Book Review – “Launch” by Jeff Walker

Launch by Jeff WalkerLet me start by saying that I am a big fan of Jeff Walker’s and have purchased a number of products from him, including his current book titled “Launch, An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams”.  I’ll just call it “Launch” from now on.

Let’s look at the PRO’s and CON’s of Jeff’s book…



Great Value –

Jeff Walker has sold his full “Product Launch Formula” for thousands of dollars and this book contains some of the key parts of his iconic program, so it is certainly an excellent value at less than $12 on (paperback) or less than $8 in Kindle format.


Interesting Case Studies –

Jeff presents examples from dog agility training to an organization that trains psychologists.  Maybe there is a joke about Pavlov’s dogs in there, but the point is that the applications of his Launch process are widespread.  While his own launches have made “6 figures in 7 days” and even multi-millions, Jeff seems most proud of the fact that he can point to over $500 million worth of launches by his students.  As they say, “Your results will differ“, of course, but if you plan to launch a new product or program, isn’t this book worth a read?



Big picture (Diagram) Missing –

You would think that something as technical as an internet launch would have diagrams showing the interaction of the various components.  Maybe Jeff felt that it wasn’t needed but I found that I needed to see all the parts on one page to fully grasp what is needed for a “Jeff Walker-style Launch”… so I created a visual diagram I call the “Launch Phase Checklist“.  I also created the high-level diagram (see below) for anyone who would like a simple 6-step version of the launch process without all the details of my full Launch checklist.  Download the full Launch Phase Checklist for free here.


A Couple Holes in the Process –

I admit that I am probably nitpicking at this point.  Jeff certainly over-delivers with all the bonus material on the companion website that goes along with the book but there are still a couple areas where I needed more info.

Launch Phase Checklist

As I started putting together my “cheatsheet” or “Launch Phase Checklist”, my hope was that I would simply take the things I learned in the book, list them in appropriate order with a few check boxes and I would be done.  It was going along fine as I made the diagram for the “Pre-PreLaunch Phase” and then the “PreLaunch Phase.” Both were super clear and easy to understand in the book.  The next phase is when things got sketchy.

The Launch Phase was discussed quite a bit in the book, but it did not have anywhere near the details that the Pre-Launch had in terms of how to make the appropriate marketing materials or messages.  Maybe Jeff thought that most of the work is in the PreLaunch and it probably is, but I would still have liked some details about what makes a good Sales Page for the Launch.  After I had the Launch Phase outlined for the Checklist (with some additional research of my own), I realized that the Launch isn’t complete if you do not give the customer what they purchased during the launch.  Jeff talks about what kind of products are possible in various parts of the book so this might not be considered as much of a “hole” but it did take a bit of work to pull together that part of the Launch Checklist.



BUY IT and download our free Launch Phase Checklist !

The book is destined to become an important part of anyone’s library if they are doing business online (or would like to).  Certainly there are other ways beyond launches to do online business (straight sales, old style sales letter pages, etc.) but the ability to do a “Jeff Walker-style Launch” is something that should be in everyone’s marketing tool box.  Right alongside our Launch Phase Checklist from !


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Marketing For Speakers –
The BizBuilder Subscription Service

Are you a full-time speaker looking to take your speaking business to the next level?  Or are you new to the business and trying to make the leap from amateur to professional paid speaking?  Do you have access to all the best techniques in marketing for speakers? What if you could have an expert marketer on your team for less than $20 per month? That’s where the BizBuilder Subscription Service comes in.


Marketing For Speakers –
What do I get when I sign up?

Dave Wheeler sends out about 4-6 emails per month with concise, targeted marketing ideas or training that you can immediately apply to keep your speaking business moving in the right direction.  If you follow at all you have seen some of his action-oriented tools such as the Online Media Checklist for speakers that make it easy to organize and execute important marketing tools.  


Marketing For Speakers –
Access to Dave Wheeler’s vast experience:

Dave Wheeler, DTM has an MBA in Marketing, worked over 10 years as a Marketing Manager for a Fortune 200 company and has spent thousands of dollars learning the latest and greatest marketing techniques for speakers available around the world.  He is an expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which means he knows what will get you more visitors to your website.  He is a master when it comes to online marketing and he knows the in’s and out’s of social media.  What’s the hottest area for speakers now?  Online video marketing … and is leading the way by helping speakers leverage the technology to grow their business.


