Transcript: The Truth About Launching: A Candid Conversation


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Megan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business,

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
where competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:19
Hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of talking small business. Today we are putting cat in the hot seat, I think because she’s the queen of this.

Kat Schmoyer 0:31
You’re in the hot seat.

Megan Martin 0:34
We’re talking about watching Dun dun dun today. And man, we’re gonna like just share a candid conversation. These are my favorite episodes. And we just kind of like we didn’t plan this episode, we were just like, let’s talk about launching, let’s tell Let’s share the real and the raw of what launching is.

Kat Schmoyer 0:51
Hopefully y’all aren’t afraid.

Megan Martin 0:54
Yeah, so I think there’s so many different like expectations and dreams and hopes and desires when people think about launching or look towards launching. And we just would love to like chat a little bit about our real life experience, launching different products and service and offers in our business so that we can help you better prepare for your upcoming launch and hopefully help you set better expectations for yourself. So that way, your launch can be more successful, and you can come out the other side of it. Feeling like a normal human.

Kat Schmoyer 1:26
Right, right. Not feeling stressed out. I feeling horrible. Right now I’m feeling terrible. Um, I think first of all, and like we’re joking about it, but it’s so true. Like launching makes people freaked out like launching it. I mean, it is like it can feel a little bit more anxiety ridden than anything else in our businesses for a variety of reasons. And a lot of times when you’re launching something, it’s something that you’ve put a lot of like hard work and a lot of your heart into and like all of a sudden it’s now out in the world and are people going to purchase are people going to book are people going to come like whatever it might be. I’ve launched digital products, I’ve launched courses, I’ve launched a membership, I’ve launched a mastermind intensives a conference, like, probably you name it, I’ve likely launched it, it’s in like the small business world. Some of that is because I do even though there is a lot of anxiety around it, there’s a part of my personality that genuinely loves launching. And there are just some things about launching that I find to be incredibly fun. And so I like to have an actual launch calendar in my business and you know, things that I want to work through and a launch schedule. But I also for me personally, like I just have lots of ideas. And so sometimes it’s launching a lot of things just because you’re getting ideas and you’re testing a market, right and seeing is this idea going to stick? Is somebody else interested in this? Or is this just an idea that needs to stay an idea. But that’s what can feel so scary about launching is because you feel so strongly about it, and you put so much hard work into it. But then what are other people going to think and are other people going to buy in?

Megan Martin 3:04
I think I love that you’re saying this and I think that we should just totally like pull back the curtain here and say like, first of all, y’all Kat is literally the queen of launching, like she can pull a launch out like nobody’s business. Like, the girl knows how to launch a thing. Anything. Like seriously, I love you and how much you’ve launched in your business you launch all the time. I want to say like, let’s be real, like not every launch is successful, right? No,

Kat Schmoyer 3:34
not at all. And I think there that’s a bomb launch. Oh no. And like I’m gonna be like you guys we have had like conferences like entire conferences that we’ve had to cancel. I have launched like intensives that I’ve had to like email people and say this isn’t going to happen. I’ve launched courses that completely fell flat like we didn’t even make back what we spent in Facebook ads. Okay, so like when I say launches have gone terribly launches have gone absolutely terribly. But here’s the thing about launching is you will likely have some launches go terribly in order to get to launches that go really well because within launching you’re also testing the market now do I think that you should just launch every new idea you have no there is strategy around what you pick and choose to watch and some decisions that I have made some products I’ve made that I wanted to launch I shouldn’t have right like I was like way too gung ho and I needed that voice in my head saying like no start small like don’t do this. But I did it anyway you know nine years of business there’s been a lot of that like those ups and downs but I think really what it comes down to when we think about launching is if you are going to launch something you need to like put on those big girl panties and know that it might not go well like and that is honestly the truth of it is it might not go well but let’s be realistic not pessimistic but realistic around it might not go well. I might like it might not make the revenue that I want. I might end up canceling if it’s you know, some sort of in person retreat event. But you have enough strategy backing up the fact that this launch is coming to life. So you are moving forward with the launch,

