Launches can be kinda scary…
We've all seen the ones that are wildly successful and launches that don't work at all.
The pie in the sky dream launch stories followed by complete dead in the water disasters.
And both make you want to run for the hills and never utter the word launch–much less actually try to launch something of your own.
But if you haven't launched yet – you should know something. Launches often don't work.
If you are just starting your business, trying to gather the courage to launch your first product or service, you might be wondering why launches seem to work for only part of the time…or maybe they just work for a small majority of people.
And it's probably crossing your mind…why not you?
You know it's possible to launch alone. You see it's even possible to launch on a shoestring budget and with a small list.
Go back and read that post if you haven't already because we covered things like – what to put in place before you decide to launch and how to put together a plan according to your realistic resources.
So, once you're ready to launch alone, it's time to jump into why launches just aren't working for some people…especially the ones that employ all the fancy tactics we're told are guaranteed to lead to success.
The 30-day challenge that leads to a full coaching program. The 3 video series that tees up a perfectly executed sales video. The live day-long webcast. The telesummits. The free ebook or manifesto. The free 15-minute sales calls. The Webinars. Facebook Ads.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever done or used any of these (or several of them) during your last launch.
I'm sure some of these worked for some of you and at the other end of the spectrum, none of these worked for some of you.
So what’s missing from your launches?
What’s that secret ingredient that makes these winning launch strategies work for some so well?
And why does it feel like there’s only a select group of uber-successful launches that can make the strategies work?
The answer might actually surprise you.
Because today I'm not going to talk to you about getting to know your audience and the people you want to work with (though you do always have to do that). And I won't be telling you about to be really aware of the channels where you get the most interaction (though you need to figure this out too…).
Nope, this is even more fundamental about solving this “launch-ain't-working” problem.
Have you ever been faced with a problem in your life and decided to just throw all the possible solutions at it to see if SOMETHING/ANYTHING will work?
Let's say that something ended up working.
Could you tell me what the solution actually was? Probably not.
When you throw everything at a problem – yes, you might solve the problem, but if it happens again, you'll have NO IDEA WHAT SOLVED THE PROBLEM.
Don't Throw Everything At It
The idea that you can layer a lot of good stuff, keep doing that good stuff, and eventually, you’ll get results…well, it doesn't work as well during a launch.
If you look at a launch as a piece of music (yes this is the nerdy fun I have), then you’ll see what I mean. Imagine a song that has amazing lyrics and then layered over with just random instruments all playing in different keys and never coming together. A mix of different styles to the max.
No chorus. No bridge.
Even Death Metal makes sense when it’s done right.
Another closer related example and a reminder about trying “new things” can be found when you do any type of split testing.
No matter what you're testing–whether it's a webpage, an email or a Facebook ad…you generally only want to test one thing at a time. The subject line or the headline or the image…or the color…ONE element of the page gets tested at a time.
Read more about a test I did with Facebook Ads here…
More Doesn’t Always Mean Better
In addition to testing too many amazing strategies all at once…there's another snafu that can happen…It's what I call the hookup. Sadly, I've been guilty of this one myself, but everyone has to work there way through this error.
You might get an amazing idea about how you want to launch something and justify it in your head about why it's the most brilliant thing you've ever created.
There's the warning sign. If you think it's amazing, make sure you tell someone else about it to give you a much-needed perspective.
Tell your launch strategy idea like a story – to another person.
When there's no link between all these amazing ideas, clear outcome for people, build up to whatever you’re launching, then it just feels like, well….like a lot of stuff.
How To Know If You've Got Too Much Stuff
I discovered this by accident after speaking to several of my past clients and Fearless Launchers (who are FINALLY finding + linking these missing pieces) and who are now getting better results than ever!
When people discover something a year after you created it and say, “OMG, I didn't even know you did this!” or “I had no idea how to work with you until you asked me directly.”
And even more recently, I realized that I hadn't done the best job linking a free launch challenge to my actual launch. In hindsight, the challenge was a new element to my launch…one I perhaps never needed.
Like I said – you'll learn this as you go along.
So what’s the difference between someone who’s getting great results from their launches vs. someone who isn’t?
It’s All About The Hook Up
What seems to be working in product launching strategies will always be changing. Just like everything in life, to keep moving forward, you must be flexible and adapt but still focus on the people, on the solution they need/want, and most importantly on what your business does well.
In fact, always focus on the needs, wants, problems of your community, let that be your filter of deciding which strategies to use in your launch. Then, you'll end up with an event, offer, and experience that makes sense.
[Tweet “Always focus on the needs, wants, problems of your community, let that be your filter of deciding which strategies to use in your launch.”]
And during a launch MAKING SENSE MATTERS.
Clarity brings customers (and the right ones, too).
How to get everything to hook up, sync up…and make your launch WORK.
Now that we know the basic issue and reason why launches aren't working, let's go through the three key things that will help you actually create a winning launch:
1) You need both marketing strategy and process.
Your marketing ideas will always be never-ending. I’m serious–if you can stop the flood of ideas, tell me now, because most entrepreneurs just can't do it.
And the danger of keeping the idea faucet on 24-7 is that you may have a hard time implementing anything.
But – if you take zero time thinking about the way you will reach people, connect to their desires and help to solve their problem, then all the launch plans in the world won’t necessarily save you either.
There needs to be a balance between the two. Process and strategy are both important to a launch’s ultimate success.
