Launch manager, Shannon McCaffery, is our guest for the 124th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. We’ve known Shannon for a little over a year and after talking with her about TCCIRL and several other launches she’s helped manage, we thought she’d be a great guest for the show. Here’s a sample of what we talked about:
• how she went from a corporate job to independent business owner
• the biggest lessons she learned from working with Dan Kennedy
• why she doesn’t ever take phone calls on the weekend
• how she earned the nickname, “the product launch chick”
• the three different ways Shannon helps her clients — an idea you can steal
• how she conducts her initial consulting call so she closes more business
• the 5 questions she asks of every potential clients
• what she does during her $8K strategic planning days
• the 3 Ms—message, market, media—and why you need to get all three right
• knowing which events are the right ones to attend
• why you should always take the VIP option (if there is one) at an event
• what’s working in launches today (and what isn’t) and how copywriters fall short when working on them
• how spirituality has impacted her life and business
• what the future of online marketing looks like
To hear it all, just click the play button below. Or download the episode to your favorite podcast app. And, if reading is your thing, you can scroll down for a full transcript.
After we were done with the recording, we asked Shannon a couple of questions about what copywriters need to do to really stand out in their marketplace… we’ve shared her answer to that a one or two other copy-related questions in the Podcast Extras in The Copywriter Underground.
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The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:No BS Insider Circle
No B.S. Time Management
Don’t Make Me Think
Secret Prayer by Joe Vatale
Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer
The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground
Intro: Content (for now)
Rob: This podcast is sponsored by The Copywriter Underground.
Kira: It’s our new membership designed for you to help you attract more clients and hit 10K a month consistently.
Rob: For more information or to sign up, go to thecopywriterunderground.com.
Kira: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes, and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Rob: You’re invited to join the club for episode 124 as we chat with product launch manager and direct marketer, Shannon McCaffery, about becoming an online marketer, running launches with experts like Jeff Walker and Lisa Sasevich, the role spirituality plays in her life and business, and what’s not working in online marketing today.
Kira: Hey, Shannon. Welcome.
Rob: Great to have you here.
Shannon: Hey guys, awesome to be here. Thrilled. This is going to be fun.
Kira: Alright. So, we met you in a Titans master class. We’re all members in there with Brian Kurtz, and you and I are actually in an accountability group, so we get to connect on a regular basis, but I don’t think I know your entire story, so let’s start with how you ended up as an online marketer.
Shannon: Yeah, sure. I actually was in corporate America for a good bit. After that stint, I got to say, I think it was in there 15, 16 years, I don’t know, it all rolls together, I lost my job, or they laid me off in a layoff. And basically my mentor came to me, his name is Rob Berkeley, an amazing coach, and he said, ‘Hey, don’t go back to corporate America. I just bought this independent business advisor with Dan Kennedy. Come help me run that and I’ll help you create your own online marketing business.’ And I said, ‘Sure. Why not? What do I got to lose?’ And that’s what happened.
Rob: Okay. Already questions. First of all, working with Dan Kennedy, how was that, but how did the whole building that business go? What were the next steps?
Shannon: Oh, sweet. Yeah. Well, basically at that time this was, I’m dating myself. This was 2006. Basically Dan, they were still independent so it was Bill and Dan, and they were the Glazer Kennedy Insider Circle, right? Basically they sold these independent business advisor, if I can say that word. And they had one for every major city around the country. He bought the Boston one. So basically we were Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer’s arm in Boston. We ran monthly Glazer Kennedy meetings for everyone locally in Boston and the Massachusetts area who wanted to have access to Dan and all of his stuff. Then we also created a Mastermind group, and we would bring those folks to Dan and Bill’s meetings that they had twice a year, their big events.
Shannon: It was a pretty amazing experience. We trained people. We created a whole direct response marketing club locally. We did that for four years and it was an amazing experience. Then we built it up enough that we wanted to do other things, so we sold it back to them. It was pretty cool.
Rob: Okay. Cool. How did you go from that then to what you’re doing today, which is I think you’re doing more on your own, but you’re working with some a pretty big name individuals in the launch space and in the online marketing.
Shannon: Right. Well, I think for me what happened was, as you can tell, I’m not a shy person. I don’t shy away from much. That experience of being involved with Rob and with Dan, because he was also in Bill Glazer’s Mastermind group. Ryan Deiss was in there, Perry Belcher. I got introduced to a lot of the big guys back then, Yannick Silver, Jeff Walker. I mean a lot of those guys were … They were just starting. They were on the verge of creating and building our businesses. I mean I knew Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher before they created Digital Marketer. This is when they were doing all sorts of other stuff, right?
I ended up hanging out with those guys, and it ended up being in Yannick Silver’s Mastermind, because I was in his Mastermind and then I started … I met Jeff Walker and I started doing things. Jeff and I started talking. I went to his first live event. I actually bought his print product. I still have it. Things just sort of evolve from there. I mean this is going to sound so trite, but it’s like life, when you just take a chance, and then stuff just starts happening. Right? It’s hard to believe.
I mean, this was when Twitter was young, and I was on Twitter, and Jeff reached out to me on Twitter and said, ‘Hey. Let’s get on a call.’ This was before Twitter was insane, and social media. I think this was even before Facebook, which is really dating me, or before Facebook really got to be Facebook, but anyway.
Kira: So what was the biggest lesson you learned from working with Dan Kennedy, like a lesson that’s influenced your work today?