Megan Martin 5:08
which I think also brings up a really important thought that don’t put all of your eggs into a launch basket. Right? Like, don’t bank on your, you know, 80 or 90% of your income for the year to come on. Yes. Right. Like it might not go as well, as you imagine, for many, many reasons. It could be a marketing reason, it could be a messaging reason, it could be a timing reason, like, I don’t know, the whole world shuts down, you know, right, there’s so many variables that could play into a launch not going as well as you hoped. Maybe you just had too big of expectations for what your conversion rate or your revenue goal should have been, right? There’s so many reasons that a launch could not go well. And so it is so paramount that you not bank your entire year’s worth of income on a launch. Like you need to have a source of income that you can rely on, that’s going to not make or break your business and your life. If a launch doesn’t go well.

Kat Schmoyer 6:12
Absolutely. And like I speak from absolute experience with that y’all have like over the last couple of years in my business, like seeing how things have more from being so reliant on certain revenue streams, and then really being able to diversify and say, okay, you know what, so if this one doesn’t go as well, I have these others not to fall back on in like a negative way. But just to know, like, all of your eggs aren’t in one basket, just like Megan is saying. And you can know like, Okay, well, this launch didn’t go well, clearly the people have spoken, right? For whatever reason, as Megan is saying, maybe it’s an audience thing. Maybe it’s a timing thing. There’s so many different reasons, but it didn’t work. But now where else can we go from here. So like having that plan B, even if you don’t know exactly what Plan B is, but just knowing you have some fallback, will give you more confidence going into the launch.

Megan Martin 7:02
Cat, I would love to hear from you on why somebody should consider live launching in their business, even if they don’t consider themselves a salesperson. Or somebody who loves that like urgency model, why should you still consider live launching in your business? If you have digital products,

Kat Schmoyer 7:20
Megan might not agree with I’m pretty sure she’s not going to agree with me. Actually, I’m looking at it right now. If you have digital products, in my opinion, you need to live launch at least one time. I think that live launching teaches you more about how to be a seller. And if you don’t feel like you are a good seller, I think it teaches your people urgency and scarcity and what live looks like. So live launch when Megan and I say this and we’ve done a whole episode on live versus evergreen. So we’ll link that you guys can listen to that. But live means there’s a start date and an end day. So that product isn’t available necessarily at that particular price point or for that there’s bonuses associated with it, or whatever you’ve got like a start and an end. So there is scarcity and urgency at play. And those are incredibly powerful selling factors. And so if you have never lived launching a digital product, specifically, I think you learn a lot about how to do that how to sell in that way and your people start to learn how you are going to operate and sell in that way. And so honestly, it’s just a really good learning opportunity for your business. And maybe you surprise yourself and you like it a little bit more than you thought maybe you don’t and then you go back to like everything’s evergreen, and that’s fine, too. But I do think that you can learn a lot. For services that’s a little bit different. Because services, you’re typically like opening up spots on your calendar, like if you’re in the coaching world, or consulting or something like that. And so I do think that you can use some scarcity and urgency to put like book by x day like you can have some of that in there. But really, when we’re talking live launch, maybe even for well now because I want to be able to talk about everything in this conversation. But I do think there’s some things for live launching that are just for digital products because of that niche, and they don’t work as well with like a conference launch, or you know, coaching launch or something like that.

