Transcript: 5 Systems to Put in Place Before You Launch Your Next Program, Product, or Service (with Anne Samoilov)

March 28, 2013

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hello there! Welcome to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast, and today we're talking about online launches. 

This topic is a pretty big one for me because online launches are actually how I got my start in the online marketing world. 

For those of you who don't know, I used to work with Tony Robbins, Peak Performance Coach, for about 6 and 1/2 years, and the year before I left to start my own business, Tony started working with some big names in online marketing to help us create launches for his programs, products, services, the whole gamut. 

What Tony did is he brought in the best of the best. That's just how Tony works. He always finds the best, who's doing it right, who's getting the biggest results and he brings them in to consult. So we got to work with Jeff Walker, Brendon Brouchard, Frank Kern–you don't know those names, they're pretty big online marketers who do significant launches online, meaning multi-million dollar launches with HUGE success. 

so there I was, my last year at Tony Robbins, and I got to sit at the table with these Internet marketing giants to learn how to launch online. It was a pretty exciting time to say the least, and that's just when I dove into everything that had to do with online marketing. I was hooked, I loved everything about it, and eventually that lead to me diving into social media marketing, which is why I now teach Facebook. 

But today is actually not about me! Today we're going to be talking about how you can launch your programs, products and services online. I've asked my good friend and someone I call an online launch expert, Anne Samoilov to come on and talk to us about launching. 

Now, Anne's been part of some pretty big online launches, one being Marie Forleo's B- School, which I talked about in podcast #3. Anne has done work with Laura Roeder who's a good friend of mine and also a social media expert, and Laura Roeder and Marie Forleo built B-School a few years back. Anne was part of that whole entire launch, she knew the ins and outs, what worked, what didn't work, and from there she really started to become this expert in launching. 

I'll give you a link to her website. When you go to her website, it's all about everything you need to know to launch a program, product or service online, so it's a fantastic resource. 

I've been following Anne for many years now and I invited her to come on the show to really talk about what it takes to get a launch off the ground. 

The cool thing is that, I feel that Anne has a unique, holistic approach to launching anything online, meaning she helps you look at your whole entire business while you start to think about promoting a specific program, product or service online. So she really brings in all aspects of your business which I think are really important. 

If you're doing business online, it's a strategic and smart strategy to think about promotion of your products in terms of launches. You may already know that I do launches for my own business, and the way I look at them is an opportunity to create individualized marketing plans around specific programs or products. 

So when I launch something, I put a concentrated effort on attracting the right audience for that specific program, promoting it on multiple platforms in a very streamlined, strategic way, and then I lead up to the selling phase. 

When you think of a launch this way, I can promise you that the things start to fall together so much more seamlessly, and it takes a lot of fumbling out of the whole process because there's a really strategic way you do it. PLUS, and here's a big plus, when you do launches you don't have to be promoting and selling EVERY single day of the year! Launches actually allow me to pull back and have these, what I call mini- breaks so I can just offer great valuable content and I don't have to be pushing or selling anything all the time. 

It really works in a way to add value as well as make money when you DO promote. And when you're just going through those mini-breaks where you're just adding value 

and you're not promoting or selling anything, that's when you start to build up an affinity with your audience, they start to trust you more, and they see you as an authority. 

Launching allows you to not have to sell and promote all the time. So that's a huge perk when you create online launches. 

A little housekeeping before we get started. I wanted to remind you that all of my show notes are on my website. This is episode #6 so you can grab the show notes at I'll include all the links that we talk about in this interview plus some valuable resources, some great articles from Anne's website, to help you get started with YOUR program or product launch. Make sure to check the show notes out at 

Now let's jump in. 

Anne, thanks so much for being with us today! I really appreciate it! 

Anne: Thanks, Amy. I'm really excited to be here, actually. 

Amy: I think we have a lot of good stuff to cover, and launching is such an important topic when we're talking about online marketing or just any type of marketing, so I think that people are going to find a lot of value, and of course that's why I invited you on the show today. 

