Entrepreneurs launch something new every day, so it’s important to maximize the opportunity to assure success. The following will help you do that.
Topics: Target Market, Launch Calendar & Checklist, Message, Which Media? Email, Advertising, Hiring Help, Follow-up
As an entrepreneur, I always feel like I need to be prepared to launch something new: a product, service, funding or personnel search – perhaps even a new company. Having a system or “checklist” to make sure people know your “new thing exists”–and engages with it–is a critical part of achieving early success. Here is my proven system for a successful launch:
1. Define your Target Market. Who are you trying to reach? What makes them tick? How will you get to them?
2. Create a Launch Calendar to plan the launch is critical to making sure you don’t miss anything and everything gets done on time.
3. Create a Launch Checklist. Take all of your steps and write them out in order; assign a target date + who does what. Check it – at least – weekly to make sure you’re on schedule or if you need to adjust the schedule.
4. Determine your Message. Whether you’re launching a business (product or service), you need to know what you are trying to say – simply & concisely.
5. Create a Launch List. Who will you talk to about a launch? What is the timing?
6. Reach out to your Target Market. Once you have defined the Target Market, start the outreach. What would your Target Market like to see at your launch? What will get them there? What have other startups done to have a successful launch?
7. Engage your “super fans.” Tell your super fans about the launch to get them talking & excited – to spread the news to others. Also, figure out what role your super fans will play. Will they come to the event? Endorse the project on LinkedIn? Write down who you think will do what, then contact them and ask them. Usually they’ll say yes.
8. Engage Influencers. Influencers can have a significant impact on a launch. There is a small number of people in your network who hold significant influence on the rest of your network. Use social listening tools to identify them and reach out to them early.
9. Find Media that fits your Target Market. Specialty media is a big deal. From bloggers & podcasters to print publications, they all have a role. Find out who covers the space in which you are interested the best.
10. Engage the Media. Once you define your media contacts, start reaching out to them. Have an Elevator Pitch down about why they should cover you. Be ready to provide more details – as needed. Know what makes your launch special and let them know about it..
11. Get Sociable. Social media is amazing. It can help you build an Target Market and create lasting reach by connecting you with new customers.
12. Write good Content. For one of our most successful eBook launches, four people from my team and I each wrote a guest Blog post about a topic related to the eBook. In addition to supporting the book with related content, each book also had a link to the eBook.
13. Create other Media Content. Don’t just blog. We love the written word, but now that you’ve written it, turn that content into a video or info-graphic. All of these materials can be used at an event. The info-graphic could be used as a cool flyer you hand out.
14. Don’t forget Email. You may think Email is “old school” & boring, but it is incredibly effective. An Email strategy done right, can be your most effective tool for engagement & conversions. One Email is not enough– you will need at least three: 1) an introductory Email, 2) a follow-up Email after your launch and 3) a welcome Email – if people sign up – show your appreciation and maybe make them another offer.
15. Write a Press Release. Yes, press releases seem “old school,” but they are easy to write, will help define your message early on and can help nab you Media attention if done right. The key here is focus on that lead paragraph, as well as quotes from you & opinion leaders about why this launch is important.
16. Get your Website ready. Set your site up to engage & opt them in, if people come to find out about your launch. Make sure you have a specific place & information on hand for sharing.
17. Paid Advertisements are an option. With social & targeted digital, a paid advertisement to a custom Target Market to a certain media or an advertisement in a specialty digital publication could get you additional interest & engagement.
18. Hire Help if you need it. Decide if you need PR or Advertising help, but do it early. The closer you hire to your launch, the less time these professionals will have to help you.
19. Plan your Follow-up. You can keep pushing out information, setting up demos & doing interviews on your launch for weeks after the event. The more you plan this strategy, the more successful your launch will be.
Comment: What’s your additional Advice from you on Lunch, er, Launch?
from INC Zine 26 July 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz