The Simple Secret to a Successful Launch: A Pep Talk

Successful Launch

If you’re thinking about launching a product, program, or service into the world (and you know you’re THINKING about it a bit too much)…

This one’s for you.

I recently wrapped up a launch of my signature move, my flagship program, A Course About Copy.

While I absolutely had some late nights and “are we there yet? because I’m TIRED” moments, it was a clear success in my book for a few different reasons:

+ We welcomed over 100 new dream students to the ACAC fam.

+ We welcomed thousands of new subscribers to my email list.

+ While it’s all still a bit messy at this point, we documented every step along the way. (That alone was a HUGE win for a traditionally disorganized launcher like me!)

Through it all, it’s become VERY obvious to me that there’s ONE simple secret to a successful launch.

And that’s what I wanna share with you today.

 

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.

 

IN A (COCO)NUT SHELL

The secret to a successful launch is to LEARN FROM IT.

Regardless of how the numbers play out.

Even if you felt like a loony toon and technology was actively working against you just about every step of the way.

Even if you stayed up way too late and can think of a squillion things you’d like to change about your video series.

As long as you can LEARN from those lessons (+ use them to inform your next move), it’s a win.

And if you appreciate my tendency to oversimplify otherwise overwhelmingly complicated processes, here are TWO simple steps to a successful launch:

STEP 1: DO IT.

You can’t sell a secret. Don’t sit on the sidelines out of fear that you don’t know what you’re doing.

(Nobody REALLY knows what s/he’s doin’ the first time around!)

Get that first pancake outta the way. Work out the kinks. See what works, what doesn’t.

Remember: You can’t steer a parked car.

(Don’t know who first said that, but it’s a great illustration.)

Once you get movin’, you’ll discover Qs you wouldn’t have even known to ASK if you were still stuck in prep mode.

And you WILL figure. it. out.

As the great John Michael Montgomery once sang:

Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry about what you don’t know; life’s a dance – you learn as you go.

Take that first step in faith, buddy.

I promise: You’ll learn as you go.

STEP 2: LEARN FROM IT.

I’ve launched ACAC a squillion different ways – free video series, free Facebook group, free webinar, a combo of all of the above, and even just a few emails.

TRUST me: I understand the urge to overcomplicate this, but you don’t need to.

Pick a strategy that makes sense to you (given the resources you’ve got right now).

Try it.

Take notes as you go (because if you wait til AFTER, your brain may be mush).

Document what worked, what didn’t, write down any ideas you’d like to try for next time, and give yourself some breathing room to celebrate your successful launch.

That is, the one launch you WENT FOR and learned from :)

 

BOTTOM LINE(S):

YOU get to define what a successful launch means to you.

If your launch brings in…

Your first customer(s) – that’s a win.
More customers than last time – that’s a win.
More SLEEP than last time – that’s a win.
Less STRESS than last time – that’s a win.
Fewer accidental broken links in your emails – that’s a win.
More support + documented systems – that’s a win.

In the divinely timed words of Todd Herman, creator of The 90-Day Year:

“You’ve done the hardest thing, most people on this planet will never do.

You bet on yourself!

You ACTUALLY put money, time, & self-esteem on the line and launched something.

Do you even know how crazy that is?

You’re not normal! You’re weird. Embrace it.

It’s your ‘weirdness’ that will be your greatest source of inspiration and keep you going when others would quit.

Regular people let the voice in the head; judging every single one of their moves, cripple them.

Not you. Not today.”

 

YOUR HOMEWORK

Spill the beans in the comments below:

What’s are some of your most valuable launch lessons learned?

Got any pre-launch jitters we can help you settle? 

To quote my fave new (10-year-old) show Friday Night Lights:

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

;)

nik

P.S. If you liked this post, I’d GREATLY appreciate it if you’d use the buttons below to share it with your buddies! 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 ;)

 

Convo Copy Cheat Sheet

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Whitney

    Ohhh Nikki, your blog posts always have a way of making the most complicated, stressful things seem simple and doable! Thank you, thank you!!

    I’ve been dreaming up my signature program for the last year and a half of my biz, and honestly, it’s fear of not launching the “right way” that’s holding me back. I’m a recovering perfectionist (like you) and I tend not to do things unless I’m confident they’re going to be excellent. But I’m learning little by little than done is better than perfect, and I can definitely jive with this idea of a first pancake launch to learn what works. That mindset shift to being more of a learning experience than a defining career moment is really powerful and SO inspiring. I might not feel ready to launch, but I definitely feel ready to start working the kinks out. :)

    That being said — do you have any tips that you wish you’d done for your first-ever launch? I know it was pretty successful so you obviously did a lot of things right. But is there anything you would change for that first launch if you could go back?

