92. Ingredients of The Perfect Launch with Louise Griffiths
23 February 2021 | By Salome Schillack
If you think you know everything there is to know about launches, you’ve got another thing coming.
Before Louise Griffiths (an expert launch manager and my guest on today’s episode of The Shine Show) came in to help me out with my A-Lister launch, I didn’t even know just how much I was missing out on!
Louise is the magical unicorn behind some of the best launches you’ve ever seen.
The owner of ‘Left Brained Online Marketing’, Louise offers strategic launch and marketing services to creators and entrepreneurs in the online education industry. She’s the left-brained data, tech and project planning partner to her right-brained clients (yours truly included!) who need some help with syncing all the different parts of a launch together to make it as seamless and perfect as it can be.
On today’s episode, Louise is going to be busting some common misconceptions around launches AND giving us a bajillion tips on all the things that we tend to slip up on before, during and after a launch.
So, if you’re a business owner who’s...
- Just starting out in the launch space
- Already a few launches in and aiming for that that 5-figure target
- Planning your next 6-figure launch
… hop in right now, because Louise has got something for everyone!
TL;DR: This episode is a treasure trove for anyone looking to scale their next launch. If that sounds like you, grab your airpods and start listening now!
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!!
Salome Schillack (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to episode number 92 of the Shine Show. Today is a good one. If you are just starting to get ready to launch your first online course, you're going to love this. If you have already had a few launches or you've already done a few launches and you are starting to get to that five figure mark with your launches, maybe beyond the five figure launch, you're going to love this. And if you are a multi six figure launcher galore, you're going to love this because my guest today is Louise Griffiths. And Louise is just an absolute genius when it comes to launching online courses. She is that incredible, amazing force that is behind some of the biggest launches you've ever seen. And Louise, I have had the wonderful privilege of working with Louise in my last A-Lister launch. She just took the stress right off of my shoulders and made things super easy for everyone on my team to do.
So I am going to introduce you to Louise. And I just know you're going to love the show. Louise is the owner of the Left Brain Online Marketing, where she provides strategic launch and marketing management services to those who'd sell education, training, coaching or e-courses. Basically she's the left brain data, tech, project planning, strategic partner to her right brain clients like me, who would prefer to be creative and community focused rather than being stuck, managing every detail of the project plan. She's also a mentor and a trainer to virtual assistants, online business managers, marketers, project managers, and operations managers who want to provide exceptional launch and marketing management support to their own clients. And I know that you are going to love listening to Louise just as much as I love listening to her. So enjoy 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. Louise, thank you so much for joining me today.
Louise Griffiths (02:43):
Oh, good. I'm so happy to be here.
Salome Schillack (02:46):
I'm happy to have you here. And you have made such a tremendous impact in my business when you came in and you just took over my launch. And like I told you the other day, I was able to just really feel like I'm flying in the launch because you took it over everything. So I couldn't wait to get you on the podcast. I can't wait for you to share your absolute magic with everyone in my audience. So thank you so much.
Louise Griffiths (03:14):
No problem at all.
Salome Schillack (03:17):
All right. Well, I am not going to talk at all. I am just going to let you talk. I want you to tell us all the things about the logistics, the admin, the project management, the thinking, the planning and the executing that goes into the magic that you create when you manage a launch. So I think where I wanted to start is just, can you just tell us a little bit of your story? How did you get to where you are right now?
Louise Griffiths (03:51):
Yeah, absolutely. So I guess mine was in a little bit of a roundabout way. So I came from an event management background. Originally, I did conferences and events and seminars and all that sort of fun stuff in person. And I just decided that I wanted to get into marketing more than event management. That was what I enjoyed more. And at the time, I couldn't really find anything. So I went back to uni as a mature age student, and I started doing marketing consulting on the side. And before I even finished my degree, I was picked up by an agency. So they actually had hunted me because I had started a blog. And they asked me to come on as their social media person, back Facebook pages didn't exist and brands were still using profiles and all that kind of crazy stuff. So I go in and that quite early and was part of some of the early discussions around community management and all that sort of stuff, which was really great.
So I did that for a couple of years, but really I think I enjoyed the side gig stuff a little bit more. So I started my business. And I just started as a virtual assistant. So I just came in as a virtual assistant and worked my way up and learn all the tech and learn all the launches. And I guess, I was very lucky in that I got to see behind the scenes of a lot of businesses, a lot of big businesses, very early on as well, and got to experience that growth with them. So a lot of it just learned on the job and the stressful nights and the late nights and the weekend work, I guess, pays off at some point.
Salome Schillack (05:20):
At some point, we absorb some of that through late nights. Yeah, I agree with you. I feel the same way that the best education, for me, as well, has been being in the backend of other people who has bigger businesses than me.
Louise Griffiths (05:36):
I think it's just an amazing experience if anyone gets to do it. And I think as well, it also makes you realize that you can do it and that everybody starts in the same place. And no matter whether you're making $10 or $10 million, everybody has very similar fears and stresses and team problems and business growing pains, they're just at different levels. And I think that's something that's really empowering as well when you're just starting out to understand them.