Megan Martin 9:12
But also I think live launching just applies differently, right? So it says you have a live launch for your conference, right? There have been there have been years where it’s like you have a one week time frame to get an early bird rate. While that’s while the cart doesn’t close one week later, that earlybird rate closed, which was a form of a live launch. Right. But for launches, I think also applies to the prot, the physical product world, right, you can release collections, and those collections can easily sell out. Right. And so I do think that live launching applies to multiple different industries. I do think service base is a little bit different. A lot of times service base is more of an evergreen business model and you use other avenues to sell like networking or whatever, you know, right but you’re out I do think you’re right, that it’s not as applicable to service as these other business types. But the other thing I was gonna say to tag on to what you were saying, which I think live launching is, I absolutely think it’s a non negotiable for you. If you are new in business, you need to live launch because you need to get over the fear of selling. It’s like one of the number one fears in the business world is selling. I don’t want to be salesy, blah, blah, blah, you need to get over that. You literally, if I love you it tough love time, like if you are running a business you are selling a product or an offer or a service you’re selling your job is not like like all period, you have to you have to learn to get comfortable with this. And live launching is going to take you way out of your comfort zone to make you do it. But you want to get that practice, it feels easier over time. So I would even say like challenge yourself to live launch more than once to get that practice in of selling. But the real magic of live launching beyond learning how to be become a better seller is you can actually create opportunities to connect one on one with your potential customers. And that is messaging gold right there to hear a to like and we talked about chat boxes in one of the previous episodes that we can link. But chat boxes are my favorite tool and a live launch because you can actually copy verbatim the question that your customer has. So those frequently asked questions sections are all cute, you know, and you make them up the first time you create a digital product, or whatever service you’re putting out there or offer the next time guess what questions are actually in that section, the real ones that real humans asked you, right. And that is how you can create a messaging strategy that is not just a unicorn in your mind, but a real person on the other side of the screen that you can talk to you that like that connection that live launching, creates is so so powerful in any I don’t care what kind of business you run like So absolutely,

Kat Schmoyer 12:01
absolutely. And if you’re listening, and you’re you, you are that person that feels nervous around the term live launch, maybe you’ve never done it, or you’ve done it a couple of times, and it just never felt like it’s gone. Well, there are new strategies you can implement. And so I want to encourage you guys like think creatively, like if you don’t feel like you’re the webinar girl, don’t do a webinar, like I, yes, we want you to get out of your comfort zone. But we also want you to fit your personality and your strengths. So try a challenge, you know, just do something, there are other things that you can try. Depending on your audience and your content and your personality. I love working with my like integration clients on figuring out like, what’s the best launch strategy for those reasons. And then creating a launch around all of that.

Megan Martin 12:44
Yeah, and there’s so many neat ways that you can launch now that don’t involve a webinar, like don’t involve a live event you could do, I just feel like we should quickly rattle some off like, of course, there’s the webinar, which is typically a live event right alive, yo, there’s the video series. So you could do pre recorded videos and drip them out over like two to five days. And then after the last video you’re selling, so you’re never having to go live, maybe there is a live component maybe or in the chat for a certain period of time during that video series. But you don’t actually have to be live, you could do that you could do a challenge, like Kat said, You know what a challenge is, look at any business owner who’s selling something, they’ll do challenges, you know, these Facebook group challenges where you’re trying to get a community effort involved. There’s literally just email, launch live launches, like you don’t have to do any sort of training, if you don’t want to, you could literally just publish, you could like have a series of emails written that maybe spans I don’t know, whatever period of time your live launch is happening, let’s use a week for this example. And you have you just press publish on the series and you you send emails for a week, like that’s a live launch. It doesn’t have to contain this event that involves you being live. But again, I highly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try to create some sort of live component, whether that’s a chat box, or it’s a maybe it’s not a structured call with slides. Maybe it’s like a call mid launch week, where you’re just like, hey, come chat with me. Ask your questions. This is not a structure. I’m not going to like pitch you I’m not going to put slides up I just want to talk to you like a real human. Again, create opportunities that your customers can can connect with you one on one because you need to know what they are thinking before you hit before they hit purchase to help you better sell your product.

Kat Schmoyer 14:41
Yes, absolutely. That’s why all of those reasons are why I’m such a firm believer I mean we both are and do a live launch at least once if not a few times in your business with multiple products. I mean, you and I both live launch multiple products. I’ve done you know the event side I’ve done services I’ve done The products and all different sorts of digital products live. So and in each one, there’s a little bit of a different strategy and figuring out what do I like? And what do my people like? And how can I marry those two?