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      “I might not feel ready to launch, but I definitely feel ready to start working the kinks out.” << YES! Just get started, Whitney. Your founding members will be happy to offer feedback that helps you make it even better, so the value of their investment only increases with time. I'll think on that Q - would make for a great future post!

      1. Whitney

        Love that — the investment only grows with time! I’ve heard you say something along the lines of “the format might be beta, but the content isn’t,” which is super helpful as I’m thinking about pricing too. :)

        1. Nikki Elledge Brown

          Exactly! Just talked about that on the live ACAC call this morn :)

    2. Renee Mysliwiec

      Hello there Nikki. I have just recently found your page and your videos and your copy program through the women’s entrepreneur group and I LOVE what I’ve learned from you so far. I have a program I’ve had on my mind for about a year now….yes! I actually ahve been “thinking” abotu it for over a year!! OH GEEZE! Why I cant just get it out there I really don’t know. I’m not sure what is holding me back except that I cant seem to get the whole program on paper fully. Its just a bunch of ideas. I am a bit of a perfectionist….yep, I think that is really my biggest problem. I’m afraid it will not be PERFECT! I’m afraid of not looking professional and polished. My program is about simple abundance. I want it to be simple, but I’m probably making it more complicated than it is. I’m also shy of technology and very afraid that as a webinar it might have glitches. I’ve never done a webinar before. But I KNOW this is my next big step to finally creating the income I want. I love that you say JUST DO IT. I want so much to do that….but what if its not perfect on paper yet? What if I want it to be a series and I cant seem to get it organized systematically on paper yet? What to do then….?

      frustrated and lacking confidence….

      1. Nikki Elledge Brown

        I hear you, Renee! Here’s your homework ;) Check out these two posts:
        1. http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/good-enough
        2. http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/launch-stress

        ^^^ The second one talks about exactly how we handled it when our webinar with hundreds of folks DID go wonky. #spoileralert: we survived :)

        Just remember: It doesn’t need to be perfect; it just needs to be shared.

        Take the focus off of YOU and put it onto the people who want + need your help. You’ve got this :)

  2. Angela Meer

    YES! Needed this today. Super OVER-complicator? Right here. .

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I hear you, dude. Keep it simple, get it out there, and tweak as you go! :)

  3. Morgan Gist MacDonald

    Thank you, Nikki! Planning to launch a course, DSG style, with the three videos, and OF COURSE, I’m freaking out about the video quality, microphone, background, blah blah blah. Just need to shoot the danged thing and get it out there. Thank you!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Absolutely, Morgan! We aspiring authors need your help and we don’t care about all that stuff nearly as much as you do ;)

  4. Morgan Gist MacDonald

    P.S. Can I just say that I love that you quoted a John Michael Montgomery song? ;)

  5. Kim Restivo

    I love your article! I’m in the middle of my first launch, webinars and all for my parenting program, The Calming Compass and I keep reminding myself… 1. Of all I’m learning and 2. I’ve been dreaming and talking about this for over 2 years. Now, It’s real!!! Thank you for being an inspiration! Bunches of love to you!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      YES, Kim! Congratulations on getting it out there. You’ll only learn, grow, and improve from here with that attitude :)

  6. Kristi

    Ha! I even over complicate joining the conversation. Seriously, what is holding me back is…wait for it…a cost analysis. I work full-time and have AWESOME benefits, bonuses, retirement accounts, and the salary isn’t bad either. However, I had my son late in life and he will be setting off for college at about the time I’m due to retire. So, I wanted to develop an on-line e-course to generate some extra income. However, I’m not really sure what all the components of an eCourse consist of. e.g. website, landing pages, mail fusion, etc. When I am unable to develop a cost projection, I just can’t decide if it is really worth my time, money and so forth. If I can make a profit, and share my knowledge and expertise in navigating moods, relationships or life transitions then the payoff may just be worth it. So many of my clients come to me with the similar issues. However, I only do private practice part- time and I am unable to schedule all the request I get. I’d love to organize some courses that would cover the basics b/c I hate turning people away. But I’m not sure of the logistics or where to start.

    1. Jenn Dimeck

      Kristi, Check out Michael Hyatt’s Platform University. I am also in the planning phase and it has been immensely helpful!!!