Before we jump into all the specifics about how to launch a product, program or service, let's first start at the beginning and tell people a little bit about who you are, and how did you even get into teaching people how to launch? 

Anne: Well, you know, I think that the best way to talk about it is to just let people know that I started working in production and visual effects and animation in Los Angeles, so I was managing extremely technical projects from idea to delivery, which is a form of launching. And I was kind of burned out on that world, but that's my genius and that's my skill, so I just started looking online and my very first experience with launching and getting into that world and I didn't even know that I was actually going to be launching, launch–I didn't know what I was going to be getting myself into! 

But I met Laura Roeder and I started working with her. It was not a chance meeting, but it was definitely a meant-to-be meeting, and we started working together and I just jumped in and did all the same stuff I was doing in visual effects and animation with her, and it was just a different set of technical stuff to manage. Moving pieces to manage so that we could release, launch, you know, deliver something. And then just after that–this is kind of what lead me into even creating a program about launching. 

After initially starting to work with Laura, I also worked on Marie Forleo's B-School for the first couple of years because Laura was a partner of Marie's at the time. So my very first real big launch was B-School, so I got thrown kind of into the deep end, but it honestly never felt overwhelming or anything. So through the three years that I've really been working with Laura, I have just learned so much about launching and I've realized so much about my past experience in production, in animation and how to actually pull a lot of that into what I do with launching. 

Amy: That's fantastic, because anybody that's listening knows that I was–if you listen to any of my other podcasts, I interviewed Marie Forleo for her B-School launch, and that was a huge launch, so you had a really good, pardon the pun, launching pad for your business to get things started because you knew exactly how to do it, and that was such a huge, successful launch, so really cool place to start for sure! 

Anne: Yeah. I mean, Amy, the one thing I have to say though is that it wasn’t–I really never thought that I would be teaching about launching, and then actually taking on additional clients and working with other types of entrepreneurs and businesses. It just started getting to be too obvious that I knew so much about the process about getting a project finished on the management side and then learning all the marketing stuff that went along with it; it just seemed like such a natural, organic progression. 

Amy: And I think that's how a lot of people, especially when you're building an online business, get into this world. They realize “wait a second, I know a lot about this, this is actually coming naturally to me and I enjoy it, so maybe I can explore this a little bit more and show other people how to do it!” I love that you share that because I think it's a good lesson for anybody that's working in an area right now and they're thinking “Maybe I can expand on this a bit.” So that's fantastic! 

You lead me into such a great, perfect place to start, and that is–really, what is launching? Because you talk about the development of the product, the marketing and getting it finished and all that good stuff. So for those that are listening today that 

aren't really sure exactly, what do you mean by launching? And are you only talking about online programs or does this go into the physical as well? Can you give a little bit of insight into the world of launching and what it means? 

Anne: Sure, Amy. You know, I have probably–I feel like often that I overuse the word launch. I'll totally like, [inaudible] up there, I'll out myself! But the truth is, I think that when you say that you're launching something, there's a commitment to what the process that you're doing, and when I actually defined launching myself, it's just like– it's almost like you're orchestrating an event, where you want people to pay attention. 

So that could mean paying attention in the form of buying, paying attention in the form of subscribing, you know, and just getting that attention on whatever that idea, that service, that new product, maybe your new business–it's getting eyes on your business and making it an event. That's what I look at as a launch. 

Amy: I think making an event–I love that, because it also means that it doesn't always have to be you're selling something. 

Anne: Exactly. 

Amy: And I think that's a misconception because a lot of the people listening want to build their email list and I guess you could kind of create a little mini-launch around a free offer in order to grow your list. Would that be something you could do? 

Anne: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there's many different ways, you know, like you said–the opt-in offer, there are–tons of people just do blog series and you know maybe it's leading up to something where you're going to offer something for sale, but that blog series alone becomes a list builder and–you know, just, off the top of my head, someone who's still using their blog series to build their list even more and they're not launching their product right now is Derek Halpern. I mean, I definitely see him using a blog series and he's continued using it even well after the launch, so, I think that you can do that in many different ways. 

