How to Turn Your Knowledge Into a Thriving Online Business
Special Report by Jeff Walker
THE TRANSFORMATIONAL VALUE MANIFESTO
The online business world was already evolving at an exponential pace… and then the lockdowns of 2020 happened, making it accelerate even more quickly.
Leaving aside the incredible human suffering and tragedy, it changed the face of the world economy. And we saw an unprecedented move to online business. Services, products, training that would have never made the jump to digital (or would have taken a very long time) shifted almost overnight.
This created incredible opportunities for anyone who had an online business or wanted to start one. The demand for and acceptance of online training, coaching, and consulting went through the roof. Digital courses, workshops, and membership sites went mainstream. Many online businesses generated their highest revenue ever.
But there was another, second-level consequence. Because while many people lost their jobs and careers, and others re-evaluated their lives… millions decided to start digital businesses. Where once it was an anomaly to have an online business, it became the norm. I bet you know several people who have an online business or side hustle.
This mainstreaming of online business means that while there are more clients, sales, and dollars out there, the competition has also exploded. Ad costs have skyrocketed. Social feeds have become more crowded, and email inboxes even more full.
So how do you cut through the noise?
That’s what this guide is all about, and it’s grounded in one of the most basic rules of direct response marketing that goes back 100+ years…
It’s all about your offer.
A great offer makes getting clients almost simple. It will lower your ad costs, grow your audience, and increase conversions. A great offer will also get you better clients, who will get better results, and lead to increased word-of-mouth… which is the ultimate leverage in growing your business.
THE TRANSFORMATIONAL VALUE MANIFESTO
Here’s the gotcha: creating a great offer is often a counterintuitive process. Most business owners struggle with it. And it can seem almost mystical to people who are just starting out.
So I’m going to show you how to create a great offer, and I’ll give you a series of prompts that will lead you to that offer. And, because it’s always easier to learn from examples, I’ll share some real world cases of how this works.
Transformational Offers:Does This Even Apply to You?
Maybe you want to build a business, but you don’t yet know what to offer.
Maybe you have an idea for an online course or workshop or membership site, but you’re not sure if people will buy it.
Or maybe you already have a business, and you’d like to sell more or create new offers.
Whatever your situation, it comes down to this important question:
Is there a way to create an offer you can be confident people will buy? I believe the answer is YES, absolutely.
Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to success… but there are ways you can ethically “stack the deck” in your favor, as I’ll show you.
Since I introduced my Product Launch Formula® (PLF) in 2005, my methods have helped my students generate over ONE BILLION DOLLARS in sales through thousands of launches and promotions.
Many of my students have shared their stories with me, so I’ve had the privilege of seeing what works – and sometimes what doesn’t – across a huge variety of niches around the world. This has allowed me to develop a kind of “sixth sense” for whether an offer will work or not.
I’ve also discovered two essential keys to success. The first is this:
The success of your business is closely tied to the amount of VALUE you create in the world, and your ability to communicate this value to the people who can benefit the most from it.
That might sound obvious, but it’s easy to get wrong… and then your business gets lost in the competition.
The second key is more directly related to your offer. It’s surprisingly simple, but often overlooked by a large number of entrepreneurs. It’s this:
There is a special type of value you can create (and a way to share this value), that will massively stack the deck in your favor… so that when you reveal your offer, the people who need it the most will naturally want to buy it.
In Part 1 of this guide, I’ll show you what I mean by “a special type of value” and how to find it.
I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic here, but the simple truth is that identifying and communicating this value can make the difference between the success or failure of your offer.
One last thing before we get into the good stuff…
I want to be clear that what I’m about to share is not a guarantee of success,
because nobody can give you that.
However, this is a well-trodden path to success that thousands of people have followed, so I think it’s close to being the next best thing. Please make the decision right now to read this guide all the way through. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Part 1: Uncovering the Hidden Value People Really Want and Need
If you were to ask what comes to mind for people when they hear the word “value,” many would associate it with getting more “stuff” for their money.
For example, if you saw a “value” box of your favorite breakfast cereal, you’d probably expect it to have a better price than a regular box, so you’re getting more cereal for your money.
This is one way of thinking about value, and it may be important when buying things like cereal, milk, or an ounce of silver.
However, for instructional products, courses, and coaching – types of online businesses you might be considering or already have – people buy them because they want some kind of change, impact, or transformation in an area of their life.
You’re either reducing pain in their lives, or giving them more pleasure.
This is the value that people usually care about most when thinking about buying what you have to offer. They want their life to change for the better.
I call this the transformational value of your offer… and finding this value is a first critical step in creating an offer that sells.
If you want to build a business but don’t have anything to offer just yet, here’s a great question to ask yourself:
What can I offer that could make a real difference in other people’s lives?
Another good question would be:
What have I learned that has made a massive difference in my life (or others’ lives)… that now I know well enough to teach or guide someone else on?
If you already have an offer in mind, ask yourself:
How could my offer make a difference in other people’s lives? How can I positively impact their lives?
It’s also important to know what your potential customers already want, in terms of some impact, change, or transformation in their lives. Later on, we’ll talk about how you can find this out directly, but for now, ask yourself:
What change do my potential customers already want in their lives?
Finally, it’s important to know how much of this change can be accomplished by your offer. Ask yourself…
To what extent can my offer help bring about the change they want?
Now, here’s what’s curious (and is often not obvious) about this way of looking at value:
You might not fully appreciate the transformational value of your offer until your customers tell you about it.
This type of value is sometimes hard to see at first. It can be hidden, like buried treasure that can only be found with a metal detector. This guide is, metaphorically speaking, your metal detector, and so are your potential customers.
