s resolution of conflict that we’ll see the strength and the values of the character.

Values are sets of important beliefs that control the major decisions of a character. After you have exposed these underlying values that would help your character overcome the conflict, this should connect with the deeper journey of the character. And in turn, your readers should be able to connect with the character in some way.

And that is how fiction writing that is uniquely you works.

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Uncategorized

The Importance of Customer Follow Up

customer follow upCustomer follow up is indispensable for any business that aims to sell more. After an encounter with a potential buyer, you need to do follow ups regardless of whether you are able to sell or not. Otherwise, all your marketing and sales efforts are all but futile.

You should understand that customer follow up is an integral part of the sales process. The process does not only involve your initial encounter with a prospective buyer and the presentation of your product down to the act of buying itself. It also entails effective customer follow up to get your customers coming back again.

Reasons why Customer Follow up is a Must

Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t take it for granted:

  1. It gives your customers the feeling of being valued.

No customer calls by phone or walks in an office with the expectation of being treated like a mere stranger. They expect nothing short of a VIP treatment.

Through customer follow up, you can make your clients feel treasured. It sends a message to your client that you are enthusiastic to do business with them. They will surely love the fact that you phoned them just to check if they are satisfied with your product or service.

  1. Customer follow up helps you get valuable feedback.

Another reason why it is crucial in your business is because it can be your way to get feedback from people. You can ask your customers how your products benefit them. You can then discover what else needs to be improved with your current product offerings. You can also find out if there are glitches with your system of selling products whether online or offline.

Should you get negative feedback from your customers, empathize with them and address the issues right away.

  1. Customer follow up generates more sales opportunities.

After your first encounter with a prospective buyer, either of these two things will transpire. That is, either your prospective buyer becomes an actual customer or he is indecisive of buying. Whichever way, customer follow up is necessary.

If you succeeded in selling, it can be your chance to ask them if they are interested with your other offerings. If on the other hand, you merely left your customer wondering if he will buy or not, customer follow up is still needed. Through it, you can ask if they have some other questions or if they would like to go over your presentation once more.

Stay in contact, stay in business

The more you do, the closer you get to building a lasting relationship with your client. So do customer follow ups as much as you can and see for yourself the big difference it can make for your business!

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MLM Networking

Network Marketing Truth you Should Know About

network marketing truthNetwork marketing truth is not something that a lot of people have. This is why it’s either loved or hated by people hearing about it. Also called MLM or multi-level marketing, I would like to advise everyone to keep an open mind as there is no need to be extremely repulsed by it. The fact is, it’s simply a business model that could be used if you desire to. And this is the foundation of the network marketing truth that we’ll discuss in this article.

To clear all the unfounded negativity, however, you must understand how this business model works. This is how you’ll eventually come to the truth that it’s not so bad, after all.

There are two main reasons why people despise network marketing. First, some may have tried it and eventually failed due to lack of knowledge about how to execute it. These people can remedy the situation by debunking what they have previously thought about the ways of MLM. Knowing about the network marketing truth helps you identify HOW you should actually do things. The other reason is because of existing predispositions. People belonging to this group automatically associate or categorize multi-level marketing as a pyramid scheme.

The erroneous belief manifested in the second case can easily be discredited. Pyramid schemes are illegal (as if you didn’t already know that). Do you think big multinational companies who use MLM could continue doing business after all these years, if they’re doing an “illegal” practice?

In addition, ignoring the network marketing truth and tagging MLM as a pyramid scheme only gives off the image of ignorance. It shows that the person hasn’t done adequate research and study about the different business models available in modern times. More so, it shows that he/she is badly-informed about the industry itself.

People belonging to the second category are the ones who want more money but don’t have enough willpower to make it a reality. They hide under the guise of looking for “home businesses” just so they can claim that they did what they could. However, when an opportunity presents itself, they insist that it’s a scam so that they don’t have to try. Sadly, if you’re one of these people, you’re not looking for business. You’re looking to buy hope. Ignoring the network marketing truth won’t get you anywhere.

There’s a saying that originated in China saying that it you spend too much time thinking about your next step, you’ll be standing on one leg for the rest of your life. Of course, caution is important in general and there are indeed scams out there. However, the network marketing truth is that MLM is not a scam at all!

Network marketing truth: MLM is everywhere

If MLM is indeed a fraud, does that mean that the entire corporate world in the US is all a scam?

