I recently finished up my launch for my first LinkedIn Content Sprint, where I bring folks through a process to stay visible, build trust, and scale their impact by batching six months of thought leadership content for LinkedIn.
And just in terms of launching, I haven’t always had the most positive experience or relationship with launching, but this time it was different. It felt easeful, and dare I say – fun?
I think part of the reason why, is that I really dedicated the time and space to create pre-launch content – and what I mean by that, is I consistently shared LinkedIn content that made the people I wanted to serve in this specific offer stop their scroll, pay attention to what I had to say because it directly appealed to them, it made them start to think a little differently around what could be possible for them, and hopefully start to lean in.
By the way, the joys of launching are not necessarily reserved for course creators or folks with group programs. One-on-one service providers can launch their services and book several clients at once or line them up for the quarter, so we’re not sitting around hoping enough folks will randomly submit an application to work with us. It just takes some thought and orchestration. Nonprofit executives can launch campaigns like year-end appeals or advocacy pushes but none of them are going to be as successful without priming your audience. This episode is all about prepping your audience for your service, program, or initiative so you can have your best launch ever.
Highlights from the podcast episode:
Launching for Social Impact Businesses: Why Success is About Numbers
So, I think the reason so many of us have an interesting relationship with launching is that we are birthing something out of love into the world. It’s personal. We are super close to our new program, offer, or service. The framework we’ve come up – the stories that we’re sharing – the transformation we’re promising – it’s probably deeply related to our own experience, that we went through ourselves. We think our new offer is the bee’s knees. But launching it means that our product, service, or offer is leaving the safety and comfort of our brain and going out into the world where it can invite criticism, misunderstanding of its awesomeness, or just plain and simple get ignored. Who wants to go through that? Nobody.
But, we have social impact businesses and beyond needing to make payroll or pay our bills, we have a deeper mission behind our work. So, we launch.
And the reality is, launching boils down to math. This is the ONLY time this dreamy Pisces sun and Cancer moon is ever going to say this – but a successful launch is not so much about our feelings, it’s actually about numbers. It’s about cultivating a large enough audience for the number of people you want to bring into your program or service at once.
Because the LinkedIn Content Sprint includes 1:1 support from me in the form of copy coaching and feedback on folks’ thought leadership content, I knew I wanted no more than 20 people for this first round. And conversion rates vary a LOT, but the wise marketing elders in the world generally say it’s 2 – 5% of your total audience. Let’s be conservative and say 2%. So, I needed at least 1,000 engaged people in my audience. Engaged meaning they’re opening my emails, or engaging with me on LinkedIn, in the DM’s, things like that.
Because I’ve been committed to sharing my insights, stories, and perspectives and being visible on LinkedIn for some time now, I am grateful to have that engaged audience! So, I knew my goal was attainable, but I had to start getting these folks to think about why having six months of thought leadership content for LinkedIn – done and dusted – would be helpful to them, since that’s the intention of the Sprint.
That’s where the pre-launch content comes in.
Sharing Case Studies and Testimonials to “Show, not Tell”
So first, I committed to regularly sharing case studies and testimonials, which became my weekly #SundaySocialImpactStories. You can check those out at the link in the show notes. This is something you can do too because showing your work in action is a helpful way for people to see the value of the transformation you provide.
On a weekly basis, I highlighted one of my clients. I shared their vision, their mission and elevated pitch we landed on during our work together. This had a couple of different wins. First of all – my audience was being introduced to my past clients’ awesomeness and hopefully following them and their work on LinkedIn as well! YAY!
Second of all – my larger audience was being given a weekly opportunity to think about the importance of having a clear and consistent thought leadership brand message on LinkedIn and what that might look like for them. Hooray! And third – and this is important – because of the matrixy, mycelium-like, interconnected way the LinkedIn algorithm works, these clients’ colleagues and friends and coworkers were being introduced to my work as well. It was showing up in their feed, because our mutual friend – my client – was tagged and highlighted and celebrated. So, weeks and months before I introduced the offer, new, aligned people that were like, one degree of separation apart, were finding my work and building connective tissue, especially because of the power of social proof and knowing that their friend had a good experience.
See, here’s the thing – if your program, service, product sucks, this isn’t going to work because you won’t won’t have people willing to share about their involvement with you. But I know that this isn’t the case for you. More than likely, you have people sending you texts, emails, and Slack messages, telling you during your offboarding process, about how your program changed their whole dang life! Harness the power of that community energy and turn it into a way for more people to learn about you and start to lean in! Of course, with consent. Of course, with the specific buy-in and support of the clients you’re goin to be highlighting. But that’s a really powerful way to kick off any pre-launch process.
How can you make the end-result of your work together clear, and literally SHOW and not just tell the magic of your work as a coach, service provider, or consultant? Not just for yourself, but to amplify the clients you’ve worked with in the past? And depending on what you do, this could be super helpful for those clients, too.
Then, at the same time as you’re growing your audience on LinkedIn (and sharing case studies is just one way you can do that) – you also want to give the right people an opportunity to raise their hand and say Hmmm! I’m interested. I want to get closer into your world.
LinkedIn vs Email Marketing for Conversions and Sales
What that might look like is finding ways to move them from LinkedIn into your email list. So, I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. Obviously. I stand by my statement that it is the best place to stand out as a thought leader in front of movers, shakers, and power brokers that can support your mission-driven work. And. What I discovered for myself in this launch, because my amazing VA set up UTM codes for me for the first time, is that – ok listen to this. This is important. And I don’t know what UTM stands for. But they’re a magical thing. We can pretend it stands for unlimited tacos and margaritas – it’s that magical. They help you understand exactly where your sales page traffic is coming from. And I can tell you that 3 times as many people visited my landing page about the LinkedIn Content Sprint from my emails than my LinkedIn posts about it. 3 times as many people on email. And the reason that’s really surprising to me is that I have 8000 LinkedIn followers … and only 800 email subscribers. But the folks on my email list are invested. They’re in.
That’s wild right? So that just proved to me that what the online marketing collective consciousness or zeitgeist has been trying to tell me is true. I still think LinkedIn is the place for expanding your reach and traffic, building authority, and sparking conversations, but for sure, emails lead to conversions.
So, some of the things I did during this pre-launch phase to move the right people from LinkedIn into my email list were about giving them opportunities to raise their hand and say I want to know more! That included a freebie, my Notion template for a High-Five File, which is an easy way to record and track the things that your audience is telling you has positively impacted them, so that you have a running file of content ideas.
There were also some other opt-ins, like a Loom video breaking down how I repurpose old podcast episodes and give them new life as LinkedIn articles, which are super SEO friendly. These opt-ins don’t have to take a ton of time. The Loom video was just me sharing my screen for like five minutes and talking folks through the steps – that’s it. I will drop both of those opt-ins in the show notes, so you can check them out.
The reason I also love Loom for sharing these valuable free resources is that people can reply and leave comments. It creates a little mini-party where people can ask questions, see each other’s comments on what they’re learning and all that kind of stuff.
Inspiring Transformation by Painting a Picture of the End-Result
All right, so the pre-launch content itself. This content is different from content you’d just share at any time because it is specific to the transformation you provide through this offer you’re launching. When I say that, I don’t mean you’re necessarily talking about the nitty gritty details of the offer itself but instead, you’re creating the conditions to inspire the folks you want to serve into believing and knowing they can achieve the vision you desire for them. So for example, one of my favorite pieces of pre-launch, thought leadership content I shared was a video of vacation I took in February. February was a great month – I went to Japan, I went and stayed at this beautiful cottage on a pier in San Diego, it was just – I was out of the office more than I was in the office. And yet, because I’m committed to batching thought leadership content and staying visible, even when I’m out and about, I still had an inbox full of opportunities that lit me up.
What a dream! That’s the reality I have been trying to create for like, two years. And not every month is like that, but with the right planning, many months of the year can be spent resting and enjoying. So that is the picture I want to paint for y’all. It’s not about the # of live classes in my Content Sprint. It’s not about why we’re gonna be in Slack over Circle or Mighty Networks, it’s not about those nitty gritty details. Sometimes we are so close to our offer that we can’t help but talk about all the details within the offer. But what if you could tell the story of the outcome your clients hope for, dream of, and desire? That is what will shift your audience into the right space, not the turnaround time for copy coaching inside the program. You know?
You Can’t Get This Wrong!
OK and I have to tell you a funny story. In that post, I ended it with something like hey, I’m putting together this Sprint, Mark the curious reaction if you want more info.
Well guess what, LinkedIn no longer has a curious reaction. It’s just … gone. But people figured it out. They hit a different reaction instead or sent me a message like, Uhh there’s no curious reaction but I want more info.
And I’m sharing that because I don’t want you to leave this episode thinking you have to do anything perfectly right for this to work. You can screw up something as basic as how you want people to get in touch with you. You can’t get this wrong … unless you second guess this to death, and don’t try.
So, I hope this little episode inspired you to think more long term and zoom out about the little seed you have in your brain that you’re thinking about launching later this year. I can’t wait to see the pre-launch content you start to share in advance and be inspired by your vision for your clients! Talk to you next time.
Resources from this episode:
Connect with me:
LinkedIn: Tania Bhattacharyya