Amy: For sure! You know, if we step back and let's say somebody has an idea or maybe they already have a product or program that they want to launch and specifically want to sell, I've seen you talk a lot about things that you should do before you launch, and I'm really big of setting the foundation of anything you do in your online business. So can you share with us some tips to make sure you're ready to 

actually launch, whether that be a list building campaign or a selling campaign. What do you need to do before that? 

Anne: Well, I'm not sure if you mean this, but I [inaudible]–I definitely am a really big systems person, because I feel like once you have your systems in place, then you can get creative and then you can figure out what the content is, what the colors of your launch look like. The things that I like to do before I do anything is, you know, if I’m going to pull off a launch or an event, you need to have a few things in place. 

If you want me to share those, I definitely can do that. 

Amy: Please do, yeah! 

Anne: Okay. The biggest one actually is for me, customer service, and customer service doesn't mean “Oh, go hire a customer service person.” It just means you need a clear understanding of how you're going to handle questions from people who want to buy, who have bought, who are having technical problems, whatever. 

If you have the money to have someone follow up on those inquiries that WILL come in…they WILL come in, they ALWAYS come in, you can hire them but you can also just set up a dedicated email and that's your system for doing customer service. You check it once a day. 

There's also in general, and this is kind of with customer service, is communication. And knowing how you're going to communicate to the people on your list, to people in social media, to…during your launch, after launch, before your launches…having a good idea of “okay, these types of emails need to go to people who are clearly on the interest list. We don't want to bother people who are on the normal list with this type of email.” 

You know, just having a clear idea of that and the way to do that, really, is just to take a huge sheet of paper and map it out, you know, or use a Google Doc and just write out the different types of communication that are going to be going out and be really clear about who is getting them when and–the communication piece is a big one for me. I'm always thinking about not sending too many emails, making sure that they're the right types of emails, all that. 

Amy: So with that–let me ask you real quick, the communication part. It's not just emails to sell something, but you're talking about emails to get them talking about the topic? What kind of emails are you talking about? 

Anne: Actually, both of those! I mean, it's everything from the actual emails that are going to be saying “Hey, this is what this thing I'm doing is, this is, you know, the actual sales types of emails” but it's also those initial emails where you're just telling people something's coming. Knowing that, you know, perhaps the people on your primary list…maybe you just need to ask them if they're even interested in it, and not bother them with the deep sales emails. I don't know if that makes any sense. 

Amy: Oh, great point! 

Anne: I don't know if that makes sense. 

Amy: No, it really does. Because when I was marketing for B-School for Marie Forleo, I had a little blurb in those very first emails that said “if you'd rather not hear about B- School, I'm going to be talking about it for the next few weeks, so just click here and I won't bother you with these emails anymore.” I think it's good just to segment. 

Anne: I had that, too! I did the same thing too, because people get a little bit freaky and that is something that you can do in InfusionSoft. I'm not sure how that works in other systems, but I mean, InfusionSoft, what's great is you really can say “If you want to hear more about this, click here” and then that identifies them to your system as someone who absolutely, for sure, wants to hear about what you're talking about. 

I'm really respectful of people's inboxes. Because I don't want–you know, you don't want people jumping off your list first of all. You also want to make sure you're targeting the right people. So communication is just such a big topic, but just at least knowing who you're communicating with. Like, you're just going to do P.S. mentions in your newsletter, or you're just going to email your interest list only, like a specific group of people about the actual launch. 

Know who you're going to be talking to. 

The other system, which is really just more of an operations thing, is having a really clear who-does-what map or chart, you know, especially when you've got multiple people helping you, whether it's a team or just random people who you're hiring to, say, an O-Desk person or just a freelancer, having a clear plan of who's doing what, 

because there's nothing worse than having three people thinking they're doing the same thing, obviously. 

But what LKR, Team LKR and Team Forleo were working together on B-School those first few years–I mean, those are two pretty big teams that function in completely different ways and we HAD to know who was doing what. Not everybody was involved in the launches of both teams, but we had to know who was the captain of what area. 

I know this just might not be something that's necessary for people who are working on their own, but I bet you have just people who are helping you, even, right? Even a person who's going to proof your emails, a friend–know who's doing what for you. 

Amy: Right. 

Anne: And you know, I have–there are other systems, but the other more technical one that I really thing–you know, it's surely worth it if you don't have it set up to get someone to set it up for you, are your analytics and tracking. And that means, you know, simple Google Analytics, or some other–there's obviously, I mean, not obviously but there are other more complex systems and companies that set up tracking for knowing what your traffic is, where people are coming to your website from, all that. 

But Google analytics is a free tool, we all know it, we all love it, but–you know, I can't tell you how that turnaround where I put my attention during a launch. Because once I realize most of the people who are subscribing, liking, and signing up for the launch for my product were from Facebook, I didn't spend so much time on Twitter. 

Amy: Yes! That is huge! Knowing where the activity is going or happening from allows you to actually do less but concentrate on what really matters. Great point. 

Anne: You know Amy that during a launch, the time [inaudible] time, first of all, is super-limited. And your energy is also limited. You don't want to be spending it running around to all these sites. Don't be posting on Pinterest if no one's coming from there! You can play with that at night, but don't spend your time on your launch having to cover every single social media network. Know where people are coming from, and knowing that is–Google Analytics is perfect for that. 

And then, actually there's one more that I can tell you about. This is–I'm not sure why I didn't mention this first because this is my kind of thing! And that's having a schedule, even if it can be altered, I really feel like a schedule is a system, and even if it's just a 

simple Google Doc or a simple document with a list from top-to-bottom that all the pieces that have to be done until the launch finishes, having that list done in advance really helps. 

Amy: It really does! You know, I'm working on a launch of my Facebook Marketing Profit Labs right now, and it's a program I do quarterly, and I was just writing out a project plan, a schedule of when things need to happen. 

What always happens to me is I think I have SO MUCH time to prepare, and I'm thinking “Holy cow, that one thing needs to get done this week or it's going to mess everything else up.” It's a little bit of an eye opener the first few times you do a schedule, would you agree? 

Anne: Yes. I definitely would agree! And you know, I think–that's why I don't feel like many people talk about their schedule being a system, but it can be a system because if you do it the same way every time–I don't know. I find that doing, you know, maybe this just comes from working with Laura Roeder. 

She always would make this list, and at first I was a mind map person. I was trying to make it more of a visual like “What's happening where?” But I think she just got me into her way and she just makes a list down. And then I'll go through it and I will, you know, futz around with it and make it–add things in, and the great thing about a list is it's also easy for most people to look at. So if you need another eye on it, you can get another eye. 

However, I want to add that, you know, you can always use better planning, task management tools, but you should have them set up in advance. So if you're going to use Basecamp, don't wait until you hire someone to get up to speed on how to use it or if you use Wrike which is a tool that I've used often. 

Don't wait until the second before you launch to use it. Set it up well in advance, try to write everything that you're going to need to get done during the launch in whatever system you choose. 

Amy: I like that. Planning ahead, scheduling, these are such great points for anybody who's thinking of creating some kind of launch around a program, product, service, list building, whatever it might be. 

So just to recap, we've got customer service, emails, which is communication, who you're going to mail to, when you're going to mail, who does what, which is really 

important, EVEN if you have a small team! I have a VERY small team, but I'm always talking to my team and making sure they know what they’re doing. And then analytics and tracking, so you know where people are actually clicking, and what they're doing, and where they're spending their time when it comes to your launch, and then schedule. REALLY important, schedule things in advance. Get them all written down. 

I do brain dumps, right? Everything I could think of that needs to get done, and then work it into a schedule. I think that helps a lot. 

Anne: Yep, definitely. 

Amy: So true. Okay, great! So we've got our systems together for our launch. Now, one thing, and this is what I love about you do, and I follow all of your content, and I think that you talk about something that a lot of people don't really get into, and that is the fact that even some well-planned, well-executed launches don't actually sell well. 

You pointed this out in a recent email, and I loved what you said about it. You said “It's because not enough people are doing the outreach part of it.” Can you talk a little bit about that? What is that all about? 

