Hey—you. The one who is maybe a *little* bit nervous to launch a website, hit publish on that course, or start that more high end, more expensive service. Come on in: in this blog & video, here’s a launch copywriter’s take on 6 mindset shifts that will help you go BIG and get your new product, service, or website out in the new decade.
In less than four years, I’ve built a business, built a team, and had two half-million-dollar years as a launch copywriter and brand strategist. If you think that along the way I have not freaked the heck out with imposter syndrome, confidence battles, cold feet, or gotten bogged down in the details of changes in my service offerings—you.are.dead.wrong.
BUT, If I had to do it all over again—freaking out, perhaps, not included!—I would.
Now, quick sidebar: we’ve currently got a customer survey open for Ashlyn Writes, where the amazing people (a.k.a YOU who enable me to do this), chime in and let me know what you need from us.
Yes, so far we’ve got responses for email funnels for creatives, website copy conversion tips, how to pay yourself as a creative and other financials—I heard it all, and it’s all coming, I promise.
But, do you know what caught me a little off guard that I heard the most from more than 400 responses?
Confidence, perfectionism, how to “stop worrying” and just.get.the.thing.out. Sound familiar? Comment below if that’s you!
Here are the 6 things I’ve learned as a launch copywriter putting out services and products for my business, but also for clients—from super small brick-and-mortar businesses who want to launch a website to big, $1M dollar, digital product launches—I’ve been inside a lot of marketing campaigns, and here’s what I’ve learned.
No.1 | If you launched it perfectly, you launched it too late.
Now this one, I’m borrowing and adapting from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn. He said, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, then you’ve launched it too late.”—A-to-the-Men.
Guess what percent of my current programs and 1-on-1 services look like they did when I started my business or launched the first version? ZERO.
If anything, I love the process of hearing from people as they use something, so I can make it better. A lot of our clients, especially the bigger ones who want to launch a website or program, may seem like they have it all together. Remember: you’re seeing the third, fourth, or fifth iteration of that thing. These people put themselves out there for YEARS.
If there’s *one* constant I’ve learned in being a creative entrepreneur, it’s vulnerability. This is how you build something.—you put yourself out there. There’s no offseason for vulnerability as an entrepreneur, amiright? You always have to put yourself out there and show up. If you don’t believe in what you do, who does?
It’s time to STOP worrying about being so perfect when you launch a website, new service, or product, and create a process to scale and refine it as you grow.
Action step? Realize it’s not going to be absolutely perfect when you launch, and that’s ok.
No. 2 | When fear is crippling, use it as an ally to set proper expectations.
My husband had a coach growing up who told him: “life is never as good as you think, but it’s also never as bad either.” I used to hate it when Wes would tell me that, but over time I’ve learned it’s just a quote about setting expectations. If you’re afraid to put something out there, the practical step is to take a step back, look at everything again, and then set *proper* expectations for it—realistic ones.
Fear isn’t a bad thing, it may be that kickstart you need to put pen to paper and map out your goals. You can create logical goals based on percentage points and what you’ve seen perform. This is so important. It’s why I give my Primed to Launch students a launch calculator inside the program. You’ve got to look at metrics and see what you have on tap to do. There’s so much that goes into the equation, but it can at least help you set some benchmarks.
Depending on what you’re launching or putting out there, your goals may be different. Your goals may be directly tied to your revenue or they may be a few steps back from the actual point of sale in your business. You might also be trying to build other things like your audience, your email list, or your following.
We work with so many clients and students who are specifically launching a new website. I tell them to set a couple of revenue goals but it’s not always the best time to just think about money. It is also an incredible opportunity for you to build your brand awareness, grow your email list, or do a big giveaway to bring attention to your new website.
If you’re launching a product or service, what kind of data and metrics can you use to help guide your decision-making here? Gravy is a business that helps support my business, and recently they did a lot of research to help people in the online space come up with some more hard numbers and statistics that they can expect to see. Learn more about the research Gravy did here.
It’s ALL about setting reasonable expectations.
I recommend that you work with a coach or mentor and ask them what they’d recommend you expect from your launch or marketing campaign—should you try to fill 6 client slots? Try to convert at 4% on a landing page? Try to grow your list by 850?—get CLEAR, and for goodness sake write down your goals, don’t keep ‘em in your head. Share them with the people close to you, let people in to cheer you on.
Action step: SET METRICS! I hope that this encourages you and takes a *little bit* of the pressure off. In fact, go ahead and comment below and let me know, is there something that you’re dreaming of launching in 2020? I’d love to cheer you on as you get it out there.
No. 3 | Walk through visioncasting (best-case AND worst-case) for when you launch a website, product, or service.
