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Your Newest Launch Strategy: Hosting Hot Seats And Having Fun

If you're tired of following 'typical' launch plans, creating slide decks for webinars or just done with feeling like you have to show up as a "Serious Smart and Fancy Person" to sell your offer, this is the episode for you.

Listen to Hillary Weiss and I talk about having more fun with your launches, and why Hot Seats may be the thing that makes you (and the people you want to work with) love launching again.



We talked about...

  • how Hillary incorporates fun into her launches and breaks the typical, super-serious launch strategies
  • what people can do to make their launches more fun
  • repurposing launch content by swapping out the stories
  • choosing seemingly unconnected funny stories to make your launch more playful
  • Hillary's story of stumbling into hot seats and her initial takeaways
  • who might benefit from running Hot Seats for their launch or in their business
  • the truth about what makes hot seats so successful for the host and for the attendees
  • why hot seats are an amazingly easy alternatives to webinars

Things mentioned in this episode

Visit Hillary Weiss' website here: https://hillaryweiss.com/

Check out Hillary's program, Hot Seat Beast

Learn more about Hillary Weiss

Hillary Weiss is a creative director, positioning coach, and founder of Statement Piece Studio @hillaryweiss.com. She’s also the co-host of the cult-favorite Youtube marketing talk show Hillary and Margo Yell at Websites (#HAMYAW). Wanna know more? Catch her riffs on all of the above on her blog, or say whaddaaap! to her on Twitter @hcweiss

In this episode of The Launch Playbook Podcast, learn where service pages go wrong, what makes an effective VIP Day service page, and 5 steps to follow to write an irresistible service page that sells your VIP Day offer. 


Read the full transcript so you don't miss a thing

Sara: Hey, I'm welcoming Hillary Weiss. She's a creative director, positioning coach and founder of statement peace studio. And I've been working with Hillary YouTube for the past few months on my rebrand positioning, and I leave every session with her full of fire possibility, and a whole heck of a lot more clarity. So this episode is for you, if you are so tired of following the webinar launch model, because Hillary is going to share a different way to launch and maybe he also really want to have more fun in your launches in general, because we can have like super serious goals for money for it numbers and all that we don't need to burn out or hate the process to get there.

Well, friends, consider this show your secret playbook to get you there. I'm gonna get Hillary to tell us a little bit about her business and how she got to where she is.

Hillary: Amazing intro I'm so honored to be a part I just be interviewed by you in here on this amazing podcast. So thank you so much for having me. Thank you for me here. So I got my start in the business in 2011. So we're coming up around 10 years 10, which is amazing. And I'm thrilled. But for about nine of those 10 years, I was a copywriter and I had a blast doing it. It was incredible. I was so honored to work with such amazing brands, I was working in the creative and coaching space I was working with just like such awesome business owners.

And I was like, I can't believe this is my life business. But at some point, I looked around and realized that I was a big part of what I was doing was not just the copy, but also the strategy portion. It was creative direction, it was brand strategy, it was positioning, and I was helping people update their offers as we went and refine their whole approach to business just accidentally just through the conversations we were having. Because you can't really do as you know, write copy without or do launches without getting in getting your hands dirty on the internal engine of the business. So it was just a real, it was such something so much fun that I enjoyed. So I started looking around and I was like, oh, maybe I want to move out of the copywriting space and start doing more of this on purpose. So that's the creative direction.

The brand strategy I was did messaging strategy for a while. And then finally positioning coaching, which I've been doing for the past coming up on a year and a half now, which has been cool. So power position is the experience. And I love Sara as an amazing client, and we're having the best time. But what brings me the most joy about what I do is I essentially kind of roll up my sleeves with creative business owners who are really great at what they do, who are making solid money.

But there's just one thing missing. They're not in control of their own business and brand. There's a ton of client work coming in, but they're not showing up for themselves. They're not creating for themselves. So they were thinking about maybe doing a course one day, but it hasn't happened they want to have a following on Instagram or following on their blog, it hasn't happened. They want to charge more or create premium prices. That hasn't happened because it's really hard when you're in your business every single day. And I can see the forest for the trees.

The metaphor I used the other day, which I will use here was you remember those big boxy televisions from the 90s where you had like the round screen and every time you flip it on, like your brain short circuit and you heard this like we and the hair on your arm stood up. Yeah, so it's like the static electricity. And so when I was a kid, I was like fascinated by what would happen if I like put my face on.

Because I just couldn't believe it. But it was like all these little green and pink and yellow and like red blue dots, making these pictures. But I think about that as a metaphor for business. Because when you're in your business everyday, you're Your face is smashed up against the screen. So all you can see are the little green, pink, yellow, blue red dots. So part of what I do is rolling up my sleeves and really helping clients zoom out and see what is your specialty.

What do you do so well? What is the framework? What is the how behind how you do it? What's the big idea that's governing everything that you're creating? Because there's always one, you know, there's that consistent theme. Everyone thinks they're a special snowflake business owner, and it can't possibly be true. But I have 100% success rate finding that shit, so stuck on that doubters. But no, no guys watch me totally like bungle. Now, excuse me, let me not Jinx myself. But that is the joy of what I do in my positioning coaching in the creative direction work that I do. It's really getting down into the core to create a spinal cord for the business to have that clear specialty, that clear framework, that clear big idea.

