112. How Much do I Spend On What During a Launch

13 July 2021 | By Salome Schillack

Does the word budget send a shiver down your spine? When you’re constantly launching in the dark, throwing spaghetti on the wall and praying something works, budget is potentially one of the most triggering words you can hear!


But it doesn’t have to be like this!

You might have used a Facebook Ad manager (and secretly wondering if they were just a cyber-scam artist that drained your accounts leaving you with nothing to show) or you might have even somehow fluked a profitable launch, but you’re not sure what made that happen, and how you can do that again and again!


When you put the RIGHT message in front of the RIGHT audience at the RIGHT time, then ding-ding-ding-ding, you've got yourself a successful launch. It also becomes a BRILLIANT blueprint for how to budget your spend for next time!


Suddenly all the cyber stars align, launches become profitable, and you're on the express train to 'hire-your-own-dream-team' land.


Today on The Shine Show, I’m dishing out some of my most valuable secrets. The kind of secrets that helped me and my team manage over 73 online launches and take students just like you from 4 figures to 6 figures plus!


Tune in to discover: 

  • The missing launch piece that's causing Facebook Ads to flop
  • How to use your budget to maximize your results (I’ll give you the exact breakdown, from $2k budgets to $20k budgets)
  • How to confidently invest your money into ads and know full well that money will come back to you in multiples
  • How to avoid accidentally scaring away your audience by sending the wrong message


If you've been feeling like you're launching in the dark, with no clue where to spend what, today's episode is especially for you! I'll be switching on the profitable launch lights by sharing the golden secret to achieving predictable and consistent results that will help you to scale FASTER and BIGGER than ever before! No more pulling figures out of a hat, throwing spaghetti on the wall, and hoping for better results! 


PRESS PLAY and let’s get straight into it! 


Tune in to today's episode by clicking here!




P.S If today’s episode really switched those launch lights on for you, I know you are going to LOVE all my new and improved ‘The Launch Lounge’ membership. It's the fastest way to reach that 6 figure launch so you can hire a team, handball the boring stuff elsewhere and reclaim your time. Doors open on July 29th! Get on the waitlist, because yes, there will be bonuses! Secure your spot here.

When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.

When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!

So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!


175. We’re Taking A Break. Here’s Why And How You Can Do It Too


174. Some Thoughts On Making Lots Of Money


173. 3 Reasons NOW Is The Best Time To Start A Digital Courses Business with Amy Porterfield


172. 25 Biggest Lessons In Online Marketing I Learned From Amy Porterfield


171. Social Media: One Thing That Makes All The Effort Worthwhile


170. How to Choose the Right Name for Your Online Course


169. Content Planning For Posts VS Content For Your Course And Launches


168. Managing Your Money As A Small Business Owner with Darcie Milfeld


167. 3 Lies You Were Told About Hiring An Ads Manager


166. How To Create Your Online Course Faster with Gina Onativia


165. The Only Way Low Dollar Offers Are Working Today


164. New Ad Targeting Options That Are Working Now

Salome Schillack:

How much do I spend on what in an online course or a membership launch? Hello and welcome to Episode #112 of The Shine Show. In today's show, I'm going to answer the question, how much do I spend on what in a launch? And if you are getting ready to launch your course, maybe you have already booked a date in September and you're ramping up and getting ready, then you definitely don't want to miss out on becoming a Launch Lounge member. We're opening the doors to The Launch Lounge on the 29th of July. The Launch Lounge is the fastest way to get to a multi-six-figure online course business that gives you the freedom to hire a team and get your time back and scale with confidence. And if you want to sign up to the waitlist for that, make sure you go to shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist. Now let's jump into the episode.

Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi. I'm your host, Salome Schillack, and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired, to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, then tune in because you are ready to shine, and this is The Shine Show. Tell me if one of these things are true for you. You hired an ads manager because you were ramping up to launch your online course. They got you a whole bunch of leads for your webinar or your video series or your challenge, and then none of those leads converted to sales. You saw zero sales from those ads.

