The first time I did an online launch for one of my programs, I was stressed beyond belief. Even though I was following a so-called proven launch sequence that was supposed to make the whole process relatively easy, there were so many moving parts to keep track of and make happen in a crazy compressed period of time.
Underneath it all, I felt like I was not-so-subtly doing something to my people.
I was promoting to them by way of a series of strategic emails with the hopes that enough of them would be convinced by my compelling words to step into my paid program.
The online launch I just completed for my small group program (Partnering with the Soul of Your Business, Creating the Body of Your Work) felt very different, both for me and for those who participated in it. I felt like I was hosting a fabulous fun party and engaging with my people.
On top of that, this launch generated at least ten times the revenue that my first launch did. What made it so different?
Relationship. Plus a depth of interaction that actually opened up something deep and unexpected and that took us all to a new place.
Relationship holds the world together. We feel it most obviously in the relationships of our heart, yet it’s just as relevant in the world of business.
Essentially, business is the word we use to describe how we exchange value with each other in our modern world. And that exchanging of value happens within relationships of trust.
If you’re selling a low-priced product, people don’t need much trust to choose to buy, since the risk to them is minor. When the thing you’re selling is higher-ticket, a whole other level of trust is required for them to get to a yes.
When you layer onto that the fact that many of us do work that’s profoundly transformative and touches the soul, it becomes essential to create relationships of authentic connection and deep trust with your tribe, in order for them to feel safe enough to choose to invest.
My experience is that it takes more than just sharing awesome information for this to happen.
While there are a variety of ways and context in which you can nurture such a quality of relationship, most of us would question whether it’s possible to do so in a Facebook group. Yet this is exactly what I did and what made this launch so different and such a rich experience for everyone.
Yes, I sent out a series of educational articles that were chock full of really great information. And I interspersed them with a matching series of case-study vignettes that were infused with the inspiration of real people’s stories. I also offered a 2-call free training series that wove all the teachings together and made it immediately applicable.
But most noteworthy, I started a new Facebook group for the party/launch and called it the Soul of Your Business – Open House Experience. Within that, I hosted what became an extraordinarily engaging and enlightening contest.
People entered by submitting an image that expressed for them the Soul of Their Business, along with a short description. And then I and others reflected back what we saw and felt.
Almost immediately the interaction got soul-fully evocative. Folks felt witnessed at a depth they hadn’t elsewhere. If you understand what a core human need it is to feel truly seen, you’ll get the significance of this.
Some discovered new layers to their work, or had the heart of what they’re here to do revealed through the process. Others realized for the first time that their business has its own vitality and intelligence and that they can go farther in partnership with it than they can flying solo.
Enrollment for this particular program was limited to 12. Of the 10 that stepped in, at least half specifically mentioned that the experience they had in the Facebook group and contest was a significant part of what inspired them to say yes to the program. Several hadn’t planned on enrolling in anything, but were so moved by what they experienced that they wanted more.
Would you like more of that kind of energy in your promotions? If so, whether you’ve done online launches before or you’d like to at some point, here are several learnings for you from my recent experience:
The visual component of the contest was part of what made it exceptional. It allowed folks to by-pass the censorship of the rational mind and speak truth in metaphor and symbol. It took the conversation to a level that spoke powerfully from and to the other-than-conscious mind. As a result, magic happened!
In fact, while there were 3 prizes and 8 winners in the contest, pretty much everyone who entered felt like they’d won in terms of the gift of insight they received. Imagine creating that kind of value in a contest!
For you: No matter what your field, I suspect you can bring a visual component into things so as to shift the energy away from an overload of heady words. Experiment with this and see what happens!
All marketing requires an investment of time, energy, and/or money. The mix of those three ingredients can vary significantly. The choice is up to you.
Because I’m very relational by nature, I chose to invest more of my time and energy so I could show up and interact authentically with people in my launch/party. This was a great fit given that I was enrolling a small, higher-end program that includes a lot of in-depth group interaction. People in the Facebook group got to experience me as they might in my program, especially since I took the time to respond to everyone who posted.
Sure, some might question my approach and the fact that I “gave away” a lot of my time and energy “for free”. And yet, a promotion has to be funded by some infusion of energy. So while I could have spent a lot more on Facebook ads, I instead chose to fund a significant portion of my promotional effort with the currency of connection.
The immediate and longer-term return on that investment in relationship has been big and multi-layered. My sense is that it will continue to pay off over time, far more so than I imagine paying for greater reach on Facebook ads ever would have.
For you: When designing a launch or any promotional effort, ask yourself how you can create genuine interaction and engagement to give your tribe a real-time experience of you and your work. “Showing” is almost always more compelling than “telling”, and showing with your wisdom and presence speaks volumes in a way that a fancy sales page simple can’t.
Many said they don’t see anyone else in the online business world show up and engage this fully and deeply. Now I’ll admit that the pace of my engagement during my launch/party was more than I can sustain on an ongoing basis. But it was appropriate for the intensity of the promotional period.
So by showing up as I’m naturally inclined to and not tempering myself to be more strategic, I quite easily enrolled a fabulous new group into my program. And I had a blast doing it!
Of the 11 applications I received, 10 were a great fit and joined the program. So this relational approach educated, inspired, and supported the right people to naturally self-select.
Additionally, I again set myself and my program apart as noticeably distinct in a sea of too many sound-alike offers.
For you: When engaged in marketing and promoting, how can you show up as your most natural self and come from a place of real generosity and service? How can you stand out by being creative and innovative in your marketing and promotion? Remember Rumi’s wisdom – “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground” – or in this case, to promote your great work.
Folks in the Soul of Your Business Facebook group enjoyed it so much that quite a few asked if the group can continue on. So yes, of course, it will!
When you consider that all marketing represents an investment of time, energy, and/or money, why end something great like this just because the promotional period is over?
There’s something much bigger happening here – a new community of soul-centered entrepreneurs is emerging, a different kind of conversation is happening, we’re experimenting with a novel way of exploring what it means to grow a thriving business sourced from soul.
Plus, keeping this group alive and happening allows me to continue to serve and grow relationship with wonderful people, some of whom could become future clients I’d adore helping.
For you: When you embark on any promotional endeavor, yes of course you want to enroll clients right then. Yet how can you also take the long view and see your promotional effort as making relationships, expanding your reach, creating visibility, highlighting the uniqueness of your work, and setting you apart as a thought leader?
We’ve just transitioned the Facebook group that was created for the launch/party into an ongoing Soul of Your Business Community where we’ll creatively explore topics related to growing a business sourced from soul.
To quote the modern day mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others of large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship of those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe”.
If you feel that longing, we’d love to have you join us!