So then everything else the packages, the content, the visibility strategies, the topics you love talking about all that comes from that because when you're clear in your positioning, you're much more likely to show up because you know what you're going to talk about that day, you've got something exciting to bring to the table and you've got these categories based on your framework that you love discussing. And your approach is built into everything that you do. So you feel confident on sales calls, charging top dollar, all of these fabulous things. So that's what I do and it's my joy and at the moment I would qualify it as my life's work.

Sara: I love all of that. And I want to say like before we dive into the what we're actually going to talk about, too, is that working with Hillary just the past, I think it's just been since January, already, like we're working on my framework we're going through, and it's getting more and more clear every single time. But already, my proposals have gotten tighter, because I know what I'm saying, actually hired some to help me to do some social media copy for myself, and I had viewpoints to share. 

Hillary: Yes, you do. They are there. And now that I've done a couple mastermind presentations for people, and again, like I can see the work that we're doing the framework and certain pieces like coming out, it's so much easier to write that presentation. Awesome. So you just tell you, I am someone who usually takes a week, I could take longer to do your presentation, I find like really stressful. But I did that thing like the night before. Because it's grounded in what you're already doing. And because your face is no longer smooshed up against the screen, you can back up and be like, Oh, it's an episode of friends. Like, how about that. So it's easier to see because you have someone it's my mentor talks about the Sarah ashmit is like branding and positioning and stuff being like a mirror.

So that's what I liken it to as well, where it's like, oh, you're you've got all the pieces. I'm just here to reflect it back to you so you can see it. Because when you can identify all of a sudden, you're like, Oh my god, I'm so smart. And I have so many amazing insight. So it becomes it becomes less of a panic when you're asked to present something, you're talking about something because you're like, yep, and boy, y'all be blessed to hear what I have to say.

Sara: So, on that note, I met saw Hillary like a year and a half ago at an event and we could still travel. And so over that time, like I'd really want to work with her. So I was watching her creeping following all her stuff consuming it all. And I bought your I think your light lightning. But what I did is I watched you promote your offers a lot via social media on Instagram, what I will, I definitely saw that you had all these important pieces of launching. So like you did your FA Q's, I think we're putting on makeup. But so you're definitely not falling like any typical launch plan or as one of your emails I just read the other day said as like a serious, smart and fancy person. But you're still doing all the important things that we need to do. So tell me how you decide what you'll do to launch? 

Hillary: That's such a good question. And I think that one thing I will share with you is when I'm launching and when I'm showing up to sell so population we sell quarterly every three months. How do you find a new way to talk about something? How do you keep that fresh? How do you keep the excitement for the offer? blessedly, it's really easy for me to be excited about power position, because I love it like it's my bread, my butter, it's my rock and my roll. This is what I love to do. So it's never a chore for me to talk about what I'm excited about and what I enjoy about it. But what's my goal is to keep it fresh and to keep it entertaining. And one of the biggest comments I've ever gotten was actually one of my clients at the start of the most recent launch hit me up on Instagram, she was like, oh, like she saw like the presale notification, like where it's like something's coming on, guess what opens tomorrow. And she was like, it's power position TV.

I can't wait to bench and I was like, Oh my god, people are like enjoying my sales process. And that's that's what I want to create. So I think that I think about I want my launches to be edutainment like I want even if you're not a fit I want for I want you to be able to watch it and get something from it. The reference I will make for this and my source of inspiration. So gentlemen, almost super funny youtuber hilarious lady and I read an interview with her and people were like, how do you figure out how to be funny? Well, how do you like come up with your humor ideas? Is there a formula and she was like, I just tried to make myself laugh. And I was like, that you can do?

That's a strategy. So when I think about launching, and how I come at it, I'm like, Okay, what would I what would be interesting for me, like what do I think would be funny? And personally, I'm a big multitasker. So that what you referenced with me putting on makeup and doing my launch? That was an idea I'd had for a while because I was like okay, so I can multitask. Perfect. This is going to be fine. But it actually happened because I was in the middle of launching and I had an anniversary dinner with my husband. So I was like, okay, we haven't we have 60 minutes on the clock. I have to get both of these things done. Like it's on. It's on and I always wanted to do like makeup tutorials, but I love makeup and I love glamour. And so I just did a makeup tutorial while talking about power position.

And what that I got like my DMS exploded, people were like either like, Oh my god, this is just amazing. Like I loved watching you put on makeup. And I didn't hate you having the sales conversation because you were able to clear you know your stuff. And it was just so entertaining. So people were watching all the way through and watch me put on my makeup. But we're also hearing the sales pitch in the process. But what I was talking about was I was just riffing on like being multi passionate, I had a topic that I thought would be really interesting.

So I just hit record and started putting on my makeup and talking it through. And then at the end, of course, there was the pitch to power position. And I think what that taught me was when every launch, we try to find a fresh angle, every launch, there's like a core message, like right around.

