It's here! The moment you have been waiting for... I reveal all my secrets to my very first ever launch and how I made it a success! You'll learn resources of my photographer, how I promoted it and all the kismet things that happened along the way. You'll see actual stats of how this grossed 20k in a very short period of time! Hooray... Let's do this!
If you missed any of the first four parts of this series, there are a list of links to Part 1 - 5 at the bottom of this blog entry.
So we are the part in the story where I had finally come up with some mood boards, that helped me visualize what I wanted for my brand, without having to design anything or hire anyone. They were going to serve as major inspiration for the concept and theme of my brand, as you saw examples in the previous posts.
All these quotes from Amelia Earhart were popping around me about women and entrepreneurship and it was becoming very clear that vintage aviation needed to be the theme, and the pinup part needed to come out because of my burlesque dancing past! I felt like Miss Amelia was calling to me!
The mood boards became an instrumental role in how I would design the brand identity, and how I would guide the amazing photographer to coming up with the shots I wanted.
For example, I knew that I would want it to look as if I was writing something in a photo, I had on my list of poses to get me holding a marker so it looked as if I just drew the logo. This is my membership site....had I not had the mood boards or had a clear vision, I wouldn't be able to do things like this:
Pretty cool right!? Everything was done with intention!
Before I met with the photographer though, I needed to get him on the same page. I chose him because he is a painter on top of being a Boudoir photographer. He's also the husband of the burlesque teacher at my pole studio!
Based on looking at his work, I knew that he could edit me to make me look like an airbrush painting! He could make me look like a fantasy!! By the way, it's taking every ounce of courage for me to give you his name and his website because it is in my ego's best interest to hoard him and keep his work my little secret... but you know what, I want him to be successful and I want you to be successful. I feel no fear of competition, or jealousy of seeing other people be successful. I just want to love and influence, and by sharing this, I am showing you that I love you and want to influence you!
When it comes to developing a personal brand identity, no one can be exactly like me, or exactly like you ---and give the world all we have to offer in our own unique way, so in that sense there is no competition and there is no problem in sharing resources!
Of course, this comes with the disclaimer, if you do hire him to be your photographer, truly try to come up with something outstanding and 100% you!!! His work though is AMAZING.... if you do decide to use him, please let him know that I sent you! His name is Scott at www.vixenphotography.com
So here's where the amazing things started to happen, once the photographer was booked and the mood boards had set the scene. I needed to go costume shopping. I of course, waited until the very LAST moment and literally had 2 hours the day before the shoot to get a 1920's style aviation helmet, and piece together all costumes including a flight attendant costume.
I took my mom with me to find these items and we only went to 2 stores. The first was a Steam Punk themed store, where I knew we could find some amazing Goggles to use on myself and on my puppy!!
Now here's where things get kismet, we had no problems finding the goggles, but the helmet was something I was looking for, but not likely going to find... not a lot of stores have 1920's aviation helmets just lying around. But I brought my mom with me (she's a little sleuth), and the lady at the store said that they didn't have anything like that.
After about 30 minutes, my mom spotted it on a bottom shelf, dusty, old and like it hadn't seen the light of day in years... It was totally fate that we found this amazing REAL vintage helmet from the Amelia Earhart era...and it cost me a whopping $200 but was worth every penny for the authenticity of it all. I wanted to do things right! We were thrilled and shocked and I kept thinking "Yep, on the right path!!!"
The next thing I needed to find was a flight attendant costume, (shown way up above in this blog entry), that was the second outfit I needed. I walked into this total Halloween costume in a bag type of a store and asked the clerk if he had a sexy flight attendant costume. He said "No we don't"
Then I said "I don't believe you!" in a sort of flirty and demanding way... So I went and asked his wife.... And she said, yes we have one left. IT was exactly my style and my size. What are the chances!???? Thank goodness that I followed my intuition.
Lesson learned here, if you don't get the answer you know is truth..... keep asking!
So the photo shoot happened, with $200 worth of hair and makeup. Scott, the photographer, is unbelievably fun and professional. We drank champagne, I danced around and posed like a free-spirited pinup. He did a rush to get me my images and he over delivered. With the first rounds of images he had superimposed me on the plane, I asked him -- why are these plane images so blurry / pixelly... And he said he was having a hard time finding high resolution pictures of AMELIA EARHART's PLANE!!! I did not ask him to do this, he is such an authentic and amazing artist, that he knew that I was trying to channel Amelia and that he wanted this to be authentic too! This sort of thoughtfulness and commitment is what makes things interesting and authentic. I couldn't have been more thrilled. I had no idea he was going to superimpose me on top of her actual plane.
He got me the images early, he was a dream to work with. Then the work of executing the brand began by implementing everything into a web design via Squarespace. I did all of this. It was amazing to see my vision come to life. The poses I had found, the concept and theme exactly how I imagined it. I developed my brand colors off the imagery used.
The Day of the Launch
It was two days before my 34th birthday. Happy Birthday to me! I had friends in town that were blowing up my phone for me to come hang out to celebrate my birthday, ( I was repeatedly saying "Do you not realize that I'm about ready to launch the biggest thing of my career!??! Who has time for birthdays!?!?!? Even if it was my own." ) They understood but kept calling every hour to see if I was done yet.
