Planning a launch can be tedious and time consuming. Done right and you can make a MAJOR splash. But, if done wrong you can have a huge missed opportunity. But why bother? Why is it so crucial to have a system in place to release a new company, product or service?
By hyping the launch it can mean a difference between a couple dollars and thousands. Even though I personally focus less on profit and more on sustainability, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of such a huge income gap.
You have seen it done time and time again, whether it was Lily Pulitzer coming to Target or the Simplified Planner releasing an app. You were part of a launch in process whether you realized it or not. Didn’t they get you excited? Were you in line at the crack of dawn? If so, they did their job right. My job is to teach you how you can create a similar type of hype… maybe not on the same scale, but how utilize the same concept nonetheless.
1. Ask for advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. You likely know someone who has been through this before and they often have the most valuable information. When I started planning my launch (which is now 5 days away) I reached out to several close friends who had been through this process. I asked about what worked for them. What they wish they could have changed and how they thought I should go about it.
2. Build your email list.
Having a bank of people you can market to is crucial. Giving them a valuable incentive to sign up is the best way to continue this momentum. Whether you are starting from scratch during the pre-launch stage or you have an active list, you need to give them reason to join and a reason to stay. The day I released my FREE Brand Assessment I doubled my email list overnight! Think of ways you could add value for your clients or customers, perhaps through a discount or an educational white-paper.
3. Organize a giveaway.
People love free stuff. And (almost) everyone loves the opportunity to win. By organizing a giveaway either prior to your launch or during your launch you can continue to gain additional followers on both social media, your email list and even generate additional web traffic from it. Next Tuesday my awesome launch party begins with new giveaways every day for a WHOLE week!
4. Build a community of support.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. Utilize the people you asked advice from. Reach out to your favorite Facebook group and see if people would be willing to participate. It is totally appropriate to ask for ambassadors to post on their on social media, supply items for your giveaway and help get the buzz going. Make sure that you make it mutually beneficial for them as well. I am all about collaborating over competition.
5. Plan. Plan. Plan.
Don’t feel like you have to rush. Plan a launch for weeks, if not months down the road. Plan out every detail so when the day finally arrives you feel prepared and are ready to just fire away. Spending time on details like what you are going to post on social media, what your emails will look like or say and what content you will add to your website is crucial. Don’t be shy to plan a whole day to focus just on photography. Stuck on blog content ideas, here are some strategies that helped me plan for my launch week.
6. Do a survey.
This may seem totally lame, but you can learn a lot just by asking. Before your product or service rolls out ask for feedback so you can incorporate that input into the product. Or perhaps you did a soft launch and you are just looking to analyze what your current readers are like. I started a pre-launch reader survey a couple days ago, but I would love your feedback before I shut it down today.
7. Gain anticipation.
A week or so prior to your launch, start giving hints of what is coming. Whether that is inside information for your email subscribers, a countdown on social media or just minor bits of information on your blog. By building the anticipation in advance, when the day comes you will have a line up ready and waiting!
8. Do it.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the details it is easy to keep pushing our dates back. Focus less on it being perfect and more on just doing it. You can always re-launch the same product or service at a later date. Many of the foundation principles I have described I learned from Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. Although it seems so obvious, sometimes we just need someone to walk you through the process.
No launch is complete without a party. Whether that is just with the dog and a bottle of champagne, a hip party out on the town or an ONLINE party you need to make it special. Join my party next Tuesday!! Be there or be square. Mark your calendars.
What do you do to plan for a launch? What resources have you found useful?