How to Plan A Launch (& keep your lunch)

planning a successful launch day, plan the launch & keep your lunch

You have a grand idea you want to share and celebrate, but how? Selling often makes us feel icky-especially when we have poured our love and late nights into the finished product. Will anyone love it as much as we do? That question can keep us from loving our own launches if we’re caught up catching butterflies in our bellies and hyperventilating into a paper bag. I’ve been there! Launching is an awful lot like birthing-we wait in anticipation until the big day & then despite the fear we push or pull our way through to bring our baby into the world. Just like preparing for a baby or a big change planning your launch ahead of time will help keep you under control on the day of.

ARE YOU READY?

I waited over a year to launch my first product on OMHG and since then I have been part of many launches of my own and had the chance to join in on helping out some wonderful friends with theirs. I have learned a whole lot of what not to do through my own mistakes and I’m going to share some of this with you. There is nothing wrong with waiting until you have a good idea of what you want to launch, who you are launching to, and have at least a small community to help you celebrate. You don’t have to wait until everything is perfect but if you put in the time in advance to have a support base then your launch will of couse be more successful. So if you are just starting out and have 5 followers and one or two posts on your blog I suggest doing some more work building your offering first. Assuming you have already built a following and have people listening then you are ready to start planning the big launch.

MAKE IT A PARTY

A new baby is something to celebrate with others. Treat your launch like a party & plan it like one:

  • Set your launch date at least one month in advance.
  • Start letting people know about your big day!
  • 3 weeks before-send out invitations & invite your friends
  • Ask your best supporters to help spread the word
  • Get yourself a party dress! Or hat, or shoes, whatever-something that will make you feel all sparkly & excited.

DON’T DO IT ALONE

A successful launch is a team event-if you have a supportive team of cheerleaders there with you everything will be a lot more fun & a lot less stressful. I am lucky to always have my team of contributors, readers & #omhg friends to hold my hand on launch day. Make sure you identify who your supports are and ask them to be part of your launch team. Send them a write up about the launch or have them interview you or review your product. Bridgett of Perideau Designs did a great job of that with her new custom mouse pads! Check out her post by clicking above to see how she showcased testimonials & her product brilliantly.
http://www.bridgettedwards.com/2012/03/02/new-items-available-at-perideau-designs/

PLAN FOR SUCCESS

For the Cultivate Your Creativity launch I made the mistake of trying to parent both kids AND launch the big project in the middle of the day. This meant small children running around in various states of undress making a giant mess, a heap of noise & eating too many granola bars. The constant needing to switch gears to focus on them & on the launch was highly stressful. Don’t do this. For our upcoming Guide to Businessy Goodness launch I have planned for help the day before AND the day of so I can focus all my attention on the big day. Lessons learned!

Launch day party planner, planning a launch without loosing your lunch

Some other tips to help plan for success: 

  • Make a list of what you need to do the month before & for each week leading up to the launch
  • Write up a couple draft emails to send to your launch team & via newsletter etc.
  • Set up a separate mailing list to notify people about your launch-Mailchimp is awesome.
  • Start a separate launch day calendar to help you count down & stay on track
  • Don’t keep tweaking your product right up until launch day, give yourself AT LEAST 1 week with everything all wrapped up and ready to go.
  • Have your copy, images & posts written up and ready to send out before launch day.
  • On launch day clear everything from your schedule-give it your 100% attention!

SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

Don’t go into your first launch expecting to sell a thousand copies/products/anything. Be happy with 10, or one! Try not to set yourself up for disappointment instead of success-then when you sell a thousand copies you will be humbled and full of joy, not ticked at yourself that you didn’t sell 1001.

At the same time allow yourself to let those crazy emotions-the fear, uncertainty, wild excitement, run through you. Just keep them in check by not letting them carry you away. This launching of our loves is powerful stuff and is bound to set your heart to racing (I know mine has been pounding a mile a minute since I announced the guide in January!).

POST-LAUNCH DEBRIEFING

You’ve gone to the moon and back + caught a few stars to bring home as reminders of your adventures. Now what? Take a couple days of to process it all then check back in to find out what worked/didn’t work. Catch those ideas while the whole experience is fresh in your mind but has also had a bit of time to settle. This last worksheet will help you grab those ideas before they are gone.

launch debrief, how to plan a launch and keep your lunch

Tell us about your launch day woes & wonders in the comments! There is nothing better then learning from others & what worked/didn’t work for them. Also be sure to hop on the Oh My! Guide to Businessy Goodness launch day party list-it’s going to be a blast;) 

 

16 comments

  1. Kim Gosney says:

    Launch it like a rocket!!! Great tips for helping us launch!!! Terrific idea about the debriefing too-helps us get some after launch perspective. Also, kudos for the comment about creating launch emails ahead of time & giving yourself one full week after completing BUT not making any changes to your offering! I tweak and tweak and tweak things to death!

  2. Diane says:

    Thanks for the great advice,i just launched my big cartel shop 2 weeks ago. Got one comment congratulating me-can be really disheartening when all your heart goes into something and there is barely a response let alone enquiries! But we must soldier on, right!

    • Jessika says:

      Thank you all for the great comments!
      @Diane It can be disheartening but it isn’t too late to have a much grander launch party:) Just relaunch the launch! If you have any questions about getting ready to spread the word come visit us here & ask away!

  3. Amy says:

    This gets me excited! I’ve toyed with the idea of planning an actual launch and whether or not that sort of thing would apply to my business, and this post definitely inspires me toward YES! Yes I CAN do this and yes I SHOULD. Thanks!

  4. kellie says:

    I love this article, Jessika! Thank you ever-so-much for the reality check about 1st launches & the helpful printables to keep track of what went great & what NOT to do next time. I have my first virtual program on Monday & I’ve already made some boo-boos & uh-ohs…now I can record them on your beautiful handouts 😉

  5. Jacolien says:

    I have just yesterday launched my first Etsy-shop! I was SO SO nervous!
    I wish could have had your blogpost 2 weeks ago, then maybe I’d thought it over a bit more.
    But nontheless I’m happy with my little shop and I hope something will come out of it. As you said, I’ll be happy with the first order and with every single order following.

    • Jessika says:

      Good luck with your launch Jennifer! You are sure to miss things when you launch but if you list out what you need to have ready, make sure you’ve got the balls in motion now for your launch next month & are sending out press + promo emails you’ll be set! Best wishes!

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