Secrets of a Successful Product Launch

Interview with Jeff Walker

Episode Description

[Listen to this episode on iTunes]

If you’ve ever started a business or created a product, you know that it is blood, sweat, and tears. And coffee. And then more tears.

And it’s all worth it because the end product is good. Amazing, even. So then you sit back with a “Field of Dreams” strategy and assume that because you built it, customers will come.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Whatever you’ve worked hard to create — a product, a business, a nonprofit — you cannot launch it with just hope. You need a plan.

And nobody knows the plan for a successful launch quite like Jeff Walker — because he created it.

Forbes called him the “400 million dollar man” because his Product Launch Formula has helped his students bring in that dollar amount (and counting) in thousands of online product launches.

He’s my guest for the Season 2 finale of the Building a Story Brand podcast, and you’re going to learn four key strategies to make your marketing feel less like marketing and more like a can’t-miss event.

Listen here.

Strategy #1: Create Marketing Sequences Using This Formula

Most marketing ends up being a jumbled collection of stuff — an article here, an advertisement there, with some emails along the way. Because it’s all isolated, it feels like noise.

But when you connect your marketing in sequences, you tell a story. And our human brains are hard-wired to follow along with a good story.

This is a critical strategy for your launch.

Many successful launches create their sequences with videos, but you could just as easily create a sequence out of emails, PDFs, or podcasts.

The key is to follow a set formula that captures people’s attention.

Sequence 1: Opportunity. Focus on how whatever you’re selling — insurance, photography, consulting — can change someone’s life. In Jeff’s words: “It could be the most simple transformation in the world, but if you’re taking away a headache, or you’re allowing them to meditate better, or you’re teaching them how to play a guitar, there’s an opportunity for their life to transform.”

Sequence 2: Transformation. It’s one thing to talk about a transformation. Next, you’ve got to show it. As Jeff told me, “This is where you actually take them through having that vision of that transformation, and often you’ll show other people that you’ve helped have that transformation. You’ll make the transformation very real for them in that second video.”

Sequence 3: Ownership. At this point, people have been so captivated by the transformation that’s possible that they can’t wait to see how it happens. The solution? Your product or service, although you’ll only talk about that for the last third of this sequence. Jeff again: “This is where you’ll have a slight pivot to where you’re actually starting to paint the vision for the product that you’re going to sell to them. It’s one big story arc over the three videos.”

Strategy #2: Embrace Your Authority

Jeff reminded me of a great old marketing adage: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.”

And we really love to buy from people we trust.

That’s why it’s critical to establish your authority by sharing free content. (More on that here, actually.)

Say you’re a custom home builder. Publish stories of the people that you’ve built homes for. Write a blog post called “10 Things People Tend to Forget When They Build a Dream Home.” Publish a PDF with tips for selecting an architect.

It’s going to seem like obvious stuff to you. That’s because you’re an authority and it feels like second nature. But to your customers, it’s going to eliminate a massive headache and establish you as an authority they trust.

Strategy #3: Build Your Following

Your content may not resonate with everyone. That’s okay.

But it will with others, and those people are your tribe.

These days, you can build your tribe in countless channels — Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Snapchat, whatever.

But Jeff’s recommendation is to build your tribe using a good old-fashioned email list. For him, it’s like having a money button:

“I had that email list, and I could generate business whenever I wanted. Literally, on demand. As soon as I wanted to get more busy, I push that button. I would get more busy, and more money would come in.”

Email is direct, personal, relatively inexpensive, and everybody uses it. If you’re growing a distribution list of people who know, trust, and like you, you’re going to have a mind-blowingly good launch when you hit “send” on your sales emails.

Strategy #4: Ask for the Sale

If you’re the kind of person who feels completely at ease asking for a sale, congratulations. You’re a freak of nature and you can skip this section.

The rest of us will find Jeff’s perspective on sales refreshing:

“If you have a great product, then it is your sacred duty to ask for that sale.”

“If you have a great product, then it is your sacred duty to ask for that sale.”

You don’t have to beat your chest. You don’t have to bust out the sleaze. You just need to use that authority to show people that you’re going to take care of them when they buy your product or service.

When you’re sheepish in your selling, you’re communicating that you don’t really believe in what you offer.

Just sell from the heart, remembering that your product truly does have the potential to change someone’s life, and you’ll hit your stride in your sales copy.

Alongside his incredibly successful business, Jeff manages it all while loving his family, staying fit, and raising money to build schools in Kenya. If you need to mainline a little motivation this week, give the whole episode a listen, and then shoot us a note on Twitter and let us know what you think.

Launching a Product? Don’t Miss This

Don’t launch your product until you’ve got your brand messaging dialed in. Not sure how? We can help. Join us October 16-18 in Nashville, TN for the StoryBrand Live Marketing Workshop. You’ll master a framework that will clarify your messaging and grow your new product like crazy.


Podcast produced by: Tim Schurrer
Additional editing by: Nick Jaworski

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