June 2019 Archives

Ep. 44 The Silent Killer of Entrepreneurial Dreams Everyone Underestimates

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Today I want to talk to you about the silent killer of entrepreneurial dreams that everyone underestimates.
I am in the middle of a big launch. My partner and I, Kathy, launched Webinar Gorgeous this week. Webinar Gorgeous is basically our spin on webinar training.

So anyone who’s doing an online presentation of any kind, we have combined design with these gorgeous themed Power Point and Google Slide slide-decks along with conversion strategy training to learn what to put on the slides, why they work, all that kind of stuff.

So in getting ready for this launch, I set some goals. And one of the scariest parts about the whole launch is that I thought I would document it real time. And it’s always safer to document things after the fact, because you can kind of edit them, and you know make them look better than maybe they actually are. But I thought, you know what, I’m gonna actually do this real time.

So I did a prelaunch. Kathy and I sent out emails to our Funnel Gorgeous list and got them all excited about Webinar Gorgeous and on my email list, I actually went through a sort of deconstruction about what I was doing behind the scenes. I haven’t written another, I wrote about three emails and then we got sucked into the launch, so I haven’t had a chance to write another one yet. And I will do sort of a post mortem breakdown. But one of the scariest parts was that I was afraid to call my shot in one of my emails because I thought, well gosh, I could be so out of line here. But I knew that I knew conversion rates, I knew benchmarks, I knew the history of the market. So I thought I’m just going to set my goals and then I’m going to write them in a email for thousands and thousands of people to see.

So I set a goal of getting 4000 people to see our offer, and then I thought, the average purchase rate on a launch is anywhere between 1 and 5%. I know that we’re going to a very hot audience, I know that I’m a good marketer. I’m going to start with a baseline of 3% just because I know my history. So 3% of 4000 people seeing an offer would be about 120 sales. 5% would be 200, and then 10%, which would be nuts, is 400 sales.

So I set those three goals, and I always do this, I set a minimum goal, I set an ideal goal, and then I set a crazy goal. I threw that out into the interwebs and then sort of panicked and thought, well what if I’m completely off? People are just going to think that I’m just blowing smoke. It got me thinking because it’s now, what day is it? It’s now Friday, the cart’s going to close on Monday, and as of right now we have had, not quite 4000 people have seen the offer. We have crossed 3000 people to see the offer and we have another couple of days left.

So I’m thinking to myself, wow, 4000 views for the offer was actually a pretty good estimate. And we are at 258 sales, and I had my minimum goal at 120, my ideal goal at 200 and my crazy goal at 400. So I am currently, Kathy and I are hanging between the ideal goal and the crazy goal, and it got me thinking…Which, by the way, this is awesome, you guys don’t even…I don’t know what it is, it’s a very high buy rate, we’re approaching, quickly approaching $75000 in sales for this launch, which on $197 product is a great accomplishment.

But here’s the point and this is bringing, I’m telling you this entire story because I want to talk about that silent killer that crushes entrepreneurial dreams that nobody seems to estimate. We all underestimate it, and that is your expectation. So I am sitting here right now talking to you and explaining to you how awesome this launch is going and I’m feeling really proud and satisfied, just lots of good emotion, lots of momentum. Okay, why? Because I’m looking at my expectation that I set for myself in my goals, driven by reality and math, and I’m looking at the fact that I am hitting my target and reaching, racing for my “heck yeah” target.

And that puts me in a really positive mind set. However, just a few days before I set these goals, Kathy, and I love her to death. She is the most talented person ever. But her strength isn’t numbers. Her strength is design and branding and she’s just like, she blows everybody I’ve ever met out of the water. But numbers aren’t her thing, spreadsheets aren’t her thing. So she was sitting down one night with me and she’s like, “We should totally have a $100,000 launch, that would be amazing.” And I was like, “Yeah, that would be amazing and completely unrealistic.”

And Kathy, who has been around the block a few times, didn’t think that I was being a dream crusher, she was like, “Oh, alright. Well, what’s realistic?” So then I went through sort of my number crunching. And she’s like, ‘Okay, I wish I could say it’s $100k.” and I was like, “Yeah, and you’d be smoking crack.” And it was just this funny conversation because had we just been like, “Oh yeah, let’s do a hundred thousand dollar launch, that’d be amazing.” Had we set that goal, had we set that expectation right now we would be feeling a very different feeling. We’d be feeling like failures, or we’d be feeling like we missed our goal.

