How do you feel about planning a launch strategy or writing Black Friday sales copy?
If you’re like some of my friends, colleagues and clients, there’s a good chance that you put off the copywriting and other marketing tasks until the last moment because it’s just another task on your incredibly long personal and professional to-do list. But with the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s essential for business owners to plan, prep, and set goals now and not wait a moment longer.
And this is exactly why I invited fellow copywriter Sara Gillis on the Talk Copy to Me podcast to talk about all things Black Friday sales copy and strategy.
In this episode, we’ll discuss the importance of assessing your personal bandwidth and commitments and considering the nature of your business before making any holiday plans. Then, we’ll talk about the various strategies and tactics you can implement for successful Black Friday sales copy and other marketing assets
Get ready to take your Black Friday sales copy strategy and prep to the next level.
Here is what Sara and Erin want you to know about Black Friday sales copy and strategy
Whether or not you should even have a Black Friday sale
How Black Friday sales don’t have to be focused on discounts only
How to set sales goals for your Black Friday sale
How to focus your Black Friday sales copy efforts, such as by preparing a lead magnet
Black Friday sales copy for the main sales pages
3 must have pieces of Black Friday sales copy needed for your sales pages
The necessary sales emails for a Black Friday sales launch
Why it’s important to prepare your audience for your sale
The mindset shifts necessary for your Black Friday sales copy and sales in general
The role of affiliate marketing in Black Friday sales
How to prep your tech for collecting payments
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
Sara’s podcast, Copywriter on Call (Check out the episode I was on where we discuss all things SEO — it’s so good if I do say so myself!)
Quotes about Black Friday sales copy and other prep from Sara Gillis and Erin Ollila
“You don’t have to discount your offer…you don’t have to play that game. There are other opportunities to really help you stand out and to sell on Black Friday.” – Sara Gillis
“Can I position myself as a thought leader in my industry? By sharing a piece of expertise, can I serve people in a unique way and do so by launching something on Black Friday?” – Sara Gillis
“Preparing starts with the goal and the offer in mind, and there’s not just one way to do this.” – Erin Ollila
“Prelaunch content is so vital, I think, to making a sale successful. Because you’re not suddenly just jumping in and saying, ‘Give me your money!'” – Erin Ollila
“It’s nurturing that customer along the way, whether they arrive on your sales page or they hear or something on Instagram. It’s really kind of emphasizing that cohesive narrative that you’re building for your ideal client to say, You have this pain point, you have this desire, and here’s my solution for that and why you need it.” – Sara Gillis
When you’re thinking about Black Friday, the first question that you need to ask yourself is when is your offer going to go live? Is it gonna go live the Monday of Black Friday week? Is it gonna go live on Black Friday morning? When is that open cart opportunity?” – Sara Gillis
“Some of what you’re prepping is your own personal feelings towards the sale that you’re doing.” – Erin Ollila
“I feel like email affiliates and communicating an affiliate offer via email is a really great opportunity that’s pretty low stakes, and it feels like It feels really intentional for me, at least, to share something I’ve loved, I’ve used, I’ve purchased Via email with my audience.” – Sara Gillis
“Black Friday sales are a great opportunity to do it messy.” – Erin Ollila
Figure out now what your capacity is for your Black Friday sale.
Sara says, “I think really just getting focused in on what your capacity is and what your availability is.”
She continues, “Are you available in your inbox? If so, when? Are you available on this channel or that channel? If so, when? Set those expectations and get clear with yourself first before you start thinking about This is my promotional plan. This is my sales email plan. This is my sales page. This is you know, all of the pieces and parts, right?
As a copywriter at What Sara Said, business coach, and host of the Copywriter on Call podcast, Sara Gillis helps female creative business owners, especially photographers, stand out through words.
After teaching writing for nearly a decade, Sara left education to help business owners show up authentically online by crafting website copy that’s word-magic for their ideal clients. She shares practical advice to infuse creative businesses with storytelling and heart. Sara coaches her clients to do the work to show up confidently in business and being fearless in pursuing passions and communicating value.
Sara serves clients nationwide but calls South Dakota home. She loves her life with her husband, Jordan, their two hockey-obsessed sons, Lionel (11) and Quincy (8), and their two doodles, Nellie and Mookie.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you with your marketing
Here’s the transcript for episode 095 on Black Friday sales copy with guest expert Sara Gillis
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
black friday sales, black friday offer, black friday sales copy, affiliates, sales page, sales copy, Black friday sales
Sara Gillis, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends. Welcome to the top coffee Timmy podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee.