Or maybe this one is true for you. You invited people on your social media to your webinar or your video series, your live launch, you invited everyone on your social media and a handful of people actually signed up. And so you decided to fill up the audience with some more people by running ads, and you ended up wasting a couple of thousand dollars because you struggled to find the right people on Facebook and Instagram. Your launch ads ended up costing a fortune, and your launch sounded a little bit like crickets. Or maybe this one is true for you. You launched your course. You had a lot of people show up for your launch, and they came from both your email list and they came from cold audiences that you found with ads, and you had a fairly successful launch. You made more money than you thought you could actually make. And now you're just wondering how are you going to replicate that, because you're not quite sure what you did right and what you did wrong, and you're not sure how to replicate it.

So I want to say hands up if any of these three things are true for you. Don't put your hands up if you're driving. But if I just described something that happened to you, send me a DM on Instagram and let me know that I nailed it, what happened with you in your launch. And now the reason I nailed it is because I hear these stories every single day. I hear them from my students. I hear them from my friends. I hear them in the mastermind that I'm in. I just hear them everywhere. And the one thing that I want to tell you is I need you to know that it is not your fault that these things happened. It is not your fault that you feel like you're playing Roulette with your money every time you turn ads on for your launch, or you feel like your launch strategy is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and just hoping something would stick.

The reason these things happen is because nobody taught you these things. Nobody taught you the relationship between traffic and conversion, and what I mean by that is nobody taught you the relationship between the journey that your customers go on to go from being cold people on the internet, who has never heard of you, to someone who's maybe slightly more engaged because they interacted with one of your videos on Facebook, to someone who's warmer or warmish, like bath water warm, because they downloaded your lead magnet, to someone who's quite hot because they downloaded your lead magnet and they downloaded your launch freebie, and to someone who is on fire, red-hot, sitting there, waiting, holding their credit card, shouting at you, "Come on. Open the door so I can buy your thing."

There's a difference in how different audiences engage with us, behave, and how they end up actually spending their money with us. And nobody teaches this stuff to us because when we buy online courses from anyone who teaches a signature method, they tend to just teach their signature method, which is perfect and fine and great, but it leaves out some foundational principles. And then when you learn Facebook ads to fill these audiences, the training for Facebook ads are often more focused on getting you over the tech challenges than on actually teaching you the marketing, the funnel building, the audience journeys and how to create these journeys with purpose deliberately in a way that you know that you're purposefully putting a message out. And that message is going to be repeated X number of times, and when people have heard the message enough times, then they're ready to move on to the next phase of your marketing messaging. And then they move onto the next phase, and then they buy from you.

And unfortunately, most Facebook ads managers also do not know this. And so it ends up being a scenario where if you're the person who hired a Facebook ads manager to help you launch, you end up a little bit with the blind leading the blind. I want you to imagine for a moment that you decide you're going to travel. Right? COVID is done and dusted, and the Australian borders are open and I can get on a plane. So where am I going to go? I mean, I can come up with 700 places I want to go right now, but one of the places I want to go to is London. I used to live in London when I was in my early twenties, and I have not been back there since I was 26 and I'm 40 now. So I have not been back to London for a long time. I am dying to take my kids to go and show them my old stomping grounds and to go and show them London, because it is a magical place to me.

So if I wanted to go to London, I might pick up the phone and call the travel agent and say, "Travel agent, I would like to go to London." And the travel agent would say, "That's wonderful," and she would book me. She or he or they would book me a flight, and I'd be very happy because it make the brief perfectly. I told her I want to go to London. She booked me a flight to London. So I take my flight and I get on the flight and I get to London. And when I get there, I don't have a hotel. I don't have a car. I have no itinerary. I have no activities booked. I have no adventures. And I could turn around and say, "Well, the travel agent didn't do what I said because I said, I want to go to London. The travel agent only delivered on the ticket. What I actually wanted was a whole journey. I wanted an adventure. I wanted something that unfolded and made me feel things and made me excited."

