How to Launch Like a Big Girl: 3 Keys to Sanity

Launch Sanity Image

Oh, launching.

Just the WORD can induce anxiety in a less-than-organized entrepreneur like… me ;)

Truth is – putting something you’ve created out into the world can be totally nerve-wracking.

(And when there are a squillion moving parts to consider, that’s not a surprise.)

That said – it doesn’t HAVE to feel that way.

Legend has it that while some craziness is inevitable, it IS possible to maintain sanity during a launch.

And I’m determined to prove it to myself in my next promo season for A Course About Copy.

In my optimistic mind, there are three keys to launching like a big girl.

Let’s discuss.

In this video, we’ll cover:

  • how creating, launching, and delivering a course is like creating, laboring, and delivering a human :)
  • why I’m so determined to get a grip this time
  • EXACTLY what I’m focusing on to develop a launch system we can repeat over and over in years to come
  • who + what to include in your launch strategy
  • the one critical piece of the puzzle you CANNOT delegate

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.

IN A (COCO)NUT SHELL

 

KEY No. 1: SYSTEMS

It’s easy to grab onto goals (and it’s definitely important to have metrics and quantitative intel to help guide decisions), BUT for me, this launch season is about the experience (as it relates to the people and the program, of course).

I want to prove to myself (and my team o’ pros) that we can do a fun, organized “big girl launch” without going insane, writing emails til 2am, and missing out on GREAT opportunities because I didn’t plan ahead.

If you KNOW you’ve got a promo coming up, map + schedule it out at least a month or two (or three!) ahead of time.

Do a brain sneeze and document a tropical brainstorm of allllll the moving parts currently taking up space between your ears. Get it OUT of your head and onto paper.

THEN start to piece it together on a timeline and start thinking of folks who can help you with the various pieces.

Once you’ve gone through it and taken great notes, you’ll have your very OWN go-to, this-is-how-we-do system(s) that you can plug ‘n’ play whenever you want to do another promo.

Every time you do it, the process will get easier, more efficient, and oh HEY – more profitable!

HELPFUL (FREE!) RESOURCES:

Amy Porterfield’s ridiculously (I mean RIDICULOUSLY) Valuable Podcast #062
Sidenote: My business wants to be as organized as Amy’s when it grows up. Love her.
Carrie Green’s 10-Step Launch Blueprint
David Siteman Garland’s 7-Step Course Creation + Promo Checklist

(Warning: Each of these sites can lead you down a rabbit hole of goodness – so go in on a mission!)

 

KEY No. 2: SUPPORT

I’m talking people AND technology here. You don’t have to do this by yourself.

Hire a VA to help you manage the projects, coordinate your social media content, create pages, whatev.

Hire someone who’s an Infusionsoft (MailChimp, Aweber) genius to help you map out what goes out to whom and when.

Hire a designer and/or developer to help you get your sales pages + landing pages up.

On that note – in case you haven’t met yet, allow me to introduce you to LeadPages.

I resisted it for years because I’m so emotionally attached to my branding and wasn’t sure if I’d get the look I wanted, but SPOILER ALERT: I can!

I just started using it yesterday to create THIS landing (+ thank you) page for my newly restyled Conversational Copy Cheat Sheet, and I can already tell I’ll be obsessed with it for this promo season and beyond. (Can do a tutorial for you once I’m on the other side of the launch rainbow! ;))

Back to support from people – have your biz buddies on call and ready to snap you back to reality when your fear gets a grip – or to make you laugh on a tech-allergic day.

Also seek support from the people who are ALREADY your customers. Make it fun for them to be part of the experience – your wins are their wins and vice versa!

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

LeadPages – for taking DIY landing pages to the next (very customizable + high-converting) level
Slack – for keeping all team communication in one central location
Facebook – for finding + connecting with biz buddies and customers :)

 

KEY No. 3: SELF-CARE

Take care of YOU. You are your most valuable asset in all of this, and burnout is not cute.

SLEEP: Schedule set work hours (and be realistic about ‘em) so you have mini-daily deadlines and incentive to work smart.

Before heading to bed each night, write down what’s on deck for the next day so that you can rest KNOWING you’ve got time and space to get it all done. Limit yourself to one lil piece of paper and keep it REALISTIC.

BONUS: Once you’re in bed, write down what you’re grateful for for that day. Write down in present tense how you want to feel during this launch or promo. Your mind will get to work thinking of how it can help you turn that vision into a reality while you snooze. (I just started doing this recently and I love it!)

MOVE: Step away from the desk + laptop. Get out of your head and into your bod.

