James Klobasa is Product Launch Manager and Mentor. “Taking someone through a product launch, for me, is really about getting to know your market on a really intimate level, he says, “finding out what they’re after and presenting that in a curious manner or in a shock-and-awe type manner, so that they sit up and take notice.”
He specializes in helping businesses find and market to their ideal client. “All of my clients have either had five to ten to multiples of that in return, so return on investment. You’ve got to look at it in the right way, as far as this is an investment in your business. Not just a cost. It’s not just spending. It sets you up for success.”
Jack:And we are back with Influencers Radio and today’s guest is James Klobasa. He is a product launch manager. And not just a product launch manager. He’s a product launch mentor in my book because of the way, and that’s what makes him an influencer.
And when we talk about product launches, we’re not just talking about a lot of things that people think about. Info products. Training. Although a lot of that is incorporated. But we’re talking about industries from real estate, health and wellness, financial, social media, B2B, people that are coaches, consultants, in education.
Even things that you don’t typically think about using the product launch to grow the business, like offline or brick-and-mortar-type businesses, like construction, which is really interesting to me. And I want to hear more about how some of that works.
I think you’re going to learn a lot about the product launch service and probably a lot of stuff that you didn’t realize goes on with product launches.
James, welcome. Thanks for being here.
James:Hey, Jack. Thanks for having me. Great to be here!
Jack:Well, I want to get right to the point and the definition, for those who don’t know, and actually, a lot of people do have their own definition or their own thought about what product launch means. And it really depends on what industry they’re in. I’m going to let you start off with what your definition, the parameters that we’re talking about, product launch and product launch management today.
James:Yeah, okay. Taking someone through a product launch, for me, is really about getting to know your market on a really intimate level. Finding out what they’re after. And presenting that as sort of a, it might be in a curious manner or shock and awe type manner, so that they sit up and take notice.
Showing them the opportunity at hand and then showing them the transformation that can happen if you do take that opportunity. And then explaining the sort of ownership side of it, you know, what will happen to them when they take that opportunity up.
And the, of course, presenting them with an irresistible offer. So just quickly, that’s probably the quick product launch path that you take people on to move them through to a nice result.
Jack:Right. And it’s a part of marketing, right? Creating that offer. The copywriting. And that’s the one thing you get into a lot. A lot of people think of product launches, they think of the little elements of a product launch. There’s step a. Step one, step two, step three.
And there are really a lot of variables in there. But one of the things I want you to kind of go a little deeper is that product launch doesn’t necessarily mean “product,” whether physical or virtual. It can also be a service. With all these different industries that you’ve worked in, what kind of latitude are you talking about between a product, a physical product, a virtual product or even a service?
And I know you even talked about how some people do product launches for brand recognition.
James:Yeah. It really goes across the board from digital products, you know, coaches, consultants, you mentioned all of that.
One of the strange ones that I’ve done is for brand awareness in the construction industry. And we kicked off a company that was in the concrete scanning market. And I don’t know if you know that one but if you’re about to drill a hole in a piece of concrete, there’s little guys that come along and scan the concrete to make sure you don’t hit anything.
And we kicked off that business, really just telling the story of what’s the opportunity out there. And really on their side, it was what’s the bad opportunity if it all goes wrong and you actually hit something nasty.
And just telling the transformation of what had happened in the past to other companies. The experiences they’d been through going down the wrong path, and then presenting an irresistible offer.
We were able to build a brand new company on a local level really quickly and then to a national level within a couple of months. So really massive growth within, and that was in the Australian market. But it really, telling that story across an obscure market or for lack of a better word, I’ll call that obscure. It’s not IM. It’s not in the digital market.
Worked really successfully and it’s mainly because these tactics aren’t really being used in that market. Everyone knows about it from the IM market but offline, businesses and sort of out-of-the-way businesses, off the grid you could say, they’re the markets that really take off if you’re using a product launch.
And of course, I still do launches in the general markets, as far as IM. Well, not so much IM, but the digital markets and consulting, that sort of thing. But it’s the obscure markets that really get massive rewards on this as well.
Jack:Now, James. I’m going to say what everybody listening is thinking. Sure. A product launch will work in the concrete scanning. That’s got to be second to golf in a rabid, passionate following, right?