And so that's what happens 9 out of 10 times when I see online course creators hiring Facebook ads managers to help them with their Facebook ads, is they say to them, "I want you to bring traffic," which is the same as saying, "I want you to buy me a ticket." And then the Facebook ads manager brings the traffic. The traffic doesn't necessarily go on a journey of any kind. The traffic just gets there. It's like the traffic made it to London, but the traffic ain't going on holiday. And then there's this massive disconnect between the online course launcher and the Facebook ads manager, because they both thought an adventure is about to unfold, but there was no adventure. There was just traffic and then a whole lot of nothing because the traffic didn't convert. That adventure, that act of creating a journey, that is called your customer journey, and that is a missing piece in most people's online course launches.

It is an understanding of how people interact in different times and at different places with our content and then making sure that we put the right message in front of them at the right time, so that they move along in our customer journey from being super, super cold audiences to becoming lukewarm, to becoming hot, to becoming extra hot and spicy and can't wait to give me a credit card warm. But when you are an expert in your niche, you are not necessarily an expert in creating customer journeys. And when you hire a Facebook ads manager, who is an expert in the techie side of Facebook ads, then it's as good as telling the travel agent that you want to go to London and them handing you a ticket. They've done their job. You're going to London. Right? That's basically what you're doing with your Facebook ads manager.

So the solution is... And when we bring the solution back to the name of this podcast episode, this podcast episode is about how much do I spend on what in a launch, when we look at the solution to the problem of how do we build these audiences and how much do we spend on what during a launch, the answer to that question is it depends on your customer journey and it depends on your budget, your overall budget, because if you have a very large budget, then you can throw money at the problem. And if you throw enough money at the problem, you're going to get conversion somewhere along the line. If you don't have a lot of money, then you have to allocate the money that you do have to the places in your customer journey where you can make the biggest impact with that money. But it's also not just about having a little or a lot of money. It is also about knowing where to spend the money based on how your audience has been proven to interact with you.

And what I mean by this is when you launch the first time, you want to make sure you launch to a warm audience. That means you have a healthy email list. You have a warmed up social media presence. They know your launch is coming. They've been preparing for it because you've been going live and telling them about it and they are ready to rumble. And then they convert, and once you have data to know that your warm audience converts, then you can add in a cold audience element. Then you're going to warm your audience up again, but you're also going to run some launch ads to people who have never heard of you, because if you go straight to cold, you're probably not going to know if your offer converts to warm or not. You're probably not going to know what the problem is with your offer if it doesn't convert, because cold people are just not going to be as forthright to give you that information.

So let's think about the customer journey and how we create customer journeys in our online courses, and I'm going to start at the end and work our way back. Imagine you're in an online course launch and you are at the doors closing, enrollment closing time. Let's say, it's 4:00 PM on a Thursday. You've just come out of a two-hour Facebook live. You're exhausted. You're ready to hit the Prosecco and stick your face in a chocolate cake and then go to sleep for three days. You are at the end of your course launch. The thing that you need to be asking yourself at that point, and as we go through this, we're going to work our way backwards, at that point is you're going to say, "Hmm, did they buy? Did they buy? How many people bought?" And then working your way back, you're going to ask, "Did they attend?" If it was a webinar that you had, then did they attend the webinar? Those who signed up, did they actually show up?

If it's a video series, those who signed up, did they actually watch the video? If it's a challenge, those that signed up, did they participate in the challenge? So then you look at attendance, and now we're taking another step back and we're saying, "Did they sign up for my launch event? So did they sign up for my webinar or my video series or my challenge?" So that's the next question. And then before that, we're going to look at, "Did they sign up for my pre-launch runway lead magnet?" That's a specific lead magnet you create to answer the last few objections someone might have before they're ready to sign up to your course. But then there's another step before that. We're going to say, "Did they sign up to any other lead magnets I've been running in the past two, three years?"

