February 14th, 2018
If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking or saying, “I am not ready to launch yet. I just don’t know enough.” This episode is for you because one of the best ways to get ready to launch is to plan a practice launch.
One of the very first things I discover when working with many business owners (whether they are just getting started or are currently in business) is that many feel like they are really NOT ready to launch.
Does this sound like you?
If so, maybe you just need a few practice launches before you do a “real” one.
There is a spoiler alert here though… in the process of doing a practice, you’ll get over the hump of going the process, build confidence and experience a launch from start to finish.
Your practice launch is a test like all the other tests you’re doing in your business.
Calling it a test may take the pressure off until you realize something …
What is a Discovery Launch?
Doing a Discovery Launch is a way to DISCOVER what works for you and also what your audience needs. It’s a way to figure out your process of launching, test new ideas with people, and get comfortable with talking about your ideas (and offers).
What schedule works best for you? Who is the right audience that you reach easily? Where do people find you? Does this freebie interest people? Did I get it to enough people? How long do people need to make their decision.
A Discovery Launch doesn’t have to be super public. It could be something you're not even selling for money. You're just practicing launching with the option of potentially making money.
Think about your bigger launches like the Olympics. Your discovery launches as all the days of practice you need to get to there!
Let’s get into 4 discovery launches you can use for your business – even if you are just starting out.
4 Practice Launches You Can Start Planning Today
Lead Magnet Launch
First, I always tell people to try launching something where there’s no money involved…the stress is less even though the process is the same. Creating or updating a lead magnet or freebie is a great way to offer something that deserves attention.
Create a free tool, resource, or training that people sign up to receive. For example, I did this with my free launch planner. I've relaunched it several different times. I've pulled things out of the toolkit, made that it's own opt-in, and re-announced it every single time to my list.
All you need to do make it a launch is decide, okay, for the next two weeks I'm going to focus on getting as many eyes as possible on this new workbook, on this new video, on this new thing I've got for free.
Listen to the podcast and keep reading about doing a practice launch to hear what other elements of a “real” launch you can include to get your lead magnet out to the most people possible.
Ninja Style Launch
The next thing you could do is a ninja-style practice launch which is something that you can offer just to the people on your list or a small segment of your list. One of the easiest ninja style launches is opening up coaching spots — paid or free.
Opening coaching spots is fairly simple. You need a few pages for the offer itself, a few emails to let people know what it’s about, give them a deadline, and let them know when the spots are gone!
Same as the lead magnet launch, you’ll block off 2-3 weeks where you’ll be in launch mode. You’ve got to do the same thinking about what specifically you’ll be coaching people through, but once you’ve figured that out, you’ll block off time, decide if you want partners, create the communication, and figure out tech. We’re talking a few leadpages, a few emails, and perhaps some blog posts and social media to help your partners promote.
The beauty of a ninja-style launch you can literally email your list, tell them you're going to offer them something, give them a deadline or give them a number of spots that are available and then once those spots are gone, remind them that the spots are ending and then tell them when the spots are no longer available. That might be your launch for the ninja-style coaching spots.
Next, why not try creating an evergreen workshop?
Evergreen means you can record a little workshop, like a webinar or other training class, edit it, upload to vimeo, embed on a webpage, create an opt-in so people can sign up or buy it, then they can go see whenever they want!
You might announce it on social media. You may ask partners to share it for you. You maybe have it only open for a little bit of time just so you can test it.
I highly recommend checking out Amy Porterfield’s program Webinars That Convert because she gives you a great email sequence for this for doing an evergreen webinar. You can choose to do it live first and then turn it into a recording that’s always available. It’s up to you.
Just record something at your best quality and make sure there's some sort offer in it to buy something, even if it's something that's below 100 or whatever. Whatever you want to offer. You might actually offer those coaching spots we just talked about in the ninja-style version launch.
You can offer whatever you want. It doesn't have to be paid. You could be offering clarity sessions with you. You could be offering a $97 intro product or something even lower priced. You should offer some NEXT step.
The final practice launch that I want to share is when you promote someone else's product launch.
Being an affiliate partner is great for people just getting their feet wet in launching — as well as giving your audience a breather on you…so don’t think you do these at the beginning and then drop them.
Promoting other people's products is really a great exercise in understanding and really watching what that person is doing to promote their own product, how you fit into it, and really it feels so much easier sometimes to promote other people's stuff, right?
Another side bonus…being an affiliate means you get an inside view of someone’s launch. So you’re getting trained on the process as you’re promoting! Several bigger launches I supported this year, do specialized training for the partners prior to the launch.
Again, when you support someone else, you’re only worried about the communication, tech, their schedule, and delivering your bonus if you have one. You can usually promote everything by email or maybe do series of blog posts and you might still use social media.
Wait – Aren't These Real Launches?
What you're going to realize after you get through these practice launches, and hopefully this doesn't totally scare you away is that they're real launches. Whether you announce something on Facebook, send invoices to people via PayPal without even a real buy button.
These are real launches. Launches can look different, no matter what anybody is telling you.
Now that you know a few different ways you can practice launching, let’s talk about some of the main elements to include in each that will serve you well if you truly are practicing. These elements are ones you’ll get to know if you continue launching anything in your business (which I hope you do)!
First, you need some sort of calendar, some sort of specific time frame where you're going to consider it a launch. Maybe make two weeks in the coming future the launch period.
Next, you're going to need communication. You're going to need to decide, am I going to do emails, blog posts, social media? Only one? A mix of all three? What can I handle? What do I have time to create?
Third, you’ll need to decide early if you’ll want to enlist partners to help promote your offers. Do you want to have people help you spread the message? If so, that means you’ll need to create communication, graphics, tweets, social media messages, and maybe even swipe copy for them. Do you have time for that? Make it super easy for them to share what you’re launching.
Finally, we’ve got the tech to worry about. It's important to understand what's going to happen during the launch itself. You’ll probably need at least a few pages that you create with information about your offer. I make mine in Leadpages, especially when I just don't have time to find, test, and hire a designer, and have them set it all up. Leadpages has a handy marketplace where you’ll find new page designs if you’re not loving the templates it comes with!
Time To Choose A Practice Launch
Now that you know a few types of product launches and the elements to make them really great practice runs… it’s time to pick one type and start planning it, so that you start gaining that confidence that you do actually know what to do and how to launch, sound good?
If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to join us inside The Fearless Launching Lounge. We’ll go through these Practice Launches on an upcoming Facebook Live…and you don’t want to miss it!
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
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