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What We Talk About

It’s easy to think that you can just… host a summit, challenge, giveaway, or webinar. That you can flood your world with promo and everyone will magically want to pay attention.

And if you’ve tried it… you probably also know that you’d be wrong.

In today’s episode, we’ll talk about taxiing along the runway BEFORE your promo takes off… and how to make sure you’re successful before you even start.


Check out the entire library of list building episodes here.

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Alyson Lex 0:04
I'm going to tell you something that you may or may not want to hear, right the second if you have an idea that you're going to promote something in the next 60 days, and you don't yet know exactly who you're going to promote it to, if you don't have an audience, if you don't have a list, or maybe you have one, and you've been ignoring the heck out of them, or it's not as big as it should be, then you're going about this the wrong way. Because frankly, when we work with clients who have highly engaged lists that are the appropriate size to meet those sales goals that they have, we tell them to start promoting to that list. The entire runway starts eight weeks out, if you don't have one yet. Your runway is longer. We're going to talk about all of that, in this episode, about the runway to promo. Here's the thing. Your runway is the awareness that you're building towards your social. It's you as a brand. It's what takes you from where you are right now to successful promotion, and I'm talking summit challenge webinar. Course, cart open event. I don't care what it is. You have a runway as much as we would love. And trust me, I get this as much as we would love to be able to be like, Hey, I've got a great idea. I'm going to promote it tomorrow. That's just not the path to success. And we've tried it. Oh, I've I will probably try it again. I'm just putting that out there. Yes. However, yes.

Jennie Wright 1:59
And I and I'm the one who walks her back from the ledge. Don't do it. Alison, you need three weeks. Love you mean it. All right, this is a really good conversation, because so many people come into this, like Alyson said in the intro, they don't understand what this means why you have to have this runway, they don't get it. And if you have an audience that you've somewhat totally ignored on social media, because you grew it and you blew it, then now's the time to actually connect with them again. Because if you absolutely have something that you're going to promote, and you don't connect with them while you do it, like while you're actually getting ready, then when it comes time, it's gonna feel like whiplash. And what they're going to do is they're going to disengage, and they're going to leave because they're gonna be like, what was second here? I haven't heard from Joe Schmo. In a long time, I actually forget how I know Joe Schmo. And I'm not really interested in this, so I'm Aussies. Right. So if somebody signs up for your list or somebody, you know, becomes a follower on social, you really need to connect with them in the interim, between everything. Actually, I want to say this, the time between promotions, and launches, counts more than the launch in terms of connecting well.

Alyson Lex 3:20
Okay. All right. I want to dive into that for a second. Because as everybody who has listened to more than one of these knows, we put together some rough outlines. You didn't put that in this outline, dude. No, I didn't. So I'm putting you on the spot right now. Because that is something that I think you might need to say again.

Jennie Wright 3:47
Yeah, well, the magic that's where the, the most important piece is between launches. That is where you connect, build trust, have people get to know you, where they understand who you are when you're not in promo. Because to be fair, when you're in promo, it's like your most people until they learn this. This is where they somewhat put a little bit extra makeup on the pig kind of thing. And they change their persona sometimes and and this is even worse, is if they have copy and launch materials, they're not in their

Alyson Lex 4:25
normal voice. Then there's that whiplash effect. So the time in between

Jennie Wright 4:31
your launches is actually more important than the launches themselves to achieve the success that you need.

Alyson Lex 4:41
This is when they get to know you. This is what they get to understand what you're about how you can help them and what's more, alright and here's, here's really what your people want. They want to know and be able to trust that you're going To deliver on what you promise, if you promised them, hey, I'm going to show up here live every week at 1pm. Eastern. And then you don't do it. They're not going to trust that you're going to deliver value when you go to charge them for something. If you promise, hey, if you follow my steps, or follow my account, or follow my posts, and take the action that I'm telling you to take, you will see the result that I'm telling you you can get. And if you follow through with that, and they see that they trust you, because you're proving it to them. Remember, everybody has been burned. We've all been ghosted by somebody, some of us more dramatically than others. We've all experienced, being burned, being scammed being lied to being betrayed, in some sense, and your people will not willingly walk into a situation where you're going to do that to them, too. This is not at the top of their mind. This is what they're not even thinking about when they interact with you show up between launches, not just when you want something from them.