The first time I launched was just like get your brain in order, like get these pieces together because it's how you're going to grow. The second launch was right after, like the summer after COVID like COVID Peak. So at that point, it was like so you've looked around After being trapped in your house for three months, I mean, like, wow, I wish I had taken action on all the things that I could have. But it was easier to take action on those things. But the best time is now, another another launch was. So you're multi passionate and you feel like your brain is a mess, your brain is not a mess, what you need to do is sit down and actually pull out all the pieces together.

So you'll see those core messages threaded through every single launch. And if you look closely, you can see what the message was because we talked about and we touch on it throughout the copy. But what's funny is that we actually repurpose all of our emails all of our posts in some way, every single launch the work never created from scratch. But the story's changed, the angle changes slightly. And that's part of how we do it. And for me, how I come out the launch conversation is yes, the most important thing is that you have the key elements in place, you know, you want to be talking about the author won't be talking about who's four, you want to be talking about like addressing essay FAQs and objections, like all this stuff that you just have to do. But for me, I'm always like, Okay, how do I do this in a way that feels fresh, fun and entertaining?

Because the way most people do, they're on Instagram stories, and they're like, Hello for you to buy my stuff. Because here is what it is. And it's a great offer. And for a limited time you can get this, but what people are really what engages people what grabs people isn't necessarily hearing you recite facts and features or even benefits. They want to see the experience of you. You talk about this stuff. So I always think about is like what am I most excited to talk about today? So I'm thinking about objectives. What's something that I'm like, I'm gonna get you all Without objection, that objection is nonsense. What's something that fires me up in that angle? And if when I'm telling clients stories, that's not just that great results.

Hooray it, can I tell you a wild story about one of my clients like and that that sort of changes the tone of the conversation so that it's not just about information about getting the offer in front of people, it's about creating a an enjoyable experience, just by focusing on when I'm fired up about that day, and what I think is going to be most interesting and what I would like to see, like what's gonna make me laugh, what would make me buy what would engage me, because my, um, a lot like my clients, and I have a lovely client in front of me right now doing a glorious interview. So when I think about my target, like y'all are too smart, for it to be effective for me to be like, Yes, hello. So here are all the features and benefits.

And here's how this works. Like you want to be a big surprise and delight it like you want to see somebody really feeling a vibe and on the offer because my excitement and love for it inspires the same and inspires that confidence. And every time you show up to launch, you're not just selling one product, you're creating a tornado of visibility for clients Past, Present future. So every time I come I rock up to do this, I want to make sure I'm hitting all my notes and that I am creating that sort of sticky information that people remember. Oh, Hillary was doing her makeup and what was that offer? Oh, power position. By the way, immediately after that the next day, it worked. So
well. I did a video talking about client stories while doing my skincare. So highly recommend multitasking. But that is a very long monologue answer.

Sara: I love I love it so much. And there's something I want to dig into to start out with that I think it's over people and lunches and so much of the that again, very serious, like here is my here's like the final and I believe like having a file or things that you want to maybe cover let's say like I want to want to go from here to here and the reason but it's all like very checklist to do heavy and just like a lot of weight. And there's more emphasis on that after experience I find for the customer satisfaction or the client journey afterwards to make them go through and be excited and actually follow through but like that caring about the customer experience like our viewers or people's experience during which is so important. Yep. It's because it's not just about aren't Yeah, like we want to hit those numbers and goals. But we want people to be excited to work with us and help them great but then there's still like the other aspect of like how do it like how do we promote it without it being really like low energy or boring or the same all the time?

Hillary:  Yeah, I think what's interesting is that I do want to stress for people too is that when you're you're doing like your first launch or your first time like there's always that awkwardness. You know, you're getting your sea legs, you're figuring out what feels good and you're following the rules because the rules are good and the rules tend to work but I think that as you and that's how I did power position for a while I was like okay, we got to check all these boxes make sure all this stuff happens.

All right, we got it. But what I think is so was so interesting and worth watching him get really cool. and dare I say pleasurable, while it is an energy suck. It was in that experience of Okay, how can I freestyle on this? Like I know that this where people responded really well to to this conversation around objections, people responded really well to the way I talked about, like I told the client story, for example. So I think that really figuring out like paying close attention to what works and what people respond to. is so so important.

And also the most annoying thing about it is that people are going to respond to the stuff or like this. kind of funny, I'm really tired. I'm just gonna throw that out there. And we'll see what happens. And just some moments where you're starting to freestyle and experiment and take people along for the ride with you. And I think that one of the toughest pieces of the launch experience is imposter syndrome, right?

So you're like, you put the time that first email out there, and then you just clench your butthole. And you're like, boy, I hope someone buys or I was about to be real sad, which is difficult. Nobody wants to be no one wants to put something out there and not have it sell. But it's not a death sentence. You know, it's data. So it's like, Is it the product market fit? Is it this is it that but what I always remind myself and when I try to teach my students and what I try to remind myself is that the opposite of imposter syndrome isn't strategy or calm or even confidence.

So you don't fix imposter syndrome. That way, you don't recover from it, you don't move through it that way. I have this theory that the opposite of imposter syndrome is actually love. So if you focus on what do you love so much about the offer? What are you so excited to bring to the table?

You had a client who had a great experience? What do you love about that story, especially as writers coming at it from that angle, can change the whole experience about how you present the sales conversation? Because you're not just taking boxes and thinking where people find the most valuable? If you're thinking about it from that love perspective, the energy totally changes. And all of a sudden, you're just like, Yes, of course. I want to write this email. Because I'm so excited to share this thing with people I Here we go.

Sara: It's amazing. I like that perspective. A lot. How I think that's true. like going back to that first lunch like we're all gonna like a lot of times we're gonna follow that and sort of formula you know, it works but how can we start How could someone start maybe infusing fun like in that frame, right from that person? 

Hillary: Yes. I think the first thing is to tell fun stories. You know, I'm sure you do this with your clients do where like, you always want to tell everyone to go to the rags to riches route. Everyone's like I was suffering. And now I'm not because I bought this email course or whatever. But I find and this is something that I learned from an email strategies like years ago, it was just like, totally in passing in the copywriter club, but I really took it to heart and she is her name is Sue rice.

And she's like a really well known email copywriter and strategist and she said the stories that do best in launch contacts are seemingly totally unrelated, like funny or interesting stories that you can then tie in. Oh, Stephens tie into the emotional experience, the stuff that's tied into like a personal story, my first email and this latest sequence for my group coaching the thunder collective is about that time my mom made me I was 15 years old. And I had my learner's permit. And it was after a crazy hurricane season in Florida. And like downed power lines everywhere, just madness. My mom was like, here are the keys. We're going to Costco.

Like, why are you trying to kill me? I'm so scared to drive. Because if you know, you get your learner's permit, and you tell all your friends and you show it off. And then I realized I was scared to drive because I had read the handbook I had like, checked all the by like, pass the test. Yay. Then it actually came time to put rubber to the road with all of the other grownups on the road with my mom teaching me and in the passenger seat or not.

I was like, Oh, no, probably not. No, wait, no, maybe I don't have time. And I drew that parallel between that driving and our hurricane experience to the showing up for your own business. Because you're like, Okay, I did the courses. I read all the handbooks. Here we go, Wait a minute, you may have to do this in public with other adults, what? People who can see me like, what if I hit something? So I think that's one way to sort of think about the stories. I have another story coming up in the sequence that's about hot dog eating contest, which is one of my favorite all American pastimes. So coming out that with those fun stories coming out from that angle, like what's something like you don't always have to tell the rags to riches story. And I think also something that I love to do is have fun, especially if there's a live component, whether it's like Instagram stories, or whether it's like doing a hot seat or webinar, I'm trying to think what's going to be the most fun, what are you going to enjoy, and then coming from that place, because a lot of business owners forget to ask themselves that question.

So it's not just what's going to be the strategically smart thing to do. But it's also going to be like, what am I going to have fun doing? What am I going to have the energy for? Because if you set yourself up a big grocery list of proven strategics strategies and tactics that you can't stand or make you want to crawl in a hole, you know, I think it's it changes the whole experience for you. So I think remembering that you, especially if you're running a launch for yourself as a personal brand, that you're the one that has to show up.

So what's going to be fun for you, it's going to be enjoyable for you What stories are going to be fun for you to tell what's going to be a fun way to have the value conversation. What's a fun, that client story for you to share, like coming out from that place can really change the tone and ultimately transform the entire sales conversation to something much less stressful. and dare I say on occasion enjoyable. 

Sara:  Like those stories a lot. Like a young Hillary.

Hillary: Oh, yeah, I was terrified. Never again. I was was scariest drive to Costco ever.

Sara: And it was making me think so. So I had like a client launch not too long ago. We're in the midst of COVID she's like, I don't have any good stories because like, I'm just at my house all the time. Yeah. Lee wrote an email about the squirrels outside of her window, and how like, it's kinda like your brain. They're on autopilot they like they're gonna survive and do these things and how your brain does that takes us time to this mental work that she was doing. And it was so funny. And we're like, Did you really write an email all of its growth? Yeah. It was like, so funny, I responded to it, because like, can really do it about anything. We just look at how we manage this. And like, yeah, people can relate. They're all like looking at the friggin window. Like, we're not doing it. 

Hillary: Exactly. And you can frame it like I was gonna tell a story about my life, but this time inside all the time, but you can poke fun at yourself. Like, I think it's so people take launching so seriously. And they can it's a serious, serious business to be sure. It's an investment of money time, you know, but I think that I love that you have the squirrel story too, because I think just for listeners, too, if this helps, what is handy is thinking about what is the emotional experience you're trying to explain?

That's going to help you figure out the story to tell. So for me, it was like reading all the handbooks, but actually doing the thing was terrifying. That story of me driving in a hurricane. The hot dog story is a parallel to how entrepreneurs when they want to do something, will stuff themselves with information and then be like, Oh, no, this wasn't actually in the original lucky.

Oh, yeah, right. In the original launch of thunder, though, it was a story about a Python eating a cow. So you can see how things kind of parallel right?

