What will it be like to launch my first book in about 100 days? I’ve never done this for my own business before. I’m my own case study in progress.
Social media has made ours an increasingly image-centric world, so I will recap the first day’s adventures of my Launch aided by 3 related images..
Launching what, you may ask?
September 22nd* is the launch of my first book, “The Marketing Deck” truly a one-of-a-kind book and gameplay suite.
(Hindsight can be fun, and *Launch Day was actually Sept 26th, 104 Days from when I started publicity, dear reader! But let’s get back to the race…)
So what tasks must I accomplish to launch not one, but two new ventures of my own, all at the same time? Am I crazy? Are there any efficiencies of scale at 2x or will I be inundated? As a marketing & branding consultant at the solopreneurial scale, I think I owe it to you to lift the curtain on what it really takes to launch twice the content together.
What’s the foundation underneath what is yet to come? What will get people interested and excited about what I’m inviting them to experience with me?
Here is where I began:
Like many business owners i’m starting from scratch to build a presence for these two launches. In my case, I spent the last 4 decades with sleeves rolled way up, at work on other people’s branding and marketing. I’m used to juggling from 5 to 35 projects at the same time. Yet when I became my own biggest client, as I really have this year, I discovered how daunting a choice that is! Oh my!
It became clear I needed a major, inclusive, inspiring rebrand of my own business. When my book manuscript went off to the publisher for its first edit at the end of November, I hunkered down to follow the advice I give many serious solopreneurs. My new full-time job from January onward was simple, logical, and yes, task heavy. Build a pathway to publicize the book. Here’s what I built, in this sequence, all tasks by my own hand, writing & design included, all viewable under either “The Marketing Deal” or my name, Diane A. Curran:
- New Website build (you’re on it here!)
- Merge 2 prior websites into my new website (in process, and they’re hidden now)
- New Instagram Account strictly for business (my personal account is for art & photo fun)
- New YouTube Channel (created 45 initial videos to get it up and running solidly)
- LInkedIn & Klout rebranding updates (new business identity and related tweaking)
- New Facebook Business Page ( Merged 2 prior pages and built new page as mainstay)
- Upgrade Pinterest Account to Business Account status
- New Google+ Pages for Business & YouTube Channel (consolidate and delete outdated pages)
- Reactivate 3 ancillary social media accounts (source for design inspiration & fun)
How did I juggle all these tasks and keep track of all the bits and pieces?
Yes, I made a business plan, and yes I look at religiously. At least every 2 weeks, and usually every 3 or 4 days lately, to keep me from going off in too many directions.
But spreadsheets are my secret sauce. I think of them as maps with magic hot spots in them (putting calculation formulas inside cells can really be fun when they do the “metrics” work for me). As long as I use colors for text & box fills to keep everything visually lively and pleasing, I am A-OK.
What else did I need to do? Well, I’ve taken many Internet business courses ever the years, some online, others in person, and have a few favorites.
Some are high-concept and high energy, others are nuts and bolts. Yet one claim many make to their “students” is how easy it will be to jump right into launch phase.
But they don’t want to scare people off. Which is why I think of their audience as clients, not students. No need to sugar coat it to students. Of course clients can handle that too, but often they don’t want to. Hence, many Internet experts shying away from the hard truths.
Students at school expect it to be hard. We expect our brains to ache, and to have to reach to higher standards, maybe pull all-nighters, and study and restudy. Well, that’s what it takes to succeed in business beyond what you’ve already mastered. Either you do it yourself, or you pay skilled staff or outside experts good money to do it for you. Even then, you still have to pay close attention.
I love diving into words and images, and for contrast, even lists and spreadsheets. But my oh my, the toughest part so far, above and beyond the 9 big tasks listed above, has been the list building piece!
There are lots and lots of easy-sounding list-building formulas out there, and lots and lots of retail providers with tools to manage your lists for a fee. I’ve worked with quite a few myself and for many clients at several levels. But I will say that the toughest part of my own list-building so far has been the simple-sounding “Opt-In” form-building process. I want forms that look beautiful and work easily. Too much to ask?
I used to do classic direct marketing list acquisition and analysis for multimillion name campaigns, so I know my way around the territory. It was complicated then, and it’s still complicated now. I have not found a single-source provider who can combine best practices, elegant software, strong client service and top-notch graphics together in one perfect bundle. Period. Some come close, but often you need to daisy-chain 2 or 3 providers together and build a system for yourself that functions fully. Even the high-profile million-dollar launch gurus use multiple sources, or very expensive custom solutions for their own database needs.
But that’s a story for another post. I promise to spill those beans soon.
• • •
Let’s get back on track. Today, June 15th, is exactly 100 days until my Book Launch. Yay! So, I’m counting backwards from #100 until we reach Day #1.
I’ve got a calendar of goodies and goals and giveaways planned. Some already created, others still in the making, more to dream up, no doubt. Some big. Some small.
LIGHTBULB MOMENT! Just tonight, after a day slogging in the Opt-In trenches, with far less than perfect success, and lots more work to do, suddenly I hit upon an idea! A weekly diary for the launch, sharing what it’s like to launch a 100 Day Deal.
This is my first week’s post.
I got a lovely surprise tonight when I was checking on Facebook to make sure I had my business page posts in place with the Opt-In graphic you saw above. I needed a nice surprise after a day in the Opt-In trenches with not-so-terrific surprises. I noticed I was 2 people shy of reaching my first 100 likes on “The Making Deal” Page. Yay! So even though I have a small promotional campaign in place, I decided not to wait passively for the clock to strike midnight, and extended personal invites to a few more friends from my personal page.
I created and posted this graphic:
Lo and behold, in less than 2 minutes, even though it was dinnertime, I had 2 more likes, and a few more rapidly followed to move us over the top. Business Kismet! Time for a thank you graphic, which I posted right away.
Here it is:
All in all, a productive Day #100 with a lovely surprise I “like” very much.
• • •
The first day’s deal & free gift is a QuickStart Guide for 6 Headline Plays, a streamlined tickler to help you in making marketing creative.
I invite you to subscribe to our website, and get your own copy for a quick read and easy reference.