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July 6, 2018

Launch Day Lessons

Well, the day/week/month of our very first digital product has officially come and gone. Whew! What a whirlwind. It was exhilarating to see people purchasing the Lovely Light Presets and accessing the member area. I did a little happy dance each time someone jumped on board!

(PS – NO IDEA what I’m talking about? We launched a Lightroom preset suite for photographers! Take a peek here)

I thought I’d take a minute and share about our launch strategy and also share lessons we learned on launch day and the several months following. This was quite the process and I know sharing this information may help others who want to launch a product/course as well. When I first started thinking about producing digital products/courses I felt so overwhelmed. I hope this post takes some of the guesswork out of launching for ya!

Launch day lessons for the successful creative entreprenuer

  1. Define Your Launch Strategy.

We’ve never launched a product or course before, so I felt like a 2 week, 2 phase strategy made sense for us. Keep it simple, amiright? Week one and two (phase one) consisted of social media posts, blogging, word of mouth and that’s it! We literally spent two weeks shouting the news from the rooftops and spreading the joy/awareness about the product. Week 3 and on (phase two) looked different. We moved into using a modestly priced Facebook ad (which we funded solely through week one sales (#winning)) to drive new traffic to our sales page and the result was great! We tripled our phase one income. YAS. However, in the last week, we’ve had our Facebook ad paused while we ran our very first sale and just through social media posts, we’ve equaled our phase one sales in 5 days.

I’m NOT a sales lady and have zero sales training so this has been incredibly helpful. Seeing the way people purchase, what works and what doesn’t work…it’s all so fascinating. Moving forward, we’ll likely use a combination of all 3 sales strategies and I’m excited to see the product reach expand.

While sales are exciting, there was a lot of prep work that had to come before the sales started rolling in and there was a lot of pressure on our launch day. Looking back, I can say that there were a few things we did really well leading up to the launch, and a few things I would change. Let’s jump in and get YOU launching successfully!

1. Create A Master Launch Task List

I’m a very visual person so a few weeks before launch, I created a master launch task list. I printed that baby it out and stuck it on the wall next to my computer so that I could easily check tasks off as I finished. Making your list many weeks ahead of time is really importanat…you’re thinking clearly and a little bit more objectively when the launch is still a ways down the road.

2. Prep Your Media & Design Pieces Early

We set ourselves up for success by creating on-brand graphics for Instagram and Pinterest no less than 1 week before launch. In hindsight, we should have done that even sooner just to get a head start on all.the.things. When it was go-time, graphics were ready, images were already chosen and ready to post.

4. Create A Day-Of Launch List

While we had all.the.things. in place, I didn’t write out a step-by-step, day-of task list. This was a mistake. I woke up feeling really jittery and excited and this made me a bit frazzled. We had done the prep work but in the chaos of posting/celebrating/managing logistics, I totally forgot to post the blog I had written about the presets. Oops! I posted it one day late and that was totally fine, but having a task list to refer to among the excitement would have been helpful.

5. Beta Test Your Product 

We had 2 versions of beta testers for Lovely Light: photographers who used the preset on their own and someone who went through the entire process (for free!) to experience the checkout, download, member login process ETC. We made sure to beta test our preset with Canon, Nikon and Sony users to see how the preset would perform with each brand. This gave me a ton of reassurance moving forward! We also had someone who was NOT a photographer go through the entire process, from purchasing to accessing and downloading. Having another set of eyes on the entire thing was SO helpful. She was able to find a handful of items that I had missed…even just changing a font color here or there made a difference and she caught that. Let people help you!

6. Don’t Monitor Your Sales All Day. Just Don’t.

Once the news was out, the links were activated and people were talking, I waited. I waited and waited until the first sale came in. This was not a good idea. I then waited for the next, and the next…you get the picture. Since I was the only person on support and logistics, I was basically chained to a computer all day *just in case* one of our sweet photographers needed help. (No one did-hooray!) Next time, I plan to bring in an assistant to monitor support and go to a yoga class, or go for a walk, or go get a latte, or take my kids to Disneyland, or just go and do anything to keep myself away from the numbers and at my best.

OK friend, that’s all for now! I hope this was helpful for you! Have you launched before? Are you launching in the future? I’d love to hear all about it below!

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