Sara: Nice. Yeah. Which is another one that was like, like, you know, the wrong commies. They all have all like that. Was it like How to Lose a Guy in 10 days or
the late early, early 2000? movies? Whatever we did, like the grand gesture, email, right? Or email, it was all around like the bonus basically.

Hillary: Yeah. Love it. Absolutely. That's the way to do it. Man. That's just such a better way than being like, okay, what's the social proof today?

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Sara: Okay, so when you were talking about like ways to have fun and different strategies for launching, you mentioned hotseat, and so what I would like to ask you is how did you first end up teaching hot seats? and using it also then using it for a lunch method?

Hillary: Yeah, absolutely. So I started doing hot seats, the way people do most things on the internet, which isn't by accident, it was at a client event. It was one of my first ever events that I spoke, I was told the night before, but somebody had was the coverage or on the team. And I was like, let me to talk to talk.

And she was like, maybe next time, maybe next time, and then one of the speakers quit. And she was like, do you want to do something? And I was like, Yes to do I had no idea what I was going to talk about but I was like, oh something out of my bubble and make this happen cuz I was ready to copy at the time. There's always something to talk about. And I ended up putting together It was like super overwrought, like speech there was like, like an incopy to Newton's three laws of motion. It was just like real in the weeds, which was fine. Because that's, that's what your what's your where your head goes, when you're teaching something for the first time. It's like I must show these people that I can do is smart. It's very important that they know that I do the smart very well.

And then you get totally funny, like totally in the weeds anyway. So I was giving my talk, and I could tell I was losing people, or you have your comic, you're either killing or you're bombing and I was bombing. So I like made it through the end of my talk and cut myself a little short, like sweating, shaking, all those very sexy things that happen the first time you do a talk. And I was like, Okay, let me open the floor to q&a. And this lady held up her hand, she's like, actually have a question about my homepage. She was trying to describe it to me.

And of course, you can't it's so hard to describe homepage and coffee, like verbally. So there was a big screen behind me. I was like, Can we throw up your homepage on the big screen? Is that okay? I got it up there in a couple of minutes. And immediately I was able to see what was wrong. I was like, your headlines all jacked up. Like you got to have this, you gotta have a call to action here to what's going on down here. And it's in like two or three minutes, we had figured out what the problem was. And I was able to give her next steps.

And I was like, Oh, that was easy. Who's next? And everybody's hand like the room had been glazed over my whole talk and everybody's hands shot up. And we ended up doing like we ended up working through lunch, where there was like, we were supposed to break for lunch the end of my session and the the lady in charge was like, Okay, so we have lunch coming up. Do you guys want to keep working through the session while you eat?

And everyone was like, Yeah, and I was like, bring it on. I don't got to eat. I'm 25 I don't eat food. But it was so interesting to see that impact. were actually looking at somebody's work and giving them not necessarily like solutions for everything but these active next steps where this is what's going wrong. I think this is what I think you should do to change it go forth and be great.

And so at the end of that weekend, McClellan had told me that I was bait for new people buying into the program and that she wanted me to do the same coaching style hotseat coaching style for her mastermind every month or so I think it was every month or every other week. And so that's how I kind of got into it. And this was, I want to say 656 years ago, six years ago now. And so I started doing regular hot seats with her community. And I started doing them and other people's communities, I started doing hot seats around workshops, because it's really it can go beyond coffee to like, now I do hot seats around concept development, I do hot seats around all like offers, I do hot seats around brands, like ideas. And of course, always copy investing. But it was so interesting to see how that impact was so effective for people where I could sit down with them.

And we could do 10 minutes at a time. And it would be so so helpful. Because it wasn't more theory, it wasn't more ideas or information it was, here's what's wrong, go fix it, and then see what happens like giving them direct action based on what the problem actually was. And it really, I think, aligns with so many entrepreneurs. And I call this the as like the word is experiential learning, but I call them learn by doers. And I'm the same way where if you sit me in a lecture, I will not absorb a thing, like I will get distracted by my phone, I will start daydreaming, my brain just doesn't work that way. If you let me roll my sleeves up, and be like, do it this way. Not that way. I'm like, Oh, got it. And it cements itself in my brain.

So I really just fell in love with that style of coaching, I felt entire offers around it since it's a big part of the backbone of both how I build visibility and sell my services and also stay in touch with my audience. So it's just a real joy. And it's such a great style of learning also to build that teaching muscle how to get that strong, because I think a lot of business owners like the trajectory of business is like have clients and then have more clients have a waitlist charge premium prices, and then you're gonna make a course, like without registering that teaching is a totally different skill from what you're from the copy of the design, the brand strategy, whatever it is that you're doing, and you're even coaching, like whatever it is you're doing in the day to day and nobody really teaches business owners how to teach.

I mean, I've never taken digital course Academy from Amy Porterfield. It's very likely there's a section on that. But in terms of actually like getting in the field, and being able to test those ideas and see how that works and get in into the sort of weeds with people and solve those problems. It's a really powerful way not just to get great client results and to connect with people, but also to build that teaching muscle to figure out how you best solve problems. So I just love it. I've got a whole course. Radek called hotseat B's which I believe you possess. Yeah, and it's just it's, I think, can we call it the magic trick skill? Because it's easy to market. It's a good great learning tool, a webinar or workshop you can pull your out of your back pocket at any time.