Erin Ollila 00:23
Hello friends today I am here with a fellow copywriter Sarah Gillis, and you may know that she does everything when it comes to copy for creatives. But what you might not know about Sarah is that she is actually a devout fan of the Washington Capitals hockey team. So her oldest son got her hooked on watching them during the Stanley Cup run in 2018. But now fast forward years later, Sarah is actually the only one left in the family who who knows all the players by name. So tell me, where did everyone else’s interest go for one and what? What specifically do you love about the capitals?
Sara Gillis 01:04
Yeah, this is so fun. So thanks for having me. First of all, it’s so fun to be here. It’s really interesting to think about the the evolution of my kids as hockey fans, their hockey players themselves, both of my sons are. And they really came to fall in love with hockey during this Stanley Cup run of the Washington Capitals. But since then, my youngest son has decided that he would rather be a Tampa Bay Lightning fan and I to each their own right. But every once in a while when they decide to to start losing and my team starts to win, then he flip flops, so he’s more of a bandwagon fan. But under those Yes, our oldest son, he really, he likes more individual players than teams. And so that’s been a really interesting progression as well. But I’m the one who’s yelling at the TV during the during the season. And I’m the one who’s counting down the days till till the preseason begins. So it’s so fun for me to just have an outlet. That’s just really for me, and for my kids. They just are so entertained by my mom by you. Alright, so you’re here today to help me talk to my audience all about Black Friday. I have always sat on such a fence when it comes to Black Friday. For some businesses, I think it’s the smartest thing ever to have Black Friday sales. For other businesses. I’m like, why are you wasting your time? This is not like if you’re like a specifically service based only that doesn’t necessarily have any products or like offers that could be sold? Like, do you want to discount yourself just because it’s a day that people buy sales. But that being said, the more clients I work with, the more I realize the decision to like, do something for Black Friday is really it depends situation, it depends on the business, it depends on their goals. The problem is I don’t think people plan for Black Friday, very often until the week of Black Friday.
Erin Ollila 03:04
So yeah, that’s why you’re here today, folks, when you’re listening, like you’re here for me and Sarah, to talk to you about the idea that Black Friday to be have a very successful sale, you need to plan in advance, even now with this publishing in October, you’re a little behind on the Black Friday planning, all is not lost. Sara has a awesome checklist. I’ll say this from the beginning, we’re going to kind of talk about how to approach Black Friday as a business owner using kind of the steps that she follows and that she suggests to her clients. But you can download that now you can follow along with us. But we’re gonna kind of talk about what to do to prep, if you would like to have a Black Friday sale. So I guess maybe a great starting point here, Sarah is if someone is on the fence, if they’re not even sure at this point, do you have any suggestions or things that they should kind of consider that would help them decide whether or not a Black Friday sale is a good idea for their business?
Sara Gillis 04:04
That’s a really great question. And honestly, I think it’s an important one for all business owners to ask whether you’re on the services side or the product side, it’s a really important thing to consider when you’re approaching Black Friday is what do you have the bandwidth for? Right? Are you a person who is really busy over the Thanksgiving holiday? Are you a person who likes to spend time with family and be offline? If so the legwork the prep work is really important for you. Are you a person whose business works really well in terms of you know, really focusing an energy around this kind of new year or this end of the year, New Year energy right? A lot of you know planner companies or organization companies can really benefit at this time of year from you know, prioritizing a Black Friday sale. And if that works for you, that’s great, but at the same time, if you like to kind of decompress and be more offline, at the end of the year, maybe a Black Friday sale that’s focused on you know, services or products in the in the right now in the immediate future is not necessarily a great option for you. That doesn’t mean that Black Friday is not for you, though there are opportunities to, you know, push out to the new year, maybe you’re releasing something, and it releases, you know, after the new year in January. And so there’s a way that you can pre sell that offer on Black Friday. So I mean, there are opportunities here, I think, for a variety of different businesses, whether you’re on the services side, or the the product side, but really, it comes down to me to bandwidth, what are your goals? And really, what is your business attuned for. And I think the other thing that I really want to emphasize is you don’t have to discount your offer, you don’t have to offer a discount on your service on your product, you don’t have to play that game, there are other opportunities to really help you to stand out and to sell on Black Friday. And one of those things that I really love to work with my clients on is thinking through an incentive, right? What can you offer as a bonus, or a booking incentive for somebody who chooses to work with you at this specific time in the ear? Instead of saying you get $100 off my service? Can you offer them an additional one on one call? Can you offer them an additional checklist, a downloadable guide, any sort of useful piece of information that will help them to see the value not only in your service, but in booking your service at this particular time?