To illustrate this concept of transformational value, I’ll be introducing you to five entrepreneurs and showing you how they found the hidden value in their offers.
In the interest of full disclosure, I need to point out that they are all PLF Owners, which means they have access to my Product Launch Formula Coaching Program. This is how I learned their stories in the first place.
I chose these five people out of the thousands of students I could have picked because they represent a wide variety of niches. They also have interesting stories that I think are pretty inspiring.
In the remainder of Part 1, I’ll focus on how each of these entrepreneurs uncovered the transformational value of their offer. In Parts 2 and 3, we’ll look at how they built value and communicated this value – drawing people to their offer.
In Part 4, we’ll look at the results they achieved, and a few more secrets to their success.
In short, I’ll show you how they stacked the deck in their favor, by creating real value before they made their offer… and with the promise of even more value if the potential customer says “yes” to the offer.
Fortunately, this is much easier to achieve than you might think, and there’s a formula for how to do it, which I’ll reveal in Part 5 of this guide.
Can Yarn Really Transform Lives?
Sometimes we might not recognize the real value of what we’re offering until clients tell us about it.
This was true for Amy Small. In 2010, Amy started selling and designing hand-spun yarn and custom knitting patterns.
In the early years it was a struggle. She was selling to retail yarn stores, but her margins were low and her business was in debt.
In 2014, Amy decided to launch an offer directly
to customers, which allowed her to communicate with them. By doing this, she discovered something remarkable that transformed her business almost overnight.
In her offer, Amy had included a “knitalong”, where new clients could work on the same knitting project at the same time.
As she talked with her customers, she learned that the most valuable part of her offer wasn’t the hand-spun yarn, or the distinctive knitting patterns.
Although both were important, Amy discovered that people truly cherished her knitalongs. These events were literally transforming lives!
The knitalongs created a strong sense of community where people felt they were part of something bigger than themselves. They were inspired to complete their knitting projects… and because finishing hard tasks can have a transformative effect, the women in Amy’s knitalongs felt inspired, confident, and empowered.
Amy told me that the knitting process itself also has a calming, meditative quality, which can produce a wonderful sense of peace of mind… and creating something provides a sense of self-achievement.
What Amy didn’t know was that her knitalongs delivered something that far exceeded the value of the yarn and the knitting patterns. She was transforming lives by giving her clients a sense of peace, confidence, empowerment and self-achievement.
Amy had created value above and beyond selling yarn… and her clients loved it!
Her first launch made $12,000 in a single day, and this opened her eyes to the power of a well-crafted offer.
Now, one of the principles I teach my students is that your first launch is never your last launch. If something works, why not do it again and again, finding ways to improve on what you did before?
This is precisely what Amy did. She did more launches, each time making tweaks and improvements… and her second and third launches made $17k and $40k.
An interesting point to note here is that in those early launches she hadn’t even emphasized the transformational value of her offer, because she was still discovering the impact of her knitalongs.
But she listened to her clients, and during her fourth launch, she spoke much more clearly about the transformation her knitalongs were bringing to people’s lives. That launch did more than $100,000 of sales in one hour!
This shows the importance of not just identifying the transformational value of your offer, but of how you communicate that value to your potential customers.
Amy’s story also illustrates why I teach that your first launch is never your last launch. She went from a $12k launch to a $100k one, and each new launch meant she could refine, tweak, and adjust her approach based on what she had learned.
By the way, in Part 3 I’ll show you the figures for one of Amy’s more recent launches (they’re pretty amazing!), and what she did to achieve them.
Starting a Business at “Ground Central” of a Global Pandemic
Janna Morishima was a children’s book editor, but in January 2020 she started a brand new business as a literary agent. Then in March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic happened.
Janna and her husband were living in New Jersey, right outside of New York City, which was “ground central” for Covid in the United States.
They found themselves in a tough spot.
Janna wouldn’t get paid for several months or
even up to a year after securing a client, because of the lead time involved in being a literary agent.
Her husband was a wedding photographer, and his business evaporated overnight. In fact, it went negative, because many brides and grooms had paid for their photographer in advance, but now they were canceling their weddings and wanted their money back.
Janna was desperate.
She had a sense that she could teach an online course for authors and illustrators on how to build a successful career. Janna was already familiar with the industry, and she thought she could bring value to her future clients.
In Part 2 I’ll show you what she did to make $12k from her very first offer just a few weeks later. But let’s step back for a moment. If you don’t yet have an idea for an offer, a good question to ask yourself, as Janna did, is…
What resources do I have, in terms of knowledge, skills, experience and expertise, that could make a difference in people’s lives?
In other words… what do you know that could create impact or transformation? What can you do that other people might want to learn to do? What experience do you have that other people could benefit from?
This is where a lot of people start… but as you’ll see, it’s not the only starting point.
Helping Women Learn to Love Staying Sober
Kate Bee is from the UK, and by her own admission, she used to drink too much for too long. She tried Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but they weren’t a good fit for her. And her situation wasn’t bad enough for rehab.
Kate eventually found her own way to overcome drinking, but she was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any help available which suited her.
While she was trying to quit, Kate had written
an anonymous blog, and she learned that lots of women could relate to her. They had lives that looked good on the outside, but alcohol was causing them problems, and they needed help.
Kate had taken a career-coaching course online, and this made her think, “I really wish there was something like this to help people who want to quit drinking.”
Despite working two jobs at the time, she decided to set up The Sober School, and a pilot version of a course.
We’ll talk about her success and what she did to achieve it in Parts 2 and 3… but for now, let’s focus on the transformational value of what she was offering.
