One Incredibly Overlooked Key to a Successful Launch

So you’re about to launch something: an audio program, a video course, an eBook, a new service, or pretty much anything. You want people to buy it and love and recommend it to friends.

So what do you do? How do you create a killer launch that will help you accomplish your goals?

Forget the guest posts and email campaigns. You may be overlooking something far simpler and much more effective.

How I Launched A New Book

I just launched a new book. Counting a few eBooks, this is not the first time I’ve done this, but each time I learn something new.

I find new platforms and strategies for getting the word out. I learn how different niches and industries work. I discover what not to do next time.

And this is all great, but frankly, it’s not the stuff that’ll get you a best seller or earn you six figures on that new product you’ve created for your audience.

I can tell you the key to a successful launch has nothing to do with publicity, advertising, SEO or any of that. It has to do with something much more simple and timeless.

Sure, those things can be helpful, but they’re not going to be game-changers for you (obvious exception being if you were to appear on Oprah or something).

If I were to tell you the three most important steps to launching a book (or any product, really), I’d say:

1. Build a launch team of early adopters

This can be anywhere from 20 to 200 people who get a free or low-cost sample of the product to use and then share. I do this every time I launch a product, giving them an advance version of whatever I want to sell. Then I’ll ask them to leave a review on their blog or Amazon or wherever is most appropriate.

2. Ask for influential endorsements

Do you want to know how you get big name people to support your course, eBook, or blog?

You ask them (this is how I got Seth Godin to endorse my eBook).

Some will, of course, say no. But some will not. And you never know until you ask, right?

(Sidenote: If you’re always building new relationships and maintaining old ones, you don’t ever have to worry about “cold calling” endorsements.)

3. Encourage word-of-mouth

Depending on the industry, this can mean product reviews or just people talking about it.

If you have to give your product away or deeply discount it to get to this tipping point, do it. It can be worth it, especially if people have never heard of your or what you have to offer. Generosity has a way of spreading. All you want to do is empower people to tell your story.

(Editor’s note: This is exactly how we launched the DIYthemes blog. We released a free eBook called Nonverbal Website Intelligence).

These are all great steps and ones I take every time I launch something. But can you see the common thread in all of them? What holds this strategy all together? It’s people.

People are the only sure thing that will help you sell products. People are the only asset you need. Everything else is just the cherry on the top; human beings are the sundae.

The Secret Behind Launching (or Growing) Any Business is People

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend who helps writers become New York Times best-selling authors. He’s done it a few times. So I was eager to hear his advice about an upcoming book launch I was working on.

I told him I was really hoping for some great PR, that I understood the value of publicity in selling books. There was an awkward silenceo on the phone.

“That’s nice,” he said, “but… you know publicity doesn’t sell books, right?”

“Well, then…” I said. “What does?”

“Word of mouth,” he said confidently.

That’s it. Nothing fancy or technical about it. We care about what other people care about. That’s what an email is about, what Amazon referrals are all about. Call it “social proof” or whatever you like, but the bottom line is we trust what other people say. Not advertising or marketing says. Just people.

So whether you have a huge blog or just a few fans, you can do a launch. Because chances are you know someone. And those people know other people. Sure, it might take a lot of work or a ton of emails or time on the phone, but anyone can launch anything if you remember this one crucial ingredient all great marketing: people.

About the author: Jeff Goins is a writer who lives in Nashville. You can find him on his blog or follow him on Twitter. You might also be interested in his book, Wrecked.