Erin Ollila 06:37
Yeah, I’m so glad that you said that. Because you’re right, you know, a Black Friday sale, it can be a lot of different things. And I think part of kind of figuring out, what you offer is it’s looking like you mentioned at your bandwidth, at your what’s coming up for launches, what your goals are. And I know part of your checklist is the number one thing that you do to start is to determine what those goals are. So do you have any suggestions on some of the things that they could consider when it comes to setting goals for the sale that they’re doing?
Sara Gillis 07:10
Yeah, I mean, the most straightforward goal would be to make a certain amount of money or to make a certain number of sales, right? That’s kind of the the first benchmark that a lot of people think through. But I like to dive a little bit deeper than that. For me, the exploration I’ve done with Black Friday in my own business has been around, can I see if this works for me? Can I generate some sort of awareness? Can I position myself as a thought leader in in my industry by sharing a piece of expertise? Can I serve people in a unique way? And do so by launching something on Black Friday? No, you don’t have to create something brand new for Black Friday. I know that a lot of Black Friday. Experts say that often. I have created new things for Black Friday. And it’s been good. But I’ve also repackaged offers miniaturised offers in the past for Black Friday. And that’s been a really lucrative opportunity as well. So I think just not being afraid to try something. But really coming from that basis of what is my goal here? Do I want to, you know, generate more income as we head into the latter part of the year? Do I want to kind of move into a different space? Whether I want to be an educator or a speaker on a stage? Are there opportunities for me to kind of extend that thought leadership? And how can I use black Friday to help me get there.
Erin Ollila 08:37
Such a great point, because, you know, like you mentioned, when you started that the financial goal is generally what most people consider first. But if you are maybe going to do something because you want to grow your audience, that could be a great element for your Black Friday sale as well, before you determine what the actual offer is, before you plan out how you’re going to take that the prep approach to creating the sale and to market the sale. It’s considering Well, what are those goals in mind. So if it is growing your audience, maybe you create a workshop or something that is low price, that is not going to be extensive work for you. And you use that as kind of an element of list building. Or, you know, like you mentioned, we we can do things like sales on something we already own. If we’re launching a new education part of our business, we can create something specifically for that pre sell for the new year. So I think it’s really key if you’re listening to think preparing starts with the goal and the offer in mind and there’s not just one way to do this.
Sara Gillis 09:43
Absolutely. And I think too there’s been such a surge in digital products that that is something I recommend for everybody to consider whether it’s a downloadable checklist and ebook a guide, something that photographers use a lot like an editing preset, right? There’s opportunities that you can really showcase your expertise. And then also give people something that’s easy for them to implement. Digital products are great for that.
Erin Ollila 10:09
That’s totally true. So now that we’ve kind of talked about the idea of like the goal being first, and like I ideating on the offer, let’s get into the main thing that we’re here to talk about today. And that’s preparing. So what is one of the next steps that someone should take when it comes to preparing for their Black Friday sale? Yeah,
Sara Gillis 10:30
this, this next step is a really crucial one. And it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. But it can help to build that buzz and that awareness we were talking about. And that’s really kind of developing or refining a lead magnet, something to draw attention to the offer, I feel like this can be something that’s really straightforward and easy like a checklist, it can also be something that’s a little more complicated, a little more interactive, like creating a quiz. I’ve done a video series before as a lead magnet, a way to grow my list a way to grow my reach. And that’s been really fun for me, I released one video a week on must have copy for a sales page. And it was a way to kind of generate buzz and build awareness, but also really positioned myself as a thought leader in that space. And it was mutually beneficial, right, for those di wires who are trying to figure out how do I sell something with my words? Right? It was beneficial for them. But it was also beneficial for me because I got great feedback from that, right? I got great feedback on Oh, I’d never thought of it that way. Or I never thought of my clients mindset like this. And it was a great way for me to also build my build my email list as well. So I think there’s opportunities that you can create without too much, you know, work ahead of time just to generate buzz to get people interested. And whether you direct them to a waitlist for this Black Friday sale, or you just utilize it as a way to get more eyes on your business. Both are useful endeavors here.
