Natalie Taylor, a multi-six-figure launch expert (with no team or course!) specializes in launch strategy and copywriting for online course-based businesses, so in this episode of the Social Slowdown podcast, Natalie and I are talking all about launching, webinars, workshops, programs, and:
- Ways you can simplify/streamline funnel activity when running webinars
- How you can launch without having to go live on social media all the time
- If you NEED to launch, and if not, what are some alternatives?
And Natalie is launching Launch Lemonade soon so make sure to head on over to launchlemonade.com to sign up for her waitlist.
- The Missing Ink with Natalie Taylor
- Launch Lemonade
- Big Brand Energy
- Ep. 15: Shoulder Tapping: Using Personal Outreach to Grow Your Audience With Megan Flatt
Read the full transcript
Natalie Taylor 0:00
I think maybe we’re a little bit jaded by all of these big online business programs that sell you from zero to hero in eight weeks and eight modules.
Meg Casebolt 0:10
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media all together, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lipsync send to cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Natalie, I am so excited to have you here for the social slowdown podcast. Thank you so much for coming on.
Natalie Taylor 1:04
Oh, thank you for having me. I’m excited, too.
Meg Casebolt 1:06
I have been wanting to have you on for months. I’m so glad that we found a time to make this work that didn’t also involve you waking up at like three o’clock in the morning.
Natalie Taylor 1:16
Yes, thank you for hanging out with me at night. I really, really appreciate it, I would have been speaking a different language at 3am.
Meg Casebolt 1:24
And I chose not to start drinking wine while we were talking because that would have been an entirely different podcast. But that’s usually how our conversations go is like you’re just getting your day started. And I’m like winding down. And I’m like, I’ve got popcorn. I’ve got hot chocolate with Bailey’s in it. Like, why are you slurring your words? But
Natalie Taylor 1:42
meanwhile, I’m eating cereal and drinking coffee. Just getting my day started.
Meg Casebolt 1:46
Exactly. So when you say you know, I’m just getting my day started, can you share with us a little bit about what it is that you do and who you work with?
Natalie Taylor 1:56
Yeah, yeah, well, if my accent hasn’t betrayed me, then I was the I’m based in Sydney, Australia. I work with online business owners from all around the world, but most of them are in North America. And so I specialize in launch strategy and copywriting. For people who have online courses. And most people who come to me for these services or people who have been around the launch block before they’ve got this niche offer, or even their whole office suite in place, they have an audience. And they’re kind of asking what’s next, you know, I’ve followed the templates, I hate some of the templates. There’s more than I could be saying here, I feel like launching could feel a bit more fun than this. What else is possible here. And so those are the kind people that I help with their launches.
Meg Casebolt 2:41
And I love that you specifically pointed out like they have a proven offer. And they’ve launched a couple of times, and they’re just not that excited about the process of getting new people to discover their product and explaining what it is. And so often we get stuck in these templated systems, or there’s a framework that everyone’s following. And we kind of get stuck in like, well, everyone else is doing a webinar launch. So I guess I just take their slides and put my information into it, or everyone else has the three part email video series. So apparently, that’s what I have to do. And one of the things that you do so brilliantly, and that I tap into your brain regularly on is like, how do I make this feel like me? To have it reflect the brand values? And also like, how do I not just how do I make it not look like everyone else? But like how do I make this fun? So talk me through some of those like questions, you ask your clients the prompts that you give them the things that you’re thinking about as you’re having those conversations with people who are a little bored of the repetition.
Natalie Taylor 3:53
Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s funny because I always recognize that everybody has a need to not be reinventing the wheel every time you launch. So if you have this constant feeling of starting from scratch every single time, that’s probably not sustainable for you. And so I love to see people in their business, if they’re selling digital offers to have a portion of it that feels rinse and repeat that is reliable, but then to really have these beautiful events or campaigns that they bring out during the year. That creates this new feeling of energy and excitement both for them and for their audience too. So I definitely wouldn’t suggest that you do everything all over. But consider which parts Am I happy to keep the same for now because that’s working for me that feels good. And then start with what am I really wanting to see out there? What am I not saying or what am I thinking? What am I ready to put out into the world next? And also what am I ready to just not do any more to let go of what is it feeling good for me anymore? Get permission to just totally not do that anymore and Go ahead.
Meg Casebolt 5:02
Yeah, no, I was I, you and I were talking last month about my launch, which I did last month where I said, I feel like I’ve been doing webinars for a long time. And even though my webinars convert, like, it’s August, and I don’t want to sit in front of a computer screen, and nobody else wants to sit in front of a computer screen, because it’s like, really nice outside here, like maybe a little different Australia, maybe the audience would tune in. But like, what can I do instead, that gives me back time that feeds me energy. And that doesn’t just feel like I’m repeating myself over and over again. And we were You were part of the reason that I was like, maybe I’ll try these website reviews because, like, that way, I’m getting more personalized interactions with people. And that’s a very different approach to launching that felt in alignment with my values. But like, I, it was hard for me to even think outside of this framework of like, well, you just do a webinar with three emails before and then three repeat emails, and then you send people to the replay, and then you do so like, it can be really tough to even think outside of what you’ve seen, versus, you know, what feels good, or what takes the time and what gives you energy. And I talk to a lot of people who are introverts who are also going like, how do I launch without burning? All my energy out? Can you talk to me about like, how to make these decisions, but also how energy plays into that part of it?
