As you listen to some of the most common lessons you sent me, ask yourself what you’ve learned this year, what you’ve yet to try – dig for the lessons that will change the way you launch your products and services in the new year.
Look for yourself in each of the lessons – and ask what you can apply to yourself. I’ve purposely picked ones that are universal and more evergreen so that they apply to a wide range of product launches.
Want to know more about each contributor? Make sure to listen to the episode while you read.
Plus – for those of you who think you haven’t learned a lesson this year because either you didn’t launch or you maybe you think you have no idea where to start – make sure to check out my free resource – the launch workbook & planner – which will help you figure out those first most important steps…
[Tweet “Sometimes the lesson is the leap. You won’t learn how to launch until you start doing it.”]
1. You don’t need a big list to launch something. Having a smaller community that you really engage with is fun. I really got to know a lot of people in my community through free challenges that led into my services.
2. I paid a lot of attention to what people were saying on discovery calls, in reply to my weekly emails, and on social media. That helped inform my copy and the programs/services I’ve developed.
3. Running FB/IG ads to a warm audience is the way to go! I’ll never attempt to convert cold leads through ads again.
I’ve learned that communication by far is the most important piece. You can have all your tech pieces in place, but if you’re not telling people about it deliberately, it’s not going to sell! (Joann’s got a course about clearing clutter launching next week!!!)
Leave enough time to get through your launches, stay focused on schedule and tweak something rather than just give up if it's not working.
(I'm launching an online video course in 2018, and my new home planner to name a few things on the list.)
Do what feels right for you and your brand. It’s stepping into your authentic star power and shining.
Don’t feel compelled to do the old school three educational videos & the pitch video that some big marketing guru professes … it’s a crowded market and everyone is busy so what may have worked a few years ago may be wasted effort now. The “rules” are changing. Just be the best at being you whatever shape that takes. Try new things and design your launch, your way!
(note from Anne: I mistakenly called Sharon with the wrong last name in the episode!!! Huge apologies Sharon!!!!)
One thing I learned is that live streaming is essential and that I struggle with prioritizing time for myself.
I learned there’s so much involved and the first step…barring the product, of course…is planning!
I definitely learned how far in advance I personally need to prep. I don’t do well on the fly. I eliminate at least half of what I had planned to do if it isn’t all written and scheduled in advance.
And for my current processes and workload, that means I really need at least 3-4 months to prep a launch if there’s any content creation involved at all for the product/service and about 2 months to prep if I don’t need to work on content. With those numbers, maybe I need to figure out a way to hire help so I can move it along faster.
Well, I didn’t have a product launch but we did “launch” a new point of sales.
Very funny how it does follow a launch plan!! Something we are struggling with is new technology and it has made some parts of running the business sooooo much easier but on the other side it really made things too complex.
I’ve learned that you need to have everything lined up with a launch, pictures, copy, all that jazz
BUT you also need to plan to keep relevant and on top of people's minds. I struggle with that the most and I would love help with keeping the sales coming in.
One thing I have learned about launches this year is that they are the most exciting thing but also terrifying.
I also learned that you can start a business without launching, in bit and pieces (this is what I did as I had to pay the rent, got the grab the money ASAP and then things started rolling), but it's never going to be the same.. and you will not feel valuable, validated and consistent.
I launched my first Pilot course this summer, and here are my lessons:
Do the research! It pays off both in the short and the long run. I interviewed dozens of people in my audience to understand their core challenges and struggles, and it helped me on multiple fronts:
- the marketing and sales copy practically writes itself
- the people you interview are way more likely to sign up for the class and spread the word (in my case, 50% of the interviewees joined my class, some brought friends)
- most importantly – the research enables really high quality content. My course is better by orders of magnitude, compared to what I'd have written with no research or a very shallow one.
Allow enough time to write and record. I was overly optimistic and ended up beyond exhausted – I literally couldn't function for a couple weeks after the launch. Like, my mind was blank and my body could barely move a muscle.
Get all the support you can. I have no idea how I would have done it without my family to lean on (my parents to take care of my daughter, and my husband to make sure I have food in me), and without my coach, whose expert advice helped me along (“Of course you have time to do an email campaign!” Bless you Lesley, the course sold out before the cart-close deadline).
One launch lesson I've learned … though it may be possible to do all kinds of launches (FB ads, JV, or warm audience), the first time you launch a program, definitely do a focused launch to your warm audience. Don't worry about all the other things you could be doing. Focus on launching to your peeps. If you have any sort of email list, you have a warm audience. Don't be concerned about the size of your list as long as they are engaged.
Another tough lesson learned – it really is important to follow the timing of the launch plan you taught us about in Plan With Me. You really really can't condense everything into a couple of weeks.
I don't need to do it all. Being more narrowly focused gave way to me to doing less, but achieving more. This idea helped me in all aspects of my business in 2017.
Launch Lesson #1 – Get real about how much you're trying to do given your deadline.
Launch Lesson #2 – Learn to roll with the punches. (A 5 week strike in the middle of my final semester was unexpected and changed my ability to do everything I planned to do this quarter. CBB (could be better) list was my go-to with review dates in Jan/Feb.)
Launch Lesson #3 – Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. This includes asking for help!
If you've got a Facebook group for your course and you need it to be secret (so no one knows who's in it), first make it closed and send people the link to join. Convert it to secret AFTER the course starts – otherwise you'll be dealing with people not getting notices to join the group – big hassle!
Add instructions EVERYWHERE.
People miss instructions all the time. Have clear instructions posted in several places (member site, emails, Facebook groups, etc.) Make sure you have a clear contact form – and add instructions / common issues on the page BEFORE you have the contact form so people will read them.
EMAIL is the biggest tech support issue.
People use a different email to register vs. regular email – so they miss notices. Also, people tend to use a different email for Facebook – making it hard to add them to FB groups.
Reward your loyal students.
I launched one course for a client 3x this year (Each course had new content, but kept the same format). We gave past participants a 30% discount – and at least 30% signed up for the new versions of the course each time.
Running live courses boosts sales of evergreen products.
Some of my clients have multiple products. We found that every time we ran a live course, sales of evergreen products increased (likely due to increased visibility of client while they ran promotions during this period).
Don't overwhelm your students / Keep it simple, short and sweet.
The less pages / info, the less tech support needed – and the easier it is for students to complete “homework” and not feel overwhelmed. If you've got multiple programs, keep them on one site for each login / access.
Be consistent in your communications.
Send your messages at the same time – people learn to expect communications at the same time each week – and they'll reach out if you're running late!
Facebook Live is amazing to generate interest.
Promote your FB Live on other channels. Do the FB Live when you're ready to open the cart. Once it's over, save it and use that on your sales page.
Anne Samoilov (me)
Launching is a muscle – if you don’t use it, you do lose it. Launch stamina is a real thing. Not only for you personally and the way you get things done, execute, but also how your audience responds to you.
You can’t go off the grid for any reason, so find the easiest way to stay present, always making offers, asking questions…interactive is the name of the game.
If you need a push to stay ON the grid, don't miss out on the chance to join Fearless Launching.
Now it’s your turn…
Leave a comment below and tell me your biggest launch lesson this year – even if you learned it and are getting ready for an upcoming launch! If you didn’t launch – don’t worry…you’re where you need to be right now.
One more thing…
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