Megan Martin 15:12
Can’t tell us about. I want to hear like the realities of what alive launch feels like for the person who’s hosting it. Like, let’s I just want to like dig into like, what it really feels like to host any sort of launch of it and your business? Well, for

Kat Schmoyer 15:29
me, I think it depends on if I’ve done it before, because this is a little, it’s a different viewpoint, if it’s a product that you’ve launched before, so you have data to back up like, Okay, last time, this was my conversion rate, these were my sales like, so this is what my good better best goal is going to be, you know, moving forward for, you know, in this new launch. And so, in my opinion, there’s less stress on repeat launches, because you’ve got some data on the back end, you feel more validated in the product, you’re probably a little bit stronger in just the overall selling and messaging of the product. So a live launch around that really can typically feel a little bit more rinse and repeat of what worked and what didn’t last time. So then let’s redo it again. Now, if it’s something that’s never been live before, there’s always like more anxiety and hesitation around it. And for me, and I don’t know if this is a personality thing. And so Megan, you weigh in on like how you feel for me, there’s a Are people really going to purchase this, like, there’s always that question like, do people actually want to purchase this? There’s the fear of I’m putting something out there. And if nobody purchases it, like what will people think? Like if they find out like for us with the conference like having to like, again, I know, it’s silly to say like, strap on my big girl panties, but like put on the big girl panties and be like, Hey, this is the reality of like what we’re facing right now. And this really sucks. Like, there’s no other way to say it when I have to talk to educators or talk to attendees. But that is the risk we take when we are launching something and looking at all of the nuances of the launch. So for me, I think a lot of my stressors come down to what will other people think, whether will they purchase? Or how will they respond? If it doesn’t go? Well?

Megan Martin 17:17
Well, and this is something that we’ve brought up has been brought up before with my core students. And I will like straight up told them, like, you can launch something. And if that launch does not go, well guess what? You don’t owe anybody an excellent explanation. Like you. I feel like sometimes, of course, if you are hosting something like cat saying, If you’re hosting like a conference in our event, and you can’t go through with it, for whatever reason, of course, you have to actually tell the people if you can’t go through it, so yes, you do those people. Right, right. But say like, let’s, let’s bring up the like scenario, you create a course and you launch it, you create this whole launch event. And it totally flops right, you don’t owe the world an explanation that your course launch flopped. You don’t need to post on Instagram like Man, this stunk I only got nine P or like, whatever, you know, like I only got, I made zero sales, like you don’t owe anyone an explanation. And guess what the sheer fact that you showed up and launched is just planting a seed in your audience’s mind. So for the people who didn’t say yes, they are just gonna remember, it’s like, it’s like a, an opportunity to show up and remind somebody who you are and what you do. Right, right, whether or not they righteous. So say I launch a course it doesn’t go well, for whatever variable of reasons. That doesn’t mean I never launch it again, maybe I need to change some things based on feedback from my customers or based on like feedback, or based on how I’m feeling right and the launch. But like launching one time is just going to help people better get to know you and what you have to offer. So maybe it’s just not the right time for them to buy. But maybe in months, if you try it again, maybe the right the right time for them to buy.

Kat Schmoyer 19:05
Right, right. That’s what I was just gonna say I feel like there is truth in launch flopping in thinking about what was it the timing, or was it the product and sometimes it’s, it’s a little bit of both, you know, like it was a bad time for that specific product. But I know two years ago, I did a launch intensive I launched a launch intensive. It was a four week like kind of hybrid course Meech group coaching program, I launched it only to my email list because I wanted to start to test out do people want launch content? For me, I love talking about launching I’ve been watching for years. Let me see what they want. I had one person join. Well, I can’t host a whole intensive with one person like that doesn’t work. So for her we ended up doing a one on one coaching she and I did but that I mean it flopped. But now two years later, I’m back talking more about launch content and testing the market again like hey, is now a better time. Now granted, that’s two years. So that’s longer than waiting, you know, three months or six months. But I think that is just helpful for us to think through. It just might not be the right time now for the product, maybe your audience isn’t primed enough, right, like maybe COVID. I don’t don’t like there’s just so many things that you need to think about when it comes to the product and why it flopped. And not just taking it, like this personal attack on you and your heart. And y’all I say that after like eight years of launch experience of like crying, like sobbing when a launch didn’t go off feeling like it was such a personal attack on like my hard work and my efforts and like, what have I done? When like, it doesn’t still stink, when something doesn’t go? Yes? Do I cry? Yes, I’m an emotional woman, like it happens, all right, I cry. But I also have to think like a business owner. And I have to remember, well, I did what I thought I needed to do based on X, Y, and Z. And now because of the data that’s being presented to me, this is what I’m going to do moving forward. And this failure, quote, unquote, failure was just good information, and how I need to move moving forward.