To address the pyramid comparison, think of any company. It has a CEO, a president, vice presidents, managers and other lower executives, sales people, all the way down to the bottom with the employees.

Obviously, the CEO earns the most, and the salary continuously dwindles as you go down the corporate ladder. If you want to earn bigger, you have to try to go up, sometimes on the expense of someone else (the person originally on that higher spot). This is just normal, right? This is a critical realization in the understanding of the truth about network marketing.

Add the fact that people at the top encourage or even force those from the bottom to work to their limits—only to take them out of the job before they qualify for additional benefits (there are exceptions, of course). Think about it, it’s just as “pyramid” as multi-level marketing! Everyone works hard, but the people at the top earn the most and are the most powerful.

Network marketing truth: Do it right

MLM operates on the idea that people involved should help each other, especially the new ones, move up the ladder. This, in essence, is the heart of the entire business. There are limitations concerning the ultimate number of people in a network, but with the ever-expanding global market, MLM never runs out of room for anyone. Just like all companies, a network marketing company can branch out and diversify to find new markets.

It’s all just a matter of knowledge

So the network marketing truth has been established. But how do you account for the high drop-out rate?

Well, this is primarily caused by lack of knowledge. The truth is, network marketing companies themselves sometimes do not provide enough knowledge to make success highly possible. It’s a delicate discipline, in general. As such, it’s crucial to do it correctly—and no, those “100” lists won’t help.

The industry is a very unique one in the way that it’s currently being operated. People should realize that MLM is a business model that relies on promotion and marketing that is being pursued by people who DON’T know how to promote and market.

Yes, that’s another truth. Let it sink in.

What network marketing should be

Have you finally accepted the network marketing truth discussed in this article? If you decide to conquer your inhibitions and dabble in network marketing, you have to approach things with the right mindset and acquire the necessary learning and skills. These are the things they don’t teach you in school.

How do you know if you’re doing it right? Keep this network marketing truth in mind. In the end,

  • You really don’t have to sell
  • You don’t have to give out flyers and post ads that advertise home-based employment
  • You don’t have to ask or beg people to join. They should want to join your business on their own
  • Others will willingly pay you to prospect them

You should realize that this is not about the vitamins, coffee, and other products you sell. Don’t focus on it way too much. In fact, that’s one of the major mistakes people make in MLM. Don’t make the same error. Uphold the network marketing truth you have learned.

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Technical Writing

Make your User Document Benefit from the User-Product Life Cycle

user documentUser document has maximum usefulness when done completely. In order to ensure that what you’re working on is comprehensive, it’s helpful to keep the user-product life cycle (U-PLC) in mind.

How does the U-PLC enhance a user document?

Because the entire series of interaction between a user and a product is described in the U-PLC, you can craft a comprehensive user document from it. This shall enable the user to obtain complete information about how the product is handled. This covers everything from the moment of purchase until disposal.

Listed below are the different stages in the U-PLC that you must consider when creating a user document.

  1. Product transport and unpacking

This covers guidelines about transporting the product and successfully getting it into its working location. This information is usually already present in the packaging. You should still list it down on the user document for the sake of completeness.

  1. General information about the product

This is another piece of information that one should list on its early parts. Among the topics included in this section are the disclaimers and the safety and legal information. In addition, this part describes how the product can benefit the user. User documents should mention the product’s key features.

  1. Product installation or setup
  • Capabilities

This refers to the capabilities the process of setting up the product requires. There may be differences in the writer’s assumptions and the actual user experience. Thus, it’s smart to fully list down the skills and rules needed to carry out the installation on the user document. A checklist to determine if the user can set it up by himself or should seek outside help is helpful. More than this, some places have imposed laws limiting its citizens from installing certain products without professional assistance. For instance, self-installations involving the modification of circuits is illegal in some parts of Canada.

  • Environments

It’s important to look at the bigger picture when one writes a user document. Considerations about the different environments on which a product may possibly exist will help you ensure that the information you provide is complete. As an example, one must consider the changes that different operating systems may cause on certain software.

  1. Product usage

This is the core of a user document. It should contain complete details encompassing the time from when a user starts the product until shutting it down. When discussing the actual use of the product, ensure that every function is covered. Progressing from the most basic to the most advanced is also advised. After this, discussing how to shut down the product isn’t only about turning it off. You must also include notes about maintenance steps that should be done when the product is shut down.

  1. Product maintenance

This section of the user document is about the regular maintenance practices that must be done after some time. Divide this part into different categories like daily, weekly, monthly, and annually—whatever is applicable.

