AMY PORTERFIELD: “Lesson number one—I hate to tell you this part—I think it's more difficult to sell a twenty-seven-dollar book than a two-thousand-dollar digital course. I do. I didn't know that it would be as difficult to sell a book. I really do think that a lot of people will buy the minute the book hits the shelves. But the preorder process, we had to do so much. There were four phases because it's not as easy to pre-sell as I thought it might be. In my mind, I'm like, it's twenty-seven bucks. Like, people could do that. That's a pretty low barrier to entry. And my audience knows me well, so this feels easy. But it didn't actually feel as easy as I thought it would. I'm not really sure why, but also, I've never done this before. So of course, anything new, you're going to kind of stumble through it, right?”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: I want to tell you about a podcast that I recently discovered, and it's part of the HubSpot network, and I am loving it. It's called The Shine Online, hosted by Natasha Samuel. And she interviews the brightest entrepreneurs she knows to bring you no-fluff advice—you know how I feel about that—honest discussions about the mental-health and lifestyle aspect of entrepreneurship; and actionable strategies and success stories of those who've mastered the art of shining online. And it's a really conversational podcast, which I love. I personally loved her recent episode. It's titled “New Year, New Strategy: My 2023 Content Predictions,” and she dives into her expert content predictions for the upcoming year. It is good. So you can listen to The Shine Online wherever you get your podcasts.
Well, hey, there, sweet friend. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.
So to say that I've been getting great sleep lately would be a massive lie. And the reason for that is that my book, Two Weeks Notice, is officially about to hit the shelves. In just a few days from when this episode officially airs, I'll be able to walk into a Barnes & Noble, grab my book, walk up to the counter, and purchase it, which you can bet I will absolutely be doing. And I also love when authors go into bookstores and they sign all the stock. I think that's a great thing, too. I can't wait to do that because I love to get a signed book. So, yeah, this is happening. I just, like, pinch me now. I can't even believe that it's finally here.
And as I was thinking about what content I wanted to share with you this week, I wanted to keep on the theme of writing and launching a book, because as you can imagine, that pretty much occupied my mind for more than a year and a half. Like, more hours than I'd like to admit. And I don't know about you, but when other people share their journey of writing a book and promoting a book, even before I was ever ready to do my own book, I was always interested because I think on your heart, you probably know you've got a book in you. Like, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even next year, but someday you're writing that book. Are you shaking your head right now? I hope you are. I think that's how most entrepreneurs feel. They don't know when it's going to happen exactly, but there's a book in them. And so the more you can hear about how other people's experiences have looked, I think the better. Believe me, I have talked to so many of my peers about their experience.
So today, when I was thinking about writing my book and promoting my book, I thought, what would be really valuable to my audience? Like, how could I serve at a higher level? What has this whole book-writing and launching process taught me? Well, it's taught me a lot, to say the least. And because I'm a strategy girl, I thought it would be fun to bring you behind the scenes of my book-launch plan.
Now, I cannot profess to be an expert at this because this is technically the first book I've ever launched. But I wanted to give you a sneak peek into what we have done and what we are doing, because whether this book makes all the lists or not, it's already sold a lot of copies in pre-launch, so I know what we're doing works. And I never share anything that doesn't work, so I feel confident that this process, these phases, are kind of kicking butt. So I wanted to share that with you as well.
So, essentially, we created four phases. And if you know me, then you know I love to work within frameworks, like phases. So we stuck to those phases.
And in today's episode, I'm going to share the four phases and some takeaways, and my goal is that whether you've written a book or hope to write a book one day, you can take my process and apply the pieces that you really like and make it your own.
And then, I'm going to share a few lessons I've learned during this process, lessons from my heart, and some hard-learned truths as well, some stuff I don't necessarily want to admit. I'll leave that till the end, so be sure to stick around.
The exciting part is that we've seen some great success from this launching approach, which I've already shared, which means that I know what I'm going to teach you works.
And one more thing. If you haven't preordered Two Weeks Notice yet, I would be so very grateful if you do that right now. If you go to barnesandnoble.com or your online indie store or even Amazon or Target, wherever you want to go, if you would please preorder this book, preorders mean everything to the author because it's my way of telling the publisher and the merchants who are buying the books that this book's important, stock it more, put it out there in the world more, tell more people about it. So preorders matter more than I even knew.
