Launch Preparation Tips Nobody Talks About
A marketing launch is an exciting and nerve-wracking time for any business. Exciting because you're doing it - you're planting a seed that can become a huge success.
But holy moly - there are so many things to think about; creating the actual product in the first place, getting all the tech set up, and all the million and one things to tick off. It's an exhausting and exhilarating time.
And guess what? I'm gonna give you even MORE things to think about. But these are strategies that can make your launch a lot less stressful, I promise.
Obviously, as a money mindset mentor, I have lots of thoughts about all the money blocks you'll experience as you launch, "am I good enough?", "will I get heaps of refunds?" and the classic "will anyone even pay for this?". Launch resistance is real, and the closer you get to launching, the more you'll feel your money blocks.
But, as a practical Virgo, mother of 3 young kids (and two dogs), and a 40+ woman who needs a ton of self-care these days, I want to share with you some of my hard-won lessons about what it takes to launch without losing your sanity.
First up - my online launch credentials. My first ever ebook launch was in 2004 (Internet Dating Tips for Men), and my first course launch was in 2009 (Raw Brides Transformation Plan). Since those "practice businesses," I've had dozens of online course, book, and affiliate launches and have made over USD $15m (AUD $20m) in online launch revenue.
I've launched my flagship course Money Bootcamp in every way possible; live video content launches, evergreen, webinar, 5-day challenge, quiz-style, half-assed, and full out. It's been quite a journey with over 7400 students through that course and 8000+ on my manifesting course.
This year, I've discovered a crucial lesson; just how much self-care, practical child support, and home help I need to really thrive during launch campaigns. I've never seen this covered in typical launch courses, but it can cause the most considerable stress, especially for women.
Here we go:
Childcare (and Backup Childcare)
This tip is CRUCIAL for parents, but really anyone who has caring responsibilities.
Even though I love outsourcing, the truth is that you can probably do most things in the launch yourself, but NOT if you're wrangling kids simultaneously. It's so stressful. SO stressful. Especially if you have young kids that don't sleep well or kids who need extra care.
During the last few years, when schools and daycares have been closed at a moment's notice, how can you ensure you're not dealing with the juggle on your close cart day?
- How can you and your partner share childcare during the launch, for example, after school activities and school pick up.
- Organize before or after-school care
- Ask a family member to take them out for an adventure all weekend
Honestly - this is worthy of allocating launch funds to get extra help and back up childcare. I'm talking about a private nanny, babysitters, or vacation care. It's SO WORTH IT.
Our nanny was sick, and my mum came and helped during our last launch (the schools and daycares were closed). So, we had to work late into the night to catch up. We took turns getting up early with the kids. Teamwork!
Co-parents / single parents
- If you have a shared parenting arrangement, try to schedule your launch for your off-week.
- If you have a good relationship with your ex-partner, can they take the kids extra days?
- Can your kids have a sleepover at their grandma's or cousin's house? TAKE ALL THE HELP.
- Swap childcare with an entrepreneurial friend.
If your house is noisy with homeschooling activities, find somewhere quiet like a co-working space. But let's face it, even a busy cafe is probably more relaxing than trying to organize your launch with Peppa Pig in the background.
Get your kids involved in the launch! My 7-year old stuffs envelopes for our Money Bootcamp welcome cards for 20c a card! My friend's 15-year-old does her social media.
I know it's hard when you don't have a big budget, but your launch can bring so much abundance for you and your family, so it's such a worthwhile investment to give yourself some time.
Let's be honest - if asking family members stresses you out (or they're unreliable), budget to pay for someone who will turn up and do the job. I can't stress enough how much of a difference this makes. It's so hard to juggle it all, and it's worth it.
Ditto, it's not fun to do your launch webinar with your furry loved ones barking in the background or doing a massive poop on your rug during a Livestream.
Our dogs Albie and Daisy go to doggy daycare twice a week, but we totally forgot to coordinate it with our close-cart day. So we added extra days with a local dog-walker, so we didn't have to stress.
Because have you noticed that your pets get extra needy when they know you're distracted? And during launch time, it would be nice to go out and get fresh air, but sometimes the thought of a walk is just another thing on your plate!
Stock up on treats, too - if nothing else, you might get an extra hour of quiet with a frozen peanut butter chew toy.
Beauty and self-care
You don't have to be a model to launch but to be honest, I sometimes need that little bit of extra self-confidence to feel good on camera.
I'm not going to lie and say I'm a natural beauty; I get a teeny bit of Botox and lip filler, dye my hair blonde every 5 weeks, and have a mustache that needs regular waxing. I also get my very fair eyebrows micro-bladed, and I have very sparse non-existent eyelashes.
Plan it out accordingly if you want to get anything done, so it doesn't clash with launch times. Most cosmetic treatments take time to settle. For example, fresh microblading can look really harsh, some filler can look too puffy for a week or two, and facial treatments can cause redness. Spray tans need a day to settle too.
Throughout the lockdown, my hair salon was closed, and I recorded my launch videos with long dark roots. Of course, you gotta do what you gotta do, but I'm already looking at my calendar for next time to make sure I get my hair dyed in plenty of time. I've had plenty of launches where I had to panic trim my mo because I forgot to organize waxing.
I always get a fresh blow-dry during launch week, so I feel extra confident getting on camera. Maybe a fresh manicure will feel good! I always film barefoot, so I get a cute blue pedicure too.
If you're doing pre-launch video content, consider getting a make-up artist, especially if you're going to repurpose the videos later. It's so worth it!
Don't leave it all to the last minute and get stressed out.
