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Launch Stories with Maggie Patterson

launch-stories-maggie

I’m back after a long pause with another Launch Stories interview from someone I interact with everyday and absolutely love talking to.

Maggie Patterson from www.maggiepatterson.com is giving us the inside scoop on her signature offering, The Story Distillery.

Typically, we talk about digital products and online courses when we refer to “launching”, but you can also launch services.

This should be great insight into what it takes to launch a service vs. a digital product for all of you happy-to-stay-put service providers out there.

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Let’s start off with you sharing a bit about your service you were launching.

I launched The Story Distillery in October of 2014, which is my flagship service. It’s a one-on-one service designed to help people nail their stories and message so they can stand out in their market. Too many people aren’t sure what to say, how to say it and suffer from obscurity because of it.

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Can you give us the inside scoop on your last launch?

How long did you plan it for?

As a service, The Story Distillery is always available for sale, but we’ve done two “launches” around it to help generate more bookings as this is a lead in for all of our other services.

We started planning for the launch of The Story Distillery in September with an eye on launching it in late October. As a new service, we wanted to make a splash so we could book out for the next 90 days.

What were some of the key milestones along the way?

The Story Distillery itself took months to develop as it’s a fairly involved process, but once that was done, creating all the key elements needed was fairly easily.

The cornerstone of The Story Distillery was the sales page copy which took me about a week to write from start to finish. Given that it’s a service focused on messaging, I knew we had to nail it!

Once the copy was done, the page was designed and then we moved into planning all of the launch content including blog posts, podcast episodes, social media and of course, emails.

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How did you structure your actual launch?

How long was it – cart open/close, etc.

The Story Distillery cart never closed, but we did offer a $100 off if you booked in the first three weeks the service was available.

How did you promote it during this time?

Email was the lynchpin of our launch strategy and we built a very robust email campaign for the period of the early bird.

Also, we created a free guide, The Storytelling Shortcut which is a fun and lighthearted tool to help people uncover their stories. It is backed up with a email series that shares more about The Story Distillery. Plus, we ran extensive Facebook ads to The Storytelling Shortcut during this time to build our email list and generate new leads for this service.

I also hosted a webinar before the end of the early bird period, and there were blog posts, podcast episodes and social media updates to support the launch as well.

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What were your results from your last launch?

We’ve “launched” The Story Distillery twice now. The intro launch we booked out for 60 days of Story Distilleries at the intro price for more than 15 sessions. With the buzz we created about the service, we continued to book solid into Q1 of 2015.

Once we reached the point of  booked and delivered 25+ sessions, we knew the service was a hit and decided it was time to raise the price of the service. (Which we’d planned to do after we had proof of concept.) So in March we did a last call at the $499 price point and booked 12 more sessions which booked us out into the end of Q2.

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What’s the #1 thing you’ve learned from launching?

You cannot underestimate the importance of your email to the launch. Don’t assume people have actually read your emails, they may see only 1 or 2 during your launch. We took what we learned from the email strategy around The Story Distillery and have applied it time and time again.

And just because it’s a service doesn’t mean you can’t apply a launch strategy around it. It’s too easy with services to just leave them on your site and not direct people to them.

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What do you love (or loathe) about launching?

I have a love/hate relationship with launching. I love the excitement, but there’s always mental junk that comes up while you’re launching. My favorite part is always seeing who I get to work with and helping to get their stories out there.

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What would you tell someone gearing up for their first launch to help them prepare?

Give yourself enough time to do it right and really work through all the details, but don’t put it off because of resistance or fear. Set a date and stick to it.

And make sure you nail your launch emails. Your sales page matters so much, but if your launch emails are weak, you’re missing out on opportunities in a big way.  

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Maggie Patterson is a copywriter and communications strategist. She works hands-on with entrepreneurs to help them market their businesses – using content and communications strategies along with copy that converts – to meet business goals.

She is the host of the Marketing Moxie podcast and her work has been published on leading websites including Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, Virgin.com, LKR Social Media, Duct Tape Marketing, Content Marketing Institute, Yahoo Small Business and more.

Based near Ottawa, Canada you can follow Maggie on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Launching something soon?

Download the FREE Irresistible Offer Planning Kit — a resource I created to share some of the exact checklists, Google Docs and planning sheets I used when creating my Irresistible Sales Pages eCourse. It will help you get super clear on what you’re creating, keep track of the content you need to write/record and show you a visual overview of how your course tech will all work together. Did I mention it was free? Click here to get access to it immediately.

  • This interview was so wonderful! I’m on the verge of launching my signature service, and I never imagined doing a formal “launch” for it – genius :)