We recently celebrated our first 7 figure launch with a private client and I thought I'd share some of the biggest lessons I've learned in my work as a launch manager and consultant to 7 and 8 figure entrepreneurs. Whilst the majority of these lessons we learn in our private work are from bigger launches, even if you're just starting out in launches you should bookmark this blog and keep them top of mind as you grow.
If you want wild launch success, you need to do what a wildly successful launcher does.
Let me share my top 10 here, in no particular order:
1 – Prep and setup takes time, but save headaches
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I haven't (on multiple occasions) completely wing'd a launch from beginning to end. But what I will tell you is this… when you start to scale your traffic, grow your team and increase your launch numbers things will become more complex. The bigger the launch the bigger the prep, and so I have to block out a full day to create things like my folder structure, master docs, set up a dashboard, schedules, templates, org charts and responsibilities. Whilst it might seem overkill to some to spend a whole day on setting up, it saves a lot of headache later on down the line – and even a template document needs to be tailored for each launch. Whilst my partner Marc says I'm the most organised person he's ever met I haven't always been this way – systems save my sanity and I test new launch systems as often as I test new launch strategies.
2 – You're only as good as the launch manager you invest in
A while back my friend and client Jasmine Star approached me asking if I knew any launch managers that would be a good fit for her. Jasmine already had a 7-figure business at this stage and I knew launch managers suitable to work at this level are not only booked far in advance, but would most likely want a revenue share deal. I shared that although this was a possible solution, what I believed would be better for her business model (regular launches) would be to hire an amazing project manager and train them on launches. This is what I was then hired for and it was the start of a beautiful collaboration! Jasmine's new launch manager, with no launch experience prior, went on to manage a 7-figure launch and has gone from strength to strength. The same pattern came up with every client I worked with – if there was an incredible launch manager, the launch was a huge success. This is a specialist role and you should aim to have it in-house as soon as you can if you want to hit those bigger launches. But they don't have to be hired as a launch manager – hire a project manager and hire us to train them on launches. It will save you six figures (at least) and you get the perfect-fit person for your business.
3 – There is no “all in one” tool that does it all
Integrations. APIs. Web hooks. SIGH. A launch manager's nemesis! Even as someone who built her early career as a web developer, I do hate the headaches that come with linking up launch tools, checkouts, marketing systems, invoicing systems and CRMs. There are a lot of tools out there that promise an “all in one” solution, but for the big launches we manage they simply don't fit the bill.
I see so many people not implementing strategies that will help their launch conversions simply because their “one tool” doesn't offer it as a feature.
Don't waste your time trying to fit your launch and business into one tool. Instead focus on what would make a seamless journey and better experience – even if the tech takes time to set up or you have to invest in some extra subscriptions. Document everything, create processes, train your team and hire it out if you can't do it.
4 – Focus more time on nurturing hot leads
One of the soul destroying (for some!) statistics in launches, is that most people won't buy. With the average launch at Love To Launch converting at around 7%, we see 93% of people not buying – but we don't sweat it because the 7% is all we need. But if you want to have more success with your launches, you need to focus more effort on those who are more likely to buy. Those who consume more content, are more engaged, who raise their hand to say they're interested – those are the ones you want to nurture more.
Don't be fooled into thinking that the bigger the launch, the less hands on you become – in fact the opposite is true because you delegate out the nurture. This is our secret sauce in launches and it works at scale!
5 – Conversion beats traffic
You want more launch success? Stop thinking that traffic will solve all your problems. If there's one hard lesson many had to learn last year in the launch world it's that reliance on FB ads is a dangerous game. You can't simply throw money at ads anymore and think it will solve your launch problems because it's never been more expensive to advertise. In some markets you're lucky to get $10 leads when once it was $2! You can do some serious up-levels with your launch results when you focus on conversion, and that gives you so much confidence as you scale. I wouldn't be trying to scale a launch that converts at 1%. I'd first work on getting that launch to convert higher, not increasing traffic.
Golden rule – know your numbers.
6 – You need 3 sources of traffic
There is sometimes an exception to this rule. e.g. you have a highly engaged organic audience and a high-ticket offer that they're queuing up for! But in most big launches I've worked on, we work with 3 sets of traffic – paid leads, organic leads, affiliate leads.
Now of course, we use paid traffic to convert the organic and affiliate leads. But with affiliate leads typically converting at 10x the rate of paid, having all 3 of these in your launch plan will dramatically increase your numbers. If you're struggling with paid traffic right now, bringing in affiliates to support you is a great way to weather the storm whilst you're figuring that out.
Multiple sources of traffic does create complexity, but diversity of your leads means less risk, less stress and a higher overall conversion.
7 – FB ads are expensive but they still work
Apple have a lot to answer for with their privacy updates! Whilst I try to remember that privacy blockers were put in place to beat the bad guys, I'm also very frustrated by all the changes that came into place last year. As someone who likes to be served content that I want to see (including ads!) over any old random crap, it drives me crazy that privacy blockers were introduced in the way they were as they also made paid ads more challenging last year. Now, we can't fully blame under-performing ads on these changes as we found that strong creatives had a really positive effect on ad costs, but its definitely way more expensive than it used to be.
Focus more time on creatives if you want to win the ads game.
8 – Energy in your launch is everything
Don't worry, I'm not about to get all woowoo on you – but it would be wrong of me to fill this list of lessons with strategy and not talk about how the way in which you show up as a leader in your launch will make or break it. If you're leading a team in a big launch, you need to understand your job as a launch manager is not only to make the launch strategy work – it's to inspire the team to do incredible work. This isn't easy when everyone is tired, you're on your third 7-day week and you haven't washed your hair in days (sorry folks, just sharing the truth about what it's really like!). But if you show up with huge amounts of positivity, a “get it done” attitude and you take the time to connect with team members when you see their own energy dip then you'll have an amazing team who'll push through launch with you. Just make sure you reward them with extra self-care hours, treats and time off once you land back in normality.
9 – Email is still king
Build that list friends! In fact, never stop building that list and warming it up ready for launch. With organic traffic converting at 7-8% in a launch, you've got 8 times more chance of converting a warm organic lead over a cold paid traffic lead. Meaning that emails in your launch couldn't be more important if you want to scale.
Sometimes emails are an after thought in launches, and no matter how well prepped you are you'll still need to create some on the fly. But the more you focus on email prep in the lead up to your launch the better your launch results will be. There's definitely always that feeling of “I'm sending too many emails” no matter how many launches I do, but the biggest launches are the ones that had the best email strategy. I still send my “I'm sorry I'm still emailing but someone needs to hear this” on cart close day 😂.
10 – Launch team + sales team = dream combo
Although I don't directly manage the sales team in a launch, as a launch manager my role is to work hand-in-hand with them. I do a better job of the launch when the sales team are strong, and the sales team do a better job when I'm feeding them leads and working WITH them. The sales team should never be viewed as an island… they're the bridge between you and your customers. Not all big launches have sales teams, they're usually for the higher ticket coaching programs and courses, but my gosh they work SO WELL. Even if your sales team is just a couple of people on your team who know your offer well, it can be a big boost to help get those stragglers over the finish line. It offers a higher touch experience, better conversions and better quality of customers (especially if you train your team on who is NOT a right fit).
PHEW! That turned into an essay and a half, but I hope you loved reading it as much as I loved writing it.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments – which was your favourite lesson and why?
P.S. If training a launch manager in your team, becoming a launch manager or improving your launch management skills is your top priority this year, then head over to our new training company – the Academy of Certified Launch Professionals and register your interest. We have a new next-level launch manager program opening for enrolment soon!