In the spirit of being 100% transparent about the learning processes I go through, I am going to be openly and candidly honest with everyone about how my first official launch went. I believe that’s the best way to learn–when we are all honest with one another and embrace the lessons, both good and bad.
The launch of The Photography Framework was a new beast for me, so to speak. I learned so muchthat it was sometimes overwhelming and I wanted to shut down. In order to try and retain all the lessons I was learning though, I wrote them down as the launch week progressed. That way, they were out of my brain and onto paper where I could officially process them later…and I am so very thankful I did! As many of you know, my brain works best in bullet points, so let’s jump right into the List of Launch Lessons.
- The VAST majority of work happens PRE-LAUNCH. Okay, I knew this to an extent. But HOLY MOLY, I didn’t realize that the ratio weighed so heavily to pre-launch duties. In order for people to buy from me, they need to trust me. And essentially I kept most of what I was doing under wraps until right before the launch. Because I did this, I wasn’t as trustworthy in possible consumers’ eyes because I was “new.”
- Email marketing needs to begin LONG before a launch. Email marketing is new to me–I haven’t yet implemented it in my photography business. So learning to use an email marketing system, creating workflows, dividing clients into segments, and overall just gathering email addresses was a learning curve in and of itself. Although I did start the list prior to launch, I did not “prime” my audience like I should have. If you’re reading this and I left you un-primed, I’M SORRY!
- A way to drive traffic to your site and ultimately grow your email list is to have a lead magnet or opt-in. My website has SEVEN! But I didn’t advertise them until launch week…so you can imagine they weren’t as successful as if I had advertised them prior to launching to establish the trust.
- Marketing products is a lot different than marketing a service (like photography). Again, this sounds basic, and of course I knew this to an extent. But services are very much emotionally-based. Products, I personally feel, are more logically based. I am not sure I provided enough information about the actual product in fear of “giving away” what was inside. This was a naive fear that cost me in sales.
- Don’t blindly use Facebook ads. I wouldn’t say I was totally blind. I had taken a course beforehand and used the knowledge of some of my peers to help me create my ad (and that was all super helpful); however, refer to my last bullet… If I were to do it all over again (which, hey, I probably will at some point), I would use the Facebook ad to grow my email list, get potential customers to mentally “buy in” then try to sell to them…not simply advertise my website and products.
- Any amount of success is still SUCCESS. I hit my goal for launch week sales. But the Enneagram 3 in me is mad I didn’t blow it out of the freaking water. But hitting my goal, no matter what it was, is still a success.
- Sub-lesson: Celebrate small wins...like hitting 200 followers on the TPF Instagram page!
- It’s okay to ask others to market your product. I mean, heck, that’s all affiliate programs are, right?! I’m not at the affiliate stage yet, but it’s hard for me to ask others to toot my horn for me. I have to get over that because what is more effective than a genuine review of a product that works from a happy consumer?! Literally nothing.
More lessons may come to me as the launch week experience continues to process in my brain, but these are my main takeaways.
Thank you to all of those who have and continue to support The Photography Framework pre-launch, during launch, and post-launch. Your support means the world to this small business and small business owner. With learning and efficiency at the forefront of TPF’s values, I hope that someday in the future, if you plan on doing a product launch (or any launch really) that you can read this blog post and find encouragement, knowledge, and community. Because in a world with constant contact, the entrepreneurial life especially can feel very lonely! But I promise you–you are not alone!