Erin Ollila 12:03
Yeah, pre launch content is so vital, I think to making a sale successful because you’re not suddenly just jumping in and saying, Give me your money, right? Like we did a great episode early on in this podcast with ash Chow, where we talked through her power prework framework for how she kind of does the building up of getting people excited or talking to them in a way that initiates the interest without outright just jumping in and being like buy this so you can you can better your life, right? Like, let’s ignore those big ol pain points for a second. It’s really kind of like know why you’re offering this and then talk to them about that. Right. So by the time this episode launches, you’ll have about a month at least until Thanksgiving this year, a Black Friday sales. So is about a short runway a little for doing some pre launch, but it’s still a runway, right? So like, listen to the episode, and then get right on out there. Like when it comes to this lead magnet, you can use something you already have look at, let’s say, you know, with your example of you know, building an education element to your Black Friday sale, if you know that you have a course maybe it already exist. And in this case, maybe you’re discounting it as part of the sale. Is there an element in there that maybe you could do a quick like sneak peek and have that be your lead magnet? Maybe it’s like a three minute training Is it as simple as using some of the content within the sales emails that you’ve already created for something that you can repurpose. And if you’re starting from scratch, like Sarah said, there’s a lot of fun ways that you can do this. I love your idea of the video, like dropping a video every week to kind of build that interest. We just had a series on podcasting here on the show. So if you remember from Lindsey Padilla’s episode about private podcast as premium content, it could be a small private podcast, maybe just a few episodes that they get all at once to build some interest. Deanna Seymour actually did another private podcast episode about building up kind of like a micro or a small audio Summit. So it doesn’t have to be overthought. It’s not like you’re creating this big thing. But it’s a collection of voices that could lead to a topic. So if there’s anything like that, that you have, or you want to create, those are really fun ways to build more of like either an interactive, or just exciting element to doing that pre launch work.
Sara Gillis 14:31
I love those ideas. Yes, audio, like audio podcasting videos. That’s really what how people get their content these days. And so you might as well serve it up to them in that way. I love that.
Erin Ollila 14:43
Awesome. All right. So they have the idea for the lead magnet. They’re ready to kind of like buckle down and start doing the behind the scenes work now. So when it comes time to prep, what do you think is next is it like jumping right into the sales page? Or is it doing any other to work, like when it comes to planning for how they like offer their black friday offer to their audience. Yeah,
Sara Gillis 15:06
I think I think the sales page is probably the next step for some people, they they will want, you know, a long form sales page with lots of, you know, mindset motivators, lots of testimonials, lots of graphics, when it comes to this is what you get this is what you’ll see before and what you’ll see after, but other people, other businesses probably just need something pretty generic a landing space with a button to buy, right? And so I think determining, okay, what’s my offer here? What’s the price point? I mean, the higher the price point, the longer form the sales page should be, in my opinion. And so thinking through, what’s my offer look like? What do people need to hear before they purchase? And what can I create, either, you know, landing, page wise payment, tech wise, etc, to help them to feel confident in making that purchase decision. And so I love a long form sales page. I’m a copywriter, after all. So I love all of the pieces and parts that go into that. But I’ll be honest with you, not every business needs one of those. So if that’s what’s holding you back from trying out something for Black Friday, don’t let it right. Give yourself permission to present your ideal client with what they need to know. And leave it up.
Erin Ollila 16:25
Yeah, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I think the past two years in a row, two things that I purchased on Black Friday were from a Google document that, you know, a service writer created a Google Doc, they put the most important information in it. And they you know, outright said like, I don’t have a sales page. But here I have an awesome offer. And when I read it, I was like, this is an awesome offer. It is something that would be helpful for me. And I don’t need, you know, pretty graphics in order to be in order to convert as someone who’s purchasing in this case, right. So I know you have said to me before that you think that there are like three essential pieces of sales copy that they need when it comes to Black Friday, what are those three pieces of sales copying?
Sara Gillis 17:07
Yeah, so I feel like the conversation needs to start with some sort of an agitator, it needs to start by saying, Okay, this is a pain point you have, let me poke it a little bit. I liken it to, you know, poking a bruise. That’s what my parents would always say, when we were growing up as kids like, Oh, don’t poke the bruise. But it’s almost like poking a bear to write it’s, it’s really kind of pointing out something that your client sees as a pain point noses there, and bringing it again to the surface, then moving into that client’s mindset a little bit more to dive into those pain points, but also those desires, right? Spending time on all of the IQ is not necessarily the only way to do this, you want to bring it around to that desire to write, what is your client seeking for this solution? And how can your business your product, your service, really fill that gap. And then finally, ending with that good news statement. Like you don’t have to do things this way anymore, it can be different, here’s an opportunity to change, here’s an opportunity to reset to reorganize, to feel that relief. That’s really the the final piece of that of that three part process.
Erin Ollila 18:23
So when you say this, it gets me thinking of two different things, which I think is actually pretty cool for how to approach things. And both of these, it makes me think of sales pages and sales emails, because if you look at the way that you’ve structured that, that could be very helpful in a sales page. But I think it could also be very helpful within sales emails, were you meaning one more than the other? And do you think that that same three part process could translate to both?