Kate wasn’t simply offering a course teaching women how to quit drinking alcohol and stay sober. She was offering them an opportunity to completely transform their lives, to feel good about themselves and being sober, and a way to share their experiences in a safe online environment. For her clients, this was the real value of her course – a total life transformation.
It’s also worth noting that Kate saw what she perceived as a gap in the market. People who wanted to quit alcohol already had options like AA meetings and rehab. But just as Kate had felt that none of these were right for her, she learned that many other women felt the same way… so she created her own unique solution.
Is there a need that your offer could serve, that isn’t catered to in exactly the same way by others in your niche, and that could make a difference in other people’s lives? Is there a gap in the market you could somehow fill?
Building Sheds and Transforming Lives
John Fealy had already set up a business doing something he loved and was good at – building sheds.
He could build a shed in a single day, charge $1,800 for it, and make a profit of $900 for himself.
But he also realized other people could benefit from what he knew. They could copy his methods and create their own shed-building business… so he decided to teach people how to do it.
When John made this decision, he had no training materials available, and only a small list of email subscribers. Yet just a few weeks later, he made almost $20k from his first launch.
John had already stacked the deck in his favor because of what he had to offer. It wasn’t simply a shed-building course. It had transformational value. People could make a full-time income building sheds, or they could do it part time and supplement their income. He was helping them to support their own families, and take pride and satisfaction in their work.
In short, his course transformed people’s lives. People would tell him things like, “You don’t understand what you did for my family.”
Now I don’t know how many shed-building courses are out there, but John’s was different because he was teaching people how to build a shed in a single day, and then how to turn this skill into a thriving business.
Is there a way to make your offer different or distinct from other ways your potential customers could have the transformation they want?
When your offer is different or least distinctive, it’s easier to make it stand out from the crowd of other options competing for your audience’s attention.
No Product? No Problem!
Let me introduce you to one more entrepreneur. This person is different because he didn’t even have his own product, but he still found a way to offer value to others.
Max Guidi is from Italy. He wasn’t happy in his career as an asset manager. And Max had been through a divorce, so there was much unrest in his life.
He decided it was time for a new direction. He went to a yoga retreat in Tuscany and spent a week meditating and practicing yoga.
While he was there, learned that his yoga instructor had built an email list of around 500 people who read her blog or attended her retreats.
Max saw how he could create and deliver value (this is one of the most important skills you can develop). He wasn’t a yoga teacher himself, but he could help his yoga instructor become more visible and attract more students by helping her offer an online course.
Even though yoga wasn’t his specialty, Max found a way to create transformational value in what he could offer to someone else.
(It’s interesting to note the two levels of value here: Max was creating huge value for the yoga instructor, and the instructor in turn was creating real value for her students.)
Could you offer value to someone who is, or has the potential, to make a difference in other people’s lives?
Incidentally, Max created what I call a “Launch Partnership,” which I teach about in one of my Product Launch Formula bonuses. This is about leveraging your knowledge of the launch process to help someone else launch their product.
Very briefly, there are three ways of doing this:
(1) You can be a consultant or coach, where you’re paid to give advice. I know people who have charged $1k, $5k or even $10k for a single day of consulting on launches.
(2) You can go into a more formal partnership, and build a business with the other person. This is the route Max chose, and as I’ll explain later, he doesn’t regret it at all.
(3) You can be a “Product Launch Manager”, where you effectively take charge of the whole launch process for someone’s product.
While there are several things to consider before you get involved in these kinds of deals – finding the right partner, seeing if they have an audience, making sure they have a product, determining how and when you’ll be paid – launch partnerships can be very profitable when they’re done right.
Part 2: Building Value with Your Audience
In Part 1 you learned how five entrepreneurs uncovered the transformational value of their offers.
By identifying how their offer could make a real difference in other people’s lives, they were already stacking the deck in favor of the offer… because they had discovered the value that their prospects truly cared about.
Here in Part 2 we’ll look at how they built value with their clients, and why this is important for “stacking the deck”.
There are a lot of things that we can’t control in life, but we can control the value we give people and the process by which we deliver that value.
The first step is to build an audience of potential customers (or “prospects” as I like to call them).
Then you start to give value to those prospects before you ask for (or sell) anything. While it may sound counterintuitive to “give things away”, this creates a sense of reciprocity, so that people want to do something for you in return… As my friend Joe Polish says: “Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers.”
Before setting up her business, Kate Bee was already giving value through her anonymous blog, where women could talk about their experiences with alcohol.
When she set up The Sober School, she asked the people on her blog to join the email list she would use to launch her course, and many of them did.
Kate also created a “lead magnet”, a piece of content designed to attract new prospects, which she advertised on Facebook. It was a guide called “Wine O’Clock Survival Guide”… tackling an issue that tripped up a large number of her clients. The download turned out to be very popular.
After they received the lead magnet, she would send them additional content once a week for several weeks to build a stronger relationship and deliver more value. Then she would put them into a different email sequence that she would use to launch her course.
For Kate, having a list was also about building relationships. She could engage with her people directly, find out what their specific issues were, and what was stopping them from already having the transformation they wanted in their lives.
What she was doing here is learning how to deliver value to her prospects, an essential step and skill in a successful launch. Many people think they’re delivering value, but your audience will be the real judge of the value. And you can tell what they value by how they respond to it. Are they opening it? Reading it? Watching it? Commenting? Forwarding it? Writing to you?
Before introducing her 6-week pilot course, Kate emailed people to find out what they thought of her idea, and what questions or potential objections they had. Those questions and objections are the roadblocks that would keep them from buying her course – and keep them from transforming their lives.
