One of the online entrepreneurs that I’ve been wanting to interview here on ProBlogger for over a year now is Jeff Walker. Many of you will know Jeff and his Product Launch Formula training. I’ve mentioned it as a resource many times as being something that has helped me double my income in the last 18 months as I’ve explored developing and launching my own products.
While I was initially a little skeptical about what I could learn from a so called ‘internet marketer’ and actually avoided what he and others had to teach me – since taking the time to do his course I’ve learned so much about online business.
Jeff has recently produced some fantastic new videos that many of you will be familiar with so I thought it would be a good time to set up an interview to look at his approach, particularly from a blogger perspective.
This interview goes for 35 minutes and covers:
- Hype, Long Sales Pages and a Change of Approach in Internet Marketing
- Getting over the Idea of Selling Something on a Blog
- The Sideways Sales Letter (something blogs are ideal for)
- Do Product Launches Work in Niches that are not ‘Make Money Online’ Niches?
- What Did Jeff Learn in Launching his own Blog? (he had over 2000 people waiting to read it before even launching with a smart strategy)
- Product Launches as Events
- Secondary Benefits of running a Product Launch
- Jeff’s New Videos
- Can Product Launches Work for Small Blogs?
This was one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve done and I hope you make the time today to have a listen or read through the transcript below (I’ve put the above topics into the transcript to help you find what interests you).
Also make sure you check out Jeff’s 4 videos
- Product Launch Millionaires – a video giving inside information on some of the really big internet product launches
- Product Launch Disasters – Jeff shares how some product launches have failed and why in many ways it didn’t matter. He also shares an inspiring story of his first client
- iPhone video – talks about the strategy behind Apple’s iPhone launch recently
- Product Launch Blueprint – this is a downloadable PDF of Jeff’s full Product Launch Formula and a video that walks you through it. This is GOLD if you’re ever going to launch a product on your blog and I find it hard to believe he gives it away for free.
To get them you need to opt in with your email address but it is well worth the effort. That last video is well worth the opt in – it’s a formula that I have printed up and next to my computer for every launch I now do.
Here’s the Interview
I hope you enjoy this interview with Jeff:
Transcript of Interview with Jeff Walker
Transcipt by The Transcription People.
Introducing Jeff Walker (and Darren’s Longest Introduction Ever)
Darren: Hi, this is Darren from ProBlogger and today I have the privilege of interviewing Jeff Walker from Product Launch Formula. Jeff?€™s a guy that many of you will know partly because I?€™ve recently promoted a couple of his videos that he?€™s just released but also, because over the last year or so, I?€™ve mentioned him a number of times as being someone who?€™s really helped me in my own launching of products. Jeff, I?€™m not sure how much of my story you know but, up until about two years ago, I relied almost completely upon advertising revenue and affiliate revenue to monetise my blogs and, with the economy changing, I began to, you know, start to experiment with my own products and launched my first one probably a year and a half ago, just before I came across Product Launch Formula and made a complete botch of it, but I learnt two things; one, I know nothing about product launches, I mean didn?€™t know anything about it, but, two, it worked anyway.
Because I?€™d built trust and credibility and some influence in the spaces that I was operating in, people just bought the E-books that I was selling like crazy and we did a six figure launch in a week just on the back of some terrible strategies. So, this is the longest introduction I?€™ve ever done, but I guess I wanted to say that a lot of bloggers are very suspicious of Internet market and product launches, but they unknowingly are in a great position to be able to use some of the strategies that you teach to do it in a way that I think is authentic and that can lead them into some profit as well.
So, thank you for joining us. That?€™s the longest intro I?€™ve ever done, but I just wanted to say I think is really a relevant conversation for people. So, thanks for joining.
Jeff: Well, thanks for having me. This is going to be fun. Yeah.
Hype, Long Sales Pages and a Change of Approach in Internet Marketing
Darren: So, perhaps let start with, a lot of bloggers when I mention product launches and Internet marketing, are quite suspicious of the whole Internet marketing game. We?€™ve all been on the receiving end of long sales pages and the ?€?hypie?€™ sort of emails. I know that?€™s not your style, but what, how would you respond to that? How have things changed over the last couple of years?
