As a sports psychology coach, Jonathan is trying to move more of his business from time-consuming one-on-one coaching to online courses that can be a bit more passive. He’s already off to a great start, having put together his materials, created a first draft of the course, and working with a “beta” group to see how well it works. As he’s looking at launching it, however, he’s run into a bunch of questions that I totally relate to.
This episode is interesting because we’re really able to get down to brass tacks about something I’m really passionate about. We weigh the plusses and minuses of live launches, versus designing something to be evergreen, and how you can use a tool called Deadline Funnel to create a unique launch period for each individual customer. I personally love live launches, so I do them even though I could probably transition some of my courses to evergreen with automation (though I am testing a few things just in case you get a stray email).
We also talk about how to deal with that feeling you get when you look at all the things you could do to launch and market your product and get overwhelmed with possibilities. My tip is to start by writing everything down, no matter how ambitious, and then be really strict about crossing things off of that list until you’re left with the two or three things you’re really excited about and ready go all-in with. If you’ve been working on a project but you’re trying to figure out how to execute, this episode is for you. In fact, if you’re working on anything and feeling overwhelmed with possibilities to the point that you don’t know how to get started, give it a try.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Jonathan is doing exciting things and I can’t wait to see how his launch goes for him. Let’s dive in!
What You’ll Learn:
The strengths and weaknesses of different launch strategies, and how to narrow down the list of everything you could do to decide what you’ll do best.
Pat Flynn: What’s up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to episode 1066 of AskPat 2.0. This is a coaching session for entrepreneurs. I’m actually going to be speaking live, or not live, but recorded with an actual entrepreneur going through some stuff so that I can help this person grow and scale their business. You get to listen in on this conversation. It’s an actual coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you. Today we’re talking with Jonathan, a sports psychologist, somebody who helps people become the best athletes that they can be.
Before we get to that and the problems he’s having with where to go next and how many things to do and what to pick first, we’re going to talk about FreshBooks, an amazing company that sponsors AskPat here. It’s the best cloud accounting software that you can choose to help you manage the business finances that you have going on, from your income and expenses and even invoicing too. What’s really cool is they’re offering a thirty-day free trial, just literally all-access free trial, so that you can try it out and see how much of a stress relief it can be to use a software like this. Highly recommend you check them out. I use them myself. If you go to freshbooks.com/askpat, just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section so they know I sent you. Thanks so much, and here’s Jonathan. Let’s do this. Hey, Jonathan. Thank you so much for being here today on AskPat 2.0. Welcome to the show. How are you?
Jonathan Lelievre: Good. Thanks Pat for having me. It’s really a pleasure to be here.
Pat: I’m excited to chat with you today. How about, quickly, can you, Jonathan, introduce yourself to everybody who’s listening and tell us what you do?
Jonathan: Yes. I’m doing sport psychology consulting with athletes, so basically I coach young athletes to perform at their best during the competition. We’re going to talk about confidence, goal setting, concentration, stress management, all those types of topics. I’m doing mostly one-on-one coaching calls over Skype, and also keynote speeches and workshops with teams.
Pat: Wow. Good for you. How did you get into this?
Jonathan: In the past, I did a lot of sports, and it was my plan to be, hopefully, a professional athlete. But things went not so well, so I learned a lot about that. I guess I tried to use my experience and help other athletes reach their goals. I studied in psychology, and I learned more about sports psychology along the way, and I just realized it was a good fit for me.
Pat: That’s excellent. Thank you for doing that. I know . . . I was not a professional athlete, as most people know, but I did play a lot of sports, and I do know there’s a lot of things that happen in our minds that can affect the outcome of the game and ultimately the outcome of our lives. I appreciate you for doing that. Let’s dive in. Tell us a little bit about what’s on your mind related to this. What can we help you with?
