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 :)
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.
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.
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. :)