Download: MP3 (32.3 MB)

Learn Lettering 2.0 launched on Monday and as I write this, 3,300 people have signed up for Learn Lettering. I talk about how I was able to get this many signups in a little over one day, what it took to produce the course, how I wrote over 100,000 words in the past 6 weeks, what my 30-day hand lettering blog post series has done for building the list, how we’re getting people to share it, and a ton more.

It’s a speeding bullet of an episode and it will not quit. Just like our hustle.

It’s so jam-packed, in fact, we ended up splitting it into two parts. I do leave you with a cliffhanger, but not before providing massive value and behind-the-scenes marketing insights.

Seriously, in the middle of the show, Ben said he wanted to leave right then and go apply what he heard.

Oh! I almost forgot. We announce a very special live event happening for e200 of the seanwes podcast and how you can join us. You’ll have to listen to hear more about that.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins:
  • The strategic things you do after a launch are what make it successful.
  • Are you going to talk or are you going to do?
  • While you’re checking your stats, haters, & traffic, I’m working.
  • When you’re a specialist, you can charge more.
  • Open rates, subscribers, unsubscribers, and traffic don’t matter—the only metric that matters is the feedback you’re getting.
  • You could look at numbers every day for a little release of dopamine, but it dulls the experience of having real engagement with people.
  • A day is successful when you showed up, not when you break 10 likes or get 100 new subscribers.
Show Notes
  • 06:41 Sean: I’ve been hustling because we just launched Learn Lettering 2.0 on July 27th. We took off podcasting the week before the sabbatical, worked through the sabbatical, and then took the week off podcasting the week after the sabbatical because it just couldn’t be done. I did go to sleep last night, but it was after being awake for 30 or 40 hours. I’ve been working nonstop because of the launch, but we did launch on time.
  • 07:48 Ben: I had a pretty good conversation with Aaron Dowd yesterday about the whole deadline thing. Just watching how things have been for you for the past several weeks and thinking ahead to my own product launches, I’ve been wondering what I could learn from this. It’s not like you set something that wasn’t unrealistic, it’s just a lot of work.
  • 08:15 Sean: It is almost unrealistic. You know why though, right? I’ve actually shared why I’ve been working so hard and why I set that deadline for Learn Lettering (Related: Why I Work Hard).
  • 11:34 Ben: We just talked about the tension of the whole Back Against the Wall thing, how it plays out publicly, and how that makes it an interesting story whether you did it on purpose or not. We also talked about how if we gave ourselves too much time or didn’t set a deadline, it could go on indefinitely. For example, I’m working on a book. I don’t have a deadline for it and it’s just not happening.
  • 12:08 Sean: It won’t happen and I know mine won’t either. That’s why this winter I’m giving myself three months and then it’s done, but I don’t have a date for it it. Everyone keeps asking me how the launch went, but it’s hustle time. We launched at 8am on Monday and I worked until 10pm that night when I had already been up for over 24 hours.
  • 12:43 Ben: So you didn’t have a pizza party, celebrate, and take a nap?
  • 12:48 Sean: No, but I’m trying to plan something for Friday. Matt calls it a “rolling in the money party”, where you launch and then you enjoy the fruits of your launch, but I’ve never done this. I’m not good at celebrating. It either did what I expected or it didn’t and we need to work harder. I’m trying to be good about celebrating because otherwise it all blurs together. Remember that day we worked hard, Cory? We work hard everyday. You don’t remember unless something stands out, like, “Remember when we launched Learn Lettering 2.0 and we…?” Laci actually really wants a date with me and she deserves so many dates.
  • 13:46 Check out Learn Lettering, it’s incredible. There’s a 48 hour launch bonus—you get a Sketchnote workshop module when you purchase the Master Class. Also, instead of selling the Starter Class for $99, like the three modules I sold last year, I’m giving this one with four modules away for free. This is a three camera production with premium hosting that I’m paying for because it’s an investment, and I’m just giving it all away. You’re crazy not to check it out.
  • 15:31 Ben: Whether they buy something bigger or they take advantage of the free thing, either way you’re paying.

Episode 200

  • 16:46 Sean: We’re 10 episodes out from episode 200 right now and I want to invite all of the listeners, not just the Community members, to the special live event we’ll be streaming at We’ll be streaming it live with video, so if you haven’t heard it live it’s going to be an amazing experience. You’ll also be able to experience seanwes Talk, the new chat system we have in the Community. You get to join in and chat as a guest! This chat system is so awesome. We’re streaming live right now and you can play the live stream from the chat system. You can star messages and see the Community members there. I’m mentioning it now because I want people to sign up to get notified of the live event. I think we’ll have hundreds of people in there and it’s going to be so fun.

Inside Learn Lettering 2.0

  • 19:25 Ben: If you’re wondering how launches work, Sean is doing it right, but there’s this perception that once the launch is over, you won’t have anything to do after it.

The strategic things you do after a launch are what make it successful.

