Next month I'm launching my new book, Craftsman Creative: How Five-Figure Creators Can Build Six-Figure Businesses.
But there's more to it than that.
A successful launch of any product requires a vision, goals, and a plan of action.
Here is my plan to have a successful, out of this world, launch. It includes every detail and thought process. You can copy it and adapt it to your next launch.
Strap in, we're ready for lift-off!
Step 1: A Vision
I already mentioned the goal - a $25,000 launch. But how did I land on that number?
I started by taking a serious, honest look at the audience and the reach that I currently have.
This represents the number of people I can realistically reach with my own direct messaging.
Email List - 1,554 with a ~40% open rate = 600
Twitter Following - 1,466
Facebook Following - 1,600
Instagram Following - 956
Assume that 10% of the people that follow me will actually see anything I post, that takes that 1,466 + 1,600 + 956 or 4,022 and makes it a nice 400.
So, 600 email subs, 400 people on social, accounting for some overlap I can reach somewhere between 600-1,000 people with my marketing messages.
This is where it gets fun:
Assume that 5% of them buy (since they know me and have more context than someone who's never met me before), that's 30-50 happy customers.
So, in order to do a $25,000 launch, I have two options:
An Average Order Value (AOV) of $625
Find more customers.
Option 1 - Increase the Average Order Value
Rather than limiting myself to an either/or choice, I'm going to choose both.
Step one is increasing the Average Order Value.
Enter: The Sales Ladder
The sales ladder is simply having more than one product or service to sell.
Instead, you create offers at different price points so your potential customer can find the "Goldilocks", just-right offer for them and what they need right now.
Here's my sales ladder for this launch, and surprise, it's not just a book launch.
$20 - digital or paperback version of the book
$35 - hardback version of the book
$50 - Early Access to the book and membership
$99 -Yearly Membership to the Society of Independent Creators (launch price, will go up over time)
$150 - Craftsman Creative Course, pre-recorded
$499 - Cohort-based Craftsman Creative Course
$1,000 - web3 version of the Cohort Based Course, includes NFTs
$1,000 per month - Strategic Business Coaching
$5,000 per month - Creative Business Consulting
So, now that $625 number doesn't seem so silly!
I could actually hit my goal of $25,000 launch with just five consulting clients, and not selling a single book. (Or one client for 5 months...)
Notthe most-likely results, but it's an option.
That's the beauty of a sales ladder, it gives you, and your potential customers, more options.
Option 2 - Find More Customers
Finding more customers is, simply, a numbers game.
Let's assume a smaller AOV of only $50 per customer and a very small conversion rate of 1%.
How many customers do I need to hit my $25,000 sales goal?
That's right - 500 customers
And if only 1% of people buy, how many visitors to the sales page do I need?
But...but...I only have 600-1,000 people I can reach directly! How am I going to get 50,000 people to my website???
That is the right question to ask.
The answer: a plan.
First, a principle called The Walmart Principle.
The Walmart Principle
Imagine that you are an artisan bread shop. The only way people can buy a loaf of bread is to visit your shop, come inside, and purchase it in person because shipping it doesn't work for...reasons.
How would you get enough people through the door to stay open and, ideally, profitable?
Nah. Let's get simpler than that.
When you choose a location for your store, don't look in the cheapest part of town with zero foot traffic.
No. Find an open spot in the Walmart parking lot.
Then, put out a great sign for your business advertising this bread that they can't get inside the Walmart, open your doors to let that amazing smell waft through the parking stalls, and watch the people come in excited to buy your bread.
That's the Walmart principle. Put yourself in the path that people are already traveling.
How does that work online? Simple.
Borrow traffic from people with bigger audiences. The simplest way is to collaborate with them.
Think of your favorite author. What do they do when they have a new book to promote? They go on a podcast tour.
They find podcasts where people are already showing up each week to listen, and they're "opening their doors to let that amazing smell waft through the parking stalls".
If you are a good guest on a podcast, those listeners who you wrote the book for will come knocking on your digital door - your website - asking about your book.
At this point, it's just a numbers game, like I said.
If I need 50,000 visitors knocking on my digital door, then I need to get in front of 10X the number of people, assuming that 10% will be interested enough in "the smell" to come a-knockin'.
So where can I find 500,000 people?
I've spent the last year methodically building a brand and a following on Twitter, specifically. There are people with large audiences that follow me and that I consider friends.
Their audiences combined easily equal 500k+ followers.
So, I'm asking them to collaborate.
I'm hosting weekly Twitter Spaces to get in front of their audience. The reason is that Twitter will automatically put into the feeds of both of our audiences that we're speaking in a "Space" right now, so I get free distribution.
Here are the first two, which you can also hear on the Craftsman Creative Podcast:
Two spaces a week for 5 weeks, each one with a large audience of 10,000-100,000 followers, and that could deliver a lot of new visitors to my website.
But, that's likely not enough to generate 50,000 visitors.
So, what else?
The plan is to do a little bit of paid spend to ensure I clear the bar. Advertise in different newsletters, run some Google Ads, and ask people to share my book with their audiences.
But there's also a simpler way - increase the conversion rate.
Increase the Conversion Rate
Instead of 50,000 visitors, wouldn't it be easier to only need 25,000? Or 12,500?
All it takes is to increase the conversion rate to 2% (25,000) or 3% (12,500).
Yeah, let's do that.
The best way I've found to increase the conversion rate is to provide more value and context.
Think of it - if you reached out to 50 of your closest friends who you've known for over a decade each, how many would purchase your $20 book?
Why? Because they like you, they care about you, and they want to support you.
The reason that so few (1%) of first-time visitors buy from you is because they don't have that same context. You can overcome that by providing more context, and add more value.
More context means more time and more information as to why this offer is for them. Give them more than a single visit to decide to spend money on your product or service.
Give value before any money changes hands, not after. Share a bunch of blog posts that are value-packed, get them signed up for your free newsletter, and start a relationship with them.
Take your time, rather than trying to rush them through a sales funnel.
The more context they have combined with the amount of value you provide increases the conversion rate.
Plus, studies have shown that up to 85% of people buy after the first 90-days. So if you're only getting a 1% conversion rate, an easy way to get to 5%+ is to figure out how to provide value over a longer period of time, ideally measured in months, not days.
My hypothesis is that if I get 10,000 visitors to the site, and 5% of them convert at a $50 AOV, then I can reach my goal of a $25,000 launch.
(Plus - and I'm not counting this - but at the time of this writing I already have one consulting client and 9 early access signups. That's over $40,000 in commitments in the next year alone, and the book isn't even out yet...)
It's going to be a lot of focused, disciplined work, but none of it is hard. None of it is complicated. It's straightforward and doable if I put in the work to make it happen.
After the book launch is over, I'll write up another post of how it went, but this is the plan.
Want to help? Share the word. Use the links below to share this post on Facebook or Twitter, or copy the link and email it to a friend who has an upcoming product launch.
Get Early Access To The Book
As mentioned before, you can get Early Access to the book and the community. There are a limited number of slots, and the offer goes away on April 12th, the day the book officially goes on sale.