Have Questions About Launching Your Offer? Read This!
Let’s set the stage: You have that amazing new product idea, or you’re ready to finally create that new service package, or you’re creating a course or membership that’s going to make your knowledge so much more accessible.
Awesome. Now, it’s time to create the thing, right? And then what? How do you get your new offer out there? Generally, when it comes time to launch the thing (meaning share it with the world), most creative business owners and online entrepreneurs tend to clench up.
“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Isn’t there, like, a lot of tech involved?”
“What if I forget something?”
“Will it be expensive?"
The questions feel like they never end. Here at Digital Obbligato, though, we’re all about demystifying launches and successful offers for you so you can package your ideas into profitable offers (and not-so-stressful launches). So let’s answer some of the most common questions about launching products and other offers.
How do I know if my offer will sell?
This one’s a doozy — and so important if you’re just getting started with a new product or other offer. The first thing I really suggest you do is pretty obvious: Create an offer you know they need.
Ask yourself: What are people always coming to you for? What questions do you get on every sales call?
Find those trends and use that for the basis of your content or new product. This will eliminate a lot of the stress you might feel around wondering if the offer will succeed — because you’ll already know it’s something they need!
From there, test the waters before you just jump all in on a paid offer. Create a freebie or smaller product (like an e-guide) and see how many people download or buy that. If you've got the time, that's one of the clearest indicators of what people actually want to buy.
Next up: Talk to your audience and the people you’d love to see buying that new thing. No, don't just do a survey (although that's a great place to start). I mean actually talk to people. Hop on a Zoom call, meet IRL if you’re in the same area, ask if they want to Voxer back and forth — however you want to connect, just connect!
How long should I plan ahead to launch my new offer? 3-6 mos?
Let’s get down to brass tacks: You can’t just throw a launch together in a couple of days. Trust me, thousands of other people have tried this before you and most of them have found that they didn’t really enjoy the experience. So, let’s start with some reasonable timelines, shall we?
If you have to create content for your latest offer, definitely budget for at least 6 months — especially if it’s a course. Budget 3 to 4 months for the course or membership content creation (however long you think it'll take you, double it!), then 2-3 months to plan and create your marketing content. If your offer is more like a digital template or a single training, you can definitely decrease that time, but it never hurts to give yourself more wiggle room.
Remember: There's going to be wayyyyy more content than you think, even if your offer is fairly cut-and-dry! Don’t believe me? I created a whole checklist to help you make sure you cover all your bases with course creation.
What do I do if my launch "flops"?
This is a huge fear — and you're definitely not alone! While it might feel like your launch was a #TotalFailure, I want you to take a deep breath, step back, and look at the launch with objective eyes. Let’s define what went wrong and what went right.
Maybe you had good email open rates (hooray for great subject lines!) but people didn't click to buy (the copy didn't quite work or maybe the CTA wasn't clear). List out what went well and what needs to be improved upon for next time.
Then, get to work on putting those changes into effect while things are fresh. Remember, launching can take time to get just right for your business. Stay patient and keep pushing through. And if fear of a launch flop is stopping you from launching, well… you’ll never know what works, either!
I haven't had success with launches and feel burnt out. What should I do differently?
BEEN THERE! My best advice is to do a check-in with yourself for every piece of your launch: Why are you doing this? Is this in alignment with your goals? Is this in alignment with what your audience is looking for? For anything that's not a hell yes, it's a hell no. Throw it out.
Another note: Are you doing too much inside your biz? Yes, you can do too much!
Unless you have a massive audience, you don't need more than 1 email a day and 1 (maybe 2!) social posts per platform (excluding Instagram Stories, of course). Remember: You want to sell, not shove your offer down their throat like a 2 for $20 deal at GAP
Should I host a webinar before my launch?
How you kick off a launch is totally up to you! In my experience, webinars convert really well — but only if the content is good and the speaker is leading it well. I love webinars, though, especially if your program is video-heavy, like a course or a membership. That’s because it gives your potential students an opportunity to see your teaching style and see if they'll mesh with you.
Not sure if a webinar is right for you? Ask yourself: Am I comfortable pitching my offer on video? Do I have any experience with the tech involved? Can I create a presentation that offers value and leads well into my offer? These are all great benchmarks that show when you’re ready to host a webinar.
If you’re just really not comfortable on video yet, or you’re not sure how you’d get people to join, spend some time talking to your audience and asking how they like to hear information and what they’ve loved from others. This can help you build confidence and get you excited about whatever type of offer you create to kickstart your launch.
How do I build hype around my launch?
Hire a hype man!
The best thing to do is to bring your audience behind-the-scenes with you. Let them know you’re creating something exciting, and don’t be afraid to show them what goes into the creaton. Some fun ways to do this include:
- Doing a timelapse of shooting video
- Sharing a Stories poll asking for their opinion on design, names, etc.
- Giving them an update! Let them know when your offer is going on sale, where you are in the creation process, etc.
I know that some course creators and other business owners worry that “nobody cares” about what’s going on behind-the-scenes, or that they’ll look like they’re not as professional. Don’t worry about that. Think of it like updating your best girlfriends with how your new project is coming along.
How do I automate my launch?
Let’s say you’re pretty comfortable with launching, you’re excited to get that new offer out there, but you’re just so sick of all the widgets and scheduling involved. I won’t lie — launches can require a lot of small tasks. That’s why I love automation tools.
Tools like Zapier make sure enrollments smoothly go from checkout to your course platform and even your email platform. Scheduling sales emails with an email service provider (ESP) like MailChimp, ConvertKit, Flodesk, etc. can also eliminate a lot of forgotten emails and also increase the odds that you can retarget people who don’t engage or don’t buy!
You can also schedule welcome emails to those who buy into your course, program, or offer with your ESP. This can be a really great touchpoint to confirm they made the right choice buying from you, because everything about getting onboard is smooth as buttah, baby.
And last but definitely not least, the social media aspect. I can hear you groaning from here, but social media to promote a launch doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can use scheduling tools like Plann, Later, Planoly, and others. Just note that all of them have restrictions on auto-posting things like videos and carousels on Instagram at the moment!
Which tools do you recommend for an [insert offer here]?
Launch tech is probably one of the most daunting elements of a launch. If you’re feeling like a deer caught in headlights every time you think about which tools and software you need for your offer, let me help you out:
Tech you can use for webinars:
If you're just getting started, Demio is a great option. It's on the more affordable side, has great functionality, and it's beautiful. If you're looking for more features, WebinarJam is incredibly robust.
Course creator platforms:
This one’s easy: Kajabi*, hands down. You can create multiple courses, customize your content super easily, and it’s easy to create logins and accounts for your new students.
Membership and community platforms:
No, Facebook Groups are not ideal for a robust and super supportive membership or community! Instead, I recommend Mighty Networks*. They have an app and a great desktop interface that doesn’t feel cluttered, and it’s dedicated to your community. They also have a course functionality if that's something you'd like to integrate.
* affiliate link
Have other questions about launching your next (or first!) big thing?
I know that I barely scraped the surface on some of the questions you have about launching. Instead of answering a million and one questions here, I’m going to be using this blog to answer common questions and offer some of my expert launch insights and advice in other articles. That way, you can get what you need and get crackin'.
If you have a burning launch question, definitely pop over to my Instagram account. There, I share a ton of tips on launching, successful offers, and making successful courses, communities, and products. DM me if you have another question you’d like me to answer on the blog!