How To Remove Launch Stress With A Pre-Launch Strategy With Brenna McGowan
TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Diane: [00:00:00] Hey, Hey, today's guest Brenna McGowan is a copywriter and launch strategist who believes the key to more confident, less stressy and more successful launches is what you do before the launch. Hey, Brenna, welcome to the show. Brenna: You for having me. I'm so excited to be here. Diane: Let's kick things off with a little intro to you and your business journey. Brenna: I came on to the business, the online scene in 2018 almost by accident. I joke that the online business world to me is like this parallel world I didn't know existed. And at the time I was doing some like odd jobs with like social media and blogging and a little bit of email marketing and for local businesses and I wanted, I always joke, I started my business out of vanity. I wanted a fake eyelashes. My, one of my friends was starting an esthetician business and I was like, Ooh, I want those eyelashes. How about I do like your social media and email and help you and I get eyelashes. So I did this and what I realized was like. People were like, get, I was getting attention through my friend, which people were like, gosh, who's doing your Instagram? I think the. Interesting and coincidental part of my story is, is that I had never done Instagram. Like, I didn't even have an Instagram account. I was 40, or about to turn 40, around the time I started to think about it. And, you know, I didn't have a four year degree. In my mind, I had these, like, natural barriers of why I couldn't start a business, but… I kind of did it anyway. And I started to call myself a social media manager, realizing very quickly I hated being a social media manager. Like, I didn't hate social media per se, but just doing people's social media, there wasn't, I didn't love. I didn't love it. And so I very kind of quickly pivoted into copywriting and into email copywriting at that time. And from there, I started writing all types of copy from, you know, [00:02:00] websites to launches and kind of like my evolution of this like copywriting pivot is that I fell into to a degree of pre launch. And I shouldn't say I fell into it. It was very intentional, but I had had. A couple of launches where things didn't go quite as great and was like, okay, why can I write copy sometimes that really, you know, moves the needle. And then why is sometimes things falling flat? We're not seeing the numbers. Even when we have an email list, you know, a lot of people are like, Oh, you have this huge email list. It's going to convert. That's not necessarily the case. And through this like evolution, I started to recognize that a lot of people were completely ignoring the time before they launch, which is what we know in the online world as a pre launch and I kind of tiptoed my way into calling myself a, a pre launch expert as I started to work with clients privately to do this process that I created to help people increase revenue Thank you. on their launches, but not just increase revenue. Kind of take the stress off this, what is known as a very stressful period of live launching. Call in better, I shouldn't say better students, but more qualified students into programs, into courses, memberships, while also creating a little bit of confidence. In in our launch through this process, I created so it's been kind of a little bit of a windy journey, but I definitely feel like I have found my calling because I absolutely talk love talking to me the time before a launch the pre launch merges like that content social media background that I have with this conversion copywriting and thinking, Okay, how can we really utilize the content we're putting out before our launch to help our launch be successful? Diane: I love it. There's, there's that quote about like anticipation being the greatest part of pleasure or something. And for you, it's like anticipation is the greatest part of launching. So what [00:04:00] goes into pre launching? Brenna: So I want to set the stage a tiny bit. There was a study done back in the 80s that talked about how we anticipate future events in the same way as if the event was actually happening to us, right? So I always say like, think about like the vacation that you're going on this summer, like how much you've been looking forward to it. There's a lot of pleasure that goes into anticipation and we can really use this. So I think the first thing that people ask is how long should a prelaunch be, you know, how in, in, in terms of, I guess you have to look at the strategy of what you're doing, but In most cases, I like about six weeks. Obviously, if you're launching a 27 product, you probably don't need a full six weeks of prelaunch. But for most of us, if you are selling something, you know, I'm going to even say, I used to say a thousand. I feel like our market is changed with saturation with people with like natural buyer hesitancy. You know, if you can get in six weeks of prelaunch, even on a. 500 item. It's not going to hurt you, especially since you're putting out content anyway. So the, the natural objection I get when I say six weeks, funny enough, I just had someone from my prelaunch plan program who just went through and is getting really great results. She sent me a message the other day and she's like, I didn't even realize. I was hesitant because I thought if I was pre launching