Launching… the absolute best way to connect with your audience and really showcase your best work and all the value you provide. I absolutely love launching, and I want to share my Launching 101 tips with you so you can fall in love with launching too!
First, let’s get clear on what a launch is. I think it’s a much more exciting term than “campaign” but really, that’s what a launch is. It’s a marketing campaign designed to create immediate sales. I like to think of it more as a sales strategy than a marketing strategy, because the marketing that goes along with it is focused on an event that is a conversion event, but whether you agree or not, launching is still a great strategy. And it’s something you should definitely be doing in your business.
What is Launching?
So what does launching look like? We said that a launch is a marketing campaign, but the special thing about a launch is that it leads to an event. And this event is something I like to call a conversion event. There are many terms used for this particular event, and conversion event is quite popular. It also brings to light the reason for the event, which I like. The event is there to convert people. To showcase the value you and your business provide and to take your attendees through a journey and get them to purchase your product or service.
Why is Launching Important?
And so before we move into how to create a launch, let’s first cover why a launch is a great strategy for your business. To do this, I’m going to compare two scenarios. In both of these scenarios, you’ve got a new product or service (or an existing one, it actually doesn’t have to be new) and you’re going to be releasing your product or service and hopefully generating lots of sales from it.
Scenario A: Regular Marketing Campaign
In this scenario, you’ll create lots of great content. In fact, the content you create will create bridges that show your potential customers why they should purchase your product or service. You cover all your content pillars and move people closer to wanting to purchase from you. Great! Eventually you open up your cart, ask for the sale and I’m certain you’ll get sales!
Scenario B: Launch Campaign
In the launch campaign, you’ll do all the regular marketing campaign activities AND you’ll also plan an event – the conversion event. In the conversion event, you move your potential customers through a journey that allows them to solve a challenge they’re facing and get a win! Yes, it might be a small or mini win (because you only have so much time to do it in), but that doesn’t matter… it’s a win nonetheless! At the end of the event, you open up your cart, ask for the sale and the expectation now (especially since this entire article is about launches) is that you’ll make MORE sales than you could have in Scenario A.
So, will you? I would go with yes. Because not only did you do all the regular marketing campaign activities and demonstrate to your audience why they should buy your product or service, but you also did this one additional thing: you gave them a taste of your product or service, live. If you’re a service provider, then you likely showed them what working with you would be like, which is absolutely gold! And if you sell physical or digital products, then you likely demonstrated how your product would be beneficial to them, in a live environment, with lots of engagement. So yes, I’d expect and can almost guarantee that you would sell more at the end of a conversion event than without it.
Elements of a Launch Plan
If you’re with me, and can see how a conversion event within a full launch plan can help you sell more of your product or service, then let’s go ahead dive into how you can do this.
I’ve broken the launch plan down into 5 steps:
Step #1: Schedule things out
So here’s what happened with me earlier in my business. I would “go with the flow”, “be flexible” and “adjust as needed”. And that resulted in delayed launches, not enough marketing power behind the actual conversion event and overall less-than-spectacular launches.
But now I know better. Launches need a schedule. Without the schedule, you won’t go as hard. And if you don’t go hard, you won’t win big.
So here’s what you need to include in your launch schedule:
- Marketing in the run-up to the event – for the event
- Marketing in the run-up to the event – for your product or service
- The event
- Post-event questions, sales calls, messages etc to respond to
- Cart open
- Cart close
- Emails pre-event (to get people to your event)
- Emails post-event (sales)
Step #2: Create your conversion event
The first thing to do here is to pick something that people will want to sign up for. Again, we come back to offering something they WANT, not necessarily what you know they NEED. It took me a little while to understand that, so let me explain it just a little. To attract people, you have to provide the thing they are actually looking for, even if you know that it might not be the answer to their challenges. And the reason for that is because the answer to their challenges is very likely 3, 4 maybe even 10 steps down the road, so they’re not there yet. They’re at Step 1. So give them Step 1. And then you can walk them down Steps 2 to 10 after that – after they’ve passed Step 1.
And the second thing you should do is make sure they leave with a win. Do not worry about giving away too much. When you provide value, people see your value. If your event doesn’t wow them, they are not going to be swayed into buying your product or service.
And lastly, a friendly reminder that even if they don’t purchase your product or service now, they are moving closer to it. It takes some people multiple events before they’re ready to buy. You might be one of them!
Step #3: Market your event
Ok so now you have your schedule ready and there’s an allotted time for marketing in the launch plan before the launch event. Don’t forget to market your event! Depending on how long of a runway you have, schedule in different formats and copy to get people into your event. Use all channels – email, different social media platforms, your email signature, talk about it in groups you’re in, really anywhere and everywhere you can think of.
Step #4: Continue regular social media marketing
And while you’re marketing your event, don’t forget to continue building your following and engagement on social media by creating a solid content strategy. In the run-up to your launch, try to choose content pillars that are most relevant to the offer you’re going to sell. You want to strategically be creating content across your social media channels that move your followers closer to purchasing your product or service.
Step #5: Be very clear on your offer
Remember this: a confused mind never buys. So make it super simple for the people who you’re selling to and don’t provide a whole range of options for them to choose from. It’s hard to say how many things you can have in your offer. If it’s a product, you might have several different items within a collection, and that’s totally fine. But in that situation, what you don’t want is to be launching multiple collections at the same time.
And if you’re a service-based business, then try not to offer more than 2 options – maybe a regular and a premium service, or a DIY version and a full-option version. Another thing to bear in mind is to either offer the same service/course/program at two levels or two offer two completely different services/courses/programs. You want to make it easy for your audience to pick one.
Step #6: Provide post-event sales calls or Q&A opportunities
Lastly, offer a CTA (call-to-action) to schedule a call if anyone has questions or wants more information. Provide an email address, or set up some Q&A sessions. You can even tackle questions asked via email in your Q&A sessions. Quite often, people need a little help in deciding whether a product or service is right for them, so you want to make sure you have that factored into your plan.
And remember that sometimes, your job is to let someone know that your product or service is actually not right for them. There is no shame in doing that. In fact, if your product or service isn’t what they’re looking for, then you should absolutely make sure they don’t purchase it, because they’re only going to end up complaining, wanting a refund or posting a poor review.
So you’ve got to think of your sales calls as two-way fit assessments. Is your product/service right for them, and are they right for your product/service?
Incorporating Launches into your Business
That covers launching 101! I hope this has shed some light on your next launch, and more than that I hope this is the first step towards you enjoying launches and incorporating them into your business as regularly as needed.
Remember that you can launch as often or as infrequently as you like and as your business requires. Some business owners choose to do back-to-back launches every month, others once a year. The most frequent, from what I’ve seen, is quarterly. That gives you enough time to plan, build rapport with your audience, and then put your focus and energy on one launch. However, this is your business, and ultimately, you are the decision maker. Do what’s right for you and your business.
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