According to Greek mythology King Midas had an ability for everything he touched to turn to gold.
“The Midas Touch” has come to be known as a term to describe someone who has extremely good fortune and more specifically, it seems to intonate that everything comes easily to them.
When we look out into the online business arena we can be forgiven for thinking that certain entrepreneurs have the Midas Touch, in other words – everything they touch (or create) turns to gold.
This is a dangerous belief and it is even more dangerous when you have had relatively easy success as you lull yourself into a false sense of security of your own inevitable and continued success.
But look at big mega entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs and they have had plenty of perceived failures to balance out the incredible successes. Even the biggest entrepreneurs can make business failures and launch mistakes!Even the biggest entrepreneurs can make business failures and launch mistakes! Click To Tweet
We tend to imagine that successful entrepreneurs are an overnight success and it all seems so easy for them.
However, if you take the time to look deeper (and do a little internet stalking!) you’ll find that most if not all have been in the “game” for 3, 5, 10 or more years and nothing about their success has been “overnight”… or easy.
And I’m no exception.
My flagship program, one that has brought in over $800k in revenue, has taken six years and 11 launches to build to the multiple six-figure a year program that it is.
Given I’m an e-Course expert and launch strategist I’d also forgive you for thinking that everything I create will be an instant, overnight, six-figure success.
You’d be wrong.
You see I’m not immune to the same laws that apply to everyone when creating new products.
Laws such as not having enough time in the first launch to focus on a proper marketing plan, or not really understanding how to best communicate what you have created or going for cleverness over clarity.
So today I’m going to take you through the launch mistakes or learning curves I had creating and launching my new program Launch Mastery in 2016.
So let’s dive in and I’ll leave my ego at the door!
Launch Mistakes #1: Expecting a 2% conversion the first time I launched
Mistake: Because I’ve generally achieved 2% conversion rates in the last few years and because I thought surely my tribe of existing customers would be ready for the next step I honestly thought hitting 2% would be easy.
Launch Mastery is for people who are about to launch or who have launched before and I failed to understand that those types of people only make up about 25% of my list (and that’s probably being optimistic).
Therefore expecting a full 2% conversion is also unlikely.
Hint: I learnt most of this through my post-launch survey to my list. I find these SO nerve-wracking to send but the information you gain is so useful!
Learning: This program isn’t for everyone so I’m going to restructure and reposition Launch Mastery into a high-level group coaching program that enrols less people with higher touch. Launch Mastery in 2017 will be like a mini launch mastermind with special group workshops and 1:1 sessions therefore I can reach my revenue targets without needing to enrol as many people.
Launch Mistakes #2: Expecting the same results for a brand new program that has taken 5 years and 11 launches to achieve on my existing one
Mistake: This one’s a biggie. I went into Launch Mastery expecting that because I’m an e-Course expert and launch strategist (helllllo ego!) that my first launch would be #offthecharts.
But when you think about it, that’s kind of crazy. It’s taken me 5 years and 11 launches to get to know my ideal customer, refine my messaging and launch strategy and build testimonials, case studies and proven results.
Every program is different so perfecting it the first time is pretty unrealistic if not impossible!
But here’s the thing, when I looked at my total revenue for my first launch of Launch Mastery it was double what I made for my first launch of e-Course Launch Formula.
So when I look at it that way I am really proud of what I achieved for a first launch.
Also when you consider the lifecycle of a product (check out my blog that discusses this here) you’ll note that most people do not buy the first time you launch something. Yes some are smart enough to realise that they’ll probably get it at the best price with the highest levels of support but most people want to watch and observe – make sure it is successful, that you are serious about this product and that the “lifetime support” promise actually means more than one round!
Learning: Have realistic expectations for your first launch and know that true, sustainable success comes from refining over time, building out your launch and marketing strategy and building trust with your audience.
Launch Mistakes #3: Cleverness over clarity
Mistake: When I developed Launch Mastery I was in CREATIVE HEAVEN. I downloaded a tagline that made my heart sing, collaborated with my designer to create incredible branding including these gorgeous Goddess Archetypes for each module and then went to town with my copywriter and had so much fun with the copy (the word goddess was in the copy 64 times).
It was exciting, it was fun, it was creative but it wasn’t super clear and a little alienating for some of my audience.
It didn’t showcase half of my zone of genius which is strategy, planning, organisation and systems and a unique ability to cut through the overwhelm and break things down.
Launch Mastery is all about balancing the Masculine and the Feminine, the yin and the yang, the strategy and the soul.
But we went excessively to the feminine side in the sales page, sales emails and launch strategy.
