Your No BS Guide to Your Most Strategic and Highest-Revenue-Generating Launch Yet!
It’s time to pull back the curtain on what it really looks like to launch your online course or digital product — to something more than the sound of crickets. 😉
It isn’t enough to simply shoot out a few Instagram posts and an email here and there. For all of the hard work you’ve poured in to creating a brilliant, transformative offer for your ideal clients, you deserve a launch plan that will help you convert the most sales, and bring in the most cash!
In this guide, I’ll walk you through an in-depth launch plan, from pre-launch to cart close, so that you can finally have that super-profitable launch you’ve always dreamed of.
First thing’s first, you need a no-brainer offer – something your ideal students realllllly WANT to buy. A no-brainer offer takes your students from where they are right now, experiencing a pain point, to where they want to be, experiencing an incredible transformation. You can think of your offer as the bridge that takes them from point A, pain point, to point B, transformation.
If you don’t have an offer that’s ready to sell, pinpoint what your audience might want to know by starting with research or reviewing existing voice of customer data. You can look through surveys, forums, YouTube or Instagram comments sections on your own or your competitors’ accounts. Notice the questions and pain points that come up again and again. Does this spark anything for you? Is there anything that you are both knowledgeable and excited about teaching?
Once you’ve got the idea down pat, it’s time to start creating that course or digital product. You can do this by pre-creating content before you sell. Or you can do this by running a “beta” round, which involves teaching your content live for the first group of students (if you do this, you’ll want to make sure you’ve explained this clearly on your sales page).
Beyond actually having an offer to sell, you need to develop clear messaging around your offer. Here are some things to consider when developing the messaging for your offer:
This is where you explain exactly what makes your offer different (and better!) than anyone else’s offer. For example, “I will teach you how to make $100k per year as a freelance designer in six months or less.”
How much does your offer cost? You should set a price that maximises profit for you while still being affordable and desirable for customers. Consider how much your competitors are charging for similar offers to gauge what the market might be willing to pay for yours. It’s my personal preference to always start lower than you think. Because it’s easier to raise the price as a result of high demand rather than reduce it if you’re in a pinch.
What do people actually get when they purchase your offer? What are the features? Do they get access to video lessons with checklists or guides? Do they get access to a Facebook Group for support? Do they get 1:1 calls or check ins? List out everything that’s included.
For every feature, make sure you explain what that actually means for your buyer. You can think of these as mini value propositions. For example, if your offer is a web design course with a lesson on designing your services page, you might want to say something like this: “This lesson allows you to design a services page that converts visitors to applications… even if you don’t have any design experience!”
Why should someone buy your offer right now instead of in a few months’ time? Why should they choose your course over your competitor’s course they’ve got open in another tab? Bonuses, urgency, scarcity, and a no-brainer guarantee will sweeten the deal.
Basically, you want to present the very best version of your offer possible!
When planning your course launch, I believe it’s important to set realistic and achievable goals — but to also dream big as well! Start by asking yourself the following questions:
Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. For example, if you want to make $10,000 from your course launch in three months, set a goal of signing up 100 students at a price of $100 each or 20 students at $500 each.
Once you’ve set your goals, break them down into smaller, actionable steps that you can work on every day. This will help keep you motivated and on track to reach your objectives. For example, if your goal is to sign up 100 students, then break it down into finding 10 new leads each week or two new leads each day.
You want to consider how you’re going to convert these leads. Are you going to run sales calls? Are you going to have an automated funnel with a juicy lead magnet like a webinar, free challenge, case study, or guide on the front end?
Realistically, will you need to get in front of a much larger audience in order to convert these students? If so, you might make a plan to collaborate with complementary business owners or run ads.
Creating small and achievable goals is an important part of planning a successful course launch. It will help you stay focused on what you need to do and measure your progress as you go.
If you’re anything like me, this is the step that’s going to feel hardest—but it also has to be done (it’ll save your sanity later!). A good way to do this is by making a list of all the steps required for your launch and how long each one will take. Consider your capacity over the coming weeks and months. How much time do you realistically have in your week to complete the tasks you need to complete? There’s no right or wrong answer here, everyone’s schedule is different! So map out your launch timeline according to what works best for you.
Beyond actually creating all of the collateral you’ll need for your launch, make sure you have enough time to get the word out! The more people who know about your offer before launch day, the better! So don’t just consider the launch open and close-cart dates, but also consider a pre-launch period. A pre-launch period allows you to build that all-important know, like, and trust factor with your audience before selling your offer.
If you feel stuck with where to start when it comes to mapping out your launch timeline, grab my Free Launch Roadmap. You can swipe the EXACT timeframe I recommend for what messages to share with your audience during every single day of your launch, including what to say during your pre-launch period, launch period, and downsell period. Grab your Free Course Launch Roadmap here >>
You would be surprised by the number of digital offer creators who focus the majority of their efforts on marketing and end up enroling students in a course or digital product that’s half-created or simply not up to scratch.
This should go without saying, but if you deeply care about the people who will use your offer (and you should!), you should make sure that offer is the best it can be and that it will actually help your students achieve the transformation they desire. Of course, there’s a time and place for creating a rough-and-ready offer, but that’s usually only during a beta launch (learn more about that here) where, prior to buying, students understand that they’re buying a first iteration of your offer and that it will be improved over time.
Once you have a no-brainer offer, the next step is to generate traffic and make sure they’re primed to buy. Here are a few traffic-generation strategies you might like to try:
You’ll want to choose one or more of these strategies and then create specific plans for each of them so that you know exactly what you need to do and by when.
