Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week

Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
 

Today I want to take you inside the launch of my course, Hire Your VA in 1 Week. This is going to be an examination of exactly what I did, what worked, what didn’t work, and everything I learned from doing this launch. Let’s dive in!

I’d been thinking about making a course for a few months, especially after I released my first eBook. That was a 29-page guide on how to hire your first virtual assistant (and you can only get it at The Solo Storey through November 30 for only $14! After that it’s going away forever.) Ever since I hit publish on that I realized that I wanted to go more in-depth and really expand upon the information in there.

So I spent a lot of time researching what to expand on, invested in Mariah Coz’s course Your First 1K, and spent a lot of hours writing everything I could think of on how to find, interview, and hire a virtual assistant.

The first thing I did to really announce this course to the public was a joint webinar with Kimber Lee in early October. We talked about the importance of having systems when you hire a VA, and had a really wonderful time teaching together.

Here are the stats from the webinar:

Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton

We both promoted the registration page for about a week before the webinar, and 3% of the people who saw it actually registered. When we did the webinar live, 21 of those people came and watched. The replay was available for 72 hours after and it had 112 total views.

Kimber and I decided to bundle our courses together for the webinar, so you could get Hire Your VA in 1 Week (although it had a different name at that point) + Evernote Mastery (Kimber’s upcoming course) for one payment. Nobody bought our bundle.

I was a little discouraged after that, but didn’t let that stop me. It was my first webinar ever, and I took the whole thing as a learning experience (just as I’m taking this whole launch!).

But I was still nervous about not giving my audience what they wanted or needed, so I sent out a reader survey (which you can fill out here, if you’re so inclined). I got a lot of positive feedback about creating something that will teach you how to find and hire a virtual assistant, so I decided to keep on the path I was on and keep making the course.

I did create a presale page, and had a sales page up in Teachable after I discovered that platform. Which, if you’re doing online courses and aren’t already on it, is AMAZING. Make sure you check it out.

The thing I forgot to do after I made the presale page? I forgot to promote it. (Cue facepalming).

I honestly don’t know why I forgot -- it seems like such an obvious error looking back! But it didn’t happen, and nobody was looking at the presale page. So if nobody knew the page existed, nobody could say YES and invest in the course. Next time I launch I’m definitely going to make sure this particular error doesn’t occur again!

The next thing I did to promote my course was to host a giveaway in the end of October! I had an extra copy of Mariah’s F*ck Yeah Funnels course and got her blessing to do a bundle giveaway, and I reached out to Kayli Barth and asked if she’d be interested in offering her course, Get Booked Bootcamp as well.

The giveaway was for about a week, and the winner would get free access to all three courses. I used Gleam to host the giveaway for a couple reasons:

  • It was in my budget (I paid $39 for one month’s access so I could get all the features I wanted for the giveaway)

  • It let me do a viral giveaway, where people would get more entries for sharing the giveaway and having other people enter via their unique URL

Here are the stats from the giveaway:

Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton

After going through the whole giveaway I don’t think that I’ll use Gleam again for this. I wasn’t a fan of the user experience and I didn’t have as much control over things as I’d like. In an ideal world I would invest in KingSumo and use that for future viral giveaways.

So one lucky person won the giveaway and got a seat in all three courses!

For everyone who didn’t get a seat in the course, Kayli, Mariah, and I decided to do a bundle of all three courses for a lower price for 48 hours. People receiving the emails were clicking through, but nobody went all the way through and purchased our course bundle.

Then I worked on my launch emails and blog posts, which were scheduled to start sending on November 3. During that week I had a family emergency come up, and I’m not going to share the details of that, but it was a very all-consuming thing and it had me thinking that I should push the launch of the course until January 2016, when I would have more energy and time to dedicate to the two week launch period.

But I was so involved with what was going on that I never got around to unscheduling the launch emails or blog posts or social media updates, so they just started going out. And I decided that while I couldn’t be as involved in the launch as I wanted, it would be better to just ride out what I had scheduled and see how things went.

I sent nine emails over about 14 days (and one of those was correcting a mistake from an earlier email). Here are the stats from those:

Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton
Inside the Launch of Hire Your VA in 1 Week | Indigo Colton

So the emails went out automatically through ConvertKit (aff. link). The number of recipients changes each time because I have ConvertKit automatically add people who have finished going through my free email course to my main group of newsletter subscribers, and so they’d start getting the launch emails too.

