Category Archives: Product launches

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch

The product launch:

How do those 3-words make you feel?

Does it strike fear into your heart? Increase your stress?

When you think of a product launch, which metrics do you consider? Probably sales, right? Conversions? Dollar signs?

And … there’s that stress again, right?

Let’s view the almighty product launch from a different angle, for a moment.

Aside from money, there are many benefits to doing a product launch when you’re a spiritual, conscious entrepreneur.

And when you view the product launch through a love-based lens, you’re far less likely to feel stressed and far more likely to take the pressure off and actually enjoy your launch.

And, as an awesome side benefit, you’ll still grow your business in a love-based way!

Check it out on my new Love-Based Business Blog:

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch: Why Launching a Product Can Be a BIG Win, Even If You Don’t Make Many Sales 

3 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When They Start to Sell Information Products

This series was inspired by the first time I dipped my toe in the info-product pool. You can read my story on my blog: http://www.michelepw.com/blog

Last week I talked about the mistakes entrepreneurs make when they create an info-product. (You can check it out here.) This week I’m covering the mistakes they make when they try and sell it.

Ready to get started? Here we go:

1. Your expectations are out of whack with reality. I once had a self development consultant tell me he wanted to sell a million dollars of his $497 product in one year. So I ran the numbers for him on what he would have to do to get that. He got very, very quiet.

Look, I’m all about thinking big. I’ve thought big my entire life. But if you want to do more than simply think big and actually accomplish big things, you need to understand what it takes to get there.

Let me give you a quick example. Let’s say you want to sell one information product a day off your web site. If you have a 1% conversion rate on your sales letter (and that’s not a walk in the park to do, but we’ll start there because the math is easy) that means one out of every 100 people are going to buy your product. To sell one a day, means you need 100 people looking at your sales letter a day. (Note, I don’t mean 100 people looking at your web site a day, I mean 100 people looking at that sales letter a day.) That means you need to get 3,000 visitors to that page a month. And if you’re not getting 3,000 visitors a month, you probably won’t sell an information product a day.

So let’s say you’re this entrepreneur. You just finished your product, you wrote the sales letter and stuck it up on your site and are now sitting back and waiting for the sales to pour in. And instead of getting one sale a day, you’re lucky to get a sale a month. Or every 6 months.

And when this happens, you’re probably feeling very frustrated and discouraged. But you shouldn’t be. Because if you understood how the numbers worked, you would know what was realistic and you would ALSO know what you needed to do in order to sell one a day. (Note, for more information about this, check out my “Why Isn’t My Web Site Making Me Any Money?” product — http://www.michelepw.com/10easysteps)

The problem I’ve found is entrepreneurs create their first info product sure this is their ticket to easy wealth. Then, when the days, weeks and months go by and it doesn’t sell, they get frustrated and give up. And giving up is the REAL problem. Not the lack of sales. (Lack of sales CAN be fixed.)

2. You don’t spent the time and energy selling it as you did creating the product. Sending a couple emails to your list is NOT putting a lot of time and energy into selling your product. Or, worse yet, throwing up a sales page and expecting people to flock to it and buy is also not putting enough time and energy into selling it.

Products are great, don’t get me wrong. And while they can be passive income, what they mostly are is leveraged income. Making sales every day from your site is NOT magic. Nor is it an accident. It’s a combination of doing the right marketing tasks to drive warm visitors to your site, collecting their contact information, and starting a relationship with them with an ezine or some other communications. It’s about doing visibility activities. It’s about doing product launches to up your visibility and take your marketing to another level.

When you do all these things, you find your overall sales go up. And when you promote a product specifically, sales spike further.

3. You give up. I can’t tell you how many entrepreneurs I run into who have unrealistic expectations about selling their product, and then do little to no promoting or marketing of their product, and then give up because they don’t sell any. They incorrectly assume there’s a problem with their business, their clients, the product, themselves, etc., when it’s a problem with their marketing.