Jonathan: Okay. Basically, I’ve been doing a lot of one-on-one coaching, as I said, roughly about four hundred coaching calls every year. I want to decrease that a little bit, and I want to focus on a new program I just launched recently. I launched it in a beta version, so after reading your book Will It Fly?, it gave me the idea of testing that new format. The format is pretty simple. I called it “Online Coaching Group.” Basically, I have fifteen athletes where I coach them every week for twelve weeks. Right now, it’s a sixteen-week program, but I want to bring it back to twelve weeks. I coach them by video training, so that’s where I’m at right now. I want to make sure I have success with that program because, as I said, I’m doing a lot of coaching calls, and I want to just pivot a little bit through my new program. The beta program I did this past week, it was really great. I received good feedback. I’m feeling pretty confident with the program I have right now, with the content of the program. I saw different athletes getting better, and I received good testimonials at the same time. My question right now . . . I have three main questions for you today.
Jonathan: Do you want me to start with the first one or tell the three questions at first?
Pat: Let’s start with the first one.
Jonathan: Okay. My first question is, I’m still confused about the model I should use right now for my program. What I mean by that is, should I have that program available all year long, or should I close the door and just do some specific launch on a specific date and you can’t buy the program at any other time during the year? I guess there’s two ways of doing it. I’m pretty sure you did both, so I’m curious what you think about that.
Pat: I have done both. First of all, congratulations on seeing that A, you wanted to reduce your coaching and develop a program that can help you—and wonderful results that you’re getting so far. I hope that’s encouraging to you and can push you to move forward into relieving some time that you have been devoting to a lot of the one-on-one. That’s a great start. You have the pieces. Now let’s put the puzzle together.
In terms of this question, which is, how do you promote this, and do you do what’s called live launches? Which is where throughout the year, they’re open and then they close and then later in the year, they open again and then they close again. Very common style. The benefit of that is that when it is open, it’s only available for a short period of time, and people want to get in because they don’t want to miss out. It’s also beneficial because when people come in, you can position it—and this is what I do—as you get to come in as like a group. You come in with your classmates, your cohort, your colleagues who are at the same level, and then it’s a little bit easier to answer questions for them because they’re all at the same pace. They’re all coming in fresh from the start, kind of like a class that starts a new year. That’s the benefit of that.
The hard thing about that is number one, it can be a lot of work and very tiring to do a live launch. There’s a lot of moving pieces to make that happen, and it can be very exhausting. Number two, continually launching the same thing . . . You have to be a little aggressive when you sell. It doesn’t mean you have to use black hat tactics or do anything wrong, but it means when you are launching, you need to let people know you are launching. You’re selling. The hard thing about that is if you do that all the time throughout the year, then it can be a little bit exhausting to your audience. They might get tired of hearing the same message again. They might feel like you’re only doing this to sell to them all the time, if you don’t have other things that are helpful, etc. That’s the pros and cons of the live launches.
With the evergreen, obviously the nice thing about this is you set it up once and you can turn on the switch and the funnels are working, and you can get people to come in as customers all the time. The thing about that is you’re going to not get as many people coming in all at once, so you don’t have that group sort of feeling. Number two, you don’t have the large amount of income coming in all at once. You have trickles of income or more of a steady income coming in, and then you can optimize your funnels. You can create content. You can build relationships to increase how many people are coming into that funnel, thus increasing your sales.
There is a third way to do this. There is a way to get evergreen sales by creating live launches. That is by creating a unique launch period for each individual person. Now there’s a tool out there, Jonathan, called Deadline Funnel, which I’ve mentioned in previous episodes before. The way this works is if, Jonathan, you subscribe to my email list today, tomorrow I might send you an email about my course. You get the email about the course, and in that email, it says, “Hey, you have forty-eight hours to take advantage of this deal and the bonuses.” There’s a countdown timer. It says forty-eight, forty-seven hours, forty-six hours, the whole countdown timer. Then after two days, the course goes away. When you go back to the sales page, it literally says, “Sorry. This course is not available to you right now.” It is a real launch for that person. Then Jane will subscribe tomorrow. She gets the same emails, but her forty-eight hours is not the same forty-eight hours as you. You can actually create a scarcity and create that live launch feel for people, but you can do it in an automated way. I will say that that’s the most complicated one to set up, but Deadline Funnel is a great tool. They have a lot of great documentations.