Anne: Yeah! Well, first of all, outreach really is just, you know–I actually, in a recent webinar I was talking about this. During your–before or during your launch, there's a couple types of communication. You're talking to your current peeps and you're talking to–you want to find new peeps also. And that new peeps piece is really important. 

So outreach are things like interviews, guest posting on other people's blogs, finding press hits in Help a Reporter Out, which is HARO–I'm not sure what the link is to that. You know, maybe finding telesummits that you can join or that you can ask to join, which IS possible. You don't have to wait to be asked! You know, going to online live events, meeting people in person, offering free office hours–there is a never ending way that you can just open yourself up to getting new people and to find out what you're doing. 

And you know, I just have seen this too often, and this happened on two different launches that I worked with people and I kept telling them how important that outreach was, and how important it was that they even have a handful of guest posts come out during their launch week and getting that last hit of people coming at 

exactly when they're offering something. And because they didn't do that, because they didn't spend the time do that–maybe they were spending time on something that really didn't have a return at all for them, you know, their results were not what they wanted. 

And now they're–of course, now they're like “Okay, I'm doing this now, I'm going to do a couple of guest post a month, and I’m going to keep my eye open for these ways of reaching new people.” And I find that people–actually, it's interesting to me because I feel that people are getting better at really connecting with their current people, but it's, you have to always be growing. 

You have to always be pulling people in. And interesting people, because those current people are eventually going to–I don't want to say they're going to grow past you, but they might, in their life, develop new interests and go in a different direction. You know, whatever. So you always have to be pulling in new people who don't know you. 

Amy: You know, when I was in a mastermind a few years ago, and I really didn't have a list. My list was probably 600 people at the time, and this was back in 2010, and I was talking about creating my very first program, and someone said to me in this mastermind who had already had a HUGE list and has had huge success, she said “Amy, if you want to grow your email list, launch something! Because that is such a great way to get people talking about you, excited about you, and opting in to whatever it is you're giving free away in advance of the actual selling of the program. 

So I think launching is a great list-building platform for sure. And also you said something else that made me think a little bit of what I've done in the past. When people ask me “How do I grow a list?” or “How do I get more Facebook fans?” or “How do I get more exposure on any social platform?” I always say “get active OUTSIDE of those platforms.” Get active outside of Facebook. Get active outside of Twitter. And what I always mean by that is, guest blog posting. I really do believe that put me on the map. I would guest blog post ANYWHERE anyone would have me that had a solid audience. Guest blog posting really changes the game. 

Also, like you said, getting invited to be on teleseminars or webinars where you're a guest in maybe a bigger program. I think that's such a great idea you shared there, and that might mean that you need to call someone and say “Hey, if you're ever in need of this type of content, XYZ, definitely think about me. 

I'd be more than happy to share it with your audience.” You're not selling anything, you're saying “I'll give free content away,” because of course it's going to be great exposure for YOU. So finding all these outlets to get active outside of where you think you should be spending all your time is just–it works phenomenal. My Facebook fan base grew BECAUSE I did all that. I’m so glad you shared that here. 

Anne: You know, I actually wanted to add something about it too, and that is–I know some people who have guest posted, let's say, on the side that they expected more traffic back to them, or more subscribers, or something. And the truth is, the reason why that you don't–guest posts sometimes DON'T equate to this is because it's just not the right fit, that those mornings do count and people do find you, and you just have to keep putting yourself out there, because the more you do, the more you're going to find that…. 

Well, let me back up. When you do all these guest posts, you just have to be watching. 

Remember how you set up your Google Analytics? Watch for where the spikes are coming from. At first, when I did [inaudible], even before launching it was like, it was a great–I really still am very proud of it. But I did a guest post on [inaudible] and the traffic from [inaudible] wasn’t even. . . 

Amy: Why do you think that is? 

Anne: Because it wasn't, at that time, I wasn't writing about what her audience wants to read about. Again, now that I'm a contributor for the site, she is one of my top referrers for not only just traffic but also subscribers. It was just the tweak in the content. 