Salome Schillack (06:06):
Absolutely. I remember it was a real big aha moment for me coming into businesses that make $2 million or $5 million a year, and going, "Oh, hang on. They don't have it all figured out either." Or even coming in and knowing that the little piece that I'm contributing, I know more than them about my little piece, but I can absorb what they know about the other pieces. And I can see that it's not perfect either, which-
Louise Griffiths (06:36):
Exactly. And then you're able to see how you would do things differently.
Salome Schillack (06:40):
Exactly. And it allows you to give yourself a little bit of grace. I felt, I was like, "Oh, okay, well, if they've made it to $5 million and it's not all perfect, then maybe it's okay that it's not all perfect for me."
Louise Griffiths (06:52):
Salome Schillack (06:55):
So then when did you start running launches? When did you start just focusing on just running launches?
Louise Griffiths (07:02):
So I've been doing launches now for about eight years. And I think that, I also offer more general marketing management. So I guess if you looked at launches on evergreen, I would be doing both. So I think a lot of the time, it started off as like people needing both, but now a lot of people come to me just for the launch component. I think is that side of the industry has grown people.
I've realized that you can't just put a virtual assistant into that role and expect them to be able to manage a launch, because not only do they not understand the background behind the strategy that you're trying to do, but they've also got to remember and think about all the things that might happen, could happen, probably won't happen, but that you need to account for. And it's unfair to put someone into that position, I think so. As this industries grown, I think that the popularity of looking for a launch manager is definitely increased. And I would say in the last, even the last 18 months, after what was in 2020 and everything like that, I think a lot of people are doing a lot bigger launches now as well.
Salome Schillack (08:06):
I totally agree with you on that. I didn't realize that I did think that it could be as easy as bringing in a virtual assistant or an assistant and then training them to do launches. And it's, like you say, that is unfair. And as we're growing up in this industry, we start out as solopreneurs doing everything ourselves. And one of the reasons us, entrepreneurs, who are in the front end of the business do well is because we can wing a lot of things. Most entrepreneurs can wing a lot of things. And then we know that we need an integrator or a VA or an online business manager.
And so we bring someone in, but it was such awakening almost for me when, and it only happened after I brought you in. I didn't even, bringing you into my launch, I didn't even realize that this was going to be something that I'm going to recognize is that a launch manager who specializes in launches, who's done a million of them is far, far, far, far will exceed your expectations or beyond just trying to teach your assistant to implement what you've learned in an online course.
Louise Griffiths (09:19):
Yeah. And I think that's the thing, because a lot of the times it's not what you know, it's what you do without even thinking, that's really hard to pass on to that other person. So it's just as easy as doing this, but you sometimes don't realize all the steps and processes that go into what you know, because you've now glued together yourself over a couple of launches.
Salome Schillack (09:40):
Yeah, that's right. Wow, that's incredible. How many launches do you think you've done?
Louise Griffiths (09:47):
It's funny at the beginning of every year, I go, okay, this is the year where I'm actually going to count how many launches I do, the profit every launch makes, and I'm going to add it up and make some amazing style. And every year, it gets to like July and I'm like, "Okay. So I've probably done a million launches already." I think in the past month, I've been involved one way or the other probably in about four or five. So I don't always manage the launches. Sometimes I just advise on launches . Sometimes I just get plugged in as the brain, like, can you just have a look over everything and make sure there's no gaps. So we're planning for launches in May or June or whatever it may be.
So I think at any one time, I've probably got my brain in four or five different launches that are happening at some point, but I try to only take on one maximum to decide, depending on the size of the launch at any one time that's in that sort of critical stage, that kind of six weeks before and during the launch, because that's the time where if something goes wrong, you need to have as much time available as possible to fix it. So you don't want to obviously overdo it and have too many things going wrong, especially if Facebook changes or iOS updates or whatever, and you suddenly got decisions to make across the board. So certainly, a lot of launches.
Salome Schillack (11:13):
Yeah. Wow, five a month. I think I would have a nervous breakdown. You make it look so easy as well while you still have, how old's your son? He's two.
Louise Griffiths (11:21):
Yes. Yeah. He's almost three now. Yeah.
Salome Schillack (11:23):
It's a gift. Genuinely, I think the way that your brain works to be able to understand marketing and the project management side of it is just an incredible gift that you have. That's very rare.
Louise Griffiths (11:38):
I am very blessed that I feel like the experiences I've had over the last eight years have been in tech builds, in paid traffic, in marketing. So all that kind of, left brain stuff. And I'm lucky that my clients love the copywriting and the creative and all that sort of thing. So I think I just feel like, you can't force yourself to be this type of person. You either enjoy it or you don't.
Salome Schillack (12:04):
Yeah. That's true. That's true. But I feel like you bring the left brain and the right brain together in some beautiful way, because you understand the communication flow and the creativity and the market and all of that, but then you can also have this ability to just break it down into these tiny chunks where I look at the detail of the work that you do. And I want to go and sit in the corner and cry when I see all those little detail things that needs to be managed, but you just bring it together so well.
Can you share with us a little bit, I want to talk about three different levels of launches because my audience is in one of these three buckets, they're either just starting out, getting ready for their first launch, and they have done their audience building with engagement ads and they have done their list building, and now they're getting ready to launch their first thing. And it's nine out of 10 times a webinar launch or they've launched three, four, five times. They've had maybe a five figure launch. Maybe that first five figure launch has now turned into like a $25,000 launch. And that might usually include some kind of a challenge with a webinar or a video series or something. And then there's people who are doing 100,000 plus launches. So can we start with number one and just go, what are the most important components that a first-time launcher need to have in their launch?
