7 Steps To Successfully Launching A Product

Here’s a skeleton Launch Plan that I shared with someone recently.  This artist has a Christian Hip Hop CD releasing on September 25 and after inquiring about his promotional release plan, he mentioned that he only had planned on sending an email blast to his email list and utilize Twitter and Facebook.

I proceeded to plug in his CD release date within the 7 vital principles of launching a product.  I decided to share with you the brief skeleton plan I drafted up for him (timeline in red text), along with a breakdown of each of the 7 principles I think are crucial for your product launch.

These principles will help you in your endeavor to launch ANY product!

Launch Date:  Sep. 25

Skeleton Plan

Principle #1:  ALWAYS BACKWARDS PLAN!

The significance of backwards planning is allowing yourself an opportunity to see the bigger picture.  The overall goal is to obviously shoot for the launch date, however, you’ll need to break down the weeks before into smaller chunks in order to get MAXIMUM traction for your product.

It’s just like any other goal setting endeavor you may have.  If it’s loosing weight, you’ll want to set the “mark” date of your ideal weight loss and work toward that by planning out your eating schedule, workout schedule, the days you do your cardio, etc…Launching a product is no exception!

Take a look at the sample backwards plan for this CD release.  * Note: This was a quick and brief “IDEA-FLOW” that came to me when I realized he was only planning on sending an email about his CD release.  My explanations below are targeted to this specific case study (Releasing a music CD) When I normally plan a release, this Skeleton Plan actually takes shape to be about 10-15 pages of ACTION STEPS, A CHECKLIST, CONTACT SPOTS, etc…so even though it’s just a skeleton rendering, you’ll get the overall picture.

Launch week: Sept 19-25
– bring the campaign to the culmination of the EVENT
– super huge email blast with nice graphics different from the other visuals in previous email blasts
– social media

Week before: Sept 12-18

– 3rd week campaign
– mass email blast again with short reminder
– social media

Week 4: Sept 5-11
– 2nd week campaign
– social media

Week 3: Aug 29 – Sept 4
– initiate 1st week of the campaign
– social media Campaign announcement NOT record announcement

Week 2: Aug 22-28
– social media reminder blast (3 times this week) MUST BE A DIFFERENT MESSAGE
– start planning the campaign


Week 1: Aug 15-21

– Facebook, Myspace, Twitter intro to the coming album (post at least 4 times this week)
– Mass email blast about the record (general info) (send 1 email out)


Principle #2:  PARTNER, PARTNER, PARTNER

Partner 1:  Marketing & PR (social media, websites, radio stations, etc)

Why would you want to partner with a PR firm?  LOL, what kind of question is that?!

It’s obvious…AND…if you say “well, I can’t afford it!” then, I’ll say “well, you can’t afford NOT to!”

I won’t go through the trillion reasons why you need to partner with a Marketing and PR firm, but I will go through a couple ways to connect and “link-missions” with someone who can do Marketing and PR for your upcoming release.

1.  There are a TON of people getting into Social Media management and Online marketing and a million more just “getting started” By linking with these people, especially the newbies, you’ll be able to exchange servies, networks, ideas, and most of all RESPECT!  To command attention online, you’ll need to EARN the public’s respect.  And for the newbies, they’ll need to create a portfolio of clients to bolster their leverage for more work.  Workout a barter or compensation arrangement that will benefit the BOTH of you!  Don’t be stingy and look for a “freebie” LOL

– Strategy #1:  Find the Newbies in Online Marketing and work out an arrangement for your product launch.

2.  Empower your nephew, niece, son, daughter, the teenage boy on the block who thinks the world of you because you have an INCREDIBLE CD that’s “coming out”, etc…There are a lot of supporters in your family and neighborhood who would do anything to be a part of something exciting and important.  AND all the kids are EXPERTS on online marketing and Social Media!  Just make sure you have a plan for them with specific tasks and allow them to gain valuable “responsibility” experience with helping promote your project.  This part requires specific action on your part to structure the tasks and pin point “learning” skills that will help the kids develop.  Don’t do it, just to do it…otherwise you might as well go to China and boss those kids around.  Let this empowerment experience be exactly that…empowering the youth to learn responsibility and allowing you to learn organization and delegation skills.

– Strategy #2:  Empower the Experts in your family.

Partner 2:  For-Profit company (Christianshoes.com, an Accessory store)

A great way to build your online reputation and expand your reach, is to partner with a for-profit company that has items and accessories that match your niche or style.  Through this partnership, you’ll be able to share networks and offer both of your products to each respective audience, which will INSTANTLY expand your reach.

You’ll be able to also offer an extra item for the purchase of your 1 product.  So, if you’re going to release your CD for $9.99, by partnering with a for-profit company, you can offer to give a FREE pair of iRockJesusApparel shoes to everyone who purchases your CD on the day of the release (in this case, September 25)  That’ll drive more purchases, more traffic, and more respect!  Now obviously offering a FREE pair of expensive super cool shoes will cost your partner, but if they have a less expensive item they are willing to giveaway like a bracelet, a keychain, an iPod shuffle, etc…that’ll make for a better more cost-effective campaign for the both of you.

Partner 3:  Non-Profit company (Mission Year, Compassion Int, etc)

Partnering with a Non-Profit company will do wonders for your brand and more importantly for THE WORLD!  If you do not partner with a Non-Profit company, you’re doing a dis-service to the world!