Shannon: Well, one of the biggest … Gosh. There’s so many. I think first, for anybody that’s starting out, I think one of the most impactful things for me is that none of my stuff has to be perfect. I mean I’ll never forget this conversation. You guys and I were talking earlier, and this was so funny. You brought this up to me. I remember talking to Rob and I said, ‘You know, Rob, I can’t launch my business until I get my business card.’ He’s just looking at me like I’m crazy, and I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ Then I realized, ‘Oh. Wait, nothing has to be perfect, and I don’t need a damn business card to start my business.’ I just have to have the courage and the gumption to just do it. Right?
That was one of the things, and good is good enough was another huge thing. Like my stuff doesn’t have to be perfect, I just need to get the damned stuff out there and then I can perfect it along the way. Dan taught me that.
Another really good one with time management. I wrote this down. You guys, for everybody on this call, if you don’t have Dan Kennedy’s ‘No BS Time Management’, go out and buy it now. I mean it’s inexpensive. Go to Amazon. Go get it. I mean it’s an amazing book. He talks about time vampires, and he talks about it’s all about taking back your time from other people. Don’t let other people manage your time.
The hilarious thing is that I’m working with Dan on some projects with some clients and the only way you can communicate with Dan is by fax and my clients are like, ‘This is insane.’ I go, ‘Yeah, I know, but listen it works for him.’ How many people are you going to see today? He’s inaccessible for a reason. so there’s certain things that I learned from him and how he built his business of how you can build yours and one of them is don’t let other people manage your time.
For newbies, this is huge too, let’s say you don’t have anything going on for the week. Well, don’t let other people know that. Just say, ‘You know what? My only availability is on Tuesdays and Thursdays at two.’ They don’t know what else you have going on. But don’t let other people manage your time. Manage your time yourself and put boundaries up to be able to say, here’s what I can work here’s what I can’t work and don’t be incredibly accessible. I learned that. Even current clients now that call me on the weekends, I don’t answer the phone. I could answer the phone, but if I start answering the phone on the weekends, they’re going to realize that I’m available whenever they want me to be and I don’t want to do that, so that was another thing. Putting up some boundaries around time and time management was huge. Those were a couple.
Rob: That’s a great lesson, although I’m going to test you. I’m going to call you on the weekend and see if you take my call.
Shannon: Oh Rob, and I really like you, Rob, so if I was just hanging, I might even answer the phone.
Rob: Alright, good to know. So one of the things that people call you is The Product Launch Chick. How’d you get that title and what does that involve?
Shannon: Well, the Product Launch Chick actually came out of Yanik Silver’s Mastermind. That’s the other thing, and it’s still sort of like that with women, I think I was the only woman in his Mastermind which takes a lot because I have to have some gumption and some chutzpah to be in there with all those guys. It was actually quite fun. I have four brothers so it was kind of fun and easy.
I get up there for my 20 minutes, what’s working and not working and what can I do different, and I had a bunch of names, what I’ll call myself because they all told me I should definitely do the product launch and work on that because there’s not a lot of people that had did it. So that was one of my ideas and they thought, oh, that would really be kind of fun, but they said … One of the guys was funny. I don’t remember who it was who said, ‘But you know, Product Launch Chick, it sounds so sexist, so just be careful if you’re going to use it. Have fun with it,’ So my original logo had a little baby chick just because it was … Do you know what I mean?
That’s actually what started me focusing on doing product launches, and this is even before Jeff Walker had his product launch management training program.
Kira: So what does your business look like today as far as your offers and what you’re working on?
Shannon: I bring people in through product launches. So when Jeff, he actually had a product launch manager training program he did … I want to say it was 2008 or 2009, and I helped him create that program, that live program and there was like 50 people in there. I think me and two other people were the only people that are still doing launches.
The way it looks is I have three ways that people work with me and I would suggest to anyone on this call to think about their business in these three ways.
The first one is I have a high-price program that’s called a Done For You program and that’s basically doing all your product launch management. I manage the whole launch. I manage all the pieces, I manage all the people, and people meaning copywriting, video people, tech people, etcetera.
Then I have the Do It With You program, which I don’t manage the whole thing. I manage certain pieces of it with you and I have more of a partnership with you and your team.
The third way is the Do It Yourself with my help. That’s much more strategic marketing and launch coaching for you. But the difference in my … I would suggest to anyone on this call who’s doing copywriting coaching and that type of stuff, look at your business as not just a straight coach, but I also do a little bit of consulting so I’m unique in that we’ll go through and as a coach and I’ll say, ‘Okay, these are the three things that you guys need to do this week,’ and, ‘Oh, by the way, one of them is creating your product,’ and, ‘Oh, here’s some swipe files and here’s some things that I learned to help you do it.’
So I don’t just say as a coach, ‘Go out and do it.’ I give them access to my treasure trove of swipe files and processes and procedures and templates and things that have helped me and that will help them. So that’s sort of how I can make myself unique and not just a coach.
Kira: Yeah. What else can copywriters do to show up as more of a consultant? I like that idea of sharing resources, but how else can we show up in that way?
Shannon: Yeah, sure. I think for copywriters, I think one of the things that you need to look at your business is you’re not … And you’ve probably heard this a million times, but I’m going to give you a different spin on it. It’s that you’re not just a copywriter. That was one of the things that Dan … Because Dan started out as a copywriter and one of the things that he gave out … If anybody doesn’t have his coaching and consulting program, he’s an amazing coaching and consulting program. It’s pricey, it’s two grand, but it’s worth the investment. I don’t get any residuals from this. It’s just more of, I’ve had that program for a long time and he trains you on how to …
There’s an assessment that you can give clients and you ask them these questions. The whole point of these questions is to get them to think and to realize, especially if they don’t know some of this stuff. One of the big ones that I always stump people on is, what’s your lifetime value of a client? And they’re like, ‘What the hell does that mean?’ So he gives you these things to ask them and you start planting these seeds that you’re not just a copywriter, you’re a strategic marketer who’s also aces and an amazing at doing copy if that’s where you want to grow your business.
