The goal for next week is to plan your course launch. Yipee! $$$! riches! fame! glory! cookies!!!
If you’re familiar with traditional product launches (Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula aka PLF) you know a proper launch can take weeks, if not months, to prepare and execute.
Given the complexity of a full-on PLF launch, on this challenge we’re are going to focus only on a very slimmed down version of a typical launch process.
The overall goal is to announce the course to your existing audience and provide an incentive for them to take action and buy during the launch window.
The main way to provide an incentive is by creating scarcity in the form of a deadline and a limited discount for those that take action first.
The most typical 3rd incentive is to offer some kind of bonus offer for those first buyers.
According to Stu McLaren ($6.6M in 10 months launching his Tribe a membership training program), the 3 key elements of any successful launch are:
- Anticipation: create excitement. Announce the upcoming launch, what will you offer, and its benefits.
- Trust: build credibility showcasing your expertise, your story, and testimonials from previous clients/students.
- Desire: give people a reason to make a purchasing decision NOW (deadlines, limited discounts, and bonuses)
Stu says that the more time to you spend building anticipation, the more eager your prospects will be to buy your course. In his case, he starts building anticipation up to 3 months before the actual launch.
In this challenge, we’ll compress both the anticipation phase and launch phase in only two weeks.
This should be enough to give you a taste of the overall structure of a launch without it becoming a daunting task. If this launch is successful, you can always prepare a bigger more complex launch later on.
Below, I’ve included the instructions on how to go about planning your course launch.
WEEK 07: Plan Your Course Launch
Here are the tasks for this week:
- Pick a date for your launch (it can be outside of this challenge window – see below)
- Decide how much will your charge for your course (Read this article on choosing a price)
- Collect at least 3 testimonials (previous clients, co-workers, bosses, or students)
- Pick your bonuses (optional but helpful)
- Write your pre-launch emails
- Write your launch emails
For a complete example of a course launch breakdown check this article -> HERE
You should’ve already completed Steps 2 and 3 when you created your sales page this week (Week 06).
The original goal for this challenge was to have you launch your course on Week 08. I realize that a proper launch can take longer to plan and execute than the 2 weeks I’ve allotted for it. However, if you decide not to launch next week, I still expect you to use this time to plan and prepare as many of the launch elements listed above as possible.
WEEK 07 SUBMISSION LINK AND DEADLINE
- Week 07 Submission Deadline: Sep 15th, 2017 (midnight PST)
- Submission Link – (Provided via email)
- Assignment: submit a link to an online document or PDF file with the content of at least 2 of your launch emails and the dates you plan to send them. Ideally, I’d love to see that you’ve written ALL your pre-launch and launch emails.
- Check a complete example of a course launch email sequence -> HERE
Launching on Udemy?
Note that if you are launching on Udemy, you’re restricted to only 2 promotional emails per month. So if you already had an existing student base on Udemy (and no email list outside Udemy) then your launch sequence will be only 2 emails.
For years (before I figured out the importance of having an email list) that’s the main way I launched my courses. In hindsight, it was not the most effective way to launch my courses but given the fact that early on I had over 1000 students, I was able to recoup my investment usually within hours my launch.
If you decide to launch on Udemy make sure to check these resources:
- Best Practices: Creating Impactful Subject Lines for Promotional Emails (Udemy)
- Best Practices: How to Create Great Announcements (Udemy)
- Udemy promotional announcement formula (Jerry Banfield)
What if You don’t have an email list?
Although, the goal with this mini-launch is to get some early sales, don’t worry if you don’t make many sales at this moment. To make some meaningful cashola on a launch usually requires for you to have a sizable email list 500 or more subscribers) or leverage someone else’s list (launching with JV partners)
So even if you don’t have a list, this launch will give you an opportunity to:
- Validate your course idea: you can consider your course validated if you get at least 5% of all the people you reach to buy your course.
- Learn the basics of launching a product: this knowledge will prove invaluable for any future launches.
If the result is that no one buys your course then you can reach out to the non-buyers and ask them why they didn’t buy. Then, based on their feedback you can adjust your course until you get 5% or more of them to buy your course.
What If I’m Not ready to Launch Yet?
At this stage of the challenge, you may be in one of these two situations: 1. You haven’t finished your course and are not ready to launch or 2. You have finished your course but don’t want to rush the launch process.
CASE 1 – Course not completed: in this case, you can use the next two week to keep working on your course. However, I encourage you to still plan the steps for you eventual launch and write at least 2 pre-launch emails and 2 launch emails which you’ll use when you are ready to launch.
CASE 2 – Don’t want to rush the launch process: if you’ve finished your course but want to prepare a longer launch then you can use the next two weeks to plan as much of your launch as possible. See below for a couple of guides on how to plan a launch on your own website or on Udemy.
If you’re launching on your own online school (Thinkific, Teachable). Here is a full guide on how to launch outside of a marketplace -> HERE
For a complete launch case study read this breakdown on Teachable -> HERE.
If you’re launching on Udemy, Phil Ebiner (over 250K students and 70+ Udemy courses) uses a 30-day launch blueprint. You’re welcome to follow his steps as described on his blog -> HERE
There are also many other blueprints if you type “Online Course Launch Strategy” on Google.
- Keep track of the full 12-week curriculum HERE
- Check everyone’s progress HERE.
- Learn the basics of how to create an online course in 1 hour HERE.
- Join the Facebook Grumo Instructors Club HERE
- Get personalized feedback from me HERE
I love to hear your comments which have been very encouraging so far. However, many of you haven’t shared your opinion so I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Here are some questions for you:
- How do you feel about this challenge?
- What would you like to see changed/added/removed from a similar future challenge?
- How much would you be willing to pay to participate in a similar challenge in the future?
- What kind of results and support would you expect for a paid challenge?
- Do you have any suggestions for a different topic for a future challenge?
Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
Your answers will help me determine whether running a future challenge is a good idea or not.
Peace, Love, and Launch-Planning-Cookies.
P.S: Are you already overwhelmed? just focus on making a bit of progress every day. Breath and take one a step at a time, before you know it, this challenge will be over and you’ll feel super-mega accomplished!