5 lessons from my first 5-figure launch

January 11, 2017

Something that I set out to do right in the beginning of 2017 was launch a group coaching program.  It was huge, it was epic, it was my best month ever, but it was also a month that really challenged me as an entrepreneur.  I set a HUGE, crazy goal for the month, and then realized very early on, that I wasn't at the stage in my business where I was capable of accomplishing that type of goal.  So, I re-evaluated my goal and then set another one based on a more educated analysis of what was going on in my business during that time.  Instead of continually feeling like I was going to fail, I set myself up for success with this new goal.  And as soon as I set that new goal, everything changed.  I felt like a burden was taken off my shoulders.  My original goal, as amazing as it was, intimidated me and was suffocating me, therefore inhibiting my progress.

And now three weeks post-launch, I'm happy to say that I crushed my new gaol and I want to share with you five of the biggest lessons I learned from the launch of my very first group coaching program, The Mompreneur Project.

Lesson #1: You need the numbers.

This is purely a statistical thing.  One to three percent of your list converts.  If you don't have the numbers, you're not going to meet your goals.  Simply don't do it if you're not there.  I'm sure your product or program is amazingly unique, but chances are you're not a unicorn in the business world and don't convince yourself otherwise.  Be smart in when you launch.  This statistic is proven over and over again by professionals in the field who launch 5-, 6-, and even 7-figure programs.

Lesson #2: Do the bare bones.

Do the absolute minimal in life during your launch.  Something that I did was I suspended certain things for the month of January.  One of those things was working out.  And yes, I realize that this isn't the greatest idea in the world, but hear me out.  Fitness takes up time.  Thirty minutes to an hour of working out, plus the extra, plus the extra food, plus the stretching and sore muscles, stressed me out.  Plus just thinking about taking the time away from my business stressed me out.  And on top of that, I knew that I wouldn't really be able to fully devote myself to my workouts because I would be thinking about my launch, and well, that stressed me out.  I don't like to half-ass things and I knew that would be how I felt.  So you can see a theme of stress surrounding working out.  So, I suspended it during my launch.

And wile fitness is a HUGE part of my daily life, I felt a huge sense of relief when I finally gave myself permission not to do it during my launch.

But what I did was set a time limit, and this was very intentionally done.  The day after my launch was over I committed to working out at least three days a week.  And for me, that feels good.

So for you, during your launch time is going to be precious.  Maybe you need to suspend the wine dates with your girlfriends, or say no to volunteering at your kids' school.  Whatever it is, if the time commitment on "extra things" is stressing you out during your launch, suspend it temporarily.  And establish a date when you're going to start it back up.  If it's something that truly "fills your cup" then you need to get back to it right after your launch.

The deadline you give yourself should be a date.  Not a numerical goal in your business.  I don't want your temporary suspension to end "when I hit 1,500 subscribers" or "when I get 5 women in my program".  Those goals may take one week or three months to complete, there is no telling how long accomplishing those goals will get.  Put a date on when you will end your temporary suspension.

Lesson #3: It's not going to go how you expect.

What worked for your biz bestie or for your business coach may not work for you.  And that's ok.  I did a series of webinar that absolutely did not convert during my launch.  I went back and watched them, tweaked them, and really analyzed them to try and figure out what I was doing wrong.  And I've come to this conclusion, I didn't really do anything "wrong".  I just think my ideal client wasn't interested in the webinar.  I was resting my entire launch on those webinars and they did not convert.

What did work for me was a 5-day workshop called Easy Peasy Sales that I ran on the whim at the end of my launch.  I polled my Facebook group, The Mompreneur Community, and it was the topic that they chose, hands down.  It was super effective, really engaged, and I converted some women into my program from it, got some raving fans, and grew my Facebook group by 100 members through it. #winning

Another thing that I didn't expect was the way women enrolled in the program.  I had a surge of enrollments in the beginning, then for about 2.5 weeks no interest whatsoever.  My open rates plummeted and the unsubscribes in my email were insane.  And this is when fear and panic started to creep in.  What did I do wrong?  Was this all a mistake?  Is this month going to ruin my business forever?