Natalie Taylor 6:35
Yeah, gosh, I have so many opinions about what you just said. That, the first thing is, and I remember feeling this when you were talking to me is that if that if the energy and excitement isn’t there for you, then you’re gonna have a bad time and your audience will know that you are not fired up about this. And so much of what people buy, when they say yes to working with you inside an offer, is your excitement about the outcome for them. And if you’re showing up in a way that makes you feel a bit disengaged or exhausted, like, we’re going to change something up. So that’s a really good litmus test if you’re going into a launch, and you’re like, Oh, God, it’s this again, then look a bit closer at that, for sure. And so when you’re deciding how you want that launch to feel, or the things you want to do a couple of questions I would ask. The first one is, where are you at your best? And so maybe it’s worthwhile to think a bit further ahead into your program? What are you doing to get people these amazing results? Are you giving them feedback? Is there a certain kind of process that you walk them through? What’s that touch point that makes them go, Oh, that was amazing. That was a huge shift for me. Because when you think about it, a launch is just really about putting your work on display for people so they can get a taste of it. It’s not this huge marketing and sales dance, it’s just giving them a taste of what’s on offer. So think about where that magic happens inside the program. And you want to bring that forth into your launch. And if you design your program well around your strengths and how you like to show up, that should feel much more aligned for you. Because you’ll be marketing in a way that you already love to show up and get people results inside your program. So for you make I know that you’ve loved giving feedback to people and ultimately you decided to do a bunch of website reviews and that felt easy for you. And I think he may have even done that from a hammock as well.
Meg Casebolt 8:20
outside on the porch, not the hammock because I didn’t want to give people motion sickness while I was recording and I was afraid that like the wind seemed like coming through. But yeah, there’s there’s been some hammock times involved in this launch, which is really important.
Natalie Taylor 8:34
Very necessary for an August launch. For sure being in the hammock at some point, I or
Meg Casebolt 8:38
an adirondack chair as every time you see me, you’re like, are you in another outside chair?
Natalie Taylor 8:47
My partner and I argue all the time about how to pronounce Adirondack. So he’ll be very proud of me that I just said it correctly, then
Meg Casebolt 8:53
I’m very impressed. Mostly I just make my eight year old say I went surfing and solver shock like that’s as close as we get to speaking Australian. So we don’t have nearly nearly as cool of phrases as Adirondack. So if there are people out there who are feeling like, Man, I really am tired of launching. And I think sometimes launching can be really overwhelming because you’re trying to be in all the places where you’re like, let me make this like landing page, which I’m going to promote on social and I’m also going to bring on my email list and I’m going to have affiliates and I’m going to run Facebook ads and I need to be found by all these people. Like what are some ways that you have that could potentially either like simplify or streamline some of that like getting people into the funnel top of funnel activity. And specifically, I’d love to hear from you since this is social slowdown. Like how can we launch without needing to go live on social media all the time because that can feel so tiring?
Natalie Taylor 9:55
Yeah. Okay, well, I guess one thing I should clarify Is that I don’t, I don’t launch myself. And that’s because I have a completely different business than my clients do. So I want to be clear about that. Because people listening to this might have a services business like me, in which case, you don’t have to launch at all I don’t. But if you have an online offer, or something that you want to get in front of more people at once, it’s very worthwhile to consider a focused push around that offer, which is what we’d call a launch or a campaign. Right? So think about the kind of business that you have. First of all, I do not think you need to do a big song and dance launch about your services. I don’t and we can talk more about that. Yes, please. But for anyone listening to this, who does something like say a group program or an online course or a membership, if you are at the phase of feeling overwhelmed by launching, I will keep it insanely simple. So don’t don’t do launches with things like affiliates and multi step stages to everything I’ve I’ve done that with clients. And often after a few launches, we end up removing those pieces anyway, because they want to go back to simplicity. So even people who are making multi millions in a launch often find that things have become too complex for them, like there’s too much segmentation, there’s too much going on with managing affiliates, and then they have a desire to scale it back to so don’t think that a big launch is necessarily a more complex launch. That’s not always the case.
