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Want to learn how to create and set up a complete content pre-launch strategy to position your product launch for success?
Today, we’re chatting with Danielle Cevallos all about how to create copy and content leading up to a product launch that will actually get your potential buyers eager and excited to purchase your stuff.
We talk about how long your pre-launch period should be, the types of content that you should include, repurposing your content so you don't go absolutely crazy on all kinds of different platforms, how to reach different types of people and much, much more.
Danielle is a conversion copywriter and the owner of Basic Girl Marketing. She's a wife, a mom and a self-proclaimed everyday basic girl. After 12 years of teaching, Danielle actually took a big, big leap of faith to go full time in her business and has not looked back since.
Danielle writes words that make bank for online coaches and service providers. And we are so fortunate that she is sharing her wisdom with us today.
Danielle has always been interested in business. She’s an enneagram seven, and because she’s so creative she’s always coming up with new ideas and wanting to try new things.
She graduated from college in 2003, when the whole world of online marketing and business didn’t exist. She blogged for a while through her adoption journey, but ended up going to grad school to get a teaching degree so she could find more traditional employment. She got a job working with students with learning disabilities in the classroom, and then later became certified as a personal trainer.
Danielle says that when the online business world exploded about seven or eight years ago, her options in the online world grew significantly. At that point, she was living abroad with her husband and couldn’t work due to visa issues. She decided to start a personal training online business.
She worked with a coach who was helping other fitness pros start businesses, who also had a digital marketing agency on the side. Because of Danielle’s experience blogging and writing, this coach invited her to become her content writer when she moved back to the US, and then later a writer for all of her clients.
“I ended up writing probably 20 to 30 hours per week on top of teaching. And it was like a crash course… I had to really, really, really learn how to master other people's voices. And I just like it was kind of this trial by fire.”
Doing this on top of full-time teaching was a lot for Danielle. About a year and a half ago decided to quit her online business for what she thought was forever, because she was burned out from trying to balance both committments.
“Then about two months later, I got bored. I started an online store, which I hated. And it was summer. So in the summer, I always had these like grand visions of what I could do because I had so much time. And I just really sat down and thought about like, what do I love?”
Danielle didn’t want to go back into copywriting, but through her copywriting work she had the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of other people’s businesses. She went into marketing strategy, which was a good opportunity for her to learn what she liked and what she didn’t like doing in her business.
She realized that a lot of the clients she was working with were struggling with their content, their copy and their sales. After she kept coming up against this, she realized that if she came up with a good strategy she could help a lot of people.
In February 2019, Danielle decided to switch back to copywriting and started an online business and copywriting agency. She now works with her team as a conversion copywriter, largely with coaches and course creators, to write sales and nurture copy.
Danielle has juggled a lot for a long time. She says that one of the things that really helped her to learn how to balance everything was running a business on the side of a full-time job for years.
Still, she sometimes struggles with boundary and schedule setting. “It's so interesting because you can, just the list is never ending as a business owner. There is always something else to do… I definitely overestimate what I can do.”
Having so much time to focus on her business and being the person in charge was one of Danielle’s biggest struggles. When she was a teacher, her day was very structured. Expectations were very clear and they were always the same. But as a business owner, Danielle is the one setting her own schedule. She’s had to learn how to do that, while making sure she has enough time to meet her deadlines and spend time with her family.
Danielle says that as a business owner, the best way to think about your pre-launch strategy is by planning out what, when and how often you want to launch, then building a content strategy around it. When she’s working on a new strategy with a client, she has them break their year into quarters and look at everything they want to sell in that quarter.
If you run a launch-natured business where you’re launching pretty regularly, Danielle says you should always think about being in pre-launch mode. “You just get more intentional about seeding your offer and teasing your offer closer to the launch.”
If you run a business that launches less often, maybe two to three times a year, Danielle suggests starting your pre-launch plan for about twelve weeks before your launch.
If you have a product or course that’s always available, like a rolling one-on-one coaching offer, Danielle suggests cycling through a few different types of content on a six-week basis. This is so that even if you’re always selling your product, you’re creating a regular cycle of nurturing, teasing and then selling.
