One of the most fun (and most stressful) parts of online business is…launching.
That word might strike fear into your heart, or it might have you doing an excited little dance in your seat.
After all, launching is exciting! It's a rush! But it’s also a ton of work, and if you do it wrong—and even sometimes, if you do it right—it can flop and be a huge waste of time and money.
Though is it really a waste if you learned something? That’s another topic for another post 🙂
I see folks get tangled up in launches all the time, and I want to set a few things straight to make sure you’re prepared to launch successfully.
Launch Mistakes I See Over and Over
Mistake #1: Rushing It
Okay, it's time for an intervention: You can’t do a launch in two weeks.
At least not a successful launch.
Successful launches take time. They need a foundation.
Build in enough time to grow an audience and drum up interest in your product, then plan your launch carefully.
For new businesses, this means building a list.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule. Yes, there is such a thing as a successful launch without a list, and some business owners have even jumpstarted their list building with the launch.
I’m not saying it can’t be done, because it totally can, but it’s a lot easier to launch a product/service/course if you have an audience waiting to buy it. Just sayin’.
I once knew a coach who had written a book and wanted to launch in 12 days. No audience, no list, no preparation whatsoever.
Of course, the launch flopped. It was so hard to watch because I knew she’d put so much time and energy into creating that book, but she missed a big part of the picture by not building an audience first.
While you’re creating, you have to be preparing to launch the whole time. Blog. Get active on social media. Build your list.
Don't let me rain on your parade if you’ve got another plan, but that’s the thing; you need a plan.
I've seen too many people get ahead of themselves and spend tons of time creating their product when they haven’t even put in the time to build an audience.
Build a community. Ask yourself who you're going to sell this to. Build a list, build a community on Facebook, connect with your local community, partner with someone who has a community (not a competitor, but someone who complements what you do) and your launch can soar!
Successful launches take time. They need a foundation. Make sure you have a plan! Click To Tweet
Mistake #2: Jumping in without a plan
Without a plan, you miss things that could make all the difference in your launch, and you just won’t be as successful as you could be.
Plan out the parts and what goes into them. Break them down into smaller tasks. Schedule everything. Decide when these pieces need to be in place and who will do them.
Look at what you need to learn or buy. Do you need to pay for a service? Do you need to learn how to do a certain task or better yet, hire someone to do it for you?
Decide who will do what. If it’s just you, that’s pretty simple. You might be doing everything, or you might have an assistant on your side. Or maybe a whole team. Or maybe you need to hire someone.
Pro Tip: Whether you’re on your own or leading a team, you need a project management system.
Trust me, trying to keep track of emails, texts, messages is a one-way ticket to the worst migraine of your life.
Get yourself a system where you can easily delegate tasks to others on your team, share notes and files, and where you can store your own to-do list. I love Teamwork for keeping me and my team organized. There are quite a few programs out there, so find one that is a good fit for you.
Have a plan. Plan for the creation of the product. Plan out the tech stuff. For the grand opening. For content and outreach. For all the moving parts and little to-dos, and make sure each piece is assigned to someone.
This is a huge project in itself, but it’ll make the launch run so much smoother. (By the way, this is something an OBM or project manager can help with!)
Mistake #3: Not testing first
I know you’re excited to get your product out into the world and tell everyone about it.
But trust me, there’s nothing worse than opening your doors on launch day and finding out that something doesn’t work.
Maybe there’s a tech hiccup you didn’t know about or maybe the product itself has some issues you need to work out.
I see so many entrepreneurs who are so eager to get to the Big Kahuna Launch that they consider a beta launch as a waste of time or worse, a deterrent from getting to the actual launch.
Trust me, it’s not a waste, but a vital step in the process that allows you to measure response and make necessary tweaks.
That way, when you do a bigger launch, you have experience and testimonials. And you’ve worked out the glitches.
Test EVERYTHING with a beta launch before your official launch just to make sure things are working properly.
Mistake #4: Not having a clear goal in mind
In order to aim accurately, you need a target.
What do you want out of this launch?
Many times you want to make money, of course, but how much? Are you shooting for a certain dollar amount? A certain number of sales or signups? Do you also want a certain number of list signups as well?
Knowing what you want can help you figure out what it’ll take to get there. (You can have more than one metric, by the way, and you probably will. Maybe it’s a dollar amount AND a certain number of signups, and you’d also like to grow your list by, say, 1,000 subscribers.)
Figure out exactly what you want to get out of this launch so you can make a solid plan to get there.
Mistake #5: Not having all the pieces in place
A launch is a huge project with lots of little bits that are easy to overlook. Here’s a quick list to help you make sure you’ve covered your bases:
- A timeline
- The product. If the product isn’t created, that’s a whole project in itself.
- Marketing: Podcasts, webinars, guest posting, paid ads, press releases, live events, etc. How are you going to tell the world about your product?
- Copywriting: You need a sales page. You need ad copy. You need blog posts and emails telling your audience all about your cool new thing. You might also need someone to write them for you, because all that stuff just makes your head spin.
- A sales funnel: Most of your audience isn’t going to just jump from zero into your high-end product. There needs to be a logical journey to becoming a high paying customer. What is your opt-in? Do you have a tripwire offer or another lower priced paid product? Think of these like steps in a staircase. They’re not going to jump from one floor to the other (though some might). Most people want to take it one step at a time.
- A payment and delivery system: This is techy stuff. If people want to buy your product, how will they pay for it? Do you have a shopping cart on your site? Is it easy to use and easy for you to get your money? Then when they buy it, how will it be delivered? Will it go to their email? Will they go to another page with login info? Will you use a third-party system?
Mistake #6: Doing everything on their own
Okay, I know this is a lot for one person, but you don’t have to do it alone. Hiring help is one of the best things you can do for your launch.
Get yourself a VA, an OBM, or an entire team!
My team and I would love to help with your launch, because we can cover all these elements in one go. I can help you make the plan, break it into steps, and assign the pieces to my team so that you only have to do the special stuff no one else can.
We can help, from the beginning of your project creation all the way through the launch to post launch review. Let’s talk!