Fill Your Prescriptions
I was officially diagnosed this year with ADHD. Leading up to a launch, I sometimes forget to refill my prescription, or it just goes on the back burner until it's too late. During the pandemic, I also took an anti-depressant to cope with anxiety and help me sleep.
My husband Mark has skin medication that prevents breakouts. My kids take supplements to help with sleep and calm. My dogs need regular flea and tick treatments.
You don't want to run out of everyone's essential meds during a stressful time!
What meds do you need to thrive? To sleep well and protect your mental health? To deal with your hormones or allergies?
Ditto with planning out things like vaccines and flu shots. Plan a buffer just in case you need downtime afterward.
Also, do you need to order your contacts or glasses ahead of time? During my last book deadline, my eyes were SO SORE. I needed to increase the font size on all my devices and wear my reading glasses for computer work.
I also stock up on vitamins, eyedrops, throat lozenges, painkillers, and essential oil calming spray while I'm picking up my meds.
Surgery and medical stuff
Okay, it sounds obvious, but maybe I'm just a slow learner. I've scheduled wisdom teeth removal just before a photo shoot (hello puffy face), planned webinars when I was 9 months pregnant (I went into labor a few hours before), got fitted for braces before a launch (that gave me a noticeable lisp). I committed to a JV webinar for the afternoon after I got out of hospital for an operation (I was still wearing my medical bracelet), and I was probably still a little high on painkillers.
My best one was getting veneers the week before a big photo shoot and eating turmeric that stained my temporary teeth fluro yellow. My dentist had to overnight a 3D printed tooth (don't you love technology?)!
Do you really want to launch the same week as your mammogram, pap smear, or colonoscopy?
Health comes first, and life happens, so check any scheduled surgery dates before putting the launch on your calendar.
Know your cycle
If you get regular periods, then know your best time to launch. For example, do you want to be on camera during "shark week"? Do you get massive cramps that make you want to lie in bed all day?
My friend Stasha Washburn is the founder of The Period Coaching School. She's a great resource to figure out how to make your cycle work for you.
And stock up on all your extra supplies. It's not fun to run out of tampons or painkillers during launch week.
Cooking is the last thing I'd want to do during a launch. But what are you going to eat when you're busy and stressed; peanut butter out of the jar?
- Budget so you can order in meals every night during launch week
- Make some pre-prepared meals you can quickly heat up
- Can someone make food for you and the family
- Consider ordering special juices or salads
I sometimes skip breakfast during launch times because my webinars are all in the morning, but I'm hangry and hyper by mid-morning. I have some snacks in my office and take lots of water with me because it's easy to sit at your computer and forget.
Stock up on coffee, your favorite tea, your preferred milk option, and all the snacks, so you don't survive on Tiny Teddies and Pizza Pockets (unless you thrive on that - go ahead!)
Let your house get super dirty during launch week or outsource as much as possible. Can you get in some help to tidy and clean, so you don't have to? Can you get someone to iron or steam your clothes for filming?
Also, if you have regular maintenance work, schedule them away from launch week. There is nothing worse than a leaf blower when you're trying to film videos or the doorbell ringing every few minutes to let in a handyman.
By the way - a sign on the door to not ring the doorbell might be handy too!
I often hire an Airbnb to film videos, so I'm away from home and can concentrate on batching them without getting distracted by all the home stuff.
I say no to as many things as possible around launch time, including visits from family, drop-ins with friends, or requests to help.
I had to say no a lot this year with writing deadlines, and it's funny how much people respect "I have a book due" rather than a launch because it feels REAL. I said no to interviews, writing blurbs for people, and "can I pick your brain" requests because I didn't have the bandwidth.
Launching takes up a lot of mental, physical, and emotional energy, so it's okay to just say NO to extra requests for your time.
Look at your calendar now; can anything be moved, rescheduled, or canceled? Make sure people can't book in if you have an online scheduling system.
We often forget about this, but the actual delivery begins as soon as the launch is over! Also, there's often "launch clean up" like customer service or admin.
Don't underestimate how much energy it takes. So many people get a "launch hangover" and feel really deflated and demotivated after a launch - even a successful one.
I always book a massage, a non-movable date with a friend (to something easy like a movie), and a vitamin infusion to cope with the post-launch exhaustion.
I also clear my calendar because I need lots of alone time playing games on my phone or watching bad TV.
I used to feel bad about missing time with my family and would schedule some big outings after my close-cart day, but now I need a few days to decompress.
And before you plan your next one, give yourself some space to reflect on what worked and what you need next time. We have learned the hard way that we need to have three months between launches so we don't overstretch ourselves.
Oh, and don't forget to celebrate! Even if you don't feel like it.
Lastly - learn from our mistakes!
There are so many, often unspoken, things to consider when planning your next launch beyond the technical parts. Stay tuned; I'm working on a post about all the woo-woo manifesting rituals and money mindset tools I use during my launches too!
You don't have to reinvent the wheel or overcomplicate it. Instead, follow a process, get training from an expert and take it step-by-step! Otherwise, it's too easy to miss things and end up thinking you've had a "bad launch" or get so stressed you never do it again!
Launching can be fun! My launch mentor Jeff Walker created the Product Launch Formula for precisely this reason, and it's the process I follow in every one of my launches.
Next week Jeff is running his free Live Launch Masterclass, and I highly recommend you invest some time in watching it and learning Jeff's system, so you don't need to wing it or make up your next launch on the fly (super stressful).
You can get on my notification list to get access to the training as soon as Jeff opens registration here - http://www.denisedt.com/plf
Look after yourself, follow a system and make it happen - you've got this!
The Truth About Your Money Blocks
Discover the 7 money blocks that keep you under-charging, over-delivering and from earning what you're worth!