Monday May 4, 2015
As I write this, I am about to finish up the first official launch of Mindset & Marketing Mastery, my 12-week online group coaching program for coaches. I had done a soft launch last October (meaning, I didn’t follow the strict protocol as outlined in true PLF style), putting out the feelers and getting my feet wet.
This time however, I decided to do a full on launch strategy. Product Launch Formula (better know as PLF to the internet marketing community), is the course that helped (and continues to help) many marketers understand the true strategy behind doing a successful online launch. It just happened to be the very first internet marketing course I ever bought back in 2009. I remember the excitement mixed with fear I felt when I bought it. I had no idea what I was really getting myself into, I just knew there was something in there I needed to know.
Fast forward to today and I am now putting it into action (it’s a whole other story why it took so long, but the timing is just perfect now).
So, what did I learn from doing this launch, that at the time of writing still has 2 days left? A LOT!
--> This picture is me mid launch... while it was a lot of work, it was fun and well worth it! <--
Here’s what I learned:
1. Launches are A LOT of work.
What does that mean for you?
- If you don’t know the strategies behind a launch, get help in the form of a coach, the book or the course. I have a full on Launch Checklist as a bonus in Mindset & Marketing Mastery that you might want to check out as well.
- Plan at least 2 months in advance and DO NOT put things off. Trust me, if you already work full time (in your business or in a job), this is like a full time job in itself during the launch period. So, get prepared by doing as much as you can in advance. FYI: I know this because I did not take my own advice. I had planned to do it in advance but then I had the grand idea of creating a 30-Day Challenge the month before my launch. In theory, fun idea… in reality… it made a lot more work for me in the 2 month period. Consider the lesson learned, universe, thanks.
- If you aren’t strong at writing copy, hire a copywriter. I wrote all of the copy for my sales page. I think next time I will hire a copywriter to help me fine tune, but I still think did a pretty good job after my many years in marketing and studying sales pages. What do you think?
- If you haven’t used the tools and software necessary to make a launch work, give yourself ample time to get used to them. For example, I used Leadpages, WebinarJam and Kajabi to run my launch. Because I was already familiar with them, setting them up didn’t take me much time, but I was still on the live help chat with Kajabi a good bit. If you are new, get to know your tools BEFORE you launch. You will want to kiss me if you do this because it will make you that happy. Yes, I said that. ;)
2. Have split tests ready for your opt-in pages and ads.
My opt-in pages and ads did not convert as well as I thought they would and I didn’t have a back up plan. I couldn’t believe that they didn’t do as well as my webinar or regular opt-in offers would do because the content and messaging was so stellar (or so I thought)… so I had to make changes and fast. Luckily that increased my conversions by about 15%.
But the moral here is: be prepared to make changes and have multiple ideas that you can employ during launch time so you aren’t wasting marketing dollars.
Also - always be split testing your opt-in pages and ads so you can optimize as you go.
3. Build your list as much as you can BEFORE your launch.
The concept of a launch is that you give so much high value in a short period of time that you build a lot of trust between you and your market and therefore, they are more likely to buy from you. In theory and in reality, that does work. BUT, and that is a big “but”, statistically, most people will not watch all of your content even though they signed up for it. Yep, I know, it sucks (especially when your content truly is stellar and will help your ideal client). But how many webinars, videos or PDF’s have you signed up for in the past and didn’t follow through on watching, reading or listening to the content?
So, during a launch, if some people are new to you and they don’t devour your content immediately, then they aren’t gaining the value from you necessary to invest in a high ticket program.
I noticed the numbers dropped on view count from Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3 respectfully. That is statistically going to happen which is why you need to put your best content in Video 1.
The point is, if you build your list as much as you can before you launch and build a relationship with them, then when you release new awesome content in your launch, they will be more willing to invest the time into it because they know you give good value. I noticed that a lot of my comments were from people who had already been in my community for a while (not all of them, but most of them).
As well, if you already have a relationship with them, and they don’t watch all of the launch content, they are still more likely to highly consider your offer because they already know, like and trust you.
4. Keep in mind, results WILL vary.
One thing that Jeff talks about in the course is that the BIG launches tend to come with practice. Doing effective launches, just like anything in life, take time, consistency and practice.
Now, this does not mean that you can’t have big results out of the gate. Not at all. I know people who have massive results in their first launches (in fact, one of my clients last year did over $20,000 in her very first launch last year to a very small list). However, everyone’s circumstances are different and there are so many factors that determine the success of a launch (too many to list here), that you just want to remember not to compare yourself to others.
Your launch and business is yours. As long as you learn from every launch and make your future launches, marketing and offerings better, then you are on the right track. So, please, don't beat yourself up if you don't make a zillion dollars off of your first launch (or your second or third for that matter!)
*Also, don't forget that with every launch you are helping others and that is you doing great work in the world. That's ALWAYS something to celebrate.
5. Have support on hand.
Launches will take a lot of your energy and focus. Something will inevitably go wrong (and this is not me being pessimistic, I am a forever optimist; this is me being realistic and truthful), so you need to have support who you can call on. This might be your marketing coach, a mastermind member, a colleague or group coaching member. Just ensure you have someone who knows the ins and outs of a launch so they can help you through it and give you mental and emotional support as well. There is nothing like having someone who understands what you are going through with you during it.
6. Clear your schedule.
Try to streamline your schedule for launch time. Yes, it really can get that busy. Maybe not so much if you really do plan in advance, but things get a little crazy, so be prepared. Consider this your warning.
Don't forget to book in vacation time afterwards (other than supporting your new students/clients). You will want a break, trust me.
7. Take self care seriously.
Make sure you get great sleep, eat well and take breaks. You want to maintain mental sanity and some regularity. Go outside, meditate, do yoga, dance… whatever floats your boat, but don’t take self care off the menu. You will be stronger for it and this is why I put planning at #1 on this list.
8. Enjoy yourself.
Take time throughout the launch to really pat yourself on the back. You are helping a lot of people and taking big steps in your business. It IS something to be proud of. Most people talk about doing them but never do. But not you, you are out there, making it happen and you should give yourself a lot of credit for that. Kudos to you!! You are a doer and go getter!
9. Time and experience will make you better.
While I noted at this in #4, I think it is really important to state again. Doing a launch is an advanced marketing tactic. Like any marketing tactic, it takes time to learn and master, even if you are already a marketer. I think it is healthy to look at a launch (and quite frankly ALL of your marketing), like going to school and getting graded. Except instead of a teacher giving you your mark, it’s the market.
Your goal is to get better and better grades and that is by studying, doing the work and taking the ‘test’ again and again. If a launch doesn’t go well, it doesn’t mean you are a bad coach or even a bad marketer. It just means that you did something, got feedback and now you need to shift your approach. That’s it. No, don’t quit coaching and marketing. Learn from what happened and make changes accordingly.
OK, that’s it! I hope this list helped you. I would love to know what you learned from your launch in the comments. Perhaps you are thinking of doing one? Let me know in the comments what you are launching!
P.S. If you were looking at joining Mindset & Marketing Mastery there is still time...(closes midnight EST, Wednesday, May 6th). It includes everything you need to build a full time awesome coaching business, including 2 bonuses of how to create a great sales page and a detailed launch checklist for when you are ready to launch!
P.P.S. Thanks for reading this!! Let me know in the comments what helped!