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Today is confession day. I’m going to get real here and talk about 8 common product launch mistakes. And since I’m writing about this, I’ll be honest and say the only reason I know about these mistakes is because I have committed every single one of them. So, if you see yourself in this list, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. We can all learn from each other, right?
Several years ago, I wrote and illustrated my first eBook, The Creative Retreat. Little did I know the launching of a product (in this case, a book) was more than half of the work. It’s been a journey—sometimes super stressful, sometimes incredibly joyful—and I want to share some of my main lessons today.
8 Common Product Launch Mistakes
Creating your product is only one small piece of getting it out into the world.
Your product launch will take as much planning and work as creating the actual product. In fact, it might even take more time. Honestly, guys, in the past, I had just put things out there and hoped someone would notice. That’s the equivalent of putting your amazing product on display on your back porch and hoping someone will knock on your door to buy it!
Make space in your life while launching a product.
I’ve made the mistake of thinking life could go on as usual while launching a product, and while this is true to an extent, I highly recommend finding a way to create margin in your life during the weeks before your launch. I got really sick during one launch because I made the mistake of adding daily swim lessons for my daughter to our already busy schedule. Oh, and my husband was traveling the whole time too. It was a bit too crazy. So definitely plan margin.
Do not, I repeat, do not launch more than one product a quarter.
I would even suggest only launching three a year to give yourself a breather. I had a very successful first launch of The Creative Retreat workbook. So successful that I was filled with creative energy. I had SO many ideas and was excited to get them out in the world. This is fine and great and that’s what notepads and Evernote are for—to capture all those amazing ideas. But I completely burned myself out by jumping straight into the creation and launch of another product. It was so hard, you guys. Don’t do that. (This is the blogging equivalent to running a marathon, surviving, and signing up for another one in a month. Something I’ve done as well. You’d think I’d learn to enjoy that energy, and then let it go!)
Don’t underestimate your community.
I was so scared to reach out to other bloggers and ask for help in promoting and talking about my first product. What am I saying? I still am, haha. I love to share about products I love and use but when it comes to my own, I blush and stammer. If that’s you, take a deep breath and reach out to your community anyway. Not everyone will reciprocate or answer your requests. That’s okay. The fact that you’re trying is your success. Those who do support your product will be so incredibly encouraging to you. Believe me.
YOU matter. Don’t shelve your health during the launch period.
Yet another, “don’t do what I did” product launch mistake. It is easy to stop exercising, to start drinking more caffeine, to get less sleep, and to begin to think peanut butter and chocolate chips count as a healthy snack. But you guys. If you end up imploding, who is going to run your business? In the end, having a great launch is great, but having a great LIFE is better. If anything, you should treat yourself with extra kindness during the launch period.
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Plan, plan, and plan some more for the launch.
Doing things ahead of time will save you. If you have a launch plan strategy (and I highly recommend that you look into one), then you can grab a calendar and sketch out what each week is going to look like for you. Plan for bumps in the road. Create weekly goals (three big goals are best) that you’ll focus on. Allow for time for when your kid gets sick or your husband has to work late. You’ll need to plan the launch in a way that doesn’t erase all of the other areas of your life. (And if you’re a woman, there are about a million other responsibilities you have, right?)
Create launch goals that are realistic as well as a couple that are “stretch” goals.
If your product sells for $10 and you have 100 people on your email list, don’t set a goal to sell $10,000 worth of product. (In fact, I’d highly recommend steering clear of any of those “Earn Six Figures for Your First Launch” webinars too.) Most people can expect to convert 2% of their list as well as more through partnering with other bloggers or through using Facebook ads or Promoted Pins. That said, come up with a goal that would make you satisfied if you reached it and another that would make you super happy. A “satisfied” goal could be to complete a product that you’re proud of. If you’re just starting out, a “Wow!” goal could be to sell 10 of these products for your first launch.
Create a strategy that includes items that are directly in your control.
This is the key to my entire strategy now. Honestly, there is so much about creating and launching a product that you have no control over. Economics, politics, world events, whether or not people will open your emails . . . You can’t control those things. But there are definitely things you can control. You can reach out to other bloggers, you can write a strong email sequence for your email list, etc. When I launched The Creative Retreat book, I had come to a place where I really wanted the whole experience to be good. I mean, here I was publishing a book! (A dream come true for me.) I wanted to honor that courage. So I made up a list of items that were directly in my control and worked toward completing them. This made all the difference.
Bonus: Don’t forget to celebrate!
At the end of a launch, it’s really easy to jump back into life and not even take a minute to realize what you did. YOU LAUNCHED A PRODUCT! Seriously, so many people dream about doing something like that but you did it. Decide right now to celebrate your achievement, whether that means going out to dinner, getting a pedicure, or buying a cupcake. You deserve it!
Creating and launching your own product is an incredible experience. Like anything, it has its ups and downs, but hopefully, at the end of your launch, you’ll be inspired to keep creating content and products that help your audience.
Hope you have an amazing day!