Top 10 ‘No BS’ Tips to Creating & Launching Your First Virtual Business! (Part 2)

by Chris C. Ducker · 19 comments

I recently published the first part of this two-part series, and was pleasantly surprised with the feedback, emails, comments and social interaction that it got. Thanks to everyone who commented or tweeted, shared, etc, etc.

In the first post we went over the initial set-up of getting ready to create and launch your first virtual business. We discussed simple, but highly required things like setting up a blog to find your own voice; the importance of building a personal brand so people can relate to you easier; engaging your growing community or tribe, as I like to call it, to make them feel welcome and appreciated, as well as asking your audience what they genuinely want to hear about from you.

I wrapped the first post up mentioning the importance of getting to work on your product / service offering sooner rather than later, with the view of tweaking it, if need be. So, today, we’ll pick up from this point and start focusing on the actual LAUNCH of that virtual business!

Let’s get going…

6. Get Your Marketing Plan Finalized

Relax. Breathe! Some people shiver at the thought of having to put something like this together. It comes easier to some, than others, I appreciate that. But, it MUST be done, people. Your marketing plan will differ from business to business. So, for the sake of this post we will zoom in on the idea of launching either an eBook, or a video course. Here’s a simple run down of a marketing plan you could follow in the weeks leading up to your launch:

  • Create a post on your blog talking about a subject related to your product (engage with audience on comments).
  • Offer, produce and record a free webinar on the subject surrounding your product (then provide a link to your list of the recording, so they can download and devour it all over again, and catch up, in case they missed it live).
  • Create another post where you follow up on the feedback you got from your webinar (engage more!).
  • Produce a video trailer for your product. These are all the rage right now, I love ‘em. Check out this one from Jonathan Fields for his book ‘Uncertainty’ – easily one of the best I’ve seen.
  • Post a free chapter from your eBook, or a selection of clips from your video course to give people a taste of whats ‘inside’.
  • Launch!

See! Didn’t hurt too much, did it…!? :-)

7. Put a Launch ‘Check List’ in Place

There is going to be a lot involved in launching your first virtual, or online business. Regardless of how great your eBook or video course is (remember, these are just examples, peeps!), there is some stuff ‘under the hood’ you’ll need to focus on, too, if you want the launch to be a successful one.

  • Get your shopping cart and payment processor sorted out (examples are e-Junkie, Digital App Delivery and Paypal).
  • Create the sales copy you will need on your landing page to be able to ‘sell’ your customers on why they should put their hands in their virtual pockets (or paypal accounts!) and part with their hard earned cash!
  • Design your landing page, or mini-site (this is where you’ll make your sales!) and test the ‘buy now’ links.
  • Be sure that follow-up emails are sent to customers with instructions on how to either download, or gain access to areas of your site that might be password protected to hide your product from the online ‘general public’.

These are just a few things. Again, based on your business model, product or service, these could change or you might have to add a few more in there, too!

8. It’s all about Customer Service

Everyone wants to be made a fuss out of, right? This is especially true when you are giving money to someone. Regardless of how much they want, or need your product or service… Your customers still deserve the absolute best customer service experience from you.

Think about it – there are lots of online products that they can purchase – but, they’re buying yours! Respect that. Embrace it. It’s the responsibility or every virtual entrepreneur to take care of their customers properly, not only so that they remain happy and content, but also to make sure that they sing from the rafters about how fantastic you AND your eBook or video course is. In the world of the social web, this couldn’t be any more important than it is right now!

9. The Launch

This is it, baby! You’ve worked hard to get to this position. You’ve created your blog, embraced your tribe, maybe even become good friends with some of them like I have here at the VBL. You’ve worked your ass off to create a killer eBook or video course, and stuck your blood, sweat and tears into the sales page to make sure it converts as much as possible.

Breathe. Hit the ‘publish’ button on that launch post, email your list, tweet and share links on your social networks and then… Sit back and relax.

10. Manage Real Time Marketing

You can’t relax for long, sorry!!!

Your launch day is THE day on your products calendar. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Social media plays a huge part in any product launch online nowadays. The importance of ‘being there’ is just as huge as your fantastic product or service itself. In fact, the importance of real time marketing has become such a big issue that David Meerman Scott recently brought a book on the subject!

Monitoring Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for people talking about your launch and product is massively important. Get involved and as always, embrace your tribe (regardless of what they are saying!), helping them, inspiring them and motivating them to buy what you are now offering. But, remember… Just because they don’t buy today, doesn’t mean that they won’t buy tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month. So, be nice! :-)

Conclusion

So, that wraps up this two-part post series. If you’re in the process of launching, or thinking of launching a virtual business, online product, etc., then I hope the content here helped you out a little bit, and perhaps even acted as a bit of a guiding light, so to speak.

The fact of the matter is, however, as long as you create something that a) people need, and b) is of massively high value, then you should be alright. Remember, there is only one YOU. This means your experiences and your opinions count to the people who have decided to follow you online. That personal branding is starting to pay off, isn’t it…!

I told you so… :-)

Have you recently launched an online product for the first time? How did it go? Any lessons learned? Any tips to share? Please be kind and comment for the rest of the VBL Tribe below…

Why? Because you guys ROCK!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Wasim Ismail October 14, 2011 at 16:16

One thing I’ve learnt is get as much awareness, before the launch, even do a soft launch, get people talking about your new product, or service, get that extra Buzz going, so that when you do launch fully, you launch with a bang.
Recently Andy Bailey from Comment did this beautifully when launching the pro version.

Reply

Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2011 at 17:10

Hi Wasim

Awareness is such a great term to use here. I think so many people just ‘get on with it’, and don’t pay attention to this type of stuff.

And its more important today than ever before, as we all know.

Thanks for the great, insightful comment, buddy.

C

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Yamile Yemoonyah October 14, 2011 at 22:53

sometimes it’s a good idea to do a beta launch first (with a select group pf people). This way you can improve your product one more time and you can gather some testimonials and feedback for the big launch. You could even make it an exclusive offer to your most loyal readers/customers for a reduced price.

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Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2011 at 17:07

Hi Yamile

This is a great point you raise… Some launches make room for this, others dont. But it also goes back to the first post, where I talked about surveying your tribe, too.

Love the input – thanks for dropping by!!

C

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Ainslie Hunter October 17, 2011 at 05:43

I would add Step 11 – Make sure you rest.

Big launches take a lot out of you so when it is all over be sure to relax.

Ainslie

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Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2011 at 17:04

Hi Ainslie

I wouldn’t disagree with that either!!! :-) Very true.

Anyone else want to keep this going with Number 12…….??!!

C

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Tessa October 17, 2011 at 08:55

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the 2 part series, I have filed this away for when my blog is ready. I have my first ebook ready to go and (like most I guess) am rather nervous about ‘putting it out there’! This has given me a little confidence boost and some new ideas about how to better prepare myself.

Tessa

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Chris C. Ducker October 17, 2011 at 17:03

Hi Tessa

Glad you liked the final part of the series.

Confidence boosting is always a good thing, just remember that there is only one YOU. Because of that, your content is awesomely originally. People like original.

Keep workin’ hard!

C

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Allison October 19, 2011 at 11:22

My tip is to make sure you don’t over-promise. Know your limitations. There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes launching everything at once just isn’t possible. Remember that you can always add to something after launch, which can actually give you a sale boost in the future because people start talking about your product again. If you try to do too much, quality may suffer, and that’s never a good thing!

Reply

Chris C. Ducker October 20, 2011 at 00:40

Thanks so much for dropping by, Alli.

You bring up a great point here. A launch is just that – a launch. And although we want our first launch to be as successful, nowadays it is not rare for product owners to re-launch over and over again in the future, usually with new, additional content, to breathe more life back into older, or very popular products / service.

Great insights. Thanks again.

C

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Kayelle Allen October 20, 2011 at 01:55

I’ve always heard “Under promise and over deliver.” Looks like that applies everywhere. Thank you. I’m designing a business from the ground up, researching, studying, and looking for tips. This is invaluable.

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Chris C. Ducker October 21, 2011 at 19:51

Great stuff, Kayelle.

This is a great philosophy and one that is definitely overlooked nowadays.

Glad the post helped you out a little, and if you have anything I can help you with, dont hesitate to let me know!

Welcome to the VBL Tribe.

C

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Tim Racette October 21, 2011 at 09:58

Pricing, it matters! That’s what I learned Chris. When I first launched my eBook I didn’t take the time to consult a few of my loyal readers about what THEY would be willing to pay. As a result I came out with a price that was way too high in the eyes of my readers and I ended up turning around and lowing the price that very afternoon after the flood of comments and suggestions from readers.

My second time around as I get ready to launch a membership site I’m doing my homework. I sent a survey out using Survey Money to Facebook, Twitter, and My Email List and polled my readers as to what features they would like to have included in a membership site, and then I simply asked the questions, “what do you feel a fair price for these features would be?” Surprisingly the response was MORE than I had planned to charge.

From reading your blog along with Pat Flynn over at SPI, I’m going to try the marketing strategy at launch of offering the first 100 subscribers at a discount price, then the price will increase.

Sorry for the long comment, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one (a little Thomas Jefferson reference there :)

Thanks for the great insights,
Tim

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Chris C. Ducker October 21, 2011 at 19:47

Hi Tim

Indeed, pricing does matter, although I;m a firm believer that the product / service quality is way more important than the profit margin.

Don’t get me wrong, we are in business to make money, obviously. But, it goes hand in hand. People are honestly more happy with parting with a few extra bucks, if it means what they are getting for their money is higher in quality.

Loved the comment, and the TJ reference. Sometimes less is more… Sometimes its not!!!

Welcome to the VBL Tribe, and good luck on that launch. Let us all know how it goes, okay!?

C

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Tim Racette October 23, 2011 at 07:02

Absolutely Chris, aligning that business model with good ethics is important. Didn’t mean to give the wrong impression. I really enjoy your posts and ideas, a perfect example of providing great value and letting the content promote itself, via readership. Thanks.

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Chris C. Ducker October 24, 2011 at 20:06

No problems, Tim. I hear ya loud and clear. That’s what this comment section is for – on-going discussions.

Thanks for the kind words, too. Really appreciate your support.

C

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Rhuarhii January 23, 2012 at 23:42

The #1 item on any one’s launch check list wants to be – Set a measurable goal. That could be to double the size of your email list or attract 10 partners who want to promote your product to their list or sell 100 units of you product. Setting clear goals is paramount…

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Chris C. Ducker January 24, 2012 at 17:26

Great point, Rhuarhii.

Goals are about as important as anything else when you’re on your way to pursuing business success.

Appreciate you stopping by.

C

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Bastian February 29, 2012 at 23:18

Hi there,

what is your advice on business licensing in regards to a virtual business?

Thanks

Reply

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