Whether you’re a launching pro or you’ve never launched something yet, there’s something you need to know: successful launches don’t just happen.

Chinese lanterns - what is a launch strategy and why do you need one

In this episode, I’m continuing in our short series about launching by sharing with you about what a launch strategy is and why you need one anytime you launch something new. But first, we’re going to talk about what you need for a successful launch.

What You Need for a Successful Launch

To have a successful launch, you need a marketing strategy AND a launch plan. But it’s not quite as clear cut as that, which is why it can be so confusing.

Included in the marketing strategy and the plan are:

  • The what – what you are going to do to launch (so that you’re clear on what needs to be accomplished for the launch). This is a combination of planning and strategy.
  • The when – when you are going to do it (so that you’re not scrambling or doing the right things at the wrong times). The when is primarily the plan.
  • The why – why you are doing it (so you’re not just doing random activities that you’ve seen others do in their launches). The why is primarily the strategy.
  • The how – the tech and tools you need to pull off your launch (so that you have a smooth experience for you and your buyers). The how is primarily the plan.
  • The who – who will do each of the tasks involved in your launch (so that everyone is clear on what they are responsible for). The who is primarily the plan.

So while the marketing strategy and the launch plan are separate “tracks” for the same train, you can see that you really can’t move forward with just one of them.

In this episode, I will share with you about what a great marketing strategy looks like, and at the end I’ll share how to learn more about what a great launch plan looks like.

What is Involved in a Launch Strategy

The Offer

Before you launch something, you need to make sure that what you’re launching (i.e. the offer) is valid and attractive to your ideal client or customer. Here are a few questions to ask about your offer:

  • Does this offer fit into your overall business model?
  • Does this offer meet the needs of your ideal audience?
  • Are there other people offering a similar product/course/service/book to the market?

What might be included in your strategy:

  • The name & branding of your offer
  • The sales page for your offer
  • Core content that leads up to the launch – what you share on your blog, podcast, or youtube /video show
  • Core content during the launch
  • Building an email list before the launch
  • Emails to promote your offer
  • Social media content leading up to the offer
  • Social media posts about your offer
  • Testimonials from past clients, students, or readers
  • Webinars
  • Challenges
  • Paid ads
  • Office hours
  • Partnering with others (affiliates or collaborations)

So how do you decide what to include in your marketing strategy? There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, but here are a few questions to consider that can help you decide:

  • Have you launched before, or is this your first time?
  • Is your offer validated or is this the first time you’re bringing it to your audience? 
  • Are you a solo operation or do you have a team?
  • What are your goals for the launch?
  • How much time can you commit to your launch?

All of these things factor into how you formulate the marketing strategy for your launch.

Why do you need a launch marketing strategy rather than just a plan? Well, you want to make sure that what you are doing makes sense and aligns to your goals, your personality, and your audience.

You create a beautiful timeline and plan for all the things, but if the things you are doing are not aligned or strategic, then you might end up flopping.

So let’s talk about the WHY of your launch – the why behind the different things you might do.

The Why Behind Your Launch Strategy

What is the purpose of the different activities you might do before and during your launch? Here are 5 things your launch strategy needs to do:

  • Inform – You’ve got to inform your audience about what the end goal is that you are hoping to help them achieve with your product or service.
  • Reveal – You need to reveal the problems or challenges that often take place when someone is trying to accomplish the end result. You might also want to address the consequences of not reaching the result.
  • Clarify – Your marketing strategy should clarify for your audience what the solution is for their problem. It should help them understand how to solve the challenge they are having and provide them with a method to do that (usually that’s your offer).
  • Inspire – Your marketing should inspire your audience to consider the future of what their life could look like when they achieve their goal. It can paint a picture of what will be different or better based on them taking action. 
  • Assure – Your strategy should also provide assurance to your potential buyer that the decision they are making is a good one.

You might be thinking: Wow, that’s a lot! I have to cover a lot of ground in my launch strategy. And the truth is that yes, you do. It’s not as simple as creating a product, throwing up a few social posts or sending a couple emails and expecting people to buy.

When you are strategic about your launch strategy, you can reduce the risks of having a flopped launch.

But what about the launch plan? 

I mentioned at the start that a successful launch requires both a strategy and a plan, but I only focused on the strategy. That’s because my friend Christa Hutchins is a master at talking about planning, and she’s got an episode on her podcast, Just One Simple Thing, where she’s sharing all about why you need a launch plan. Head over to episode 17 of her podcast and take a listen to get the scoop on creating a launch plan.

Faith Focus:

Philippians 4:8-9

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Often when we are taking in things that are not true, noble, pure, lovely… we have a lack of peace. When we are not practicing the things that God has shown us in His are the best way for us to live, we are going to struggle.

For me, this passage is a reminder to be aware of what I’m allowing into my own ears and mind as well as what I’m focusing on. Sometimes it may not even be that what we are consuming is necessarily bad, but just that we might not be meditating and focusing on the things that are most beneficial for us.

This week, consider what you are allowing into your heart, mind, and spirit. Consider if you need to adjust and if you need to change your thoughts and actions to align to God’s best for you.

Shine a Light Segment:

Today I’m shining a light on Laura Howe of Hope Made Strong. Laura equips church leaders and ministry teams as they support and care for others in their community.

Laura equips staff and volunteer leaders with practical, scripturally-based strategies that will strengthen you and your ministry team as you support and care for others in your community.

Connect with Laura at https://hopemadestrong.org/

Watch or listen to Laura’s interview in our Faith & Business Series.