Behind the Scenes – The content funnel that built a $72K no-fluff launch | Podcast S3E6

In today’s episode, I’m throwing up the curtain and going behind the scenes of the launch of Story & Strategy School and how we drove more than $72,000 in sales without a traditional launch and simply by using a content funnel. 

Specifically, in this show, we will talk about: 

  • How a launch is just a content flow with higher frequency and ‘launching’ is a measure of intensity and intention
  • How a content funnel SELLS for you
  • What pop-up podcast and pocket podcast are and how they are working for high ticket sales
  • Why rolling enrollment programs hedge against launch burn-out and put you in control of how and how often you show up

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Episode Transcript

Note: This transcript is auto generated and is nowhere near perfect. There will be typos and weird words in the transcription. It will however, serve as a guide to the contents of the episode.

How are you?

I hope you are ready to go behind the scenes today. That’s what we want to do.

I’ve been feeling so-called too. Share on the podcast at least. Some of the details behind. Our latest quote unquote. The launch. And those of you who work with me, if you work with me, when you work with me, you know, that I don’t like the word funnel and I don’t like the word launch. I use them at.

I like them. But we’re going to talk about both of those things today. The content funnel. And that built us a $72,000. No fluff. Launch. With no hustle. I got to tell honestly, no hustle. I cross my heart up. I did not hustle in the traditional sense.

By the way, welcome to permission to leap. I am your host, Erin Trafford, and this is a show for creative entrepreneurs and business owners. Just like you who are ready to understand content strategy, learn from a pro. And unlock the power of story to. Fuel their growth. So get ready to leap into being bold into being strategic.

And to having me as your lovely strategist in your ear for the next 20 minutes or so. We’re going to push the boundaries of what you think. And believe. It’s possible. For you. I like to break the rules. Don’t, you know, I love to break the rules and that is effectively what I have been doing in my business. Since I started, I am a natural born rule breaker, and I don’t know if it’s in my human design or if it’s part of my astrological sign or what it is.

But when you give me, or when you, the Royal, you gives me a boundary or, or a wall, I want to break it. And so here’s how this all happened. This was I’m going to say this was about four years ago. And I had been researching launches. I had taken some very expensive, very. Uh, well-known mastermind programs. I have a whole other show in me on guru masterminds and, oh my goodness. Anyway.

Long story short is I had been trying to play by the rules and the rules would dictate that when we think about launches, it’s high stress. We have to always be on we’re attached to the outcome. As in, if you want to get 15 enrollees, you have to get 15 enrollees, no matter what. And I would say hard stop on that hard stop on that because you don’t want the wrong people in your program. So all of this really started when I was evaluating what I was seeing and hearing about launch culture, mainly on Instagram.

Um, and it not sitting right with me. Now, if you’re sitting there thinking like, what is a launch? What is a launch? Go back to season one. I did a whole episode called what is a launch? But I’m going to add on that today because things have progressed, right? Like since I did season one in 2020, we’re now into 2022. So lots of things have changed. My perspective has changed. I’ve tried a whole bunch of new things in the last two years. So.

So there’s lots more nuggets in this episode, but here’s the thing. Here’s the thing I want you to hear, especially if you are a service-based entrepreneur or coach or a healer. Or someone who sells digital products or courses, which is the majority of people who listen to this show. Um, if that is you.

I want to give you permission to just allow yourself to think about launching differently. And what I mean by that is. When you think about a launch as a content funnel. Or content flow. That’s the verbiage we use in my program. We call it a flow. Because I find that many women that I work with, the concept of a funnel feels very restrictive, even though that’s the marketing term for it.

We say flow because it feels more expansive. Right? So I want you to think of that. I want you to think of your content funnel. As simply when you are in launch mode. You are dialing up the intensity. And the frequency. But you are not changing who you are. You are not changing what you say. You are not making any more or less invitations in terms of talking about what you do, why you do it and how someone can do it with you.

But when you are in launch mode, you are turning up the intensity of those messages. So maybe, you know, you’re being much more verbose or you’re giving people a bigger picture or you’re explaining more nitty gritty things, the intensity of your content changes. And so too does the frequency because here’s what we know when someone needs to buy, wants to buy something.

You know, go back to episode one of season three, we talk about 60% of that buying decision is made when they consume the content that you put out into the world before even getting to you on the phone or in the sales call or over to your website, or what have you, right. So you want to dial up the frequency of the content you’re creating so that when they sit down and do that prep research that they’re going to do, there’s more there for them to digest. Okay. So that can look like a myriad of things that can look like more posts on your Instagram. It can look like more Facebook lives.

It can look like opening up a pop-up Facebook group and inviting people in so that you can explain the inner machinations of your business and how things work with you. It can look like weekly linked. LinkedIn newsletters, which are now a thing. And they’re phenomenal. If you are a service-based entrepreneur who sells relatively high ticket service, right.

Especially in the corporate environment, we’re testing those, uh, strategies right now over on story studio. Because my production house, we tend to work with corporations, organizations, larger businesses. And so we’re testing, increasing our frequency. And our intentions and our intensity over on linked in as we are trying to fill our production calendar. Okay. So I want you to break the way you’re thinking of a launch too often. I see people selling these launch.

Plans and these, just follow this and do this. And on day one of your lunch, you’ve got to introduce your whole thing. And on day two of your lunch, you’ve got to bust the objections on on day three of your lunch. You’ve got to increase the peak, the curiosity. Absolutely. You need to do all of those things, but it doesn’t have to look that way.

It doesn’t have to feel that way. And it certainly doesn’t have to be on that much of a contracted calendar. So, let me take a step back because I promised you that I was going to explain. How we did our last quote-on-quote launch with Erin Trafford story and strategy. And let’s like go all the way back to this time last year. So as I’m recording this it’s February, and this time last year, I was just in development of my signature program, which is called this simple story solution. And this program is it’s fricking epic. It’s I toyed with calling it storytelling mastery, because what it really is at its core is.

All of my secrets to how to become a better and more effective storyteller, as well as how to mine, your own ex lived and learned experience for stories that are going to shift and change your business and really activate your clients. And so it’s one of those programs that when you buy it, you take it.

And then two months later, you’re going to go back and take it again and not necessarily in its entirety, but you’re going to constantly pull nuggets from it. So it. It is basically like the foundational storytelling program that I have. There isn’t a lot of connection to sales, but what it does is it builds extreme confidence and accountability in the students. So last year at this time I was building that program.

And then a few months later after it launched. Um, and we brought people into the program and I did some live support so that I could get some feedback. We decided to create stories for a year and heads up because you’re listening to the podcast. I’m going to give you, like, I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I’m just going to tell you, anyway, we are revamping stories for a year for 2022.

Uh, we’re renaming the program and we’re shifting things up because it’s so stinking good. But here’s what stories for a year effectively is it is an accountability program. So once you take simple story solution and you jump into stories for a year, Stories for a year is what keeps your momentum and your flow going. It keeps you accountable, and it really helps you thread that needle. I say, between telling the stories that you feel you are called to tell the stories about you, the stories about your business, the stories about your clients.

And the sales. So it starts to draw that direct line from becoming a storytelling master to actually activating the revenue side of your business. Then fast forward to the fall. I took a beautiful summer off. Uh, I really, you know, I launched story studio, so that was a whole other side of my business. And I was being asked a lot of questions about organic growth.

How do I grow a blog? How do I use my content and not be a slave to social media? And listen, that’s about 80% of the people who work with me. Don’t want to be a slave to social media. I am one of them. This is why I love doing my podcast, because it takes me away from the hustle of social media. So we launched the organic traffic academy, which is a program that I have had in my cadre of programs forever in a day, about five years now, I revamped it. I added to it. We updated the curriculum and it is about very much the strategy behind blogging, SEO and organic long-term content growth.