“I kind of feel like you're always in pre-launch mode and your content should always be extremely strategic to get your people ready to buy whatever you're selling.”
Before creating any type of content, Danielle says that you should be doing market research in your area, talk to people in your ideal client market, and getting proof of concept. Before creating any content, you should be at the point where you’re ready to just give back to your clients what you found out in your market research.
Once you’ve done your market research, there are a few things that you always need to consider.
First, think about the knowledge gap that you need to fill before your customers can buy from you. It's important to close these gaps, because if you don’t close them for the people who are your ideal target customers, they won’t even know that your product is something that they even need or want.
“A really simple example is if you are a fitness coach who has a program based on intermittent fasting and macros, a lot of people don't know what intermittent fasting and macros are. And you're going to have to do some education to get them to the point where they're even a little bit interested in a program that has to do with that.”
Next, you need to think about what makes your product stand out, compared to other products in your niche. You want to pull those things out and make sure you’re highlighting them, so that people know what makes your product the best.
“So let's take that same fitness program, intermittent fasting and macros, if that's what your program’s based on. And what makes you so unique is that you were a fitness competitor and so you have used this same approach to hit these massive stage goals… What you're going to do is create some content around why other coaches that use macros, how are other people getting it wrong? Why have things you've tried in the past not worked? When you talk about why things in the past have not worked, then you're going to come in during that content and you're going to position your methodology as the best.”
Finally, tie your expertise in to how your product relates to the pain point that you’re trying to solve for your ideal client. In the fitness example, if you’re trying to help moms lose 20 pounds, they may be intimidated if your fitness program seems inaccessible or unrelated to what they need.
Danielle recommends making it clear, “here's how you make this work in real life. It becomes a lot less scary when a woman is like, ‘oh, she did that to get that kind of shape. I don't need to be in that shape. I just wanna lose this little weight.’ So you're positioning your offer without really ever making the offer, like you're just talking about it.”
By positioning your offer and yourself as an expert with a better solution, you’re educating and nurturing. And through this, you can also start to address the objections that your potential clients may have. Danielle recommends thinking about any potential hurdles that clients may have about your methodology or what you’re using, and addressing those before you even start with your sales content.
“Same example, people are going to say, I love breakfast. I don't want to skip breakfast. Intermittent fasting, for those of you don't know, it's you basically don't eat for like twelve hours, twelve to sixteen hours a day and then you eat all of your calories in this one window. So most people who are proponents of this, they don't eat breakfast and they start eating around 12:00… You're not dealing with an objection to your program. You're dealing with an objection to your methodology. Because if you can get them over that hurdle of I'll never make it till 12:00 to eat, then when you start selling your program you won't have to do that work in your sales process. They're already going to be there.”
After your period of pre-launch content, you should transition into your sales content “where you're basically just talking about your offer and why it is like the best thing since sliced bread.”
Danielle says that you’ll have to do a similar process in this content with balancing education and addressing your audience’s pain points. “You're always framing all of your content in terms of what are they struggling with, and what outcome do they want.”
For the weight loss example used previously, Danielle suggests balancing education, and explaining why your methodology will help them lose weight faster, with transformation, about how you have lost weight and why this is a better way.
“You're always talking about their pain points and the solution that they can get because you always want to show them like you had this struggle. There is hope. And then when you go into your sales cycle, the hope is your solution.”
When you’re planning your pre-launch content, Danielle recommends first thinking through how long you want to have your pre-launch. While she suggests giving yourself 12 weeks to make sure that all your content can be more spaced out, you can also shorten this period and do a mini-version of a pre-launch with more frequent content.
Her strategy for a 12-week launch period relies on one pillar piece of content per week. If you have a podcast, weekly live videos or a blog that you post in regularly, these can easily become your pillar pieces of content. A twelve-week pre-launch can also not only give you more time to nurture, it’ll allow you to continue to build up your audience as well.
If your pre-launch period is shorter, you may want to do pillar pieces of content more regularly, like two times a week. Danielle says that as long as you hit the different areas of pre-launch content, you can have a successful shorter pre-launch. It just means you’ll have to post content at a quicker pace, and you’ll definitely need to already have an audience built up before you start your pre-launch.
