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The Story Engine Podcast: Where we teach you how to make marketing easier, more powerful and fun through storytelling. Each week we learn from top entrepreneurs, influencers and world-changers on how to share your story through content, copywriting, speaking and how to make your story your most powerful marketing tool.

Aug 22, 2018



Tom is brilliant at creating relationships with influencers and using that as leverage to have incredible results with launches. And he does this time and time again and it just gets more and more impressive and innovative every time. He's going to share a lot of the secrets on how he gets these amazing product launch results and he is going to share them and they are going to be great for you whether you're just beginning, you're just starting out as an amateur or if you've got a thriving business and just want to drive more profit.

Key Takeaways

[3:12] How Tom started his sustainable business as a launch expert [4:36] Tom’s insights on what a successful launch is [8:11] Why the person just starting out has an edge in launching [10:11] Different launches for different products and industries [13:34] Long game strategies for various launches [19:49] Tom explains his three secret details to a successful launch: Collaboration, Bundles, and Bonuses [30:12] How to leverage collaborations/partnerships for a prosperous launch and more revenue

Tom Morkes Information

Tom Morkes Website Tom Morkes Books The Art of Instigating Notes From Seth Godin’s Revolution Conference More Books by Tom Morkes Launch Hacks (free copy) Facebook LinkedIn John Lee Dumas Freedom Journal Neil Patel - Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum AppSumo Ash Maurya

Transcript of Podcast

Kyle:                      Hello, everyone and welcome to the Story Engine Podcast. Today I have Tom Morkes. Tom, thanks for joining us on the show today. Tom:                      Kyle, thank you so much for having me, man. It's a pleasure. Kyle:                      It's really exciting to have you because over the years now I've known you, you've always had some exciting big launch on the horizon with a really cool person and a really cool name behind it. I think I would love to know and I think the listeners would love to know, how did you find yourself in this position as being a launch expert and tell us what that entails for some people. Tom:                      Yeah, so my story, I think it just starts by doing one thing at a time, like starting with that first product. I guess that's where it began was just with my first, my blog and my podcasts and the first book that I wrote, then the first author that I published when I started my publishing company. So, I side hustled some of this when I was still in the Army and then after I got out, I just started doing it full-time. I wasn't sure where it would go but I wanted to see if it was possible to like build an online business, you know? It was back in 2013-2014. In fact, I think that is when we ran into each other for the first time, back in 2014. So we were kind of like both on this path together and well, similar paths, different trajectories in terms of what we were pursuing but very similar, too, cause you were in the contents base. I was dabbling in that at the time, too. So a lot of what I have done is just experimentation, what are different things I could do online to generate revenue or profit and how do I do that sustainably. Tom:                      It started with just my own products, then I started to collaborate with people so working with a lot of different high profile influencers, brands, businesses and stuff like that. Collaborating at different capacities sometimes on an original project together. Other times, it evolved into essentially being hired by many of these people to kind of run their campaigns around a launch for a product or a service or whatever it might be. And so, as you mentioned, John Lee Dumas on the "The Freedom Journal", so we did big launch on a campaign and set a Kickstarter record. Neil Patel, we did a New York Times Best Selling Book launch. Ash Maurya, Wall Street Journal bestseller. I've worked on a number of launches for a number of clients from courses to membership sites to books to physical products and, I guess, like everything in between and in a bunch of different industries. Not just in marketing but in real estate and health and finance and really have run the gamut, honestly. Tom:                      And so that's how I got started. That's how I became kind of what you're describing as a launch expert. I don't know if I think of myself that way but I do think of myself as somebody who is proficient at what it takes to launch something. It was just fundamentally, kind of going to your second point of that question, what is a launch and what does that entail. It's really a means of getting people's attention is kind of how I look at it. And so a launch is conceptually, I look at it how do I put something out there so people actually pay attention and are interested and want to buy. That's the bottom line, I think, a puzzle we are all trying to solve. Tom:                      Sometimes, launches, quote-unquote, can get a bad rap and there is definitely like a generic sequence when people talk about product launches and stuff like that. I'm not really talking about that. Everything I have done is custom