So, you have that new product you’d like to bring to market. It could be a new ebook, a new course, a new membership site, etc.
So, you start thinking about product launches.
Launches are sexy – no doubt about it. You’ve like heard the tales of the huge pay days. The million dollar days. Hell, you’d be OK with a multi-thousand day, right? 🙂 And it seems as if some big product launch is the way to go.
But, is it? Do you really need to do a traditional product launch?
In this episode, I talk about the fun parts of a launch… as well as some of the realities of a launch. Behind the scenes, it isn’t always as sexy as it can seem.
When is a launch a good idea? When does it make sense?
And when should you slow down and think a little longer term, and perhaps forget about a traditional launch?
And how do you get started setting up an evergreen launch funnel?
All this and more… in this episode of CBB.
Product launches are a very sexy topic in the world of online business and internet marketing. They are a very sexy topic because they can result in a lot of sales in a very short matter of time. And if you follow the internet marketing world at all, specifically, you have probably heard the stories of the $1,000,000+ launches. And they are real. They have happened for many more people. I think John Reese was one of the first people to do a 7-figure launch in the internet marketing world and he did it in a day! He made a million dollars in a day. But it went from there, and since John did it, many others have done it as well.
So it is certainly a sexy topic. You can also create a lot of buzz by doing a product launch. You get a lot of people talking about you. It is kind of like, in the world of internet you are generating press for yourself. And you get people talking about you, especially if you are launching with the help of affiliates, you can generate a lot of buzz because they are going to be out there talking about you because… let’s face it, they are incentivized to do so.
Now, what we are going to be doing today is not so much talking about how to execute a product launch because that is a pretty big topic and we call these episodes “Coffee Break Blogging” for a reason; because we would like to keep it short and sweet, the kind of thing you can listen to all over a coffee break.
So what we are going to be talking about today is not so much how to do a product launch, but…
Do you really need to do one, in the first place? Do you need to go through all that work of doing a product launch especially when you are first starting out?
I mean, a million dollar launch is a waste out there if you are first starting out. It can seem very unrealistic and I am not going to say here and BS you, it probably is unrealistic for most of us.
And there is also the other side of a product launch that we have to take into account…
First of all, they are very hard to pull off. They really are. Now, it does not matter if you are going to do one of these million dollar launches, but chances are, not. If you are an average person on the internet when you do a launch, you might make a few thousand dollars; maybe it will be a 5 figure launch and to you that would be a lot of money. But it does not really matter. They are still hard to pull off. There are a lot of work, there is a lot of moving parts, things will inevitably go wrong when you do it; it is just the way the thing works… and there is also a lot of pressure. It adds pressure to the product creation experience. You do this work, you create a product and now you are sitting there facing the fact that you have got to do a product launch or at least you think you need to do a product launch. And there is a lot of pressure. There are also a lot of pressure on the results of that product launch because if you put a lot of work into doing this product launch, the last thing that you want to have happen is for it to be kind of a flop because that would be really disappointing, you probably would just want to fold up shop and go home at that point.
The other thing to keep in mind is that launches are a lot harder to pull off, for obvious reasons if you do not already have a built-in audience. I mean, look at that… If you do not have a big audience, if you do not have a decent sized email list; who are you going to launch it to? Now, you can go out and build the audience for it and you can do paid out reach with Facebook ads and maybe even affiliates and guest posting and appearing on podcast as an interview guest and there are a lot of different things that you can do to bring in that audience, but if you do not have anybody to launch to, it is going to be a really difficult thing to pull off.
Another thing about launches is that when you built up all these buzz over an event, then when that event is over you are going to see a huge drop in sales. Now, it does not even matter if the product literally disappears off the market. I mean, if it disappears off the market, if you pull it down then obviously your sales will go to zero. But if you decide to leave it out there, you are still going to have some kind of a scarcity on that offer; some kind of a deadline. Some things are going to have to be taken away in order for the launch to do really well. And so, just by the very nature of it, after that deadline goes by your sales are going to drop off. And there are many stories out there of marketers who have built their business on the product launch model exclusively, and you might hear their tales of their million dollar launch day but what you do not know is that on the back end of that, they might still be having a hard time paying their bills because all their money came in on one big event and then it just went to nothing after that.