This past year, during a podcast interview, the host asked me if I had a fear of failure before I started my business.
The truth? No.
I’d just gone through hell and back healing from acute anxiety and depression and partial hospitalization for an eating disorder, and starting a business honestly seemed easier. To me, the worst thing already happened. I stepped away from my job in public relations in Atlanta to go into the hospital. My brand-new marriage had been on the rocks. My dignity was long gone. Failure couldn’t be as bad as that was.
Visioning was an exercise that we did a lot through recovery, I tend to do it a lot now, too. Whenever I think, “Oh my gosh, something bad is going to happen if I put this out there,” I then think through, “Okay, maybe the worst thing does happen. Then what? What if the next bad thing happens?” It is just a domino effect, the absolute worst thing imaginable happens, then what? The odds of that *really bad thing* happening are pretty slim.
Then, I do the flip side of it and imagine, “What would happen if I put that thing out there and it flourishes? What kind of impact could happen? What could God do through me, my actions, my obedience? What group of people, no matter how small, even if it’s one person could be impacted?”
Remember, I’m preaching to the choir here, it is not about you. Keeping that in mind isn’t easy, but it definitely helps. I read a great book recently about the freedom of self-forgetfulness and having a low opinion of myself. You can check out “The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness” here, it was a wonderful read!
No 4. | Keep your eyes on your own paper.
I feel like I’ve adopted this habit by osmosis. A lot of the clients in my business are women that I look up to. When I serve them as a launch copywriter, I’ve learned by watching them that they are masters of tunnel vision. They focus on the work in *their* hands—not what’s on somebody else’s paper. You’re not going to be for everybody, and that’s a good thing. Be polarizing when you create. If you need to picture a polar bear every time you get fearful—do that—get it? 😉
There’s someone out there who wants YOU, not your competition.
Build for her.
Some practical tips:
- Set up a distractions folder. If you’re stepping into a pre-launch phase or you’re building something, one thing that helps me is setting up a folder and all the newsletters go to that folder. I go in there and search for something that I’m looking for someone that I want to hear from, but at least they don’t distract me. They go over in their own place.
- Mute Social Media. I want to build from a place of deep creativity as a launch copywriter and I don’t want to get distracted by something else someone is doing.
- Always do testing before you launch anything. If you’ve done the testing and the market is there, then go. People will always say, “Oh, X, Y, Z is dead. X, Y, Z is never going to work for anybody anymore.” However, you need to look at the numbers and the data that is resonating with your audience. Build from that. Data doesn’t lie, feelings do.
No.5 | Lean on past affirmations as you launch a website or product.
Anytime I put something new out into the world, I go back and look through some of the feedback and testimonials I’ve gotten for my previous work as a launch copywriter. If you’re struggling with your next right decision, look back and see where you have gotten results for people. Our brains have negativity bias hardwired in to protect us, but it can lie to us, too. We’re always going to hold on to the more negative things that we hear. Sure, it’s a survival instinct, but it also makes it kind of hard to build something new. Right?
Two tips here.
- Create a sunshine folder: Call it whatever you want to call it, but I have a folder inside my Gmail account called “Sunshine” that’s full of kind words that we’ve gotten from people. Anytime they come in, they go to that folder and I can look through them when I need a boost of encouragement. You may be interested in: How to Get Killer Testimonials
- Organize your feedback: Be ruthless in categorizing, screenshotting and pulling testimonials from your work and then organize them. Yes, this is going to be helpful when you need to pull that out for the sales process, but it’s also nice to have it when you’re trying to give yourself some confidence as you build. Remember, you don’t have to be for everyone—you’re not going to be. I did a YouTube all about organizing your research as a launch copywriter—watch this if you need some support there!
No. 6 | Entrepreneurship is all about risk, so you might as well learn to like it.
I believe in order to be a productive creative, you need some temperament for failure. Which is really just learning something new, right?
You may have heard “FAIL: First Attempt In Learning”—learning is something we love to do as creatives anyway, so we’ve got to learn to love at least the opportunity for failing, too.
If I put something out there and it doesn’t do what I wanted it to do, I can look at it as a launch copywriter and think, “Huh, okay–cool experiment. What did I learn?” View failure as a way to gain new data and insight.
As you stop making excuses and get your “ish” together to launch in the New Year, I want you to grab my Launch Copy and Content Checklist. This is a list of everything before you launch your new product/service into the world—trust me, 4 years running as a launch copywriter, I have a lot of thoughts on this, wink. Thousands of other creatives have gotten their hands on this, and I think it’ll help you, too.
Comment below if this post inspired you to do the dang thing this year—and keep me updated on your progress as you launch a website, product, or service!