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What We Talk About

When you’re promoting something, you have 2 choices: buy traffic or work for traffic. In this episode, we’ll talk about how you can use organic promotion to launch your next program, product or service – with something we call The Promo Storm. We’ll break down what it is, how to use it effectively, and some do’s and don’ts to get you going the right way.

  • (0:48) How Jennie started using organic marketing
  • (3:31) The Promo Storm Metaphor
  • (6:16) Who a Promo Storm is PERFECT for
  • (9:05) How a Promo Storm benefits your business
  • (14:15) Stage 1: The Ramp Up
  • (16:41) Jennie’s ninja trick to creating Ramp Up content
  • (18:13) Stage 2: Promotional Period
  • (22:29) Crossing the email-social line
  • (23:29) Stage 3: The Cool Down
  • (25:19) The timeline for your Promo Storm
  • (27:18) Things to remember

Your Promo Storm Planning Calendar – this is EXACTLY what you need to organize your thoughts for your entire 6-week Promo Storm. We'll guide you through plotting out your platforms, your content, and your schedule. Grab it by clicking the button below.

Click here to get the resources from today's show

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

Alyson Lex 0:00
On today's episode, we're answering the question how do I use free organic marketing to promote my next launch? The big question is this as entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners, how do we consistently sell our products, programs and services without making our customers feel like we're only in it for the almighty dollar? How do we serve the way we know we're meant to serve and still run a profitable business? How do we put good into the world while we put dollars into our pockets? How do we change the lives of our community while also bettering the life we lead?

Jennie Wright 0:31
It's not a zero sum game. It's not an either or scenario, it is possible to thrive while serving your clients to the best of your ability. This podcast will show you how. I'm Jenny right. I'm Allison Lux, and welcome to the System To Thrive.

So let's start by talking about a launch that I did not too long ago, I was launching a challenge and I decided this was going to be the launch where I was going to jump into paid advertising At. And it's really funny, because I had tried a few times in the past here and there and with an utter lack of knowledge and expertise, it has completely and utterly failed for me it never worked. This time, I had somebody who was supposedly pretty good and had some experience and they were going to be helping me. I was really excited about it. So I

Alyson Lex 1:22
did what you normally do. I went ahead copywritten right there.

Jennie Wright 1:27
And a few graphics made credit ad set, and we published we went live with it. What do you think happened for me? Well, the ads flopped. It just didn't work. I was paying $9 or $12, a lead, getting very little from it. And I was really burning through my budget super, super fast, which really ticked me off. Now. I know it takes time to optimize ads. I know it takes time to do all that kind of stuff. But I wasn't in the mindset then that I'm in now. And I just didn't have the patience for it. So For this launch to be successful, this one that I'm talking about, there had to be other way I had to figure it out. So out of necessity, I turned to organic. And with my own stuff, as well as advertising for clients and watching what was working for them, I created this system of organic promotion that gets attention and gets results. And we called it the promo star. I didn't name it. Allison did. I did.

Alyson Lex 2:28
I did. Now I want to start with some transparency. Before we talk about what the promo storm is or how it's going to benefit your business or how to do it. I want to make sure that I mentioned that it is going to be a hustle. It's going to be work. It's not going to be sitting back and sipping on my ties while my phone goes ding ding ding with leads and sales. It is effective. Well come on. You know everybody says oh, you can sit on the beach in my tie. I prefer her But okay, you can sit on the beach and drink an umbrella drink while your phone goes ding ding ding with notifications and there are some instances where that is doable. This is not it. Okay, but it is effective and it will work. If you put in the work to work it. You got to work to work it if you want it to work. That

Jennie Wright 3:27
makes me make that a quotable please. I think I could actually make it a music video.

Alyson Lex 3:31
Yeah, got to work with it. Um, so I want to talk about what a promo storm is. And

if you would like to take a walk with me into metaphor land, we are going to talk about thunderstorms. So when you're sitting in your backyard, maybe drinking a Mai Tai. I'm hoping that your phone will go ding ding ding. You it might be 85 degrees in sunny in the US. I don't know what 85 degrees. We're Canada. But it if a storm comes in, it doesn't go from 85 and sunny to downpour day loose thunderstorm. Sometimes it does, but not usually what happens is you look off in the distance and you see those fluffy white clouds start to turn more gray. And then they get darker. And then the wind comes in and the tree leaves turn up. And things get a little more ominous feeling maybe a little yellow like right like the storm kind of gradually comes in, instead of just Wham all at once. And that's the same as the promo storm. You're going to slowly build up. You're going to gradually increase, you're going to gradually be more visible. And then the storm hits for your promotion. It's not about Oh, hey, I'm promoting this thing. Let me show up everywhere all at once. No,

Jennie Wright 5:05
because we know what that's gonna do. It causes whiplash. Not good.

