Introducing a new contributor on the blog today! We've got Cat LeBlanc in the house and she's here to help all of us figure out what to launch next.
Sometimes knowing what to launch is actually a harder step than the actual launching!
Once you finish reading, make sure to download the handy worksheet and share how you're going to take action in the comments!
Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard from Seth Godin was about shipping. That’s what he calls launching (or sending the email, or publishing the blog post – doing the work), and it’s one of his recurring themes.
Don’t wait. Push through the fear. Ship it.
But, what happens when you don’t know what to ship?
You don’t know what you want to launch, or you have several ideas vying for your attention, or you launched something before that didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, and now you’re feeling cautious.
What do you do then?
As a business coach specializing in helping new business owners find their feet, I often find that people jump to the technical parts too quickly – before they have all the details ironed out.
They start designing the website before they’ve developed their brand, start developing their first group program before they’ve ever worked with a client one-on-one, or start researching the steps of running a launch before they’ve got a solid product to launch.
And don’t get me wrong, I understand the inclination. It’s a lot easier to hire a website developer or buy a template than it is to do the deep work to define your brand, but missing that all-important step could mean a lot of heartache down the line.
So before you jump into your first or next launch, it pays to do some deep thinking about what you’re going to launch and why.
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Start by answering the following 5 questions and you'll be well on your way to figuring out what to launch.
1. What is it that you DO at the purest level? What is your signature result?
At its core, a business is about solving a problem for someone. Think about what the core of your business is. If you have several services, what is it that they all come back to? What is the core result you are providing? If you don't have a business yet, what is the outcome that you want to provide for people?
Many times the purest level of what you do will come back to one or more areas on the wheel of life: money, time, romance, career, physical environment, entertainment, personal growth, health, and relationships. If you can distill what you help people with down to one of those, you will be striking a universal chord.
As an example, I had a client who was a life coach and had many different types of clients – she helped people in corporate become better leaders, but she also helped people having trouble with their romantic relationships work through those issues. These seem unrelated but I asked her – what does it come down to? What is the unifying factor in your work?
She said this: “It all comes down to transforming your life from the inside out.”
She helped people connect to their inner confidence and knowing and facilitate trust and connection in their relationships – that was her business at its purest level.
That kind of understanding is key to helping her develop her offerings, her marketing message, and so on.
Another example might be with a personal trainer. She knows that improving her clients’ metabolism will help them lose weight more quickly and keep it off, but people don’t go looking for help with their metabolism – they look for weight loss.
By offering a weight loss clinic instead of a metabolism clinic, she will reach a lot more potential customers (and she can still help them with their metabolism to reach their ultimate goals).
2. What is the result that you want to achieve in this offering?
Ask yourself, what is the right finish point – for you and your customers? For example, in my Business Startup Bootcamp I get my clients to the point where they have their business set up. In Fearless Launching Anne gets people to launch. What is the result you can achieve that is most beneficial for people? You may have several milestones that you take people through, but ask yourself, where is an obvious finish point that feels like a really good result?
3. How do you feel most comfortable working that also delivers the best results for your clients?
This is a question of business model, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be that you are most comfortable working one-on-one or in a group context or maybe people will get the most benefit from an ecourse.
It all depends on your experience level and how you can best deliver results.
As I mentioned above, many times people just starting out will benefit most from working one-on-one – it’s easier to fill five coaching slots than 50 spots in an ecourse, and you learn a lot.
But whatever format you choose for your launch, be sure that the form follows the function; in other words, if you’re choosing an ecourse over one-on-one coaching, or an ebook over a webinar, be sure you know why.
4. What are the steps that have to happen to achieve the desired results?
What are the milestones your clients would need to pass through to get the result at the end? List them out. What happens right before that? What comes after? How long would that take?
When you have a list of the answers to these questions, you have a very basic outline of what you hope to deliver. Think about how you will help people through each milestone based on the format you chose in step three.
Need to revise your plan? That’s OK! Better to do it now, in the planning phase, then after you launch!
5. How will you put it all together?
Now you want to put your plan all together. It could look like:
- 5 month 1:1 program to take your coaching business to the next level
- 8 week group course to have working Moms integrate whole foods into the family diet
- 40-page workbook to instruct business owners how to run their own social media
Look back at the list you made in step four and break it down so that you can see what you want your clients to accomplish in week one, chapter 2, module 3, and so on.
Do you need more time? Less time? Are you trying to cram too much information into a single program? Do you need to add a little more? Have you chosen the very best format to relay this information?
When you’ve got all these questions answered, you should have a pretty good idea of what you should launch. You probably also have the beginnings of your marketing message (the core of what you achieve and your results).
NOW you’re prepared to dive in and plan the launch, create the program, and sell out!
But without a plan, you run the risk of launching the wrong thing, offering it in the wrong format, or never getting past the idea that you should launch something.
You absolutely should launch something! And this plan will help you get there.
Now it's your turn.
Just in case you haven't started creating your own plan to figure out what to launch, I decided to turn Cat's post into a worksheet for you!
Cat LeBlanc is a Business Strategist & Venture Catalyst. Which means she has an uncanny talent for turning your brilliance into a profitable (& liberating) business. When Cat's not guiding emerging entrepreneurs to their new business breakthrough, she's in the spa with her partner, sipping cider, surrounded by ferns, soaking in the sweet freedom she's created for herself (and wants for you). Find out more at catleblanc.com and pick up your FREE Business Idea Starter Kit here.