Lessons from a launch

Recently I launched my very first online program Money and Marketing Makers. Having gone through the launch process, I wanted to share with you what worked well, and not so well, so you can learn from my mistakes!

A great listen if you are considering ever creating a digital product, program or course.

In this Episode:
05.43: Hiring expert help for your online launch
07.50: Why you should plan and publicly announce your online launch
08.27: How to set yourself up for success
09.29: The importance of getting your content and tech sorted
11.49: Why you should clear your calendar and invest in self-care
13.44: Setting your pricing – learn from my mistakes
14.59: Why mindset is important if things don’t go to plan




I very recently launched my very first online program, Money & Marketing Makers. Today what I wanted to do was share with you, all of the lessons I learnt through the launch process, the good, the bad and the ugly, so that if you ever create an online program, course or eBook, you can learn from my lessons.


You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.


Now as per usual on my solo podcast episodes, I love to do a shout-out to someone or a few people or a few people who have taken the time to write a review on Apple podcasts. And the person I want to give a shout-out today is Kim O’Gorman, from Kim O’Gorman Marketing, and she said she loves to listen to the podcast, and she likes that the guests share real and useful information. Kim actually used to do a lot of web development work for me so I can actually highly recommend her! She’s very knowledgeable, a great developer, extremely professional and most of all is that she is lovely to deal with. So make sure you pop on over and say hi to Kim O’Gorman. Next I want to thank Troy. I want to do a special shout-out to him, because he has actually self-declared that he is potentially the only stump-grinder that listens to this podcast so far. Now if you are another stump-grinding, please make sure you let me know, so we can make sure he doesn’t keep that title. Troy is based here in Brisbane, Australia and his Instagram account is @stumpgrindit and I have to say, I love his Instagram because it is really unique for someone in his industry to use the platform, but it’s very clever, because a lot of his target market are on Instagram, so a very clever place for him to be and make sure you pop on over and say hi to him. Troy said that he loves the podcast and the pointers he picks up!


Ok, onto the episode. If you are thinking you’ll never launch an online business, and this episode is not for you, then I think you may need to re-think that. If you think that your business can’t be translated to an online business model, what I want you to do is jump back and listen to my past episode, episode 19 where I chat to Emily Osmond, and you will learn that any business can be taken online, by creating course, eBooks, online trainings, so make sure you go and have a listen to that and get inspired.


Now why would you want to take your business online? Because you can create scalable product so for example, with me, there is only one of me. So what happened was, my income had become capped out, because there are only so many hours I can do one-on-one, but when you create a product or a program, then you can sell it many times over, and it means you can reach and help more people. An online business is something I’ve dreamed of for years, but put it off because of fear, a perceived lack of time, worried I didn’t have a large enough following or list and also worried that I wouldn’t have time to do it with children and the time to create content. But really that was a bunch of excuses and it was the episode with Emily that really inspired me to just get started, and figure out the details later. So, I did. As I mentioned last week, I launched my first program Money & Marketing Makers, and in today’s episode, what I want to share is some of the learnings that if you ever create and launch a digital product, you can make sure you don’t make some of the mistakes I did. So to share some numbers about how the program launch went. I had 23 people join the program, which is much less than I hoped, but also I think a fantastic start for my first launch. I created and launched the program within weeks of first coming up with the concept and I decided to only target my existing following, so I didn’t create a sales funnel, I didn’t create a whole series of Facebook Ads to attract people in. I literally decided to launch it with my existing list and following. And the idea being that I would target people already engaged with me and already had that relationships with, and find a way I could help them in a group capacity. So, into the lessons from my launch. I’m going to start with the good stuff, because lets look on the bright side.  


The positive lessons from my online program launch


Number one, I hired expert help. I invested with some sessions with Stevie from Stevie Says Social and the reason is, is because I have seen she has run 6-figure launches in the past. What I decided to do was engage her to learn from her launch lessons. This was invaluable to me, I got heaps of great advice, and even though this time I didn’t implement a lot of the strategies around Facebook Ads and funnels, there were invaluable lessons through that process and I’ve learned how to do a 6-figure launch in future.