This part is critical. If Kate didn’t deal with those objections early on, it would stop the sales conversation (and her launch) in its tracks.
She priced her pilot course in British pounds at the equivalent of around $70. Many people are used to getting help for free, so a big objection that often came up was the cost. Some people wondered why they should pay anything.
Communicating the transformational value of her course was an important way to deal with this objection. The change it could bring to their lives far outweighed the small cost involved.
Since she kept the lines of communication open between her and her prospects, Kate found that she could almost co-create the course with them – or at least an outline for it!
The way Janna Morishima created an initial list of prospects was different.
In May 2020, Janna was scheduled to go to a conference in Las Vegas for children’s book writers and illustrators, but when it got canceled due to the lockdowns, she wondered, “What if I could do it online for them, in the form of a webinar?”
The people attending the webinar would be ideal prospects for her course, so Janna saw this as a perfect opportunity. She reached out to the conference organizers and suggested her idea of a webinar. The worst that could have happened is that they said no.
Instead, they liked her idea, and within a few weeks they had set up the webinar with Janna leading it. At the end, she said something like: “Hey, I’m teaching a free masterclass on this subject. If you’re interested, you’re welcome to sign up.”
I guess people must have been impressed with the value she had delivered on the webinar, because 77 people turned up for her masterclass!
This shows what can be done in a short time frame when you’re open to the opportunities around you – and you’re willing to act on them.
Max Guidi didn’t have a list of his own when he set up his business, but his yoga instructor had at least 500 people who had either subscribed to her blog or attended one of her yoga retreats. This is the list they used for their first launch.
John Fealy had a list of just 110 people when he launched his shed-building offer. All of them came from his website, which he created but hadn’t spent any time or money promoting. The site must have been picked up by search engines, and a trickle of subscribers came in each month.
Each of them built a small audience which enabled them to launch what they had to offer. The key takeaway here is that you don’t need a BIG list for your first launch, as long as the people on it may be interested in the transformational value of your offer.
(The cool thing is that once you’ve built even a very small following, one of the best ways to build your list is by doing a launch. At its core, a properly executed launch is all about delivering great value for free before you make your offer. And when you deliver that value, you’ll create interest through word of mouth… and that interest will almost always build your list.)
Key point: start building an audience as soon as possible… this will allow you to discover the value that matters to them the most. Find out what they want – their challenges, their hopes and dreams, their fears and frustrations, and the transformation or change they desire in their life.
As you build your audience, give them real value. If you think of your product, course, or coaching as designed to take people through steps 1 to 10 in a process of transformation, then your free material should take them from 0 to 1.
This might not sound like much, but the importance of doing this shouldn’t be underestimated. Taking them from zero to one gets them moving in the right direction, and helps to show them what’s possible. That has real value. We’ll talk more about this in Part 3.
Part 3: Creating an Environment Where People Naturally Want to Buy What You Have to Offer
“Hope marketing” is a term I invented to describe the kind of marketing too many entrepreneurs do.
They create a great product or offer, and then they assume or hope a crowd of people will turn up on their doorstep wanting to buy.
The reality is, this pretty much never happens.
Okay, I’m sure there are notable exceptions, but most of the time there are only two reasons why a crowd of people would buy an offer:
1. A big advertising budget. For example, Apple can create a buying frenzy for a new product, because they’ve invested heavily into their brand over many years.
2. The entrepreneur makes it happen in some other way.
The entrepreneurs I’ve been telling you about made it happen without massive amounts of money to throw at advertising campaigns. Instead, they followed a process that has been tested and refined over many years – enabling them to create offers that they knew, with a high degree of confidence, a lot of people wanted to buy.
I may be slightly biased here, but as creator of Product Launch Formula® – and as witness to my students producing over a billion dollars in sales – I believe my launch process is the best way to promote an offer.
I’m not going to go deeply into the mechanics of PLF in this guide, but I’ll give you a condensed version here, so you can get a sense of how and why it works.
If you want to go deeper, check out my Launch MasterclassTM. I do it once a year and it includes about 10 hours of training and dozens of case studies. It’s free, it’s live, and it’s starting October 28th. If you downloaded this report, you’re already in – just keep an eye on your email for the details. If someone passed this report on to you, then you can register for the Masterclass (for free!) at this link:
PLF is very different from sales pitches that basically involve shouting “BUY MY STUFF! PLEASE BUY MY STUFF!”
Instead, it’s a process that involves creating an environment where your prospects naturally come to understand the value of what you have to offer.
And once they see that value, many of them will want to buy your offer.
This starts with identifying the transformational value of your offer, which reflects the change your prospects want in their life. How you communicate and deliver this value is also critically important.
There is a unique way to do this that sets you up as a trusted authority, inspires prospects to want the transformation you’re offering, and motivates them to take up your offer – and it doesn’t even feel like “selling.”
In PLF, I teach my students to carefully construct a sequence of four key pieces of content. We call this “Prelaunch Content” or PLC.
Most of my students deliver this content with live broadcasts or pre-recorded videos, but many of them don’t want to be on camera… so they might use webinars, PDF downloads (like this one), or even emails.
What matters most is the order in which you present these pieces of content, and the value they provide for your prospects. Each piece revolves around a specific concept and, for the first three, a specific set of questions you need to answer.
At the heart of every good offer is an opportunity for transformation or change.
PLC #1 is about communicating this opportunity and its transformational value.
Let’s look at some examples.