Before you decide there’s something more drastically wrong, make sure you understand the numbers and the marketing. Only then can you make a determination if there’s a deeper problem then simply bad marketing.

Ask PW — “What is the perfect amount of time to do a good product launch?”

This question comes to me from Jenn Tasnim Savage on Facebook: “What would you say is the perfect amount of time to do a good launch? I’m working on my first product and would love to hear what kind of time frame I am looking at for the best results.”

This is a fantastic question and the answer is it depends. The “depends” is what you’ve planned for what I call the “buzz” section of your launch or the part where you generate excitement by releasing content and/or entertainment.

If you are only doing one buzz piece (a.k.a. preview call or webinar) 1-2 weeks to promote it will work. If you’re combing a couple (a.k.a. preview call plus a couple content videos) you probably want to add some time — maybe 2-3 weeks total.

Now, for what I call the follow up section of your launch — which is the time between when you unveil the sales letter (also known as “opening the cart”) and the time when you either stop accepting orders altogether (also known as “closing the cart”) or simply just stop promoting — I like that time period to be 2-3 weeks. You want enough time to promote the product or program enough to give everyone ample opportunity to buy without it dragging on too long and having “launch fatigue” set in.

In addition, you want the follow up to be long enough that in case something goes wrong, you have time to right the ship and make more sales. If you make the follow up too short and something goes sideways, you have no time to fix it and you’ll just have to live with whatever the results are.

So what are your thoughts about timing? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

Ask PW — “How do you get the word out about a product launch to as many people as possible?”

This question came from the survey I’m currently doing — asking people for their biggest questions about product launches.

I’m going to give you this answer in two parts. First off, I want you to take a good hard look at your offerings — both your free “taste” (like a preview call, webinar or video content series) and your actual paid product. Is it something your ideal client REALLY wants? Is it also interesting or entertaining to them? Does it give them a sense of community and connection?

You see, I can give you a laundry list (which I will in a moment) about how to get the word out, but if you don’t have a strong offer — something that creates its own energy and excitement, it’s going to be that much more difficult to create a buzz around it.

So you have to start with your offer. If your offer is weak, it really doesn’t matter what else you do or don’t do. If your offer is strong, that can go a long way to pulling your launch forward.

(And if you need help crafting that offer, make sure you take a look at my new Unlaunch Bootcamp that I’m co-hosting with Andrea J. Lee. We’ve designed this course to give you plenty of coaching and hot seat time so you get the help you need to launch your product or program — http://www.TheUnlaunch.com)

Now, once you have your offer, you need to get the word out. Here are a few places to start:

1. Your own list (including any forums or networking groups you’re in). You want to start with people you know — if they like what you’re doing they’ll also pass it on. Make sure you tell EVERYONE you know (but don’t be obnoxious about it — make sure you’re doing it in an appropriate manner)

2. Joint venture partners and affiliates

3. Social networking platforms

4. Blog articles (your own blog and others)

5. Press releases

6. Articles

7. Videos

8. Online listings (these are both free and paid and include places like event calendars, teleseminar listings, Craigslist, etc.)

9. Paid ads (there is nothing wrong with paid ads — it can be a really good place to start if your list and reach is small)

(If you have any questions about any of these, again this is something we cover in detail in The Unlaunch — including a module focused exclusively on JVs, affiliates and social networking.)

If you want to here more answers to your product launch questions, join me on Wednesday, Feb 22, at 2 pm Pacific/5 pm Eastern where Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee are hosting a special Q&A call all about product launches. Here’s the link to reserve your spot (plus you can ask your question if you’d like): http://www.MichelePW.com/fiber

Ask PW — “How big a list do I need for a product launch to be worthwhile?”

This question came from the survey I’m currently doing — asking people for their biggest questions about product launches.

And the answer is, it depends on what your ultimate goal is for you launch. You see, there’s a lot more to a launch than a big payday at the end. You can also use launches to grow your list, boost your visibility, build your credibility, add momentum to your business and marketing and sell more of your other products and services.