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I have yet to do a cost analysis, Kristy – and my business has been profitable since its first full month 2.5 years ago! If you know you’ve got a value people want + will pay for and you start offering it so that they CAN pay for it, the rest just starts to become obvious as you go.

      As for not knowing where to start with a course, check out my biz buddy David’s free training…he’s allergic to overcomplicating things, and I love it. Here’s my affiliate link! http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/courses

  7. Amanda

    Getting ready to launch a pilot of my first course. So scary, but I know it will be worth the risk!

  8. Susie

    This is gold right here Nikki! Congrats on your launch!

  9. Jessica Peppler Intuitive Counseling

    Oh man, I’m getting this same “Just do it!” message from everywhere lately! I’ve been in prep mode for launching my first course for a while and really just need to pull the trigger. I decided last week to pare down and simplify (yes!) so instead of launching a big 8-module course I’m just going to do 3 modules. Thanks for the pep talk!

    1. Tamsen Horton

      Go Jessica! Personally I’m loving the smaller module offerings :)

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Great idea, Jessica! Following that intuition – you’re leading by example ;)

  10. Chris Kramer

    Nikki, first off, I have to say you are adorable and I love your videos. I really wanted to join ACAC but have several other courses I need to finish first. I’ll be waiting for your next launch!

    What’s holding me back? Probably the fact that I have NO clue what to do. And that I’m a closet perfectionist too!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you, Chris! When it comes to starting your course prep, check out David Siteman Garland’s free training – was a huge help to me when I was tempted to chicken out (even though I’d created college courses from scratch!) ;) http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/courses

  11. Tamsen Horton

    So well said friend :) You’re so right – it’s about finding what works for you and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for launching. Besides do any of us really like (or look good) in a OSFA look! :)

    For me — live streaming is becoming my BFF in helping me move away from “launching” and allowing me to do what feels so much better for me in “reaching” those that want to protect what they’re growing. After trying what honestly felt like everything … live streaming is my rainbow right now.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      And you are WORKIN’ IT, sister. Love seeing you light up the scope screen!

  12. Jeff Carter – Personal Branding

    I LOVE it Nikki. Great advice to “just do it”. Sometimes it can be a simple phrase like that to make you do something that scares the heck out of you and makes you feel vulnerable to the world. But staying strong and busting through that fear and self-doubt is a victory in itself. I’m currently working on a Branding course myself and looking forward to sharing it very soon. Thanks again for the encouragement. You’re awesome.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Happy to share the encouragement, Jeff! Can’t figure this stuff out til you’re in the trenches doing the work – and you WILL figure it out :)

  13. AnaMaria

    Launching my Vitality Spa which is FROM CHRONIC TO CURE (com) to show women how they can reverse autoImmunity disorders.

  14. Cynthia Johnston

    Hi Nikki, I am launching a website for Printmakers/artists in Australia and have created a Facebook page that has directed hundreds to this page! Am very excited to have such a big response and am getting likes and suggestions which is helping me learn about what people want for a networking website.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Congrats, Cynthia! YES. We can only learn so much from reading. Gotta DO it, get out there, start interacting and getting feedback from real people…that’s where the most valuable nuggets are hiding :)

  15. Ashley Knight

    THANK YOU! I needed the pep talk and those words with all the best Nikki “sass” you could muster.. “DO IT!!!!!” Felt like you were talking to me directly…thank you Nikki xx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Maybe that’s because I WAS talking to you directly, Ashley ;) Go get ’em!

  16. Carrie Jolie Dale

    I have been overcomplicating it now for about 2 years. This is refreshing and quite timely! Love your site + your whole vibe Nikki. Now, I am off to go buy some of your stuff and finish one of the many things I have started, but not finished (and choose completion over perfection) xo

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Haha thank you + way to go, Carrie! Glad to read it :)

  17. Becs

    Yay another inspiring post thank you Nikki! I’m starting my first launch at the end of this month, and I must admit to having the jitters somewhat, but I love your advice about tracking what works and what doesn’t. And also YES! I was thinking just today we must all be totally weird to even contemplate this online business malarky, but I’m so thankful for all the inspiring role models I now have to spur mebon! Xx

  18. Nikki

    Such a good post and I saw it just at the right time. I’m in the middle of launching something I’ve never done before (a virtual business conference for mamapreneurs) and I think I’ve gone through most of what you talked about haha! It hasn’t gone quite how I planned it so far but you totally reminded me that hey, the sign ups I have had are a WIN!!!

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