If you’re into giving out your email address for everything that looks appealing or helpful like I am then you can blame Jeff Walker. He’s the internet marketing professor to the masses.
His system Product Launch Formula has fueled over $400 million in on-line purchases. He’s made over $20 Million from selling the system.
Is the system a scam?
Does he make promises that he can’t deliver on?
Here’s the good and the bad of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula.
1. Jeff simplifies internet marketing
Jeff created a system that connects consumers who need help with marketers who can help them. In order to build trust with consumers marketers give potential buyers three free videos that peak the consumer’s interest and should stand alone in adding value. They’re not supposed to be a bait and switch but some use them that way. Some abuse Jeff’s system and offer three videos that offer very little actual value. The three videos combined with very specific email follow up makes up the majority of the system. It’s doable if you’re willing to learn it.
2. Jeff understands human behavior
Remember when we used to click on banner ads? Jeff Walker has created a system that works because he understands human behavior. Good for him. Every purchase is based on trust. The videos build trust with the consumer and Jeff knows that. He also knows that we need to be reminded to buy so that’s where the emails come in.
Consumers respond to scarcity so he teaches people how to make digital assets scarce to drive up demand. Some consider that manipulation but if what you’re selling really does help people then anything you can do to encourage them to buy is a good thing.
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3. The cost of Jeff’s formula is around $2,000
Yes, that’s good news. $2,000 is a lot of money but if you pay $2,000 to learn how to make $20,000 then that’s a good deal. We don’t hesitate to send our kids to college for $80,000 but we think a marketer is scamming people because they charge $2,000 for a set of videos. I think Jeff’s course is priced appropriately if (and it’s a big if) you’ve got expertise, an audience, a team to help you execute the launch, and a great product.
The Bad News:
1. Jeff’s system is saturating the market
Consumers are going to stop opting in to these videos. Even if they trust the teacher and the content is helpful consumers are going to grow weary of this product funnel. I don’t blame Jeff for that. That’s like complaining that Apple is selling too many iPhones. That’s their job.
2. People believe Jeff’s system is all they need to succeed
Even Jeff Walker doesn’t believe his system is all you need to succeed. It’s a way to monetize a lot of hard work. He’s said himself that the key to success is hard work and patience. In his words, “I think a big part of it is the ability to delay gratification — being willing to put in the work now knowing it’s not going to pay off for three months or six months or two years.” (original article)
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3. Jeff’s system will not work for many people
Systems don’t work until you put them into place and implement. It’s not sexy (or good marketing) to say that something is a lot of work but implementing Jeff’s system is a lot of work. It’s worth it, but it’s a lot of work. It will teach you how to put your well-made product in front of people by being generous.
You still have to have a great product and get it in front of people. Those aren’t small things. Producing great products happens after you have spent time learning. Experts create great resources.
Is Jeff Walker (and his system) legitimate?
I’ve never spoken to Jeff but I have some good friends that know him personally. I trust their recommendations. They trust him so I trust him.
Jeff’s system is legitimate and it can be done with excellence. The best current example of an expert utilizing Jeff’s system is Michael Hyatt. Why is Mike doing it right while so many others struggle to find traction using the system?
- He spent years becoming an expert. Mike only teaches on things he’s had success at.
- He has a team helping him. Jeff’s system has a lot of moving parts and Mike was smart enough to hire the right people to help him implement the system.
- He adds value even if you don’t buy anything. Mike’s video series has incredible value. You’ll learn from it and you’ll be impressed by its quality.
- He personalizes the experience. The most dangerous thing you can do when you buy a system is not personalize it. If you don’t your customers will know that you’re just plugging in the pieces, hoping the equation works out. You have to add your own personality to the process.
- He uses scarcity in a legitimate way. This is a nuanced element of Jeff Walker’s system but you can create scarcity and drive consumer behavior by opening and closing the purchase window. Mike does this in a legitimate way. When he closes the door it’s really closed. He does this with his on-line community Platform University and he’s doing with his latest project Best Year Ever. Some use it as a tactic but don’t really close the buying window. Mike closes the purchasing window and keeps it locked.
- He doesn’t sell often. You can read Mike’s blog and follow him on Twitter to gain a ton of great wisdom. That’s all free. You can buy his book for $10 on Amazon. That’s cheap. Most of Mike’s content is free. He’s not selling every time you open an email from him. He’s generous and that makes buying from him easier.
- He’s tested it. Mike has learned to make changes to the system based on the preferences of his audience. He’s made the system work for his audience and his team.
This is all on my mind because I’m working with Michael, Jon Acuff and Dan Miller to promote Michael’s Best Year Ever course. If you’d like to see an example of great pre-launch videos while learning a lot at the same time then check this out.
If you’d like to join me and Michael, along with our friend Dan Miller for a video chat next Wednesday when we talk about the Best Year Ever course you can register for that by going here.