This video answers the questions: “How do you sell a planner?”
This isn’t a typical day planner like the Emily Ley or Erin Condren variety. Instead, it’s what I call a Planner With A Purpose. It guides the user through achieving a specific purpose.
Next week, I’ll give a complete beginning to end tutorial on how to create your own Daily Planner Layout Using InDesign
Product Description from her site: So Much More than a Planner…This is Your LIFE! The SmartLife™ PUSH Journal is an all-in-one life planner designed to help you become a highly productive, balanced, goal-crushing machine. After 20 years of productivity coaching, Chalene Johnson and Bret Johnson, creators of the SmartLife™ PUSH Journals, are firmly convinced that a 90 day system produces optimal results. 1 year goals that look good on paper rarely work. They lack a clear action plan and fast-approaching deadline…or they disregard priorities leaving you unfulfilled and dissatisfied even when achieved. With this 90 day no-distractions system, you’ll create balance and achieve goals faster than ever!
How do you sell a planner?
Today we’re going to talk about Chalene Johnson’s SmartLife Journal. And it’s a 30 day planner, it doesn’t have dates in it. We’re going to talk about what her sales strategy is, how I think you can apply that, and things that I would change if I were doing this strategy from the beginning. So, stay tuned.
Hi, everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous, and I help online businesses create beautiful digital downloads that can attract clients and customers, and I especially help people with creating planners. Now today we’re going to talk about what I call, a planner with a purpose because you have your standard planners like the Erin Condrens, and the Emily Leys and those are just datebooks really. And then you have different planners that are really trying to fit a particular purpose, they’re trying to help some achieve a specific goal, or they have a different system that they’re trying to push.
Chalene Johnson is pretty popular already with fitness products and then her and her husband do an entrepreneurship sort of training. As well as she has …. I think I’m on her list because of the Instagram Academy, and that’s from three or four years ago. But what happened is I have never left her mailing list and I actually have her in un-enroll me, so I’m not even sure how she ended up in my inbox. But if you look over here this is the first email that popped up in my inbox on December 22nd, and she talked about not making goals and she had a pretty long blog post in which she tried to sell em her SmartLife journal.
I didn’t purchase it so she must have waited a few days and then in her funnel I received another email on the 29th again, sort of time sensitive because the new year had just started and she’s asking me again if I now want to do her free goal setting class. And when you go into that, same thing as the other one, it is a long blog post where it is selling you on her SmartLife journal, and that this is the solution to your problems for planning.
I think that is a genius idea because then it redirects you over to her sales page, which if you look over here, this is a one page sales page, even though it has navigation here at the top, if you click any of these it just jumps to a new section on here … I don’t know maybe that’s her foot, but it shows the planner in everyday activities with the phone, your headphones, water, other things that are going on that you are probably trying to make positive improvements for the year. So, it’s a great planner even though it’s not for the beginning of the year, it can really be used any time of the year.
She has a video, now I don’t like this it auto plays, which I think is a huge no-no and the value is on because a lot of us are in corporate jobs and we may be watching just trying to sneak an email and then you’ll immediately have to turn it off if you have co-workers around you.
She has laid out the major features of the planner, which I think we all know from sales pitches usually you do the benefits first, so that’s a little different. There’s one benefit in here. And then when you scroll down she has the three that scene, and then the three different colors. And then she has the specs and the details.
She’s put multiple Buy Now buttons in here so that you don’t have to go all the way to the bottom. If all of a sudden you decide this one particular section has sold me and I want to buy it, I think that’s a really smart idea.
The other thing that she’s done is over here she has walked you through all of the features of the actual planner herself. I think that’s her doing that.
And now she’s finally going into what she perceives as the benefits of her journal.
And then last she’s telling a story to us, ’cause stories sell. So in case you still haven’t been sold she has a story here at the bottom.
And then she’s telling you a few more benefits, giving you another Buy Now button with this arrow, so that’s also very compelling.
If you’re still not convinced she has testimonials. And she has video testimonials, which are really key. If you’re able to get video testimonials, I think that’s a huge help. I don’t want to say these are fake but it looks kind of staged because all of these testimonials are exactly the same location and they’re professionally done, they’re very high quality, so it’s almost like she has brought people in or maybe she had people in for a conference I’m not really sure.
Over here we have again the steps that she has outlined in the journal that in theory that you will get. And at this point, you still don’t really know what’s inside there. She doesn’t show you any pictures at all, which I know a lot of us do. I know I do this all the time, you show pictures of what you’re going to get. She still does not show you a single thing of what you’re going to get. And instead she is just still selling you.
