by Jenna Kutcher
So you’ve got something to launch. What do I mean when I say launch? Simply getting that thing you created out into the world whether it’s a new product, service, website, course, freebie, business – anything that’s new that you want to share with your audience. It’s so important to put some thought behind how you are going to reveal this new thing to the world that you’ve worked so hard on. Because this is the last step in the process, I think far to often people don’t put the time and energy behind the steps for launching but rather focus too much on the creation process. People can get stuck because they want it to be good but perfection can cause paralysis and leave us scrambling when it comes time to promote. And here’s the thing – if it’s not launched well, no one is ever even going to see it. You know my philosophy: done is better than perfect and I want you to put your heart and soul into creating, but then be sure to also give launching the energy it deserves. Let’s dive on in! .
Poll Your Audience
The first step: ask the actual people you’ll be launching to. You might have an idea or product that you know would help solve a problem for your audience, but if they don’t know it yet, it may not sell. For example, the first time we launched my course the List to Launch Lab, it did ok – but, my audience was not quite ready for it. We had A LOT of educating to do on the importance of email marketing before they truly understood the value of this product. 12 months of serving, educating and talking to them about the topic and our next launch was 4x more profitable.
My point here is either 1) poll your audience on what products or services they need from you NOW and create those OR 2) recognize pain points and solutions for your audience and begin talking about them now so that when you launch, they are primed and ready to buy. If you want to hear my secrets to successfully polling your audience, tune in here!
Speaking of free material, another way you can create hype around a launch is to build up to it with a freebie. A freebie is simply content that someone needs to opt-in for, or in other words, exchange their email address in order to receive it. This helps serve two purposes: 1) it allows us to get them on our email list where we have more control over what content they see from us so we can serve and sell to them in the future and 2) provides them with content that is so valuable they want to sign up for it that educates them and begins to introduce something that we will be selling to them in the future. When we prime an audience before we have something to sell, it makes them much more warmed up to the idea you are talking about.
Now, the longer this phase is, the better. The more time you have to educate and build momentum and gain an audience interested in what you’re talking about, the better off your launch will be. We aim for 3 months with my business, but any amount of serving and lead up will be helpful in your launch.
Email Your List
It sounds simple and obvious, but in my most recent launch of The Pinterest Lab, we were shocked at what a simple email produced in terms of sales. We had never emailed my entire list about this product before and had only reached out to the segment of my list that had opted in for Pinterest related material. Simply telling the story of why I created this for my audience and then creating demand (in this case it was that the price was going up!) resulted in 80k in sales.
One thing I know for sure is that you can talk about something you are selling until you are blue in the face and be sure that people are just sick of hearing about it from you and STILL there are going to be a huge portion of your audience whether it’s social media or your email list that missed it all and might be interested. With algorithms and just the busyness of life, people are just not noticing every little thing you do, so we need to be a bit obnoxious and exhaust all of our outlets when trying to build hype around launching something.
Next up: write a blog post that announces your product or service. Be excited about it, tell the backstory, share how people can buy, link to the other articles you’ve written leading up to the topic here.
Also consider writing guest blog posts for other bloggers that have a similar audience to your own. We’re going to be doing another episode soon about how to pitch yourself whether it’s for a podcast or a guest post so make sure you tune in to that episode for all of my tips on how to be successful with this tactic.
Here are a few to get you started: make sure you’re collaborating with sites where your target audience is hanging out. Next, brainstorm topics in line with what you’ll be selling that you are an expert in that their audience might benefit from as well. What might be missing from their blog that they haven’t covered yet? What topics have done well with your own audience that you could pitch to another blogger to feature? Make sure you’re connecting with bloggers that promote their content well so you’ll get in front of their audience and then make sure when you link to your site in your bio, that it’s a page that someone can opt-in to your email list so that you can communicate with them again down the road.
Social Media Posts
Which brings me to the next way to promote something that again, seems obvious: posting to social media. I love to create a teaser for the social media posts and then link to a longer more complete blog post. The point is to get people off of the app and onto a place you can better control the user experience: your website. This is a much easier way to guide them through the process of getting to know more about you and taking action by purchasing or signing up for your email list.
Test different language and sales copy in your posts, different times of day, different imagery whether it’s a picture of you or your product or just plain text and see what people resonate with.
Post to Instagram Stories
Don’t forget about Instagram Stories! It’s a much more personal way to promote something and we’re seeing such huge engagement when I talk about anything I’m promoting there.
I wanted to make sure this was on the list because I think too many people shy away from showing their face and talking directly to their audience, but often this is the personal communication they need to get to know you and trust you to buy from you. This is such a huge topic that we’re doing an entire episode on how to rock Instagram Stories so write this step down for your checklist and tune back in for the nitty gritty details on how to pull it off.
Facebook Lives can be fun because they are so interactive. I’ve used this strategy to allow people to ask questions where I answer them live. I’ve also given a webinar on Facebook Live for a launch and it was nice because people could tune in whenever they were on Facebook instead of having to sign up for a specific time and remember to log in. It’s another great way to add that personalized touch and let people know there is a real human behind the sales message wanting to help.
Ask People to Share for you
One way to ask people to share for you is by simply encouraging your email newsletter subscribers to forward your email on to friends that might be interested in your offer. Often, people just need to be given permission or told what to do and you’d be surprised at how many people will take action simply because they were asked. If I send out an inspirational email and say “Hey, feel free to forward this to your favorite boss lady” or something along those lines, it gives people permission to know that it’s acceptable and it helps get my content on other people’s radar that are like-minded entrepreneurs or clients you might be trying to reach.
Another way is to reach out to industry friends or peers and let them know that you have something exciting that their audience might be interested in. Make it super simple for them to share by providing graphics to easily post on social media and possible captions so there’s no work involved for them to share. Encourage them to put their own spin on it and when it comes time to return the favor, make sure you’re generous as well.
Create a Giveaway
Everyone likes to win something, right? Now, the important step here is to make sure you set up your giveaway so that it both spreads the word about your launch AND captures people’s email addresses. It’s not good enough to just have people comment and like your account. Why? Because we want to be able to keep in touch with these people going forward and a social media follow is just not enough.
A giveaway could be a tangible product, e-product, course or service. Make sure that the giveaway relates to what you are ultimately selling so that you are attracting the right audience and building hype for when you do actually launch.
Other ways you can build anticipation that we’ve used in my business include:
- Countdowns: this can be a countdown clock that’s embedded into an email or you can countdown the days on social media. Get excited like it’s Christmas you’re counting down to and chances are, your audience will get excited too.
- Hint at it on social media while you’re creating it. Let people in on the process while you’re creating the material! This is a great way to lead up to your launch, get people involved and even ask for feedback during the creation process.
- Let people beta test the product for you and share their testimonials and results. There’s nothing like social proof that what you are selling is high quality and one way to do this is to let past clients or industry friends take your product/ride for a test drive. Ask them for feedback to make it better and encourage them to share about what you’re offering if they liked the product or experience.
So there you have it, 10 free ways to create hype before you launch something in your business. I hope this inspires you to put the effort and energy into the launch process and I promise when you do, you will see a difference in the bottom line. You’ve got this, Goal Diggers!