What is a launch?
A launch is simply a sequence of events that introduces a product or service to an audience, and makes it available for sale.
Launches can occur in many forms: a grand opening of a business, a new model year for a car manufacturer and the release of a blockbuster movie or video game are all examples of launches.
What they all have in common is a series of educational marketing messages, leading up to inviting the customer to purchase the product or service.
What are the main events in a launch?
The process is pretty simple. A company will share free information with potential customers, showing them how their product or service will solve a problem for them.
This is called the pre-launch period.
Then, the company will offer the product to the customer by opening registration, usually with attractive bonuses — and perhaps an introductory price — for a limited time. Finally, when the company closes registration 5-10 days later, it marks the end of the launch.
What is the pre-launch all about?
You’ve probably experienced the pre-launch of a movie: for months or even years, you’ll hear all about how it’s being made, who’s starring in it, and when it will be available in theaters or on TV. That build up is the pre-launch for that movie.
The VOHeroes pre-launch is a lot more compact.
Over the course of a week or so, we present a series of very useful lessons in a free course, separate from the courses in the main curriculum, that offers training in some aspect of voice over. We make sure these free lessons solve a specific problem currently facing the group of customers we want to reach.
(In 2020, it’s all about working from home, and how you can do that successfully as a voice over talent.)
Affiliate Partners like you play a key role during that week, messaging your audience about the free lessons.
After we present these lessons online to potential customers, we then open registration for the complete award-winning VOHeroes Pro curriculum we offer that will help the customer achieve all of their voice over training goals. We include special bonuses with that offer that will no longer be available once registation ends.
Then we close registration, and start teaching the students who have registered. That process also takes about a week.
What do you offer during a launch that you don’t offer during the rest of the year?
We offer bonuses that include private coaching, free software, the same voice over equipment David uses in his home studio and much more.
How long does a launch run for?
Usually, from the beginning of the pre-launch lessons to the end of the registration period, it’s about 3 weeks for VOHeroes launches. But other launches can and do vary.
What are the dates of your VOHeroes 2020 launch?
All of the dates are available on the CALENDAR AND SAMPLES page, but the pre-launch begins on August 29, and the registration will open on September 6 and close on September 13.
What is an Affiliate Partner?
An Affiliate Partner (that’s you!) is someone who has a following or audience that could benefit from what another company’s product or service has to offer, and they happily and enthusiastically message their audience about the product.
Usually, that product isn’t something the Affiliate Partner offers themselves.
As their audience members purchase the product, the Affiliate Partner is given a commission on each purchase. For the launch of the VOHeroes Pro VO Training program, our Affiliate Partners are paid at least $500 for each sale.
But in the case of VOHeroes, it’s more than just money. We want to work with people who share our vision of empowering actors to find success in voice over, one of the easiest ways to find opportunities to work in performance.
Who can be an Affiliate Partner?
Anyone who has an audience, followers, are influencers, teachers, enthusiasts…anyone. And we look for people in particular who want to be change agents in their audience members’ lives, helping them achieve success in voice over.
And Affiliate Partners can pick and choose from hundreds of products and services that would be useful to that audience, that are of high quality, are useful to their audience and are complementary to what the Affiliate Partner has to offer themselves.
As an example, one of our Affiliate Partners teaches voice talent how to take care of their voices, maximizing their vocal health with natural practices and products. As a complement to what she offers, she partners with us during our launches, informing her followers about VOHeroes to help them with the development of their VO career.
Are there conflicts that might prevent me from being an Affiliate Partner?
There are no legal conflicts, but if you feel you can’t message your audience about other offerings than your own, or if you just aren’t comfortable with (or don’t like) marketing, or you don’t like to be compensated for saying nice things about someone else’s offering, then being a partner might not be for you.
Affiliate marketing has a negative reputation for some, because the Internet is filled with people who promise things that their product or service simply can’t deliver.
We’re not like that. For over a decade, we’ve been helping our clients find success. And our Affiliate Partners aren’t like that. We prefer making an impact in the lives of our customers, but we know it’s also up to them to engage in what we teach. We make no promises of overnight success, and we make it very clear that there are no guarantees in the world of performance.
And all of our Affiliate Partners deliver our message with no promises or guarantees.
How much time will being a VOHeroes Affiliate Partner take?
It depends on how quickly and painlessly you compose and send emails, post on social media, or organize and conduct a live event or podcast episode. On average, when David acts as an Affiliate Partner for his colleagues, he’ll spend about 20-30 minutes a day during the course of the launch preparing his messaging and sending it to his audience.
Your mileage may vary. But…it’s not a full time job at all.
What is a referral?