Even if you’re only doing a launch to sell a specific product or program, you also need to define what’s worthwhile. Is selling 50 products worthwhile? A 100? 200? Or 20? That answer is also going to determine how big your list needs to be.

But size is only one factor in the equation — an even more important one is how RESPONSIVE is your list. If you have a highly responsive list, it’s possible you could sell 50 products with only 1000 folks. (I’ve known people who have so yes it really is possible IF you take care of your list.) But if your list isn’t responsive, you may need 10,000 or more to sell 50. (Creating a responsive list means you must take care of your list as well as sell to your list, so doing a product launch may be a great way to start that process.)

And the final question you need to ask yourself is why a launch? Are you trying to make money right now? If you are, there may be other faster and easier ways to get money in the door than doing a launch. Or are you trying to get your message out there in a bigger way? If that’s the case, and your list is small, you may want to look at a launch but a variation of one that is designed to increase your visibility and your list. Or is there another reason?

I really want to open your mind to using product launches in ways other than simply to sell your product or program. Product launches can be a very powerful tool in your marketing toolbox, IF you know how to use them correctly and also know which launch is right for your specific goals and situation.

If you want to here more answers to your product launch questions, join me on Wednesday, Feb 22, at 2 pm Pacific/5 pm Eastern where Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee are hosting a special Q&A call all about product launches. Here’s the link to reserve your spot (plus you can ask your question if you’d like): http://www.MichelePW.com/fiber

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Do a Product Launch That Have Nothing To Do With Selling That Product

When most entrepreneurs decide to launch a product, they’re mostly thinking about how many products they’re going to sell or how much money they’ll make during the launch.

Now while that’s a great reason to have a product launch, it’s actually not the only reason. In fact, I may go as far to say it’s not even the most important reason. Let’s take a moment and go through the top 5 reasons to have a launch that have nothing to do with selling that particular product.

1. You create visibility for yourself. Even a small product launch will create visibility and get people talking about you. After all, the point of a product launch is to create a buzz and get some of your free content to go viral. The sheer act of doing that builds name and brand recognition, which is key to growing a business.

2. You build your credibility. If your product launches include releasing free content (i.e. videos, special reports) or hosting a free call or webinar, how you present that information can go a long ways towards building your credibility. If you giveaway great content and people can experience for themselves how knowledgeable you are, your credibility will shoot through the roof.

3. You build your list. Offering free content or a free call or webinar is a great way to build your list. Even if you have a small list there are ways to structure your product launch to maximize your list building. (Note — the end result may not be tons of sales but rather a big boost in your credibility and visibility not to mention more names on your list.)

4. You build momentum in your marketing and your business. Product launches take an enormous amount of energy to get off the ground. That energy has to go somewhere (remember the laws of physics — energy is neither created or destroyed, just transformed) and if done right it’s transformed into a huge momentum boost for your business. You’ll likely find marketing your business much easier after a launch — not just because your personal momentum is going but because your prospects are still “talking” about you and are more open to receiving your message.

5. You sell your other products and services. Remember all that visibility and credibility you created with your launch? Well, you likely got the attention of people who may not be interested in the specific product you’re launching but they ARE interested in YOU. Don’t be surprised if sales of your other products and services jump (this typically happens both during and after the launch).

Now, here’s the best part. If you do a product launch for reasons OTHER than a big payday at the end of the day, think about how good it will feel when you DO sell a bunch of products? One of the biggest reasons why product launches are so stressful and so discouraging is entrepreneurs put this big number out there on how many they want to sell and when they don’t hit that number, they’re depressed — EVEN though it may really have been a big success in other ways. So, if you flip it, you can relax during the launch, enjoy it more and be excited and grateful for whatever sales you make.

Food for thought.

Ask PW — What’s Your Question About Product Launches?

In today’s “Ask PW” column, I want to ask YOU a question. How I can best help you succeed with product or program launches?