Louise Griffiths (13:34):
I think one of the things that you've got as a blessing when you're just starting to launch is that you've got a clean slate. So it's just as simple as, right from the beginning, record your stats. If you spend money on ads, how much did you spend? How many leads did you get? How many did you have in your list before you started? How many you have in your list after? Just think through. Fast forward six months and you're going into launch two, what sort of things do you wish you'd had before that first launch?
And a lot of what I find is, and this goes for all ranges of launches, is it's the missing information you wish you had in order to make decisions. So whilst you don't have that ability when it's your first couple of launches, what you do have is the ability to start recording right from the beginning, because as you go into that second, third and fourth launch, you'll have more confidence in understanding if I spend X, then this is generally what I'm going to get out of it. So you can start to make more safer decisions for yourself and your business as well.
But really going into that first launch, it is just about keeping it simple and thinking about what you're actually trying to achieve. So everybody wants to make a lot of profit on their first launch. And that's understandable. That's why we're in business, but really what that first launch is about is making sure that your offer's going to convert and starting to get an idea of, what do I need to change about this webinar? Where was the drop-off on the webinar? How many people stayed to the end? What was my attendance rate like? Because if you can start to pinpoint the good and bad things about the launch, that's where the improvements can happen further down the line.
So just keep it as simple as you possibly can. Don't go straight in with challenges, webinars, everything in one go. If you don't sell that much and you've done all these things, you don't know what worked and what didn't. So normally, you recommend webinars, it's the easiest way to check if something's going to convert on a launch. And yeah, run it a couple of times. And if it doesn't work, then don't get disheartened. Look at the offer, look at your attendance rate. And work on those things first before you move over to shiny object syndrome. So you want to really nail down that conversion component upfront.
Salome Schillack (15:55):
Absolutely. I love that. So let's think about this. So you want to definitely measure how many people do you have on your email list before you start?
Louise Griffiths (16:03):
Yeah. And then you want to measure how many people signed up for your webinar.
Salome Schillack (16:08):
I wonder if from the beginning, if you want to separate how many of those people were already on your email list before and how many of them just joined, maybe if you were running Facebook ads or even if you weren't running Facebook ads, but you were just going live every day, how many people came in that last 10 days before the webinar and then show up, right? And then how many people converted to sales? And I love what you said is, its kind of I always say to people when they're fairly new to the launching game and they want to work with us in the agency, I say like, how much money are you willing to set on fire for data?
Louise Griffiths (16:45):
That's pretty much down like how much money do you want to waste to see if this is going to work?
Salome Schillack (16:49):
Yeah. Exactly. Because I quit after my first launch, I worked, it took me a year and a half to get to my first launch and I make $2,000 and I thought, $2,000 is terrible. I should be making $10,000 and I quit. And I went back to my day job. And I don't regret that because it gave me the lessons that I needed to learn. But if you were there then, and you said, "But look at the data you have and now you can make these changes." Then my life may have been little bit.
Louise Griffiths (17:24):
But we can all say that in hindsight. And I think the other part is that too, is it can be so disheartening on that first launch when you see everybody else doing their 10,000, 20,000, $100,000 launches, and you just feel like you can't get that momentum, but we have to understand as like, when you see these million dollar launches, you should see the expenses on the other side of that million dollar launch. And then you'll be a little bit happier that you're not putting all that money into what you're doing right now. So I think that there definitely is a perspective there. And the other reason to keep it simple too, is from a software perspective. Keep your software cheap. You don't have to go out for the fancy things and just keep your expenses as low as possible.
Salome Schillack (18:13):
I love that you talk about the software because that's a shiny object thing that I have stepped in so many times, and it is really, really, really possible to do your first launch with free software, all of it can be free and you can do your first, second and third launch with completely free software. So please don't go and sign up for all the expensive, shiny objects that everyone who has a big name uses. So if we move on to the person who has done a few launches, maybe now they're starting to play around with adding some challenges, adding some Facebook Live or some video series or something like that, where do you think they should be focusing their project management? What are the big levers that they need to move? Is that the right expression?
Louise Griffiths (19:04):
Yeah, definitely. I'd say there's definitely two sides when you get to that level. And the first one is you need to expand out on the ecosystem of the whole marketing a little bit. You are at that stage where you need to start looking at the runway a lot more coming up to launches. So you're probably at a point where you know you're going into a launch and you're going to make profit. You're just not sure how much profit you're going to make. That's the big thing for you. So this is where a lot of people get caught up hiring copywriters and things like that because they think that's the next step, like in order to convert more, I need my things to be better. And I'm not saying that, don't do that. That might be the lever for you.
But I find a lot of the time it's got more to do with what you do in those couple of months before launch, because the more you can engage your community, the higher your open rates are, the more engaged your page, your group has, all that sort of stuff, the more easy it feels to the people that are interacting with you on a daily basis. I really think that's an area that a lot of people don't think enough about and that lead up to launch.