Really, the one to choose is the one that makes sense for you right now. I cannot answer that for you. However, many people start with the live launch, and they do that a few times so that they get the right messaging, they get to share it a few times, and then they turn that live launch into one of those evergreen models that I talked about earlier. If I was in your position, because I’m going to stop talking and see what you think, I would try a couple more live launches just to get a feel for that, understand what works, what doesn’t, so that when you do an evergreen, if you choose to do it, you know exactly what needs to go in there to help you out. That’s a lot of information, but I would love to know what your thoughts are at this point.
Jonathan: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. That’s really interesting. The thing I like about what I did in the beta group is it’s pretty much like the live launch because I set a date, and everybody started the program at the same time, so every week they received new material, new content. It was great to see them progress, so I really like that format, but at the same time, I feel at one point, maybe not this year but maybe in the future year, I need to make it more . . . automatic?
Pat: Automated. Yep.
Jonathan: Automated. Yep, sorry. But what I understand from what you just said is you should try a couple of more of that version, of that setup, with live launch. I guess I can improve also my content along the way and my marketing along the way, so that will be a necessity, I guess. At one point, when I . . . I don’t know how much like you need money to automate more, like you said in the third option, but I guess you need some help in doing that because—
Pat: It takes a little bit of setup. You don’t necessarily need more money than just whatever the tool is. As far as the live launches to start, another big reason to do that is because now that you have a beta group, which is so smart to do, now you have testimonials. You already said they’re coming in. Now you can live launch now with testimonials added in and people’s real results, and probably you’re even more confident about the program that you’re going to sell even better. So doing that a couple times and then if and only if you want to do the automated one . . . Because for me, I have the opportunity to do that, but you know what? I love the live launches so much that I continue to do them. Yes, it does take time and a lot of effort, but I really enjoy it. I like the webinars and I like all those kinds of things. I actually choose at this current moment in time not to evergreen launch those courses. There are tests always running, just so people know in case they do get some sort of automated message for a course, but I think you’re on the right track. For automation, that should be like phase two, if you want to go there. For right now, I think the only thing you should focus on is making your next live launch the best it can be.
Jonathan: Okay. If I follow on your idea here, it brings us to my second question. Should I go as fast as possible, and try to generate revenue as fast as possible, or should I really take my time and be really prepared for my next live launch, my real one, because the last one was my beta group? I did the best I could at that time, but if I take a couple of months to be really prepared for my first one, my big launch, is this . . . I don’t know. Again, it’s just a question about, what do you think about that? Should I just take more time and feel more confident and be ready, or should I just start earlier a little bit?
Pat: Mm-hmm. That’s a tough question because sometimes people say to themselves, “I need more time to prepare,” but really, that’s just pretend talk for, “I’m scared,” which I don’t know if that’s the case for you, but that’s very common to have people go, “You know, I’m going to take a little bit more time to launch my podcast. I’m going to launch it next year,” when, in reality, they could launch it in a couple months. It’s always because, when I find out, that they’re just really scared and they’re really scared to do that. Obviously, I don’t think you’re scared because you’ve already launched the beta program. You sound very excited about the possibility of getting this into other people’s hands.
I would say that it would be a balance of the two. You don’t want to rush into it because number one, you’re probably still understanding what works and what doesn’t for your beta students because you can get feedback from them. That’s the whole purpose of beta is to get feedback from them to improve the product and to get testimonials and whatnot, and you’re doing that. But I would say you could probably reduce the amount of time that you think you need to perfect it. I would even encourage you to not worry about being perfect. Just make it better than it was before, but also have on your calendar a set date when you know that you’re going to launch this again that would make sense for you, production wise, and for your audience hearing the promotion and all that stuff. Based on that, when would you say, from this point in time, how many months or weeks ahead of now would you feel is the next launch for you?
