You may consider sending 164 personal emails (each one housing a personal video) in a single day an impossible task, but this is what I did on December 1st 2015 (I Unlove You’s Big Launch Day). It wasn’t nearly as impossible as one might think, but it did require planning, time, and dedication – let alone beginning months in advance.
And this is what I’d like to focus on during today’s post:
- WHY I decided to do this, and why I consider it one of the most important launch ideas I implemented (and there was a lot of ideas!!)
- WHO these personal videos and emails were for
- HOW I actually did – the complete step-by-step breakdown
It all began during the same moment I decided December 1st would be I Unlove You’s Big Day (back in September 2015). But to understand why I did this requires me to whisk you back to the beginning of 2015 when I worked on another book: The Successful Mistake.
You see, in January 2015, I launched a Successful Mistake Crowdpublishing Campaign, which failed rather miserably. It was a tough time, but as I considered what did and didn’t go wrong, I realised one rather important fact:
I HAD BEEN AN IDIOT!
I asked and asked and took and took, expecting those I know to help me. Worst of all, I realised I only spoke to certain people when I needed something from them. Oh yes, somewhere along the way I became that guy 🙁
For instance, whilst writing messages on Facebook, I noticed the last time I messaged certain people (a lot of people), was during Tick to the Tock’s launch period. A disgusting shiver consumed me as I realised I’d become the sort of person who took-took-took, only reaching out to friends and family when I needed their help.
I was ashamed of myself, so I spent much of 2015 trying to better who I was and who I could become; not just creating new friendships and connections, but nurturing my existing ones.
So, although deciding to personally record 150+ personal videos and emailing everyone on a particular day was overwhelming, it was something I felt I needed to do. I wanted to share I Unlove You’s big day with everyone, and the truth is I needed their help to spread the word and get the ball rolling. BUT I didn’t want to be that guy any longer, so I put in the extra leg work.
Because these are human beings we’re talking about, not things for my disposal.
These are my friends and those I know, so why would I wish to treat them like garbage.
Of course, simply sending a video on launch day wasn’t enough, but like I say I spent much of 2015 trying to better nurture my relationships. As such, by the time December 1st came around, I’d spoken to the vast majority of those I emailed in recent months. I asked how they were. I touched base. I offered help. I spoke to them and laughed with them, because these are my friends, after all.
Despite this, I still felt like recording a short personal video was something I HAD TO DO, and I’m so glad I did.
Quite often these blog posts begin with an in-depth peek into why… why I did this… why I chose to do that…
On this occasion the why isn’t hard to understand. I’d become someone I didn’t want to become, so I took a stand and made sure I tried to right a few wrongs. I still need people’s help because I’m a up-and-coming author struggling for each step and success. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to seek help.
I took the wrong route on too many occasions, giving into fear each and every time.
This has to stop, and choosing to record over 150 personal videos and sending a whole host of emails in a single day helped achieve this (at least, I believe it did). But who were these videos and emails for? Well… that’s what we’ll look at now.
WHO I SENT THESE PERSONAL VIDEOS AND EMAILS TO
Over the years I’ve met and befriended a lot of people. Through school, two spells at university, several jobs, 8 summers at YMCA Camp Ernst, rugby, family, drinking sessions, travelling around Australia, and a whole host more, there’s a lot of people in my phonebook, Facebook, and email.
I’ve drifted apart and lost touch with many of these folk, as I’m sure you can appreciate. We can only reserve so much time for so many people, and although I treasure my memories and those who are part of them, I’m not naive enough to think I can remain close to everyone.
It’s part of growing up, I suppose; drifting apart from those you once treasured. Since writing and publishing these books, I’ve found myself lose touch with those I never thought I would, and regain control over relationships I hadn’t previously valued a great deal. it’s strange how life works, but as I often approach my day, I try to focus on Quality instead of Quantity.
And the truth is, I Unlove You wouldn’t bring a great deal of quality in to the lives of many people I know. Other books and projects might, but certain folk weren’t destined to be part of this launch day chaos, and so I didn’t add them to the list. But I did add a lot of people to this list, and they fit into one of three groups:
1: EARLY READERS I APPROACHED
I know a number of avid readers, and between friends, family, reviewers, bloggers, and fellow writers, I soon found myself creating a list of 50+ individuals who I thought might like to be an I Unlove You Early Reader.
