How to launch without launching – the soft launch approach
The prospect of launching a new service, programme, or course can be overwhelming for many business owners, so much so that they may never go ahead with it! Procrastination sets in and that new idea is never launched.
If launching a new service feels like a daunting prospect, a soft launch could be the answer for getting that new idea out to the world in a more easy-going, straightforward way. In this article, we’ll explore what a soft launch is and how you could create one for your new programme, offer or course.
What’s a soft launch?
A soft launch could mean anything that involves talking about your new programme launch to your already warm audience. It could involve you holding a workshop or creating a series of content on the subject that your new service is related to.
A soft launch can give you flexibility to do it your way, without the panic and overwhelm, that a typical launch would otherwise have. The focus during the soft launch is to centre on a particular activity or design, it’s about informing your existing audience of what you are doing and inviting them to join the ride with you.
Along the way you might grow your audience in terms of new subscribers to your list or more members to your group or membership. You might also notice more activity and engagement on social media, but this all comes secondary to helping your audience to decide whether your new offer is the right one to help them.
Content creation is a key part of any launch, but especially for a soft launch. When planning your content, make sure you cover the following topics so that your audience knows exactly what you are offering, how it will help them, and whether it’s the right offer for them:
- The problem your course or offer solves, and the pain points surrounding that problem. What does your ideal client’s daily life look like if they are struggling with this problem?
- How do you solve this problem? What steps will your ideal client take if they work with you on this?
- What result do you deliver? What can the client expect their life to look like when they have completed your course?
- Why is this the best solution for your ideal clients? What else might they have tried? And why should they invest in this right now, instead of in 6 months’ time?
Once you have planned out and written your content, there are lots of different content types you could use to get this message out to your audience.
You could create a series of activities on social media, such as providing training in your group or on your company pages.
You could set up a funnel through to your website or a lead magnet to grow your email list further.
Video content is also very effective, in terms of letting your audience getting to know you and giving them a different type of content to consume. Read more here about the types of videos that work well in your event or launch marketing.
Going live in guest expert speaking slots is another great way to promote your content and your new course or offer to a much wider audience. The live element allows the audience to interact with you in real time, asking you questions and telling you their thoughts about your offer. It’s this interaction that makes live video such a powerful tool.
This could also be done by writing a series of blogs to give each of the issues plenty of coverage. Blogs allow you to dig much deeper into the why, the how, and the transformation than a social media post might, so that your audience knows everything they need to know about your offer.
If you have an email list that you have nurtured with regular updates, then including an email campaign in your soft launch is crucial. These people will already know you, like you, and trust you, the three key components of a lead who is ready to buy.
The campaign would be composed of a number of emails that focus on uncovering a particular topic, taking the readers on a journey from the problem they might be having, through to the possible solutions, and finishing at the end result, which is the transformation of working with you.
The ultimate goal at the end of the series of emails is to talk about how to enrol onto your new programme or buy your new course.
Hold a workshop
The other way to soft launch is to hold a workshop that answers a particular need, solves a problem, or gives a to-do list or an activity that attendees can do during the workshop. The idea is that at the end of the workshop, you talk about the course or the programme you’ve created that solves the problem that your audience is having.
Having the audience in the workshop with you allows them to see how you deliver your content and how you communicate and engage with them. This helps them to begin to like you and trust you, and so that they will eventually entrust their future to you by letting you help them to solve their problem.
Workshops are so effective because they allow 1:1 LIVE interaction with you. We’re not talking about 100s of attendees here; a dozen or so is a great number to really make the most of the workshop. This means the attendees can really engage with you and ask questions when they need to. It’s a real bonus if they can complete a worksheet that you’ve made for them to get themselves in the right frame of mind to consume the content that you have to share.
This interaction between you and your audience is such a powerful tool. No other channel can do that, not email or social media, because they’re all one-to-many channels, whereas a workshop has that live and 1:1 element. Attendees are getting to interact, ask questions and share their experiences with you directly. And if you have a task for them to complete, they will even have tangible evidence which helps them move a little closer to their destination state – their goal mindset or lifestyle.
This is a really powerful way to make sure that your audience engages with your content going forward, to make sure that your audience can relate to what you are saying, and that they can visualise their better future after they have worked with you.
Launch made easy
With so many options available to launch a new course or programme your way, it’s easy to beat procrastination and feel good about telling the world how you help them.
From Launch S.o.S sessions starting at just £99 to an intensive 8 week launch programme I help you build a launch process that works for you and speaks to your audience at the same time. Visit my services page to learn more about how we can work together.
If you’d like to learn more about marketing your next launch in a supportive community, you can join my Facebook group Fully Booked Events – Marketing support for course creators
Here, I’ll help you focus your energy where it matters, think about the content and how to engage and grow your audience in an organic and authentic way. Click here to join us, I can’t wait to get to know you!