If you’ve been following me in the last month or so, you probably saw that I did a big launch and today’s episode of High on Business, I'm going to be totally transparent on what went well and what didn't go well with my launch.
I have launched many times and I will tell you that every launch that I’ve done, something has gone wrong. You need to expect this when you're launching, especially if it's your first launch. What makes a good entrepreneur is being able to be very good at solving problems.
In May I launched my brand new course Profitable Group Systems that teaches coaches how to create, launch and monetize a group coaching program (interested? It’s still available here). It was actually the first business course that I've launched. I've launched several business one-on-one programs, group coaching programs, and even a workshop, but never a course, so it was something totally new to me.
I wrote a cheque to myself for $30,000 and that's how much I wanted to generate in this launch. I am very attached to my monetary launch goals. I always come up with a number and to this day I usually come pretty close to my number, but with this first launch I didn't hit my goal number. But I was fully aware that this was my first course and I'm launching during a pandemic, so even though I didn’t make the amount that I wanted to, I'm completely happy with the results and the enrollments I received.
So let's talk about what worked with the launch.
The VIP list
I've done this with other launches before, like my HTMA Expert Course. The VIP list works really well if you have a program that is not available yet because it gets people interested ahead of the launch. With the VIP list, you want to make sure you collect their email addresses so you don't lose them and then close to launch time, you can offer early enrollment, a high discount code for the launch, extra bonuses, whatever you want to give them to make them feel like that VIP. With the Profitable Groups launch, the VIP peeps got me 8 to 10 sales within the first few hours of opening the cart.
I got a lot of great feedback on the webinar I did for the Profitable Group launch. I had about 120 people sign up for the webinar and I probably had about 50 people show up live, which is pretty standard.
Something I would probably do in the future that only occurred to me after this webinar was to put a link or a button for people to add the webinar to their Google calendar. I ran the webinar through Zoom and broadcasted it to YouTube live.
And the thing with YouTube live is the link that you give people to sign up for the live is the same link as the replay. There were a few tech glitches when I first shared my screen - for some reason he was sharing both my screens. So I had to kind of figure that out with help from the audience. But overall, the webinar went really well and I got another 5 to 6 signups from the webinar.
Something you should know about launching is that typically the middle section of your launch tends to be kind of slow and that's totally normal. For me, about half of the sales happened from the VIP people and then I had another few trickle in, but in that middle section there wasn’t much happening. Then last minutes a bunch of sales came in. And when I say last minute, I mean within the last hour of the cart closing.
Overall I had 20 enrollments and generated just over $17,000. But like I said, there were a few things that could have improved.
The webinar sales slide
One thing I did wrong was on the slides for the webinar I forgot to add the urgency and I forgot to even speak of the urgency. After the webinar I gave people three days to take action to get the bonuses and I forgot to mention that! I didn't write it in the slides, I didn't tell them so there was no urgency to take action. To make up for it, I made sure to add that in the follow up emails as well as the description of the YouTube live.
The upload process
This course was finished at the end of March, but I needed to get the videos edited. I sent the videos off to an editor and I made a few mistakes with the deadline. I gave her the deadline of the 1st of May, even though we're launching on the 12th which didn’t leave much time to go through them for quality control and upload time. But with some weekend overtime hours & the help from my VA we got it done.
The next time I release my next course, which should be coming up at the end of summer, I'm going to make sure that we have a full month once all the edits are to do quality control, upload into the members area and fix any errors that occur along the way.
The social media strategy
I nailed the captions on social media, but didn't execute my Instagram stories well. Typically in a launch I will pre-plan my Instagram story content in advance but because of how last minute we were doing everything, I wasn’t super prepared with the IG stories. The result was I had a couple days throughout the launch where I didn't show up on Instagram stories.
I actually recommend that you show up on social in some way every day of your launch. So I know in the future I need to make sure I schedule everything out and give myself enough time to actually execute all aspects of my social strategy.
The down sell
I haven't really done this before but I know a lot of entrepreneurs that do it. Basically after a launch you offer some sort of cheaper product to try to make a few sales at the end. So I decided to down sell my Define your Profitable Niche Workshop, but I got zero sales on that. Either my audience was a bit fatigued by all the selling I was doing or they're feeling pretty clear on their niche or maybe they don't even know they need a niche. So the down sell didn't quite work, but I do want to try it again in the future.