In each email I had a link so people could opt out of the launch emails but they’d still get my weekly Sunday letters, so that people had the option to choose what emails they got.

Every email had a relative range of how many people would open them, and every email had people clicking or unsubscribing. But while people were clicking through to the course site, nobody was going all the way and purchasing.

I had also scheduled social media updates to go out via Twitter and Instagram with Buffer, so really 99% of this launch was automated.

And at the end of it last week? A grand total of zero people had bought my course.

But I’m okay with that. I know that sounds counter intuitive, especially since I did spend so much time making the course and putting together all of the launch emails and everything else that goes with it.

I learned a lot from this launch, even though a lot of people would say that it failed. I talked about some of this in my first ever Periscope last week (!!!!), but wanted to lay it all out again:

 

1 | Listen to your gut 

This is something that’s been coming back to me again and again this year -- that I need to trust my gut instincts and my intuition. I knew that I shouldn’t launch this course right now, and I didn’t push it back like I knew I should.

 

2 | Stay true to yourself

One thing that I realized when reading back over the launch emails, and something my dad pointed out to me, was that the emails didn’t necessarily sound like me. They were in a voice that isn’t mine, and I think that part of why I didn’t have any sales is because my audience could pick up on that.

It’s a common misconception that people can’t tell when you’re being authentic and real over text. We can still pick up on people’s energy and how they’ve phrased things to know if it’s something true to who they are. And I believe that not saying things in my true voice might have turned off my people -- because they knew that isn’t who I am.

So when I relaunch this course, or do any launches in the future, I want to make sure that everything I put out is in line with who I am, no matter what. That means taking things that I’ve learned and copywriting tricks and melding them with my voice; not forcing my voice into something that it isn’t just to make a sale.

 

3 | Take a step back

This is really something that I feel like I didn’t realize fully until I met Devan. One of the things that she’s pointed out in her #22DaysofBranding Periscope series, and that she sent out in a newsletter, is that it’s important to separate yourself from what you put out. 

Yes, it’s an extension of who you are and of your brand. But at the end of the day? You are not the same as your product.

You are not a content creation machine. You are a human being.
— Devan Danielle, Branding Expert + Blogger at devandanielle.com

By taking a step back emotionally, and remembering that my self-worth and who I am as a person is not tied solely to the outcome of this launch, I was able to breathe again. It gave me the ability to look at this launch as a learning experience, and to not obsess over the numbers.

 

4 | Timing is everything

I learned that for my audience releasing my course in this time of the year is not going to work out. Everyone is too busy and too stressed and they don’t have the time to go through another course. Plus, I feel like a lot of people are on course overload, so even if they do want to get mine? They won’t invest right now.

For my people, they need this course in specific times of the year: the beginning of it, when we’re all reevaluating our businesses and getting real strategic and detailed, and in the middle of it, when business is slower and we’re all reevaluating what’s gone on the first six months.

So I’m going to relaunch Hire Your VA in 1 Week in January, and probably in one of the summer months, and see what happens! I’m excited to go back to this process again with a more well-developed strategy, with more hands-on time, and in a way that is staying true to myself and to my brand.

Have you ever gone through a launch that didn’t work out the way you hoped? Tell me about it in the comments!

 

How To Get Yourself Organized For A Launch

 

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about preparing yourself for a launch. One thing I mentioned was staying organized. Today I want to expand on that and share with you some strategies to keep yourself organized during a launch!


Why you should organize everything before your launch


The first thing that I want to talk about is WHY you should be organizing everything before your launch. You might be thinking, “Oh, I just need to write a couple emails and tweet about this the day of!” I hate to burst your bubble, but there is so much more that goes into launching.

And after you’ve written out everything that you need to do (something that I walk you through in this post), you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Or a lot overwhelmed.

When you organize all of those tasks, it suddenly feels a lot more manageable. You aren’t looking at pages of tasks, you’re looking at a well-laid out strategy and plan that breaks all of those tasks into manageable chunks.

Organizing everything also makes it a lot easier on you when you’re in the middle of your launch. Instead of trying to remember if you’ve sent out that email or gotten a confirmation that the webinar you want to do is actually happening, you can look at your launch schedule spreadsheet and know exactly what’s happened and what hasn’t happened yet.

Being able to get the status of your launch at a glance will make you feel more confident when you’re in launch mode, and it will make it easier to ask questions that you get from your audience.

Having an organized strategy will also increase your revenue! By taking the time before your launch to lay out every single step, you’ll have a real multi-level plan that will:

  • get more eyes on your product/service
  • increase trust between you + your readers

  • have more people saying “Heck yes! I want to buy from her!”