Alyson Lex 6:30
If you already have an audience, if you've already shown up, if you've already proven that you're going to do what you promise, there's still a runway. Because if you go from no promo, value, value, value value, all of a sudden into bam, I'm going to talk non stop about this event. Jenny likes to call that whiplash. Yes. Because I feel like

Jennie Wright 6:59
she was like you, it feels like you were kind of just going along. And then something hit you off the side of the head, and you get that pain in your neck and you're like, wow, I don't really enjoy like, want this. And we make snap decisions when that happens, don't we? And those snap decision doesn't. So those snap decisions usually end up being unsubscribe or unfollow. They really do. So let's talk about having your audience and how this works. Right. So everything that we're going to talk about is creating that buzz builder. Okay. And Allison, and I both believe 100% that the content that you should be delivering on your runway should be 80% Value. 20%. CTA by the way, during your runway, you can still have a call to action, those calls to action can always be check out my website, book a call, look at this register for that. It's still part of your one way because we're still building awareness and it doesn't hurt my friends to still build your list during a runway Can we just say, so don't neglect that. However, everything that we're going to talk about pertains to your podcasts, trainings, live streams, clubhouse rooms, your tic TOCs, all of it. And your buzz builder is making sure that you're showing up on other people's platforms. So if you have an audience, then connect with them doing reels, connect with them doing stories. You know, we've we've got several episodes with our friend Katie Brinkley, where she talks about social media, go check those out. Because those are really good episodes that will help you understand a little bit more about what you should be doing. And we have an upcoming episode with Katy, where we'll talk a little bit more in depth as well. So looking at those as a really key part.

Alyson Lex 8:46
Okay, so you're building buzz, you're putting content out consistently, you're showing up in all the places you're doing what you say you're going to do. You might have the little call to action, as well as your, you're getting a little bit more visibility outside of just your circle. All right now, now is where we come in to about eight weeks before promo, this is 60 days. This runway is not a little hop, skip and a jump to 60 day runway. Alright, so about eight weeks before your thing. You're going to start to take it up a notch. If you were showing up once a week, show up two or three times a week. If you were showing up twice a week, show up three or four times, right like just turn up the dial just a little don't have to go all the way to 11. That'll come later. All right, wherever whatever is appropriate for the platform you're on. Tick tock likes more regular content. LinkedIn doesn't require it. Understand the platform understand the culture of that particular area. Okay, you're also going to start tailoring your content closer to what you're going to be promoting. Like if we were going to do a summit on lead generation, which Jenny and I

Jennie Wright 10:15
will probably talk to you more about, yeah, yeah. Join quick. Yeah, here we go.

Alyson Lex 10:19
Yeah, I'm just dropping that little,

Jennie Wright 10:23
little by little love you. Just a little nugget,

Alyson Lex 10:27
just a little bug for you. If we're gonna do a summit about lead generation, well, then maybe my content would use more lead generation examples. Or maybe I would drop a little bug, hey, I'm gonna be talking about this more coming up. Or I would use, I would look at lead generation content and just start to tighten that circle. Rather than talking about all the copy in the world. I would talk about lead gen copy. So you see, in this beginning runway stage, you're just kind of tightening the circle, you're starting to create the journey for people.

