During the opening campaign for Membership Site Mastermind I actively observed the conversation occurring at other blogs about what I was doing.
One of the less-talked about benefits of conducting a major launch is the education you receive about your market. As Jeff Walker points out in his Product Launch Formula (PLF) program, each launch is an entirely different beast and once you begin the campaign you never truly know what will happen.
Eben Pagan, while presenting at one of Jeff’s PLF live workshops, stated something similar, explaining how each launch he has done has been different, teaching him new things as the campaign goes to unexpected places.
One of the great skills a marketer can develop is his or her ability to think on their feet and dynamically respond to what they see going on during their marketing campaign.
The very best marketers have an innate understanding of how they need to respond to what the market is telling them. For example, producing new content that is designed specifically to tackle an objection that they have observed coming from feedback during their campaign. As Jeff notes, he can “feel” how a launch is going, even before a product goes on sale.
Rich Schefren wrote an entire follow-up report to his first report (I believe it was the Missing Chapter follow-up to the Internet Business Manifesto) to specifically address a major sticking point he saw in his market. What was particularly amazing about this situation, was Rich was able to write the entire report DURING the launch campaign.
In my case, much of the content I published following up after the Masterplan report I released at the start of my campaign, contained elements designed to respond to specific rejections and talking points I saw in my market.
There were however, some things I couldn’t address during the campaign simply due to lack of resources (mostly time). There’s one thing that stuck in my mind since then that I wanted to write about here on my blog. This is a particularly important issue because I think it’s a mental hang-up you are likely feeling right now, which is significantly holding you back from success.
Your Peer Group Define Your Success
From a mindset standpoint you may have heard that in general people tend to perform to about the standards of their peer group. The people you associate with, how they live, what their attitude to life is like, how much money they make, etc, heavily influences your attitude and actions too.
This is why it’s critical that you surround yourself with people you regard and aspire to be like. If your peer group are negative, they don’t support you and don’t aspire to great things themselves, then they will hold you back. You may not notice it directly, but the impact they have on your mindset is dramatic. That’s why it’s so important to disassociate yourself from people who are not supporting your dreams.
If I look at my own success right now, it’s incredible who I have associated with lately. I recently attended a “faculty” mastermind session, made up of some of the most successful Internet marketing and information publishing entrepreneurs in Australia, many of whom are multi-millionaires.
Ten years ago I would have thought just meeting a millionaire was pretty cool. I don’t mean to sound blasé when I say this, but today hanging out with successful people is something that just naturally happens.
I’m still impressed by successful people and I admire them, but it’s not like deer in headlights type of impressed. Of course part of my attitude shift has occurred because my own financial wealth has increased too. I feel a part of the group of successful people because I am, but it is more than just that, my entire attitude to money has changed.
To put it simply, money is just not as big a deal as you think it is.
The only time when money feels like a big deal is when you don’t have it. This unfortunately is when emotions like jealousy, envy, bitterness and anger can surface, when you see that others have money.
It’s okay to experience these things, we all do at some point in our lives, but what’s important is you don’t let them control you. As an initial step, being aware why you are experiencing them in the first place is key. Having a peer group who are there to support you also helps, as they can “bring you down to earth” and keep you on track.
Role Models, Friends and Colleagues
It’s important to distinguish different groups of people around you. The multi-millionaires I know are not people I hang out with every day. They are mentors, colleagues, partners in business projects and friends, but the nature of where we are in life and often where we live too, means we don’t associate on a regular basis.
These people are important to me as benchmarks for success, who have done many things I aspire to do and thus make great role models, but they are not my day-to-day buddies.
My best friends, the people I see on a regular basis, who live in my city, perform the most important role of any of the people in my life (besides my family of course). These people are talented, motivated and share a passion for similar things to myself, both professionally and socially.
We’re all around the same level in terms of financial success as entrepreneurs and certainly this group of people are high-achievers compared to the general population. They are my peers, more so than mentors, but their role in my life is more important than any other group because we have so much fun together – I’d be living less of a life without them.
The final group I want to talk about are a bit different, and this group ties us back into the discussion I began at the start of this article. This group I will call your “online” peers, and it’s this group you really need to develop as an Internet entrepreneur.
Everywhere At Once
Every launch campaign I do I inevitably receive some kind of negative feedback, almost always coming from comments left on other blogs in my industry. This is okay, as I wrote about in my last article, if I wasn’t upsetting some people I’m not doing a good job as a marketer.
The nature of a large product launch campaign – and this is one of the true strengths of this marketing strategy – is that you get a lot of people talking about you at once.
This is incredibly powerful social proof, because it shows how many people support you and acknowledge you as an expert, even if they are doing it partially for a potential affiliate commission they might earn.
Every launch I’ve done has been extensively supported by a very important group of people: my fellow bloggers.
Right back to the very first time I launched a product online and including my recent Membership Site Mastermind launch, I’ve had significant support from other bloggers in my industry, for which I am truly grateful.
The reason why a big launch can trigger negative feedback is that some people get sick of seeing every blog they read all talking about the same thing at once. They get suspicious of the motives behind the actions, they become jealous and feel they can’t become successful because other people won’t support them by promoting their products.
From the marketer’s point of view, seeing this response (in a minority of people), is a very good sign. It shows that you are dominating the conversation in an entire niche, at least for a few days, when you launch your product.
Although a small group complain, they don’t represent the feelings of the majority. Most people are paying attention and enjoying what you do because you’re delivering value, usually in the form of giving away powerful free resources that your partners help distribute all over the web.
Generating significant buzz during your launch leads to engagement, excitement and mass exposure, which leads to sales. This is why the launch process is powerful.
One of the obvious questions thus to ask is –
How do you get all these people to talk about you at once?
