Does launching a course or membership feel like a massive undertaking you’ll just never finish? For something that’s supposed to make passive income, it sure takes a lot of work!
And what happens if you spend all that time, money, and energy launching your course only to find that you’ve made next to no sales?
That kind of thinking can make a person with great big ideas not even want to bother!
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. I’ve spent quite a bit of time around launch processes and can assure you that with strategic marketing tactics, you can sell before you ever release your offer to the public.
Let’s get into some creative ways to market your offer from the obvs to the not-so-obvs.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH RESEARCH!
Research gets you talking to your audience and making sure your offer is actually marketable before you create the whole thing. I do a deep dive into research tips here, but for a quick recap, it should focus on:
- Who’s your ideal student?
- Why should they buy from you? What’s your experience, and what makes you different from others like you?
- What’s the problem they have that you can solve? And I mean the REAL problem (again, deep dive here). How’s it affecting their life and business?
- How does your offer solve their problem? If you don’t know, you’re not ready to launch.
PRESELL LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW
Once you’re confident that your offer is legit, test the waters. Start talking about what you plan to create. Ask for feedback or create a waitlist – and I mean talk about it everywhere (online where your ideal buyers hang out, social media, past clients, your friends, and business colleagues). If you get zero response, you may need to pivot and research more.
Being proactive and trying to sell people on something that’s not ready yet might require a mindset shift, but I promise it’s worth it. I would rather you avoid the heartache of putting in all the time and effort into a launch only to discover no one wants what you’re selling.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many business owners (like copywriters and coaches) with great ideas fall flat on their face because they tried to:
- solve the wrong problem the right way
- solve the right problem the wrong way
- solve the right problem the right way – but tried to sell to the wrong people
Note: If you’ve made any promises, or even said you’d do something, make sure you actually deliver on it (and within the timeline you stated) or you’ll erode all the trust you’ve earned.
WIELD THE POWER OF YOUR EMAIL LIST
Using your email list to create buzz for your offer has been proven to help people make thousands of dollars even on their first launch. Here’s how to do it:
- Create a written out plan for how many emails will be sent and when you’re going to send them. Maybe you start the buzz in your weekly newsletter a month before launch, or send a few emails the week before. Write down the plan and put it on the calendar.
- Think of stories that your subscribers will want to read and relate it to your offer. It could be your personal journey, a client experience. Engaging and relevant emails = sales!
Pro tip #1: You own your email list. If you get #cancelled on social media, all the work you did to build a following is gone. With your email list you can import/export your contacts list any time, even if you switch platforms later.
Pro tip #2: Get familiar with segmentation so you can better target the “subgroups” of your audience. Most email service providers allow you to tag your subscribers in a way that will segment them into different email journeys. For example, you may separate subscribers by their industry or years in business. Then, email accordingly!
STRATEGIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media can be so time-consuming. But we love it for a reason – it’s a great place to spread awareness and reach new people especially when you have a plan of attack.
- Create your strategy for how many social posts you can commit to, what platform(s) to focus on,and when you’re going to post.
- Design compelling visuals
- Make sure that your content leading up to your launch date is consistent with your course. If you’ve been posting about 1:1 services or something else, now is the time to shift your priority into course-related content.
- Point people to your waitlist or email sign up. Why? Social media brings awareness to a cold audience (like you), but email makes them warm and converts (know and trust you)!
I’m not saying you don’t need social media. You do! But to really leverage it, use it to bring followers into your email list so you can warm them up with your welcome sequence (you have that, right?) and later present your course launch!
AFFILIATE LAUNCHES CAN TAKE YOUR SALES TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Your network wants you to succeed. Let them know you’re working on a course and if you can, set up an affiliate link.
Affiliate marketing is how million-dollar launches are made. Not only are you selling to your network, but you’re giving others an incentive to sell your program to their network, too. Laura Belgray’s an amazing example of this. Every year she emails her list about other programs she supports – and out-performs those with even bigger email lists. Not saying that borrowing your network’s audience is gonna make you rich, but it won’t make you not rich, either.
If nothing else, the more people in your network that know about your course, incentivized or not, the more they might talk about it to that perfect student that never would’ve known about it otherwise. If you don’t have much of a network, join a few Facebook groups of people in your industry and start making friends!
Wanna talk about some more out-of-the-box ways to create a launch marketing plan? Book a No Bull Launch Blueprint intensive – email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in my contact form.