Of all the various marketing tools out there, probably the one that is the most frustrating, heartbreaking and misunderstood is product launches.

There’s nothing that will bring an entrepreneur to their knees faster than a failed launch. And even if a launch isn’t a failure, entrepreneurs still struggle with feelings of anxiety or just plain “ick” over the whole launch process.

That’s why Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee and I have teamed up — we want to help demystify launches for you, and in order to do that, we need you to take just 2 minutes and answer this question:

What is your biggest question about launching a product or program?

Click here to let me know your question: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y5FNYQZ

 

(Or you can post in the comments below.)

And, if you have any other questions about marketing or copywriting, make sure you post them here or email me at Ask@MichelePW.com and I’ll be sure to answer in a future column.

Ask PW — I want to launch a product but I don’t know where to start

This is a great question. And here’s where I want you to start — by assessing your current situation.

Even before you put together a plan, you need to do this. Because if you don’t have a good handle on your current situation, you’re not going to be able to put together a plan that emphasizes your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses.

So here are some things you should look at:

  • How big is your email list? (Also known as your email database)
  • How responsive is your email list? (In other words, how many people buy/sign up for a teleclass/etc. when you send out an email asking them to?)
  • How many affiliates/JV partners/associates/etc. do you know who would be happy to help promote you?
  • How many friends/followers do you have on social networking sites?
  • What products/programs do you currently have and could launch or relaunch?
  • Do you have any products/programs in the works?

Now, the important thing to keep in mind when you’re answering these questions is there is NO wrong answer. I don’t want anyone to feel bad no matter where you’re at. We all had to start somewhere. And here’s the best part — no matter where you’re at right now, there IS a launch plan that can help you jump start your business!

If you want more information on how to create and execute a successful product launch, join me for my free training with Wealthy Thought Leader Andrea J. Lee called “‘My “Thing” Launched But Nobody Bought!’ 3 Spoonfuls of Fiber For Your Constipated Sales Cycle” on February 2 at 3pm Pacific/6pm Eastern

Here’s the link to reserve your spot: http://www.MichelePW.com/fiber

 

3 Steps to Launching Your Next Product or Program the Conscious Entrepreneur Way

You just finished creating your first product or program. Congratulations!

Now comes the next step — selling it. And the best way to do that is to have a product or program launch.

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Send out some emails, get a sales letter up, maybe do a free preview call. Nothing to it.

Well…

Unfortunately this is an area where I see conscious/heart-centered entrepreneurs sabotage themselves all the time. Remember, conscious entrepreneurs often struggle with the idea of making a lot of money. (You can read more about this in my special report “Why EVERYTHING You’ve Been Taught About Marketing on the Internet Will NOT Work for You and What You Can Do To Turn it Around.”) Well, a product launch can certainly bring in a great deal of money in a short amount of time, which makes it ripe for sabotaging.

Here’s where I typically see conscious entrepreneurs get in their own way when launching a product or program. They race through it as fast as they possibly can.

And it’s understandable. After all, it’s agonizing waiting to launch your product. You want to be making money NOW, not waiting for weeks or months before you actually see any income. Plus you want to get it into the hands of your ideal clients, they NEED what you’re selling. So who has time to sit around waiting to promote? Just get a sales letter up and start selling it, right?

Okay here’s the thing. There’s a reason why product launches work and there’s a reason why you reach more people (and make more money) if you control yourself and do it right.

What’s that reason? Urgency.

You see, probably the biggest reason why your ideal clients decide not to buy is lack of urgency. They may like the product, they may know they need it, they may like YOU. And I bet they even INTEND to buy — just not right now. Right now they have a million other things going on and a bunch of other things they’re spending money on but in a few months or a year they will have the time or money to “finally” invest.

Well, we all know how that works out.

The more time and energy you spend building up buzz for your product, the more you’ll start creating that urgency. And the more you’ve built that urgency into your ideal clients’ minds, the more likely they’ll buy (and USE) your product, thus getting the results they want.

