- by Rory Ramsden
I was staying with Adele, a friend who lives in Roussillon, France over the weekend. She wants to launch her own small business. Her plan is to take select groups on wine tours in the area visiting artisan wine makers whom tourists never normally get to meet.
A quick visit to Trip Advisor will tell you that wine tourism is a growing market. You can visit the big Chateaux in Burgundy, Champagne or Bordeaux in large groups but her idea is to keep things small and exclusive by offering a personal service. She’ll pick you up at the airport, drive you to your hotel or gite and accompany you on your very own custom-designed tour.
She has specialists knowledge of the area. Her family have lived in the same village for generations. She’s passionate about wine and she speaks perfect English. She is just the person a very discerning wine tourist is looking for.
Are you an expert? Do you have specialist knowledge and experience? Are your passionate about one particular hobby? And/or do you have a highly sought after skill?
If so, then this post is just for you. You could be passionate about herbal medicine, organic gardening, keeping chickens or training horses to compete in dressage competitions. These are micro-niches that can and do earn people an income [sometimes and 6 figure one at that]. The more specialist your knowledge the more likely that there will be a community out there wanting to learn from you.
You can reach out to any country in the world from the computer on your desk so if there are 5000 world wide Google searches per month for your subject there is a market out there waiting to be tapped.
So here are the 11 tips that I gave Adele…
#1. Research The Competition – The fastest way to find out whether there is a ready market for your business idea is by finding out whether anybody else is in the same market. If you have competition, that means there’s money to be made. If you cannot find any, be deeply suspicious. It is highly unlikely that your idea has never been thought of before. Competition is good.
#2. Define The Difference – Now you know what your competition is offering, it won’t take your long to analyse what is common to them all and how each one differentiates themselves however slightly. Your job is to put your finger on the one thing that none of them are doing that they should be doing. This ‘difference’ will become your big idea.
#3. Play To Your Core Strengths – what are you good at? What do you love to do? And just as importantly what do you hate doing? Doing a SWAT analysis of your core strengths is essential. Your business idea has to play to these. It is these that you will apply to your ‘difference engine’ to set yourself apart from the other players in the market.
#4. Define Your Avatar – This is a crucial step. Through your research you want to build up as complete a picture of your ideal client as you can. This will of course include their demographics – [age, education, sex, marital status, salary and geographic location] These are just statistics. You want to dive deeper. You want to know their attitudes, their concerns, their hopes and dreams, their likes and dislikes. Your aim is to create a collage that builds up into a complete picture of someone. Someone you can give a name to.
#5. What’s your big idea – With steps one, two and three complete, write down your big idea in 140 characters or less. This is your value proposition. It expresses what you do for your clients that no-one else does. It has three distinct parts.
– The power phrase
– The benefit
– The enabling phrase
Adele’s could be “Guided visits to artisan Roussillon wine makers in select groups of 10 or less | taste little known fine wines | and enjoy sights tourists seldom see”
That sums up what she is offering her prospects in a nutshell. [note it’s not about her, it’s about what her guests will experience] People will instantly ‘get’ what’s in it for them so Adele can follow up by telling her launch story
#6. Your launch Story – Now you have your prospects attention, you want to build excitement by telling them your story. Adele’s will quickly cover the story of her village and her family’s association with it which goes back generation upon generation. And how she became passionate about the wine produced by small local vignerons. She will go on to talk about the varietals of grapes used in the area and how most are cultivated organically [this will appeal to the wine buff’s inquisitiveness and build their thirst to know more] Then she will talk about how these wines accompany the local produce cooked in small restaurants known for their distinct fine regional cuisine – There’s more. Much more but you get the idea. She is stirring people’s interest and desire to enjoy the tours that she arranges. Her passion for her subject will flow onto the paper.
#7. Create Your Product Launch Marketing Strategy – Now she has the fundamentals clear in her mind, she can turn to communicating her message to her market. She may well choose to set up a blog so she can post regular articles on the local wine scene, the restaurants she has discovered, recipes she cooks. She will make sure that she includes the photographs that she has taken and videos she has made. This will be the center of her web of influence.
Then she will make sure she becomes a regular commenter on the major travel forums. She will answer questions and help people by solving their problems. She will do all this without any thought of being paid. She will cage her marketing messages and just focus on building up the widest circle of influence she can. In doing all this, she will become recognized as a trusted authority. Someone to turn to for unbiased advice.
Building the triangle of trust [credibility, like-ability and Respected authority] will position herself in the market and attracts potential clients
#8. Blow Away Preconceptions – In any market, people have fixed preconceptions. These might have been true once. Or they might simply be myths that have been accepted as true. Or they might be plain wrong for 1000 different reasons. You are the expert. You know your market better than anyone so this presents a golden opportunity for you to write a report and publish it as an ebook. Make it available on Amazon’s Kindle Book store and on Itunes. Then do a product launch for your book using the social media channels you have established a presence on.
Note that you want to stick to your main goal in this ignition phase of your business which is to strengthen your positioning as the trusted authority and broaden your circle of influence as much as possible.
You will have to put a price on your book on the Kindle and itunes platforms so strongly consider your pricing strategy in the light of what comes next.
#9. Do Your First Product Launch – By now, you will have started to build up an email list so launch your book to them. Make sure that you add value to the written word by slicing and dicing the content into videos and podcasts. Add check lists and resource guides. Boosting the perceived value of your offer will allow you to multiply your selling price by a factor of 15 or more. Once you have done your beta launch – for that is what your first product launch is – and refined your sales funnel, your copy and your offer, it’s time to do your second and then your third. Stacking launches like this compounds the power of the momentum that you build up and has a similar effect on your bottom line
#10. It’s All About Piling on The Value – Your prospects believed in you beforehand. Now that they have put their money down you have the chance to turn them into raving fans. The more perceived value that you can pack into your offer the better. Your goal is to under promise and over deliver in spades. Your new customers have to be so blown away by what they have bought from you that they are happy to recommend you to anyone and everyone.
Think about it – there are lots of online products that they can buy – but, they’re buying yours! Respect that. Embrace it. It’s the responsibility or every virtual entrepreneur to take care of their customers properly, not only so that they remain happy and content, but also to make sure that they sing from the rafters about how fantastic you AND your eBook or video course is. In the world of the social web, this couldn’t be any more important than it is right now!
#11 Your Product launch in Real Time – You can’t relax for long, sorry!!!
The day that you open your shopping cart and your product launch begins in earnest, is THE day that your business could change for ever. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Social media plays a huge part in any product launch online nowadays. The importance of ‘being there’ to monitor feedback in real time, answer questions and thank people for supporting you cannot be understated.
Monitoring Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for people talking about your launch and product is massively important. Get involved and as always, embrace your community [regardless of what they are saying], help them, inspire them and motivate them by giving great advice without constantly pitching them to buy from you.
Conclusion – So, that wraps it up. If you’re in the process of launching, or thinking of doing a product launch or launching a small business like Adele, then I hope this post clarified the steps you want to follow, and perhaps even gave you an Ah-Ha moment
The fact is that you want to aim to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time AND deliver extra-ordinary value. Remember, there is only one YOU. This means your experiences and your opinions count to the people who have decided to follow you online. That personal branding is starting to pay off, isn’t it…!
Have you done a product launch? How did it go? What was your biggest takeaway ? Do you have a key tip to share?
Please be kind and leave a comment for the rest of the Prolaunch community below… Why? Because you guys ROCK!