Jeff: Well, you know, it?€™s sort of interesting because I actually got my start online way back, like I think around 1990 on like those online services like, actually the first one I found was called ?€?Genie?€™ and there was like ?€?AOL?€™ and ?€?Prodigy?€™ and ?€?CompuServe?€™ and all those and the world was a lot smaller; the online world was smaller back then and it was all about the conversation. And then, you know, the Internet came along and I got on the Internet and everyone got on the Internet and, all of a sudden, and even back then hardly anyone was selling anything. I mean, selling online took … it was like rocket science to be able to take a credit card. And, but then gradually it evolved into like … there is a lot of hype and a lot of marketing and it?€™s all about commerce and then I think, you know, when sort of the 2.0 revolution, which I sort of, I?€™ve lumped blogs into like really the forerunner of that, is really about the conversation.
So I really think where the Internet is going is back towards the conversation and you know I think product launches really, the way I teach them, the way I do them, a product launch is a conversation. It?€™s a conversation you?€™re, as a business owner, you?€™re trying to direct.
You know, you don?€™t want it to be a free-for-all; you want it to be something you can direct and take in the direction you want, but it very is, it is very much a conversation and, frankly, people are more interested in conversations than they are in, in a … you know a sales letter is like a monologue or a lecture and, you know, occasionally someone who?€™s incredibly gifted can deliver a lecture that holds people?€™s attention, but you have to be incredibly gifted. So, like, to write a sales letter that really captures people, you have to be some Ninja copy person or have a completely rabid market. So, it?€™s just a lot easier if you can just have a conversation that keeps someone?€™s attention.
So, I know that?€™s sort of a rambling answer but, you know, your question sort of hit on a underlying like philosophical stuff that I feel very, very strongly about. I mean I think that the Internet is all about a continually evolving ?€?power to the people?€™ in terms of giving us the capability to, to be, each be publishers and then a continuing evolution of connecting us, make us more connected and enabling conversation.
Darren: That?€™s one of the things I really love. When I finally got over the hurdle that I was enrolling in an Internet marketing course, I was so surprised and really impressed to hear this whole conversational approach to it and, yeah, it was something that I guess I wish I?€™d got a hold of a lot earlier because bloggers are really into conversation; we value it, we value that relationship, but a lot of people just leave it at that. We just develop relations. But that can actually be part of a marketing approach which is really powerful.
Getting over the Idea of Selling Something on a Blog
Darren: One of the challenges I see a lot of bloggers facing is getting over the idea of selling something to their readers. They?€™ve given so much content away for free and they have a mindset either that
- ?€?My readers will leave if I start charging them for something?€? or
- ?€?I?€™ve given so much away for free, what else could I produce that is worthy of charging??€?, or just that
- ?€?I can?€™t bring myself to sell something on my blog, I?€™m not a salesy type person.?€???
What would you say to bloggers who have those sorts of mindsets?
Jeff: Well I think you have to … you know, I can completely understand that. In fact, I was once asked by Marlon Sanders, who?€™s one of my earlier marketing heroes, how I came up with Product Launch Formula and I said it was basically because I was scared to ask people for money, you know, so like I invented this elaborate romance thing and then finally it got to the point where I really needed the money and so I?€™d romanced them so long that, I did ask for money and all of a sudden I realised that they were happy to give it to me. So, I guess, to those people really I would say, and this is going to sort of sound a bit hard core but, you know, you have to decide whether you?€™ve got yourself a hobby or whether you?€™ve got a business and, you know, if you?€™ve got, if you have a business, I mean, well do you want to eat you know next month or not.
And I mean, you know, there?€™s nothing wrong with having a site that is a hobby where you?€™re publishing and you get a lot out of that and it brings a lot of self worth or you feel like you?€™re helping people or changing the world or facilitating something, nothing wrong with that. I think that?€™s very admirable but, you know, if you are in business to make money, you know, I think there?€™s two ways to make money online.
There are two ways; one way is by selling other people?€™s stuff and one way is by selling, the other way is by selling your stuff, and make no mistake, if a blogger?€™s out there and he?€™s running ads on his site, whether they be banner ads or AdSense or he?€™s, or you?€™re just, you?€™re putting up links, affiliate links, you are selling something; it?€™s just you?€™re selling other people?€™s stuff. I, and I don?€™t think there?€™s anything wrong with that. In fact, I think everyone should sell other people?€™s stuff and their own stuff. I think everyone, almost everyone should mix those two business models. I think it?€™s much better that way. You know, you want to sell other people?€™s stuff to sort of even out, to give you a broader inventory because none of us can create as much as our market wants and you want to sell your own stuff because the margins are higher and you actually have control and now you?€™re building a business and a real asset.
