“Can you help me launch my business?” When I became a business coach I was unprepared for how often I was going to be asked this question. It came from a recognizable entrepreneur who is a veteran in the online space. From a newly divorced, middle-aged lady via a Facebook DM. From a Hall of Fame DJ after an interview. From a rookie in the information marketing space, or as my six-year old son would refer to him, a “Noobie!”
It happens every day.
I’m not alone. Many successful business coaches are telling me they get asked this question several times each week as well.
I almost always say yes, but am typically surprised they want to hire me when there are hundreds of online courses detailing the process. Can’t they just pay a few hundred dollars, download some videos, complete a checklist and be on their way to making hundreds of thousands of dollars with their ideas?
This is where the problem lives.
In either an attempt to impress, or give their unique twist on launching, many authors paralyze us with overwhelm instead of freeing us with clarity.
[Conspiracy theory alert.]
Some think, maybe just maybe, these authors are intentionally being vague. Create the need to purchase additional products, or hire them to coach you through the missing links? Nah, I’m sure that would never happen.
Let’s start with the obvious.
We believe one successful launch can positively alter the course of our future. Satisfaction, authority, credibility, and profitability will increase not only for us, but for our clients as well. Therefore, in order to achieve this, we find ourselves attempting processes we aren’t fully prepared for and humbly seek the strategic wisdom of a coach. Marketing is our second language after all.
However, after working with, and coaching over 1600 entrepreneurs in the past 18-months I’ve noticed a glaring, yet innocent, misstep that is costing entrepreneurs thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars, and hundreds of wasted hours.
They are trying to launch a polished product instead of building a prototype.
A prototype can be defined as a model on which something is based or formed. A prototype isn’t the final and completed product, but it allows someone to envision what the final product will be like. A prototype can be built quickly and easily, then tested, tweaked, and improved.
When you “launch” a product in prototype mode, you expand your options.
Early adopters can purchase the prototype in “beta” mode allowing the entrepreneur to get paid to create their product. And, valuable data can be collected to avoid creating something no one wants to purchase.
Consider this: Developing a prototype removes the paralysis of perfection and allows you to launch quickly. To assist you with launching a prototype for your business, product, or service I’ve created the 7-step, P.O.I.N.T.E.R. system.
The 7-Step P.O.I.N.T.E.R. System
If you plan on making money online you have to have a product to sell. It may sound like the understatement of the century, but consider a recent survey we conducted with 100 digital marketers: 63 of the 100 did not have a specific product to sell, and 18 of which possessed a product, felt they were not in a position to sell it. That’s 81 out of 100.
You need a product.
It’s easy for marketers to sell houses, cars, supplements, DVD’s, etc. because those items are tangible. The potential customers see, feel, and experience the products prior to purchasing. However, in the digital space, products such as coaching, online courses, ebooks, etc. are intangible, and many times consumers misunderstand their value.
So, the entrepreneur must make the intangible tangible.
- Name Your Product or Service
Our research shows consumers are more likely to purchase your digital offerings when you have labeled it with a specific name. Therefore, don’t’ generically refer to your offerings as coaching, funnel design, Facebook ads, etc.; but give them an actionable name. For instance, my coaching to build webinars wasn’t called, “Webinar Coaching,” but Launch90x: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Launching a Converting Webinar in 90 days or less.
You can’t physically see either one, but the actionable title feels you’re getting something for your investment, and the passive title leaves you wanting.
- Write a Brief Summary
A brief one or two sentence description of the product increases value in the mind of the potential consumer. This description should offer clarity, and answer the questions, “What is it, and Why do I need it?”
Here’s the description we used for the Launch90x Webinar Coaching. Launch90x is a 12-week LIVE coaching program, led by Business Coach and Master Launch Strategist Chad Thibodeaux, for business owners who are committed to generating leads and increasing revenues using Live and Automated Webinars.
- Craft the Expected Outcome
What type of transformation can you expect if you purchase the product? The answer to this question is the difference between mediocre financial results, and results that can take your business to the next-level. If your product can truly deliver solid results, then state the expected outcome in a simple, yet clear manner that builds hope and inspires optimism. Prospective clients will anticipate the release of your prototype, and anxiously stand in line to purchase.
Here’s the expected outcome statement we used for the Launch90x. Launch90x Coaching will fast tract you in creating your entire webinar funnel system that generates a massive amount of leads, potential clients, and sales. You will build your authority and credibility with a professionally crafted and polished webinar script, and learn the art of pitching your offer without manipulation.
