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When a Launch Doesn’t Go to Plan: What to Do Next (with examples)

What do you do when a launch doesn’t go to plan?

Want to know a secret?

My product launches don’t always go to plan… Shocking, I know, for this so-called “launch wizard”. But the reality is that sometimes things just happen.  

Things like:

  • The tech dogs like to test me with tech issues
  • Instagram engagement goes down the toilet mid-launch
  • The unsubscribes and unfollows pile up
  • There are multiple days in a row without sales
  • All I hear is “NO I don’t have the time”, “NO I don’t have the money”, and “NO I’m not ready”
  • I don’t even come close to hitting my launch goals 

In fact, there’s usually some version of this in every single launch. 

In this episode of the How I Do Content Podcast, I take you behind the scenes of a launch of mine that didn’t go to plan – my most recent launch of the Introverted Biz-Wizard Mastermind.

In this TL;DL version I’ll be sharing with you:

  1. My Pre Launch Strategy
  2. Why my launch didn’t go to plan
  3. My biggest lessons, and changes to make for future launches
When a Launch Doesn't Go to Plan: What to Do Next (with examples)

Pre Launch Strategy

In February 2023, I launched the second round of the Introverted Biz-Wizard Mastermind.

If you’re a long-time listener of the How I Do Content Podcast, you know that when I “open cart” for an offer that actually means my pre-launch started well before February. In fact – I started planting the seeds and talking about the mastermind back in December 2022.

Yes! 3 whole months BEFORE I proclaimed “doors open” I was in my pre-launch runway. 

Pre Launch runway (with examples)

1. Reaching out to current clients

For this I invited current masterminders and people on the waitlist to sign up prior to doors opening with a special discount and offer.

2. Lead magnet

I developed a free download: 5 introvert-friendly marketing & sales scripts to win clients online.

3. Marketing content

I published a special podcast series interviewing introverts in business. 

4. Masterclass or workshop

I ran a $29 group intensive in February – How to stand out in the online space as an introvert in 2023

…All of this before heading into 4 weeks of open cart, and all the launch content that comes with that!

Setting goals, and why this launch didn’t go as planned

I set my launch goal of getting 10 wizards to sign up for this round of the mastermind, and I went into the launch feeling pretty confident.

I’d grown my email list thanks to a new freebie.

I had a good-sized waitlist for the mastermind with plenty of interest.

I had 19 sign-ups for my paid intensive (aka my launch trigger).

My content was banging, as it always is.

…Yet I found it really hard to sell the mastermind when it came time for the open cart period.

The people I was confident would sign up – didn’t. Everyone else who had expressed interest disappeared, and I was left talking to myself for a big chunk of the open cart period. 

I finished my launch with 4 wizards in my mastermind. 

Now please note I didn’t say, “only 4 sign ups”, or, “just the 4”, because the number doesn’t really matter. I’m so *fucking grateful* for these 4 magical humans who trusted me enough to say yes and invested in this mastermind. I’m never going to undersell or dismiss that, and you shouldn’t either. 

Not meeting your goals isn’t a reason to give up on a launch

I learnt this from Tracey Spencer very early on – focus on the ripples, not the ranks. It’s never “just” one person. So, I ended the launch not reaching my goal. I heard “no” way more times than I heard “yes”. I had people unsubscribe from my email list, and unfollow me from social media. 

I literally had 4 weeks of no sales. And yet, my audience wouldn’t have been able to even tell because:

  • I kept showing up 
  • I kept sharing content
  • I kept selling
  • I kept having conversations
  • I had full trust and belief that the Introverted Biz-Wizard Mastermind is a fucking amazing container, and I knew there were people that NEEDED this offer

It would’ve been SO easy for me to put this launch in the bin – to say “nothing works”, “this offer sucks”, “I’m not good at launching”, or “no one likes me”. But I didn’t.

Because one thing I come back to again and again, is how can I expect my people to show up for me when I don’t show up for them? Or I bail the moment it gets hard.  What does it say to those wizards who have signed up to this mastermind if I dismiss their investment because “it’s not what I wanted”? 

