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:
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:
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:
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.
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!