The second thing I did well was I hired people to help me with the implementation, there are so many people to thank, but a special few I want to give a shout-out to, my amazing VA, Sally Watts from Sublime Virtual Admin. I want to thank Moolah Digital who stepped in and saved the day for me, which we’ll here a bit more about later, and my Facebook Ads manager Seeking Digital. These guys were all an imperative part of the launch and so valuable to have a bunch of people who have your back and stand behind you and support you through the launch period.


The next thing I did really well was I lent on my network. So my hubby is my best friend and as always he stepped up and really helped up around the house and with the kids. My biz besties, Brooke Hill from The Contented Copywriter and Steph Taylor were there to cheer me on, share hints for my launch and give me feedback. And lastly, so many incredible humans, like many of you listening here, who shouted-out, shared my launch, commented on the launch and dropped me DM’s and supported me through the process, I had so many people to support me from my network which was such a crucial part of having a successful launch.


The next thing that I did well was write a top level plan, then I just got stuck in and bloody did it. The best thing I did as part of that was that I picked a date, and I publicly announced it and the reason I did that was for external accountability. Once something is out there, generally you try and deliver on it. So I came up with a high level plan then just started working. And like I said, setting the launch date was key to keeping me on track and making sure I actually got in and delivered the program.


The last thing I did well, and this might sound a bit weird and shallow but I blow dried my hair every day of the launch period and put on a outfit. For me if I feel good, then I know that confidence will come across. And even though I was so busy, and to be honest I don’t blow dry my hair that often, but when I do make the effort I know I feel great and when I feel great I feel confident showing up on the camera. I wanted to be showing up on Instagram Stories and Facebook Live, I wanted to be showing up live, so I knew that if I made the effort to look good then I would feel good. So that’s a good little hack for you whether you are launching or not, when you put in the effort it all affects how you feel.


The mistakes from my online program launch


So it’s all been well and good up to here right. I’ve shared all the good stuff, but I know what you guys really want is the juicy stuff. The stuff ups. So here they are.


I had a serious lack of planning. Now, I do realise I said that one of the good things, that I didn’t spend too long planning, but there was no cohesion to the launch plan at all. I was writing every email and social post at the last possible moment, and it felt like it was very thrown together, so next time I’ll prepare better. Along those same lines, my social content was a bit of a mish-mash, and again it was that I didn’t have a clear content plan so what I was finding was that I was filling my stories and posts up with stuff. I just kept re-sharing things and I felt like I constantly had to be active, rather than thinking strategically about the story I wanted to share and the message I wanted to convey. So next time, I’ll invest some more thinking time, before I start doing.


The next big stuff up was, and this was probably the worst I think, was that I didn’t get the tech sorted. So to get some context, on launch day morning, my checkout facility didn’t work. Now that’s kind of a crucial point of launching. I was trying to remain calm and keep a positive mindset, and I chatted to a friend who asked if I’d launched yet, and I said no, I’m having some issues with checkout, so she recommend some web developers to me and thankfully Korii from Moolah Digital stepped in and saved the day. I think my cart became functional at 5pm on launch day, which really is shocking. I had people sending me DM’s saying, are you launching today. So, really make sure you get this stuff sorted and sorted early. And when you do have your checkout ready, make sure you check it works again and again, because it is something you don’t want happening when your program or eBook, whatever it might be, has launched.


The next thing was that I didn’t clear my calendar. I have got weekly coaching clients, monthly coaching clients, awesome clients, and I’m sure if I had gone to them and said, I’ve got a launch period, I’m going to take a week out and you won’t be charged for it, everyone would have been cool about it. But also because this was put together at the last minute, I didn’t have any prep time, so I ended up having coaching clients all throughout the week. Next time, I will ensure I have nothing going on in launch week. And that’s a biggie. Make sure you give a launch period the time it needs because it does consume a lot of your time and energy. Similarly, with my family life as well. My hubby was good he stepped up, but I think I’d go into it next time with a bit more context and set the scene about how much will be going on and see if it’s possible for him to do perhaps all the childcare pick ups and drops off that week.


