Creating something new is fun, but the real magic happens when you improve what you already have.
Launching is one of our core skills at Team FastForwardAmy. From the very beginnings of my business to our biggest launch ever, I’ve learnt a lot about what does and doesn’t work along the way.
There’s something you should know about me. I’m totally obsessed with continuous optimization. Every time we launch, we measure everything so that afterwards, we can figure out what went well, and what we can improve on. It’s these constant tweaks that helped us hit $1.1 million in our biggest launch ever – and I’m going to take you through the exact steps of launch strategy optimization so that you can get your best results ever in 2022.
Ready? Let’s go.
#1 Continuously tweak and improve your launch plan
I get it. When you run your own business, one of the most fun parts of the job is coming up with ideas for new products and services. That’s great – but also make sure you’re taking the time to tweak and improve what you’ve already got.
Doing the same thing over and over again is such an undervalued skill, and it’s actually been the number one thing I’ve done for my business growth.
I launched my first ever Mastermind with 4 people. I grew to 9 people, 17 people, and finally to 30 people in the next editions. I then turned that mastermind into the Business Freedom Elevator and launched that to 375 people, 280 people, and 353 people in the first three editions. I've launched the same thing eight times already, and it never gets any less exciting for me and my team because we are always focused on improving and we keep reaching new heights.
#2 Debrief after big milestones
If you don’t write down your thoughts right away, you’re going to forget them. I don’t even want to think about how many great ideas have slipped away because I didn’t write them down in the moment. It’s a similar thing with launches: you’re so caught up that you forget to check in with yourself.
The solution? Debrief after big milestones.
This is something that’s worked great for team FastForward – in our debriefing sessions, we ask ourselves three questions:
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- And what are we missing for future success?
We write down our thoughts, and use this to optimize our plan for the next launch. We also make sure to assign tasks based on our new plan to make sure that shit actually gets done. It’s pretty simple: we do more of the things that work well and change the things that don’t work. The more data you track along the way, the more insights you’ll have to review so that you can improve your next launch.
Top tip: use a project tracker to stay on top of everything. Write down things you want to optimize as you’re launching, so you can come back to them during your debrief.
#3 Dare to pivot
Listen – I’m absolutely not telling you to change a winning team. That being said, if something really isn’t working, dare to pivot. Over time, you’ll be able to figure out what does and doesn’t work for your business and your audience.
Once you’ve found something that works, whether it’s a downloadable lead magnet, a webinar, or a piece of content that always converts, stick with it! Likewise, if there’s something that isn’t going so well, don’t be afraid to switch it up next time.
These insights will form the basis of your next launch. Within team FastForward, for example, we’re constantly pivoting our early bird strategy for our Business Freedom Elevator program. We analyze the data, update our project tracker, and use the insights to figure out what to try next time around.
One time with our early bird discount, we launched and our shop just didn’t work. Oops. For the first hour and a half, we didn’t get any sales, so we lost a lot of momentum. It was a systems failure, because we hadn’t fully tested everything. Lesson learned!
The second time, we launched in the beginning of January, in the middle of a webinar, which wasn’t smart at all.
The third time, we made everything a little too complicated, with different things happening at different times.
Long story short: none of those times have we figured out how the early bird should work – and so we’ll keep pivoting!
#4 Revisit the core parts of your launch
It’s an understatement, but the world is changing at a crazy speed. Let’s take content as an example. A couple of years ago, it was ‘fashionable’ to post content from tropical locations, with palm trees in the background, in line with the whole digital nomad craze. During the pandemic, of course, when people couldn’t travel as much, it became more hip and popular to show off your nice interior in your content. The point is, your audience’s preferences change.
This is true for content, and it’s also true for spending habits, branding, your core story, and maybe even your core offer. Make sure you’re constantly revisiting the core parts of your launch strategy, to ensure everything’s aligned with your goals. If the world has changed, it makes sense that your launch would change along with that. Ask yourself:
- Am I missing something in my launch strategy?
- Are these still my ideal clients?
- Have our ideal clients changed in any way?
- Has something popped up with our coachees that we weren’t aware of?
- Is my branding still relevant?
- Do these colors still work?
#5 Follow the f*cking plan
Once you’ve figured out your learnings from previous launches and made a plan for your next launch, make sure you follow that plan! If not, you’ll find things quickly start to unravel…
During (and before!) a launch phase, there’s a lot going on. You’ve got marketing across all platforms, emails, maybe a podcast, a launch event – and of course your normal day-to-day tasks in your business to think about. Take some time to work out how everything fits together when it comes to sales and marketing.
If you’re sending out emails a month before your launch, are you linking the right lead magnet that will eventually help convert customers? Have you got a plan for the people who’ve taken your courses before? Is there a way for them to stay on and re-enroll? This is something we offer graduates of our Business Freedom Elevator program, and it works really well. Some people want support for longer than the 6 months that the program runs (you get lifetime access to the modules, but some people want extra coaching too).
If something in your plan changes, like if you extend your early bird discount, for example, make sure that the rest of your marketing materials are appropriately updated. At the end of the day, launching is an art. It’s also a science. Once you’ve got your plan, follow it!
#6 Repurpose your best content
If you want to optimize your launch strategy, you’ll need to pay attention to your launch content strategy. The good news when it comes to content is that it’s particularly easy to 1) monitor what’s doing well or not, and 2) rinse and repeat.
Thanks to in-built analytics on social media platforms like Instagram, we’re able to figure out the type of content that our audience best responds to. This allows us to repurpose the content that’s performed best. Want an example? For our latest launch, I didn’t even write one new caption… I edited and tweaked a couple, but the point is, I was able to repurpose so much good sh*t from past launches.
You may be wondering, “Amy, how soon can I repurpose my content?”, and that’s a great question. Captions can be repurposed every 2-6 months, but I wouldn’t really recommend repeating lead gen events more than once per year.
#7 Put your customers first
At team FastForward, we’re adding much more customer service right now, as we move forward with a new launch. We’re adding weekend support and directing people away from me when they DM me, to a proper customer service channel. We also have a CRM, so we’re keeping track of who’s contacting us and what they’re asking. Not in a stalkerish way, don’t worry… we just want to know the questions people ask the most and when they’re asking them, so we can simplify everything for people interested in our programs.
Why is this a core part of optimizing your launch? Because at the end of the day, the success of your launch will depend on the extent to which you put customers at the core of your launch strategy. Your customers will (obviously) make or break your launch, so we need to make sure they’re happy. Don’t make the mistake I see others make: spending so much time on your marketing that you forget to spend time on your clients!
I want to finish with a really important point. You’ll probably be setting deadlines for your targets. That’s great, but I want you to remember one thing: your deadlines are just desired timelines. Read that again. You don’t have to hit your goals right now. Just keep going after them. I learnt this from my dad, and I thought it was really beautiful. There’s no failure – there’s just trying.
EXTRA: BFE™ #4 PRE-ORDER STATS
As promised in the episode, I’ve added a little recap of our BFE™ #4 pre-order data below!
- We’ve welcomed 96 new clients into our flagship program, the Business Freedom Elevator™.
- We’ve re-welcomed 25 clients, who had already followed our coaching program but re-enrolled into the coaching because they really couldn’t miss it.
- That’s a total of 121 coachees, whom I’ll be coaching and who’ll be growing as entrepreneurs and boss babes (and boys!) in the next 6 months.
- We’ve booked a total revenue of €280,076.28 for only our pre-order launching phase.
If you are new to launches, my team and I have created the Launch List so you can find out more about the dos and don'ts of a successful launch. Download it for FREE via this link: www.fastforwardamy.com/launchlist