James:(laughter) Well, I’ll leave that up to their imagination, Jack. But it’s one thing. I’m a big believer of, if you get a hold of something and it really works, just use it. And really use it. Put it to work.
I’ve done a lot of launches now over the five years I’ve been a launch manager. And it’s never failed me. And this is a really interesting thing. Not many people, you know, people think, oh, I’m doing my product launch and that might be costly or I can’t get it right. There are so many moving pieces.
But you can do a really simple product launch. It doesn’t have to be big and go out to a million people. You can do a really simple, quick product launch that can be put together easily. And the results just grow on top of each other.
They have this momentum that pushes them along, so it’s something that everyone can do.
Jack:Well, I think, of course, I was being facetious with the concrete scanning, but I don’t think you could have picked a better example to put a spotlight on the fact that this works in areas and industries and verticals that people just couldn’t imagine.
Because there’s probably people out there thinking, well, this probably wouldn’t work in my market or work in my vertical. But I’ve also seen firsthand how this works, even on a local basis. You talked about the company that started out as local but then it grew national.
But I’ve seen product launches work locally. Especially in the real estate market and services like that. Health and wellness. Clearly, when companies have say, fitness bootcamps or something like that, which are starting locally. And you’re right. It’s something that is just not seen.
If you’ve been paying attention to internet marketing, you may be a little bit jaded or have blinders on around product launches. But, to me, you got to have a crystal ball. You’re still years ahead of the general person that you might meet down at the grocery store, to having any clue what a product launch is. And that effect on them could be huge psychologically.
And it sounds like you work on that. You don’t just work on the mechanics, but you work on the message and actually fine tuning who the market is that your clients and the people that you’re working with are targeting.
Do you find that that is one of the most neglected possibly areas that people spend when they’re doing a product launch? Is defining who it is that they’re trying to sell this to?
James:Yeah, most definitely, Jack. The big problem out in the market place is everyone’s trying to serve everyone. Instead of being particular. And just the perfect example. I’ve been working on a large project in the meditation space. And they came to us with an idea that their market was sort of a 35- to 60-year-old.
Now, a 35-year-old’s a lot different to a 60-year-old. After doing work, doing some research and surveys, all part of the product launch process that we go through, we found out that their ideal client was a female at 44 years old.
Now, knowing that, we’re able to tailor our marketing. Tailor our delivery of product. And tailor our language that we use throughout the whole launch process specifically to that 44-year-old female.
Now, everyone says, oh, what if I, if I cut out everyone else, then I’m going to miss out on a lot. Well, the fact is that there are a lot of 44-year-old females in the world. And going out on a global scale, that’s a huge market.
So people always get caught trying to please everyone and they end up pleasing no one.
Jack:You know, I find that to be very common. And I guess the way your brain works logically is well, wouldn’t it better to cast a wide net? Get in front of as many people as possible and different types of people.
But from what you’ve seen, targeting it and even targeting a fraction of that total market, you’ve seen bigger returns and bigger results from doing that, and neglecting a lot of what people think they need to be going after. Is that what you’re seeing? That you actually see higher profits by targeting less people?
James:Yeah, most definitely. Especially as you move up the chain and off of higher end products or more specific products. In our circumstance, the market told us what they wanted, how they wanted it delivered, more or less when they wanted it, and what they want to be told. We don’t need to think too much if we actually do the work and do a little homework.
The monetary rewards just by building a really tight knit community are massive. And we don’t need everyone. We just need the ideal client.
Jack:Well, let me talk about this. That makes complete sense. And I think when people get their head around that, they’ll realize that the tighter in they go, the more specific and targeted they’re going to be able to speak to that person.
What about cost of a product launch? Just when you hear the thing, the words product launch, you think, well, okay. This is going to be a bit of a risk. You know, I’m going to put up this money and cross my fingers and hope that it pays off.
What are some common obstacles that you see around that or maybe some misconceptions that people have around that?
James:I guess the biggest one there is people don’t see it as an investment in their business. And, yeah, product launches can be a little bit costly, but any good product launch manager or product launch mentor really shouldn’t be taking on a client that they can’t see a return for.
All of my clients have either had five to ten to multiples of that in return, so return on investment. I don’t personally take on a client unless I can easily see a five-times return. You know, that’s kind of, you’ve got to look at it in the right way, as far as this is an investment in your business. Not just a cost. It’s not just spending. It sets you up.