Marketing for Speakers –
Bite-sized gems from programs costing $10,000 or more

Did you know that offers turn-key online business systems for $10,000 or more?  Not to mention the Internet Marketing 4 Speakers program which retails for almost $3000.  What if you could get some of the crown jewels from these trainings in small, bite-sized, easy-to-apply nuggets delivered to your inbox … for less than $20 per month?



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What’s holding you back?

Isn’t your speaking business worth $20/month?  If not, then maybe you aren’t serious about making money speaking.  That’s fine.  Not everyone is willing to do what is needed to have a successful speaking business and there is no shame in admitting it. On the other hand, if you think that tapping into the mind of a Marketing MBA with years of Internet Marketing training & experience would be worthwhile, then click the graphic on the right to sign up now. When it comes to Marketing for Speakers, the choice is clear.  Subscribe to the BizBuilder Subscription Service(TM) NOW !

Expert Consulting – The Next Level for Speakers

One of the keys to becoming a 7 figure or Million Dollar Speaker / expert is the ability to generate multiple cash flows based on your area of expertise and Expert Consulting for organizations is one of the ways that speakers can apply their knowledge for the benefit of clients “beyond the stage”.  If you are speaking to an organization, you already have them as a client and, as I’m sure you know, it is always easier to sell to an existing client than it is to find new clients … so let’s look at your first interaction, “The Expert Consulting Engagement Interview”.


Leverage Your On-Stage Credibility
into Expert Consulting

As a speaker, you gain credibility with every speech or workshop you give for an organization.  Clearly you cannot give that organization the full benefit of your years of experience in a one hour keynote speech or even a 3 hour workshop so it makes sense to offer them additional services including a consulting engagement.  It is up to you to figure out who is the right person to approach for this service since the person hiring a keynote speaker might not be the person who hires consultants.  The good news is that you can leverage your stage time and drop in subtle references to your consulting results with other clients each time you speak.  Key: Provide value with the stories.  Don’t come across as “Selling”.


The Key to Solving Problems
for our client organization

Let’s assume you are either being retained for a project or are meeting with someone at the organization to figure out what you can do for them.  This first meeting is critical to your success and that is why we put together some suggested questions to get you started.

Since each organization is different, it is important to find out what problems or challenges they are facing before you prescribe a solution.  Obviously they feel that your expertise can be applied to their situation or they would not have hired you as a speaker but don’t assume that your specialty is the only answer.  A doctor doesn’t prescribe medications without at least looking at you or maybe running a few tests and as an expert consultant you should not start with your prescriptions for your client without first learning more about them.

PDF of questions for Expert Consulting


The Initial “Exam”

Rather than “winging it”, you will be seen as more professional if you start your consulting engagement with some standard questions to help you get to the core of your customer’s challenges and identify what is holding them back.  This downloadable PDF Discovery Questionnaire was developed for use by speakers who are moving into expert consulting and each part of the questionnaire is explained below. Click here to download the PDF Discovery Questionnaire.



The first thing you want to identify is your client’s goals and what is important to them.  If you aren’t going to be able to apply your expertise to create a positive outcome, it is better to figure that out quickly up front and possibly use your network of fellow experts to  hook your client up with someone better suited to solving their problems.  You do know other experts, right?  If not, contact and will help you track down someone through our expert network.



By finding out what your clients sees as the primary challenges they are facing, you are able to bring a fresh perspective to their situation.  Granted you are an expert in a particular field (which brings with it a certain level of credibility) but sometimes all a client needs is an objective third part who can look at their situation with a fresh pair of eyes.

The other reason it is important to find their primary challenge or obstacle is that this is often what they will pay to have someone solve for them.  If you are able to figure out what is “the constraint on their system” and propose a solution, you will have earned loads of goodwill and probably a good amount of future work with that client.

