Welcome back to the #InfoProductBiz series! In this 4-week series, I’m showing you how to create and launch your first info product. Today, we’re talking specifically about priming and growing your audience for your first info product. Dudes. Your audience is one of the most important steps in creating and launching an info product that doesn’t fall flat. This step is something that a lot of infopreneurs fail to mention when talking about launching an info product, so we’re going to dig deep and make sure you’re set up to succeed with your first product.
If you’re just tuning in, then you might have missed the first post in this series. I recommend reading that first:
How to Create and Prepare for Your First Info Product
Not sure what an info product is? Here’s a quick recap of some product examples you could create:
- Physical Books
- Video Series
- Audio Series
- Email Courses
- Webinar Recordings
- Membership Sites
Now, we’re ready to dive in! Let’s do this, info product peeps.
First of all, why is it important to prime and grow your audience before launching your first product (of any kind!)? “Priming” your audience means that you are, in some way, preparing them for the launch of your info product. We’re going to get into some strategies for you to do that below, but just keep this in mind as we go through each step. Your product will succeed more easily if your audience is ready to absorb it.
“Growing” your audience is a term you’re probably already familiar with. It’s possible to launch a product with no existing audience, but this is often much more difficult, time consuming, and expensive. Even if your audience is small, you’ll have a much smoother product launch than if your audience is non-existent. In this post, we’ll get into some ways to grow your audience as well.
Oh, and I’ve even got a sweet, freeeee workbook so that you can follow along with the post:
Now let’s get down to it. How can you prime and grow your audience for your first product release?
Step 1: Communicate with your email list weekly. (Day 8, onward)
Yes, weekly. I know it takes time, but if you’re in this to really launch a product, then you’ll want to talk to your subscribers often to keep your brand in the forefront of their minds. It may help to “batch” these broadcasts. Batching is when you do a bunch of like-activities in one sitting. So, you can create 3-4 email newsletters and schedule them for the entire month.
When communicating with your list, you’ll want to continue providing value to them. In the first post of the #InfoProductBiz series, we talked about creating a lead magnet and a landing page where people could download your freebie (in case you missed that post, you can read it here). Now that people are starting to sign up, you should be providing even more value to them based on your lead magnet topic and product idea.
For example, let’s say your lead magnet is a checklist of “everything you need to start your own coaching business” and your upcoming info product is an e-course about starting a successful coaching business. Then you’ll want to continue sending weekly emails that give value and advice to people who want to start a coaching business. Sending email newsletters does not have to be complicated if you’re just getting started. Just imagine that you’re writing a shorter blog post, full of inspiration and actionable tips, but instead of posting it on your blog, you’re sending it in an email!
Sending weekly, valuable content will keep your list engaged and will build trust with you and your brand. Eventually, when you launch your product, your subscribers will be “primed” and ready to buy.
Step 2: Grow your email list with these specific strategies. (Day 9, onward)
You might be wondering why this is Step 2 and not Step 1. Good question, yo! The reason is because if I put this as the first step in this list, then I have a feeling that a majority of you would get stuck and never quite feel “ready” to send your first email because you think your list is too small. 😉 Yes, growing your list is important, but engaging your list is just as necessary.
So, even if your list is small at the moment, you still have potential customers that you could be building trust with. Sometimes the smallest lists are the most engaged because it’s easier to connect with 100 people than it is to connect with 5,000. As an example, I sent my first newsletter to 109 people and it had an “open rate” of 70%. 70% is insanely high. But with a smaller list, it’s easier to build those strong bonds with your followers. If I’d had a product to sell at that time, I would guess that it would have done very well, even though my list was tiny.
But back to business here. Let’s go through a few strategies that will help you grow your email list so that you have more people to communicate with and eventually launch your product to. Here are five things you can begin doing, stat:
1. Guest post on other blogs.
Guest posting is excellent because it gets your content in front of new (and hopefully larger) audiences. In order to successfully do a guest post, make sure that the other blogger’s audience includes your target market. If it doesn’t, then you may be speaking to the wrong crowd.
Also, to really get the most out of a guest post, you should either be allowed to link to your site within the content of the post or within an “author bio” below the post…or both, ideally! The link you include should send people to your landing page that we created last week (not to your website’s homepage). This is because we want to give those new visitors ONE option only: to subscribe. Here’s a landing page example:
Alternatively, you could create a special “content upgrade” (explained here) just for your guest post. Again, this should link to a landing page where they can download it.
