First off - whoooohooo! You’re considering launching or relaunching your new premium service package or course - kudos to you!
Your first thoughts may look something like:
- How do I ensure I hit my income goals?
- What's the simplest, hassle-free way for me to do this successfully?
- I want to do better than the last time I launched, how can I make that happen?
- As a personal brand, how can I make this authentic, and less 'webinar > pitch > sales call'?
You may or may not have heard the horror stories of a launch gone bad. And chances are you’ve heard the stories of successful 5 & 6 figure launches.
So if some or all of these these thoughts are on your mind...this blog post is here to make sure you have the essentials you need to launch your premium offer - and it’s basically everything I wish I knew when I first launched.
As a personal brand, above everything else, your dream clients need to have a powerful connection with you in order to buy from you.
The simplest way to create an environment that makes connection immediate and powerful is to
- Share stories
- Get buy-in (aka TEASING)
We won't be talking about the storytelling piece today, but we'll for sure be addressing the buy-in AND the nuts-and-bolts of launching.
So here goes:
I’m breaking this down into 5 stages for you so you have an outline and plan for where you need to start and what you need to be successful:
This is the most in depth, sit-down-with-pen-and-paper part of your launch - where you draw out and write down everything, create, go deep into ideation, figure out what you want to do and how you’re gonna do it.
But honestly, it’s also the easiest stage because it’s you and your passion for this amazing new offer - nothing else has been added to the equation yet.
Planning starts with 2 simple questions:
- What do you want to launch?
- When do you want to launch it?
So, describe your offer: who is it for, what results will it get them, what’s the transformation people can expect to have?
And choose your dates for when you want to launch it.
Dates for a launch can get tricky: I’ve seen launches as short as 3 days, and launches as long as 6 weeks. But my recommendation is a 2 week launch - because as you’ll see later, a 2 week launch can technically turn into a 4 week launch pretty easily.
SO choose your 2 weeks and let’s talk what’s next:
Obviously after you choose your dates and you know what you’re going to launch, you have to think about a long list of things, from graphics to live content events.
This is the stage of your launch where you warm up your audience and gauge their readiness to buy in to your new thing. I’d recommend that you do this 1 ½ weeks - 2 weeks before the 2 week date you’ve set for your launch.
Now you’re adding people outside of yourself to the equation, and lovely, all the butterflies and roses in the world can’t prevent something from going in the complete opposite direction from what you expected. Truthfully, that’s almost the definition of a launch.
Expect it. Plan for it. And be flexible enough to enjoy the ride.
SO how do you tease?
Share the following with your audience via your social media platforms & your list:
- Sneak peeks
- Content topics/ ideas
- Testimonials from past clients who’ve gotten results similar to what this product will help them get
- Any questions that will get them thinking about the topic that is related to your new offer
Basically you’re giving them breadcrumbs that will lead them right through the door of your launch - and before they know it they’re in the middle of your launch and you’re sharing your offer with them, and not once did they ever feel like they were being sold to.
Which is exactly what we want.
Teasing allows you to be authentic. It facilitates real conversations and connections around the topic/ idea that’s directly related to your product or service. And helps you gauge whether your people are interested in what you have to offer or not.
So basically - you need to get flirty and tease like your life depended on it lol! (No seriously, I mean it! :-) )
Pro tip: Use this time to get members of your community that are not on your list, onto your email list. An easy way to do this is to tell them about the sneak peeks you’ll be sending your list as you’re planning all this.
CAVEAT: Do not move forward into your pre-launch if your audience isn’t responding to what you tease! Don’t do it! You’re running the risk of launching something that they don’t care about: that will be your time and energy wasted & Z E R O sales. Don’t do it!
Alright so your audience is loving all the bread crumbs (or croissant crumbs, mmm, croissants...with chocolate? yes please! - that’s the response you want your audience to have to your teasing, lol)... Now what?
Now you get exclusive and you pre-launch, i.e. you give a specific group of people the opportunity to purchase before everyone else with a special bonus that only they will have access to for a limited time.
I’d recommend that you do this 1 week before the 2-week launch date you’ve set.
Whether this pre-launch looks like sharing your offer ONLY to your list, or only sharing the offer on a particular social media platform, only sharing via your snapchat/ instastories, whatever that looks like, these are the requirements for the pre-launch/ pre-sell phase:
- Must be exclusive
- Must be urgent
- Must have a bonus/ incentive for buying NOW
The exclusivity is addressed by choosing the particular group of people. The urgency you can address by making the pre-launch/ pre-sell phase VERY short - think 24 - 72 hours. I’ve seen people pre-sell for as long as a week, which is great. But any longer than a week and you lose momentum.
You can also up the urgency factor by making the bonus/ incentive disappear after that pre-launch/ pre-sell phase. Make that bonus something your audience has been really dying to get from you for the longest time.
Pro tip: Tap into your network for the bonus. Whether that’s a live Q+A call with a particular friend you know your audience loves/ is well-known in your industry, make it so that they can’t help but say YES to buying right now!
4. Launch tiiiiiimmmmeeee!
O snap love! You’re cookin’ with gas now! It’s launch tiiimmme! (so many exclamation marks, hahaha)
Seriously though, this is the main event, what it all leads up to and where the rubber meets the road.
