So, I'm in the grocery store picking out my produce. Being a good little organic, local farm only shopper.
Over the loud speaker a woman does this whole spiel about the store offering a new product.
I phased the Charlie Brown's teacher voice out a bit, but then heard the words FREE SAMPLE at some point.
In one slow-mo background blurring out sequence, I turned to see a mass of people charge what I'm assuming was the samples stand.
“Wow, samples still work,” I found myself thinking and probably saying out loud.
So I start me some thinking about launches…about samples…about people's reaction to samples (even in the online world.)
And same thing. Who doesn't love a sample??
So let's dig into this and then figure out how to create a sample for whatever we are launching…if you're launching for the first time, there's no better launch asset to create.
First Things First
Whether it’s your first, second, next or twentieth product launch, you’re always keeping an eye open for new ways to build buzz.
Getting people’s attention becomes your game and biggest challenge when you start launching anything to other people.
But – don’t get stuck in the trap of new, fancy, tactics that might have a short burst of impact to your bottom line!
I like to go back to what works.
Giving A Sample. That’s right. Super basic. Easy to do…and they never seem to go out of style.
How Giving A Sample Works
It’s pretty simple why you’d want to do this…now, in theory you’ve been giving them samples all along via your blog and other resources you create, but some people want specifics.
So, they trust you, so they are interested in what you teach, but they just aren’t sure if it’s going to fly with them.
They’re not sure if they “like” you.
Giving people this taste helps to build trust, allows people to get to know you more, and tells them if they want more.
Why Giving A Sample Works (for you)
This one’s good.
You want to give a sample of your work, because the sample should do the selling for you.
That’s right – your sample does the heavy lifting, convincing, and final close for you. You get to choose which content, length, format you share in the sample….that you know will knock people’s socks off.
Not only that…you get to create additional sales emails to follow up on that sample. So now you’ve enhanced how you can make offers, sell your services/products, and even tell people about other things you might be launching…just based on this one sample.
So, if you’re willing to part with some of your precious genius content…here are some ideas sure to get you started.
Pick your top 3-4 favorite emails from the ecourse. Add in 2-3 promo emails that cover questions someone might have, offer them some sort of special limited time offer, and maybe even give them a bonus email that adds more value and tells them why they should enroll. Plus it shows them right away what it FEELS like.
They get the experience of the course without being in it.
2. 1:1 Coaching service
Can you say: “Free consults”? Offer a limited number of free spots every single month or every quarter.
Fill the spots up, ask people in advance what their biggest question is, and answer that question!
One way to kick off your limited number of consulting spots is to do a free live call. Here’s a recent one from Fearless Launching alum Alicia Cowan. She did a live call, offered several free samples of her time on top of that!
3. Online product
Create an online challenge where people all the elements of your online course. Emails, access to a private members area, videos, and downloads. Another Fearless Launcher – Erin Stutland made an already irresistible product that much more fun and it generated LOADS of attention.
Note: this can be done in addition to any pre-launch content or videos you create. Sometimes this precedes a live videos series…but I especially love the challenge as a way to do specific promotional pushes for a product throughout the year, even if it’s available all the time.
4. Book or ebook
Send a free chapter of your book or digital book. Nathan Barry uses free sample chapters for every book he’s created to do follow up and eventually sell the book. He even puts the free sample offer right on his sales page.
So – even if someone’s a no first after going through his sales page, he gives them another opportunity to take something away with them. That no could turn out to be a yes once they get his sample chapter.
Another notable example is the free chapter that Danielle Laporte offers for The Firestarter Sessions…no optin required…
5. Group coaching program or live course
Create a free Facebook Group…you can read more about Amber McCue’s use of a free facebook group over on this post about memorable pre-launch content.
Another great example of a free Facebook group is the one The Yogipreneur created for her online challenge – “Fired Up + Focused Challenge”.
Based on how quickly this challenge has grown Racheal’s audience, I bet she’ll keep doing it!
It’s another layer of how she can get to know the people that follow her, what they struggle with, and then make really exclusive offers to just them!
Side note – Racheal also does a monthly Q & A call which is a brilliant way to sample her – personality, knowledge, and to just get some of your questions answered. She’s got samples all over her Yogipreneur world. Go check her out!
How To Create Your Own Sample Campaign
Step 1: Find a campaign that someone else has done and sign up for it…or sign up for the above campaigns and just see what happens. From that –
Step 2: Create a task list. This might look something like this…and keep in mind this is just a sample, not a set in stone “do this and nothing else” recommendation:
- Decide on content – what will my sample be?
- Pull sample content
- Give the sample a home:
- create email series and load into email marketing provider
- create video series, upload to vimeo, embed on webpage, create email sequence that link to videos on webpage and then eventually makes an offer
- create pdf document, upload to amazon s3, create email series that links to the upload and then continues to eventually man an offer
- Decide how you want to promote the material
- social media
- mentions on your blog
- Create a long term semi-automated way to promote the sample
- put sample sign up box on your sales page
- include in your general autoresponder
- promote every quarter or on a scheduled regular basis
- review your email series stats to see which ones are getting opened
Here's how I created a sample for one of my retired programs:
How I did it: I chose 4 of the best emails in the course to use as samples. You’ll get them every day for the week after you sign up and then my hope is you’ll know for SURE whether you want the rest of the 35 days or not to help walk you through the process of your next launch.
Ball’s In Your Court Now
Will you create a sample of your products or services? If so, what can you create right now?
I know it’s hard to think about creating even more than you may already be doing…but with this, all you have to do is pull from your main offer.
Pull something logical, easy, and low amount of tasks to get it done!
Leave a comment below if you’ve already got a sample and link to it!
I’ve got an ebook (http://ghostblogger.co/welcome) and for my launch going on this week (!!) I did a video series (http://ghostblogger.co/power-of-a-plan-video-series-from-ghost-blogger/) both on getting strategic and organized about your blog content.
Anne Samoilov says
Thank you for sharing Lacy! This is awesome. Do you have an ongoing sample or is the video series a sample of what’s in your ebook? Do you give away a few free pages of your ebook?
Tarah Long says
Great post Anne! I’m also loving your podcast, thank you so much for helping out those of us who are doing this for the first time. I’m giving away my free ebook (not so much a a sample) right now here: http://www.wideawakenedhealing.com/get-free-ebook-signing/. I’m also creating a short video series to promote my launch at the end of the year. Giving away coaching samples is a great idea that I might do as well at some point. Thanks again for the great info!
Anne Samoilov says
Tarah, thank you and looks like you got it covered! I look at some bigger companies too and see what they give away…it’s interesting that what works in one industry can be tweaked an applied to another! Keep your eyes open for other ways to promote and build excitement for your upcoming launches. 🙂
Racheal Cook says
Thanks for the shout-out love! And yes – the Fired Up & Focused Challenge has been the best *free* thing I’ve ever created – it alone has put me on track to 3x my biz over last year!
Hello Anne! This is a great idea, but for me I can’t think of nothing else besides a discount. I sell fashion handmade items, all one-of-a-kind, and I really can’t remember anything else that will not imply a purchase!
(NOTON by Raquel)
Anne Samoilov says
Raquel, Thanks for your comment – let me see what I can I think of… you are right, with a physical product…giving a discount is probably the way to go, but what about – giving a discount because they make their first purchase… Reward them for taking action as opposed to giving them the discount TO take action? Just an idea, but either way, thanks for stopping by!
Thank you, Anne. In fact I did that with my first 50 clients and I was thinking of doing it now with all the other ones till now. That is a lot of work but I will have to do it!
Thank you for the push 😉
Hillary Rubin says
Love this.. You know me and a taste. I have a taste up now for coaches to get a coaching tool kit and also have access to interviews with 5 coaches who created a business without being certified.
AND will be creating a shorter version of my new Meditation & Coaching E-Course Meditate, Create & Liberate… Will put this into action in the new couple of months.
Thank you Anne!
Kathryn Hall says
Great post Anne and has really got me thinking about my next launch and what I will give out as a sample. Within my business, currently people can sign up to a free audio series which is aimed at introverts who want to start a soulful business. http://thebusinessofintroverts.co.uk/free-stuff/
Thanks for sharing – really useful stuff!
Anne Samoilov says
Kathryn, that’s great! Try to create and offer your sample several weeks before your launch. It’ll allow you to give value well in advance of asking for the sale. Thanks for sharing your audio series! -Anne
Really great post, Anne. I think I was always a little conscious of this idea but really didn’t know how to put it into practice for my business. Definitely going to think about incorporating a sample into my upcoming launch!
Thanks for the great tips! I give away the first chapter of my Ebook “Think Global Act Local” t all new subscribers on my website but I didn’t have a free offering when I recently launched my first ecourse, the Sustainababy Home Detox Boot Camp (http://www.sustainababy.com.au/ecourse-home-detox). I think this was an oversight and will pull a free module together for my next launch.