There’s no short answer to this question, but what I can do for you is explain the key element, what you can begin working on today.
It’s Who You Know
Through the various launches I’ve done you’ve likely seen leading bloggers in my industry, including Darren Rowse at Problogger.net, Brian Clark at Copyblogger.com, John Chow at JohnChow.com, Daniel Scocco at DailyBlogTips.com and Jeremy Schoemaker at Shoemoney.com, all write about my programs and free resources.
Collectively these guys can reach hundreds of thousands of people, simply by writing a blog post. You can imagine the exposure having all of these people talking about your product at the same time can have.
In the Internet marketing “guru” circle you may have also seen a similar trend. Guys like Rich Schefren, Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern, Eben Pagan, Jeff Walker, John Reese, Andy Jenkins and Brad Fallon, all throw their maximum support behind each other.
These guys are all good friends, they hang out together, they mastermind and JV together, and whenever any of them do a major launch, they mail for each other multiple times, throw in significant bonuses and essentially help each other all make more money.
You might view this situation as some kind of mutual back-scratching between power-players, and it is to some degree, but there are criteria that must be met for this to work, namely –
- The product being sold must be quality
- Your customer service must be solid
- The marketing process being used must be sound
- The relationships must be mutually beneficial
It’s difficult to break into these inner circles because of the criteria required to get there: You need to be somewhat successful already. Sure you can go up to any of these people and propose a JV, but most likely you will be rejected (see this article for more advice about proposing JVs to top partners).
The law of reciprocity is an important element and in order to reciprocate you yourself need to be in a position of influence.
I’ve had Rich Schefren, Mike Filsaime and Jeff Walker all promote my launches. The only reason these guys even know I exist is because of my blog and the influence I have over the Internet marketing industry because of it (try doing a google search for any of these guy’s names and products and see where this blog shows up).
I’ve also been a top affiliate for these guys, selling thousands of dollars worth of their stuff when they do their launches. If I make them money, then they obviously feel indebted to do the same for me. If you want to guarantee someone will promote your launch, sell a bunch of their stuff first.
I expect right now you’re thinking you have no means to become a power affiliate and you’re blog is not influential in your market (yet), thus you can’t convince anyone to promote your launch. It feels like a catch-22, in order to become successful you have to be successful.
That’s just a reality you have to face when you begin, and even though it seems unfair, realize that every power broker in any market got there off the back of hard work. They enjoy success because they’ve built up connections and relationships over time, just like bloggers build an audience over time.
However, and here finally is the most important part of this article, there is something you can do right now to place yourself in a position to become a power-player in your market in the future…
Rise The Ladder Together
When I first started blogging over four years ago, I stumbled across a blog called Problogger.net, run by this guy from Melbourne named Darren. At the time his RSS feed counter had about 3,000 people on it, and boy was I impressed.
I started blogging and built my audience up slowly over time. Shortly after I started a guy named Brian began a blog called Copyblogger and it too started to gain traction. A year or so later Shoemoney came to my attention, though he started blogging much earlier, and John Chow rose to prominence around this time too.
Many other blogs that focused on related topics to my industry were created around the same time. Some never really gained traction so the authors gave up, others just didn’t have the “magic” to result in big success or the blogger behind the blog never committed enough energy to the project for long enough to make it work.
The leaders started to pull away from the pack and the best blogs became more popular. These bloggers did what others were not prepared to do: they continued to publish valuable content day in and day out. They were rewarded with huge audiences, significant influence and of course, big profits too.
Throughout this time, though we didn’t meet face to face more than once or twice or not at all, the top bloggers in my industry started connecting in some shape or form. Whether it was from simply sharing resources, to focused JVs, or just an email or Skype conversation here and there, relationships formed.
The thing about being a leader in your market, you inevitably become exposed to other leaders. There’s an obvious synergy and leverage to be gained by partnering with other successful people – it’s what successful people do. I would be half the success I am today if it wasn’t for the support of the top bloggers in my industry, and of course I feel indebted to them and will support them whenever they ask me to.
So how does this relate to you?
You need to do two things:
- Become a leader in your industry by being better, more prolific and more helpful than everyone else in your industry (this will take time).
- Find people who are equally motivated, talented and committed as you – your current online peers – and form relationships with them now.
They key here is to spot talent in others early, and then support them. Find people who are like you and are in a similar place on the business development curve, who are ready to storm to the top of the industry with you. These are not the leaders today, these are the leaders of tomorrow. They will rise with you and when you are standing at the top of the mountain, they will be there with you.
It’s not always obvious who these people are, but it will become clearer over time. Most of your effort will be devoted to building your empire, but whenever you can, help build the empire of other talented and committed people and they will return the favor in time.
If you play this right and understand the importance of your online peer group, one day you will do a product launch and have all the leaders in your industry backing you, resulting in massive exposure and sales.
You Are As Good As The People Around You
I’ve defined different groups of people in this article, all who play an important role in your success as an entrepreneur and a human being.
Understand that relationships by their nature are extremely dynamic and take time.
You cannot manifest the ideal support group, key mentors and a solid online peer group in a matter of days. You need to put the work in to become successful because of your hard work, and leverage the support of the different people around you for exponential success.
My mentors, my friends and my online peers all influence me. Some are joint venture partners, some I hang out with for fun on a near daily basis, some I only see a few times a year and some I’ve never met in person.
What’s important is that you are actively looking for good people to associate yourself with. You won’t know immediately what role they will perform in your life, but in time relationships will happen if they are meant to and you want them to.
Don’t ever look at other successful people and become jealous because you think they are only successful because they have the backing of other successful people, and that will never happen to you.
It’s your job to demonstrate your worthiness over and over again and build your own successful peer group. Rise together and dominate your market by being leaders, innovators and mavens.
Good luck and I’ll see you at the top.
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