Interviews, Show Notes
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The Nitty Gritty:
- Bushra shares exactly how she takes her people from what she calls Dread to Dream, including the different products that meets customers wherever they’re at.
- What Bushra’s promotional strategy looks like for 2018.
- What Bushra does to create buzz around her launches and why she only opens Persuasion Hacks Lab for 48 hours at a time every month.
- How much Bushra makes every month on Persuasion Hacks Lab — and how much she spends on Facebook ads to grow her list.
- Bushra talks us through the psychology behind her Facebook ad strategy and why her goal is only to add people to her list (plus, how she builds a list for buyers instead of what she calls freebie hunters.)
On this episode of Power. Profit. Pursuit., I talk everything products, persuasion, and promotion with the hilarious Bushra Azhar, copy strategist at Persuasion Revolution and mom of two living in Saudi Arabia. Bushra takes us behind the scenes of her successful launches, what her sales process looks like, and why she focuses on building a list of buyers (20% of her list are buyers!) and not just freebie hunters. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Bushra and I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
We release new episodes of Profit. Power. Pursuit every week. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.
On creating products for your customer’s journey from Dread to Dream
The way I have structured my products is that I imagine a problem that I see, a person who is facing a problem, and I map out a journey. I call it the “Dread to Dream Journey.” The person is in a dreadful situation and you need to take them to a dream situation. When I map out that Dread to Dream Journey, I don’t just create one solution that takes them from the dread to the dream in one full step.
— Bushra Azhar
Bushra creates products that help her customers solve 20% of their problems, 60% of their problems, and 100% of their problems, depending on where they are in the journey. Each product brings her customers closer and closer to their dream — and further away from the dread.
Look at your customer’s journey then look at your products. Are they helping your customer make 20% headway on their pain point? What about 60%? And what does your 100% transformational product look like?
If you only have a 100% transformational offering, how can you meet some of your customers needs by offering an entry-level product at 20% that helps them help themselves — then want more and continue onto another product?
How to capitalize on launch buzz to sell different tiers of products
You create a lot of hype, you pay money to create, you create money to create a buzz, but you can’t just milk all that buzz with one product. You can’t just milk all that buzz with just one launch. You have to keep in mind that the buzz will continue to the next launch. You just need to give people a path to move to the next launch.
— Bushra Azhar
Bushra walks us through how she runs her Sold Out launch — and she reminds us how important it is to capitalize on the energy and interest captured during any launch. While some people may be ready for a higher investment product like Sold Out Launch with a $2,000 price tag, she always offers Persuasion Hacks Lab as a down-sell.
If you have an upcoming launch, do as Bushra does and offer a lower price point product to anyone who doesn’t buy your main launch offering. So much energy and money goes into a launch — so capitalize on it.
Why selling budget programs sets you up for failure
When you’re only selling budget, you are setting yourself up for failure to scale beyond a certain point, because there are people out there who want more support, more transformational experiences, more time with you, more coaching, more things, and you’re not letting them do it.
— Bushra Azhar
Finding the pricing model that works for you and your business is incredibly important to a sustainable business model. Bushra is passionate about a sustainable and profitable sales process. Part of that is understanding who you want to work with and what they want from you.
While some people may only need what she calls a 20% solution, there are countless more who want a higher touch service that you aren’t providing by selling only budget solutions. How can you revamp your existing products to meet the needs of customers who need more from you? How can you restructure your products to meet the needs of customers who need less?
Listen to the full episode to hear even more from Bushra on the products she uses to take customers from Dread to Dream, exactly what her promotional strategy for 2018 looks like, and how she runs her Facebook ads to “seduce” prospects.
Art of Earning, Quiet Power Strategy
Want to make more money? Afraid it’s going to take a lot of time to create something new or devise a fresh offer so you can do it?
It doesn’t have to. An important concept we work with Quiet Power Strategy™ clients on is reworking what you’ve got to make it easier to sell. We also show our clients how to develop sales cycles that sell those offers throughout the year–and how to plan those sales cycles so you always know where your next dollar is coming from.
Last week, I heard from Lacy Boggs about a big success she had with very little work. It’s exactly the kind of result I like seeing from clients because it means they’ve developed a process they can use time and again to make more money. Here’s her case study:
In January 2015, I made my Blogstorm course (my lowest priced, introductory offering) evergreen after doing the revenue planning exercise in Quiet Power Strategy. I had realized that launching and running the course live was waaaaay too much work for the amount of revenue I was generating from it, so something needed to change.
I saw a nice spike in sales when I made the evergreen announcement, and since then I generally get 1 or 2 sales a month without doing anything, which is fine by me. When I mention it in a blog or newsletter, I usually get 1 or 2 more.
Since the course helps entrepreneurs get 6 months of blogs planned in an editorial calendar, I was inspired by a random comment on Facebook about the year being almost half over to do a “launch” push for June. I decided to offer a value add of going through it “live” with me in the Facebook group. And I made the decision to do this “launch” about a week before June 1st!
Note from Tara: This is what we call a sales cycle. It’s the same type of content, pitch, and follow-up you’d use in a launch, but it’s used to boost sales of an existing or evergreen product or service offering. Normally, I recommend using our Revenue Planning tool to forecast these sales cycles. But the power of an unplanned sales cycle to boost your revenue unexpectedly–and pleasantly–can’t be overstated!
But, I’ve had great success! I sent one dedicated email to my list, and wrote a blog post promoting it using Tara’s CEAD content framework (it’s usually spread out over four posts or emails, but I didn’t have time).
I also had my message fresh in my mind from working on it with Tara and Brigitte at the Quiet Power Strategy™ retreat, and tried to really drive home what I want to be known for in both the blog post and the email—no more being polite about my opinions, no holds barred. Since the email went out on Monday (the Memorial Day holiday, no less) I’ve sold 20 courses and made about $1200 in unplanned income five days later.
That’s more than double my last “live” launch in 2014!
By tweaking my sales message for this course based on the work I did in Quiet Power Strategy™, I realized I don’t have to run a lengthy, all-consuming “launch,” but rather focus on giving people what they really want. The course hasn’t changed, even my “value add” is the same as when I ran it live, but my message made a huge difference.
At this point, it’s like the best of both worlds. I have the trickle of income from the evergreen product, but I can run it “live” as a value add—with my newly improved messaging—twice a year for a healthy boost in sales without all the DRAMA of a big launch. Just one more example of Quiet Power Strategy™ giving me the guts and permission to do things my way, and having it pay off almost immediately.
Let me recapped what worked so well here for Lacy:
- She created fresh messaging for an old product to make sure it was obvious it’s exactly what her customers need.
- She reinvigorated her sales by creating content for a sales cycle and publishing it to her blog and list.
- She planned for the future by incorporating new sales cycles for this product in her overall Revenue Plan instead of just waiting for sales to come.
These are all things we create strategies for in Quiet Power Strategy™ and these strategies are something that Lacy can use over and over again for other products and new offers. It’s timeless, effective, make-more-money technique.
Put this to work for yourself. Look for a product that you know you could sell more of. Create messaging that ties that product to a problem or goal your customers are regularly talking about. Then create content that supports that messaging and send it out to the people most likely to buy from you. Finally, make a plan to do this throughout the year.
In the mean time, you can find out more about Lacy Boggs, the Content Direction Agency, and how to get more from your blogging effort: get instant access to her resource library.
Quiet Power Strategy
Ever get the feeling that the big project you’re working on is bound to fail? Maybe it’s a big marketing campaign, a product you’ve put your heart and soul into, or a big presentation to some very important people.
It seems no matter how much work into it, you’ve got the shadow of doubt making your optimism a little darker than it ought to be. You’re certainly not alone.
Many of my Quiet Power Strategy (formerly 10ThousandFeet) clients come into the program with high hopes but plenty of “bound to fail” feelings. They’re fully invested in turning their big idea into a business model that pays solid dividends. They’ve had success in the past but they’ve also had failure.
Of course, that’s just business. You win some and you lose some. The key, though, is finding a personal system for making the losses few and far between. In Quiet Power Strategy, we teach the art of perception and the focus of testing and experimentation.
When you train yourself to be more perceptive, you’re better able to anticipate the needs, desires, and objections of your prospective client. You create products that are easier to sell and marketing that’s more compelling.
When you test and experiment with your message, your value delivery, and your method of exchange, you focus on making sure each variable gets you the results you’re looking for. You can ease your mind through pinpointing your best opportunities.
When Dr. Michelle Mazur, a speech coach that helps professionals, academics, and entrepreneurs craft more compelling presentations, focused on creating a new model for serving clients, she had those same “bound to fail” feelings. She’d been burned before; what could make this time any different?
Through the Quiet Power Strategy process and her keen perception, Michelle identified an opportunity, the right people to serve, and the pain points that needed to be solved. She met objections, offered an innovative solution, and closed deals. But let’s not jump the gun, here is Michelle’s story in her own words:
Doing a big launch makes me feel like the girl at a high school dance, standing in a corner, and praying that the boy that she likes will ask her to dance. It’s a lonely place. My first launch felt exactly like that but with far more tears, panic, and stress.
When I came up with my minimal viable product (MVP), The Speaking Collective, which is a hybrid mastermind, public speaking group coaching program, and community, I knew I had an excellent offering that wasn’t like anything else on the market. But the old feelings from that first ill-fated launched crept in. What if I throw a public speaking party for 10 and no one comes?
I followed Tara’s Living Room Strategy for launching. I sent short emails to people who I would love to work with and who would benefit most from my MVP. In 10-days, I sold out of all 10-spots and had people who were disappointed that they missed their chance to join the program who wanted to know about the next launch.
Best part is that I finally have a successful launch strategy that works, is true to who I am and how I want to connect with people, and doesn’t leave me feeling like a hot mess.
Michelle is up to great stuff. She was recently featured on Fast Company and has landed gigs with top corporate clients. Having worked with her personally on my Quiet Power Strategy keynote address, I can tell you what she offers is ready for the big time (and so am I!).
You see, starting small isn’t the same thing as playing small. You start small to focus and hone what you’ll offer, banish the “bound to fail” feeling, and create something better than your original vision. Michelle and The Speaking Collective are bound for a much bigger stage.
To find out more about Michelle and how you too can create a presentation that garners standing ovations, click here.
Feel overwhelmed by all the options you have for growing your business?
We have the prescription for relief. Join Tara Gentile and Brigitte Lyons for a FREE training call that helps you banish shiny object syndrome and find the focus your business needs to succeed. Click here!
Art of Growth
Well, we did it. We’re on the happy side of our biggest launch yet. While I’m happy to give you a tactical break down of everything we did—and didn’t do—the most important parts of this launch were the fears, goals, and barriers to success that I conquered as the leader of this business.
1) Conquered organizing a team and letting them do the work.
With the way I planned the marketing around this launch, I had a lot on my proverbial plate. I did a CreativeLive workshop (on launching, no less) just 2 weeks before this launch. That meant that I needed to both do the content for that course and the marketing plan. I needed to send at least weekly emails from June through August—a period of time I normally sit back and relax my way through.
The only way I could pull this off was to rely on other people. First, I relied on the perennially awesome team at CreativeLive, including my content producer, Michael Karsh. Second, I hired Breanne Dyck to help me plan instructional activities that would make this my best workshop yet. Finally, I hired a project manager—my mom, no less—who set up all my tasks and to-dos in Evernote using Natasha Vorompiova’s Evernote for Small Business system.
Don’t worry. There will be more on hiring my mom and a full review of Natasha’s program very soon.
I also hired Claire Pelletreau to manage a Facebook ad campaign and relied on Brigitte and Megan even more than usual to support the business.
More than ever before, I got to show up and only supply brilliance—never mediocrity. Why put mediocrity into my business when I can hire others for their brilliance?
2) Conquered not believing I’m a special snowflake.
Believe it or not, I don’t believe that you’re the only person who can do what you do. And I don’t believe that very common mantra is a very good foundation for starting a business. This summer, I trained 8 women on how to use my methodology and had a very difficult time choosing 3 of them to coach 10ThousandFeet with me.
I’ll be taking new apprentices in early 2015. So look for that.
I couldn’t have grown this program to where it is without getting help on the delivery of the program. For me, that wasn’t about inviting in other experts to teach. The value of the program has always been in that it’s a bottom-up coaching program, not a top-down course.
Just a few days into the program, Jen Vertanen, Natasha Vorompiova, and Suzi Istvan are already laying down serious insight and wisdom for our participants.
Which leads me to number 3…
3) Conquered the 3rd role of the E-Myth narrative: manager.
The E-Myth (a sacred text among creative and lifestyle entrepreneurs) defines 3 roles that every small business owner has from time to time: technician, entrepreneur, and manager. The entrepreneur’s role is the one that comes most easily to my INTP personality. I’m happy to think big, conceptual thoughts, I’m happy to design my own systems, and I’m happy to move fast and break things.
It’s always been easiest to generate revenue (at little cost) by also being the technician and actively delivering the services that my business offers.
But the role of manager has seemed less than attractive or well-suited to me.
This was a bad assumption, however. I’m actually a great manager but, without the space and flexibility to manage my business and team the way I like, it felt extremely stressful. Now that 10ThousandFeet is handled on the logistical side by a customer support person, a project manager, and 3 coaches—in addition to Brigitte and myself—I am able to step into the role of manager and create a much better experience for everyone involved.
Which has actually put me at greater ease over the last few weeks, even as I step away from being the technician and the entrepreneur for a time.
What do you need to conquer?
We all have assumptions, modus operandi, and ruts that keep us from realizing the next level of success. Consider what assumptions you’ve been working under and how they are impacting your business and its opportunities for growth.
Speaking of what you need to conquer, I’m also thrilled to tell you that I’m a featured expert in Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Summit. It’s a completely free course (valued at $999) designed to help you build a foundation for your business that gives you more confidence, clarity, and cash.
I really love what Natalie has done with this program and all the high-quality effort they put into the program. You can sign-up—FREE—right here.
Announcements, Business Brainstorm
This is a time of year when many business owners are thinking about what’s next in their businesses. And for you, that might be your “Next Big Thing.” It’s a product, program, or service that you’re incredibly excited about. Something you think might represent your business for years to come. Something that might finally put you over the top of your revenue goal or revolutionize your business model.
A Next Big Thing could be exactly what your business needs to do all those things. Unfortunately, if you’re an idea person like me—and I reckon you probably are, it’s likely that you’ll get carried away with the idea itself and forget to engage some of the strategies that can help you realize the true potential of your idea.
After all, you’d like people to be hungry to buy your new idea, right?
Here are 4 mistakes you’re likely to make in the process of marketing, launching, and selling your new product—and how to avoid them:
1) You take it to market too slowly.
Yes, too slowly. The faster you can bring a product to market the better. My highest grossing, most respected and well-known products have gone from idea to sales in the shortest periods of time. And that’s no fluke.
When you take a product to market as quickly as possible, you get “proof of concept.” The proof, of course, is whether people are willing to buy it or not.
To get that proof, you need to ask yourself, “What’s the least amount of work I can do on this for people to be willing to buy it?” Perfectionists, please stay with me. I’m a Virgo, I get it.
Challenge yourself to think small.
The answer to that question is the design of your Minimum Viable Product. Often for service or information businesses, the answer is nothing more than an offer, a sales page, or even just a conversation. For product businesses, it might be a photoshop mockup or a sketch.
If you don’t have at least some people willing to buy this kind of product, your Next Big Thing isn’t going to be that big the way you’ve conceived it. The great part of going to market fast is that you can make changes, adjust your idea—possibly several times—so that when it comes time to really investing your time, money, or energy into your idea, you know it’s going to work.
2) You don’t take into account who’s ready to buy.
Now, not everyone buys a Minimum Viable Product. Who does? Early Adopters. They’re often your business’s biggest fans and most loyal customers. They love trying out new stuff and are just tickled when they get to try out something before everyone else.
But what about when you move past of the MVP stage? Every stage of product iteration and marketing development should take into consideration the segment of the market you’re ready to reach—and who’s ready to be sold to.
For example, you might develop an internal launch of your new product that is designed specifically for customers who wouldn’t have been comfortable buying a prototype but are nonetheless excited about a new idea. They’re focused on what they’re trying to achieve, how they want to feel, and how they could be doing things better.
Later in the game, you might turn an active product into a more passive product or evergreen offering and put it on autopilot. The kind of customer who is going to buy that product wants to have everything figured out for them. They’re likely more focused on fixing a problem or alleviating some pain.
Each of these stages deserves a fresh marketing message that appeals to that customer segment’s specific needs.
3) You focus on feel-good ideas instead of urgent needs.
Speaking of needs, let’s talk about that. I know you, you hate to be “salesy.” And you just love this idea that business “starts with why” because it feels good, feels safe, feels altruistic.
Here’s the thing, business starts with why but transactions don’t end with it.
Instead, the real reason people Buy Now is because they’re actually looking for something to buy. People love to buy! And when you tap into the natural reasons they’re already in the market with their wallets out, you’re much more likely to get the sale.
And the really beautiful part of that is that you still don’t have to be salesy. You just have to match your sales copy to the reasons people are looking to buy, whether that’s because they’re looking for a great necklace for date night, they’re frustrated by their website, or they’re finally ready to stop visiting the refrigerator every night at 8pm.
Don’t just get people excited, give them a reason to buy.
4) You don’t start marketing and selling soon enough.
Finally, the number one mistake I see with marketing, launching, and selling a new product is that business owners don’t start the marketing and sales process soon enough. Clients ask me all the time, “How early is too early to start marketing my new product?” The answer is never.
It is never too early.
It doesn’t have to be polished, it doesn’t have to be strategic. It does’t need to use the latest trend in online marketing.
First, marketing starts the minute you start product development. Because marketing is so much more than promotion, as soon as you start thinking about who your product is for, why they need it now, and how you’re going to best fill those needs with your product, you’ve started marketing.
Second, promotion can begin with a whisper. A small wave of a mention that you’re working on something for your people that does x, y, or z can lead to a tsunami at launch time.
Finally, I don’t let any of my clients start building a product if they haven’t figured out their sales message. If you don’t have confidence your product is going to sell, you’re not ready to realize your idea yet. Start there.
If you can avoid these 4 mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to creating and selling your next blockbuster product.
Want more on marketing, launching, and selling your next big thing? Check out my bestselling class on CreativeLive: Create a Marketing Plan & Grow Your Standout Business.