The after launch survey
So anytime you launch, I recommend that you send out a survey afterwards to the people that didn’t buy it. What I did was create a one question survey through Google forms and added it into the active campaign email, but I didn't test the email. And the form didn't work because nobody filled out the survey despite several hundred people opening the email. And unfortunately I'm going to miss out on some really valuable information of why people didn't purchase. So lesson learned with that, I will definitely make sure to test the email and make sure that's actually working for next time.Hopefully you will learn that a lot of things will go right in a launch and a lot of things will go wrong. Neither is good or bad, it just is. And all that matters is that you look at what didn't go right and you look at how you can improve it in the future.
It would be unrealistic to believe that people are spending MORE money right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have been laid off or their partners have been laid off. Now with that being true for some people, it's not true for all people. In my new video I share 6 ways to pivot your pricing plus answer a few other COVID-19 business questions.
How do we adjust our pricing structure & our business during COIVD-19? Do we seriously discount our services or should we offer everything for free? (Quick answer – no, don’t offer everything for free.)
When shit hit the fan with COVID-19 I was really concerned too. I had a lot of questions, a lot of fears and I really didn't know what it meant for my business. In the past couple months since this whole thing started, I've actually managed to stay on track with my business. Phew! I have continued generating sales and I haven't seen a dip in my income. BUT I have made a few adjustments in my pricing structure & shifted my language.
How can you pivot your pricing right now?
There's nothing wrong with offering a little bit of a small discount. Here are 6 ways you could pivot your pricing & business structure during COVID-19. The first being adding a little bit of a discount but also adding some sort of urgency to it so it’s not always available.
Another pivot would be including a fast acting bonus. A fast acting bonus is basically an incentive for people to act quickly. If you’re in the period of launching something like a course or a program, then offering a really juicy fast acting bonus is not a bad thing.
The third thing you can offer is a payment plan. You may already have payment plans for your programs, but if you don't it might be a good time to offer one.
Say you're launching a membership, maybe it's monthly. What you can actually do is give people incentive to purchase multiple months in advance. So if your membership is usually $50/month, your incentive could be to buy six months upfront and you could give it to them for $400 instead of $600 to save them money in the long run and gives them an incentive to commit for a longer time period.
You could also offer a free trial. You could offer a month free to your membership program where they could take advantage of the content and interact with the community. The hope is that they're going to come into the program, realize how amazing the community is and the support they receive and hopefully they will choose to stay.
Finally, when it comes to adjusting your business to COVID-19, is if you have something like a group program, maybe you can break it up and sell it in two parts.
So go pivot your pricing if you feel like it might be a good move for you and make sure to let me know how it goes - you know I love those DM’s!
We have shifted our thoughts to believe that we can DIY anything these days (thanks Pinterest). But there’s some things that shouldn’t be done yourself. One of those things is launching your very valuable group program. On today's episode of HIGH on Business, we talk about DIY-ing the launch of a course or program and why you SHOULDN’T do-it-yourself. Because let’s face it, doing some things yourself when you don’t know what you’re doing takes a lot of time and a lot of money – that’s like replacing your car engine when you’re not a mechanic.
Many times why someone would DIY is because they are afraid to invest. It may seem like the cheaper, more affordable option to just do it yourself, but in the long run it can cost you so much money & time.
When I was in my second year of health coaching, I decided to hire a coach to teach me how to do my launches right. And she was worth every penny – I learned a lot from her and she's the one who pushed me to finally pick a specific niche. Up until that point, I kind of floundered around, didn't really know who I was helping, and she really pushed me to pick a niche. Now the niche I ultimately chose was not a good niche and unfortunately she didn't pick it up because she didn't have experience in health and wellness. This is why, as health and wellness coaches, if you're going to hire a coach, I really think they need to have been one themselves.
With her help, I launched my first beta launch and I made $2,000! I was super excited and to be honest, I don't think I could have done it without her support because she helped me with everything. But once I knew I was what I was doing (or at least I thought I was), I decided it was time for the big launch.
After I did my test launch, I decided to DIY it. That was a big mistake because what I didn't understand is that a test launch and an actual launch are very different beasts. The official launch has a lot more that goes into it.
Unfortunately, there were a few things that went wrong with this DIY launch.
I launched the program four times and didn't even break even. I actually lost money and in 4 launches, I maybe four to six enrollments. One of the big reasons why I lost so much money was because I was totally DIY-ing it and I didn't really know what I was doing.
Launching takes a lot of time, energy, strategy, mindset, and a lot of tech. So I really think if you truly want to launch a program or a high ticket mastermind, you shouldn’t be DIY-ing it. You shouldn’t try to figure it out on your own because this only leads to two outcomes.
The first outcome is that you don't even do it right. I know a lot of coaches who have full intention to DIY something, but just end up putting it off for years. I can't tell you how many coaches I've met who've built out full programs that are just sitting on the shelves collecting dust because they’re too scared to actually put it out there and try to sell it.
