I’m fresh from the Asana Assistant launch and have MUCH to share with you about what I did and didn’t do for my most successful digital product launch to date!!
Before I get ahead of myself, you should know that I am NOT a launch expert.
I’ve only launched a couple of digital products and online courses. (I can actually count the number of launches I’ve done on just ONE hand.)
But I HAVE done a fair amount of research on them and studied other people’s launches FOR YEARS. (At this point, it’s something of a hobby 😂)
Which means… you can take or leave ANYTHING I say in this post about launching.
But know this: I didn’t do HALF of the things the “launch experts” say you SHOULD for a successful digital product/course launch and it was my MOST successful launch to date!!
While I’m not going to share my exact revenue goals or actual numbers (because I don’t want to impact or influence your version of success—I’ll explain that more in just a bit), I will say this: I only ever made a couple hundred dollars in my previous launches.
This time? I made several thousands!!
I smashed my GOOD, BETTER, BEST goals, and even surpassed my REACH goal, which I did NOT expect!! 🤩
Want to know what I did and didn’t do? I bet you do!! (I mean, you’re here, right?!)
Let’s do this!!
(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using these links.)
10 THINGS I DID DURING MY MOST SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL PRODUCT LAUNCH AND WHY
I warmed up my audience with one blog post and one email every week for FOUR weeks!! I also shared LOTS of behind-the-scenes of what I was working on and sneak peeks of the Asana Assistant templates on my Instagram Stories all the way up to launch week. (Sharing the behind-the-scenes and sneak peeks was something I picked up from Louise Henry. She said it would get people interested in and excited about my course/product before it was even available and she was RIGHT!!)
(Read the Pre-Launch Posts: Do You Really Need a Project Management System?! + Trello vs. Asana: Why I Finally Switched from Trello to Asana + My Favorite Planning Hack: Using DUE Dates and DO Dates in Asana + How I Manage, Maintain & Run My Entire Business in Asana)
I opened the waitlist the same day the first blog post went live and kept it open until the day before early access launch day. I put graphics that advertised the waitlist at the end of each blog post and reminded people to join the waitlist every other day on Instagram Stories. (To entice people to join the waitlist, I promised them early access to Asana Assistant AND a special 24-hour celebration code!!)
The special 24-hour celebration code was an additional $20 off the special launch week price of $97. At the end of the week-long launch, I bumped the price to $147!! (I hemmed and hawed and all but chewed my nails off over pricing because it can make a HUGE difference in not just the success of your launch but the success of your product overall. But I think I finally found my sweet spot this time!! I also decided to call it a CELEBRATION code instead of a COUPON code because of the negative connotations and the fact that it’s overused. I decided to flip the script and CELEBRATE the launch of Asana Assistant instead!!)
I decided (at the last minute) to include a special add-on installation service for Asana Assistant for an additional $147. I did this NOT because uploading the templates is hard (it’s actually quite easy), but I really wanted to offer something to those people who were nervous about doing things the right way or who wanted the templates but didn’t feel like they had the time to set them up. (I remember those exact same feelings when I purchased my WordPress theme from Bluchic, which is why I added on their installation service. They took the theme installation OFF my plate and made sure it was uploaded and installed correctly, while I worked on other things. It was a HUGE weight off my shoulders and my to-do list and I would do it again in a heartbeat!! I wanted to be able to offer my students the same kind of experience!!
I PLANNED all of my launch/sales emails and social media posts ahead of time, but WROTE everything the day-of or night before. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to blindly write emails and social media posts before I even knew what the day-to-day response to Asana Assistant was. I carefully watched my engagement numbers on Instagram, monitored my email open and click rates, and even followed the trail of every single sale so that I could course correct and tweak my launch/sales emails and social media posts accordingly. I think this made a HUGE difference in the overall success of this launch!! (BTW: Kartra made it SO EASY to follow all of my sales trails!! I’m so freaking glad I switched to this platform last year!! Having everything under one roof is AMAZING!!)
I strategically took the week off of everything else (including my coaching clients). I didn’t schedule any other content. I didn’t schedule any additional appointments. (I kept the things that were scheduled BEFORE I knew that week was going to be my launch week, but didn’t ADD anything else.) I didn’t work on any other projects. I didn’t even check in with my coaching clients. (I told them this was happening ahead of time and they were all super supportive!!) I really had NO IDEA what this launch would be like, but I wanted to be open, available, and ready for anything and everything!!
