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Episode 124: Why Your Last Launch Didn’t Go as Planned

September 6, 2022

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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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Today I'm sharing all 3 digital course launch mistakes to avoid and what you can do so that your first launch is your best possible launch

Digital Course Launch Mistakes To Avoid

Recently I was debriefing with a friend about her launch, and as we were talking, and exploring different changes that could be made for her next launch, she made the comment – I’m kicking myself right now for not just hiring you to help from the start. Why? Because her launch fell into one of the three major launch pitfalls I see over and over again, and she was wishing someone had been there to point that out to her BEFORE she launched.

Her pitfall is your gain though, because today I’m sharing all three digital course launch mistakes to avoid, and exactly what you can do so that your first launch is your best possible launch.


Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Grab the 8 emails I send to my waitlist every launch – a new free resource for you!
  • This week’s action step: Sign up for my free popup podcast – Course Launch Prep – Simplified. A three episode series created to help entrepreneurs prepare themselves to launch a course. I’m going to cover What You Need to Launch a Course ( & What You Don’t), the 5 Phases of a Course Launch, and Creating Your Launch Messaging. Episode 1 drops on September 7th, but you can go ahead and sign up and tune into the introductory episode by heading to amandawarfield.com/launch-podcast/
  • This week’s book recommendation: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Washed up author turned teacher, a student comes to him with the most amazing story plot he’s ever heard. After learning of his student’s death (without completing his novel), the teacher has to decide whether to write the novel himself, or let the plot die with his student.
  • Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield

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Have a comment about today’s episode, or a topic you’d like to suggest for a future episode? Shoot me an email over at hello@amandawarfield.com!


Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!

*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.

Recently, I was debriefing with a friend about her latest launch and as we were talking and exploring different changes that could be made for her next launch and different tweaks and improvements that she could move forward with, she made the comment. I am kicking myself right now for not just hiring you to help from the start.

why? Because her launch fell into one of the three major launch pitfalls that I see creators make over and over and over again. And she was wishing that someone had been there to point that out to her before she launched. Well, her pitfall is your gain though, because today I’m sharing all three digital course launch mistakes to avoid, and exactly what you can do so that your first launch is your best possible launch.

Is your best possible launch? You’re listening to episode 124 of the Chasing Simple Podcasts. And I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. Let’s dive in.

 If your last launch didn’t go as planned. It probably boiled down to one of three or maybe more than one of these three main pitfalls that I see over and over and over again. And if you haven’t launched a course before, well now you know what to avoid. So the first one is improper timing. This is the number one problem that I see, and it’s just not giving yourself enough time to not only properly plan the launch to not only actually do all the different projects involved in the launch and thus stressing yourself out and not completing things and not putting your best foot forward.

But also you’re not giving your audience enough time to make a decision. Here’s the thing, our goal with our course launch is not to convert during launch week. Our goal with our course launch is to help our audience make their decision about whether or not they’re going to buy. Before doors even open, you will have some brand new conversions that maybe had no idea whether or not they were gonna buy during launch week.

Absolutely. But the goal is to help our audience know ahead of time. And we do that with our messaging, which we’ll get to spoiler, but we do that only with proper timing. If we do not give our audience enough time to move through the customer journey, it’s not going to convert well for you. Think about.

How many times have you ever followed someone who went on their Instagram stories? And they said, I’m working on a secret project. And I can’t tell you what yet, but it’s really exciting. And I can’t wait to share. That tells me nothing. And this is what a lot of people think that their pre-launch content should look like and spoil the alert.

It is not don’t do this. Or if you do this, do it five, six months in advance so that you then have time to actually share plenty about what it is that you’re doing and move people through that customer journey. Right. When someone does that. And then a couple months later, all of a sudden. Hey, look at my new program.

How likely is it that you’re going to buy? Probably not because you have no idea what this program is about. You don’t know if it’s for you. You don’t know if it’s for the place in business that you’re at. You’re not even sure if it’s actually a problem that you need solving because they didn’t walk you through a proper launch runway.

