Behind the Scenes of Launching a New Program

Today, I share what made me go with a beta offer for the first time, why I launched with a webinar, the biggest

We're currently in a behind-the-scenes series where we're looking at how my team and business have evolved over the years. It's wild to look back and see how much things have changed from how things started out, to where they are now.

So far we've covered...

This week, we're rounding out this series with a behind-the-scenes look at the January launch of our newest program: Challenges That Make Bank.

Keep reading to hear about all the things that went into this launch, including timing the launch, the launch plan, the project planning, how the launch felt, how it all went in general, and of course, the results!

I've always gotten the message that launching is supposed to be hard. Which makes sense, because there are a lot of moving pieces that need to be done at the exact right time to keep the project moving forward. It can also feel like there's a lot of pressure for the launch to go a certain way. 

But this launch was totally different. For this launch, I didn't subscribe to the idea that it had to be hard, and it was really nice. 

So let's dive in!

Listen to the episode

Prefer to listen to this post instead? Use the links below to listen on your preferred podcast player:

It was time to launch something new

I had been sitting on the idea for a course about challenges for years. The sales page, webinar, and launch copy were created and everything was ready to go, but I backed off because I was worried about making it make sense. I’m very driven by my gut feelings, so with those feelings swirling around, I held off. 

I had actually planned on diving into a summit in the new year and just kind of coasting through the end of 2023.

My team member Elli and I had been talking about our marketing calendar and planning when different things were happening, and at first, she agreed with my hesitations about moving forward with the challenge course. But then she came back with a gut feeling that it was time to move forward with launching this course, and that was all I needed!

The Launch Plan

Since this was the first launch of a new program that I had not created yet, I needed it to be easy; both as far as creating the program goes and as far as the launch goes.

The Content

I knew I didn't want to create all the content for this program before selling it, so I knew I’d position it as a beta launch from the beginning. Just like when I created Summit in a Box, I wasn’t willing to create everything before proving whether or not people would like it. I didn’t want to do a membership model again like I did for the initial Summit in a Box launch, so I decided that releasing the beta launch content based on our 6 Challenge Phases made sense. 

I decided to go ahead and create the content for the first two phases before the launch, because Phase 1 is one that you can bust through in a day or two, and Phase 2, on the other hand, is pretty bulky. It felt good to provide all that content up front, and also have those two phases already created before going into the launch.

For the rest of the phases, I’d love to have promised to release a phase per week, but that wouldn’t be reasonable with other team members needing time to help with designing templates and then editing and uploading content. So I decided to release a new phase every other week and we kept to that schedule.

The Webinar

For the launch itself, my first instinct is always to do a challenge, but that was a bit too meta for me to do a challenge about challenges. Even though challenges are relatively easy to put together, I needed something even easier to test the concept, so that’s why I decided on a webinar.

But, I didn't want a normal webinar where I’m teaching "the 3 phases to X and hitting on pain points and where you’ll go wrong", and all that stuff. I could have, but I really wanted this to be more fun and stand out. 

I had seen Dama Jue do a behind-the-scenes webinar for her bundle program and, while I never went to the webinar, it sounded so much more fun to me, so that’s what I went with! I was hoping that it would sound fun for people and be fun for people. I ended up with an outline I was really excited about!

We hosted the webinar on a Thursday and opened the cart at the end, and it was so fun! The webinar itself was fun, which made for a great interactive experience for attendees. What I really loved was that our students from other programs showed up and were my biggest cheerleaders! 

Project Planning

I used Eden Fried’s Launch List for the initial project plan, and then fleshed it out more from there, specifically with the content creation. It all worked well, except that I put off creating the program content for too long... I had all of the content outlined on time but waited until the week before to record phases 1 and 2, which then put Kate in a tight spot for getting it all edited and uploaded. But she did it, and we had everything ready to release the first two phases before the webinar.

How the launch felt

In the past, launches have felt stressful, both in terms of results and everything that needs to get done. And I didn’t get that with this launch…it was soooo nice! 

I remember that on the Monday before opening the cart, I was giddy on Voxer with my coach telling her how much I was loving the launch this time. The work I'd done with her around mindset and expectations for myself and my business really put me in a good place with this launch. 

Why else was this launch less stressful?

  • Even though I did wait a little too long to record the content, everything else was planned out very well in advance.
  • I had other people to help and take care of things like copy, building the major web pages, tech setup, and more.

My job was basically to create the content, guide the project, and double-check details on things.