If you’re teaching people how to learn a foreign language, you’re providing an opportunity for them to travel with confidence, meet and learn from people of different cultures, sample new foods, see different places, and feel a sense of adventure and discovery. It’s an opportunity to become smarter and more knowledgeable, and to have new experiences.
If you’re showing tennis players a way to improve their serve, it’s an opportunity for them to become better at a game they love and get more pleasure from it. They can take pride in winning more games… and while they may not admit it out loud, it’s also an opportunity to experience the sweet satisfaction of beating their tennis partners!
Amy Small sold hand-spun yarn and custom knitting patterns, but it was her knitalongs that provided clients with an opportunity to experience a sense of confidence, peace, and self-achievement.
Let’s take Product Launch Formula as one more example. The opportunity here is that you can confidently launch a business you love, or grow a business you already have… and shape it into something that gives you the freedom, income, and lifestyle you desire.
The purpose of PLC #1, the “Opportunity”, is to show your prospects the opportunity they have for some transformation, change, or impact in their life.
This has tremendous value, because you’re speaking to what your prospects truly want, even if they’re yet not convinced they can have it, and you’re building curiosity and interest.
PLC #1 must also answer the important question of “WHY?”. Why should your prospects care about what you have to say? Why should they even listen to you at all?
As well as showing them the opportunity, you can perhaps talk about your own journey, and bring up objections and questions, which you can either answer here, or promise to answer in a later piece of content. It’s also important to do some actual teaching in PLC #1, so you’re delivering value that people can take away with them and perhaps apply in their lives.
In PLC #2 the focus is on the transformation itself. This PLC needs to answer some important “WHAT?” questions.
What is the transformation? What is the impact it could have on the lives of your prospects? What could the transformation mean for them?
Transformation is a big word, but it doesn’t have to mean a BIG change. Even if you’re simply offering an improvement in some aspect of their life, you can still focus on what the improvement is, and more importantly, the impact it could have in the lives of your prospects.
For example, if you’re teaching people how to use graphic design software more effectively, what impact could this have? Obviously they could produce better graphics, presumably faster. But what could this mean in practical terms?
It means having a sense of satisfaction and pride in their work. It means having an advantage over competitors who don’t have the same skills and knowledge. It could mean happier clients who are more likely to rave about the prospect’s work, and come back for more. It could mean being able to ask for a higher salary or find higher-paying clients, or having time to serve more clients… which means more money.
If you have a coaching program that helps people find the love of their life, what’s the impact here? Obviously it means they can find love, which means having the relationship they desire. What else could this mean for them? It could bring a sense of contentment, happiness, peace, and the ability to share life’s moments with someone you love.
Now, an important aim of this content is to help prospects start to make this transformation in their life, or at least to create a shift, so they can start to believe that transformation is possible for them.
If the numbers 1 to 10 represent the steps of the transformation, going from 1 to 10 might initially seem too hard or too remote. But if you can teach them how to go from 0 to 1, this has enormous value, because it helps them onto the first rung of the ladder. If they see that they can achieve the first step, they’re more likely to accept that they can also go from 1 to 2, then 2 to 3, and so on.
Even if they don’t actually apply what you’ve taught them right away, you’ve still shown them it’s possible to change, which creates an important mental shift.
With PLC #2 you’ve shown them what’s possible. PLC #3 is about showing them that they really can have the transformation they desire. It’s about helping them take ownership of that change.
This piece of content needs to answer two big “HOW?” questions:
How can this transformation happen? How can they have it in their lives?
Your offer is the ultimate answer to this question, and by the end of this piece you will have started to show them this answer… but first you need to continue delivering value, and building value for the offer to come.
You’ve already shown them how they can go from 0 to 1. You’ve helped them start to change, or at least see change as possible. You helped them to own the 1. Now your aim is to help them own the 10.
There are many ways you can do this. You could present a short case study, discuss one or more aspects of your own journey, answer questions and objections, and talk about what the transformation could mean for prospects further out into their future.
What are prospects currently missing… so that when they have these things, change becomes easy or perhaps even automatic?
You can talk about what they’re missing and why, but it’s more important to give them the sense that the missing steps are within their grasp, and also within their ability… so they can truly take ownership of the change.
Give them the gift of experiencing life after having taken the steps from 1 to 10… and what 10 looks and feels like to them from then on.
In other words, allow them to step into their own future self and experience what life is like after the transformation.
Near the end of PLC #3 you’ll want to have a “pivot” to your offer. You aren’t making your offer yet, you’re just mentioning that it’s going to be available. You only need to introduce it gently here, because you’ll go into the details in the next PLC… but tell them they’ll need to look out for the next piece of content if they’re ready to start taking ownership over their impending transformation.
#4: Enrollment. (“YES!”)
PLC #4 is where you officially launch and start taking orders. This is where your prospects can enroll in your offer. PLC #4 is your sales video or sales letter. This begins what I call the “Open Cart” phase.
Now, let me back up for a moment here. Another critical function of Prelaunch Content is that of building your prospect’s trust… and not just in you, but also in themselves.
You’ve been establishing your authority because of the value you’ve given them, so hopefully they trust that you can help them have the transformation they want. The question now is this: do your prospects trust themselves to make this transformation?
This is really what PLC #4 is about. It’s about asking them to not only trust you and the process you’re offering, but also to trust themselves.
You’re asking them to enroll, not only in your product, but also in their future… and if this is going to happen, they need to say “yes” to it. They have to enroll themselves in that change, and in their future self.
They have to say:
– “Yes, I can quit alcohol, and learn to love being sober!”
– “Yes, I can improve my tennis serve!”
– “Yes, I can find the love of my life, and have the happiness I’m looking for.”