Looking at you as more as more of a strategic partner, my current clients do that today. They don’t just want me to do things for them like create their mind maps and their funnel maps, they actually want my strategic cap on. What should their logo look like? What should their whole messaging be? Who’s their current target audience? So don’t make assumptions when … This is actually a really good one, so I’m going to change my thought here.
So when someone says to me, ‘Hey, I want to get on a call with you because I need help on these three things,’ I always know that usually the help they need isn’t going to be on those three things. It’s probably going to be on something else they’re not even thinking about. So have a good list of questions and assessment questions that you ask them because I bring people in on launches but then when they come in and we start talking about other aspects of their business and why they’re doing this launch, I realize that they need to fix certain things, like their website isn’t the right message, their follow-up series and sequences on their cold lead source that they have coming in aren’t working.
Especially on that first free call I give, I always give a first free consulting call, and I ask them five questions upfront before the call even starts and I want to look at all their stuff. So immediately on that call, I add value, right? So when they show me their website, I’m like, ‘Here’s three things you can do right now,’ because I always want to add value. Then when they realize, hey, this person can do more for me, then we dig in and we dive in deeper.
Most of my clients today, I’ve had them for a couple of years because I always look at the next project, right? Don’t just look at the current project that they’re offering you. Look at other parts of their business and don’t be afraid to ask them more questions about it and then look to the next project. Dan taught me that. Always look at what’s the next thing you can be helping them with because once you click and once it works and you really like them, see how you can extend the business and see what more areas you can do to help them.
Rob: Shannon, will you share what those five questions are or samples of the assessment questions that you have ready when you get on a call with somebody?
Shannon: I do something called a product launch client assessment and I can share some of those and then I’ll get you some other ones. But for instance, this is a no-brainer, but it’s just a good question for yourself. These are questions you ask for yourself. I’m going to do that first because I’ve got to find the other questions for you.
But one of the them is do they have any money, right? Do they have money? Do they have the makings of a saleable offer? Would people care about what their offer is? Is there any demand for that offer? Is there a magic bullet that they have for this offer? Do they have any social proof? Do they have any capability of expanding that offer? Do they have a list? Because that’s another thing. If they have a list. If they don’t have a list, then it’s like, okay well, there’s going to be, especially when you’re thinking about doing a launch, maybe you need to talk to them more about doing a seed launch. Do they know anything about launches? How, if they have a list, is it warm? Is it cold? How often do they communicate with that list? Those are some of my launch questions, but let me go …
Just to explain to everybody, the way my business works is I bring people in on a free call. It’s always 60 minutes. I know a lot of people are like, eh, I don’t know. This isn’t really … But for me, and I get all the information upfront, and like I said, I ask these questions so …
Kira: So you’re treating your sales call as a consulting call? Is that right? You’re not having a sales call and then it’s like a free-
Shannon: No, it’s not a sales call. I never call it … It’s not a sales call at all.
Kira: No sales call.
Shannon: No. It’s a hey … So for instance, I’ll go to an event and I’ll say, ‘Hey,’ if they’re interested in talking to me I’ll say, ‘Hey cool. Why don’t we hop on a call when we get back and let me see how I can help you?’ That’s what I do.
Kira: So this is an hour long and your goal is to give them three great ideas on this call? Or how do you think about it so that you know that it’s working for you and for them?
Shannon: You’ve got it. So what I do is I look at it, how can I make an impact on their business in those 60 minutes? That’s how I look at it? So for me, it’s what is the … And I need to know a little bit about their business, and like for me, it’s like I said, I focus more around the launches. So it’s how can I make the impact and maybe it’s looking at their website, and maybe it’s looking at their messaging and maybe it’s saying, ‘You know what? They have a sucky website right now. Their messaging is off looking at their audience.’
There’s a great book out there. Check it out. You may not want to buy it, but it’s called, ‘Don’t Make Me Think’. I worked for a website tech company for several months and working on developing their websites and ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ is all about if someone gets to your website and they don’t know what you do in the … They need to figure out what you do in the first five to seven seconds. If they can’t, then you failed. So that’s what I do. I look at their website and if I don’t know what it is, I’m always like, okay. That’s a huge flag for me, right?
So here’s some great questions that you can ask folks before you have a call, a free call if you decide to do a free 60 minute. You can do a 30 minute call but I find that most of the time, that if there’s someone I’m really interested in, I want to be able to extend it, so I always say it’s 60 minutes and if it only ends up being 30, it’s totally cool.
Alright, so I say, what’s your biggest challenge you’re facing right now in your business? Or what’s your biggest challenge you’re facing in your launch? Alright? That’s the first question. The second question is, if you could wave a magic wand and change two things about your business, what would they be? And I interchange that with launch. You can interchange that with anything. Then the third question is, currently, how are you getting new clients/customers? Because that’s a telltale sign. How are they getting their current clients? Number four, who is your ideal client or customer? Then number five, be prepared to tell me about your products or your services and your process of getting those new clients and/or be prepared to tell me about your upcoming launch and what the product is and who the folks are that you want to market to?
Kira: Alright. I’m stealing all of these questions. Thank you. So you’re sending these questions beforehand, right?