  1. Moving the product

Some products may have different instructions for transport after purchase and transport after some use. Make sure to include both in your user document. A great example for this is moving software to another computer. Suppose a user has upgraded his device. What instructions should he follow to successfully transfer everything to the new computer?

For physical products, include the necessary instructions for moving into another location.

  1. Discarding the product

In this section of the user document, it’s advisable to only talk about putting the product up for sale. You can mention that by religiously following and keeping it, it may be easier to sell the product in the future.

Some final reminders about using U-PLC in your user document

The good ones rely on the comprehensiveness and accuracy of the presented information. When you follow the user-product life cycle, you make these traits guaranteed for the future user. If you want to maximize the user document further, you can collaborate with your company’s marketing team to include a section for the acquisition of the product.

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Customer Service

Why Customer Service Matters in Business

customer serviceCustomer service is one of the most, if not “the” most important facet of a business in the service sector. As the saying goes, the customer is always right. It is very much critical especially in the food and restaurant business so that customers will keep coming back, even though yours is a mobile food business.

Reasons why customer service is important

Customer service is significant to every business and it must be cascaded down to all of its employees. Here is a quick roundup of reasons why you should prioritize it.

  • If customers are well received and well treated, the higher the possibility that they will return.
  • If your customers like the way they have been serviced, they will most likely tell others about your business.
  • If you have great customer service, then it can help your business stand out from the rest.

Aftereffects of good customer service

1) Repeat customers

Customer retention and customer loyalty are important facets of business that you should strive to achieve because these would easily lead to consistent profits. And good customer service can help you get these. If you treat your customers right, it will be easier to come back and purchase from you again the next time. Meanwhile, do the opposite of it and you’ll be sure they won’t come back ever again. So it would be best to avoid bad customer service experiences. Mistakes however are hard to avoid, and if you do make them, make sure you do the right steps urgently and quickly so as not to reflect bad service.

2) Word of mouth

If you have good service, another aftereffect of it is free promotion via word of mouth advertising from your satisfied customers. If they have been serviced well and experienced great service, most likely they will tell their friends and loved ones about it. And then their friends and loved ones will try you and experience great customer service as well, so that will make them tell their other friends and loved ones. And so you get a wider network and a cycle of referrals. Remember though that word of mouth works both ways – the news about you may be positive or negative. So make sure you have positive news about your customer service being talked about out there.

3) Standing out

Competition is tough out there in the business world, especially in the service sector. That is why you should and would do everything in order to differentiate your business from the rest. Good customer service will help you stand out from the rest of the clutter. To be the leader in your industry or category is a great come-on for potential customers and clients.

An important note however, is that you should know that you cannot please everyone. Should there be a customer that is hard to please or serve, and you have already done your best, do not waste any more time and energy and just move on. You have your loyal customers to retain and continually service with high quality.

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Business Tips Customer Service

Customer Relationship Management for Better Customer Service Quality

customer relationship managementCustomer relationship management is also more widely known as CRM. As the name implies, means a business’ way of managing and controlling all kinds of dealings and experiences with the business’ clients.

What customer relationship management is all about

For any kind of business, whether small scale or large, a big factor of its success highly depends on the business-client relationship. This includes enhancements, retention, and acquisition of new ones. Customer relationship management’s aim is actually to help companies more properly manage their clients. This is with the use of established systems, procedures and processes involving all sorts of interaction with them. Having a proper CRM program will aid in not just getting more clients. It also aids in serving them in the most optimal way. Apart from client acquisition, an ideal customer relationship management also aids in the retention of loyal clients. It also determines which clients deserve better service.

It consists of different complicated procedures, business strategies, information technology systems. The combination of which will be utilized to analyze the clients’ mindset, motivations and needs. This is to aid in the business’ relationships to attain better outcomes.

How customer relationship management was in the past

During the latter part of the 1990’s, customer relationship management was only limited to telephones, an answering machine, and the use of index files. Nowadays, the modern CRM involves Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, etc. A usual CRM system involves a combination of e-mails, snail mails, contact manager systems, sales tracking systems, marketing campaigns, voice mail systems and multi-media contact centers.

Customer relationship management success

For a successful customer relationship management strategy, this doesn’t mean you will just install a CRM software. Then you’re all set. An ideal CRM system is complete. It consists of evolving processes of the business based on client needs, employee training, IT systems and software, and other services. They can help the business trace the success of their CRM systems employed.

