I had heard a lot of bad stuff about Jeff Walker and Launch. People would say that Launch is a scam. I bought Launch to decide for myself whether Jeff Walker was legit. The short review is this: Jeff Walker’s Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams (Amazon) is fantastic. It is the best marketing book I’ve ever read, and I have read a lot.
Among other things (read the lengthy review below), I enjoyed Launch because Jeff Walker’s personal values align with mine. I am not a total Jeff Walker fan boy, however.
I’ll explain how a blogger like me might use a different approach to driving traffic and selling products than the one outlined in Launch.
Scamming sophisticated readers is nearly impossible.
There’s a concept going back to Aristotle called ethos. Your character is revealed in your writing. It is hard for a writer to pull off a con. Write long enough and your soul will be laid bare for all to see.
If you enjoy reading a blog, you will almost certainly enjoy meeting that writer in person.
There will always be gullible idiots out there, but sophisticated readers know what to look for.
One major tell of a scammer is that they sell you on a book or a seminar – and then they use that same book or seminar to sell you on another seminar. In other words, they do not deliver value, as their product does not stand alone on its own merits.
If Jeff Walker is not genuinely interested in helping you live the life of your dreams, then he is the greatest con man to ever walk the earth. His integrity is evident in every page.
Launch is not a scam.
Launch delivers value.
You don’t need to buy Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula (his expensive product) to launch your own product. He gives out the blueprint in his book.
Launch stands alone on its own two feet. That to me means that Jeff Walker and Launch is far from a scam. Launch is as legit as it gets.
Let’s treat the book as having two parts.
1. General marketing principles.
2. His specific Product Launch Formula.
Launch’s general marketing principles.
Launch’s approach to marketing will sound familiar to Danger & Play readers, as it’s the formula I’ve been following without realizing it.
Let’s look at some specific chapters. These are the actual notes I took while reading Launch.
When I disagree or have something to add, I’ll highlight that with “MY TAKE.”
Chapter 3. A License to Print Money: Your List.
- The money is in the list. Email outperforms social media. Social media sites change. Building up fan pages means Facebook owns your list. MY TAKE: Twitter outperforms my list in terms of driving traffic. I love Twitter. However, as Jeff Walker notes, Twitter could shut me down tomorrow. I would then not have a list.
- Facebook likes are inferior to a list. A list of 1,000 emails will outperform a Facebook page with 20,00 fans. MY TAKE: Facebook likes are worthless and pure vanity marketing. I spend less than 5 minutes a day on my Facebook pages. I have seen the stats from multiple sites and Facebook does not deliver.
- A 60% open rate on your newsletter is “super responsive.” MY TAKE: D&P’s open rate is 48% and my click rate is 18%.
- Use a squeeze page to build a list. MY TAKE: My blog is my “squeeze page.”
- Give away bonuses to get people to join your list.
- Content is listed as “other way” to build a list. MY TAKE: I use content as my main way to build my list and market myself.
- 30 newsletter subscribers a day is great, as the subs add up. MY TAKE: I average 10 newsletters subscriptions a day.
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Chapter 4. The Sideways Sales Letter.
- Greater Internet connectivity means your audience is more skeptical. Show your face.
- Instead of using the traditional long form sales letter, split your sales letter into multiple parts.
- Use educational videos.
- Post videos on your blog to get comments.
- The more you charge, the more value you must deliver upfront. Most people are afraid of giving away the goods. The biggest mistake is giving away too little.
- If you oversell a seminar, do another one.
- Most of your customers will not buy. It’s a numbers game. Don’t take it personally.
Chapter 5. Weapons of Mass Influence: The Mental Triggers.
- Events and rituals.
- Social proof.
- These 9 triggers overlap. For example, if you’re an authority people will trust you. If your product is scarce, that’s because people bought it (social proof).
MY TAKE: Although he doesn’t mention it, these concepts come out of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Add Influence to your reading list.
Chapter 12. Creating a Business You Love.
- What is Your Why? To find the business of your dreams, find out what truly motivates and inspires you.
- As you get more money, money won’t be your why. MY TAKE: This is true. I have enough money. Yes, I am going to make a lot more, but money doesn’t wake me up and more money will not change how I live my life. I have, to use Tony Robbins lingo, moved from seeking significance to seeking contribution.
- One of the good jobs of marketers is “to attract the right people and repel the rest….You want to attract YOUR people into your business.”
- Seek out a long-term vision. MY TAKE: I ask myself every day, as part of my daily routine, “Could I see myself doing Danger & Play when I’m 50? (I’m 37.)”
- Start a mastermind group. “A great mastermind has great people who are givers.” You need members with “high emotional intelligence,” “mental horsepower,” and you “don’t want to be the smartest person in the room.” MY TAKE: I was part of a men’s writers mastermind group that was a total failure. I’ll do a separate post explaining why. The biggest reason it failed was because members used the group to promote their own material rather than add value.
- Deal flow/the opportunity cost of your time is the most important factor in your business. MY TAKE: Launch nailed me to the wall. If I want to monetize aggressively, I need to choose one product and run with it. Also, I am doing too much. I do everything at Danger & Play. I edit the podcasts, I do my own web design, I copyedit. Also, right now I have too many “irons in the fire.” I am currently working with a couple different people on projects. They will spearhead the parts of the projects they are good at and I will focus on marketing the products.
- Cooperate rather than compete. Instead of taking a slice of pie, make a bigger pie. MY TAKE: Have an abundance mentality. I always link to other writers and try to help men better themselves. Taking this approach also helps me hit this 9 mental triggers. You know I’m honest (trust), as I don’t steal content. People I link to will want to link to me (reciprocity). Linking to other blogs builds a community and people like people who read and link to them.
- Do not refer to yourself as “we.” Use “I.” We sounds too corporate.
- You make the rules. It’s your business and your life. Ignore the haters.
Jeff Walker focuses on personal values. He doesn’t sell you on any given worldview or “right answer.” He wants to help you find out what is best for you.
His marketing strategy is similar to mine. Deliver value. Exceed expectations. Build a community of like-minded men. Engage.
You are going to love this book.
Launch’s Product Launch Formula.
Go buy the book for yourself. He lays his entire Product Launch Formula out for you.
P.S. I have no affiliate relationship with Jeff Walker and have never met the man. This is an unbiased review.