The other point is here, I definitely think on a project management side, this is where you're not too big, that it's, you're going to curl up in the corner and cry yet. So this is where you need to focus on your systems, your templates. This might be where you're starting to either think about bringing a VA in or you might have someone doing your tech build for you. So if someone else is doing it and they're very competent because they do all your landing page belts, for example, get them to start doing the SOPs, even if you think you're going to have them for the 10 years, get them to write their own SOPs, processes, start documenting how you do your launch now, because as the launch gets bigger, it's going to become more inflexible. You're going to have less ability to make decisions on the fly. And the less you have to think about the things that should already be in place, the better.
Salome Schillack (21:09):
That is so true. And there is so many things that I want to unpack in this. I think the first point that you make that I love is the importance of building that runway. And we see it so often when we work with clients in the agency who comes in and just hires us just to do the launch. And then, sometimes they get great results and they love the results. Sometimes they get great results and they don't love the results because they thought it was going to be 10 times more, but the one thing that makes a consistent difference in how big or small those launches are when you're getting to those 25,000, 30,000, $50,000 launches is what did you do leading up to the launch? Did you build your audience? Because I think it may be oftentimes, when people are in that phase, they're tired, they've been hustling their hearts out to get it to that point. And so they feel like, can something finally be easy? And that's, I think, that's when they think the copywriter is going to come and save them or the Facebook ads manager is going to come and save them.
Louise Griffiths (22:16):
Or they decide to just go evergreen, that tends to see, they give up on the launching because the launching is too hard. And we see that a lot, people will go like, "I'm not watching anymore. It's just getting too stressful. I'm going evergreen." And then six months later, they're back again.
Salome Schillack (22:32):
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. And then they've wasted a lot of money on ads and they still don't understand why it didn't make them the money that they wanted to make. That's fantastic. And you also said that they need to start creating these SOPs and things. So would you create SOPs, even if they're working? Let's say they're working with a VA that they've contracted, do they pay that VA extra to create SOPs for them? Or how do you see that happen?
Louise Griffiths (23:01):
Yeah, I would just put it into the agreement. And as a virtual assistant, they might not appreciate it because they feel like they're being, I guess, written out of being needed. But the way that you should think about it and the way that you should discuss it with team members is that, I'm not trying to find someone who's cheaper and follow your instructions. What you're trying to do is give them the ability to maybe one day step up in their role so that they're not having to do the day-to-day, that maybe they can do other things or if they want to take a holiday or if they're sick. And I would just explain it to the VAs, like, I'm not trying to get in a position where I don't need you. I want to want you all the time and therefore, don't need you always doing this or whatever it may be.
But the other thing is too, I find that, even just the process of doing SOPs, that's where you find the inefficiencies, the gaps that always come up. So if you write your SOPs during this launch and then the next ones you follow them, that's when you'll notice all of the gaps. And what we found with clients in the past is that they were like, "Well, why are you doing it like this?" And then we'll explain it. And they're like, "Yeah, but you don't need to do it like that." And it's like, whoa, there's a whole inefficient process here because the client didn't know it was being done that way or because they had a software that could have solved that problem and those sorts of things. So I just find it's important as a business owner that you're not reliant on anybody else in case they leave at the end of the day. That's it.
Salome Schillack (24:34):
I love that you said our little lack of abundance brains always go back to, oh, but is this person going to think I'm replacing them. But the truth is it could be that they could get a promotion or you always have an agreement with someone who comes into your business, that they are going to deliver a certain thing by a certain time and a certain date. And you might feel like, well, if I ask them to do an SOP, then I'm insinuating that I'm going to replace them, but it could be that something happens to them and they go work somewhere else or go do something else.
So it's never a personal thing. It's always a business safeguard thing. And I'm seeing in my business where I have not put those SOPs in place now that my team is growing and my team is amazing and they can make things up if they need to. They're really great at that. I am very good at hiring independent workers, it's just a little bit to my detriment because there are such independent workers that then sometimes I need to do something and I go, "How do I do that thing? Where did we put that?" I don't know. And I'm the business owner and I'm going, "I have no idea how we do that." I cannot do it without help. Makes me feel a little bit unqualified. Yeah, that's great. So they start creating their standard operating procedures. I love that. And then again, data, when they're in this middle section, what sort of data are we looking for here?
Louise Griffiths (26:05):
Yeah. I mean, look, it's a lot of the same sort of things, but I tend to start pulling in a lot more, I guess, engagement type stats as well. So if they're running challenges, understanding the same sort of thing, group size before and after, engagement rates, all that sort of thing. We find that a lot of people get very successful with their communities at this stage as well. And that doesn't necessarily mean you have to have one. It means if you do have one, this is where it can become quite lucrative to build it. And I think the other sorts of stats here are comparing launches and being able to understand things like cost per acquisition or cost per sale, and understanding your organic lead generation versus your paid lead generation.
And really, it's all about certainty, it's being able to come up with a few launches with averages and being able to go, if I put this in, I get this out. And it's obviously never going to be exactly that, but you want to be able to get to the point where you go into every launch with your, I need this goal, I need this number of sales in order to just call this launch good. And then you've got your number that you're expecting and that you're wanting. And then you've got your stretch goal.
