Let’s talk launch plans, shall we? Your launch plan for your product is a key component for your product’s success. It’s the roadmap or outline to get your product in the hands of buyers.
And they are darn hard to create… and stick to, but really easy to hide behind.
In other words, we either create extensive launch plans where we can get so lost in the details that we forget to executing, or we refuse to put our plan on paper so we have something to point to when it doesn’t go as expected.
Launch plans are just that – a plan for you and your product’s success. It can be deviated from as your launch progresses, but there are a few elements that must be evaluated and committed to paper, to be a plan for success.
Your launch plan, at a minimum, needs to include these considerations:
- Your Personality
- Audience Evaluation
- Timeline and Timing
- Content Planning
- Traffic (incoming eyeballs)
- Outreach: Marketing, Advertising, Promotion
- Price and Buy Now
Instead of me talking in abstract about failed launch plans, I am lucky enough to have a fellow entrepreneur share with us, her first launch plan so I can deconstruct it for you. The product’s name will remain anonymous, but let’s just say it’s a program you have likely seen before.
Here is the Launch Plan, in All Its Glory
So let’s teardown where this launch fell apart, based on her launch plan using the baseline elements for success.
Based on the plan, she was simply copying what she’d seen others do. It’s very easy to fall into this trap, especially when we are a new launcher because it feels almost like a plug and play formula. The problem with this approach though, is that what works for someone else will likely not work for you and your audience.
What makes us all great at what we do is what we, uniquely bring to the table. That includes your personality, your voice, and your approach. So by simply copying someone else’s launch plan, you are eliminating any potential for your “special sauce” to shine through.
Some examples of how to personalize your launch is by fully understanding what does make you unique and why people like learning from you already. Maybe it’s your approach, the language you use, your delivery, the topics, and so on.
For example, there are people who are known for different things… so their launch would be personalized accordingly. Marie Forleo delivers amazing videos that are sassy – that is a component of her personality. Derek Halpern gives extensive information with a lot of snark (and these days, usually by video) – that’s part of his personality. Copyblogger decided that Facebook isn’t for their brand – that’s part of their personality.
Your audience will easily be able to suss-out when you deliver something off-track or when they feel they’ve seen it before.
The important thing here is to bring YOU to your launch plan.
A big component to that is your product itself and how it would best be presented, but it’s also about knowing what you like and don’t like, and being true to you – instead of just plugging and playing.
I talked about this recently, but not fully understanding your audience is one of the biggest roadblocks to launch success. It’s easy to gloss over the audience part when we are creating a launch plan. Because hey – we know who they are. We talk to them a lot with blog posts and so on.
Or we created our avatar.
Or have our target demographics figured out.
Or we are certain we know who we attract and help.
I’m calling bs on that.
For each and every launch plan you create, you need to dive deep into who will be buying your product.
Not who reads your blog. Not who you think will be an easy capture. Not the widest net you can cast.
Who is that one person who will buy your product over someone else’s? Who will hand over their hard earned cash to get the solution you are solving?
Solutions people. Part of your audience evaluation is getting into the hearts and minds of what pain points you are solving for your buyer.
This is more than saying you are targeted women in their mid-30s to 40s who want to find their passion. (This happens to be the demographic target for the launch plan we’re looking at). This “target” doesn’t help you connect with the buyer in a way that is meaningful to them.
Instead, dig deeper. Evaluate what problem you are solving, who you are solving it for… and then find where those people are.
Your launch plan must include who you are going after, why, and where you are going to find them. It may be a different target than your blog speaks to at the moment; it may just be a smaller component of your blog readers. Regardless, your plan needs to plan for the right people – and it needs to be front and center of your launch plan.
Timeline and Timing
When you launch is something often talked about and even studied. You’ve probably seen the infographics about this time of day being better or this month yielding higher results for all launches.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for launch timing. Except for a few nuggets of wisdom: launching during a holiday isn’t a good idea; only emailing people on the weekend likely won’t help you much; and launching without any preplanning isn’t awesome.
Other than that, your timeline and timing is up to you, your product’s needs and your audience. Well… sorta.
In this launch plan, the program was ready to go and the entrepreneur was ready to launch – so she launched without a lot of planning, if any at all. And because of that, she ended up launching over a major U.S. holiday where people are likely out celebrating, not waiting for emails to come in.
I am personally, a short-timeline launcher for most things. If I have a product and it’s ready to go, I am likely not waiting to seed the launch for three months before it goes live. I don’t have that kind of patience.
But for every launch you do need to give yourself some runway before a launch to help improve your launch success.
Why? For a lot of reasons, but mainly it helps your audience understand what the product is and why you are the right person to buy from… without everything feeling like it’s coming out of the blue. You need time to deliver enormous value and free stuff to your audience, while also providing them with your subject matter expertise… over and over again. It will also help you iron out the various needs of your audience and what exactly you can deliver to them through your product.
A few weeks can be enough for a smaller launch – but plan a few months ahead when trying to do high-priced launches and affiliate launches. When people are asked to hand over a lot of money, or you are trying to get other people to sell for you, they need to be “comforted” in knowing that you and your product are the real deal.
In this launch plan, three to four weeks would have been enough. It’s a low-cost program with a high-value-add. Instead of the timeline being the issue, it was more about the timing.
If she had understood her audience better through the audience evaluation stage, she would have confirmed that her audience reads her messages when they are at their corporate jobs – something they aren’t doing over a long-holiday weekend. That their passion and need for feeling like they’re making a difference isn’t so strong when they have a break to look forward to.
Knowing that, she could have had more success during “tougher” times for her audience target such as February – May, when there is a long stretch of non-U.S. holiday breaks and people are ready to start taking action and making changes in their pursuit of passion in their careers.
See how knowing your audience makes the timing and timeline easier?
I want you to take a look at your own launch plans and evaluate these first three components in-depth before we move on to the other elements.
- Did you show up as you in your launch planning… or were you copying someone else’s formula verbatim?
- Were you clear and specific with who your audience is for your product? Did you aim for that one person, or were you casting a wide net or hiding behind your “avatar” and/or “demographic?”
- Did you fully consider your ability to reach your audience at their best time? Did you give yourself enough runway to establish your expertise and reaffirm why your product will solve their problem?
Now you can see how important it is to get personalized high-touch support on your launch plan and which elements are critical to include in your plan.
That’s why I created the Launch Rehab Mastermind – a way for you to get specific feedback on your last launch, so you can shatter your expectations on the next one. You’ll get one-on-one support, guidance and planning on how to turn your disappointing launch into launch success.
Applications are now open through November 1st.
For now, stay tuned for part two, deconstructing the remaining elements from this launch plan.