January 20th, 2016
So, you're getting ready to launch your first product … or maybe relaunch an existing one.
Regardless of what you're planning to release to the world, you're likely looking to achieve something we pretty much all want when we're growing our business — income for our families, our lives, and to keep growing our business.
Many people I've helped launch usually talk about how they'd simply like to make consistent monthly income with their small business.
I know it sounds simple, but who else has ever said that they just want consistent, steady, ongoing income every single month?
It’s possible. I know that from my own experience, but I won’t lie. It’s not easy to get there. It doesn’t happen over night…and you can run into a lot of resistance along the way.
Maybe you've run into some of the same resistance.
When I started my own journey, I was overwhelmed. I was googling like a maniac–downloading cheat sheets, listening to audio classes, attending webinars multiple times per week.
I became so obsessed with a capital O, and also OVERWHELMED with a capital O. I heard so many options. All of them seemed plausible, real, but most had too many steps or didn’t seem right for me at the exact right time.
To make matters worse, I was seeking help in all the potentially right places, but I wasn’t really sure what I had to focus on… For someone who generally knows the next steps or isn’t afraid to take them, I remember feeling a little terrified to make the wrong choice.
Should I do x first? How do I know if Y is what I should launch? And seriously what the heck is Z–can I skip that step completely?
What applies to me and what doesn’t? What’s a funnel? And when do I split test? How do I know what to launch first? When am I ready to launch?
I was stuck and even though I knew how to get projects started and finished, it seemed like the steps in between for my first product and first launch were a mystery.
I wanted to make things happen.
I knew I had to take action.
But there was a nagging question that kept coming up…would I really be able to figure this out? Or would it be a complete waste of time?
Well, as you can imagine, figuring things out can often mean making mistakes.
So….today, I want to tell you about some mistakes I made when I started out. Let me say that there are so many ways to go wrong when you start to figure out what & how you should launch something or start your business.
And there are plenty–LOADS, in fact, of people who want to “share” their own take on the topic.
They are often telling you what they think YOU want to hear, instead of what it takes to actually have a money-making launch.
Here are three ridiculously easy to believe myths that if I see many people fall victim to–I’ve been there myself….and I want to help you avoid them.
#1: The Create An MVP myth.
One of the first pieces of advice I consumed when getting started was to create a product in a weekend. While I get the importance of fast execution, I was missing an important step before the creation step.
What I know now is that the product comes after the person. Well, for me it does anyways.
Instead of starting with the product creation – I start with the person.
Instead of just answering the “what question do I get asked all the time” or “what do people come to me for” in the form of a product, I dig into the who asks me that question and into the deeper thing that they are hoping to solve.
Just because someone asks me about a topic, doesn’t necessarily mean they are willing to pay for that solution. The question is only the start of a process I go through even now when I’m launching and relaunching products.
Before I focused on the customer first, the idea of creating a product felt next to impossible. I had no idea what to focus on (as I mentioned above) because a I had no idea what solution I was offering and to who!
#2: The “Get Your Ducks In A Row” Myth
Back when I was working full-time on a team that launched all the time, I discovered something that seemed so surprising at the time, but was the primary way we got so much done and so much launched!
Getting your ducks in a row seemed the only logical path – finish your product, make sure it’s ready to go, all the pieces work, all the emails written…everything should be packaged up before you hit the go button!
- A finished product doesn’t mean people will buy
- Instead of waiting to share what’s coming soon, start talking about the process now, bring us along now
- A perfect landing page isn’t necessary before you start talking about the product
- Work doesn’t end when you are ready to launch – you should start thinking about the launch as you create your product
So back to some of the “how” a product is created…you don’t have to create the product in order to launch it. You only need to know – who it’s for, what the solution is, and have a clearly defined way that you’re going to help people reach that outcome.
Even if you’re mocking up images of a physical product and its features.
Even if you’re previewing the content in a blog series.
Even if you’re asking questions in a Facebook group.
If I hadn’t realized this fact about finishing a product first and then launching, I would have never launched. Fearless Launching started with 1 module completely finished and delivered. The rest of the product was created live (that first time) and then over the weeks of the course.
Now, this is not to say that you can’t create everything and then launch, but I prefer a more organic process that starts with a real person first, especially as a way to connect exactly with the people who will be using your product.
#3 The “Follow Me! I’m A Guru Style Launch” Myth
When I first learned about launching as it related to online business, I of course saw the Product Launch Formula style launches everywhere. Even the B-School launches I worked on during the first two years of the program, were structured this way.
