Note: This is part of a 7-day challenge called “Please Don't Starve” which is intended to help you create and sell your first product in a week. To learn more about the challenge, click here. Today is Day 6.
When is it time to launch your latest product? When is it time to usher your new creationg–your book, your course, your program–into the world? The answer: Before you think it’s ready.
Today, we're going to talk about launches and how to share your work with the world for the very first time. This is where you make your product public.
- Is it a book?
- A course?
- A new coaching program?
- A membership site?
- Something else?
Whatever it is, now is the time for you to let the world know. Up to now, you've simply been validating the idea: accumulating feedback, confirming your suspicions, and learning as you go. If someone told you they’d need to see what this would look like before buying, now you’re going to show them. So let's get to it.
Listen to the audio version of this lesson here:
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3 simple steps to launching your first product
There are three steps to follow when launching a new product:
1. Write a sales page
This is the first and most crucial step in preparing to launch. A sales page is where you will share everything you can about this product: what problem it solves, how you're going to solve it, and how people can get the solution.
You're welcome to follow whatever method works best for you in writing sales pages, but I follow what Ray Edwards calls the P.A.S.T.O.R. method, which you can learn more about here. It's a very simple but thorough framework to help you communicate what this is and why people should buy it. Doing this will also give you more clarity on your product and the best messaging you can use to promote it.
Make sure your sales page includes crucial information like when you are going to deliver the product if it’s not immediately available (when the course will start, when the book will be available, etc.).
2. Announce the launch of the new product
This is where you tell everyone you know about your brand-new product by driving as much traffic as possible to the sales page you just created. You can do this by:
- Emailing your newsletter list (if you have one).
- Telling all your friends on social media.
- Individually following up with everyone on your list of potential buyers (those 100 or so people whose feedback you sought out in a previous lesson) via text message or email (or both).
The point is to tell everyone. The goal is to create so much awareness that no one in your network can say, “I had no idea you were launching something!” (don't worry, they will anyway, but we'll talk more about that in the next lesson).
3. Run a marketing campaign
Once you've announced the product by sharing your sales page with the world, now it's time to walk people through exactly what this thing is, how it works, and why they need it. This is often called a launch sequence or marketing campaign.
When I do this, I write a series of messages, following each part of the P.A.S.T.O.R. to walk people through the problem I'm solving and why it will help them. Usually, I write an email or two per step and send it over the course of the launch period (often a week or two, depending on the product I'm selling, usually no longer than a month).
I always have a cutoff date where the price goes up or the cart closes, so that people feel a sense of urgency. Tomorrow, I’ll share with you how to maximize sales by doing just that (cutting off the opportunity to buy the product forever). But today, I want to focus on how to get the word out.
Your goal today is simple:
First, write the sales page. That's it. If you don’t have the product finished yet, that’s fine. You really shouldn’t (but it's fine if you do). Writing the sales page will help you clarify exactly what this thing needs to be and how it will work.
By now, you should know:
- What the product is
- What problem it solves
- How it’s going to be packaged
- Why it needs to exist
- When it’s going to be available
Think about every question or objection someone could have about this (based on the feedback you've received thus far during this experiment).
Then, finish the sales page and start sharing it with everyone you know who might be interested. Your message can be something simple and not pushy like, “Take a look at this and tell me what you think.” See if they or anyone they know might be interested in it.
Remember to ask for feedback. Again, the goal here is to learn.
For this lesson’s challenge, do the following:
- Go read Ray Edward’s guest post on my blog here.
- Write a sales page for your product and publish it.
- Share the link to the sales page on social media and with anyone you’ve interacted with during the challenge (including our Facebook Group).
After today, we’ll talk about deadlines and creating urgency, as well as how to run a quick campaign.
For now, your goal is to get the sales page together and get feedback from people.