So if you haven't yet preordered Two Weeks Notice, please do so. Or if you're listening to this after February 21, 2023, the book is out, so it won't even be a preorder. You’re ordering it and getting it in a few days. You're ordering it and getting it in a few days. Once you do, make sure to go to twoweeksnoticebook.com—that's twoweeksnoticebook.com—because I have bonuses when you preorder and bonuses after the book is out.
Okay, so like I said, I poured my heart and soul into this book, and I would love to share with you the phases that we created to get it out into the world. So let's get to it.
First things first, when preparing for this book launch, we knew we wanted to set some key goals that we would come back to time and time again. So the goals we set were, one, build awareness and excitement; two, start the conversation around what you need to do to be ready to give your two weeks’ notice; and three, I also would like to be a New York Times’ best seller.
Now, let me touch on this. If I'm being honest, this goal can really create a lot of chaos in one's mind. And I've talked to a lot of my friends, those who have made the New York Times’ list and those who have not made it, and it feels like a crapshoot. It feels like, “You could do this and maybe get it. But that guy did that exact thing, and he didn't get it, but she got it. And you've got to do this, but don't do that.” And it was, like, so many mixed messages that I thought, okay, of course I want to make all the lists for this book because that's going to feel great. I've worked really hard at this. We've told our audience about it. I've gone on tons of podcasts. I've done all the work, and I want to reach people far beyond me and my audience even, meaning that I can do all the work with those who know me, but I’m hoping that this book gets traction beyond me, to help that woman in a cubicle right now who has no idea there's this whole other entrepreneurial life waiting for her. But because she's not seeking it, she wouldn't know who I am, but the book finds her, whether she's walking through a Barnes & Noble and sees it, or the airport, or a friend gives it to her. That's what I'm most excited about. And when you make the lists, you tend to have more doors open up for those kinds of opportunities.
So we'll see. I might make it; I might not. But Jasmine Star, my dear friend, reminded me that all I can focus on are my efforts and actions. I cannot control the outcome. And so I'm going to just focus on my efforts and my actions. At the end of the day, I'm going to put in the effort. I'm going to focus on what's most important—the people that I serve—and we'll see how it all shakes out.
And you know what? If I don't make the lists, I still know to my core that I wrote a book that could change people's lives. And I know that it will. And I'm just going to hold on to that.
Now, I will say that even though this is a book, early on I decided to launch it similarly to how I launch digital courses, because I'm good at that. That's what I do best. And so I thought, well, if I launch digital courses really well, maybe I could use those same strategies to launch a book. And taking this route felt really aligned and comfortable for me because it just keeps me in line with who I am, what I'm about, and where my strengths are.
So I think one thing I can speak to that has worked really well for me and my team is that we asked ourselves, where do we excel in our business, and can we use that same approach for our book? So maybe you don't launch digital courses, but you do challenges really well to fill up a mastermind. So maybe you look at the challenge model to launch your book. So start looking at what you do really well and how that can translate into a book launch for you.
Now, also launching with four phases felt good and natural to me because that's essentially how I do all my launches. So I'm going to walk you through each phase to help you really understand how we did it and what it looked like so that you can take what you like, leave what you don't, and make it into your own book launch when you are ready.
So phase one was to launch a free live masterclass. We spent a week getting people into the masterclass, and then I hosted four live masterclasses. Now, this masterclass actually led to a brand-new digital course that I created specifically for a book launch, and that's actually what I sold on the masterclass.
But here's what's really unique. If you weren't on it, let me tell you what I did. I created the digital course, and I valued the digital course at two ninety-seven. I actually might sell this course down the road, but I didn't sell it, as you might think, on the masterclass. I said, “Okay, here's what the digital course is all about.” And I sold it like I was selling Digital Course Academy. I told them what's in it for them. I talked about the benefits. I talked about the features, I talked about who's right for a digital course. And then I said, “This course is valued at two ninety-seven, but you only need to pay twenty-seven dollars today to get this digital course. And what I mean by that is all you need to do is preorder the hard copy of my book. If you preorder the hard copy of my book for twenty-seven dollars, this digital course is yours today as a bonus.”
