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Guest Post: What is Rolling Thunder?

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Today’s guest post is written by Rebel Brown of People Who Know. This is her second post in an exciting series all about doing Market Launches for consultants. Rebel has just released her most recent Ebook called “Rolling Thunder” and it’s available for FREE download for you! Details at the end of this post, enjoy!
>> Read Rebel’s full bio here

Last week we introduced the concept of Rolling Thunder launches as a new way to think about market entry. Today, let’s talk about how Rolling Thunder works and the phases to get that thunder rolling!

The goal of a Rolling Thunder approach is to build momentum across the market before we launch our new consulting offering or ourselves as a brand.

  • We create buzz and excitement that gets our audience wondering ‘what’s coming’.
  • We gather supporting evidence before we publicly announce, strengthening our sales and marketing efforts.
  • We also work the ‘kinks’ out of our product, services, sales and marketing before we step into the limelight.

Rolling Thunder Launch Phases
Here’s an example of a Rolling Thunder timeline – at a very high level. Each of the phases is designed to build momentum toward the ultimate announcement – and beyond. Note that point – there’s more work to be done after the launch, always. Phases vary based on the specific launch environment, your evidence and audience focus and other specifics. The important thing is to focus on creating the results from each phase instead of following the exact phases.

Rolling Thunder Image

The Gathering: There are a couple of key aspects for consultants at this stage; creating your Rolling Thunder plan and defining your positioning story. We discussed positioning in my previous articles and eBook It’s Not About You Anymore. To create a great plan, paint the picture of your IDEAL ultimate success – including evidence of your skills, supporting quotes from customers and partners, the headlines you’d like to read in social media coverage, customer examples that would ideally reflect the value you offer – and then plan backwards to create that ideal. BTW – one of the KEY aspects of a Rolling Thunder launch is evidence from LOTS of 3rd parties – so make sure evidence is a key aspect of your plan.

The Whisper: The fastest way to get someone’s attention isn’t to be loud – it’s to whisper. So the first step in any Rolling Thunder launch is to Whisper your ‘news’. Select a few clients, partners, and friends to share your new. Tell them what you’re doing, ask for their support, get their feedback to tune and improve your message. Get them involved and then ask them to softly whisper what’s coming from you to a few of their key friends. They’ll share positive word-of-mouth to set the stage for your news.

Electricity in the Air: Now you can begin to expand your audience. Begin storytelling with small select subsets of your key audience – your trusted clients, social media friends, business partners – those you trust to be supportive and positive. Share the story and ask them for feedback and support. Also ask them for more evidence of your value. Remember, the key is third party evidence, not your own pats on the back.

Momentum Swells: Now we have customers and social friends to support our announcement. The buzz is out, so it’s time to accelerate the momentum. Let more of the world in on the secret ahead of your public announcement. Select key audience targets – your lead dominoes – based on how they’ll fill in your story on announcement day. This phase is all about getting everyone in your corner who can support you – ahead of the announcement.

Thunder Rolls: By now, your market should be buzzing, waiting with baited breath for what’s to come from you. So let it roll. Just make sure the focus is on all your supporter and their evidence of your value – not on thumping your own chest! Focus on evidence of success in the form of clients who’ve benefited from your service. If you don’t have clients – then use past customers or employers to prove your value add.

New Horizons: Most people think the announcement is the ending – in fact, it’s just the beginning. The key to great launches it to keep going – keep adding more evidence, sharing more client success, staying high in visibility after the big day. The best way to do that is through clients and case studies or quotes of support – so keep at those examples and share them in a regular, ongoing basis.

Now we’ve been thru a high level Rolling Thunder Launch. Next week we’ll start to discuss each phase in much more detail – sharing examples and ideas on how you can create a Rolling Thunder launch for your consulting business.

One thought on “Guest Post: What is Rolling Thunder?

  1. Scott Heathwood says:

    I love the simplicity of the bleedin obvious its something I/we try to use everyday. So much of this is just sensible and not hubris.
    Great article, and old chines proverb said you can’t teach a horse to obey the subtle commands of a nudge and a whisper by training it with shouts.

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