So, I mean I?€™d get over, I?€™d just say ?€?Get over it.?€? You know, if you?€™re running ads now, you are running, you are selling stuff, it?€™s just it?€™s not your stuff.
The Sideways Sales Letter
Darren: Great. One of the things you talk about, it?€™s quite central in Product Launch Formula, is the sideways sales letter. Can you give us a bit of a quick overview of that.
Jeff: Right. Yeah, well I mean, if you look at a typical long form sales letter and, Darren, I have to admit, you know, I never was, never sold anything in my life, but I?€™ve always been someone who wrote. I always wrote a lot and when I first, you know, the first long form sales letter I was exposed to, I bought the product and, and then, you know, I mean, I admit I actually like sales letters and I don?€™t really like writing them but I can appreciate a good sales letter. But the reality is that most people aren?€™t like me; they don?€™t like them and they don?€™t read them and I was like looking at these letters and I?€™m like well what usually happens is people get them, one of those long form sales letters, and first when you load the page, you don?€™t know it?€™s a long form, you?€™ve just been sent the link or you?€™ve found a link. It wasn?€™t like you were looking, you know, had Googled like ?€?I want to go read some long form sales letters?€?.
So, anyway, you end up on one and you don?€™t know it at first and then you see that little scroll bar off on the right and that goes, it just keeps on getting smaller and smaller and smaller and then it?€™s like, just like really tiny and it?€™s just showing you there?€™s like 30 pages to read. And so what I think most everyone does is they grab that scroll bar and they, you know, they look at the headline and either they leave or they grab that scroll bar and they scroll down to the bottom and they look what the price is. And then, you know, if the price seems reasonable based on the headline, then they?€™ll go back and skim through the sales letter and, you know, you look at a couple of ball points or a couple of sub-heads or something. The reality is that, if not many people are actually reading them, they?€™re not terribly effective.
So, I?€™m like okay, how can we change this paradigm and I, what I, I came up with this idea of the 30, the sideways sales letter. So, if you go from say a 30 page sales letter or a ten page sales letter and, instead of having that be, like there?€™s a vertical, you know, 30 pages long, if you turn that sideways and instead of made that scale pages, if you made that scale days, and it went to 30 days long or maybe ten days long, but you did this … essentially the same thing you would do in a sales letter, you start ?€“ what?€™s a sales letter start with a headline ?€“ so you start off with something, you know that, a headline that?€™s very compelling, so that would be your first piece of pre-launch content.
And you would come out the gate you know with that piece of pre-launch content and then a typical sales letter might go, you know, headline and then it?€™s got a sub-head and then makes some type of a promise or it raises some type of a pinpoint and then it might tell some stories and then it might have some bullet points and then it might go into the offer and then it might talk about the guarantee and then it might, you know, give the pricing.
And if you took that same thing and spread it out over like ten days or 14 days as your pre-launch and walked through people from that headline that grabbed their attention and gradually pulled them in with a story and then later when the pre-launch started to shift, the actual offer and then at the end, asked for the order, it?€™s a lot easier to engage people that way. Because what happens is, first of all, since you?€™re not asking for money up front, you?€™re not, it doesn?€™t look like a sales letter. You?€™re not asking for money. Then their BS detector gets, you know, it doesn?€™t go into red alert right at the very beginning of the sales process, of the launch. So you get them engaged and you pull them into your story and it gives you time to have that conversation and it?€™s just deadly effective. It?€™s just the way to grab the market?€™s attention, whatever market you?€™re in.
Darren: That?€™s great. As I heard you teaching that the first time, I realised I?€™d had a four years sideways sale process myself. I?€™d had the headlines along the way. I remember the first time I, you know, wrote ?€?I?€™m a six figure blogger?€™, I?€™ve just realised that I didn?€™t actually post that wanting to grab people?€™s attention, but it did and there?€™s been other times along the way that I?€™ve had blog posts that have been headlines and then other blog posts that have been stories and then other blog posts that have, you know, sold benefits of what I?€™m doing and so what I?€™ve learnt is that, as you blog, you are creating a sales letter but then, as you launch products and as you do launches as well, you do a much more congested version ?€“ congested?
Darren: Condensed. Condensed version of a launch and it?€™s a really, it is a powerful thing if you?€™ve already got that sort of relationship there as a blogger.
Jeff: Absolutely. I mean if someone is out there blogging and they haven?€™t put out, put together a product yet and, you know, say you?€™ve been blogging for six months or a year or whatever, longer, you know, basically, you have built up a huge amount of what I call relationship capital. I mean that?€™s like sort of … Darren, I actually don?€™t know if you?€™re married or not but like if, people that are married you know, usually, like if you want to, like for me like if I want to go, you know, hang out with my friends, go to the bar for a night, you know, that?€™s fine, but if I try to do that like 14 nights in a row, it wouldn?€™t probably go over as well. So, you know, there?€™s different things you can do. You know, maybe you like, you know, if, I don?€™t know, if the grass needs cutting or whatever, you can do things do build up relation capital, relationship capital.
Jeff: You know? So, I mean you could, if you?€™re sitting there blogging, putting out great content for an extended period of time and you?€™ve never sold anything, then you?€™ve got great relationship capital and, in fact it?€™s, earlier you said some people are worried that like they?€™ve never sold anything and people aren?€™t going to like them anymore if they try and sell something. It?€™s the opposite.
You know, if you?€™ve built up those raving fans and you have that readership, people are following you, you?€™ve built up huge relationship capital and some portion of your readers are, want to give you money. They, you know, the deal is, and Darren I know that you know this, is that when you?€™re a Publisher, when you?€™re publishing a blog, it?€™s like you are in fact a celebrity. People view you as a celebrity or as an expert or even we could say guru or whatever.
I mean, it?€™s like, it?€™s like when you think of a book author, everyone thinks of a book author as like ?€?Wow, I was at the airport and I met the author of such-and-such a book. It was so cool.?€? Well, it?€™s the same with bloggers. As soon as you start publishing, you are the star and so people they see you that way and, if you offer something for sale, they want to buy from you. Not everyone of course, but a significant number.
Darren: Yeah. That blew me away the first day that I launched a product and someone emailed me and said ?€?I didn?€™t really want your product but I bought it because I wanted to say thank you?€? and that, I think that was part of the reason that it was so successful the first time.
Darren: And then they said ?€?Actually, it was a useful product as well, which was a bonus.?€? So, yeah, it was really great.
Do Product Launches Work in Niches that are not ‘Make Money Online’ Niches?
One of the objections that I get every time I talk about making money online is that only people who talk about making money online make money online. ?€?The best way to make money online is to teach other people how to do it. It?€™s only the gurus who are making the money.?€? Can you give us some examples of other niches where your kind of product launch strategies are working?
Jeff: Yeah, well it?€™s sort of funny, Darren, that you ask me that because, you know, a lot of people say that, you know, ?€?That only works if you?€™re teaching people how to make money online.?€? And the funny thing is, is I was, I developed all these techniques in my original business, which was teaching people about the stock market, and I published a newsletter about the stock market. I had no idea these techniques would actually work in the so-called ?€?Internet marketing, make money online?€™ niche, you know, for the first five years that I did them. I thought they just worked in the stock market. Well it turns out they worked in the ?€?make money online?€™ niche. Then I started teaching this stuff and people have used it in just every field you could imagine. I mean people have used it in off line services – services like Dentistry and Chiropractic and Massage Therapy. They?€™ve used it in little niches online like Quilting and Raw Foods and Health Foods and Photography, teaching photography. In fact, that was yours, right?
Jeff: You did, yeah, you did. Well, there?€™s been several and they?€™re teaching guitar, there?€™s like business coaching in Poland, they?€™re just, I mean almost anything you could imagine; chocolate, like teaching people about chocolate. And then people have done it like with widgets, like marching band accessories and wooden dolls and on and on. Carving wooden dolls, there is a whole, there is a launch about carving wooden dolls, Holstein cow embryos. It just goes on and on and on. I mean just things I?€™ve never, like even like big corporate stuff.
Like, someone did a launch selling CRM software, Customer Relationship Management software, to Fortune 1000 companies and it?€™s like, that sales process takes months and it?€™s made, the decision?€™s made by a committee. So, it?€™s like ?€?How do you do a launch to them??€? I couldn?€™t, when I published this, I had no idea where it would go and it just keeps on going and going and going. And I hear handwriting analysis. I mean, it?€™s just, I really get, I really love hearing these ?€?cause it?€™s just like these markets I?€™ve never even heard of. Dressage, that was a famous one. Jane Savoy did one and, which is horse training, dog training, taking care of your pets, taking care of your cats and dogs, on and on and on.