Megan Martin 21:07
Well, and I think you brought up a good point too, about priming your audience. And I don’t remember back then, like, what you were focusing on content wise, but it could literally be a reason that you did not spend enough time talking about a specific topic before launching, if a launch flops like, we can’t, you can’t be talking about like one certain specific topic, and then all of a sudden launch something that’s completely different, and expect it to go well, because people aren’t connecting the dots between whatever new topic you’re doing and the content that you’ve been presenting. So that’s a really important note to like, set yourself up and your audience’s expectations up for what’s to come like, a lot of people get an idea for an offer, or a product or a service or whatever and their song, they’re so gung ho to get it out like right then and there as soon as humanly possible that they sabotage their launch, when if you would have just waited another month to put it out there. That way, you could have spent four weeks to talk to your audience about whatever specific topic you want to launch around, you would have seen more success had you have spent more time in the priming. So one thing that I think would be super beneficial for anybody listening would be like, when you have an idea and you’re ready for a launch, you need to look at your calendar, and decide not just what day works for you to launch. But when like when can you launch that also includes giving your customers plenty of time to connect those dots between what you’re talking about and what you sell?

Kat Schmoyer 22:36
Absolutely, I completely agree. And that’s where if, you know, if you’re launching on a quarterly basis, and you decide, you know, you’re gonna have a launch a quarter or something like that, that allows you to have that runway, and allows you to have that time to really prime your people to get ready for whatever that launch is going to be.

Megan Martin 22:58
I feel like we could talk about this for days, I feel like let’s like wrap this up by I would love to hear from you like, what are some, like quick things somebody needs to like prepare themselves for for launch week?

Kat Schmoyer 23:11
Well, first of all, definitely give yourself that runway just like we talked about with not just in priming content, but in knowing that if you’re giving yourself a six to eight week timeframe, you’re getting ready for the launch while also priming your people. The Truth About launch week is that the actual week of launch shouldn’t be that stressful in terms of your to do list. Because hopefully things are scheduled and automated out during the week of launch, the week of launch is where your face is required. It’s like heavy on the marketing for you, whether you’re doing live events, or you’re jumping on Instagram more often. And you’re just being more aware of what your people need in live chat or in email, like that sort of thing. So the goal is that all of the launch work is done before the launch so that the week of launch, it’s just you marketing, and I say just as an email, like just you marketing, but you’re not having to worry about oh, I need to get tomorrow’s email ready to go and scheduled. But I also need to jump on Instagram Live, oh, I’m supposed to go like, do it in the Facebook group like then you you’re being pulled in 17 different directions. If you can pre schedule as much as you can pre schedule and have that runway for yourself, do that plan it out so that the week of it can be fun to show your face and talk about this product that you’ve created or this conference or whatever it is that you’re doing. And it feels so much more enjoyable than also having the workload of all of that scheduled content.

Megan Martin 24:39
I think another thing I would love to bring up is having expectations of what happens on certain days of launching. So I think like depending on there’s lots of different strategies for launching and you could launch two days, seven days, 14 days like any any amount of time you can imagine there’s always going to be a specific sequence of events no matter who you are, right? The first thing you need to think about and like have this expectation is like you’re gonna have activity at the front, right? Like people who know you who love you. Catan I call these are like low hanging fruit, like the people who are like, you put your name on something, I’m buying it. Like, those are the people who love you, those of you. Those are the people who are gonna buy it first. And so like day one, when you put something live, like there’s excitement in the air, right? Like, because people are purchasing and you’re like, Oh, this is so fun. I announced this, whatever. And then you get to like, mid launch,

Kat Schmoyer 25:36
and you’re freaking out and you’re eating ice cream and wine. And Vanya. Feels like no one’s ever gonna buy it. Yes.