So now what I do is I actually look for the spikes to give me that clue that I'm with the right audience. Now I know that their audience is potentially interested in what I have to talk about. 

Also, I recently did a guest post on ProBlogger that I was so excited to get but I really just asked for it, and also there HUGE spike in traffic and subscriber. You know, now when I'm thinking about where I'm going to go, I look at LKR, ProBlogger and other– maybe not such well-known sites, like ProBlogger, but something lower on the Alexa scale or something. And I'll still go for them. You know, I know now, I have a little bit of a guide post on where to do that outreach. 

Amy: Yes, for sure! And that ProBlogger you did, I'm going to put it in the show notes. 

So to find the show notes, you just need to go to and you'll get all the links that Anne's talking about right now. 

But that ProBlogger post, I want to link to it because it was all about emails that you want to send out during your launch. Is that right? 

Anne: Yeah, mmhmm. 

Amy: Really good stuff. And since you alluded to it here with the systems, sending out communications, I think it would be really helpful for people. 

Anne: Yeah. They put me through my paces on that one, but it was a great experience. But I was like “Oh! I feel like I'm in school again!” But what I found out is that there are certain people who not only–you'll actually even find out, like, outreach can even be someone who you respect, who respects you, who just mentions you and gives you a link. That's outreach, too. Because the point is, getting a link to you in front of other people's audiences. Giving someone a piece of you on someone else's site so that they can go “Oh, who's this Amy Porterfield person? CLICK!” 

Amy: yes, exactly! You know, I had a situation the other day where I have a good friend, Rich Brooks, and he just started a brand-new website called the marketing agents, and he was just sharing with me how his site's doing, and he said “I just wrote this really big post about SlideShare and why I think it matters to people's business.” Well, he was just sharing with me what he was doing. 

Well, I just happened to finish a podcast with Mike Volpe at HubSpot where we talked all about SlideShare. So I said “Rich, I should link to it in my latest blog post, because that would be really valuable!” I would've had NO idea that he did that if he just wasn't bringing it up in casual conversation with me. So you got to talk about your stuff! Exactly! 

Anne: And even Amy, even like–I think something we were talking about, you shared it to your people. You wanted–you thought it was valuable to your people, and because of that, like, the next day people came over to my site from that. So I notice who shares and when those shares are actually–not worthwhile, but you know what I mean. They have some sort of very visible affect. 

Amy: It definitely works. And it's such a great give-and-take kind of thing. People have done it for me, so I make sure I do it for other people. So you just have, you know, a genuine interest in helping people out, you'll be amazed how much that comes BACK to you. So I'm so glad you bring that up. 

And also, you mentioned one more thing, let me think…we were talking about blog posts and ProBlogger…oh, shoot. I'll come back to it because I can't think of–I wanted to add one more thing to that. But that's good stuff. I think it's REALLY valuable to remember that you have to– 

OH I remember what it was! Pat Flynn did a blog post all about how to get the most out of your guest blogging experience. Meaning you need to set up your blog to make sure it's ready for that traffic! 

Anne: That’s right! 

Amy: I love that! And I don't know about you, Anne, but any tie I know I have a big guest blog posting spot coming out, I make sure that whatever is on my blog that day is REALLY, really good. 

Anne: I know! 

Amy: Do you, too? 

Anne: Yeah, I do too. But the other thing is, the funny thing is, you mention that post, which I'm going to have to go check that out. But I actually followed a guest post that was on Think Traffic but I think it's Maneesh Sethi? And it was about how he made, whatever, 12,000 from a guest post, something like that. And it really just gave the framework of how he pitched a guest post and what he did. And I followed it, I made a little landing page for the ProBlogger people and something very special just for them, that it was pulled out of my program and that actually really helped. And I made sure that the blog post that was live on that day was at least somewhat relevant to those people. 

Amy: Yes! Going that extra mile, doing the work outside of just the guest blog post that you probably spent hours and hours writing…because I wrote for ProBlogger one time, and I remember–that was a LOT of work, but it was so worth it. So I'm so glad that you got that opportunity. 