And so you can see we work our way back from the sales through the launch, through the attendance of the launch, to the sign up for the launch, to whatever else they signed up for that got them on our email list. And the way you know this is by using the tagging inside your email CRM, the system that you use to home the home of your email list. So every time they opt in for a lead magnet, they get a tag for that lead magnet. And then at the end of your launch, you can run a report to download your email list of everyone who bought the course, and then you double-check the tags against their names so that you can figure out what percentage of the people that actually bought your course was also signed up for your webinar, and of the people...

And let's say for argument's sake, a hundred percent of the purchases were signed up for your webinar. Technically speaking, that should be right, but let's say you had a hundred percent of the people who bought your course signed up for your webinar and you discover that 80% of them signed up for two other lead magnets leading up to that. That's a clue to you that in order to get a buyer out, they need to sign up to at least two other things before they're ready to buy. When you have that type of information, wouldn't you be running ads to these people to get them to sign up to two things as fast as possible? You would, because now you have data about your audience's behavior. You have data about your customer journey. And see, this is the piece that makes me want to cry when I hear someone's say, "But I hired a Facebook ads manager and they ran ads and none of the ads converted," because it is this piece that's missing.

And neither you, the course creator, have ever been taught how to do this, nor has the Facebook ads manager been taught to do this because they have been spending all their time learning to navigate iOS, and they've been so busy doing that, that they completely forgot about the fact that marketing is human connection. And so therefore, this human communication flow, understanding your customer journey, is the most important piece. When we have this information, we can deliberately plan this customer journey because we know what our audience is already most likely doing or what they need to be doing in order to result in sales for us. When we know the journey they go on, we know exactly where to put our money. And suddenly the cheap leads I got from the quiz I created that I can now see resulted in very little sales is not as valuable to me as the leads I got from the ebook I created that cost me three times more than the quiz, but also resulted in three times more people actually buying my course.

When you know your customer journey, you're in the driver's seat when it comes to running your ads and when it comes to your launch results, and you know exactly what to do next in order to create profitable launches that scale to six and seven figures. Now in our agency, we use this very effectively to run five different projects for every client. Every client has five different ad projects, and I'll go through these five briefly. I have trained about them a lot before I teach it inside The Launch Lounge, and I have a lead magnet called The Definitive Guide to Launching an Online Course with Facebook and Instagram Ads, which you can grab from my website as well, and we'll put the link in the show notes as well, where I dive deep into this. But for now, I'm just going to give you the overview, the headline of this, these five projects, and the reason I'm giving you this is so that I can then explain to you how we allocate the budgets into these five different projects.

The first project is the engagement project. It's engagement ads that we run because (a) Facebook wants engagement, (b) because it stimulates engagement on social media, which means when we're hustling our little hearts out, we actually get two-way conversation. It reduces conversion costs long-term, and it helps us build warm audiences that we can re-target that does not require the Pixel, which is important right now. So we run engagement ads. We typically only spend about $5 a day on engagement ads. That's Project #1 that we run for every single client and that I tell every one of my students to do. Project #2 is general old, run-of-the-mill list building. It's the kind of list building that you learned when you just started out. It's your simple lead magnet. Get them to opt in. Get them to download your lead magnet and get on your email list. Everybody should be running these.

And the reasons we've run these is so that we can taste different lead magnets to run these reports at the end of our launches and see which lead magnets actually were the most effective ones in starting the conversation that resulted in a sale. When we enter the third project, the third type of project, it is still list building, but this time it is a launch runway list builder. So this is the list builder that our audience needs in order to start overcoming their own objections to our course. Now, maybe you don't have a runway-specific lead magnet. That's okay. Then for you, Project #2 and 3 are probably going to be the same. You're just going to ramp up the budget as you go into this runway phase. You're going to still use the list builders you've been using, but you're just going to ramp up the budget because you want to breathe new life into your list building.