Sara Gillis 18:50
I do definitely think it can translate to both. And I tell my clients often that when you’re thinking about your clients mindset, especially, which is that kind of middle piece that should be appearing throughout your website, copy. But also, in this case, write your sales page and your emails in different ways and different variations throughout your entire customer journey, right? It’s nurturing that customer along the way, whether they arrive on your sales page, or they hear something on Instagram. It’s really kind of emphasizing that cohesive narrative that you’re building, for your ideal client to say, you have this pain point you have this desire, and here’s my solution for that and why you need it. So it really can weave through both. It’s just a matter of really boiling down to what that pain point or desire is, and what are the different ways you can help somebody to understand but that’s really what’s going on here. That’s the central crux of why you are offering this service or product.
Erin Ollila 19:51
So helpful. So I think one question I’ve been asked so many times, and I don’t expect you to give us a person vise answer, because the truth is it really does depend on the sale the business, the ideal client. But when it comes to determining what sales emails that you need, Do you have suggestions for maybe a structure to the type of sales emails that they should be creating or a number of sales emails that are helpful for Black Friday sale?
Sara Gillis 20:20
Yeah. I mean, I think when you’re thinking about Black Friday, the first question that that you are that you need to ask yourself is, when is your offer going to go live? Is it going to go live the Monday of Black Friday week? Is it going to go live on Black Friday morning? When is that open cart opportunity. And that’s really when the first email should be sent. Obviously, you should also have a closed cart on the other end, right? So using those as kind of bookends for the process? How many days do you have between? Is there a day where you don’t want to be in your people’s inboxes? Because you don’t want to invite responses. Maybe that day is thanksgiving, right? If you’re spending your time with family, maybe you don’t want to be in your inbox. And so you also don’t want to send an email that day. But could you send two emails on Friday one to kick off the sale, and one later that day to emphasize some features, some, you know, deliverables, some pieces that you really want them to understand about your offer? Can you nurture them over the weekend? Absolutely. I think that there’s opportunities to continue serving your people throughout that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, bucket of time, I would probably say for a Black Friday sale, you need that open cart, that closed cart, and probably three to four emails in between. That’s my comfort spot when it comes to sales emails, and how I personally like to construct my own sale. But again, I’m comfortable being available to my inbox throughout that time. So I think that’s another thing you need to set with yourself is how involved do you want to be in your inbox, even if you have those emails automated and written in advance, which is crucial, and I totally encourage, you still may get questions, and you still might have to, you know, work through a payment tech problem, or whatever it is, over that timeframe. So asking yourself, how available do I want to be? And when do I want to open my inbox? That’s a really key question that can help you determine when to send those sales emails to.
Erin Ollila 22:23
Yeah, and I think it’s one that they’re not considering so much. Right? They may be thinking, what when does my audience need to hear from me, but they’re not necessarily thinking like, when do I want to be available to potentially respond to things. So I think it’s really great that you brought that up there. I think the other thing too, that now I’m sharing this everyone as a consumer and not like a copywriter for strategic advice, and maybe you have more insight here than I do, Sarah, but I know one thing that drives me crazy during the Black Friday week ish, is the amount of emails that I get. And I find that it’s very easy to tune out to email specifically of smaller businesses, because there are so many. So I think that as the consumer, I recommend maybe even being honest with your audience earlier than the week to to let them know what your plan is for for the Black Friday week. You know, if there’s something that I know I want to purchase, or if there’s someone who tells me that they’re having a great sale, I may pay a lot more closer attention to the actual sale that they’re having. Then if I don’t know and their emails get lost in my inbox, there’s a chance I might not even know that they’re having a sale. I love that
Sara Gillis 23:35
advice. It’s so solid. And honestly, I think that, especially if you’re doing a weightless type of situation, or if you have, you know, clients, VIP clients that you want to have early access, communicating that they will have that early access when it happens, or when it will happen when it will open up or even taking those early bookings. I mean, how confident Would you feel walking into a Black Friday launch, having already sold a couple, right? That’s, that’s a wonderful thing for the client. But it’s also a wonderful, wonderful thing for you as the business owner. And so I love the idea of previewing what’s to come in a way that really encourages people to put put your business put your offer on their list, but also gives them an opportunity to maybe hop in early.
