The Difference Between a Launch Manager and a Launch Strategist

Have you ever wondered how some people can make it through a launch season without breaking a sweat? We’ll let you in on a little secret…it’s probably because they had help. 

We’re not just talking about a copywriter or a tech VA. They probably had either a launch manager or launch strategist on their team, creating the plan and then managing the plan.

We’re sure you’ve heard your fair share of launch horror stories: Someone had a great offer but no plan to get eyeballs on it. Another person created an amazing launch event only to realize the sales emails weren’t scheduled (or… written).

Every entrepreneur who has launched at least once misses something or worries about whether or not they’re using the right strategies. While people like a tech VA can help eliminate some of the backend stress, there’s still a lot of planning, strategy, and management that goes into a really successful launch.

This is where hiring launch professionals can really help turn things around. If you’ve ever felt like you were managing everything, creating everything, or not seeing the sales you wanted for the effort you put in… a launch pro might be your next hire.

But what kind of launch support do you need? Strategy or management? 

What a launch manager does

The biggest thing to know about launch managers is that they, well, manage your launch. They will be the ones who take the strategy (ideally from you or your launch strategist) and implement it.

They don’t typically make strategy-based decisions, but they will workout out a timeline, delegate tasks to team members, and make sure everything is running smoothly. They may also fulfill the role of a tech VA when it comes to launch-specific platforms like ThriveCart or Kajabi. 

Many people outsource VAs, online business managers, or even project managers to help with their launches. But a launch manager’s job is to focus solely on your launch, nothing else! They’ll keep you and the rest of your team on track and make sure you hit those important launch milestones at the right time.

Launch managers develop a timeline

To make sure your launch runs smoothly, you’ll need a project plan to get there — and that’s exactly what a launch manager can help you create. They can help you pinpoint key dates, milestones, and more to meet your launch goals. Then, they can import it into your project management tools to make sure everyone’s in the loop!

Note: A launch strategist may also offer a launch “timeline” but in more general terms. A launch manager is going to make sure dates are set and held by everyone involved. 

Launch managers coordinate the pieces of your sales funnel

While launch managers won’t necessarily design a sales funnel or new launch for you, they will make sure it has all the pieces it needs to function properly. Their job is to make sure it all comes together effortlessly  — social media posts, emails, Facebook Ads, etc. — by putting everything where it needs to go at the right time. 

Launch managers will also be the point of contact for your team and contractors, ensuring that you’re not the one overwhelmed with everyone’s task deadlines and questions. 

Some launch managers offer technical support

​​Need a landing page set up? Need to make sure you’ve got everything in place for your webinar or Facebook Live? A launch manager may be able to help you with that!

Many launch managers are skilled in managing the back end of several programs, from email providers like Drip to CRMs and even website or sales funnel builders. These specific launch managers can ensure everything is in check before anything goes live or becomes available to your audience. 

Of course, it’s important to make sure this is what your launch manager does before hiring — so you know if you need to recruit additional help or not. 

What a launch strategist does

If you’ve got an idea in the works, but aren’t sure what you need to do to make it happen, a launch strategist can help. Essentially, they help you bridge the gap between a great idea and putting it out into the world, making sure you leverage the right platforms and frameworks for maximum impact. 

They can help you filter your ideas, pinpoint realistic goals, and create a plan that helps you get there. They also have experience with a number of launches, and have seen what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible with your resources (team bandwidth, budget, audience, etc.).

A launch strategist is the person you call before the launch is underway, or when you want to improve your past launches. From there, a strategist’s strategy can go to a launch manager for dates and execution. 

Launch strategists look at your offer stack

A launch strategist’s job is to help you find the best way to put yourself out there. To do that, they need to take a peek behind-the-scenes to asses your current offers and whether or not they really, truly, resonate with your market, your audience and have fair/accurate pricing. 

If there’s a disconnect, they’ll find gaps and areas of improvement so you can tweak your marketing materials, sales funnels, and sometimes even the offers themselves.

Launch strategists look at your launch plans

If you’ve launched a particular offer before, a launch strategist will analyze your entire plan. They’ll stack it against the numbers and analytics you provide to see what is and isn’t working, and give you honest feedback. 

If you’ve never launched the offer before, they’ll help you create a plan. Maybe you already have a few pieces put together — that’s okay. Ideally, a launch strategist can help you bounce off of whatever you already have in place. 

Essentially, they’re helping you either create or fine-tune a strategy. 

Launch strategists look at your funnels

Healthy sales funnels are crucial for good launches. Part of a launch strategist’s work is making sure that a sales funnel is strategically funneling people into your offer(s). If you have an existing sales funnel, they can help audit and review it. If you need to create a new one, they can help you understand which pieces are needed and in which order.

Note: Launch strategists won’t do the funnel-building. That’s where a launch manager or tech VA can come in handy. 

So… do you need a launch strategist or launch manager? 

If you already feel like you have a strong offer, and an established audience, plus the numbers to back that up, you may not need someone to build out a strategy. What you really need help with might be someone to delegate tasks, map out timelines, and get all the backend things in order. 

But if you’re stuck, have no idea what’s missing from your launch plan, and are O-VER-WHELMED with everything going on, you may need a strategist to step in and save the day. 

But maybe the time isn’t right to hire either one. Maybe you’re just starting out and are still working on the final touches of your offer. Wherever you’re at in your business journey, Launch BFF is here to help!

With Launch University, our digital course that helps you create a step-by-step launch plan, you’ll be able to skip the overwhelm and the guesswork that often comes with launching. Inside, we’ll show you how to:

  • Set realistic and achievable goals in line with your business needs 
  • Create a manageable launch strategy without pulling any all-nighters
  • ​Feel more than confident you have the chops to correct any hiccups along the way

Plus, you get tons of great content inside —  6 workbooks filled with over 70 pages of content, 30+ individual worksheets, over 3 hours of pre-recorded lessons, an engaging community to help you stay on track, and coaching calls to help you execute your most successful launch to date!

Ready to see what Launch University can do for you? Sign up here

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The Sales Funnel Kit