Then next big mistake I made was I didn’t lock in any time to give to me. During that week, I was working crazy long hours, I did force myself to get to the gym and go for a couple walks, but next time I’d make it a non-negotiable and pre-schedule time to actually go and really look after me. Maybe go get a massage, keep up with a friend in the middle of the day. Something that makes me feel I’m creating space for myself because if anyone is listening and you’ve gone through a launch, you’ll know it’s a really stressful time, so this is something I’ll make sure I do next time.


The last thing I did wrong was that I got the pricing wrong. So my strategy was to price ridiculously low, in the hope of driving high volumes, because I know I have a bunch of followers who a quite engaged and I thought if I priced at an attractive price, it would be low hanging fruit and that I would convert a lot of those people. But truthfully what happened was the program is worth so much more than the price point that I launched it at, and I think that people were worried, it wouldn’t be good value, because it was so cheap. I literally had someone DM me and say that it should be much more. Now that is something, if people are telling you, you are too cheap, then it is time to put your prices up, because people don’t usually volunteer that information. It’s such a mindset thing, pricing is. A big learning for me is I’ll put the price up, and I know even at double the price that I launched at, is still ridiculously good value.


And the last thing that I guess was a challenge, was my mindset during the launch. I’m someone generally with a good mindset, and very positive and I work on my money mindset and mindset a lot. When I first launched I had a few sign ups early on, then it went ultra quiet and I panicked. This is something as a coach I see clients of mine, they can sometimes go into that scarcity mindset and when that happens you attract more scarcity. Instead of showing up in an abundant way, a way that will attract things to you, you show up in a space of fear and that is definitely what happened to me. I lent on some of my network in that period, and asked “what’s going on?” and they gave me a pep talk. I was also doing daily hypnosis recordings and before the launch I also invested in a hypnosis coach her name is Rock & Co so check her out on Instagram, and she works with people around the world. I think next time I need to do even more work on my mindset to keep it ultra-positive during a launch. So something I’m thinking is that maybe I will work with a mindset coach to keep me 100% on my game.


All in all, even though I didn’t hit the numbers I hoped for but my launch was a huge success, and why is that… because I did it and got an amazing group of people who have joined the makers and I know they will get incredible results. From here I know the program will grow and grow, because the people I am working with refer others, and I’ll continue to grow my list and have more people to share the program with in the future. I know in the future I’ll be much clearer in my marketing messages and in the content I’m sharing in the lead up to the course launch.


So in summary, lessons learnt from my first launch.


Things I did well:

  1. I hired expert help
  2. I hired people to help me with implementation
  3. I lent on my network
  4. I wrote a plan and got stuck in and did it (and I publicly announced it)
  5. I blow dried my hair and put on a nice outfit everyday so I set myself up for success by making myself feel confident.


The things that didn’t go well:

  1. I had a serious lack of planning
  2. My social content was a mish-mash
  3. I didn’t get the tech sorted
  4. I didn’t clear my calendar
  5. I didn’t lock in time for me, to invest in my self-care
  6. I got the pricing wrong
  7. My mindset during the launch period.


Hopefully you have learnt a lot from my learnings, throughout my launch period, and if you are considering launching a product, program or eBook, I strongly encourage you to do it, it is such an amazing feeling to cerate an income stream that is scalable, because you know then that the sky is the limit to what you can achieve.


If you missed out on this round of the Makers, I will be launching in Feb 2020, so you can join the waitlist if you don’t want to miss out when it goes live. I will be sharing the link for this in the show notes for today’s episode which is clarewood.com.au/podcast/episode20.


Thank you so much for joining me today, as always I am so grateful for your time, see you back here next week!


Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!


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