Shannon: Yeah, let me tell you my process. So I have a time trade account. I just use time trade because I like it. I had a free account and then I had so many calls I ended up paying for it. It’s totally worth the investment. Then on that you can create, when they log onto your private link to get the call, it’ll have the questions up there. It says, ‘Hey, listen. Click this link to get your call scheduled and here are the five questions I need you to ask.’
Then a lot of times after they’ve got out their call, if they forget to answer the questions I just send them a quick note before the call saying, ‘Hey,’ and I usually say, ‘Listen, if you can answer these questions before the call, awesome, but I don’t want you to be stressed out about it. If you can’t just be prepared to answer these questions on the call.’ Then I say, ‘Obviously if you get them done ahead of time, I can make this call more impactful for you. So the more information you can give me before the call, the more I can help you right then and there on that call with your business.’
Kira: So how do you shift when you’re in the sales call then for 60 minutes? Are you at minute 40 and you’ve provided three great ideas and then you start to shift and sell them on a package because you already know what package you want to give them?
Shannon: Oh no. This is easier than that, easy peasy, lemon squeezie. Okay, here’s what happens: when I give them so much value, if these folks think that they want to work with me, or if I know that there’s a good vibe … Because I’ve got to tell you, out of the numbers I do, I don’t … This is going to sound so trite … I only want to work with people who I love and people who I’m passionate about their business. So if I know that there’s no way that I could work with these people I usually just say, ‘Hey, is there anything else I could help you with? Please let me know how you’re doing? Follow up with me and let me know how I can help you.’ If they are somebody that I think would be a client, honestly, they’re going to ask me. They’re going to say, ‘Hey, these are so great. I want to work with you. What can we do? How can we do it?’
I’ve got to tell you, I think nine calls out of 10, I don’t ever have to switch to an offer. They’re asking me, ‘Hey, what can we do to work together.’ So it’s not like a webinar where, do you know what I mean? Where you have to shift into your, ‘Oh hey, here’s how I can work with you.’ But if there was a person on a call that they didn’t shift that themselves, I may say, ‘Hey listen, I think there’s a lot of synergy here. I’d love to see how we could work together.’ And that’s it. Leave it open-ended and let them say, ‘You know, here’s what I’m doing. There might be something to work.’ Because it’s all about figuring out, well, what’s the next …
And I always say, ‘What’s the next step? What’s the next step we can take because I think we could do some really cool stuff together.’ Usually they’ll say, ‘Oh, well, why don’t we do this?’ Or usually what’ll happen is they’ll say, ‘Hey, I would love to see a proposal and here’s what I’m thinking.’ And I’ll say, ‘Oh awesome.’ My proposals always have the three options to work with me as I said in the beginning of the call. I said, ‘Hey I can do the Done For You program which is the most expensive, the Do It With You or the Do It Yourself.’
Nine times out of 10, if they’re my perfect client, they’ll all go for the top. They all go for the Done For You. It just always happens that away. Don’t ask me how, it just does.
Rob: Yeah, my next question was, how does it work like that? No. So I want to take that idea though, the three ways to work with you and maybe we can make some suggestions how copywriters can incorporate that into their business because I think this is a real golden idea and it’s something that Kira and I have talked about in our business. I really like the Done For You, Done With You, Do It Yourself kind of approach, but if you were working with a copywriter who was struggling with offers in their business, how would you structure offers around those three approaches to a customer or client?
Shannon: Oh, that’s awesome. Well, if you’re focusing on, let’s say, focusing on copy or even more strategic marketing, I think the Done For You program would look like you’re more of a … You’re going to be a strategic marketing partner. The calls I’ve been having lately with clients is most of them all tell me, and these are sort of higher paying, want to grow their business clients, they all want my strategic help and they use that word a lot for me. Just yesterday, my client’s like, ‘Look, I don’t need you in the weeds doing all these tasks. I want you to be my strategic partner because I’ve got this great idea and I need to know if it has legs and I need you to help me with your experience.’
So for the Done For You, it would be more of a strategic partner. I always start my Done For You off with let’s get together and do a strategic planning day. Now, mine are called strategic product launch planning day, but I’ve done another one where it was this strategic seed launch planning day or it could even be a strategic marketing funnel planning day where I actually get together with them for a whole day. We do a lot of prep beforehand and we spend the day walking through. If it’s a pre-launch, we focus on all the pre-launch content. We focus on all the copy that needs to be there. We focus on the messaging and the audience.
So there’s a way that you could totally do it as a copywriter. If there’s a big project they want you to come in on, that Done For You looks like, well, let me give you a day of my time. If you don’t want to do that and you want to do it separately … I offer that day for five grand, between five to eight grand, and as a caveat on that, make sure you tell them that they have to pay for your transportation to get there and if they don’t have an office they have to find an office space and they have to pay for it because I’ve been burned a few times on that. Those are some lessons on my end for that. So that’s the Do It For You.
The Done With You is sort of that package above, but you take some things out. So maybe you take out, I’d take out the day. The day goes off the table. So if they want to add the day to the Do It With You program, then that’s an extra five grand or maybe it’s an extra three grand or however you make it work. It’s just pared down. So maybe if the top one is I’m going to write all this copy for you, maybe you take out the majority of the copy and you focus on just the key things, right? Maybe it’s the opt-in page, it’s the thank you and it’s the promo emails and maybe it’s the sales page you’re going to write.
