Have you ever wondered what actually goes on behind-the-scenes in a successful launch? What about selling programs for over $1,000 per person?


This episode is for you!


I’m pulling back the curtain on the multiple launches of my signature program, Scale Your Side Hustle. I’m sharing the best of the best in terms of what’s worked with each launch. No single launch was the same, so I’m sharing the best of each of them!


This is for you if…


  • You want an INSIDE LOOK at the sales behind a program that’s generated multiple five-figures in revenue.
  • You’re curious about what’s working in online marketing now (it changes often)!
  • You’re preparing a launch of your own.


Tune in to this episode to hear what it took behind the scenes to create my most successful launch yet.
Podcast Episode  

Facebook Live Replay 

Transcript of Episode

Leah Gervais:  

Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I’m your host, Leah and today I’m talking about the behind the scenes of the launches I’ve done of my most successful program, Scale Your Side Hustle. And I want to take you behind the scenes, all the different ways I’ve launched it because I never launched it once the same way. So you basically get to go into my brain and go into all of my trial and error and learn what worked and what didn’t without you having to have the flops that I did when I was doing some of it and making some mistakes and things like that. 


So last week… on last week’s podcast episode, I talked about a failed launch that I have and fails is, you know, a rough word. I definitely encourage you guys to go listen to that if you want to hear how I got through that. And maybe if you’ve had something happen to you where you felt like you didn’t do such a good job or that you didn’t do as well as you should, that one is for you. And today we’re gonna talk about the flip side of it. We’re going to talk about some of the most successful launches I’ve had, what works really well in launching and what I wish I would’ve known. 


So I guess I’m going to start this actually with what I wish I would’ve known. And that is because I want to give you advice. If you are just starting to launch something or if you are planning it or you are considering doing it later on, launching to be clear is when there is a closed sense of urgency when your audience should buy something from you. So typically it’s when you are launching something new. But in my examples scale your side hustle. I launched it several times, uh, after it was new because I wanted it to be a group that was open and closed. I didn’t want it to be people just coming in and going out anytime. I really wanted everyone to go through the material together. So every time I launched it, it was just because the urgency was that the door was going to close, the cart was going to close and they wouldn’t be able to join until the next cohort. Now I’m not running it again. So the big urgency last time was that this was going to be the last time, but for the most part it was just that the urgency was to get in this cohort so you can get moving faster. 


However, it could also be that you’re launching something because you’ve upgraded it or because it’s brand new or because you want to raise the price after a little while, whatever the case is, your door with that certain sense of urgency is limited… It’s open for a limited amount of time. So either the price is going to go up, the door is going to close. Um, it’s going to change. You’re not going to get in a cohort. It’s going to be done for forever. You know, you get to decide that. I’m just trying to illustrate the point here that launching something is when you are doing something in a really, you know, big way because there is urgency and there is a time crunch and there are reasons people need to get in during that time and launches can be really exciting. They’re really fun ways because of the ways I’m going out. Like when you launch it, um, for you to connect with your audience in ways you might not usually do. They also can be fun for you as a business owner because you really see the fruits of your labor started to pay off. 


They can also be pretty exhausting. They do take a lot of energy both beforehand and during them because you kind of need to be on call as people are asking you questions about your product and service and they’re trying to decide if they want to buy from you. But for the most part, I think they’re really great things for businesses. You’ll learn so much about your audience and what they respond to and you also can of course get a pretty big cash injection if you are only allowing people to buy something in a small allocated time frame. 


So, knowing that where I would really start here and also talk about what I did wrong and what I think most people do wrong is start small. And I think that this is frustrating because I think a lot of people here launching and they hear about some of these really successful launches on social media that have like, you know that make multiple six figures in a few days or whatever and they have really sophisticated strategies behind them. They have intensive Facebook ads going, they have different campaigns for Facebook ads going. They have tons and tons of emails queued up and with different triggers depending on if people actually look at the sales page or not for them to get a different email. They have lots and lots of discovery calls with their potential customers. They might have, you know, a big rush beforehand. So people are really excited about it. It can seem like in order to have a successful launch, you need to have all those things and I really think that that’s where people get bogged down and do it wrong. So let me make this a bit less cryptic. If you are just starting out and it’s your first launch or something like that, I would focus on one strategy to get people in the program, in the course, in the door, whatever it is, and really, really do that right and not really focus on other things. 