When looking at marketing strategies, I know it can be tempting to want to do everything! But I encourage you to be realistic here. If you’re a solopreneur, it may only be practical to run a challenge or webinar with a sales email sequence and a few Instagram posts. But if you have a whole team behind you, you may venture into the world of ads or put together an affiliate campaign, or test out more lead magnets.
The truth is that more marketing strategies don’t always equal more sales. Sometimes sticking to one or two straightforward things will get you more results than if you split your focus. Remember, you can always review your data and test out other strategies in the future.
Now that you’ve done your research and created a product, it’s time to write your sales page. The purpose of this page is to get the buyer to take action—whether that means signing up for your course or purchasing your digital offer.
The best way to ensure people are enticed to buy as they scroll? Make sure you’re giving them all the information they need up front.
Here’s are some things you’ll want to include on your sales page:
These are just a few of the elements you should include on your sales page. Read the full 15 steps to writing a high-converting sales page here >>
Contrary to what most people do, your pre-launch content isn’t simply random content for the sake of having pre-launch content. For it to be effective, it should prepare your audience for your upcoming offer. You can do this by creating content that shifts your ideal purchaser’s beliefs.
For example, if I want to sell my Simple Website Copy Course, I would first need to address the common belief my audience has that “they can’t write copy successfully unless they’re a copywriter”. To do this, I might craft an email or Instagram post titled “Why you CAN write high-converting copy even if you’re not a copywriter”.
Hot tip: Save time on content creation by creating your pre-launch emails as hero pieces of content (think podcast episodes, YouTube videos, or blog posts) and then repurpose them into emails and social media posts.
After the pre-launch, comes the launch! I recommend starting launch content creation with your email sequence. The great thing is that because you’ve already written your sales page, you’ll be able to draw on so much of that language and plug it into your emails.
Consider these three essential types of emails as you write your launch email sequence:
These emails should introduce your offer and explain why it’s a natural next step.
These emails should reiterate the beliefs you shifted in the pre-launch period, share testimonials or case studies, and explain the cost of not grabbing the offer as well as the big benefit of grabbing the offer.
These should guide your reader to a clear decision on whether or not your offer is right for them (think “perfect for you if…” “not perfect for you if…” kind of language), as well as sell scarcity and urgency where relevant (if the doors are closing, there are limited spots left).
Creating an upsell or downsell can be a great way to increase revenue.
An upsell should be a natural next step or complementary offer for people who have just purchased your offer. For example, if you sold website templates, you might include a sales page template upsell.
The downsell should be something that would interest people who haven’t bought the original product yet, but want more information on a topic related to your main product. For example, if you had a course called “How to Start and Grow a Profitable Blog”, you could provide a downsell to those that didn’t buy called “How To Choose The Right Niche For Your Blog”.
I like to think of a downsell as providing one of the very first steps towards the ultimate transformation of your course. You could even draw your downsell from the first module of your course or the first part of your digital product.
The post-launch phase is prime time to gather feedback from people who didn’t buy. This can provide valuable insights into what objections you might need to address in your messaging or simply what you might need to change about your offer and inclusions.
I like asking for feedback in a final email to my list where I include a link to an Airtable form for them to complete.
Once you’ve finished creating your course, it’s time to launch. As you know, the first few weeks are crucial for generating revenue and growing your audience.
In order to make sure that your students get the most out of your course and give them a chance to implement as quickly as possible, there are two things you need:
There are so many ways you can do this! But I personally like to create a downloadable checklist to guide students through each module or chapter of the course. This helps ensure that everyone makes it through each step without missing anything important. It also minimises the amount of time or help they may need from you as the educator and other students.
You can also use different support methods such as weekly email check-ins or a Facebook Group/Slack Channel where students can communicate with each other about their progress and ask any questions they have about specific parts of the program (this piece is especially helpful if one student gets stuck on something).
And finally—make sure there is an easy way for them reach out if they need extra support! This could be through an internal upsell to a 1:1 call with you or simply a customer support email they can send any admin-related queries to.
The post-launch phase is also an invaluable opportunity for you to ask for reviews from students if they liked the course! This allows you to gather specific tangible outcomes your students have had and include these testimonials on your sales page and in launch emails in the future.
After the dust has settled on your launch, it’s time to review the data. I know, I know — it can be tempting to close the lid of your laptop and ignore the numbers, but this review phase is invaluable for making sure your future live (or evergreen) launches are a success.
Here are some questions to consider when reviewing your launch:
If there are things you’d want to do differently next time, make a note of those changes and plan to address them in the next launch. If everything went according to plan, great! You can look forward to hitting those numbers again and again.
Once you’ve analysed each aspect of your launch plan (and yes, there will be many more things to analyse), it’s time to decide whether or not another live launch is right for you. There’s no doubt that live launches can be an effective tool for creating buzz around your offer and getting a quick injection of cash in a short period of time, but they aren’t right for everyone (they can be pretty exhausting!). So consider whether live launching is the right strategy for you or if an evergreen sales strategy might be a better fit going forward. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just whatever fits your business and your lifestyle.
If you’re launching a digital product or course, it’s important to have a plan if you want to be profitable — because without one you’ll only hear crickets. Planning out your launch may seem overwhelming at first, but with these steps to follow and a little bit of time invested in your launch, it will be much more simple than you think!
If you got value out of this post, I’d love to hear about it. Comment and share your biggest takeaway.
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