I was feverishly doing all the things you do before you launch. Testing out bugs, working on terms of service, implementing testimonials. I worked for 20 hours straight, had 2 hours of sleep to wake up and work for another 10 hours before I launched around 7pm on March 15, 2014. There was nothing more thrilling that pushing that button and thinking "HOLY SNIKEYS, I'm finished." I was exhausted and elated.
Three years in the making, ups and downs. How many theories I tested, how many classes I had taught to learn how to take someone who has never designed before and turn them into a designing ninja...along with a thorough understanding of how to tap into an ideal targets mind! Finally the THING THING WAS OUT OF MY HEAD..... hallafreakingluyah!!!!!!!!
First step -- Announce it to all the facebook groups I belong to.... I belong to Ali Brown's Elevate, Marie Forleo's B-School, The 30 Day List Building, Hera Hub (The Women's Co-Working Center) I belong to and suddenly the likes and comments started coming in....
477 Likes, and 194 comments... this was a similar reaction to most boards that I posted it in, while this looks minimal in terms of numbers or fairly good... The amount of traffic I got was
I got almost 6,000 views to my website over the following 2 weeks, 9k page views.
As the views went up, the subscriptions jumped through the roof and my list to grow from 200 subscribers to about 800.
I grossed over 20k in new revenues just from the programs, not even talking about all of the new graphic design business that was brought in (I even got a celebrity client through it), nor considering my other sources of income, it took me into six figures territory.... YAY!!!
All of this was done without a cent spent on advertising, or webinars. What I had invested in was amazing programs like Elevate, B-School and Hera Hub. I had networked by providing valuable services for free to these groups. I gave away some scholarships. I invested in really important things like a good microphone for videos, and software to execute everything. The photographer, costumes, make up were essential. Designing many iterations and failing at the design 3 times was ALSO essential to getting me to where I am now. There is NO way I could have hit this on the first try. So you shouldn't put that sort of pressure on yourself.
No matter what you do make sure your clothes look good, your hair and make up look professional and that you hire a photographer that has a magic spark of bringing out your story!
Step 2: Provide a ton of valuable content and come from a place of wanting to give back and help others succeed
This is why I'm being so transparent with all of this? Because I want you to experience success with your business too! I have nothing to hide and everything to gain by sharing my secrets. I make a huge effort to go into these Facebook groups and give as much free advice and resources as possible.
I want you to see what is possible for yourself, when you have a truly effective and visually interesting brand identity. SO DO NOT GIVE UP!!! It might take you quite some time to develop your signature program, or to even come up with an idea for your brand, and that's okay, if you have something brilliant in your mind, get it out and share it with the world. It's not a race, there is no one else there like you, so you don't need to worry about someone else doing it first. If anything, other people doing something similar means there is a market for it!
Just make sure it looks decent when you get it out into the world. Go for making an impact! Make sure that it tells a memorable story, and try to do something that you haven't seen before. (Remember the story about me almost copycatting Marie in the beginning)
Make sure that it comes out in a fairly impressive package. There are exceptions to this rule. There are some people who can just have a plain website and the content is so smashing that they'll make it a success with their networking powers. The key here is clean simple design, and programs developed of what people really need. It's when the content gets lost in a busy muddled, dated, boring or off-putting design that there are real problems. Simple is always key!
Step 3 - Get out from behind your desk and start networking -- GO TO CONFERENCES
Two days after my launch, I went to Ali Brown's Elevate live event. As I was making the two hour drive up from Oceanside, CA to Los Angeles, I had this vision of people seeing my brand on the big screen. I just knew that people were going to be talking about it!
Within the first 30 minutes James Roche (Ali's top program teacher) had come over to my lunch table. I had post cards printed with my branding on them and Mimi Quick (a friend and fellow Elevate member said) at the table said "GIVE HIM YOUR POSTCARD!!" because she was excited about the brand. He took that post card and within the first hour of me being there, after we had come back for lunch. I had gotten up to give a testimonial for the Elevate program, and Ali said "Are you the pinup girl on the plane!?" and I said yes!!! James had already given the tech people my post card and they put it up on the big screen to talk about how effective my brand identity was!!!!
They also had commented on how the deliverable of what the clients got being so clearly spelled out that you literally understand what I do, how I am different, and what they get in a specific period of time! This is integral for making sales because you only have about 10 seconds to sell people who have never heard of you or your company before.
So that's it... brand was launched. The opportunities have been overwhelming and exciting and I feel like this is just the beginning. The first program is done and the work has been brilliant. More student work and testimonials to be posted in the next week.
If you would like to jump in on this fun ride I'm on, there are 2 seats left in the program that starts tomorrow June 2. If you want in jump on it!!! The next time I'm running this program is not for several months.
Check out the programs at the bottom of this page www.youcanbrand.com/launchyourbrand
In the comments below share your aha's or stories of your first launch! What were your successes or nightmares!? What struggles did you break through?
Miss anything from this series? Here are the previous articles!
Part 5 - How I launched my brand "The Finale" (You're here!)