How to promote a Big Launch (without becoming That Guy)

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Right now, I’m seeing the repeat of a Big Industry Launch, and the backlash from people who are tired of being deluged by a flood of “Hey, You Should Totes Buy That Big Course Through My Affiliate Link” messages.

Nothing new there.

But Naomi Niles said this on FB: I’m sad about the noise. But, I’m sadder that some people are afraid of sharing their things because of it.

And that is something worth talking about.

There are two broad categories of affiliate promoters.

The Cha-Ching! crowd are there entirely to make money by selling something, and will use whatever techniques are effective in achieving that goal; including pressure tactics, artificial scarcity, emotional manipulation, and carpet-bomb communications.

The Believers are promoting an offering for reasons which are more important than the cash; because this offering changed their life, or because it addresses a problem they want to eliminate, or because they want to encourage the person behind it.

And only one of these two groups will actually listen to the backlash, and maybe decide not to promote. I bet you can guess which one this is.

Darlingheart, if you believe in something, for realsies, then you should fucking promote it.

Trust me, the people who are saying “ugh” about the deluge of buy-nows aren’t responding to you, or to people like you. They’re pissed about the screaming highlighter exclamation mark stalkerface soulless shove-y promotions.

They wouldn’t mind in the slightest hearing you talk about how you changed your life with this course. Or why you believe that courses like this are the future of X.

You have a secret weapon that the Cha-Ching! crowd can’t access. You’re sincere. As long as you stick with that, as long as you keep your non-monetary motivation clearly in mind and write it from the gut, you’ll do just fine.

In short: we hate reading ads, but we adore reading love letters.

Any thoughts to add? Come tell us in the comments!

 

When resilience is overwhelmed

January was an awesome month. I handily met my primary goal of ten paid client sessions per month. (By the 17th!)

But January was also featured a series of unfortunate events.

I want to tell you about them, not to complain or get your sympathy – I’m fine now – but because there’s a fascinating lesson demonstrated here.

The first thing to happen was three days of violent illness. I spent a lot of those three days lying on the couch moaning and cursing my reproductive organs. But I wasn’t sick every minute and I still got work done, including a whole new resource for The Provocateurs. And I bounced back immediately, still getting more than half the work on my weekly plan done. Resilience was high!

Four days later…

a reaction to new medication delivered another two days of couch moaning, and extra days where all I could eat was dry crackers. At the same time the rain, driven by tropical cyclones up north, was a non-stop barrage that soaked you any time you went a metre from the door, and provided continual overcast – something that always makes me feel tired.

The illness and rainstorms combined to sap me quite a bit. I didn’t bounce back to 100%, this time. Instead of jumping back into work, I kinda more plodded back. Resilience was there, but more determined than cheery.

The next day…

my PC got infected with malware. I did my tired-brain best to remove it, but it was too persistent. So I had to format the computer, and reinstall everything from scratch. After this, my bounce-back was even lower – did I mention it was still goddamn raining? – and I was aware of myself teetering on the edge of burnout. But I soldiered womanfully on.

Then, three days later…

the river that runs in a loop around my house broke its banks. We lost power for 24 hours, and spent the entire day moving items to higher ground and hoping the flood didn’t rise as high as two years ago, when it was half-way up the house.

It didn’t! We were soggy but safe.

But I was officially broken.

My resilience was exhausted, like a piece of saggy knicker elastic. There was absolutely no bounce-back whatsoever, just an exhaustion and lack of focus so deep it was completely indistinguishable from an intense depression. (Maybe it was? I dunno.)

I was completely, utterly, pile-the-dishes-in-the-sink, sleep-ten-hours-a-night, everything-weighs-quadruple, three-naps-a-day, eat-because-The-Dude-tells-me-to, out-of-arms-reach-is-too-far, sorry-what-did-you-just-say wiped out.

For a full week.

I was barely able to manage the essentials (client calls, urgent emails, vitamins and the occasional shower) before my energy was completely tapped out. I was too tired to rest well, too exhausted to get anything done, and nothing I did (or didn’t do) seemed to make an improvement.

After the first unfortunate event, all it took was one decent night’s sleep to get me back to 100%. After the sixth one, rest had no noticeable effect. I was at zero, and I stayed there for some time.

It was fascinating to watch my resilience get overwhelmed.Horrible, but fascinating.

It’s been a looong, long time since so many unfortunate things have happened to me at once – thank god – and so I watched how each small problem left me slightly less well equipped to deal with the next one, and on and on down the spiral.

If any of these events had occurred in isolation, I would have been over it by the next day. It was all of them that combined to sink me for an extraordinary length of time.