Jonathan: My plan was to launch my real version, we’ll say, in five months. Right now, I know I have still a lot of work in front of me because I need to do the official video that I’m sharing with my students. What I did in my beta group, I just did like video from my office and just like basic, really nothing complicated. I just share the good content, but I would say it’s not beautiful right now. You know what I mean?
Pat: Sure, sure.
Jonathan: I want to make sure I polish it a little bit—
Jonathan: . . . and then I do redo . . . Polish, yep.
Jonathan: I know I need to take time to do that. I received feedback on every module I share with my students. I received feedback on that because I asked them after each module, give me your thoughts on what’s good, what’s too much, or whatever. So I also need to adjust that in my program. The last part is probably the only part where I will say I’m scared is the marketing or the promotion of it. I feel I need a lot of time, a lot of weeks, to be good at doing a promotion and talk about it. I have my own podcast right now, so I know I’m going to do some episodes where I talk about it or—
Pat: Bring your students on your show, like your beta students, like invite them on your podcast to talk about their success and stuff. You know, I’m curious about five months. Like how detailed did you get in the planning of that? Or is that just kind of just enough buffer time for you to feel comfortable with all the things that you have? Because I will agree, after you talking just now about what you have to do, it is going to take some time. I’m glad you didn’t say one month from now, and I am glad you didn’t say two years from now. Five months, four or five months, could be a really good time, but I would just encourage you to say like, “Okay. Can it be four months?” Maybe, maybe not, in which case maybe it is five months, but I just want you to think realistically about it versus just kind of . . . What most people do is go, “Oh, you know, I’m just going to throw a dart at a dartboard and we’ll just do it then.” You are actually seemingly planning this out, which is good. I would say five months may be the right amount of time, but you could potentially launch it sooner.
Jonathan: Okay. That brings me to my last question because I know how many times I have in front of me. As I said, I set a date of release of five months from now, but maybe . . . I think it’s realistic to fix it to four months, but right now, I’m just thinking, “Okay. I need to plan that. I need to make sure I do the right step in the right order to make sure I’m productive and to make sure I do the right thing to be ready for that four-month period.” I know I have to collect testimonials. I’m already doing that. I know I have to update my sales page with testimonials and all that stuff. I heard you say creating a waiting list, which is really smart. I really like that, so I’m going to create that.
Jonathan: But from that, I’m still not sure. There’s so many possibilities because you can focus on creating Facebook ads, you can do webinars, giveaways. You can do guest podcasting. You can do a lot of stuff, so I’m just confused, maybe . . . Where should I start or where should I put my energy right now?
Pat: What I would do is, and this is what I always recommend you do when you have hundreds of ideas, write all those things down: webinars, Facebook ads, blah, blah, blah, everything. Write it all down. Number one, it should scare you to see how many of those things there are. You’re going to see it on paper and you’re going to just be like, “Wow. Okay. I cannot do all of this.” That’s the reason why you show yourself all those things, to be realistic that you can’t and should not do all those things. The next thing that you should do after you write all those things down that are the possibilities is you get rid of the ones that are clear losers. Just like, “Okay. I could stand on a street corner with a flyer and let people know about my program.” Knock that out. You know, just based on your gut and based on what you know, that that’s just something you’re never going to do. You cross those off. Now your list is getting a little bit shorter. Now here comes the hard part.