So the silent killer that happens, and this happens over and over and over again, is that people set unrealistic goals and expectations for their funnels, for their products, for their services, they get disillusioned, they lose momentum, and they become completely and utterly vulnerable to shiny object syndrome, or guru worship, where you’re like, ‘Okay, I didn’t get it. I need to go find another shiny object. I need to go find another magic bullet. I need to go find another guru.” And they get, you become so vulnerable to that. Not only are you disillusioned, not only do you think your product sucks, but your expectations are just completely out of whack. And it kills more people’s mojo than anybody would like to admit.
So what I would say is that when you are setting goals and expectations for yourself and in your business, use math. I love math. I wasn’t super talented at math when I was in high school, but I love math. I love a good spreadsheet that helps me look at realistically what I can expect.

Now a lot of people would look at me, someone who has you know, an email list of 32,000 people, I have a big platform, and they would think looking at my goals, and I bet you some actually thought this, “Gosh, 4000 people to see the sales page. Why does she think she’s only going to get 4000 people to see the sales page? Why doesn’t she think she’s going to get 20,000? She’s got an email list of 30,000, she’s got 10,000 people following her, she’s got 27,000 people in her Facebook group.”

And people do marketer math, not real math, marketer math. They’re like, ‘Oh we can get 10-20,000 people to see the offer. And they start out with a completely ass-backwards view of what they are actually capable of. And I blame bad marketers on this, because we set these expectations and we see only highlight reels and ads, and we don’t understand that real life, that even if you have a following that big, it’s hard to get 4000 people to go to a sales page in 7 days.

Kathy and I are going to hit it because we both have our own email lists. We have a funnel gorgeous email list, we have Facebook groups, we have Instagram followings, we will come close to getting 4000 unique human beings to see our sales offer in 7 days. So I’m giving you that benchmark so you can say, “Alright, (when you go to launch your thing) Julie and Kathy with combined email lists of..” you know, I would say if you combine our email lists and funnel gorgeous, you’re looking at probably close to 40,000 people on our email lists and a Facebook group of 27,000. We’re getting 10% of our following to actually pay enough attention to go over to our sales page. So 4000 views, okay, and we’re hitting a 5-7% buy rate.
That’s high. I wouldn’t necessarily expect that you would be able to hit that. I’m looking for 1-5%. And for anybody who’s turning on a funnel, this is another thing that I am always, you know, asking my digital insiders. “What are your goals, what are your expectations? What’s a minimum, ideal, and crazy goal?” Give yourself that range, base it in real actual math, and what will happen is number one, you will go into your launch or your ad campaign with realistic glasses on, which will help you actually create slow growth over time. You don’t want super, super fast growth. A lot of people think they want super, super fast growth.

And I don’t mean slow, like it takes you 4 years. I just mean steady growth over time, because if you spike too fast, too high, you run into all kinds of deliverability problems and then you end up with unhappy customers. So you want that steady growth. Math will help you get there. I love math, math for the win.

Today’s lesson is all about math, but math combined with setting expectations that are realistic so that when you enter into a launch or a funnel or you’re doing something new in your business, you can actually number one, feel really accomplished when you hit your minimum goal. Everybody should be able to hit your minimum goal. If you can’t hit your minimum goal, I would say readjust. You actually kind of, it would be awesome to blaze past your minimum goal and hit your ideal goal.

I think that my goal setting for this particular launch was on point, because I did what I knew would give us the most momentum, which is we hit our ideal goal, we’re racing for our crazy. And it means that no matter what happens at the end, we’re going to feel really solidly proud of our product and we’re going to be able to give quality attention to all of our customers, and then we have market validation and we’re ready to go off to the races to sell this in an evergreen format.

So I hope this was a helpful lesson for you. And I would encourage you to use math to set your goals and expectations, so you can create a momentum in your business and inoculate, that’s one of the words that my friend James Friell uses all the time, inoculate yourself from disillusioned reactive, shiny object buying, when your expectations were sort of all messed up to begin with. I appreciate you all, talk soon.

The Theory Of Dead Webinars

I’m going to go on a rant.

Maybe it’s one too many of Sam Oven’s “webinars are dead” ads, but I need to say something about the theory of dead webinars.

It’s an easy thing to say (and believe). Especially when:

  1. Notable Internet Marketers are claiming it
  2. Show up rates for live webinars are at an all time low
  3. Facebook is denying webinar ads more frequently
  4. People can’t get their webinars to convert

The logical conclusion is…they don’t work anymore and it’s time to do something new.

Here’s why that’s a TERRIBLE conclusion.