Jennie Wright 11:05
She was my favorite words, I love that. It's creating that awesome journey. So you're really really focusing that stuff in, you're narrowing that promo in which I love. And you're at about six weeks before your event, right? So we're pumping that up, we're taking it up a notch again. So whatever you were doing, add a little bit more. Look for opportunities. Okay? The great thing about ramping as you go, is you will get the hang of this really, really quick. And you'll see the opportunities more clearly, as you do it, you'll start to get into the mode of things. And also, by the way, as an aside, ramping up is just as good for you as it is for your following. If you go from zero to 100 in your promo as a person, you're going to burn out, and you're going to stop. This has happened many times. Clients are like, Yeah, I've got 14 lines, and I got this and I got that I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna do that. And then within 72 hours, they go completely dormant and silent because they burn themselves out in a three day. I don't know. Launch fueled Crazy,

Alyson Lex 12:15
right? Well, it's just like, you know, starting, okay. I know that this is relevant to you, because you told me that you did some squats, and your legs hurt. Okay, right now.

Jennie Wright 12:31
So my legs gonna bend.

Alyson Lex 12:34
It might have been I don't remember if it was 2020 2019. I don't know. It was long enough ago that I don't remember exactly when but I decided I was going to do one of those fitness challenges. 30 days, and it was going to build right. And I was like, Okay, I like this squat challenge. I got strong legs. I can do this. Well, the challenge that I picked was clearly not meant for me. Because the first day I think I did 20 squats. The second day I did like 35 the third day I did almost 50 the fourth day I could not walk literally crawled around my house. That's what you're talking about. Yeah, that's what you're talking about is a hyper advanced squats challenge for somebody who does not squats? I do not squats. Okay? It's a new verb. It's a new verb, a verb in it up. If you jump right in, you're going to hurt yourself. You're going to burn out you're not going to be able to walk. You know? I mean, I seriously.

Unknown Speaker 13:38
It was a good analogy.

Alyson Lex 13:39
I'm not going to talk any more about it because no,

Jennie Wright 13:41
no, your your real. I can see it like flashing before your eyes right now. Okay. So you're tightening that content circle, right, you're really like starting to like taking time, which is great. And then three weeks before your event. This is full blown promo. Okay, this is where you should have, if you have a good coach or somebody who has shared how to do this, you should have cleared your calendar as much as humanly possible. Okay, this is not the time to go away. This is not go to the beach house or the cottage for the weekend. This is none of those things. This is show up and be there. Because this is full promo. This is where you'll be talking nonstop about your event. At this point, your audience is nice and warmed up. And the people who care are listening, and the people who don't care or are not your ideal client have dissipated. So now you've got your core followers and your core listeners. Right so you're still delivering content, you're still delivering value, but it is very closely related to what you're promoting. And don't forget also to add in the behind the scenes stuff the my life during stuff, which takes the promo back a notch, but also is subtly promo ask it is the picture of you at the computer doing it. It's the picture of you on alive, crushing it and we're not trying to promote hustle culture here. And we're not trying to promote burnout, culture in any way, shape or form. But I want you to make sure that you're taking every opportunity that you can to provide promo and you promo until the last possible moment. If your webinar starts at 11 o'clock in the morning, your last promo goes out at 10 o'clock in the morning, the day of the webinar. If you're running a challenge, and it starts at seven o'clock on a Monday morning, your last promo which you can record in advance, and it can go on social or whatever you want to do, literally will go out at 11 o'clock at night. Example. Allison knows this example. Well, the challenge that I did, what, two years ago, Allison in December, we think it was like December six. The last promo that I did, I think was at 1030 at night. And I did a Facebook live because I'd done like 53 Facebook Lives for this thing. But my last Facebook Live was at like 10 o'clock at night or 1030 at night. And I think I got 112 subscribers from that and a last ditch email show up to the last minute.

Alyson Lex 16:12
Wanted to kind of quickly talk about the idea that we're not promoting hustle culture, because you're absolutely right. So I ran a summit last year. I'll be running one again this year. And I'm feeling a little called out because the first week of my three week promo period. I Jenny's so mad. She's still mad at me, guys. I was at that beach house. Yeah.