And so I took people through the entire hour-long webinar, so when they heard all they had to do is spend twenty-seven dollars to get this digital course I created, they were in. And here's what's wild. It converted at 47 percent. Some of the webinars were 52 percent, but the average was 47 percent. That's wild considering a digital course, when you're doing really well, it's, like, 10 percent. So I really loved this strategy.
To get into a little bit more specifics, basically, we created a masterclass teaching people how to know if they're ready to create a side hustle. And then the digital course was, “Okay, if you're ready, here's how to create a side hustle in thirty days or less.” So we actually showed them how to create a side hustle, because everything I teach in Two Weeks Notice can lend itself well to creating a side hustle or a full-fledged business. And if you create a side hustle, everything in the book really starts to come alive because you can apply it to what you've already created.
So I've talked a lot about the invisible bridge, meeting people where they're at and helping them cross the invisible bridge to be ready to buy with you. And so it gets them in the right mindset to eventually want to leave their job. And so I took the time, energy, money to create a new digital course because I knew it would be a great bonus with my book.
Okay. So that was phase one. Phase two in the promo was to offer a virtual-event experience. So I'm hosting a live virtual event. I'm going into a studio, and I'm going to have all those big screens behind me, like you've probably seen online from my peers, where I can actually see you on Zoom when I'm teaching. Yeah, we're going to be in that kind of studio.
I invited Jenna Kutcher and Jasmine Star to fly out there, join me on this virtual stage so we could actually be presenting together, which is going to be really extra special. And I'm going to have my husband, Hobie; JD, which is Jasmine's husband; and Jenna's husband, Drew, talking about what it's like to support their entrepreneurial wives. And I think that's going to be a really cool conversation as well. So we're doing all of this at my live virtual event that is on February 25.
In fact, we actually first offered a VIP ticket, and that came with extra bonuses. Then, we expired the VIP ticket, and then everyone gets the general admission ticket. So we actually are offering that all the way up until we actually do the live event on the twenty-fifth. So at the time that I'm recording this, you can still get a virtual live ticket to this event. So all you have to do is order the book and then go to twoweeksnoticebook.com, and you can get your free ticket to this event. It's going to be so much fun.
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All right. So are you ready for phase three? So remember, phase one was the masterclass. Phase two was the VIP ticket to the live virtual event. Phase three, which you might not expect, but we're relaunching the masterclass.
Now, this happened because I was at a dinner with Brendon Burchard, Britt Seva, and Jasmine Star. Jasmine and Britt and I went on a girls’ trip to Napa a few months ago, and Brendon lives in Napa, so he had dinner with us. And I was telling them all about the book launch, and I told him how well the masterclass did. And I said, “I might do another masterclass in January. And I was thinking, like, I need a whole new topic, a whole new digital course to sell.” And they all said, “Just do the same thing. It worked. Why not bring it back?” And how often in our businesses do we forget to bring something back that has worked for us and just make it better, right? And so I made the masterclass even better. We added a new bonus so that when you order while you're still on the webinar, you get a new bonus that I didn't offer the first time. But we're really just bringing it back because it worked so freakin’ well. And I know a lot of people didn't have a chance to get on the masterclass with me, so we said, “Let's bring it back.”
One thing that we really are focusing on in phase three is that we didn't have a good show-up rate. We really struggled with our show-up rate. The conversion was high, but the show-up rate wasn't. So we have a few tricks up our sleeve that we're trying for this one to get people actually to show up live. So we have an opportunity for growth here, and we're going to focus on it.
Okay. Phase four. During this phase, we offered something called the Off-the-Record Sessions. So these sessions are where I had the opportunity to sit down with some of my entrepreneurial friends, and we just had a conversation that we've never had before. I asked them questions that I've never asked of them before. I got behind the scenes with them, how they quit their jobs, what it looked like to be an entrepreneur, what their first year of entrepreneurship looked like. So we talked about a lot of the themes in the book, but went behind the scenes of their businesses.