And that totally missed the point and alienated the people who love me for all my “masculine” launch skills.
Yes, I absolutely want to teach women to embrace the feminine whilst launching – in fact this is critical for a sustainable launch business – but I can’t do that if I alienate them with the copy.
Learning: I tell my clients this ALL THE TIME but you must go for clarity over cleverness. Be direct, be obvious, be clear – don’t try to be clever, funky and different at the expense of clarity. So the next version of the sales page is going to have far less mentions of the word goddess, it is going to have a balance of imagery that invokes both the masculine AND feminine energies and for my pre-launch strategy, let’s just say it is going to showcase both the masculine AND feminine approaches to launching.
Launch Mistakes #4: Not having the time for a proper launch and marketing strategy
Mistake: When you create a brand new program, your focus inevitably goes into writing the content, putting together your sales page and membership site. The element that gets the least attention is your marketing and launch strategy. It’s often an afterthought and things like affiliate programs, fancy pre-launch opt-ins and quality sales emails sadly just don’t get the attention they deserve.
Hint. It’s very hard to do it all the first time you launch so keep it simple and your expectations realistic.
I made the mistake in my first launch of Launch Mastery of firstly not taking the time to strategically plan my launch and of teaching some of the fundamentals of my program but things which people don’t realise they need (or are not big motivators).
This resulted in low opt-in rates and therefore low conversion rates to a sale.
There is a classic rule when it comes to selling and marketing and I first heard it from Marie Forleo and that is:
Sell them what they want, give them what they need.
What does this mean exactly? It’s not deceptive or sleazy but it does require understanding your ideal customer and what motivates them.
For example I know that what people need when launching is sustainable launch practices that don’t burn them out, however, what people want is to feel they will get strategy templates, calculators and systems to make their launches easier.
Now the awesome thing is I offer both in Launch Mastery but I focused on what people “needed” (but didn’t know it) rather than what they “wanted” and would ultimately motivate them to commit and purchase the program.
Learning: Devote sufficient time to your launch strategy and design your pre-launch strategy around what your customers want and then show them what they need inside the course.
Launch Mistakes #5: Make sure your opt-in targets the right audience
Mistake: This seems kind of obvious right?! But so often we make the mistake of not targeting our pre-launch opt-ins or webinars to the right audience.
My product is for people who are:
- ready to launch and want to do it efficiently and effectively the first time or
- have launched in the past and experienced the emotional rollercoaster, overwhelm and potentially burnout and know there must be a better way
Therefore, I realised this round that my pre-launch opt-in and end of early-bird webinar needed to be super targeted to both of these ideal customers. It needed to be all about launching, be useful and be clear rather than clever!
Learning: Make sure that your pre-launch opt-in and other launch strategies solve specific problems or objections your ideal customers have (hint: you need to know who they are first to do this!)
Launch Mistakes #6: Expecting a change in business direction to resonate immediately with all of my list
Mistake: If you’ve been on my list for more than 9 months you’ll know that I’ve started shifting in my approach and am sharing a lot more about my spiritual, mindset and grounding practices.
My photoshoot for Launch Mastery was radically different from those in the past as was the copy (as I’ve described previously).
Some people loved this, others hated it and more were just a bit confused or sceptical.
And if that’s you, that’s totally OK.
To the online world it can look like you have gone through this radical transformation overnight.
Where as you know that you are simply stepping into a more authentic version of yourself, sharing the practices that you use every day and stepping out of the closet (woo-woo or otherwise).
You need to realise that not everyone is going to resonate with this.
You will lose subscribers.
But you’ll also connect so much more deeply with others who previously may have not thought you were for them.
It will take people some time to adjust to your journey and the evolution of your brand and products.
Some will come for the ride and some won’t.
Some are just waiting to see if this is just a passing phase (kind of like your parents used to think when you went goth as a teenager!).
And it will be scary, you’ll wonder like I did last year whether you’ve broken your business. You’ll have dark nights of the soul and wish you’d never done it (or maybe that’s just me??!!).
But you’ll come out of it and feel more like you than you ever have before.
You’ll finally be free to be who you really are.
You’ll be able to take a second look at your offering and with a far more objective eye decide what you want to keep and what was an over-excited (aka kid in a candy store) giddy entrepreneur testing the waters.
You’ll likely pare things back just a little, change some copy and come up with more strategic launch activities with the knowledge you have gained.
But please don’t lose what is so beautiful, unique and special about your program just because your first launch didn’t meet your expectations – because no-one else can do it like you can and you owe it to yourself to be the fullest version of yourself.