Zero Audience? How to Have a Successful Launch Anyway
You can’t have a successful launch unless you have people to sell your offer to, so what are you supposed to do if you don’t have a giant email list or social media following? In this article, I’m sharing the strategy that I use to create profitable launches for my marketing clients who are starting from scratch.
And, incidentally, these strategies really help to GROW a bigger following along the way, making future launches even easier.
My first big launch wasn’t all that big. In fact, the only thing sizable about it was that it was a big FLOP.
Yep. When I tried to launch my first course, nearly two years ago now, I made many grand plans, poured in a few dozen hours of work, and then expected to make 20, 30, or even more sales.
And then I sold exactly ZERO.
So, yeah, it was definitely a flop.
Fortunately, I didn’t give up (even though I was pretty disappointed). I wondered why some people were making dozens of sales and I hadn’t made any. What were they doing differently? My curiosity was piqued, and I determined to solve the puzzle.
So I launched again. And again, and again, and again.
And finally, after nearly a half-dozen launches, I started to see some significant results. I also noticed that each time I launched (especially as I got better and better at launching) my audience grew. In fact, launching was growing my audience faster than anything else I was doing.
Now that I’ve had a lot of practice, and I’ve figured out the best strategies for launching, I realize that I actually could have been profiting pretty much from the get-go. Also, at this point I’ve been able to successfully market the launches of a number of clients who have come to me with practically no audience.
(Obviously, I tell you this not to toot my own horn, but to encourage you that it actually IS possible to have a successful launch even if you have a teeny-tiny list.)
Okay, so let’s get into the meat of it! How exactly do you launch if you don’t already have an audience?
1) You MUST Have An Audience
The first step is simply to accept the fact that you actually do need an audience.
Yes, you read that right, and no, it’s not a typo.
You have to have an audience. Otherwise, who’s going to buy what you’re selling?
BUT, you don’t have to own that audience, and you don’t have to have them already.
Yes, you need people to sell to. (Just a fact. You can’t sell if you don’t have someone to sell to.) But everyone starts with zero. Everyone finds that audience somehow.
So, if you want to launch, and want to actually make sales, then where are you going to find an audience to sell to? We’ll get there in just a moment, but first, you need to do step 2, which is…
2) Create a [Very] Compelling Offer
Before you’re quite ready to launch, you need to have something worth launching. Now from my own experience and from working with a number of clients, I have to say: Normally, the product is fine, but the positioning is not.
It’s like that old saying, “People don’t buy drills, they buy holes in wood.”
People don’t want to buy a course.
People don’t even want to buy an amazing course that will teach them amazing things and has 27 modules and 15 bonuses.
People buy the results.
- “You will become a better knitter.”
- “You will get more blog traffic.”
- “You will lose weight.”
- “You will make a million bigillion dollars.”
So, as you’re preparing to launch your offering, whether it’s a course, service, book, or anything else, it’s important that you frame it as results that you’re selling.
In addition, it’s important that you know exactly who would want those results (because those are the people you need to find to sell to) and why they want those results (because that will help you write your sales copy).
Which leads us to step 3…
3) How to Create an Audience Out of Thin Air
What do all “real” businesses do to get new customers? They advertise. They shell out the cash to pay for exposure.
Understand: Nobody likes paying to advertise. Businesses don’t pay because it’s fun, or even because they have “money to waste.”
They pay for advertising because it earns them money.
When my launches were flopping, I wasn’t paying for any advertising. My marketing budget was non-existent, and I thought that with so many opportunities for FREE exposure on social media, I should just make do with that.
I told myself I was new and my business was small, and I wasn’t ready for the big guns yet. I should work with what I had first, and maybe later (when I had more disposable income) I would invest in advertising.
Well, relying exclusively on free social media occasionally does work for some people.
However, in my experience working with many small business owners, bloggers, and other online entrepreneurs, I would say that 95% of the time (at least) it doesn’t work at all.
These amazing people work SO HARD to try to grow their audiences, pouring 20, 40, even 60 hours a week into working on their businesses. Yet their following is increasing with incredible, mind-numbing slowness.
And that’s just because there is a LOT of noise in the marketplace; there are millions of companies all trying to be heard. And you are one, tiny voice that just gets lost in the storm.
Now, obviously, you probably can’t conquer the world tomorrow and make everybody listen to you.
But what you can do (and must do, for if you ever want to have a successful launch) is to claim your slice of the pie market.
How do you do that?
Not through begging, pleading, spamming, or standing on a box and yelling.
You raise your hand, make an honest bid, and buy it.
Like an adult.
“But I don’t have any money to spend on ads.”
No problem! You can buy a slice of this pie for as little as five bucks.
To break it down very simply, let’s say you spent $5/day on ads.
We generally get leads for about $2.00/each, at which rate you’d get 75 leads in a month.
If you convert 5% of your new audience, you’d make about 3 sales.
So you’ll break even if you’re selling a $50+ product. If your offer is $150 then you’ll make $450 and triple your money.
Is that a crazy six-figure launch? Obviously no. But you didn’t buy a “crazy six-figure launch.” You bought a $150 starter launch.
But, good news! Next time around you can afford the $300 model! 😉
“What if my money is wasted?”
If you spend $150 on advertising your launch and don’t make a single sale, then you will learn that your positioning and/or copywriting doesn’t convert well, and that will be a pretty cheap, valuable lesson that will teach you how to improve for future launches.
(And if you make even one sale then you’ve covered your costs.)
How to Turn Your New Audience Into Sales
So you invested in an advertising campaign, and now you’ve got a little audience who is potentially interested in buying your offer. What now?
Just because you have them on your list doesn’t mean that they are necessarily chomping at the bit, eager to buy. They’re probably interested in your industry/topic/niche, but they might not even be aware that they need the results your offer would create for them.
They don’t necessarily know why they need what you’re selling, or even that they have a problem that you could solve.
And that’s where having a strategic launch (and pre-launch) strategy come into play.
Because if you can’t convince and convert your new audience into actual paying customers, then your ad spend really will be wasted.
Want to learn how to plan a really successful launch that will actually persuade your audience to buy? We’re about to kick off the free, much anticipated Ready, Set, Launch challenge! During the 4-day event, you’ll be guided through the process of planning out your own launch — and I’m guaranteeing it will be your most successful launch yet.
On the first day of the challenge, I’ll show you how to craft an offer that your customers can’t refuse. We’ll talk about how to position it effectively, price it right, and brand it to be irresistible.
Then, on day two we’ll plan your pre-launch strategy, and I’ll teach you exactly what type of content to use to educate, inspire, and build anticipation for your product.
On day three, we’ll dive even deeper into audience growth strategies to make sure you actually have plenty of people to promote your offer to. I’m even going to share my signature 3-step Facebook ads strategy that I use with all my clients.
Then, on the final day of the challenge, we’ll be putting it all together and creating a map for your launch. (Because the only way to make sure nothing slips through the cracks is to get all scheduled.)
By the end of the challenge, you’ll be crystal clear on exactly how you’re going to pull off your next, BEST launch ever.
So what are you waiting for?? Click here to join (for free) right now!