So Jenna Kutcher, Brendon Burchard, Brooke Castillo, Nicole Walters, and Stu McLaren were all part of this. So good. It was one of my most favorite things I created. So that was called the Off-the-Record Sessions.
Okay. So on top of those four phases, essentially, masterclass; VIP ticket to my virtual event; when that expired, it just went into general ticket; and then, back to the masterclass; and then the Off-the-Record Sessions that I packaged up, and it became one big bonus.
So on top of all of those phases, we added a few little extra tactics. The first was having a book-launch team, and this has been incredible. This basically was made up of my audience, so we didn't invite anybody into the book-launch team that wasn't a client of mine, meaning you've bought Digital Course Academy or List Builders Society, or you're in Momentum with me. And so everyone who joined my book-launch team, they got to read my book early. About five hundred of them actually got a physical galley in the mail. But anybody else, after five hundred—we had over a thousand people join the book-launch team—they got a digital copy. And then a few other perks. Like, I did some special trainings for them. I did some live video. So I showed up in the group for them as well. And then in return, they helped to promote my book and share it with their audiences. So that's one big thing we did.
We also worked with a PR and a media team. So they helped me land some interviews that I wouldn't have had access to otherwise.
And then finally—this is, I think, the biggest thing—I did a podcast-interview blitz. So my goal was to do one hundred interviews about the book. And let me tell you, it was a lot, but it was also a lot of fun. So these episodes have started airing. Most of them come out in January and February. And I am just so fortunate that a hundred people said, “Yes, you can come on my podcast.” So that has been pretty exciting.
I've had some amazing experiences. Like, I've done some in-person. So I did Ed Mylett in person. That one's already aired. We'll link to it in the show notes because it was exceptional. He's such a great interviewer. I did MarieTV live in New York. I did Bossbabes live in L.A. I did Lisa Bilyeu’s show live in L.A. I did the Korean Vegan—so cool that I got to be on that podcast—live in L.A. So I've gotten to do some live in-studio and then a lot of them from the comfort of my own home with Scout at my feet. So I've had the best of both worlds. But it's been a wild ride, for sure, and I'm just really glad that I got the opportunity to talk to so many people.
Okay. So I've revealed my book strategy. We've talked about the four phases. Now I want to take you behind the scenes about a few lessons I personally learned along this journey. And these lessons, I think, will benefit you, whether you've written a book, or you plan to write a book soon and launch it, or if you just dream of maybe one day down the road.
Okay. Lesson number one—I hate to tell you this part—I think it's more difficult to sell a twenty-seven-dollar book than a two-thousand-dollar digital course. I do. I didn't know that it would be as difficult to sell a book. I really do think that a lot of people will buy the minute the book hits the shelves. But the preorder process, we had to do so much. There were four phases because it's not as easy to pre-sell as I thought it might be. In my mind, I'm like, it's twenty-seven bucks. Like, people could do that. That's a pretty low barrier to entry. And my audience knows me well, so this feels easy. But it didn't actually feel as easy as I thought it would. I'm not really sure why, but also, I've never done this before. So of course, anything new, you're going to kind of stumble through it, right?
Now, when I talk to my peers, they all had the same experience, and my numbers are pretty on par with some of my peers who have sold books online. So I know we're all good, and I'm doing the right things. But, dang, you can take a blow to your ego, for sure, because it's not as easy as you might think.
I'm grateful for every single purchase. So don't get me wrong, the numbers might look a little bit different than I thought they might look because I'm just comparing them to what I know with digital courses. And although they're lower than that, I will also say that I'm just so grateful. My community has come out to support me in such a big way, and I feel that to my core. So for each and every single one of you who has preordered the book, I love you for that. So thank you so much, and I feel really, really supported.
Another lesson I learned, that I mentioned earlier, is just staying true to who I am and aligned with my business through this launch has made it really fun. So doing the masterclass. I loved doing that masterclass. It was actually my most favorite one I've ever created, and it looked different from everything I’ve ever done. So that was exciting as well.
So the lesson is just, you know, stay in alignment. Do more of what you do best. How could you take what you do best and translate it into something different and you've never done before? I think that's been really fun.