So specifically my very first launch I ever did, I didn’t know how to use Facebook ads at the time. I adjusted it with email and I just really, really focused on email and that’s okay. No, I didn’t make several hundred thousand dollars but that’s okay because that’s not where I was at. I didn’t have a big enough audience to even do that anyway. So where people go wrong is they have an audience of maybe 500 people on their email list or a thousand people on their email list. And while they’re launching, they think that they need to be sending multiple emails per day and also doing Facebook ads and also doing Instagram ads and also doing a webinar every day and also doing a challenge. And also, you know, opening up all these discovery calls and with that audience really you just need to tend to them as much as possible and they’re not going to need to be all those different places at that size. So I would recommend choosing one or two strategies and really honing in on it and then expanding, but only as your audience expands. 


Which brings me to my second takeaway and biggest suggestion, which is that you should always be growing your email list in preparation of a launch. A lot of business coaches and strategists will tell you that if you know you’re going to launch something then maybe a month before or so, you should start growing your email list in accordance with who will like the type of thing you’re launching. This makes sense, right? So let’s take scale your side hustle as an example. If I were launching it, then someone might tell me a month before I should grow my email list with side hustlers. So whether that means, oh my God, I’m so sorry you guys. I’ve power tools in the apartment above me. Whether that means I’m doing a bunch of Webinars, about side hustling or creating a checklist of outside hustling whenever it is like going to side hustle events, just getting as many people that are side hustlers on my email list to as possible so that when I wanted to kill their side hustle, they are there and ready to go. 


So this is pretty good advice, but I take it a step further and I think this is why Scale Your Side Hustle has been so successful. I’m always growing my email list in accordance with something that could be launching 365 days a year. I am spending money on how I can grow it. And that’s because it is the investment that pays for itself over and over again. So that’s sort of mistake. But tip number two is constantly be growing your list in accordance with something you could be launching later on so that your email list is pretty much already prepped and ready to go. And with that, don’t necessarily just end up thinking about how you can attract people via the optin or whatever it is that you’re getting them on your list with. That will hopefully be similar to your launch. But think about how you can get them excited about your launch while they’re just on your list before they even know about it. 


Again, I’m going to pull Scale Your Side Hustle in  that’s what this whole episode is about. So one thing that I did that in between scalar side hustle that I think helped a lot is I talked about it a lot. I talked about it all the time, even when it was running, even when the doors weren’t open, even when they had already closed, whatever it was. I was always sharing wins of my side hustle success students on social media. And I was always talking about how, you know, great that program is and, and how far my alum had come and all the amazing things they were doing with their lives. And that’s because I was really proud of it. And I wanted, you know, my audience to know that there are results that come with working with me, if that’s what you’re ready to do. 


And I honestly got inspired by this by, I can’t like credit knowing how to do this by myself. Uh, I was listening to Rachel Hollis who wrote Girl Wash Your Face podcasts at the end of 2018 and she was recapping the best thing she did about the best thing she did in 2019 and the worst. But one of the best things she said she did was you all probably know the book or wash your face. And so she released that and it was one of, I think it was like the number two most sold book of 2018. It did crazy crazy. Well. Um, she sold so many copies and she said the reason she was able to sell that many copies was because she never stopped talking about it. Not once. Her social media posts once or twice a week had a quote from Girl Wash Your Face. 


You know, the interviews that she did, she always were talking, was talking about excerpts from her book. She was constantly on lives talking about Girl Wash Your Face. And she said it’s because she was so proud of the book that she had written. Why put the burden on herself to like make it yesterday’s news and have to come up with something else really quickly and instead keep talking about it. So people that hadn’t quite read it yet still, you know, have the chance to find out about it and she really thinks that that’s what made it sell as many as it did. And I, when I heard that, I was like, that’s so obvious, but it’s so smart. And you know, she was saying how even she was in like a round table of other really successful authors and they were all saying how they would promote it for like three weeks, their books and then kind of chill because they thought people would get tired of them promoting it and she was like no, like this is my heart and soul. 


This is my pride and joy. I am going to, I don’t care if people are tired of me promoting it. I would rather risk people get annoyed with me over promoting it. Then risk people not even knowing about it because I didn’t even say anything about it and that’s exactly how I like that just clicked when I heard that of Scale Your Side Hustle, I didn’t care if you know people that follow me on Instagram or like okay I’ve heard enough about your program. I was more concerned with people not knowing about scalers side hustle, feeling like they were stuck in a nine to five job wondering why they weren’t making any money dog sitting or petting or whatever, feeling like they knew they wanted to leave. And they wanted to work for themselves and they wanted to pursue all these big dreams and not knowing how, and not knowing that there was a program out there that could help them do that because I didn’t tell them. That was way more concerning to me. So that brings me to tip number three and I’m just going to recap the tips because I realized I’ve been very much in a narrative with all of this advice.


