Our tagline here at One Woman Shop is one we take very seriously: Going it alone shouldn’t feel lonely. Your next launch — and your marketing strategy, in general — is no exception to this rule. In fact, having a community of ambassadors surrounding your next launch or your ongoing promotion might just be what makes or breaks it.
The #1 key to building that community is this: Make it easy for the people you’re recruiting. Enter: the Swipe File.
The what and why of a Swipe File
A Swipe File is a collection of materials that can be used to promote your product or service. It gets its name from the way it’s used: people can “swipe” copy, graphics, and more from the file to use in their own marketing.
Swipe Files are especially handy when you’re reaching out to potential ambassadors for your next launch, or when recruiting affiliates for ongoing programs. They can also be used when doing outreach for things like awareness campaigns or for those times when someone asks how they can promote you. (We love those times.)
While the main goal of a Swipe File is to make it easy for your product/service ambassadors, there are several other reasons you, as a solo business owner, might want to create one:
1. It helps you control the message. You won’t be able to control every last bit of how someone promotes your product (nor do you want to — that would be exhausting, and would limit creativity!), but when you pre-draft copy around your products/services, you can help control the message that’s being spread.
2. It gives consistency to your brand. Much like providing copy helps you control the message, providing a batch of copy, graphics, and other brand elements helps you reinforce your brand. This becomes especially important as people begin to promote your products/services to their communities — people who may be entirely new to you!
3. It acts as a firestarter. You might be able to recruit others to help you promote your next launch or ongoing promotion, but that doesn’t mean they know where to start. The Swipe File can act as a jumping off point, providing your network with ideas they wouldn’t necessarily think of.
4. It makes it easy. Forgive us for our redundancy, but again — this is the whole goal. Having one file your promoters can turn to to grab everything they need makes it easy on them. But a pleasant side effect is this: It also makes it easy on you. Each time you recruit a new ambassador, you have one place you can point them to for everything they need. Simple.
The makings of a Swipe File
Swipe Files come in all shapes and sizes. Your Swipe File can be as simple as a few pre-drafted social media messages or as robust as a multi-page Google Doc with fully detailed brand guidelines that anticipates needs — without making it overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider including:
- A one-sentence description of your product/service/launch
- A more in-depth blurb that shares more details
- Sample email copy — a single email, or a series
- A teaser of some sort that they can learn from and/or share — a free chapter of your ebook or module of your course, for example
- Graphics in a few different sizes — i.e. blog banners, Pinterest, Instagram
- Pre-drafted social posts
- Less than 140 characters
- More than 140 characters
- Sample affiliate disclaimer, where applicable
- Ideas for how they might use the materials in the Swipe File
Here’s an example of a Swipe File that included much of the above in the 2015 launch of the Solopreneur Success Bundle, including a series of email copy for pre-launch, launch, and last call, since the Bundle was available for a very specific, five-day window. We also provide a Swipe File for ongoing affiliates of the One Woman Shop Bundle. On a smaller, but more frequent scale, we create mini-Swipe Files each time we are promoting a roundup post, where we prepare an email with pre-drafted social posts and graphics and send it to contributors with the link when it’s live.
On that note: Keep delivery of your Swipe File easy, as well. Google Docs are easy to share (and well-loved amongst solopreneurs), and can be easily edited down the road. Our Swipe Files are linked to in a welcome email once someone registers to become a One Woman Shop affiliate.
Pro tip: Your Swipe File isn’t one-and-done. Treat it as a working document. As your ambassadors ask for specific materials, add them to the Swipe File. Anytime the Swipe File is enhanced, it’s also a great opportunity to re-engage your ambassadors by sending them a “Hey, new graphics have been added!” email that keeps you top of mind.
Empower your ambassadors
Whenever we talk about building a community around your brand or launch, we always advocate that you empower your ambassadors — and the Swipe File is a prime example of how to do just that.
We credit a whole lot of the success of the Solopreneur Success Bundle to our network of affiliates who promoted the heck out of it, and have no doubt that the Swipe File that accompanied it was key to helping them spread the word.
When in doubt, remember this: Make it easy. Your ambassadors will appreciate it. And so will your business’ bank account.