concierge and it's approaching each problem as its own unique problem, right? Because trying to get somebody's attention in a different space, different industry, different product, well that's going to dictate what we do to get people's attention and in a way that's not obtrusive and that will actually help us generate profit for the short term and the long term. I think that is an important and crucial point of this cause there's plenty of ways to use click-bait style tactics but I think that is the kind of thing that will burn bridges and that's not good for brands over the long term. So I think anytime I work for clients for myself, I always look and say, how do we create value now and in the future for yourself, for your company, for your employees and for your customers and clients. Again, now and in the future. Tom:                      It's an interesting dynamic in terms of trying to weigh this, weigh these various criteria or analyze them and figure out, okay, so how do we do that. How do we actually get in front of people in way that they are attracted to what we are doing and they want to buy what we have to offer? Kyle:                      That's really impressive and I just love that you've found trends or you have found a system that can work in many different niches and many different industries and for many different types of products and services out there. Kyle:                      What I would like to hear now is maybe starting at the beginning in terms of a launch. What kind of person or business or situation do you want to be in where its like it's time to do a launch and what types of products or things do you want to launch. What makes a good idea? What kind of results do you want to be looking for in terms of what you want to see in the long run? Tom:                      Sure, so the first question is who should consider a launch in a manner of speaking and who is it for is maybe a way to think about that question. The answer would be I think obviously it depends to some degree because I think you can launch from nothing and you also launch something when you are already well established. And there are plenty of businesses that use this kind of launch framework or launch methodology to generate millions, hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars. A great example is Tesla. I love using them as an example. We'll see, they are going through some changes right now but in the past I think what they have been remarkable for is this idea of rolling out pre-orders where people have to put a thousand dollars or more down on a vehicle that, it might come out in the next year or two, which is so wild and they generated literally hundreds of millions doing that. It's not that they just put out a statement saying hey, the vehicles are available. There is a whole process, there is a whole thought process that goes into rolling out that preorder. You can also look at product launches with other well-known or iconic brands, things like Apple and how they roll out new products. Tom:                      You see it all around you. So, those are for established businesses. Going back to the person who is just getting started, a little bit tougher. You have obviously less resources to leverage but if you are going from zero, what's cool is, especially if you are bootstrapping and let's say you are side-hustling, and so you have a full-time job or something like that and you are just trying to get something off the ground, what's cool is you actually, the benefit that you have that a big company doesn't have is, at this moment in time when you are trying to get started, when you are going from zero to something, you have very minimal overhead, you have no, we'll say, creative debt is how I would describe it. As in, you haven't been established enough for people to expect something out of you so you are free of the liberty to do whatever you want, to test anything. Tom:                      And there is something exhilarating about that. My life is different now in terms of what I do for my own business and stuff like that. I have to be a little more cognizant of things and I kind of reflect on the past and realize when I was just getting started it was kind of fun because I could literally do anything and there was no expectation of who Tom is and what he is about because I just wasn't known. Tom:                      Being an unknown quantity is kind of fun and exhilarating and it also is an important edge because a lot of people won't take advantage of certain tactics or strategies cause they have already developed a model that works for them. And hence I think where a lot of the negativity towards this idea of launches might come from because people are already set in their ways. It's like hey, we are already using paid traffic to the sales funnel and it's generating this kind of profit for us so that's what you should be doing. It's like, that's great but there's also room for launching. Tom:                      So I think that answers your first question. And let me see if I can remember the second question was ... what was that one about? I think it was about like what do you do - Kyle:                      What kind of products do you want to ... what kind of products launch well. You mentioned a couple of books and journals but can you launch any kind of product or are there certain kinds of products that you want to launch with? Tom:                      