Erin Ollila 24:20
Yeah. And while I did not plan on talking about mindset at all in this conversation, it just kind of did remind me that when it comes to Black Friday prep, some of what you’re prepping is your own personal feelings towards the sale that you’re doing. I think if you’re in business for yourself, you know that there’s just a lot of feelings that go into everything. Every time there’s a new offer or a sale you even people who have done this for so long. They worry I think like oh wait like sales dropped off in the middle, which we all know is so normal. It’s just so easy to worry about it. So, one, know that it’s normal to have a lot of feelings when it comes to Black Friday, even the preparation of your Black Friday. In a sale, and to if mentioning what I talked about before, if you find that your sale was not necessarily as successful as you had hoped, just remember, especially if you’re doing prep late, just remember, you’re competing against so many other people and so many other businesses. And there’s a chance that ideal clients or customers that may have wanted to work with, you just didn’t see your offer, or couldn’t truly concentrate on the fact that there were offers for them in their inbox. And that doesn’t reflect on you as a business owner, or your ability or your sale either. So if we’re going to talk about PrEP, part of that, I think is prepping your mindset and prepping your expectations to know that, yes, it could be an extremely great financial opportunity for you. But if it’s not, it doesn’t reflect on you as a person or a business. Yes, that’s
Sara Gillis 25:54
so important. And that, honestly, was something that I had to really hone in on my very first time offering something for Black Friday, I offered a membership. And I had three people say yes, and I was like, three, only three. But then I got to build relationships with those three people over the next few months. And that ended up being so beautiful for me and for them, right, they got really amazing access to me, because the group was so small. And those people have become some of my biggest voices and promoters just because of the nurture they received. And so it’s not about hitting a certain number of sales or number of people or number of buyers. But it can feel like oh, well, if I don’t sell out my lunch, or if I don’t, you know, have this, you know, 1000s of dollars of income, it can feel like, what did I do something wrong? And the answer is no, there’s a lot of noise out there around this time. And I love to offer something for Black Friday, because obviously there is a lot of noise. And if they’re generating that noise, why not you? Why not? Right. But being aware of the noise is important and not letting that impact your mindset negatively is really, really key here.
Erin Ollila 27:11
Yeah, it was so helpful how you just mentioned that the your example of having those three people sign on because one of the things I wanted to make sure we really talked about when it came to prep, and like, you know, doing all of this work for Black Friday, actually two things, and they tie in together. One is promotions and two is tech. And I know that those are on your checklist. But when you mentioned the three people being like really good, like supports for you are cheerleaders for you, and made me think of affiliates. Because I know, there are a lot of people who may not necessarily do their own Black Friday sale, but they may put up a content like campaign for the people that they’re affiliates for, during the Black Friday season. I personally have done this before, where I thought like well, there’s nothing that I really want to offer. However, I have these friends or these people that I have worked with the I have paid money to that are doing sales, and I would love to support them, especially if I’m going to like receive a commission on the sales. So when it comes to promotion, obviously there’s many facets, but maybe we just jump in right there to affiliates, like how do you suggest people prepare their affiliates? Or is there any type of copy that they need to give affiliates to make a successful Black Friday sale?
Sara Gillis 28:28
Yeah, I love this question. And honestly, affiliate marketing, I think has really taken on a new value in terms of the opportunities that you have to serve your audience. Right. It may not be serving them yourself, but you are serving them through your relationships with other people and bringing their attention to things they might need that you just simply don’t offer. Right. And so I think it’s an a nuanced way to really serve your clients in a way that’s not you directly serving them. So I love affiliate marketing. I think it’s really smart. As long as you’re being very choosy with who you’re an affiliate for. Right? Totally, I feel like it’s really important to to give my affiliates, some starter copy both for social captions or stories, but also for email. I feel like email affiliates and communicating an affiliate offer via email is a really great opportunity. That’s pretty low stakes. And it feels like it feels really intentional. For me at least to share something I’ve loved. I’ve used I’ve purchased via email with my audience. That’s an odd that’s a that’s an audience that’s warm to that idea. And so I know that a lot of other email audiences are the same way. And so I love giving a few pieces of swipe copy that you can literally just customize and plop into whatever platform you’re talking about and move on. I also love giving some sort of promotional graphics whether it’s you know, something that’s that advertises that that educational product that digital product, or just as simple what you get what’s included type of graphic as well for their use. So I like to take a lot of the guesswork out of it and really provide my affiliates with what they need to promote a given offer. But I also love to just leave the door open for them to share about it in a way that feels aligned with them. So I think there’s there’s a few opportunities there to think through, what can I do to help extend my reach and affiliates are a great way to do that.
