If you are planning to launch a course or a membership and haven’t conducted market research, tested your offer, or read my earlier blog about the “Pre-Pre Launch Phase”, kindly stop what you are doing and go read it. Now for the pre-launch phase!
Trust me, actually taking the extra steps to do the market research before the pre-launch phase and make sure that your offer is one that your audience wants will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
So once you know that your audience is psyched to learn about your topic, we head into the “Pre-launch” phase, which is where most people end up actually beginning their course launch journey. It’s also what leads to most of the overwhelm. You can ditch some of the overwhelm by downloading my free course launch checklist right here, which tells you exactly what to do and when during the launch phase.
There are a few things to consider in the pre-launch phase. One of the first things to decide is WHEN you will launch your new offer or course. Don’t forget about your personal life during this time. If you have any huge personal events or vacations within the 2 weeks or so before the launch, I’d recommend choosing a different date. Especially if it is your first launch.
After you’ve got your dates for your launch nailed down, it’s time to backward plan and select your launch strategy. In my opinion, 6 weeks of consistency in your content is an ideal amount of time before launching. Can you launch even sooner? Absolutely! Six weeks just allows for ample time to warm up your audience prove your expertise in your field, and grow your audience a little bit before cart opens.
There are a few things to decide when you are choosing your launch dates and also your strategy. Your launch dates are commonly referred to as the “cart open period” and will last anywhere from 3-10 days. During this time, you will also be using whatever launch strategy you’ve chosen to launch.
Some of the more common launch strategies are the webinar/masterclass launch or the challenge/Facebook Pop-Up group launch. Both of these have various combinations – remember there is no “right way” to launch!
The Webinar Launch
For this style of launch, you will host a live masterclass where you will teach a specific portion of content, and at the end extend the offer for them to join your program. This type of launch requires a little bit of tech know-how so you can make sure that people who register for your webinar/masterclass are getting a link to attend and also the follow-up emails inviting them to join your program. Webinar/masterclass launches are usually better for an audience that is a little bit warmer, as you’re only spending an hour together before inviting them to join your program.
The Challenge Launch
This style of launch is usually accompanied by a Facebook Group. The purpose of the Facebook Group is to increase accountability for the members of the challenge. Challenge launches are usually 3 to 5 days. You can email a video out to those who register for the challenge each of the days, or you can go live in the group each of the days. Whichever you choose, you should be focusing on accountability, engagement, and actionable steps for your challenge participants.
Both of these strategies require a registration page. This can be a simple landing page on your email provider if that is the easiest for you! This way, you will be able to target how many people are interested in your challenge and not bombard the rest of the list with your emails about your masterclass or challenge. I still recommend sending at least 2 emails to your entire list while your cart is open. Even if they don’t participate in the challenge or webinar, they still may be interested in reading your sales page and seeing if your program is a good fit for them.
The pre-launch phase is where you are creating all of your assets for launch. It is VERY important to give yourself enough time for this stage of launch because the more prepared you can be, the less stressful the live launch will be.
By the end of the pre-launch phase, you should have the following assets:
- Sales page
- All sales emails
- Technology for hosting your challenge or webinar
- Registration page for the webinar or challenge
- Social media content leading up to your cart open period
- Social media content for your cart open period
The pre-launch phase is all about establishing yourself as an expert and planting that seed in your audiences’ minds that you know what you’re talking about – because you DO!
As far as social media during this time, be sure to start discussing the content surrounding your course frequently. What are some objections, myths, and common beliefs surrounding your topic? What long-form content can you create (blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos)? This will position you as an expert on the subject of your course.
The pre-launch phase has a LOT of moving pieces that can get a little messy and overwhelming. Be sure you snag my free course checklist here to help you keep them straight!
Questions? Leave a comment or send me an email at email@example.com and ask!