She’s just elaborated a little more because remember we already got what’s included over here, so she’s taken this section, if you’re still with her. She’s taken it and expanded it now to just put something descriptive words around there. And she’s just done some little highlights. So, this is kind of cute. She’s made it brighter so it’s a little bit more appealing. Again, she hasn’t shown you all of the pages that are inside.
The planner I’ll open it for you in a couple minutes, but it has six sections that you can click for a larger view, but again it is not the whole planner it’s just parts of it. And over here again just another scene of the planner.
She gives you two choices. So, at this point, which is funny because the Buy Now before just had a Buy Now there were no choices. But now here at almost the very bottom we have a choice between the lesser expensive just buy one journal or buying a three pack.
Here she’s given you a guarantee, and finally we’re at the end where she tells you, you can join her community and she has other people taking pictures. And I would say 80% of these look staged and the other part look a little bit more natural.
The nice thing about this is I ordered this on January 1st, which was a holiday, however I did receive it yesterday, which was the 3rd so that was a pretty quick turnaround. It came from a fulfillment center in Carlsbad, which is actually just right up the street, it’s maybe an hour away I think from my apartment.
I got an email inviting me to join this Facebook group, but it doesn’t look like she posts a lot in it, looks like more people are just posting in the group rather than her.
Let’s go ahead and open up the SmartLife journal
Now, the odd thing I did look at a few … what did I look at? I looked at a few videos beforehand of other people who had done unboxings and reviews and her packaging has changed significantly. I think to save money ‘cuase obviously she’s a business. She no longer has pretty packaging, it’s gone. It’s instead been replaced with this plastic US Postal System mailer. And she no longer has the books as binded, instead they’re now plastic wire frame, which as we all know if you had taken Planner 201 is the cheaper option.
Iinside here, because it arrived in a plastic mailer it looks like it was damaged. This paper box is … I don’t know if you like keeping packages, but really you can’t keep it, the whole thing kind of fell apart. It’s a cute box though, looks like it has a thank you with a message telling you to go to that Facebook post. It also has a journal, which is interesting because I did not receive a link to that journal in the email. The box on the front just has her branding and then around it, it just has that hexagon shape to it.
I ordered the three pack so I could see what all three colors look like. They come in another plastic container, which is a good idea in case it’s raining or your package gets stuck in snow, it is the winter time. And inside here we get all three journals. So, they are exactly the same. The colors I would say are very true to what you see on the website. There’s no I would say quality issues with the colors.
Let’s go ahead and open one of these books. Now, if you’re wondering what’s on the back, nothings on the back it just says the logo and the website. In here you are going to get a monthly tracker, and I did take a peek and the other trackers do match the color for whichever tracker cover color that you have purchased. But this was interesting, they all had different quotes on them. I’ll check in the black one. Yes, this has a different quote. So depending on which planner you purchase, it will have a different quote on the back but the front is all the same.
On the front you have where it is tracking what day it is, and it’s only going to do 30 days. Water, sleep, diet, fitness, and your push. Now, push is her system, so I think that’s always a great idea when you’re selling a planner to have some sort of system.
It has that same hexagon shape that we saw on the box. So, over here we have another it looks like just a purple page, so a nothing page. And we have the intro, so same thing you can put your name who this belongs to, your contact information. A note from her, my name is Chalene Johnson.
You have a table on contents, and we see that we have three sections, the biggest section here is the daily tracker, which again I really find this interesting because it was advertised on the website as a 90 day system, but this is only a tracker for 30 days. So in theory you must purchase all three planners. Again, sort of genius to force you to buy three planners instead of one.
She has another quote. So here’s the first section, which is just how to use this journal, pages are stuck together. And she a script font with I would say this is Sans Serif and this is a Serif font. Now this is interesting, and it’s kinda cute she put the page numbers on the sides and she has the SmartLife Push Journal branding going vertical. Now we have section two, so that was a really quick how to use this.
Section two she has her steps that she wants you to go to. Basically she must explain a lot in the video tutorial, I did not watch that. But you saw the link so you can watch that if you want. And she wants you to brainstorm on your 90 days, again pushing that 90 days so that you feel again compelled to possibly buy all three books. And she has just a quote. She has the third step in which you are finally doing some goal setting at this point. And then she has you prioritizing your goals. And then on this section she’s basically just telling you a lot of information, and same thing over here. And then now she has what she calls push goals, which I’m assuming are like stretch goals. So, she’s calling them push, it just means bigger goals. Then she has another brainstorm for your push goal and all the tasks that go into it. So, basically just asking you to break down your project planning. Again another page. And another push goal, or maybe it’s the same push goal, and things you need to do for this month and what you need to do, just again questions over on the goal. Quote page. And here is just some more direction on how to put your planner in action. And then she’s telling you how the daily pages work.