* Suggested Reading #1: “The Goal” by Eli Goldratt
This book explains the Theory of Constraints through a story about a manager of a manufacturing company but the concepts in the book can be applied to many situations.  There are also additional books by Goldratt which address things like Sales/Marketing and more.  Highly recommended.



The greatest potential is found by focusing on our biggest opportunities or strengths** but most people tend to focus on their weaknesses or problems first.  If you can bring a fresh perspective to your client’s opportunities, you may get them to apply the resources that are needed to turn those possibilities into successes.  Since you will probably be meeting with your client’s management team on a regular basis during your consulting engagement, your presence may also bring a focus to the opportunities that might be lacking in the organization due to other competing priorities.

** Suggested Reading #2: “Made to Stick”, “Switch” and “Decisive” by Chip & Dan Heath.
These three books offer great ideas and insights into what makes people and organizations “tick” … all wrapped up in stories that will intrigue and inspire.  Another good book or series are the ones by Marcus Buckingham around Finding and Leveraging Your Strengths.



If there is a chance that your client is stuck in a rut and they need to make a dramatic shift in their thinking patterns, these questions will help get them thinking in new ways.  The concept of “testing failures” is from one of the books mentioned above by Chip & Dan Heath and they provide an excellent example of how a company opened up a whole new aspect of their business (and substantial new revenue streams) by developing tests of some of their “sacred cows” or beliefs that they held but had not really tested.



This section is based on one of the concepts presented in the book “Good To Great” by Jim Collins.  In essence, Jim Collins found, through extensive analysis of public companies who went from “Good” companies to companies with “Great” results, that the great companies had a “Hedgehog Concept”.  I encourage you to read the whole book but, in brief, a Hedgehog concept is an strong understanding of what a company is passionate about, can be the best in the world and which they can measure to produce outstanding results.  To translate this into something you can use with your clients, just ask questions which will draw out what they are passionate about, what they feel they have the ability (or could develop the ability) to be the best in the world and how they might develop an appropriate metric.  Granted, they may have never thought along these lines so don’t be surprised if they don’t have a fully developed Hedgehog concept.  Your job, as an expert consultant, is to help them get the flywheel moving and gathering momentum for their organization.


Suggested Reading #3: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  There are loads of ideas in this book that can benefit any size organization including “Level 5 Leadership”, “Technology Accelerators, “Flywheel vs. Doom Loop” and much more.  If you like business books and have not read “Built To Last” by Jim Collins & Jerry Poiras, you need to add it to your reading list.



After all these questions, you probably have a pretty good idea of what types of changes might be most beneficial to your client’s organization but their is one more “box to check” and that is “What have they already tried?”  Clearly they are smart people (or they would not have recognized your value and hired you) so it is likely that they have tried to tackle some of their challenges before you arrived.  The question is … “What have they learned from their unsuccessful projects?” and “What did they do which was contributed to their current success?”  Even a brief rundown of their project list will give you some insight into what they perceive as the best strategic direction and, again, as a fresh pair of eyes you may see something that the company insiders are not able to see.



Is this article everything you need to make loads of money by adding expert consulting to your speaking business?  Of course not.  Consulting is a much larger topic but hopefully you will recognize that the value you bring to each expert consulting engagement comes in many forms.  You have experience and knowledge in your area of expertise, you have the communication skills of a speaker and you are an objective third party who can give them feedback that would not be possible from someone inside the company.  You are also stepping into a “Trusted Advisor” role and depending on the value you create for your client, it should be a role that you continue to fill for many years.


Want to know more
about Expert Consulting?

Leave a comment below and tell us what your want to learn. Got Questions? Leave a comment below and we will do our best to answer each and every one of them. Need some advice related to Expert Consulting? Leave a comment which includes your email address and we will reply privately without making the comment public.

Choosing the Best AutoResponder Service for speakers

Review of the Best AutoResponder Services
for speakers, authors and consultants

When you build your List, the AutoResponder Service you choose is a critical component and here are the pro’s and con’s of three commonly used AutoResponder services… MailChimp, Aweber and Infusionsoft.   Other AutoResponder services are also listed for your consideration and, in the end, you will decide for yourself which one is the best autoresponder service for your business.

