EP 359: Holiday Sales Visibility; How Visibility Relates to More Sales (yep, even in a product-based business) with Brenna McGowan
2:18PM Jun 21, 2022
product based business
If you want to get more visibility for your collection drops or your holiday sales, you must have a pre launch strategy. Not sure what a pre launch strategy is, well make sure that you listen to this episode where I interview Brennan McGowan. She's a copywriter and a freelance strategist as she talks about how to set up your collections to sell and get more visibility this holiday season. Before I dive into the episode, let me introduce myself. I'm Tracy Matthews. I'm the chief visionary officer of flourish and thrive Academy. I host this podcast called Thrive by design, and I also wrote a book called the desired brand effect stand out in a saturated market with a timeless jewelry brand. I help independent jewelry designers launch grow and scale successful six and seven figure businesses through courses coaching and consulting. So do you want to learn more about that? Check out the show notes there for more information right there. And if you're enjoying this channel and you like this episode, make sure that you subscribe to our channel for more jewelry business tips. If you liked this video, and you share it with your friends and click that little notification bell so you know when we release a new video. And let's dive in to this episode with Brenna. She is amazing. You're gonna love what she has to teach you all about holiday sales visibility and pre launch strategy for your product or jewelry based business.
Well, I wanted to welcome my good friend Brennan McGowan to the show. I'm so excited to have you here. Brenna,
thank you for having me, I'm really happy to be here. fredda is a copywriter.
And she also was our acting as our fractional cmo for a while over here at flourish and thrive for about six months as we were hiring a director of marketing. And I'm super excited to have Brent on the show because she's amazing with pre launch strategy, which is what we're going to be talking about all about holiday sales visibility and how to use a pre launch strategy to get more exposure. And this also, if you're thinking like what's a pre launch, we're gonna get into that. And yes, it works for product based businesses, too. So Brenda, welcome again. And I just want to get straight to it. Tell us a little bit about your background and your history and why you think preplant launch strategy is important?
Yes, well, I'll give you the short story. I started my business in 2018. And actually started as a social media manager quickly decided that that was not the path, I wanted to continue on and transition very quickly over into copywriting. And as I was writing, doing a lot of writing for people, I was doing launch coffee. And what I started to notice is that there was a hole in the strategy component of it. And that whole was pre launch that people were missing out on sales and opportunity by not properly warming up their audience and talking about their product or service ahead of when they were actually trying to sell it. And so I guess almost about a year ago, I can't remember exactly, I decided to really put all of my focus over into talking about pre launch, because it combines all the things I love, which is marketing and coffee and how you can use the two together to really get more out of your sales. And one of my big values is how can we make sales easier on us? Like selling is hard enough, right? Or businesses or hard enough? How can we use some of these concepts that we're going to be talking about today to actually maximize our sales?
I love that. And this is gonna be so good. So can you I mean, I know you kind of explain it, but explain a little bit more like what is a pre launch? And why really, is it important to do? I know it's about like setting people up for a launch. But like in a product based business. Where do you see this fitting in?
Well, I think it fits in beautifully. I mean, if you think about Apple, Apple's like the big one that comes to mind. Apple just doesn't just like sell one day go, Hey, we're gonna sell the iPhone today. No, you know that that iPhone is coming? for weeks and weeks ahead of time. I was much I was on eriously Oh, yeah. And I was just thinking just scrolling on Instagram recently. And my favorite fiction author, Emily Giffen has a book coming out. Well, I know that that book is coming, right? She was actually talking about it well ahead of time. I was the, as we're recording this, the new Downton Abbey movie, you know, just came out? Well, a few weeks ago, there was all types of advertisements. And you know, in my feed telling me about it. So this is something that's used heavily by the entertainment industry. And I think to thinking about product based businesses, I was thinking about fashion week, right? New York Fashion Week is an entire pre launch. If you think about it, they're telling you the preview of what's to come. So this is something that people are using a lot of times in these bigger industries and I'm trying to help pull it down into the small business of how can we use These concepts and strategies that these bank people are using to our advantage. And I know that you asked like, what is a pre launch? You know, it is a time period before you're actually selling something openly to the open market. And it's a time where you're kind of creating this buzz and curiosity and anticipation for what's to come.