But, then I started to see other ways people were launching successfully. I started managing other launches that didn’t even have ONE video! Some launches were just a webinar invite and simple email series. Sometimes launches started with a free live event or series of live events. Sometimes people offered a free sample. Sometimes there was a combination of things.
Point is…the main indicator of success was never the format. Format is secondary.
Remember that as you’re creating your content plan for a launch–the message is what’s important.
Sidebar to this point is that if you know your best format–written, webinars, audio, video… of course, you’ll be naturally creating for that format where you feel most comfortable.
Even if you know where you shine, I still challenge to focus on the message and communication that needs to happen before you decide how it gets delivered.
It will literally set you free if you realize you don’t have to do it the same way someone else did it…that’s what it did for me. If I’d waited until I had a full video crew at my disposal and the budget to create polished videos, I would have never launched my first product or Fearless Launching.
And remember all those webinars, launches, blog posts, I’d been consuming online? The ones that still stand out to me are the ones that taught me foundational principles of business and encouraged me to think for myself…and TEST strategies for myself.
The Bottom Line
Most of the myths above are myths because of one thing. Can you guess what it is?
The strategies being taught aren’t bad. They did work. They DO work for some.
The results those people are having are also likely real.
But they weren’t designed for YOUR business.
The systems, done for you blueprints, and swipe files were created over time for someone else’s business. Plain and simple.
That’s why you can’t simply just do what people online tell you to do. No matter how amazing, respectable they are. You can’t copy what someone else did to reach their 6 or 7 figures…because there are SO MANY REASONS why the thing they did worked.
And back to this point from the Myth #3 – When we’re first starting out (and honestly, even as we keep growing our businesses), we just want something to work.
It’s easy to believe what worked for someone else will work for you–if you follow their exact steps.
I’ve wanted that to be true too so many times.
But launching is not an out of the box solution. (It can be ONLY if you create that solution based on your own audience, your own business, and your own data…we'll get to that later though.)
I’ve discovered that planning, preparation, relationship building and focus is far more critical to the launch.
Your ideas won’t see the light of day in the way you want them too until you embrace all four and are doing them consistently.
Your strategies won’t have a chance–even if you’re following the best examples. You’ve got plenty of big launch models to watch…and you will naturally want to pull from those models.
But when you shift to preparation, planning, and above all else the relationship building aspect that blows the MVP (myth #1) out of the water above…that’s what will turn your ho-hum results around.
That’s why my signature program Fearless Launching focuses on the overwhelmed, over-information-brained entrepreneur. You’ll hear about that more soon, but seriously…I made it my mission to keep people focused on testing and creating their own way to launch.
There is no more “right” way.
I hope you’re with me on this.
Am I being pushy enough on this topic?
I hope so…because it’s my mission to get more people better results with their launches.
Better is what you want.
Growth is what you want.
Sure – explosive results are awesome too…but I’m all about progress.
And I think you might be too if you’ve made it this far in this post!
Here’s What You Need To Do Next
Now that I’ve shared some of the mistakes that stop even the most brilliant ideas from ever launching, those big three myths and lies you tell yourself…there’s only one way to break the cycle:
You need to take some action–today.
Because I’m an introvert myself, I’m sure some of you will groan a little bit…and you may have heard me say this recently (if you’re in the Fearless Launching Lounge and participating in the January #ReadyToLaunch challenge)…
The best thing you can do to combat all three myths and mistakes I’ve shared is this:
Talk to 10 people who you believe are close to or similar to your ideal customer.
List out 10 people who’ve been liking your content on social media, maybe past clients, maybe past customers, or perhaps people who’ve emailed you.
Reach out to them and say that you’d love to get on skype with them…help them with anything they're struggling with (related to your industry) and that maybe they can even help you out.
Your goal is not to sell them on a product or ask them – would you be interested in a product that does x, y, or z. You want to simply find out more about them. Be truly interested in who they are…
You can ask them what they’ve done in the past to solve whatever they’re struggling with…and you can ask them what they’re doing now that is working…
One important note about this assignment: if you want to launch, you’ve got to be willing to talk to people like this. If you aren’t willing to get on skype, meet people in person, reach out personally, you will have a more difficult time getting the right people to pay attention.
Do this assignment and you’ll have real people and a real understanding of what a specific person is challenged with. You won’t be guessing what to offer someone or what they might want.
We talk about this and other steps you can take before your launch inside Fearless Launching.
One more thing
I’d love to hear about the ways you’ve fallen under the spell of the myths I talk about in today’s post and what you learned as a result–the good and the bad!