How to plan a product launch for your business
Episode 17021st June 2022 • Courageous Content with Janet Murray • Janet Murray
00:00:00 00:16:04

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IMPORTANT: THIS TRANSCRIPT IS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED. WE GIVE IT A QUICK CHECK THROUGH BUT WE DON’T CORRECT EVERYTHING AS IT’S INTENDED TO HELP YOU FIND PARTS YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO AGAIN - NOT AS AN EXACT TRANSCRIPT. SO THERE MIGHT BE A FEW QUIRKY WORDS/PHRASES HERE!

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If you're disappointed with sales of your products or service, there may be something missing from your launch strategy. In fact, it could be that you've never actually launched your product or service, and yes, you do need to launch everything. I'm Janet Murray, I'm a content and online business strategist. And in this episode of the courageous content podcast, I'll share how to plan a product launch for your business.

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And by the way, a service is a product. So this episode is going to be helpful for you, whatever you have to launch in your business, say it before we get stuck into the content, let's clear something up. What is a launch anyway? Well, if you've done any of these things, put a new product or service on sale,

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started an email newsletter, social media accounts or podcasts. For example, if you've created an email lead magnet, you already had a launch. In fact, you've probably had dozens of launches and you need to launch everything, including your one-to-one services. You need to launch group coaching programs, physical products, challenges, books, podcasts. If you want people to take action,

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you need a launch and you need to keep relaunching your existing products, which means finding new ways to talk about your products or services and new reasons for your customers or clients to buy. Now, if that's all sounding a bit exhausting, please don't worry this isn't to say that you have to create email lead magnets or build out complicated sales funnels, authentic email marketing campaigns for every product or service you launch you absolutely don't.

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And if you want more on that, then I've got a couple of relevant podcast episodes, which are linked to in the show notes. One is on how to launch a one-to-one service. And the other is entitled. Don't launch a group program until you've done this. I've also got a podcast episode on what launch strategy is. I'll link to all of those in the show notes.

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So you don't need to create email lead magnets or fancy sales funnels, but you do need a strategy. So you can make sure that you're creating the right content and publishing it at the right time. And that content can be anything from a simple outreach emails that you send from your Gmail address to blogs, to podcasts, to social media posts, email newsletters,

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anything you create this designed to encourage people to take action. Now, one of the biggest mistakes I see people making with launches of any size and for any type of product or service. And by the way, service is a product is focusing most of their efforts on the cart open phase. So the days or the weeks when they're focused on launching a new product or service or a specific promotion,

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but actually what you do in the weeks or months, and also after your launch, well, that can actually have a bigger impact on your sales and what you do. Joining your cart, open periods, which is the way it's often referred to. So to my mind, there's three phases to a launch, and I'm going to run you through them now.

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So phase one is product development. Now it sounds obvious, but any product or service you create needs to solve a specific problem for a specific type of person. And this is particularly relevant when it comes to selling a done for you or done with you service or coaching or consultancy, because for someone to invest the time or money in solving a problem, it has to be pretty painful for them.

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People don't go around spending money on coaching or consultancy just for the heck of it. They typically have a problem it's quite painful and there are consequences to not solving it. So a common mistake I see, particularly with coaches and consultants is creating a service they want to deliver, then what people actually want to buy. And that's why it's important to spend time on product research.

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Otherwise you can end up creating a product or service that no one wants to buy. If you have a product based business, you need to focus on the problems your ideal customers have that might lead them to invest in a product like yours. So for example, my courageous content planner, it's an 80 for death planner. That's pat with awareness days and key dates that you can use to plan out your content for the coming year.

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But I often say it's not just a planet, it's a planning system and it solves to keep up and for business owners. So it helps people who are struggling to come up with content ideas. And also those were struggling to stay consistent and organized with their content. It also gives you a kind of one-stop shop. So there are dozens of websites out there that list awareness days and key dates.

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When you invest in my planner, you get around a thousand all in the same place, it's going to save you time falling around different websites. So as part of your research phase, when you're thinking about what product or service to sell, you really do need to get tuned in to the problems that your ideal customers or clients are experiencing and what you need to be delivering in order to help them with those problems to help them solve those problems.

