Launch Breakdown #1
Revenue goals: I didn’t set any goals for this one
List size at start: about 20
Webinar registrants: I didn’t let people register, must have been 2 or 3 persons attending.
- From webinar: 1
- From webinar follow-up: N/A
- From e-mails: 2
- Unknown: 0
Stage & setting
What a strange launch this was! I was launching without even really knowing what a launch was.
So let’s start at the beginning: in early 2015, Commit Happiness (my first company), was just a website with soms blog articles and meditations. We didn’t even have a mailing list as we thought Facebook likes were much more important: e-mail is old-fashioned, right?
We didn’t have any products, we weren’t making any money. We were just waiting for word of mouth to spread about our amazing website, so we would get enought pageviews to make a decent living from advertisements.
At this stage I joined a small coaching group that was hosted by a good friend of my boyfriend. This woman would teach us how to develop a digital product (“What is that?” was my response, haha) and launch it, in exchange for 10% of the revenue we would make with this product.
I thought it was a fair deal: if she wouldn’t help me make money, I wouldn’t have to give her any. So without really thinking it through, I said yes to the coaching program.
Well, of course, in a way this whole project has helped me to move further in my business. But it brought me a lot of on-going struggles as well – more on that later.
When I started brainstorming for my digital product, I had all these amazing ideas I was really passionate about – but I didn’t want to use them as it would mean 10% would go to this coach, and that was too much for me for a flagship product. I wanted an easy try-out project, so I decided to teach people how to find joy inside themselves. I thought a lot of people were interested in the topic, and it wasn’t one of my most treasured ideas – and thus a perfect fit for this project!
Big mistake number 2.
It’s hard to develop a product that you’re not that passionate about, and it’s even harder to promote it. But at that moment I had no idea I would have to promote it… I thought I would just add it to some sort of webshop and that’s all settled then :””)
That would have been mistake number 3 if my coach hadn’t stopped me.
So as I am writing this blogpost (6 months after I launched this product) I’m still having doubts if I should keep the course for sale. And I’m still not sure if I want to take it out because it doesn’t fit with Commit Happiness/me, or if it’s my self-sabotage aka imposter syndrome.
I didn’t have a strategy except for doing exactly what my coach said. But very soon after starting, I discovered that she wasn’t a very good coach – or at least not for me. She didn’t show us the big picture, only the next step – so I never understood why I did what I had to do. She didn’t stick to her deadlines, often canceling meetings and not delivering the training videos on time.
Plus, I started to notice we were not really suited for each other. She was much more of a ‘hard-selling okayish products’ type of person, while I’m a soft selling perfectionist. And at that time, I wasn’t a seller at all, but someone who would cringe at hearing the word ‘marketing’.
So I would always have objections for doing the tasks she told me to do. It must not have been easy for her either…
Although I’m not content about the whole coaching thing, I am very grateful that she helped me to start thinking more like a marketer instead of just a product creator.
Oh and to talk about the exact strategy: it was pretty much the whole deal. Putting up an opt-in related to the course to create a VIP list, a 3-part video series, a webinar and an e-mail sequence.
All I wrote about before was pretty much the BIG struggle I had with this launch: I didn’t feel passionate and expertised enough about my product, and I didn’t feel content with the coaching. And the hardest thing was that I didn’t dare to tell my coach. I would sometimes give her feedback, saying that it didn’t work for me the meetings got scheduled that often.
But I felt unable to tell her the truth: that I didn’t want to continue this coaching program any more.
The quality of what she provided was low, but I knew she had put a lot of time and effort into it. It felt mean to stop half-way and never give her any money in return for all that hard work. And what made it even harder, was that she was such a good friend of my boyfriend. I couldn’t get in a fight with her, could I?
Of course, the real mean thing was to not tell her the truth, and I had to live with the consequences of it.
So today I’m still feeling shitty that she gets 10% of my revenue and I wonder how much money I will pay her before I finally tell her everything and suggest to stop our agreement. Because I feel she only helped me make this first €111 I made during the launch. Everything else I earned with it, was because I started to educate myself on marketing – through expensive courses that I have to pay for from my revenue.
Oh, revenue… that was another struggle. When I look back at it, I’m surprised I even made €111 without a proper mailing list. But at the time, I was so frustrated! Had I done all this hard work for just 100 euros? It had taken me 3+ months to create everything!
Speaking of creating… since this was the first time I created an e-course I also had to figure out all the things related: a mailing list provider, how to put an opt-in on my website, where to host my stuff, a membership area etc…
This made it a very intense and difficult project. I got stuck so many times. I had to put in so many hours and money for desigining the membership area and having my boyfriend program it. And I often felt so angry at my coach and boyfriend for delaying my process as they didn’t keep their deadlines. From start to finish… it took almost a year for my couse to get created + launched. (But I did also graduate during that time, so that played a part in it too of course!)
And an important note: of course you can get a memebership area set up relativiely easy and much much cheaper than I had it done… but yeah remember that perfectionist problem I talked about? I felt like I NEEDED everything to be custom-made so it would fit perfectly with Commit Happiness.
And yes, I do now have a beautiful membership area that I am very proud of and get wonderful feedback on. But it was actually something that would have been for a later stage in my busines…. You know, that stage where you actually MAKE money with your business that you can invest in a beautiful custom-made solutions :’)
It was good I got pushed actually launch a product, instead of only putting it on my website. This has set the stage for all my following launches. Of course I would have started launching at some time, but it would have taken me much longer.
At the start of this project, I didn’t even want to put up a salespage because I found it too weird to have a page on my website that didn’t have my normal layout. It was good that I got stressed to start using salespages, that I loosend up a little.
I’m also glad I got pushed to do a webinar. It was a terrible webinar that I hated to do because I didn’t know what I was doing, but because it somehow made me a sale I got motivated to explore further about webinars. I found Amy Porterfields webinars course and discovered they can actually be pretty awesome if done right. An on-going love affair had started!
I made my first money as an entrepreneur!
Oh and I want you to take away this from my whole story: you can do everything horribly wrong with your first launch, but it will still be valuable to have done it. Because you can improve on everything the next time you go about it :)
What I want to change next time
I’m never going to invest in products or services from someone whom I’m not familair with and do not ressonate with. It’s so important the teacher is a good fit for you!
If I ever have to tell a truth again that I don’t feel able to, I’m going to allow myself to do it through e-mail. Of course e-mail sucks as a medium for emotional matters, but it’s better than not telling anything at all.
I’m never going to create a product that I’m not 100% passionate about.
Next time, I want to be better educated on marketing and really know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I want to learn about webinars and take more time to write my e-mails.
And boy, do I need to grow an e-mail list…