It’s time to redefine a webinar, because we all are carrying ideas about what a webinar is (and isn’t).

There are a few things COMMON with webinars that absolutely should die…

  • 30 minute origin stories
  • 45 minutes of fluff before the meat
  • Bait & switch headlines
  • Unoriginal hacked secrets that are overused
  • Fake live webinars that are clearly not happening in real time
  • Staged testimonials
  • High pressure sales
  • Hype-y style personality transformations just to get in “state” to convince people to buy

That can all die and I would be just fine. And frankly, these are the reasons that Facebook is denying more webinar ads and people aren’t showing up. They are coming to EXPECT this sort of nonsense.

But really, if we redefine the word “webinar” as an online presentation, now it sounds awfully silly to say they are dead.

Why? Because…

  1. Video is the fastest growing medium on the Internet. Look at YouTube. It’s still gaining traction at a crazy pace. Then there’s IGTV, Facebook Watch, etc. Video is not going anywhere. ????
  2. The Internet is still the best and most lucrative place to advertise your business’ products and services. Anyone want to go back to billboards and direct mail? Yea, didn’t think so. ????
  3. Presentations are still a valid way to communicate information. I guess you could also mime or do some interpretative dance to communicate your point. ????

Online presentations are a FANTASTIC way to teach, define, and sell. Online presentations along with written versions of that presentation are doubly powerful.

So why would anyone write off the single most powerful way to communicate to 1, 10, 100, or 1000 people? Why would you write off video, the Internet, and the logical sequencing of information because maybe yours happens to not be converting, or some Internet Marketer is trying to throw rocks for his own gain?

If I flip this script for a second, I’m going to say this….

The people who become MASTERS at the online presentation, the people who go deep in understanding the psychology of a presentation, the sequencing of information, the way to build rapport with an audience…those are the people that are going to make as much money as they want while the rest of the masses go off in search of a new shiny object.

Here are some of the ways learning how to create and craft a great webinar helps you in the long run…

It helps you write sales copy.

Yup. You can turn a webinar into sales copy in a hot minute. In fact, in a bunch of our current webinars, we are turning the online presentation into a readable version for people who prefer to read. If you don’t want to write sales copy, write a webinar and turn it into a sales letter.

It helps you figure out how to create mini-series with several steps, secrets, or methods that you roll out on social media.

Whether you’re rolling out a new series on IGTV, a new podcast, or even just a bunch of Facebook posts, have you ever broken a webinar down into sections and used it for content strategy? Stephen Larsen did this with his podcast launch and called it a Sideways Webinar (each podcast episode was a piece of the webinar so that over six or so episodes, you got the whole webinar).

The same goes with the Product Launch Formula from Jeff Walker. He advises you release three videos prior to opening the cart to your offer. Video one is part one of your webinar. Video two is part two. Video three is part three.

It helps you figure out how your offer fits in the market.

I guarantee if you sit down to write a webinar BEFORE you create your next product, your product will be better after working on the online presentation than before. The actual act of creating a presentation puts you in the unique position of looking at your sales message from both the angle of the seller and the buyer right? You’re trying to create a presentation your prospects will love. That dual angle of looking at things gives you a 360 view that allows you to see your blindspots.

In fact, I just wrote a webinar the other day – even while the offer was still foggy. By the time I was done with the webinar, EVERYTHING I had questions about became clear.

Webinars aren’t even close to dead, but you may need the following…

  • It might be time to get creative with HOW you use tried and true formulas like The Perfect Webinar.
  • It also might be time to see that the master presenters learn how to create powerful webinars in the context of a formula, but NOT STUCK TO IT.
  • It might be time to learn new methodologies for drumming up buzz and anticipation, getting people to stay and watch, and ultimately, buy.
  • It might be time to lean into your natural personality and brand, instead of trying to “become” like someone, thinking that is the key to selling (it isn’t).

If your webinar is not converting, it’s an easy out to decide that webinars are dead and it’s time to go hunt for the next shiny object. Which is cool if you want to create an interpretative dance and put it on a digitally rendered billboard, but I would gently suggest to reframe the webinar as an online presentation and decide…

Maybe it’s time to study new ways to create compelling content that moves people to buy!

xx Julie

P.S. Webinar Gorgeous is launching June 10th, and this blog post is a pre-cursor to the training that will be coming when Webinar Gorgeous launches. I’m tired of watching people stay stuck in formulas that don’t fit them, and if we all just make better presentations, then the old crappy webinar we’re all tired of…will in fact die. Without a funeral. Good riddance.