The second outcome is that you lose money. You invest in all these fancy platforms that really don't make the sales for you. Launching requires a lot of strategy and just having these fancy platforms that connect all these things don't guarantee sales.
Ultimately you will more success if you invest in someone who's done what you want to do and is willing to give you all that mentoring & support on the strategy, the tech, and the mindset.
So if you don’t want to launch alone and don’t want to DIY it, I have my Profitable Group Systems program right now that will help you do this. It’s currently on promo until Friday, May 22 at 3:00pm PST. In this program you will learn my five step system to launching a program in just 30-days. After the doors close this Friday, you will still be able to get the program but you won’t be able to get the bonuses that I'm offering with it, which is the Webinar Script, and my Define Your Profitable Niche Workshop. You’ll also access into my Sales Call Training Workshop, which is coming up in June. So you're going to get all those juicy bonuses but those are only available till Friday.
I love group programs so much! I've built the majority of my business on group program experiences. When I first launched my business, I was only doing one-on-one coaching, but as I got busier, I was getting more and more exhausted. I was taking on back to back appointments until 5:00 pm with no pee breaks, no poo breaks, and no lunch break.
What I quickly realized is that in order to fill my schedule where I could hit my income goals, there was no time left for content creation, marketing, or program creation. All the things that are really important in a business.
And then I discovered group programs, which freed up my schedule while still bring in the same amount (or more!) of income that I got from one on one coaching. But if you aren’t sure HOW to launch a group program, I am going to walk you through how you can launch a group program in the next 30-days.
If you’re thinking it's going to take me so long or I'm going to have to create the content, and the structure! this mindset prevents you from taking action.
The big issue with spending months and months creating a group program and then launching it, is that it may not actually get the results or the sales that you think it will because you haven't tested it with your audience.
This is what we call beta launching.
It's kind of like the testing phase of program creation. And the cool thing about testing is you don't need a very big audience to do this. All you need to do is launch with an outline of what you want the program to look like. And then you're going to run the program as a live program teaching the content week by week and even creating the content week by week. This is how I ran my HTMLA Expert Course. To run a test program, you really only need like 5-10 people to run it.
Are you going to get rich over it? No, but that's not the point. The point is to test it and to just get it out there and then see how you can improve it with time. And you want to be totally transparent by letting people know it is a beta course. And there are benefits to people joining a beta course!
First off they do pay a lower price point, but they also get to be part of a small group which means more interaction time and access to you, which future members may not get.
The beauty of beta programs is you don't need to have anything in place and you don't really need to spend much money! You don't need a sales page, you don't need fancy platforms, or a hosting platform. You're literally just teaching this in a live format, which you could do over Zoom or in a private Facebook group.
Remember that online business is huge test and beta courses are a great test that tell you whether or not it connects with your audience. A lot of coaches unfortunately, are launching programs without even having a niche. And that's the number one reason why it's not selling.
So how you can launch a group program in 30-days? You can actually launch quickly in the testing phase and then based on the feedback, you can use the information from the testing phase to streamline the program so that you can relaunch at a higher price point to a larger audience. This is the whole process that I take you through in my Profitable Group Course, which is a 5-step system for creating, launching & monetizing a group coaching program.
Here's a little secret access to what those 5 steps are:
Research phase: what program will land with your audience? What program should you create
Pre-launch phase: this is about building an email list and creating excitement and buzz around your program
Testing phase: this is the beta test where a few people test it to see what's working, what doesn't.
Streamline phase: make the program better based on the beta experience
Relaunch phase: basically where you relaunch at that higher price point.
If you’re worried about launching a group program because of our current global situation, remember that a group program can give your clients the same results as your private clients, but at a more affordable price point. So this is a great way to continue to scale your income and help more people even at a time where people are spending less.
I've probably launched over 15 times in the past five years and I still get scared every time. EVERY TIME. The reason why launching is scary is because it forces you to be vulnerable. You're putting yourself out there and that's a scary thing! It will always be scary to some degree, no matter how long we do this for.
But something to consider about fear is that it's normal. We all experience it to some degree. So what is the cure to fear? It's taking action on the thing that makes you scared. Probably not what you want to hear but we are always going to be scared of things that we are unfamiliar with.
Anytime we do something new that we are unfamiliar with or feel like we're not good at, it's scary! So just know that this fear you’re feeling around launching or putting something new out into the world is normal.
I really encourage you to sit in this fear that you’re feeling and just be okay with it. The reason why I've been able to be successful in business is because of courage. I've had a ton of courage and you need to have courage too. But courage isn't just something that we born with. You have to do courageous things and build it. You need to learn to flex your courage muscle so that when you do things that are outside of your comfort zone, you can just do them.
