This article is part of my unofficial launch smackdown series, a series of detailed articles + content leading up to Fearless Launching, which officially starts enrollment on April 4th. If you’re new here, subscribe for updates and weekly tips on how to create + launch your best (most important) ideas, at the bottom of this post!
First – let me preface this entire post with the following disclaimer:
→ I am a perpetual optimist.
→ I choose to see good in everyone.
→ I give people many chances.
→ I pride myself on being as gracious as I can (even sometimes at my own expense).
So – it hurts me just a little to write this post to you today – because I generally like to come from a place of that positivity.
But it’s time to get down to it – and share some information that will change how you launch.
Sound good? Ok then. Hold on tight.
The list of recurring questions I receive from people about launching is a long one….here are just a few:“What is the best time of year to launch? Is NOW a good time launch?”
“What membership plugin should I use?”
“Do I need to make videos?”
“Do you know how to make paypal link up to mailchimp?”
“How far in advance should I start planning my launch?”
“Do I need to hire a copywriter, web designer, project manager?”
“Should I use twitter? Should I use Facebook? Should I try ads?”
Funny thing, this always leads me to a list of the mistakes people make when they are planning their first launches… like worrying about what time of year is the best to launch…
There is no shame in making mistakes. I believe in Beginner’s Mind, Beginner’s mistakes, and truly embracing mistakes as part of the learning process. I know when I managed my very first launch – Rich, Happy & Hot B-School (yes… this was my first launch)… I didn’t even know how many mistakes I was making…(hoping not too many!)
Now, I don’t want you to go through your first launch questioning every step, wondering if you’re doing it right… or getting stuck in all the usual spots – like how do I set up an optin page? Am I sending too many emails? Is this the right time for my launch?
So, today I’m going to share some of those newbie mistakes you might be making that aren’t the obvious mistakes… Once you can identify them – you’ll be able to avoid them completely.
Here are the 9 newbie mistakes you may be making while you launch…
1. You are DIY to a fault.
You listen to no one. You ignore all offers for help, often get sick, don’t take advice, think you know everything, and it takes forever to get things done.
This doesn’t mean you need to hire the most amazing virtual team ever.
It just means you have to be able to evaluate what you do need, who to listen to, and hand off work even if you know how to do it and thank you are the only one who can possibly do it to your standards.
2. You listen to too many people.
Stop complaining, stop comparing, stop worrying. These negative no-nos are leading you to get confirmation from everyone and their brother that you are on the right path.
Your pace doesn’t have to be the same, your communication doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be the same – you are unique, everything you do should hammer home this point and differentiate you.
Stop surveying your entire support team for the right way to handle every single minutae of your launch, almost like you’re taking a vote.
You are playing a losing game with yourself.
Note: I don’t mean you can’t get advice from your group on how things look and a little bit of tough love now and then, but what’s important is you don’t rely on others to the point where you can’t make a decision on your own.
3. You aren’t reaching new audiences.
Outreach is one of those things that is not – do once and you are set. In between launches you must be guest posting, looking for press opportunities, getting interviewed or even just quoted on other people’s sites.
Your outreach is NOT doing 1 guest post OR 1 interview… and then hoping people find out about you and what you are launching.
Make your goal to be doing at least 1 guest post per month and then look for a few additional opportunities to reach other people’s audiences.
The real reason for all this outreach? You’ll tap out your own audience very quickly if you don’t. It’s great to get to know them – really engage, feel like you’ve built a community or tribe that means something, but it’s important to be widening your reach all the time.
4. You make launch wishes instead of launch goals.
Your launch goals feel more like launch “wishes” and are out of whack with reality – and when they don’t come true or appear as you’ve planned them out – you get crushed… it’s hard to rebound, revise, and test again and again if you are crushed each and every time you put something out into the world.
So here’s the hitch on this one. I want to reach high, do things before you’re ready, exceed your expectations, but I also want you to approach your business, your next launch, all of your activities with a clear eye on reality.
Your first launch is probably going to be more about building your list, growing your tribe, increasing your visibility in your industry. Don’t think you’re going to hit huge revenue numbers out of the gate. That said – IT IS POSSIBLE!
Making clear launch goals is not about coming up with the sexiest picture of success. It’s about being real with where you are right now and what you hope to achieve based on your current actions.
5. You use too many tools.
Your whole set up is convoluted and complex. Keep it simple. Tight. Inexpensive if posssible. If you don’t need it – be honest – and lose it. Check out my process of weeding out the unnecessary tools for my online business.
Also – that goes for switching out your current working tools.
No matter who’s telling you to lose what’s been working, stick with what you’ve got and don’t trash something because one person says to not use it.
A good example is switching around different webinar platforms to do a preview call or presentation. Use what you’ve been using and things will run a whole lot smoother. Experiment in between launches – but not DURING the launch.
6. You don’t take responsibility or get stuck when you do!
You don’t like to admit when it’s your fault and when you do – you can’t move forward. No blame. Take action. Don’t stay in blame mode.