In summary: as well as opening the cart and going into the details of your offer, PLC #4 is also about helping them to enroll in their own change, and in their future self, by saying “YES!” to these things, and to your offer.
This is just a brief outline of the whole Product Launch Formula. If you’d like to explore it with me in more depth and see real-life case studies, then be sure to join me for the free Launch MasterclassTM starting October 28th. You’re already registered – keep an eye out for details in your inbox.
Part 4: Special Ingredients for Successful Launches
Now that I’ve given you a bird’s-eye view of Product Launch Formula, let’s go back to the stories of our five entrepreneurs to see how things worked out for them.
This will also give me an opportunity to talk about a few other critical aspects of a compelling offer and successful launch.
Sowing the Seeds of a Successful Business
Janna Morishima didn’t have a big budget to advertise her offer, so for her first launch she followed my “Seed Launch®” process.
A Seed Launch is ideal if you’re starting out and don’t have a product or even a list, or if you just want to test the waters for a new idea. You can use the launch to create the product, and also raise money… which could then be used to create an even bigger launch later on. (I teach the full details in my Product Launch Formula Coaching Program.)
For her Seed Launch, Janna built a list of 150 people by talking at a webinar for children’s book writers and illustrators.
She then invited people to sign up for a free masterclass on how to build a successful career as a creative artist, and 77 people showed up for it. Near the end of her masterclass, Janna announced she was teaching an in-depth course on the subject, priced at $350 a month for 3 months.
She kept the shopping cart open for 5 days, and 27 people enrolled in her course, netting her almost $24k from her very first launch… all from a list of just 150 people!
As I said, a Seed Launch is ideal if you’re starting out with little or no resources. You can use it to create the product and raise funds in a short space of time.
Mental Triggers That Produce (Almost) Automatic Action
Another important aspect of PLF is to utilize a series of what I call “mental triggers.”
These are psychological elements that directly influence how we act and make decisions. In some situations they can produce an almost automatic response, which can make them very powerful but also dangerous in the wrong hands. For this reason, I encourage my students to use them ethically, by creating tremendous value in the world.
I’ve identified well over a dozen mental triggers that can be incorporated into PLF launches. I don’t have the space to go into all of them here, but I’ll highlight a few of the most important ones as we continue the stories of our five entrepreneurs.
One of the most important mental triggers is authority.
The idea behind it is simple. We often look to others to help guide our decisions, and we pay more attention to people who we perceive as having authority in their field.
When you’re viewed as a trusted authority by your prospects, they’re more likely to follow your advice and suggestions – and buy what you have to offer.
The good news is that building authority isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s an integral part of the launch process. When you teach and give value in your Prelaunch Content, and tell your own story, you’re building authority in the eyes of your prospects.
Janna Morishima built her authority by speaking at a webinar of people who were her target audience and then offering a free masterclass. The webinar and masterclass, along with the value she delivered, helped her to be viewed as a trusted authority.
If you follow what you’re learning from this guide, you’ll build authority in the eyes of your audience.
Another powerful mental trigger is community. People love to be part of a community with shared interests, and all communities have norms that govern how members are supposed to act.
When you interact with people before a launch, you’re already on your way to forming a community, which means you can create your own community norms. These norms might include actions such as spreading the word, commenting on your blog, “liking” your posts on social media, and buying your next product.
Community definitely played a big role in Amy Small’s launches. As well as her knitalongs, she used other live events that built community.
For example, she created a celebration video for the people in her knitalongs, where they could submit short videos and photos of themselves showing off their knitted creations. These became part of a live YouTube Premier, with her people counting down to the start, and then commenting like crazy on all the submitted videos and photos!
This built an incredible sense of community among her clients, who were happy to spread the word about her knitalongs and attend more of them.
Amy has come a long way since her first $12k launch. Remember: your first launch is never your last launch. I’m thrilled to say that Amy took this to heart and kept improving her launches.
In a more recent one, an incredible 1,400 people joined her knitalong – which meant they were all knitting the same thing at the same time – and she did $322,000 in sales from that one launch!
A closely related mental trigger is social proof. Again, the idea behind this is simple. When we’re unsure of how to act, we tend to take our cues from the people around us. If we see other people taking action, we’re more inclined to take that action as well.
For example, if you’ve ever bought a product because it had lots of customer reviews, this would be an example of social proof. You based your decision, at least in part, on what other people said and did.
Both community and social proof played an important role in Kate Bee’s launches.
Kate hadn’t even heard of Product Launch Formula when she launched her course, which helped women quit alcohol and learn to love being sober.
She had a blog and had built a small community of women with a shared interest. Kate had identified a way she could make a difference in people’s lives. She had listened to her community and their objections before she launched a pilot version of her course. She invited her community to join, and 5 people enrolled in her course.
Social proof then began to play an increasingly significant role. As more women took her course, they could leave reviews, share their experiences, comment on blog posts, interact on social media, and inspire other members of the community to take action – especially newer ones.
By the time Kate discovered PLF in November 2016, 160 people had enrolled in her course… but she wanted to reach more people.
In 2017 she started doing PLF launches, and this is where things really started to take off. In that year she signed up 600 people, almost four times as many as in 2016.
Since then, her business has continued to grow, and one of her more recent launches reached six figures (when converted into US dollars).
Now, what I love about stories like this one is that, just like so many of my other students, Kate had no sales or marketing background. She simply followed the launch formula I teach. (I also cover other aspects of business growth in-depth, such as building a list and creating a great product.)
When I asked Kate what advice she would give to someone new to all this, she said, “Take things one step at a time. Just get started, and then make it a little bit better, and a little bit better.”