I manned my inbox, Instagram DMs, and live chat PERSONALLY. I didn’t hire a launch team or anyone to help me. When a potential student asked a question, it was me, myself, and I answering!! (It was also the first launch where I used a live chat—Chatra—on my sales page and it was REALLY COOL!! I also responded to as many Instagram DMs with voice messages as I possibly could. Taking the week off of everything else allowed me to do this and I’m really glad I did!!)
I used ALL of the templates that I could get my hands on. I used a sales page template from Amanda Genther’s Launch in Style, email templates from Megan Martin’s Revenue Ripple, and Canva templates from Styled Stock Society and Pixistock. I didn’t write a single email or design a single graphic from scratch (which is something I always struggled to do in the past) and it saved me A TON of time and stress!! (I also used my own Marketing Map template from Asana Assistant to plan out all of my content for the pre-launch and launch!!)
I spoke with almost every single student either before or after their purchase. I know what it’s like to feel like just another order number during a launch and I don’t want ANY of my students to EVER feel like that. I want them to feel seen, heard, and cared about both before the sale and after. (I not only manned my inboxes, Instagram DMs, and sales page live chat, but I also answered every single support ticket that came through the Helpdesk to ensure those people who hopped right into the content and had questions, got answers fast!!)
I took really good care of myself, kept up with all of my routines, and didn’t shirk any of my other responsibilities. I didn’t get up any earlier than normal nor did I go to bed any later than normal. I didn’t drink an absurd amount of coffee or eat a bunch of junk food. I took my vitamins and drank a lot of water. I took care of all of my fur babies (2 dogs and 2 cats), cleaned the house, and kept up with laundry. (The only thing I didn’t do was workout and that’s only because I experienced an epic endometriosis flare up the day after launch day and decided it was better not to.)
10 THINGS I DIDN’T DO DURING MY MOST SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL PRODUCT LAUNCH AND WHY
I did NOT my pre-sell my course. So many launch experts tell you to pre-sell your course or digital product aka sell it before you’ve even started working on it to ensure you’ve a) got an idea that WILL sell and b) get paid while you are creating it. But I have been on the receiving end of quite a few pre-sales that were not done right or well at all (i.e. they didn’t have the course done by the date they said they would). And I’ve seen how monumentally stressful it is for course creators to manage a pre-sale AND creation at the same time. (I did A LOT of market research beforehand so I KNEW people wanted these templates and I had 80% of Asana Assistant DONE by the time I started actively sharing about it.)
I didn’t do a week-long challenge. Many launch experts say to offer a FREE 3-5 day challenge that leads into your launch, but as a consumer, I am so burnt out on challenges and quite honestly over them. (I also know how hard it is to keep people engaged and interested all the way through and my little solopreneur heart would have had a hard time seeing the numbers drop off like that.)
I didn’t do a webinar or live Q&A. I barely even showed my face on Instagram Stories. If you’ve been around this corner of the internet for any length of time, you know that video is NOT my strong suit. That’s putting it lightly… I actually hate it. I’ve tried to embrace it; really, I have. But I just don’t like it. I would rather write hundreds of blog posts and Instagram captions than sit myself down in front of a camera and talk. I don’t know what it is but the second I hit that record button, I freeze like a deer in headlights. I become infinitely aware of how much I talk with my hands and I start stumbling over my words. And with each stutter or flail of my hand, I get more and more self-conscious. So even though all of the launch experts preach about the importance of video during your launch and all but demand that you do webinars, and live Q&As, and show your face on Instagram Stories, I didn’t. I still showed up every day, just not in that way. (I did plan on showing my face on Instagram Stories more, but I had a pretty epic endometriosis flare up the day after launch day, and lets just say, I was not looking my best. So I did what I do best, written posts and pretty graphics!!)
I didn’t have a team of people helping me with the launch. I didn’t hire a copywriter or graphic designer or even a launch assistant. Some people already have a team that’s prepped and ready for launch week madness. Other people hire launch teams to help them out during a big launch. But not me. My audience isn’t that big. My email list is just under 5,000 and so is my Instagram audience, so I felt like I could handle whatever happened. And I did!! (Even on the days where I was glued to my heating pad, I had my laptop, iPad, and iPhone propped up and charging on the couch next to me. Everything was fine!!)
I didn’t do an open door, close door launch. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of launch, I decided long ago that all of my digital products and online courses would be evergreen (aka available all year round). I made this decision for a couple of reasons. The first is that I don’t want to create a feast or famine situation in my business. I don’t want my income to surge one week and then drop like a stone the next. I want consistent income all year long. The second reason is because all of my digital products and online courses are meant to help female entrepreneurs + solopreneurs with daily productivity and backend business systems. They’re going to need my products and courses when THEY need them, not when *I* decide to launch them.
I didn’t use a single countdown timer on my sales page or in my launch emails. After a lengthy conversation in The Digital Lab Facebook Group about how countdown timers have negative connotations and it’s starting to fall into the sleazy sales tactics category, I decided not to use it. Maybe it would have helped me get a few more sales, maybe it would have turned people away, I honestly have no idea. I was up front and honest about when the price would be increasing and that was it.
I didn’t spend any money on ads. I’m not at a place in my business where I feel comfortable doing this yet. I also feel like all of the people who were once super successful with ads (including ad experts) are still trying to figure out how to make their ads work again since Apple instituted all of the changes, increased privacy, and all of that. I’m not opposed to running ads in the future, but I need to do some serious research and education before I even dip my toes into the ad pool. For now, the pool remains closed. (Even without ads, I still had my most successful digital product launch yet!!)
I didn’t make six-figures or even five-figures, but I also didn’t expect to. For this launch, I kicked those pipe dreams to the curb and set REALISTIC goals (based on MY business, MY reach, and MY audience) instead. I used my Good, Better, Best Goal Setting Method to set realistic goals that not only MADE SENSE but that I would be ECSTATIC to hit!! I also set a Reach Goal that I thought would be really fun and awesome to hit, but didn’t have high expectations of hitting. (I wound up SURPASSING that Reach Goal, which I still can’t believe!! I keep re-running the numbers just to make sure I’m not dreaming!!)
I didn’t get super sick or fall off the face of the earth afterwards. Have you ever noticed how the big names all seem to get super sick and/or fall off the face of the earth (and sometimes even run away) after a launch? I have and I think it’s because they push themselves TOO HARD during the launch that they shut down (in more ways than one) when it’s done. I do NOT want this to ever happen to me!! Did I take a couple of days off after the launch? Yes, but it was also a weekend, so it wasn’t like I took EXTRA or EXTENDED time off. Did I nap A LOT those days? You bet I did!! But there’s nothing wrong with naps. (In fact, I think we ALL should be taking more of them!!) But there IS something wrong with pushing yourself to and especially past your limits and making yourself sick.
I didn’t focus on someone else’s version of success. I focused on MY OWN!! This was probably the biggest change I made that I think made all the difference in the success of this launch. I focused on MY OWN version of success instead of what I thought it SHOULD be based on what someone else said. I finally realized that her business is not MY business and her version of success is not MY version of success. So, instead of feeling like a failure after this launch because I didn’t make as much as someone else, I CELEBRATED the fact that I CRUSHED my Good, Better, Best Goals, and even surpassed my Reach goal!!
PERSONAL NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Remember, at the beginning of this post, I said I wasn’t going to share my exact revenue goals or actual numbers? Do you understand now why I didn’t?
It’s not because I don’t want to share them. It’s not because I’m embarrassed of them. It’s not because I didn’t make what I said I made. It’s because I don’t want MY VERSION of success to impact or influence YOUR VERSION of success!!
We have to stop letting other people influence what makes us feel happy and successful. We have to stop comparing ourselves to other people who are in different stages of life or business than we are. We have to stop doing the things that don’t align with us because someone else said we should. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new things or step outside of your comfort zone. It means if you try and it doesn’t work or you hate it, you don’t have to keep doing it.) But we have to stop focusing on what everyone else is doing (and saying) and instead focus on what we’re doing and saying!! We have to stop setting pipe dream goals that aren’t even close to being realistic for where we’re at with our businesses right now. We have to stop feeling like failures and start celebrating all that we are doing and accomplishing. (I’m willing to bet that it’s way more than you think!! We are our own worst critics after all.)
We also have to stop leaning into the BS that everyone and their mama is making six-figures every single time they launch. Spoiler Alert: They’re not!! But that’s a topic for another day!! 😉
P.S. I had only ever planned to talk about what I did and didn’t do for the Asana Assistant launch in an Instagram Feed Post. Then I realized I had more to say, so I thought I would put it in an email. But per usual, I had WAY MORE to say on this topic than I ever expected and so this blog post came to be. (#oopsididitagain) I hope it was helpful!!
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