In part 1 of my 2-part series on successful launch planning, we discussed the six key things to keep in mind when planning your launch year. In this installment, I am going to take you through the different types of launch frameworks, when to use them, and how to create your launch calendar.
So what are your main options when it comes to planning your launch calendar?
Typical launch frameworks:
- Once a year (annual) — One very big pre-launch and launch process with enrollment once-a-year only. The benefits of this framework are high urgency and exclusivity. However, this approach is not so great when you are starting out and your reach is limited. This framework works well for high-end mastermind programs and ePrograms once they have become highly sought-after and well known, such as Natalie’s Conquer Club.
- Twice a year (biannual) — Twice a year is a good strategy once you have gained momentum, have a proven program, and are doing reasonable-sized launches. It is also suitable if your eProgram duration is in on the longer end of the spectrum, such as 10-12 weeks, as it allows adequate time for planning and review and a proper launch process.
- Three times a year — This is a good strategy for a 6-8 week program. Running your program this regularly helps to build momentum over time without being flat out busy all year. You should see significant growth in enrollments over 12 months when running your eProgram this regularly; in fact, it’s what I recommend for the majority of my clients when they are starting out.
- Four times a year (Quarterly) — A quarterly approach is best for shorter ePrograms (around 4-6 weeks) and often suits moms in business who run their ePrograms during each school term or people whose ideal clients are moms. It does mean you are launching or running your program for almost the entire year and does not leave much time for reviewing and implementing improvements (or time off). I find that most clients who take this approach do it for around 12 months and then move to a less regular launch framework or set their program up as evergreen.
- Evergreen — Otherwise known as “enroll anytime,” your program is available throughout the year for purchase. However, this does not mean that you don’t need a launch calendar! Under this model you’ll need to have strategically planned promotions during the year such as a Christmas or New Year’s sale, price increase sale, Black Friday Sale (in the US), or other promotions relevant to your ideal customer and niche to drive sales.
So how should you actually plan your launch year?
- First, work through the questions that I laid out in part 1 of this series to get clear on the best times of year for you and your ideal clients.
- Second, review the launch frameworks above and decide how often you will launch.
- Now purchase a big calendar such this wall planner from Kikki-K.
- On the calendar, block out all your planned holidays using highlighters, whiteboard pens, or even colored sticky notes (use something that you can change easily as you will want to play around with dates).
- Next block out any time that is crazy-busy in your business such as tax time, seasonal peaks, or times of business travel and events.
- If you have kids and school holidays are an issue, block out these dates next.
- Then think about your ideal client and any time that is likely to be a bad time of year to launch or run your eProgram and consider blocking out these dates.
***By this stage, looking at your calendar you should give you a good sense of when your best times of year are to launch and run your eProgram.***
- Now plot out your live eProgram dates based on the launch framework you have chosen.
- Make sure you have allowed time before each program for your pre-launch and launch process (ideally 3-6 weeks).
- Try to allow time between each round to rest, review, plan, and implement improvements.
- Try to not have pre-launch & launch and program dates overlap (for example, promoting an eProgram while you have another running) as it’s best to be 100% focused on either promoting OR running your eProgram.
Don’t be surprised if it takes you a number of goes to decide on your final launch calendar. It will likely take some refining to find something you can live with.
It is also likely that it won’t be perfect. The aim is to plan out the best launch calendar possible to achieve your business goals, your desired lifestyle, your other commitments and your ideal client.
***Has this helped? How do you plan your launch calendar? Please share your best planning tips in a comment below!***
P.S. If you want to get access to my exact pre-launch and launch strategy — including suggested timeframes to help with planning your launch calendar — I’d love for you to join my free video training where I share the secrets of 5-figure eCourse launches (and much, much more).