And then if you have affiliates, depending on what market you are in, they need their commission. So if you are in the internet marketing space you are going to typically give away half your money right there so a $1,000,000 launch goes down to $500,000… You might be thinking “Well, okay, I can certainly live off of that.” Well, you are going to have business expenses, advertising expenses and all the things that would go in to scaling something to that degree. I mean, I do not have to sit here and tell you that there are such things as business expenses so at the end of the day your actual take home from it is going to be a lot smaller.
And then because you do not have those spikes of sales happening it is like your business is addicted to crack. And if you do not get that next crack hit; that next income hit, you’ll have a hard time paying your bills. And so there are marketers out there who have done nice size launches and they probably do not live much different than you do. I don’t care what they tell you. Their life looks pretty much like yours. And it is because they were depending on launches and not taking into account evergreen sales; sales that are going to happen all the time.
The last thing that I want to mention about the other side of a product launch is that sometimes that launch is more inside of your own head than anywhere else. And what I mean by that is that… This is your product. So you view it as a very important thing. But the rest of the world, does not. Okay? They are not following you. They are not waiting on your every word. They are just not. And so, for that reason, if you do not really have what it takes to build up that buzz ahead of time, to really build up that anticipation, then the launch; it is going to be totally inside your own head and the people who might be on your list are just not really going to care. And for that reason, launch can totally fall flat.
So those are the two sides of a product launch. The good side which can be quite sexy and the negative side which is a very real thing.
So when are launches a good thing? When should you actually go about doing a real product launch?
Well, when you have an audience already, that is really a good time to go for it. If you are launching a brand new product and you are unleashing it to the world for the first time and you have that audience already in place that you can go to, then certainly do a product launch. For sure, do a product launch.
The other thing is that when you know the market really well, you know you are delivering something that they need and want and you have got that time to strategically build that audience first, then what you can do is you can plan ahead. You can set your launch for like, let’s say six months out. And then for that time between now and then, you are basically in outreach mode and you are purposely bringing people into the fold and you give them a nice lead magnet and get them to opt-in to your list and you are building your own community, you are building your audience and you are doing that by doing effective and strategic outreach… You are going out and getting out to people’s podcast, you are running Facebook ads for different lead magnets, and you are doing all these things that bring people in and you are just building this audience, you are building this email list, but you are doing it with that strategy in mind then you are planning a full scale product launch at some point in the future. So those types of launches are good.
Now, launches are not bad but I do want you to think a little longer term here. The other side of it is… Do you need to plan out a product launch? The answer could be “no” because you are going to have to concentrate in the long game rather than that short spurt. And that is by building a sales funnel that concentrates on evergreen sales; sales that come in on a routine basis. It is not going to be on a sexy level of volume, you are not going to get that huge multi-thousand dollar day; I mean unless you got the audience and the ads for that, of course, but I’ll take slow and steady anytime over a big hit. I just will. Because slow and steady is something you can build upon over time. You can perfect your game, you can make it better and you can speed it up and you will make more money over time. I guarantee it. This is kind of the way the Blog Marketing Academy works.
I occasionally do little promotions to my list, in fact as I am recording this episode I am coming off with the Black Friday Membership Drive and it did really, really well… but aside from those one-off promotions that I run occasionally, the Blog Marketing Academy runs on an evergreen basis. I do not do a lot of deadline based promotions. It tends to generate most of its sales slow and steady with the funnels I have in place. And they just run. And sales are coming in every single day. That is the way you should be trying to build it instead of concentrating on building up the crack hit thing that I was talking about earlier.
Now the way to go about doing this is to concentrate on building what I call The Blog Profit Funnel. This is the very basis of the Blog Monetization Lab itself; is how to build this funnel behind your site. And yes, it is basically a sales funnel. Now, the way that you build it is one step at a time. First, you are going to start out with that lead magnet, that squeeze page and you are going to go out there and start getting leads and whatever way you need to do that. It could be Facebook ads, it could be via your blog, what have you. And then you concentrate on the next step in the funnel which is going to be typically your front end offer.