A referral is the term used anytime one of the Affiliate Partner’s followers decides to join the audience of the company whose product they are promoting. That person is a referral. And you use a unique referral link to send them our way (more on that in a moment).
For example, if you message your audience about our free course, and one of your audience members signs up to watch during our pre-launch, that person is a referral from you to us.
Note that they haven’t purchased anything. They’re just doing a little window-shopping.
What is a referral link, and why is it unique?
A referral link is a special web link, unique to each Affiliate Partner, so we can keep track of which of our Affiliate Partners has sent us a referral, and know how many they have sent.
When a Partner’s audience members see that unique referral link in an email, in a social media post or on their screen and click on it, they’ll end up seeing our free class just like everyone else, but our affiliate management system will know it’s from that particular Affiliate Partner.
Where do I find my unique referral link?
When you applied for our affiliate program (run by our friends at SamCart), you filled out a form letting us know who you are and how we can contact you.
When we approved you, our affiliate program assigned you your unique affiliate link. You can find it by clicking here, or by clicking on the DASHBOARD LOGIN link on the menu at the top of this page.
When you get that dashboard, scroll down to the LINKS section, and you’ll see this:
Copy and paste that link into your messaging whenever you send your follower our way.
And don’t worry…that link will remain the same for the entire launch, so you can keep pasting it in the same way, every time you message your audience.
I made you a video that shows you how to locate your affiliate link (to go full screen, roll over the bottom of the video and click on the four-cornered icon to the right):
How do I test that referrals are being properly credited to my affiliate link?
To show you how to test that when someone clicks on your affiliate link, you get proper credit, I made you this how-to video (you can go full screen with this video):
I’m familiar with the WordPress Redirection plugin, and link shorteners like bitly and tinyurl. Do you mind if I use those to make my referral link shorter and easier to read?
We’d love it if you did, because it will increase your engagement. David really prefers the Redirection plugin, but it can only be used if you have a WordPress site.
You can turn a no-so-easy-to-say-or-copy-down link like this:
into something like this:
bit.ly/voheroes2020 (if your choice is available)
Go for it!
How does your affiliate program know I’m the one who sent you a referral?
First, we know because we can tell what link someone clicked to visit us. We compare that link to our list of Affiliate Partners, and we can see it’s from you.
But more importantly, our system places a cookie in the browser of your audience member (with their permission). That cookie lets us know whenever they come back to us that they came from you.
Of course, audiences are often shared among Partners, especially if they are in related fields, like the performing arts. If an audience member who has already been assigned to you then clicks on an affiliate link from another Affiliate Partner supporting our launch, they will be reassigned to them. That’s why it’s important to stay in touch with audience members throughout the launch process, and encourage them to visit us via your link.
(And the reverse is also true – if someone is sent to us by another Affiliate Partner, but then they click on your link after that, they’ll be reassigned to you.)
What is a conversion?
That’s the term that’s used when a referral becomes a customer, and buys the product or service being offered.
If a referral never buys that product, they remain a referral, and no money changes hands between the company and the Affiliate Partner (because no sale was made).
But if, in our case, a referral watches our free training and then decides to purchase the VOHeroes training package, that referral then becomes a conversion (they “converted” from someone just window-shopping to someone who went in and bought what was in the window), and you’re credited with the commission due on that purchase.
How can I track both my referrals and conversions?
If you click on the link in the menu at the top of this page, and visit your DASHBOARD LOGIN over at SamCart, you’ll see a number of things being counted.
You’ll see clicks, which is the number of times your referral link has been clicked on. This roughly translates to referrals.
You’ll see conversions, which is the number of referrals that have purchased from us.
And you’ll see other items, like conversion percentage, commission totals, payments to you and more.
What if I don’t generate any interest?
We take a great deal of pride in only inviting people we know align with our mission, our values and our content. Even the Affiliate Partners with the smallest followings (like, fewer than 25 followers or email list members) generate some amount of interest. In fact, one of our top affiliates in 2019 got 5 conversions from a list of only 44 people.
And she did it because she spoke from the heart, related her experience with VOHeroes and what we had to offer, then told her followers that we could help them create a satisfying, successful and profitable VO career.
And she messaged them throughout the launch with different aspects of that story. Because she is authentic, believable, and takes terrific care of her followers in her own offerings (she helps actors with their social media brands), they trusted her and have been happy VOHeroes ever since.
What does a home run look like when you’re an Affiliate Partner?
It’s all about focusing on being of service, not sales. Even if you don’t achieve any sales on our behalf, you’ll find that when you can create change in someone’s life, you’ll benefit in the long run.