Alyson Lex 5:10
Yeah. So in a few minutes later, we'll talk about the three phases of your promo storm, huh? And like I said, these three phases, they will work.

Jennie Wright 5:25
Absolutely. They absolutely do. The stuff that we're telling you does. We don't ever tell you anything that we haven't tested on ourselves and also proven with our clients. Absolutely. Everything we're telling you today is so if you need to get more eyeballs on the things that you are sharing, this is a strategy that will work so we're going to talk about now who does a promo like a content promo storm work for? The answer is really funny. It is absolutely everybody. It doesn't matter your niche or your business. What you do who you serve. You can use organic promotion in the form of a content storm or promo promotion. So, to attract your ideal client, get them to get into whatever it is that you're actually promoting. and go from there. So, I love a promo storm.

If you struggle to build your audience or you're brand spankin new, if you're just getting into online, you may not have an ad budget. You also may not have an email list that you can promote to, but you sure as heck can use the platforms out there to help pull in your ideal client. Now when we say promo, strong, we mean promo on social. We're talking LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, wherever your ideal client is playing online. That's where we want you to be. So if you don't have a budget for paid ads, then a promo storm is awesome for you. You always have to create this balance and Allison talks This right so for the level of effort you're willing to put out versus the expectation of the result you're going to get in some way. Like you have to do that. If you know that your audience is super high attached, like they want that personal feel, and they respond to authentic share posts and vulnerable posts or high quality content on a regular basis, this is a great strategy. And if you prefer just as a person prefer to do organic versus paid traffic, you're gonna love this. And if you're like Alison, I can you enjoy the hustle? This is definitely gonna be something you're gonna enjoy as well.

Alyson Lex 7:45
I will say that I am a little more sit on the beach with a Mai Tai kind of person than I think Jenny is,

Jennie Wright 7:51

Alyson Lex 7:53
I am one of those people that loves a combined organic and paid method. Yeah, so it's you know, you can even combine this with your ads, if you want to run ads, there's all kinds of ways you can do this. But if you are not willing to actually do the work, if you don't want to do anything, but drink the Mai Tai and collect the money, if your audience does not care, to engage with you, they just, they are super hands off, or you're not interested in whether or not they're engaged, then this is not the strategy for you. If and like Jenny said, your expectations have to be can measure it with the effort or investment that you make. So if you want to get X number of leads you you have two options. You can pay for them or you can work for them. And if you're not willing to work for them, then the expectation is that you're going to be you're going to pay for them And if you're not willing to do either, then we need to reduce your expectation of what can happen.

Jennie Wright 9:05
So how does a promo storm benefit your business? And there are a lot of ways this actually works. When you do a promotional storm, it actually attracts more highly engaged leads, then if you just did paid traffic Now, again, you can do the combo like Alison sidebar, it's organic and paid. Awesome. Cool. So you actually engage with those people more they get really interested in what you're doing. This is something that we've tried and tested with our clients and give you a quick example. We've had a client that has used our organic promotional storm to attract people to a webinar. They had 100 200 people register on the organic side, and what they saw was a higher show of rates to the webinar. Now, we all know that sales and things like that are all a numbers game. 100 people registered for your webinar, a 50% show up mean 50 people show up. And then if they stay to the pitch, you're going to close a bigger percentage. Now, this client also went ahead and did paid traffic to one of the webinars, they had more people registered. This is true, almost double the amount of people, I think, three quarters more people registered for the paid. But they had less people show up for the actual webinar was way more reduced, like 20 people showed up, let's just say and it was more like 200 people signed up and 20 people showed up of the 20 people that showed up. I think 18 made it to the pitch or the team that makes the pitch. The coin ended up closing seven, right? So the numbers really get affected when you're just doing paid traffic. So a combination is great, but what I want you to understand is you get more highly engaged leads. The second thing is you get to create an engage your community in the process. If you're just doing paid traffic And you're not having those engagement conversations and doing Facebook Lives where you're doing Q and A's and having that reciprocal two way conversation, then it takes longer to develop that relationship with them, which elongates the process until you actually make a sale. Also, I love a promo store for honing your skills. Oh my gosh, you want to level up on doing video, do a promo start. You want to get better at copywriting. Do a promo storm, right? You want to get better at connecting with your ideal client. And even I love this so much.

