Launching an online product (like a course, membership, or template shop) is a fantastic way to increase your sales, share your expertise, and begin the venture into juicy, juicy passive income. But with great power comes… you guessed it, great responsibility!
Undertaking a launch can be so “oversold” in ads that you might fall into the trap of thinking it’s quick, easy money. Or, you might get started and feel like it’s a Mount Everest-level project compared to what you’re used to.
I’ve created a framework as a methodical phase-by-phase process to follow to make the whole thing a lot more doable. Instead of standing at the bottom of Everest staring up, you have a plan for every step of the way. When you focus on putting one foot in front of the other and keepin’ it moving, you’ll be at the top before burnout and overwhelm can set in.
The UnF**k Your Launch framework phases are simple: Legwork, Adapt, Undertake, Nitpick, Configure, and Hold On.
Yes, it spells out LAUNCH on purpose! 😉
Let’s break it down.
PHASE ONE: LEGWORK
Gather data on your ideal client, organize the data, and discover the trends that create common themes. You’ll complete this phase by talking directly to your ideal client about their desires, struggles, wants, who they serve, etc.
It’s tempting to create an arbitrary avatar like “6-figure business owners” but if you don’t have clarity on who they are and what problem you’re solving for them, your launch will be a lot of work on your end for a disappointing outcome.
You might think your audience wants a “Guide to the 30-Day Content Calendar” because that’s what you offer, but you might find that they’re way past that, and need someone who can provide something more in-depth.
There’s way more info to collect that I’ve covered in this blog post, but I can’t emphasize enough that without completing this phase, the rest of the framework won’t have a solid foundation to stand on.
PHASE TWO: ADAPT
In this phase, you’re creating the compass to guide the rest of your launch material. You’ll decide what you’re doing (course, membership, or template shop for example), price, positioning, target audience (you should be SOLID on this one), marketing plan, and tech stack.
You have to be decisive in this area or you’ll drag through analysis paralysis forever.
Create a master document with this info and then think through the workflow to complete it all. When you get to the marketing and tech stack, be realistic about your bandwidth and skillset to do it yourself. It’s much easier to delegate and outsource from the beginning than to panic-hire halfway through. Kinda like when you decided to cut your own bangs and showed up to the salon embarrassed and stressed because “it seemed so easy on YouTube!”
^16-year-old me is ATTACKED right now. 😛
Plus, outsourcing frees you up to tackle everything else on your plate with freedom and focus!
However you choose to go about your task list, create a funnel map for each area so you can keep track of progress as you move forward. Plan a realistic revenue goal for your launch so you can measure results, and begin undertaking your tasks!
PHASE THREE: UNDERTAKE
Take a deep breath. Tug your content-creating beanie down over your ears. Take a sip of coffee and get ready to develop all of the assets that go with your launch. I’m talking copy, design, video trainings, slides, and all the elements that make your launch pour out from your head into the hands of your students.
This is not an exhaustive list of everything your launch might require, but it’s a baseline to get you started. Hopefully, you’ve already decided what you’ll be hiring out during this phase, because this is the most intense and time-consuming phase! Read: hiring out = less headaches *cough cough*
Copy elements to write:
- Course module copy: what your students see as they navigate through your course. This step is often neglected and guides them to actually use the workbook and continue to the next module. Without module copy you might find your students quitting halfway through. We don’t want that!
- Curriculum handouts (PDFs – handouts, worksheets, etc.)
- Landing/sales page
- Emails: promo, thank you/purchase confirmation, onboarding/nurture emails
- Social media posts (paid and organic)
Design elements to develop:
- Course platform interface – get to know your tools first as different software has different customization options
- Sales and landing pages
- Social media graphics
(I’m acknowledging that the above is a course creator-centric list, so please keep in mind this will look different based on what you’re launching.)
Again, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s already a lot. Keep one foot in front of the other, and you can do it! Getting the big chunks out of the way like handouts and emails will make it easier to pull snippets for social media later.
PHASE FOUR: NITPICK
High-five yourself, you’re over the hump – but you’re not done yet. In the Nitpick stage, we’re reviewing everything and making sure your plan and assets are on the mark. If you skip this stage, errors and mistakes can come back to bite you, slowing down the rest of the process.
Set aside time to look over your plan and assets with an eagle eye. Make sure you’ve completed all the steps so far – first for completion and then for perfection. I can’t tell you how many folks have launched only to find that they’re missing a key piece of copy, forgot to record a video, or create a handout. It’s the little things that get overlooked!
And then pretend you’re your high school English teacher. Check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and messaging in your copy. Is it seamless, error-free, and easy to navigate? Do the same with design. Do your colors and fonts match? Is your branding clear? Are your slides or handouts easy to read?
Now we can move on to the final stages.
PHASE FIVE: CONFIGURE
This is where you get tech-y, set up your launch, and get ready to let ‘er rip. This stage can also be the most nerve-wracking if you’re unfamiliar with your system. Again, outsourcing is great! If nothing else, be sure to watch the demo videos provided by the platform. There are usually simple solutions to our tech questions, we just have to be willing to find them instead of trying the same thing over and over and getting nowhere.
If you’re setting up a course, Kajabi and Teachable are two of my favorite hosting platforms because they’re literally made for courses. They’re pretty user-friendly, good with support, and quality products. That being said, there are many moving pieces so remember to take it one step at a time. Within your hosting platform, you’ll create all your modules with the assets you’ve already created and perfected in the last phases.
I want to re-emphasize that this isn’t a comprehensive guide to setting up your launch. But partnering with a launch expert to climb Mount Everest with you (especially since they’ve done it before) can make all the difference in your launch. For this phase, I’m just going to point out the mistakes I see the most so you can be sure to double-check these for your own launch.
- Checkout: Integrate whatever you use (be it Kajabi, or Thrivecart… even Gumroad) with your Stripe or PayPal account if possible. This will make viewing your data and results a lot easier and push money to your account faster!
- Sales page: Make sure your sales page directs to your checkout page. I know, it seems obvious! But this gets skipped so often because sometimes the sales page is made weeks before launching. They don’t automatically connect themselves!
- Email marketing: Make sure your purchase confirmation and welcome automations are set up. This is huge in the customer journey to help them feel taken care of and confirm their money was well spent. Make sure your buyers are tagged appropriately so you can easily identify them in the future, too.
- Dot your I’s and cross your T’s:Test ALL and I mean ALL of your tech before your launch. One tech fail can totally derail your sales, and cause incredible stress. It’s absolutely crucial to get it right before you go live. That said, even the best tech fails sometimes, and the good news is it’s rare that something can’t be fixed. (Have a backup plan where possible.)
The end is in sight, don’t trip now!
PHASE SIX: HOLD ON
FIN.AL.LY!!!!! You’re here! This is where everything comes together and becomes a real product to put out into the world. You get to sit back, crack open a White Claw, and watch the sales from your adoring audience spill in.
One last step, though… keep track of your metrics and conversions during your launch. If you find that people are falling off at certain points of your funnel, you might want to tweak and optimize it or save the “feedback” for the next go-around. Otherwise, trust the process!
Once it’s over, make notes of your metrics (I’ll tell you more about that in a future blog!) and keep them as a goal to beat in your next launch!
Whew, what time is it? That was a lot to cover! Now that we’re launch besties, you should know that I can help with basically every single stage of the launch process. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in my contact form to talk about what’s going on in your launch!