If you're on my email list, I promised yesterday that I'd give you a behind-the-scenes view of how I'm creating my launch content for Write A Book With Me.
It's been a really unusual development process, so I thought it would be cool to share my thought processes, what decisions I made, and how I made them.
First, we'll set the stage.
What are we launching?
At the high level, Write A Book With Me is a group coaching program where I walk you through the process of writing a book for your business. Then we all write our books at the same time, including me.
It includes an introductory period of training content that is specific and customized to what we call a “calling card” book, feedback sessions, Q&A, group writing sessions, and masterclasses/meet & greets with top industry subject matter experts.
Why is it weird?
There are two things that make this product / launch different than usual.
First of all, I've never done anything like this before. (To my knowledge, there is actually nothing like this structure available anywhere. So it's new for me, but it's also new for everybody.)
A new and different structure, in itself, usually warrants a different style of launch.
People need to be introduced to a new framework, and they need a little extra time and attention to process information. They can't go through their default “oh yeah, I know what this is” mental shortcut.
If you do a lot of promotions or launches, and your list is loyal, your audience creates patterns in their minds about what you do and what that means. If I do this style of promotion, people know this kind of thing is coming. If I do that style of promotion, people know that kind of thing is coming.
(Geek aside: In addition to being unavoidable, it's almost exclusively unconscious. Multiple studies show that the body-memory detects patterns perfectly… LONG before the conscious brain even knows anything's going on. Like, LONG before.
Seriously. It's weird. When study participants are playing a card game with a stacked deck, their bodies signal awareness of the rigged game a FULL TEN HANDS before their consciousnesses recognize it. Yeah.)
So, to avoid the Weird Pattern No Default Thing, if we're doing something unusual, we have to tell people – both explicitly and implicitly – that something is unusual. We need to tell them something is not the way it normally is, so that their brains can allot more resources to processing information.
So that's the first thing.
The second thing is a little different, and more specific to me and my list.
Whenever I have offered anything with an interactive component – Fast Track to Fully Booked, List Explosion Live, Big Launch, etc – I have always offered the opportunity to defer the interactive component.
Like, if you wanted to take Fast Track, but you didn't want to take it in the autumn, you could register for it and just let me know that you weren't ready to start yet. Then you could start up later, at a time that worked better for you.
Historically, these users have made up a big portion of my buyer base. In some cases, it's around fifty percent. They buy it because it's available now, and they use it when they're ready.
So why is this different?
Well, in the case of Write A Book With Me, deferral doesn't really work. (Write A Book In A While, Long After I'm Done just doesn't have the same ring to it.)
Class members will be able to do it right with me. They won't have to be perfect at keeping up. They'll be able to get a little behind. They'll be able to get a LOT behind. It's going to happen to everybody – it always does.
But they won't be able keep the files on a desk and do it at Christmas.
So, historically, up to 50% of my buyers buy now because they can defer.
If I pretend I don't notice that?
And I just launch this thing like normal?
Like, “La la la, class starts on the 5th”?
I'll lose half my sales.
If I don't want to lose half my sales, I need to convince the buyers who normally defer to do it differently. I need to communicate, “Hi, I know that's what you normally do, but it would really be better for both of us if we did it a different way this time. Seriously, it's going to be awesome. You're going to be really glad you did this.”
So what does all this mean?
Well, to explain that, we have to look at what a launch normally is, and how we might need to modify that for the circumstances.
What is a launch?
To quote… me:
A launch is a sustained period of focused attention over a predetermined time.
And what is the objective of launch content?
Launch content creates interest in the product, and addresses buyer objections before they see the sales page.
Launch content usually has one of three points of focus.
The seller can focus on:
a.) The product is awesome.
b.) The seller is awesome.
c.) The outcome is awesome.
We'll go through them one at a time.
First, the product is awesome.
In this case, we focus on the favorable attributes of the product itself.
We'll use one of my products as an example. If I'm launching the template pack, I would focus on how easy it is to use the templates. I might focus on the number of different templates, the variety, how easy they are to customize, or how cool it is that you can mix and match.
If I decide to highlight price, I might highlight how much cheaper it is to use these awesome templates than to hire a copywriter or figure out how to do it yourself.
The OBJECTION we're addressing here is “I'm not sure about this product.”
Basically, I'm telling you that I've made a really cool thing, and you're really going to like it.
Second, the seller is awesome.
If I were doing a launch this way, I'd be putting the focus on me.
I would use testimonials where people talked about how I helped them, how buying from me was better than other buying experiences, how I'm a genius, or a mind-reader, or just really nice.
I would say, “See? I'm really good at copywriting, and I've been doing it forever, and… and… and I'm really good at copywriting! And making templates! Look! Copywriting! Templates!”
If I decided to highlight price in this case, I might highlight how much cheaper it is to use these templates than it would be to hire me personally. (Because I'm snazzy and wonderful and very in demand.)
The OBJECTION we're addressing here is “I'm not sure about you, random internet lady.”
So, in this case, I'm basically saying, “I am really, really, REALLY qualified to sell you this, therefore, you're really going to like it.”
Last, the outcome is awesome.
If I were doing a launch this way, I'd be putting the focus on what they get at the end.
I would talk about why they need good page copy, what happens when your page copy is good, and I'd put testimonials up highlighting long-term results. (Basically, I'd give the written equivalents of the “after” photo on a fitness infomercial.)