Yeah, for sure. I think, broadly speaking, I think anything can benefit from a launch. If it is something that can be sold, then it can be launched. And then the question is well, what does that launch look like? And so if you are doing B to C type stuff for mass-market consumables, physical products, like absolutely. Some of the examples I gave you for bigger brands. And when we a dealing with people who are starting from scratch or starting much smaller with physical products too, then we will leverage something like crowd-funding campaign to get that money in the door early so we can produce that thing, right? So a lot of it just like these variables we have to look at. Tom:                      I think any product can actually be launched. Then I think there's well, what industries work better and at what capacity? And I'll tell you what, that's where the nuance is. So it's like when I have worked on say a book, a book launch or the book launches we have worked on. Sometimes I work with people who are gunning for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. They are being traditionally published but I've worked with over two dozen business owners, entrepreneurs, brands that self-published a book and wanted to use it to generate essentially new traffic leads and sales through something like Amazon or through some other routes. They didn't care about the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal sales and we had a lot more flexibility because they were self-published. Tom:                      Then we look at and we say, okay, how do we roll this out in a way that will get people's attention. What you might notice why I talk about something like that, it's like, wait a second, so we are launching a book but that's really not the end state here. That's like one piece of the puzzle. It's maybe a major component of it but we have to think through the whole thing. You have to play it through. Start to finish, what happens, what are we trying to accomplish here. Tom:                      But we have done it for membership sites, we've done ... and one of the things I don't often mention when I talk about launches, I'll define it as event-based marketing campaigns and I don't know of a better term to describe it and I am still working on that. I found that kind of articulates what I am talking about. When I am talking about an event based marketing campaign, event means there is a start and there is a stop. There is a beginning and an end. So that is event based. It also by its nature, it's time-based. Then there is a marketing campaign that'll really set. You can do that from a product that doesn't even exist using like a presale type launch strategy. You can do it with products that are already established and you can launch everything from digital to physical products. Kyle:                      So you hinted at this and back to my ... or kind of my third question just a second ago when you said that when you are launching a book, you are not just launching a book. You want to see the thing all the way through. And so what are some of the end goals of a good launch. Again, you were saying an example of somebody maybe didn't want a New York Times bestseller but they wanted something on Amazon that would drive traffic and perhaps have more downstream benefits than just the initial kind of sugar rush style traffic Kyle:                      Sugar rush-style traffic and leads and sources that come from a big launch. We can't just focus on a launch just for whatever number we're going to get at the end of the launch. There should be hopefully something a little bit down the line, or at least that's what I'm assuming. What're the long-game strategies beyond just the launch that people should have in place? Tom:                      Yeah. I would look at that and say, "Where are you starting, and where are you trying to go?" If somebody's starting from scratch and, say, has no audience, no nothing really, just considering doing something like this, maybe he's a professional who's looking to get into building something on the side or somebody really just going from scratch, it's like, "Well, if you have no audience, you have no reach. I think it's worthwhile to consider that that should be one of your major objectives, like your first objective." Maybe that's the thing you want to aim for. That's the puzzle you're trying to solve, both with your launch and post-launch, as in use the launch as a way to expand your reach, grow your reach, build your audience. Conversely, if you're established, I think most established businesses, maybe there's a time and a place where reach is what they want. Tom:                      You would see this all the time, like any time large corporations, large companies are trying to move into new territory, and whether they spend a ton of money on new TV ads or something like that, although that's pretty archaic at this point but still works, they put a big emphasis on moving it to, say, new, physical geographical locations, like new countries or new states or something like that. There's a lot of money that comes into rolling those kinds kind of things out, and they're going for each without ignoring profit. We have to understand that I guess profit is the thing that you underline. I think any launch is ultimately about profit, but I think profit is one of these things that is slightly nebulous. What is profit? Is