Successful Product Launches have a ton of moving parts each moving at the same time in unison. If done right it is a beautiful ballet. If it is done wrong it quickly becomes a demolition derby.
If you wanted to list all of the possible moving parts and all the possible roles for every possible scenario, there would be well over 80 different items listed here and it would take up several pages. So instead we are going to look at the primary Modules within a large scale product launch and also include the stuff that needs to happen first, like a simple seed launch or internal launch. And yes you need a seed launch first to develop IP, content, market segmentation and all the rest. With this under your belt you will know more about what you need to do to get the desired result. It seems like more work, and it is in the beginning, but overall it will save time and money every time. One thing is for certain, it’s critical to get your content strategy, production and delivery just right at launch.
Product Launch Module #1: The Creative
The writing and creation of all the prelaunch and launch content, the emails, the copy, the videos – essentially, all of the marketing creative required for the launch. Articulate your message with copy, email swipes, Video Production and press releases. Basically this module means putting together all the things necessary to help your target audience understand your product or service intimately.
Product Launch Module #2: Project Planning
All of the project planning and administration to make sure stuff is getting done. It includes getting the prelaunch content pages and sales pages built, setting up the product delivery and/or membership areas, testing the links, approving the comments, setting up the shopping cart and testing out the order process, building the site out, putting tracking in place, watching the analytics, customer service and support issues, etc. Basically, we’re talking about all the logistical and technical here. Depending on the size and complexity of the product launch, this role may be filled by one person or an entire team.
Product Launch Module #3: Contact Wrangling
In a full-blown product launch this role is crucial… and it’s as much about motivation as it is administration. It encompasses getting clients or investors on board once they have reached out to you and then communicating with them regularly, and making sure they have all the support they need. This includes the logistics of making sure they’re signed up and have the right link… being able to respond to them quickly when questions arise… following who has committed, who is going to commit, and who needs to be prodded to commit … plus, staying in close touch with the top investors, clients and partners. To do that, you’ve got to know what motivates them and understand how to use that knowledge to sustain their excitement throughout the entirety of the launch.
So there are the basic modules you will need for any launch. Before you start this you really need to do an internal or seed launch. So you are asking what a Seed Launch? Well the answer is A Simple System for Creating Products That Sell or how to not create products that the market doesn’t want. You know the stories of how Heinz launched Green Ketchup and all the rest, so if brands with huge R&D budgets can create products that the market doesn’t want, then how do we as Entrepreneurs avoid creating products that our market won’t buy? It is a natural tendency as entrepreneurs to dream up creative product ideas that we THINK our market will like, but completely miss out on simply asking our audience what it wants and needs. So, how do we create and launch products that sell? It’s actually a lot simpler than you would think…and if you do it right you will develop a ton of highly relevant content along the way.
“The Seed Launch”
The Seed Launch offers the perfect avenue for business owners to converse with their audience, uncover their biggest questions and needs and ultimately identify “what the market wants”. This type of launch is ideal if you have a small list (100-300 names), no list, or a new product idea you would like to test first before actually creating it. Here are 9 quick steps to rolling out an effective “Seed Launch”…
- Send out an email to your small list or make a post in the Social Networks that sounds something like this…
“People have been asking me to teach “Dog Training” forever and I’ve never really even considered doing it, but I’m thinking of putting together a course. If you’re interested, let me know.
Then, you might include a link to your squeeze page to start building your “Launch List” for this future product.
- Create some prelaunch content in the form of a series of emails. During this prelaunch sequence, give your list an offer (Ie. How to train your dog better).
- Invite your list to a series of teleseminars or webinars. Use a free service like FreeConferenceCall.com to set up a bridge line to run your calls or use a free webinar service like AnyMeeting.
At this point, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to charge for the calls or do it for free. Interestingly enough, when you charge money, people tend to be more compliant and actually show up for the calls or webinars.
The goal here is to get at least 30-40 people on the calls so you have a critical mass.
- Run a survey to your participants prior to the teleseminar or webinar asking them a question like this…
“If you could sit down and have coffee with me to discuss “Dog Training”, what would be the top two questions you would ask me on this topic?”
At this point, compile the responses (using a tool like SurveyMonkey) and build a list of the top 10 topics they would be most interested in learning about. In fact, these questions will become the basis for your content on the calls.
- Deliver your first call or webinar and plan on teaching (and answering submitted questions) for anywhere from 45-90 minutes.
- Send out a follow-up survey after this first call with a couple questions like this…
“What didn’t I cover about this topic that you would like to know more about?”
“Our next call is going to be on XYZ topic… what are your top questions about that?”
Again, take those questions and organize them for your second call or webinar. The massive benefit of these surveys is that you are always get super valuable feedback from your market.
- Follow the same process for your second and third call.
- Offer a bonus webinar or call.
It is critical to ALWAYS over deliver for your clients so if you are planning on doing three calls, then add an unannounced bonus call.
- Get your call recordings transcribed by a professional.
You’ll now have like 50-70+ pages of transcripts and 3-4 hours of audio/video recordings… talk about a great starting point for your first product launch in this market.
Again, the two powerful benefits of a Seed Launch is that you are creating content based on what your audience is interested in and you’re gaining valuable experience in learning how to teach this material.
Whenever you enter a new market with no product or no list, the “Seed Launch” can be your greatest ally and a repeatable process that positions you to build a fantastic product that your market wants.
Realistically you should be doing all of this at the same time. Starting Content development module at the same time you are doing the seed launch. You will be getting valuable feedback and ideas in the seed launch that you can immediately put into action in developing your content.