But doing the work outside of it, you'll be amazed. And all of this comes back to, when you're ready to launch, you now have a solid foundation. You've been growing your list, you've been getting the exposure, people have been talking about you, and that's a great formula for a FANTASTIC launch. So I'm really glad we touched upon that, because that outreach is essential to a successful launch. 

Anne: That's right. 

Amy: I know we're getting close on time, and I want to wrap it up, but I really want you to talk about the right way to talk about your launch, because you recently did a webinar, and I thought “Holy cow, this content is SO good. I could listen to it 10 more times and get so much great content from it, or strategies from it, but talk a little bit about why it's important to talk about your launch in the right way, and what it could do to help you and where you could really hurt yourself if you don't. 

Anne: Really, the right way to talk about your launch is so that people will respond and they –you have to talk in a way that–you don't want to be purposefully leading people to say a specific thing, but you definitely want to speak in a way that requires a response. And this is, I always give props to the source of where these things come from, and this is actually from an I Love Marketing podcast, where Dean and Joe talk about “ask a question that you want a specific response back.” 

And I love that idea, because I realized that I've been doing that all along. When you ask questions to people, and you want a response. And if you're not getting the–you'll know if you're talking the right way to people about your launch if people are responding. If you're not getting any clicking, any emails, any comments, then you're not talking about it the right way. The right way gets a response. 

Amy: So, give me an example of what that might look like. What you might talk about and how you know you're getting that response. 

Anne: Okay. I'll just take this directly from what I talked about the other day, and that is, you know, you have to first start the conversation. One of the most simple ways that I have started conversations is this autoresponder that Derek Halpern–another prop, here–that he suggested to set up, saying “What are you struggling with?” It's just when people sign up for your list, you know, at the end of that intimal welcome email you ask them to hit reply and tell them to tell you what they're struggling with. 

And it has increased, increased, increased the responses over time. But that initial little conversation starter, which is just me asking a question and then responding– the way that that actually turned into something that was for my launch, really, was me responding to them and just saying that I heard them, and maybe answering their question or whatever. Nothing crazy, no sales-y anything. 

And then 24 hours later–I told you this before, but 24 hours later, I had a handful of sales just from people that I'd responded to. It wasn't intentional, but it's just an example of one thing, a very simple thing that you can do to tell people about your launch. It's a personal way that you can connect with people who are interested, because they've already responded to something you've asked them. It's just a back- and-forth. I don't know if that makes any sense. 

Amy: No, it does. Getting people to actually reach out to you and you getting the opportunity to then in turn let them know you're listening, you're actually a human being behind that email, you actually care what they're saying, this all leads to more sales. Because there's that trust, and that affinity with you. 

So talking about your launch and making sure that people are responding, and as Anne said, that means clicking on your links, maybe liking a Facebook post, sharing it, pinning something to Pinterest, asking you questions, all of that is great indicators that what you're talking about is definitely working with your idea audience, so now it's time to start leading up to that launch, but this is such great information that you first need to get. It's like that intel, wouldn't you agree? 

Anne: Yeah. That's why–and if you're not getting, you know, now, a lot of people get the kind of feedback that I don't think is really–it's great for the ego, but it's not really telling you that you're ready to launch yet. And if people are going “Oh my God, great post!” whatever. But you really want people asking questions, you want people who aren't your friends, really. You know, having some sort of reaction to whatever you're putting out there, whether it's you sharing a link for other people's content on Facebook, that's somehow related to what you're doing, it could be a blog post and someone emails you back. Usually those emails are such great indicators of people who are interested in what you're doing and really want to hear from you! So they want to hear from you and learn from you. 

Amy: I see what you're saying. It's a little bit more of a richer exchange than let's say, like I mentioned, a Like on a post or anything like that. It's that real conversation. I like it. 

And I think it really comes down to, what I'm learning all throughout when you talk about launching, I do feel that email is essential. It's a big part of this whole launch experience. 