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If the problem, your product or service solves, doesn't seem obvious, have a think about how it might compare to your competitors. For example, if you have a wooden toy company, the problem you solve might be providing plastic free, play things for children, for someone who is looking to reduce their plastic use, or perhaps they're buying a gift for a child whose parents are looking to reduce their plastic use.

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So during your product development phase, you need to think about creating the following types of content. So social media posts and other content that will help you to understand the problems that your ideal customers or clients have and how you can solve them. For me that often involves asking lots of questions. If you have my courageous content planner, this would be an example of community content.

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So you're asking people about what their problems and challenges are about what they've tried to solve them before. It might also be about getting people involved in the process. So for example, with my courageous content planner, we usually publish eight potential planner covers. And we asked my audience to vote on their favorites. And from there, we take it down to the final four.

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Well I'm developing or in my case each year, redeveloping the planner and looking at ways that we can improve the layout and the content. I'm often asking my audience questions about what they like, what they dislike, what they prefer, what they think is helpful with the planner was unhelpful. Now this is not to say that you're going to take all of this data and you are going to do exactly what your customers say.

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Because as I often end up saying, where's my planner. If somebody wants it completely bespoke to their specific requirements, they're probably better to make their own. But what you're looking for is patterns. So things that a lot of people are saying problems or challenges that a lot of people are raising during this phase, I'd also recommend creating a quick offer. So this is a short document.

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I recommend all business owners create for every product they're thinking of selling just a couple of hundred words long. And there are templates for the quick offer in most of my courageous content kits. And if you want to know more about them, I will add some links in the show notes, but it's just a short piece of copy that outlines what the product is and crucially what the benefits are.

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And these fill in the gaps templates in my courageous content kits, they really get you to focus on the benefits and not the features, because if you're just listing out the features of your product or service and not how it's going to help your customers or clients, your product or service is not going to sell, or it's going to be difficult to sell,

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you can use your quick offer document to get some initial feedback on your ideas from prospective customers or clients. However, I would say be careful because you will never know whether somebody is going to invest in your product or service until you actually put a PayPal or Stripe button on it. And you ask people to pay you. And this is why, for example,

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I don't recommend people go off and create big multi-module online courses or build out membership sites without first testing out a one module course, I call it. I've certainly had this in the past. And maybe you have to where you've been doing some product research, people have told you, it's amazing. They can't wait to buy. It sounds brilliant. Sometimes they're just being polite.

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So research is important. Ask a lot of questions or really understand what your customers or clients are looking for and try and meet those needs. But do also remember that you won't know for sure until you put the PayPal or Stripe button on it, and you actually ask people to pay you money at this stage, you'll also need to create a launch plan for your product or service.

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And that needs to start at the end of your promotion period. Say the second phase is the pre-launch phase, and this is so crucial because what you do in the weeks or months leading up to your cart open period, can make or break your launch and your sales for best results. I recommend creating the content during this period, audience quotes content. So blogs,

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social media posts that answer your customers or clients, ideal questions about the problem, your product solves, and really start to establish your authority in that area. You're also going to need to think about delivery content. So for a service or a digital product or coaching program, this might mean making decisions on things like the balance of one-to-one or group sessions. For example,

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in a group program on how many video tutorials you might put inside a course, or how many digital downloads and planning any content that you might need to deliver that outcome with a physical product, it might literally be about delivery, like how it will be sent out and packaged to people. And I know with my planner, we do a lot of research and have improved year on year in terms of how we actually get the kinds of people and trying out different types of packaging to make sure that it arrives in good condition and is least likely to get damaged.

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And also of course, that it looks good. The last type of content you need to create during this phase, and this is just crucial is your wait list or teaser content. If you want to boost sales of your product or service, you need to get people excited about your product before it goes on sale. So I shared an example there, whereas my planner,

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where we do the covers, we get people to vote on their favorite covers from a shortlist of eight. And then we use that data to get down to the final four while we're doing that, we're building a wait list for my planner. So people are getting involved, their votings, and this looks nice. I'd like one of these hands when they cast their vote,

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they also get invited to put their name on the way there. So that means that when the planet goes on sale, people know about it. They're excited. They've been invested in that product development because they've answered questions. They've taken part in surveys. They've given feedback, which means they're far more likely to be excited and ready to buy. When the planner's going on sale,

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you can actually create the waitlist campaign. And by the way, you don't need to have a fancy landing page or email automation to have a wait list campaign. You can do it on a spreadsheet. As long as you're compliant with data protection laws. What's important. Here is the strategy that you are letting people know that something's coming before it happens. So they've got time to get excited.