This person left me, that person didn’t do what they were supposed to.
Or – I guess I messed up and now it’s over.
This blame game – is stopping you in your tracks.
Get out of it and loosen your grip on the whole process of launching. It’s all a test.
Some things will work… other things won’t. Deal with it. I know it may feel cliche, but every single thing you go through is a lesson.
Whatever happens during a launch – your reaction to the situation that gets you to the next launch.
My favorite reaction to a promotion not working out is Laura Roeder - who bounces very easily, tests often and instead of waiting for success, makes it inevitable. She might say, “Well, I guess THAT didn’t work!” We laugh and then move on to the next test.
It’s all about the rebound.
7. You overcomplicate every aspect of your launch.
You make the process for yourself, creating the product, reaching new people, doing the webstuff, promotion and every other part of the launch DIFFICULT and OVERCOMPLICATED.
From how you plan to do the affiliate program down to how you want to deliver your program to the tools you use — you are always drawn to the shiniest, newest, coolest strategy or tool that’s going to make you and your business a game changer. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.
When the process is complicated for you – think about how that translates to your customers and their experience. There’s a good chance you’re causing confusion for your soon to be customers if you:
-don’t make it easy to find more information about the program
-don’t make it easy to BUY the program
-make a lengthy 2 or 3 step sign up for the program or the interest list
-use a “new” but hard to use plugin to manage affiliates
New tools. Too many pieces. Too many steps. None of those qualities equal better or higher quality. They just mean more headaches for you. More reasons for you to throw in the towel early. Stop it.
8. You change your branding midstream.
Website changes equal detours especially when they happen close to or during your launch.
Marie Forleo used her very basic Thesis Theme site with a simple design well into building her 7 figure business. If it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me!
Corbett Barr changed the branding and design of Think Traffic well in advance of his next launch. In fact, he made the change a launch in itself.
Take a good look in the mirror and ask – do you need a new font, header, logo, color scheme, or whateverrr?
9. You think being a perfectionist is a good thing.
Perfectionism is not high standards. It’s being unwilling to let go and say – hey this is good and what’s important is me delivering this and launching this thing. CBB (Could be better), but it’s pretty darn great.
I’m a huge fan of the 70% rule – get it to 70% and don’t hold back.
Your 70% is someone else’s 100%.
I know there are some of you who will immediately snort at this, but let me ask you this if you snorted, rolled your eyes or said, well, I have higher standards:
Did you say you were going to launch something in the last 6 months? And did you actually launch? And if you didn’t is it because something wasn’t quite perfect? You know and I know who you are.
So, it’s time to decide if you’re going to continue making these mistakes? Maybe you didn’t even realize they could be holding you back from launching. I know I didn’t at first – and I’ve made a few of these myself!
Every single person is bound to make one of the above mistakes at some point. And it’s okay..
The cure for all launch mistakes
The remedy is a simple one: Action.
No more excuses, research, complaining…whatever “mistake” you’re making…
If you’re ready to just start doing, here’s an easy way to avoid these mistakes all together.
Take action. You will get there.
Now that I’ve shared some of the most common, sneaky, hidden mistakes people make when trying to launch and why launches fail, you’ve got ONE goal and action to take:
Get yourself a QUICK win.
Quick wins ensure you believe you can get the results you’re after. I know all too well that when you struggle to reach a goal too long with new changes or reward, you lose initiative. Often – you lose the will to make it happen.
I don’t want to see that!
So – what kind of quick win can you get in the next week?
Well, the number one struggle people have during their launches is getting enough new people seeing your offer.
That’s why #3 Outreach is so important!
When you don’t have enough eyes, you don’t gather enough data to know if your offer is good in the first place. You need eyes on your offer.
But how do you get those new eyes?
First, brainstorm a short list of people who cater to a similar audience that you do – now this doesn’t have to be the exact same type of business… almost think of yourself as Nordstrom’s shoe department. Likely the same people also shop in other departments in the store. So – who are they?
Once you have that list – you’ll decide on how you’re going to reach that audience.
If you are a blogger, you might guest post for the site or invite the owners to be affiliates.
Some other things you might consider, facebook ads targeting people who like these audiences, approach crossover businesses to be affiliates/partners for your launch, or suggest doing a trade of reviews for something they offer too, or perhaps do a joint webinar/promotion.
So – here’s your homework – because I really want to make sure you follow through with this. I want you to leave a comment on this post with the following info:
#1 Share your top 5 on the brainstorm of potential “partners”.
#2 Explain how you’d partner with them – guest post, ads, joint webinar?
And FINALLY – share why these top 5 would make good partners for your launch.
Hint: just because someone loves what you do does not mean they are good partners. I’ll share a story on that later in this blog series for you.
If you know someone who’s been making excuses, wishing on a star for success, but has the ability to get there with a little push, share this post with them.
photo credit: michael.boston