I recently hired a personal trainer for the first time to get some accountability – largely because I want to feel strong + energetic throughout my pregnancy. The side benefit is that it feels GREAT to know I won’t spend every waking hour working while my little man is having fun at preschool. Me time is important.

When you start moving more, you’ll be inspired to fuel your body with better nutrition – which is also really important!

(Big girls are never “too busy” to eat a good lunch.)

PLAY: Schedule time for fun. Put on those party pants. Work will be there when you get back.

If you don’t schedule it in (and ideally involve other people), you WON’T DO IT. There will always be another sneaky little to-do that will take “just a minute”…and next thing you know, your three-year-old will look up at you and say, “No, Mommy – don’t sit down to worrrrk again!” And your heart will break.

I’m 100% confident you don’t want that to happen. 

Ideas for playtime: Color in one of the many beautiful adult coloring books (or your toddler’s. whatev).

DATE NIGHT! (Please, for the love of those of us who don’t get that opportunity often enough – and of course for the love of your actual loved one – GO ON A DATE!)

Throw a dance party – solo or with friends. Lights on, lights off – your call.

Take an art class.

Be a tourist in your own city.

ANYTHING to give your brain a break and let the inspiration sneak in the back door while you’re not paying attention.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:

This coloring book I just ordered for myself :)
100+ Date Night Ideas via TheNest.com
30 Fun Things to Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

 

SPARE KEY: PERSPECTIVE

There’s a season for everything. Even launches. 

This is NOT your only shot.

This is just ONE piece of the puzzle of your business, which is ONE piece of the puzzle of your life.

Don’t lose sight of what’s really important — like your connection to the people who actually share a roof with you, WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, and WHY you love to serve who you love to serve.

Also, remember that even if someone doesn’t join you this round, that doesn’t mean she WON’T later on.

Many members of my ACAC fam join the first time they hear about it, but many MORE have taken a few rides on my launch ferris wheel before joining the party – and that’s fine.

Everything you do right now is worth it. You’re planting the seeds, building the relationship – showing what you’re made of. It all counts, and there’s something valuable to be learned in every step along the way.

Trust that when you listen to the hunches and do the work (incorporating these three keys, of course!), alllllll the right dream clients and customers who are yours by divine right will hop on board at JUST the right time.

And just like the hokey pokey – that’s what it’s all about.

 

YOUR HOMEWORK

In the comments below, share:

Which of these keys are you most excited to focus on during your next launch or promo?

Got any big girl launch tips to share among friends?

#bringemon

To navigating biz puberty with a sense of direction and a sense of humor,

nik

P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)

P.P.S. If you’re a MAN, not at all interested in a big girl launch – please:
a) know that I default to feminine pronouns because clunky s/he and him/her slashes drive me kooky,
b) know that I love dudes (carrying one with me 24/7 at the moment ;)), and you are TOTALLY welcomed in this space, and
c) if none of the above bothers you and you’d like to stick around – know that these keys apply to big BOY launches too ;)

Convo Copy Cheat Sheet

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Jess Catorc

    This couldn’t have come at a better time Nikki! Launching my online course in September and definitely need to keep your tip on self care in mind (sleep? what is that again?) :)

    Love Amy’s #62 too, printed off her checklist a few weeks ago and having been trying to incorporate my “mini” version of it ;)

    xx Jess

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Right there with you, Jess! Proud to say I was in bed by 10pm last night for the first time since I kicked back in gear a couple weeks ago :)

      Felt SO much better waking up this morning!

      The nighttime brain sneeze – getting it all out and prepping for the next day – has also been super-helpful. Gotta get it on paper so your brain can take a break while you sleep and recharge!

  2. Steffanie

    Perfect timing! I’m in the process of building a new part of my business. I didn’t really see it as a launch until right now. As I am building, I’ve gotta get the systems in place and really put more effort into it.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yes, Steffanie! And “systems” can be as simple as literally documenting a list of what you do in a Google doc or Evernote…note. ;) Weeks and months down the line, you’ll be so glad you started tracking now!

  3. S. Brooke Bailey

    I really appreciate your comment toward the end of the video that “This isn’t the be all, end all. It’s not your only shot.” That is so important to remember and it helps to ease the pressure that this launch has to move my business into the super successful zone. Looking at this as a step in creating meaningful connections with current and future clients is key. Thanks Nikki and best of luck as we all carry ourselves through this launch season!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Absolutely, Brooke!

      It alllll counts. Everything we can do to connect with the people we want to serve is worthwhile.

