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Launch Plan Deconstruction – Part 2

Note: I’ll be holding a live free webinar training on Thursday, October 30th at 2pm PT / 5pm ET sharing the 3 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making with Your Launch. Click here to grab your spot.

Now on to Part 2 – Launch Plan Deconstruction

By now you have taken a deep look at your past launch and completed all of the action items in part 1, here. Which leads us to the remaining components for a successful launch. If you are looking for a more high-touch approach, check out the Launch Rehab Mastermind.

In Part 1, we covered Your Personality, Audience Evaluation, and Timeline/Timing. The remaining components of a successful launch are:

  • Content Planning
  • Traffic (incoming eyeballs)
  • Outreach: Marketing, Advertising, Promotion
  • Price and Buy Now

And of course, here is the launch plan again:

Actual-Launch-Plan

Content Planning

So often, we get excited and wrapped up in our product and how great it’s going to be and ultimately how “life changing” it’s going to be for our audience… forgetting that we have to create a lot of content to support the launch.

If you’re following a plug and play formula/program, likely you have considered the breadth of content – maybe it’s a three video series or perhaps an email auto-responder series. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If you launch isn’t converting and you have great videos and blog posts, consider looking inside your launch content. I’m not talking frequency of communicating, that will come later in the outreach section, but what are you actually saying?

Are you telling one cohesive story throughout all of your launch content? Are people able to pop into your content and understand immediately what’s going on? Have you established your subject matter expertise over and over again?

Looking at the launch plan we’re deconstructing, our business owner, her content plan included: doing one blog post about the program.

Essentially, she tried selling a program cold – with one piece of content… in a place that she wasn’t even visiting regularly. There isn’t a story there at all – she basically threw one strand of spaghetti on the wall and waited for people to “get” her story.

Content planning is a lot more extensive than just a blog post or two – and even more extensive than an email auto-responder series. You have to start by answering this question:

What story do you want your audience to learn about you and your product during this launch?

Notice that’s two-fold – it’s not all about your product, but it’s also about you.

In a world with so many options out there, why would a buyer spend money with you? What makes you uniquely qualified to deliver the results you are promising?

Your content plan needs to center around this question – and you have to do everything in your power to not deviate from the answer.

In this plan, the answer to the BIG content question would be: I want people to know that I am a leading expert in career happiness, career changes, and delivering results in the passion field.

With that being the story tying her launch together, everything that she delivers content-related needs to relay this story. Her videos need to reinforce her expertise. Her email series needs to share content that is directly applicable to this story. And so on.

When evaluating your past launch, did you tell one story? Did someone who found you on day 1 of your launch be able to know quickly what you do, as easily as someone who found you on day 10?

Once you know the story, have evaluated what you were saying (looking at all channels), should you start worrying about the way you are delivering content. But you have to get your story right first – and how it tells the buyer the story of your product and you.

Traffic (incoming eyeballs)

I know for me, the first thing I focused on when I started my business was getting as much traffic as possible to my website. Because to me – traffic automatically converted into sales. That isn’t always the case and perhaps not the best use of your time (trust me – I learned this the hard way).

A few nuggets to consider about traffic:

  1. Having more eyeballs on your stuff, usually increases your capacity to sell – even at the same conversion rates, you will earn more income. But it doesn’t mean that’s always the case.
  2. People have been selling things well before the internet and traffic nonsense. People still do – I know, crazy. But can you learn from offline tactics?

One of the best traffic-related wisdom bombs I received was this: Traffic is getting you people into your store providing you with more opportunities to convert. The more opportunities, the more potential sales. That’s why traffic is an important part of your launch plan.

Traffic isn’t easy nor am I going to give you a formula for it (I don’t know it – I promise, if I did, I’d share). But what is important about traffic is having more eyeballs on your content. Getting more people to hear about you, know about you and your product, will increase your opportunities to sell your product.

Looking at the launch plan we’re deconstructing, there isn’t a plan to reach more eyeballs. Her plan was to blog to her current audience, email people already in her network, and hope that they share the news.

Traffic is all about getting more people than you already currently know, to see what you’re up to. In the online world, that’s trying to get new incoming visitors that are highly engaged (kind of like asking for a unicorn). But it is possible, if you include it as part of your overall plan.

Looking at your own launch plan, have you specifically addressed how you will get new people to know who you are and what you are up to? 

And if you have considered traffic and are not seeing the launch results you’d hoped for, have you given yourself enough runway for the traffic to find you, get to know you, and need what you’re selling?

One of my favorite examples is a different launch I worked on behind the scenes for a first time launcher. He had considered traffic as a key component of his launch, but only allowed for two weeks of runway. He did some guest posting (content/outreach), but they went live after his launch was over or the click-through rate from the other sites weren’t significant enough to garner enough new opportunities to increase conversion.

This is often the case – we have a great idea to get more traffic and think as soon as we act on those ideas, that people will follow. For most of us, creating new opportunities takes a lot longer than we’ve been taught – but it usually pays off big.

Outreach: Marketing, Advertising, Promotion

Here’s the truth – most of the very successful launches you see out there, do amazing because they are great in this component – Outreach: marketing, advertising and promotion. There really aren’t many ways around this (as much as I’ve tried to find one…).

When looking at the launch plan above, she did include some outreach, but it was limited to her own circles. In other words, she wasn’t creating more opportunities or partnerships.