Meg Casebolt 11:30
But so important, especially when you’re talking about segmentation, I remember you and I worked on a launch for one of your clients together where I was doing some of the measurement. And it was like we had six different messages to six different core audiences based on where people were going into it. And we looked at the metrics at the end of the launch. And we’re like, well, it was a point 2% differential and conversion rates. So was it worth our time to do all that segmentation, and test all that messaging when everyone was converting at the same rate, like sometimes you look at the numbers, and you’re like that complication, just made more work for us without having a better outcome. And I could do a whole nother episode about launching measurement, which would be incredibly boring for most people. So let’s back this train back up. And let’s talk about do you need to launch especially if you’re running, you know, a one to one high touch services business? What would launching even look like for that? Do you need to do it? And like, what are the alternatives?
Natalie Taylor 12:29
Yeah, well, I’ll just share what I do, which is not a lot. Not a lot. If you go to my Instagram profile, now, there’s not really much happening there. I’ve never really posted regularly there, I haven’t had to in order to fill out my services business for the past almost six years. So if we’re going back to when I got started, I made some strategic connections with people who would be in a position to refer to me, and I had a very clear offer and type of client that I worked with. And showing up to those calls excited made people pretty excited to refer to me when the time was right. And since then, my business is entirely referrals, word of mouth and repeat business. And I was telling you before we hit record that we’re recording this now in September 2022. And I haven’t welcomed a new client into my business since August of 2021. And I am booked up, not doing retainer work. These are standalone projects that people come back to me to book who’ve hired me in the past. So I have not had to do anything outward facing other than be focused on my referral sources and do really, really good work for my clients.
Meg Casebolt 13:42
Yeah. And I think to go back to those kinds of early stages, when you were just starting to establish yourself, one of the key things that you did and you just said was like, when I was looking for referral partners, I was very clear about this is my offer, this is my audience. And that core piece was so important, because you didn’t just and at that point, you weren’t doing so much the launch strategy, but specifically copywriting. And so you could say I’m looking for people who are at this stage of business who are looking for this sort of support. And this is the price point of it. And you sent me that email and said, Do you know anybody who looks like this that you could, that you could refer me to? And I went yeah, I do. It’s me. It’s me. Can I do this? Can I hire you please? And that was the first time that we work together was you were just sending an email requesting an introduction? Right. So and I think, listeners if you’re like, Well, what would that even look like? Go back and listen to the conversation I had with Meghan flat about this where we talked about shoulder tapping and writing these referral introduction emails, because that’s exactly what this is just being so clear in those referral requests, and establishing relationships where you get the referrals without even asking for them. You know, you You do such an impeccable job for your clients that either they go okay, I have another launch in a year, how do I put down this like deposit to work with you on it? Or, Hey, I got such great results. Let me introduce you to these other people. And so you don’t have to be constantly on social media, you know, banging your own drum and being like, look this, this launch made a million dollars, because that person is gonna go, Hey, that launch made a million dollars, all my friends want to make a million dollars, I’ll just introduce.
Natalie Taylor 15:32
Yeah, and I think in that sense, the the results of your work often really speaks for itself. And so one thing that that I try to do in the conversations I have with people, if it makes sense, it’s actually just tell them about my work, or give them a chance to see what my work looks like. Because it’s not like when you do copywriting or design, your work product is there for everybody to see. So to be able to share that with people and share your work. If it’s good, people notice that. And so for them to see that even if they’re not hearing about the result that a certain project got, they can look at that work and say, That’s really good. There’s someone in my world who needs that. And so you might not be you know, putting things out there heaps on social media, but still strategically showing your work to people, you’re in a position to see the value of it, and potentially introduce someone to you when the time’s right.
Meg Casebolt 16:21
Yeah. And I think I’ve even had people reach out to me and say, like, did you write this copy? And I’m like, hell no. Like, I can’t write that level of copy. Here’s who I work with. So sometimes it’s not even me saying like, I need to go introduce Natalie to people. It’s people coming to me and saying, who did that? And I’ve worked with a number of copywriters. And I remember every single project that I’ve worked with, with different people, and some people will come to me, and I’ll say, Oh, that was this person that was this person that you know, like, because different styles of work also resonate with different people. And, you know, because you are so sales page launch driven, you no longer do website copy. So if somebody were to come to me and be like, who wrote your website copy? You actually did that for ages ago. But like, I wouldn’t send people to you now, because you’re so clear about what it is that you do. So you’ve sunset that offer. And I remember coming back to you and being like, can you update my website? Copy? And you were like, no. I love you know, and you held that boundaries? Well, I was so proud of you.