Sara: Yeah, for sure. I was part of what you do with lightning at first. See, it's like once a month I went to a couple of those which is then how I ended up buying the hot seat beast because I wanted more and down to see how you did it. Yep. I think like something to me, right? When you're talking about like, the actual feedback that you give people. I think as business owners, too, we're like so often alone, and we just have coaches who will help us come up with things or somebody just want like, tell me the friggin answer and tell me why Yes, or no now take friggin action and then go and like know that for next time. Yes. Powerful about the hot seats.

Hillary: Yes, I'm stealing that forgot me. Like, I just don't have the damn answer. Tell me why. And then I will go and do the thing. And we'll test it. Yeah, even when I know that I'm giving people like their copy back. Yeah. And then I always send it with a little video walking through that that's the part that they like, they're like, you told me like you showed it to me. You gave me some things. And you told me why you did it. So like now I wouldn't fix it other pages. Because of that as 100 little actionable teaching. It's so interesting. It's so effective. Like I've had clients in that religion who were like, so I sent a client a copy, and I hated it. And I want me to change everything. And I'm like, wait for you do that, send a loon walkthrough. Show them why they made the decisions that you why you made the decisions that you made, and then see what they come back with. And the clients. I love it. Now I see it this method.

I think so much of the challenges people have is just practical application is difficult. Like it's really easy to prove somebody to be like, here are the best practices now go go into the world. But actually like rolling your sleeves up being like, here's what's jacked up, fix this. Not did this is great. This is not so great. Move on. You're sitting here, please. Exactly. Absolutely. And I think that even goes back to like you're saying about holding that mirror or getting like clarity like that. The TV of your screen? Yes. Your thing is that same thing as the copyright is we also don't know what's clear, because in our head, it's so crystal clear. I have no idea what you're saying is probably good, but what am I getting? It's hard also, I think to go through life in business. So as you say, like we're so often alone. I think that holds a lot of business owners back because they're like, I don't want to sell this guy don't know if it's good or not. Just page and I was so proud of it. And I sent it to like my one friend who like is not in my target market at all, but it's full of opinions. And they hated it. So now exactly, oh, there's, there's so much of that. And it keeps people stuck in the mud.

Sara: So you use a hot seat, I think it was back in the fall to feel your group programs under. So help anyone that works unexpectedly, anything that went sideways, anything it was like really amazing. Tell us a little bit of that.

Hillary: So what was so what's interesting, by the way, so we usually we were going to do it to promote Thunder for this round, but I was a little low energy, so actually experimenting with repurposing the last hotseat and making that available and emails for people to peruse, and just check it out to see how it works. And what I can do so remains to be seen how well that works. But what was great about it last round was, first of all, it was a really awesome way to demonstrate what's possible and how much you can get done in a heartbeat. Because the skepticism is always somebody has 10 minutes, 1015 minutes, is that even going to be worth anything. And what's effective about it is that it's Yeah, it's 1015 minutes, or longer, depending on your style. And how I teach the process is you want people to be able to identify their own problems before they come to you. So they know what the issue is.

So you were just sitting there getting super, super focused on what the problem is, what the next steps are, so that you can then send them out into the world. And because of that 10 minutes, 1015 minutes is all you need. It's like being in the doctor's office, where you're like, Okay, you spend all that time in the doctor's office, like filling out the forms, talking to the nurse, like getting those sort of broad scope things done. But when the doctor comes in 1015 minutes, because the problem is diagnosed, he knows what the issue is, he knows, like what steps to take to examine you and move on should doctors spend more time with patients You bet.

But this is America, at least on my end. So it's that's the way it is. But you don't need a lot of time and a lot of belly aching. And a lot of context, if somebody is coming to you with the problem aren't in the way with the self diagnosis or with the problem already isolated. And I think that where a lot of hot seats go wrong, is in just basically not having people come prepared. And you're just sitting on the call, like Alright, so what's what's going on, tell me your life story. So it creates a really tight container. But what surprised me and delighted me about the hot seat is, first of all, I think hot seats are such a great alternative to webinars, because instead of getting people more theory, instead of having to put a bunch of slides together, you are actively solving problems, like you were actively solving the problems your ideal clients have, it's a chance for you to flex your skills, it's a chance for you to get in front of new eyeballs, it's a chance for you to show people just how much you can do with your knowledge. And that's an incredibly powerful thing. And I think that what I particularly delighted me about the last round for the promotion for Thunder is it doesn't just create a core memory for your target clients immediately it also because you're gonna have people on the hot seat who aren't ready to invest quite yet, which is totally fine. But those people, if you have a chance to touch them and solve their problem becomes super fans. So they're following your work, they're really into it, they're excited to be a part of it.

