12 Tips for Successful Custom Publishing
1 Focus on the industries you know. What industries do your current magazine titles cover? In what areas do your editors have expertise? Those areas should be your primary targets for custom publishing customers.
2 Use your existing customer base for research projects for custom clients as well as for your marketing strategy.
3 Position your custom clients as experts and publicize their expertise through multiple channels, where appropriate, including publications, e-newsletters, research papers, webinars, Web sites and events.
4 If you have multiple custom clients in one subject area, and the clients do not compete with each other, consider sharing content among publications.
5 Content is king. As with any publication, a custom project must be valuable to its audience. Understand your client’s goals (who do they want to reach, why, and with what message), but also make sure you understand the needs and wants of your client’s customers (and target customers). Your job is to create a product that matches the goals of your client with the needs of your client’s customers.
6 Use core people who can develop the concept for the product, and then find the right editor who can implement the vision effectively.
7 Hire freelancers with expertise in the subject area of the custom publication.
8 Make sure a client understands that your core service to them is editorial excellence—something that creates a powerful, valuable and memorable final product for your client’s audience.
9 Consider the pros and cons carefully before creating a custom publication with a revenue model built solely on advertising sales. This model can be risky.
10 If you sell advertising in a custom publication, make sure you monitor distribution carefully, whether it is handled internally or by your client.
11 Carefully consider all of your internal costs—labor, production, art, printing and design—and then incorporate a fee into it (a 15-percent to 25-percent markup is common).