And then, also, I’ll tell you one more little behind the scenes. Asking for favors has been rough. That's probably my least favorite thing about the book launch, asking to be on other people's podcasts, asking them for a favor to write an endorsement, asking for favors in that respect. That is uncomfortable to me. I kind of want to come out of my skin. I'm pretty sure I've already talked about this on another episode.
But the lesson I learned is that if you don't ask, you'll never know, meaning I've asked for things that people have said no to or passed on me. I've also gotten tons and tons of yeses, as I mentioned, with over a hundred podcast episodes. But I think it's important that I value myself enough to ask, know that I'm worthy of other people's support or love or inspiration or whatever it might be that I'm seeking.
And so there was a really big lesson in worthiness in writing this book and launching it and putting it out there and asking my peers for help. I really had to tap into my self-love and my own understanding of my worthiness to ask for those favors. And I think that's a really, really good lesson. So I wanted to share that with you as well.
Oh, and one more thing I loved. I loved recording the book. The audible version of the book will come out eventually, and I really loved that process. I got to kind of appreciate the book yet again and just remember who I wrote it for—many of you—and how much it could help someone change their entire life, not just their business. So that experience was pretty beautiful as well.
So overall, I have grown a lot over the last year and a half of writing and launching this book. I wouldn't change it for the world, no matter the outcome. But also, I could not be more grateful for my community and my peers to support me. And I really do think I've grown a lot over the last year and a half doing this, so I'm grateful for that lesson as well.
Okay. So let's wrap this up. Overall, putting together this book launch was definitely a lot of work, but it's been an amazing learning and growing experience, as I mentioned. So now let's talk about you. What are you supposed to do with all of this information? Like, that was a lot of takeaways, especially if you're not ready to launch a book. Well, for starters, take what you're good at and do more of that. Like I said from the start, I'm good at live launching with webinars, so I replicated that for my new project. You have new projects coming up. Where can you stay in alignment?
Another takeaway. Remember that different offers require different pre-launches. So for a course, maybe thirty to sixty days, you're golden. For a book, on the other hand, I've been doing this for a good four solid months. And so remember that different projects take different time, especially when you're looking at pre-launching.
And lastly, keep it simple. Go ahead, flesh out a plan, but be willing to cut it down, which we did. We cut a lot of things out of our book launch. Once Gabby Bernstein took a look at it, she's like, “You're doing too much. This is crazy.” So we actually cut it down. But first, we mapped it all out, and then we started to kind of chisel away to make sure we were staying true to what we were best at.
So any project you work on, you can start really big, dream big, really lofty, and then ask the question, what can I cut to make sure that I stay in alignment with my strengths and do more of what I'm good at? I think that makes a really big difference.
And if you're dreaming of writing that book someday, someday might be now, my friend. I think I waited a little too long to get this book out into the world. I'm glad I'm doing it now, but I think I was just so scared to put myself out there. Don't let fear hold you back from that book.
You know, I finally went all in after I got a call—I feel like I'm dropping a lot of names in this episode, and that's kind of annoying, so I apologize for that [unclear 29:42] my point. But you know these people I'm talking about, so I like to, like, really put you into the story. But this part's important to name someone because I want to give her credit—so Jamie Kern Lima, she was the founder of IT Cosmetics. She sold her makeup company for over a billion dollars. And she is just a baller through and through. Well, she called me one day from Whole Foods, and she said, “Amy, I just wanted to let you know that I had this, like, overwhelming sense, you need to write a book.” She's like, she's very spiritual. She said, “I don't know. God’s just telling me you need to write a book.” And first of all, I thought that was very generous she took time— because I don't talk to her on the regular—took time out of her schedule to share that with me. But also, it was at a point in my life that I was ready to write the book. I said I was going to write the book, but I was so hesitant. And then it was just, like, that little push, that little nudge from the universe I needed.
So look for those little whispers from the universe. Look for your signs that maybe it's time. And please do not sit on this longer than you need to. If you've got it in your heart, maybe it's time to explore it.
Thank you, my sweet friend, for tuning in. I cannot wait to see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.