Jayna had several eBooks, smart reports, and e-courses sitting on her hard drive. Each project was “almost” ready to launch. She would go to networking conferences and attend online webinars. She would tell the other attendees about her projects and she even had several people interested in them. But a year later, she was still in the exact same place. She never launched anything. You’ll be different, and launch your product now, right?
Maybe you can relate to Jayna. You have a hard drive filled with projects you haven’t launched. You’re an awesome dreamer, creator, and doer. But you’re still not putting yourself out there.
You’re hiding your best work from the world and it’s time for a change. To start launching your products, you first have to understand what’s been holding you back. Here are the most common reasons why you’re stuck…
Fear You’re Not Ready
You tell yourself that you’ll launch soon. You just have to learn a little bit more. Maybe you tell yourself you need to take a course on Facebook ads before you can launch. Maybe you believe that you need to have a shiny website with all the bells and whistles before you can share your product with the world.
But most people never really feel ‘ready’. You have to accept that there are some things you can only learn from hands-on experience and that type of experience comes from launching.
Fear You’ll Be Rejected
With a launch, people will be giving you feedback, either with their checkbooks or their words. Some will even give you both. But don’t fear this feedback. It will allow you to fine-tune your current offering and launch another product that your community will benefit from.
Fear You’re Not Good Enough
Insecurities can destroy your business if you let them. What you have to understand is you’ll never become an expert. Even the smartest, most educated solopreneur is still learning new things. There’s always another rung you can climb on the success ladder.
But in the meantime, it’s not fun to hold back your best material from your community. They want your expertise and your knowledge. What’s more, they want to pay you for this knowledge so their lives can be better. Don’t deny them this or they’ll look elsewhere for a business owner that’s willing to launch (even if their material isn’t as good as yours).
Fear You’ll Be Successful
Some people fear success more than they fear failure. Success means having to confront your self-limiting beliefs about money and business. It means you’ll have to deem yourself worthy of making money.
While failure isn’t as comfortable as success, it’s familiar. That’s why so many smart solopreneurs don’t take action. Success means facing the unknown. You need to learn how to embrace the unknown in your business and your life. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck just like Jana. You don’t want that for your business.
Although launching feels like a scary concept, this is what you’re here for. It’s why you created your business – so you could share your work with a community that’s eager to see it. So, get over yourself and launch already!
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Use Simple and Free Tools to Launch
In a perfect world, you’d have only the best tools to work with. But most solopreneurs and small business owners don’t have huge budgets to buy the latest software. That doesn’t mean that you can’t release a great product though. There are plenty of free and cheap tools you can use when creating your product.
Graphic Design Tools
Your graphics can still look professional and beautiful even if you opt for free tools. The two most popular tools for graphic design are PicMonkey and Canva. Both websites allow you to make graphics for free.
But they do have a few elements that you have to be a paying member to access. However, for most of your graphic needs, the free version will work just as well.
Video & Audio Tools
Jing is free video capturing software from TechSmith. You can use Jing to record short videos up to five minutes in length. If you need longer videos, then consider Screencast-O-Matic. The premium version of this website is cheap and allows you to record screenshot videos that are up to fifteen minutes long.
For audio, you can opt for software like Audacity. Audacity is a free open-source software you can use to record podcasts and other audio files. If you’d like to create your own theme music for your podcast or audio course, try LMMS. You can mix a variety of sounds to create music then record your creation in Audacity.
WordPress Themes & Plugins
WordPress is free software that many solopreneurs and small business owners use to power their websites. You can find free WordPress themes to change the look of your website in the WordPress Theme Directory. You can find more beautiful WordPress themes online.
If you have a website with WordPress, you can use plugins to turn into a shopping cart. This allows you to sell your product quickly and easily, right from your website. Two popular shopping cart plugins are Woo Commerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Both have a mix of free and premium features but the free versions will be enough to get you started selling.
Remember if your budget can’t cover it, don’t be afraid to use something simple and free. You can implement better tools later – so get busy launching!
How to Stop Over Tweaking Your Product
You’ve created a product. You love it and you think your community will, too. You even plan on launching it…as soon as you tweak it one more time. The problem is one tweak turns into two then three. Before you know it, weeks have passed and you haven’t launched.
Instead, you’ve wasted time going over and over the same project. Don’t keep falling into this trap. Instead, follow these tips to stop over thinking your project and actually get it launched:
Get Clear on the Scope
A project that’s too general can sometimes be the cause of over tweaking. For example, you wrote a course on puppy training. But there’s too much to cover so you keep coming back to your project and adding more content.
Instead of trying to beef up your product, you might want to think of simplifying it. You could take your pupping training course and center it around potty training a young pup. This makes your course specific and is likely to interest more buyers because your course is focused.
Let Go of Perfection
You’re not going to make your product perfect. There are always going to be areas where you’d like to go back and tweak it. While this understandable, over tweaking can kill your product. You can edit it so much that you edit the magic of your voice and teaching style out of it.
Instead of looking at your product and asking if it’s perfect, look at it and ask two simple questions. “Will this product help my customers? Did I do my best?”
If you can answer “yes” to both of those questions, then it’s time to stop listening to your inner perfectionist.