And so you want to be really realistic with them because as a launch manager, we spend time looking at those numbers because that's what gives us red flags if we're not getting close to those numbers. So if you're realistic with them, that gives someone like me and an ads team or anybody else working to generate those sorts of leads in sales the ability to have really crystal clear focus, everything is driving towards these numbers. So starting to understand what numbers are important for you is really good as well. So for like one of our clients does a challenge as part of her launch twice a year.
And one of the really key things that we look at is group growth during the launch, because we have being able to start to correlate how much the group is growing by how many new people are coming in or go, how many, that kind of portion between you and existing people on the list are likely to buy. And so you can get a little bogged down in data. So it's really just like, choose the ones that are most important to you and be tracking them every launch and comparing them every launch as well.
Salome Schillack (28:26):
Yeah. Oh, I love that. One of the things that we see with clients when they come in and they're at this stage is something that's often not haven't been tracked. And that once we put that in place makes things so much easier, it's just tagging on their CRM, have proper tagging in there. So when we look at which one of your lead magnets also resulted in sales, it's kind of a revolutionary concept that you can run a report and go, well, you have three different lead magnets, but let's see the people who downloaded, which one of those three actually resulted in sales. And then let's get rid of the other two or let's only run the other two in a different season. Things like that makes them so much easier.
Louise Griffiths (29:09):
You bring up a really good point on the mindset part of it as well, because a lot of people look at it, or I'm doing this stuff over here and then I'm doing my launches. And one of the things that we try to incorporate with the reporting is that your launch is actually just part of everything else you're doing during the year. So understanding that correlation, and one of the really interesting stats that we have seen with clients that we do multiple launches for is the number of new people on the list versus the sale that buy the launch after. So they might not buy during that launch, but a portion of them will have been through the launch before and then buying the launch after. So they don't buy in the launch they come in and they buy in the one after.
So what we do is that, like you said, the tagging and the naming and everything is really important so that we can actually see, generally, how long someone is on the list before they buy, because then we can make decisions about how often we launch and how much we spend. Because if you just look at your ad spend and go, okay, well, this wasn't worth it. But then if you just launched that one more time, all those people would have started buying. Then you're not looking at the bigger picture as well. So launches should never be looked at in silo when you get to that stage. So, yeah. Good point on your point.
Salome Schillack (30:26):
I love that you bring up how many people buy in the next launch, because when we're so deep in it, we forget that it's a journey and it's a relationship. And I mean, I've certainly been on some people's email lists for years and have watched them launch year after year after year. And maybe at the beginning, I couldn't afford to be in it and then lost interest in it. And then years later, come back and go, "Oh, I've always wanted to buy that course." And then once you can afford it, then you go into course buying mode. It's like, "Oh, she's launching, I'm going to buy that."
Louise Griffiths (31:03):
And generally at that point, you buy it without even opening an email and I've done that. And I'm like, "You know what's really funny? If I was the launch manager, I'd be so frustrated because I wouldn't be able to figure out where this person bought from." I'm that person.
Salome Schillack (31:17):
I am that person too. My team looks at the library of online courses that I have and they just shake their hands at me. But I love it because there's so many good people teaching good stuff. And it was relevant when I started out and now it's still relevant and I'm just going to absorb it in a different way. And I am totally that person who goes, "Yeah, yeah. I'm so glad that email made it into my inbox." And goes and spends a $1,000 without-
Louise Griffiths (31:45):
Salome Schillack (31:47):
I love it. I love it. We should all be working towards getting to that point. All right. So now when we move up to like $100,000 launches, this is now becoming a beast. And then, I mean, there are $2 million launches that we've been, I've been lucky enough to be on the ads of some two and a half million dollar launches or big multimillion dollar launches, which you've probably been on many of those. And that becomes a whole industry in its own. But if you're at the $100,000 launch size, how are you preparing for that scale of launch? What are you managing? What are you tracking? What are the key big things that you have to pay attention to?
Louise Griffiths (32:35):
You tend to get a lot of growing pains at this point because you tend to have a lot more team on board and you've got your team that you probably have. At this point, you've probably got customer service person that works for you all the time. And maybe even someone who is inside your programs as a program manager or community manager or something like that. So you tend to have your core team that you're already working with and then you're likely to be also bringing people in to do specific things during launches. So even as a launch manager launches, maybe not at the $100,000, but as you're definitely getting up into the 300,000, 400,000, 500,000, the complexity is enormous.
And I think at that point, you want to make sure that, as the business owner, you're definitely not doing the day-to-day management. There's no way that I could see someone getting to that size and being able to manage the launch themselves and have enough energy to perform, which is what you do as the business owner. You're there to perform during a launch and create all this content and everything. And you need energy. You need mental energy for that sort of thing. And if you are getting bogged down in the day-to-day, you've got a problem, because there's no way you're going to show up at your best if 10 minutes before the webinar, you were putting out a fire in the backend, it's just not going to happen.
And I've had clients before that have come on and they've struggled through a few launches on their own and they bring me in and I'm like, "You're actually just not ready to launch." We have so much we need to fix in the backend because you can be quick to complain that, yeah, but this person always forgets to do this one thing no matter how many times I tell them, or it doesn't matter what we do, the webinar always breaks the day before, whatever it may be. And it can be easy to say that, but without going into it with solutions, you're just not ready.