2. Host free webinars on your topic.
You might be under the impression that if you teach a webinar, you have to sell something at the end. That’s a strategy that a lot of people adopt, but it’s absolutely not necessary. Webinars, or online workshops, are incredible ways to build trust with your audience and show them that you know a lot about a certain topic. There are two avenues you might want to take:
- If your list or audience is small, then use webinars as a way to grow your audience. To do this, just have people sign up with their email address to join the webinar. You can use a service like LeadPages (my fav!) to set this up.
- If your list or audience is already engaged and growing, then you may want to pre-sell your product at the end (so long as your product idea is clear and you have an official launch date). Pre-selling can be a great strategy for getting sales before you even create anything!
Bottom line: webinars can be wonderful tools for growing your email list and making sales.
3. Include content upgrades within every post you write.
Content upgrades refer to additional materials that you provide to your readers as a way to “upgrade” the content that they just read. They can come in the form of free worksheets, ebooks, checklists, info graphics, etc. Adding these to your posts will ensure that anyone who pops over to read your blog post has the option to subscribe in order to get even more awesome info on the topic they just read. #getitgirrrrrl
4. Mention your lead magnet landing page or upcoming (awesome) newsletters on social media.
You can do this in a number of ways. First, I recommend creating some simple promotional images for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest that guide people to your landing page and mention the freebie that they can get (I show you exactly how to do this in my course, BrandBoss). It would help to share a promo at least once a day on one social media outlet while using relevant hashtags to attract more viewers.
Try this simple schedule for promoting your lead magnet:
In addition to mentioning your landing page within social media posts, you should also be adding it to your profile on each social media outlet. Take a look at the way my friend, Mariah, includes a call to action in her Twitter profile, with a link to a lead magnet landing page:
You should do this for every social media platform.
5. Include these four opt-in forms on your website:
Having one subscription form on your site is not enough to get people to see it and subscribe. You should have multiple subscription forms to A) make sure people see it, and B) get your lead magnet in front of your audience several times because not everyone is ready to sign up right away. Here’s where you should consider adding an opt-in form: in your blog’s header area, below your posts, in your sidebar, and within your posts (for your content upgrades). Optionally, you could also include a pop-up opt-in form. Some people are averse to these, but they do convert very well.
Step 3: Start writing content on your blog that relates to your product. (Day 10, onward)
Things are heating up, pal! By now, you should be seeing growth in your email list and talking to them every week. Woohoo! Go you. F’real. Now, let’s talk about how to handle your blog content in order to boost your launch (and your brand as a whole).
If you’re gearing up to launch a product, your blog content should be beefing up your credibility and getting your potential customers excited about the topic you’re going to cover. Here are a few things you should keep in mind with your blog content, in the 30-60 days leading up to your launch:
Write content related to your product and include a content upgrade.
Adding a content upgrade to these posts will ensure that you’re capturing email addresses from people who would be interested in your product.
Create blog posts that “prime” your audience for your info product.
Have you ever had that feeling where you didn’t know you needed something until you found it and your life was forever changed? Priming your audience is kind of the same idea. Your audience may not know that they need your product or they may not quickly understand how it will fit into their life. So, by priming them, you’re positioning your product as something that is relevant.
In order to write “priming” posts, either answer questions that people would be asking when they first get started or show the benefits of your topic for someone like them. For example, if your product is an ebook full of Paleo recipes, but most of your audience consists of busy parents who want to cook healthy meals, but don’t have time, then start publishing posts that introduce the Paleo diet and essentially get them ready and excited about this possible nutrition program. Then, when you launch your ebook, “25 Paleo Recipes for Busy Parents (Who Have Little Time to Cook Healthy Meals)” then your audience will already understand the benefits of eating Paleo and that it IS possible to do, even when they’re busy. Boom. They’ll be a zillion times more interested in your ebook.
If you’re just getting started with your blog, I personally recommend posting quality content three times a week (and being consistent). Blogging is a great way to grow your audience and credibility and posting three times per week will get your content in front of more eyes and fill up your archives. Not to mention, it gives you a whole lot more opportunities to drive traffic to your site and boost your SEO. Once your audience has grown and your business is more stable, cutting back to 1-2 great weekly posts can absolutely work.