So that was tip number three, which was keep talking about your product and service in between launches before launches, after launches, during launches. You really want to make this as organic as possible and there’s nothing natural about coming out of the woodwork and sharing that you have this amazing product or service that you haven’t mentioned for several months, like that’s a little bit weird. I would be skeptical of that. It would make it seem a bit salesy to me. Whereas if you have constantly talked about how great this is and why your students are getting great results and why you love it so much and how it’s changed your business and how it’s changing other people’s, whatever you know your niche is, whether it’s their life because you’re a life coach or whether it’s fashion because you’re a fashion blogger, like whatever it is. The more you are talking about it in between, the more natural it’s going to feel when you do launch it. That was tip three. 


Tip number two was build your email list all the time. This also isn’t just about a prelaunch thing. You should be prioritizing your email list and if you’re watching this and you are thinking that you want to start with a launch of something because you need to make money quickly. This happens to me all the time. Scale Your Side Hustle students are other side hustle students will just come in and they’ll be like, I’m going to sell this program, product or service. And I love how ambitious they are and I love that they already know what they want to sell and then it, but it begs the question, who are you selling it to? Literally, who are you going to sell it to? 


You have to build an email list and an audience. So even if you are frustrated with me saying that right now, because you just want to make money right away, which I totally get, I have no judgment around that. Just know that a month or two of investing your time and money into growing an audience and a list will pay off exponentially. You will in a matter of six months, make way more total than you would have if you would’ve just pushed to sell something early on with no one to actually launch it to. And then the first point or the, yeah, the first point I went backwards was to focus small focus, small focus on where you’re at and what you’re good at and then you’ll expand and I just want to keep expanding off of that a little bit, which we’re going to come to point number four. 


Sorry you guys, I know this is kind of bouncing around but I just want to share it in a really natural way. Point number four and that tip number four about launching that I think people miss is that they try to cast the net too wide in terms of who they’re selling it to. At the end of the day, you know, we can run our businesses online and that’s great. That gives you location independence. That means you can work from wherever. Like I’m all about that. You guys know how much I love to travel and that I can work from my apartment or the beach or wherever. And it’s really powerful that you can access pretty much anyone with an email or a computer and see if they would be a good client or customer for you. And because of those two things, it can be somewhat easy to forget that at the end of the day, the people that are on the other side of those computer screens are also just human. 


And I think sometimes people get caught up in the sexiness of funnels and ads and conversions and statistics and um, they lose the human touch with it. And the truth is there is no marketing funnel that is going to sell out your launch if you miss this component, which is that you’re not letting the people that want to buy from you feel and be heard as humans that want to buy from you. And so this is a really simple thing to fix. It’s just something that’s really overlooked. And that is to just talk to your audience a little bit more. You know, if you have an email list, email them and ask them to email you back. Do discovery calls, do connection calls, message people on Instagram. And this is one thing that I want to point out. A vascular side hustle that my surprise you a little bit with each launch of it. 


The actual people enrolled didn’t grow all that much with each one. And I am saying that that might be surprising because I think a lot of people would probably say you know the first time around your audience is smaller. You only get a certain amount and near the end you’re getting like several, tens, twenties whatever thirties forties of people. And I am getting more than 10 I want to be clear but it’s not like I have, you know, 30 40 people in it and that is by design and that is because I came back to this very piece about treating people more like people and in doing so I started talking to people that were interested in scalar side hustle, you know? Yes. I’ll send out an email about it and if people are interested, usually I’ll hop on the phone with them or I will email them back and forth and if they’re not a good fit for it, then I advise them to do something different first. 


Whether that’s because they’re too advanced, they might be a good fit for my mastermind or one-on-one work or maybe they just aren’t in a place where they’re ready to go all in and they are just really confused. They would be probably a better fit for my beginner program. Start your side hustle. So in doing, in paying more attention to the person touch, um, I’ve been able to curate the group a little bit more and you might be thinking, well, isn’t that stopping you from getting more people in? Couldn’t he be making more money? Yes I could. Yes, I technically could. However, I have learned and seen that one of the big reasons people love my programs and they get such good results and they come back to them time and time again. People will often either do them again or they’ll want to do a different their next level with me, it’s because of the community itself and how close everyone gets within these cohorts. 