And if you're not having debriefing calls with your team, and I would say at a $100,000 launch, you need to be having your team on your debriefing calls, not just your key people, but most people, and getting feedback on everyone from project management perspective, is there anything we could have given you to help you with your job? Is there anything you feel like you would do differently next time? What were the roadblocks for you? What stopped you doing this in time or properly or whatever it may be?
And it's not just about having the debriefing call, it's also ensuring that someone's responsibility is to make sure that's recorded and happens next time, because it's one thing to get on these calls and brainstorm all these ideas and go off in 10 million directions and then nothing changes. And then the next launch, you're going, "Yeah, but we talked about this last time and nothing ever changes." So it can be really hard to pause at that level because you're at a point in your business where you've got fixed expenses and you need to launch generally to have cashflow. Obviously, you don't want to be running that short that your cashflow is funding the rest of the business for the month after. But generally, you get into a situation where launching is important for your business, you probably go evergreen going, but your launching is your cash injections every year.
And so you don't want to be putting it off, but at the same time, I think at this point, it's really about understanding how your team dynamics are. Honestly, I think a lot of business owners struggle with that. The team can often be the biggest issue at that point, not necessarily the launch.
Salome Schillack (36:07):
I agree with you. And I think it's mostly because at that stage, you're learning how to manage a team and learning how to hand things off. I was in my Mastermind with Stu McLaren this week and there was this line that just stood out to me and I actually want to frame it and put it up in my office. And it just says, work less, lead more. And I was like, "Yes, that is, at that level, it is really important to become the leader, not the worker." And I mean, if you are the worker at that stage still, you're probably working your tail off and you're probably feeling burnt out and you're probably not building a team because you're not building a team.
Louise Griffiths (36:48):
Yeah. And that can be a hard cycle to get into. And it can be hard too, because you want to bring team in that you can rely on and grow and learn and all that sort of stuff, but that comes with its own teething. So you need to find that balance between team that have the ability to have initiative to just come in and drive things forward. And then having team that can be led by you or somebody else in order to get everything done. And you have to really think about it holistically. You can't just go, I need a tech person, I need this, I need this. You actually have to think about how that team is structured. And you're right, it's not just about launches at this point, it's about your business as a whole. It's not like it was when you were really small and you had dreams of your a $100,000 launches. It's very different when you get there and realize that your role as a business owner changes at that stage of your business.
Salome Schillack (37:45):
Yeah, that's true.
Louise Griffiths (37:46):
And there's times that you also have to have faith that the team's making the right decisions and not feel like you have to be involved in everything, especially as you start to get bigger up to that kind of half a mill as well. You just can't be across everything. And you certainly want to make sure those key things are happening for the launch, especially with tech and the backend and customer service. But if you can't foster that trust with your team, it can be really difficult for you to just get your head out of the backend of the launch and focus on the thing that only you can do as the business owner.
Salome Schillack (38:21):
Yeah. And I think there's a certain point where hiring someone like you can take so much pressure off of the team, because the team, even if you have an amazing team, if it's not something they've done a 100 times, they can probably pull it through, but it's going to be stressful. It's going to put pressure on your team, it's going to create conflict, it's going to put pressure on you. So there's such a beauty in hiring someone like you with such a highly specific skill to come in and just literally just slot into the team and lead that part of it for that period, for that season, and then debrief it and unpack it. And then the team goes back to what they were doing and they're stronger and they've learned so much and it's been a beautiful, healthy, wholesome experience for everyone because you didn't rely on people who could figure things out, but don't have experience to figure something new out.
Louise Griffiths (39:27):
Yeah. Because the last thing you want to do is bring your team every launch, because they're going to dread the next launch. And then that's not going to go in with the right energy either. If your team is dreading it before they even begin, then that's not what you want to be going in with. And I think the interesting thing, certainly, as you get towards the kind of 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 plus launches, is that your focus shifts from that front end of the ecosystem, I was talking about, where you're really focusing on the runway, and operationally, as a business, really, it turns to delivery.
What I find people trip up with if they grow too quickly is on the delivery at this point. So people who really nail that front end do really well. But what tends to happen is if you also don't have the team there on the delivery end, onboarding and making sure that everybody gets their logins and the community is thriving, and call times go out, links are right, all that little nitty-gritty stuff in the backend as well, which creates this amazing experience that wants people to tell other people and all that sort of thing.
That's where I find a lot of people as their launches get bigger and bigger tend to just get a little bit stuck. They never quite figure that out because it doesn't fit into a launch, as such, it's what happens after cart closes. And sometimes I always make sure that I address it with clients in the project planning stage, do you want this to be part of what we're managing or not? Because some of them do have it pretty well don't pay as soon as the cart goes through, it's all streamlined. But we do find certainly for people, if you're lucky enough to be one of those people who has one of those launches that just goes crazy all of a sudden, that the delivery is where a lot of the headaches come from trying to make sure that that's being managed.
Salome Schillack (41:10):
Yeah. It's so important that we remember that our customer journey starts with the first interaction they have with us on social media. And it goes through the lead magnet that they opt in for and all the podcast episodes that they listened to and the webinar that they sign up for, but it doesn't stop as soon as they pay us, it still keeps going to that onboarding experience, and then the delivery, all the way through to where they tell their friends, "Hi, you guys need to come and join this, because this is the most awesome thing ever." It requires so much work just getting them to the sale, but the work doesn't stop there. The work actually begins there.
