There are few things more nerve-wracking for a small business than launching a new product.
Believe me, I know how it feels! Since the early days of my digital marketing and virtual assistant business, I’ve expanded my offerings dozens of times. And every single time, I was filled with anxieties. I was worried that no one would be interested in that service, or that I spent all of that time and money for nothing.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that there is an art to launching a brand-new product or service. If you know the formula, you can significantly increase the chances that your new offering will be a big success (it still doesn’t get rid of all the anxiety, though)!
While I really dig into the details in my free Ultimate Product Launch Planner Workbook, here are some quick tips that will help you launch your product to the stratosphere!
Use a Project Management Tool
A vital component of any successful launch is organization. You need a place where you can put down all of your steps and tasks, keeping them in order with due dates and tracking metrics to see where you and your team are in the process.
Some attempt to do with using pen and paper, but that’s a recipe for headaches and missed deadlines. What you need is a project management solution everyone can access where you put all of the information and steps you’re planning leading up to the big day of the launch!
This prep can take a ton of time to get set up, especially if you’ve never used a project management solution like Asana or Teamwork. Thankfully, I have all of the experience you need. We can work out all of the steps of your product launch together, and then I can get them into your project management system. From that point, it’s easy to keep track of everything and make sure that no essential tasks get forgotten about in the shuffle!
Product Beta Testing Feedback
If you’re familiar with software development, then the importance of beta testing is self-evident. But just in case you’re not…
When someone designs a piece of software, there will likely be a ton of bugs and errors. Maybe there are places the user interface isn’t intuitive or features that are confusing to use. To address these issues, you need to get a second (or third or twentieth) set of eyes on the new software.
It is the exact same when you are developing a new product or service. If you don’t perform beta testing, then your product is likely going to launch with some significant flaws that you didn’t realize were even there.
Thankfully, beta testing is easy. You only need some trustworthy customers who you offer your new product or service for free. It’s best to get them to sign an NDA first, just in case your product has any proprietary information in it.
Once they have your product, they should be encouraged to put it through its paces. Basically, they should do their best to “break” it. Then, once they finish the beta test, they provide you with frank feedback about their experience. You don’t want gentle encouragement here. You want to know precisely what is wrong with your product or service so you can fix it.
Another great reason to hold beta testing on your product is that you can get testimonials for use in your marketing. Ever notice that the back cover of a brand-new book already has quotes from famous authors and celebrities? That’s because they got a pre-release copy of the book for free. You want to do the same thing with your product or service.
Building Your Marketing Plan
Building a product launch marketing plan can include dozens of different steps. Here are some of the main ones that I suggest.
Before the release of your product, writing a press release can be a smart way to get the word out about your new offering. It can be sent to local press in your area, a variety of websites focusing on your industry, or put out to your email list to give them a heads up. A professionally-written press release can put a polished front on your product launch, so you shouldn’t skip it.
Landing Page is Key
Next up, you want to have a polished and attractive landing page added to your website that features your product. This page is the equivalent of a product brochure. It’s where we feature high-quality images of the product along with listing all of the features and benefits. It should match your website’s already-existing theme and branding, along with the style of your web copy. Launch pages are an area that I specialize in!
Then there are the digital marketing staples of a product launch. Like an email campaign to your email list, along with social media posts and advertisements. You want them across every single one of your social media channels. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and anywhere else you have a presence.
You won’t want to run the same ad for all of them. Instead, you want a couple of different ads that present your new product in different lights. This strategy keeps them from getting boring, and will keep your audience interested in them! Writing up a blog about your new product can also be an excellent way to drum up some interest (and give you something to post to social media).
You might also want to give away some free samples of the product or service, but this can be tricky. You don’t want to “give away the farm,” so to speak. I’ve discovered that the best way to give your customers a taste is through a webinar. Here, you are featuring samples of your offering (don’t let your stage fright get to you!), telling people about the benefits while also teasing them about what they’re missing out on by not purchasing it. A webinar can also make for excellent content for an email opt-in. It’s the piece of content that keeps on giving! That makes it a must for launches nowadays!
Solidifying Your E-Commerce Solution
Here is the nightmare scenario: It’s launch day, you have all of your marketing set up, you’ve generated buzz, and everything looks ready to go. Then you discover that your e-commerce solution on your website isn’t working. No one can actually buy your product. Disaster.
You can avoid this by hiring a professional to take care of your website. Website maintenance is something often overlooked by small businesses. But it is an essential part of keeping your web presence up and running. When you have a pro taking care of your website, they will always be making sure that your e-commerce plug-in is up-to-date and functioning. And if anything does happen to it, they can swoop in and fix it ASAP.
In the past, I’ve gotten panicked messages from clients who desperately need help to get their web storefront working on their launch day. You can avoid that entirely by hiring me. I will take care of it ahead of time, making sure that everything goes off perfectly.
Of course, this is only a taste of what goes into a product launch. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it’s one of the most time-consuming and stressful parts of being a small business owner. If you want a more comprehensive picture of what goes into a product launch, you can download my free Ultimate Product Launch Planner Workbook for a checklist of everything you’ll need to do.
Or if you want someone to talk you through everything involved in a product launch, I’d be happy to help! Contact me today, and we can get started making sure that your new product or service gets off the launchpad without a hiccup!