I couldn’t agree more! Her words reminded me of my very first launch. I made $1,650… and while seeing this happen so fast was thrilling (and mind-blowing), this wasn’t what excited me the most.
I remember a thought I had at the time, which has stuck with me ever since, because it’s probably one of the most important thoughts I’ve ever had.
I can repeat this process over and over… and I might even get better at it!
I didn’t know this at the time, but it turns out I was absolutely right!
I did repeat the process, and I did get better at it… much better… to the point where I was producing tens of thousands of dollars in my launches. Then hundreds of thousands… and then millions of dollars in my launches.
It didn’t happen overnight… it took me years to go from $1,650 to millions. Still, wouldn’t you agree that it’s a pretty crazy growth path?
And lots of my students are seeing crazy growth as well. Many of them are in small niches that I never knew existed before they told me about their success.
For now, let me share one other critically important mental trigger with you: scarcity.
Once again, the concept behind it is simple. When there is less of something, we tend to value it more… and when something scarce is about to disappear, we’re compelled to act quickly if we want it.
In PLF, scarcity means making an aspect of the offer no longer available outside of the Open Cart phase of the launch. It’s similar to the equivalent of a “sale” in the retail world.
Now, before I continue, it’s important to know that in the context of a PLF launch, scarcity isn’t a marketing gimmick. It helps people to focus on how much they value the transformation you’re offering.
Also, since people tend to put off decisions for as long as they can, it helps those who are sitting on the fence to take action. After all, they can’t have the transformation they want if they’re frozen by indecision. Scarcity gets them to make a decision, to either say “YES” or “NO” to your offer.
It’s also important to make a distinction between real scarcity, and the kind of fake scarcity often used online. If a sales page says, “Hurry, there’s only a few copies left, so buy now before they’re all gone!”… yet the product is always available, this is false scarcity, and you can lose credibility by using it.
In PLF launches, we always use real scarcity. The Open Cart phase is a limited window of time (maybe 4-7 days, although it depends on the nature of your offer), and you need to take something valuable away when it ends.
John Fealy’s first launch illustrates the power of scarcity. When he decided to launch his shed-building course, he had just 110 people on his list, and he hadn’t even created the course at the time.
His wife thought he was crazy for launching before he even had a product, but he was simply following the Seed Launch I teach in PLF. Following this process, he knew he could create and deliver his course over a period of several weeks, after the launch was over.
He priced his course at $1,800 (which was what he charged for one shed, and what he would teach his students that they could charge). However, in his Seed Launch he decided to offer a 50% discount, so his prospects could buy it for just $900 – with the option of 3 monthly payments of $299. The discount was only available during Open Cart.
In his Prelaunch Content, John had focused on the transformation the skill of building a shed and a shed-building business could bring to people’s lives, which helped them feel excited about the opportunity.
When he launched his offer, the scarcity element (the 50% discount) helped them make a decision… to say “YES” to having this transformation, and “YES” to John’s offer.
In March 2020, only a few weeks after he came up with the idea for his course, he had used my Seed Launch process to make 22 sales and nearly $20k – in a very small niche.
Now, a certain wise man once said, and I quote: “Your first launch is never your last launch.” ☺
Just a few months after his first launch, the size of John’s email list had grown from 110 to about 185… and he did another launch, with 18 more people enrolling in his course, producing just over $16k in sales.
When I spoke to him after his second launch, John told me that he aims to do four a year, which will allow him to tweak, refine, and improve his process each time.
If you recall, Max Guidi had set up a Launch Partnership with his yoga instructor. Max took on the marketing side of the business, and the launch process.
His yoga instructor already had a list of about 500 people who were past clients or interested in learning yoga.
They started with a free webinar, which attracted about 50 people. They launched a $97 product, and sold 19 of these to the people on the webinar. With their second launch, they added a coaching element, which deepened the knowledge of their students and built connection and relationships. They went on to do a $90k launch for people interested in yoga, and a $100k launch for a yoga teachers course.
Unlike the other entrepreneurs I’ve highlighted, Max wasn’t an expert in the same niche as the products he helped to launch.
He wasn’t a yoga expert, but by partnering with someone who was, he was able to build and deliver value… and when he came across PLF, he learned that the real value is in the transformation you can bring to other people’s lives.
Max transformed the life of his yoga instructor by partnering with her to build a thriving yoga business that complemented her lifestyle.
The products they created were also changing lives. Max told me that for many yoga instructors in Italy, teaching isn’t their main job. So the course Max and his yoga instructor had developed gave yoga teachers freedom to follow their passion. As Max puts it: “I’m helping a lot of people to live better.”
In turn, this has also changed Max. Unlike his former job in the asset management industry, which left him unhappy, Max has built a business that truly brings him happiness… because he’s making a meaningful difference in other people’s lives. It also provides him with a great lifestyle and financial stability.
Without wanting to blow my own trumpet too loudly here… this is what PLF is really all about. It’s not just about making money, or the thrill of seeing your launch succeed. It’s also about the pleasure that comes from knowing you’re helping people make the transformation they want.
Ultimately, it’s about building a business that you truly love, that you delight in running, and that can become a path to the lifestyle you desire.
I don’t know what the dollar value of all this would be to you, or any other entrepreneur… but speaking for myself, I think these things have tremendous value. I hope you agree.
Would you like to know more about Product Launch Formula®, how to apply it, and what it can do for you? Good news! My once-a-year live Launch Masterclass starts October 28th. It includes trainings, case studies, downloads and lots more. You’re already registered… just watch your inbox for all the details.