So then I sat back and I thought, what am I going to do here? I’ve got these three programs. And I know that there are a lot of creative entrepreneurs who are like this. We like to create programs. We’re really good at creating niche programs, but then you look at them and you think, oh man, Does this mean I’m going to constantly be launching.

The way that society tells me I need to launch because I’ve got simple story solution. I’ve got stories for a year. I’ve got organic traffic academy. Oh, my goodness. I’m going to constant. I’m just going to constantly be launching one month to the next, to the next, to the next. And I’m going to have to switch up my messaging every time because every program is slightly different. Every program is for someone who’s at a slightly different stage in their storytelling and sales journey.

And I thought I got exhausted. I thought there’s going to be a better way to do this. So, what we did is from a very strategic standpoint is we took all of those programs and we looked at them and we thought. What would it be like if somebody had access to all of this at their fingertips? Knowing that at any given time, someone’s going to be like, I need to figure out how to best tell this story. I want to know how to activate a sale and build a sales page with story. But I also really feel like I need to bolster my business with some longterm content growth. Okay. So what would it be like?

If we had, if somebody had access to all these things, it would be amazing because I could just direct them to whichever resource they needed. And that’s how story and strategy school was born. Is I thought to myself, I’m going to put all of this together. In. One vessel and I am going to give students access to that one vessel.

Okay. All of a sudden. The messaging and the launching. Got hella simple. It went from having to launch three slash four different programs to just launching. One. Okay. So that’s the first step. Is, we were able to focus our energy on the one thing. The next thing we did is dialed up the intensity and the intention and the frequency. So from about October, while I was still running the organic traffic academy, we ran it as an eight week accelerator. So all of the women in that program got the course, but then also got access to me in a very intense vessel for eight weeks.

We met twice a week for eight weeks while we did that program. And it was amazing. The results were outstanding. These women are so activated. And strategically very supported in their business. So while I was still running that program, I started talking about this new vessel, this new school that I was developing, and I started dropping seeds and I started explaining why it was important to me to create something that had everything in it.

And low and behold, everything just flowed from there. Okay. People started direct messaging me and saying, oh, that’s funny because I wanted to buy program a, I wanted to buy simple story solution, but I also really wanted to learn blogging from you. And I didn’t have an opportunity to do that until now.

Well, yeah, that’s how we got the first, I dunno, four sales in the door where people who were sitting there waiting for me to make this kind of invitation. So by simplifying, we actually expanded our ability to bring people into the program. But the next thing we did was extremely strategic. And let’s talk about a content funnel. A content funnel is designed to create curiosity, to answer questions to pre-qualify sales, to give people a glimpse of what your ethos is like in your business, what it’s like to work with you versus your competition.

And that’s why I say your content funnel and your content flow is like a strategic playground because you get to go out there and support your business and personal values with a whole bunch of content. And then measure how it resonates. So one thing we did to support this sale and to create this launch quote, unquote of story and strategy school in a way that felt really good for me is we went back to the drawing board and developed what we we’re now calling.

The pocket. Podcast. R a podcast funnel. If you’d rather. Okay. We’ve since really figured out what these niche podcasts need to be. We have something called a pop-up podcast. We have something called a pocket podcast. Uh, which you heard with Monique Bryan that was a pocket podcast, but then we created this thing called the podcast funnel.

Which is specifically designed to work. In community with your email campaigns, your sales page storytelling, and to a certain extent your social media. So here’s what we do. We have seven episodes called find your content flow that only speak to the person who is excited, activated, and ready to jump into story and strategy school.

If someone booked a call with me. To talk about story and strategy school. And listen, if you book a call right now with me, which I hope that you do. I’m going to say, go listen to these seven episodes before we chat, because it’s going to activate you. It’s going to give you a sense of all of the excitement that you’re going to get in the program.

