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THE ONLINE INVENTOR -- January 2001

(c) 2001 Market Launchers, Inc.

http://www.marketlaunchers.com 

Publisher: Paul Niemann

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Some FAMOUS / INFAMOUS Quotes

"It is one of the most beautiful things in this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself," Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it," John Ruskin

"Some men see things as they are and ask 'Why?'
I dream things that never were, and ask 'Why not?'"
George Bernard Shaw

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In this issue:

Article # 1: "Sources for Inventors," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

Article # 2: "I Finally Caved in and Ordered One and how you can get your prospective customers to buy, too," by Paul Niemann

Article # 3: "Using Radio Prep Services to Promote Your Product," by Paul Niemann

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Article # 1: "Sources for Inventors," by Paul Niemann

Publisher's Note:
  Up to now, the following information, entitled "Sources for Inventors," has been given only to inventors who purchase their own Invention Web Page on the MarketLaunchers.com web site. Customers also receive the following, which will always be given only to paying customers. We receive a lot of calls from customers who say that this material is very helpful to them: 

*    A copy of "An Inventor's Guide to the Internet," which lists companies and organizations that help inventors.

*    A list of companies who have either licensed in new products from outside inventors in the past, or are believed to be open to looking at new products from outside inventors. This list is a win-win situation for inventors and for companies.

*    A re-print of an article that was published in the American Marketing Association newsletter (St. Louis edition), which you can use when trying to convince companies to look at your invention.

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SOURCES FOR INVENTORS:

Here are some excellent sources to help you in the marketing of your inventions:

Inventors' Digest: This is THE trade pub for inventors; it contains info on prototyping, patenting, marketing, etc. Six issues per year for $27 / year. Call (800) 838-8808. www.inventorsDigest.com

Invention City: An excellent site for inventors, and they commercialize some of the products submitted to them (approximately 1%). www.inventioncity.com

The Inventor's Bookstore: Jack Lander; Prototype Specialist; 37 Seneca Road; Danbury, CT 06811-4422 http://www.inventorhelp.com (203) 797-8955 

Tilberry Direct Marketing: Jim Tilberry is a national rep looking for unique market-ready consumer products for 80 major catalogs. 12 years of success. (847) 690-0670

America Invents TM: Run by Ken Tarlow, one of America's most prolific inventors. Services include evaluation, design, prototyping, patent searches, patent writing & drawings and licensing. Call (415) 927-0311 or www.americainvents.com.

How to License Your Million Dollar Idea, by Harvey Reese. www.money4ideas.com
Marketing Your Invention, by Tom Mosley
Royalties in Your Future, by Ron Docie. www.Docie.com 

Inventor Organizations: There are approximately 122 of these groups across the country. To find one in your area, call Market Launchers at: (800) 337-5758. 

United Inventors' Association of the USA: Contact Carol Oldenburg at (716) 359-9310. Write to them for their Inventors' Resource Guide: P.O. Box 23447, Rochester, NY 14692. Cost is $9.95. www.uiausa.org 

The Wal-Mart Innovation Network: W.I.N. consults with hundreds of inventors. The W.I.N. allows manufacturers to list with them; then it's up to the inventors to contact the manufacturers. (417) 836-5667.

The Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre: Canada's leading inventor organization, an independent, not-for-profit corporation. To date, the Innovation Centre has assisted approximately 50,000 innovators and formally evaluated over 11,000 of their promising ideas: http://www.innovationcentre.ca  

The Internet: This is one of the largest sources of new product information, and unquestionably the fastest-growing. Please see the list of web sites which we've compiled containing helpful information for inventors, called "An Inventor's Guide to the Internet." 

Trade shows: Look on the Internet at www.expobase.com and www.tsnn.com (Trade Show News Network) and www.tscentral.com (Trade Show Central).

# # # #

TO GET YOUR OWN INVENTION WEB PAGE, CALL (800) 337-5758 OR VISIT US AT http://www.MarketLaunchers.com/forms.html 

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Article # 2: "I Finally Caved in and Ordered One and how you can get your prospective customers to buy, too," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

There's this magazine that I've been considering subscribing to; it's called "The Perfect Horse," and is produced by a well-known horseman named John Lyons. 

Growing up on a horse farm in Illinois, and now living adjacent to our family farm, I enjoy reading about horses. I didn't spend much time reading horse magazines in the past, though, until I moved back to my hometown last summer. Since I already subscribe to two other well-known horse magazines, I was hesitant about subscribing to a third one, especially since I didn't know much about the publisher, a man who has spent pretty much his whole life training horses and teaching horse owners how to get the most out of their horses. 

I had received a Direct Mail letter from his company about 6 months ago and, even though I did not subscribe at that time, I kept the letter. The reason I didn't subscribe was because I didn't think that his magazine would really provide me with a whole lot of additional new information, plus you can only read so many magazines on any one topic, regardless of the topic. 

I finally caved in and subscribed to his magazine this week, though. What made me do it, and how can this apply to people like you and me, who have our own products to license or sell? 