Now we’re getting into the daily page section. And now every single section after this looks exactly the same. They’re two page layouts and this is just again, she’s really trying to get you to focus on your push goal. And then she has a daily schedule. And she does have a line for gratitude and some notes, and then a whole notes page, so that’s kind of nice. And then over here I think because she has such a big fitness push, she has asked you to go ahead and put in your food, water, your workouts, she wants you to track your sleep, and she wants to track your times of your meal that must be something to do with another special program she’s trying to push. So, that’s really good she’s doing some cross promoting. I know you’re thinking, “Oh she’s trying to help me,” she’s actually doing some cross promotion because she does sell a lot of fitness things. So, that’s why you have a fitness tracker and food log in here versus some other part of your life like dating, or relationships or something else. So every single day looks exactly the same.
And that goes all the way to the end when she has this last section called the 30 Day Review. And in this 30 Day Review … and you see this a lot in journals. She wants you to re-evaluate everything around your push goal. She’s given you some blank pages. So really I guess everything if I’m reading everything around your push goals was just a two page spread. And then after that you have just two pages for notes, so not a lot of room for notes. That’s usually my biggest complaint about planners, but this would probably be too bulky. So, inside of here you have a notes for each page but you know sometimes you don’t need notes that particular day or something else. And that is it.
The insides of the journal actually are different because this is a purple and gold and the black one has a black and a green, so this very masculine and actually the green in real life … I don’t know if you can see this on the screen, it’s very, very difficult to read. So, if you don’t really like the text that might be a good thing, so you don’t have to see it. And the pink one or the maroon one, has maroon and a light pink. This is actually my favorite just in terms of a color combo. And this black on is definitely too masculine, and the gold and purple I guess that would be great if I was a Minnesota Vikings fan. And this was interesting, the pink one and only the pink one came with a set of stickers and they have the different months or you can do it as numbers. And they also have the months as circles instead of squares. And this is the only one that came with it. The rest of them did not come with any stickers, so that was interesting. I don’t know if that was on purpose or if that is simply a fulfillment error. I’m not really sure.
To wrap up, things I really liked about the sales tactics she used is
She has a complete sales page dedicated just to this planner. She added a system to it. She added a private Facebook group to it. And she added a video training after you purchased it, to make it seem like you really needed to get the planner in order to get her system. And she has a lot of cross selling with her other products because she does sell fitness products as well. So, I think she did an excellent job there.
Now what would I change?
The only things I would change on the sales page, and these are minor is, I would definitely not have had the volume playing right away. I think that is a huge pet peeve of many people, especially if you’re like I said in corporate America, or just in general nobody wants to like be talked to if you don’t want to talk to somebody. And the second thing is I definitely would have put more benefits in the front, less features.
And as far as packaging. For packaging, I would not have used this box. So, the original boxes that she had, which I’m sure where very expensive were beautiful and this one is not beautiful. And in fact because it arrived like this. And it was only coming an hour away, but when it gets on the truck, and as you know if it’s not in a box when it’s in one of these mailers it just kind of gets shoved around and it gets smushed. So I actually feel like it’s a waste of money because when you get this now you feel like you have something that’s very cheap, even though I’m sure it was not cheap to make this box. I didn’t even need the box.
Instead, what I would have done, having this clear packaging, instead I would have gotten either a nicer packaging maybe something like a silver Mylar color or something that matches my branding and maybe just a sticker that goes on top of it. Now again, because it looks like in that Facebook group there are about 2,800 people, so she probably has too many people for the fulfillment center maybe to put a sticker on there, but you can send these into the fulfillment center yourself and pre-label them with stickers. So, I think that would have been a much better option, again then this box, which I’m sure was very expensive and actually just looks a little cheaper. Especially since the beginning box that she had, the really nice ones that open up and had a lot of cute stuff, filling and everything else inside of there.
If you want to learn how to make these daily planner pages, we will be doing a tutorial next week.
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All right. Let me know in the comments below if you have the SmartLife journal and if you like it, if you follow the system.
It didn’t really speak to me, but again that wasn’t really the purpose. I really just wanted to see what her sales strategy was in selling this journal, because again she’s not somebody who sells journals, that’s not her core business. Just like other people that are selling coffee mugs or t-shirts, that’s not their core business. But I think it’s a great add-on and something that people really like, especially if they look up to you as a leader. And I think it’s a great product for increasing, having an additional revenue stream that is very related, but again not a completely separate business.