"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late."
This Reid Hoffman guy is onto something you know. (By the way, he's the co-founder of LinkedIn so he knows a thing or two.)
Many business owners get trapped in the 'Beginner's Battle':
- "My email list is too small."
- "I need to test this to perfection first." (Trouble is, they have nobody to test on.)
- "I'll wait till I have XXX subscribers." (As if XXX is some kind of magic number!)
- "I'm not like XYZ. It won't work!"
So they overthink, feel despondent, and give up.
The only way to conquer this battle is to avoid it altogether.
- Stop comparing your fledgeling business to an established one. (Or, as I like to put it, don't compare your chapter 1 with someone else's chapter 10.)
- Stop thinking your first program has to be perfect. A crappy first version is fine. Honestly!
- Realise that while most people run straight into this trap, you don't have to.
- Know that you can find people who will buy from you and that you can sell to a tiny list.
Improve your crappy first version
Think about this for a minute...
You're unknown. And you've created your signature program. It's untested. You have no idea if it's going to get people results.
You price your program at a very modest $80. You manage to sell it to 5 people. That's $400 in the bank, 5 testimonials and 5 people on your email list.
You'll also have feedback from these 5 people. You can improve your program and make it even more relevant and effective.
Your confidence will increase. People are getting results. You have testimonials on the sales page.
Now you raise the price to $120 because you know your program works.
Say 10 people buy this time. That's $1200 of sales, more interest, more feedback, and more confidence.
All you have to do is repeat the cycle a few more times. Before you know it, you'll have a decent-sized email list, and a small but engaged group of fans!
What would you rather have? A small but engaged email list or 10K subscribers who are not interested in your stuff?
I know what I'd prefer!
Launching your program... the small-list way
You don't need a huge email list to launch your program successfully. Here are a few tips to help you find the right strategy:
(1) Find your audience
You should know who your target audience is and where they hang out.
You didn't miss this crucial step, did you?
If you did, this article will help you get back on track.
(2) Get on their radar
Once you've found your audience, get on their radar:
- Give out helpful information.
- Reply to emails.
- Post helpful comments on blogs, YouTube videos and in groups.
- Give them genuine solutions to their problems.
- Choose a couple of social media platforms you enjoy and start talking to your audience.
- Always seek to educate and inspire.
(3) Notice when your audience is noticing you
When someone interacts with you, treat them like family. Take the time to respond. Make them feel they're part of what your community.
(4) Do a 'closed-cart' launch
A closed-cart launch can be a very effective strategy for a small list. It's a launch that stays open for a short period of time. So there's a sense of urgency to encourage people to buy. You can also combine it with a special discount. For example, you might launch your signature program for one week, with a special 50% for the first 3 days.
Another way to create a sense of urgency is to limit your special price to, for example, the first ten people only.
(5) Get feedback and testimonials
Make sure you get feedback and testimonials from your participants. Feedback will help you improve your program. And testimonials will help you promote it. Both are vital in helping you prepare your next launch.
(6) Rinse and repeat
You'd want to repeat steps 4 and 5 a few times until you're happy with the effectiveness of your program.
This is when you can turn your program evergreen.
(7) Keep growing your email list
Create a lead magnet that's related to your signature program and offer it as an opt-in incentive.
You don't have to give the farm away. But im to help your target audience solve a small problem that's related to your program.
(8) Use ads
Once you have an evergreen program, consider running ad campaigns to promote it.
You can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google. It's important that you know which platform works best for your audience. And you may need to get external help to get the best return on your investments.
(9) Enlist affiliates
You can get past participants to promote your program on your behalf as an affiliate. They've been through your program and got results. What better way to promote your program than word-of-mouth recommendations?
Your affiliates will likely have a different audience from you, and can help you increase your reach, and your sales, exponentially.
List size isn't everything. Many business owners have run highly successful launches with small email lists. With the right mindset and strategy, you can do it too!