I wrote and published my first ebook way back in 1997.
It was for a very small and specialized niche. Since then, that little ebook has sold over SEVEN HUNDRED copies. Even today, it sells a few every month – with no effort at all.
That didn’t happen because I was smart – but because I was lucky.
Intuitively I had picked a niche that was in high demand by my target audience. It was information they simply had to have, because it offered the solution to a pressing problem that couldn’t be solved in any other way.
Few information marketers today have the luxury of taking such a chance with their product creation, especially now when over-looked niches with little competition are almost non-existent. More than ever before, anyone venturing into a new niche must be able to do one thing accurately and well in order to succeed.
At a recent college reunion, twenty-five years after we first entered college, I met many old classmates and re-learned one important lesson.
Being Time Efficient Is HIGHLY Profitable!
One theme kept popping up over and over again in our conversations.
“Our kids rarely get to see their dad, he’s so busy!”
“I go to work at 6 a.m. and get back around 7 in the evening!”
“My son WON’T be a doctor – because he sees how crazy our schedule is!”
And invariably, the next question is: “As a surgeon, you must be working very long hours, right?”
They were all surprised when I said my average ‘work day’ at the hospital is 2 hours – except when I’m operating, when it is 7 hours (or longer, depending upon how complex the surgery is).
How do I manage this?
How do I have so much “free time” when everyone else has “No Time”?
How am I juggling so many exciting projects in ADDITION to my regular work?
It’s really quite simple. Let me explain.
Looking for the ULTIMATE product launch formula? The quickest, easiest way to launch a product and ramp up sales is to…
- identify what your audience wants badly
- create a fantastic product that fills that need
- tease them about its arrival – for a long time
- build a list of curious, eager and excited prospects
- ramp up the excitement level
- get partners to join in and promote for you
- craft killer copy – test and tweak it till it rocks
- provide ‘social proof’
- launch with a bang
With this outline, you don’t really need the Product Launch Formula – but you can check it out if you like, here.
Now, let’s get our teeth into the meat of this process! 🙂
How To Plan Your Product Launch
The BIGGEST mistake beginners make is to assume the product launch process begins a few weeks (or months) before the actual launch. Truth is, it begins often months, or even YEARS, earlier – because it involves people and relationships first, and products/marketing only later.
If you (or your business) has a brand, reputation and image that breeds trust and respect, you’ll have infinitely more success in a product launch than if you were going at it from a standing start. That’s true of just about every big launch.
So get started right now.
Meet people who matter to your success, who are ‘names’ in your niche.
- One way to do it is network at a seminar or workshop.
- Another is to engage personally in conversations on Twitter or Facebook.
- Or you may send handwritten postcards, or do something equally personal to build rapport.
If you cannot get out to live events, do the next best thing and network like crazy ONLINE.
- Visit forums and discussion groups, and hang out with the crowd.
- Share opinions, ideas and extend help to members.
- Chat via email, private messaging or Skype – or just pick up the phone and talk with folks.
There is NO WAY to short-circuit this process. It takes time to develop, foster and nurture relationships. And these connections pay off richly when you have a product launch to co-ordinate. Now, on with the process itself.
Find What Your Market WANTS
Don’t guess. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t try and twist your buyers’ arms the way you want them to behave. Just figure out what people desperately want, are already buying, will willingly spend money on. There are many ways to do it.
Here’s a quick outline of some ideas:
- visit forums and see what topics are HOT, what problems many people in the niche are facing
- look on marketplaces like eBay or Clickbank to see which products are selling nicely
- study bookstores and magazine racks to see what type of things most fascinate prospects in your niche
- ask people in your niche through a survey and analyze their responses
Create a Product That FILLS This Need
Study your competition. See what other products and services they offer prospects.
Buy them if necessary, to see what’s in them, how they are selling, what they do after the sale… and analyze every bit of data you gather.
Then, create your own product or service – with your own unique twist – and make it BETTER. There are many ways to do this.
- make it bigger or more complete or versatile
- make it cheaper or offer wider choice
- create it in multiple formats, languages, regions
- customize it for individuals or make it exclusive
- throw in bonuses, guarantees and mentoring
It isn’t always easy to create excellent products. But the payoff happens when you approach partners to help you promote them.
Quality partners will NOT promote shoddy or useless stuff. The ONLY way to rope in enough partners and affiliates is to make sure your product and sales process WORK.
Start Building EXCITEMENT
A successful launch needs to be fuelled by momentum. So start building excitement as early as you can.
Anticipation for what’s in store is a powerful force to harness as a marketer. And a blog is one of the best vehicles online to start building buzz.
Post a few notes on your blog MONTHS before launch.
- Hint at what’s in store.
- Use some hype and mystery, but do it tastefully.
- Bait your curiosity hook.