for six weeks beforehand that like all of those people who were going to buy were going to buy anyway, and that's not the case with the pre launch period is, is a period to move people up the awareness journey to get people who are maybe not as familiar with our products or services who haven't Don't realize they have like objections to what we're selling and really move them along the buyer's journey in A seamless fashion. So the first thing is like giving [00:06:00] yourself time is the first thing on a pre launch So what has happened a lot of times with clients that I have students I have is that they put so much attention onto the actual sales or launch period, whether that's like a seven day cart open, or maybe they're like doing a webinar or a challenge before they're completely ignoring this four to six weeks before they actually launch. So that's the first thing. The second thing is, is once again, moving people up. The awareness journey. So we're meeting people where they're at making sure that they understand who we are, our values as the person that they may possibly buy from making sure that they know that we understand you know, the pain, for lack of better words, you know, where they're at. In their buyer's journey and dealing with these objections and myths that we hold onto that we don't even necessarily realize and doing a lot of education around those. So I always say with a prelaunch, you're selling your process, not your product, right? A prelaunch is a time where we're really selling the outcome, not selling the solution because when we can do that. The solution becomes a natural extension. Instead of us feeling like we have to be salesy or, you know, kind of like pushy or convince someone to buy our thing. It becomes a natural evolution for the people who are right for our products or services. Diane: Okay. So we're trying to get people to the point where they go, okay, I have this problem. I know I can solve this problem. I believe this person can help me solve this problem. So that finally, all you're saying is this is the solution. Like your launch is, if it's, if it's effectively going and this is the Brenna: Exactly. And I talk about there's three buyer beliefs that every buyer has to have before they buy from us, right? They have to believe that you are the person that they should buy from. They have to believe that you, that they can [00:08:00] actually solve the problem, right? There's been a lot of a lot of times this is not something that's handled during, during a launch is the fact that, you know, they've tried something before that they don't have the mind. set around it. Even though they may not think of it like that. So, you know, that's the second thing. They have to believe that your product or solution, if you will, whatever your outcome is, is the one that's going to help them get the transformation that they want. So those three buyer beliefs that they have to have before they buy from us, it's really, really hard to squish into that. Like, you know, normal, typical 5 to 7 day launch period that a lot of us have become accustomed to. And so it's giving people time to kind of come to those beliefs on their own as well. I talk about during using anticipation and using this pre launch period. One of the things that Super important to me as not only a consumer, but someone who is selling is giving people a lot of autonomy in their buying decision, right? We want people to be able to be able to make better decisions. And when we feel a ton of pressure to buy or we're trying to make, you know, I, I, I joke around like whoever came up with like this, like seven day launch period online, like. It doesn't even make sense. Like, okay, let's present this offer to someone in a, make them make a decision to spend thousands of dollars, or if it's like a really high end coaching period, you know, or package, maybe, you know, five figures in seven days, and then you're When things don't go the way we want, we feel like we had these failed launches when it's really kind of the system we've been acquainted with that sets us up for a little bit of quote unquote launch failure. Diane: Yeah, I think we've created a lot of this kind of infrastructure ourself. Like you say, the seven day cart, I guarantee you somebody back in the day sold that as the solution to everyone's problems, right? I bet you there's a marketer somewhere who was like, I created the seven [00:10:00] day launch. Cart open period kind of thing. So what works really well to build anticipation? So we've got those six weeks. What have you seen with your clients, with your own launches, that works really well to get people excited? Brenna: So, I talk a lot about like movies that are coming out. People are, or the movie industry is starting to build up anticipation for a movie 160 days ahead of time. You, you don't, And I know about a movie that's coming out the day it comes out. This is months and months of them getting you excited. I bring up especially just because it's such a hot topic right now is Taylor Swift's eras tour. Like she built up so much anticipation that you know, for what was to come, that when she. actually started to pre sell those tickets. People were going crazy trying to buy them, right? People were waiting eight hours to on, you know, on line to get a hold of those tickets. And even like fashion week in September in New York City is essentially a pre launch for