 You have to walk your people through that launch runway so that they. Before doors open, whether or not they’re going to buy. And the only way to do that is to give yourself plenty of time, your pre-launch content and your launch content altogether should be about eight to 12 weeks long. And you need even more time ahead of that to map it out, to plan it.

And all the things do not cut yourself short with your launch, because it’s gonna be really hard to make conversions. If you do, it is the number one problem I see. And it is also the number one launch killer. because if you’re not allowing people to make that decision before doors open, and you’re not walking in through that customer journey, the only people who are really gonna buy are your super fans or the people who are just happen, stance happen to need that problem solved.

Right this very second. And they know it. Your conversion numbers are not gonna be very awesome. now the second problem that I see, the second pitfall is messaging that’s off. You have to make sure that your messaging is not only showcasing the course and why it matters and how it makes a difference. But it also has to speak to the right audience.

If you don’t have your messaging really nailed in and really dialed in, it’s gonna be really difficult to convert. And I talk about messaging really, really, really extensively in my upcoming popup podcast series course launch prep, simplified, which I talked about a little bit last week. And I’ll talk about more at the end of this episode, but I have an entire episode in that popup podcast.

all about how to create your launch messaging. So I highly recommend that you go grab that popup podcast. It’s totally free. So go do that, but you have to make sure that your messaging is nailed down. If you don’t know exactly who you’re talking to and you don’t know exactly what the problem you’re solving is and how the course is gonna solve it.

You’re not gonna be able to walk people through that customer journey. You’re not gonna be able to bring them from problem unaware all the way to student. without bringing them through that journey. They’re probably not gonna convert. So you need to know what phase of life or business your audience is in depending on whether you’re business to business or business to consumer, what phase of life or business are they in and how does your course help solve one of the problems that they have because of that phase of life or business that they’re in really, really important that you’re able to nail that down.

And speak really clearly about what it is that your course does.

And then the third pitfall that I see over and over again is having unrealistic goals, needing to have a super large audience in order to launch a course successfully is a myth, but needing a large audience to make six figures on a launch. Not a myth. Definitely not a myth.

Should you wait until you have a large audience and are able to do a six figure launch to actually launch your course? No. There is so much that you can do with the audience that you have now. And there are people that you can help now in the audience that you have now, But please don’t go into your course launch with these unrealistic expectations of I’m going to make six figures this year because I’m selling a course now and it’s scalable and it’s passive and yada, yada, yada, a course, really isn’t passive income. There really, isn’t such thing as passive income because you should always be working and tweaking and improving on these scalable products or scalable income. But just because it’s scalable income doesn’t mean it’s gonna make you rich quickly. so go in with realistic goals and you figure out what those realistic goals are by one, looking at your email list numbers.

That is one of the greatest predictors of what your course sales are gonna be. . And also, if you have launched this previously looking at what your conversion rates were for the last launch, that’s gonna be an even better indicator. If you know what your conversion rates were for the last launch, you can simply go, okay.

My goal is to improve it by one or 2%, and this is the percentage I have on my email list. This is the percentage I have on my launch list. And. if I look at last times percentages, and then I also look at one or 2% more and one or 2% less, I have a range of what I can realistically expect for sales. so let’s do some simple math here to kind of illustrate that. Let’s say that with your last launch of your course, you. Converted your launch list at 5%.

let’s say you now have 1000 people on your launch list and 5% conversion, 5% of 1000 is 50. Okay. That’s where you were last time.

 Let’s say we wanna, our goal is to improve that to 7%. That’s what we want our conversion to be this time. That would be 70 sales. And we also wanna go down a little bit to account for maybe things don’t go as planned. Maybe something doesn’t work, right. It just is what it is. That would be 3%, which would be about 30 sales.

So your realistic goals for this launch would be anywhere from 30 to 70 sales, 70 being a best goal, 50 being better and 30 being good. That would be how I would set my goals. And that would be how I would recommend for you to set your goals. But let’s say you’ve never launched this before.