And the reality is it?€™s easier in those markets than in the make money online market because there?€™s so many launches in the make money online market, you really have to do, yeah, you have to do something to really stand out and be different.
Darren: Yeah, is there some common thread between them? Like, I know there?€™s a lot of celebrity bloggers out there. It probably, wouldn?€™t apply as much to some topics as others, like any, I?€™m thinking a ?€?How To?€™ type topic is going to be more appropriate than perhaps a news orientated topic.
Jeff: Well, ?€?How To?€™ is fantastic. Anything where you can sell information is fantastic. News oriented, boy, I don?€™t, you know I think, you know I?€™ve never … let?€™s see, let me think, I have never done anything personally in a news oriented thing. I think one direction a lot of people … if we look at social media, what?€™s happening now is a lot of celebrities now, they?€™re able to control their own destiny to a certain effect. Like, even like some of the Hollywood celebrities now, they can get all these twitter followers and now they don?€™t have to worry about, I mean they don?€™t have to rely on the media, they don?€™t have to rely on studios, they can go direct to the people.
I think one area for those people, and I would sort of put news type sites in the same thing, like even if you are just publishing about news and scoops and this and that, I mean I think there?€™s, there is money to be made just purely in being a celebrity and like taking a, taking, doing a seminar or taking a trip somewhere and bringing along people, you know, people can pay to go along with you, that type of thing, and then you?€™re talking about a launch that would be very, very effective. And they?€™re kind of, and they?€™re … I?€™m just completely guess there because I don?€™t have experience there and so, you know, because I want to be clear on when I?€™m talking theory versus reality.
Darren: That?€™s good. I mean one of the thoughts that just comes to mind is even to have a subscription area of a blog and to launch that.
What Did Jeff Learn in Launching his own Blog?
Darren: So, I mean I know you?€™ve recently launched your own blog and I?€™ve heard you talk about how you used some of the strategy in launching your blog.
Jeff: Right, right.
Darren: What have you learnt from launching your own blog?
Jeff: Well, yeah, I mean it?€™s, it?€™s funny because it?€™s, yeah, this is my first real, real blog. I mean I?€™ve had, you know, dozens of launch blogs but this is one that, you know, it?€™s sort of more branded to me and any time I do anything that … I mean one of the absolute cores of Product Launch Formula is to use sequences. It?€™s a lot easier to influence people with a sequence than with a single email or a single blog post or a single ad or a single sales letter or a single tweet or a single anything. You know, it just gets lost in the clutter. There?€™s just, there?€™s so much being published. So I always want to do a sequence, so when I looked at my blog it?€™s like, okay, well I can?€™t, I don?€™t want to do a full out like product launch for a blog piece and at the end of the day I?€™m going to be sending people to a blog post.
I mean, you know, no matter how great a writer I think I am, it?€™s still going to be a blog post and, you know, a blog is about creating an ongoing presence, so, like, so what can I do. But I, so I did put together a sequence. I, like my sequences are pretty simple. I said, I asked people to help me come up with a tag line for the blog and then I ran a contest and I gave away an iPad to the winner, to the person, in fact it was an Australian that won it.
And so I had a contest to come up, to come up with a tag line. Well, part of that was because I couldn?€™t come up with a tag line. I, actually, I?€™m pretty lousy at naming things. So I couldn?€™t come up with it, I hate, couldn?€™t come up with something but I?€™m also like ?€?This is a way to get engaged, get people thinking and talking about me, my brand and my blog like two weeks before the blog came out.?€? And I think … I forget how many thousands of entries I got into that contest, but basically there was thousands of people thinking about me and my blog and anticipating and then, when I wrote the blog post, I?€™m like, okay, go to the blog post and take a look and see, you know, see who won and then I was able to link that actually, take that over a couple of blog posts and I think I, you know, opened it Alexa, I think it was an Alexa top 10,000, instantly, instantly when I brought that blog out, like the first day.
And so there, there was no product for sale, you know, and there still isn?€™t. It?€™s just a blog, but I mean it was like I put some thought into it ?€?How can I sequence this to get people engaged ahead of time??€?