The answer is that I see this man's name everywhere around horses, as he's always endorsing horse-related products. In fact, the companies whose products he endorses always refer to him by his title of "America's Most Trusted Horseman." The companies whose products he endorses promote the fact that THEIR products are endorsed by this man. 

As a result, his clients are helping to promote him as an expert. His name shows up everywhere -- at the Equitana Horse Show in Kentucky this past April, in Western Horseman magazine, in Horse Illustrated magazine, and on the labels of the products that he recommends. 

It was the repetition of this man's name, combined with his reputation as "America's Most Trusted Horseman" that finally switched me from being a non-paying, non-customer into a paying, new customer, and I'm glad that I finally subscribed to his magazine. After all, as consumers, it's much more fun to buy than to not buy, right?

You have a new product to sell or license, so put it where your prospects will see it or hear about it. This doesn't mean that you should pay to advertise it as much as possible, but rather promote it wherever and whenever you can. Go on radio shows, call your local newspaper to get them to do a feature story on your product, call your industry's trade pub, contact the three main wire services (UPI, Associated Press and Reuters), have T-shirts printed or hats made with your company logo or product name and web address on them and give them out to your prospects. (Thanks to Frank West, who had T-shirts printed up with his Target Base invention, for passing along this idea.)

Drive-time radio shows and AM radio programs are always in need of guests and, in most cases, you can write your own introduction for them to announce to their audience. You just take an index card and write or type your bio that you want them to read to their audience as they introduce you and, more often than not, they will read it word-for-word. After all, you're making their job easier. 

This enables you to be introduced as the expert, just as Mr. Lyons is constantly being introduced as "America's Most Trusted Horseman." And nothing is sweeter than being introduced on the radio or in the newspaper as "the expert" on your particular topic.

It doesn't matter that you may be the first person to ever refer to you as the expert; sometimes you have to call yourself an expert in order for others to start referring to you that way. And you are an expert on your invention because you probably (and should) know more about it than anyone else. 

This combination of having your product seen and heard in numerous types of media, and having you referred to as the expert will turn non-buyers into buyers and, in some cases, non-licensees into licensees. Plus, it's a lot of fun seeing your own product being written about or talked about positively in the media. 

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Article # 3: "Using Radio Prep Services to Promote Your Product," by Paul Niemann of MarketLaunchers.com

Publisher's Note:  If you have a product that you're selling at retail, meaning that you either have retail stores selling your product or you sell it through mail order, catalogs or a web site, then this article is for you. If you do not currently have a product that you're selling at retail, but might in the future, then you'll want to read it, too. 

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Recently, I was looking for a way to promote one of my political humor card games, in order to have one last chance of making sales before its subject leaves office. I heard about a couple of news services, also known as "prep services," that makes stories available to their radio station clients, just as the wire services (AP, UPI and Reuters) do for TV stations and newspapers. 

As a result, I was able to do phone interviews with a few radio stations, and I got one of my products featured in an upcoming issue of a "collectibles" trade publication within a week or two. If I had retail stores selling my product, then I would give the store's name during the interview. Since I only selI these political products through my other web site, I promote that web site (PoliticalGames.com) in the interviews.

One more point worth mentioning here: If you're selling your product through a web site, be sure to list the site's address as your company name whenever possible. For example, it's usually better to refer to your company as CoolWidgets.com rather than Cool Widgets, Inc. This assures that you can plug your company, in case the interviewer does not. 

Remember, the media is always in need of good stories, and often they will run new product stories, especially if the product has been created by a local resident. They just need to have an interesting angle to your story. For example, I was on a TV show in St. Joseph, MO about 2 years ago and the person who was interviewed right before me had received tickets for he and his wife to see the Pope say Mass in St. Louis, so his story was certainly newsworthy. 

You have a better chance of getting on any type of news program or drive-time radio program during a slow news day. An inventor friend of mine, who relies on the media quite extensively in promoting his products and has built up an impressive Rolodex of media contacts, recently had a hard time getting any reporters to run any stories of his products during the Presidential election re-count in November. 

Here are the names of the two news services mentioned earlier: 

*    Flash News -- contact Greg Fogg at [email protected] or call (619) 220-7191 or visit their web site at http://www.Flashnews.com. (Thanks to Gary Kellmann of GaryKellmann.com for recommending Flash News to me.)

*    All-star radio network -- syndicated to more than 200 radio stations -- contact Brian Krueger at (314) 692-2505. 

They both have it set up where they can charge their radio station clients, rather than charging the inventor. These were both worthwhile for me, and I hope they are for you, too. They are looking for interesting stories, so they're very easy to approach. When you start getting booked for interviews, you can ask them what other news services they subscribe to. 

Finally, if you have a product that you're selling at retail, then you might want to consider selling it through one or more of these web sites that allow you to sell products in an auction-style method: 

* Amazon.com
* About.com 
* e-Bay
* Shop.com
* Yahoo.com

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Copyright 1999 -- 2001
All Rights Reserved

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