Last updated on March 25th, 2022
That often-awkward phase in most launches where you’re not sure are you doing too much or too little talking about your program.
Kinda like me when I meet a new-to-me human. I either ramble a lot (and scare them off) or I give one-word answers (and still scare them off!).
I’m much better with pre-launches.
So, if you’ve been doing the “I-dont-know-what-I’m-doing” 😕💃 shuffle with your pre-launch phase too…
… let’s switch it out for a smooth waltz.
First up, what IS pre-launch marketing and when do you start?
A pre-launch is NOT the same as pre-sale. 🙅🏾♀️
⭐ Pre-launch is when you “tease” (gotta find a different word for this!) the idea of your course out to your audience.
⭐ Pre-sale is when you invite people to enroll before you actually create the course.
⭐ The pre-launch phase is usually unique to live launches.
It sometimes kicks in 4-6 weeks before you launch.
But usually, most folks go with a 2-week pre-launch phase. It depends on your audience, your personal engagement style, and of course, your offer.
However, you can also use pre-launch during evergreen launches.
But I’m not going to muddy the waters here and maybe talk about it in another post.
NOW… what can you do during prelaunch to increase conversions when you launch?
The usual pre-launch approach is to share excitement and hype up what’s coming.
And that’s cool. I’ve done the whole “something’s brewing” approach as well.
Luckily I now know better.
So, while the whole hype-it-up is great for folks who know you, know they have a problem, and know they want to learn from you… what about the folks who aren’t problem-aware? As in, they don’t even know they need your online course.
And what about those who are problem-aware and even, solution-aware but are scarred from past experiences?
They know they have a problem, they know you have a course but they’re worried they’ll be disappointed. 😞
And then… then there are those who well, they’re new to your world. They may be problem-aware, solution-aware BUT are brand-unaware.
Your pre-launch copy assets can do the heavy 💪🏽 lifting in all these scenarios. #boldpromise
How, you ask?
1. Pull them in with problem-solving content.
Shine a spotlight on those problems and give prospects some solutions.
Example: Selling a program that teaches makeup artists how to run a successful business? Show them HOW they’re leaving money on the table.
Share HOW they can plug those leaks in their client pipeline. Notice, I’m not telling you to share the “what” and “why” and keep the “how” gated like most coaches. Why? Because when you share the HOW, your audience has those 💡💡💡 moments, and they realize their problem is much bigger.
2. Create competitive analysis content.
Give your audience an insight into how YOUR program is different. You don’t need to publicly humiliate competition 😳 but you can help them see how you’ve filled the gaps left by other programs.
Example: Ready-to-Sell is my flagship copywriting and sales strategy program. It not only gives you ALL the copywriting recipes I use for every.single.asset I create for clients but it also, shares strategic insights for BOTH Live AND evergreen launches so you can be a double-edged Mac Mighty chef’s knife 🔪 for your clients.
I talk about this often during pre-launch because it helps my audience who may have taken several other programs see how Ready-to-Sell is different.
3. Make “Walk the Talk” content.
This is content that brings your audience closer to you and your brand. They connect with your warmth, your quirkiness, your transparency, your commitment. ALL those intangibles that sometimes fail to show up on a sales page or are taken at face value as “mere words”.
Example: Heather Eland of Astrology with Heather is super transparent with her audience and has the biggest heart to serve them.
When she was launching her flagship course, she made it absolutely clear on her opt-in page that she would invite them to join. At the same time, she made sure that her free masterclass was SO valuable that her audience would’ve happily paid for it as well. I popped in for a short while and was blown away 😍 by the comments appreciating her insights SO much.
Take Pre-launch Buzz-Building to the Next Stage
The pre-launch content ideas I shared above are perfect when you’re talking about your upcoming program or online course to your audience on social and your larger email list.
But what about the folks on your waitlist? How can you get them excited about your launch?
If you’ve built a waitlist for your program, you want to nurture and connect with them so they’re excited too.
Since they are on your waitlist, they already know about you, they know about your online course and all they need from you is an assurance that your program, your course will be perfect for them.
So, use your pre-launch phase to assure and engage your waitlist.
Pre-launch Marketing for Your Waitlist
📝 The “Come Along for the Ride” Recipe
This is a fairly easy-to-write email series that you send out to everyone on your waitlist.
You simply share a BTS (or behind-the-scenes) look at your course launch.
You share 👀 🍿 🎬 sneak previews, snotty-teary frustrations, bloopers, highlight reels, or even a lesson or two.
The reason this is “easy” is because you can write on the fly, you don’t have to follow a schedule and you have more flexibility to email as you please.
This recipe works beautifully for live launches as well as new product launches.
Example: Mikli of Hey Mikli when she was beta-launching her Baby Got Brand program made the whole process SO engaging, it took ALL my willpower to not hand over my credit card to her. I love Mikli but I also know I will not do my own tech setup even if held at gunpoint. 😂
📝The “TGIFridays” Recipe
Dating myself here but seriously y’all… TGIFridays was a real hot fave for us when we worked in corporate. From team huddles 🧑🏽💼👩🏼💼👩🏽💼 to offsite lunches 🌮🥤, it was THE place to be at.
This TGIF is just as popular and lucky enough to still be in business.
This recipe is a weekly email strategy for your waitlist. (The F here stands for Friday but you can send an email out any day of the week.)
This is also a strategy I’ve used for several clients with evergreen funnels.
(Sidenote: Want ME to write these emails for you? Book a time to chat!)
The reason is… when you’re selling all year long, it makes SO much more sense to have a weekly email go out that helps you sell that course. However, you can totally use this “recipe” for a LIVE launch as well.
How can you use these pre-launch marketing and buzz-building ideas?
In a billion different ways.
You can repurpose your ❤️ heart out.
So a blog post or podcast can become an email can become a Linkedin post can become an Instagram carousel can become a TikTok can become a Reel. See?
✅ You can use these as your course-specific content invites (aka opt-ins) for different segments. Yes, segments are great for launches and I should write about that next.
✅ You can use these as prompts to come up with a list of ideas for your podcast or blog or YT channel.
✅ You can write an eBook packed with problem-solving content.
✅ You can host a summit based on competitive analysis content.
✅ You can do a 3-part video series on problem-solving, brand, point of difference.
I can clearly keep going on.
Before you start getting caught up in the details of video, post, audio, whatever… use these prelaunch strategies ideas as prompts to come up with concrete ideas suited to your online course topic.
In fact, do this pre-launch marketing brainstorm exercise now.
📝 Grab a sheet of paper.
3️⃣ Divide it into 3 columns.
💡 Write down “Problem”, “Brand” and “Competition” as the 3 headers.
Under each brainstorm a list of problems for problem-solving content, brand values for “walk the talk” content, and points of difference for competitive analysis content.
Once you have those outlined, you can start to identify where each pre-launch marketing idea would perform best. Or if something can be repurposed.
These ideas are a mere sliver of the whole pre-launch pie but they can help spark ideas for you so you can waltz into launch mode and ditch the awkward shuffle.
Now let’s be clear.
When you launch, you will still have people who don’t know you, don’t know if they have a problem, and don’t know if your solution can help… but that percentage will be smaller.
And your sales page and emails can help do the job.
Want to know how to plan and write ALL your content for pre-launch, launch, and beyond? Be the first to know when Ready-to-Sell opens!