So I view it as an investment in my business and also my job as a leader and as a mentor to entrepreneurs to bring together a really cohesive group. And that’s not going to happen if it’s just a free for all. So I know that this is not going to apply to everyone because not everyone watching this is going to be doing um, a group program launch or even a service launch. But my point is get back to the personal connection of your audience. And when you do, you will be able to talk to them in a really organic way that doesn’t feel like selling it all because you’ll be able to tell them if what you have to offer is a good fit for them. And Trust me, you are going to have a much better time converting them if you like, have a conversation with them and tell them why you think this is a good fit versus you having some fancy Facebook ad. 


And that’s for a couple of reasons. One, people are going to actually believe that you’ve listened to them and that you know what you’re talking about. You know, I love inviting people into scalar side hustle on my mastermind because it really comes from a place of me knowing that this could be a really exciting thing for them. Um, and people feel that and they appreciate that, especially in entrepreneurship where people feel like a lot of people don’t know what they’re going through. And so if you’re able to hear them out and identify how you could get them to the next level that is meaningful and impactful. Number two, know I just lost my train of thought. 


People like it because while it’s not necessarily people like it, because this is also safer for you because if people are blindly buying into your things, then the likelihood of them requesting a refund is a lot higher and the likelihood of them not paying their payments if they’re on a payment plan also a lot higher or the likelihood of them not being happy with it or whatever is also higher. And this isn’t because there’s anything wrong with your program or product or service, but again, you haven’t actually taken the time to diagnose whether or not this is a good fit for them. So the likelihood that it’s just not a perfect fit is higher. It’s simple as that. It’s no one’s fault. It’s not your fault, it’s not their fault. But as a business owner, if you can minimize the amount of people that are unhappy with your program’s not paying for your programs, you know those are really fatal mistakes. 


Some of the time that they can really bring businesses down, the better off you’re going to be. So it is worth going the extra mile. And again, this comes back to my first point about starting small. This point about not casting your net too wide, find a few fish, literally pick them out. In fact, I would recommend not even launching a program unless you specifically a few people in mind in your audience that you think would be a good fit for it. No, they won’t always buy it and that’s okay. But you’ll have a much greater appreciation and understanding of what you need to do to make this happen and whether or not people actually move forward with it. If you can already name a few people that probably would, and if you can’t, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch. 


It just means you might want to send out a few emails to get to know your audience a little bit better. And so with Scalar, your side hustle, that’s been one of the best parts of it is me getting to know my audience over time and really confidently being able to say, you know, I’ve seen you try to build your side hustle. I’ve seen you not do it as quickly as you want. I’ve seen you not move forward while the last round of scalar. Your side hustle has already gotten to this, you know, really great place. Don’t you want to stop staying stuck? And that is such a different approach than sending a generic season sales email where no one necessarily feels heard. Okay. Those are my biggest tips on launching. And now I want to share with you my three launch phases. And this is going to be pretty generic, but I do think this is one of the pieces of advice that I would give to pretty much anyone launching. 


So I started this episode by saying that no two launches are like, no two businesses are like honestly you guys, if you want help with a launch, which I do not recommend doing your first on your own, this is one of the cases where I would really, really recommend hiring a strategist, a business coach, a mentor or something like that just because there are certain things that you can learn from like youtube videos or e-courses or books, um, that are somewhat just how to say this I don’t think is one of them because so much of launching is about testing and you need someone who’s going to be able to help you read the results and quickly so that you can keep pivoting and actually have a successful launch. Let me take a sip of water and then we’ll go through the phases. All that said, these three phases I do think are a pretty good rule of thumb for anyone launching anything. 


The first phase is the planning phase, which you can probably guess. So I am, I would not be able to do any launch if I did not have pretty much the whole month planned out beforehand to really review everything that needs to go out. So let’s think about this a bit. If you have an online business, then you probably already know how key consistency is in it. And that probably means you’re already sending out a newsletter once a week. You’re probably also maybe doing a blog post once a week. You’d probably post on social media a few times a week. Maybe you do a youtube video, you know, whatever it is for you. You have your kind of means of marketing and content and you can’t stop doing those just because you’re launching. So what do you do? You have to somehow do both. And this is where bashing your launch content really comes in handy. 


So just to be specific, usually what this would look like for me is I would consider a launch of scalar side hustle one month, um, one four months. And the doors are only open for about five or seven days. No one sees it as a month, but from my end and how I run my business, it’s about a month. So the first two weeks are really about planning and prepping and getting things going so that the last two weeks can be really executed. So let me give you the overview of the three phases first and then I’ll go dive through and dissect where you need to be paying attention in each one. Phase one is the planning. This as a rule of thumb, I would give about two weeks prepping, planning, batching. Yeah. Phase two is promoting and getting excited. Now, this is important because this is not usually when you’re actually selling, so the doors aren’t usually open quite yet. 


