When it comes to running a business, if you’re not making offers to an audience and closing sales, then you may find yourself quickly out of business. But if the idea of launching fills you with dread and you can’t ever imagine running those pushy sales emails and creating false urgency (as if there’s only really 9 ebooks left for a digital product…), then the actual process of creating a thing and selling it might stop before it really even starts.
But when it comes to actually pressing send on that sales email or creating the webinar and inviting your community to attend, there’s nothing more exciting (and terrifying…) in that moment.
Here are 4 ways that I got hyper-focused on my own launch, even with a million other things going on:
Launch Lesson #1: Eliminate the unnecessary from your life
Most of the stuff we do on a daily basis is filler. Routine. Boring stuff that we just do because we’ve always done it. There are things you’re doing that have no discernible ROI, and I’m not just talking about commenting on other blogs or researching hashtags so you can #jointheconversation.
If you are spending a Saturday washing your car, an early evening mowing the lawn, if you’re reading a book you don’t enjoy, creating complex recipes when simple ones will do, or even spending hours on the phone or texting with people who suck your time and energy, leaving you drained and ready for a nap…
Ruthlessly cut out the unnecessary conversations, chores and projects from your life. This is the time to embrace simplicity and focus only on what will get you to your goal.
- Hire a housecleaner to come weekly for 4 weeks. If you don’t finish your product or course at the end of the month, commit to giving the housecleaner a $500 tip. If you do finish your product or course, give a tip anyway (say 10% of the weekly bill).
- Say no to social outings during the week and no to work obligations on the weekend. Don’t become a hermit, but schedule your time to make room for this necessary work.
- Put a hold on home renovations, remodeling projects, picking out new furniture, selling your car, or any other big personal project.
- Cook the same things for each meal for 2 weeks in a row or hire someone who will create a menu, do the grocery shopping, and prep your meals, so all you have to do is heat and eat.
Launch Lesson #2: Get really clear on everything you need for your launch
And I mean every.single.thing.
Want to write 2 blog posts? Write it down.
Recording videos for content? Write it down.
Think it would be a good idea to have your friends tweet for you? Write it down.
Now, I’m not married to where you write it down, but here is what you absolutely cannot do: get on the phone with your team, ramble for 20 minutes about what you “think will work” and then hang up expecting those vague directions and dreams will magically just *happen*.
It will not work.
You will be frustrated.
And you’ll also be to blame.
Here’s how it should work instead:
“I think we should really share on Instagram, like, twice a day! Okay, I want Sharon to find images on our stock image site and have 10 ideas for me by next week. Dave, as you’re working on the sales page copy, please come up with 5-7 quotes or ideas for the images. Then, Sharon you will create a bunch of options for me to approve with copy in these sizes by June 1st. Got it?”
And all that is written down someplace where it can be referenced by the team.
(Oh, and if you have no team and you’re doing it all solo, you need this more than you think. Do it.)
Write it down. Every email, graphic, piece of copy, website, webform, social media image, video, content piece, everything.
You may not believe me, but we started creating the detail for our latest launch in January including everything that needed to be created. A list with at least 100 main tasks and many more subtasks that was created, edited, and completed step-by-step over many months.
Here’s what you’ll learn if you do enough launches: if it doesn’t get written down, it doesn’t get done.
Launch Lesson #3: Create time to do the work
Now that you know what you want to do for your launch (everything from creating the thing to sell to promoting it), you have to do the work.
I know, no one likes to talk about the hard work involved unless they have a *magic pill* or *special formula* to make it POOF! Super easy for just $997!
But you have to do the work. I don’t care if you have a super talented team or you’re recycling an older product and thus “most of the work is done.” Do the work. This means reviewing copy, approving graphics, building websites, testing order pages, writing emails, and so much more!
The problem occurs when most people assume that they can just knock it all out in a couple of days, a week at most! That’s a recipe for frustration, overwhelm, and a lackluster final product that you may not be proud to share.
If you find yourself “running out of time”, then the solution is simple: give yourself more time. Yes, some people can knock out an email in 10 minutes and be totally happy with it, but if you write then edit and re-edit and then re-write entirely, then give yourself a couple hours.
Here’s how you know if you have allocated sufficient time: take every single task that you wrote out and put it on your calendar. If a task is new and you’ve never done it before, double the time you think it will take. Then, add a full WEEK to the schedule, and you might estimate the correct timing.
(And if you’re mentally rolling your eyes because no one has time for that, I ask you: when will all those tasks get done?)
Launch Lesson #4: Don’t lose sight of the goal
Some people love to create. Every time I talk to them, there’s this new great idea and it’s not just entrepreneurs. You all know someone who is halfway done painting their bedroom when they start a container garden and then, with soil everywhere, abandons that to take up knitting before deciding to master the art of baking.
The goal, for any launch, is to complete the necessary tasks and LAUNCH. Yes, you actually have to begin selling! It’s not enough to get inspired and write a bunch of half-assed scripts for different programs and draft the sales page but never get back to it. If you want to launch, you have to stop stopping midway through the process.
Learn to love the finish line.
And if a big launch is intimidating to you, then celebrate milestones along the way. For our launch, those were:
- Deciding everything that the course will contain
- Scripting all the videos and worksheets
- Recording all the videos
- Editing all the videos
- Loading all the content into the member site
- Writing the sales page
- Completing all the backend content
- Completing all the marketing content
That’s 8 milestones for 1 launch (that took 4 months)! Most people don’t even write down 8 tasks for their whole launch.
But you know what? When I got frustrated or tired or thought “you know what would be cool to do next?”, I allowed myself to riff on that for 10 minutes and then went right back to “what is our next step to reach the next milestone?”
If your computer is filled with half written projects or un-launched assets, then you have to ask yourself: what’s stopping you along the way? I know, sometimes it feels like budget or technical know-how, but a LOT of the time it is only yourself standing in the path.
I want you to go crush your next launch by presenting an awesome offer that’s completely finished and ready for the market, nailing your marketing message and reaching the masses, leading to lots of sales and clients going through a clear process that’s been thoughtfully designed.
And you simply won’t be able to do that if you’re doing a lot of unnecessary crap in your life; you don’t know what will go into your launch, because nothing is written down; there’s no room in your schedule to do the actual work; or you keep getting distracted by other, less important, things.
Make it happen.
And, if you’d like to clear out some of that old junk which is cluttering up your computer and holding you back, then check out our new course: Organize Your Online Business in 5 Days (even if you’re a digital hoarder). We promise that clearing up the digital crap in your life will give you more than GB back, and you might just find a half finished resource that will inspire you in your next launch.