Alyson Lex 11:37
You get better at knowing your own

Jennie Wright 11:39
voice, you hone your message, because you're going to show up more often. And you're going to get direct and immediate feedback. You do a Facebook Live, people interact, you're going to know that something's working, right? You're going to know from your posts if something's working and it's not going to cost you a cent. Just cost you the time and the effort to do it. So the people who have been watching peripherally, or you know, maybe people that you've like interacted with before, but you know, they're not 100% like team you yet they get curious at what you're doing. Because when we do something on social, social does notifications, LinkedIn, Facebook, instead you name it, when you open up that platform, you're gonna see notifications about the most recent activity, and you're gonna get curious. I mean, if I see Allison posting every day, I'm gonna be like, What is going on? And I'm gonna go check it out. And so will they, in a curiosity takes over. And it's awesome. People who may have thought about working with you in the past that may not have been ready at the time, are now going to see you providing value and content and helping people and taking a stand for what you believe in whatever that is, and they're gonna be like, wow, okay. I think I'm getting ready. And then when you do your pitch, when you actually promo in the promos dorm room be like, Okay, I gotta check this out. She's really like she's really clear about what she wants to do. She's really clear about how she serves. And I think I'm on board with this. Okay, no problem. We'll take it. And then the last thing is, it shows people that you're willing to provide good content, even when you're not promoting, because don't get us wrong. A promo storm isn't necessarily doing 50 Facebook Lives and going, Hey, join my thing. Hey, join my thing. Hey, join my thing, right? Like, no, the secret to promo storm and Alison's just about to talk about this is in the fact that it's still content based.

Alyson Lex 13:41
It is.

The whole goal is to not be one of those people that is radio silent until you launch something. And we've all been on those email lists. We've all been following those pages on social media where we see nothing from them and then all of a sudden it's 12 posts a day, or an email every hour. There's whiplash, I think you've called it before. And we don't want that we want to avoid the whiplash. And so there are three distinct stages of your promo storm that will help you avoid that exact problem.

All right, the first is the ramp up. And this is back to my thunderstorm metaphor. This is where the clouds are starting to turn dark. And this is where the wind might be picking up a little bit. Okay. This is where you begin increasing your visibility on social and increasing your email frequency slightly from where it is currently to an in between area from when you're going to be at peak promo. Alright, so if you currently post one time a day, add another post and maybe go live once a week. And then a little bit, you know, a couple weeks or a week or so, add another live. Add another post today. If you currently email once a week, go ahead and add You know, twice a week, right? You're slowly ramping it up. And that way they don't have that WTF moment of where did this person come from? Why are they blowing, blowing up my Facebook like this and get me get me away from them. Now, at this point in your ramp up period, you are not actually promoting. Okay, so it can feel really confusing and maybe a little fruitless to do this at this point. But remember, at this point in the thunderstorm, it's not yet raining. Okay, so we're not there yet. We're sharing and providing valuable content. The point of this is to share, engage, build that audience up so that when you do start promo, they are hot and ready? Absolutely. I know you like the way it's a hot air you ready?

Jennie Wright 16:07
I'm gonna start I'm actually really I'm absolutely stoked about this, this whole process. And I'm so excited that we're talking about it. I just do, I just love it. And the other thing that I want to mention with the this whole lead up with this whole ramp up, because I want you to look at this from the side of everything that you should be posting has a method, right, you're sharing content that's literally either completely on top of what you're talking about, or you're going to be promoting about or slightly adjacent.