So how long do you think a pre launch strategy should be like, for holiday season? For instance, like, let's say, we're talking about a Black Friday event or something along those lines? Because I think like one of the things that people get nervous about is like, if I keep touting this pre launch, like, am I gonna get sales before that? Or is it just something we're only focused on like a big splash?
Right? Well, I depends, I think probably your Black Friday is going to be a little bit longer. I like for product based businesses about two weeks. Yeah, I think you can be talking about things ahead of time. And we can talk about that a little bit more to me. And you know, best as as when this comes, you know, I know for me personally, like, once Thanksgiving is done, like, Christmas movie are starting, like I'm listening Christmas music, I'm thinking I have three kids, right? I'm thinking about my shopping my budget, I want to enjoy my holidays. So I kind of feel like once that kind of Thanksgiving is over and things turn that is probably so I would start a little bit earlier on a Black Friday promotion that I would maybe just a normal promotion.
Right. And so that's great feedback. So you can and I want to just reiterate like pre launch is not just for holiday season, we're talking about holiday visibility right now. But more than anything, you could use it pretty much for a new collection launch, you could use it for like a one of a kind drop, you can use it for special sales events, virtual trunk shows, in person trunk shows, like all of these things, like anything that you're going to promote a website launch, all those things can be used, a pre launch strategy can be used for that. So Brandon, what would you include in a pre launch strategy for a jewelry company?
Right? Well, when when I think about, I always go to the end game of like, why someone buys? So I would be thinking about like, you know, what is some of the, you know, is there a mission behind your brand? Or what you're selling? Right? Is that what you're trying to get someone to think about? How do you want someone to feel like, you know, what, what is the image that they're trying to portray? All the things that you talk about on this podcast in your program is really thinking about, like, where is that desire coming from? And so when I'm thinking through pre launch, I always think, Okay, what's the endgame? Where am I trying to move people? And what are the steps to take from to that point? You know, is there does your particular I guess, launch? If you said, does it have to do with, you know, or is there a pain point, you know, with some, depending on sometimes, you know, we will have different collections that do have a pain point or have a different purpose. So I'm going through and looking at those types of things. But I think the real the beauty about when it comes to a product based business is that I think it's just a matter of really talking about your product or service, letting them know that or not service, but your product and letting them know that it's coming is how I kind of approach it when it comes to a scrum sorry, keep saying service through a product based business.
It's okay, we know that you help a lot of service based businesses, and it's all good, but it's the same thing. You know, we talk we we teach this in some of our programs, like how to pre launch and how to tease out, we just use different words like how to tease out what's coming. And so I want you guys to think, who are listening today, like what are some brands? I mean, Brendan mentioned Apple Fashion Week, like all these things, like start like scoping out like how they're teasing or how they're pre launching their products or their collections and stuff like that. And then you can start to collect ideas on how to do that for yourself. Right.
Okay, awesome. So how do you think it pretty much helps you really get more sales? I mean, maybe that's obvious, but I just want to hear from your own.
Right. Well, I think that it just the natural buzz and curiosity. I think talking about things longer in general, right people take, I don't care if it's what you're buying, we're all thinking through, especially with, you know, inflation, whatever what's going on, we're thinking through our purchases before we buy them, right, we don't usually just wake up and decide to make some purchase. So we're thinking through so as humans, like, We naturally want to be the first right we want exclusive access, we want something to look forward to so you can really feed on these natural human emotions that we have. And by doing that you're creating more awareness around your product and which can help you you know, it helps you naturally make more sales because just because you're putting the word out there, you're extending your marketing beyond and, and not that once once your collection drops, right, it's kind of like it's that you're done, where the anticipation is what people are really excited about the big You're out what's coming up what's new, right? That's what we are as human is that we always want to be the first we want that we want that little, you know, dopamine hit when we get something new. And when we know that's coming, it really helps build not only awareness, but gets people talking about you and your product and getting them ready to like, you know, whip out their cards, the moment that you actually release whatever that is that you're dropping.
