Is your marketing message strategic?.

Janine Coombes making an 'ace' sign with forefinger and thumb

How do you get great results from your marketing?

Planning does mean you have to put in more effort up-front, but reduces headless chickening long-term and it WILL get you better results.

This week I have an amazing example of a marketing campaign carefully engineered to be effective and to manage energy levels.

Clare Josa is an author, speaker and mentor to passionate world-changers (I got that from her website, so I know it’s right).

She’s been running her own business for 15 years and for the last 3 years she’s been running annual From Expert to Author masterminds.

Her campaign to run, possibly her last, live author mastermind is sooo meaty! Rich with learnings and marrowbone jelly (*80’s advert reference*).

Let’s have a nosey at her marketing campaign!
4 minute overview of Clare’s marketing campaign. Check it out! And subscribe pretty please.

Marketing Campaign Objective:

To fill the 20 spots on her author mastermind.

Target audience:

People who have the germ of a non-fiction book idea but don’t know who to turn that into a published work.

By calling it From Expert to Author, she has cut out fiction writers and is attracting her ideal clients; people who self-identify as experts.


A four month mastermind program taking you through how to structure and write your first non-fiction book in five teaching modules.

It includes a Facebook group for support, regular group mentoring calls plus several bonuses such as the ‘Ditching Imposter Syndrome For Authors’ course and the ’How To ‘Magically’ Make More Time’ masterclass.

Price was £997.

Marketing message:

Clare has crystal clear high level and campaign level messaging.

Her high level message is that she ‘mentors world-changing leaders’. This is so concise yet explains so much. Love it!

Her campaign level message was ‘Nail your book idea’. Again, direct and concise. More about this later.

Marketing Tactics:

The main sales funnel (I hate that term, but can’t think of a good replacement for now) was her 5 day challenge that she ran using a Facebook Group.

Clare’s 5 day Facebook challenge:

  • One question per day for participants to answer: video posted in Facebook group and emailed to participants
  • People were encouraged to post their answers in the group and give each other feedback
  • Clare responded to all answers and queries
  • One daily Facebook live in the group; covering areas people got stuck on and extra author ninja tips.

Clare originally wanted the challenge to resolve the 5 most common mistakes new authors make, but she’s been working with Jessica Lorimer (sales warrior), who shot that idea down in flames.

Jess’s advice was; ‘what is the one thing they need to know, understand or have experienced to get them ready to commit to your mastermind?’

Clare says she realised that the participants of the challenge needed to have a book idea that they were truly passionate about. And thus the Nail Your Book Idea challenge was born!

This reminds me of something I read in Seth Godin’s book This is Marketing. The decision to buy something like this is like a chasm of doubt.

Is it worth the money? Do I have time for it? Will it deliver what I want? Is it even what I want? Am I really author material?

What is going to give them the energy to take the leap?

Clare acknowledged that the Nail Your Book Idea topic was going to be a risk.

Some people might think of a fabulous book idea and then feel that they didn’t need the mastermind.

This did happen, but these people were probably never likely to sign up.

The Nail Your Book Idea concept successfully moved people from ‘I might write a book one day’ to ‘I’ve decided I’m going to write a book this year!’ (Details of results further down).

Marketing communications channels:

Clare shared the challenge on her social media platforms but said she wasn’t in ‘major launch visibility mode’.

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Her Dare to Dream Bigger Facebook Group
  • Emails to her subscriber list
  • Personal mentions to wannabe non-fiction authors (but NOT sharey McSleazy-face in other people’s Facebook groups, she was keen to point out)
  • Word of mouth was encouraged by creating a hashtag (#nailyourbookidea) and incentivising participants to share it with a compelling competition.

She got the majority of challenge sign ups in the week before the challenge went live, by getting the people who’d already signed up to share the challenge and spread the word using a competition.

Clare’s management of the challenge Facebook group was masterful.

She credits Mike and Callie, The Membership Guys, for the approach she took. She applied their onboarding process and treated the challenge as if it was a 5 day membership.

Key points:

  • She opened the group early, 20 people were in the Facebook group in advance and she started getting them ready and excited by sending them emails and getting them to answer questions in the group.
  • Her key welcome question in the group got people thinking about ideas for their book. This meant they were visualising themselves as authors from the get go. It also meant they hungry for the next steps and motivated to put it all into action.
  • She managed to get almost everyone into the Facebook group before the start of the challenge so she didn’t have anyone waiting for approval on day 1 of challenge.

She was determined to get everyone who’d signed up to get in the FB group and to comment on that first welcome question. Then she was certain they could successfully watch the videos and that they were interacting. This got the the conversations flowing and built the community before the challenge went live.

What came across very strongly having spoken to Clare is her warmth and determination to help people. She said her aim was ‘to make this the most incredible experience for people without overwhelming them’.

Clare spent about 30 hours during the 5 day challenge, interacting and answering questions. All the videos (except the live ones #obvs) and daily emails had been prepared and scheduled in advance, so this was pure value-add and mentoring.

She was rewarded with comments like:

“I could see that you knew what you were talking about”

“You’ve proved to me that I can get results”

“I can see you’re not a ‘flog me a deal’ kind of person”


By the end of the challenge and with two full weeks to go before the mastermind goes live, Clare had filled 17 of the 20 spots.

This meant that she went into the half term holidays (she has school-aged kids) feeling relaxed. That’s how she planned it. The smarty pants.

In the end 90 people signed up to the challenge.

Of these 78% of these signed up in the week before it went live, due to the share-the-hashtag competition.

On the final day of the challenge she held a live Q&A on Zoom, of those who watched, 70% signed up to the mastermind.

Clare says she was amazed by the 70% conversion rate on her landing page too. It was a very good landing page, but this goes to show the quality of leads that she was attracting. The landing page wasn’t shared willy-nilly, it was mainly visited by people who’d had that high quality interaction with her on the challenge.

At the time of publishing, Clare had just run a 90 minute online masterclass version of the challenge for people who couldn’t take part in the challenge. If she hasn’t filled the remain 3 spots, I’d be astonished.

Nail Your Book Idea is now a paid self-study course.


The success of this campaign was strategically planned. Even down to the medium she chose for the challenge. She knows she likes teach by video, that’s how the mastermind is delivered, so she needed to attract people who like to be taught by video.

This was such a beautifully constructed campaign.

I asked Clare how she’d managed it, knowing that she’s got an overflowing plate of exciting projects this year and she said ‘I’ve been making mistakes for 15 years.’

Success like this are built on strong foundations. Clare’s reputation and knowledge of her customers has been growing year on year.

She’s run this mastermind for several years; refining the offer and the marketing process each time.

Marketing is trial and error. Get going, give it a try. Do more of what works. Notice what doesn’t and fix it or stop it!