Anne: It is! And the great thing is that you don't have to be super–you don't have to be super, you know, there were a lot of emails that I've seen in the past 3 years that are very much supposed to pull on your heartstrings or make you feel a certain way. Maybe direct response is what they are? But I just feel like if you're honest, open, like “Hey this is what's going on” and some of those things that I want to make sure that I mention this too, like, some of those–some of the–that might just be your normal email that goes out, you put a little PS that says “Hey, this is what’s coming soon. I'd love to share this with you! If you want to know more about it, click here.” Or something. 

Don't be afraid to put it out there in your email, but also be aware of how many emails you're sending, again. We'll go back to that communication piece all over again, so… 

Amy: Definitely! I think the number of emails an what you're talking about, how much you're promoting–these are all things that you want to make sure that when you schedule them, you'll see if you have too many promote emails in there versus value- add, high content emails and all that stuff. So I think scheduling and really mapping all of your communication out will paint a very clear picture to you. 

And it wouldn't hurt to run it by a few people that you really trust and say “This is what my email schedule's going to look like. What do you think? What am I missing? Where are some holes?” I always go to friends that I trust and I know that are in the industry to give me some good feedback. 

Anne: Right. And the one thing about that, too, is that you…in a perfect world, you would have all your answers before, but you really just have to, during a launch, you're sending out emails, you just have to be aware of what people…if people aren't clicking, if the open rate is low, perhaps they're not reading emails. Maybe you turn a couple of your “launch emails”–that I’m saying in air quotes here–maybe you turn those into blog posts. Because that's something that I did! Turn my launch– 

If it's not reaching someone through a certain format, if it's not reaching the amount of people that you thought it would or not getting a response, just try a different format, and that's something that REALLY worked well for me. 

Amy: Yeah, that's such a great point! You know, you just made me think about the fact that a launch is fluid. I don't know if you'd agree with this, but it's not always just black and white, what you click on a piece of paper that this is how this launch is going to go? I think there's always those checks and balances, checking out your analytics like you mentioned in the systems conversation, and when you need to change gears or shift gears in the middle of a launch, sometimes that's necessary. 

Anne: Yep. I mean, that's–the fluid part of launching, this is definitely something I learned, I would say directly from Marie Forleo. Because she was really hot on the analytics. Who's opening, how many people are opening, how many people are signing up? And often, there–I mean, I don't think she would have a problem me telling you this, but on the day of an email going out, she'd be like “You know, we need to change this email.” And she was ON it! She was always looking at how the comments were coming in, what types of comments, maybe we need to change the next email. So it's definitely setting that skeleton schedule, setting that plan for your communication, but also realizing that it can and might change. 

Amy: Oh, it's so fantastic! I love that! Just remembering that launches can be fluid but you still want to plan just to make sure you have your foundation–I think it's a great lesson for everybody, definitely. 

And thank you–this is SUCH great information, launching is a hot topic! Most of my audience wants to do it whether they're ready or not; they've definitely be thinking about launching, and I think this conversation sets that foundation, it allows them to know the pieces they need to be thinking about as they get ready to create a launch. So I cannot thank you enough for being here today! 

Anne: You're very welcome! I'm a launch nerd, so I can talk about this all day! 

Amy: I know, that's why I love chatting with you. I'm pretty sure that's all we talk about these days, and it's my favorite topic! 

Where can people out more about you, if they want to find you on the web? 

Anne: Well, they can go over to my website, which you can spell out, but it's http:// and— 

Amy: Spell it out for people! I'll put it in the launch notes, but you know that's a hard one. 

Anne: Well, yeah, I'll spell it out for you too! [chuckle] It's Anne, A-N-N-E, S-A-M-O-I-L- And then also I think you can go to I think that will probably get you to the same place, but that's the launching program that I have. 

Amy: Fearless Launching, great! It's a fantastic program, I think anybody that's thinking about launching should definitely check it out. 

Again, thank you so much for being here! It's been very valuable, and I'm going to put TONS of links, a lot of notes in the show notes. You can find it at 6, and again, have a great day and thanks again. 

So that's a wrap up, and I cannot wait to talk to you next time on the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast! Take care, everyone! 

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