program launch

5 Strategies to Turn Around a Program Launch That Isn’t Working

Latest posts by Ellie Swift (see all)

If you’re a few days into your program launch and you’re disappointed by lack of results, don’t waste your time by wallowing in what you think is failure. Before diving into these five steps, first recognize that no matter the situation, your launch is not a failure. I like to tell my clients that every “no” is just one step closer to that “yes.”  So, even if your launch hasn’t quite lived up to the goal you set out to achieve, there will always be lessons to take from the experience. 

That said, the best thing you can do is stay in the energy of your program launch and pivot as much as possible to turn things around. You can right the ship. Here’s how: 

Adopt the right mindset 

The reality is, the launch isn’t a failure, especially if it’s not over yet. I coach all my clients to adopt and maintain a “CEO mindset,” which is the first step to turn around your program launch. Put your CEO hat on, and remember this is business. It doesn’t reflect on you personally. 

When I first launched “The Swift Marketing Mastermind,” I had locked in my first four clients super fast after doing outreach to personal contacts and people who had shown interest in the program previously. I was so excited and figured the rest of the launch would go as smoothly.

It didn’t. I went the first four days of the public launch without a single sale. I was devastated, but then I realized that while my feelings were valid, I also needed to look at what I could actually change to get better results. A true CEO is able to separate herself from her business so she can show up authentically and objectively and make the best possible decisions for the business. 

Look at your launch through a new lens

I call this “leaning into curiosity.” So often, I see launches that can be turned around with a few small tweaks. Ask yourself: why are people saying no? What can I do to change that? 

Some other questions to consider: Am I using messaging that I know will connect me with potential clients? No matter what you’re launching, you will come up against objections. The most common ones that come up are time, money and readiness. Evaluate if there are other objections (i.e., is there a particular thing that people always ask about?) Make sure you are speaking to these objections and questions with your messaging.

No one is going to have 100% success at launches every time. A huge element for future success is being able to determine what isn’t working. 

Create urgency

Create an “early bird” incentive, either a price point or an add-on service or feature to those who buy immediately. While many times this is provided at the beginning of a launch, you may also choose to add in the addition of a mid-launch bonus, too. This could include offering a bonus masterclass, workbook or video to those who “purchase in the next 48 hours.” You’ll also have to offer the same incentive to those who have already made their purchase. 

When creating a bonus, remember it can’t be something that’s essential to the outcome of a program, but it does need to still be enticing. It might be relevant to questions or objections you are getting. For example, if your program focuses on how to create online revenue for your business, you might create a bonus masterclass on steps for how to create and establish your business. This might entice those who are interested in the course but haven’t yet created their business. Make sure you set a clear start and deadline for any special offer. 

Set up direct conversations with your ideal clients

I’m a huge fan of getting people onto a phone call. Often, when a launch isn’t successful, a big problem is there’s no two-way dialogue. You need to be in these conversations in order to know what tweaks you need to make. It’s really important to have conversations to listen to and understand what your ideal client wants in order to provide value. After all, a sale should be mutually beneficial: you provide the exact thing your potential client is looking for. They get what they want, and you get the sale. 

Decide you are all in, no matter what

It’s great to recognize a not-so-successful launch as a learning opportunity. But if you get too far ahead of yourself by thinking beyond the launch and planning for the future, it’s easy to “check out,” so to speak, and miss out on the chance to create success in the current moment. Stay in your program launch. Stay all in. Give it the energy it deserves before moving on to your next initiative. 

Originally published Sept. 30, 2021. 

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