Jennie Wright 16:38
Do you think I mentioned it by accident? No, no, I

Alyson Lex 16:40
saw you I saw the I saw the piercing stare when you said it and looked through zoom. And you and I had words. You had words of oh, she was like, I was like, You know what, Jenny, I'm a grown a woman. And I'm going to make this just I love you. But here's the thing. Alright, so what I did, I took a picture of me on the beach. Right? Just in my little swimsuit kid in the background jumping through waves. And I I posted really quick. And I said here's what's going on. Here's what I'm excited about. This is why I'm sitting in the shade instead of in the water, which I did go in the water, don't worry. But I leveraged it to start talking about the conversation, in addition to having stuff already set up to go out automatically. Yes, because life does go on. life does go on. And the things will continue to happen. Right. You still have to do you know carpool, etc, etc.

Jennie Wright 17:42
and Allison's right. But as much as humanly possible. Please try not to go on full blown vacation.

Alyson Lex 17:49
I mean, this year, I don't I'm not doing that. I'll be here

Jennie Wright 17:54
for your Summit. Oh, sister. Oh, you are? Because

Alyson Lex 17:58
I actually I scheduled this year's beach house stay for after after the summit. So there was no issue. But

Jennie Wright 18:08
because you didn't want me on your case again.

Alyson Lex 18:11
I didn't. And but here's the thing is it did add that element of stress that I didn't need. Correct. And so I'm sharing these stories with you. To let you learn from my example. If it's unavoidable, it can be dealt with. Yeah. Was it totally unavoidable? No. Was it a mistake? A mistake in scheduling? Yes. I didn't make the connection. Not I didn't realize that I was scheduling it at a bad time. It was an error. It was human scheduling calendaring error. I won't do it again. Learn from my I say the word mistake again. Jenny's gonna do yet another victory dance.

Jennie Wright 18:58
Yeah, you guys can't see me doing it. But I was doing it. Oh

Alyson Lex 19:00
my gosh, she totally did anyway. Alright. So but that's your runway if you have an engaged audience that you've been showing up for. If you don't have an audience, if your audience isn't the size you want, your runway is no longer in fact, we're going to need to go back to the airport. We might need to go. Let's go to the ticketing

Jennie Wright 19:22
agent, please.

Alyson Lex 19:24
We need to go get a ticket. Yeah, we need to go maybe Uber, the Uber ride. Yep, yep. Okay, let's back it up a bit. Because now we have to build we have to build that foundation. We have to build that audience. We have to build that visibility. We have to get you known for what it is that you do. To find the people who will want to know more from you or no one's going to show up for you. I'm sorry to have to be that person to say this. No both that person up. Yeah, but I'm the one that's sorry.

Jennie Wright 19:59
I'm Not sorry, I'm so not sorry for this message, because this is where the big misnomer is. This is where clients or potential clients or sales calls come in. And they're like, Yeah, I want to run this thing. And I want to launch it in three weeks. And I want to have, you know, 3000 people there and I want to sell $50,000 in product. Let's get doing and I'm like, awesome. What's your audience? No, 142 people on Instagram. Okay, how about your list? 142 on Instagram?

Alyson Lex 20:33
I don't have one of those. I don't I don't have one of those.

Jennie Wright 20:36
No, I have one of those. And you know what, I don't blame those people for wanting those results. Okay, I'm not blaming you for wanting the big, gorgeous, amazing result, I'm only going to ask you to take responsibility for the fact that you didn't know

Alyson Lex 20:51
better, and to learn from it. That's all. I love that. I love that. Alright, so what do you do? What do you do, if you don't have a list, and you want that result? First, you backup those expectations, you extend out that timeline. Okay, then you're going to create a lead magnet, you're gonna make it sexy, so sexy, hyper valuable, so good, that your ideal person is practically drooling at the idea of it. So awesome that you can't believe you're giving it away for free. And you are going to start putting it out there. I'm not talking put a landing page up and a post on Facebook. I mean, getting it out there. Alright. It's not just like, hey, here's the thing he thinks by bam, I've got a list of highly engaged people. I wouldn't be out of a job. If that was the case. You're going to build up your socials, you're going to deliver that content, you're going to use the organic marketing strategies that we've talked about that you can find online, go talk to Katie Brinkley, about social, all of that stuff. Run Ads, if you want to run ads, it's very expensive to do it. All right. But now we're at the point where we are setting a foundation, we're growing that foundation and continuing to leverage it as you sell. That does not mean actually coming up. A few episodes from now we have Bob gentle, he will be talking about this whole selling while you lay that foundation part of things, it can be done. At the same time, it may not look like what you want it to look like. It may be that you're selling those high ticket one on ones instead of that low ticket. I don't want to have to deal with that product. Because that's how you're going to profit during the laying of that foundation. Okay, but setting those expectations the right way is really important if you don't already have that foundation in place. But either way, you need a runway. It's very few people that can just be like, Oh, I have a product. I'm going to sell it to my list and they're going to buy the heck out of it. And if they exist, it's Go ahead. I'm I'm on a roll. I'm on a tear.

Jennie Wright 23:29
Yeah, you're on a tear. So I want to talk about Amy Porterfield. Alright, I'm going to pull her name into this because she's a great example. If you don't know who Amy Porterfield is, she is a marketer, an online entrepreneur. She's been doing this for years. She has a list that is bazillions. Large, okay, I'm sure it's in the hundreds of 1000s at this point. And when she launches because she launches a program every like a couple times a year. When she launches the program, people just love the heck out of her just gonna say, okay, when she launches this program, she does a runway now, she also does ad hoc things where she does no runway, she's like, Hey, I'm doing a pop up webinar. Come join me blah, blah, blah. But she's got the audience for it. And they trust her and they love her and they follow her and everything. So unless you have something like that you still need a runway but somebody like her still has a runway. So when she says when she sells her big product when her big course that she sells every you know, twice a year I think it is. She still does a runway, she does webinars, lives, her posts on social change up. She's creating active activity and creating a lot of engagement. She promotes a freebie that leads to an on demand webinar that leads to the sale of this course. I'm just trying to say regardless of where you are in your journey, you really need to think about the timelines and this is something that people don't think enough of and this makes Allison and I come out as the bad guy sometimes because we have to have this a real conversations that I love your idea I think it's great. We want to sell the heck out of it for you. Because Allison, I do a lot of launches. But your timeline needs to be updated. And that can feel like a big blow in the I want to launch balloon. So yeah, and I get it,

Alyson Lex 25:17
I get that, that wind out of your sails feeling because I've done a deal. I Jenny does it to me all the time. But I have actually gotten to the point now where I take ideas to her, because I want her to shoot holes in them. Because I know that by taking a beat, thinking through looking at it objectively, instead of just being in love with the best idea ever. I'm gonna have a better result. Yes. And at the end of the day, isn't that what we really want? The better result rather than the look what I did this weekend type of thing.

Jennie Wright 25:58
Absolutely. But I mean, I mean, for somebody that's like, hooked on the feeling of launching and everything like that, that can feel bizarre. So yeah, let's wrap this up quickly by saying, hey, look, doesn't matter where you're at, create your runway.

Alyson Lex 26:15
Audience, great, shorter runway,

Jennie Wright 26:19
lot, you know, no audience, much bigger runway. So what I really want to say here is Be your own bad guy sometimes by punching some holes. And if you have nobody to talk to you about this, come and talk to us. If you want us to look at your launch plan, and when you think you should, could would talk to us go to system to Check out how you can get a call with us book some time in, we'll take a look at it. No holds barred and completely pitch free. We'll take a look at your ideas. And we'll see if they actually work and they will give you a plan or suggest a plan that might actually work better for you. So go and do that. Other thing is check out the episodes that we currently have out here in season three of the podcast, which I love, and go to system to You can check those out and anywhere that you're listening to podcasts. And the last thing I'm going to ask, please show your podcast host some love. Leave us a review. We would love that it helps us get seen by more people and it really validates what we're doing. We're in season three, we'd love to hear from you. So thanks so much, everybody. We'll be back again soon. Take care



Episode 161 – The Biggest Needle Mover for a Successful Challenge with Stirling Gardner

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