Okay, so quick question for you. What I mean, this is not probably a quick question, but like, what kind of content would you include in a pre launch strategy? And like, how would you kind of time it out?
Perfect. And one last thing I'll say that I'm sure want to mention on that last one is that it helps build like, I know, with especially when it comes to jewelry, there is always well, with any product that you're selling, there's always a price objection. And doing this creates the desire where people start to, it helps eliminate the price objection as well, which helps you sell more. So I think that was really an important thing to point out in this. But now when we start talking about content, I think the great thing is, is there so I just started brainstorming ideas and getting ready for this podcast. And I, you know, I came up with like 20, just like off the top of my head. So I'll give you an idea of few about a few of these. But I first of all, I just want to say that this the most important part of a pre launch is literally to just talk with what you're up to in your business. This is like will put you ahead of the competition is literally just talking about it my friend, Chris Horsa, kowski. And I know you're friends with him as well. He always talks about, you know, you're not creating content you're documenting. And so I think the more you can document what's going on in your day to day business, it eliminates that content pressure of having to create and you can just talk about what's going on, like, you can talk about, you know, are you going shopping for something today? Can you ask your audience to help you choose? And this might be like pre pre launch a little bit, but like help you choose the materials. As you said, you're teasing, what's to come, you can ask for him. But ask people like, you know, would you rather have the silver or the gold? You know, would you rather have the opal or the amber gemstone like all of these things, it's just ways of talking about what's going on. I am not especially for service based businesses, it I am not a weightless person. But I think a waitlist can work really beautifully. On a product based business because you're creating right like maybe you create a waitlist and that they are the first people to shop a collection, maybe you know, I'm not a discount person either. But maybe for this particular promotion, you know, discounting or free shipping or something along those lines, if they're on the waitlist, they're the first to know maybe they're getting a gift with purchase. You know, maybe they just want maybe they're getting you know priority information that no one else is getting, you're creating kind of a VIP list or and that they're in once again feeding into that human desire of wanting to be in in the know and want to have information that no one else is having. The I will say a caveat to that waitlist is that if you are especially if you're going to weeks out is to make sure that you are keeping in touch with your people via email during while they're on the waitlist, you don't want to just put people on a waitlist and forget and then think of goodbye, you want to make sure that you're emailing them in between to help keep the anticipation up. You know, other things that you can do is like just showing once I mentioned this earlier showing behind the scenes content, like how did you you know, how did you make this getting them ready for like a final reveal? Did you I think talking about why you decided to create this collection, is there a purpose behind it. Another thing that you can always do is possibly a contest could make sense in this, you know, I like to use contests sparingly. Because we we don't want as you just don't want to add people to add people. But there's definitely a moment where in a pre launch a contest can make sense. You could get people sharing, talking about your product, use it as a way to expand your customer base. You can even talk about the challenges that you're facing while you're making the product right, you can use that as one of you know, something that has gone on today. You can do you know, use personal content, where you've talked about the day of what you've been up to, and you know what your day looks like and what you're doing on a Friday night after a long day of creating this new jewelry piece. So there's so many things. The other thing that I really love, I am a huge testimonials, social proof person in marketing. Maybe you can pull up testimonials if you've created something similar to what they've done in the past and say hey, you know, this is what people said about this last collection or whatever your your product is, and this one's going to be easy and better, like, get ready. So I think it's just constantly talking about whatever, there's so many different angles that you can take. And I think if you think a lot of people get nervous, like, what am I going to say, but when you just start talking about what's going on what it looks like the different, you know, features, you know, however it looks, I think that you can really expand upon your content, I also think too, is using a little bit of urgency and scarcity. If you have that in your collection, maybe you're putting them on the waitlist, because you're only having 10 of this particular item. So I think there's a lot of different content, but I think mostly just talking about what you're up to the behind the scenes, building the anticipation and getting them ready so that they are want to be the first people to buy whatever is coming out.