Of course, it’s usually better for your conversion stats and your sales if you take the path we lay out for you, and message your followers on the days during the launch that we suggest. Across three weeks, that’s a total of 8 messaging opportunities, including the 3 pre-launch lessons, and 5 messages during registration week.
For some, that’s an easy task. For others, not so much.
And you also want to strongly consider doing some combination of email, social media, live event, podcast, blog post, video or whatever you prefer.
But no matter what you decide, a home run for us is you being of service to YOUR audience, and we want to do the same. We don’t want you to promote us just to make some money; we want you to promote us because we can create change and make impact in an actor’s life.
That’s a home run for us.
What kinds of bonuses can I offer my audience in addition to the bonuses you’re offering?
Affiliate Partners have been really creative over the last decade with this. In addition to linking to our free courses and to the registration when it opens, they’ve offered things like:
- A free hour of private coaching in the Affiliate Partner’s field
- A personal social media audit with suggestions on improvements
- An eBook that was filled with useful calming techniques
- An infographic that showed them how to soundproof a closet
- A group weekend with other converted referrals from their list
- And more
The only thing we require you not to do is to offer any sort of discount on our training, or the sharing of your commission with your audience member who purchases from us.
Other than that, your bonus(es) can be anything, as long as they are useful and impactful. That’s the sort of bonus that makes a difference in someone’s life. But then…you already knew that.
Will you promote me as one of your Affiliate Partners?
Whenever and wherever we can. Just tag us.
If you make us aware of a post, we’ll go like it and share it. If you mention us in a tweet, we’ll re-tweet it. If you send an email to your audience that asks them to give us a shout out in the comments below the lesson video, we’ll like, share, heart, thumbs up and whatever’s available on that channel, to spread the word that you think we’re worth supporting.
I have a colleague who would be great at this. How can they sign up to be a VOHeroes Affiliate Partner?
Have them email David at [email protected] Be sure they mention you. We want to make sure that all of our Affiliate Partners are of service and are…like you!
Would you be an Affiliate Partner for my launch?
David LOVES partnering for his VOHeroes partners, and the way we judge our potential partners is exactly the same criteria he uses to decide to partner with them. Get in touch and ask!
What does it cost to be an Affiliate Partner?
It’s absolutely free. We don’t charge anything to be an Affiliate Partner. You do have to give us a W-9 (or the equivalent if you’re outside the US), so we can pay you.
What is the commission per conversion for this launch?
You receive $500 for each conversion. It’s simple. Kinda.
We limit you to only 5 conversions at that commission. No more than that. Nope. Don’t ask. No exceptions. No special deals. Not even for you. We refuse to pay you $500 for anything beyond 5 sales.
But there’s a good reason for that.
It’s because your 6th conversion is worth $750. As is your 7th, 8th, 9th and beyond.
But it gets even better.
The moment you get your 6th conversion, each and every one of your conversions are then worth $750. Including those first 5. That’s right. No more $500 each for you. No way. We insist on increasing your commission for ALL of your conversions by 50%.
So, here’s a simple chart of the amounts you can receive:
- 1 conversion = $500 (1 x $500)
- 2 conversions = $1,000 (2 x $500)
- 3 conversions = $1,500 (3 x $500)
- 4 conversions = $2,000 (4 x $500)
- 5 conversions = $2,500 (5 x $500)
- 6 conversions = $4,500 (6 x $750)
- 7 conversions = $5,250 (7 x $750)
- 8 conversions = $6,000 (8 x $750)
- 9 conversions = $6,750 (9 x $750)
- 10 conversions = $7,500 (10 x $750)
- 15 conversions = $11,250 (15 x $750)
- 20 conversions = $15,000 (20 x $750)
- 50 conversions = $37,500 (50 x $750)
- 100 conversions = $75,000 (100 x $750)
…and so on.
We love paying out $750 instead of $500 per conversion. We hope we can do that for you.
Aside from commissions, are there other ways to make money as an Affiliate Partner?
C’mon…you think that commissions are all we can dream up?
We’ve got much more in store than that.
We’ll be holding special pop-up contests with money awarded during the launch, and we’ll be offering prize money for the top performers.
I heard there were prizes, too. Is that true?
Yep. Our grand prize is the brand new Apple MacBook Pro for 2020. We’re really excited to get that into the hands of the best performing Affiliate Partner.
And if there’s a tie (like there was two years ago), both Partners will get one.
Can I use part of my commission to offer a discount to my audience members?
No. As we said earlier, that’s the one thing we don’t allow. We want a level playing field for everyone, and we don’t want anyone discounting a premium offering.
When do Affiliate Partners get paid?
