Before you can time your run, you need to have your story ready. Think about it, if you had a chance to sell your launch to an audience, you’d better have your pitch (story) prepared and ready to roll.
I’m going to share a trick to building your story quickly: Go through the process of pitching it to someone who can play the devil’s advocate – have them question and challenge anything in your pitch. Things that you say that are not believable, salable or cannot be effectively backed up will automatically be skimmed out or refined. I often play the devil’s advocate to help my clients strengthen their pitches.
We record the sessions and transcribe the final. Each further session’s would bring you closer to satisfying your devil’s questions and the words that you choose (or script) will keep improving until it covers every conceivable challenge. When pitching to these people, notice the areas in the pitch that trigger the most attention and participation.
Arrange your final script until it is concise and yet leaves nothing unanswered. When you can give the final script to a different prospect to read through without the need for them to ask any further questions, you have successfully built your sales page. Once you have done that you need to plan a story around it and break the story down into a sequence that spreads over your launch timeline.
This sequence should include all the different media content you will be using to tell the story along the timeline. Your timeline to launch should have all of the different aspects of development, marketing and sales planned out. You can build separate timelines and schedules for these different components if you want.
You have your full sales pitch written out and refined down to a format that has answered any possible objections. Now we could send this pitch out to all your prospects in the mail as one big sales letter but we won’t do that. We are going to divide the script down into sections. Let’s suppose we break the entire pitch down into 6 sections (the number of sections will be determined by the size of the campaign and budget). These sections need to spread out in the timeline from the start of the pitch to the end.
After defining the sections, we have to determine where to introduce our arsenal of emotional triggers to encourage the audience to take action. Once this is done all that’s left to do is to plan your content. You will need 6 different pieces of content to tell each section of your story. For content, you can have videos, podcasts, audio interviews, press releases, and articles; there are so many low cost options these days that choosing the right combination is often the toughest thing to do.
And that’s exactly what you need to do next. If you are going to outsource any part of the process, I would recommend paying experienced consultants to guide you since there are countless considerations to think about and having the wrong strategy can cripple you. Unless you have an experienced social media specialist on your team, please bring in a consultant at this step to work through finalizing a plan that you can execute on your own.
The idea is to end up with multiple pieces of content that will tell your launch story over a time line; each piece will hit carefully planned triggers at appropriate times in the story. Every event will be different so we don’t want to step you through a plan, but here is an example:
Try to focus the opening sequence on something that’s entertaining, shocking and full of suspense. For the second piece I try to focus on people’s favorite subject: themselves! I create content that suggests that what I am doing represents a great deal of value to them. For the third piece (in this example), I portray as a tribe member. I create content that helps me bring prospects closer to accepting me as one of their own, at the same time try to stamp my authority as someone who is worthy of listening to. I need to establish here that I have a right to be telling them the story I am about to ask them to buy into.
The next piece builds the storyline in an interactive manner. A great video with prizes or competitions works well in conjunction with blogging. Once you have engaged the audience into the conversation and you know they have embraced the storyline, it is time to provide a little social proof of the people behind the story to show that a lot of people are following it. You can do this through video testimonies or through emails to blogs with lots of comments. A great trigger can be to have celebrities endorse your event in interviews.
This is the point where you should be feeling a groundswell of momentum. Now is a good time to start giving very subtle and discrete suggestions of scarcity. Doing this too early will hurt you, so if in doubt hold off, you should feel the momentum notch up a little when you do it. Done right this message will grow a life of its own and you won’t have to say another word for it to become your best friend by the time tickets go on sale.
If all is going well you are ready to hit them with the big one: Exclusivity! Open the tickets to a select number of sales and promote the reason for the early release. Make sure the reason for an early release of tickets is built into your storyline and try to have separate prices for them as well. Build some content that is likely to be distributed by users explaining the early ticket sales for them to redistribute throughout the internet. Put the tickets up for sale and close the doors as soon as you sell out to your select handful of people. Promote this so that your market can sense that the next release of tickets will also be exclusive.
If you play this well you will have an audience who is listening, has brought into the story and is in a buying frenzy mindset awaiting the tickets.
Your launches can take anywhere between 2-12 weeks of prelaunch hype leading to a day or weeklong massive launch. In your subsequent launches, you can have shorter timelines of 3-8 days using the exact same sales cycle.
Remember these techniques can be applied to any event anchored launch campaign. If launching a product these steps are the same, except copies of your product are the tickets and the product launch is the event.