Erin Ollila 30:27
The only thing I would have to add is making sure you give them time to prep as well. So not that you need to give specific dates. But if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, Yeah, I absolutely want my affiliates, you know, to help me launch whatever Black Friday sale that I’m doing, send them an email now and just say, Hey, I’ve got something coming for Black Friday, I know it’s in a month, I don’t have the specific offer or dates yet, but I just wanted to give you the heads up. And I’ll make sure I get you any affiliate swipe or copy by. And then let’s just say it’s like, you know, the 15th of November or whatever, I’m making this up on the spot. But that gives them the opportunity to say, okay, something’s coming. And how can I adjust, you know, my own promotion or my own email marketing, because some people if they’re in a in a launch, they may not want to do any affiliate marketing. But like I mentioned, for those who are not doing anything, it might be a great piece of content for them to share with their audience. So yeah, echoing everything that you say. And I just say give your give your affiliates some notice now so that they can kind of be on the lookout for everything. Yeah, great. But there’s a lot of a lot more promo that you can do solo without needing affiliates. Do you have any suggestions for the different types of promotions people consider to share their Black Friday sale with their audience?
Sara Gillis 31:46
Yeah, I mean, I think when you’re planning your promotions, I like to pick perhaps two to three channels or platforms to really be present on, I find that it’s exhausting to try and be present in all places and saying all the things in all the places that strategy might work well, if you’re trying to, you know, get the most eyes on on the prize here in terms of your Black Friday offer. But I feel like I want to spend my time where my leads are warmest, and where I can really serve people and answer their questions. So for me, that’s Instagram. And that’s my email list. And I feel like those two platforms are really key parts for me in terms of launch promotion for any offer, whether it’s Black Friday related or not. But I also really like having my podcast audience understand what I’m offering to those people are choosing to download and listen to my content. And I feel like that’s a really great opportunity as well, to serve them in their earbuds right. And so there’s opportunities there to consider. But I just want to emphasize, you don’t have to show up everywhere all the time. It doesn’t have to be exhausting. It can be automated, especially if we’re talking about email, marketing, or feed posts and Instagram or releasing a podcast episode. But showing up in you know, Instagram Stories, if that feels aligned to you, then great, go ahead and do that. But there are a million different ways that you can sell this offer and you don’t have to be present in all million of them. Right? Choose your choose your places wisely. Yeah, it’s
Erin Ollila 33:24
so true that you don’t need to be everywhere and for the people who are like because I know for a long time I struggled with that where I was like, I know that I don’t have to be everywhere, but I’m going to be everywhere. So if you’re me or like previous me, I remember there there are tricks for being present without having to do the work in the moment to be present. So you mentioned a podcast, for example. Now we all know things like long form blog content, podcast, video shows, they are a longer term strategy that sales can be different difficult to align with. That does not mean you should not use them for your sales. Here are some potential ways to do it. A podcast for example, you know, if you use Hello audio, there is like a section like a footer section where you put your description notes that could put like an ad, let’s say in all of your podcast descriptions. So it could be whether they’re listening to Episode one episode, you know, 30, Episode 215, they’re going to see something in the podcast description that says, you know, like, Hey, we’re having a Black Friday sale about the offer is XYZ. So just typing like a few sentences and plopping it in something like that. You don’t have to show up there. You don’t have to be visible every day. You don’t have to change your entire podcasting, editorial calendar, but it’s just something that is kind of a reminder that you can do once and then kind of set and forget until it’s time obviously to delete that. And it’s not just hello audio that has tools like that many other podcast platforms. Do or it could be something like you manually copy and paste into the descriptions on YouTube or into your Call to Action section on your blog post. So you can create it, you can upload it, and then you don’t have to, you know, be filming reels be on your stories all the time, if you don’t have the bandwidth, or the capacity to do that during your sale.
Sara Gillis 35:22
I love that tip. And honestly, that kind of dynamic content really is like an easy button, a great way to get more eyes on your content. And I mean, think about it, people are traveling likely for this holiday. And so capitalizing on that with your podcast, by offering that, that reminder to people like hey, just in case you haven’t you know seen on social media or seen in my emails, this is happening, that’s a great way to build that buzz and generate that awareness. The other idea I wanted to share, and this is one that has helped me so much, is creating a couple of static graphics, whether it’s a brand photo of you, and then just some text floating over it, to promote your offer. And like honestly, even when I don’t feel like showing up in stories on a certain day, I can upload that static graphic. And it’s a way for me to show up without showing up. Right? It’s a picture of me, it’s a picture of my computer is a picture of my you know my brand. And it’s me being out there in a way that isn’t my face talking at the camera. And that feels really good to me when I know that I just don’t have the bandwidth to show up. Whether it’s because I’m with family or I’m just not feeling that cute today. It’s it’s just that opportunity to still engage with people in a way that feels a little bit better.