  • 19:54 It didn’t surprise me that you’re still hustling even after the official launch time on Monday. It wasn’t like you just had other stuff to do, the launch was still happening. You’re right in the middle of it.
  • 22:12 Sean: Now that we’ve launched, I’m going to share the real numbers eventually. Everyone keeps asking me about the real numbers because that’s what put me on the map with the last launch, which made six figures in three days. I want to share the results, but it’s not over. With the old one, I launched it and that was it. This time, I’ve got some urgency. There’s a period where you get the Sketchnote workshop if you buy early. The Master Class is 15 modules and 75 lessons, that’s hours and hours of highly produced stuff helping you out with not only the technical aspects of lettering, but the business side too. People who aren’t even letterers have gone through it and said it’s had a tremendous impact on their carrier.
  • 23:30 The introductory rate for the Master Class is $447 and it’s going to increase to $699 permanently on August 10th, 2015. That’s still an insane deal. Some people really just want the business modules, so I tell them to go buy the Master Class. The material in this module is worth thousands of dollars. I’ll do a business course, but don’t be surprised when it costs thousands. You can wait for that, or you can be smart and get it now while it’s $447 and just look at the business stuff. My goal is to make it 10X the value. If you want half of it, it still holds the value.

I’m not going to put something out unless I believe it’s valued at 10 times the price I’m asking.

  • 24:39 This is the least expensive it will ever be. It’s all about positioning. Most people teach lettering are teaching it from an artist’s perspective. I came through the path of business. I was a business person before I was a letterer and I’m not plagued by the “starving artist” mentality that seems to pervade the art industry. It’s like if you make money from your art, you’re a sell-out. I’m not plagued by that, I come at it from a business perspective and that’s what I provide here—a unique hybrid between art and business. It’s the technical things you need to know with the business knowledge you need to succeed.
  • 25:34 The business part is applicable to anyone. When you’re an artist, it’s a little bit of a stretch to buy a class that teaches business, but really the business part is what you need to make it work. Even if they’re not hand letterers, the smart people will get it anyway because that’s going to help them with whatever they’re doing. It’s valuable and if I repositioned it, I would charge more. It would be more tailored, but that’s why you can charge so much.

When you’re a specialist, you can charge more.

  • 26:12 The more you niche down, the more you can charge because it’s a perfect fit. I’m not making this class thousands of dollars because I don’t expect hand letterers to value it at that, but I know the results people will get from the business teaching will give them thousands of dollars. If I repositioned it as a tailored business course, it’ll be priced accordingly.
  • 26:39 Ben: I’ve even worked with clients who I would recommend the Master Class to just because I know what they would learn about how to deal with clients, how content marketing works, and curation would be a huge benefit to the way they do business, even if they’re not in a creative industry.
  • 27:08 Sean: I don’t even care if people who aren’t hand letterers buy it because that’s not my goal. I’m niching down because I know it’ll be effective with a target audience. You could say this is an art class or call it How to Make Money With Your Art, because “it might reach more people,” but it won’t. That’s why I’m niching down. I will make the business classes, because I know that if people want to learn business they won’t think to buy a hand lettering class. That’s why I’ll make something new and reposition it. It’s just a secret that you get so much business stuff out of this class.

Don’t Check Stats, Just Hustle

  • 27:56 Teaser: part two of this episode will be out in a few days. I’m still not sharing the real launch numbers of Learn Lettering 2.0 yet, because right now it’s head-down work and it’s either talking or doing. Are you going to talk or are you going to do? I literally don’t have time for this show, but I’m making time because this is what we do. The podcast has been exploding lately! In the past month or two it’s on the up. I don’t give our network partners for shows like In the Boat With Ben, Lambo Goal, or The Podcast Dude access to all of the stats.
  • 28:56 I could work out a way to give them those numbers, but the reason I don’t give you access to the numbers is because the numbers do not matter. If you look at any successful blog, they showed up every day for two years with no results and then something magically caught on after two years. People look at your backlog—your undiscovered wealth of knowledge—and wonder how they haven’t known about you.

You could look at numbers every day for a little release of dopamine, but it dulls the experience of having real engagement with people.

  • 29:41 Ben: When someone takes the time to write in and respond to something you’ve said, they leave a comment, or leave a review—that’s the exciting stuff. Why waste your energy on something as small and meaningless as numbers? You’ve got to let that anticipation build up so you have that enthusiasm to talk to the people who are actually engaging with you. Save your energy for those people.
  • 30:38 Sean: Here’s the difference between me and other people: while you’re looking at your stats, traffic, downloads, analytics, unfollowers, open rates, and unsubscribe reasons, I’m hustling, making new content, replying to emails, reaching out, making videos, and showing up. While you’re looking at stats, I’m making things. I used to look at the numbers—our podcast has seven figure downloads. That’s awesome but I stopped looking at the traffic.

The only metric that matters is the feedback you’re getting.

  • 31:19 Sean: What email responses are you getting? What messages are people sending you? What conversations are you having with your audience? That’s all that matters. I never look at unsubscribe reasons, unfollowers, downloads, or traffic unless it’s to look for a specific piece of information. It’s not a thing that I check and it’s not a part of my routine. I believe so much in the reasons I’m doing what I do that I know the results will come. A day is successful when you showed up, not when you break 10 likes or get 100 new subscribers and the results will come from that.
  • 32:05 In the next episode, I’m still not going to tell real numbers because I’m not going to spend an ounce of my energy being reflective about something I still need to hustle at. What I will tell you is some of the tactics, methods, and approaches I’m using for marketing this course and getting the results you’ll hear when I do release them.