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And when you open up your sales, you have a warm list of people who are excited and ready to buy. The last phase is your cart open period, your launch phase. And while it is common to see people focusing most of their efforts on this time and creating content for that period, which for reasons I've already shared is not going to get you the best sales.

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You do need to create quite specific content for your launch period. As a minimum, you'll need a sales page five to seven marketing emails you'll need onboarding or delivery emails, at least two to three of those you'll need promotional, social media posts at least six of those ideally, and you'll also need testimonials. And that really is your minimum. If you have my courageous don't content care,

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you'll know there's a whole host of other content that you can create, but that's really your minimum. And you need to make sure that you've got time to create that content. I do have a podcast on this five types of content you need to create to launch a digital product. And even if you're launching a physical products, to be honest, what I share on that episode is perfectly relevant.

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Now it's a good idea to get ahead with your launch content, but I wouldn't recommend creating all of your content ahead of your cart open week. It might feel smart and like you're saving time, but actually if you're not, isn't going to plan. You may need to change course. If sales aren't going, as you hope, it's no good sitting there and just say,

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okay, well I've already written my emails and I've scheduled them and I've scheduled all of my social media posts. I'm just going to have to let it go. Well, you can do that, but it will negatively impact on yourself. If it isn't going, as you hoped, you may need to create new content or adapt the content you've already created.

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If your messages aren't landing. I find actually that I often write a sequence of marketing emails, but I'm just not in the zone a few weeks before. So I often end up rewriting some of them because I get better ideas. And I get ideas from questions. People are asking maybe things that I hadn't expected them to ask or unexpected objections. So I do like to make sure that there is time available in my diary during that phase,

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so that if I do need to create new content or update my content or change it in some way I can do that. Finally, you need to think about your launch debrief and you really shouldn't skip this when you've launched a new product or service, take it from me, having launched dozens of times, you always feel exhausted. And all you generally want to do is to keep pour yourself a bit glass of wine or a beer in my case,

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and sit and watch Netflix for a few days. But it is important to schedule some time for a debrief. They can reflect on what went well and what didn't, and to allow you to make changes or improvements for next time. And this is really important. If your launch didn't go as expected and going north as expected doesn't mean bad. It just may mean that sales were different.

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The patterns were different than you expected. A helpful episode on this is the launch debrief episode I did for my courageous content planet giveaway. It's called my craziest launch ever. And I'll link to that one in the show notes. So I hope you found that useful. That is a overview of how to plan a product launch. And as I say, a service is a product.

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Everything that you're selling is a product after all. And I also hope it gives you an idea of the need to plan further ahead and get started with your launches much earlier than you think you need to get people warmed up, give people a chance to get excited, to get involved and know that your new product or service is coming, rather than just showing up on launch day and saying,

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Hey, want to buy my thing. You will have more impact, and you will typically see a significant increase in sales. If you really take the time to be strategic about it as it happens. If you're listening to this episode around the time it goes live, I have a webinar happening on Thursday, the 23rd of June. So that's 2022. If you're listening in the future and I'll be going into more detail about how to launch an online course or a membership.

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But like I say, everything you don't want is a product. So you will still get value. Even if you're watching a digital product isn't on your agenda at the moment. Another thing you might find of interest is that I have created a free resource to go alongside that webinar. And it is my 90 day product launch plan. So it goes into much more detail about what I've just shared here and actually takes you a week by week over a 90 day launch period.

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So if you'd like to grab that, then head to the show notes, which will be just underneath the player where you're listening to this podcast and sign up for the webinar or grab my 90 day product launch strategy as ever. I do love hearing from you. So if you found this episode useful, we've got any questions, then connect with me on Instagram,

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over at janmurrayuk.