And this is one of the things that I did mention earlier, is that the momentum built from doing launches and doing one to the next to the next, the momentum’s huge. I normally take on clients over a year-long period where we can get three launches in. And the momentum that builds over that time is incredible.
I’ve taken people from zero, literally zero online to a million dollars online in just three launches. So it’s an investment and the people need to look at it that way.
Jack:Of course. And when you talk about zero to a million, you can look at that one of two ways. You can look at that bill that you spend on your product launch and say, look where that money went.
Or you can look at that bill and look at your million dollars revenue and say, look where all that money came from.
And I think that’s the big difference and I think the mindset is that when people invest in something like a product launch, you can’t think of that as here’s an expense. Here’s where my money’s going. You have to look at it as now, look where my revenue for this year is going to come from. And I think that’s a big difference.
And I think that’s probably the difference between folks that are successful in this business and the type of people that use product launches. A lot of them, they come built in with that success mentality and understand that that’s the power of a product launch.
Because I think that’s the one thing that you just can’t debate is the power of a product launch, versus putting up a website and a Buy button and then going out and trying to build organic traffic to it, right? I mean, that’s a dramatic difference, I would imagine.
James:Yeah. And it’s, most people think about a product launch as one single launch. Like, I personally, if a client comes to me, I’m thinking three, five, ten years ahead. Because a good launch will set your business up for life, and it really kickstarts it. So I’m never thinking about just one launch.
I think that’s just, that kind of goes back to that small mentality of what’s this going to cost me, instead of what’s my investment and where am I headed with this. You’re going to, always going to be looking at the bigger picture and how it’s going to set you up for the joint venture relationships or partners in the future. You’re listing buildingness.
There’s so many different things to look at on the bigger end of the spectrum, rather than just a one-off launch where it’s going to cost you money.
Jack:Yeah. Well, one thing, James, that I really like to do is you clearly are influencing folks and influencing their business and their bottom line with the work that you do with your clients and the mentoring that you do.
What I like to find out is what is influencing the influencer? What is it that influences you, inspires you to do what you do and finds its way into your service and your product launch management business?
James:Yeah, Jack. Well, I guess really, I’m a fairly casual guy, so I actually like to get out of the office and get inspired. So I do travel a lot. I get to the beach for a bit. That’s probably my thing and it takes my head out of the whole business and gets me fresh enough to actually dig into it.
But when I’m digging in, I probably like things, like Dean Jackson and Joe Polish’s podcast, I Love Marketing. That’s a good one. And I’ll read the occasional business book, but a classic is the old Think and Grow Rich. I always flick through that once a year and just refresh the mind.
But for me, it’s more about getting out of the business than getting stuck deep inside the business. I’ve always got a business book close by, but I find getting out and actually sharpening the sword up in the surf and in the ocean kind of works best for me.
Jack:Well, you can’t argue with success. I find that very common in a lot of successful entrepreneurs that I talk to and that I work with, so definitely a great recipe there.
So if folks want to find out more, because I’m sure we’ve opened up the eyes of folks of what product launches and who the opportunity’s available to, how can folks find out more about what you’re up to and learn more about your product launch strategies and services?
James:Yeah, thanks, Jack. They can head across to JamesKlobasa.com. I’ve got some information there for them. They can sign in if they want to take the next step and stay g’day to me. I love talking to anyone and it’s not, there’s no hard sell on the page. I’ll always have a conversation and see if I can give them that return that they’re after and if there’s an opportunity for us to work together, that’s great.
Jack:Well, that’s fantastic. I tell you, I’ve certainly loved speaking with you today and going deeper, and seeing kind of an expanded view of the product launch. So I do thank you very much for coming on today.
James:Oh, thank you, Jack. It’s been a pleasure, man. Yeah, good fun.
Jack:All right. Well, fantastic. Folks, there you have it. Go visit JamesKlobasa.com. That’s James and K-L-O-B-A-S-A.com. And learn how, not only James is influencing folks, but how doing a product launch, you’re able to get your valuable information, your valuable products, your valuable services, out there to a lot of folks at one time. And become that influencer yourself.
So remember, you are the only real game changer. We’ll see you next time.