Crunch Time

We did get down to crunch time in the end, but not in a way that my schedule was overloaded. I cleared off calls, made sure there wasn’t anything extra on my plate (which there wasn’t since I’ve gotten better at making the main thing BE the main thing), and I just knew I had time to do what I needed.

Going into the last few days, I needed to double-check the mobile version of the sales page, double-check the course content that was uploaded, do some finishing touches, finish the initial project plan we’d be giving people, and then practice my webinar and have a recorded run of it in case things went wrong on Thursday.

It felt very doable so I didn’t end up needing to work any extra until the day before when an assignment to a new team member didn’t go so hot, and I had to work an extra hour.

In fact, within the week prior to the launch, I took off some time on one day to take my 2-year-old to her first mommy-and-me gymnastics class and then I took time off the next day to go have lunch at school with my 6-year-old for her birthday. Neither of those things would have ever happened a week before a launch in the past! I give all the credit for that to my coach, Kaitlyn. 

Overall, leading up to the launch was great, but not totally perfect. I'll take it!

The Results Breakdown

Another thing that felt great about this launch was that I didn’t feel stressed about the results! I just had confidence that it was going to work. I think that was largely due to the audience research my Copywriter Nadine from Can Do! Content did. It was also partially because of feedback I’d started getting as I teased it out. I just knew it was good stuff that people wanted and needed!

What My Goals Were

My goal was 40 people and I had a good feeling about it. We got 17 people in the door right off of the live webinar, which felt so great. Their excitement was so fun and I loved it. We also had a fast-action offer available for 2 days after that, and we hit and exceeded my launch goal of 40 people in those two days.

Then, of course, we hit the mid-launch slump. We went one day with no sales at all, which didn’t phase me. I knew the momentum would come back. 

Keeping Momentum Up During Launch

I wanted to do my best to keep the momentum going that week, even though it ended up being such a busy week for me with too many calls, appointments for a kiddo, and trying to continue working on the content, so I added two live calls on Wednesday.

  1. What is a Challenge?  We had been getting a lot of questions about what a challenge actually was, so I added in a training around that. 
  2. Open House This was a brand new program no one had ever seen before, so I wanted a place where people could ask questions about the program.

They were a good experiment and took little effort on my time for prep and execution, but I wouldn’t do them again. 

Another thing that I was debating mid-launch was adding an 8-month payment option. We released this program with a full payment option and with a 4-month payment plan. I planned to offer it as a last-minute offer, but as I sat with that idea, it just didn't align with my values, so I didn't do it. 

Cart Close Day 

Cart close day is always great for us. Our launch sequence sends 3 emails on that last day. Keep in mind, that all our emails in the sequence have an opt-out link at the bottom of them, so no one has to keep getting the emails if they aren't interested. 

We ended the launch with 64 total sales, which felt so great. It exceeded even my stretch goal! And now we have 64 students in the beta round that we get to help with creating and running their challenges. It's been great so far! 

What I’d do differently

I can really only think of two things that I'd do differently next time.

  1. Plan even farther ahead. That probably doesn't surprise you, right? But having more time is never a bad thing. 
  2. Don't mess up email segmenting. Two times during the launch we sent an email to 13,000 people that should have only gone to our Launch with a Summit Accelerator clients. I wanted them to get a discount on this new program, so it had a private coupon code, but I ended up honoring it for anyone who emailed and asked, even if they weren't in the Accelerator. 

So if you mess things up in a launch, you're not alone! Even me, who is obsessed with details and planning, managed to miss it. Twice

How this fits into our business model

Moving forward, I'm really excited to fit this into my business model. Despite my hesitations at first about how to make a course about challenges fit into a business that's all about hosting summits, I can now see so clearly that it's a perfect fit with our other offers! 

Some people love hosting summit after summit, but some people wish they had something else that worked for them. For me, that's challenges. It's the right next step for people in our offers. It's also a great fit for people who want to start with something a little smaller if summits aren't a great fit for them right now. 

Join the waitlist for Challenges That Make Bank! The simple, repeatable framework to fill the frustrating post-summit vacuum with genuine buzz, excitement, and SALES of your signature offer... in only 30 days.




View related episodes >>

Pin it for later!

Today, I share what made me go with a beta offer for the first time, why I launched with a webinar, the biggest Today, I share what made me go with a beta offer for the first time, why I launched with a webinar, the biggest

50% Complete

Free: Virtual Summit Prep Timeline

Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.