It’s a win-win. You win because you get your product into the world while being paid handsomely for it, and your ideal clients win because they get the help they need to solve their problem.

So how much time should you allow for a product launch? Well it depends on the launch. There are a variety of launch systems out there, and depending on what you want to accomplish (and who your ideal clients are) dictates your launch. But here are some guidelines to get you started:

If you’re doing a straight teleclass launch (i.e. a preview call that sells the product or program) I would allow a minimum of a 2 weeks before the preview call. (Note, if you want to get affiliates involved you’ll need to allow a lot more time to plan. The more time you give your affiliates to put in their promotional calendars, the more likely you’ll get them to actually promote.)

If you’re doing more of a “release a special report and/or video” which teases the product by providing information, then you’ll need 4-6 weeks. Those take a little longer to get the viral aspect going. Because a preview call has a “date” when the call is, there’s built-in urgency, but a special report or video doesn’t necessarily have that.

If you want to use surveys or a contest, you might be able to do it in a couple of weeks but it would help if you had a little longer (2 weeks to do the survey then 2 weeks to do something with the results of the survey).

Remember these are minimum times AND these are how much time to actually PROMOTE. No, you don’t have 2 weeks to write a squeeze page, once the squeeze page if up, you need at least 2 weeks to promote. If you wanted to add a couple of weeks to do some other promotions, that’s never a bad idea. (Remember, the more you promote the more urgency you build and the more your ideal clients will want to buy.)

Ask PW — “How do you launch a product with no list?”

“I am hoping to do a product launch (my first) in November but this is my first and it is the very start of my business. As such I have no list! I would LOVE some guidelines on doing a launch at the very start or a business. How do I get out there without a list (which I do obviously hope to build) and without any momentum?”

Warmly,

Lisa

Hi Lisa — this is a GREAT question and I’m glad you sent it to me.

First off, what I would do is focus the launch around building your list rather than selling a product. It’s very tough to do both when you’re first starting out and have no list (it gets easier to do both once you have a list — once of those catch-22s). So what that means is putting a lot of effort into getting people to sign up for your free teleclass or special report (free calls or webinars work very well to get people off of social networking and onto your list) and don’t worry as much about what people end up buying at the end of day. The point right now is to grow your list.

For that free call or special report, you could either have a low-cost upsell (a product less than $100) or you could simply offer a chance to talk to you one-on-one for a chance for you to sell your services.

Now, you’re probably not going to grow your list that much this first time out so you’re probably going to want to rinse-and-repeat every month or every other month. Each time you do it you’ll grow your list plus you’ll increase your chances of other people hearing your calls and wanting to interview you, which expands your visibility and reach.

So do you have any tips for launching a product with no list? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.

How do I launch a product and/or create a buzz without annoying people?

This is a great question. And the answer is you can’t. BUT there are steps you can take to minimize annoying people.

First, let me explain why it’s impossible to create a buzz/launch a product without annoying some people. If you want people to buy from you, you need to ask for the sale. And if they don’t want to buy from you, eventually they will get annoyed with you asking for the sale. (Buying is an emotional process, so the only way you’re going to get people interested in buying in the first place is if you push a few emotional buttons.)

But if you don’t ask for the sale (and you need to do it more frequently now because people are hanging on to their money tighter) you won’t get as many sales. So you have to decide what your threshold is in terms of annoying people or making sales.

Now, there ARE steps you can take to keep the annoyance to a minimum. If you provide high quality information during your launch and if you’re honest with people when you contact them (in other words, no more “my server crashed so if you couldn’t get in, that’s why and you should try now” unless your server really DID crash.) Give them good, honest reasons for contacting them and it won’t be nearly as annoying to them.

If you more information on how to create and execute a successful product launch, join me for my free preview call – “3 Simple Secrets To Launching Your Next Product or Program and Hearing Ka-Ching in Your Business” at Noon Pacific on Feb 17. Here’s the link so you can sign up: www.michelepw.com/launch/