Darren: I can?€™t, I can?€™t imagine how many bloggers would like to have had 2,000 people wanting to read a blog before it actually even launched, so that?€™s fantastic.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah.
Product Launches as Events
Darren: What, one of the things I love about what you talk about is events and seeing a launch as an event rather than just a, you know, a sales page or a blog post or a tweet. Can you talk a little bit about this idea of events and how you teach that.
Jeff: Yeah, well, I mean if you?€™re, often like if you?€™re coming out with a new product, like for you Darren if you had, you know, you were running a blog for a long time and you hadn?€™t sold anything, published anything, then just by that very nature that you came out with something, that is an event. And like Apple, you know, they just came out with that iPhone and so that, that?€™s just an event because the iPhone is such an iconic device and people are looking forward to it.
They don?€™t have to work real hard to make an event but what they do is they stage it; they get some rumours coming out and Steve Jobs gives a keynote, then they let you download the keynote and then they, then they do pre-orders and then they open up for the phone a few days later and, similarly, like with someone like you, where you had, you?€™d spend, you know, you?€™ve been publishing this blog, you haven?€™t sold anything, just letting people know that something?€™s coming.
Often I?€™ll do, I actually start with what we call a pre pre-launch and that?€™s where we find a way to let people know that it?€™s coming ahead of time, without saying ?€?Hey, my product?€™s coming.?€? You know, no one just wants to read an email that says ?€?Hey, my product?€™s coming?€?, they, but they, but if you can sort of let it slip out, like I did, I held a contest. Or you can do a survey ?€?Hey, I?€™m working on this … you might?€™ve heard?€?, maybe subtly mention ?€?I?€™ve been working on this new course on how to play guitar and, but before I finish it, I?€™d really like to know like what you want to know about playing guitar.?€?
And so now … you can run a survey like that, send people to a survey and now you?€™re, instead of ?€?Tom, hey I?€™ve got something I?€™m going to sell you?€?, it?€™s like ?€?Hey, I really need your help. Could you, I?€™m really interested in your opinion.?€?
So that?€™s the way you start to build something into an event. You can also do things like tie it to, you know, your birthday or the New Year or a holiday or a graduation or a birth or a wedding and tie it … like, we did a, I helped out with a launch where the product was a series of, an E-book, actually it was a few E-books, on how to write love letters.
That was a great one ?€“ How To Write Love Letters. And so what we … this woman was helping out, she actually had a, her daughter was getting married. So we turned this whole, we turned her daughter into, getting married, into this event to launch this book. And it started off with ?€?Hey, my daughter?€™s getting married. I?€™m really excited. I want to surprise her at her wedding shower with a bunch of great well wishes and can you, so could you go to my blog and just leave a comment where you give your well wishes to Abbey and Jonathon and then I?€™m going to take all these, all your well wishes and I?€™m going to print them out and give it to her on the day of her wedding shower.?€? And so that was the beginning, we used that event at the beginning of the launch and then we took it from there, like, oh boy, this is so heart-warming, which it was. I mean this was like a blog where, if you?€™re ever having a bad day, you just would go and read. There?€™s hundreds of comments of pure love and I mean it was no one could read it without like ending up in tears.
But that was the start of the, that event started the launch and then we took it from there and evolved it into ?€?I?€™ve been so touched by this that now I?€™m, I?€™ve got like these, I?€™m going to make this the best offer ever and give you an extra three books on love letters and all this. So, there?€™s an example.
Secondary Benefits of running a Product Launch
Darren: One of the great things that I have discovered in doing launch after launch is that they actually build momentum for your blog and there?€™s actually other benefits. Every time I?€™ve launched a product, my blog readership?€™s gone up as, you know, my affiliates and JV Partners have promoted it to their audience and those people actually become readers. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, some of the side benefits of running a launch?
Jeff: Yeah, this is something we actually ?€?The Launch Echo?€™ and, until you experience this, it?€™s, it?€™s it … well, first of all, most people don?€™t know about it and even if they hear, even if they hear about it, they think it?€™s just almost mythical because it just sounds so crazy, but what happens is you build up amazing momentum and you use affiliates and partners but even, it works even if you don?€™t have affiliates and partners.
