How To Launch a New Offer
My friend, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve launched several businesses, each one hitting six figures right out of the gate.
So you’d think I’d have the launch process totally figured out by now. While experience did help me foresee some steps I’d need to take, I still fumbled and it took me way longer than necessary.
As usual, I’d love for you to learn from my mistakes.
So here’s the diagram of my last business launch. Whether you’re launching a totally new business or just looking to sprout a new branch for your existing business, you’re likely to run through the same phases. Though if you look carefully at my mistakes, you can probably do it faster.
LAUNCH PHASE 1
I truly believe most businesses are born from frustration. When we find ourselves engaged in something so poorly executed, we’re like “I could totally do this better.” In fact, a lot of armchair consultants on Twitter pull inspiration from this very place. Your hyper critical friend lives here and has a dozen new business ideas every day.
Nothing much beyond grumbling typically happens – until the flash of a truly better idea comes, along with the details that make it a viable product. I had fluorescent flashcards and a notebook and a lightning bolt at 3am that helped me hammer out the product and the plan.
Then I entered the likely avoidable span of time where I overthought it. The plan was awesome. My experience told me it was going to take me a lot of time and energy to turn it into reality.
And then I questioned myself.
Where would the time and energy come from?
Did I actually even want to do it?
Would people buy this product from me? Who, exactly?
Haven’t a bunch of other people already done this? What makes me think mine will be better?
I know what’ll help me answer these questions: Listening to every single possible business coach.
Geez that was a huge waste of my time.
You’d think, by now, I’d know not to let these thoughts distract me. Maybe this stage is unavoidable. Yeah, maybe we all have to go through it. But it doesn’t have to take as long as mine did. And we can feel these feelings while also continuing to make progress. Without letting those self-doubting thoughts freeze us in place.
LAUNCH PHASE 2
The key to getting out of the self-doubt whirlpool is to focus on the people you want to serve.
They have needs and they don’t have time for you to mess around.
In my case, I have new and seasoned entrepreneurs in my DMs nearly every day, asking to pick my brain for 15 minutes. I said yes to a few of these folks, seeing it as an equal exchange – I’ll give advice and they’ll teach me about my audience.
Once I had my audience figured out, I started to build the business’s infrastructure, with those particular people in my mind at all times.
I sorted out the framework/structure/package for my services. This is the part most people skip cause they don’t know they need it. But you have to create the container. Give it a name.
Then I brainstormed the business name and connected with my web developer to (1) figure out if we could even do this, (2) research URLs, and (3) start the build.
People usually spend too much time in this phase. They’ll create business cards and deliberate over the web site design and consult 800 people about their business name…. and then never actually launch. Don’t get stuck here.
Then it came time to actually build the program. I had to write out my curriculum – which ended up taking me much much longer than I had planned. The amount of solid business advice that had been just rolling around in my gray matter – honey, the curriculum was longer than any book I’ve ever published.
Took me forever to get it all out of my head.
At the same time, I was planning the marketing strategy, coordinating with my web guy, and shooting the videos. This was a super intense time that I wish I had been able to spread out more.
LAUNCH PHASE 3
Phase 3 is go time.
I launched with a newsletter (hi! This one!) while I was still finishing the website build and testing everything.
I developed some freebies while still testing everything.
Then I announced the new program and opened enrollment. The hard work is supposed to be done at this point so I make it a priority to celebrate with my friends and family.
However, students were unearthing issues we hadn’t found in any previous testing. I don’t know how. But this seems to happen every time I launch. And I think it may be unavoidable? This is why restaurants have soft launches. Maybe we all need our own version of a soft launch.
Every step of the way I’m making mental note of what worked and what didn’t. I formally collect all of those thoughts in a debrief session with my project notebook. *IF* I’m gonna ever do this again, there’s no freakin way I’ll remember every single tweak I’d want to make unless I write them down while they’re fresh in my mind.
Then I chew on those lessons learned while watching student successes and monitoring my own mental health and it’s those things together that lead me to the final point in the process: Do I want to do this again?
And I do.
I’ll open Boost & Bloom again in Feb. Get on the VIP list for early access and a discount.
I’m already thinking about another business, too. I’m in the “I can do it better” stage. This next time around, I’ll be on the lookout for the tedious overthinking stage and do my best to skip it.
I hope you will, too.
What stage are you in? How long are you giving yourself until the next stage? Do you even know what your next stage is? Email me with a note about where you are right now.
Your launch doesn’t have to look like mine. But please at least consider my sequence of steps and my mistakes and make adjustments to get to your next launch faster, better, stronger.