Not only do you get to immediately give back financially (assuming you will commit to give a portion of what you make from the launch to the non-profit), but you also get to help drive some traffic and awareness for the non-profit initiative.  Everyone knows of 1 worthy cause to support, so why not align your brand and CD release with that worthy cause to help them out!

It’s a win-win situation ONLY if you’re willing to help others “win” !!!!

Principle #3:  LAUNCH AN EVENT NOT A PRODUCT

Host an online launch party or some type of event that will announce the release of your product.  It can be a listening party, a massive video conference chat, or even a coast-to-coast telecast…Whatever you decide on throwing, I highly suggest you launch the EVENT!

Several things happen when you launch an EVENT…

– People get excited about events mainly because of the SOCIAL aspect involved.

– It’s a party and who doesn’t like parties!

– You’ll have a better idea of how many people will attend, so that’ll help with your metrics and tracking.

– If you ONLY launch a product…that means, you want people to care about ONLY YOUR product…(in a George Lopez accent: S-E-L-F-I-S-H) lol

– Events drive networking!

It’s pretty simple to know why you should promote the event!  Traction, Traction, Traction!

Oh yea, you’ll also get to share your PRODUCT too.

Principle #4:  CREATE A VIRAL CAMPAIGN

Twitter contest, a crazy YouTube video, an AMAZING YouTube video, etc are different ways people have used the “virality” of the internet to gain attention.  This is also one of the fastest ways to draw people to your site.  I feel like explaining this is waaaaaay too outdated because we’ve all seen the Old Spice commercials.  Instead of explaining it, let me show you a Viral video!  In just over a week, this video has been viewed by over 1 million viewers LOL…that’s viral for you!  Enjoy!

Principle #5:  TIMING IS EVERYTHING

This is as straight forward as a principle can get!

Don’t launch on a day or week that people generally don’t have money.  Launch 1-3 days after pay day (1st & 15th)

Try to keep in mind that you’ll want to promote your product a little before pay day so the public will have time to think about your product, examine who you are, why they should purchase it, what benefit will they get out of your product if they do spend their hard earned money on you, etc.

Make the actual release DATE important in your planning!  Don’t just release it on that day without having  a key strategy in mind.

Now, on the flip side, your always welcome to release it whenever AND yes, I know some really profitable people who have just launched their product “out-of-nowhere”…but they’ve earned the respect and trust of their community and network that THEY can do that!  So until you have that loyal following…WORK FOR IT and plan properly!

Principle #6:  INTERACT, INTERACT, INTERACT

Make sure you’re engaging and being social on social media WAY before the launch date, people know who just comes out to SELL plus,  “People don’t care about your product, they care about themselves” (David Meerman Scott)…so make sure your product cares about them.

If you’re one of those “untouchable” artists or business owners who prefer manage who you talk to online, only get back to people with star status or are “famous” in your eyes…you’re in for a RUDE awakening when you try to release your product to the public.

One of the reasons I love social media is because the people who I look up to and are doing MAJOR things (like make over $25,000 in one day for a Product launch, command a steady 5 figure monthly income through passive streams, teach Incredible material for FREE but well worth OVER $2000) actually interact with people like myself (who’s only in my 2nd month of business with just over 100 followers on Twitter LOL).  Yes, these major players in business actually know who I am, know what I do, and actually take the time to engage in meaningful conversation with ME!

And THAT’S why I’ll support them with anything they do!  Even if I don’t need their product, I’ll buy it just to buy it and support them, then give it away for FREE to support them even further (promotion) and support someone else who may need it (interaction)…simply because I want to support THEM!

If you want loyal supporting followers who will purchase anything you put out…you need to INTERACT, INTERACT, INTERACT!!!!  If you’re product is all about YOU and your brand is all about YOU, then that’ll pretty much be what you’ll get when you release your product…YOU with all this product sitting around because YOU missed the mark!

“People don’t care about your product, they care about themselves” (David Meerman Scott)…so make sure your product cares about them.

Principle #7:  OVERDELIVER

Offer extra incentives, Bonus items, etc…

The business world changes EVERYDAY and does so really quick!

The days of giving what people pay for is long gone.  Now, its all about giving what people pay for AND more!!!!

The landscape of “purchasing” is tough enough to handle when you think about “overdelivering” and not making back what you’re worth.  HOWEVER, there’s not much you can do if the human psyche and the money mindset is dictating that economic engine.

I can go into a lot of philosophical reasoning behind why as product producers and business owners we need to overdeliver…but it’ll be such a long post that I’ll be tempted to turn it into an E-Book and charge for it LOL…the bottom line is this for me:

If Jim Kukral and Dave Siteman Garland say to overdeliver (they did so in this interview)…AND…you study them, watch what they do, notice how THEY overdeliver…then I think you should just do it!  If super successful people are doing something, and you want to be super successful, then why not do what they do (just in your own unique way) and offer your gift to the world!

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I hope you enjoyed this post and that you learned something from it.  If you have other “principles” on launching your product or would like to add to these above, feel free to share it via email or leave a comment below.

If you’d like some help with your future product launch and wouldn’t mind another brainstormer in your product, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to “IDEA-FLOW” with you…OR simply leave a comment and let’s all brainstorm together.

Thanks!

Do you have a product you’re looking to launch?