it the amount of money that you take home and you put in your pocket, or is profit the amount of money you take home today, tomorrow, next year, 10 years from now, and at the same time continue to compound that profit over time? To me, that's real profit. [bctt tweet="Profit is the amount of money you take home today, tomorrow, next year and 10 years from now while at the same time continuing to compound that profit over time. -Tom Morkes" username="kylethegray"] Tom:                      When I'm playing this through, I'm saying, "Well how do we organize this launch? What are aiming for?" I want the launch to be successful, and I think it's important to be able to establish the criteria that we intend to measure. I think you should never exclude profit from that, unless you're just like, "Hey, all we care about is just traffic" or, "All we care about are opt-ins" and maybe something figured out on the back end you don't care about or maybe that's how you make a profit, like you're selling ad space or something like that. Even as I talk a lot, nobody who successfully runs a launch ever excludes profit. That's the thing you're trying to solve for, and then in terms of like, "Okay, well what do you do particularly," I think it's a matter of, "Well, what's your reach? What's your audience? Is that something established or is it relatively small? Is that where you should put the emphasis for the launch so that, again, you can increase your profit over the long term; today, tomorrow, next year kind of thing? Or, do you want to make this launch all about really a profit-driven launch? Were you just going for sales and revenue, and of course, a healthy margin?" Tom:                      Those are for people who are established. It's like, "Hey, we have this product, we have the service. It's already selling. How do we generate this big boost in sales? How do we do a 10X-er or something like that?" I work with a lot of software companies, and they'll be doing a certain amount in MRR or ARR, and it's like, "Hey, we do a launch. Why? Because we want a spike in that MRR." We want to increase their multiple on what they could sell their company for by a million bucks or something like that. You can do that with a successful launch that gets a spike in new users, new subscribers that are paying consistent monthly or annual amounts. That's an example in the software space, so we’d be gunning because the products there are already established, we have users, it works. We have a sales funnel that kind of works. Now, all we need to do is actually get traffic to the page or to whatever. Well, run the launch, which includes traffic, regen, and then the sales conversion process. That's if you have a proven product on the back end. It's like, of course, just gun for sales. That's a worthwhile goal for certain organizations, companies, and people. Kyle:                      That's cool. What I really like about a lot of this is you've discussed angles and strategies and tactics and important details that aren't usually the things that you see on the big headlines about big launches. You'll see seven-figure Kickstarter campaigns that actually, maybe still the owners are actually in debt because they didn't consider a profit or they spread themselves too thin in this area, or they've been manufacturing, or even the fact that you may not always want to be going for the biggest number ever if you want to create traffic or create a brand. I think that's really important, and there are a couple other details that we talked about just before we hopped on the call, about three key details that maybe is one of the reasons why your launches are so successful. These are kind of more micro-detail tactics to do within a launch that'll be exciting to discuss. These are bonuses, bundles, and collaborations. Could you dive into each of those for us and explore how they fit into a launch and why they're so essential to the success of your business? Tom:                      Yeah. I'll start with, I think, the most overlooked aspect of that. I think that is sorely overlooked. It's something that's missed because it's not really sexy and it's really hard to, I think, wrap your head around, which is the idea of collaboration. It's that third point you mentioned. The way I got into doing what I've been doing and this process that I've developed and has evolved over time, like over the last five years or so, it was always about, "How do you get as much leverage as possible?" Then there's some nuance there like you don't want to be over-leveraged because there's a point of over-leveraging. Anyway, we can maybe get into that idea, but conceptually speaking it's like business, entrepreneurship, whatever thing you're working on, whatever you're trying to achieve. In order to achieve it as efficiently as possible requires leverage. A leverage is, well it's a lever that you pull and allows you to lift much more weight than you could lift on your own. A lot of people who are side-hustling are trying to do everything themselves, and it's tough. It's a tough road, and I think it's worthwhile because you can learn a lot when you do it, but you do have to look for points of leverage. I think the number one point of leverage is collaboration. [bctt tweet="No matter what you’re trying to achieve, to do so efficiently requires leverage. -Tom Morkes" username="kylethegray"] Tom:                      Why try to be an army of one