And when all of those things are happening, more people are going to click the “Buy Now!” button, which means that you’ll be earning more profit.

But if you aren’t organized in your launch, it makes it harder to know what’s going on -- and your readers will pick up on this. I’ve had launches of my own that flopped because I didn’t have an organized strategy and everything was all over the place. I was adding strategies at the last minute, I didn’t know when emails or social media updates were going out.

So I know from personal experience that organizing everything beforehand will truly benefit your launch. The launch period is going to be busy enough and stressful enough as it is. So it makes sense to take out as much of the stress as you can beforehand!


Create a launch schedule + checklist


The best way to get organized for your upcoming launch is to create a launch schedule. I like to reverse engineer my launch schedule -- so I figure out the launch date first, and work backwards to the present day.

For example, my course Hire Your VA in 1 Week launched on November 16. So I looked at the number of days between that day and the present day, and figured out what I needed to do when.

There are three different ways that you can make your launch schedule:

 

1.  Print out blank monthly calendars + fill them in with your launch tasks

I am a pen and paper girl through and through, so the first thing that I did was print out blank calendars for the rest of 2015. I marked November 16 as the day of the launch, and then pulled out my list of things I needed to do for the launch for reference.

Things on my list of things to do included: write social media posts, write relevant blog posts, write my launch email sequence, etc.

So what I did was actually get really, really specific and I wrote “5 tweets about the launch” and “One Instagram post at 4 PM” and “Publish a blog post relevant to the course” on specific days. This helped me see exactly what I needed to do on every single day.

You want to go through your list of things to do and break them down into really manageable, bite-sized pieces like the examples above. Fill in your calendar with these tasks.

This way of looking at everything you need to do will also help you see if you’re overloading your audience. So if you were thinking of doing a webinar and a giveaway and emailing your list every single day with launch emails in the same week, laying it out on paper should (hopefully!!) help you realize that those things should be more spread out so you aren’t bombarding your readers.

2. Create a spreadsheet + fill it in with your launch tasks

The second way that you can make your launch schedule is very similar to the blank calendar method: you create a spreadsheet that lays out every single day between today and the day of your launch, and you fill in every single task in a day.

This is really good if you like the ability to drag and drop tasks to see where they fit best. I actually do this after I fill in the calendars, because it lets me shift my tasks around if I want to add something or I realize that something isn’t going to work.

What you want to do is create three different main sections to your spreadsheet:

  • Pre-launch

  • Launch

  • Post-launch

In the pre-launch section, you want to put things like writing your social media updates, creating graphics to share on social media platforms, writing out your launch emails, etc. Things that you want to have ready to go before the launch period.

In the launch section, you’ll break down things like “5 tweets about the launch” -- really specific things that need to happen on each day of your launch.

In the post-launch section, you’ll put things in that will wrap up the launch. So if you need to close the cart, send out any affiliate payments, finish answering emails from people that emailed you during the launch, etc.

 

3. Use a project management software + input all of your launch tasks

This is really the same as creating a spreadsheet, but in a project management software like Asana or Trello. I would highly suggest creating a new project for the launch, so you can keep everything in one place.

Create the three different sections mentioned above, and fill in the tasks for the launch. So you’ll follow the same steps as above, but input everything into a project management software instead of a spreadsheet.

P.S. If you want help creating your project plan, give me a shout!


Schedule a weekly check-in to make sure everything is getting done


Now that you’ve organized everything into a way that is easy to understand and helps you feel less overwhelmed, it’s time to make sure that you’re keeping yourself accountable and making sure that everything you just laid out is getting done.

I highly recommend adding in a block of time (probably around 10-15 minutes at least) at the end of the week to check in and make sure that everything is getting done that you wanted to.

You might be thinking, “But Indigo! I just scheduled out EVERYTHING in excruciating detail! There is no way I’m going to let anything slip through the cracks.”

I hate to break it to you, but things will be left undone. Your email marketing platform might be undergoing maintenance on the first day your launch sequence starts, so that email doesn’t go out until the next day. Gmail eats your emails or keeps it in the drafts folder when you thought you pressed send.

That’s why building in weekly check-ins will make sure that everything is actually happening when it needs to, and that you haven’t forgotten anything. If something has slipped through the cracks, just move it to the upcoming week. Remember to breathe when you realize something didn’t get done, and don’t panic!