“A good AutoResponder Service is one that “does the job” and doesn’t take more time or money away from building your list.  An AutoResponder is a tool, not a goal.” – Dave Wheeler,

Things to consider when choosing the best
AutoResponder Service for your business:

  • Ease of Setup
  • Ease of Creating One-off Email Broadcasts
  • Ability to Segment or Tag Your List Members so you can tailor what you send
  • Cost per month
  • Cost per list size
  • Cost per # of emails allowed per month



(2K-50K subscribers)

(1) Very inexpensive, especially when starting out.  If you can’t afford $20-40/mo. then MailChimp could be for you.
(2) They originally were limited in capabilities, but they have been improving and have most features you will need (to start).

(1) As your list gets bigger or you want to do more sophisticated things, you may need to upgrade to another source.

Start here.  For most speakers who are beginning to build their list, this is the best autoresponder service.  If you believe me, don’t even bother reading the rest of this article.  Go to  One suggestions: Pay $10/mo. so your emails don’t carry the MailChimp logo.  Get set up and running fast so you can focus on building and engaging with your list.


Aweber autoresponder

(500-25K subscribers)

(1)  Widely used and industry leader.
(2) Improved user interface (when reviewed in 2013)

(1) Approximately $20/mo. to start which is slightly more than MailChimp.  If this slightly higher price doesn’t matter to you, AWeber could be a good choice for you.

Check it out.  If you can get a free month, try setting up a list and see if you like it better than MailChimp.



Infusionsoft autoresponder systemInfusionSoft

(2.5K-10K subscribers)

(1)  Can do almost anything you might need from an AutoResponder Service.
(2) Used by some of the biggest internet marketers and speakers in the industry.

(1) Expensive
(2) It is probably more than most people will need when you are starting out to build a list… unless you are bringing a large list to InfusionSoft or you have very ambitious goals.
(3) You may need to hire an InfusionSoft expert to help you get up the learning curve and set up.

Eventually you want to grow your business to the point where you will want to use InfusionSoft.  The key is to spend time building your list and not let your time be distracted by learning InfusionSoft.



List Wire auto responderOther AutoResponder Services

Notes on other AutoResponder Services listed below:
I have seen online that some people have had success using so they could be worth checking out. is a free autoresponder which seems very easy to use but some have questioned how well it delivers emails.  My concern with any free service is whether or not they will be around long term since you want your list to be safe because it is so important to your business.  You will probably need a shopping cart service to process payments for your website, but I have not heard too many people using as their primary autoresponder service.

Quick Comment: I use for payments and find the email database useful since it captures all the people who actually BUY.  In a way, I use to segment my lists that are kept on other AutoResponder services !

Service                               Pricing***        (subscribers)           $15-250/mo       (1K-50K)                     $10-110/mo       (250-15K)     $20-400/mo     (500-10K)                     $ free                      (no limit listed)        $ 34*-249/mo    (not clearly listed)
* special offer, June 2014

Office AutoPilot ** **
now   $300-600/mo

( *** Pricing reviewed June 2014)


Bottom Line:

The best autoresponder service is the one that meets your current needs and ideally your near term needs.  As your list grows there are definite reasons why you might need to use a different autoreponder service but the information above should help you get started and that is the most important part of list building… getting started.  GO, Start Now !  (and sign up for our email list dedicated to list building, see below).

List Building Secrets – Engagement thru Great Content

Top Tip # 1 from my vault of List Building Secrets is … Engage your audience by providing them with great content.  One of my best List Building secrets is to keep your list active and responsive is by engaging your subscribers with excellent content. It sounds simple but so few people do it and then they wonder why they aren’t building a profitable list of subscribers.

What is “Great Content”?

“The ultimate determiner of how good your content is comes from your audience.” – dMark Wheeler

If they like it, then it is good.  If your audience wants fart jokes, then good content would involve some really good fart jokes.  If  your audience needs* and wants* information on building speeches and you give them fart jokes, then you are probably going to lose them, or more likely, never get them to sign up for your list in the first place.