So Project #1 is engagement. Project #2 is general old list building. Project #3 is runway-specific list building. It is when Stu McLaren goes into TRIBE launch, he starts running that TRIBE membership guide ads. You'll see that. You know when James Wedmore's going into it because he starts selling the little lead magnets. He's got these hundred-dollar courses about how to get the first thousand people on your email list without ads or what to do if you don't have a course topic yet. All of the things that are typical objections that he has to overcome in his launch, he tries to overcome them in the runway list building phase. Phase #4 is your launch. We're going to run ads to fill up your webinar. We're going to run ads to get people to sign up to your video series. We are going to run ads for your challenge. We're going to run ads for your live event. And then we're going to use retargeting to get those people who went to the webinar page, but didn't register to actually sign up. So that is Phase #4.

And then Phase #5 is the sales ads, and these are all the retargeting ads. They're all the ones that says, "The early bird bonus is now available," or they're testimonial ads, or they're the ads that says, "The doors are closing and you're about to miss out if you don't hurry up." Those are the five phases. So let me recap that. Phase 1 is engagement ads. Phase 2 is list building. Phase 3 is runway phase, and that's also list building. Phase 4 is your launch ads where we fill up your live launch. Phase 5 is sales. So we run different projects. Now, what I want to do in order to answer the question, "How much should I spend on what in my launch?" I want to talk about the size of your budget because not all budgets are made the same. And unfortunately, it is very true in the case of Facebook ads, the more money you have, the more you can do. Right?

So if we have lower budgets, we're not going to run ads in all five phases. We're also not going to focus our attention heavily on cold audiences because we first want to build our warm base. So let me divide this into three different categories. Category #1 is a launch budget of about $2,000 to $5,000. If you have less than $2,000 for your launch, I want to recommend you spend a hundred percent of your budget on list building and you just launch to your list. If you are still not making more than $2,000 to $5,000 from your email list, every single dollar you have needs to go into list building. So let's say you're at the point you have two to $5,000. Your first launch for these people are going to be divided this way. Your budget will be divided this way. You're going to spend $5 a day on engagement ads. That's a given, and you're going to do that anyway. And then for your launch, you're going to spend 70% of your total budget on list building. 70% of your total budget goes to list building.

You can decide whether you just want to use one lead magnet or whether you want to test two different lead magnets so that you can, at the end of your launch, run a report and see which one of the two lead magnets actually led more to people signing up for your course as well. 70% of your budget goes to list building and you can run that over two different lead magnets. 30% of your budget is going to go to your launch ads thing, and the reason we're spending the bulk of it on list building is because this is what's known as a warm launch. We're adding 30% of launch ads into cold audiences, into webinar ads, because we want to see if there is an impact, if there is people who actually buy the course cold, but most of our money are going where we are generally feeling more secure and where we can kind of predict that people are likely to take our course so that we're not wasting our money.

So this is an email-driven launch with support from ads. So 70% of your budget goes to list building and 30 goes to launch ads. Once you've done that and you've made some good money with it, and you know that when you build your email list, people buy, and you know that when you run webinar ads or launch ads, people actually also buy, then you can start increasing the budget that you spend on a launch to a cold audience. So you're still going to run $5 a day on engagement ads, but now the split is going to go more towards the webinar than to the actual list building. So you're going to spend about 20% to 25% of your total budget on the pre-launch list building. And then 70 to 75 goes to the launch event, which is the webinar or the video series. And then at the end, you'll spend about 10% on sales ads, which is going to be retargeting all the people who signed up for the launch but have not yet purchased the course.