But the other thing that it does is it pre-qualifies people. So I would send everyone who listened to, or rather who booked a sales call with me or who requested more information about the program. I sent them to this secret private podcast, feed of seven episodes. That’s just, we produced just about the program.

And here’s what happened. The people who were not ready to invest, because I’m very clear on that podcast, what the investment is and what it looks like, people who are not able to invest would write me back and say, I loved that podcast. I can’t invest right now. Is there something else that I can.

Uh, do in the meantime, and I would say sure. Here’s stories for a year. And or here you can buy simple story solution off the shelf. Right? This might be enough to get you going. You’re not ready for the full mentorship yet. That’s fine. But those people who were, let me tell you, when they jumped on the sales call with me.

The sales call was a formality. They were already full body. Yes, it was. Where do I sign? I want to sign up. I listened to that podcast and holy heck. I am ready to go. So the podcast funnel functioned as an educator, it functioned as a qualifier. It allowed me to sit back. And quote unquote, sell the program one time.

Record it. As a podcast. And then enjoy the sales process. So it took all of that hustle and frantic energy. Out of launching. And low and behold, by the time we opened, we officially cracked the doors on the program in January. We hit, actually, we hit over our estimated enrollment. And 90% of the people who joined the first cohort of story and strategy, school engaged in that content funnel in a positive way.

That is. My playbook. That is how we did it. And that is how we’re going to continue to do it because reg it feels good. It doesn’t feel hustley, it doesn’t feel like, oh my gosh, if this isn’t perfect, everything’s going to go wrong. No, no, no, no, no. I tapped into my flow. I tapped into how I wanted things to feel. I tapped into what the ideal student and story and strategy school needs in order to be supported in making the best decision and you know, what she needs.

She needs to sit with me for about an hour and really sink into. Wow. What would it be like if I could unlock this part of my business? And feel super supported as I do it. That’s what she needs. She doesn’t need a sales call. Should they read a blog? She doesn’t need an email. That’s like creating scarcity. She needs to feel supported and she needs to sit in community with me. So that’s what we did in the content flow. We created that.

And it is the flow that keeps on giving. So that’s what I want to leave you with today. That is the behind the scenes. That is how we sold out that first enrollment. Now heads up. We are into another enrollment period now. So if you are wanting to join us in story and strategy school, then I encourage you to reach out. Let’s hop on a call. I’ll send you the link to that special private podcasts. You can have a listen.

And see if this is for you. But this is how it can feel. It doesn’t have to feel launchy. I want you to let that. Feeling. Go. Just release it. Release it. Release it.

So coming up next week on the program. There’s a. A few other tricks. I got up my sleeve for you. What a wedge. Is. The power of partnerships. I feel like I just gave you a bit of a masterclass in the power of breaking your brain when it comes to using podcasting. To activate sales. So next week we’re going to break our brains again.

In terms of the power of partnerships and how to activate them and how to look at them. Strategically. So many entrepreneurs. For sake, the power of the partnership when it comes to using content to grow. It’s one of those things. I’m not going to say I’m a master at, but it’s a strategy I’ve been using for the better part of a decade.

So I’m going to share some. Tips with you. Some insights on. Y you might want to start looking at partnerships when it comes to your content.

And some opportunities that you may not have considered. It’s going to be great. So that’s coming up next week on the program, if you so desire to check all of that out. But that’s it for us. On the show. Today. Hey, thanks for listening. I hope he took a lot out of that.

This is permission to leave by the way. And if you like the show consider subscribing. On your favorite podcast platform and leave us a review and please, you know what I love, I love when folks listen to the program, take a screenshot and share it on social media. And don’t forget to tag me. Because it makes my day. It makes my day.

And if you’d like to know more, as I mentioned, please check out the show notes. That’s what you’ll find the latest on the free downloads masterclasses workshops. And of course, That link to book a call. If you want to chat about story and strategy school. Or if you want to be a private consulting client. Cause I have.

A couple spaces for those coming up.

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