If I decided to highlight price, I might highlight how much money they'll make when they have better website copy, and how this is a fantastic investment.
The OBJECTION we're addressing here is “I'm not sure I even need that.”
So, in this case, I'm basically saying, “You really, really want what happens at the end of this process, so you should buy it so you can have that.”
So those are the three usual options.
Let's run Write A Book With Me through the three usual options to see how they stack up.
If I went with “The Product Is Awesome”, I would highlight how great and unique and well-researched and all around cool the product is.
I'd talk about features and benefits a lot.
I'd talk about the curriculum being fast and easy to work through.
I'd talk about the group writing sessions being an insanely effective way to tackle a large writing project.
I'd hype up the masterclasses, and the feedback, and the accountability, and the support of the group.
The problem is, I'm trying to get the deferrers.
The deferrers already know all this stuff.
They're going to consume all the launch content.
They're going to love it.
They're going to think, “Wow, that sounds great!”
They're going to hover over the buy button.
And then they're going to say, “Ooooh. Hmmm. Am I ready to write a book right now?”
Aaaaaaand they're gone.
“The Product Is Awesome” would not be the right choice here because it does not address the buyer's primary objection, which is, “I don't know if I'm ready right now.”
If I went with “The Seller is Awesome”, I would highlight how great and experienced I am at helping people write and sell books.
I would show testimonials of people who have written books with my help, and how happy and successful they are.
I would brag and boast and pull out my highlight reel and name-drop like a boss.
I would also throw around a few New York Times bestselling authors that just so happen to be my clients.
But what's the problem here?
The problem is, this STILL doesn't get the deferrers.
They still already know all this stuff. They're still going to love it. They're still going to think it sounds great. They're still going to hover over the buy button. And they're still going to think that they might not be ready right now.
We're still not addressing the primary objection.
Last, let's see what happens if I go with “The Outcome Is Awesome”.
I don't generally like “the outcome is awesome” launches because it feels like, if all we can hype is the outcome, it seems like there's nothing good to say about the product or the seller.
If I tell you how great it's going to be for you to write a book, I'm conspicuously NOT focusing on “it's a good product”, and I'm conspicuously not focusing on “I'm the one to teach this to you”.
It's like selling a gym based on how cool it would be to lose weight. True, but is that all you've got?
So, in general, I'm not a fan of this angle.
BUT! In this situation, it does have one thing going for it.
I do find myself having a lot of conversations with clients about whether or not they should write a book. Given that a decent percentage of my client base works in the knowledge industry, “should I write a book?” is a question that comes up a lot.
So “The Outcome Is Awesome” does have some merit. It probably is a good idea for me to touch on the benefits of writing a book, because it does address an objection for some of the buyer base, which is, “I don't know if writing a book would be good for my business.”
But we're not going to make it the focus of the show, because the PRIMARY objection I want to reverse is the timing issue.
Focusing on, “Having a book [or another book, or a better book] is going to be really, really good for business!” does not get the deferrers.
The deferrers are VERY aware of how good a book would be for their business.
They just don't know if they're ready right now. They don't want to waste their money.
So, with the exception of “maybe we should put a bit of focus on why writing a book might be a good idea, dude”, we really can't go with any of the normal models.
So what should we go with?
Well, if the primary objection is “Am I ready?”, I guess we should put the focus on “Am I ready?”
Makes sense, right?
So how are we going to do this?
Once you get to this part, the rest comes down to a bit of experience and a lot of common sense.
We just have to do a little digging and think (or ask)… [drumroll, please]…
Why might they feel like they're not ready?
Via a combination of asking basic questions and a little deductive reasoning, I came to the conclusion that my buyers don't know if they're ready to write a book for one of a few reasons.
- Timing and scheduling. They're busy.
- They don't know how to do the writing of the book. (What do they put in it? How much time will it take?)
- They don't know what's involved in the project.
Simple enough, right? So what do we do with this information?
We take each of these micro-objections and we make a piece of launch content around them.
Here's what I decided to do.
I'm making a standard four-part launch sequence, and I'm sending out all of the launch content before the cart opens. Because I want people to focus on deciding if now is a good time to write a book, I don't want them reading a sales page yet. I want all of those brain cells devoted to “is now the time?”, and not to reading testimonials or checking to see how long the group writing sessions are.
The four pieces (not including this one) are on:
- What you might get out of writing a book – and what you definitely won't
- The three practical things that need to be in place for you to be “ready”
- The actual process of writing a book, and which parts we'll go through in the class
- How to write a book when you're busy as hell.
These pieces are designed to get the buyer ready to make a buying decision. They are NOT designed to sell my course. They are designed to make it VERY, VERY EASY to decide if it's even remotely relevant right now.
I want to help people to know if they're ready.
I am not going to convince anyone that they're ready. (I actually couldn't do that – I'm a good copywriter, but I'm not that good.)
But I am going to create content that lets people know if they are ready. I'm going to show what readiness looks like, and what writing a book with me looks like, so that those that ARE ready… know it.
And that's it!
Now you know the why. If you read tomorrow's piece with this in mind, you'll be able to see what I'm doing and how. Then you'll be EVEN SMARTER THAN YOU ARE NOW.
Thank you for your time. You may now go back to whatever you were doing. I'll email you tomorrow. (And if you're not on the list, you can remedy that here.)