Hint: If you hate schedules, try this–list every piece of communication you want to send out during the launch and where it’ll be sent from.
Let your communication lead the way.
From the first list above you’ll have an even bigger list of tasks that need to get done–like if you’re linking to a landing page, you’ll need a landing page. If you’re asking people to sign up for a webinar, you’ll need a webinar landing page, thank you page, and place to do your webinar. Surprise! You’ve just backed your way into a launch plan.
You can also check out this recent post about creating a non-scary launch schedule or download my free launch planner & workbook.
2) Be Careful – Don't OVER INVEST
Yes you need tools, yes you need to learn the process, but you don’t have to get every single opinion and piece of support known to man in your launch.
You also don't need to follow every single 6 or 7 figure launch strategy you hear about. (This is a bigger issue I'll go into deeper in an upcoming training.)
But I get it.
Tell me who hasn’t panicked in the upcoming weeks to a launch, ready to buy Leadpages, Kajabi, ScreenFlow, and get a launch coach, a project manager, and oh yeah you need to switch email marketing providers…and create a new website.
No! No! No! Stop the insanity!
Try to work with what you have and only make investments on tools and new systems if your current one is truly NOT working. This is one of those, “No Duh!” reminders.
Also – if you read my article about the 5 systems you need set up before your launch. you’ll see that I really don’t like to set up new systems unless there’s time to get things up and test them properly.
3) You Need To Tell Someone To Call It A Launch
One of the easiest way to link all the great stuff you're releasing to your audience… is by opening your mouth and telling people. You communicating is the link.
You might not believe this (until you do it), but if you don’t people and tell them enough and in the right places, then no one’s going to know that you are launching. Simple. You have to press publish.
And, if there’s one thing that gets in the way of a launch – it’s not giving people the chance to see what you’re launching.
If you’re shaking your head thinking you’d never do this, let me tell you the story of a 30-day video challenge I did during the upcoming month to one of my launches. I barely gave anyone a chance to know about this video series… And in the end, I had to ask myself why I’d spent the time doing it if I wasn’t going to give it the promotion it deserved.
Mistakes Can Happen On Launches of Any Size
But not just that – another problem with the video series is that it didn’t really link to anything…I just piled it on top of the stuff that did make sense…and that’s probably why I ended up not sharing it. I knew that it would only seem like noise over the primary message I was trying to share!
So now that you can see some of the reasons launches aren’t working, let’s figure out some specific ways to improve each of these areas.
What’s coming soon: I’m going to be covering some of my most asked questions and requests from you in the coming weeks. Not only that but I've lined up a few ways for you to go deeper and get even more answers for your next launch.
We'll Be Covering…
1. What you’re forgetting could hurt you – how to create a complete launch plan
2. Real Results: How Changing your Launch Perspective Can Increase Profits and Change Your Business
3. So-Called advanced launch strategies that produce big results and are EASY PEASY to implement (even for a first-time solo launcher).
Ready to get started and make launches work for you?
Consider jumping on the waitlist for Fearless Launching.
[This has been reposted and revised from the original article published in April 2016…many things have not changed and people are still asking if launches still work]
Stella Seaspirit says
I’m a first time solo this year and I was worried about being too pushy, but based on what I have learnt here and with LKR I sucked it up and pushed through the fear. I slipped in mentions, notes and PS’s for my early bird list and I doubled the list size.
What I realise is… that I have to tell people about this wonderful thing that I made that can help them ~ even when I feel awkward about repeating myself. Because people are busy, they get distracted and skim read even when they like what you do and how you do it 🙂
Anne Samoilov says
Love it Stella! So true – that one thing of telling people more than you’re comfortable is a big one that people forget about! I love that you sucked it up and pushed through the fear…I’m sure the people who found you are thanking you for that…since it likely caused them to find you.
Really useful information and I’ve also signed up before and read your other emails.
The take aways for me:
1. use the systems you already have
2. tell people! [I’m doing pr for my Luxury Voyage in October and push myself through the ‘yuk’ gap and promote it on all my social media every second day. I even told a woman about it in the park yesterday and she emailed me when she went home to say she had signed up to my list and wanted to go on the Voyage!]
3. I always create strategies and I liked your point about not throwing everything at the launch as it can get confusing.
Good stuff Anne
Kristin Misik says
Thank you Anne for this incredibly clear and helpful post.
I have been feeling like a dink for the past two weeks because I layed out my calendar, to do list, and have clear objectives in mind for the launch of a tele-summit, but going solo I haven’t been able to accomplish all of the tasks according to schedule.
I underestimated my responsibilities at home with the kids and their needs while over estimating my own abilities and energy to get this baby launched.
For a hot minute I thought about sticking to the original calendar and launching even though all of my ducks were not in a row, but there was this little voice in the back of my head saying don’t do it.
I questioned whether the “don’t do it” voice was perfectionism getting in the way. And the answer I arrived at was, it’s not perfectionism, it’s ultimately that I want it to be a success and skipping or missing steps isn’t the secret to success.
My girls officially start school today and I’m excited to get this project launched now that I have the time available and the energy to see it through…even if it is 3 weeks late;)
Virginia O'Connor says
We’re working through our launch plan now, and one question we have is this: how much to involve the media/press? We almost need that Samantha-like PR gal (from Sex in the city) to open up a rolodex and tell us who to call.