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Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Using the Wrong Marketing Strategy?

If you’re not seeing the success you want to be seeing in your business, it’s very possible it’s because you’re using the wrong marketing strategy .

Let me explain: There are two types of marketing strategies — long-term and short-term.

Long-term strategies are designed to build your business over the long term. The benefit of using them is you can be reaping the benefits of what you built for a long time — months or even years — even if you stop using it. Examples of long-term strategies including blogging, SEO, podcasts, other types of content marketing and even list-building.

Another way of looking at a long-term marketing strategy is any strategy that focuses on building a community. You aren’t making an immediate sale, instead you’re focusing on building a solid, loyal community that will buy from you over and over again.

Hence the weakness of long-term strategies — there’s no focus on cash flow.

That’s why you need short-term strategies. Those are designed to make a sale right now. Product launches are short-term. So is any sort of sale.

All healthy businesses need both long-term and short-term strategies. The problem happens when you are either focusing exclusively on one marketing strategy or you’re focusing on the wrong strategy for your goals and where you’re at in your business right now.

For instance, if you’re focusing solely on long-term strategies when you really need cash now, you can be creating a lot of financial stress. However, over-focusing on short-term strategies can trade short-term profits for long-term disaster.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Watch and decide for yourself:

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! Are Product Launches All That and a Bag of Chips?

[Video] Flip It! Are Product Launches All That and a Bag of Chips?

If you’ve spent any time in the Internet Marketing space, you’ve likely heard an entrepreneur (or two) brag about how much money they made from a product launch.

You may have heard:

“It was a 6-figure launch.”

Or …

“I filled my mastermind program in just three days.”

Or …

“I made $50,000 in sales in a week!”

And these things may be true. But how often do entrepreneurs actually get these awesome results? And is it possible to generate these results over and over again?

In other words, what about the dark side of product launches, the side nobody talks about?

“I invested a month’s worth of income into that launch and didn’t make a single sale. Well, besides the one product my mom bought.”

Or …

“I worked for an entire year to pull that off, and I made a couple hundred bucks.”

Or …

“I don’t think anyone even realizes I’m selling something!”

As you can imagine (or as you may have experienced), product launches do fail.

I’ve been on both sides of this scenario, and during my tenure as a business owner, I’ve put a lot of time into studying what makes a product launch successful, and what causes it to fail.

You probably know by now that I’m a big proponent of product launches, for reasons other than financial.

That being said, it’s important to create and plan product launches thoughtfully, so they’re doing what you want them to do, whether that is to build your expert status or open the door for another, bigger launch in the near future.

If you do them right, you can really boost your business.

If you don’t, you can end up feeling trapped in them.

So what do you think?

Are they all that and a bag of chips?

Watch this episode of Flip It! and decide for yourself.

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch: 5 Reasons Why Launching a Product Can Be a BIG Win, Even If You Don’t Make Many Sales

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch: 5 Reasons Why Launching a Product Can Be a BIG Win, Even If You Don’t Make Many Sales

The product launch: it’s a great way for a conscious, mission-driven spiritual entrepreneur to build both the buzz and her biz, when done right. But did you know that a product launch can also pay off in other ways too?

In other words, a “successful” product launch can mean many positive things for your business, AND for you, that have nothing to do with the number of sales you make during the launch.

Most entrepreneurs focus on money when they’re planning a product launch. They’re thinking about how many sales they’ll make. They’re seeing dollar signs, sales funnels, and expansion.

And yes, those are wonderful reasons to do a product launch.

However, that intense focus on product launch sales can also cause a tremendous amount of stress. I’ve helped guide hundreds of launches, and in the vast majority of cases, I’ve also taken on the role as “launch therapist.” (Yes, even the big “gurus” are not immune to launch pressure — in fact, I would argue in some cases they feel even more pressure: because they are so big and visible, word definitely gets out if they flop.)

Along with all the usual nasty health issues that we’ve come to expect when we’re under stress (lack of sleep, getting sick, headaches, etc.), what’s not talked about is how we also can slip into fear-based marketing if we’re not careful.

Even the most well-intentioned entrepreneur can find herself or himself using fear-based marketing tactics when an important launch suddenly goes sideways. It’s completely understandable and normal.

The problem is, if you are an entrepreneur who typically uses love to market yourself, slipping into fear can cause confusion in the marketplace. This can lead to your launch (and other marketing efforts) being less effective.

That’s why today I’d like to invite you to consider another perspective — how to view the product launch through a love-based lens.

Not only is this a great way to shift your mindset, but it can also help you take some of the pressure off. And yes, it’s very possible to have a super-successful product launch without a bunch of sales.

Check out these five non-sales, love-based reasons to do a product launch:

  1. You get out in front of your ideal clients: the people who really need you. It’s all about visibility. Even a small product launch can build buzz, and get people talking about you. This can build name and brand recognition, which is key – not only to growing a business, but also to letting your ideal clients know you’re out there, ready to help them solve their problems.
  2. Your ideal clients see you as an expert (because you are!). When you release free content during a product launch, you’re able to allow people to experience how knowledgeable you are. You’re giving them a taste of the transformation you can provide, and they’ll begin viewing you as an expert.
  3. You attract more of your ideal clients, which means you can share your message with a greater number of people. Offering free content is an awesome way to build your list. A growing, responsive list is key to building your business, and it’s also critical to building the relationships that allow you to share your gifts!
  4. You build momentum. Product launches take an enormous amount of energy to get off the ground. The laws of physics say that energy is neither created nor destroyed – it’s just transformed. So when you build momentum in creating and launching your product, that energy transforms into momentum for your business. So even post-launch, your prospects are still “talking” about you and are more open to receiving your message.
  5. You’re able to create a bigger impact than ever. The increased visibility and credibility from your launch also increases their interest in YOU. So even if they weren’t interested in the specific product you were launching, they may be interested in other products and services you offer. This means you’re able to help a greater number of people in a greater number of ways – making a bigger impact than ever before.

Here’s where this gets even better …

You’ll be reaching tons of people, spreading your message, and sharing your gift.  With this love-based mindset, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy your product launch, and view “success” in a whole new light – one that doesn’t focus on just the money.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.