Before you go and launch your offer with full force, you should first validate the idea by pre-selling it and having hot leads ready to buy as soon as it goes live.
When I was going to launch Pin with Purpose last year, I was able to pre-sell 5 spots of my offer to quickly infuse cash into my business. It also skyrocketed my confidence and proved that my offer was filling the gap in the marketplace and was badly needed.
A key mistake I see most entrepreneurs make is they create the course before someone buys it.
What if no one buys? This is wasting time.
I’m going to share behind the scenes of how I first pre-sold my course, Pin with Purpose, then continued to scale each launch.
First Online Course Launch: September 2017 with a Webinar
I literally just started my new business, She’s Making an Impact, at the end of August 2017. While I had over 100,000 people following me on social media, NONE of them were for business advice (my first business was in the fitness space).
So it was literally like starting from square 1. New blog, new email list, new everything.
I had zero expectations for my first launch, except maybe to get a few people to buy so I could create the course and have some great testimonials.
I pre-sold the course (meaning that the course wasn’t created yet) with a webinar.
I didn’t have an ad budget (new business and I hate debt) so I private messaged anyone I knew was an entrepreneur and invited them to my webinar.
With the pre-sell, I told them that they would get access to me as they learned my Pinterest strategies for 6 weeks, and they would get a discounted rate on the course.
I sold the course for $147 and 7 people bought, earning $1029.
I was insanely happy about that since:
- it was a brand new baby business and
- I didn’t even have the course yet.
It was like I had magically earned money and unlocked a secret code: pre-selling.
After I sold the course, I worked my tail off to over deliver to those first 7 people so they had an amazing experience with me.
Takeaways from my first launch:
- Get scrappy! Even if you don’t have an ad budget, you know people! Ask if they know people they can invite to your launch (webinar/challenge/etc).
- Even if you only have ONE person who buys—treat that person like gold! One person can bring you more people!!
2nd Online Course Launch: December 2017 with a 5 Day Challenge
Since the first launch of Pin with Purpose, I had some amazing testimonials from the course and had built up more belief in the course and in myself.
I decided that I wanted this course to be the best Pinterest course on the market, and I really needed to up my game for this next launch.
So I invested in a copywriter and designer to create my sales page and write copy for the challenge (they did the opt-in page, thank you page, sales page, nurture sequence, challenge sequence, and sales sequence).
Total investment for them was $3,200.
It was a wee bit scary making that big of an investment, but I also was thinking long term and knew that I would be relaunching this course over and over again.
Also, keep in mind that I was making money from other sources, not just my launches. I had private clients, another course that was selling evergreen (on autopilot), I was managing other people’s Pinterest accounts, and my fitness business was still bringing in revenue.
So again, I didn’t go into debt with this investment, but I wasn’t taking much profit from my business either.
For this launch, I was able to get on a few podcasts right before my challenge which helped me get 200 people enrolled in the challenge.
I dabbled a bit in Facebook ads but had NO CLUE what I was doing and didn’t want to waste a ton of money.
With those 200 people, I had 11 people buy at $497, earning $5467.
Conversion rate: 5.5% (11/200 x 100)
(we will talk more about conversion rates below–this is super important)
I was honestly happy with that because typical conversion rates for a challenge are between 1-5%. I didn’t have huge expectations for this launch, I just wanted to make my money back from investing in the copywriter/designer, get more testimonials, and learn from my mistakes (because I was sure to make many lol) so I could have more success moving forward.
3rd Online Course Launch: April 2018 with a 5 Day Challenge
The third time I launched Pin with Purpose, I knew I wanted to step it up and play bigger.
I did the math and figured out what I would make if I hired a Facebook ads strategist and invested more in this challenge.
This was my thought process, so you don’t think I’m insane haha.
Typical cost per lead for a challenge is $3-6. If I spent $10,000 on Facebook ads, I could get about 2,000 people registered for the challenge.
I knew I converted at 5.5% last time, so even if I sucked this time and only converted at 1%, I would still be profitable.
I ended up hiring a Facebook ads strategist (for $2,000/month) and spending $10,000 on ads.
I was offering a 6-week group coaching program for $497 early bird, then $597, and VIP for $997, then $1197.
We ended up getting about 1,800 people in the challenge, at $6/lead.
Again, for this launch, I did a 5-day challenge (I love challenges and how close I feel with my community–def my fave way to launch).
I invested a ton of time and effort into this challenge, even though I had a team supporting me (we have added an executive assistant and social media manager since the last launch).
Every day of the challenge, I engaged as much as humanly possible. I tried to send personal messages to people as they joined (Facebook didn’t like that and blocked me for a bit haha).
I over-delivered on content, and ended up spending about an hour per day on live answering questions and helping the participants.
I really showed UP and gave it my all.
By day two, I had people tell me they didn’t know what I was selling on Friday but they were planning on buying because they were excited to work with me more and learn more from me.
This is a HUGE takeaway—don’t be afraid to give away content for free. It’s how you can build trust a relationship with your audience.
Funny notes about the challenge:
I was at my parent’s house and had FOUR dogs with us (we were about to move to France and we had our two dogs, plus their two dogs.) So I had to hide in their wine cellar because the dogs were barking all the time. I also was in a boot with a stress fracture, AND had just got my brows microbladed—so I looked INSANE the first few days of the challenge.
Oh, and we were moving to France the following week.
There is no good time to launch lol, just do it.
The challenge ended up converting at 5% and we brought in $49,029 in 5 days.
Lessons learned from this challenge:
- Be flexible and listen to your people. While I was on day 5 of the challenge and telling them about the course and what was included, I had a few people say they wanted to do it, but couldn’t afford the payment plan ($197 X 3), so we created a new payment plan on the spot so they only had to pay $97/month.
Some people might say that’s stupid that I did that, but I truly believe in Pin with Purpose and KNOW that it’s going to help people move their business forward. So if I could make it more accessible for them so it’s a no-brainer, I’m gonna do it.
- Think BIGGER. There is so much potential in the online space!! I never in my wildest dreams thought I could more than DOUBLE my 2013 annual income in just 5 days, but I did it.
- INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS. Like I said, I invested a ton back into my business. I lived super simply so I could afford a coach, a copywriter, and then a Facebook ads strategist.
Now, keep in mind that I used to do it ALL myself.
I was telling my mom about how we added a Facebook ads strategist to the team and she was like wait a second—you used to do it all yourself. Now you have some doing your Facebook ads, editing your podcast, responding to emails…what do YOU do?!
I said I have three-hour lunches in France with my friends.
I KID. I still work hard, but I’m able to work smarter AND have a life.