Step 4: Engage with your community and potential customers on social media. (Day 11, onward)
This step is huge! So far, you have put tons of time into cultivating a community through your email list, as well as pumping up the value on your blog. The next step in truly creating a happy audience that is ready to purchase your info product? Engage with them on social media.
Engaging with your community on social media is a bit different than doing so through email or your blog. Typically, it feels more personal and gives you the opportunity to actually chat with your followers or potential customers one-on-one. My favorite places for connecting with others are Twitter chats, Facebook groups, Periscope, and Instagram.
So, what should you do? Here are ways to engage with your community on each platform AND get them ready for that killer info product you’re soon-to-be-launchin’.
Participate in (or host!) Twitter chats.
Twitter chats are a wonderful place to meet other bloggers in your niche. Not only will this grow your network of friends and potential collaborators, but if you join chats where your ideal audience is sure to hang out, then you’re also getting your brand in front of new, eager eyes.
Likewise, you could start your own chat, which will help to set you apart as an expert and cultivate a community around you and your offerings. If hosting a weekly chat for the rest of eternity sounds like too much of a commitment, then consider hosting a chat series based around your info product idea, which only meets 3-4 times.
By the way, I host a biweekly Twitter chat called #NectarChat. Find out when the next one is here.
Share and curate useful articles on Twitter.
Another way to boost your brand is to become a go-to hub on Twitter for articles about your upcoming info product topic. So, if your product is geared toward freelance designers, then you may want to share other people’s articles on your Twitter, which are relevant to freelance designers.
That way, you’re doing two important things: 1) You’re attracting your ideal audience by curating content that they will love, and 2) You’re sharing the work of other influencers and should be “tagging” their username each time you share their article. This builds camaraderie with others in your niche, which is the perfect starting point for guest posts, other collaborative projects, and of course…friendships! Here’s an example of a tweet that Regina shared, which is both valuable to her audience and helps to promote a fellow creator:
Be active in relevant Facebook groups.
Facebook groups are having a moment, y’all. They can be a great resource for building your brand and connecting with others. The best way to use them? Be active and useful. Find groups where your ideal audience hangs out (not just where other bloggers or business owners do!) and be overly helpful when someone has a question. People take notice of this type of selfless assistance and will click over to your Facebook page to learn more about you and your business. Yup, really.
To boost your info product, try doing a “search” in the groups you’re a part of to see if anyone has asked a question about your product’s topic. Don’t sell or promote your product. Just offer value and advice to these people. Eventually, your brand will stand out because of it.
Psst! You can join my Facebook group for bloggers and business owners right here.
Periscope can be a killer way to connect with your audience and show them that you’re an expert on your topic. I love this platform because it humanizes you and your brand, making it easier for your audience to connect with and trust you. Whenever you do a Periscope related to your lead magnet, make sure to tell people where they can go to download your freebie. Periscope can be a great way to get people to subscribe.
Even when you’re not doing your own Periscope, you can also join other people’s Scopes by leaving comments while they speak. If you are consistent, others in your niche will start to notice you and you will begin to build a relationship with the presenters and other viewers.
Utilize hashtags on Instagram.
Lastly, don’t ignore Instagram hashtags, because they could be leading you right to your ideal customer! Think about the hashtags that your target market would be using and then do searches of those hashtags. Whenever you find someone who is part of your ideal customer base, then interact with them by liking their photos and leave 1-2 engaging comments. Ideally, they will take notice of you and will click over to your profile. If you’re strategic, then BAM! Your profile includes a lead magnet, which is hyper relevant to their needs, so they download it and are now on your email list. Now, that Instagram follower is someone you can market to…right in their inbox.
Putting it all together.
We covered a LOT today, y’all. But I want to remind you of two things: 1) Each of these strategies is designed to help you engage with your audience and prepare them for your upcoming info product launch, and 2) You don’t need to follow every strategy listed here. I wanted to share all of my favorite ideas in case something in particular resonates with you personally, but by no means do you need to do all of this in one day or even one week. Though, the more you do, the stronger connection you will build with your community and potential customers. #justsayin’
Stay tuned for next week’s post in the #InfoProductBiz series, where we’re talking about how to create a sales page that sells and officially get your product up for sale. Woohoo! Also, I’ve got a free99 workbook for you today, so that you can start implementing these tips, stat:
Let’s chat down below. What is one takeaway or action item you got out of this post?
Keep learning! >> Check out the next post in this series: How to Create a Killer Sales Page and Price For Your First Info Product