Jenni here, and lately lots of our clients are planning to launch something new. So this week I'm giving you something clients always ask for: a checklist of things to think through when you're launching.
This list is long, and before you go getting all overwhelmed, I want to remind you that every launch is different, you're the boss, so you get to decide how much you want to take on in the release of your new product (it could be just getting it out there, it could be notifying your best clients, or it could be trying to get written up in big publications).
So take a deep breath, and let's dive in.
BEFORE YOU BUILD SOMETHING NEW:
1) Talk to Customers: I feel like we say this a lot around Prim'd, but when talking to your customers your one job is to listen to figure out how to alleviate pain. If you're getting vague answers, you need to dig a little deeper. Pulling from David Sandler (Sales Consultant), great follow up questions include taking your customer down a list of more and more specific questions:
- Tell me more about that?
- Can you give me an example?
- What did you try to fix it?
- Did that work?
- How much did that cost you?
- How do you feel about that?
2) Seed the market: If you've been thinking about launching something new, but you aren't sure if you're ready (or even if you are ready) start talking about it now. Give best practices, talk about trends, or just start drumming up conversation about what you're solving. Make sure it's 100% give-give-give (no sales here).
AFTER YOU HAVE IT NEARLY READY TO GO, you need to know how to talk about it. That's where brand or product positioning comes into play.
3) Messaging and Positioning: We do a lot of our work here with clients to help them figure out how to talk about their offering in a way that sounds like them, highlights the best of their offering, and makes sure it resonates with the right people. The core questions you need to be really clear on are:
- Who is it for? ("Small business owners" is way too broad. Also, having 3 very different core customers can be confusing as well. As painful as it is, pick one core customer to be your main focus for this product you're launching)
- What is it? This is a place to get literal. What will people experience if they buy your product?
- How is it different? Who else are your customers going to think about or price check before buying your offering? You'll need to address your advantages.
4) Get your team aligned: This part is so important. If you have 4 people talking about your offering in 4 different ways, that's no bueno. We use The Brand Planto help with this, but you can always create a Google Doc that has all of your positioning in one easy place to access.
5) Get your launch goals together: There are lots of different kinds of launches, and our customers do all of them. You could be a startup launching your product. You could be a solopreneur launching your course. But both of you need to understand what success looks like. Give it metrics — number of sign ups, downloads, traffic to your website. Once you know those things, you can start thinking about what will support those metrics (facebook ads, guest post articles, webinars, podcast interviews, blog posts, press interviews, etc).
6) From there make a list of your content needs: This might be the part where your head starts to hurt. Hang in there. You will get through this, especially since you already lined out all of the hard stuff in #2. Every launch is different and you should not feel pressure to do all of these — but these are some that we've built in the past for our own launches:
- New sales decks
- New pages on your website
- Any downloads from your website
- Emails to deliver those downloads
- Landing Pages or Opt-In Pages
- Thank you Page
- Launch Announcement Or Invitation Emails
- Sales/Nurture Emails
- Any last chance emails
- Ad Copy for Social Advertising
- Press Releases or Guest Articles for Publication on launch day
- Interviews with publications around your product launch
- Social Media Images + Captions
- Social Media Images + Captions for your biggest fans/brand supporters
7) Divide and Conquer: Now it's time to get everything on your calendar. You can break everything down into a couple of categories (list building activities, value ads, PR efforts, brand supporter efforts, social media, advertising). Create a timeline for when these items are due internally and when they go-live externally. Be sure to make space for any VIP early-releases or sneak peeks.
8) Take a deep breath, launch it, and then celebrate what you've built! This is the best part of launching — the moment where you can be proud of what you've accomplished!
9) Loop back around to #1 to get client feedback: Take a look at what's working, what can be improved. Makes notes about what felt intuitive and what needs to be shifted.
This topic could clearly be a book. It's already a long post so we'll leave it there for today. If you're thinking about launching something new, what are the items that have you stuck?
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