Once we tally up the final results after the end of the launch, Affiliate Partners who have earned a commission will be paid that commission, as well as any prize money, and will receive any merchandise they may have been awarded, within 10 business days.
We reserve the right to wait until a piece of merchandise is available, should it be out of stock during that period.
What if someone I refer to you asks for a refund? Do I have to give you back the commission on that sale?
Actually, that’s never happened. Ever.
We have a very clear no-refund policy on purchases of our curriculum, as students get access to the entire package all at once. It’s as simple as that.
And there’s something else that’s really interesting about this policy: no one’s ever asked us for a refund. I’m sure it will happen someday, and we’ll point out the policy to them. But…it’s never happened. Make of that what you will.
(We think it’s because we are agents for change, and attract the best talent in the universe as students. But that’s just us.)
What if I don’t have a large mailing list?
That’s OK. You can be effective with a tiny list if they are truly fans. Or no list at all, if you’re totally active on social media, or you are a champ at holding a webinar or a Facebook Live.
It’s true that an entrepreneur’s number one job is to have a channel to connect with their audience, and that in most cases, email far and away outpaces any other channel.
But it’s not a deal killer if you don’t have thousands of email list subscribers.
Do I need to use one of those email services, like Aweber, MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, or can I just email my contacts directly?
You can email your contacts directly (don’t put them all in the TO box, OK? BCC is the way to go), but you’ll find that it’s easier to manage the whole process if you use an email list management service. David adores Aweber and uses it for all of his email marketing.
What if I don’t know what to write to my audience?
We have faith in you. You’re an artist.
Take a deep breath, return to home base, and remember to be of service. Tell a story about your relationship with voice over, David, VOHeroes (or VO2GoGo before that) or your struggle to work from home. These are universal themes that can be the bases for powerful storytelling.
We also have some inspiration for you in the form of swipe files. We’ll tell you what those are in an upcoming question.
How long should the emails I send out be?
My friend Jeff Walker has the perfect answer for this: your messaging should be no longer or shorter than necessary.
On average, a few short paragraphs telling your story or describing a problem your follower might have, and how we can help solve it, with your affiliate link in there, is plenty. And if you tell your story from the heart, you’ll find your writing will be just right.
Where can I find examples of the kinds of emails to send out?
We’ve got you covered. We’ve been collecting all of the emails that David has sent over the years as an Affiliate Partner himself, edited their content for this year’s launch, and have placed them in swipe files that will be posted during the launch.
We’ll have new swipe files for each big day in the launch: the three free lessons during pre-launch, and peppered throughout the registration week that follows. They will appear a few days before the date they should be sent on the CALENDAR AND SAMPLES page of this Back Office.
What is a swipe file?
A swipe file is a collection of examples of marketing copy that has been tested and works, that you can use as inspiration for your own messaging. Sample emails, posts, tweets, even Instagram copy with all its emojis.
How do I use the copy examples you provide in your swipe files?
You could just copy and paste them into an email or post and send them off to your audience.
But we suggest something better.
Use them as inspiration. Copy and paste them into a blank text field, then change them to suit your needs. Tell the story that’s the theme of the sample email, but tell it your way.
Start changing around the words and editing the flow to match your authentic writing voice. Rewrite it your way, but…
…don’t forget to include your referral link. (Don’t laugh. That’s been forgotten in the past.)
Again, we’ll have new swipe files for each big day in the launch: the three free lessons during pre-launch, and peppered throughout the registration week that follows. They will appear a few days before the date they should be sent on the Calendar page of this Back Office.
When exactly during the launch do I email my audience members?
There are 8 suggested days within the launch that you should message your audience, either via email, social media or both.
And you aren’t required to do this, but the message gets read if you do. Those days are:
- First free lesson
- Second free lesson
- Third free lesson
- Registration opening day
- Early action bonus deadline day
- Whatever day you hold a live event (if you do)
- The day before registration closes
- The day registration closes
Again, this is suggested based on past performance. You should do what you’re comfortable with.
And you should also read the FAQ regarding unsubscribes below.
What time of day works best to mail?
There are a lot of very smart people who completely disagree on the answer to this question, and it’s hard to pin down as people consume their email in different ways at different times of the day and week.
David prefers to have email waiting for the follower in the morning when they wake up, but is also known to email about certain events in the early afternoon.
And the final day of registration, he emails 3 times in one day.
But remember…if you’re being of service, and giving useful information and frames of reference throughout the process, and your followers trust you, they are more likely to want to hear from you, no matter what time of day you land in their inbox.
Won’t audience members unsubscribe if I email too often?
Yes. Some of them absolutely will. Heck, they’ll unsubscribe even if you don’t email them ever!
