Thinking about launching a new or existing product or service? This series is just for you.
We all launch differently.
Some launches are a success and others a flop. My intention in sharing these stories is to highlight the differences so you can get creative about your own launch.
This is Lacy Boggs’ Behind the Launch story.
Tell us about your launch.
In December 2013, I launched my first-ever product, a course called Blogstorm that helps entrepreneurs brainstorm blog topic ideas and get them organized into an editorial calendar for the next six months. I launched the course “live” twice; the first time, in late 2013, I got a big response, partly because I joined a “bundle” scheme. The bundle was great for exposure but terrible for my bottom line. I basically gave away almost 40 slots for free — and almost none of those buyers participated. (Lesson learned.)
The second time I launched in June 2014, I sold three — count them, THREE — spots. I was devastated. Compared to the (inflated) 60 spots I’d filled earlier in the year, it felt like a HUGE failure. It was so disheartening to do the live Q&A calls with only three participants.
So I decided to make the course evergreen to coincide with the relaunch of my website in early 2015. I sold half a dozen slots when I announced, and then a few each month thereafter, and was pretty happy with it.
Since the course helps you get 6 months of blogs planned in an editorial calendar, I decided to do a “launch” push for June and offer a value add of going through it “live” with me in the Facebook group (which I wasn’t planning to offer any more). I decided to do this “launch” a week before June 1!
I sent one dedicated email to my list, wrote a blog post promoting it, and promoted that blog post the way I normally do, and then a final “don’t miss this opportunity!” email on May 30th. And it was a big success.
I think the difference is a) the timing (I made use of the fact that it’s almost the half-way point of the year, a great time to plan your blog calendar for the next 6 months) and b) the urgency/scarcity + value add of going through the program live with me in June only (I mentioned in the email that I won’t be doing this again until next January).
So It’s like the best of both worlds. I have the trickle of income from the evergreen product, but I can run it “live” as a value add twice a year for a boost in sales.
What were your goals for your launch (sales, list growth, exposure)?
It was such a last-minute decision! I was hoping to sell a few extra slots in the course than I would have, but it went way beyond what I could have hoped for.
How much did you invest in the promoting and creating of your launch?
Nada. I spent a couple of hours writing the blog post and emails, but beyond that, no advertising or additional costs.
How many did you sell and what did you make in the end?
By the start date of June 1, I sold 21 slots in the program, for a total of $1,240. I’ve actually had two more late comers buy since then, as well.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned about launching?
It’s become massively clear to me that “traditional” launching is just not where it’s at for me — at least not right now in my business. Last year I thought I had to go the traditional route, with a big launch, three videos, ads, and so on — and it wasn’t effective. Just being myself, talking to my tribe, and offering extra value was MUCH more effective — and it felt so much more comfortable and doable to me. Huge difference in both input and outcome, and they were both positive.
Were there moments of overwhelm, insecurity, or doubt? How did you slay your launch monsters?
I thought I was a little bonkers for trying to do a “launch” in a week! But because everything was already in place (sales pages, PayPal buttons, etc.) and because I kept things simple, there really wasn’t anything to worry about. K.I.S.S.! It worked for me.
What’s your advice for others who want to become launch warriors?
Don’t assume that just because everybody else is doing something, that’s what you have to do, too. A big “traditional” launch just didn’t work for me. It was stressful and disappointing. Going my own way was much more rewarding.
For your next launch, what will you do differently?
I’m going to focus on continuing to build my list so that I have new hearts and minds to reach the next time I offer the course live, but I think I will launch it in much the same way: with a few dedicated emails and blog posts to prime the pump.
Find out more about Lacy here.