So you have created a killer program or course and it is now time to get people to buy it. Launching a program or course into any market comes with its risks. In-fact, Harvard Business School details that about 80% of product launches fail, or don’t go as well as the creators planned. The reason for failure isn’t the product itself, but the lack of planning and strategy to get your product our into your market. In order to make sure that you don’t fall into this category, you need to make sure that you have a defined, strategic and useful launching strategy.
The launch of a service is as Important as the service itself.
A successful launch is what will get clients into your program or course!
What is a launching strategy?
Many people think of a launch as a single event. This is because it is the part that your audience or clients will see. You may have an event as a part of your program launch, but a launch is a process.
A Launching strategy is a series of strategic steps that you take to get your course or program into your market. A successful launch strategy will convert your target market or audience into clients (buying your program).
The reason behind your launch strategy is to build awareness and momentum behind the program our course that you are launching and to help you stand out amongst your competitors.
There is no 1 size fits all launch strategy, but there are some fundamental measures that every businessperson needs to take to ensure the best chances of a successful launch. I will share 5 of them now.
- REMEMBER: Your Course or Product is a part of my business.
If you are launching a program or course that you expect to monetise from, understand that this is a business and it must be treated as such.
You need to Keep a grip on, and understand your dials, numbers, strategies, to make sure that you are heading in the right direction.
It is important that you keep track of the time and money spent on your launch strategy so that you can make strategic decisions in the future. Analyse what works and what doesn’t work well. Figure out what you will change. Look to similar programs or courses that are SUCCESSFUL and use the same strategies.
Commit time to your launch process. Commit thought to your launch process. This will help you to work smarter and not harder.
Your goal is to provide value to people, it is also to make a profit. You may need to up-skill or do some learning around finances, marketing, business research, and launch processes to make sure you are successful. You can employ or find a mastermind (coaches, mentors, advisors) group to help advice you on the pieces that you don’t understand.
Launching a program or course is a strategic move for the success of your business. If you have a grip on all of the mechanisms, you can take what works for next time and do a post-mortem on what doesn’t.
- Choose the Right Market or Audience
You need to define and target the right market or audience. This makes sure that your marketing efforts pay off and that people will actually purchase your program or course.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is trying to target everyone and as a result, they sell to no one. If you are trying to talk to everyone, you message is wishy-washy. Not everyone will want your program and not everyone will need it.
As entrepreneurs we can get caught up in the program rather than really considering who needs it and why they need it; and the transformation or value that any particular target market or audience will get from your program or course.
You must get laser clear on your Niche or target audience. Create an avatar of your perfect client. This will help you get your message clear and precise. You can hit them at all the right pain and excitement points.
Also work out the kind of people that you DON’T want to work with. Many of my clients ended up creating a following, audience, clientele of people that they realised later that they didn’t want to work with and had to start the launch in a new market.
- Who needs my course / program?
- What problem does my course / program solve?
- Why is my product or course of benefit to this audience / market?
- Can this audience afford my course / program?
- What do they care about?
- Is it needed and is it ‘sellable‘?
Programs and Courses are often created out of a personal frustration or need experienced by the creator. And as the creator, we can get caught up in
Often referred to as market research, so many businesses forget to get out and talk to their target audience. There are very simple yet vital questions that need to be asked to ensure that people will buy your program or course.
- Does it solve a problem for your target audience?
- Is your target audience willing to pay you to solve their problem?
For example, if you are wanting to sell a Money management Program and to struggling single parents; are they going to be able to pay for your service? If you are wanting to sell a Money management Program to Accountants, do they need your service?
You can find out if and where your program, or course is needed and ‘sellable’ through;
- Asking questions on social media
- Focus groups
- Direct contact
- Give Your Audience Value and Show Up Everywhere
A launch is designed to bring in new clients and keep previous clients ‘warm’. You need people to like you, to trust you. You are building a relationship with them. People are more likely to buy from someone who they feel they know, share the same values and give them value.
Think of this time as the priming period. It is the pre-dating conversations. The conversations that you have with people to convince them that you are worthy and trustworthy enough to meet with for a first date (your course or program).
To do this, be seen where you audience hangs out. You need to know and research the behaviours and time spent on different media and in different places by your audience.
Utilise the social media platforms that they use, get onto podcasts in your niche, show up in the places they hang out or go to get value.
Run webinars or information nights. Give people value and let them know you have a course or program coming up. Create a waiting list for people who want to join.
Key pointer: When you create a waiting list, take contact details, create a facebook group or an email list so you can continue to give them value and build excitement for the day you do launch. If you don’t stay in contact, the chances that they will go cold and choose not to join increase. But don’t overload them to the point where you become a nuisance. No more than one email or post a day.
- Stand out from the crowd and get a competitive edge.
Unless you are launching a completely original program or course that solves a problem that no one else is solving, you need to show your audience that your program is better than all of the others and that they want to work with you. To do this, you have to know your competition.
Knowing your competition allows you to differentiate yourself and show your audience that you are their no. 1 choice.
Find out who else has what you are offering and ask:
- How is my course or program better?
- What promises / benefits do my competitors offer?
- What bonuses, value-adds are included in my competitors’ programs or courses?
- What is their price point?
- What is their marketing and launch strategy? What works (what can I use)? What doesn’t (what do I need to avoid)? What can I do better?
- What is their brand and their message? How can I make my brand and message better to really connect and attract my target market or audience?
Once you have conducted your competition analysis, utilise the information to make your program superior and give you a competitive advantage.
You can also do these following things to really get a standpoint above your competition
- Position yourself as an expert
- Provide testimonials
- Present an offer that people can’t refuse – make it a no-brain-er
- Tell your personal story and share your values
- Get super dialled in on what your message is, and how you will present it to your market or audience.
You can have the most amazing, transformation and valuable product on the marketplace; but unless you put planning and strategy into getting your program or course successfully out into the market, statistics have show that it is likely to fail.
Spend time developing your launch plan. Your focus on your launch and strategy is as important if not more important than the program or course itself.