Then on the Do It Yourself With My Help, that is specific languaging and I always say if you’re a smart marketer if you’ve got a lot of chutzpah and you’re a go-getter and you don’t need help on time management … You know everything to do but you just need a guide to help you do it, then that’s the program for you. I structure that as it’s usually three hours a month with a 30 minute emergency call in that month. Then one of the things I do on that one is I tell them that they don’t have to take any notes. I do all Zooms. If you don’t have a Zoom account, pay for one now. It’s totally worth it, another good tool by the way.
I have a blog post I’ve never written, but it’s all the five tools that I can’t live without as a marketer. But that’s a good one.
I always tell them I take really good notes so at the end of the call, I give them the recording and then I write down the next steps of everything they have to do and if there’s resources that I have to help them do it, I put them in the call and then I remind them of when the next call is and then I send that out.
Also something else that I do that I just started doing is another amazing tool is Slack. I tell them, I send them that one email and then I say, ‘After this email, all of our communications are now going to be on Slack because I find that I can create, and I paid for that as well, but you can get a free Slack channel, for them, a private Slack channel where you keep all of your communications with that client. So the way that I use Slack is I have a private channel for all my clients and that way I keep all of our communications in there so I don’t have to follow-up on a zillion emails because everyone can email me. All of my clients email me in the one email account, but I can’t keep them all straight anymore, so I use Slack for that. So then I send all my information and my stuff to my clients in Slack and that’s my Do It Yourself with my help.
Kira: Hey, we’re just jumping into the show today to tell you a little bit more about The Copywriter Underground. Rob, what do you like best about this membership?
Rob: So this membership community is full of copywriters that are investing in their businesses and taking what they do seriously. Everything is focused around three ideas: copywriting and getting better at the craft that we all do, marketing and getting in front of the right customers so you can charge more and earn more, and also mindset, so you can out of your head and focus on the things that will help you be successful at what we do.
Rob: There’s a private Facebook group for the members of the community and we also send out a monthly newsletter that’s full of advice, again, on those three areas: copywriting, marketing and mindset. Things that you can mark up and tear out, put them in your files, save them for whatever and it’s not going to get lost in your email inbox.
Rob: Kira, what do you like about The Copywriter Underground?
Kira: So I love the monthly hot seat calls where our members have a chance to sit in the hot seat and ask a big question or get ideas or talk through a challenge in their business because we all learn from those situations. Then I also feel like the templates we include in the membership are valuable because who wants to reinvent the wheel. Rob and I end up sharing a lot of the templates and resources we use in our own businesses. So I would definitely want to grab those.
Rob: So if you were interested in joining a community of copywriters that are investing in their business and in themselves and trying to do more, get more clients, earn more money consistently, go to thecopywriterunderground.com to learn more.
Rob: Now back to the program.
Kira: Wow. Okay. So I’m stuck on the initial package for $8K for the day because I want to do that. So how do I do that?
Shannon: So here’s what it looks like for launching. Strategic planning day, I do a one whole day or two half days, right? I tell them by the end of that day, we’re going to have their strategic launch plan done. So for you, it would be whatever you’re copywriting project is done.
The way we start off the day is we do an overview, so it’s all about their goals, what their goals are for this project and then I also need them to know, and I want them to do it before we get there, I want a list of all of their assets because no one ever does this. This is a huge thing, guys, write this down. No one ever knows where they’re at. I have worked with so many clients who have a ton of content and they don’t know what the heck they have. So have them do an assets list and if they need help on that, I’m like okay, an asset list is any blogs that you have written, any recordings that you done. Give them some examples of things that we can use and repurpose, right?
Then of course, knowing what their core product is or their program is, what they offer. The whole thing with the assets list is what their bonuses could be or what other products we can create. So that’s sort of what the goal of the overview is of what we’re going to accomplish in that day.
Then for me, I go into real specifics about product launch content, right? What’s the hook? What’s the story? What are the videos? Then I have a timeline. So let’s say you’re doing a copywriting project, you’d figure out the timeline of how everything’s going to unfold.
Then we talk about technology and backend. What is all the tech that we’re going to need? What are all the pages we’re going to do? Then at the end of the day I tell them I’m going to create all this in a product launch plan, so for you, it would be a strategic marketing or copywriting plan.
That’s pretty much it. So there’s prep work you do in the beginning and then you have everybody prepared to come and you pretty much … I always try to get a place that has a whiteboard or at least a flip chart so we can sort of map it all out. That’s kind of it. I think a lot of times on these days, really mapping who their audience is and what their offer is because if you don’t … As Dan Kennedy taught me the four ‘M’s: message, market, media. Yeah, you have to have the right message going to the right market/audience using the right media. If you’re not making money, it’s because one of those things is off. So you have to make sure they have the right message, right? And they have the right offer. So that’s sort of my cheat sheet on that.
Rob: I love it. So you mentioned that you get a lot of your clients by going to events and you just connect with them and then make this pitch or make the offer of this free call. I’m curious, how do you make sure that you’re attending the right events because everybody’s had that experience where they’ve gone to an event and they walk away and it didn’t deliver either the client or the conversations or whatever the expectations were. So how do you make sure you’re at the right event? Then do you have any tricks for making sure that you’re talking to the right people so that you make the right connections?
Shannon: Yeah. Totally. So how to make sure you go to the right event? Well, what I would say is looking at your business, it actually goes backwards to who is your target audience? Who are the people that you want to work with? If you know who those people are that you want to work with, and I want to go more about that too, so remind me of that because I don’t want to get off your core question because I want to talk about your audience … When you know who they are, then you see where do they go? It’s sort of the same thing you do for copywriting. Where do they hang out? So instead of where they hang out online, it’s where do they hang out live?
