What in the world IS a product launch anyway…

Well, I’m writing this from 36k feet in the sky, heading to Arizona to attend Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula event and we also have our Product Launch Manager Platinum Coaching Group meeting.  The interesting thing when I fly is I often get asked the question of what I do.  And when I tell them I work with entrepreneurs and business owners to create information products and do their online product launches, they always ask me, “What is a product launch?” and they want to know more about them.

So I thought this might make for an interesting blog post.  A product launch is an advertising event that promotes a new product, service or business to the market place.  These can be done offline and online.  I’m going to give you the Online Product Launch 101 course.  The best thing about a product launch is that you’re creating an event and an ongoing conversation with your audience, along with giving them some great free, valuable information that leads up to the launch date, which is when you open the cart to sell.

Product Launches usually take anywhere from 7 to 20 days. It all depends on how much content you have, how much response you get during your prelaunch period and when it’s best to open and close the cart.  The key to selling during a launch is knowing when to open and close the cart. And using some great tactics from Robert Cialdini, mostly scarcity, you will open and close the cart within a short time frame – 7 days or even less – and when the cart is closed they won’t be able to get your product/service again.

The period of time where you’re giving away free valuable content and before you open your cart is called “Prelaunch.”  During the prelaunch period, the main goal is to create great content for your prospects and allude to how you will be talking about a bigger resource later on.  This is key.  Don’t just give them free content and then spring on them you’re going to sell them something.

This prelaunch process should be well thought out and planned.  This is the big set up for your launch and when you open your cart.  Since content is important, I work with my clients to spend the MOST time on this. In fact, the 4 most important factors, I think, in creating and having a successful money-making product launch are:

  1. Terrific well thought out prelaunch content that engages prospects
  2. Creating a conversation, connecting with them and sharing stories and valuable information
  3. Your offer – This includes your product/service you’re launching, your price, your guarantee and your bonuses.
  4. Having a list of rabid fans who are interested in what you’re talking about and are willing to buy.

There are tons more things that go into successful product launches, which there’s no time for now. I promise I’ll do them on a future post.  I just wanted to give you the basics.  Plus after spending 4 days at Jeff Walker’s event, I’m sure I’ll have many more cutting edge things to share with you!

If you’re interested in discovering more about creating a successful launch, check out www.CreateAmazingProductLaunches.com And if you already know you want to do a launch and just need some guidance or a plan, email me info@marketingimplementer.com and I can send you some information on my Product Launch Roadmaps I create for clients so they can have incredibly successful launches.

 

The 3 Most Horrible Product Launch Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make and How You Can Avoid them!

Back in 2007 when I met Jeff Walker at his first ever PLF  (Product Launch Formula) event in Denver, Colorado, I was amazed at what he’d done to make money with his products by turning his selling of them into a value added, value laden, fun and entertaining  “event.”  He actually created a product about these launch events and called it “Product Launch Formula.”

I’ve been doing tons of product launches for my clients since then, and I’ve amassed a ton of information on how to be successful with your launches. I’ve also amassed just as much info on what not to do so your launches don’t turn into flops and failures.  So when I was trying to come up with a blog idea this week, the “aha” moment happened after I started working with several new clients this month on their product launches.  And one of the biggest questions I get all the time, is “what can I do to make my launch a tremendous success so I can avoid making costly mistakes?” (If you don’t know what a product launch is and want to know more, simply click here)

Here they are – the three biggest product launch mistakes entrepreneurs make and what you can do to avoid them:

  1. Not having a hook and story for your launch that grabs people – This is really huge and this is one that MANY people flub up.  And of course, this is one of the things that does take more time than most people give it. If you want to have an incredibly successful launch, you can’t just throw it together. You have to brain storm with your team of people who are working with you on your launch to come up with an interesting story and hook to get them interested, intrigued and wanting to know more.  Some examples: when Jeff did his product launch 2.0 launch a few years back his hook was “food stamps to six figures.”  He highlighted one of his students who took PLF, saved his business AND turned it into a six figure business, using Jeff’s tactics.  So you need to create something that speaks to your audience, speaks to the problems they’re having and create a hook and a story for your whole launch.  (This is one of my favorite things I like to work on with my clients.)
  2. Making your launch incredibly complicated – This is another thing that I’ve seen happen and blow up in people’s faces: making their launches WAY too complicated.  They have way too much content and it overwhelms people in the launch. You need to streamline your content. In a launch it’s all about giving away great content on a smaller scale so your prospects can see and get into what you’re about.  The danger is when you go overboard and give them too much information that they decide NOT to buy your product because they can’t even get through the information you gave them in your launch.  So less is always more.  Err on giving them the “what” – not the exactly “how” to do it.  You don’t need to give them 5 videos at 60 minutes each; they won’t watch it, trust me. Cut them down, give them 3 videos of 20 minutes each.  Or better yet, simplify even more and give them one video, one eReport and maybe a teleseminar. Mix it up, make it interesting. The more interesting the better.
    Make yourself stand out, don’t be boring!
  3. Not Sending Enough Emails – This is another one that I hear a lot!  You don’t want to piss off your list and have them opt out because you’re sending too many emails. Well the way I look at it is it’s not the emails that they get tired of – it’s probably the messaging and information – or lack of it – that’s in there. Plus, I know it sounds weird, but I LOVE it when people opt out of my list. The reason is that these folks would never have bought from me anyway, so let’s make room for those that will.  I only want people who like me and see value in what I bring to the table on my list.  Let’s face it, I’m not naive enough to think that everyone will like me. It just won’t happen – and guess what, that’s ok!  So you’re not your client, send out more emails. Just follow these guidelines when you send them and I promise you won’t have a lot of people opt out.
  4. Bonus – Not having a product Launch Plan and trying to do it all yourself! Ok, so this one we all can relate to.  The bottom line is when you’re doing a launch, you have to have a plan, or what I call a Product Launch Roadmap. You can’t fly a plane without controls or a map, so why try to do a product launch without one.  And then, why try to do it all yourself? There are many people out there who can help you from Product Launch Managers like me, to great technical web people, to great virtual assistants. Get some help on your launch and hire the best people to work with you so you can create an amazingly successful product launch!

Hopefully these mistakes are helpful and these will help put your next product launch on the road to major success.  Let me know if you have any questions, or how I can help you.

It’s All About the Questions

There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

This quote says it all when it comes to the topic of this week’s blog.

It’s ALL About the Questions!

This is actually STEP 2 – AFTER you figure out your goals and outcomes of what you want from doing your survey. Creating questions for your survey products is incredibly important because it will shape the answers you will receive and ULTIMATELY what you will be able to do with that information.  Through this questioning process you will step closer to finding success in your business.

Step # 2 –It’s ALL About the Questions!

When you are coming up with questions, there are SO MANY types of questions to choose from. So let’s start with this— phrase:

“Short, Sweet & to the Point”

One way to keep questions “Short, Sweet & to the Point” is to use open-ended ones. These are the questions that will bare the most fruit for you in your surveys.  A lot of researchers and statisticians don’t particularly like open ended questions because they are the most difficult to measure because each answer is unique, so when sifting through 10k open ended answers, it can be overwhelming in going through all of them. So I highly recommend using open ended questions when you:

1.  Want detailed information in the respondent’s voice

2.  Don’t have good solid answers to create a multiple-choice—because a lot of times you can miss an answer because you didn’t give them one they would have chose. (When you create multiple-choice you’re forcing them to answer your answers that you’ve created.)

The real key to using open ended questions is they can really help not only shape your business, products, etc.; they can also shape YOUR MARKETING.  They write the answers in their voice and will give you key words and key phrases that you can use when you market to them.

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind as you create your questions.

1.  Are you questions short or wordy?

  • Simple and concise words are the best to use

2.  5th Grade is your target when it comes to the understanding level.