doing everything yourself when there are numerous, dozens, maybe hundreds of people who could be great partners, who could be great joint venture partners, affiliates? People, who support you from a PR standpoint? Anything like that, but then you could also even talk from a business sense, like people that you might want to team up with collaboratively on a project. That's number one, is who's already out there in your space doing what you want to be doing that you could maybe connect with in some way, shape, or form? Again, that's really broadly speaking. I'll give you two examples: one might be if you're in a space and you're getting started. You don't really have a product, you're trying to grow an audience, and maybe eventually you have an idea for a product. Yeah, one option would be, grow your audience, grow your list. Try to sell that product. That's pretty standard; everybody teaches that. Another alternative would be, say, who's already out there selling something that's worthwhile, and how could you work with them in some capacity to help them market that, sell that, or grow that business and get a piece of the pie for yourself? Tom:                      A third alternative would be, who would you team up in the space that maybe has a built-in audience but doesn't have a particular product or service in what you're envisioning that would be useful for their audience so you could tie right into it. An example would be, recently I ran a campaign and we were doing a bundle. This is where bundles come in, and we'll talk about bonuses. The bundle, conceptually speaking, is a bunch of products combined together and sold at a discount price. There's a lot that goes into running one of these things successfully. I've seen a lot of people crash and burn trying to run these things because there are so many mistakes that could be made. It's not good enough that you just combine things and try to sell them together, but if you do it the right way, what you're able to accomplish is this huge point of leverage. Now all of a sudden, you don't actually need a product; you could just find other people's products that make sense, bring them all together, and then sell them. Tom:                      I recently worked on that with a coaching client, and we did close to a $100,000 launch; I think it was like $75,000 to $80,000 in revenue with a really nice net revenue, so pocketed a good third of that or more. It was really solid, and that went from zero, from scratch to that, which is just wild. That was over a two or three-month period, but really the hard work was in a one-month period. It was just ensuring that the people he was collaborating with would be the right people to collaborate with. There's some nuance there, but that's really important. It's like, "What are we putting together here?" That's why I say the foundation is collaboration. It's like, who could you work with and in what capacity where everybody would benefit? Where this could be a win for you, a win for the person you'd like to collaborate, a win for their audiences, and beyond that? Another great example is like AppSumo. I love Noah Kagan and his work. He cracks me up; I think he's funny and really interesting, and AppSumo's such a simple business model that has grown to, it's definitely I think eight figures now. Tom:                      All they do, they're more of a Groupon model if you will, but they'll take software that normally has an annual fee and they'll make it a one-time-only price, so lifetime access, at a much, much-discounted price. They were just doing one of these at a time, but conceptually speaking the bundle we ran, imagine doing that for a bunch of different products and then having one major discount price. The point is, what's great about that is it's kind of no-frills, and that's a profit-driven strategy to do something like that. It's like really, you're just looking at the bottom line there. I don't know if you can really build an audience around discounts. Groupon obviously did, and I think kind of tanked because of it, but it's still a reasonable or even a valuable or good tactic or strategy depending on what you're trying to accomplish. It's like, look at your market. Who's out there? What are they selling? Is there a place where you can just jump into the mix and combine things? Be what Seth Godin calls "the impresario," the person who brings people together. Well, do that in a business context. How can you bring people together? Not just for an event, but maybe you can bring people together in some form or fashion to help everybody generate more sales or grow their audience together. Tom:                      Tying into bundles, we kind of talked about that. I'm happy to go in more depth about that. I think that can be used in a number of different ways. Once you actually hear about this, I think you'll start seeing it everywhere. What I mean is that, and I think this is a trend right now. I really do believe we're maybe in the middle of early to mid-stage of this trend, and presumably, we might have several more years where this will work effectively because these things come and go. Sometimes they come and go faster than other things. It's weird that we live in a day and age where there could be a strategy or tactic that works really well for like a year that could be gone in three years. Maybe it's going to expedite in the future, so I don't know about that; it's hard for