So a good example for me is Jeff Walker. A lot of Jeff Walkers launch people are my people because I’m focusing my business and doing launches on the health wellness and the healing areas. So he attracts a lot of those people so I know he does two events a year so I go to those two events. The key is don’t just go to the two events once. You have to go more. He gives great content anyway, and I’m a launch expert, so I’ve got to keep up on what’s going on so I always go to those events. I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been going to his events now for four years and now every time I go to an event, I pick up a client and I don’t just pick up one, I pick up two, I pick up three.
So it’s looking at where do your people hang out. Maybe your people hang out at Brendan Bouchard’s events or maybe …I think Yanik’s still doing his Maverick events. Maybe they hang out there, or maybe they’re a digital marketer. Or maybe it’s a certain industry you’re in. So maybe it’s not just internet marketing conferences. Maybe it’s a specific industry you’re in where they hang out. So look at it in those terms.
The cheat is if any of these events you go to, if they offer a VIP, don’t hesitate about the money, damn, take it. Just take it. So for instance with Jeff’s event, he always has a VIP … And actually VIPs, and I’m going to claim fame on this one. Me and Alex Mendozian made up the whole VIP upsell offer at [inaudible 00:34:38] event. We created the whole thing with Andrew Locke, the three of us and we started doing these. Then Barry Bumgardner who I love very much and Sage Management, she worked with us on these events and then she took it to all of her events which is awesome.
It’s not like I have a trademark on it, but it’s an amazing thing to do upsells because whether you do an offer … Just an aside, if you do a VIP offer at an event you can add an extra 12 to 15 grand on top of your event by offering VIP. So for Jeff, it’s $500 bucks. I do it because Jeff offers free lunches. I just came from his event back in October and I’ve got to tell you, I picked up two clients at lunch. I just met the guy in the lunch line and I started talking to him. We had a hilarious conversation and we’re like, ‘Let’s go sit together,’ and then he’s telling me all about his business and now I’m working with him. So it’s that easy.
So VIPs are assuring to me because I don’t want to be in there with newbies. I’ve been doing this for 12 years. I really want to be in there with people who are making reasonable money and who don’t need all the beginning help, so I know that those people are going to spend the extra $500 bucks to be at a VIP. Then you get to meet all of Jeff’s titans. I was in his Titans Mastermind, not Titans, excuse me. That’s Brian’s group. I was in his Platinum Mastermind group for several years until I left. So all those guys are still there and they’re all at the VIP lunches, so I get to hang out with those guys all the time.
Kira: So clearly networking lunches, VIP lunches. This is working for you and you’re an extrovert and very friendly. It seems like it comes naturally, but for a lot of other copywriters, we get a little awkward at networking events at lunch.
Rob: And in my case, very awkward.
Kira: So we might even disappear and just go to our room and take a bath. So what can you recommend for people who it doesn’t come as naturally but we’re at the event, we’re in the right place. We just need to sell ourselves or just talk normally.
Shannon: Now here’s the thing, I don’t want anybody who’s an extrovert, I don’t want you to strengthen your weakness, I get it. Not that it’s a weakness, weakness, but you know what I mean. If it’s uncomfortable and it’s something that’s not natural to you, what I would say is if you can partner with a friend … Like I have a friend of mine who is just launching his business and he is an introvert, so I said, ‘Hey,’ and he wasn’t even thinking about coming to this event. I invited him to come to the event with me and then I introduced him to all of these people, right? Because I was his person there at the event. So for anyone who is an introvert, if you have someone or know someone who can sort of be your wing person at the event and help bring you into conversations, say, ‘Hey, come meet this guy,’ or ‘Meet this gal,’ that’s one way.
Another way is, if I’m going to invest the time and money of going to an event, I look at it as I can sleep when I get home and I can take a bath and all that when I get home. I’m here. I’m investing and when I go to an event, think about it, between the airfare and the hotel and the food, you’re investing, I don’t know, anywhere between $1000 dollars to $1500. I don’t drink anymore and even if I don’t drink anymore I hang out at the bar at night because guess what? There’s going to be a lot of people who are there by themselves. You don’t have to drink. You can just hang out at the bar and you’ll see the name tags. Get a soda or whatever and just say, ‘Hey, how’s the event going for you?’ And that’s it. Then you can start a conversation.
Because when you look at it, Jeff Walker, Yanik Silver, a lot of the big internet guys are all introverts too. The way they started was they went to a launch and they sat next to somebody and they said, ‘Hey, what’s your business? What do you hope to get out of the event?’ That’s all you need to do because there’s a lot of like-minded people at these events who are probably just like you and they’re trying to figure out how do I get out there? How do I talk to other people? So you’re not alone. Not everybody’s an extrovert like me.
Kira: So the key is just to go to events with you, Shannon. I’m just going to hang out with you at the next event.
Shannon: Oh, I would love it. I brought a bunch of people to Jeff’s launch kind of event and we had a kick. We had a fun time.
Rob: Day three of Shannon not taking a bath until she gets home. That can get pretty bad.
Kira: Okay, because we’re talking about launches, I want to know from you, what’s working in the launch space? What’s currently not working? Is there any trends or anything that you’ve taken away from some of those recent conferences?