And it really is such a powerful way to be of service. And I think that always surprises me is that I always almost all of my clients had been on one of my hot seats at one point or another whether it was the lightning rounds, I do periodically free and paid whether it was inside like lightning hot seats, because I wanted to test building a community around that whether it's in thunder, whether it's a client mastermind or workshop that I was part of doing these hot seats was really an opportunity. Like it's very it makes you very memorable. And it's a really powerful way to forge that connection because you're sitting there and you are being actively being of service not theoretically, not being of service to somebody can absorb the content of the webinar, but being of service because you're rolling up your sleeves, and you're directly looking at their business and giving them next steps.

And I think what's it What surprise and delight me was I had people in there who I had like talked to about Thunder previously, and who were like on the fence, some of them had never invested in coaching in their lives. And so they were able like what really surprised me. So I really believe in personal follow up, at least at this stage, hard to scale, but it's important. And so I was doing personal follow up and getting a chance to follow up also with people on the back end who weren't able to have their questions answered on the live hot seats. And it just felt really good to be able to touch people in that way. What it did was I had these people who were skeptical of the hotseat coaching or like, yeah, just come check it out awesome, who are just raving fans of the process and who immediately jumped in, not just as Alright, let's see how this goes with as people who were like very invested, and very excited and raring to go, which is exactly how you want your clients to be for any offer.

So I think that was particularly delightful. And then in terms of stuff that didn't work, I don't think there was, Oh, yeah, we sent out the recording email that should have been sent to like 100 people that signed up, we actually sent it to the full list, which was good. That was I was very accidental. But aside from that, I was just really delighted by how it creates not just like a really good lead funnel, but it creates just a great experience. It's high energy, everyone loves it, they're engaged. And also the beauty of the hot seat style is that when you're there with business owners who are kind of in the same place you are and on the same journey, you're gonna learn a lot from them, period and that's a really powerful thing to be able to sit down and watch other people's businesses.

What's good On their what they're struggling with and then being able to apply that information to your own business that is huge.

Sara: There's a few things that you said there that I really dislike want to want to come back to it and repeat was like one around giving people access to us like, because I think so often we're doing these launches and or even like scaling things that are group offers or courses, there's this whole piece of we have to remove ourselves from it because it has to it must be automated the automated, like I am not involved in it. But actually, people really want access, they want connection.

So I think one like giving them that access to it's that, like you said, like showing your shit for real. Yeah, you have to prove it with testimonials are gray. And those are all like nice, but you're actually showing it in action. So screw the mock ups in the page. We all like all those things can work, that's fine.

But let's actually show you how it's done using and the other piece is that build up you get when you are like I mean pullback here like it's like, I always feel like there's a piece of a launch where we have like our money goal, we have our numbers goal. But I think a goal needs to be part of there is even like the echo effect or like the long term effect of that, which is what you're saying because when we're doing this we're putting all this goodwill into their world we're showing up we're giving access we're like giving you actionable things they can take away and they're like now they're in your world. 

Hillary: Yeah, probably come back and they become the DMU they have they come into your world again. And that's what I did with you like I bought I want to work with you wasn't the right time for me yet. Still, I couldn't like finance the time so like, but I bought like lightning I keep some of your hotties loved on all of your stories online and came into the power position.  So like, I remember the good example.
Works folks trust, learning,

Sara: No learning from you and wanting more. And just because they don't buy right there on that first team.

Hillary: In that first one

Sara: It doesn't mean they won't become eventually a customer.

Hillary:  Yeah, exactly. Maybe right now for whatever long game baby long game 

Sara: When we're doing we want to do a hot seat, let's say instead of a webinar, are there a few things that people could do like a few success tips. So you could say.

Hillary: So you could say that the success of the hot seat is actually determined by everything that happens before the hot seat. So you want to set really clear expectations about what problems you can solve and what they can submit. That's number one is super, super duper important.

Because I think, again, this is where hot seats go off the rails, where it's like a hot seat and nobody's prepped, nobody knows what to bring. Nobody wants to raise their hand. This is difficult. It's a challenge, especially if you have more introverts in your sphere. It just looks and feels totally different for them than it would for someone like me. He was like, Hi, yes, spotlight, please. But I think the second so that's the first tip. The second tip is I think that what's really important to keep in mind is that you should when you're giving someone feedback on anything, start with a compliment. Even if it is a pie even if it's a pile of steaming garbage be like oh, it's very warm, very warm, we
like good garbage there, it's it could just save us from freezing in the night. I think that always wanting to start with a compliment. I think in corporate they call it like a compliment sandwich or something.

So you don't necessarily want to be fake about it. But find something that you like about every submission or find something that's interesting, because you want to make people feel at ease. Because they're putting the spot with you. They're watching the clock, but they shouldn't be and they just want to make sure that they don't look like an idiot. So you always want to open with something that you like about them the work the the idea behind it all those beautiful and juicy things. And then the third piece of the puzzle, I would say is to always set a warning timer. So for me on my hot seats, I have 10 minutes usually. And so what I do is I set a timer for eight minutes.

So the timer goes off and then we have a two minute to continuing minute to proceed. So what that does is it when people hear the timer, they're not panicking when they're like it's done. Oh God, because of course, if time is time's up on a hot seat, and we're still in the middle of a sentence, I'm not going to cut you off. We will wrap I always do q&a at the end for that reason, but I find that just making sure you have the timer and that people know what the rules are.

