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 Laura Caselli’s Behind the Launch Story
It all started with a) depression and b) my living room.
In Fall 2014, I was struggling with the loneliness of being a business owner. So I sent an email to 10 of my best Boss Lady friends and asked them to kvetch about the struggle and joy of being a business owner.
When we met in January 2015, they all told me I should expand the model, so I created a live event in my town of Bozeman, Montana called the “Boss Lady Bash.” I hosted the first one on April 7th, and it sold out in 48 hours. I hosted the second one on June 2 (three days after my 30th birthday!), and it sold out in less than 24.
The only way I promoted it was to write three “teaser” Facebook + Instagram posts (this was before I even had a Facebook business page, so it was just on my personal page), wrote a kickass sales page (with eagle eyes from one of my copywriting friends), and sent an email to those 10 ladies who were in my living room with me with:
- 3 pre-written Facebook posts
- 2 pre-made IG images with captions
That was it.
What were your goals for your launch (sales, list growth, exposure)?
Oh goodness, this was sort of a disaster. I really just wanted to meet other people in my community, so I thought I’d host a fun event and had NO strategy other than to make a few bucks and meet more ladies. When the feedback was so outstanding, I created a list for my local ladies, have hosted FREE networking happy hours, and am slowly building my list one happy hour at a time. I also made some money on my event the first and second time around, which is so encouraging!
How much did you invest in the promoting and creating of your launch?
The promotion was $0. Like I said, I wrote an email, created Instagram posts, and then emailed other community members that I knew would love the event.
How many did you sell and what did you make in the end?
The event itself cost me around $800 (which was even lower than it normally would have been because I had sponsors for my gift boxes, photography, graphic design, and treats), but I sold tickets to cover the raw cost of the event’s food, wine, and supplies (I made about $1200 in ticket sales, so netted $300…which isn’t bad for a beta test!).
What’s the biggest lesson you learned about launching?
That a really, really strong network of people you love is important to get things sold; whether they sign up to come to the event, or just say that they’ll put it on their social media OR they’ll do a webinar or podcast interview with you.
Were there moments of overwhelm, insecurity, or doubt? How did you slay your launch monsters?
Not during the launch itself because I figured if no one came, at least I’d have my 10 immediate ladies to hang out with. But after I sold out, I got super scared that I had to deliver an event that I didn’t even know if I was capable of creating! I spent a full day in bed with anxiety (geesh!) and then I got up, got some coffee, took a walk with a friend, and got to planning.
Find those 10 people who believe in you, who have seen how awesome it is to work with you, and make it REALLY easy for them to share your product/service/event. The pre-fabbed IG posts and FB posts were THE MOST useful pieces of marketing I created.
And then? Just launch. If you hear crickets, you get the next time and the time after that to do it better.
For your next launch, what will you do differently?
Raise the ticket price and host a larger event!
Did one of Farideh’s courses or any of her content help you specifically? If so, we’d love to hear about how!
Farideh’s freebie checklist (you can get it here) was so helpful to draw inspiration from, even though I didn’t use a lot of the strategies. It made launching so much more digestible.
Lauren Caselli is an event planner and strategist for digital entrepreneurs and small businesses who want to create a flagship event that gets them in front of their people and builds their brand and their speaking cred (while make some $$, too!). She can be found on Instagram here posting nerdy quotes and pics of her colorful office supplies, or on her website here.