  • Do not make assumptions
  • Everyone needs to understand them

3.  Stay Away From Complicated.

  • Complication will lead to people not wanting to participate in your survey

4.  Keep your goal and the main thing you want to achieve in mind.

Next week, I am going to take you deeper into how to create those easy and inviting questions that will give you the answers to help shape your business.

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….
  • problem or issue isn’t listed here… I know I can help….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here. I want to give you a  FREE 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

You created a blog… Now What?

The beauty of blogs is that you don’t need to invest in software to maintain it.

Blogs are maintained online and so you can access them anywhere and at any time, as long as you have an Internet connection. You just sign in to your blog account and you can create a post, edit post, change blog template, customize your blog and change blog settings easily.

It is also very easy to add a lot of cool tools to your blog like an opt-in or subscription form so if you don’t already have a list it is a great way to start.  If you already have a list it’s also a great way to continue to build your list.

Ideas of things to put on your blog besides articles:

  • Video is really easy to publish on your blog and is another great way to get noticed by the search engines. Google loves video.
  • Go to blinkx.com and find a video on a topic that’s in your niche that you like and insert the video with a commentary on your blog. You can also go to YouTube.com and do the same thing.
  • Have a guest blogger write an article one week for you.
  • Review a product or service.
  • Do a frequently asked questions.
  • Search ehow.com or ezinearticles.com for some ideas.

Another cool thing about blogs is each post you create is assigned with different URL address which means they each will have their own and separate web page. This is just one reason blogs are great for getting noticed by the search engines.

Position yourself as an expert! Plus not only does a blog help you get attention and traffic.  Your blog positions you as an expert and builds your credibility.  Plus a little human touch goes a long way to building trust.  See my previous posts about Oprah to learn why that is important.

Let me know when you have your blog up and running.  Post a link to it in response to this post and share it with everyone here.  I would love to see it.

Your Singing Frog Won’t Make You Rich If Nobody Sees It!

There’s an old cartoon that taught me an interesting lesson. Odds are, you might have seen it a thousand times, but I bet you’ve never watched it as a learning tool for your business!

In the cartoon, a man is down and out on his luck. Then, one eventful day, he finds a frog. But this is no ordinary frog… it can sing and dance!

The man immediately sees dollar signs and realizes this little green guy will make him rich! So he rents out a theater and puts a sign in front of the building, saying “SINGING FROG!”

Well, nobody comes to watch it.

So he thinks for a bit, then puts up a second sign that says, “FREE ADMISSION!”

Still, nobody comes to see his great singing frog.

As a third try, he makes a sign that says, “FREE BEER!”

As soon as the sign is up, the crowd pours in, running over our poor entrepreneur.

So what’s the lesson in this little cartoon?

First and foremost, the main character found a great product (a singing frog!) and he knew he needed to get it to an audience.

He also understood a very important rule in marketing: Give them something for free!

And he learned that it’s not just the act of giving something away that matters. The next step is you have to give them something they want. AND, give them something of VALUE that they’ll appreciate and can use in their business.

Giving them something for free is the best tool to show them that they can trust you to treat them right. If you throw up something with no value and scream about how it’s “Free!” they might sign up, just to give it a shot. You’ll get their contact information.

But as soon as they realize that your “free” item has absolutely no value to them, you’ll lose the client… and that defeats the point of getting their contact information.

Our cartoon has one more important lesson:

Know your product! Our cartoon friend didn’t test his product and all his startup costs were wasted. He found that frog and immediately sold it to the public.

And we all know what happened next. The frog only sang when he was alone with it!

So the next time you’re preparing your next product launch, or big promotion, remember what we learned from that old singing frog:

If you’re giving away something for free, make sure it’s something of value… and that it solves a problem that your prospects have and something they can use. (And remember, if you don’t know what keeps them awake at night or what problems they’re having, create a survey, ask them and find out!)

After all, what’s the point of a singing frog if nobody sees it sing…