If you’re good at what you do, then launching your business never ends. This might sound daunting at first, but actually trivial one-off launch days are the problem. The point of launching is growing your community. How in the world could that be accomplished in just one day? Launching is a lifestyle, not a one-time calendar commitment.
Let’s define it. What is a traditional launch?
A launch is the grand opening of part of your small business, like a new subscription. It’s an announcement with pomp and circumstance that's often accompanied by getting loud in newsletters and on social media. Many times, people pair it with events and/or ad buys to push consumers where they want them. It’s a big affair that takes a lot of scheduling and planning, and in this small business expert’s opinion, it’s not worth it.
Let’s take back the narrative of the launch
Since launching is meant to be something that propels your business forward, let’s get comfortable with it being an ongoing process. Snake-oil-salesmen masquerading as marketing mavens or launch gurus or whatever-the-hell they call themselves these days lied to you. Launching is not a one day activity, that's ridiculous. How could it be? How could the success and growth of your big idea depend on one day. You’re not Santa Claus. Hard work is hard. It takes time, and it’s worth it.
Launching a subscription plan
Your new subscription plan takes simple steps, that last over weeks and months... and hopefully beyond. Here is a quick breakdown of spreading out this creative and important work over time, relieving pressure from one day:
-Decide what you're excited to offer over and over again
-Poll your existing core clients to see what they'd love to subscribe to
-Launch the first iteration of your subscription plan over multiple newsletters, social posts, direct messages and signage at your shop (if you have one)
-Think holistically about how to add to your subscription plans overtime, to be more than simply subscribe-and-save and truly grow and engage your community
Homework is an entrepreneur's homie
You can of course still be excited about the first day of a launch. Parts of them are necessary, and you should do them as well as possible. But it’s just the start of the race, so don’t overdo it. Things like paid ads and huge events are expensive and exhausting. More importantly, they’re not necessarily productive. Focus on the homework needed to succeed day after day. Be thoughtful about who you want to be and how you want to run your business, not just how you want to present yourself during a launch.
The continuous homework in question is reworking your offerings to serve and grow your most engaged community. Smart businesses keep going back to these questions:
-Are you offering something that continues to bring you joy?
-Are you offering something that makes sense for your customers (price, features, vibe)?
-Are you marketing it to exactly the right people, the kind you want to serve month after month?
If yes, then you’re on the right track, but it never hurts to go back and reevaluate at regular junctures. Specifically redo this homework when you’re ready to take it up a notch, you can feel your community shifting, or it’s simply been a minute since you’ve been thoughtful about your day to day.
Never measure your success or worth on one day of metrics
Applying too much pressure to one day and it not going as planned will lead to depletion and defeat. The brutal truth is most launches don’t garner much attention. They don’t get you the love or help your bottom line as much as one would hope. There is absolutely no reason to put a lot of stock into one launch event. Truly, who cares about one day not going as planned? Humans forget, only the business owner remembers and knows the pain. If you’re pleasantly surprised, great. But it should not be something defining the success of you or your business.
Not grabbing 10 new subscribers, 50 new clients or 100 new customers from your launch email doesn’t make you a failure, it means you’ve learned something: you must do more homework.
Did you get a couple of bites? Excellent, you’ve probably got something there. Now continue to better it and endorse it. Welcome to the launch lifestyle, where everyday you continue to propel yourself forward, up and away through regular research, tweaking, testing and caring about what you put out to your community.
Research, tweaking and testing may sound intimidating. They are Big Biz Energy, which is where you deserve to be. However, in achieving meaningful growth, don’t grind yourself into burnout. Think of doing this work as regular for your subscription business.
Set small, accessible goals for yourself, with clear deadlines. Accomplish these goals by making daily bite-size To Do lists. If something doesn't go as planned, have a personal post-mortem on why, and try again... with more small, accessible goals.
Example of a manageable goal:
-Get three new subscribers this week
Example of a bite-size To Do list to achieve this goal:
-Post two instagrams this week, reminding people the link to my subscription is in bio
-Email current subscribers and tell them about my referral program
By continuously doing this work, in turn, your community will bolster your growth through my favourite kind of marketing: word of mouth.
Let’s define it. What is word of mouth marketing?
Word of mouth marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It's having customers and subscribers love your offerings so much that they can't help but rave about it to their friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else who will listen. Word of mouth naturally happens when we're excited about something. It can be done online or off, and is a tried and true driver of growth.
There are two main reasons why word of mouth is such a powerful growth tool for your business. One, we're likely to trust recommendations coming from friends way more than we trust ads. Two, It's better targeting. A friend is likely to tell you about something they know you'll enjoy. So the journey to conversion is much more straightforward and means more long term.
Serving your community so well that they serve you back as powerful advocates and advertisers is both free and priceless. Slowly but surely gaining forever customers and a true community week over week, month over month is where it’s at. Invest in the launch lifestyle, not a corny one day event.
Interested in joining our beta program and starting your own subscription plan? Subkit would love to help your grow your small business.