It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they’re launching. The moment things don’t go their way or it feels hard – they tap out. 

There’s ALWAYS something to be learnt from any launch – things that worked well and things that didn’t. 

2 questions to reflect on after a failed launch:

  • What were the main objections to people not buying?
  • What content performed well and resonated with my community?

Even a ‘failed’ launch has positive outcomes

Because a launch is never 100% bad – there are always things that work. And for this launch, it was:

  • 200+ downloads of my freebie
  • It was STILL a multi-5-figure launch and one of my biggest launches to date
  • 3 out of the 4 who signed up for the mastermind were returning clients – which means a tonne to me, because I value client retention so much  
  • First time I tested a mid-cart free masterclass – “How to create a money-making personal brand”. I had over 30 people sign up for that masterclass when I only promoted it a couple of times. Off the back of this knowledge, I launched 90-minute 1:1 intensives with the same name – which helped me generate an additional $3,500 of revenue in one week
  • I welcomed many new magical humans into my community, I created new connections and I had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the mastermind and the launch content I shared

Lesson: there are ALWAYS good things to come from launches if you take the time to look for them.

Top lessons from an unsuccessful launch

1. There is a lot of economic uncertainty right now, and this means people are more discerning with how they’re spending their money. 

They’re taking longer to make purchase decisions and they need even more touchpoints and information to make these decisions. So I actually needed more time in the pre-launch to nurture these relationships. Especially the new relationships that found me thanks to my new freebie. 

2. The objection from 99% of the sales conversations was money. 

It was too expensive, or they didn’t have the money (no matter how much they wanted to join), or they just couldn’t confidently commit to the monthly payments.

Money or time is always the most common objection, but I won’t be lowering the price of the mastermind. I stand behind the value of this container and the high level of support my clients get from ME. It’s a magical mix of group coaching AND 1:1 coaching. I know there are masterminds that have less access to the head coach and charge more. 

Note: Just because the objection is money, doesn’t mean the price is too high – remember that. 

3. The introvert messaging could be making dream clients think it’s not for them.

This applied to those humans who are in the introvert/extrovert crossover.

I had a couple of people ask me if I coach extroverts – the answer is yes, of course!

I naturally attract introverts, Harry Potterheads and dog-obsessed humans – because that’s a big part of who I am and will continue to be a big part of my messaging. However, I will look at tweaking and refining even further the messaging of the mastermind.

Sometimes, no matter how good your offer is or how good your launch content is – people don’t buy.

Whether it’s because of the economy, mercury in retrograde, or because it’s simply not right for them at that time – you can’t force people to buy from you.

What I also know to be true is that a “no” during this launch isn’t a “no” forever.

Sometimes things don’t align no matter how much you want them to. You gotta take the loss and be okay with it. Pick yourself up, learn from it and go again.  

An unsuccessful launch doesn’t mean an unsuccessful business

The big thing I want you to take away from today’s episode is that not everything in your business (including your launches) always goes to plan or how you hoped. This is true for every single business owner out there, no matter how much you look at them and think they’re “killing it”.  

Trust me – I’ve seen behind the scenes of many 6-figure, multi-6-figure and 7-figure businesses that are faced with these scenarios too. Their launches don’t always go to plan, but they don’t make it mean anything about them being bad at business or launches – and you shouldn’t either.

Of course, it sucks and it feels shitty at the time, but, at some point, you need to remove the emotion and look at the data – and move forward from that place.

Because guess what? No one took their business to the next income level by putting so much pressure on their launches to do well every single time or chucking a tantrum and sentencing launching to Azkaban.

Launches are about more than the final dollar amount you make.

They’re an opportunity to welcome people into your community, build relationships, have sales conversations, share more about what you do and how you help people and ultimately learn more about your community, your offers and your business. 

Sometimes they don’t go exactly as you hoped – but there’s always next time.

When a Launch Doesn't Go to Plan: What to Do Next (with examples)

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Content & launch wizard, business coach, podcaster & your new teacher

Combining my love of writing and degree in marketing, my services are designed specifically to support businesses (like yours) with their online strategy and content must-haves


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