An ideal CRM system is successful when it can aid in the running of the business. This is done through the record keeping of all customer information in one easily accessible location. This then is open to the rest of the employees to access as well. A CRM sets up systems in the front line of the business to gather customer data for storage in a data warehouse. It is here orders can also be listed down, traced, and final sales later on analyzed.

Customer relationship management failure

On the other hand, a CRM system is doomed to fail if the quality of the data entered on it is poor. Butt he entering of the data is man made. So, it is something that one can avoid. As almost all computer systems are, CRM can only be as functional as the data entered into it. As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you do not want your CRM to fail, make sure the data you enter into it is accurate and of high quality. And your customer relationship management should be good to go.

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Book Writing

Writing a Book about your Family History

family historyFamily history is a cherished thing that a lot of families want to document. Recording it is a great way to preserve one’s legacy for future generations. However, there is no doubt that the process can be exhausting and frustrating. To successfully create a book about one’s family history, it’s crucial to do the right preparation and do things systematically.

How to organize a family history: from beginning until completion

Step 1: Let your relatives know about your endeavor.

When you want to chronicle your history, you’ll surely find it helpful if your relatives are aware about your goal. That way, they’ll be able to assist you and it will be easier to ask for interviews.

Step 2: Ask adequate questions.

In order to get useful information, you have to ask the right questions. You should also make it a point to maximize every interview session by gathering as much answers as you can. Also, try to foster an open and warm atmosphere to encourage people to talk. Below, we have a list of sample questions you can ask.

  • Ask about the interviewee’s full name and nickname. You can also ask the reason behind their nickname as it could potentially be a source of a family story.
  • Where were you born? Where did you grow up? (If more than one, just write down the cities and states. Also, you can ask them to tell you about each of the places they have mentioned.)
  • Make sure to ask about the names of their grandparents from both sides. Don’t forget to ask about maiden names, as well.
  • Ask about where their grandparents lived.
  • Inquire about his/her relationship with the grandparents in question.
  • What did your grandparents look like? How do you remember their personality?
  • You can also ask the kind of relationship the interviewee’s parents had with them.
  • Ask about memories he/she has about visiting them.

You can field similar questions when you’re asking about other relatives in your family history.

Step 3: Follow up diligently

Follow up your interviews. Also, supplement what you’ve already been told by more research. Find out as much as you can about your family’s history. You can also request to see albums, awards, clippings, and other things.

Step 4: Organize everything

Your notes should be arranged such that everything can be easily located as needed. Buy multiple notebooks and categorize everything. Label you notes accordingly.

Also, start organizing a list of contacts that can help you with publishing. Same goes for your sponsors. They may want an ad space in your family history book. Make sure everything is accounted for.

Step 5: Designate and finalize

Don’t be afraid to designate help. Organizing a family’s history is so much easier if you have someone reliable to help you. Once you’re almost done, be sure to finalize the details about your family history. Make a final decision about layouts, photos to be used, and the kind of book that you’re aiming for (whether it’s a coffee table book or a full-blown encyclopedia).

Some notes before you proceed to the final step

  • When creating a book about your family history, always show up on events and parties. Bring a camera or recorder with you. Take advantage of this opportunity as people are more likely to talk about family’s history in the relaxed environment of gatherings.
  • Dedicate a work station for this endeavor. If you don’t have one, you’re more likely to slack off and give up on the project altogether. Encode information about your family history on your computer and make sure that your folders and files are also organized.
  • When encoding information, use simple fonts like Arial and Times New Roman as to minimize complications in printing.
  • Don’t forget to leave spaces for photographs! Make sure that every picture is relevant to the specific story about your family history on the page.
  • Once your information is complete, create a table of contents for your book.

Step 6: Transfer it.

After proofreading, editing, and designing, put the finished file in a flash drive or CD for the printing company. Also, print out a hard copy for yourself.

Before we end this article, here are two sites that you may find helpful when writing about your family history.

  • Reunion

This site has around 30 million registered users. Reunion.com helps people learn about their family’s history by getting family members, distant relatives, and old friends in touch with each other.

  • OurStory

OurStory is a social networking site that enables users to share, document, and collect memories and family history in a safe online archive. The site organizes everything by place, date, or category for you.

 

So there you have it. A family’s history is precious and everyone deserves to know about their own story. Noble are those who take the initiative to make this happen. I wish you success in your journey towards writing a book about your family history!

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