How to Measure “Content Quality”

The old saying is that “What gets measured, gets done.” Another similar quote by John H. Lingle says “You get what you measure. Measure the wrong thing and you get the wrong behaviors.”  so we definitely need to measure the right thing.  What is the right think regarding “content quality”?  There are a number of possibilities including the number of comments (shows people are willing to engage in your conversation) or the amount of traffic your website gets whenever you release a new piece of content, but the core measurement is the number of people on your list.  If your content is judged to be of high quality by visitors to your website (either in terms of free content or your giveaway for joining your list), then the number of subscribers will grow.  That is the bottom line.  If you see a deterioration in the number of subscribers, that tells you that something is not right in how you interact with your list and the content you are providing.  Check your subscriber count regularly and if you are serious put it on a big chart on your wall so you can see it every single day.  That number is what is going to make you money.  Watch it carefully.


* What they need* is not always what they want* !

Let’s assume you are an expert in a particular area (as most speakers are), then you probably have a pretty good idea what your audience really NEEDS to be successful in your area of specialization, right?  Unfortunately, many of your potential audience members don’t know what they need and, in many cases, they think they need or want something that is completely irrelevant to their success.  Your job is to figure out what they want and give them that … along with what they really need to be successful because a successful customer is a happy customer.


The “Curse of Knowledge” may be holding you back

The disconnect between what you know, as an expert, and what the audience knows / wants is made worse by the “Curse of Knowledge”.  Simply put, the Curse of Knowledge is when you learn something and then can’t imagine what it was like when you did not know it.  It is like learning the secret behind a magic trick.  Once you know how it works, it is harder to be amazed by the “magic” since you can see how it is done.  This is made even worse for experts because they have so much knowledge that they forget that not everyone has learned what they have learned and their training may go right over the heads of their students.


Beating the Curse with “Good Content”

The best way to avoid the Curse of Knowledge is to build from basics to more advanced concepts and check in with your students to make sure there aren’t any missing steps along the way.  That’s why it is good to test students periodically… not to grade them but rather as feedback on their progress towards learning the subject matter.

TEST # 1 – What is the best way to make sure your audience is following along?

[Answer:  Ask them questions.  Even rhetorical or hypothetical questions can help “take the pulse” of your audience.]


Formula for Good Content

(Information + Entertainment ) * Various Media = Good Content

Media includes audio, video, text, pictures.  People have different formats they enjoy more than others so it is worthwhile to use as many forms of media as you can.  Even the same person might like to have you “switch it up” every now and then to add some variety to the information you are providing.  The different types of media also have different entertainment values which are important as well.  What is your strongest media?  Where does your personality shine the most?


Why must my content be Entertaining?

In today’s busy world, you need to stand out from the crowd in some way or you will not even be seen.  If you are not letting your personality shine through, then you are holding yourself back.  Don’t worry if you don’t appeal to everyone… you just need to appeal to your target audience … and appeal in A BIG WAY so that they are truly ENGAGED with what you are saying.


Have you made the LEAP?
Create your “List Engagement Annual Plan”

To keep your list engaged, you should be sending them something of value, i.e. Good Content, on at least a weekly basis.  This keeps you fresh in their mind and positions you as a provider of valuable information / entertainment.  Good Content once a week means you have to come up with 52 communications to your list as part of your “List Engagement Annual Plan”.  If you are thinking that it will be hard to come up with enough good content to deliver it once a week, then don’t worry.  We will address that in a second.


Where does Great Content come from?

– Offers of your own or other people’s products can be considered good content if it is a real value to the people on your list.  If it is pure sales, then your list will see through it and you will lose them.  This is why you should not abuse the good will of the people on your list by sending sales messages more than once a month.  Once a quarter would be even better and there are ways to still provide value as part of your product launch.

– News can be valuable to your list.  Industry happenings, discoveries or even a great article by another leader in your industry can all be considered news.  You know your list and what is important to them so use that knowledge to find things that would be of interest or value to them.  Don’t feel that you have to be the creator of everything.  Sometimes you are the reporter … and it is OK to add your own editorial opinion if appropriate.

Your speaking schedule or appearances can be of interest to your list.  If you are appearing on stage with another leader in your industry or some sort of celebrity, it adds to your own credibility so be sure to let your list know.  It is also a great way to fill the audience at your live events by telling your list about future engagements.