O – Offer
Everything rises and falls on your irresistible offer. Your funnels and ads are only as good as the offer they promote. When you launch a prototype of your product create an offer so irresistible your audience simply can’t say no.
- Solve a problem and satisfy needs
Your prototypical product must solve a problem people are willing to pay to have solved. State the problem and solution clearly.
- Stack the Value
Your product should either help your customers make or save money, or solve an emotional pain. People typically will pay around 10%-20% of the “perceived” value of a product. Therefore, if they think it is worth $1,000, they will be willing to pay $100-$200. Stack value and show the true worth.
- Start High, Come Low
Price anchoring is an age-old sales tactic that assists the potential buyer in understanding the real value of your product by comparing it with similar high priced products. If you are going to sell your product for $1,000, compare it to a higher priced item, and then reduce your price to where it feels affordable.
- Social Proof
Nothing shows more value of your product then when you show real-life case studies of success. If you’re just launching your product you may consider offering your services to a few people in exchange for video and written testimonies. More on this later.
- Remove/Reduce the Risk
Every purchase involves some risk, and the fact is you can’t eliminate it entirely, but you can reverse the perception of the risk. Consider offering a free trial, or a money-back guarantee.
- Add Urgency
Adding urgency to your offer compels the potential customer to buy right now, instead of “putting off” the purchase until later. Placing a deadline on a bonus or reduced rate, or removing the offer in its entirety are standard urgency practices. However, false scarcity or urgency is unethical and should be avoided.
I – Internal Launch
Launching internally is the most accurate way to understand how interested people are. If you can’t sell to those you know, you’ll never be able to sell to strangers. Before investing money into paid traffic, pitch your offer to people on your existing email list, personal and professional social media pages. This is your warmest audience.
- Invite Them To Be A Beta Tester
Invite your list to be a part of a select few that will have the opportunity to test your product for a significant reduction of cost. As an incentive for getting a massive discount require them to provide you feedback. Understand not all feedback is useful, but be open-minded to information gathering without being defensive.
- Ask for a testimony
Gaining testimonies from those who have used the product validate the product in the eyes of cold traffic. Gather video and written testimonies, and be sure to screenshot any social media posts that positively discuss your product.
- Offer them a commission to help you sell
Typically those who beta test your product are the best joint venture partners you can have. If they gained great value, offer them 25%-50% if they will be willing to promote your product to their inner circles.
N – Nurture Leads and Tweak your Offer
After offering your prototype to your internal audience, keep track of those who were interested but didn’t purchase. Nurture those leads to make more sales, but more importantly learn why they didn’t purchase. Many times we gather more useful information from those who didn’t purchase then from those who did. Listen carefully, and then tweak your offer accordingly.
T – Tribe Building
Tribe building could simply be the most important task of launching your business. My definition of tribe building is: getting a group of raving fans who follow you, learn from you, trust you, buy from you, and endorse you to the masses.
The dissection of the definition actually gives us the strategy for building a tribe of raving fans:
Ask followers who bring you energy and significance to join your tribe. There’s something magical about “belonging.” Create content so specifically helpful it attracts only your perfect clients while repelling everyone else. The size of your list, ultimately doesn’t matter if your tribe are your perfect clients.
Start organically. Give value. Ask them to join.
A sure sign you are beginning to create credibility is when people begin to follow you. Consistent bursts of content, relevant to the type of people you are attracting, helps pique the curiosity of onlookers. The more “omnipresent” you are in the marketplace the larger your followers will become. The key is to move these followers into fans. They still view you as a moderate risk when it comes time to purchase from you.
Establish a teacher/student relationship with your followers. This profound psychological relationship establishes your authority in the marketplace and your followers will naturally submit themselves to your teaching. Once they pedestal you as the expert, submit themselves as the learner, and apply what you are teaching they are rapidly beginning to trust you. The purchase risk is diminishing.
Trust is the key to any relationship. In the online space when your learners begin getting small results with your teaching they assume they’ll always get results if they listen to you. You’ll no longer need to pursue them as they will begin pursuing you. The perceived risk factor of them purchasing your products has evaporated.
You’ve wooed them and wowed them now it’s time to win them. If you have a product and/or service, even if it’s in prototype phase, now is the time to make the offer. Mentally, their purchase has shifted from a payment to an investment.