      When we’re all tense and stressed (which also reads as desperate – not good!), people will pick up on it. When we’re approaching it from a “I’ve got something great to offer and I’m so excited to help the right people realize it” attitude, the right people DO realize it :)

  4. Sara Kanwal

    I am so thankful that I came across this today! My launch is coming right up and I am hell nervous and yes insanity is creeping over! :) So so nervous. Yes, I have to remember this isn’t the one-time shot at all :) and importantly “don’t forget to eat” ! Yes, ma’am

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yay Sara! Glad that perspective shift helped. You can do eeeet :)

  5. Morgan Gist MacDonald

    Thank you, Nikki! I SO needed to hear this message today. I’m months from a launch and already kind of freaking out. Systems (document and create checklists as I go), Support (find some! Shalon Ironroad is amazing), and Self-care (uhh what’s that? just kidding :) It’s a plan, thanks!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You’re going to ROCK IT, Morgan! I didn’t even start thinking of this promo until a few weeks ago, honestly. (Again, something I’d like to work on – ADVANCE PLANNING.)

      You’re SO ahead of the game already ;)

  6. Jacqueline

    Absolutely loved this video! All great tips, but I have to say my favorite is the part of stepping away. I am in the process of rolling out a new division to my biz and was getting so stuck in my head, cloudy with a chance of meatballs, crazy pants overwhelmed. Yesterday I took the day off and saw a movie and had some “me” time (been working 7 days a week – closed off in my office). Then last night I grabbed my laptop and moved to a new area of the house and clarity had set in! I got sooooo much done. The fog had lifted.

    Thanks for all you do Nikki – you are truly an inspiration:)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      YESSS for clarity, Jacqueline! Way to go :)

      (And thank you for the kind words!)

  7. Jessica

    I didn’t even realize how stressed out I was about my upcoming launch until your reassurances had me all teary-eyed listening to this very helpful vid!

    I am a complete newbie and bouncing in-between enthusiasm/excitement and fear disguised as denial.

    I am glad to count you as a key player in my support network, thanks!! I’ll be taking all this advice and I’m looking forward to listening to the podcast.

    Gracias!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You will LOVE the podcast, Jessica – but again, don’t let it overwhelm you. Just take the keys that you know you can implement with the resources you’ve got and use it as an ideal to work towards in the launches (years!) to come.

      Enjoy the journey right at the beginning and document this stuff. You’ll love looking back at how far you’ve come :)

      http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/biz-puberty is a goodie for this!

  8. Heather

    Thank you for all the great resources and info, Nikki! I’m doing my first official launch in January :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Well Heather if that was an UNofficial launch you did this year (last year?)…I can’t wait to see what you come up with this time! #goladygo

  9. Cindy Ball

    Hi Nikki,

    Great post and video Nikki – lots and lots of fab info.

    Quick question about landing pages. I know you tried Landing Page Monkey, did you find that it just couldn’t deliver what you needed? I am resisting Lead Pages as I am just starting out and I’m and trying to keep my budget somewhat under control. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Congrats on Brownie #2!
    Cindy

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Great Q, Cindy!

      I still recommend LPM for those who are on a tight budget and want to start experimenting with flashier landing pages (and tracking stats), but I was VERY ready to move to LeadPages since I have a LOT of creation + tracking to do over the next few months.

      I wanted the integrations, more design options, the plugin that enabled me to switch the main http://www.acourseaboutcopy.com page over to the LeadPage I just created…and for under $500 a year – if it helps me bring in ONE new student to ACAC and saves hours of design + development time, it was welllllll worth it ;)

      Does that help?

  10. Kathie

    I love the Self-Care part Nikki. I kind of have my toes in multiple streams right now. I have been working with your video suggestions for my new health coach business. I dpn’t have the website live quite yet. But I tried to implement some of your suggestions on my web design site. As I am about to graduate the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I have seen the need for health/business/finance coaches to have great blogs and websites. I implemented some of your content suggestions on my page here: http://wordpressenergetics.com/wpe-website-packages/

    Looking forward to someday doing ACAC – looks like so much fun!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, Kathie! Way to take action, and congrats on the upcoming graduation :)

  11. john hardy

    Nikki , these are great tips. I have a brand new client and we are doing a launch of her concierge service. Strategy is what we are working on right now. We know when she will launch and we are planning each step out. I am expecting big things for her.

  12. Wendy

    As always, great video, NEB! Do you use LeadPages for your ACAC sales page? If not, when do you use it? Many thanks!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Hi Wendy!

      I built the ACAC sales page directly in OptimizePress (using the “copy row” feature from pages inside the actual classroom).

      I just started with LeadPages in August, and so far I’ve just used it for front-end landing pages – for the cheat sheet and for webinars. I like using the plugin so that I can host the LeadPages on http://www.acourseaboutcopy.com << case in point ;) Hope that helps!

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