Now, another way that you can go is to set up a launch sequence after the opt-in. So people opt-in for a lead magnet and then they are going to get one to two, maybe three videos that go in a particular sequence. And you are going to deliver it via email using your autoresponder and it will be delivered to them over the course of a few days or maybe a week or something like that. But it all leads up to a sale. You are building that relationship with them over this launch sequence and you are building up some anticipation for something. You are making them very aware of the problem that they are experiencing. You are positioning yourself as an authority, as somebody who can help them solve this. And you are building that relationship so that they can actually trust you. And then all that leads up to making an offer to take the next step with you. And that is essentially the way a product launch works. It is just that you are putting it on automatic.
Now when it comes to the point of the sale, you sell just like you would anything else. Now, any good product launch has a deadline and you have got to have that deadline and you can most certainly do it even though your launch is running on automatic. Every single person who is going through that launch sequence is going to have their own deadline. It is not going to be one that you are going to set globally for everybody because everybody comes in that at a different time. And so, there are tools out there that you can use.
One of my favorites right now that I am using is called Deadline Funnel. And it is not a free product, in fact it is a recurring billing thing; it is a third party service, but that is one reason why I work so well. There are systems out there that will work on top of WordPress as a plug-in and stuff like that and they work, but they are a little bit more problematic sometimes. Deadline Funnel is great because you can have the person’s individual deadline mentioned in the email as a custom field; you can have timers that will actually work inside of the email which I actually used for my last promotion and it worked out really well. I mean, there is literally a countdown timer in the email. Of course, you can put those things on the screen, as well… A number of very flexible options with that tool. And that is Deadline Funnel and it is a really great tool for doing evergreen launches and concentrating on the long game rather than that short spurt. It is a great thing that you can do.
Another thing that I want you to keep in mind as a strategy is to take the launch model and simply shorten it. You do not need to go out and do a 3 video series and all these stuff like you see some people do… You can shorten the runway by concentrating at one thing and that is a webinar. All you are doing is you are going out and you are running ads and go to your list. The whole thing is: Get on to this webinar. And that is where you make your offer at the end of it. It is a great way to take the whole launch process and you are basically compressing it into one event rather than this drawn out thing that goes over the course of a week or two. So, webinars are a great way to do that and they convert really, really well, actually if you do them right. And again, because it is an evergreen model, do not expect to knock it out of the park right away. You can perfect it over time. You just sit back and watch your numbers. You watch your conversions rates and make little tweaks and you change it over time and you will get better at it. And it can take you many months to tweak it; maybe even longer than that, but sales get better over time. And to me, again, I’ll take slow and steady over the big spurt anytime because I can grow the slow and steady. I can depend on it, I can pay my bills on it, and I am not going to be worried about paying my bills in the future because the business is always generating dependable revenue.
So that is how that works. Hopefully, maybe you got some ideas or a little insight on the kind of how it works. Many of the details that we talked about here are stuff that we are going to talk about in the future episodes of Coffee Break Blogging. So if you are not actively subscribed to this podcast and getting all episodes downloaded automatically, be sure to do that. 😉
I will end of by again reminding you about the Blog Monetization Lab because a lot of what we just talked about is either covered in the Lab now or will be in the not too distant future. The whole funnel set up is already there. Now, some of the specifics like a launch and doing webinars, these are all things that are on my shortlist of new Action Plans that I am going to be creating for my Lab Members. So if you want to get started on this now, you can ask questions on it now; you do not have to wait for me to come out with an Action Plan in order to make some headway on this… You can just simply ask. And there are multiple ways that you can do that as a Lab Member. But if you also want to have everything secured and you are ready to go for when those Action Plans do come out, then head on over to the Lab and join us today, and I think you are going to find this a good move for your growth in the future with your business. M’kay? 🙂
Thank you so much and I will see you again next time here at Coffee Break Blogging!