The advantage of scheduling weekly check-ins now is that you won’t forget to do them when you’re in the middle of your launch. Because you’ve set aside 10-15 minutes to go through everything, make sure it went out correctly and everything is working, you’ll be super on top of everything come launch time.

Mockup (1).png

DOWNLOAD THE LAUNCH PREP CHECKLIST NOW:

If you still have questions about getting organized for your launch, leave them in the comments below!

 

How to Prepare Yourself for A Launch

 

Is it just me, or is the last part of every year when everyone starts launching new things? I think part of it has to do with that back to school feeling that comes every September.

People are going into launch mode: they’re Periscoping, promoting their thing on social media, doing blog posts, webinars, sending emails, doing giveaways, working with affiliates and joint-venture collaborators. And from the outside, it can all look perfect -- things are going out when they’re supposed to, sales pages are written, people are tweeting about their thing, etc.

But from the inside? It’s a whole different world.

Preparing for the launch can take as much time as the actual launch itself. Because every person who’s launching has to do all of those things ahead of time, so they can go out on autopilot.

So how do you prepare for a launch? How do you make sure that every single thing is being taken care of, and will work when you need it to?

I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my upcoming launch later this month to show you how I’m preparing for it -- because I need everything to go smoothly, especially as I’m juggling a launch, a full roster of clients, and a full-time college course load right now.

I also put together a FREE workbook that will walk you through all of the steps for your own launch! Think worksheets that cover each step :)


Get organized


The first thing that you want to do when you’re preparing for a launch is get organized! The best way I’ve found to do this is to take 20-30 minutes and brain dump everything you need to do for your launch. This includes things like “Tweet about the launch at 7 A.M.” and “Write the sales page copy” -- every single thing that you can think of, no matter how small or large, goes onto the paper.

Next, I like to organize my brain dump by making a new Asana project and inputting everything I just wrote. Asana makes it really easy to add in all of my thoughts as tasks, and then go back and add in sections to re-organize everything. So I don't worry too much about getting everything completely organized first.

By organizing everything I need to do and assigning myself internal deadlines, it helps me make sure that I’m getting everything done. This is especially helpful since there are so many moving parts to a launch and I don’t want to miss something!


Action step: Get a piece of paper and a pen (or if you work better digitally, open up a new Google Doc or blank document in your word processor of choice) and set the timer on your phone for 20 minutes. Write down every single thing you can think of that you need to do for your upcoming launch.


Batch tasks


If you read my post on managing overwhelm, you already know that I love batching like tasks together. It allows you to just knock a bunch of things out at once and have a plan, instead of jumping from isolated task to isolated task in a reactionary way.

Once you’ve made a few umbrellas in Asana (my umbrellas would be social media, launch emails, affiliates, guest posts, etc) go through your calendar and assign 1-2 hour blocks for each one. Then, during those chunks of time, only work on things pertaining to that umbrella.

For example, if I was going to work on social media for an hour, I might write 100 tweets or make 10 Instagram graphics. Anything that pertaining to social media for the launch is fair game during your blocked off chunk of time.


Action step: Go back through your brain dump and group like things together. These groups are your action umbrellas! You can create a new list, color code, or transfer them into Trello.


Schedule everything


Launch periods can be exhausting at best. There’s so much going on, and it can seem like new things come up every day. Because you want to have as much time and energy available to deal with these issues and engage with the people who are sharing your launch, asking questions, etc it is best to schedule everything that you can.

This means scheduling all of your social media updates, your launch emails, blog posts, etc. Putting all of that on autopilot will save you a tremendous amount of time that would otherwise be spent trying to do all of that and everything else.


Action step: What parts of your launch can you automate? Play around with different tools (in addition to the four listed above) and see what works for you. I would advise testing your automation tools before the launch, just to double-check that everything will work as quickly as possible.


Plan time off after the launch


Because your launch is going to be so intensive, no matter if it’s a 10 day launch or a 30 day launch, you’ll need some time to rest and restore after it’s done. Clear your schedule for the 2-3 days after the launch finishes so you can sleep in, celebrate, and relax! This time to recoup will only help you feel better when you get back to your normal schedule, instead of just going straight into it after your launch.


Action step: Look at your calendar and figure out when your launch is ending. Block off the two days after that and don’t let yourself schedule anything work-related during them. Maybe even book a spa day for one! :)


Don't forget to download your free copy of the workbook that will walk you through all of the things covered in this post! It's perfect for helping you prepare for your own launch. :)