#61 6 Steps To Plan Your Next Profitable Launch.
In this week's episode:
Come behind the scenes with me as I share with you my process for planning a profitable launch.
In this episode, I'll share:
My 6 step planning process, and insights into how you can maximise your profit and simplify your strategy.
Here's what you'll learn:
What you need to consider when planning a launch; from dates to prices, bonuses and more.
The little things you can do in the lead up to your launch to make it your most profitable launch to date.
My simple maths equation to help you determine, estimate and predict your sales.
Over the past 10 months, I've been travelling full-time with my family while running my business. We've been travelling in a caravan all around Australia, with my husband and three boys (eight, six, and three). My priority has not been growing the business, but it’s been enjoying life in slowing down, spending more time with my family and being present.
I don't need to work a lot of hours in my business in order to hit my goals, serve my clients, and continue to grow the business.
For the past 10 months, my business has still grown in terms of revenue and profit while travelling full-time and working less hours.
Within this blog post, I’m going to share with you the 6 steps to plan a profitable membership, program or course launch. These steps have helped me build a profitable business that allows me to have this time with my family and travel full-time.
From taking a step back from being behind my laptop all the time, I can see from talking to people in my community and on Instagram where you are struggling when it comes to selling, launching and creating courses which is why I wanted to share with you these 6 steps to a profitable course launch.
This will help step up to the next level, hit five and six-figure launches, and then go from six figures to seven figures. I want to help you build a business that you actually enjoy and that doesn't require you to hustle and burn out in order for it to happen.
Why is planning a course launch important?
Let’s talk about planning for a profitable course launch. This is something I do with all of my clients. Typically, when I take on clients, whether it's a one-to-one client or with my mastermind, I always have a 90-minute launch planning session with them.
Within that session, we plan their next launch online, which is a three-month plan and course launch timeline, or a timeline for their membership and group coaching program.
Within my mastermind, this is where I can support you hit the next level in your next online course launch, as well as any group program or membership launches you have too.
If you’re launching something in your business and you want more personalized support in order for you to start hitting your next-level income goal, then I encourage you to apply. For more details on when the next round starts of the Launch like a Boss Mastermind, click here.
If a Mastermind sounds too advanced for you right now, join my waitlist for the launch club, which is my membership designed to help business owners launch and launch again with less stress and more ease.
When it comes to scaling your launches and just launching in general, it requires some advanced planning and content preparation in order for the course launch to run smoothly, be profitable, and not burn you out.
When you're just getting started with launching, if you don't have a big team in order to help, you need time to be able to plan and prepare so that when it comes to launching, you can lean and rely on automations and systems to do the heavy lifting for you.
That means your time is freed up to just be present, to engage in your community, to show up and to convert leads.
Now, a lot of people are against planning. They feel like planning and being organized and talking about strategy and all of this takes away from that intuitive style of launching.
But actually planning a course launch actually allows you to add spontaneity into your launch because all the core launch concepts are dealt with, which frees up your brain space and allows you to just show up and add in any extras throughout your launch.
Planning is great, especially if it’s your first course launch because it’s always gonna be a rollercoaster. It might be a learning curve, a steep learning curve at that, and it might require some hustle and feel overwhelming. But let me tell you, each launch becomes easier especially when you learn about launch cycles and you realize that launches can be repeated.
Each time you launch, you're basically duplicating the past launch and tweaking to make it more profitable and repeating it.
Looking at the launch numbers and finding out what areas of your launch need to be fine-tuned are important too.
You need to know why you didn't hit certain conversions, or what numbers you need to tweak in order for your next course launch to be profitable. I want you to consider that when you are planning your next course launch, always go back and reflect on the launch prior to it.
- What did you love?
- What didn't you love?
- What worked?
- What didn't work?
- What do you want to change?
Take all of those answers into account when you are planning for your next launch.
What is the process of a profitable course launch?
I start by setting goals, then I look at the offer, the inclusions, pricing and bonuses. Then I choose the dates of the launch and really plan out the launch calendar, which doesn't have to be complicated. Then I go into pre-launch planning and what it is that I really want to do, and what my intention is for the pre-launch.
Then we move into planning the launch event, then finally we look at lead generation.