I love that. And you know, I love the idea of a waitlist, especially for like one of kind drops a Black Friday sale, something like that. And I have a quick question for you like, how many, like how far out should they be sending emails? So let's say they're building their this waitlist starting maybe two to three weeks before? Like, what would you how many emails would you recommend? Would you do like,
why while they are on the waitlist, I would say probably like a minimum like this, let's say you're doing it two weeks out, I would probably do to the week before, then I might do like three and these don't have to be long emails, this could just be a very quick like, Hey, this is what I'm up to, you know, hit reply. And let me know if you think I should sell the the Blackboard the yellow first Are you going to you know, it doesn't, it doesn't matter. It's just a way of keeping in contact. These don't have to be long emails, but you can take the content that I just talked about as well and expand upon it, maybe you're telling a story, and more in depth story about why you decided to create this collection, maybe there was something personal going on. So but I think they you are kind of slowly going into it and then you're ramping up just like you would with any launch. And then you know, the day before, you know, Tomorrow's the day and you know those kinds of things. So I would I would go at it a little slow, just so that you're not overwhelmed with creating this and then slowly adding anticipation, and adding a little bit more content and emails around it. As you get closer to the date drops.
Yeah, I think what could be really powerful too, is to make sure that you're including images of what is going to be included in the collection so people can get excited and like, here's a sneak peek of what what you're gonna we're gonna be dropping or even I think the closer it gets, like even telling them step by step what to expect and why they need to get there right away.
Yeah. So is there any, are there any other words of wisdom that you'd recommend for people?
Well, I just think in general, think planning this out early is so important, you know, and especially when it comes to the holidays, Black Friday, I think you'll have a true advantage when you against your competition, because your competition probably most likely is not doing what you're doing. Right. They're not talking about this early getting people ready. And I think the other real advantage here is that most publications, I know this isn't about PR, but most publications are looking for gift guides and planning out their holiday issues in September, right.
September that gift cards are happening earlier, they have been in like July and August. They're almost close by the end of August. Wow. So
even so like i So here's another real advantage here is that if you know what you're going to be doing it over Black Friday, you're already kind of making this launch plan, you're going to be that you're going to be ready to get some of those PR opportunities as well, which is only going to help you sell more and help you build more, you know, generate more buzz and anticipation of what's to come.
For sure. And I love everything that you said especially about getting ahead of it because like earlier in the month, we had an episode all about pitching holiday gift guides, which I think is really important. And as we get closer to the holidays, like after September, any sort of like publication or digital magazine, a lot of them are closed for holiday sales because it's such a big shopping time. They're curating it very early. And then you're kind of just stuck with local press. Not that that's bad. That's that's still good or like more like collaborations and stuff like that. So getting ready now even though it is the dog days of summer, this is why they call them the dog days of summer, you need to get ready for your holiday sales plan. So, Brenda, is there anything else you'd like to add? No,
I think that I think we've covered it all.
You are so efficient. Always. I love it. Like whenever we're talking. You're just like straight to the point but I wanted before we go tell everyone where they can find you.
Yes, you can find me at Brennan mcgowan.co. That's I'm always on Instagram at Beretta McGowan CO and then two if you're kind of like okay, well, what are these things that I could be talking about and different angles? So is I have a cheat sheet that talks about pre launch and actually breaks down the different type of content that you should be putting out and I give you a list of the exact types of content and you can get that at Brennan mcgowan.co backslash cheat sheet.
I love it. Thank you so much Brenna. We always love having you here. I will have you back soon. Thank you. Thank you so much for watching this episode. This is Tracy Matthews, signing off until next time, and if you'd like some help growing your independent jewelry brand make sure that you pick up my brand new book, The desire Bran effect, stand out in a saturated market with a timeless jewelry brand. Available at desired brand effect.com and amazon.com. Ciao for now.