You’ve been dreaming of this moment in your business: finally launching your program so you can impact more lives and create income through a one-to-many model. But what do you do if the thought of launching it and getting out the door holds you back? Maybe you’re living in overwhelm or procrastination and it’s keeping you from taking the leap into launching. I’m here to tell you I was that odd kid who loved lists and organizing, so I’ve made a quick checklist of what you need to consider when planning your next launch.
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1. Choose the Date
The first step in planning your launch is an easy one. Ready? Open up your planner, pick a date and commit.
I recommend choosing a date between eight to 12 weeks out, potentially it could be six. How do you know which date is right for you?
Do you already have your course or program created?
You’ll need a different timeline if you have already created the course content and just need to share it and invite people to purchase versus actually bringing your idea to life through the course creation process. Whether you’re launching a course, group program, or membership, you need to have solid content ready to go.
In other words, have you already created the materials? Do you have an outline of what it is you’re going to be talking about? Do you understand how the modules will be planned out? Do you need to plan out your group program?
If you are planning to have a beta launch and are just working through your content creation as you go, that’s okay. But you still need a plan or an outline so that you can talk about what is whatever it is you’re going to be creating and your audience.
You’ll need to be clear on the transformation you can provide for your buyers. Be clear on the problem you solve, the result you’ll be offering, and the process you’ll be using to help move your audience from one place to the next.
Are you already showing up online consistently?
We’ve all had those “friends” who seem to show up only when they need something from you. It’s an awful feeling. So don’t be that person.
Instead, you need to be showing up consistently. This doesn’t mean you need to post on social every single day, but be consistent. Another question to ask yourself is if you’re engaging with an audience, whether it’s on Facebook, through YouTube videos, or content on Instagram?
If you’ve been showing up sporadically online (or not at all), lean towards the 12-week timeframe when planning your launch.
Who is on your list?
Look at your audience and your email list. It may be that you need to look at a date 12-weeks out and spend time promoting a lead magnet or running ads because your goal will be growing your list with additional ideal clients or warming them up if they are on your list and you haven’t emailed in awhile.
2. Analyze Your Tech and Your Team
We are all at different stages in our business, so when I say a team, it could be a team of one. It may also be a team consisting of you and your VA. Or, maybe you have a dream team of five.
Why is it important to know your team? You may have a VA who is a rock star social media person/graphics creator, but if they can’t navigate an email service provider, that’s okay. You just need to be honest and understand who does what and where can they help you. Launches are a lot of work. You’ll need your team to enjoy what they are doing and do it well. Otherwise, you won’t have a positive outcome in the end.
Are there people you need to bring in as you are planning your launch? Once you know who is on your team, you’ll know if you need additional support. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a full-time employee or a retainer Facebook Ads Manager. But there may be people you can outsource on a project basis. Many business owners shy away from tech, so having a Tech VA step in during the launch to make sure all the pages are integrated, the workflows automated, and the cart connected is key. I provide Launch Tech Set-Up In a Day service if tech is something that has you, or your team, stuck and held up from launching.
You’ll also want to be aware of your tech stack. If you can avoid it, I advise not learning a new platform right before a launch. Using the course example, if your course is already created in a platform such as Teachable, Podia, ClickFunnels, or FG Funnels, you’ll want to explore if this is a platform you can also use for your landing pages, lead magnet delivery, sales pages, and so on. I use Elementor for my lead magnets, but I also have a course hosted in ClickFunnels and I’m using ConvertKit for my email.
Knowing what you already have and are already using will save you a lot of stress and headache. It may require a slight upgrade, but stay where you are already confident when it comes to tech. For example, I know ConvertKit allows me to create landing pages. Depending on the course I’m creating I can’t build out a full sales page, but I can create a landing page. That may be all I need. I could utilize a Google doc and enhance it with graphics and text. These are great ideas for things like a beta launch which are inexpensive and easy to master.
3. Review the Launch Components That You'll Need
If this is a brand new launch you’re going to be creating a lot. So therefore you may need a longer timeframe to get everything created.
Create a lead magnet. Ideally, you need a lead magnet to promote to start growing your email list. If this is something you’ve been neglecting, dig that baby out and start promoting.
Set up a landing page, thank you page, and then an email sequence to follow.
Create graphic templates that can be modified during your launch to incorporate your brand colors and fonts.
Consider your emails. I’m a self-proclaimed email template hoarder. I love templates, whether it’s graphics or email. I love templates. If you are going to be writing them yourself. Buy some email templates. If you need any recommendations, I have a couple of template packs that I like, and I’m happy to share recommendations.
Know the language and messaging of your ideal customer. This is so important when launching and creating all your materials, because you want your ideal customer to raise their hand and say, “Yes, they are speaking to me and I need this solution for my problem.” If they can’t connect it, they won’t buy into your offer.
4. Choose a Platform Where You Show Up Consistently
Don’t think you need to be everywhere all the time. That’s a recipe for burn-out. So whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. If you’re not showing up regularly, pick one place and start showing up there before you go to all the places. Again, you don’t want to be that friend that just shows up because they’re going to launch something. So start now. Take a picture of what’s happening behind the scenes and share with people what you’re doing or what’s to come. Get into the habit of showing up consistently (this is a great thing to do even before planning your launch!)
5. Create a To-Do List
You’ve taken stock of what you use. And so now you’ve got to create a to-do list. I’ve made this easy for you. I have the Panic-free Launch Planner. It has tabs for putting in your dates, your team members, and all the tasks that need to be done around your launch. With this tool, you can assign who’s going to do what, and by when. It has almost every step that you should need.
Ideally in your business, you want to have launch cycles every two to three months. Allow your business to naturally flow with periods of prep, launch, and recovery. Knowing your dates, your team, your tech, your content, your engagement, as well as how to avoid major launch mistakes will allow you to keep your energy consistent and maintain joy and simplicity within your business.