Surveys are a great way to get feedback from your list but don’t over do it.  A survey a quarter or even once a month might be the line between curiosity and spam.  You can ask your list about what problems they need solved … which will help you create articles or products that address those needs.  Or you can ask questions to gain a better understanding of what is important to the people on your list.  These are your target customers so the more you know about them, the better you can serve them.

Articles will probably be the biggest part of your content since you are trying to position yourself as an expert in your field, right?  Articles can be instructional, “How-to” or they can be opinion pieces or editorials.  Don’t worry so much about upsetting your audience as about boring them.  If you provide exactly what they expect or what they already know, they have no need for you and will eventually unsubscribe to your list or simply send your emails to their spam folder.  You want to get people talking about  your articles, good or bad doesn’t really matter.  Although we would all prefer good comments, the negative comments may actually strengthen the resolve of your supporters which can turn out to have positive effects.

26 Bonus Ideas from…

26 Ways to Bring Your Blog To Life
(but they can be applied to a speaker’s content as well).


How do I come up with all this content?

The answer:  Divide and Conquer.

You want 52 pieces of valuable content so you can send them out at least once per week but you don’t have to go from 1-52.  You can start by creating 12 so you have one per month, then 12 more so you have 2 per month.  Repeat this 4-5 times and you will have more than enough content to keep your list engaged for a full year.

Ideally you also want the best content that you can provide so you will probably need to create more than 52 pieces so you will get 52 Good Ones.  It’s not as hard as it might sound if you follow the ideas below…

gps-SpeakerMarketing Number 1First, start by creating one for each month.  Some of these could be simply encouragement to your list to keep them motivated and making progress applying the ideas that you have already sent.  Some may be seasonal or holiday related.  The holidays are going to come every year so why not build them into your content plan.  It should be easy to create 12 piece of content that will get you started.

number 2Second, once you have your first 12 done you could lay out 12 more articles about the “Key Basics” or set up monthly Themes / Topics.  If one article is particularly long (more than 600 words) you might consider breaking it up into a “series“.  If you do, be sure to build in some teasers for future articles or even some “cliff hanger” questions to keep the interest high for the next part of the series.

number threeThird, with 24 pieces done, you can now think about what “New stuff” will need to be sent to your list.  What will be happening in the industry that your list will want to stay on top of?  What are you working on that will help them be more successful?  You may combine this with some surveys in the first few months followed by progress reports in later months.  One of my favorite lists to be on is from Pat Flynn over at  He posts his “Monthly Income Report” where he explains how he grew his income or the challenges he faced each month.  It is an interesting list to be part of and you should definitely check it out.

number fourFourth, with 36 pieces done, you can now kick it into high gear and do some research and create some amazing articles or position papers or “white papers” or just some great, in depth information that you find interesting and your audience will as well.  Keep in mind that you only need to create one per month to keep up with your yearly plan.  Start by thinking of titles that will draw in readers and then go out and build the articles/papers/programs/series.  This is where you set yourself apart from other experts by going the extra mile and discovering some great stuff for your audience.

number fiveFifth, with up to 48 pieces so far, this is where it gets FUN (or even more fun since you probably enjoyed all the interesting stuff you came up with in steps 1-4).  This is where you construct your offers and make your money.  It should also be where you really let you personality shine.  And example of something you could send to your list would be an article that starts “A funny thing happened to me…” and tell about what you learned, experienced or just found interesting.  These “personality pieces” can really help you strengthen the connection you have with the subscribers on your list.


One more Secret for writing Great Content…
“Write for One”

While you may have hundreds or thousands on your mailing list, be sure to remember that every reader is ONE PERSON.  You should have a picture of a person in your mind that is your “model reader” and write as if you are talking directly to them.  The names will change but your tone will help you connect with each person on your list in a more personal way such that they will want to open your emails in the future.


What’s Next in the
List Building Secrets program?

If you would like all the parts of the List Building Secrets for Speakers series, sign up for our mailing list below and we will email you the links to all the different components of the List Building Secrets for Speakers program.  Plus, by being on our email list, you will get additional tips to help you build your speaking business.