So for this warm and cold launch, I'm going to give you those percentages again - $5 a day to engagement, 20% to 25% of your total budget on list building, 70% to 75% of your total budget on the webinar, and 10% on sales ads. Now we move into the $5,000 to $25,000 launch range. At this stage, you're probably not warm-launching anymore. You have tested your offer. You have seen that it works to a warm and a cold audience. You have seen that it works well enough to a cold audience that you can focus most of your dollars on cold audiences. You have been building your email list ongoing throughout all of this, and you have a good, strong, healthy email list. You also know exactly which lead magnets people need to download in order to become sales, in order to purchase your online course.

So when all of these things are true for you, then you're looking at spending about 40% of your budget on list building, and that includes your list building between launches, but it also includes your runway list builders, so the one that you're using to overcome the objections leading into your launch. And then about 45% of your budget goes into the launch, the actual launch. You're going to run ads to cold and warm audiences to get a lot of new people into your world. And then you're going to use 10% of your budget for sales ads, and that's, again, the retargeting ads with the enrollment open and enrollment close and the bonuses and all the things. So that's what you're going to do if you're spending between five and $25,000. Then if you're spending more than $25,000, you are going to grow this budget even more. Right?

So now instead of spending $5 on engagement ads, you're going to be spending 5%. 5% of your total ad spend will go to engagement ads. 20% of your launch budget will go to regular, old, straightforward, plain run-of-the-mill list building. It is your lead magnet that you have identified as the lead magnet that brings in the sales down the track. And then you're going to take 10% of your total budget, and you're going to run that to your runway list builder. And that runway list builder is probably a list builder that you're going to run to people who are already on your email list. Now you might be thinking, "What? Say what? Why do I want to run a list building ad to people who are already on my email list?" Because you tagged them and you saw that when they have downloaded these two things, they're more likely to convert to sales. And this second list builder is purely designed to overcome their objections. So that by the time you announce your course, they've already knocked these false beliefs out of the park.

Now the next project you're going to be spending ads on is the launch phase. You're going to be spending about 45% of your budget there, and this is where you get to invite cold people to join you on your webinar or your video series or your challenge. Whatever it is you're using to launch, you're going to spend about 45% of your total launch budget on getting cold and warm people to sign up for your launch. And then once you have done this, you're going to spend another 20% on those sales ads at the very bottom of the funnel, where you are retargeting those who were in your launch with the FOMO ads, the "You're going to miss out," and "The doors are going to close," and mid-cart bonus and early bird bonus and testimonials and all of those delicious ads.

So that is how much you should spend on what during which phase of your launch, and I trust that this episode has given you a lot of clarity if you have been the person who hired an ads manager and that ads manager wasn't able to get you any sales for your launch, or if you've invited people to your launch, no one showed up and you ended up wasting money running ads to that launch, or if you have launched successfully and you didn't know how to replicate it. I'm hoping that now you know that with some simple tagging in your CRM and by understanding where to put your budget, you have a clearer idea of how you can start to layer these audiences into one another, start to build this relationship, start to create this customer journey deliberately and with purpose and intention.

And if you loved what I just taught you in this episode, you are going to love The Launch Lounge. The Launch Lounge is the fastest way to get to a six-figure online course launch, so you can start hiring a team to get your time back and scale with confidence. And we are opening enrollment to The Launch Lounge membership on the 29th of July. If you want to get all the juicy details of the early bird bonuses, go to www.shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist. That's TLL for The Launch Lounge waitlist. Get on the waitlist and hang tight because the 29th of July, it is going down. Have a lovely week and I'll see you again next week. Bye.

Well, there you have it, and it is not long until we open the doors to The Launch Lounge membership, which is the fastest way to get to a multi-six-figure online course launching business that gives you all the freedom you want, allows you to hire a team, and finally get your time back and scale with confidence. And if you want to know all about that, make sure you get on the waitlist. There is goodies for those that are on the waitlist, but you got to get on it. You go to shineandsucceed.com/tllwaitlist. I'll see you there. Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week and remember to hit that subscribe button so you never miss a thing.