Shannon: Yeah. I think what’s really working in launches, there’s a lot of new trends that are happening, but I think, I don’t want people to walk away from the core stuff of what you need from a launch. You have to have a kick ass offer and you have to have an audience, but the core stuff that I have taken is more people are doing, instead of doing … A launch isn’t just a traditional Jeff Walker launch. You don’t have to create free damn videos, all the videos he does. He does three pre-launch videos and then he does his sales video. You don’t have to do that. Most people when they say ‘launch’, they think of that model. Well, guess what? There’s a million other models to do. A lot of very successful people just do a one webinar to do their launch.
But the thing that if you decide you want to do a Jeff Walker style launch, you don’t have to have all the scripts now. You don’t have to do all of that ahead of time. You can have a lot of things planned but you can do it live. Jeff Walker’s launch that he just did, he did the whole thing live. He did it on Facebook. I don’t know if he did it just on Facebook Live, but he did it on his website live. So he saved costs in having to have it all filmed and edited and all that stuff. I think it was one of his best launches he’s done to date. But I have to say, let’s face it, not all of us have been in business for 20 years like he has and can do all that. He’s had a lot of people in his space that are following him that have done live launches. So think about that.
Using video more and if you’re not scripted, you don’t have to have a script, but maybe you have all the bullet points that you want to do to do a launch that way. And using video. Video is still a really good way to get people in. At that event, he has a couple of guys that have used Facebook Live and Facebook videos to really bring in a lot of like-minded people. I think that’s a really good way to do it.
I think the other thing too, is it’s still about relationships. It’s always going to be about relationships with your audience and with your core people. That’s never going to go away. I think looking at what’s happening with social media, I think it’s all about now. I think the buzzwords were community, building your own like-minded community. You’re not selling anything. Basically you’re trying to help them, whatever the goal is that you have in your business, like for me, it’s all about helping people launch to get the word out to help people heal and live better lives, right? So whatever that mission is, it’s about building that relationship. It’s not about making money. Money’s the outcome, right? But that’s not why we’re doing what we do usually for most of us or anybody that’s successful. That’s not the reason why they’re doing it.
So those would be the biggest things that are happening, I think, in the launch space that you need to be aware of.
Rob: I want to ask the opposite question and that is, what’s not working anymore in the launch space? What’s getting old and tired and just isn’t getting the traction that it used to?
Shannon: You know what’s getting old and tired, I would say there’s a lot of people out there selling internet and online information. I think if you really want to sell something online, whether it’s in a business opportunity or something else, you really have to have a very specific message and you really have to know your audience incredibly well.
I’ll give you an example. So I’m working with a feel good client right now and we’re selling a whole summit and we’re into challenges because we don’t have … It’s so all encompassing what we’re selling. We’re selling you to have a better, more balanced life. Well, that’s not very specific. So it’s harder to sell that. So if you can be more specific in your outcome of what they’re going to get, because remember, we’re all in it. We’re all either solving a problem for them or we’re giving them something that they want to help their lives, right?
But that’s one of the things that it’s becoming ever increasing with all the noise. If you’re on Instagram or any type of social media, oh my god, I’m seeing ads all the time. So it’s really being able to differentiate yourself and if you don’t do that and you sound like everyone else, it’s just going to be noise. That’s basically not working.
Something else that’s really important is, okay, a lot of guys in the internet space are selling you all these magic bullets. Well here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as a magic bullet honestly. You can certainly borrow things from them that have worked for them, but I think one of the challenges that a lot of folks face when they do that is they’re not asking the question. You may take stuff that Jeff does, but if Jeff’s people aren’t your audience, it’s not going to work for you.
So you have to look at all the information out there and ask the question, well, who’s their market? If that’s not my market, this may not work for me so let me keep searching. I’m not saying it won’t. You certainly ought to test it, but there are so many people, and I think that’s what Lisa Sasevich did really well, is she helps you find your message and helps you find what it is for you and she gives you good templates. Because the thing is, what works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone. We’re all individuals so don’t make the mistake of saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to borrow all the stuff this guy did and I’m just going to fit it to my business so that I can make money.’ Well, it might not work.
So you’ve got to find that good in-between place. When I’m doing research for someone to create a product, I buy all the products that are out there in that arena and then I look at where the holes are and that’s how we figure out what the product is and that’s been really helpful. But don’t fool yourself. Actually Frank Curran, I was in a workshop. He had his first ever copywriting workshop and I loved it and that’s one of the things he said, ‘Yeah, this worked for me but I don’t know if it’s going to work for you, but I know this is the template and if you follow this template I’m sure it’s going to help you, but I don’t know all the nuances in your business so you can’t make an assumption.’
Kira: Where have you found copywriters fall short in launches?
Shannon: You know, by not asking all the questions they need to ask and making assumptions and making an assumption that the person that you’re working for knows their audience really well or not asking the right questions to really get at the message and figure out what are the problems does this thing solve and it may be 20, and really hammering it down to the top three. Don’t make an assumption that the person that you’re working with knows what those top three are.
I would always say as a copywriter, if you’re working with someone always ask them, ‘Hey, have you guys surveyed your list?’ I’ve used surveys a ton and if they haven’t, then work with them to figure out, because you don’t need that many questions. But the more you know about who’s on their list and who they want to sell to and ask that list some questions, the easier it’ll be to do the copy. You might get really good open-ended questions where they’ll … You can borrow that copy that those folks have answered those questions with and put some of that copy in whatever project that you’re for with them.
Rob: Shannon, I want to change topics just a little bit and talk a little bit about spirituality. You write about your business being soulful and that you’ve meditated with shamans and made this a big part of your life and your business. Will you talk about the importance of that to you and how you practice that and how it’s affected your business?
