If you’re planning to create and sell your first digital product anytime soon…this post is for you!
Now, I know one of your fears is not having a big enough audience to sell your product to, right?
Well, I’m here to help. Because here’s the thing: before you create a checkout page and add a “buy now!” button to your website…you need a plan.
The reasons bloggers fail to make money with their first digital product launch is because they don’t take the time to plan an intentional launch strategy.
Luckily, you’re in the right place. In this post, I’m outlining the 3 phases that go into a successful launch so you can make money online and profit from your passion! Keep reading to learn more!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase by clicking on them, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, that will help me continue to bring you valuable content. Thanks for supporting In Search of Sheila!
How to Successfully Launch Your First Digital Product Click To Tweet
Phase 1: Pre-Launch
Focus: Planning your launch.
First things first, you gotta plan. Poorly planned launches end up as stressful launches.
And I don’t want you to be stressed!
Let’s break this phase down into steps:
Step 1: Pick Your Launch Dates
To effectively plan your launch the first thing you need to do is pick your launch dates.
This will be a period of time when you are focused on promoting your product and making sales.
5-10 days is a good window of time, depending on how much your product is.
I recommend having a 5-7 day launch for lower-priced products, while higher ticket items should be at least 7-10 days.
Why longer? Because your audience is going to need more convincing to dish out money for your product.
Since this is your first launch I recommend picking your launch dates AT LEAST 6 weeks from now.
If you work a 9-5 or have other commitments, you’re going to need a longer period of time to get everything done (and girl, there will be A LOT to do!)
Step 2: Set a Goal
Goals are great because they keep you motivated and focused! And since this is your first launch, why wouldn’t you set a goal?!
Now, goal-setting can look a little different for everyone. And if you’re not a goal-oriented person, you can totally skip this part.
But here’s the thing to keep in mind: don’t let your goals define your success and worth.
I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t achieved the majority of launch goals I’ve set for myself…and that’s OKAY!
I like setting goals because it gives me something to shoot for and pushes me to do my best.
If goals make you feel crappy, don’t set any!
You can set goals one of three ways:
- by the number of products you want to sell
- number of people you want to help (I like this one the most!)
Personally, I like to set goals around how many people I want to help because it helps me detach from the money part of things so I can focus on serving my audience!
Step 3: Create a Content Strategy
The key to an effective launch is having a CONTENT STRATEGY to build a warm audience who are ready to buy from you.
To achieve this you need to create purposeful content that is directly related to your product’s topic and make your audience aware that they have a problem (that your product will solve.)
This is seriously my favorite part about launching. I get so excited every time I sit down to plan my next launch because the content planning part is my favorite thing.
So here is all the content you’ll be publishing during the 5-6 weeks before your launch:
Signature Opt-In Freebie
Your main focus before your launch is to build your email list of POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. If you don’t have one, get one. I have a ton of blog posts on creating and growing your email list.
So how do you grow your email of people ready to buy your product? You need a signature opt-in freebie that is directly related to your product.
Again, I have a ton of blog posts on creating opt-in freebies! Bookmark ’em for later 🙂
So at this point you already know what you’re selling, so now you need to create free and super valuable content about that topic to achieve 3 things:
- Grab your audience’s attention and make them aware that they have a problem
- Educates/informs your audience about the topic (aka tell them how to fix their problem)
- Inspires/motivates them so they feel like they NEED your product to help them overcome their problem
You should aim to create 4-6 blog posts to be published 4-6 weeks before your launch week.
You’re going to want to live-launch with a webinar because it’s effective and drives in the most sales at one time.
The benefits of a webinar are that you can gather all of your warm leads into one place, get their undivided attention, give them something super valuable for FREE, tell them about a solution to their biggest pain point (your product) then pitch your product at the end…
Thus ending with money in your bank account! 💰
Your webinar topic should be directly related to your product and provide a taste of what your product will help them achieve.
You still want to pack the webinar with a ton of value, but if your audience is ready for the next step to take to achieve their desired results, they’ll be ready to press buy.
Some things you’ll need for your webinar:
- Sign up page to collect email addresses (I recommend LeadPages)
- Slides (Google Slides will do)
- Live stream platform (I recommend YouTube Live)
- Reminder emails prescheduled
Weekly Email Newsletters
Aim to send out one newsletter each week leading up to your launch.
Not sure what to put in your newsletter? Here are some ideas:
- Promote new blog post
- Highlight one main point of your new blog post
- Bonus tips and advice not on your blog
- Share behind the scenes of your product launch
- Share a personal story
And here’s a final tip for your newsletters: don’t be afraid to get a little personal!
Aim to post at least 3 times a week. With the way the Instagram algorithm is nowadays (it’s currently 2018-2019) this is the sweet spot.
I recommend planning out your social media content ahead of time.
You can either batch write them all in one go OR if you prefer to create your captions more intuitively (like me) brainstorm caption themes in one sitting then create your captions weekly or on the fly (whatever’s your style.)
Remember: your goal should be to have a STRATEGY behind your social media content to warm your audience up leading up to your product launch.
Don’t just post to post: be intentional!
As far as what kind of content to create, use the same themes I outlined above for your blog posts!
If you want to do the whole sha-bang when it comes to launching, you want to send out 6-8 emails during your launch period to your list.
In the emails you want to:
- Let your email list know your cart is open and your product is available
- Give them all the details on what the product is and who it’s for, and what’s included
- Share testimonials, case studies, or a personal story
- Share why you created the product / why you’re so passionate about it
- Overcome their objections about buying
- Remind them that the cart is closing and to hurry up and buy
Now, I know this is when people tense up and get scared. You will be sending out A LOT of emails over the span of a week.
“Ugh, I don’t want to spam my list! They’re going to unsubscribe!”
Yess, people will unsubscribe. But that’s business folks. You’re a CEO now and you shouldn’t let that affect you!
In reality, you should be HAPPY people are unsubscribing because they aren’t your target audience and they’re taking up precious space on your email list.
Oh, and since you’re paying for them to be on your email list, they’re doing you a favor by unsubscribing! 😉
Step 4: Schedule Everything Ahead of Time!
After you plan out all your launch content I recommend getting it all outlined and scheduling it ahead of time.
The reason launching gets a bad rap is that people don’t plan and prepare.
They wait until the last minute to do everything and then when launch week rolls around they still have a million things on their plate (been there!)
Aim to have everything created and scheduled 2 weeks before your launch week to ensure a stress-free launch 🙂
Phase 2: Launch / Open Cart
YAY! It’s time to launch!
This phase is also known as the “open cart” or “cart open” phase since your cart is officially open for customers to buy.
During your launch phase here’s what you’ll be focusing on:
- Sending out sales emails
- Hosting your live webinar
- Promoting product on social media
- Making time to answer questions/engage with audience
Phase 3: Post-Launch
The party ain’t over after you launch!
Now, the post-launch phase may look different for some people, depending on whether or not you did a presale for your product.
If you read this blog post, then you have an idea of why you should or shouldn’t do a presale!
Here are some things you need to plan to do during this phase:
- Answer customer questions
- Process possible refund requests (yup, they will happen!)
- Create and deliver your product (if you did a presale)
- Show up for your audience members who didn’t purchase
Phase 1: Plan Your Launch
- Pick launch dates
- Set a goal
- Plan & create content strategy
- Schedule content
Phase 2: Launch / Open Cart
- Send out sales emails
- Host webinar
- Actively promote product
Phase 3: Post-Launch
- Answer customer questions
- Create/deliver product (if presale)
- Show up for your audience who didn’t buy
Ready for the Blog to Biz Fast Track?
Now, if you’re a go-getter who wants to take the blog to biz fast-track, I have something you NEED!
The Blog to Biz 2019 Challenge kicks off January 21 and runs through January 25.
By the end of the challenge you will…
- Know the exact steps (in order) to start making money online in 2019
- Steal my exact strategy for growing a community that’s totally obsessed with you
- Map out your full-proof blog to business action plan for 2019 that you can’t wait to start
- Transform all your big ideas in your notebook into irresistible digital products that sell like hotcakes
- PLUS: My productivity secrets to GET MORE DONE with little time (even with a 9-5!)
In 5 days you’ll have the answer to “how the heck do I turn my blog into a business and where do I start?!” PLUS an action plan you can’t wait to dive into.
If you’re ready to make sh*t happen in 2019 I better see you on Day 1 of the challenge!