And do you know what else might happen?
You might gain subscribers as your current followers forward your message to their friends. That’s what happened to David’s number one affiliate a few years ago. She called him, amazed that she actually gained subscribers during that year’s launch.
Again, it’s all about being of service. If someone feels they are simply being used as a potential wallet that can be pried open, you’re going to see them leave. But if you’re of service and you write and post to them with their benefit in mind, amazing things can and do happen.
I just don’t feel comfortable emailing that often. Can I send fewer emails and still participate?
Absolutely. Again, we fully expect you to do what you feel most comfortable doing. We also hope you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
If I’m already emailing my audience members, am I allowed to also use social media to support your launch?
Of course. You want to support your email messaging with social media “look in your inbox” messages, or hints at what they’ll find when they do.
It’s not one or the other. And for all the major social media networks, we have content in the swipe files for each event day of the launch.
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on Facebook?
Certainly. Posting to your timeline, adding a quick video or image, or any of the other myriad ways you have of posting on your own profiles, pages and in your own groups…go for it.
What about posting in groups I’m a member of on Facebook?
I would be very careful about that. If you are clear that the group owner is OK with you doing so, great. David is a member of a number of very supportive groups that have actually asked him to post information about his launches in their groups.
But only do it if you have their permission – and you’re being of service to their members.
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on Twitter?
Tweet away. Videos up to 2 minutes are extraordinarily effective, making sure to place your referral link in the body of the tweet.
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on Instagram?
Go for it. Remember that IG loves square videos, photos that tell a story and emojis in your post.
And be sure to put your referral link in your IG bio so people can click on it (they can’t click on anything else except ads), and refer to the fact that the link is there in your posts and stories (thanks to Stina for these strategies and tactics!).
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on YouTube?
Oh, gosh yes. YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world, and making a video for your YT followers is an excellent way to connect (and tell your story live on camera).
Your referral link should be shown on screen if you can add a title to your video, and you should also put it in the “show notes” below your video.
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on Pinterest?
Yes. David uses Pinterest for what he calls “microphone p0rn” images. He’s a huge fan of certain mics, and loves the vintage look of antiques. And that becomes a springboard to talk about VO.
Create a board for the launch, and keep your followers posted on how the free lessons progress.
Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on other social networks?
If they allow it, please do. Just be sure not to spam boards, discussions, threads or groups, and stay within all terms of service listings.
Can I purchase advertising on social media to promote the VOHeroes launch?
You can, but you do so out of your own pocket, and we need to review and approve any ads you want to run.
It’s an advanced strategy, so please don’t do it if you aren’t totally comfortable with how ads work and are optimized.
Will you also provide swipe files for social media posts?
You bet. Watch the space below each big milestone on the CALENDAR AND SAMPLES page during the launch. They will appear there several days before they are needed so you can plan your messaging ahead of time.
Can I have David as a guest for a Zoom, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube Live event during the launch?
Subject to his availability, yes. He’s done as many as 25 live events in one launch, so he’s willing to do so. Just pop him an email using the Support and Help link on the menu at the top of the page.
How can I maximize a Zoom or Live event?
Here are some things that work well:
- Message them with direct links to the scheduled event.
- Remind your audience about an hour before you’re going live.
- Have a theme for the event around solving a problem.
- Engage your audience with questions.
- Monitor the comments. Place them on the screen if your software allows it.
- Don’t spend a lot of time waiting for people to show up.
- Say hello and get started.
- Ask for shares and likes several times throughout the event to draw more people live.
- Create a PowerPoint deck with the points you want to make and share your screen.
- Use software like eCamm Live or StreamYard to up your video presentation look and sound.
- Be sure to have your referral link handy and show it often.
- Leave plenty of time for questions.
- Offer a special bonus if your followers sign up before the end of the day via your link.
- Place your referral link in the description of your Facebook Live or YouTube Live posting.
Is there software or are there online services that you recommend for running a live event?
Zoom, of course, because Zoom, especially if you want to keep things just to your followers.
For public Lives on Facebook and YouTube, David really loves eCamm Live – it’s for Macintosh only, but it’s amazingly well done.
Third place goes to StreamYard for a lesser known network, but with rock solid software. And if you have to, BeLive.TV. If you have to.
I have a podcast. Can I promote the VOHeroes launch on that, and possibly have David on as a guest?
That would be an extraordinarily creative thing to do, that no one has asked about, ever. So it’s a sneaky very-infrequently-asked-question that was slipped into this FAQ at the last minute by some hooligans in the neighborhood.
Do it, and produce it ahead of the launch, positioning its release either the day of the registration opening on September 6th, or a few days before registration closes.