Shannon: Oh yeah, sure. It’s been really huge for me. I started out, my coach Rob, Rob Berkeley, he basically introduced me to the ‘Law of Attraction’ and obviously I’m sure everyone here has read Napoleon Hill, but I went further because I’m obsessed with learning, so I would say that’s one thing that being in this space … I read three to four books a month. I’m not saying you have to do that, but the more I read, the more I’m well rounded. It just really adds to my business. But I started out by reading the Law of Attraction by Abraham Hicks. If anybody hasn’t read any of their books, I would totally recommend ‘The Art of Allowing’ and ‘Money and the Law of Attraction’.
I started reading all of these Law of Attraction and all this woo-hoo stuff, and then I actually started doing it and one of the really cool books, I don’t know if you guys have ever read Joe Vitali’s ‘The Secret Prayer’. A pretty fricking awesome book. I would definitely recommend it. He gives you all these great things to think about and then Wayne Dyer’s book on ‘Wishes Fulfilled’.
Reading all those books, it just gave me a much bigger, wider understanding of noticing that my thoughts become things. They really do. In my experience in meditating for the past, whatever it was, 15, 20 years, meditation isn’t just to calm my mind, but for me, meditation helps me pay attention to what I’m thinking about because my thoughts are so natural and they’re just there all the time. When I meditate, I can actually focus in on them and I know what I’m thinking so then in my conscious time, like talking on this call with you, I can pay more attention to those thoughts and I can actually … I don’t need to treat them like Russian roulette. I can actually focus on what I want to think about and I can also focus on what I shouldn’t be thinking about and realize, you know, I’ve got to put my energy on what’s working not my energy on what’s not working.
No one teaches us that when we’re kids. No one teaches you that all those voices in your head, all that negativity … One of the best books I read was by Michael Singer. His book was about if you took all your thoughts and you put them on the couch next to you and then your turned them into a person, would you want to be friends with that person?
Kira: No. Probably not.
Shannon: Right? Why do we torture ourselves all the time? What if we stopped that noise and put it to good use? Then another really cool book I just read which I thought was amazing, Ryan Halliday. Actually Neil told us about this book called, ‘The Obstacle Is the Way’. Oh my god, I devoured that book. It is so good. You know, it’s been helpful for me to live a much more, a life, I would say I try to live my life from the inside out instead of the outside in. Ryan Halliday talks about that, ‘The Obstacle Is the Way’ meaning I work on not letting everything outside of me have a huge impact on what’s inside. So if I can live more from the inside out, meaning put up enough Teflon, put up enough stuff, that yeah, shit happens, excuse my French, but I don’t have to let it take my whole life down.
I have a really good support system. I have a really good accountability group. Thank you, Kira. I have things that I put into place to help when the shit all falls, it goes in the fan there. I have ways that I can help build myself up and that’s helped me out when I’ve had some really, really dark times. Because that’s the thing, I’ve been doing this for 12 years, but hey listen, it hasn’t all been roses and awesome amazingness. Your business goes in spits and sparks. It dips and then it comes back up and then it comes down depending on if you’ve built a business that you love or end up finding you’ve built a business that you don’t really like and you need to turn things around and change it.
And to make that assumption that everybody else’s business is amazing. Well, it’s not really. What’s that old saying, like if everybody put all their problems in a hat, if you picked up a problem and it was someone else’s, would you want that problem? No, you’d want your problem back.
Kira: Alright. So before we wrap Shannon, I want to ask you about the future of online marketing. So what do you think the future of online marketing looks like?
Shannon: I think the future of online marketing is relationships, relationships, relationships. I’ve said this already, but it’s all about building a community of like-minded people, but also to think about all of us are unique, right? And honestly, I believe this, there really isn’t such thing as competition. That’s why we have so many folks doing the same thing. Look how many millions of coaches are out there. The core thing is if we get to that area of our life where we think that there is no competition, there is so much business out there for everyone. To create a business where we’re attracting like-minded people, so don’t be milquetoast, right? Be your own person and stand out for who you are and those people will be attracted to you. It’s not about selling anymore. It’s about attracting those like-minded people. Dan Kennedy said this years ago. It’s not about push-pull marketing, right? It’s about pull marketing. It’s about attract marketing.
Then the other thing is in the future, don’t get caught up in magic bullets. Again, like I said, what’s worked for someone else may not work for you. For anyone listening who’s a copywriter, don’t just sell yourself as a copywriter. You’re a strategic copywriter. You’re a strategic marketing copywriter. If you can go into a business and say, ‘Hey, it’s not just about me helping you with your copy, but I can help you look at your business in a whole other way and I can help you attract the right minded people and then help you build that business and the one way we’re going to do it is through your messaging and through your copy.’
Rob: I think that’s great advice to end on, Shannon. If anybody wants to connect with you, where could they find out more about you?
Shannon: Well, you can certainly check out my website. It’s soulfulvisionmarketer.com, and certainly through your group. You could shoot me an email at info@soulfulvisionmarketing,com. But if you go to the website, you can also just shoot me a note through there because I think the email address is on there too. If I can help anybody out, certainly. I loved to.
Kira: And you may be in Brooklyn, right? In March?
Shannon: Oh yeah, I’m planning on that. I’d love to be there.
Kira: Thank you so much, Shannon. I learned a ton. I feel like I’m going to test the new model for my sales calls and stop calling them sales calls, so thank you for just sharing everything with us.
Shannon: Oh, you bet. Thank you.
You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive available on iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving your review. For show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community, visit thecopywriterclub.com. We’ll see you next episode.