- Be secretive and ‘accidentally’ drop nuggets to keep your audience eager and upbeat about what’s coming.
Get Interested Prospects To RAISE THEIR HANDS
A crucial part of the launch process is to get folks interested in your product launch to identify themselves – and give you a way to contact them with more information about your launch.
It’s a principle called COMMITMENT – when you’ve expressed an interest in something, it’s harder to back down later when it comes closer to the time to pull out your wallet and buy!
Keep The Buzz Going – And GROWING
As a product launch co-ordinator, you cannot let the buzz die down or get softer. Each tid-bit that you let out into the marketplace must be carefully pre-planned and timed for maximum impact. (You get brownie points for making it seem ‘accidental’!)
By judiciously tying in such news to current events, or other stuff that’s already got your audience’s mindshare, you can grow and expand your buzz to fever-pitch… just before launch.
How to create buzz?
- Sneak peeks and case studies by folks who have had early previews of what you’re creating
- Spy photos of the package and ads
- Snippets of video or audio related to the product
- Interviews with people involved
- Special reports, trial software, freebie samples
All of these will get people in your market niche excited and talking. Markets are conversations. Your role, as a marketer, is to START conversations – not control them (or try to), but direct them to where you’d like them to head.
Find and Recruit PARTNERS
You don’t always have to do this. I’ve had very successful and profitable launches with no partners, or just a few. But if you can get some reliable partners on board, and enthusiastically promoting your launch, it can take your whole effort to a new level.
Best of all, it costs you NOTHING – until you’ve made a sale. Free advertising… you’ve got to LOVE it!
Now, the thing about recruiting partners is that it is NOT easy… unless you have one MAGIC ingredient.
A product that sells – and an offer that puts cash into your partners’ bank accounts, the more the BETTER.
If you launch a product that will bring your affiliates $5 per click, and your competitor can guarantee only $2, then guess who is going to win the loyalty of more affiliates?
But partners won’t be swayed by cash bounties alone. Many affiliates revel in the EXCITEMENT and DRAMA. So turn your affiliate recruiting process into a little CIRCUS.
Make it an event. Add a contest. Go further and run mini-contests for different stages. Publish a separate blog and mailing list for your partners alone. Keep them updated on the progress of your launch.
Remember – excited and enthused affiliates will bring in more sales.
Craft a Killer Sales Process
No matter what you’re selling, you’d better have a sales process that converts a fair share of prospects into buyers – or else you’ll drive away partners and lose a ton of credibility.
Test and tweak your sales process using traffic you generate from organic search results or that you pay for (or do private pre-launch JVs).
Find a combination that works well and hits your target numbers for conversion rate, revenue per visitor and other important metrics affiliates will find most relevant, and that will help make their decision to promote for you a no-brainer!
Provide SOCIAL PROOF
There are many ways to prove to a skeptic crowd that you’re the real deal. One way is to display testimonials from buyers or testers. Another is to publish case studies detailing successful use of your product or service.
A nice idea is to invite prospective buyers to leave comments on your blog, indicating how they plan to use your product once you launch it. That not only gives them a chance to start feeling OWNERSHIP of the product, but also tells other visitors to the blog that there are so many others considering buying it… a double wallop of social proof!
Oh, and you can make it fun and exciting by throwing in a contest where you offer one (or more) winners a free copy of your product when it comes out!
It may be big, busy and bustling. Or it may be quiet, calm and satisfying. I’ve done both styles – and much prefer the second. But hey, you probably LOVE the first kind, so to each his own! 🙂
On the big day, you get to revel in the results of weeks of hard work.
And while big cash influxes are a reward, there are so many more intangibles that give you great satisfaction and fulfillment. That’s something you CANNOT experience just from observing someone else’s launch… you NEED your own.
So go out and get busy.
I’ve given you an outline. You can choose to learn more about organizing and running product launches from a course or ebook or guide. Or you can do it by actually launching a product soon – and then learning from the process.
If you don’t have the cash to invest right now, DO NOT WORRY. I’ve had 7 or 8 great launches without ever having studied any product launch course. Indeed, this entire article is written from my own experience and learning BEFORE studying any program that teaches it!
And here’s another ‘Poor Man’s Tip’ – shell out $12.50 and order a fantastic book (printed out on paper, NOT the digital kind) called: “INFLUENCE – The Psychology of Persuasion” It’s written by a researcher named Robert Cialdini.
Get it and read it AT LEAST 3 times. Then, if you want, come back and read this article – while thinking about ways to use the powerful principles Cialdini teaches.
Reading Alone Won’t Fatten Your Bank Account!
You’ve got to take these lessons and act on them. Go for it – and I wish you great success with your own product launch in the near future.
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If you want to build new habits that stick, this book will transform your life… in 5 easy steps!