This is when I had to reign myself in.  I gave myself some grace.  I had never done a launch like this before and it was all a learning process.  I had to remind myself that I am unique, my business is unique, and just because it went one way for someone else, didn't mean it was going to go that way for me.

Lesson #4: Never undervalue good, old-fashioned outreach.

Over half of the women who enrolled in my program were women who I had spoken to about working together 3, 6, or 9 months ago.  They were women who just couldn't commit to working with me 1:1, which is the main way I work with clients, through 1:1 coaching packages.  So, I started reaching out to them.  All of them were in my Facebook community already and were on my email list, so they were very aware of my launch.

I reached out to them, mostly through Facebook Messenger, because you can't hide from Facebook Messenger.  Email you can hide from.  You can miss the message, it could go to spam, there are a lot of ways that you can go "wrong".  Facebook Messenger tells the sender when the recipient opened and received the message, and everyone knows this!  I would message them, was completely upfront, and told them that I wanted them in the program.  I explained to them what an asset they would be, how they would fit into the group, and how this program would solve the pain points we had chatted about in our prior interactions.  The women that I was reaching out to had an established relationship with me.  So reaching out via Facebook Messenger didn't seem weird, odd, or insincere.  It's not like I was reaching out to complete strangers.  It was very authentic.

Lesson #5: Quality over quantity.

If you have absolutely no idea who your ideal client is, stop reading right now and go figure it out.  When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.

I'll use my business as an example here.  I work with mompreneurs who have maybe had a business for about a year or so, maybe a little shorter, maybe a little longer, but they want to bring their business to the next level.  Maybe they are transitioning their business, introducing a new product, working on some passive products, whatever it is, they are growing and scaling.  And this program was for this exact type of woman.  Sure, some non-moms would have certainly enrolled in the program because it probably would have resonated with the material, but when you see situations through the lens of being a mother, you view things a little differently.  Mompreneurs who were in the very early stages of their business may have gotten a lot from the content, but the chances of them getting overwhelmed with the material were a lot higher than a mompreneur who already has an established business.

So by only working with ideal, through and through. clients, it makes it easier.  Well maybe not easier, but certainly more focused.  You work with women who you get and they get you.  And that serves you and them fully.  You want your clients to fill your cup, not diminish your flame.  And when you work with with women outside of your niche, chances are your clients are going to drain you.

Would you rather pour into 5 highly qualified clients, and then roll them over into another program?  Or would you rather work with 10 clients who drain you and who have no interest in continuing to work with you?  Those ideal clients will become raving fans and recommend you to their colleagues. Those not-so-ideal clients will leave you "so-so" testimonies and odds are, won't recommend you to anyone else.  You want and need longevity in your business.  So, if saying no to non-ideal clients is what you have to do to preserve your businesses' future, then preserve it.

And I have a bonus lesson for you!  Are you ready for it?

Lesson #6: Facebook Ads are your friend.

I know, I know, Facebook Ads can be rough.  And yes, that's an understatement.  But when used correctly they are the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to build your list.  The amount of money you put in for what you get out, is unparalleled.  During my launch I got an Ad to convert at about $0.81.  This means that for each email address that I received, I paid $0.81.  The email addresses I was receiving belonged to extremely qualified ideal clients.  These women hadn't heard of me before, and the targeting was very specific in the type of woman I wanted.  Sure, it took some tweaking, some adjusting the copy to speak more directly to my ideal client, I split tested one Ad with a different image, and then I split it even more with an image with text and an image with text.  There was a lot of tweaking and adjusting going on.  But when I finally got it to where I wanted it to go, I then ramped up the money spent per day and this particular Ad got me over 500 leads!  

So there you have it, those are my top five, plus one, lessons learned from my first five-figure launch.  If you are thinking about launching in the near future, especially if this is your first large-scale launch, I hope you take some of this advice to heart!  My first five-figure launch was amazing and gratifying, but such a learning experience.  I hope you find these lessons and tips helpful and encouraging. 

Allison Hardy is a business strategist for mompreneurs.  She helps women raise their businesses while raising their families so that they can live life on their own terms.  To connect with Allison daily, join her Facebook group, The Mompreneur Community.