But the other part which is so cool, is that you can use this time to overcome the objections to working with you. You can literally use this time for the content that you're sharing to overcome and I'll give you an example. What if your content is about no more It's you know, busy mom wanting to get fit. Okay? And one of the big things is I don't have time. Or you know, from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I'm like, full on mom stuff. Well, what if in your your lead up your ramp up? you overcome the objections, right? How to make that work? How is it actually going to work so that when you do actually promote the thing, there's no objections? Because we do this in our heads. We're like, Oh, I really want the thing. But this but this, but this and we work ourselves out of the sale.

Alyson Lex 17:38
And if you really interesting point.

I never thought that you could actually overcome objections with the content that you put out. Before you pitch. Oh, yeah, I mean, I've kind of known that like in long term things, but I never applied it to a promo storm. So that's really interesting. Thank you. You're welcome.

Jennie Wright 17:59
So now that you've ramped up and by the way, ramping up also we do ramp up for a reason. We don't want you to go from zero to 100. Or you're going to get burnt out and overwhelmed and then you're gonna stop. Okay, so that's why the slow build.

So now you're in promo, congrats. You're full on promo, your two or three weeks leading up to your launch. It's all hands on deck is awesome. You're going to be everywhere. And all places you want your ideal client to be like, wow, everything I opened, she's there. You only want to be in the places where your ideal client is and not a nowhere where they're not. So if you like playing on Twitter, who your ideal client is on Instagram, get off Twitter, go to Instagram. I don't care if you don't like it, just do it. Okay, this is the big girl panties kind of thing. Like just go do it. Right. So if you're if your client is on LinkedIn, and you're just not a big fan of LinkedIn, for whatever reason, bone up on your LinkedIn skills, get good at it. Start playing there. Here's what you should be promoting with a contest. I love this. And this is why Sorry, I promise. This is why they're so good. webinars, challenges, summits, panels, freebies, podcasts, anything that you can think of

Alyson Lex 19:20
programs, courses, memberships, beta launches, launches, yep. Literally launches. Mm hmm.

Jennie Wright 19:30
master classes, retreats, event, name it, all of the above. It all works.

Alyson Lex 19:39
And again, much like our ramp up period, we want to make sure that we're delivering high value content. Again, as Jenny said earlier, we're not just going to go out there and do 50 Facebook Lives, hey, buy my thing. Nobody's going to watch that. Nobody's going to engage with it and nobody's gonna buy from it. But what you tend to do is now create content. That is very Closely related to what you're promoting, if I'm doing a webinar on sales copy and I want to get registrations well then I would do maybe an Ask me anything about sales copy Facebook Live video or text context cuz I've done just text from my friend they go over like gangbusters. Oh yeah, but I could do an AMA about sales copy. And then every couple of minutes be like, you know, by the way, I'm gonna answer this question in more detail on my workshop and drive registrations, so there are ton of ways to incorporate content that is very closely related and on topic to what you're promoting. You always want to have content I'm not against throwing in one or two little quick Facebook Lives like hey, in case you see me everywhere, I just wanna let you know I'm promoting this thing. I'm putting out a ton of content in the next two weeks, so stay tuned. But if you want to get right to the good Head over to URL comm and sign up and you'll be on the list. What absolutely nothing wrong with doing a quick little thing like that. But don't make that your everyday thing. And we've

Jennie Wright 21:10
done that you and I have even done that together to promote our webinars and our Yeah, you know what we talked about. And it works great because it's a great interrupt. And it's awesome. The other thing that I just before we go any further I do want to mention that the fact that what you create, like all this content you're creating and you're probably going

whatever, make the content but what I like about it, sorry, I'm in a bossy mood today.

Alyson Lex 21:36
You are bossy in my rare but what I like about it is that it's reusable. So the reusable dude so much like the Facebook Live that you do and the five like five things that you should be doing right now to scale your business and you do a Facebook Live about it. Yeah, that Oh, get it transcribed and turn into a blog post. There are resources is all over the web about syndicating content. And you can take one piece of content one Facebook Live and syndicate it in 20 or 30 different ways to use across different social platforms to use and emails to that would then further engage your list. One thing I like doing is actually emailing my list about the Facebook Live and incurred and driving them to the replay

Jennie Wright 22:26
always works for me.