Natalie Taylor 17:22
Thank you, you and you’re so hard to say no to so rest assured that it that it hurt me to say no. But that that’s been another big learning point for me is letting go of the work that people then come to me for and saying no, this is what my business is, which means that I’m able to have some really tight processes around what I do focus on. So it’s, in the past, I would have a client come to me after a launch. And they might say, can you do my website? For me? That was great. Or do you want to write some retainer emails for me for my newsletter or for podcasting? And I’d be like, Yes, I love you. Let’s do it. And in the past 12 to 18 months, I just say, No, I really focus on launching, I have the best impact in your business. If you work with me on a launch, you’re better off having someone else in your business doing that more kind of flywheel content that you need ongoing, a need to have that perspective of a launch to really serve you well. And that was terrifying to say no to that money. But every time I’ve said no, that person has come back to me later for what I actually want to be doing when the time was right. And you probably
Meg Casebolt 18:26
feel like what you just said about like, the best use of me in your business is this. And you’re able to show up and really perform at that high level because you’re not spreading yourself too thin trying to do all the things for all the clients. And like that is like you said, it’s so scary to say no to good money from people you like. Yeah,
Natalie Taylor 18:49
absolutely. And I’m not above it. If I had to, of course I would. But I know where I want to be. And I know the kind of work I want to be doing. And that definitely means saying some scary knows, especially when if, like we were talking about earlier, I’m talking about working on a launch in a way that is really deep, and really thoughtful. I can’t deliver on that promise. If I’m not giving myself the space, I need to do that.
Meg Casebolt 19:15
So let’s talk about like, the choice that you made, you’ve in order to really niche down and specialize but stay nimble and stay a solopreneur like when you hit that point of I have clients that I love. I have more work than I know what to do with. And I love what I do. It’s like this perfect storm where you have these three paths that show up in front of you. One is what you chose, which might be the hardest decision to make, which is niche down and say no to things that aren’t in my zone of genius. Another one would be start an agency and bring in the clients and book the big contracts that include the retainer work and hire someone else to do that for me. And the third might be like, create a leverage program like a membership, where people can learn how to do this themselves, where then you’re talking to a different audience. But there’s a lot of people around the internet who would tell you like, Oh, you’re fully booked out time to make a program? How did you make that decision to really stay small?
Natalie Taylor 20:30
I think it happened for a couple of reasons. And for me, it was all about my values, which was if I wasn’t doing great work that I was so proud of, I didn’t want to be doing it. And so I had dabbled early on with hiring out a couple of writers to help me. And it introduced so much complexity to the work and I and at the same time, I felt like I lost the magic that was me in doing what I do for clients. And so it just felt totally not aligned with how I wanted to work. I didn’t want to manage other writers, I either wanted to be doing the work and turning my vision into something real or not doing it at all, because I would always see other people’s work and think I have a different vision than that. And I’m sure that there are people listening to this, who would say, Well, you’ve got to work on that, then Natalie, but I choose not to, I actually really enjoy doing the work I do myself and owning it. So that’s a value that I’ve chosen. The other thing is that I totally have a desire to teach. In fact, I have a workshop called Launch lemonade, and a couple of other things in the pipeline. But I didn’t create anything like this earlier, because if I was going to put it out there, I wanted it to be different. And I wanted it to not just feel like a rehash of everything else that we can go and learn about launching and selling your offers online. And so I felt like I had some more work to do there on my craft. And I still do. But I really feel at this point that I’m in a place where I can say something different. And so I chose to really focus on my services, so that I can make them amazing. And even when I put some more leveraged offers out there, I still want to keep doing this work because the one to one impact of what I can make for a client is huge. And I really enjoy that work.
Meg Casebolt 22:17
I love that so much that like you wanted your craft to be so well honed before you tried to explain to anyone else how to do it, or how to approach it. And by being able to go deep with clients, you’ve been able to experiment and try so many different things. This feels very much like Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours where it’s like you need to, and there’s, well, I’ll say first, like you need to do something so much before you can really go out and innovate. If you try to innovate, it’s like you need to almost like follow the rules to be able to break the rules. And there’s a lot of advice out there that is just like, well, you know, you’re booked out. So teach someone how to do it. But you’ve really taken the time to do the 10,000 hours to get to the mastery level, to be able to teach people not just like here’s the template follow these rules. But to create a program based in a like more of a thought leadership approach to it, which is don’t do these things. But here’s how to think about these topics, which is a much more complicated way of educating and it’s not just a $27 Facebook self liquidating funnel that you can get a calendar system and run with, like it really is when you when you’re teaching people how to think and how to innovate. It has to have something larger and stronger to stand on.
Natalie Taylor 23:56
Yeah, absolutely. And so I really want that substance to be there in all the work I do. And I remember like, every single year, I’ve asked myself, do I want to make a program? Is this the time and every time I asked that I had this feeling of there just being more for me to do in terms of the work I was doing for clients. And so rather than kind of following that rhetoric of all I’m booked out, my time is capped? Let’s make a cause. I decided to look at, okay, am I charging a rate that aligns with how much clients are making from the work I offer to them and the experience that they get probably not should raise my prices, and I did about my boundaries? How’s my work structured? Can I get some more wiggle room for myself there? And so I felt like there was just more for me to do in the business to make that work for me than just trying to put a bandaid on it. Let’s make a course because I think what happens is we get booked up, burned out, we over deliver, and then we do the same thing. But rather than selling a service, we’re selling a course and life doesn’t get any better. And so I’ve worked really hard on making this one on one service business into something that is lucrative and pays me the money that I want to get paid. And now whatever I create, it feels like fun for me because it’s like an extension of that body of work, because I still get stressed, like, things aren’t perfect. But I’m really proud of staying the course with this and not choosing to go a different path, because I thought that it was the only way to have the freedom that everyone promises to us. It’s not true.
