Marketing and attracting attention to your work can be draining – even more so if you launch your offers throughout the year. Marketing your business can turn your plans upside down, fill your calendar with overdue to do’s and turn the best delegators into bottlenecks. The pressure and chaos of selling or launching live can suck the fun out of having your own business. (Unless you use your promotion personality to plan for it.)
A system that leverages your personal strengths is nothing short of a superpower.
And when marketing or selling your work feels unmanageable, it just means that somewhere in your process, you can make success easier. (And probably lower your stress while you’re at it.)
First, let’s understand the vicious cycle of launch shame
When I first started working with clients on their launch plans, I saw that many marketing plans:
- Crammed in two weeks of increased online activity.
- Required posting at triple their normal rate, mainly with posts reminding people to buy.
- Hinged on live events that business owners saw others using, but hadn’t tried themselves yet. (Like webinars, interviews or live streaming.)
- Used a mix of new tactics that industry leaders were selling courses on in the previous months.
At that moment, working this kind of a promotion plan feels safe, but in reality, it sucks to live through it.
Now, I want to be clear: none of these things are wrong. But they are worth a second look because when we plan most of us choose to be busy rather than effective. While this plan is heavy on busy, if you aren’t starting with a large, engaged list it’s not particularly useful.
In practice, here’s how this kind of promotional plan plays out:
First, you plan to post, share and show up online a lot in a short period. You get through it by sheer force of will, tell yourself “I DID IT!” and then don’t measure your work (aside from hitting refresh on your email for sales notifications) because the anxiety monster has taken over. You feel like a failure if your launch doesn’t go as planned but there’s no time to adjust. You start supporting your customers but feel lousy. In your down time, you consider how you can re-package or stop selling this offer instead of looking at how you marketed it. In time, you may flat out decide that selling or marketing your work isn’t for you.
Here’s why this kind of a launch plan has such a tendency to backfire:
- This plan is made up of the most visible aspects of how other people launch, not on a deep knowledge of what will work for you and your business.
- Two weeks isn’t enough time for your message enough to gain traction. The pros seed their big new ideas into content and ad campaigns over months, so their audience doesn’t feel overloaded. They plan promotions and joint ventures months in advance. They end up with many small ways to test people’s reactions to their work before anything ever goes on sale.
- Reminding people you have something to purchase doesn’t drive engagement. A high posting frequency won’t change that. (Content that engages with your audience throughout the launch will.)
- Using new tactics during a launch can be time-consuming and frustrating. It leaves less time for you to focus on your message because you’re worried about the tech. If you’re not focused on your message, your audience won’t be either. Instead, ease into using these tactics in the months before your launch. Try live streaming or a webinar that gives 100% value to your audience with no strings attached. They won’t mind, I promise.
- It’s not collaborative. Most of us prefer to stay in the realm of what we know, so we focus on our blog, send newsletters and post on social media. These behaviors mean we’re only sharing our content with warm traffic, or people who know us already. Our businesses all need us to have other mechanisms in place – ideally collaborations – to draw in new audience members who are ready to buy.
These are just a start, but they’re part of why this kind of a small and safe launch can work against your goals. Together, the results of these strategies can deliver a critical hit to our egos. They discourage smart people from putting themselves out there, which prevents their people from finding their work. Talk about lose-lose.
The remedy? Simple, reliable systems that make it easier for your business to succeed.
Raise the bar. Also, measure it.
Before you cram your calendar full, set up ways to measure what works for your business. They can be as simple as asking “Where do our customers come from?” and using bit.ly links so you can quickly tell how many people get to your sales page from Instagram vs. Facebook vs. your email list.
These simple measures can give you the answer to the question: what is it that my business absolutely can’t launch without? Make sure your calendar has lots of that, and make the rest of your marketing sprinkles on top.
Then, take a look at your everyday work. What keeps piling up? What are you always behind on? Outsource it already! Where can you identify similar work in your launch plans? Outsource it too!
Assess what works, and look for roadblocks before you get too committed to your plans. There’s often an easier, just as effective way hiding out a few questions away.
Use your promotion personality to your advantage.
Hidden within your everyday life are natural ways you move through the world. These are strengths. They probably don’t feel like strengths to you; they’re just how you operate. Your business has these too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solopreneur or your business runs with a ten person team. Leveraging these strengths can make it much easier for you to succeed. The trick is you need to make time to reflect on them.
Before you make your plans, reflect on your promotion personality and stack the deck in favor of your success:
- How do you and your team love to communicate?
- Which ways of communication drain you and your team, or tastemakers for last?
- What kind of community is engaged around your business? A small group of engaged taste makers? A broad community? How does your community naturally interact with each other and with your business?
- What are the most energizing ways for you or your team engage with your audience?
- What collaboration opportunities are you most excited about, right this moment?
- Of your existing habits and routines, which are most powerful at keeping you and your team moving forward?
- Be really honest with yourself – What should you probably stop doing?
These questions can start to build a profile of your business’ promotion personality. In other words, the strategies and simple changes that make success easier or harder to accomplish.
Then look at your plans through this lens. What choices can you make to work with these tendencies, so it’s easier for you to succeed?