Part 5: The Transformational ValueFormula – Four Ways to “Stack the Deck”
I didn’t choose the entrepreneurs featured in this guide because of their sales figures. If I had, I could have written about million dollar launches by my students.
I chose them because they represent a sample of people with no sales or marketing background, who had amazing success in very different niches – from being sober and building sheds to yarn and yoga.
Crucially, they all followed the same process I’ve given you in this guide, which allowed them to create offers that transformed lives, and build a business they truly loved.
I know it’s a cliché, but I’m sure that if you spoke to them at one of my live events, they’d all tell you…
If THEY could do this, then just about ANYONE can do it.
Of course, you won’t get the same results as them, because your niche and offer will be different, along with how you build and deliver value. (Also, since they’re PLF Owners, they have access to the entire formula for how to create a successful launch.)
Speaking of results, I know that just about every entrepreneur on the planet would love to know the answer to the following question:
How can I guarantee that my offer will sell, and make me (or my business) the kind of money I want?
Well, the simple answer is, you can’t. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, I’ve shown you four critical steps to stack the deck massively in your favor.
If you apply these four steps like a formula, then… OK, my legal team won’t let me say “your success is assured” here… so let me put it like this: follow these four steps, and you’ll find it a whole lot harder to fail!
Let me sum up the four steps, which we can call the Transformational Value Formula:
1. Find the transformational value of your offer.
This is always the place to start.
If you don’t yet have an offer, instead of asking, “What could I sell?”… ask yourself, “How could I make a difference in people’s lives?”
What can you offer that has the potential to transform lives, either in a big way, or in a small but meaningful way?
If you have an offer in mind, ask yourself, “What is the transformational value of this?”
How could it change a person’s life? What could this change mean for them, both now and in the future, if they were to fully apply what you’re offering?
This is the value that people get excited about, and it’s the main reason they buy coaching, memberships, and courses.
If you only took ONE IDEA away with you after reading this guide, I hope it would be that of finding the transformational value of your offer. This is the value that usually matters most to your prospects.
If you doubt this, just ask Amy Small.
For her clients, they’re not simply buying because of the value of the hand-spun yarn or her unique knitting patterns.
Amy’s knitalongs provide her clients with a sense of self-achievement, empowerment, and peace – plus a community to celebrate with. Amy is transforming lives, helping these women to feel happier and more fulfilled.
No wonder Amy’s business has flourished, grossing over a million dollars last year, with a recent launch producing $322k in sales, and with an incredible 1,400 people joining her knitalong!
2. Build an audience of prospects, and co-create your offer with them.
Having an audience (or a list) isn’t about “pitching” to them.
It’s a way to get to know your people, rub elbows with them, and learn what they want and need.
After that you can run your new offer ideas past your prospects, uncover where the real value is for them, and find out in advance what questions and objections they have. By doing this, you can virtually co-create your offer with them, or at least involve them in the process.
Of course, you’ll also launch the offer to your list… but remember, the list doesn’t have to be big to make your first offer.
Remember, John Fealy launched his shed-building course to just 110 people who were interested in what he had to say, and he hadn’t even created the course when he made his offer. Yet he made a total of around $36k from his first two launches.
3. Create an environment where people naturally want to buy what you have to offer.
There’s no other way of saying it: this is precisely what Product Launch Formula is designed to do.
When you follow it carefully, you’re setting the stage for a lot of people to buy from you, because you’ve explored the opportunity to have the transformation they want, you’ve built authority by giving them value first, you’ve shown them that change is not only possible but within their reach and ability, you’ve helped them take ownership of that change… and finally, you’ve created a limited window of time in which to act.
I’ve given you an outline of PLF, so you can see WHY it works, and HOW all the pieces fit together to create the ideal buying environment for your offer.
If you want to go deeper into my launch process and gain the knowledge to produce your own successful launches, be sure to join my Launch MasterclassTM. It includes dozens of case studies and about 10 hours of training… plus surprises throughout the week. And you’re already signed up for it! Keep an eye on your email for details – we start October 28th.
4. Iterate. Do it again, and aim to do it better. Keep learning and growing.
Don’t aim for perfection to begin with. Nobody is perfect at the start. Just aim to deliver value, and go from there.
Keep the lines of communication open with your prospects. Find out what they want and need, and give them these things.
Whatever your initial results, remember that your first launch is never your last launch, because there is always room for improvement, and there is always something new to discover with each launch.
Use what you learn, along with feedback from your customers and prospects, to do it all over again… refining your offer and your process each time.
As I said, while I can’t say this is a formula for guaranteed success… what I can tell you is that these four steps are a well-worn path that thousands of others have followed to success. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – there’s a formula you can follow.
I have much more to share on this, so here’s a quick suggestion for you:
Join me in my FREE Launch Masterclass on October 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2022 to keep building on what you’ve learned here.
My Launch Masterclass includes 10 hours of LIVE training where I walk you through my entire Product Launch Formula.
- ● The ONE major strategy behind nearly every successful launch
- ● The type of launch that gives you the fastest path to cash… even if you’re a complete beginner!
- ● How to turn lukewarm prospects into actual customers … and that just scratches the surface.
You’ll also get access to:
- ● Action Guides and templates – to help you move forward faster
- ● Brand new case studies – so you can see this process in action
- ● Access to my team of Launch Coaches in our exclusive group – so you can get your questions answered
… and a few more surprises!
If you put in your email address to get this report, then just keep an eye on your inbox… I’ll send you an email with all the details on accessing the Launch Masterclass for free.
If someone passed this report on to you, then you can register for the Masterclass (for free!) at this link: