I launched The Shelancers Club last week, a membership site and community where freelance women can learn behind-the-scenes tips for building a successful business. I was SO scared in the days leading up to my launch. I'd never launched a program like this before and I was petrified that it would fail. My head was buzzing with all sorts of questions...
What if no one signs up?
What if people don't like it?
What if members start to unsubscribe?
I'm delighted to say that my launch actually went really well! I hit my sales goal, I started up the Facebook group (which is exclusively for members), and all the members got really engaged. It has been so much fun getting to know them all! I can't wait to continue with this cosy support group of freelance women.
It sounds all fun and dandy, but I did learn a thing or two for my next launch. I'm hoping you can learn from this, too!
5 lessons I learned from my first launch
1. Things will go wrong.
When members join the club they have to pay in Paypal and then they are redirected automatically to a sign up form. They're emailed the club details once they've filled it out. The issue? Mailchimp wasn't sending the Welcome Email to subscribers and it was only adding half of them to the list. This meant that I had to personally email members the club info and manually add some members to the list. I contacted Mailchimp and they were extremely helpful and quick in resolving the issue. And on the plus side, I got to know the members more directly by emailing them and chatting a little!
2. Don't launch alone.
People have said this time and again but I didn't listen. Since I wasn't launching some huge course or workshop, I figured I wouldn't need the help. I was wrong. I should have hired an intern or virtual assistant to handle the social media, the scheduling of blog posts and newsletters, and the emails from members. If I had, she could have dealt with the Mailchimp tech glitch we suffered and I could have spent my time on more pressing things.
3. Launch before you're ready.
Your program or product will never be perfect. There will always be something else on your to-do list. Once I realized this, I set a launch date and just went for it; and I'm so glad I did!
4. Get to know your customers.
In this case, I don't view them as my customers as all. They're club members. And I'm pretty sure they will even go on to being my friends. The best and most beautiful part of this launch has been getting to know each of them in our Facebook group! This taught me that even if my future products don't include a community aspect, I should still get to know my customers and talk to them one-on-one. It's the only way to ensure you're creating something that people actually need and enjoy.
5. Set a reasonable sales goal.
My sales goal wasn't huge because I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment. Some people work best when they aim high, but I work best when I set realistic goals for myself. I set a realistic sales goal and I accomplished it, which made me feel great! I'm now going to increase that goal because it's safe and reasonable to do so. I would have felt disappointed if I'd set my goal too high and I couldn't reach it.
All in all, this launch has been a great success. I can't WAIT to get to know my Shelancers more and help them grow amazing freelance businesses.
Let me know in a comment- what have you learned from your launches?