If they get results, this tribe will not only purchase your products, but will become your largest, volunteer sales force and promote you to their inner circles. Your name will rapidly popularize, and you will gain massive traction within your niche. Once the tribe endorses you, their next step is to purchase more products, including your high-ticket items. These purchases will stem more from your relationship then even with the results.
E – Emerge as an Expert
I remember as a pastor people coming to me for biblical advice. The fact was, many people who were seeking my expertise knew much more about the ancient literature than I did. However, I possessed something they didn’t. I had the platform.
Our society equates platform with expertise.
People are hopeful to find a guide or coach to assist them in ascending the ladder of success. When they find the right person, product, or curriculum typically money follows. The influencers who are successful in the digital space are the ones who create their own platform by being consistently visible, or “omnipresent,” and offering the most amount of practical help. To emerge as an expert and prove you are the person to take your potential client from where they are to where they want to go you need to constantly provide value with no-strings-attached.
What makes one an expert, and why will people listen?
The more you know the more you can teach. An expert is in a constant state of learning and improving their craft so they can solve the needs of their audience. Formal education, online courses, books, podcasts, certifications, and masterminds help broaden your horizons. Teach what you know, and you’ll build faith in your target audience.
Formal jobs, businesses, hobbies, and associations combine to build your resume. If you are experienced in the role you are selling you are better positioned to get results for your clients. You should list these relevant experiences and reference them often.
Do experts say you’re an expert? If so, these endorsements will boost your credibility in the eyes of your clients. List any and all endorsements, especially if they are credible in your space. If you have not been endorsed by an expert, consider inviting yourself on their podcast, or write a guest blog to help their audience. Helping their audience is an easy way to deliver the goods and obtain an endorsement.
- Internet Validation
When someone “Google’s” you what do they find? If they can easily find and watch your videos, read your articles, and listen to your podcast they are much more likely to consider you an expert who may be able to help them. The following point will help you increase your popularity online and ensure you are validated as an expert when someone types your name into google.
R – Reciprocity
According to psychologist, Lahle Wolfe, Reciprocity is the human need and tendency to want to give something back when something is received. This need is strongest when the gift is given without expectation of return.
Reciprocity however isn’t something new on the psychological horizons, Jesus stated in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you… pressed down, shaken together and running over…”
Therefore, if you want to build a tribe of raving fans who follow, know, like, trust, and ultimately buy from you there’s not a more rapid way of doing that than building reciprocity through generosity.
- Give your best stuff away for free
When you give your best content away for free it leaves the potential client saying, “Wow! If that’s what their free stuff looks like I can only imagine what their paid material is like.” Then they “reciprocate” and buy your stuff.
- Give away the “what” and sell the “how”
When you need to solve a problem and someone shows you “what” to do, you find the utmost amount of clarity and are incredibly grateful. However, there’s still the need to learn “how” to do “what” you just learned. Give away the “what” of your business with the utmost of generosity, and they will “reciprocate” by buying the “how.”
- Give without any strings attached
In our marketing society we have a tendency to dabble with generosity in our lead magnets, but that’s giving to get. I have discovered the more “satisfied” I make my clients the more reciprocity it builds with them and they voluntarily ask to be a part of my group coaching, or my high-level trainings.
- Over deliver
Give your audience more than they anticipated and they’ll reciprocate by not only buying your products but also referring you and your products to their entire following.
In conclusion, stop waiting to perfect your product before you launch. Create a prototype, and an irresistible offer. Launch it internally to prove it’s value and worth. Nurture your prototype and make necessary tweaks to help it’s effectiveness. Build a tribe! Emerge as an Expert! Give value, and people will reciprocate by purchasing your product.
Chad Thibodeaux is a Business and Launch Strategist whose passion is to partner with new and fledgling entrepreneurs to launch their life-giving message to the masses so together they can change the world. His signature program, The Give Method, teaches Business Owners how to give the majority of their products away and get paid handsomely for it. His simple, common sense approach has propelled him to be a highly sought after business and digital marketing coach and his LaunchFuel brand currently empowers over 200 entrepreneurs in 32 countries and 6 continents. His keen eye for design earned him a selection as a Clickfunnels Top 30 Designer and students in his Design Academy create and donate sales and marketing funnels for non-profits, charities, and single parents.