Meg Casebolt 25:30
Yeah, and you have, you might have, you probably have more freedom than I do. And I do have the group program because I have specific times that we meet every week, and I have these specific times that I have to show up for things. So even though I have this quote, unquote, leveraged offer, and it’s like, well, now I have 10 people coming to one call, instead of needing to go to 10 calls, you’ve taken it in the opposite direction, which is like, No, I have one call with one client, and they pay me a premium for that. And it is a high touch service. It’s not this like high ticket, but also I need a lot of people in it. situation, which is almost like two difficult things to juggle. So how do you structure your time in terms of and I think a lot of my service providers will want to hear this, in terms of how much time are you spending directly communicating with your clients and being on those calls, versus creating the time to to be creative? Honestly,
Natalie Taylor 26:28
yeah, I didn’t spend much time on calls at all. I’d be pressed to say I spend more than three hours a week on Zoom. I keep my Wednesdays, and Thursday mornings open for calls. And sometimes I get on a call of the cloud on a Friday if I if I have to. But generally, they’ll book on Wednesdays and Thursdays, they I’d say I’d spend there are some weeks where I don’t have any client calls, I have very kind of clear points in a project where I expect to get on a call with someone. Plus, when you work with repeat clients like I do, you get to a point where there is even less communication needed because you’re doing your job, and they trust you. So they want and they’re gonna leave you alone. So you can just go do it. And if you have questions, I’ll get on a phone with you. But otherwise, it’s it’s pretty chill. So yeah, I would say maybe from the site like nine till 11, I might be on calls twice a week. But sometimes those call slots are totally open. And the rest of it is me working behind the scenes. So I spend a lot of time alone looking at the computer.
Meg Casebolt 27:30
Or you had me until a lot of time alone looking at a computer screen.
Natalie Taylor 27:34
Well into this like That sounds amazing. But I mean, I’m just being a little bit facetious there, I don’t want to make it sound like it’s a four hour work week. No, I work really hard for my clients, but I’m not on calls, I’m not extroverted thing, a whole bunch. I’m asking the questions that I need to and connecting with them as well and doing great work. And then I’m doing what needs to get done to make that work happen.
Meg Casebolt 27:59
I think I would actually struggle with the amount of whitespace that you have created for yourself. Like, I feel like there’s probably a lot like I struggle with getting myself to do work if I don’t have a specific deadline. So maybe there’s part of that that’s happening for you here. But like, I almost like need to work towards an event in my calendar in order to get the self driven work done. And if I did had a lot of whitespace, I would be concerned that I would be like, Oh, I don’t have to do that right now. I don’t have anyone waiting for me. I don’t know, I don’t know if this is a question you want to answer. But like how do you if you have that much whitespace? How do you make sure that you’re working on the right things?
Natalie Taylor 28:42
Yeah. Well, I totally get squirrel brain too. So I need those those boundaries and deadlines. And the thing about launching is that that client needs that stuff. They go and live, you better get what they need to them. And so I’d have kind of mini milestones throughout a project. So say on a launch, there might be, say dozens of emails and multiple sales and landing pages and Facebook ad copy. And so I have kind of like a foundational calendar that unfolds over two months that I do for each big launch for a client. And so I just do my best to pace along that. But one of the things I’ve had to do is just accept the fact that sometimes things change sometimes when the client is launching changes or things take me a bit longer and that’s not a bad thing. I’ve just learned to communicate that and go back and forth with the client for some kind of arrangement that that works. So having those mini milestones helps knowing what your client’s real deadlines are. It’s really important to but also just knowing that sometimes things change and you can always figure it out with your client if you’re in communication with them. I wonder if maybe you are asking about personal things like, how do you do things for your own business while working on client work? And the truth is, I haven’t really had to do a lot for my own business other than through my work. So now I’m in this weird phase where I’m doing things like I made a workshop last year, not last year, but back in February, be launching it again soon. I’m making my first proper opt in freebie that I’m proud of as well.
Meg Casebolt 30:28
What else about in case people are looking for that? Go ahead, hey, well,
Natalie Taylor 30:31
it’s called big brand energy. And it’s a seven day email sequence where one day each morning for seven days, I send you one creative ID for your launch, based around what the brands are doing in their campaigns. And it’s just it’s kind of a fun way to stretch your brain around how a launch could look. We’ll put the link to that in the show notes. But when it came to doing my own things, and doing the workshop launch lemonade, I have someone for accountability, literally asking me what is the date going to be? How can I pay you for it? So I absolutely have to create that accountability in my life. Otherwise, things to me do not happen.