I'm gonna go through each of those steps with you in this blog post and run through some things that you might want to consider for each of those steps
How to start the planning process
For this kind of launch planning, I start with mapping out all of my launch plans in a big Google Doc, or with a pen and paper and a notepad. It can be really messy and it can be full of ideas.
In this planning process, we are just going to get it all out of your brain and then afterwards you can sort things and put them into more structure and organization so you can outsource to your team as well.
The first thing I'll say is that not all launches are created equal, so that's important to consider as we go through this.
For example, a mastermind launch is going to be a lot different to a course launch, which might be a lot different to a membership launch. You've got to take that into consideration when you are launching.
A lot of that comes down to who you are launching to. If you're launching a Mastermind, it's highly likely that the people who are going to join your mastermind are going to be people who already know and trust you, your warmest audience.
A mastermind launch typically doesn't require a launch event. It doesn't require lead generation. It requires more of a personal touch, maybe an application process, a waitlist, and a longer promotion period versus a course launch.
If you're doing a course launch and you're scaling a course, and it's one of your top funnel offers, you're going to need more people, and you're likely going to need a launch event.
Not all launches are created equally. Launches are so different based on what it is you're launching because of who it is you're launching to. Keep that in mind when you're launching.
Some of my best launches have been a few emails to my list and to my warmest leads on my list, like a hundred people or less because it's been a high ticket offer to people I've worked with in the past.
6 steps to planning a profitable course launch
Now let’s have a look at the must-know important steps in the planning phase of a course launch. It’s worth noting that you can also apply this to other offers you might be launching like a group program or a membership.
Step 1 - Set the Goals for your Course Launch
The first step to having a profitable course launch is setting goals. This might be based on how many people you wanna serve or how much money you wanna generate.
A lot of my clients are different. Some like to set income goals first and then work backwards. Other people have a certain number that they wanna hit.
This depends on what it is you're launching. For example, if you're launching a mastermind and you have 20 spots that you want to fill, then obviously your goal is going to be to sell 20 spots.
However, if you’re doing a course launch, your goal might be an income goal.
For example, maybe you want to generate $50,000 from this launch and the reason for this is that your annual goal is to generate $200,000 from this course. If you’re launching it quarterly, then for each launch you want to generate $50,000.
Make sure you set your goals based on how many spots you want to sell or how much revenue you want to generate.
One of the things that makes it easier sometimes when it comes to goal setting, particularly if goals don't inspire you, and instead goals put pressure on you, is to set a goal as follows:
- Good goal: What's the minimum you would like to make from this launch?
- Better goal: What’s a step up from your good goal?
- Best goal: What is your absolute best goal? Really stretch yourself here in terms of what's possible.
The other thing is don't be afraid to not hit your goals. If you don't hit your goals, it doesn't mean anything. There are so many times when I've set big ambitious goals and I haven't met them, and it doesn't bother me.
If you have a really long-term outlook on your business, you know that with each launch, you're improving, and it's just another step in the right direction of you building a profitable course-based business.
Set your goals, but then also detach from them and don't put too much meaning on them and pressure yourself to hit them. They should be fun rather than pressure.
Step 2 - Plan your offer
When planning your course launch you need to have a deep dive into your offer. Since this is what you’re launching it just makes sense to take a look at the following 3 points.
What is it that you are launching and is this offer capped in terms of how many people you can serve in this particular offer?
If you can only offer a certain amount of spots in your mastermind or program, you need to look at this when you launch.
If you have a course, maybe you don’t have a certain capacity, but ask yourself this: If 1000 people purchased during this course launch, would my business be able to handle it? This can make light of any blind spots that could be coming up in your offer or systems behind the offer.
It’s always good to be prepared and think about this before your course launch, rather than during it!
Now we need to think of the price. What is the price point of the offer? What's the price point for instalments versus for people who pay upfront?
Another question you need to ask yourself is, do you want to offer a discount for people who pay upfront and in full?
Do you want to offer bonuses for people who pay upfront and in full?
Are you going to be offering early bird pricing? If so, what’s an early bird discount? And if so, how long will that be valid for?
3. Bonuses, upsells & downsells
Now it's time to think about bonuses, upsells and downsells for your offer! Will you be offering any bonuses or incentives for people who join your course launch early, like a fast-action bonus?
Some other questions you can ask yourself are:
- Will you be offering bonuses to everybody?
- Will you be offering mid-cart bonuses or cart closing bonuses?
- Will you be offering any upsells to this offer
- Will you be offering any downsells?
Those are just a few of the questions that I like to run through with my clients in my Mastermind ‘Launch like a Boss’. If this is your first launch, don't allow it to overwhelm you, especially when it comes to bonuses.
How to pick good bonuses for your course launch
I know a lot of people get really stuck on bonuses. You might be thinking “I just created this course and now I've got to think of a hundred different bonuses?!”.
To be honest, bonuses are not what's going to sell your course. Put all your energy into the actual course itself. That's where the transformation occurs. That's what people are buying.
Bonuses just help with handling objections and are like the icing on the cake to really provide an incentive to join. I quite like having bonuses that complement what it is that I am teaching and help provide more of a wholesome offer and transformation.
For example, with my course Facebook ad Launch Formula, I'm teaching people how to use Facebook ads to launch.
Some of my bonuses for that particular offer are to do with writing the course launch email sequence, putting together the webinar for the launch, and also creating your list-building funnel.
You can see those bonuses are relevant and also complimentary to my main offer.
Now let’s look at the 3 types of bonuses you could add;
- Fast action bonuses
- Mid cart
- Cart closing
When thinking about the relevance of when to introduce each bonus, think about how you’re launching.
Is it through a webinar, or a challenge and are you first introducing your course to people? It's a lot of information for people to take on board, and that's why I quite like introducing bonuses mid-cart and towards the end of the cart, not just all at once because sometimes that can be overwhelming.
Also, I like to consider that sometimes during the middle of your open cart period, things can get a little quiet and your audience is in that phase of decision-making. So introducing bonuses, mid cart help to bring things to life and you potentially make more sales during your course launch. That's another reason why I like mid-cart bonuses.
These are all just considerations. You don't need to have any bonuses.
When you first create a course, just have to focus on the course. Don't worry about any bonuses.
If you are continuing to course launch over and over again, you'll naturally think of complementary products that you can throw in on top.
Now let’s talk about fast-action bonuses and capacity.
In the past, sometimes one of my fast action bonuses is to join in the first 24 hours to get a free one-to-one coaching call or pay upfront to receive a bonus one-to-one coaching call.
Just make sure that any bonuses that include your time are capped at a certain number of people, so you could limit it to the first 10 people who join.
You don't wanna get stuck offering 50 people one-to-one calls, because then it defeats the purpose of you creating a scalable offer.
When it comes to upsells and downsells, this is something that you can add to your launches. You don't need to think of this for your first launch, but you can add these layers to every course launch you do, as you continue to improve your launch to increase the overall revenue and profit you generate from them.
With upsells and downsells it’s basically just thinking about what are the complimentary offers. Once someone's purchased this course, do you have another course that would also benefit them, that you want to offer them once they've purchased that course?
Or at the end of your launch, if people don't purchase, do you have a downsell, a smaller offer that might help them if they weren't able to purchase the bigger offer at that time?
Step 3 - Setting your Course Launch dates
Now let’s talk about launch dates. These are the dates that I like to consider;
- What date does your cart open? This is the date people can start buying and registrations are open.
- What is the date that the cart closes? Do doors to your product or program close?
- What is your launch event date? For example, if I'm running a webinar or a bootcamp, what dates will I have them on? Typically, your cart will open on the date of your first webinar or on the date of the last day of bootcamp.
- If you are running a webinar or bootcamp, how long do you want to give yourself to actually promote that launch event? Two weeks? 10 days? Seven days? Typically, I do 7-10 days at least, to promote that launch event.
- The other dates to consider are the dates that your waitlist is going to be open and the offer that you want to have for that waitlist. Some people like to have early access to the waitlist. For example, doors open to the public on Wednesday, but they might open to the waitlist on Monday for the waitlist to have that extra few days to get the first spots inside your program or course launch.
- Then also dates for any early bird offer that you have. If you are offering early bird pricing, how long will that be valid? And where does that fit in your overall launch calendar?
Step 4 - The Lead-up to your Course Launch
The fourth thing that I like to consider when planning out a launch is the pre-launch strategy. What is happening in the lead-up to your doors opening and in the lead-up to your launch event?
How are you going to be talking about this offer on social media?
What channels can you be using in order to promote the upcoming launch and to also share your pre-launch content? This might be your podcast, YouTube, Instagram and/or email list. You need to think about the channels that you're going to be using to nurture your audience and promote your upcoming launch.
Then you need to consider the content that you're going to be sharing on those platforms in the lead-up to your launch to nurture people to get them ready for your offer.
You want to be creating content for at least two months before your cart opens to get your audience ready to buy your offer and to get your audience to join your waitlist if you have one.
In terms of pre-launch content and what to share during this period, I want you to think about;
- What do people need to know and how do people need to feel in order for them to be ready to buy from you?
That is the kind of content you wanna be sharing in the two to three months before your launch and basically after your launch. Once you finish your launch, you basically go back into pre-launch mode and you're sharing regular content again for either the next launch of your program or the next program that you're going to be selling.
You're always pre-launching something, which is basically just your everyday content schedule. But when you are leading up to a launch, you wanna be a bit more strategic with the type of content that you're sharing to make sure it's relevant to your offer.
It's really answering that question; what do people need to know and how do people need to feel in order to be ready to buy from you?
Step 5 - Deciding on your course launch event
Step five is talking and thinking and deciding on how to launch your online course with an event. Some of the questions I'd like you to consider is, will you be hosting a live launch event to promote this offer?
Some launches don't require them. Some people would like to just launch on Instagram and that's okay.
If you feel like a big launch event, like a webinar or a bootcamp, it's too much for you for this course launch then that's okay.
If you're launching a Mastermind or a high ticket offer and there are only 10 spots and you have an audience of 5,000, chances are you're not going to need a launch event because you've got that warm audience there for you.
If you do feel like you need to warm people up to your offer, and if you want to work with volume and sell more courses to a colder audience, then a launch event is going to help you do that.
So if the answer is yes to hosting a live launch event, then what type of launch event will you be hosting?
Will you be hosting webinars or masterclasses? Will it be a challenge? Will it be prerecorded or live?
Typically your launch event is ‘the what’ to your offer. You’re only teaching the what and not the how.
How is that valuable? What I like to share is that if you were to try and teach ‘the how’ in a 60-minute masterclass, you would leave your audience completely overwhelmed. Too much content actually overwhelms people.
Instead, we show them what they need to do so that they are empowered at the end of that launch event to either go off and do it themselves to find the relevant tutorials or free content online, which is obviously the harder path or get it all in a step-by-step process from you inside your course.
Step 6 - Lead generation for your course launch
For the final step, now you need to think about lead generation.
How will you be generating leads for this launch and what is your lead goal?For example, if you wanna have a hundred people in your membership for your next launch, based on a 3% conversion rate, how many leads do you need to hit in order for you to generate that many sales of your membership?
Think about how many courses you need to sell to hit your revenue goal, or how many spots in your membership you wanna sell for this particular launch.
Then we want to think about how many leads you need to generate in order to hit your revenue goal.
The math equation that we use to determine that number is the number of sales x 100 divided by three.
For example, if you want to generate 30 sales of your course, then go 30 x 100 divided by three, and that'll tell you how many leads you need in order to hit that goal based on an average conversion rate of 3%.
Then just like I talked about in goal setting in step 1, for the number of sales you're going to generate, you can create a good, better, and best goal. Based on that calculation, you'd need 1000 leads in order to generate 30 sales.
If you know you need roughly 1000 leads, maybe your better goal is a thousand, but your best is 2000, and your good is 750.
Launching as you continue to scale becomes more of a numbers game. Also, conversion rates differ based on how warm your audience is as well.
That's basically what I like to run through in preparation for a course launch, a membership launch or a program launch.
Just to recap;
- We set your goals
- We plan your offer
- We choose your dates
- We plan your pre-launch, your messaging and your content strategy
- We work on your launch event and what that launch event is, how it's going to run.
- We then work out how many people we actually need in that launch event in order for you to hit those goals.
If you enjoyed this blog post, and you found it helpful to plan your next membership, program or course launch, then come connect with me on Instagram and let me know your biggest takeaway!
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