Louise Griffiths (41:46):
And I think it's a generally a good rule of thumb, regardless. If you're starting out, focus on the middle, focus on your conversions, focus on that sort of part. And then once you've got that nailed down and you know that people are buying and that the offer's good, then move and start looking at that front end, how do we just get more people through? Because the more people through, the more people buy. And then once you've got that sorted, then you can move to the backend and go, okay, now how do we make this the most amazing experience? And that doesn't mean that you don't focus on that from the beginning, obviously, but I'm talking about where you as the business owner really want to focus the project within the project, if that makes sense.
Salome Schillack (42:22):
Yeah, I agree. And I feel like that needs to be figured out before you start scaling, because otherwise, you're just going to create a bunch of unhappy students.
Louise Griffiths (42:31):
Well, and that's the thing, it's hard to come back from people who start talking about you online about how terrible the experience is. So, but the other thing that you can overdo it at the beginning is thinking you need to keep making the course better and better and better and better. And that's not going to increase your sales. So that's where you have to be really careful about what's important in the long time.
Salome Schillack (42:51):
Yeah. And show restraint and learn to stay focused. That's such good advice. What data is the most important data for people to pay attention to at this level?
Louise Griffiths (43:04):
Really, at the end of the day, you're looking at those, the macro ones are really around your ad spend. And we start talking a lot more about business expenses at this point with business owners as well, because you want to take into account what you're paying in team as well, because it's now not necessarily just about profitability of launches, but actually the team and the time it's taking going into those launches as well, that needs to be balanced out with the profitability of other projects going on in the business because by then, you might have more than one product as well. So that's definitely something that we start to look at from a stats perspective at that stage, and just make sure that we're not investing in the wrong areas. But really, at the end of the day, you need to get to a point, like we said, where it's like ad spending money out.
And also too, if you've got social media people working, you want to be talking to them about what those key metrics are. And we see a lot of clients at this stage starting to look at other conversion methods like DM, converting through DMs or through chat bots and things like that as well. So just understanding and making sure that you're not over complicating that process and you understand where your sales actually come from at the end of the day. So if you don't have someone on your team who understands Google Analytics and is good at stats and all that sort of thing, then make sure that that's something you're starting to focus on at this stage because understanding those key stats are really important.
One of the other things that we start doing is keeping stats up to date as you go. So as launches get bigger, it can become very overwhelming to do reports all at the end. And also you can often look back at daily numbers and go, "Oh, if we'd actually noticed that, then we would have changed things." So things like keeping an eye on open rates of every email. Now, they're obviously going to change throughout the launch because someone might open an email two weeks after you sent it.
But what you're trying to make sure is, if an email falls flat, then, okay, let's make a note of it, but if two emails fall flat, we've got a problem, do we have a deliverability problem? Are we using too many emojis in the subject line? You want to be flexible enough to identify things that are going to derail you. So we'll set parameters for where we think open rates should be at, for example. And yes, maybe there's nothing we can do about it, but we want to identify it as early as possible so that we can at least understand how that might affect launch. And also, daily opt-in, signups, and performance of ads and things as well.
One of the really interesting things we start to map out is the predictability of sales each day. So where do your sales normally come in? Obviously, they're generally going to come in on day of first webinar, but then what does that pattern look like over a few? Because sometimes clients can panic and be like, "Oh, we've only had a few sales. I remember last time we had like 50 sales at this point." And then you look back, you're like, "Hmm, it was 35." You know what I mean? So it's just important to get that granular pattern behavior so that you're not panicking in the middle of launches because maybe a webinar doesn't convert, maybe you chose the wrong timezone, or you can look back and go, okay, well, this gets a lot, you show up rate, but we actually, percentage wise, get a good conversion rate from it. So this is where you can start to just tweak the dials a little bit around.
Salome Schillack (46:43):
I love that. I absolutely love that. And I see that so often that the clients, it makes such a huge difference to them when they can start understanding these more granular numbers and see them as part of the big picture, but also as part of key pivot points in the business. But I love what you say. It's kind of like when you have the big picture overview of it, you're not necessarily going to start panicking when something doesn't happen on the day the way it should happen on the day, but when day two and day three also starts to fall flat, then there's definitely something going on. And if you're still in the launch theme, it gives you the time and the flexibility to pivot and to try something else and to try making up for that. That's great advice.
Louise Griffiths (47:29):
Yeah. And the other thing I would say as well as your launches get big is start to make a document of the what-ifs, not to jinx yourself and touch wood while you write the document, but I find that it's very difficult for business owners to make decisions in the moment when they're emotional, especially if you've got a lot of money and time invested in a launch, it's very hard to make a decision on the spot that might affect the launch. And so being able to do those what-if scenarios before launch helps you be able to at least go back and go, okay, well, I agree or disagree now, but it gives you a starting point.
So if you can start to foresee some of the things that might happen, like what happens if your internet drops out halfway through your webinar? What's going to happen in that situation? Okay, well, we'll make sure another team member is a co-host or my moderator so that if they drop out, the moderator keep the room going until you sign back in. So it's starting to, and this is why being an experienced launch manager helps because you have seen your nightmares and you've only experienced things once and then you always documented, but that's where the beauty of bigger launches are going to go. It's really in those finer details. And I think the team trust is a big thing as your launches get bigger.
Salome Schillack (48:50):
Yeah. And the collective learning that happens over the course of launching and launching. You mentioned the big blunders, the big disasters, I want to hear some of the big disasters. Can you think of a few big disasters just to entertain us?
Louise Griffiths (49:11):
Well, certainly, I wasn't launch funding at the time, but a client that came on afterwards, the dropping out at sales pitch is the big one. I can't think of anything. Yeah, right at sales pitch, but I can't think of anything much worse than that, to be honest, when you put everything into it, and just like that. I actually have a business owner friend who has actually flown from Australia to Hawaii before just to do webinars because she could never trust her own webinars to work. And she thought, well, if I'm going to go away and launch, I might as well do it somewhere beautiful, relaxing in a hotel where I've got guaranteed good internet, because for anyone listening outside of Australia, we just don't have great internet here compared to other countries anyway. But I mean, look, I think that's one of the things. Look, I think I don't really have anything too funny because it's never funny.
Salome Schillack (50:09):
It is not funny in the moment.
Louise Griffiths (50:11):
Well, we've had things, like ad teams running ads to wrong landing pages, and then we can't work out why we're getting no sign up. All those sorts of like little things. But I think most of the time, I think I've blocked time most of them.
Salome Schillack (50:28):
That's funny. I once signed up back in the day when I was learning all this stuff, I signed up. I remember signing up for a webinar for someone and then the webinar not happening and her VA coming on and saying, "We're so sorry. She went out in the morning to go and buy something in a shopping center. And somehow ended up getting her car stuck in the parking lot and couldn't get her car, literally, the boom gate, the power went out or something. And then the boom gates didn't work. And she was stuck in a parking lot." I can just imagine. And I do have to say, I was like, "Oh, wow, that's terrible. How is she going to come back from that?" And she did a great job. She just, once she got home that day, she did a recording of the webinar and everyone who signed up for the webinar just got that recording. And I thought that was just such a great example of making lemonade with the lemon.
Louise Griffiths (51:23):
That's right. I did actually have one client you remind me of, she did a webinar and she says, "I'm not going to be on camera. I'm just going to do just slides." And she started her webinar and she was talking, but she was on camera and didn't know. And she had her pajamas on and she had a bandana in her hair and she had no makeup on. And I didn't know, she wore glasses, but she was wearing glasses and all that sort of stuff. And I'm texting her, going, "Turn the camera off, turn the camera, turn the camera off." And it was like 10 minutes later, it was like, she went silent and then the camera went off. And I was just like, "No."
Salome Schillack (52:00):
Very funny. That's funny.
Louise Griffiths (52:01):
So now I don't care what I'm doing, I'll always put makeup and do my hair just in case.
Salome Schillack (52:06):
Just in case. I used to turn the camera off during my webinars and with the idea to then turn them back on when we've done the pitch and we're doing Q&A and to hang out with people. And I forgot to turn the camera back on many, many times. And I also, I go into this big black hole. So my phone is pinging like crazy, my team telling me, turn the camera on, turn the camera on. And it's just, it's like, I am. and I'm talking to the camera all the way. And I got to turn it back on.
Louise Griffiths (52:36):
And it definitely happens when you feel on fire. I really-
Salome Schillack (52:41):
Exactly. So now I just keep the camera on all the time. So I don't have to, that's just one little logistic I don't have to remember. It's just on all the time. And so the makeup will be done, can't guarantee that I will not be in my jean shorts, probably in my jean shorts, but at least my top half will be all dressed up.
Louise Griffiths (53:00):
Well, that's the one tip everyone can take from today.
Salome Schillack (53:04):
Put lipstick on. Louise, If anybody wants to work with you or if they want to learn from you, where can they get hold of you?
Louise Griffiths (53:12):
Yeah, absolutely. So if you're interested in learning more about launch management services, you can find me at leftbrainonlinemarketing.com. That's my agency. And if you're a VA or OBM and wants to learn how to be a launch manager, then you can head over to louisegriffiths.com.
Salome Schillack (53:32):
Fantastic. I have gone through your course and I have no desire to ever be a launch manager, but I couldn't stop raving about your course to my team. I was just like, "Oh my goodness, this is so good." Because you just break it down into such easy to digest small. And the systems and processes, I was just like these templates, it's all there, it's so easy. It blew my mind.
Louise Griffiths (53:59):
Salome Schillack (54:00):
Yeah. So thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you for being my absolute angel in my launch.
Louise Griffiths (54:06):
You are welcome.
Salome Schillack (54:07):
I can't wait to do this again with you.
Louise Griffiths (54:11):
Salome Schillack (54:12):
All right. Louise, thank you.
Louise Griffiths (54:14):
Salome Schillack (54:14):
Bye. Well, there you have it. And I would love it if you send me a direct message on Instagram, tell me what your biggest takeaway was from what Louise shared with us today. Tell me what the one thing is that you're going to do next in your next launch to make it easier for you to make things flow better and to track those data better. I'm @salome.schillack on Instagram. So shoot me a DM over there and I'll see you again next week. Bye. 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.