what's to come. In the, in the spring. And we haven't in the online business world taken advantage to creating that like natural anticipation. And so with that, to answer your question is, okay, the anticipation that comes is we are really demonstrating during a pre launch that like, that we can. Help people either remove pain from their lives or find the pleasure of Whatever it is that they want so that is really what starts building the anticipation The other thing too that a prelaunch does is that it helps really build up that like know, like trust factor that we need in business. Like that is not something that is not necessarily, you know, that's not necessarily a new concept, but it's the way you start talking about your. You know your actual outcome during the pre launch that is also building up and the cool part about pre launch and why I love it You [00:12:00] know, I am like an email copywriting Expert per se if you will that is like when I was doing copywriting. That's my first love of copywriting It also allows us to tell a lot of stories stories help, you know people buy through the subconscious that's where it starts. And when you're able to tell stories too, during this prelaunch period, it helps tap into those like subconscious things. And so it kind of creates this beautiful time period where we can get people excited, build up anticipation while building up trust, while telling the type of Stories that get into people's mind. A lot of times what happens during a launch period is it's more like, Hey, do you wanna buy my thing? Versus having that, like that time where it feels a little bit more relaxed to talk about those outcomes people want in a non pressured way. Diane: And are you platform agnostic? So is this pre launch happening? Only on podcasts, only on blogs, only on reels. Can you mix and match? Are you doing it across every platform? Brenna: Great question. So it's a matter of taking a look at which platform you're on. So a pre launch can be done anywhere. I've helped people from blogs to podcast to if you're on Instagram, if you're on LinkedIn. So what I teach is the strategy behind the thought process of the content that you put out and the messaging that needs. to go in. And then from there, once you understand the strategy, then you can apply it to whatever platform that you're on. I definitely talk about prelaunch is that it's a time though where you do need to up your visibility, right? Like getting into, I, one of the things that I encourage everyone to do, whether they're a private client or in the prelaunch plan program is to really get more visible, which is, okay, I'm going to be doing a live video. I, you know, if I'm going to be doing a podcast, how can I really push people to my podcast episodes? I'm always going to say. [00:14:00] Sales happen the best over email. It's just the more natural extension. It's the less, it's the least amount of friction. So, no matter what you do, like my two, like, rules of thumb, if you will, is, Okay, we need to be visible in terms of we need the people to see us and hear us during a pre launch. And we need to make sure that they're also seeing us in their inboxes. From there, everything else can be repurposed. I don't Diane: Gotcha. So, let's flip this on its head. Have you seen this flop? And if it did, what happened? Brenna: I can't say that I've seen someone like flop, per se, because what we're constantly gathering is, is data. I've seen people maybe not get the results that they would have hoped for. So there's a couple of things that we should like think about in strategy is first of all, like our, have we built up the right audience, right? Like no matter how good your prelaunch is, if you don't, if you're not selling to the right audience, Or if you have created an audience who is not necessarily, you know, I have people that are like, Oh, okay. I'm going to, I'm going to try and sell this product. Even though I brought someone in on a freebie three years ago with a whole different premise, right? So that's the thing that we have to think about. It's like, okay, the, when it comes to sales, it always goes into like, okay, do we have the right offer? for the right audience that has the right messaging before on it. Pre launch is really helping people make sure that their, their messaging aligns with their offer. But if you, you have to know about your audience. So the other thing that people sometimes ignore are like, okay, I think I have this offer. And, you know, it's not, it's not selling as well as it should be. So I'm just going to try and like throw this pre launch behind it. We need to be looking at the data of whether it's our regular content, our [00:16:00] past launch content. So we can start coming up with like a hypothesis of, are these people ready to buy? If they're not, what do they need to hear in order to be able to buy? Have I created the right audience? So those are the things that I see sometimes is that like a pre launch is not like this magical, you know, there's, there's magic bullet that's going to solve all of your offer and launch problems. If you haven't really dealt with making sure that you're, you're presenting that right offer. To the right person. So that is something that I really hone in and it's actually inside my program We spend a ton of time in messaging going through voice of customer Really? Trying to look at okay What is the data from our past say