Here’s my recommended format for a 2 week launch like we talked about before:
- Day 1: open doors (aka give people access to the buy link/ buy button) with a live content event - this is your 'launch trigger,' i.e. the event that kickstarts your launch and gets people all excited. This live content event can be anything from a webinar or masterclass to a challenge or livestream series.
- Day 2-7: give value and share about your offer everywhere you can, especially using storytelling, testimonials, case studies and results-driven content
- Day 8: 2nd live content event
- Day 9-13: keep giving value and promo like a rockstar on tour
- Day 14: close doors with your final live content event
Okay so firstly what are live content events? Webinars, workshops, masterclasses, hot seat calls, live Q+As, and the like. Basically any opportunity for your people to see you in action, hear your voice, see your face and get to know who you are and the value you bring. And yes, at the end of your live content events you are going to want to pitch.
But please, don’t get anxious about the pitch.
If you’ve been sharing your offer this entire time and your people have been buying and loving it - there’s no reason for you to be anxious. Why?
Because a pitch is simply sharing how you can help your people change their lives.
It comes down to conversation, love.
If it’s the right fit, trust them to buy. If it’s not, then that’s fine too.
And of course, you use the techniques of persuasion to help guide them to a decision - but you’re not guiding them to a yes, you’re guiding them to a choice that’s right for them. And your job is to do that well, and trust them to make that choice.
Chances are, if you’ve been being authentic this entire time, your people won’t feel sold to, they’ll feel supported.
The next thing you’re probably wondering about is the open-doors, close-doors terminology and what that means for your offer.
I typically recommend that you open and close doors on your offers because you don’t want people thinking your offers are always going to be available, then they delay on buying in. That being said, the caveat to this is if you have a phenomenal ad budget and can set up a funnel to drive people to that offer - then buy all means, let it stay available and leave doors open.
But if you’ve going with the launch and you’re not planning to consistently drive traffic to this offer, I’d say open your doors so people can buy, then close your doors.
If you have an online store, I’d recommend either rotating your products (so only certain products are available at specific times), increasing the price of your products outside of the times you’re launching, and/ or (like I suggesting earlier) consistently driving traffic to your store.
Now, on days 2-7 and days 9-13 you’re gonna be giving value like a crazy person - all over social media, in your Facebook community if you have one, and to your email list. Take this time to answer all the FAQs you always hear from your audience and to help them feel supported and that they can trust you to get them results and help them change whatever it is they’re wanting to change.
Pro tip 1: During days 2-7 and 9-13, if you’re running ads during this launch, this is also your time to turn on those ads. Run ads to a warm audience to retarget them to your live content events. If you don’t understand the previous sentence DO NOT RUN ADS.
Pro tip 2: To boost sales during the days where you don’t have a live content event, offer specific bonuses and give those bonuses an expiration date. It’s preferred if you stack the bonuses, and don’t give discounts. Ask me why on Twitter.
On the final live content event day when you close doors, you’re going to want to send emails out to your list (not your entire list, the segment that you’ve determined is interested in this launch) - quite possibly a minimum of 4 emails.
Now that sounds like a lot, and you’ll more than likely get some unsubscribes, but you need at least (at least! meaning there can be more!) 2 reminder emails about the live content event and another 2 emails about the doors closing to your new offer.
And Pro tip 3: You’ll usually get a significant percentage of your sales just before the doors close, so you’re going to want to send out those emails.
Pro tip 4: Take time to decompress regularly during your launch - you’ll have A TON of ish going on. Some things may not be going the way you expected, there may be bumps along the road. Breathe, have a support system in place beside you to encourage you when things go haywire, and enjoy the crazy, awesome ride :-) (P.S. If you don’t have a support system - let’s talk)
5. Launch De-brief
Now that the launch is done, you’ve gotta do a debrief. You have to take a look at what worked, what didn’t work, what you can scratch for next launch and what you can amp up.
This is non-negotiable - no matter how great or how horribly your launch went.
In the debrief, here’s what you need to address:
- Numbers (i.e. sales, customers, expenses, refunds, etc)
- Strategies (what worked, what didn’t work)
- How you felt
I may do a whole launch debrief blog post sometime but on the surface of the debrief you should be looking at the cold-hard numbers - what you spent and what you earned.
You should also be looking at the strategies that got you those results. By strategies I mean answering the questions what, where, when, why and how: what you shared, where you shared, when you shared (i.e. time of day), why you shared and how often you shared. Link the answers to these questions to the cold-hard numbers to see what worked, what didn’t work, what you can scratch next launch and what you can amp up.
You also need to take a look at how you felt. This may seem very irrelevant and silly, but you still need to do it. Here’s why:
You need to know your triggers during a launch - so next time you launch, you can identify what sends your emotions reeling into happy or sad places AND you can manage those emotional responses and create healthy spaces for them to be expressed.
Otherwise, you go through every launch feeling like the launch is crazy or haywire or sucky or whatever other insane feeling swirly people like us have when we launch, and then you get burnt out and end up in hustle hell and
So - now you have an entire chronicle of how to launch your new offer.
If it feels like a lot (which it probably DOES), take a deep breath, and let's have a talk about how we can get you ready to launch.
And I’m always around the interwebs (Facebook: /thechelseawall) if you need to flesh out some launch plans and ideas.
Now go be awesome, live light and live well <3 :-)