How To Plan Your Pre-Launch Strategy

how to plan your prelaunch strategy

After having three very unsuccessful launches last year I decided to go all in with my latest program Youtube Bootcamp and do everything I could to make it a success. I actually tried to release a Youtube group coaching program last year and only had 1 person sign up!

So what did I do differently to get that number from 1 to 22?  Just 3 short of my goal of 25!

Let me break it down for you and show you how to launch your online course with my best tips for successfully launching your first digital product or course!

 

Pre-Pre-Launch

Yes I have a pre-pre-launch phase!  This phase is where I figured out my program, what would be included (content, PDFs and training videos).  I used the Post It method!  

Content Creation:

The Post It method looks a little like this:

organizing an online course

 

Every time I thought of an important topic I needed to cover in the program I wrote it on a Post It.  I then grouped all similar topics together so I could start breaking the content up into sections resulting into what would be covered each week.  

Next I wrote down on a different color Post It what worksheets and checklists I needed to create to support the content I was sharing.  

Once I knew the content I wanted to create and the PDFs I needed to create, I got to work writing the content.  There are two schools of thought when it comes to creating a course or a program… have the content done before you launch or create the content after you launch and know there is a need for what you are creating.

I came up with the content then invited 5 beta testers to run through the program with me.  This served two purposes for me:

  1. Get feedback on my content: what I needed to have more of and less of

  2. Have testimonials when I go live!

 

Scheduling everything:

During this phase I wrote down everything I needed to do through the Pre-Launch phase and the Launch phase, then started working backwards on a calendar.  I picked the day my program would go live to the masses.  I then worked backwards a few days on when I would do an Early Bird cart open.  Worked backward from there to create a challenge that would lead into the Early Bird cart open.  

Some of the big drop dead dates I kept in mind were:

  • Publishing a new lead magnet specifically for the program

  • Creating content consistently on my Youtube channel leading into my program

  • Creating the email sequences for my pre-launch and launch (more on this later!)

  • Sales page copy and video

  • Creating bonuses for different parts of the launch

  • Getting testimonials from my beta testers

  • Coming up with a challenge and everything involved with a challenge

  • Create a masterclass that would convert people to buy my program

  • Scheduling out joint webinars, live trainings, podcast features and guest blogging features

  • Reaching out to business buddies to see if they would help promote my “stuff” (creating all their easy to share social media files)

  • Creating a giveaway

  • Coming up with Facebook Ad strategies

 

Needless to say lots went on behind the scenes and that is also my BIGGEST advice!  Do AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE before you launch!  

Now some of this stuff wasn’t “perfect” before I pushed it out but if you wait until something is perfect you will never push it live!  So even though I wanted a better video on my opt in and I wanted a thank you video for those who signed up for my challenge… I didn’t get everything done!

 

Hiring Help:

I’m pretty much a one woman show here.  I do have a lot of great ladies who support me and helped me share my challenges, giveaways and programs but they all do it out of the kindness of their hearts.  And I thank everyone who was kind enough to share my content during this phase.  Plus I love sharing their content as well but it didn’t cost me money.

But I did decide to break down and hire my first two people and make the biggest investment in my business during this launch.

First I hired an amazing copywriting, Ashlyn Carter, to do my sales page, launch sequence email, social media content and Facebook ads content.  She also allowed me to send her my masterclass pitch to help me make it the best it could be.  And it was the absolute best experience and worth every penny I spent.

The reason for the investment was because I hate writing.  I’m the video girl and there is a reason for that.  Writing is not my thang, especially sales and launch writing, BLAH!  So I decided this was where I needed to invest.  I could do everything else if I just got that off my plate.

Then last minute I hired someone to manage my Facebook ads.  I don’t really know what I’m doing with Facebook ads and I don’t have the time to constantly be checking on them and tweaking them.  So last minute I decided to hire Allie Bjerk to manage my ads.

All my ads were for my free master class which lead into the pitch and my email launch sequence.  And we hit both cold and warm audiences since it was a free master class.  The total amount I spent on ads were $500 and Allie managed the budget for me.

 

Pre-Launch

Boy did I do quite a bit for pre-launch.  But I made it work and shifted and added as I saw some things working and others not.

Joint Venture Masterclasses and Youtube Masterclasses:

Leading up to my launch I had a joint venue master class every month.  I had one with Holly Meyer, Meghan Maydel, Katie Williamsen and Abby Herman.  I also started doing live master classes on my Youtube channel as well.

Why Youtube over Facebook?  My primary social media channel is Youtube and I want to grow my Youtube channel.  I also like Youtube because if you optimize your videos properly you can get your videos to the top of search results while you are live… introducing new people to you and your content!

How I converted these new viewers to my email list was I provided an easy worksheet for each masterclass and included the link to download in my description box of the video.  Throughout the video I would remind people there was a free download if they were interested, getting them on my list.  

Remember, Facebook as NO search feature.  So whether you are live on your Business Page or Group Page… they are the only people who are going to see it… no one new will be able to find it!

 

Giveaway

I decided to host a giveaway to get people excited, grow my list and social media channels.  And the giveaway was amazing!  Not only did I double to my list but I was able to double my Instagram following and Youtube subscribers!

I used a program called Gleam.  It’s not like KingSumo where you need a Wordpress site to make it work.  It was super easy to setup, easy to integrate with my ConvertKit and I just paid for the month I ran my giveaway.

 

5-day Challenge

I wanted to create a challenge that worked as a precursor to my program.  I wanted the challenge takers to have actionable steps that got them excited for their Youtube channel.  If I could show them it wasn’t as hard as they thought to get started on Youtube, then it would be easier to pitch them my Youtube Program.

So I had 5 days of short challenges.  Each day I sent an email with a video tutorial and worksheet or checklist to help get that challenge done.  I also went live on my Youtube channel to share additional ways to succeed in that day's challenge.  This allowed even more challenge sign ups by reaching those on Youtube.

The last day of the challenge I did host the live video in my Facebook group and pitch my program at the end of the live training and opened the cart to Early Bird Pricing  And I’m going to be honest, only 2 people signed up that day!

Those launch emails I got Ashlyn to write for me, did all the heavy lifting in the launch period!

So since this post is already long enough I’m go to share with you everything I did in the launch phase next week!

I incorporated A LOT of Facebook lives, extra bonuses, bonus challenge days and a special behind the scenes feature for those that had clicked on the sales page but hadn’t bought!

 

More on that to come next week!