No, I don’t plan on doing this for every book I read. But every once in awhile, a book comes along that completely changes your outlook on something.
This was one of those books for me.
Of course, there are the oldies like Good to Great by Jim Collins, but I’m talking about a book written in the last 10 to 15 years and written for startups.
There was one before this book that had a similar effect, which was called The Ultimate Sales Machine by the late Chet Holmes. If you are in the process of building out a sales team, or you’re just curious what it entails, than I highly recommend the Ultimate Sales Machine.
I remember when I was reading the book, I had planned to actually send him a letter thanking him. I was so sad to hear that he lost his battle with Leukemia by the time I had read the book (he had passed just a month prior). I had never met, nor spoken to Chet, but by reading his book I felt he was speaking directly to me. I’ll admit I did shed a tear when I found out he had passed.
Well, today I am going to talk about another one of those transformational books which is called, “Launch” by Jeff Walker. No, that’s not an affiliate link. I should also note that I am not being paid to promote this book. I just feel it will have that much value to my readers that it was worth writing this review.
I remember looking about 8 months ago for any and all books about product launches that I could find as I work my way through getting Workado launched.
Unfortunately, this book never showed up in Amazon search results for some reason. Luckily, I was reading another blog when this book was recommended and I was able to find it that way (if you search on Amazon, it is listed near the top now).
Who is the Author
Jeff Walker wrote the book. Right from the beginning, you are hooked. He starts off with a gripping story about the anxiety of his first launch.
He was a stay at home dad, feeling the pressure of his wife being the only source of income for the household. His yearly budget had a surplus of $400. That’s an extra $400 per year available to spend on emergencies and “extras.”
I love stories about people who came from nothing. Probably because I am one of those stories myself (my book is coming soon that outlines how I built a 7 figure marketing agency from nothing).
I think most people root for the underdog though and Jeff certainly builds that perception through his storytelling early in the book.
What You’ll Learn
You’ll learn how to take full advantage of your list in order to build anticipation and ultimately revenue from your launch.
It walks you through launching a product (or business for that matter) start to finish and yes, there should be a ‘finish’ to your launch.
Interestingly, I just heard this podcast from the “Marketing For Founders” podcast and they discussed how they applied this formula to a couple of their launches. Worth the listen!
This book has fairly quick chapters and does a good job of building up anticipation for the next chapter.
I personally prefer reading books with quick chapters. It makes me feel like I’m making progress as I’m reading the book.
Here’s a breakdown of the chapters in the book:
- From Stay-At-Home Dad to Six Figures in Seven Days
- Food Stamps to Six Figures: The Product Launch Formula Explained
- A License to Print Money: Your List
- The Sideways Sales Letter: How to Sell Your Stuff Like Crazy without Being “Salesy”
- Weapons of Mass Influence: The Mental Triggers
- The Shot Across the Bow: Your Pre-Launch
- Sell Them What They Want: The Magic of Prelaunch
- Show Me the Money: It’s Time to Launch!
- How to Start from Scratch: The Seed Launch
- How I Made a Million Dollars in a Single Hour: The JV Launch
- Creating a Business from the Ether: The Business Launch Formula
- Creating a Business You Love
- A Recipe for a Big Life
- It’s Your Time to Launch
I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking, so I enjoyed the last couple of chapters of the book which diverted from his formula and focused on his beliefs and outlook on life.
Overall, my favorite chapter was probably the mental triggers in Chapter 5. When you sign up for his free community, he goes into more details and examples on the mental triggers chapter as well.
Jeff did a superb job of storytelling in this book. It’s the best job of storytelling that I’ve ever read in a business/non-fiction book. It helped me to even further evaluate my own writing (especially for the upcoming book).
There are tons of case studies from random industries that document how his formula works. There are thousands of comments on his videos (a resource that comes with the book) from happy customers/readers as well.
The book really caters towards entrepreneurs with an info-product (book, guide, community, etc). However, the principles can be applied across the board. In fact, I am completely changing my launch strategy with Workado (a SaaS product) because of reading this book.
Putting it to Use
This is not a book that you’ll read and only find one or two things to take with you. I plan to incorporate ALL of the strategies outlined in this book.
In fact, it pushed me to redo my blog. I planned on doing this eventually anyway, but I spent a week completely revamping this very blog in order to accomplish a few things:
- Show more of my personality
- Give it a more professional feel
- (and this is because of the book) Focus on building my list
In addition to this blog, I am redoing my launch strategy for Workado.
I planned to send out emails to those in beta who didn’t get access and let them know it was open. I would have maybe had a one percent conversion with that approach.
Now I’ll be dripping them with 3 pieces of prelaunch content, each building on the previous valuable content and teasing the next.
Then I’ll be launching with a discount for those who signed up early, but that discount will expire after 7 days. During the 7 day launch period, I’ll be putting together a couple more drips (including two of them on the last day) in order to build scarcity.
That’s a VERY high level overview of the whole Product Launch Formula that Jeff walks you through in this book.
Anyone in the startup world, or even remotely interested for that matter, should get this book.
I originally bought the Kindle version, then decided to purchase an actual printed version so that I can easily reference it.
Unfortunately, the book only covers a couple of ways to actually go about building your list. However, it does leave you highly motivated to go out and research all the ways to build it in order to launch in grand fashion.
The book has left me with a new 1 goal – build my list. Currently, it is the only metric I care about now. So, I’ll be heavily focused on this going forward. It’s why you’ll see email sign up options in multiple places throughout this blog!
If you decide to purchase the book, I’d love to hear your feedback!