You don’t have a launch list. You don’t have any of that set up yet. You would wanna look at your total email list number and average industry average is one to 2% conversions for your entire email list. Let’s see you have a thousand people on your entire launch list and you will go with 2%. That would be about 20 sales.

 So your goal, a realistic goal for this launch would be roughly 20 sales. Now, if you have a strong wait list strategy and a strong launch list strategy and a strong pre-launch strategy, a list of warm leads can bring you anywhere from five to 10%. So it could be higher than that. But a realistic goal is.

20 for a brand new launch with an email list of about a thousand people. So one to 2% would be your goals there. So 10 to 20 sales, and you could say, good 10 better, 20 best 30, and go from there. And then obviously hope that you will get higher than that. and here’s the other thing when you’re taking your goals into account, because I know.

If I had known this math, when I first launched one, I probably would’ve felt better about my launches. And I think I’ve shared this story a few times on the podcast, but when I first launched my first ever product, I fell into this trap of unrealistic goals and I expected to make, I think I wanted to make.

a thousand dollars with this product and it was a little workbook. So I wasn’t selling it for much. I think I was selling it for like 17 or $27 and my email list was tiny. And when I look back, I sold a hundred dollars in revenue off of that product. And looking back, my conversion numbers were actually really strong.

I just had unrealistic goals. And so had I known this previously. It would’ve made my launches a lot less painful and I, would’ve probably been a lot happier about my success, but I also might and probably would have, if we’re being totally honest, I would’ve looked at this and been like 10 to 20 sales, that’s it.

and frankly, my numbers wouldn’t even be that big because when I first launched Club Content Batching, I had 300 people on my email. but having a really strong strategy for my pre-launch content brought in way higher conversion rates than that. First of all, I was in, I don’t wanna say a number off the top of my head, cause I would need to look it up, but very, very, very, very high conversion numbers because I had that strong strategy.

The other thing to know about a first launch and a second launch, and a third launch is that with each launch, you’re preparing for the next launch, because as you’re launching, you’re bringing in a new group of audience members just by nature of being more visible. Those people are not gonna buy during this launch.

You wanna bring ’em in, but they’re not gonna buy during this launch. Some might very few might, but for the most part, they’re not gonna convert right now because they haven’t gone through that customer journey. They haven’t been brought from problem unaware to offer aware. They just hear about the offer, but between now and your next launch, you’re going to be nurturing them and bringing them through that customer journey.

And when the next launch comes around, they’re much more likely to buy. So why you may not love what the realistic goals look like right now, please keep in mind that this just a starting point. This launch is not the end all be all. For your business. It’s not the end all be all for this course. It’s just, it’s just step one.

So keep that in mind. So there’s three pitfalls improper timing messaging that’s off and unrealistic goals. your action step for this week is to go sign up for my free popup podcast course launch prep simplified a three episode series created to help entrepreneurs prepare themselves to launch a course.

I’m going to cover what you need to launch a course and what you don’t the five phases of a course launch and creating your launch messaging. episode one drops on September 7th, but you can go ahead and sign up and tune in to the introductory episode by heading to Amanda warfield.com/launch-podcast.

Again, that’s Amanda warfield.com/launch-podcast. And this week’s book recommendation is the plot by gene Hoff Korelitz I Don. K O R E L I T Z. We’ll go there. So this is washed up. Author turned teacher, a student comes to him with just the most amazing story plot he’s ever heard. A few years later, he realizes he never heard about the story coming out.

He looks up, the student learns the student died without completing his novel. And the teacher has to decide whether to write the novel himself or let this incredible plot die with the student. It it is a very intriguing book. It was really interesting ethical dilemma to read about just really well done. So I highly recommend the plot by Jean Hoff Korelitz

sorry. I really murder that one. incredibly well done and highly recommend. And until next time, my friend, I hope that you’ll go out and Uncomplicate your life in biz?


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