So, what you do is you are all of a sudden engaging in this conversation and getting, and usually there?€™s some pre-launch content involved and, you know, I advocate giving away great free pre-launch content. You know, I?€™m in the middle of my launch and I?€™m just giving away video after video with real training in it and then people just love it and they pass it around. I mean, if you look at Twitter right now, it?€™s just going crazy with, you know, like every five minutes or ten minutes, one of my videos is getting tweeted and so I mean that?€™s just building up huge momentum just in, not just in Twitter but all over the place. And, you know, you?€™ll see … I mean, I just took, the, my new launch is … I?€™m actually using a new web site and I hit the Alexa top 1,000 the day we started that thing. And, of course, that?€™s due to JV Partners, but that has this long, this echo effect going forward where you build up your, if you build your readership … I mean, what?€™s the value of like adding like 1,000 regular new readers to your blog, I mean going forward.
Jeff: I mean, that?€™s immense. You know, I mean, that?€™s like money in the bank, whether you?€™re going to promote someone else?€™s product, whether you?€™re going to run advertising, run AdSense or sell additional products in the future. Something, there?€™s another thing we call ?€?Launch Stacking?€™ where generally each launch gets bigger and bigger because of that echo, because you?€™ve added more readers, because you?€™ve, if you?€™ve got an email list, you?€™ve built your email list because you?€™ve attracted more partners. And also another key thing is, because you have increased the conversation with your readers, you have a better idea what they want going forward and then you can create those products.
You mentioned early in the call, like, people, they?€™re like ?€?I, we, I, well I give away so much already, I don?€™t know what to give people, I don?€™t know what I would sell them. How can I come up …?€? Well, if you just get that conversation going, they?€™ll tell you what they want to buy from you.
Darren: Exactly. We just ran a survey of our readers of people who bought our last E-book and we had 12,000 people tell us what they want their next E-book to be about. It?€™s just amazing, like they?€™ve actually told us and 75% of them told us the one thing.
Jeff: Yep, yep.
Darren: And they?€™ve said ?€?I will buy an E-book on this.?€? So that is the best research, you know, and you can tell what I?€™m working on next.
Jeff: Right, absolutely. It?€™s like … Darren, I don?€™t know, do they use this, there?€™s a term here that they, that, it?€™s called ?€?shooting fish in a barrel?€™, do you, do they use …
Jeff: Do they use it? I mean, that?€™s what I, what I want my marketing to be is like shooting fish in a barrel. In fact, I?€™d like to take that barrel and shrink it down to the size of a bucket and, you know, the same number of fish are now in this bucket, you just cannot miss. And that?€™s what it, like when you have 12,000 people that just told you, and the amazing thing is is when you ask 12,000 people something, you will get all kinds of responses but they?€™ll always skew to two or three main responses.
Jeff: And the reality is, if you had only gotten like 120 people or even probably 50 people to respond to that survey, you probably would have gotten as much data as you needed because it still would have gotten that one thing that they wanted to buy from you. I mean, and then it?€™s just so easy, when you create it, it?€™s like … I mean people think I?€™m like some marketing genius ?€“ it ain?€™t the case man – I?€™ve just got these easy steps that I follow and one of them is just selling stuff that people want. You know, it?€™s just, I mean it?€™s easy.
Darren: That is great. And the other bonus of running a survey like that is that I?€™ve had hundreds of people say ?€?Thanks for asking?€?.
Darren: They?€™ve replied with emails that have said ?€?Wow, you know, thanks for sending this, doing this survey.?€? I?€™m like, there?€™s, there?€™s, you know, it?€™s more marketing, more good will.
Jeff’s New Videos – Must View Content
Darren: I just want to tie this up, but can you quickly talk us through the videos that you?€™ve just released. I?€™m going to link to them under this post but I have to say that the quality of them?€™s really great and particularly the last video that you?€™ve launched which outlines your Product Launch Formula is, whether people buy your product or not, you?€™ve given some really useful stuff in that video. Can you just talk about those videos you?€™ve released?
Jeff: Yeah, sure, the first one we put out was actually a real departure for me because I?€™ve, all my publishing has always been talking about the little guys and the strange little niches that have done really well with launches.
So, for this time around, I decided to do something a little different and the first video was called ?€?Product Launch Millionaires?€™ and it?€™s about the really big launches in the Internet marketing world because there?€™s a lot going on behind the scenes that people don?€™t understand. People think those launches, the big launches, are not working well. The reality is they?€™re working better than they ever have. So, I actually give a lot of insider stuff; I talk about the launch, I go there, stuff that, you know, some of the actual product launch math, what has actually, you know, how much you actually make, what the profit margin actually is.
