Have you ever had a delicious meal at a restaurant that was so good it has you dreaming about it days later? In an attempt to relive the experience you research “mock” recipes online, buy the ingredients, and then try it yourself…to immense disappointment.
For whatever reason, it didn’t turn out quite the same way you tasted it the first time.
There’s a lot of advice out there to MIMIC what works right? Just model the process as someone else did it, and WABAM! it works exactly the same…. except it often doesn’t.
Why not? Where is the breakdown?
If you’ve ever tried to recreate a recipe at home—without the original recipe, the original ingredient list, or the chef who can tell you all the little tricks she used to make it come out the way it did—you’re in for an unpredictable ride.
Today we’re going to tackle the first piece of what would make that experience a whole lot easier….
An ingredients list.
Yes, you’d still need to figure out portions and the order and how to cook it, but if you had a list of ingredients, you’d cut your experimentation down by about 80%.
The Ingredients Matter.
We talked about the three launch styles you need as an online business owner, and all three types pull from the same ingredients list.
What you NEED:
- An Audience: You need one. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be just 100 people (which doesn’t take long to build), but you need an audience. Which means, you also need…
- A Platform: Whether it’s Facebook, YouTube, podcasting, email, Instagram, or some combination of those, your platform is where you communicate who you are, what you believe, what you stand for, and the problem you solve.
- A List: When you put your audience and platform together, you begin to grow your customer list. A list is the primary mechanism you use to sell during a launch, though it’s supported by a social media presence as well.
- An Offer: One of the reasons Cathy and I put out Offer Cure at such an insane price, is that we know it’s the foundational component to making it in the online space. Rather than wrestle with procrastination and analysis paralysis, we thought, how can we solve this problem once and for all…quickly? A great launch hinges on an irresistible offer.
- Bonuses: But not just arbitrary ones. There are specific types of bonuses that work well in a launch, released at specific times. You want scarce bonuses (limited in quantity) and urgent bonuses (ones that run out after a certain time).
- A Plan: I love it when people come to me and say, “I want to launch this next week,” and I’m like…. yeahhhh. Do you have a plan for that? If you don’t prepare the runway, the plane will never leave the airport. Launching is all about preparing the runway. When you do that right, selling is virtually effortless.
- An MVF: I call this a “Minimum Viable Funnel”. A launch doesn’t require you to have some crazy automated funnel. Quite the opposite in fact. Lots of people are relieved when I tell them you simply need a sales page and an order form. That’s it.
- A Storyline: Launches without the story fall flat and feel awkward. When you have a narrative and storyline you’re following, your prospects can easily understand and follow along with what you’re doing. You have taken the time to carefully curate the right content they need, at the right time, and that reassurance builds trust.
- Pressure: Ahhhh. One of my favorite marketing tools. Building pressure and anticipation is key. How well you do that determines how fast the sales come in when the cart opens. For the last three people that did this launch, the sales came in SO FAST, they hit their target goal within 24 hours.
- Expectations: No one thinks they need to protect their mindset in a launch. No, they are focused on ads and funnels and copy and all of the hard tangibles that have to be created. But THIS one right here? Is one of the MOST important ingredients. It’s what makes the difference between feeling momentum and accomplishment, and feeling frantic, anxious, and defeated. You can take the same person, same product, same launch results, and have two entirely different outcomes if you mismanage expectations.
- A Day-by-Day Breakdown: You’d be amazed at how many people run out of stuff to say about their product…OR…even more often…they run out of ways to say it. This is why it’s vitally important that you have a day by day breakdown of the hook and idea and theme you’ll be using every day, to tell your story. People respond to different ideas. If you hammer the same message the same way – over and over – people will tune it out.
- Scarcity + Urgency: These are POWERFUL marketing tools, but they must be used ethically. People need both urgency and scarcity to take action, and you can include it in your launch to combat procrastination!
- Logical + Emotional Closes: You can always tell what kind of buyer the seller is because they focus on that way to sell! Ever notice how I tend to use a lot of logic when it comes to selling my products, whereas someone like Russell uses more story and emotion? That’s because the way WE buy – is very different. You need both closes because your audience will be filled with emotional and logical buyers.
- A Fulfillment Plan: When the cart opens, there’s a lot going on. People have questions. Merchant accounts want verification. Payment issues. Refunds. New customers needing to find their stuff. Are you ready when the doors open and your first buyers come in? This is incredibly important because what happens RIGHT after the person buys, helps cement in their head they made a great choice in investing with you.
- KPIs: This stands for Key Performance Indicators, and follows along closely wit #9 – expectations. When you have KPI’s dialed in, you can actually adjust your strategy IN THE MOMENT, to react to how the buyers are behaving. For example, in the middle of one of my client’s launch, we noticed one KPI – the unique # of people viewing the sales page – was off based on what we’d anticipated. We could calculate based on average views a day, we wouldn’t hit our target. So we came up with an advertising plan that would help boost that number.
- Accountability: Leave the lone ranger routine for the Wild West movies. Going it alone ensures anxiety, burn out, and reacting to hiccups rather than taking decisive action.
- Protection: Even with a flawless launch, you will have grouchy customers who want refunds. You’ll want a solid terms and conditions contract and refund policy, as well as sample responses to people who are on the fence about a refund and need a little reassurance from a customer service agent.
What’s OPTIONAL, but still recommended, especially for larger launches:
- A Live Webinar: A sales presentation where you deliver content and then pitch your offer
- Paid Ads: These are used both BEFORE the launch (to build a list) and then DURING the launch (to remind people of your offer)
- JV/Affiliates: If you don’t have a big following but some key relationships, you can create a JV offer where you sell to someone else’s audience
- Pre-Launch Series/Content: This is an expanded method to building pressure, where you plan to lead with free value in a series of videos or workshops that help people get ready to buy
A couple of things to note about the list…not every launch has every ingredient.
There are variations of the ingredients themselves, just like there are multiple types of apples (Fiji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith), and multiple ways to experience the apple itself (whole, chopped, pureed into sauce, etc.). The same goes for launch ingredients!
Let’s take an example… The MVF (what we call a MINIMUM VIABLE FUNNEL).
- Every launch needs a funnel, but there are distinctly different types of funnels associated with the three types of launches.
- There’s also variations in quality (e.g. a fugly funnel vs. a gorgeous one ????)
- There are launches that have funnels BEFORE the launch (like lead funnels, coming soon funnels, live webinar funnels, etc.)
As you start to drill down into this launching stuff, you begin to see that if you’re simply mimicking someone else’s process from the outside looking in, it’s easy to miss the small adjustments that make the biggest difference.
The good news is if you’ve tried before and failed, it doesn’t mean your offer, your idea, or your business is hopeless. In fact quite the opposite—especially if you’ve never really taken the time to dive in at this level.
When someone comes to us with a failed launch, it’s good news when we can say, “Hey! You just tried this without thinking about all this stuff, and because of that we see SO MUCH potential to improve!”
There’s nowhere to go but up!
And if you’ve launched and had success without this level of detail, just think of your potential with some optimization!
If you’ve never launched at all, this is our advice: This skill of marketing is so important and so valuable. Launching isn’t going to go away even if the tactics change, the platform changes, the trends change. And here’s the best part….
Once you understand the theory behind it—the pieces and parts and how they work—it’s like you’re the chef in the kitchen. There are endless launch recipes you can deploy to make sure you’re always standing out, innovating, and staying relevant.
There are some pitfalls too. We’d be silly not to mention those, but we’ll save that for our next blog post!
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