How to rocket launch your business and boost sales.
First things things first, this is most definitely the rocket launch. We’re about to go hard and make it.
To rocket launch your business and boost sales, you’ll need a half cup of guts and a full cup of grit.
I speak to clients all day. I spend half my life on Skype talking to clients and the key thing I’ve noticed is that most of you have no idea about the follow through.
Your business is a race. You can’t get off the starting block and stop there. If you do, you’ve disqualified yourself. You’ve lost. You failed. Back to the day job.
Have you ever heard runners talk about the way they run a race? There’s an art to it. Starting on the right foot is just as important as your follow through, but even more important is the training it took to get you to that arena and in that race in the first place.
In this blog post, we’re going to get to grips with a few tactics that are going to teach you how to rocket launch off the starting block so you’re well placed to win.
If you’re not there yet and you’ve just finished piloting your idea and then built a minimum viable product, this is not for you. You should check out this blog post instead.
However, if you’ve got a working business, that’s making a little bit of profit of just under covering costs, and you’re solid on your concept, logistics, branding and customer service, this is the perfect time for you to re-launch aka rocket launch your product and get it in front of the people that are going to help you take it to another level.
At this Marketplace stage, you’re going to be actively reaching out to press, strategic partners, influencers, and placing ads because you already know your product works. You’re going to leverage the loyalty of your customers and keep boosting community engagement.
ONE: Reaching out to the press
Just before I started writing this section I saw a PR tip on my twitter feed – something about using your personal stories to get the attention of the press. I’m with it. That’s good advice, but its only about a third of the strategy you need to connect with the press.
The press are people too, so just like every other human, using your sob story as the basis of your press campaign is going to be a powerful tactic for your press takeover. The important thing to remember is when you’re using that sob story, try to pitch it someone who’s actually going to care about what you’re talking about.
Stalking is necessary. Before you approach a member of the press to feature you in their next article, you need to make sure that they have a reasonable track record of writing about your industry, or have at least shown themselves to be interested in the work you do, even on a tertiary level.
When you approach them, site specific articles they’ve written. It shows you understand their writing style and their press reach. It also shows that you’re personalising your approach. Everyone wants to feel special.
The third thing you need to do is make sure you’ve got your foundation set up and you’ve got the testimonials and case studies to match. The foundation of a press story on your product or service is going to centre around your mission, vision, ideal customer and your sob story.
Testimonials and case studies are the complimentary stories that are going to humanise your business and get you even more interest. Testimonials when done well are going to illustrate the problem and more importantly, your solution PLUS give readers a look at the type of people you have in your community and are wiling to support you publicly. The people you choose have to reflect your ideal customer as much as possible, because if they don’t there’s no point.
TWO: Working with influencers
There are a couple of ways you need to think about influencers and both of them are entirely dependant on the conversion rate of their social media channels.
Any social influencer worth their salt knows their numbers. They should be able to tell you how many followers they have, what their average likes are per post, what the demographic of their following is as well as what their conversion rate is per category or type of product they’ve ever sold on their channel.
You’ve got micro-influencers and big influencers. The big influencers have about 100K or more followers. They get approached by brands A LOT so they will probably have more data to show you. They’re also going to want to charge you more – be prepared for that noise.
The micro-influencers are my personal favourites. They typically have less than 10K followers and they haven’t worked with too many brands, so they’re usually much easier to work with – and are more excited to help you create an experience that really suits your brand and your offer.
PS. These numbers (100K vs. 10K) are based on Instagram. You’re looking for a Like rate of at least 1% of the followers and really good comment section activity to validate the influencer’s connection to their audience.
The smaller the influencer, the more malleable they’re going to be to the proposal you’re setting out.
The great thing about micro-influencers as well, is that they usually have more direct links to their followers, they’ve got a small enough following that they know exactly what their community is going to respond to – big influencers can do this well, too – they just have to work much harder to make it work (which is why they charge so much more).
You need to know which channels are best for you to head into. You need to know who the target market is for each social media platform and decide whether or not your target market aligns with theirs.
Really do your homework before you approach an influencer. What do you want them to do with your product? Feature a picture, show themselves using it, or just talk about it, or all three.
Consultants should think of influencers as customers with a massive friendship group. Offer them a free trial. 6 months of your service and at the end of it, ask them to promote it on their channel. If you’ve done your job well, they might do it for free.
REMEMBER – you have to get your logistics ready. If your logistics and customer service aren’t ready to deal with the influx of customers, all you’re going to do is irritate people and ruin your credibility.
THREE: Placing social media ads
In terms of the ROCKET LAUNCH, this is probably the easiest and most passive thing you can do. Once you’ve figure out what you want to say, its ridiculously straight forward.
The best way to go about it is to choose one or two platforms that you know your community frequents, and then find a method that makes it difficult to recognise whether or not what they’re seeing is native to their feed or not. Pinterest and Instagram (particularly Stories) are great for this.
Facebook is probably the easiest channel to advertise on, mainly because they’ve been doing it much longer than everyone else.
It also means more people are wise to Facebook adverts and just scroll past. The best way to get around that on Facebook is to create a good woo your ideal customer style on-point Facebook page going, with a couple of linked groups running, and then advertise for individuals who share a key interest (aka like a key influencer or strategic partner’s page) to like your own Facebook page. E.g. ask Facebook to advertise your page to everyone that like Heineken (if you're running a beer company).
Once you get them to like your page through paid ads, you can get them to join one of your linked groups, keep them continually engaged with interesting and useful content, and they’ll be ready to buy whatever you want to sell them. Its all about keeping their attention. The more of their attention you have, the more they trust you and the easier it is to buy from you.
The key when you’re placing social media ads anywhere is the call to action. You have to give them the opportunity to opt in to what you’re doing. The LAST thing you want anyone to do when they see your add and say “YES I LOVE IT”, is for them to get confused and honestly ask, “OK, what next?”
Customers are lazy. If they can’t figure out the what next, in under 3 seconds, you might as well not have shown them the ad.
Make a habit of NOT asking people to buy stuff via social media ads.
I know it sounds counter productive, but this is about the conversion rate. Liking stuff and viewing stuff is not the same as buying stuff.
I once had a client, years ago, whose video advert was viewed by 256K people (approx.) and only 15 of them actually bought the product. Insane.
There were other problems with the campaign itself, but after working with a bunch of people over the past few years, my advice is, offer FREE stuff. Offer no brainer stuff, because once they’re in your orbit and they like the FREE stuff, they’re going to be like, “if they’re giving this away for FREE how much better is the paid stuff going to be.”
The tables are turned if you already have a super popular brand and you’re advertising to people that are already in your orbit (they know you so you can go ahead and ask them to buy). But if these ads are an introduction to you, go for the FREE stuff.
FOUR: Boosting community engagement
Get into the habit of hosting events. Events are such underrated territory, especially online events – no venue, no problem.
I’ve written a lot about events, so I’m not going to recap it here, but you can check out this guide on how to create a community boosting event in just 30 days.
That’s all folks.
Thanks for reading,
PS. I’m doing daily chats on anchor.fm/doitbayo.
I figured it would be fun to talk about some of this stuff, particularly for those of us who don’t really like to read. So I’m uploading a mini podcast everyday with some strategies I’ve been looking into.