If you have a standing offer for a product, Danielle says your strategy doesn’t need to change too much. “You just rotate through all of those things that I just talked to you about on a regular basis and you have sales calls and sales content in between all of that.”
Danielle says that how long you should be spending on each type of content really depends on what type of business you have and what type of product you’re selling.
“You might have a business where there's a huge knowledge gap and you have to do a lot of content there. You might have a business where there's not a knowledge gap and your market is super aware of what you're doing, and they might have a lot of objections… So it's really business specific.”
Danielle recommends taking the pillar pieces of content that you create and building a content plan where you repurpose that content in your email and social media. She also recommends leaving room in your content plan for the stuff that just comes up when you’re inspired.
“I can't stand it when people say, ‘Well I can't, I don't have that in my content plan.' When somebody asks a great question and you can write a blog post about that or an e-mail about it, like you always need to have room and flexibility to do that.”
There are a lot of different ways you can recreate and repurpose content. If you have a live video every week, you can write it out into a blog post and then turn it into an email or social media posts. You can also rework that content and turn it into unique content for your email list, or create a teaser to send out to your list that doesn’t give any of the content away but encourages people to engage with it on the other platform.
Danielle also recommends that on any piece of content you create, you should have teaching points where you’re giving value and two to three actionable teaching points. You can then use these teaching points to develop further content. “You might take one of those bullets and write a social media post from that.”
Through this method, you can have a great framework to build content and have a bit of flexibility for more spontaneous posts. It’s also a great way to maximize the amount of content you can put out in a short period of time. Even if you only have a few hours a week to create content, you can generate a lot by using this pillar method.
Danielle says that the reason you need to have a good strategic plan is because it’ll let you test what works, and what doesn’t work, for your audience.
What often happens with her clients is one piece of their content will unexpectedly generate a lot of engagement and attention from their audience. If this happens, Danielle says it’s important to be flexible in your content plan and use this strategically to your advantage.
“If you have a piece of content like that and it is getting massive engagement and it's clear your people have questions and you need to do more around that, then we'll scrap the next three weeks and we'll make that your focus, because you need to be responsive.” Her advice is not being afraid to course correct, especially if it will benefit your audience and make them more engaged.
You can also take what questions your audience has naturally and build that into your launch and next pre-launch periods. By going deeper into your content you can learn more about what further questions your audience has, which will help you to continue to build even more content.
“For me, a client is successful if they work out their program, sell their course, whatever they're trying to do. But also if they're getting engagement, feedback, questions, then all of that is data we need to use either in the middle of the twelve weeks or the next twelve weeks.”
Often, first-time launchers or entrepreneurs will bounce around from product to product because of a failed launch. What’s important to keep in mind is that even though your launch failed, it doesn’t mean your product is a failure. If you’ve been experiencing this, keep in mind that you don’t need to start from scratch every single time, because by building up feedback and engagement you can make every successive launch better for the same product.
For Danielle, the clients that she works with that have the most success actually launch the same product multiple times a year. Launching the same thing is how you become known for something and set yourself apart. She also says that you can’t really know your audience and their needs well until you’ve launched at least three times.
Even if your first launch is a flop, you should look back on it to examine what you did right, what you did wrong and think about what you can do differently.
“Was it the product? Was it your messaging? Was it the pricing? Was it your content? Was it the wrong audience? You’ll have no idea if you never launch it again and you don't change the variables.”
Her advice? Do your market research, create products that people seem to want, and then launch it a few times to really perfect the process. “If you do that with a good product, you'll do amazingly well.”
If you’re still feeling a little unsure about how to create pre-launch and launch content that will make your audience want to buy, look no further. Danielle has some great freebies on her website, Basic Girl Marketing, that you can download to help you make your audience and email list more engaged. She’s got a free guide for if you want more information about getting people to open and read your emails, and a free guide on how to write better email subject lines.
Find those in the links below!
//LINKS IN THE SHOW//
Check out Danielle’s website – https://basicgirlmarketing.com/
Download Danielle’s freebie – http://www.learnwithbasicgirlmarketing.com/subject