And this always, always happens when you get to the bottom of the barrel. In this case, I didn’t create any of the events that overwhelmed my resilience, but in the past I’ve been here because of adding too many things to my plate, and it’s exactly the same.

Recovering from even 95% tapped out and recovering from 100% tapped out are so different they bear almost no resemblance to each other.

As long as you aren’t completely tapped out, there’s always a teeny bit of bounce to help you bounce back. Rest and good food and long showers and going for a walk and good company all recharge the batteries, and you can feel it happening. You heal, you mend. It’s wonderful.

But when you get completely tapped out, that actually kinda stops working. Even complete rest doesn’t seem to have much effect. It’s like you need to hang around, exhausted, fuzzy, and miserable, until your resilience machine remembers to start up again. Only after that can you start to recharge and regain your energy.

It sucks hardcore.

So I guess what I’m saying is this:

If you’re already feeling a bit overwhelmed, do absolutely whatever it takes to avoid adding that final straw to the camel’s back. Reschedule, renegotiate deadlines, cancel, get your mum to take the kids for a day, take a social media hiatus, outsource, ask for help, spend your savings, steal a thermonuclear device, whatever you gotta do! This is your most urgentest priority.

Do not, if it is even vaguely possible, keep adding weights until you get to the bottom of the barrel.

And if, despite your best efforts (or due to the vagaries of the weather gods) you do get completely tapped out: understand that it is going to take way, way longer to recover than you anticipate, and react accordingly in regards to email auto-replies, scheduling, and making commitments.

You’ll likely need up to a week to have the brain to start creating anything – even an intelligent email reply – and even after that low-down week you’ll only be starting to rebuild your energy and you’ll need to keep being gentle on yourself for at least another couple of weeks in order to not meet the bottom of the barrel again. Flaggellating yourself about your growing to-do list will really not help. Lower your expectations. Be gentle on yourself.

Do you have any stories to share or tips on how to recover from the bottom of the barrel? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

 

Sales page case study: Goddamn Radiant

Hey there!

I just finished re-structuring and re-writing one of my oldest offerings, Goddamn Radiant.

Most of my sales pages are written and published within three days. (Sometimes less.) But this one took five drafts and nearly three months to complete.

Why? What were the problems I had to solve? Time for a sales page case study!

*analysis hat*

You can download the full recording here, or listen to it in sections below.

Part 1: Why did the sales page need to be re-written?

Audio MP3

The original Goddamn Radiant sales page

Part 2: The original sales page, Take One.

Audio MP3

The first draft of the new sales page

Clarity: kinda important!

The three layers of what-this-is

What the first section of a sales page is for

“It’s possible to write something that’s all about you, and have it feel really impersonal at the same time.”

The difference between “you” and “ya’ll”

Hat tip again to Kelly Diels for her wonderful sales page exercise

Part 3: Take Two & Three, the curse of impersonal

Audio MP3

The second draft of the new sales page

The third draft of the new sales page

When in doubt, make it tangible.

Storytelling isn’t a magical solution

God Mode versus first-person

Begin with them (where they are now, and where they could be)

The vital role of momentum

The two acceptable outcomes (and… that other one)

Reality, and then hope

Never tell me the odds!

Engage the senses

Distant + detailed = more accurate scientific study

Part 4: Take Four, engage the sad panda!

Audio MP3

The fourth draft of the new sales page

Pushing the pain point

Trying to convince myself as much as the reader.

Some pains are harder to describe than others.

Playing it too strong.

Trust the reader.

“Feeling the need to over-explain and over-emphasise and really just cram it down someone’s throat… that was a function of me not trusting this yet.”

So many details!

The decision point

Fear the FAQ.

Price defensiveness as over-explanation

A major warning sign: “I don’t want people to see you.”

All love to Leela.

“Like swimming through oatmeal.”

Start with mirroring, one level up.

The stairway to cheery.

Don’t build yourself a straightjacket.

Finding another way to offer the outcome, without the downsides.

Part 5: The final draft, getting it right.

Audio MP3

The fifth draft of the new sales page (of course you could just go look at the actual sales page, but this is also here for posterity.)

All the pieces are in place!

Compare and contrast.

Evocative without matching the feel.

Modelling what they want, instead of where they are.

“When you really want to identify with people, it’s easy to get stuck where they’re stuck.”

Changing energy through sentence structure.

Making the sales page be an examplar of the offer.

When you are demonstrating enough proof, you don’t have to prove yourself so much.

Effortless creation as a function of clarity.

And done! PHEW.

The sales page resource I mention is already available to The Provocateurs, and will be available to everyone else in 2013.

What did you learn from my re-write of Goddamn Radiant? Tell me in the comments!