10 lessons I learned from my last launch

I’m writing this because quite a few people have asked me about it and even though I am not a launch expert, I do feel I have some lessons to share. In short, I made some money, I spent some money, I helped a lot of people, I gained some fans and some haters (oh yes!) and I learned a LOT. (trying not to swear as my Ma reads this, hi Ma!)

I have been reading up and learning about big launches for years. My goodness, it is quite something else actually doing them! I realised half way through this launch just how I’ve avoided trying to make ‘too big a deal’ out of my own launches and therefore have not reached my targets in order to make them as financially successful as possible. 

When it comes to the actual delivery of whatever I’m selling, I’m fine, I blimmin’ love teaching and when the people who buy from me action what I teach, they get great results. But first, you have to get people to trust you enough to buy from you, right?

I have done many different types of launches but this particular model I learned as a combination from learning from Faye Cornhill and Lisa Johnson, both marvellous business coaches and if you haven’t heard about them, go Google them. They’re completely different styles, but hey, I enjoy both flavours of ice cream.

So, how did I get this launch to happen? I’ve listed 10 but of course there are countless others. Some of them are predictable, some of them surprised me, all of them I found valuable, so you might too 🤪

1. You have to believe you can do it

This one sounds the cheesiest of all but it’s 100% true. Here’s what helps me believe in myself:

  • Reading happy testimonials + feedback
  • Affirmations
  • Reflecting & meditating (this is the one I’ve subscribed to for 9 years)
  • Repeating my sales goal over and over (writing it out, saying it out loud)
  • Sharing with my friends & family over WhatsApp (validation / emotional support)
  • Asking for support from business coach friends
  • Resting as much as possible so you reserve your energy
  • Snacks

2. You have to set boundaries

Something I learn more and more about every day of running my business. If you don’t set boundaries you run the risk of burnout. I’ve been there, it ain’t fun. Every evening during this launch I would delete my social media apps from my phone and every morning I would re-download them. In fact, I’ve been doing this some weekends to give myself a break and oh boy does it feel good. See also: not checking the phone as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. Also, I made sure I rested as much as possible.

3. You have to be prepared to spend time and money planning it all

In launches prior to this I’ve used 99% organic posts only. In this launch, I used a mix of paid AND organic posts. I not only had paid campaigns running to get people to sign up for my challenge, I also posted a lot organically (which I do anyway):

  • posts on FB page
  • posts in my main FB group
  • posts on Instagram profile & Stories
  • Q+As on Stories and email
  • emails to my list (hi!)

I don’t want to mention figures openly here actually, because if I read the figures I’d spent on this campaign and I wasn’t in this position then I would actually be put off from launching. You have to figure out what your own targets are, what kind of effort you’re willing to put in to make it happen, and what your own price points are. 

My target was to get 1000 people engaged with my challenge (I got 742 in the end), and then my target was 1% conversion rate of 10 sales which I got! You might think the conversion rate is low but it was a high price point. Your conversion rate may be higher if your price point is lower and your audience is warmer (I learned a lot about warm audiences on this one).

4. You cannot do it alone

I continue to work with a number of coaches, and a mentoring group, and this time I hired Jackie Muscat & her team who helped make this launch happen. Next time I want to hire a VA to help me with the day to day running of everything. But also, I took great solace in my support network, see also: group WhatsApps cheering me along.

5. Don’t let pride stand in your way

This was a big mistake where I’ve gone wrong before and I see that originally I didn’t make the sales funnel specific enough. I created  a free training on my site – Let’s Make You Shine, and I was sending cold traffic there with a video ad, to watch the free training video and expecting them to book a call with me to book onto the course (which is self guided) and then wondering why I wasn’t converting very well. Indeed those people weren’t even hanging around on my emailing list. It just felt unnatural and not like me. My audience is very used to being sold to and therefore much more savvy but I didn’t know what else to do.

(Fact: I did really, I just didn’t want to admit I was wrong. See also my blog post about asking for sex on the first date – it doesn’t create a long lasting relationship! And yet I still hadn’t practiced what I preached).

I also realised I was scared of bothering people and again had to swallow my own advice and realise that those who were interested wanted to hear from me. So I put on my big girl pants and did the work.

…..which brings me to next lesson….

6. I followed a process

I have read advice about launching before and didn’t want to follow it step by step because it felt like a) copying b) unoriginal and c) predictable. 

But hey guess what? Following a process makes life so much easier plus it works! There’s a reason it’s a process! I made my content original and my audience loved it. I’ll tell you a few basics of the process:

  • I created a detailed target audience profile complete with pain points
  • I thought about the hell + heaven of my audience (what challenges do they face, where would they like to be)
  • I collected testimonials + case studies of successes
  • I wasn’t afraid to use video ads

7. I wasn’t afraid to give away a lot of information for free

I designed a 5 day challenge (I’d only ever done 3-4 days before) and with no webinar at the end this time, and instead open the doors to my live course. This time the challenge would be in its own popup FB group too (whereas previously I’d hosted the free trainings in a free group I hosted already but it was getting lost).

Before the challenge, I wanted to increase email subscribers and gain more engagement traction on socials, so I updated a freebie “How to tell Google I exist” and it worked really well (see a problem, offer a solution, people want the solution). But… I didn’t have a welcome sequence set up for that which would automatically go out to them before adding them to my master list, so I found it hard to hold onto those subscribers. Not impossible, just unnecessarily harder.

8. Recognise ‘what’s the cost of not doing this?’

The challenge campaign was going well, but I was stressing OUT because my website kept breaking. The back end of it was literally held together with brown sticky tape. I knew I would have to move the teaching materials away from my site but at the same time it felt expensive.

Then I realised my own advice: what’s the cost of not doing this?
– To my own sanity
– To my bank balance
– To my clients who kept (patiently) letting me know they were having problems accessing the course content

The challenge campaign increased my mail subscribers to the point where ActiveCampaign stopped accepting new subscribers (but didn’t email me to let me know!) and I had to pay to upgrade with a bill of £350 (that means I’ll be paying £900 or so in October when it comes to renew).

My developer was incredibly patient and worked with me through my favourite system, Asana, to sort out all the tech problems, and find good solutions.

9. ​​Don’t be afraid to look bad

Tech gremlins crept in to the last 2 days of my 5 day challenge and so I offered to redo the last video again. This got a lot of traction which was great. I was afraid to look bad (I was afraid to sell something people didn’t want, but I knew they did, fearful that I made the challenge too thorough). I had to really get confident with what I was selling and follow up with leads – some ghosted me which happens, but others appreciated that I was persistent because they were busy but they also knew they wanted a solution to their problem.

10. ​​There are no shortcuts

It comes down to this – there are no shortcuts. You have to be prepared to put in the work. Create the content to show your value and to actually go ahead and show up.

This was the biggest one for me and the running theme throughout the whole launch – you have to show up. 

What do you think? Was this helpful to learn more insights? Hit me back with a reply and let me know.

Maddy x​​​​​​​​

Maddy x
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Maddy Shine - Visibility Expert