I talk about this Beta / Early Reader process in this article, so I won’t talk about how I went about doing this here.
But whether or not those I approached could or couldn’t be an early reader (not everyone could because… #life), I value these awesome folk as avid readers who I feel don’t only have my back and want to see me succeed, but will actually take great value from a book like I Unlove You.
They may not be able to read it now, but maybe in a few weeks they can…
These kind folk are my friends and family and peers, and so it took me all but five seconds to decide I’d send a personal video and email to everyone who I asked to be an early reader.
I thanked them. I asked them if they’d help. I asked them how they were. I invited them to celebrate this book with me. Best of all, it sparked many great conversations on the big day, but we’ll get back to that during the How.
2: EARLY READERS WHO SIGNED UP
As well as inviting those I know to become an early reader, I opened this process up to those in my email list, social media accounts, etc…
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t expect many people to fill in the form, but quite a few did.
I’m blessed to have folk like this support me, as these are the individuals who drive everything forward. Again, it took all but five seconds to decide these amazing peeps deserved a personal video and email from me. Again, I thanked them. I asked them how they are. I invited them to spark a conversation with me, and tell me about what they did and didn’t like about the book.
Had I personally emailed all those I know and forgot about this group of people… how could I possibly do that?
I’d once again become that guy, so dedicating a few minutes to these fine individuals is time well spent, if you ask me.
3: THOSE I KNOW WHO I FELT MIGHT VALUE I UNLOVE YOU
Finally, I found myself creating a long list of people who I didn’t think would want to be an early reader, but still be involved in some shape or form.
These are my friends who aren’t avid readers, family members, entrepreneurs I’m close with, clients, and folk who simply have my back.
They want to help me and see me succeed, and therefore are happy to help spread the good word so long as I take the time and attention to actually give a damn… put them first… not simply spam them and throw empty messages their way.
Not everyone I know will want to read my novels. It doesn’t mean we can’t be friends, and it also doesn’t mean they won’t help me (because they may know someone who would love a book like I Unlove You). But these were the people I previously let down.
I offered them no value, simply took-took-took from them, and ruined a few friendships along the way. Whereas taking the time to personally message them, say hello, ask how they are, and ask them to help in a humane way… well, I found things worked much better.
Which brings us to HOW I went about recording these videos, sending these emails, and doing it in a manner that didn’t drive me insane….
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW HOW I DID ALL OF THIS?
If you’re a writer or curious reader, you may like to know HOW I did all of this. I’m happy to share the complete step-by-step process with you, but rather than add everything into this post, I created a separate PDF for you.
No need to sign up or add your email. Just click the button below and you’ll get instant access to it. Enjoy.
BRING MEANING INTO THE MESSAGES YOU SEND
Sending 100… 150… 250… 500 personal videos and emails doesn’t have to be nearly as impossible as you might suspect. The key, of course, is to not look at it as sending them all in one day, rather preparing yourself months in advance.
I believe this helps keep focus too, and I certainly found myself spending each day (even all the way back in October) focussing on I Unlove You’s launch. It helped me remember what all the marketing and preparation is for, and at the same time, helped me peek into a loved one’s life.
Even for a second, I pictured said person, thought about them, and appreciated our friendship and connection.
It’s easy to lose yourself when life spins around you, but a process like this helps keep you centred and valuing your relationships. Although this was in aid of a Book Launch, I think it’s an exercise we can all take something from in all forms of life (business or personal).
And I chose to turn towards video, but you can achieve the same with email or Facebook or a phone call. The point is to be present and to do everything you can to not become that guy. Trust me when I say, it isn’t fun. But I also believe it’s this that helped me appreciate where I’m going.
And so this is how I personally emailed and messaged 164 friends in a single day.
More important, I hope you now appreciate why I did it.
And please let me know your own thoughts, as I’d love to hear what you think about this. If you have any questions, ask away and connect with me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER. And if you’ve yet to downloads your free copy of I Unlove You, please consider doing so. Who knows, it could be your next fave book 🙂
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