me to predict the future. Right now, this is definitely happening a lot, and if you look around you'll see it: it's people who are selling products, but they're combining additional products into that product that they're selling, and they're selling it for at or below the price that, say, any of those products would go for or whatever the core product would go for. Tom:                      It's like, "Okay, well that's a no-brainer." Really, what that is is that's bonus strategy, but if we're using this idea of bundles, it's like, "If you have a product, can you combine it with maybe two or three other products? Instead of just selling your product alone, you sell it with all three or four of those products, and you do it at a discount." It's like, "Well, in what capacity? Why would you ever do that?" Well maybe because it would give you a huge influx of new sales. If you do your math right, hopefully, there's some money on the back end because you have that figured out. That's why I see people crash and burn with something like this. It's very obvious how it can it fail; you discount something below the cost of production, say, or distribution. It's like unless you have a really sophisticated back-end model, that's probably not going to work. For people who are boot-strapping or going from scratch, I wouldn't recommend. Tom:                      Not gonna work. So for people who are bootstrapping or going from scratch, it's like I wouldn't recommend that. So be careful about how you do this, don't just haphazardly put things together and then discount them or something like that, I don't think that actually benefits anyone in the long term. So you have to think about the long-term but I think there is value in thinking about, hey if you have a product to service, what could you bundle with it, what could you include as a bonus, additional pay products that would increase the perceived value of what you're selling because people have done this for a long time ... You've seen this where people will sell a course or something like that, courses are the best for this I think, the best example is where your audience is might be already familiar. Tom:                      So you look at the average courses being sold and when you get to the sales pages, is it ever just the course? No, it's like the course plus there's a bonus template, plus there's bonus resource, plus there's a bonus swipe file, plus there this bonus group program, plus there's this bonus support, plus there's this blah, blah, blah, blah ... That's been around for, geez the last few decades, really since the dawn of like the internet and anybody selling anything on the internet because it increases the perceived value. Tom:                      And you also see this in like those TV ads late at night or really early in the morning selling ... you know those are a great resource to look at and see how they kind of package and sell what they're offering. It's a rarely are they ever selling just one product, they always include bonuses, additional products with a perceived value that ... we'll say with a retail value that increases the overall perceived value of what you're selling. So those are kind of how those three things kind of intertwine and I'm happy to go deeper into any one of those but you let me know. Kyle:                      So I'm just like getting all kinds of ideas and inspiration as you're talking, and one of the cool things lights that came on as you were talking about both collaboration and bundling, is the idea of not just bundling your own products and services together but perhaps bundling your services with that of another partner or JB in the case of a course. If somebody wants to offer their products to the email list that you've built up, and then use it as a way to support them and to sweet the deal for your audience, throw in your own course or something like that, and I really love your perspective, and I think this is one of the places where we really resonate with each other on but just building, and I agree with you that the fastest way to grow your business or grow your opportunities, no matter if you're looking to get more traffic in content marketing, whether you're trying to land high-value clients or have a successful launch is by making connections with other people. Kyle:                      And you can do that, it takes more effort and you have to be very smart, and very subtle sometimes compared to a lot the almost brute force strategies for outreach that you see online these days but it can be incredibly rewarding, and so I'd like you to kind of close out on some of the ways that you build those relationships, and how somebody just starting out or in the early stages, how can they leverage relationships so that they can have these launches or at least grow their businesses quickly. Tom:                      Yep, great question and you know one thing before I answer that question is you said, it is harder to do what I'm describing and that's true to a degree. I also think in the long term it's easier and that's because partnerships done right or collaboration done right can be profitable now and even more profitable in the future. So all of a sudden ... and it can expedite what you do. [bctt tweet="Partnerships and/or collaborations done right can be profitable now and even more profitable in the future. -Tom Morkes " username="kylethegray"] Tom:                      