Looking at your own launch, how much outreach did you do? Outreach includes things like:

  • Directly reaching out to your second degree connections and asking them to share your content
  • Creating partnerships or affiliates to help you promote your product
  • Having a marketing plan and executing it… and being persistent
  • Engaging with various groups and social media outlets to help create opportunities
  • Buying ads and promoting them
  • And more… the list of options here is almost endless

This component tends to be difficult for many entrepreneurs, especially first time launchers. And it’s one of the most important components in your launch plan. Unless you already have a really big list (think 30,000+ or so), outreach is critical – and provides you with more opportunities to convert sales.

Here’s when I’m always asked if you have to do an affiliate sales program/set-up. The answer is no – you don’t have to do anything, and honestly, affiliates sales isn’t for every audience, person or product. But the reason that affiliate programs are so successful, is that it provides both audiences with incentive: the seller gets more opportunities from a new audience list/demographic; and the affiliate gets to provide a solution that helps their audience, that they can’t provide (and gets paid for it).

Affiliate programs are not for your first launch… or even your first few launches. They work best when you have a proven record of being able to sell a product, the product is stellar, and provides something that the market needs. So if that doesn’t sound like you, I’d recommend keeping a full-blown traditional affiliate program off your outreach plan.

However, and this is a big however… you can still do a mini-affiliate program where you incentivize your friends/contacts to promote your products. This will help your first connections have some skin in the game so to speak (the ability to earn income from simply promoting is pretty appealing), and still provide you with more opportunities and eyeballs.

Going back to the launch plan, we’ve already established that there was no outreach at all. There was a preview call/webinar, but that was “sold” to her current audience (of about 100 people). An easy way for this to be included in outreach was to partner up with another entrepreneur to host it or to promote it far and wide to various audiences. One small tweak, and the outcome could have been much greater.

I could breakdown the outreach component for hours as there are so many different ways you can accomplish this. Being that this component is beyond critical for your launch plan, I want to bottom-line it for you like this (this is the “be honest with yourself” part):

  • Did you personally reach out to people outside of your comfort zone to let them know what you were up to?
  • Did you share early and often, across the social media platforms that you participate on?
  • Were you slightly uncomfortable, when making the direct ask?
  • Did you let the connectors in your group know about your product and provide an easy way for them to share it?
  • Did you do more than “half-ass” this part of your plan?
  • Did you look at alternative ways for outreach – ads, partnerships, webinars, podcasts, guest posts, and so on?

And a few last side-notes about Outreach…

  • Creating a marketing plan that keeps you behind the computer screen isn’t enough
  • Simply posting a ton of crap on social media, isn’t enough either
  • Staying in your safe zone and staying far away from what you consider the “sales zone,” isn’t enough for this component
  • Getting sidetracked from your story (see content planning), will not help you create new opportunities… it will hurt you

Price and Buy Now

Alas, we are finally at the final component of your launch plan, the price and buy now section. This is often stressed about and its importance overlooked.

Evaluating our launch plan, this product was a six-week high-touch program costing $109.  Holy cheap batman, as she mentioned in her notes. She chose this price because she thought it could convert easily… but price is one of those things that doesn’t tend to make logical sense. In other words, to some, a low price = low value… diminishing this program’s worth.

There are many great pricing strategies out there that you can learn from – Ramit Sethi talks about pricing in his Zero to Launch program (great for beginning launchers) and Tara Gentile had a course on CreativeLive about this topic. In other words, there is a science to pricing your product and it would be helpful to learn more about it, before you launch your product.

What your competitors sell the same/similar product for is nice information, but it doesn’t tell you what your product’s price should be. In this instance, $109 was well-below the market value for what her competitors were doing – the average was around $379 or so. On the surface, she wanted to deliver high-value service at a low-cost to get more conversions. The problem she ran into though, was that her audience was used to seeing a higher price point, so this product’s value didn’t register. Not to mention, she was delivering more than her competitors… which would usually reflect in a higher price.

For your launch plan, evaluate your price point and ask:

  • Does the price convey the value that the person will be receiving?
  • Would you be willing to hand over that amount of money for the output solutions you are providing?
  • Are you aiming towards to the right audience who is able to afford the product at the price you are selling it at?
  • For high-touch products/programs, is your time valued appropriately?

The Buy Now component of your launch plan is probably the most overlooked component in the entire plan. But here’s the thing, if you do not have ways for your opportunities to hand over money right now, they will not purchase what you are selling.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients show me their sales pages without a “buy now” button incorporated. Or when I’ve had to hunt for the purchase button, only to bounce off a page because it’s not worth my time and effort.

In this launch, she had a buy now button on her sales page… but it was one and at the very bottom. When she did her outreach emails, there wasn’t an easy way for people to convert right there or connect with the program in any meaningful way. The preview call didn’t end with a strong incentive, leaving people having to find their way to her sales page to buy… instead of converting right there.

When looking at all of your content, including your sales page, emails, and so on – are you providing your opportunities with the chance (multiple chances are better) to hand over their money? Are you making the payment process easy? Are you providing them with several opportunities to say heck yes here’s my money?

Finally…

It’s so important it is to get personalized high-touch support on your launch plan and which elements are critical to include in your plan. When you’re knee-deep in your own plan, it’s sometimes hard to be objective.

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.

Click here to learn more, or reach out to me directly with any questions (melissa {at} launchyourself {dot} co.