This isn’t necessarily when the purchases are happening. This is when you’re getting your audience excited about what you’re going to offer, and you’re educating them and you’re informing them. You’re showing that you’re an expert in whatever it is that you’re about to sell. You’re growing your audience, you’re engaging with your audience, you’re talking to your audience. So we’ll call this the, um, I guess educational phase or the excitement phase. I like excitement phase. So let’s, let’s be excited. And then you have your third phase, which is the actual launch when things, when the doors are actually open and people are actually registering. So when, let’s look at the middle part too, one of the things that I would first decide is what you’re going to do to get your audience excited. Some very popular methods are to do a challenge for your audience, um, which we can talk a bit more about to do Webinar s or one webinar to do, um, a challenge via pdf of sorts to do a pop up Facebook group to do a giveaway to make a new optin. 


There’s a couple of different options. Um, and so you want to focus on what you think is going to get your audience most excited for whatever it is that you’re launching the following week. And most excited means that they’re going to really love whatever you’re putting out there. But it also means they’re going to get excited about you. So how can you connect with them and ask them questions and get to know them and get back to that human connection that I was just talking about. This is my favorite part of the whole process is this part when I’m actually hearing from people what, what do they want out of aside? How so? Like no, it’s so inspiring to hear people’s big visions and that’s really happening during this phase. So the prep and planning isn’t just about the launch itself, it’s also getting your audience ready for that phase. 


So specifically if you are going to do a challenge or a pop up Facebook group or a checklist or any sort of piece of content that is going to be the main piece, still hours as stones for that excitement phase, then you want to spend the two weeks before either running Facebook ads to get them into the Webinar, into the Facebook group, into the checklist or whatever. I’m sending emails to them about it, running it on social media, et Cetera. All of the above really. But it is about getting as many people into the excitement funnel as possible. And you know that part of the funnel will look different depending on the actual way you’re doing this. You won’t, if it’s a Facebook group, you want to get as many people into that group. If it’s a checklist, you want to get as many people signed up for that checklist. 


If it’s a Webinar or you want to get as many people on the Webinar and signed up, you get the picture. So that’s why those first two are really important. Um, and I think this is another thing people miss, is they just focus on getting the sales out there. And it’s like people don’t want to just be sold to, they need to know why you’re good to buy from, why they should care about this, what it even is, is it even going to help them? Do you even know who they are? So that excitement phase is almost more important than the actual launching because it’s where you get through so many of that, of those, you know, unknowns or questions or barriers really quickly during that planning phase. You’re also planning for indeed the launch. So this means making a sales page. This means I’m creating emails so that when it’s actually launched time, they’re already ready to go out because you’re not going to have time to do them. 


This is also about scheduling out social media posts, you know, doing ads in advance for the sales themselves. Whatever you are wanting to do, which as I mentioned, you don’t need to do all of those, but whatever, once you are wanting to do, I’d recommend having them done before the excitement phase. Then you’re in Stage three where you actually have the doors open. This is all about you being on call for your audience. So this is all about you having open schedules so that you can, you know, take their Q and. A. This is, excuse me, all about you having the capacity to email them back or email them if you see them going on the sales page, but not actually buying or doing extra webinar if need be or doing discovery calls. Uh, whatever is going to actually end up serving you and your audience. 


That’s what you need to be focused on. And then your doors will close, your launch will end and hopefully you’ll be really happy with the amount of people that are in there. So those are my three phases. One is preparation, two is getting people excited and three is launching. I hope that this is helpful to you guys. I’m going to pause for a second. I know some of you have been on here live. Let me know if you have questions. Is this helpful? Let me know if you’ve ever launched anything. I’m going to take a sip of water and let you guys ask any questions that you might have. You guys that made me a bit tired. Just going through and watching is no joke. 

But I hope that this somewhat demystified it for you because I remember feeling like unless I had an outsource Facebook ads manager and you know, a copywriter and someone to design my sales page, that I’d never really get it. And it’s just not true. It’s just about, you know, understanding what you can learn from it, having guidance and knowing that at the end of the day, these people are only humans. And how you can connect to their humanity. If you guys ever do have questions about launching, just email me at help@urbantwentysomething.com and I will be happy to answer, but hopefully you found this helpful and hopefully you’re happy with your next launch.

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