The second one is probably, my favourite video I have ever put out is ?€?Product Launch Disasters?€™. In that one we actually talk about some of the things that have gone wrong and I name some of the names of people that have screwed stuff up, including me, but then at the end of it I talk about the most important launch ever and this is a launch that looked like it could have gone wrong but it ended up going pretty well and I highly encourage people to watch the Product Launch Disasters video. It?€™s literally the best thing I?€™ve ever done, I think.
Then I came out with the iPhone video, talking a little bit about the strategy behind the Apple iPhone launch and how it?€™s, how similar it is to the way we do launches.
And then, just earlier today as we record this, I released ?€?Product Launch Blueprint?€™ and that?€™s basically … you know, I do a lot of mind mapping. I use these, this mind mapping program. There?€™s a bunch of them out there; the one I use is called ?€?Mind Manager?€™ from Mindjet. And so I basically walk through the blueprint, like the overall blueprint of Product Launch Formula so they, people can download the actual blueprint, it?€™s a PDF. And then there?€™s also a video that accompanies that where I walk through the entire blueprint.
Darren: And that, that?€™s great. That gives you a real overview of, you know, a lot of your other teaching which is really valuable and it?€™s fantastic that you give that away for free. So, thank you for that.
Can Product Launches Work for Small Blogs?
My last question is, a lot of my readers are small in terms of the size of their blogs and their reach. Can this stuff work for a small blog, for a small, a person who has limited influence?
Jeff: Yeah, absolutely. I mean the reality is we all start with limited influence. I mean I certainly did. And, and one important thing I believe in is baby steps. You have to start somewhere and, you know, I mean if we look at, you know, the most accomplished people at anything, you know, Tiger Woods playing golf, Kobe Bryant playing basketball, you know, Jimmy Page playing guitar; they all started somewhere and they all took those baby steps to get started and move along.
So, there?€™s a lot of people that might have a small readership now, but there?€™s no reason it can?€™t grow a lot bigger. And I like to think of this … in fact one of the things in Product Launch Formula is, you know, that I?€™m going to be rolling out, it?€™s completely all brand new. One of the things I?€™ve never taught before is this, what I call the ?€?Product Launch Arc?€™ and that?€™s … I wish we could draw it ?€“ we can?€™t draw it right now since we?€™re in an auditory environment ?€“ but basically how, when you start out, you know, your launches might be small and your first few launches might be small, but because of that launch stacking and because of that launch echo, you build momentum going forward and at some point all of a sudden critical mass takes over and all of a sudden your launches just start growing exponentially. And then, at some point, as they get just incredibly large, you know, they?€™re going to stop growing exponentially and there?€™s more of a levelling off process and then you?€™re just sort of going back to the well and doing re-launches.
But, yeah, it absolutely will work for smaller people because what this is about … I mean we didn?€™t even talk about like some of the mental triggers and stuff but what you?€™re doing is your aligning yourself with the way humans communicate and humans are influenced. That?€™s what this is really about, is it?€™s about aligning yourself with the way to influence people and communicate with people and it doesn?€™t matter if you have, you know, 30 people following you or 300 or 3,000 or 300,000, the principles are all the same. You might not get as big a returns when you?€™re just starting out, but this really is how people get bigger and go from being like, you know, someone with small readership to being someone with a large readership.
Darren: And the thing I guess we all need to remember is that those big launches, they started somewhere and they started with small launches and, you know, you tell some of your own story around that and I find, that?€™s what I find so encouraging is that the first launch, it may not be mind-blowing but it?€™s, it?€™s, the most important launch, your next launch is your most important one because it?€™ll take you towards that, those larger ones. So, yeah, it?€™s really exciting to hear. Thanks so much, Jeff, for the time that you?€™ve given us today. I?€™m going to link under this post to some of those videos that you?€™ve already launched and I?€™d really encourage people to check those out. So, thanks for your time today.
Jeff: Thank you Darren. I really enjoyed it.
Post from: Blog Tips at ProBlogger.
Exclusive Interview with Jeff Walker on Launching Products off Your Blog (Audio and Transcript)
Exclusive Interview with Jeff Walker on Launching Products off Your Blog (Audio and Transcript)