This week on the show I welcome launch strategist and copywriter, Brenna McGowan. We discuss the aspect of an offer that many entrepreneurs skip over: pre-launch.
It seems so much easier to skip right to the promotion of the sale, rather than warming an audience up, doing our due diligence, and testing the market... Alas, those who skip the pre-launch are leaving money (and a loyal audience) on the table.
Putting the right offer in front of the right audience with the right messaging is key. Obvious? You'd be surprised as to how many business owners place a lot of incorrect assumptions within this step.
The market research component is huge. Brenna is actually teaching a workshop where she goes through and validates the offers of her students. From there, they have a true understanding of who their customer is.
Per Brenna, pre-launch is about selling your process, and not your program. For six weeks during a pre-launch, she suggests thinking through what is the buy-in your ideal customer has to have before they decide to buy your solution.
Listen in as we dive deep into these topics and more.
Connect with Brenna at her website and grab her free Pre-Launch Plan Cheat Sheet.
Welcome to the Small Business Big mindset podcast, where we dive into tactical strategies to grow your business and make an impact on this world. A huge part of success is keeping your mindset and vision on track. So this is a major part of our process. And this podcast. Let's do this Hey everybody, welcome back to the Small Business Big mindset podcast this week we have Brennan McGowan, a launch strategist and copywriter. Welcome Brenna.Unknown:
Thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here.Erin Geiger:
You guys. We ran an hour laughing because we have been in each other's circles for I don't wanna say a couple of years now but we've never actually met met virtually. So it's it's hilarious that we don't we know we don't we haven't really met okay, you know, but it's just so funny. Like how online especially if you're in the same circles, you can feel like oh, yeah, I've known this person for years. So do you ever actually haven't had a face to face conversation with him yet? It'sUnknown:
just me happens all the time. I feel likeErin Geiger:
it's hilarious. Okay, so let's dive right in. I would love to hear a little bit about you, your background, and how you got into what you're currently doing.Unknown:
Yeah, it's kind of a windy path. So I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version, which was I was a stay at home mom loved being a stay at home mom. And then when my daughter went back or went started to go to preschool, I started to just do like odd jobs on the side for extra money. Which brought me to 2017, which was I was about to turn 40 and was kind of like, what, what am I doing with my life, right, like, and so I started to think about like, I want to do something a little bit bigger, but I didn't know what that was. And I fell into doing some social media and email marketing for a friend who was starting a business. And when I started to do that for her, and I always joke because it was like, all over vanity I want to she was an esthetician and I want to fake eyelashes. So I was like okay, how do I get fake eyelashes? And I'll help you do like some of this little bit of marketing's I've done like odd jobs throughout that time. So I started to do this. And people were like commenting to her how much they liked it. And I was like, Maybe I should start a business doing this. Because I had no I wasn't on social media, like it didn't even like occur to me that this was like could be a career of some sort. So I put up a website and did a logo and announced on Facebook that I was going to be doing kind of social media marketing, and I got clients immediately. And I soon there realized I hated social media marketing. There's aspects of it that I really loved. But I it was not what I wanted to do. So I started to kind of have this, like, what should I do with this business that I started and I found our mutual friend and mentor Laura Bell Gray, and was reading her emails and I was like, Oh, wait, like all of these like quirky little funny stories I have in my head I can actually use to sell. So I pivoted quickly over to become an email copywriter started writing all types of copy. And during that journey of being a copywriter and having that really strong content, social media background, we started to notice a hole in some of the launches that I was helping people with, which was like, Why were people even when people with audiences? Why did sometimes, you know, their their actual launch not convert the way that it probably should have on paper. And you know, what was kind of this missing link. And around that same time I heard an interview with some other mutual friends where they talked about pre launch. And it kind of hit me at that moment. It was just like, wait a second, there's so much of that goes into launching, but a lot of times people forget about this runway period that become that happens before the launch. And I made a decision as I was trying to I guess figure my life out that this was an area I wanted to specialize in, which felt a little scary because I had never heard of anyone talking about this area in as a niche, if you will. And that's how that's how we're here today. So I started to call myself a pre launch specialist and haven't looked back since.Erin Geiger:
Yeah, no. And it's great that you realize like you identified you know, that part of the industry where you're like, wait a minute, this is a problem area and no one's really helping helping entrepreneurs out because it's so true. And I've done it as well. I think we're all guilty of it. It's like you're really excited about a new product or service. And you kind of you skip so many steps. You go so far ahead to get that out the door in front of people where there's so much prep work and other needs to really help to make that go to market successful for your product or your service. So, I'm so glad that you're here, you're gonna help so many people today, I would love to dive a little deep into that, like, what? Where do you start? Like when you're when you're working with a client? Like, what is it that you're like? Okay, first and foremost, we need to hit on these topics. And you know, are these points before you even think about launching?Unknown:
Well, I definitely taking a look at the offer and making sure you know, there's there's three parts to any successful launch, if you will, and that is putting the right offer in front of the right audience with the right messaging, right. So a lot of times we spent spend so much time looking at the offer that we forget, oh, yeah, we actually need to evaluate like, where did this audience come from? Like, where? How did we accumulate them, and then backing up even further and taking a look at their messaging that supports the offer? So that's always the first thing is like, you know, people will also say that, like, there's different quotes, or cliches like a good offer will sell itself. And it's like, okay, no, a good offer doesn't sell itself. Because if you don't have an audience, right, and if you're not explaining your great offer to your audience in a way that they can understand it, see themselves in it, see the transformation that you're providing, then it's all you know, it's, it's not, you're just wasting time. And that's what happens sometimes in these lunches, and people like, Oh, my launch didn't go as well, or no one wants my offer. And it was like, no, no, we didn't look at all of these pieces of the puzzle to make sure that they're working together and working together cohesively to help you get to the best launch. So once we know yes, we have an offer, we have an audience. And this is where I really come in and specializes. How can we make sure the messaging that builds up to the offer is, is intact. And so what happens a lot of times with, with launching in general is as being a copywriter, there's, there's this line that's drawn between content and copywriting, conversion, copywriting, and our content. And I see the two of them blending together, especially during pre launch, which is how can we use some of these things that we use in conversion copywriting, and really apply it to the content that we're putting out before then. So the first step of what I do with my program, the first step, if I sit down with my clients, besides sitting down and really planning, which is, coincidentally enough, is skipped step that most people don't even realize they're skipping, right? They're like, Oh, I'm gonna launch on January first, and it's going to be for seven days, and they haven't really taken into account, like what's going on in their business or what's going on in their personal life. So once we actually kind of look at the scheduling part of it, the first step is always to look at our merch market research, our testimonials, and really thinking about where is our customer at right now in their journey? And where do they need to be able to? Or where should they be? Or where do they need to be to be able to buy our, our service, our product, whatever it is we're putting out there.Erin Geiger:
Ya know that I love that because it's like, if you're just kind of like spouting out messaging, it's not resonating. Like it's not what your your audience is, like, they're there. Maybe you're assuming they're further along in the funnel, right. So it's like they're there. They know what their problem is. And they're looking for a solution. Well, if your messaging, you know, tackles that, but your audience that you're talking to, isn't sure what their problem is or what the next step is, and it's like, your messaging is going to be lost on them. So I think it's great that you start out with validating the offer as well, because like, do you? I bet you that happens, right? You you start working with someone and they you you're like, well, we need to validate this offer before we move forward. And then what if it doesn't? What if you're like, this isn't the right offer? You know, how do you how do you help people kind? Of course correct in that situation?Unknown:
Right? Well, most of the time, when people are hiring, hiring me privately, or you they already have an offer that has been validated. However, I do have people that go through my program, because I'm always like, okay, yeah, we need to make sure in the only way that your offer is going to have a chance is if we, you know, do this messaging, especially when you're trying to get it off the ground. So, you know, I think it's a matter of looking and it all goes back to that market research component. I'm actually teaching a a bit of a workshop right now where we're going through and validating the offer and then everything like your business hinges on your market research and having a true understanding of who your customer is where you're like what they're saying. And when Looking at how it intersects with where they're at in the awareness journey, and where it intersects of what I call right fit readiness, which is making sure we're talking to that right ideal client. So when it comes time to actually look at your offer, it's like, okay, have we gone and spoken to people about? Would they buy this offer? Why? What would they, you know, what would, what would be the hesitation about buying your offer, and really getting deep into that and making sure that you understand what they want, you know, what the pain point is, and where their transformation is, in terms of the of what they're looking at the problem that they're looking to solve? So always going back in everything I know, it's not the sexiest of answers, but truly, it relies on talking to people. Yes, we there's so much that we can do in market research in terms of whether it's going on Amazon and reading book reviews, or even chat GT chat GPT right now, where you can do a lot of research. But if you're not really dialed into these people and talking to people on a regular basis, it's going to reflect throughout your whole launch and your whole sales process.Erin Geiger:
Yeah. And so once you they've had they have an offer, it's been validated, they know the messaging that they need to go to market with. They're very aware of their audience, and we're, you know, where they're headed. What? And they've, they're like, Okay, put a lot into my calendar, this is going to work, you know, for me, personally, professionally, this is great. What are the what's critical, then, you know, between, you know, getting all their ducks in a row and the actual launch date? And is there a certain timeframe that typically you you recommend, you know, for this pre launch phase?Unknown:
Yes, this is a great question. It's probably the the question that I get asked the most, which I liked about six weeks, you can go if you look at someone like Amy Porterfield, she's pre launching, I think, 812 weeks, I'm guessing, you know, people will do a little bit longer people do shorter, have a little bit of a run way. I also think it depends on once again, the awareness of your audience, right, like how warm they are, or how ready they are to buy your thing. It also depends a little bit too on pricing, and not all the time, because obviously, it's going to be a little bit easier to sell a, you know, $500 course sometimes and a, you know,$3,000 package, but not not all the time, I think that's an assumption that we make to about pricing, but taking a look at those things. But for most people, I like about six weeks, and really you start starting to look at okay, now that I'm at six weeks, what is the type of content that I, you know, depending on your business, like Am I on Facebook, and my on Instagram, am I on email, when I look and help people plan, it's really taking these core concepts or messaging throughout these weeks, and figuring out ways to simply repurpose them and reuse them throughout the week. So we can build a content plan around them. The question that I also get asked is like, Okay, well, if I only, you know, what's the most important thing that I will do, and I will always say, emailing your, you know, having an email list and emailing them. To me, that's where sales happen. All of these other things reinforce the sales process, but it really making sure that you are emailing your list. well ahead of time, I think you should be emailing your list all the time as it is, but dialing it in, during the pre launch to me is probably the most important thing that you can do.Erin Geiger:
And do you what do you suggest as far as cadence rate, you know, within that six week period, I mean, some people, you know, like to email a ton, you know, weekly, and then as they get closer to the launch, it gets to like every two days and every day. Some people take a different approach. What do you typically suggest? And I know it probably depends upon the industry and the audience and the price and all that and all of that, but is there a kind of a general recommendation that you have?Unknown:
Yeah, I like what I teach in my program is at least twice a week, if you can do three times a week, all the better. But if you can be in there, you know, once a week minimum for sure. But I like I think twice a week is something that to me, hopefully, especially the way that I teach it doesn't feel super overwhelming, and that you're staying in front of your audience and you're you're dialing up your visibility I mentioned, I just had an article published in authority magazine, and I talked about how, you know, I I believe that during this time, you know, when you can dial up your visibility it also builds trust amongst your audience are used to seeing You. So it really, really helps solidify you. And especially to that when we're talking about emailing during this time, we're emailing very specific messages that people need to hear in order to help them make a buying decision. So this isn't just like, Oh, I'm just going to be sending these random two emails a week, we're really dialing into, hey, what's the strategy of moving someone from point A to point B? And how can we start stringing that along really beautifully during our pre launch to get that in front of our client or a customer to help them make a buying decision?Erin Geiger:
Yeah, that's my next question. As you kind of like move along to sales, because I mean, really, at the end of the day, that's the goal, right? You want to sell your service product, what have you. And so in these emails, what are you having your clients talk about? How do they kind of like, manage that messaging of it's kind of sales, but you're also make trying to make a connection and foster a relationship at the same time? Are they pointing to content? Like, are you like, you need to have consistent content, whether it's a blog post or a podcast? Or, you know, what have you? Or, you know, what kind of content? Are they? Are they leveraging? And what do you suggest there?Unknown:
Right? So I always say that pre launch is about selling your process, and not your program. So what people will be like, Oh, my gosh, you're gonna you're asking me to sell for six weeks? No, like, I'm not asking you to sell for six weeks during a pre launch. What I'm asking is for you to think through what is what what is the buy in your person has to have before they decide to buy your your solution, right? Like, what is the outcome that they're looking for it? My friend, Rob Tillman, when I was talking about this, like, what, what is this outcome that people are looking for, because if people believe in our outcome, then they will eat more easily by our solution. So what I hear a lot of times is that people are like they don't like selling right like that launch period does feel really good to them, because they're like asking someone to make a decision. The way when when people do the pre launch process, and I'm talking about, first of all, they're very, very, very prepared, that you have a launch coming up that you're going to be selling something. So that's the first thing. So I'm always like, I have no problem selling really hard during those seven days of my actual launch period. Because I've given people a lot of decision making time, I talk a lot about autonomy in my framework of pre launch, which is giving people a lot of space to make a decision and giving them the information they need to make a decision. So when we go back and look at those six weeks of like, what type of content are we putting out there, we are helping people understand if our process is right for them. I'll give you an example. So one of my clients, Linda Sadu, she is she sells personality quizzes, she has a program that helps people create a personality quiz. Well, for someone to believe that a person that they need this program around personality quizzes, they have to believe that a personality quiz is how they are going to build their email list with ease, how they're going to be able to segment more carefully. Like there's there's several things that they have to have a buy in for. But once they have a buy in, and they believe a personality quiz is the way to get these things that they want, then suddenly, when she's putting the offer in front of them for her her quiz lab, then it becomes a much easier decision at that point. They're just trying to decide, okay, how is this the right program for me to get the right this transformation that I want? Is this the right person who I want to learn from? And that's where we get to people to that what is called the product aware stage if we look at the awareness journey, so yeah, that is kind of what we're doing throughout that time is getting people to have a buy in to our actual process.Erin Geiger:
Yeah, no, I love that approach. Because it's basically you've been building this relationship along the way and kind of educating people so that by the time they get to the decision point of purchasing there's no convincing going on right it's like you know, whether it's for you or it's not and I just think that that's that's a great approach and love Linda, she's actually been on the show as well she's great. Hi, Linda. Shout out so no, that's that's really that's really awesome gives me so I do want to ask you about kind of like processes that you use and maybe like a tool that has helped you as you as you've grown your your business, but is there anything else and we're gonna put a link to where people can learn more and work with you? Was there anything else before we move on, that you would love to share? About pre launch and Getting comfortable with selling and and all of that?Unknown:
No, I just think in general, if you're listening to this, and you're like, oh my gosh, you know, how how, how can I do this like not to be overwhelmed II Oh, just it doesn't have to be. You know, of course, I'm telling you about a system that I've created that six weeks, right but but if you just do a just a tad of what we're talking about here, you're going to be doing more than probably 80% of marketers out there, right there, that this is not something that, unfortunately, that's been talked a lot about in online marketing. And that's why I'm really excited to be able to bring more awareness to it. Because this is, you know, even just doing little touches of this is going to make such a difference and is going to help you go into your sales period. Feeling so much more confident, right, so much more ease I talked about a lot actually have. Somebody just sent me a message like she's already pre sold five seats inside of her program, and the doors haven't even opened yet. So when you're able to start building up this momentum, it brings along a ton of confidence. So instead of looking at it, like oh my gosh, just seems like more work. You're put your out there anyway, it's just a matter of organizing it in a way where you're helping your your best customers find you and select you.Erin Geiger:
Yeah, so it's I just love it. It's so organic and natural, so that no one really feels as though you know, they're being sold to I mean, yes, obviously, that's part of the process, but I just it's more of a relation based thing where you're just like, hey, this is the solution to a problem that you know, you've said you're you're dealing with, so I do I do agree with that, that approach. And so is there anything like I said, there's, you know, entrepreneurs that are, you know, large part of this audience, and we just love to learn from each other. So is there like a, a tool or process that you'd like to share that kind of has helped you as you've grown your own business?Unknown:
Oh, gosh, it's been so many, but the one that pops into my head, especially because we talk so much about market research, is that if if people are listening, like oh, how to talk to people, I teach inside my program, like yes, getting on a zoom call and recording it is always nice, but I love I use boxer for all kinds of things. I just did a whole entire summit, masterclass series where I recorded all of our conversations on Voxer. I also love to use Voxer for market research. Meaning where you can just have casual conversations with people that you know, where it doesn't feel as formal and you get if anything, I think you get might get a get even better market research because you're not staring at someone asking then they have time to actually stop and think. And so using boxer for market research, because you can easily download boxer files into audio files and be able to transcribe them into something I use otter AI. For most people, it's free, because unless you're using it a lot like me, it's a free tool that you can use. And you can be able to transcribe these things. So when you're in, when you're feeling in your head about your process your program, whatever it is, you want to get additional market research, just finding friends that are like your ideal clients where you can reach out and ask them questions and then being able to download those answers super easy, transcribe them, and organize them for some of the market research. I think that's been a great tool. But yeah, Voxer in general, I use it for I use it to send it when people are asking questions in groups and I have a longer answer, you can actually use something called my notes on there and get a URL and be able to send that out. I use boxer for sending audio emails, because you can link them quickly. They they have a URL, you don't have to upload audio files anywhere. I even have ideas around it for creating like private podcast. So that's really been my tool of choice lately is using boxer for all of these things.Erin Geiger:
Yeah, I love Voxer I haven't used it in a while I need to get back into Voxer. And I use otter all the time as well. And is it easy? Like if you're you know, like, Hey, if you're working, you know to do research or to chat with other people in the industry if they're not on Voxer Is it pretty easy for them to get on it or or most people that you talk to you or they just already on Voxer so it's a non issue.Unknown:
Most people I know are already on it, but it's a free app. So it's super easy to download. You can pay I paid like $25 a year where I can recall messages which would just come in handy once or twice. But I but it's completely free. It's easy to use. It's such an amazing tool to have in your arsenal. You know a lot of even you know coaches and stuff have have switched over to I know like my business coach, we do a lot of boxer coaching. So it can be used in a coaching element. And it's really amazing that we can use it for free and use it for all these all these different types of things that we just talked about.Erin Geiger:
Yeah, no, that's incredible. So as you move along with your business, what skinny share with us like the goals or vision that you're thinking of?Unknown:
Had? No, it's I love this question. I was literally having a conversation about this yesterday. And as of now, it's really I, I want to bring the message of pre launch, I just released a mini product, which is a calendar, which actually has a really cool calendaring tool in there, as well. And keeping in doing my group program, and I think eventually, at some point is my larger goal is to teach service providers as well how to do that, you know, to do this service, because there's not a lot of people right now that are, are helping others. And so I, you know, would love to spread this message further and help other people be able to provide this service and help their own clients with it, or whether it's in their copywriting their launches, that sort of thing.Erin Geiger:
That's so great. Yes. Because I mean, it's like, if you don't have this solid foundation, at first, it's gonna be super tough along the way. So I'm so glad that you're tackling that part of the process. Where can people find you online, if they want to connect with you and find out more?Unknown:
Yes, so you can find me at Brendan mcgowan.co online. And I also have a cheat sheet there, Beretta mcgowan.co forward slash cheat sheet, which tells you it gave me the three buyer beliefs that people need to believe before they buy from you. And then I give you an idea of some of the types of content that we are talking about, that you can start creating today for your free lunch.Erin Geiger:
Awesome. And so we always ask this question of everybody. My husband and myself are super big music people. So if you could only listen to one music artists for the rest of your life, who would it be?Unknown:
Oh my gosh, this is so hard. I am a nerd. So I'm going to say like my favorite. I would say it would be Billy Joel. His album The stranger would be mine. I'm a I'm an 80s kid. So I think if I if I could only listen to one album for the rest of my life, that wouldn't that one would be it.Erin Geiger:
That's awesome. I don't think I've had that one before. So that's great. Yeah, we I created it as playlist on Spotify is a small business big mindset playlist and so we it's a little I need to impact up now I need to add all the new artists that recent guests have said but basically it's a it's a playlist of entrepreneurs favorite music so you gotta have it on while you're going you know doing getting stuff done so but yeah, so while I Billy Joel on there's I don't think he's on there yet. Exactly. For you. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really enjoyed our chat today that we could finally connect face to face virtually.Unknown:
Yes, thank you so much for having me.Erin Geiger:
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