Meg Casebolt 31:14
Yeah, everything can be important, but not urgent and just get kicked down the road. Yeah, sure. Yeah. And I think you come to me probably every six to nine months, and you’re like, should I be blogging? And I’m like, no.
Natalie Taylor 31:26
That’s sometimes I was thinking of you earlier this week, wondering when should I talk to me about creating an SEO strategy, that time will come one day,
Meg Casebolt 31:36
one day, we will get there one day, when especially? Well, let’s talk about that for a sec. Because like, if you have these referrals, and you have these repeat clients, then you don’t necessarily need you can you can stay the best kept secret for as long as you want to. You don’t need to do all these mass marketing tactics if you have a really strong referral network. But if you choose to start to dip your toe into a workshop, even a short term workshop like this, it doesn’t have to be like an ongoing membership that’s going to last for years. How are you making the decision about how to launch that? If you don’t have you know, you? You’ve been in business for six years, but you haven’t necessarily been doing like the giant? Bill, build the email list post on social all the time broadcasts every week, you know, like you have, because you haven’t had to build those systems? How are you starting them? Now? As a person who knows all the secrets and kind of can skip over the things, the mistakes that I made eight years ago? Like, what’s what’s the minimum viable launch strategy? If you’re just starting a leveraged offer? I guess is the simple version of this question. Yeah,
Natalie Taylor 32:51
well, it’s actually taking kind of a service provider approach to it. So at this point, I really don’t have much of an audience. And I want to focus on just inviting people that I know, into this offer if it feels like a fit for them. So kind of in the same way that I let people know about my services, I want to let the right people know about this program, and make an invitation. And so I’ve kept it really simple. I’ve set my goals low, I don’t want any more than 10 people at a time to come into this. Because, like what I was saying earlier with craft, I want to make it really amazing. So I want to give people attention and get a chance to get their feedback as well. So I’ve been making invitations, just sharing this with people when it makes sense. And then also in terms of that initial visibility, I’ve just been focusing on speaking more in places like this, thinking about podcasts to, to guest on, and just getting my work in front of other people’s audiences. So it’s a pretty simple strategy so far.
Meg Casebolt 33:55
Yeah. And I really liked that too, where you’re saying, like, I set my aim low, because I want to create an intimate experience. And I you probably are pricing it according to the fact that you’re going to have three hours in a room with only 10 people versus I need to grow this as fast as humanly possible. So I need it to be $37. And I need to sell it to 4000 people in the first launch, like you have the knowledge and the skill set that you could blow out a low cost offer launch quickly. But you don’t know what to, you don’t need to even with that leveraged offer, in a group setting like you still desire the intimacy so that you can have that personal connection, which I think is so powerful.
Natalie Taylor 34:47
I also think that most people don’t start with these small digital products that they that they scaled to, to high heaven. I mean, that sounds like a really stressful way to start validating a new offer and kind of just this avalanche have people asking me questions and dealing with the customer service of that. So if so, as a service provider, knowing that it’s just me as a solo, I want to launch in a way that supports my bandwidth to so I don’t know why a ton of people to see this, I don’t want to open myself up to a ton of different conversations, because that’s not really how I like to show up. But I also have client work that I need to deliver on and have the spaciousness to do. And I love that work. But if I’m pulling something leveraged out there, it has to make sense for my work style is. And so it’s always really funny to be working with my clients who are at the other end of the spectrum, they’ve often spent 10 years building up their audience, building up their launch muscles being really okay with doing things at scale, and have a team of 15 people or more that support them during the launch dozen employees. So I would never put that kind of expectation on myself, we have totally different business models,
Meg Casebolt 36:01
right. And even when you start to get into the the more leveraged offer, like the business model is different, even when we’re talking about group coaching, based on not just what’s the price point, but like, Who is the audience for this, often, when you’re looking at these businesses that have giant course launches, or digital product sales, they’re talking to people who are newer in their business, because there’s more of them, there are more beginners than there are experts. And so if you are trying to, you know, blow it out and have a huge launch to tons and tons of people, you’re gonna have to go probably have to go newer, and then you’re gonna have to answer a lot more introductory questions and do a lot more tech support, and have a stronger customer service team. Whereas you’re probably talking to people in your, in your offer where they have, you know, a couple 100, a couple $1,000 to spend on a one day workshop, they’re going to come in with a plan, they’re going to walk or you know, they’re going to come in with a business, they’re gonna walk out with a plan. And they’re not going to ask like, what which email marketing tool should I be using, you could get, you can kind of skip all the beginner work and really have the opportunity to go deep in an intimate space, without feeling like eventually you need to turn it into an ebook that you can follow million copies up.