and how can it help inform? What we're doing in the future when you can do that. You have a more realistic Expectation of what, what type of results you're going to see. Absolutely. Diane: So, let's say someone listening, or, you know, me, is a non launch model, right? I like. High ticket one to one is my jam. The example from like the movies and stuff was really helpful for me. Cause I could see like, Hey, new product that could use some like pre launch anticipation buildup rather than just like, Oh, this is exciting. I've got a new offer. Right. Here's my new VIP day, everyone. Is there anything else that evergreen people, so let's say people who have like evergreen course models or even like evergreen group programs where they're constantly enrolling, is there anything that they can steal from the prelaunch idea that they could apply to their evergreen model? Brenna: So I love this question. I was actually thinking about it this morning a little bit. So I have people that have go through my program that have evergreen models. So first of all, the thing I want, if you are in an evergreen model, and of course everyone's strategy is different. So I'm going to speak in broad [00:18:00] strokes here is if you're constantly selling It gets noisy, right? Like if you're constantly like, okay, I'm enrolling new clients and I just talked about this two weeks ago, it can become a little noisy. Second of all, the other thing to think about here is that it can become exhausting for you as the seller and the content creator to be constantly thinking, I need to enroll new clients or I have put this offer in front of someone and they have said no So what happens a lot of time in the evergreen model? With with lists or depending on how you sell is like, okay this person said no and they just kind of get thrown onto like this general list and we don't actually like take a step back and If you will, pre launch to them and come up and help move them to where the, they're actually moving towards the buying. So that is how I would think about it. If you are someone who's selling something on an evergreen is that the people that have seen the offer and have said, no, the reason they have said no is they need more time or You know in their decision, maybe it's not the right time for them. Or they have not been fully, you know Persuaded if you will for lack of better words that they need The so your solution at this time so you can start using A rolling prelaunch model, which will help you not only create content that helps move those people that haven't bought off your list, but it actually starts to create momentum because that is what a launch does right? I'm not like, okay. Oh, a diehard, you have to like have this launch model, but I do firmly believe that anytime we have an event around something, it is going to bring attention to what we're selling, to what we're offering. And you can do this even on service based offerings. I've had people go through my program that are selling. their services. So for them, what they're able to do is fill up their roster for a [00:20:00] certain amount of time by creating this momentous and creating anticipation using this prelaunch model, filling up their roster, and then having time where there's a natural decline, right? There's ebbs and flows in the sales process. And what sometime is ignored in an evergreen model is that we're trying to constantly do this. The sales and then we wonder why our sales are falling flat. But if you think about it, it's kind of a flat model where what I'm talking about here with building anticipation, creating anticipation, moving people up the awareness journey, getting them excited for what's to happen, what's to come, the transformation that it naturally builds up and then naturally kind of goes. down, right? And if you think about us as humans, it's, it's how we work. I think we are constantly looking forward to events, you know, like this weekend as we're recording, it's a 4th of July here in the States. You know, there's certain like, you know, events happening that my family is going to. So my kids have been talking about it. So there's like this natural buildup. And then it's like, okay, that's over. Now we're going to kind of go on to this next thing. You can use these natural ebbs and flows to your advantage in your marketing process. Diane: Yeah. I love that idea of that kind of like rolling prelaunch, because I think a lot of times what happens. In businesses, we're so focused on selling and then we're so focused on delivery and then we're so focused on selling and then we're so focused on delivery, but that rolling, especially in an evergreen really gives you an opportunity to automate a lot of it to like write several six week sequences and put your people through them and then start again kind of thing. It's not like a, like you constantly have to create new content and people in a year are not going to remember what you wrote in the first. six week pre launch kind of thing. I'm assuming that that's more what you're thinking than I'm just gonna send the same six weeks of pre launch content on a rolling Brenna: it is exactly. And the cool thing is, is when you're doing it the way that I'm talking about here too, you're able to gather, whether you're an [00:22:00] evergreen cycle or a live launch cycle, your start, Okay. You're able to collect a lot more data around what's working, what's not working, you