Megan Martin 25:43
You’re like, let’s put this in the perspective of a week. So like, day one is going to be so exciting. Fun. People are buying day two, it’s like, trickle, like the trickle downward of like people less people are buying, but you’re still excited. Day three, you’re like, zero. Right? Nobody is buying. I didn’t hit my sales goal. We need to fix this entire launch. We need to change everything. That is the mentality, I swear doesn’t matter how many launches. I do that as a mentality that happens to me in the mid thing. It’s like, oh, no, I need to add something, I need to change something, I need to remove this email, I need to add three more on this day, like you’re going to be, you’re going to feel like you need to change everything, fight every urge to change everything. Right? Right. Right. Get a Vox bestie and be like, it’s like a woman in labor like, no, don’t let me do XYZ I think I didn’t want to do what I told you before I was in labor. Like, don’t let me change my lunch in the middle of this thing. Right, right. And, and then all of a sudden, if you continue to show up and put in the work, it’s like the magic happens on the last day, I don’t care what business owner you are, you are going to see the most sales on the last day it’s because

Kat Schmoyer 26:55
of urgency or it’s because of that final call, you will get you will likely again, you’ll start to see it in your own business, like with conversions, but in my own and in a lot of my clients. There are more sales on the last day than there are on the first day. Because urgency plays such a high role in selling, and people want it and so people all week long that have been on the fence, people who’ve been you know mulling it over thinking about it, whatever. Now all of a sudden, they’re being told they only have four hours left, or it’s locked down shut out for however long you’ve decided that you’re you don’t like your your pulling that card because it’s true, you are you’re completely shutting it down. And they want in and they will get in. So if your launch is going What if it has sold well, on day one, do not change the strategy mid launch, when you have zero if it didn’t sell well on day one, then maybe there is some thing to think through for the rest of launch. But if day one went well, which we’re all gonna hope day one goes really well for you. It’s your low hanging fruit people then just know, day two, three, sometimes a little bit of four feels real dicey. And then all of a sudden, on day five,

Megan Martin 28:03
you’ve hit your sales goals. Yeah, I mean, I could show you a graph of every single launch or sale or promotional event I’ve done in my business. And it’s like a nice little bump at the beginning and then kind of like sad little bumps in the middle. And then the final one is this like Everest style peak compared to day one, because it is true, everyone waits to the last day to buy, everyone waits to the last moment to make a decision. And I just want to encourage you right here right now like if you are looking at launching, keep showing up, keep your plan exactly as it is planned. And don’t change it. And get give yourself the grace to say I’m going to make it through the end of this launch exactly like I planned it. And then I’m going to look back and see what didn’t work, I’m not going to make decisions based on day three or mid launch whatever your time frame looks like for you. I’m not making decisions based on that. I’m making decisions based on the entire launch period. And then you can tweak and change and alter for the next go round based on the data that you have from your entire launch period.

Kat Schmoyer 29:11
And that’s like just another reason why I think it’s really helpful to get as much pre scheduled done before launch week as possible. Because there are a lot of emotions y’all you are feeling and the highs and the lows of a five day period. I know we’re joking about it. But if you’ve launched and you’re listening to this, I’m sure you’re nodding your head like it’s so real there are so many emotions in that week. And so I don’t want you to also have writing emails or you know doing things that could be pre scheduled out in that week. When if you are creating you know, an eight week runway for yourself for priming content for your people. You can also have mapped out your work to make sure that as much can be done ahead of time as possible. So then the week of you just got to feel those emotions and right Add them out and then keep showing up just like Megan said,

Megan Martin 30:03
All right, friends. That was a fun conversation and until next time, we’ll catch you in the next conversation.

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