Many of us start our blogs with the idea of selling to our reader base. Oftentimes, we already have great products in mind, and blogging has become a successful, fool-proof way of courting potential customers, without them being any wiser. All those potential customers know is that they love your blog and the valuable content you offer– so, of course, they’d gladly pay for some premium products!
Going into blogging and treating it as a business, that’s all it takes to make your blog stand out and begin selling products. One of the rewards is having a successful product launch.
How do you think the giants like Neil Patel, Noah Kagan and other influencers (in your niche) sell their products? Through a product launch. Want to do the same? You can! It doesn’t matter what you offer. It can be physical products, merchandise, services, courses or consultations. There’s nothing you can’t sell through blogging.
It’s simply a continuous cycle of smart work, before, during and after a product launch.
BEFORE the launch:
Everything you do to make your blog as relevant and addicting to your niche audience as it can be, from design to content, qualifies to your work toward a launch.
1. Build a list. Your list is everything.
Charm your existing list with personable emails, and nurture and keep building that list through content, promotion, engagement and irresistible opt-ins on your blog and on social media.
It’s so important to build a list first, and engage with them through your emails, blog and social media. Not the other way around. Sure, you might already have products you’re keen to sell, but don’t launch it “cold.” You’ll get a cold response. The first thing you need is a customer base already “warm” and ready to buy from you.
2. Build an irresistible offer for your list.
Rather than building a product only to need a different list for it, ensure that your list is full of people who love you and your current content! Think of these people as your friends. What do your friends need and want? Provide it for them.
Before you even got started, you probably had plenty of product ideas. Now, take the time to refine those ideas and narrow them down until you have several narrow focuses.
Narrow is always better than broad. For example, you don’t see Neil Patel launching a course on “blog marketing.” No, he picks a specific focus under that huge umbrella and offers something tailored exactly for it.
3. DON’T DISAPPEAR.
A bit dramatic to put this in all caps, but it happens so frequently. We get caught up in creating the product that we neglect the customers we’re targeting.
This is very important to remember, because you’ll be very busy. Take the time to gauge just how busy you’ll be, and then once you know exactly what you’ll need help with, outsource it. Hire writers, social media specialists, or a VA to stay on top of your daily to-do’s, etc. Create the illusion that you’re still there, and everywhere else, at the same time.
- Keep publishing high-quality posts on a regular schedule.
- Keep your social media platforms active.
- Keep emailing your list.
- Keep replying to blog comments, and keep up with correspondence with your readers and fellow bloggers.
On launch day, your fantastic product will have an equally fantastic audience, simply because you stayed true to maintaining engagement and building goodwill in your community.
4. What are you solving? Focus on that.
You’re probably really excited about your product’s features. I get it. But you’re the only one! Until your readers know what problems your product will solve, they won’t get excited about it.
You can release the details later, during the launch, or your readers/customers will look it up themselves, if they’re interested enough to want to. What’s more important is showing your readers how YOU can help THEM.
As you build excitement for your product, focus on what you’re solving. This is how you make people care: WHAT IS IT TO THEM? What would it solve for them? How is it related to them and their daily lives?
If you study commercials, you’ll see that they’re all about the people. A spankin’ new refrigerator with high-tech gadgetry doesn’t feature those impressive specs. Instead, it focuses on a mom missing her toddler’s spectacular basketball moves because she was too busy digging into her clunky, less-streamlined fridge.
Talk about your focus. Create a series of blog posts and emails. Warm up your audience to this topic and the need for what you’re about to provide. Plant the seed in their minds.
5. Talk to the right people, and get them talking about you and your product.
Your fellow bloggers would be a tremendous help in building buzz, a subtle buzz. Maybe consider submitting a guest post to one of their blogs, and spend time talking about the subject of your product and how it has helped you.
For the real buzz, approach influencers, directly. Submit even more guest posts. Remember, talk about your focus for now, and only mention your upcoming product. Take the time to approach the big fish — If you have something of value, they’ll want to get their hands on it, too, and will possibly be willing to announce it first. When it comes time to kickoff your launch, you’ve got influencer quotes and captions!
6. Give hints or teasers.
Some bloggers even hold a guessing game about what their product might be months before the actual launch. It generates excitement and interest, especially if the product has lots of positive and complementary quotes from major influencers.
DURING the launch:
7. Think revolutionary. Think big.
Your launch should be an event. Have a countdown on your blog. Treat it special, and everyone else will!
Have a little party! Prepare giveaways and freebies. Offer special discounts on your other existing offers in celebration of your newest product launch.
8. Take pre-orders. Create a soft launch.
Attach special exclusives to those pre-orders, and then later, offer different special exclusives to the first orders.
9. Make your customers want to show off your product, and make it easy and worthwhile for them to do so.
Make sure your packaging is pretty, whether it’s on the merchandise itself, or on the webpage. If you go for shabby and cheap, who’d show that off to their family and friends?
Make a hashtag ready for use on Instagram and Twitter. Offer referral bonuses or little prizes, to those who share your product and make you a sale.
10. Keep sharing on social media and through your email list.
BUT (and this is very impotent)… KEEP DELIVERING VALUE DURING and EVEN BEYOND YOUR LAUNCH. Keep publishing posts full of amazing content. Be sure you are engaging with your readers and fellow bloggers. The focus may be on your new baby, but show that business goes on, that you’re still there, offering value, even though you are busy and happy with your new product. Keep bubbling about it– not babbling. Share valuable things, like what it offers, what it solves… and hey, look at all these freebies!
AFTER the launch:
If you worked hard and played your cards right, you should be fairly happy with the results of your launch. BUT the work isn’t over. Now, you have a whole new set of tasks.
11. Listen to your customers and readers.
The data from your launch will begin slowly rolling in. Did you receive any reviews? If you didn’t, be sure to ask for some. Then thank your customers, listen to what they’ve suggested and then improve.
And then use those testimonials to ‘re-launch.’ “People are loving my product! Here’s what they said, and why you should try it, too!”
13. Ask for and motivate shares!
Get all of the good things about your product out there. You can also offer badges for exclusive extras, like Noah Kagan did with Mint.
14. Share the milestones.
Remember those influencers you approached before your launch? Now’s the time you’ll want to send a follow up email, sharing all of the good things being said about you and your product, and, most importantly, thank the influencers for their help. Hopefully without being asked they’ll share the news with their circle, but, in case they don’t, you should ask!
15. Look at your data.
Look at your data and test variations of the product ads for conversion. Find out what’s worked and what didn’t? Then, tweak it. Keep at this, because your market and your customers will always be changing!