know, why, what people are clicking on, what people aren't clicking on, what am I getting a lot of response to? Because when you can do this and you really understand the process that you need to put people through before they actually become buyers, yes, there's always going to be a percentage of our audience that's ready to buy right now, but that's only, you know, on I think it's. I think it's Chet Holmes that talks about this, that it's like 3% of people maybe are ready to buy right now or in that place. You have 97% of your audience that is not ready to buy from you right now. What can, what do we need to say to them to help close that number down a little bit? And when you're able to do these like rolling prelaunch periods, you're able to write in advance. You're able to collect data in real time and be able to interpret it and put it back into these cycles That's when you're able to start because what's happening most people with content creation is they're just kind of randomly pulling ideas Oh this real like went viral. I'm gonna try this today or this popped into my head for their my email I'm gonna write about this, but they're not really thinking through these sales cycles where they can be creative with a real, with a really like backed strategy behind it. Diane: Yeah, I like that. I think it really plays well into reminding you as well that your job with content is to provide value, is to take someone on that journey. So if we're saying, hey, for six weeks, even if you're an evergreen person, you're not there to sell. All you're there to do is help this person on their journey. It kind of puts the brakes on us and take some of that Oh, desperation's not the right word, but that like constant selling that just exhausts your audience. Where they feel like they're hearing about a new offer every single day from you. Like, out of the equation for us. Brenna: Yep. I completely agree. And what happens when you are doing exactly what you said, [00:24:00] it takes that like icky pressure off of us. And I just really wanted to point that out is that that is really the benefit. I do not like To be sold to or feel like I'm putting pressure on people But the other thing too, I really want to point out is that you talked about value and I want to make sure i'm really clear Is that? During a pre launch, this is not a time necessarily for educational content, and this is a real big mind shift that especially people through my program have to go through, is that we are not doing a lot of how to content. We are really giving, helping people see their problem. or the solution they want from a new angle. We're doing a lot of mind shifting or belief shifting during this time to help people realize, okay, yes, this is the problem that I'm, this is, this is a problem that I need to solve right now versus giving people how to content. So just keep that in mind. If anyone's listening to me talk, I'm not saying here, go create a lot of, a lot of content around like, you know, three steps to fix this. I love some quick tips here and there, but this isn't educational content. This is the, the prelaunch is really for helping people see their problem from a new angle. Diane: Gotcha. Okay. Key distinguishing characteristic there. I'm glad I said the value thing. So if you could only tell every business owner one thing about launching, what would it be? Brenna: There's a way to do it. That doesn't feel horrible that can get you better results Diane: Which is interesting because I think we equate with the hard sell with better results. Brenna: Exactly, and that's my true mission is that you can get better results With a launch in a way That does not feel It doesn't have to have this high pressure. What am I doing with my life? No one is buying[00:26:00] type of scenario. That's so often we've either had an experience with launching or associate with launching. Diane: It's an interesting one that it can feel good for you and it can feel good for the potential client, which is, I guess, the sweet spot. Brenna: Absolutely. I talk a lot about prelaunch that there's this natural cycle that can happen where you are. You know, where you are kind of putting this idea of your offer in front of people during a pre launch, which gets people interested in it because you're talking about it in that way that I talked about earlier, not a lot of value, but you're, you're kind of doing belief shifting, giving these aha moments. which gets people more interested, which builds your confidence because you know that you're speaking to the right person, which helps you, depending on your model, you know, pre sell more, helps you have more engaging conversations, which builds your confidence, which creates this like natural momentum that helps you build up once again anticipation before you sell. for you actually go to launch. So there's a really cool natural cyclical thing that happens when you start doing the process that we've been talking about. Diane: Amazing. So, we've talked about a lot. Do you have a resource that can just help people to get started or to remind them of all the knowledge bombs you've dropped Brenna: Yes. I have my prelaunch plan cheat sheet and it talks about those three buyer beliefs that we discussed a little earlier and it tells you what type of content that you can be creating during your prelaunch to help, to help move buyers, shift beliefs, do all of the things that we talked