Natalie Taylor 37:29
Yeah, well, I think that both of us don’t have any desire to necessarily speak to or teach the masses. And I think maybe we’re a little bit jaded by all of these big online business programs that sell you from zero to hero in eight weeks and eight modules. But I do just want to put out there that the clients I work with primarily a B to C. So they’re selling things like Mike art, or teacher resources or self development resources. And the kind of work I’ve been doing with them actually kind of aligns with what you just said, which is not just speaking to the masses of the beginners, but actually really getting a sense of what that audience that is a little bit more savvy, has already heard before, because that brings a different group of people into your business. And it’s typically a group of people that is a little bit easier to support because they have some that they have some savviness to them already and are a little bit exposed to the things that a beginner might not be yet. And so just want to put out there that I’m totally working on bigger launches that do not involve any money making promises. It’s possible. Okay, not everything is terrible. There are people out there doing really beautiful work.
Meg Casebolt 38:38
Yes, thank you very much for saying that. But that it doesn’t all have to be you know, this coaching pyramid of I’ll teach you to coach and then you can teach someone else to coach or I’ll grow your business. And then you can grow someone else’s business and like the business. That’s a business circle jerk is what it is. Sometimes, even within the spheres that we run in, it can be like, well, I’ll give you money, and then you give me back the same
Natalie Taylor 39:06
money, which is literally what an economy is, by the way, I don’t know why anybody is critical of that, because it is just like a micro economy that represents what we all do, which is just passing money around as best that we can. So it’s true.
Meg Casebolt 39:19
It’s just a closed system. Yeah, it’s very true. I like the way you say that. But I want to also point out that like, when you’re thinking about what you want your business model to be, and you’re thinking about the level of expertise that you want people to reach by the time they work with you. Because you’re working with more advanced service providers, more advanced businesses, they don’t necessarily want the DIY options. They don’t want the templates they didn’t so you aren’t creating the template so you are not like even your lead magnet is not. Here’s the formula that you can use for your launch in the checklist format. Like even your lead magnet is here’s ways that you can innovate, let’s take a look at thought leaders in this space and think about how you can apply that it’s a very different conversation. And so making sure that every touchpoint that you have with your audience in your marketing is not just make a checklist because someone said to make a checklist because I think after you’ve been in, but I’m gonna like be very generalized here, after you’ve been in for five business for five years, you don’t want the more damage checklist, you’re not gonna even open that email that has a checklist or a template or whatever, like, you want someone to do it for you, or do it with you and give you that customized support. So recognizing that, that you don’t all have to go to like, make a $7 ebook, I’m sorry, I keep hammering this home. But it just feels so important. Because the loudest voices in the online marketing space, are talking to the newest people who are looking for something that may not be your audience.
Natalie Taylor 40:52
Yeah, totally, you’re allowed to be smart. You’re allowed to be smart and say smart things and respect the the intelligence of your audience and the people that you want to work with.
Meg Casebolt 41:02
Tara Newman, and I joke around a lot that we’re like, we’re just Ravenclaws we cannot, we can’t tone down the nerd, we can’t be Griffin doors, we cannot be Hufflepuffs we just can’t do it. It’s okay to be a nerd. And like really lean into it and be found for that instead of like, oh, let me go dance around Instagram, like, you don’t even need Instagram to have a successful business.
Natalie Taylor 41:26
No, I mean, as a as a service provider, I can tell you, no one has ever paid me because of what’s on my Instagram. If we’re talking about what my clients are doing, then I absolutely believe that you do need a platform, whether it’s Instagram or not, people can easily and publicly get a sense of your work, whether that’s Instagram or not, it’s up to you. And of course, you don’t have to dance at all. But I think I think the common thread is being able to show people how it is that you think. And so when I think about the typical kind of copywriting advice that is given, it’s that most people read at a fifth grade or a sixth grade level. So don’t use big words and keep it really simple and give them a checklist that they can action in a day. And I just I think that does you and your audience such a disservice. It’s like you’re so much smarter than that the people that you want to work with are much smarter than that. So say what you really want to say keep an eye on whether it actually relates to them. And whether they’ll be able to make sense of it. You don’t want to be talking a different language than them. But saying the smart things because that’s usually where the really interesting stuff is waiting for you.
Meg Casebolt 42:34
Yes, you’re allowed to go deep. Not everything has to be fit into 140 characters. Sometimes it can be a 40 minute podcast to help people get an idea of who you are, or YouTube video or wherever you are a really long thoughtful thought leadership medium piece can do wonders for your business, it doesn’t always have to be these snippets and sound bites, sometimes you can have the opportunity to be nuanced. And to go deep.
Natalie Taylor 43:01
Totally. It’s kind of like what I was saying earlier, oh, if if you’re a course creator, and you’re doing a course launch, I want your launch to look like how it feels to work with you. And so I would practice the same thing as a service provider. The way that you work is deep and thoughtful, then don’t try and force yourself to do these sound bites or 22nd reels. Show me how you work. It’s okay to be it’s okay to be deep and thoughtful in that way. Bring that out, bring that forth in whatever way it is that you choose to show what you do online.