Now you pick your top three. What are the three . . . I would even say like two, but what of this whole list are the three things you’re going to do? Because yes, you could do the remaining all of them, but none of them are going to do exactly what you want them to do with that amount of energy spread across all those things. With the two or three top ones that you circle, that’s what you need to read about, learn about, get coaching about. All the things that you do are, marketing wise, related to those three things and those three things only. Be very clear with yourself in your brain that, “Yes. I know I could do those other things and they were on the list, but those are not my priorities right now.” You can experiment by adding those on later. That’s the cool thing. A person may not want to buy this first launch. Maybe they’re going to buy on the second one where you do a different tactic that was the one that resonated with them. But I swear, if you do all the things, it’s going to work less than if you just focused heavily on a few good things. That’s kind of where I would put my effort.
The next question might be, “Okay. Well, how do I know which ones are the top ones?” It would be based on a number of different factors. What excites you? What can you imagine creating content for or spending a lot of time doing? It might be budget related. If you don’t have a budget, then maybe it’s not necessarily Facebook ads to start with. Then also, who do you have access to who might know those things? Maybe one of them is clearly an answer for you because you know a friend who that’s their expertise and you can grab them for an hour, take them out to coffee, and learn all there is to know about that to learn more and see how it might fit in. Maybe they might even run the campaign for you for that specific thing. I don’t have the answers, and you likely don’t have the answers, specifically on what you should do now, but that’s the approach I would take to know what to do.
Jonathan: I like that because obviously, if I’m trying to do everything at the same time, it’s not a four-month period that I need, it’s going to be four years. I need to learn more. I’m really curious about everything like online and everywhere else.
Pat: We all are. We all want to do everything. That’s the problem. Be smart. Get rid of everything except the priorities.
Jonathan: You mentioned that let’s say you select something like webinars. Let’s say it excites you and you want to do that. Even if I have a four-month period right now since my first launch, do you suggest that I take the time to learn more about that or to study how to do that? Or should I maybe focus on what I know I can do right now, or strategies that I already used in the past right now to make sure I have a good launch?
Pat: Good question. I would say, to finish up, do first what you know how to do and optimize that. And if there is anything new on that list, allow for one new thing. That’s what I always do moving forward. I always try one new thing so I know if it worked or if it didn’t work. Because if I try three new things, and the launch succeeded, unless I am really, really good with my tracking, then I won’t know, really, which one of those was the best. I want to go one at a time, on top of the things that are already optimized, that I already know. I’m doing the same thing. I always try new things, and I try to focus on just one new thing so that I can find the right coach to help me or the right course that I can buy to learn that one thing. That’s how I would approach it.
Jonathan: Okay. I like that.
Pat: Nice, Jonathan. Hey, I’m so excited to hear about how this goes. Before you go, can you quickly tell us what the URL is so we can see more of what you have going on?
Jonathan: Yes. I just want to make sure everybody’s aware that my website is all in French because my community’s in French and I’m speaking French and, as you see, a little bit of English. I try my best.
Pat: It sounds great.
Jonathan: My website is my name, so it’s Jonathan Lelievre. It’s Jonathan, J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N L-E-L-I-E-V-R-E. Hopefully, you’re going to put that in the show notes so people will—
Pat: I will put it in the show notes.
Jonathan: Yeah. It will be easier.
Pat: Jonathan, thank you so much. I’m inspired. I think everybody knows what you’re going to do, and you’re going to know what you’re going to do, and we’re going to follow up with you in the future to see how it all goes down.
Jonathan: Yes. Thank you, Pat.
Pat: Thank you, Jonathan. Take care.
Pat: Alright. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Jonathan. Again, if you want to get coached like Jonathan did today, all you have to do is go to askpat.com. You can see other AskPat coaching sessions there too. You can also apply to get coached on AskPat as well. All you have to do is find that application button right there on that page, submit answers to certain questions that’ll help me make sure that you are a perfect candidate, and you’ll never know if it’ll happen unless you try. Make sure you go there, askpat.com. If you haven’t subscribed to the show yet, just do that. That’s all I’m asking you to do. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Happy May 2019, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Team Flynn for the win.
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