I still feel scared when I'm launching a new course, program or service. I’m just about to launch my first live, paid workshop. I've done a ton of webinars, but this is a legit workshop. I'm not even doing it as a money maker, it’s more of an audience builder and to test something out and I feel scared about it! I’m scared putting it out into the world - What if people don't want it? What if nobody buys it? This is why not everyone is an entrepreneur because you have to get comfortable with the fear.
So when you are thinking about launching and you're thinking about how scary that is, I want you to reframe your mindset a little bit and remember that everything in online business is a test. There's no secret sauce to being successful in your own business. Because what works for me may not necessarily work for you.
When you're launching, instead of looking at your launch and being afraid that you're going to fail and no one's going to buy, just look at it as a test. Another thing to consider is it's pretty likely that your first launch isn't going to be a massive success. It could be but there’s chance that your first launch is going to be kind of mediocre, or it might not go well at all.
There's a lot that goes into a launch. Every single launch I've had, something has gone wrong. For example my last launch of the HTMA Expert Program had issues with the coupon code. There's always been something, I've never had a launch where the onboard was perfect or things went smoothly. There's so many moving parts, but you’ll be able to figure it out and you will be able to turn it around. So instead of focusing on the money or the enrollments, just focus on if you can help ONE person.
Even if one person buys your program and gets a result, doesn't that make it worth it? Failure is very much a part of the entrepreneurial journey and there's a lot of failures behind me and there will be more failures in my future. Realize that the failure is part of the process, it's a part of the journey and you will be better off for it. Because the lessons you will learn from failures will serve you and they will be the reason why you have an incredibly successful launch.
The real success of a first launch is just doing it. So instead of putting all this pressure on yourself to make a sale, just launch it without any pressure and once you do, consider that a huge win. Anything else that comes after that – enrolments, clients, money – those are bonuses.
As I recorded today’s High on Business episode, and as I write this blog post, we are in the middle of a global crisis. Things are weird & scary and every day we wake up not knowing what to expect. But I want to reiterate that if you have been planning a launch prior to all of this, I want you to still go through with it. You still want to be launching because your people need you.
So you should still go through with your launch, but you may need to change your messaging and change how you are talking about what you're talking about. But most importantly, you really want to show your audience why it's important that they invest in you right now.
I have three tips to crush your next launch:
1) Pre-validate your offer
2) Tease your program and build hype
3) Use urgency
Before you launch anything, you want to do the proper research and engagement with your audience to make sure it's actually what your audience wants.
As health coaches, we know what our audience needs, but they don't know that. They just know what they want. When it comes to marketing your offer, you really need to meet them where they are at and that is with their wants or desires.
From a messaging point of view & a launch perspective, you have to meet them with what they want. It's really important that you launch a program that is niche specific. So having a niche is a part of the pre-validation program because once you know who you're talking to, it's a lot easier to actually know what you should be launching and what you should be selling to them.
Before I launched anything, I always put out a survey to my audience and I ask them what they’re struggling with.
If I don’t get an overwhelming yes to any of the questions I ask, I go back to the drawing board. Ask the questions and be very transparent.
Tease your program and build hype
Your launch should never be a secret because when you suddenly launch your program, your audience does know what it is and you’re basically starting from the bottom.
By teasing it and explaining why you're so excited about it and why they should care, you build this buzz around it. By the time you launch, people are ready to buy.
To build the hype, you want to show the behind the scenes, and you can do this in a variety of ways. My personal favorite place to show behind the scenes is Instagram stories. I not only use Instagram stories as an educational tool, but also as a way to show people what I'm actually working on.
You want to find a way to show people what you're actually working on and make sure that the content you are sharing leading up to the launch date is relevant to the topic of your program.
There needs to be some sort of urgency because people need a little bit of pressure to buy. If you have something that's always available and it's always the same price and people know they can always get it, even if they have the best intentions to actually do it, they're probably never going to get around to doing it.
There's a few different ways you can add urgency, but first, you need to a clearly define an open and close cart date.
If you are launching something that is always available then people can always invest, but maybe a few times a year you launch it and offer a price promo. It's nice to do this on the front end of any launch because it kind of motivates you to see all those sales come in. People need pressure, they need a little fire under their ass to take action.
So remember, you CAN and SHOULD launch your group programs right now, even during a pandemic. As a health coach, this is your time to step up and be a leader. To be there for your people and give them what they need to support them. And if you don't know who your audience is and what they need, they you definitely want to download my Profitable Niche Workbook