Did you hear about a local business training event, that you’re considering attending? Daymond John’s Launch Academy has been aggressively advertising online. They advertise a free training event, usually hosted at a local hotel. After attending his free entrepreneur class in London, Ontario, I felt compelled to write an honest review of Daymond John’s Launch Academy free training event. I hope you find it helpful, if you are considering attending an upcoming event in your city.
Quick Background Story
Daymond John and I have at least one thing in common. We both believe that as an entrepreneur, you should never stop learning. I spend as much of my free time as possible consuming content about marketing and entrepreneurship in the form of blogs, podcasts, books, and even seminars, similar to Daymond John’s Launch Academy free training event. I also blog and occasionally make presentations at local networking groups. At first glance, it appeared we were similar in understanding that there’s opportunity in providing value to others, in the form of great content. By giving a lot of value to others in the form of great content, it helps establish you as an expert & and hopefully you become top of mind, when someone needs the services you are providing. It turns out; our views on how much value you should provide to others before asking for a sale differ considerably.
Free Entrepreneur Training, or Simply a Sales Pitch?
As I arrived to the event approximately 10 minutes late, I walked in the room after the presenter had started. As expected, it was not Daymond John making the presentation. Though the event was promoted in a way that may lead some to believe Daymond John would actually be there, I had made the assumption in advanced that someone at his level would surely be contracting the distribution of the content through others. This assumption was indeed correct.
The presenter first starts talking about entrepreneurship. Essentially, he was selling entrepreneurship and motivating those who are considering it to take action. While selling the idea of leaving a job or simply taking action on business ideas, he started to point out how 80% of businesses fail.
Immediately I start to feel like I’m experiencing the equivalent of a sales page, in the internet marketing world. It was obvious to me, what the presenter was doing. He was acknowledging & emphasizing a pain point many entrepreneurs experience. Fear of failure.
As the presentation continued, I confirmed what I suspected. The entire business training event was a glorified sales pitch, and the amount of useful information I was about to get from it would be minimal. Any information I would get would simply support the presenter’s job of selling a 3 day, $4,000 coaching program with “Daymond’s Team”.
For those who simply wanted the short and sweet explanation of the event, you can stop here. In the rest of this article, I will explain more about the event, but in order to provide extra value to those reading it, I’m going to touch on some things I’ve learned about effective copy writing.
The Silver Lining – Seeing Top Level Salesmanship at Work
While I was disappointed I was tricked into attending a training event that was really a 2 hour sales pitch, I will admit there was a silver lining for me. The gentleman selected to make the presentation was clearly a talented sales man. I could recognize him putting into action some things I’ve learned about copy writing in the past, and I was reminded of some best practices that can be considered, when writing sales copy or pitching your business in general.
- Acknowledge Your Target Market’s Pain Point – The presenter wasted little time, before showcasing his understanding of the target market, and the pain they may be experiencing. Who would be likely to attend a free training session, which boats the name of a famous entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs who are new, or are still in the initial growth phase of their business. What “pain” might this target market be experiencing? One answer would be the fear of failure. As mentioned earlier, the presenter did a great job of both promoting entrepreneurship, while not only acknowledging a paint point, but emphasizing what things might look like if they don’t address this pain. In this case, the fact that they don’t want to be a part of the 80% of small businesses that fail. The presenter also took the opportunity to mention the biggest benefit of the course he was selling, which is surrounding yourself with the right team to help you move forward successfully.
- Showcase Credibility & Build Trust – The presenter also effectively built trust by telling Daymond John’s rags to riches story. While Daymond John is a celebrity entrepreneur, many may not understand the context of his background story. By telling that story, it helps you to see that Daymond John is successful, for a reason. He has learned a lot of business lessons, has built a high level of business knowledge & has surrounded himself with the right people. Establishing credibility can also add value when you’re copy writing. The goal is to help the reader understand why they should keep spending time, consuming your sales pitch. Do you really have the ability to solve the pain the target customer is experiencing? Why should they believe you?
- What’s in it For Them? – Naturally, you need to clearly communicate the benefits of your offer. In the presentation, the presenter accomplished showcasing the benefits by providing some vague points on what makes a business successful, and then mentioning how this would be touched on in more detail during the 3 day course they were selling. He touched on topics such as differentiating yourself from your competitors, creating an effective pitch, effective copy writing, good marketing, and learning to fail forward. These are all important for a business owner to understand and address.
- Further Emphasize The Pain – In order to increase the chances of making a sale, you should consider emphasizing what reality might look like, for those who don’t buy the product. In the case of the course that was being sold, the presenter again touched on points that may cause a business to fail. What if you have a poor and ineffective pitch? What if you don’t have an effective headline, which helps you stand out amongst competitors? What if your branding and business cards are ineffective? All of those points may very well contribute to the failure of a business. Of course, if you do emphasize the potential pain, make sure to tie it back to how your offer will help solve the pain, or avoid it in the first place.
- Get personable / Tug at The Heart Strings – While this step isn’t something everyone does, it can be very effective when done properly. The presenter was able to accomplish this by telling his own story. It was another rags to riches story, but it involved an abusive father, alcoholic parents, his mom having the courage to leave his dad, how they barely got by financially, how his childhood was very rough, but in spite of all this he was able to start multiple successful businesses. He became a great comeback story who was able to treat his mother to the vacation of her dreams, through his own financial freedom and love for his family. If you can tug at the heart strings and make a connection with those who you are selling to, it can often improve your chances of making the sale.
- Emphasize The Benefits – When it comes to copy writing, it is worth considering revisiting the benefits again, and emphasizing them. The presenter did this by repeating them in context to his own rags to riches story, and naturally promised the desired benefits would be covered with the service they were selling – the workshop.
- Provide Social Proof – Whether we realize it’s happening or not, people often rely on the actions and opinions of others, in order to drive their own decision making. We seek the advice of those we trust, or from those who have experienced the product or service being sold. In the presentation, a video reel of testimonials was shared to showcase the results people just like those in the room have experienced success by purchasing and attending the 3 day workshop.
- Eliminate Risk – Depending on the product or service you’re selling, removing risk is also effective when pitching what you’re offering to your target market. As the presenter did, one way to remove risk is by having a form of a return policy, or a guarantee. If your potential customer can feel like there is little chance of them regretting their purchase decision, it can increase the chances of them buying what you’re selling.
- Time Sensitive Offer – When effectively selling what you offer, it can also be effective to include a time sensitive offer. Typically this comes in the form of providing additional value at no extra charge, or a discount. As an example, the presenter promised that Daymond would cover the first $2,000 of the cost of the course, for those who signed up today only. For those who believe you are actually selling something of great value to them, this can help close more deals and decrease the amount of people who are interested, but want more time to evaluate their potential buying decision more thoroughly.
In conclusion, I am not trying to suggest Daymond John’s Launch Acadamy is a scam. I can certainly see there being value in attending the 3 day workshop. However, one must ask themselves… is this really where their time and financial resources are best used, at this point in time? Also, if their approach to making sales is delivering an aggressive sales pitch without telling people in advanced, this is their intention… does that strike you as the type of company you want to do business with? If you are comfortable with this form of selling, and if you believe it’s the right time to spend $2-4,000 on a coaching program, then Daymond John’s Launch Acadamy may be right for you.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge that the way I perceived this experience may differ from the experience of others. I would love to hear thoughts from those who have attended the free training program, or the 3 day coaching program.