My Launch Flopped – Now What?

May 10, 2022

Worried about launching a digital product and hearing crickets? 🦗 Or perhaps you have launched in the past, and despite all of your hard work the outcome fell well below your expectations? The fear of launching-and-flopping is real, and it often holds us back from starting, or results in us ‘giving up’ far too soon.

In today’s podcast episode, we’re answering the question — “My launch flopped — now what?” head on. Let’s do this.

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

There are five considerations to run through when analysing the outcome of a ‘failed’ launch, and they require an analytical mind — not an emotional one. Often, when looking at the results of a launch, we do it from a very emotional standpoint.

Understandable, given that we usually pour our blood, sweat and tears into it, and because a launch usually involves ‘putting ourselves out there’ in a way that will make many first time (and even seasoned) launchers sometimes feel uncomfortable!

But alas? Emotion doesn’t serve us. The magical thing about digital marketing is that there is data for every single touchpoint in the journey we take from idea to cart close, and it’s in analysing this data like a scientist that we are able to discern what went wrong, and what we need to do NEXT.

Here are the four key questions to ask:

1Was The Launch ACTUALLY A Flop, Or Were My Expectations Misaligned?

There is a very dangerous rhetoric that permeates through the online marketing world. We all hear of “six figure launches”, that you “don’t need an audience to sell your course”, that courses are easy “passive income”, and more. 

The big problem with this? 

Is that those six figure launches don’t happen right out of the gate (and no-one is talking about their one figure launches, or the journey, energy, time and likely monetary investment it took for them to get there).

And that you DO actually need people to sell your course to.

And that there is nothing passive about the work involved in preparing for and executing a launch — especially your first one. Does leveraged income exist? Yes! But does it first require a lot of upfront work?

Also. Yes.

So, the first question to ask yourself when assessing the results of your launch is to ask yourself whether your expectations were realistic in the first place.

Usually, misaligned expectations is actually the REAL culprit for a PERCEIVED flop — and I put the blame squarely on the online marketing industry for perpetuating this.

Maybe you had misaligned expectations about the WORK involved. Your first launch in particular is a lot of work, full stop. You need to create all of your assets – your webinar, sales page, sales emails, pre launch content. Often, you don’t have established SKILLS in these things, so you are simultaneously learning copywriting, social media strategy and launch strategy all at once.

Putting in all of this work and not getting what YOU thought was adequate ‘payback’ in your first launch is disheartening, but it’s usually not the sign of a flop. More often, it’s the sign of a misaligned expectation that just because you did the WORK, your launch revenue should be higher.

Maybe you’d been sold a lie that a $100k launch would be easy, and you’re looking at your $8k launch and subjectively projecting that expectation onto it. Or, you only have $2k in the bank and you NEED a $50k launch and you’re coming in from a place of desperation, as WELL as misaligned expectations.

Not fair.

Maybe you had misaligned expectations around TIME. You thought that you could start out with course creation, and hit the jackpot in three months (and perhaps, with minimal effort). Again, not fair.

And finally, perhaps you thought you could spend $200 in Facebook ads, and make x100 time that back – or even x10 that.

Again, not fair. All of the above are a recipe for overwhelm, for disappointment, for a PERCEPTION that a launch flopped, when in fact, when viewed objectively, it very much did not.

And honestly? This is responsible for about 75% of “my launch flopped – now what!” conversations that I have ever had.

2Did the Launch Convert?

Once you know that your expectations were properly aligned, the next step is to analyse your numbers and objectively determine what worked. In order to do this, you are going to need to look at the number of people who registered for your launch, and then compare it to the number of people who purchased.

Then, you need to compare it to the industry benchmark for success. A benchmark is an objective industry standard for the launch type you decide on. For example, for a webinar launch, you are looking at between 1% and 5%.

If you reached those numbers, you don’t have a BIG conversion issue — from a conversion perspective, it means that your launch DIDN’T flop. And if you perceive that it did? Go back to question one.

3Did I Have Enough Traffic?

So, let’s assume that your expectations were aligned, and your launch conversion rate was within benchmark. The next question is whether you had enough PEOPLE actually see your offer — or whether you were launching to an empty stadium.

The benchmark is that for every 100 people, between one and five will purchase. So if you only had 8 people, you have a traffic problem.

Your launch ‘flopped’ because you didn’t have enough people see your offer.

And that data is valuable, because it is a fixable problem for you to address the next time.

4Was My Mindset Right?

If you had aligned expectations, a benchmark conversion rate and enough traffic – your launch is an objective success, and you should by this stage also be viewing it as so.

The fourth piece of the puzzle, though?

Is MINDSET. Even if your expectations are aligned, there are a multitude of other mindset gremlins that can catch you out and play into – as well as perpetuate – the “my launch is a flop!” rhetoric.

Perfectionism. Procrastination. Imposter syndrome. Analysis paralysis. Overwhelm.

All of these can and will stop you in your track, and halt you from going through the launch process in the first place (”BUT WHAT IF I FAIL? BUT IT’S SO HARD! WHO AM I TO DO THIS!”) or from objectively analysing the results of your launch, picking yourself up, learning from the data and going in for round two.

The only true failure comes when you give up or fail to start at all, and these little gremlins are often to blame for both.

The truth is that PERCEIVING that your launch could or did flop, and is ACTUALLY happening or having happened are two very different things. Honestly? It’s for this reason that I am so passionate about our group coaching program Launchpad, where we set REALISTIC expectations, ensure that our clients know how to hit their numbers, know how to analyse them and discover how to deploy strategies to overcome the mindset gremlins that can so often hold us back when we’re left to our own devices.

So if you’re procrastinating on STARTING, or you’re wondering where on earth you’re going wrong if you HAVE had a “failed” launch, I recommend firstly running through each of these four questions, and secondly? Joining us in Launchpad.

Are you ready to create, launch and scale your flagship digital course in 2022? Head to steviesayssocial.com/launchpad to apply for our 12 month, high touch group coaching program.

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