Alyson Lex 22:28

And so what that does is that crosses that email social line, and really begins to interweave your community back and forth, and shows them that you're providing value in that email. So they're going to want to look for that from you. So there's a ton of ways to repurpose the content.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the way we're going to help them organize it, because I know this feels overwhelming. It's overwhelming for me to teach about. I'm sure it's overwhelming to hear. So we have actually created a resource to help you plan your next FOMO storm to plot it out, plan it out, figure it out, and you can snag that at System To Thrive that comm slash forward slash six. So it's System To forward slash number six. And that's that's the show notes page. There's a resource on there for you just to help you plan out your entire promo storm.

Once you snag that you'll get all three phases, the last of which is the cool down. So we've we've had our storm clouds rolling in for our ramp up. We've had our promo period, which is when the thunder and lightning is going crazy. And the cooldown is when the rains starting to lighten the to the sun's peeking through and there's no more big booms or big flashes of light. Okay? So it's still kind of happening. But it's it's ending. The reason that we do that the reason we do a cooldown period Because just like we don't want to, you know, Wham out of nowhere, we also don't want to wham bam and leave them hanging either. Okay, we don't want to disappear once the promotional period is over because then that makes them feel like you were only there to promo. You're basically doing the exact REVERSE OF YOUR ramp up. Okay? So if you during your ramp up went from posting one to three times a day, now we're going to slowly back it down. Maybe back to one. Now, you can increase your posting habits long term. So you don't necessarily cool all the way back down to start. You can now that you're like, Oh, I can totally handle twice a day posting. Great. Keep it up. That will improve the engagement that you're going to get so that your next promo storm that ramp up is faster. Yes, it is.


If you have to go back down to the start, go back down to start, don't go back down to zero. Don't go to start right away. You want to gently cool down, want to let them down gently, exit gracefully don't just walk out the door.

Jennie Wright 25:19
So you might be wondering what the timeline for a promo storm is. And one of the biggest mistakes that we see entrepreneurs make is not building in enough time to actually promote. There's this fallacy that a lot of people have that you just need three days to promote a webinar, or you just need, you know, a week to promote a summit or one of these things. And you know what, the big guys out there, they can do it because they have that following and those raving fans that when they say come do this, jump on it. And that's okay the large list they do but I even have clients and you and I have both have clients who have alerted You're following, and they believe in the longer launch. And that's what we do. So this should take place like your whole promo store should take place over four or five weeks. So plan it out. That's what's going to help you fill a course. That's what's going to help you grow your list and engage with them and get them so as hot and ready, hot and ready. Ready. But when you make the offer, they're like, heck freaking Yes, I'm on board. Right? As opposed to having all those objections. So use those four or five weeks to overcome objections, present content that is really valuable and it's going to help people. Awesome. So it's a long term strategy. It's totally long term. I have to segue. Do you have little caesars pizza we up there? We do have little

Alyson Lex 26:50
caesars their pizza is hot and ready

Jennie Wright 26:53
is it is is hot in red, and then every

Alyson Lex 26:56
time I say it, I get inside. Because I think a pizza

not ready. So all of this is going to be easier if you consistently engage your audience online. And through your email list, I want to make sure that this promo storm also does extend to your email list if you have one.

So make sure that you deliver valuable content during your ramp up. Make sure that you deliver content with a call to action during your actual promo period. Make sure that you don't just drop off the face of the planet after your promotion period is over with your email list to want to nurture those guys as much as the social guys. If you're consistently engaging your audience on social and your email list, this will be easier for even if you have no audience even if you have no list or you've been ignoring them. Some of us are guilty of doing that. Andres over here. You can still use a promo Storm to start getting that interest back again.

Jennie Wright 28:06
Fantastic, okay. Don't forget everybody to grab your planning resource so that the content storm is something that you can easily do and manage in your life. Head on over to System To Thrive. COMM forward slash six, that's the numeral six and grab that. Also, if you've enjoyed this podcast and you want to actually see some of the other ones that we've done or hear them, depending on how you consume, head over to System To, check out the other episodes or on the different platforms that you do on. There's resources for almost every single episode. So you can go and check those out, which is awesome. And thank you so much for listening. We're going to be back with another big question next time.

Thanks again for watching or listening to this podcast. We hope we've answered some of your big questions today. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and you Where you're listening and leave us a review.

Alyson Lex 29:02
Also, make sure you've checked out the thrive collaborative podcast community, our Facebook group for listeners and entrepreneurs. Find us on Facebook or online at System To Thrive calm



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