This is the second time Hillary Weiss has been on the podcast, and now she's newly retired from copywriting. Instead, she spends her time focusing on coaching for creatives.
In this episode, she takes us through the mistakes that people make when launching a product and shares steps for a successful launch, from pre-sale and beyond.
Everyone explains that making your business different is vital — but NO ONE (not even experts) explains how to actually do it... Until now.
Just click on that big fat red button, answer a couple of questions, and learn to stand the f*ck out in a no-bull, super-practical way:
"You're literally the only marketer I can stomach."
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"A terrific celebration of marketers and marketing in all its forms."
Louis: Bonjour, bonjour and welcome to another episode of Everyone Hates Marketers.com. The no fluff, actionable marketing podcast for marketers who are sick of shady, aggressive marketing. I'm your host, Louis Grenier.
In today's episode, you'll learn how to launch things so you can sell those things, it's a very interesting concept.
My guest today has been on the show before .She's a newly retired copywriter. She now focuses on entirely young, creative direction. Coaching for creatives and she has the way to define this bold point of view for them, so that they are radically relevant to the people that are trying to sell, very interesting approach.
She's also the cohost of the YouTube marketing talk show Hanya which stands for Hillary and Margo. Yeah, that website, which is a fucking hilarious name. So, yeah, Hillary Weiss, welcome aboard again.
Hillary: Merci beaucoup. It's such a joy to be here that we, and I'm just really excited to dig into today's topic.
Because I know we have so much to discuss and I do want to say I'm hearing people read back the name of my show on every episode podcast, introduction. This will never not make me laugh. So sign of a good title I think. It's a pleasure to be here.
Louis: So I'm jealous of you for a lot of reasons, but the number one is because you have a way to launch stuff. So I just mentioned your coaching for creatives, you've kind packaged it very well. You named it, The Power Position, is it?
Louis: So you have a way to name stuff. You have a way to launch it. You have a way to send many emails about it without making it salesy in a sense it's .. weird.
You use scarcity pretty well. you give them a reason to take action. And from a marketer standpoint, deconstructing it, I'm like, fuck. Yeah. that's good. That's a nice way to launch things.
Hillary: Thank you.
Louis: Before talking about how you do it and how, what you learn, the mistakes you've made in the past about launching stuff.
Let's just complain for a bit. So, what's the wrong, what are the wrong ways of launching stuff?
And before you answer, when I mean launching, it's really, I think when we talk about launching, we're talking about it in a kind of digital concept. So launching new courses, programs, webinars, products in a digital way, and that should, that usually involves some sort of email list, some sort of social media.
I just wanted to say that before… leave it going. So anyway, what other ways…
Hillary: In terms of mistakes or the errors people make? Yeah, most people do it wrong. Are we complaining? This is the complaint episode?
Hillary: Excellent. Okay. So I have a couple of critiques that I usually go to and they're two spheres of a typical complaint, and critique when it comes to launching and they kind of fall into two categories, which is the problems integrity wise and the problems technically and I think just the first, the integrity problems are the standard stuff.
I know you talk about on the podcast a lot where it's like creating false scarcity where you're like, I have two seats left and you have 17 and nobody believes you. And when you have those moments where, the price is going up next time, or it's not.
Or, you are just trying to force people into too fast of a deadline because you really have to make your numbers this month, that can be another big issue, integrity wise, just really, and also from the other... I think from a technical standpoint, you have people who, and this is gonna, this may make some people who are listening.
May make their hackles go up a little bit, but I find people sometimes tend to send too few emails when they're launching. Which is always interesting. because they're hesitating. They're like, I don't want to bother anybody. I don't necessarily want to go too hard here.
But, my personal favorite email teacher, who's this woman named Tarzan Kay. She always makes this point where she's like every email you send, it gives you an opportunity to make more money. Why wouldn't you? And I also find from the technical side of things, people often mistake launch emails as just, it has to be "Hi here's a reminder about the offer. Here's what I can do. Okay, bye".
What you want to be doing ideally is creating value with your emails and just making them pleasant to read. Giving people a reason to open, telling a story, sharing something that is interesting before you make the pitch. So it doesn't feel like you're totally draining your audience as you go, and just are interested in bleeding them dry for that sweet cash.
I also, Oh, go ahead.
Louis: When we think about the social capital, like the trust that they have in you, you should think about it in terms of ... yeah capital of some sort. When you talk about draining it made me think straight away, and which is why I interrupt you. And I will interrupt you more, so be…
Hillary: Bring it on.
Louis: ... is the fact that you should just drain this capital then after a while there's none left, but your way of seeing it, if I may, it seems like by using the V word, like value, you teach people stuff, you surprise them, you add to this capital. So then in return you can also ask them something. Is that right?
Hillary: Absolutely. Yes. And it's also for me. So I think a lot, and André Chaperon, talks about this in Sphere of Influence. I think a lot about email as a tool to shift the belief. And if you go back through some of my emails from my most recent launch, the greatest obstacle we have right now as marketers is current events. Like our biggest obstacle is the news. How hard is it to sell to somebody when they are living in constant terror of a massive economic downturn.
And for me, so for me, a lot of the stories was just about talking to the people for whom COVID was not a business destroyer, but was rather a way that amp... something that amplified the fact that they were doing a lot of stuff they didn't want to be doing and that they were wasting a lot of time.
And so a lot of the conversations I had were around that, which offers people value by giving them a different way to think, so it's not just let me teach you a marketing trick in this email, it's also about helping people change their minds, see things differently, get them thinking differently about themselves, their abilities and their business.
And that's actually part of the joy of launching. I think part of the fun that can be had. It's not, how do you change people's minds by convincing them they need to buy something. It's how do you help people see things differently?
So it's not necessarily a difference between “I wasn't going to buy, this is stupid and now I am”, but rather you want to be talking to the people who are thinking, “Okay, this sounds interesting, but I'm not sure”. What are the beliefs getting in the way of that?
The idea is how can we walk people from, “I don't know if this is the right time” into, “Wow. Okay. I completely understand. Now that I've reflected, this is exactly what I need”.
And those are always the best clients you can possibly have. You don't want the people you've tricked, you don't want the people who are like,” I was scared because of all the scarcity. and so I have taken out my credit card to give you my last, $5,000” or whatever.