Erin Ollila 36:41
Yeah, it’s such a good point. All right, they’ll final thing I want to cover before we kind of like shut down and give everyone their homework is tech. And this is such an easy thing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overlooked the tiniest tech setups, where I was like, Why didn’t I just do that a couple of weeks ago. So what type of things do people need to consider when it comes to preparing for Black Friday? When it comes to like the payment tech that they should be setting up?
Sara Gillis 37:08
Yeah, I mean, I used to be really intimidated by payment tech, I’m just gonna be super mean to you.
Erin Ollila 37:15
And honestly, once you figure it out, it is it gets so much easier, everyone, but I was on that same team. I was like, I don’t want to touch anything. I don’t know what to do.
Sara Gillis 37:25
Yes. My very first business coach, she asked me she’s like, well, how will will people purchase? I’m like, Oh, I don’t know, I don’t I don’t know. And she’s like, okay, deep breath? It’s not that hard of a question. Let’s figure it out, right. So whether you collect payments through like a CRM, like dubsado, or HoneyBook, or you have people purchase through like a fancy learning platform like Thrive cart, that’s what I tend to use, or you just set up a PayPal link or a stripe profile, like there are opportunities that don’t have to be intimidating or time intensive, or really costly, right? There are opportunities to collect payments automatically, that aren’t necessarily super intimidating. Now, you can also obviously send invoices afterwards if you want to do that manually. But I honestly just dip your toes into the water, ask your friends what they’re doing, right? Business Owner, friends are gold in this opportunity to think about, okay, how can I do this? Why I don’t have to make it complicated. What opportunities do I have? What people do I know that collect payments? And how can I automate this or make it a little bit easier on myself. So don’t be afraid to ask around. But like I said, Stripe Pay Pal, those are really easy platforms to set up. But see how you can make your CRM work for you too. That’s a really great starting point as well.
Erin Ollila 38:54
Yeah, and you know, depending on your offer, just remember you there could be multiple different ways to collect. So I’ve always used dubsado as a mostly service based business. And yes, I’ve I can use that, in addition to different types of sales. But once I like opened up the different branch of my business of doing educational content and selling digital products that I use Thrive cart. So just because you use one tool, it doesn’t mean like it’s the best tool for you to always you use so be open to new things. And I think it’s a really great plug here to say Black Friday sales are a great opportunity to do it messy. Like I think for me, part of the reason I’ve held back on certain things in business, not necessarily this but where I was afraid to move forward like payment processors is just that I wanted to do it right and I thought that in my brain there was a right way to do things. And friends like Black Friday is a great time. It’s very busy time. Like we mentioned people may overlook any quote unquote, like silly mistakes that you make, like, try something like if you’re going to like obviously you want Tech to be set up well if you can, but guess what, if it fails, it fails and you fix it. Like that’s just kind of like the best way to approach doing a sale because we don’t want you to get all the way to the end of this episode, hearing everything that you did, getting excited about doing something and then feel like you can’t move forward. Because you’re nervous about what to say in your promotions or what to say on your sales page, or how to set up the tech like, remember two years in a row, I said that I purchased from the Google document, like that was the most low tech option. And those were not tiny price things that I purchase. So you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to put the offer out there.
Sara Gillis 40:42
Yeah, present your offer and give people an opportunity to buy. That’s really the simple formula here.
Erin Ollila 40:49
Yeah, totally. All right. So we have kind of covered a lot in this episode. And I don’t want to stress anyone else out for any any further suggestions, but let’s give them a homework assignment. So they can you know, they finished hearing us and they can take an action. Based on everything we said, what would you assign to them that they could do to move forward with their black friday prep?
Sara Gillis 41:12
Yeah, I think really just getting focused in on what your capacity is, what your availability is? And what kind of what kind of hands you want to have on the process. If you choose to move forward with a black friday offer? Are you available in your inbox? If so, when are you available on this channel or that channel? If so, when? And setting those expectations and getting clear with yourself? First, before you start thinking about this is my promotional plan. This is my sales email plan. This is my sales page. This is you know, all of the pieces and parts, right? Even when it comes down to your offer, right? Do I have a lot of bandwidth in December? Or should I push this to the new year, getting really clear on your availability, your booking capacity, and how hands on you want to be during the process is a great first step. All right. So
Erin Ollila 42:07
that’s it. That’s your homework before you do it. I really want to recommend Sara’s podcast to you because you’re in a podcast player right now. So download the checklist, make your Black Friday decisions and then when you’re done head on over to Sarah show so you can learn more from thank you so much for coming here to talk about Black Friday prep prep. I really feel like everyone now has the tools that they need to just go out there and make that offer. Yeah, okay everyone. We will be back next week where we will talk some more copy. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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