As my reading list grows, I notice more and more similarities/common themes that are woven throughout businesses and their marketing. This week, I am reviewing LAUNCH by Jeff Walker.
But first–remember Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller? No? I reviewed it here. I mentioned that it had similarities to an online course I had taken from Amy Porterfield called Digital Course Academy.
Well, LAUNCH had even more similarities to that same course! I am going to go ahead and believe that the reason so many people teach this same strategy is because it WORKS, and not because we have all been plagiarizing each other.
Now let’s dive in!
The “formula” that Walker teaches in his book is called the “Product Launch Formula” or “PLF” for short, which is how I will be referring to it throughout this blog. He writes: “At its heart, [PLF] is made up of sequences, stories, and triggers.” Let’s quickly break each of these parts down.
The sequences within PLF are:
Pre-Prelaunch. This is where you build anticipation and excitement over the product you plan on launching. This can also be your market research phase to see if your idea has the legs to move.
Prelaunch. In Walker’s words, this is “where you gradually romance your market with three pieces of high-value Prelaunch Content.” This is also where you begin to hit the mental triggers of your target audience. I will touch more on those soon! While this is where the majority of your selling takes place, it only lasts 5-12 days in the PLF. There should be three pieces of Pre-Launch Content:
- PLC #1: The Opportunity. Must answer the question of WHY. Tell them why they need your product.
- PLC #2: The Transformation. Must answer the question of WHAT. Tell them how their lives will change after purchasing your product.
- PLC #3: The Ownership Experience. Must answer the question of HOW. Encourage them to take “ownership of that future change.”
Open Cart. Where the money is made! This is your sales period. Create scarcity by offering a sale or removing bonuses or even removing the offer altogether. Be sure that potential customers know when the cart will be closing! Throughout Open Cart, you will also be emailing your list and posting on social media.
Post-Launch. This phase has two purposes: touching base with new clients/customers to ensure they’re having a good experience and following up with those who did not purchase from you.
He purports it’s a very simple, but powerful process.
Your marketing needs to tell a story…there is no better way or place to tell your story than in your launch sequence.John Walker
This reminds me of Donald Miller’s Building a Storybrand, which is a book review for another day. 🙂
Walker says the reason PLF will stand the test of time and market fluctuations is because it’s based off of basic human psychological principles. These “mental triggers” do not change in our DNA, despite the many changes that society faces. These mental triggers are: authority, reciprocity, trust, anticipation, likability, events & ritual, community, scarcity, and social proof. All of these are explained more in depth in the book as to why they propel people to purchase.
How to Attract an Audience
Now..in order to sell, we have to have an audience for our product, correct? In order to get that audience the key is:
An email list.
Does that sound familiar? Yep! It’s the same thing Donald Miller swears by!
Without getting too far into the weeds, the main way to attract people to your email list is through the use of a lead magnet. Of course, this is nothing new–a lead magnet is some sort of content that appeals to your ideal client. In order to obtain this valuable content, they must give their email address in return.
If you want to get to an advanced level of email marketing, you can create a specific LAUNCH funnel where people can specifically sign up for the launch week emails. This is particularly good because these are the warmest leads you can have!
Some other ways to accrue an audience is through social media and paid advertising. He touches on both of these, but admits that because social media is ever-changing, he doesn’t want to hammer down on too much social media strategy.
Types of Launches
Walker discusses a few different types of launches for all levels of online entrepreneur. Let’s start from the beginning.
Seed Launch. This is your first launch when you haven’t yet accrued a large audience. You can use this “launch” to gather data on what your audience wants and needs, as well as what their pain points are, which is invaluable information!
Internal Launch. This launch is the first one once you have started accumulating email subscribers. You’re past the data-mining stage and ready to go!
JV Launch. JV = Joint Venture. This is an off-shoot of an affiliate launch where other online entrepreneurs send your offer to their list while earning a commission for bringing you a new customer. Walker’s main point about a JV launch is that you need to ensure you have a winning product (and a successful internal launch) before asking others to sell to their lists. This type of launch is not for a first timer.
Six Keys to the PLF
He boils success with PLF down to these six key items:
- Always deliver high-value PLC (Pre-Launch Content).
- Always be building your list and your relationship with that list.
- Make more than one offer.
- Use the Circle of Awesome: Seed to Internal to JV.
- Use relaunches and evergreen launches.
- Take care of your clients and launch to them again.
I think the main takeaway is: Give more than you ask for (which is the foundation of the reciprocity trigger mentioned earlier).
Now that you get the gist of the PLF, let me give you my opinion on it and the book.
First, like I mentioned before, it has many similarities to other online marketing strategies that I have read/learned about. Again, I hope this is because it truly works and not because we are repurposing others’ content.
The thing that differentiates Walker’s strategy though is that he explains the psychology behind it and that is what I like.
There’s also the J.V. Launch aspect that differentiates his strategies from others’.
He is very thorough in his description of each part of the process, which gives business owners actionable steps to execute (down to what should be in each piece of Pre-Launch Content!). You all know I love that. 🙂
Throughout the book, he includes a few case studies, which are also inspirational and really make you feel like you can also achieve a six- or seven-figure launch.
Overall, I would recommend this book to someone who is looking to become an online entrepreneur. It is more thorough than Marketing Made Simple and more easily consumable (if you’re a reader) than Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy.
If you liked this book review, be sure to take a look at a few others here on the TPF blog:
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
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