Meg Casebolt 43:34
Yeah, and I one of the things that you taught me is when you were rewriting the sales page for my group program, you went and interviewed people who had been through the program and said to them, like, what’s the most exciting part of this? What’s the reason that you got the success that you did? And you came back to me and you said, like, stop talking on the sales page, so much about what’s in the modules, what people are actually getting benefits from as the feedback. And you need to emphasize that more. And I think that’s something that you’re so good at helping people figure out not only through voice of customer research, but also when they’re thinking about their launches. And this is probably a lot of what you’re talking about in the launch lemonade workshop is like, figuring out what is the core of what makes you different and what makes you unique and why sometimes those formulas don’t work for you, but what could work instead? And if I recall correctly, you’re calling it launch lemonade, because you’re also looking at like, what are the lemons that didn’t go well for you the last time that you can now figure out how to repurpose into something that is better and you know, taking that those lemons and turning them into lemonade or like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you can just say fuck lemons and bail. I don’t know.
Natalie Taylor 44:41
Yeah, that was my working title, but I let that one go.
Meg Casebolt 44:45
I would totally no matter what time of day it was, I would show up for a workshop called fuck lemons and no one’s gonna call me out on that someone’s gonna make a workshop and be like, it is four in the morning and I’d be like I said, I wouldn’t be there if I don’t question my integrity,
Natalie Taylor 44:59
ma’am. No be your husband.
Meg Casebolt 45:02
Yeah, especially on the weeks that he works the overnight shift, he could totally host something for you when I would have to get apart, dammit. I hope he doesn’t listen to this episode.
Natalie Taylor 45:11
Yeah, so launch lemonade is a three hour workshop that we broke up into three one hour portions with feedback along the way. And then there’s a week of support with me, where I’m giving you feedback specifically on the ideas that you’ve had, as a result of the workshop so that it’s all framed around, what is the difference between a typical launch that might feel a bit flat to you, or a bit too close to what you’ve done before. It’s no longer inspiring to your your audience, versus creating a campaign that has a freshness and that uniqueness. And that really sparks something for you and your audience. And so we go through, what are the elements of the campaign inspired by brands like Tom Ford and Gucci and Coca Cola? What are they doing differently? It’s kind of like this visual feast that gets you thinking beyond just a sales agents and emails, and really thinking about the experience that you put on for people, then we talk about how do you actually find that intersection of what makes you unique, and then what’s really going to resonate for your audience, which, as you said, typically isn’t what you might initially think it is. So you might think it’s about the content of the program, it might actually be about a very specific thing that they do with you. In your case, it had to do with feedback, I had another client who had a certification program. And when I did interviews for her, we found that in the final week, there was this passion project that everybody in the program did. And it was actually life changing for them. And so then we wrapped the entire message around it being an invitation to get your passion back for your work, and it was her best launch yet for that program. So finding that intersection of what your audience needs to hear than what your unique point is. That’s the second part we talk through. And then the final thing, the most fun thing is that we turn all of that into a one page creative brief, which is like a visual representation of how you will creatively bring this launch to life. So visually, how will you wrap that up in a concept? What are the phrases that build on that concept? And then what will you do in a launch in terms of the offer that you make the touch points in a launch that really speak to that promise, that creative concept, which is all then talking about wrapped in this wrapped in that like
Meg Casebolt 47:31
your like Russian dolls of launching,
Natalie Taylor 47:35
I was thinking about a turducken where it’s like a turkey, chicken?
Meg Casebolt 47:40
Well, yours is probably much more delicious than mine. Yeah.
Natalie Taylor 47:42
That like it all comes down to this final question of Who do people become with you. So it really pushes you to focus less on the result. And more on when someone steps into your world when they’re getting your support, what kind of person they become, what kind of new identity that they step into this ultimately, a much bigger and more impactful promise that feels way less transactional than just do X without y, where y is usually without the overwhelm. So stop making promises. And that’s what we cover in launch lemonade, then you get my feedback on that. And my goal is for you to walk away just feeling insanely excited about your next launch, like knowing that it’s going to blow people’s minds when you put it out there.
Meg Casebolt 48:24
That sounds amazing. So how can people find out more about you? Where’s the best place for them to connect with you?
Natalie Taylor 48:30
Yeah, well, my website is the missing ink.co. If you want to find out about launch lemonade, then you can just go to launch lemonade.com. I’ll be launching that later in October. So you hop on the waitlist. And if you want to get a taste for how I work, then as I said, I have that seven day sequence called big brand energy. So that’s the missing ink.co/big. But we’ll have that in the show notes too, I’m sure.
Meg Casebolt 48:52
Yes, thank you so much for this amazing conversation.
Natalie Taylor 48:56
Feeling so neutral. Thank you, man.
Meg Casebolt 49:00
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list. You never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then
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