MRM Tutorial: How to Build a VIP List for Book and Product Launches

“Hey, congratulations on your new book!” said no stranger ever.

Books, websites, and podcasts don’t just magically appear in people’s social media feeds. New projects are strategically planned and placed so that readers and listeners will find them. Whether you are a nationally-known author or a first-time blogger people find your content because you have a well-thought-out plan.

In media space, getting the word out about a new project is called a launch, and a team is put together long before the actual release date in order to help get the word out about whatever is being released such as a book, a new blog, or a podcast.

The most successful launches have a professional team behind them. But while nationally-known authors and speakers often have big budgets for their launches, many writers and podcasters don’t have such luxury. Truth be told though, well-planned small-budget launches can be more successful than big-monied ones because it’s not the amount of money that’s thrown behind a new project – it’s about the people and the relationships.

Every successful launch needs a dedicated launch team. A launch team can be thought of as a collection of “bullhorns” all directed toward their own group of followers at the same time. Each person on the team has people who listen to them, read their content, and follow them on social media. When you tap into their networks, yours will expand exponentially.

How do you create a great launch team? First and foremost, you put in the work. This means you use your platforms of blogging, speaking, and social media to connect with a group of people who love what you have to offer and will become loud cheerleaders for your project in the future.

This doesn’t mean everyone on your email list will be a part of your launch team. But inside your list is a core group you can cultivate and with whom you can build a rapport. When you are ready to launch your product, it’s this core group you can ask to join your launch team.

A launch team is built out of relationships. These are people you trust, and who trust you, who will also help you spread the news about your new project far and wide.

Here are three simple steps to start building your team for the future!

1. Provide value

As you start to think about the book you want to write or the podcast you want to launch, there should be a problem you are trying to solve, a solution you hope to offer. Go out and find some of the people with this “problem” and then provide them with valuable solutions.

These are the people you want to cultivate and build relationships with. When you help them with a pressing need, they will become loyal followers and want to share with many others what they’ve learned from you.

Some people will follow you because they are friends or family and they want to support you, but they may not have the “bullhorn” you need to reach more people with the same need. That’s okay, but keep looking for the ones to whom you can provide solutions. Keep speaking to that crowd in all you do online.

2. Create a VIP list

As your email list and social media followers begin to grow, identify the core group who opens your newsletter and comments on your posts regularly. Turn these few into your VIPs. Give them special attention and provide them with extras, such as printables or free downloads created just for them or direct access to you via videos or web calls.

Whatever you can do to make this group feel special, do it. They are the ones who will become your launch or street team, ready to share you with the world, and tout all your accomplishments to their friends.

3. Interact with your cheerleaders

Once you’ve identified your core group and created a way to acknowledge their loyalty, it’s time to interact with them. Start building relationships with them via social media, live videos, private Facebook groups, and special mailings. The more you do to strengthen the relationship, the louder they will cheer for you when you release your book or podcast.

Be genuine in your interactions. Offer the same support to this group that you hope they will continue to offer you. Cross promotions happen organically when the relationships are genuine and consistent.

The key to all these tips is to start now. A launch team of 5 is great, but a launch team of 105 is even better. It’s never too early to start building your email list, developing relationships with your VIPs, and interacting with your most ardent followers. The intentional work you do now will only benefit you when your book releases. It will then carry forward to your next project and the next.

It’s worth noting again – the most successful launches have a team of professionals behind them. Market Refined Media has the resources to help an author or podcaster reach more people and get the word out faster than if you do it alone. Our team works with every budget and can design a customized plan that will help you get the most bang for your buck. If you do the initial legwork of building the relationships needed to create a launch team, MRM will maximize it with our team of professionals who will make sure your project is seen and heard across the web.

Start today! Build those relationships, treat your loyal followers well, and reap the benefits when you are ready to share your next project with the world.

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