You really want the people who are ready. So having that conversation and focusing really on the belief shifts and the steps that you want them to take upon reflecting and deciding whether something is right for them or not. it's actually just a really fun, creative challenge, and it makes it interesting for the people who have to read all the emails.
Louis: Okay. So there's a lot of stuff to unpack. You mentioned the André Chaperon product Sphere of Influence, which is highly recommended. It's a fucking great product that changes our beliefs around email marketing.
Hillary: I've got a sales page for that, by the way. Did you know that? That's a little Easter Egg.
Hillary: Yep. One of my articles from 2017 is on there. I'm very fancy.
Louis: Well, me too. Actually, my article about Seth Godin and my interview was, it was also mentioned there.
Hillary: Is there some kind of... should we make tee shirts?
Louis: Yeah [laughs] - okay going back to integrity as an issue and tech as an issue. So you would say those are the two biggest ones, right?
Something I'm hearing a lot about email marketing and automation. If you use Convert Kit, you can do [inaudible] free, crazy automated stuff. A lot of people will say,” It's easy, just set up a fucking seven day email sequence one day at a time and that's it. You don't have to do any more”. What do you think of that?
Hillary: Incorrect. Fully incorrect. And I would say it also depends on what you're launching and what you're doing, because if you are, I always use, I'm not going to use an example outside of the marketing space, cause it's not going to make sense, but I like to talk about this in the sense of if you are a person who fixes houses, fixes roofs and someone's roof is broken, they don't need a six email sequence So it really depends like on the problem that you're solving. Is it, how urgent is it and how much, how many beliefs do you have to change? If what, sorry, what beliefs do you have to change? And where do you have to get people to?
And I think that the idea that you can just put up a seven email sequence and be done, I think there are some businesses in which that would make sense, but it depends on when you're selling, what you're selling and when you're selling something that's application based that's, $5,000 or more, it looks quite different and requires a little bit more of showing versus telling.
So this is why you have the PLF sequence for when you're launching a course. So you have the webinar or the three part email sequence, a series or the challenge, and I've done all of these styles of launches.
So you bring people in with a free item and then move them through the sales process. Lately, what's actually been really working for me, has been a combination of Instagram and email because I find I have a lot of followers, a lot of buyers on Instagram. So I will use Instagrams, posts, stories.
And IGTV to talk about certain things at certain points of the launch. And the one, two punch has just been awesome. I have more, I have a modest list and a modest following, but they're highly engaged. and it's a great way to keep people in the vortex of the launch discussion, without it relying solely on email and without having to do a freaking challenge.
So it's just, it's not my favorite.
Louis: How many, roughly how many people are on your mailing list?
Hillary: I have about, Oh, that's about the size of my internet [inaudible] habits. It's about 2000 people a little over.
Louis: Cool. On IG?
Hillary: I'm a... but I'm edging up on 3000. So I don't have ongoing numbers.
Louis: Even smaller lists than even smaller following. As long as people are engaged. The reason why I'm asking is exactly for that. I don't care about the size. It's more the fact that you have an incredibly successful business. I mentioned in the intro that you effectively retired from doing work because you can sell other products, creative directions, messaging, structure, or strategy.
And yeah, you can see if you're listening to this episode right now, you can see that it's absolutely doable without a fucking 10,000 hundred thousand emails.
Hillary: That's the thing too, because I had a lot of people, cause I'm also very omnipresent. I have a team, I have a lot of support. so I'm everywhere.
In terms of, showing up on Twitter is like always me, Instagram. I have support on, when I double cross with Facebook and all of that. but what is interesting is people were like,”I thought you had 20,000 people on your email list” and it's no way.
First of all, I have never, I haven't done that kind of paid advertising that brings in those numbers yet. And two, I think it's, we always think when people are visible and known in the space that it is, we think about that in terms of email list size for one reason or another. and it's not the size of the boat, baby. It's the motion of the ocean. and the, I think the important thing to keep in mind as well is that.
This is the importance of not relying just on one platform. so email lists, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I hit all of those points for my launches in one way or another, because I'm mobilizing and I'm activating different people in different places, on those platforms.
So it's not always, the size of your email list is not do or death, not do or die and neither is the size of your social platforms, it's a matter of who's engaged and how you're using them.
Louis: So let's unpack the launch, a very recent launch you've done, which is selling your coaching. If you have a better example, go through it.
But I think it's the most recent and there's a lot of stuff we can unpack from it. So let's go from the beginning. We're not going to talk about how to create a product that people give a shit about that defines, is compelling for them, different. That's for another day, let's assume for the time being that you have a product or service that actually is compelling because it generates value for people's, relieves pains, and it's differentiated enough. so people care about, so that's the foundation. Now we have that. Let's unpack then. What you've done. let's go through your mind. What was step one when you decided, okay, I'm going to launch this thing or make a big splash a bit about that.
Hillary: Absolutely. And so I find that I start with the pre-sale. I'm always thinking about what conversation leads into this. and what's the real blessing about what I'm selling, being one-to-one coaching. It means that I have direct access to current recent buyers, which is great. And also past recent buyers.
Because I stay friends with my clients and they keep sending me updates and all that good stuff and it was actually a bit of a different point of view than I did last round. I think last round I was talking about, helping creatives who are best kept secrets come out from behind the curtain and do the thing in public and actually build brands and do what they want to do.
But this round, what was interesting. I'm hearing a lot from my clients, was that on sales calls and in, the calls that we do in the coaching was that I feel like my brain's a mess. And I feel like you hold up a mirror and show me what's valuable in it. You can find it, the threat you find what sort of the gold sitting in there that I thought was just a disaster and me having influences and ideas from a million different places. But what I personally am good at is seeing all of those individual pieces and being like, okay, here's the common thread we're going to do this and this, and turn it into that because that's been my number one struggle as a business owner because I'm easily distractible.
I'm very energetic. and I'm also, I am recovering workaholic in a lot of ways as well. So it's a real joy to be able to offer that process to people. What I did for the pre-sale is I was like, let me experiment with talking to this problem. And I call it the messy brain problem where people are like, I feel like I can't just get a grip on what's what I need to do next, because there's so much distracting me.
And I often find that there are three things causing a messy brain, which is one you're doing a bunch of stuff you don't want to be doing anymore. You're really tired of your work. And you're like, it just doesn't excite you. So you feel exhausted. and you're also trying to do all the things.
Because you've got this job, but you're like, Oh wait. Should I be sending weekly emails to my list? Should I have a podcast? Should I be doing Instagram stories? Should I be making a course and just really do this pile of stuff that we put on our own plates. When we think about, building our brands and getting to the next level, we assume we have to be doing all the things.
When in reality, we really have to be getting focused and taking the correct steps at the correct time. And the second and third pieces of the messy brain puzzle, are everyone has that one client who's been with you for, however many years is still paying your old rates and is the one that shows up on your inbox being like, "Hi, I know it's quite a night, but can you like get this to me three hours ago".
Hillary: And then, so there's doing all the things, there's the problem client. And then there's also the fact that they feel like they, in some ways are, they're hiding. Cause they don't know what to do next and that frustration can be paralyzing. So it just creates this kind of rat's nest in our brains. So that's what I started speaking to with the presale. and then the next phase was, okay.
Louis: So before we talk about the next phase like this, what's good about what you're doing naturally, and you've been talking about to so many people, but it is because you are able to summarize what you're solving in one or two words.
So I think if you had to unpack this, that's the first thing you're able to, instead of saying, actually my coaching, can I help you do this, and this and this? No, you just laser focus on one thing, And that prevents you from basically, instead of having one message that just connects with people having too many, I read this book recently, they were talking, giving this example.
I'm going to fucking share the analogy, but he's saying, you wouldn't add the PLG at the back of a ferry, like PLG being a, to say equipment, heavy duty equipment in fields and stuff like that. You wouldn't, but you would not add a PLG at the back of a ferry because we don't go a hundred miles an hour and do your fields for you.
It wouldn't fucking work. And it's the same thing for a message. It's you're just doing one thing very well. And don't fucking add shit to it because then it's not going to work.
Hillary: Yep. Yeah. And I think that's actually where a lot of entrepreneurs struggle and where they get tricked or they get tricked and tripped up as the value conversation.
Because they're like, “Oh, it can be used for this, and this. it's if you get a bottle of cleaning solution and you find out that. You can wash your hair and face with it and also your floor and also your car”. It doesn't excite you. You're like, what the hell is in this cleaning product?
That's Dark Waters by the way. [laughs] But I think this one still popular brand, but it's, I think, it helps people. We get caught up in this idea that value is information that what I can tell you and what I think we can do is going to help you see the value. But the value is in the action it's in...
Okay. Where are you now? What needs to be done to get you where we want to go? And I think that's what I anchored a lot of the launch conversation into where it's okay, you want to do this and this. But before that happens, we have to get you properly positioned in the market.
Louis: And to unpack how you found out about this problem.
You just had conversation with people, but I suspect that the messy brain problem didn't just occur to you all of us, or maybe it did, I don't know, but what are the steps that you took that enabled you to actually have this very laser focused message?
Hillary: Yes, it was for me. I think sales calls are the absolute best place to pick out... aside from your traditional customer research and whatnot, sales calls are such a great way to pull out these problems because I guarantee your clients are all coming to you saying the same thing. And I was having the same conversation over and over. I was getting on the phone with these wonderful, brilliant human beings.
And they would look and they'd look left and they'd look right. And they'd be like, I don't know what to tell you. I just feel like my brain is a mess and I can't get a grip on it. And I know there's something in there and I'm so embarrassed about it because I do all XYZ for my clients. And I'm so good at my work, but when it comes to myself, I'm like, aaarghh. And that, hearing that over and over, and also how much shame is around it.
So being able to talk about it as a common problem helps unstick people and helped them enter the conversation. So I was like, let me go ahead and tap that note a little bit and see where we go.
Louis: And the other thing as well, is where I think the reason why people are scared of just focusing on one thing is what about all of the other things, right?
Hillary: But it's helped me with other things indeed.
Louis: Yeah, no, but what they forget about what people think about is what they think they're missing out on, not saying those things, but actually you need to think of what you're missing out on when you say all of those things, so it's the other way around, you need to think about.
By just saying one thing very well, you fucking connect with people at a deeper level. And so if you don't, you're missing out on that power. It's like niching down. People are scared of it because they're afraid of missing out on an opportunity, but it's the opposite. So you have a very clear message when you use a sales call to do that.
You just briefly mentioned kind of traditional customer research. I don't want to talk about it in too many details, but just briefly... outside of just talking to people, sales call, what would be the other method you would use to find out about people.
Hillary: Absolutely spying on people, from a distance like the government. [laughs]
But no, going on, into social media, into forums, into communities about creatives, just like looking and doing research and looking into the kinds of problems people have. And sometimes people won't always use the word positioning, but the problems around trying to brand themselves about trying to get out of whatever they're doing and move into their next phase.
But, I'm also very public about my own business journey, by the way. The reason why I attract so many people for this is I've been so open about my own challenges with it, and really open about how I've solved the problems where I'm going next so that builds really strong trust. But aside from, that sort of side note, in terms of more traditional customer research, surveys are good about why you buy and why you didn't.
I also have a segment email on my list where it's like, where are you at right now? Are you experimenting? Are you ready for the next phase? Are you a beginner? All of that. And just that, I think also traditional sales calls really are the best one for me, but I also go back to previous emails when people respond to my emails, what's resonating with them.
What conversations am I having that seem to be clicking and it was just, messy brain across the board. I was like, why did I not talk about this earlier? But really I find the finger on the pulse. The Zeitgeist moment is often in those face to face conversations and those casual chats you're having over DM.
So you don't necessarily need to spend a fortune on somebody doing that data mining for you, I'm just paying attention to what people are coming to you for and what they're struggling with the most secret look left, look, right moments. What happens after they feel like no one else is listening, what are they bringing to you?
It's just the most exciting place to play also from a strategic standpoint.
Louis: And usually. What happens is once you go through this exercise and have this kind of very simple message, it, in retrospect, it feels so obvious. That's what happens to go very meta it's like the messy brain on coming up with this stuff.
It just seems easy in retrospect, but in the middle of it. Yeah. You don't fucking know.
Hillary: You got to bet on the message. Yeah. That's, it's gonna be scary being like, what if this is wrong? And what if it resonates with no one? And what if I die alone? Yeah. There's all those things.
Louis: So pre-sale. you have a very clear problem.
You're going after a very clear message. How did you structure the strategy, cause you didn't only use emails, as you mentioned, you also use Instagram. So how do you go about that?
Hillary: Yes. So I actually use, I go to the best for this kind of thing. So Tyler J. McCall or Tyler McCall, I think now I think he removed the J from his brand name anyway.
But he is an Instagram strategist and has this really cool workbook that kind of walks you through a solid Instagram strategy. So I followed that and it goes through the kind of traditional launch process in a way that you would buy an email where you have. The Q & A, where you have the, why do people need it now, what's a common misconception and what I was doing was I was basically walking people through. So we had a couple of presale posts and then we have the announcement posts where it's like, Hey, hooray, awesome. Like it's open and go put in your application. But what I'm doing is I'm posting that. Then I'm going to Instagram stories and saying, Hey guys, this is open. Here's why it's so cool. Here's what I'm so excited about here. A couple testimonials. Awesome. Now I'm going to go over to Instagram TV, and talk about that further and answer some of your questions. So it's really deploying all three means on Instagram.
In addition, email has been super powerful, just helping people continue to consume the information. Cause there's a lot of crossing a reference between. What I do, who I talk to in my email list and who I talk to on Instagram and interestingly, but I also did this round is that, as part of the pre-sale, I actually linked the Instagram video I did on my messy brains. And sent it to my list. So I had more people following me on Instagram, more people who are tuned in there as well. so we go through the process, let me actually open it up and I can tell you better. Give me one second.
Louis: Do it.
Hillary: So we had the, there's golden, that messy brain of yours, but, then I did social proof, where I had a whole post on one of my favorite students.
Louis: So is that pre-sale or after.
Hillary: Yeah, this is after. So it's a pre-sell wait, what did I do? No, I did. I did. Nope. This is how I did it. I did a pre-sale. Was the messages hinting at it, then messy brain, then social proof telling a story of one of my clients. And then the next day I launch.
Louis: Okay. So you had three messages, the first one being, what was it?
Hillary: The first one was, let me see here. I think I did two this time, but last time, the first one I did was talking about misconceptions about having a coach where it was like, I don't need it. I'm not a fancy person who needs a coach. Why would I do that? And then this time I shortened the pre-sale, cause it didn't seem as necessary to do all three days.
So I did two. So I did the golden, that messy brain of yours. And then I did, let me tell you a story about a client who had these amazing results. And I really wanted to tell her story too. and I tell stories like this with a lot of heart, cause I just really love the shit out of my clients. and so I told that story and then the next day we went to launch mode.
Louis: So those emails, all messages were one day at a time, like every day.
Hillary: Yup. Every day in a row for a little bit.
Louis: So yeah. How many complaints did you get from messaging people every day?
Hillary: Zero complaints, like just unfollow me. don't complain. I'm not going to answer you. Oh, I like to think that's the culture and the vibe I give out.
Yeah. Complaints. And I think that's, I'm glad you brought that up because again, this is a lot of the concern people have about launching am I going to annoy people? And the answer is no.
Louis: Yeah. And if they are slightly annoyed, then they can fuck off and unsubcribe.
Hillary: Exactly. That's what the button is for. And they don't have to bring that shit to you. And if they do it's something personal, so they should be out of your life. Anyway, don't let the door, hit him on the ass on the way out.
Louis: Okay, so you, it sounds very easy and very entreative when you say, but a lot of work comes into what you've done. A lot of learned lessons and mistakes that you don't want to make anymore. So I'm trying to unbundle them as much as possible. So the misconception one, why did you feel this was necessary to do that?
Hillary: In terms of, oh, the misconceptions? Because, I, so the reason why I did that one is first of all, it's just a good strategy to speak directly to an objection like that.
What's the number one reason why somebody wouldn't invest in coaching? And it was also a part of my journey. And this is a story that I've told, I literally have a blog post I wrote called how to mentor your damn self. because not everybody needs a coach all the time. But if you want to do something you've never done before, if you're going into uncharted waters, it certainly helps to have a guide.
But I was, it was I did that part as part of the pre-sale because it was fun for me to unpack. I was like, I remember the days before... What convinced me to invest in a coach? Because I was so low the first like seven, six or seven years of my business. Like I'm almost at year 10 but, of course my results skyrocketed when I got the right support.
But you don't really buy that when you have a, and this is part of why coming out of, from behind the scenes was...one of the first, was from the launch prior to this one, why that was a core point. Because it was like, you've come as far as you can being scrappy and figuring it out as you go, but now you've hit a wall and what happens next?
So that was part of why I wanted to talk about coaching as a misconception. but the value of coaching being for fancy people as a total misconception, and that it's actually something that you should be investing in when you're at this point, instead of being like, when I make $20,000 a month, then I can pay for a coach because I think some people have the idea of getting coaching support kind of the same way they think about like sororities and fraternities.
Like, why would I pay for friends? Why would I pay for a mentor? And it's easy to think that, and that's a cool kid way of thinking is you're like, I don't need a coach. I'm good. But it was just, it was fun to dig into. And I think it definitely moved the needle.
Louis: So then the social proof side of things is but a more, I would say obvious one.
Everyone knows about these. You need to share results and you've told this story, but yeah, you mentioned the story side of things, you're not saying it in a very dry way. you have a way with words, yourself. You are very skilled at it. So it's difficult to teach others, it's practice.
But telling a story with dialogues inside it, very vivid descriptions, very vivid results, very specific results. It's not just. dry, but anyway, we can't really talk about this in detail. this will take another fucking episode.
Hillary: I got nowhere to be it's, we're still locked down here in Brooklyn.
One thing I do want to say is that I also actually changed the angle of social proof this time. So last time I did the money thing where it's like, Oh, I had this one client who was coming to me and the pandemic hit. And she was like, my business is now going to implode. And I was like, nah, and we like re-jigged her.
We went forward with the plan and she ended up having her best month ever in the middle of a pandemic. She jumped from 14 er 10. I don't... around 10 to 14 and now she's closer to 20, which is great. but I didn't want to tell that story again because there's more important things than money.
In this conversation, I think it's really easy to be like, look how much money I hope this person makes. But the story I wanted to tell this round was about what's more important than money because while this girl who I talked about, a former client of mine, Sarah Zarko, a phenomenal copywriter great human being.
She went through our coaching. And actually had some things unfold in her personal life that caused her to step back for a little while. Then when she came back because she had everything ready to go and all of these tools in her pocket, she hit the ground. Sprinting came back [inaudible], blazing. Three months in, I think she's been three months back or something three to six months.
And her business is better than it's ever been. She's working with A list clients she's teaching what she wants to teach, is doing what she wants to do. She sent me a message just, she was like, I had a $5,000 project just fall into my lap again. And I just wanted you to know how different this feels.
From not having how hard I used to have to hustle for those types of projects. And now they're just landing in my lap and this is awesome. and that's part of having a business than a brand that's built on what you do uniquely well. even if you have to take time away when you come back.
If you can fire up the gas again, because you're not “Oh no, I have to build this back up again. And I have to swim around in circles for a little bit until I figure out where I'm going”. So that like excitement, satisfaction, and confidence was something I wanted to speak to you more.
Louis: So you're talking more about emotional benefits and things that touch on things bigger than just money.
What enables you to have, once you have more money, once you get more money from it, like you feel more confident as you said, you all need to, to, to beg for clients and discount your fees and whatnot. So I appreciate you making the point. I think it's a very important one.
It's not all about just dollar signs and especially if you don't want to be too. I think, I associate it with kind of shady marketers when it's about money, too.
Hillary: We increased the client's results by 3518% . They were making $0 making 3000 grow. Fascinating.
Louis: Anyone can come up with shitty case studies that is like this it's just so obvious.
So when you can paint a vivid image of what it looks like to be in this future state that you want to be in using a real world example and going deep into the emotions, using the words of the people who went through it, it just goes way beyond just a shitty case study with as you said, 3584% increase.
So yeah, it's good. So the pre-sale was there and then did they have to, so you said, Hey, this is it. You can apply. not the start of the sale.
Hillary: Yeah, applications are open. Yeah.
Louis: So how many emails, how many messages? What was the strategy after the pre-sale?
Hillary: I, so I think I sent, let me see here. So I did, let's see, I did the announcement post, which I did, which meant I did the post Instagram story IGI. I did what's on your stop doing list. That was the next step we were talking about again, the process. and then I went again on Instagram stories. It's a shock about that. Then I did a Q&A day on Instagram stories, which did not have a post tied to it, I believe, which I did again, Instagram stories and then, Instagram TV, and then... oh, there we go, yeah.
Wait, we did at the Q&A post. Fabulous. and then I continued. Yeah. I'm like, I've just gotten my head still spinning from the launch. and then we did the final close out yesterday, which was basically like last call to action. Was, get in obviously your applications for the, August, September rounds, come on in, and email wise, I think I did seven or eight.
So every day I was sending emails from Wednesday to Wednesday. So that way...
Louis:Let's unpack this a bit. So you talked about process, so unpacking the process and unpacking, you talked about you did Q&A, so answering people, questions, anything else? If you, if we take a step back from it, so you talked about the process, Q&A, what else did you do?
Hillary: I talked about the process Q&A, and then I also put the other idea, like painting the picture of end results, which is the stop doing list email.
And I, that was the subject line, was just. No. and the open rates are really great because everyone loves the good email about No. One thing I didn't do this time that I have done on occasion is sending emails over the weekend. but the rate I was getting applications was fine. I didn't really feel the need to, but I don't think people should shy away from that when I do product launches.
I always send a couple of Sunday emails just because it's” Hey, I know you're like, try and pretend to hang out with your family and scrolling your inbox. Cause that's where you live, you work dog”. But it was, it was really fun to experiment with the process. And, I think that having the no conversation having the FAQ, and then we did the, who is it for?
Which was, I think Tuesday. And then, yesterday we did final calls, imagine what your life could be like. And then the last call coaching decision making email was last night.
Louis: Okay. You're making my job very difficult. So just think back. Okay. So process the Q&A for desired states.
And then the final call. So that sounds like that a bit, so why did you talk about the process? I know it might sound obvious, but why did you talk about what actually goes on in your coaching? And just one thing to say about your coaching is I would call it productivized coaching. And I fucking hate this term. I think it's great, as I say, if you packaged it, it's six weeks, six weeks long. It's not an ongoing forever thing. So it's a product. It fits in a box. Like it's just, anyway, so it's the word? [Inaudible]
Yeah, that's it. So yeah, this thing So why did you feel the need to talk about what will happen? Like the process of the coaching?
Hillary: Yeah, I think it's, I really think part of a buyer decision, especially when it comes to something, one to one is helping people picture themselves in the process. But when people picture themselves, on, with me on the other end of a zoom call talking about what's on their stop doing list, talking about what their specialty and signature framework is, because that makes it real.
And that also continues to create that desire from a place of really strong intent., because if you don't need that, you're like, that sounds cool. Moving on. But if that's something you would know your business needs and can really use picturing yourself with it. And man, I can't imagine if I was able to talk to somebody about this who could really pull this out of me, what would I be able to achieve?
And that's again, a great way to paint the picture and continue to work on that belief shift.
Louis: Indeed. And then you did a Q&A, that's obvious why it's necessary, but so people could ask question on Instagram. Is that it?
Hillary: Yes. People can ask questions. It's questions on Instagram.
They were submitting. And then I also did a Q&A email, that Q&A email was much shorter. Because it was just asking the basic, time, money, energy, and it's also a great way to add more social proof. I like to also center questions in my Q&A emails about, Hey, what is the, sorry?
My something's dragging me on my screen. I'm like, Hey, what! I am coming back around to this. Damn it. Okay. So basically I ask you the question, imagine, this, you have this question. Oh, this answer just so and so did, and then have a little VOX, a screenshot of a Voxer comment about.
Selling their first high ticket program or something. and it's important to talk about I can't guarantee results, but this is what I can tell you we're going to work on. And all of that, it's a great way to continue, and create actually value through the conversation. Also answer people's questions and help them decide whether it's for them or not.
And a Q&A can also be a place where we forget that we need to like really take a stand and help people like, decide whether it's for them or not. We want to be like, make too many allowances often in Q&A, emails. Cause it's is it for you? It's for everybody. Come on, man. I don't want to close myself off to potential sales.
But it is important to get the right people in. So that's another really vital place to put your stake in the ground and say, yes, no.
Louis: So to make sure I understand correctly, you didn't come up with the questions... you did.
Hillary: Sometimes. There ,that had the questions that were coming in from Instagram that were quite specific.
And so I grabbed a couple of good ones there. just what's your questions, but they're, they usually fall in line with the usual FAQ because there's a structure to the traditional FAQ part of a sales page for a reason. Everyone wants to know, is this picture, it's I find that time, money and energy are often the top three.
You're going to be talking about. so you want to talk about costs. And then the investment, why it's worth it. You want to be talking about how much time people need to spend on it, and then you want to be talking about the value of it. I get put their personal labor. So you paint the picture of, if you're doing this, if you're showing up to three hours a week for yourself, here's what you're going to be able to achieve.
And then after that, it's questions, I've, often it's I've done coaching before and it didn't really work. How will this work for me? Or I've done programs. Or you can position yourself against the traditional program or against traditional coaching. That's more open. Yeah. And, so yeah, and this is where again, having a high poduct service really works because you point to the system, you're like, this is how it's going to work every time.
So let me, and it's not so templatized that it feels rigid, but people can see the steps and picture themselves in the process. So they know exactly what they'd be getting each step of the coaching journey.
Louis: So time, money, resources, and then you said something I like, which is you're positioned against something else.
Louis: All right. So let's talk about that because that's super fucking important. That's how, in my opinion, that's how you bring something to life in a sense. People's brains use up 20% of the energy of the body, right? So it's disproportionate amount compared to the weight and we don't want to use that much fucking energy.
So we need something to lean on, To lean against. We don't want to come up with thoughts from scratch. We want to compare it to something else and to, Oh, that's like that, but not that not a hundred percent. And the other thing is where it is it's a way to show your expertise by, by showing how different it is and for a reason.
So anyway, I'm unpacking it a bit and you probably have another point of view on it, but, so why is it so important to you to position it against something else?
Hillary: It's exactly. It's exactly the reason you gave. And I talk about this as no is a North star, because it really helps you get clear.
Cause yes, it's like big and nebulous. Cause yes leaves room for everything. But no, it allows you to get really specific about what this is, what it is not, and I think also there's a way to do that. Because some people are afraid of starting, using that note, taking that strong stance.
Because they're like, I don't want to be rude. I don't want to alienate people. And a part of me is if I can alienate people, he cares, but no, what you really wanna do is, be respectful about it of course. But what you want to say is, illustrate, be able to illustrate your own value in contrast to another thing out there.
So people who have experienced that other thing are people, even people who are suspicious of that, other things can understand how this works in relation to other coaching programs, other products around positioning or programs, all of this stuff. So they can really see the difference and figure out whether one on one support and the way I do things is what they're looking for.
Louis: And how do you pick the enemy, the status quo and before actually, before talking about that, let's just go back to one thing about people being afraid. So that's something that means share to me before, when I give this advice, they're afraid of being rude, they're afraid of picking a fight when they don't want to.
So what do you say to people who are afraid of that? What's the downside of picking a side?
Hillary: I don't think there's any downsides to picking a side, except that you might get some, a couple of angry emails, but actually my, as somebody who's made a career for myself, of being a contrarian and speaking to these things, just like you do, I've gotten very little hate mail in my career, knock on wood.
And this is the I'm literally knocking on wood because I'm superstitious like that. But, What is interesting about it is that people who are concerned with that are in the same mindset often as well. I don't know if I want to post this on social media. Because what if everyone hates it or what if nobody sees it and, or I want everybody to love it and be obsessed with it, for it to go viral.
And it's either of those three things probably isn't going to happen, especially when you're starting out. So I think that's an imposter syndrome thing. That's a monkey brain thing. but what I talked to my clients about when it comes to taking a stand is where you get into hot water. With this contrarian thing is about targeting individuals.
Targeting individuals whose careers can suffer, whose bottom lines can suffer, whose family is, will read what you're having to say. That's where you can get into hot water. But what I find is that the best, the best strategy is to point to the system and also come at it from a place of empathy, almost every piece that I've written that has been like a hot take in the industry has started with.
So here's what most people believe. And that's completely understandable because X, Y, Z, and that allows people who may not initially agree with you to open their minds, to feel seen, to feel met at their level. So they're more open to having their minds change and receiving new information.
Louis: So it's blame the game?
Hillary: Exactly. Hate the player. No, don't hate the player. Hate the game.
Louis: Yeah, fuck. Anyway, that's what I do, I butcher things for a living as well. And, but from my experience as well to give it, because I'm a contrarian as well. And I fucking love to say it for the sake of it sometimes.
I've never received an email or anything that says what you're saying is shit. I did receive, and I still do receive a few emails, a few messages from people saying that I pick my nose too often and that I curse, that I curse too much. I do. You know what to tell those people?
Hillary: What do you tell them?
Louis: Fuck you!
Hillary: There we go...finger in the nose and all. [laughs]
Louis: No, but it's true though. When you think about it, like it's, you're very contrarian, I'm very contrarian. And to try to be the name of the podcast is very contrived and on purpose and you don't get anyone insulting you on it. It just doesn't happen. What I'm afraid of is obscurity. I'm not afraid of making enemies.
Because it just doesn't happen if you do it exactly as you described, pitting against the system, the game in general, you don't name people. you don't blame it on them. You say, Hey, I understand why you're doing this. you want to reach your target. You want to make money. I don't blame you. I blame the system that makes you think this way.
Hillary: Yep. Absolutely. And that's, again, it's people where they are. I wish politics, the political dialogue was more like this. but I think I love what you said, I'm not afraid of criticism. I'm afraid of obscurity and amen. If you want to be visible, you have to have the allies and enemies, you have to.
And even the brands in the world are a little bit against something because they're against the Boehmer brands, i.e. So it's interesting, like allies and enemies, that's something we neglect as part of branding, something we neglect in our brand strategy all too easily, but it's vital. Absolutely necessary.
Louis: Especially if you're small, starting out, you can not just be a happy brand, just agreeing with everyone repeating what other people are saying. It just doesn't work. And psychologically speaking, I've been researching that a lot recently. Why? Why do we do this? Why do we... are compelled, to be attracted to negative emotions or to have a villain in our life.
And, I'm also going to butcher this, but, the reason why we need the villain in our life is because it allows us to summarize things that are bad for us in a kind of a character shape in a thing that we comprehend. And that prevent us from seeing randomness in the world. Like it's not about being random anymore.
It's not about shit happens to us , it's that you personally fade to the point where people can comprehend it and fight against it. So it's very powerful stuff and it goes back to storytelling as well. Something that we've been doing for fucking millennials, because of our need to belong and to be heard and all of that.
So it is rooted in psychology, meaning it's not a fad. That's going to go in five years, right?
Hillary: Yeah. Yes, absolutely. And I think it also creates that, Oh shit. I've been looking for someone saying this, thank you. And I'm sure you get this a lot. Cause I do thank you for saying what I was thinking, but on aid articulate, and that's where you want to live.
That's where you know that you're on the right track with your message and your audience.
Louis: And most people. Yeah. 90 people, I'm going to come up with a shitty statistic, like I always do. 99% of people are too afraid of saying something like that. So by definition of you taking your stand, you're already doing something.
A lot of people don't do. And as you said if you think that if you're annoyed at this thing, but you're too afraid to say it, chances are, it's not even chances, it's 100% certain that other people have thought the same. We are 7 billion, 8 billion in this world. Trust me. You're not the only one with those thoughts.
Hillary: Yep. Exactly. Stop, stop thinking you're so special. Seriously. Say the thing,why not see what happens?
Louis: So Q & A, picking a side, comparing yourself with the right thing. Oh yeah. Before we move on, the question I asked before asking you another one is, Which status quo, which enemy do you pick?
Because it could be many fights. Right? So how do you pick the right fight?
Hillary: I find. I... this is another place where talking to your customers obviously is great, cause you'll hear them say, like I tried this... but. Like the issue that a lot of my clients had was that they, have a pile of programs and courses around this stuff, gathering dust.
Why? Because they don't know, they haven't, they don't know how to prioritize, taking time for themselves. There's nobody holding them accountable. so they're gathering information and not moving. And I'm a big, I speak to learn by doers because that's who I am. I think we may have talked about this in the last episode that we did, but I think for me, because I was never really a great student.
I'm not very, I'm not really a theory person. Like you put me in a lecture, my eyes will cross. I will start like texting. just because I can't really absorb info well that way, but let me get my hands dirty. Let me start trying things, let me start making mistakes. And then I will pick things up incredibly quickly.
And that's a lot of who I work with are people who do best when they're getting their hands dirty and they're moving. So a big part of the way I do my coaching is it's like, We're having this conversation, then you have homework. I want you to get me this outline. I want you to get me this email. I want you to get me, this step-by-step of your approach, all of these tools that I have them working through.
And I bother them if I don't see them, which is also helpful. I'm like, where is it? We can't, we gotta have this for the next session. Which gets people moving and gets their brains, building that momentum. It gets them understanding also that this is not necessarily something that's going to take over their lives.
This is the work they can do in addition to the client work that they're doing for the moment. But it makes it doable and it helps them see progress more quickly. So they get excited and then the rest of the journey is much easier.
Louis: All right. and then the last thing you mentioned was the kind of the final call type of emails, Which is again...
Hillary: Yeah, those are hard.
Louis: Yeah, those are hard because they could feel a bit salesy and a bit, all of that stuff, but they're not really, if you have a good reason why you're finishing telling them to take action now. So how, what's your approach to those. Hey, this is it. This is the last chance.
Hillary: Yes. And there's something called a pattern interrupt cart, close email, because the traditional cart closing and I was like, Hey, knock. it's going away tonight. Don't miss this. You're going to be sad. And then knock last reminder. And that's not very inspiring, it's not really going to, it's not really gonna push those people who are on the fence off of it, they're just like, Oh, okay, next time. So what I focused on with my final two emails was talking again to the, to that experience of knowing that they want more for their business, really painting a picture of what that looks like for them right now, so that they can move into the next phase.
And obviously. Positing power position as a solution. but the most important thing we can talk about and remember for cart closing emails is they're not about reminders, they're about coaching decision-making. So what I wanted to do was tee up the email in the morning to say Hey, you've probably been brought face to face with a lot right now about what you want and don't want in your business.
And you've got this messy brain and all of this is happening to you. And you're like, Oh my God, I've let so much time pass me by waiting for the right time to make the step and to do something crazy. I don't know, retire from copywriting, like some nut jobs in the middle of global pandemic. and just talking about that enough moment of our they're like, Oh my gosh, I realized that I had so many opportunities to take this jump and take this swing.
And I didn't because I was always waiting for the right time. And now the right time is really gone. So maybe that's an illusion anyway. so that's one of the, that's a very philosophical version of what I ended up writing. I think you read it. So I put that to them just saying if you, but if you want to take the step. go ahead and send in your application. We can talk about it. I would love to support you. And then the final email, very short, this being like, Hey, you read the emails, you've been through the process, but now I want to challenge you to think, do you want to be a year from now being like, I should have done that power position then, because imagine where I could have been, it should have just gone for it, but also phrasing it in a way that encourages people to know that if you're not a right fit for this, I'm not gonna make you do it.
Getting them off the fence in that way, like sending the application, let's have the conversation. if you think this is what you want, let's discuss it in depth and then we'll take it from there, because I think that's another part of the hesitation too. People are like, I sent it to my application and what if I get talked into it?
And what if I can't say no? So that was just one final. The note I wanted to hit too, which is a tricky line to straddle. Cause you don't want to sound unconfident, with that. But I think it was a matter of, just reminding them that my number one priority is getting the right people in the program.
So they send in their applicant. If they're feeling called, sending their application, let's talk about it. Let's go. I would love to help you create this next phase. So that's how I went down.
Louis:The last ingredient that you're using, which I thought you would mention is you are adding some sort of scarcity by saying that the price would increase, right?
So you're not saying, you're saying two things, you're saying, a lot more, but the two main things are, this is the last time for you to do it because price would increase and I'm not going to open the application anytime soon. So what, how do you, why did you choose this strategy?
Hillary: Yes. So actually become more because I'm raising the price.
I actually, it was funny because I thought I was going to be raising the price next time. I didn't want it to be a focal point of the whole launch. because I didn't want deal hunters just like swooping in and being like, Oh, wow. This is the last time it's going to be like this price. So I love a good deal. Those aren't necessarily the people I want to be working with, but I did it. I set it on the last day, because first of all, I am going to be raising the price. It's part of the larger ecosystem of my business and this additional vision I have. and so I put it to them the last day to push that urgency and also just let people know who were getting to the finish line.
Who may have needed just that extra touch as to whether now was the right time or not. If they, I wanted to give it the, that information, I didn't want to necessarily use it to create core scarcity because for me, the scarcity is applications are closing. You're not going to be able to get in again until October at the earliest.
And I can't take everybody into this program. There are limited spots. so I wanted to be careful with what I shared. But yes, the reason why I talked about this, the last top opportunity for this price point on the last day was just to get that final push without having to make it a focus of the campaign.
I think that can be really distracting for people and also for you writing the emails, being like, Oh, price is going up. So I better mention that in every email and it was just it for me, it would have thrown off my whole game, I think. so it was just really cornerstoning it by saying, just letting you guys know price is going up. So they have the information to make a more informed decision as opposed to racing to the finish line, because this is the last time they're going to get a great deal.
Louis: Gotcha. Okay. So thanks for sharing a lot of days. Thanks for unpacking the way you did things. which a lot of it is intuition based on your experience and what you've done over the years, but I just took a few notes.
Just going to repeat a few things that you said you started by saying. The two main things to be careful about is like the intricate integrity side and the tech side of things that automation without doing the work, it doesn't work. really. You need to unpack the beliefs that they have about themselves right now, the self story, the worldview, and change it.
You need to flip it around to suit, what they want achieve. in their life and you're using sales call, you're using like firsthand contact with people to know that this is a, this is the core problem. This is the message. and then you had the presale and amounts where you talk about your process, had Q&A talked about who it's for, talked about where they want to be.
The desire States, the final goal. and there we are.
Hillary: Yes. Perfect. And I do want to add one more thing with Instagram strategy, the goal isn't always, and actually usually isn't clicking the link in your profile. The goal is getting people to DM you, which is really interesting. So you can have those conversations and Facebook was the same story, but my DMs, aren't as active there.
So I did want to add that note with Instagram, creating Instagram in tandem with an email strategy is either. It's easy, click the link, get the application, do the thing. But Instagram it's like asking open ended questions. So people feel welcome to have the conversations with you to find out whether it's for them a really useful tool in that regard.
But I just did want to clarify that because for Instagram, it's like link in bio swipe up. Nay, you want to be actually having conversations with people.
Louis: Yeah, thanks for making that point. I'm not an Instagram, not planning to be on.
Hillary: Why not?
Louis: Because it gives me anxiety I hate seeing other people's highlight reel. Just not for me it's, one day maybe, but it's like LinkedIn or Facebook. I am on it because I post, but I never read stuff. I block everything, I can't deal with that stuff.
Hillary as always it's been a pleasure. Thanks for unpacking all of that, with me. last question that I asked you the last time, but to be honest, I completely forgot what you said.
So we're going to re-ask and maybe you're going to come up with the same answer.
Hillary: Can I come up with a better answer?
Louis: What are the top three resources you'd recommend people listening right now. So it could be about launching specifically if you want to, it could be about anything else as well.
Hillary: Oh man, top three resources for launching for first of all, watch my show Hamyaw, your number one resource King resource. I'll go ahead. I'll move that away.
So I will refer to you guys to my teachers. so for email, I've been doing email for a long time. I was a copywriter for 10 years. one of the people who teaches it best is a woman called Tarzan Kay. She's got great emails, really awesome Tarzan Kay Kalryzian technically but she goes by Tarzan Kay. So she has a great program, Email Stars, that is a really great tool for anybody looking to get into email copywriting, either as a profession or cranking up the way they use email in their business. She's awesome at it.
One of the greats, for sure. And for Instagram, Tyler McCall. is the second one. Tyler J. McCall, great teacher. I, he has a full program for, Instagram strategy, but I just use the workbook that he sells, which is, I think it was like a down sell of some trip wire, really effective. And it's a great way to just get your brain in order around the sales conversation that you want to be having.
So that's a really handy tool. And then the third resource, have you heard about this little podcast called Everyone Hates Marketers.? No, I think that's always a great one here.
Louis: Please, please.
Hillary: Alright, fine. I think the third one would probably be, I really .. to read what people are doing and keep an eye on what people in my industry are doing.
So one person who does Instagram stories really well, and really strategically is actually my own CMO. Her name is Hunter Welling. and she has, I can get her Instagram handle for you, but she does stories in a really interesting way, that don't necessarily require her to be, to be the agent. She is her handle.
So it's a T H E A G E N S H E. And she has a really effective way of doing Instagram stories. That feels really good. That feels really genuine, but she's always selling. I think it's very inspiring to see. She's also not always on video. There's a lot of text. so if you're interested in what that looks like, she also has a small list, but runs a really high end business.
She's great to work with. I think that the most, least amount of money you can pay her right now for retainers is like 4,500 a month or something. So she's really fantastic at what she does. And it's just a great source of inspiration for Instagram stories that are constantly selling, but feel good, feel like storytelling and feel valuable.
She's very masterful at it. So I recommend everyone take a look.
Louis: Nice. Thanks so much for, answering this question with a lot of detail. I had never heard of Tarzan Kay before, but I'm going to check her out, I like her website it's very...
Hillary: I helped with the photos actually.
Louis: Of course you did.
Hillary: I think they're everywhere on the internet.
Louis: You can't escape it.
It's like the Easter, the ultimate Easter egg, where is not where isn't Hillary on. Isn't she on? Alright, so you've been a pleasure as always. Thanks so much for the energetic answers and unpacking your knowledge.
Hillary: Always a pleasure to be here, man. Anytime. Thank you so much for having me.