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’.
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!
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!