So it's like, yeah it might be harder to organize something like this, so it's harder in the moment but then all of a sudden it's going to sell better, you're going to get more sales, you'll probably more traffic, more sales, higher conversion rates, that means more revenue, hopefully, more profit if you line it up the right way like higher margins. Tom:                      I mean there's all sorts of benefits to it. So even if it takes a little bit longer to organize or you have to work through some kinks to do it, it's like actually long term probably a much easier strategy. So just want to make one clarification on that piece, and then in terms of like how you might organize this in terms of how you might organize what you do to take advantage of collaboration and partnerships. So number one is start like a Google Sheet or Excel document, like create some sort of tracker, like some document that you're gonna look at, we'll say daily if you will, and that you're gonna keep your notes on these kinds of collaborations and partnerships or prospects and you start with that. Tom:                      The second thing is do some Google searching. So what industry are you in or do you want to be in. Search that term and then search blog. Search that term and then search podcast. So search content marketing podcast. You'll find Kyle. Content marketing blog and you'll find Kyle right and there are others too. You'll find a big list of them and pick whichever industry and look at those because the people who are blogging and podcasting, as just two examples, there are others but that's the simplest one, the low hanging fruit. Tom:                      You'll find on the first page of Google, like so many examples. Like a lot of these things when you search you'll find a lot of other people have already done the hard work and they'll have like top 100 content marketing bloggers, top 100 content marketing podcasters. So all of the sudden people have like actually already done the work like curating these people for you. So then combine them and put that into your tracker. Into that you will say Google Sheet that you're using as a tracker, that first thing I said, told you to set up. Tom:                      So that process should maybe take a couple of hours because you should be able to flush that out, you should be able to have hundreds of potential prospects on your tracker within an hour or two of doing that very simple search and I think, you know it's just a no-brainer. Okay so then what happens next? Well, then what you want to do is actually go back through. Tom:                      So that first piece, don't spend too much time on it. Just get as many names on that list as possible, then go through them one by one. This might take you ... So I have a system set up and when we've done this for clients and stuff like that, we've been able to get it down to like maybe like two or three minutes per contact, sometimes even less and there are tools that'll help with it. Tom:                      But I approach this, and I guess maybe I should make a piece of clarification here, the process that I'm describing to you, it is not a cold email process, it's the opposite of cold email. A cold email does not work for what I'm describing because I'm trying to build relationships. I'm not just trying to get a sale, so I want to build relationships, I want to actually collaborate with people, which means it takes a little bit more time to look at each outlet that you've planned to reach out to. Tom:                      So you want to look at each one of those outlets, you want to fill in that tracker with the relevant information. Who's the owner of that blog, who writes for it, what's their email address if you can find it, there are lots of tools you can use to find it or at least a contact page. What is that blog or podcast about, and why is it a good fit for whatever you're planning right. That's a variable there and it depends what you're trying to do but like at a minimum you can put some ideas down like if you were trying to do, just a collaborative type bundle or I'm going to be rolling out my product and I want additional bonuses or you know what I'm just looking for somebody to collaborate with and I could provide this value. Tom:                      So that's the third piece. The fourth piece is, now what I do is, I want to stalk them on social media to some degree. Like I want to follow them on Twitter, I want to retweet and share their content, I want to sign up for their newsletter, their email list, I want to download their podcast or sign up for their podcast and I want to leave a review on their podcast, I want to leave a comment on their blog post or a few etc, etc. Tom:                      So all of a sudden it's like, now I'm doing this for the people after I've looked at their websites, I'm like yeah this could be a great partner to have, now or in the future, and so I'm taking the time to get to know them better, and to hopefully maybe do some things where they might notice what I'm doing because successful people get solicited all the time, and if you come out soliciting you'll probably be ignored with good reason but if you take a little bit of time to get to know the person, to comment on their blog, most people don't get comments on their blog. Tom:                      So it's wild when you comment on the blog, the person is gonna see you and if you do that a few times, they're gonna really start to notice you except the biggest names okay. So we're gonna exclude that but for most, it works, and for podcast leaving a review, it's like a lot of podcasters don't get podcast reviews, that's really helpful. Then if you sign up for their newsletter, you could send them an email and say, hey I just left you a review on your podcast. That's a very nice thing to do because guess what, they probably get that email and not a lot of people email them. Tom:                      So I'll do this over the course of like 30 or 40 days, and I'll do this for everybody on that list, and all of a sudden I'm like in ... I've turned a cold contact into a warm contact. That person kind of knows me now, and I'm tracking this on my tracker, and I'm paying attention to what their responses are and how people are reacting. If somebody is just totally blowing me off, that's fine I'll just make a note of it but if somebody responded, replied, said thank you or something like that, that's now a solid warm contact. Tom:                      So now, I can now start the process of saying, hey maybe I can reach out and see if there's something I could do for them besides what I've already done, which is usually sharing on social or something like that. That's where a podcast is really worthwhile if it makes sense in this context, bring people into a podcast it's a very useful thing for other people to do, like to bring somebody onto a podcast is useful for them but maybe there are other things you could do. Tom:                      And so I might reach out with something like that, what can I give first and how can I connect with them in a way that's not transactional. Does that make sense? So like it's like, I'm just gonna do this for you kind of thing. I think if you do all that, you set the stage where if you then wanted to reach out to them you could say, hey this is the thing I'm working on. Tom:                      Now, this could be expedited by the way, like this process and now all of sudden you're thinking, oh man that takes like one to two months, it's like worth it. That's why you start it now, and you spend about 20, 30 minutes a day doing this, and all of a sudden it just becomes part of your system of retweeting, of sharing things, of replying to people's newsletters and all of a sudden like a month or two or three months you'll have a ton of people who already kind of know you, and that's when the stuff starts to compound over time. Tom:                      So you can expedite this process, and again this is where the nuance comes and there's exception and things like that. So if you had to expedite, you could probably expedite it but I think it's a reasonable system and process and I used it to recruit literally a thousand plus, affiliates, influencers, partners for all sorts of campaigns, and I continue to try to do it to this day, I've just systematized a lot of it but I'm always looking for new people to connect with, see what I can do to share theirs, connect with them in a way that's non-transactional, and that's helpful and then before I ever get to an ask or what I'm pitching. Tom:                      So does that answer your question Kyle? Kyle:                      Absolutely, I think that's a really beautiful way to frame that up, and that was a very actionable and clear description of a system that you could use to make those same things happen every day, and it's something I'm doing but I feel inspired to do it even more frequently and yeah, maybe just have a half hour blacked out every day for it now. Kyle:                      So I think that, that is an excellent kind of cap on the beginning, middle, and end of how to have a great product launch. So Tom, tell us where if somebody wants to learn a little bit more about you, you've got a blog, you've got a great podcast and all kinds of other amazing resources to share with people, where can they learn more about you? Tom:                      You know what I'd love for people to do, is just head on over to your show notes, and check it out there because I know you'll link this up, and that's the best place to find me is just go through Kyle, check out you know, more of his podcast too but go there, go to the show notes and Kyle will get you hooked up with everything you need. Kyle:                      Sounds good, yeah we will have links to Tom's podcast, Tom's books, Tom's blogs and many other of the resources that he has available. Tom thank you so much for spending some time with me today, I really appreciate it and it's always a pleasure speaking with you. Tom:                      Kyle I love what you do man. Obviously, a big fan, follower, a proponent of what you do and friend and I'm glad to have you in my corner and just love the work you're doing. Love this podcast, so keep going. Kyle:                      Thanks, man. Let's collaborate again soon. Thanks for listening to the Story Engine Podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and resources mentioned in this episode and every episode at the If you want to tell better stories, and grow your business with content marketing and copywriting, be sure to download the content strategy template at This template is an essential part of any business that wants to boost their traffic, leads and sales with content marketing. Kyle:                      Thanks for listening and we'll see you next time.