Why Your New Program Launch Could Fail (And How to Prevent It)
By Susan Friesen
The importance of Personal Branding for Entrepreneurs
Thinking about doing a product or program launch to get some fast sales? Read this first!
Over the years I've worked with many entrepreneurs who are excited about getting going in their business. They've listened to many webinars and courses promising them riches with their next program launch and want to dive in to make money fast.
They are even being told they don't need a website; all they need is a landing page and auto-responder sequence and watch the money flow in!
The problem these "gurus" are not sharing during these hyped-up presentations is that just because it worked for them, doesn't mean it will work for everyone.
One of the reasons is personal branding.
Those that have successful program launches have already established themselves in the marketplace and have built trust and credibility with their followers.
And this is all done through their prior efforts in personal branding. Brand new entrepreneurs haven't had a chance to do that yet and this is where the disconnect lies.
A personal (or professional as the case may be) brand is very important for entrepreneurs to establish before diving into big-launch mode. This can be done in several ways but before I share that, here's 6 reasons why developing a personal brand is so important:
1. It establishes your identity in your industry. A brand will help you get noticed and remembered in a crowded space. In order for people to pay attention to what you have to say and purchase from you, you need to be considered established in your industry.
2. It helps you stand out from the crowd. Through your personal branding efforts, your "Unique Selling Proposition" is showcased. By doing this, you are giving your ideal clients a reason to purchase from you as opposed to your competitor.
3. It helps your business grow. Every time your brand is "presented" in front of your ideal target market, you become more and more memorable. People will start to think of you when they, or someone they know, are in need of your offerings.
4. It builds your credibility. Whether factual or perceived, a personal brand will help establish your credibility as someone who knows what they're talking about in your industry. When you get yourself in front of your ideal target market and showcase your knowledge, you will start to develop a "Know, Like and Trust" factor with that audience. People need to trust that you know your stuff in order to give you their money.
5. It saves you time. When running a business, time is money. So by establishing a good brand presence from the start, you will shorten the amount of time needed to be profitable. It will lessen your credibility-building time - all without you having to explain what you do and how you do it to everyone you meet!
6. It attracts your ideal clients. A good brand presence will eliminate you wading through all the people who are not your ideal client. An ideal client is someone who would be immediately attracted to you and your offerings because the branding has positioned you in a way that speaks to their needs and challenges and provides them with the confidence that you are the perfect solution they are seeking.
Let's talk about your failed webinar
Why did you get so few people signing up for your program or purchase your product? Because you hadn't established enough credibility yet with your followers.
You might be an incredible expert in your field, but if you didn't do the preliminary personal branding steps required first to establish yourself as an expert in their minds, then it's very hard to convince people you are worth investing in.
For brand new entrepreneurs, this is a challenge. It's often the chicken and egg conundrum. In order to create a brand, they need money. In order to make money, they need to launch their product, program or services. In order to launch those offerings, they need to establish a brand.
I get it.
And my advice is: before you do your next program launch, be prepared to invest in your business and personal branding first in order to expect any kind of significant results.
So before you go into launch mode after getting excited about hearing "how easy it is" to make money, here's a checklist of what you need to have in place first to establish your brand positioning. Here's also some tips on what you can do to ensure a more successful program launch the next time:
- Have a professionally designed logo
A logo establishes the foundation of your overall brand. It's what your target market will grow to recognize over time and will become the symbol of your business. One that they can trust.
Ensure you establish brand continuity and consistency by using this logo in everything you do from your social media accounts to your business card and all your promotional materials in between.
- Have a professionally designed and developed website
If your website is amateurish looking and/or doesn't convey the right message to the right people, then it is not ideally positioned for your target market. You want to draw in your potential customers, not turn them away thinking you're not the best solution for them. Worse yet is not having a website at all.
A website is a place for prospects to go and check you out before making a purchase decision. They need to determine your credibility, expertise and even your personality, especially if you provide a service. A landing page alone will have a hard time doing this.
- Get active on social media by getting in front of your ideal target market
Participate in discussions where you can provide something of value to help you get better positioned as an expert.
Also use social media to build excitement about your upcoming launch. Build anticipation before providing any details on the program itself.
- Establish a blog on your website
A blog facilitates your opportunity to write articles that showcase your expertise. Article writing also helps with content marketing strategies that will expand your brand reach to those who would not know of you otherwise.
- Make connections with industry leaders
Industry leaders who share the same target market as you (who aren't competitors) can be a valuable resource if they are willing to become a JV partner. If you're fortunate enough to know of someone who can do you this favour, jump at it!
By having others who have established brand credibility endorse you and your offering goes a long way in boosting your own credibility and authority in your industry.
Remember there has to be something in it for them with this approach - either they get a commission off of any sales they bring or they have an opportunity for list building included in the campaign.
- Get yourself booked for speaking engagements
Go into your community and seek out opportunities for free talks in front of your target audience. Or find Podcast shows, webinars, and other interviews opportunities where you can share your message with your target audience.
- Hold a free webinar or teleseminar
Offering something for free before you start selling provides an opportunity to showcase your expertise. Consider it a "try before you buy" concept.
If your webinar presentation is exciting and enticing enough, you could win over people to buy even if they didn't know who you were previous.
And if a webinar is too much, you could do a free video series or even create a powerful, value-driven free giveaway. By the way, all of these possibilities can also be a list-building tool long after your initial launch.
Of course, aside from lacking personal branding, there are multiple other reasons why a product or program launch can fail but I'll save that for another article.
If you are one of those that has established your personal brand and are ready for to do a program launch but need help with strategy and implementation, let us know - we can certainly help in all areas needed.
About The Author
Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.
Visit http://www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".
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