Create Your Sales Page
Nothing will give you clarity on your project like creating a sales page. Write or record your content and mention any bonuses you’d like to include. When you’re done, make a quick list of everything you’ve mentioned that buyers will receive. Now, go through this list and check each item off. If you’ve created all the items you’re selling, then it’s launch time!
Launch Version 1.0
An easy way to force yourself to stop tweaking your product is to launch a bare bones version. You can refer to this as version 1.0 to yourself. In a few months, you can look over your product and re-launch it with additional bonuses or material as you need.
This kind of launch keeps you from obsessing too much over details that don’t matter. Another advantage of doing this is that you’ll get early customer feedback. Your customers might point out that your product doesn’t explain something or that it needs to be organized differently. Store all the feedback you receive so you can review it when it’s time to make version 2.0 of your product.
You have to keep in mind that project launches are always a bit nerve-wracking. Even solopreneurs and coaches that have created dozens of products still get nervous when it’s launch time. It’s a normal part of the launch process and one you shouldn’t let scare you away from taking that final step.
Why A Tiny Launch Can Be Fun
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Go big or go home”. While there are many areas of life where this might be good advice, it’s not always true of a product launch. You don’t have to make a big splash with your project in order to make a lot of money. In fact, there are plenty of advantages when you opt for a tiny launch.
You Can Learn the Software
An online product launch means learning to use special software. You might be using a WordPress plugin like Easy Digital Downloads to deliver your content or you may have opted for a software solution like AMember at aMember Pro.
No matter what software you use, there are always bound to be a few hiccups. Maybe your currency rate was set to the Euro instead of the dollar. Maybe the font on your sales letter is showing up as bright pink instead of black. A tiny launch gives you time to get accustomed to your software and learn how to use it.
You Can Keep Costs Down
With a bigger launch, you might be tempted to spend a lot on social media advertising or paid search engine traffic. While there’s nothing wrong with using paid ads or traffic, it’s hard to estimate how much money you’ll make. If you spend seven hundred dollars on advertising only to sell two copies of your small e-course, you’re going to have a deficit.
Launching small gives you the chance to watch how all of your free marketing pays off. For example, you might launch a product on essential oils and discover that the majority of your buyers are coming from Instagram. This helps you to target more of your content toward Instagram during your next launch.
You Can Form Connections
With a big launch comes more responsibility and the need for a bigger affiliate army. That means you’ll spend the months leading up to your launch, recruiting for affiliates. When you have to find dozens of affiliates in a short amount of time, it’s easy to forget who’s who.
But with a smaller launch, you’ll be able to talk your affiliates and get to know them personally. You can learn more about their business and share more about yours, too. Some of these affiliate relationships may even blossom into beautiful friendships that you’ll treasure for years to come.
The majority of successful online businesses are not built on big splashy launches. Instead, they focus on launching small and often. Whichever type of launch you choose, just make sure you actually follow through and launch your product.
After the Launch: Keep Loving On Your Product
You did it! You launched your new product and you couldn’t feel prouder. Maybe you went with a big splashy launch or maybe you opted for a tiny launch. Regardless of which route you went, you’re now sitting back to catch your breath and evaluate your numbers.
Take the Long View
You may have had amazing sales or maybe you only had a few. If the launch wasn’t everything you hoped or if something went wrong, don’t beat yourself up about it. Some launches are terrific and some are ho-hum. That’s the thing about marketing – you can never fully predict how people will respond to your product.
But no matter what your numbers look like, don’t let frustration & disappointment set in. The launch is only the beginning. You’re going to be promoting this product for months or even years to come. So don’t sweat it if you don’t see amazing stats right away.
Don’t Compare Sales
You were feeling pretty good about your launch. You made some nice profits. But then you saw someone else’s sales figures. They were double or triple yours. Suddenly, you start doubting yourself. You wonder if you should have done something differently or if your product is even all that great.
The problem with comparing your business journey with another business owner’s journey is that each journey is unique. Maybe you have kids with special needs so you have less time to devote to recruiting affiliates. Maybe the other business owner has a husband with a serious illness and she has to launch frequently because she’s the sole source of income in her home.
You have to accept that sales figures never tell the full story. They don’t account for the nights spent working late, the tears when software doesn’t work right, or the strain of not having support from friends who don’t understand what you do.
Get Back to Work
You’ve launched your product and that’s great. You deserve to take a day or two to celebrate. But as soon as your celebration has ended, it’s time to get right back to work. You owe it to yourself and to your community to keep producing new projects.
You can start your return by evaluating. Think of what you did right in your launch and what you wish you’d done differently. Maybe you wish you’d recruited more affiliates or hadn’t launched on a holiday weekend. Whatever the lesson you’ve learned, write it down so you can implement during your next launch.
After you’ve finished your evaluation, look at what your customers are saying. Were they ho-hum about your product but crazy for your bonus? That’s a sign that you may need to change up your packaging in the future. Did your customers complain that you had too many upsells to get to their product download? It’s a sign you need to make it easier for your buyers to find your product.
Don’t abandon your product after the initial launch buzz has faded. You should keep loving on your product by continuing to promote it when you get the chance. Mention it on podcasts when you’re being interviewed. Include a link to in your email signature. Put up a Facebook banner that mentions where new customers can find it. Small steps like these can give you a steady stream of sales well after your launch is over.
Take the fear out of your launch when you download your free Workbook and Journal
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.