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[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

Having one of your blog posts or videos or podcasts go viral is something most people, including entrepreneurs, authors and artists, dream about.

What’s not to love? It means you matter.

Right?

So, before I get into some tips on how you can make something go viral, let’s talk about the ramifications if you succeed in having something go viral.

For most people, they imagine it’s going to feel like a huge validation. They did something a lot of people loved and shared. That has to feel good, right?

And, if you’re an entrepreneur, well you just got the golden ticket. It’s like Brene Brown and her Ted Talk, she parlayed that talk on vulnerability into a massive platform.

But, what if the wrong thing goes viral? In other words, what if you’re inspired to write an article, that ends up going viral, and takes your business into a direction you didn’t want it to go?

A blogger I follow just wrote about that. A post she wrote went viral, and after she saw the results of that post, she decided she didn’t like what she saw and needed to tear down what she built so she could create what her heart and soul truly desired.

And that’s the thing about things that go viral. No one really knows why it happens, so trying to build your business around it is problematic at best.

You may never create anything that truly goes viral. Does that mean you failed as an entrepreneur or artist or author?

Or, maybe something you create DOES go viral … and you hate it. In a way, that happened to Louisa May Alcott. Her most famous and popular book, Little Women, was also the work of art she liked the least. And yet, that’s what ended up most defining her.

Or maybe what ends up going viral is something that is more of a distraction, taking you off in another direction that isn’t helpful.

In other words, having something go viral may not end up meaning what you think it might.

That said, while no one really knows why something catches fire and something else doesn’t, there’s three things you can do to improve the odds of it happening.

Step 1: Create things. Blog posts, videos, speeches, podcasts. The more content you have out there, the more likely something will go viral.

Step 2: Create high quality things. Don’t just put out a lot of crap. Take the time to make sure what you’re creating is solid and high quality. Crappy things are less likely to go viral.

Step 3: Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to have something go viral. As the saying goes, Good fortune favors the bold. Be visible. Take chances. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail (or, at the very least, don’t allow your fear of failure to stop you). The more opportunities you give yourself to have something go viral, the more likely it will happen.

And, above all, relax. Have fun. Chances are, if you’re trying to hard to make something go viral, it won’t. It usually happens when you least expect it, when your back is turned and you’re focusing on something else.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

One of the best ways to supercharge your business growth and your income (while getting your message out there in a bigger way) is to grow you online social influence.

After all, when you have a strong online social influence, you’ve built credibility and visibility around your expertise, which means your ideal clients are likely seeking you out, excited to work with you. You probably also enjoy the results you get from the power of word of mouth marketing to sell your products, services, book, programs and more.

But be warned—building your online influence isn’t easy (and there are some hard truths you should know about it before you even get started, which I share here). The good news is there IS a path you can follow if you’re ready to step up and start growing your social influence.

That’s why I’ve created this checklist—to show you that path, and to provide you with links to additional articles and resources, so you can begin developing your social influence.

The Checklist:

_____ Are you clear—crystal clear—on your business?

It is crucial to be clear on:

* Your message, and

* Who you serve.

If you don’t have absolute clarity on both your message and your ideal client, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to actually grow your social influence.

(Note—in my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book, you’ll find a whole host of questions to help you get clear on the precise business you want to build. You can grab your copy for free here.)

_____ Have you developed your own unique voice?

People will resonate with you (and want to follow you) when:

* They fall in love with your message, and

* How you communicate your message.

The way you communicate your message is just as important as your message itself.

For example—many self-help experts have a message around love being the most powerful force in the world. But, the ones who rise to the top have a distinct way of communicating that message so it rises to the top.

Most health experts have a similar message around healthy habits. So how do they differentiate themselves from their competition? By communicating that message in their own unique voice.

So, how do you develop your unique voice?

Two quick tips are to read more and write more. (The more you read and the more you write, the more you’ll start to develop your unique voice.) But most importantly, don’t be afraid to share your personality. Let people see the real you—your quirks, your loves, your rants, your vulnerabilities. That’s what people want to see—the real you.

_____ Are you in integrity with your message?

There’s nothing less persuasive or compelling than being a hypocrite.

Really, who wants to follow a hypocrite? (Think of Dante’s Inferno—he devoted a whole circle of hell just to hypocrites.)

So, whatever your message is, it’s critical to make sure both you and your business are aligned with that message.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be aligned 100% of the time. For instance, if you’re a health coach, you can occasionally pig out on chocolate cake. But, then be honest about it. Let people know you’re human, and you occasionally cheat and it’s okay if they occasionally cheat. (In fact, sharing your flaws and being honest about them will likely make you even more relatable to prospects.)

But, if you’re a health coach and you have some nasty health habits you’re not owning up to, people are going to sense that you’re out of integrity. They might not know why, exactly, but they’ll feel something is off. And they won’t be all that interested in following you.

_____ Are you making a difference in people’s lives?

Most people want to follow someone they can look up to, right?

One great way to be that type of person is to make a difference in people’s lives.

A lot of people have a dream or a goal to leave the world a better place than they found it, and if you’re working toward that vision, people will be naturally attracted to you, so they can learn from you.

In addition, if you help people, those people are going to be more inclined to follow you.

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a key trait for most successful people is their generosity and commitment to being of service to others. So, if you want to be successful and grow your social influence, upping your generosity may be exactly what you need to do.

_____ Are you putting your best work out there?

For years, the prevailing wisdom we heard as entrepreneurs was to focus on your marketing, rather than the quality of your work, because “he who has the best marketing wins.”

That actually hasn’t proven to be completely true. Yes, there’s no question you still need marketing, and having a solid marketing plan you consistently follow will go a long way to help you attract a steady stream of clients, customers, and buyers.