So that you've got that warning timer going off is allows you to really also if somebody is like rambling and isn't quite staying on track that's going to warn though that we got to wrap it up. So that's those are the three tips I think for hotseat success that might just be useful to all these fine folks.

Sara: They are and I know I really appreciate it as per your hot seat was that coming out the form ahead of time and spinning it and I applied that actually to my own in my own membership for launching excellent as I asked people to submit ahead of time as well because definitely as an introvert, you're saying like, we don't like to go to restaurants my birthday and you bring me a cake with candles on the table like it feels that painful. Please don't do that. 

Hillary: I torture my best friend with that every year on her birthday. It's how I show my love. 

Sara: We're not going out with you.

Hillary: Basically, but she always does and she knows what's gonna happen. We've been friends long enough now that she can prepare but yeah, it's true. And you want to be mindful of the experience on the other end because I think that's the key with the hot seat is preparation before you come in and then learning how to command the room which is another part of the speaking skill. Another part of the teaching skill if your students are all over the place and if they're like uncomfortable and insecure it can't work. So finding ways to put fails and that it can it doesn't like introvert extrovert or for that does not matter. But what does Matter is making sure that you know what you're doing. You have the game plan everyone's submitted and so you can move on down the line.

Sara: I like that too, that you ask them to submit it ahead of time because there's one there's like that they're owning in the problem. Like they're owning the thing that they're looking for. So it's not like something you're doing onto them. It's something they're asking for. agency and that I think.

Hillary: Yes, I having them identify the problem first. Okay, I know that the headline is the issue. I know that this course content is totally overwrought, what do I do? And that's how it works. And it's just a great it's a it because they come in having already identified the problem, and they get the solution and next steps. It's like, ah, dope. Okay. A way I can do. Yeah, good.

Sara:  Alright, so who do you think would really benefit from using hot seats to launch lights or certain type of business owner and for everybody in their mother?

Hillary: No, I think right now, where I find it really works best is for creative service providers. So copywriters, designers, strategists, also coaches, life coaches, where you can get in the weeds is, but people come and they're like, fix my life, you have to be really clear that it's for a very specific problem. And you need to make sure that it's very, very clear what you can and can't do.

And I think that's all part of again, setting client expectations. But basically, anybody who's in the space of solving problems, I think it's really important for everybody to be able to learn how to do a hot seat to showcase that skill. And there are some problems that are so large, that it's difficult to get to pare it down to a hot seat, but there's almost always a piece of your client's pain point that you can solve right there on the call. Like, I think for copywriters, it's great because you're looking at the copy and you're fixing the thing for business coaches that bring me your offers, bring me your sales process, let's talk about it like that easy to isolate, like figure out where the gaps are.

As for you know, someone like a life coach, again, you've got to really get specific as for someone for a designer, you really have to get specific where it's like, okay, send me a page. And I'll give you feedback on all that stuff. So it's just a matter of thinking about what are those sticky client problems that your clients can deal with all the time and you're like, Oh, this and that, like, you just solve that for me in five minutes. That took me five months to like, I've been sitting on that forever, every creative has, I think those problems in the back of their head that they know they can solve really well. And that usually makes a really great hottie topic.

Sara: Perfect. And if you want to see this in action one, you definitely have to follow her on Instagram and watch how she makes launching fun. Seat bees the workshop and then also you have the thunder collector that you're watching right now where you get to benefit from all the hot seating and actually

Hillary: Yes, ma'am. We can find you online and the goodies we can get. Come hang out with me guys. So I'll use my radio announcer voice for this, please visit my website at Hillary Weiss com. That's www dot h i l l a r y w II s s calm.

I just love doing that. If you if you stop by you can grab my freebie the statement piece framework, which is the core of one of the beautiful starting points of statement p studio where it's all about getting your ideas out of your head and onto paper in content so you can record right share whatever podcast whatever it is, it's a great little tool. As for where to find me on social media, you can find me on Facebook under Hillary Weiss presswood. That's my married name.

And we password is my married name. But we keep Weiss in there because of the brand equity baby. And so you can also find me on Instagram at hc Weiss and on Twitter under the same handle. And if you add me on either platform, go ahead, give me an ad and then DM me and let me know your greatest takeaway from today's show. I always love making new friends. So don't be shy. I would love to chat with you.

Sara: Thank you so much for joining us today. The reason this is so much fun. I love talking to you about launching and eating.

Hillary: So much fun. Thank you so much for having me. I could do this all day. So thank you. You're the best Sarah It was such a privilege to be here. Thanks for joining me.

Sara: Thanks for tuning in to the launch playbook podcast. If you want to get weekly launch secrets in your ears. I hope you'll hit subscribe on iTunes. You'll never miss an episode. Because who knows? It could reveal just the thing you've been looking for to make your next launch a success. And be sure to leave a five star review on iTunes telling me how this episode inspired your launch plans. Until next time, keep putting your big ideas out into the world. I'm rooting for you


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