Are You Ready to Reinvent Yourself? A Post-Pandemic Approach to Work/Life Balance was a vision on December 15th, 2020 that became a reality on January 28th, 2021! I had the content (in my head), the mindset, and the goal to complete the process and to make it shine! While my Launch Party would have been live, with cocktails, snacks, a book signing, and so much more, I needed to push my own “reset” and “repurpose” my ideas into something virtual.
My first stop was Google, where I reviewed ideas, past experiences, and failures. My second stop was YouTube, where I perused party ideas, virtual offerings, games, and so much more! My third stop was my own designer, computer, home office, and my talented family members; together, we created something incredibly special that far exceeded expectations.
Step One: Create branded graphics
For this step, I went to Kimb Williams, an extraordinary graphic designer who “reads” me. She created the front and back cover, promo materials for the book launch and party, banners for Facebook, and everything imaginable. I said balloons, and she delivered customized balloons! I said virtual background depicting a party, and she went to work creating templates that far exceeded my expectations! I created an invitational video, multiple social media posts, direct messaging, and email blasts.
Step Two: Pick a date/time
Chances are that you’ve already scheduled your launch; the party date is next. Make it a date/time of the week that works across timezones. Make it something that would be before dinner Pacific Time, and after an early dinner Eastern Time. With no carpool runs and other errands, everyone is fairly certain to be at home! I scheduled the party on Zoom and started promoting the event 10-12 days prior to the event. I asked those interested to respond, “I’m in” via text, messaging, or email. I also added a response button to each of my websites.
Step Three: Plan the schedule
I considered multiple ideas and settled on these key components to a successful launch party:
- Consider pre-planted questions about your inspiration, your why your intended outcomes (I did not need them because I had the right mix of people at the party and they asked without prompting).
- Prepare a story that will capture your audience’s attention and make them feel included; frame it well (This was easy for me; at another time in my life, I worked 100 hours per week/3 countries per week, and I found balance. I also used my nursing platform to reinvent myself multiple times in multiple states and roles).
- Use visuals (I decided on a brief PowerPoint presentation with a built-in game
- Ask someone to co-host or share the screen to keep things rolling smoothly, and to allow yourself to relax (I asked a family member to co-host; she also recreated the game on her own PC, added the names, branding, confetti, and applause while entertaining everyone)
- Be sure to include “How to Order” in your slide deck and offer an explanation of both ordering and reviewing processes
- Rehearse prior to the event with your tech team (family member or friend) to ensure that everything works well
Step Four: Invite your guests
I invited a broad group of potential guests, some of whom were unable to attend. I also opened it via social media to those with an interest, asking them to reach out to me. I created and used lots of hashtags to spur interest and curiosity. Trust me, the right people were in the right seats (in their own homes) at the right time). Everyone who responded favorably received a pdf copy of the book.
Step Four: Start and end strong
The internet connection was strong (a pre-requisite), the background was amazing (thanks to Kimb), and the Zoom room looked full with nearly everyone visible. Following my lead with a glass of sparkling white grape juice, the tone was set for reflection, reinvention, and fun! I extended warm welcomes and intros and then we shared the presentation. I had pre-selected a few segments to read aloud, and because we were virtual, I opted to add a few words to a slide and to share using that tool. The content included a favorite quote, a reason for Trusting the Process (Part 8), the intro to my story of Reinventing Yourself the Kellogg Way, and more. We then played Spinthewheel, identified an Amazon Giftcard Winner, and everyone was given a chance to add to the conversation. Through open networking, and my ability to draw each individual into the conversation, the party was a huge success.
Step Five: Celebrate success
I followed up immediately after the event with a personalized email message and an updated copy of the book. I recorded a thank-you video that was shared with each attendee. The video and the success story was posted on multiple social media outlets; since then, I’ve received great interest in the book, in my other releases, and in my work. Take advantage of my lessons learned; adapt what works for you to create your own Virtual Book Launch Party, and have fun!