about. that will give you a starting ground. Diane: Wonderful. I'll be sure to link that in the show notes. So to finish up, I always ask my guests the same two questions. First of all, what is your number one lifestyle boundary for your business? Brenna: I was thinking about this because lifestyle boundaries has [00:28:00] been like my, my hardest or not hardest, but like my, my biggest problem, if you will. And going into a new season in my business. It's really, for me, not working on the weekends. I am one of those people that either procrastinates and then finds herself working on the weekends or thinks that she has to work on the weekends. And I just created, like, I'm just not going to work weekends. Like, my brain literally can't work on the weekends anymore. Like, something, something has happened where I need that time. So, my goal is also to take Friday afternoons off, especially my kids. My two youngest are going to be juniors and senior in high school. And I really want to make sure the next two years I get to hang out with them. So that, that's my goal in terms of lifestyle boundaries. Diane: Love it. Okay, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you have been given as an entrepreneur? Brenna: It's going to go back a little bit to what people talk about. In terms of evergreen sales. I think that we're sold this idea that evergreen should be what we should all be working towards. And that if we can just get our offer, we can just get our business to evergreen, then all of our problems go away. And what most of us don't realize is that. To run on an evergreen model, especially if you're doing course, membership, program, mastermind, things of that nature, is that, you know, you, you constantly have to be optimizing your funnel, you constantly have to be getting new leads into your funnel. So it, it, maybe you are making sales on an evergreen model, but you have to be feeding, if you will, the, the funnel enough. And making sure you're optimizing and growing those. So, that's why, part of the reason I'm on this like, mission to talk about this, [00:30:00] creating launches, even launches within Evergreen, because when you can start to get more data that's live and happening right now, you can start to apply it to Evergreen funnels. You can start to optimize. A little bit more quickly so that you can get to the point that when you do start putting more people through your evergreen funnel They convert at a higher rate. So I think this like I always talk about the evergreen dream We've all been sold. There's a lot of nuance to it. That's not really openly talked about Diane: Yeah, it's like the passive income conversation, right? They're so intertwined with each other. If you can go evergreen, it'll be passive and you can just make money while you lie on a beach in Brenna: Exactly. Diane: Oh, wouldn't that be fun? Well, this has been fab and really like made me think very differently about launching. Where can people find you on the social so they can carry on the conversation? They can maybe watch you do this in practice. Brenna: you can find me on Instagram at Brenna McGowan Co and I also have a Facebook group where we talk all things launch, copy, marketing, and that is the behind the launch Facebook group with Brenna McGowan. So, come hang out with me in either spot and very active in both places . Diane: Thank you so much for being here. Just for everyone listening, Brenna's actually in the middle of a launch event. So listen to how chill she sounds and that she's found time to do a podcast interview in the middle of all of that. And if that's not a case study for your prelaunch, I don't know what Brenna: Thank you. I appreciate that. Diane: Thanks so much.
If you’re planning to join in the fall launch season frenzy, and the stress is starting to creep in, this episode is for you.
Brenna McGowan walks you through why you need a prelauch strategy and what it should include to bring you a successful and unstressy launch.
A prelaunch sells the outcome in such a way that when you talk about your process it is clear it’s the only solution.
We talk about
- The purpose of a pre-launch strategy
- What you need to have in place first
- The type of content you should be sharing – it’s not the usual “give value” advice
- Some great examples from the real world
- How evergreen business models can still benefit from the strategy
- Brenna’s lifestyle boundary for her business
- The worst cookie-cutter advice Brenna’s been given on her lifestyle business
Brenna McGowan is copywriter and launch strategist. She believes that hustle-based, high-pressure program launches don’t serve you or your customers. Instead, she helps you leverage pre-launch content so you can launch with confidence, less stress, and more sales. By leveraging her pre-launch and Anticipation Marketing™ strategies, Brenna’s clients have seen 50%+ revenue growth in their launches without the frenzy and chaos they used to feel when launching. She also helps her students inside The Pre-Launch Plan Program create strategic pre-launch plans that’ve raked in hundreds of thousands in revenue. When Brenna’s not strategizing or helping clients launch, you can find her walking her pug, reading cheesy romance books, or shuttling one of her three teenagers around their Northern California neighborhood.
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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.