But, marketing on its own isn’t going to cut it. You also need to make sure you’re putting your best work out there.
Marketing can help you get a first-time buyer, yes. But, if that buyer has a bad experience, almost no amount of marketing will convince him or her to come back a second time.

In addition, if everyone has good marketing, then the only thing that separates one business from another is the quality of what they’re offering.

_____Have you chosen the right communication vehicle for you?

Having a large social influence typically means having a lot of followers.

So, if you want to have a lot of followers, you need something for them to follow. (Makes sense, right?)

Whether it’s a blog or a podcast or a youtube channel or a Facebook group or something else (or even a combination of vehicles) you’re likely going to have to build something for people to be a part of.

If you’re not sure which is the best communication vehicle for you, you may want to take my “Love Your Marketing Assessment” in my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book, to help you figure that out.

_____Have you worked through your mindset and/or subconscious blocks?

When you decide to step up and become more visible so you can start making a bigger difference, you may discover you have some mindset or subconscious blocks that are keeping you from making the progress you want to.

First off, this is completely normal. Chances are you already WOULD have a big social influence if you didn’t have any blocks getting in your way.

My book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” is all about working through your mindset blocks so you can grow your business, but this article will help you get started.

Lastly, you may want to dig into one or several of these topics in more detail. My Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here.

How to Craft a Compelling Message That Gets You Results

How to Craft a Compelling Message That Gets You Results

When it comes to marketing, do you ever feel invisible? As if no one is paying the slightest attention to your message?

You’re spending all of this time writing marketing copy, emails, social media posts, blog posts, and website posts and they’re falling on deaf ears?

No matter how hard you work, how much blood, sweat, and tears go into your writing, your ideal prospects just aren’t buying.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck. Today, I’m sharing my advice for crafting a compelling message that converts your ideal prospects into ideal clients.

Your ideal clients see you and hear you and know you. And to know you is to love you, right?

Right.

So let’s get started.

A compelling message comprises two important elements: your ideal clients and your offer.

You’ll find your compelling message where those two elements intersect.

Ideal Clients

I’m a big believer in the power of identifying an ideal client as opposed to a target market or niche.

Whereas target markets and niches are based on external factors/demographics, ideal clients are based on internal factors like desires and fears.

Here’s my favorite illustration of this distinction:

A target market might be stay-at-home moms. A niche within that target market could be stay-at-home moms looking for a work-from-home opportunity.

And within that niche lies an ideal client.

For example, one stay-at-home mom may be looking for a work-from-home opportunity because she needs to contribute financially to her household. Her family needs two incomes to pay the bills.

Another stay-at-home mom may be looking for a work-from-home opportunity because she wants something of her own; she wants to use her professional skills, and she wants to develop an identity separate from that of a mother or wife.

Take a moment to think about the difference between the mindsets of those two women. Two completely different ideas are keeping them up at night.

In the first example, the mom is worried about paying the bills. And in the second, she wants to develop a new aspect of her identity.

So when it comes to messaging, your message to each of these women would be completely different.

People respond to specifics. So it’s important that your message address the specific worries or fears of your ideal client. The more specific you are in describing their unique situation, the more they’ll feel like you’re speaking directly to them; that you understand them. And the more they feel like you understand them, the more they’ll believe your offer will help them.

Now, if you aren’t sure what’s keeping your ideal client up at night, ask! Send out a survey or hang out where they hang out—Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.—and be a great listener.

Your Offer

Once you understand specifically what’s keeping your ideal client up at night, you can craft your offer so it’s clear you will solve his or her specific problem.

The best way to illustrate this is with an example.

One of my longtime clients, The Coaches Console, provides coaches with an all-inclusive software that streamlines and automates all the back-end elements of a coaching business: marketing, lead generation, client conversion, client enrollment and agreement, client support, scheduling, client notes … everything!

So what keeps their ideal clients up at night? They want to make a difference in the world. They’re passionate about coaching. But they find the business side of coaching overwhelming.

So The Coaches Console’s offer is their software—which solves their ideal client’s problem by taking all the guesswork and overwhelm out of the business side of coaching so that their ideal clients can focus on what they love best: coaching.

The Intersection: Your Compelling Message

So now you know what keeps your ideal client up at night. And you know what your offer is, and how you position it as a solution to what keeps your ideal client up at night.

It’s time to create your compelling message.

Let’s look at the three ideal client examples I’ve addressed in this post:

Stay-at-home moms who need to make money. These women are up at night because they need an income. So if you’re offering them a business opportunity, your compelling message would be: “I provide stay-at-home moms an opportunity to make a reliable income while still having time to take care of their families.”

Stay-at-home moms who want an identity separate from wife and/or mom. These women are up at night because they want to do something of their own. So if you’re offering them a business opportunity, your compelling message would be: “I provide stay-at-home moms an opportunity to have fun as entrepreneurs while still being there for their family members.”

Coaches who love coaching but are overwhelmed by the business details. These coaches are up at night because they want to focus on coaching and want to run a profitable business—but don’t necessarily have the business acumen to do so. So if you’re offering them a software to take care of all those business details, your compelling message would be: “We give coaches the tools they need to streamline and automate their businesses so they can focus on coaching.”

Your message, which happens at the intersection of Your Ideal Client and Your Offer, will be compelling once you make it clear that you will solve your ideal client’s specific problem.

If you are ready to start writing your compelling message, spend some time getting to know your ideal client and what keeps her up at night. Spend some time crafting your offer as the unique solution to that problem. And that, my friends, is where your compelling message is born.

If this topic resonated with you, you may be interested in Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process To Master Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites. It’s available at most online retailers. Learn more, here.