The Anatomy of My First Product Launch

So as most of you reading this know that about three weeks ago I launched my very first premium product: Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty.  The project was a long time coming.  I started working on it in November of 2009 and expected to have the much smaller version of it launched in January.  Well things don’t always go according to plan, but nearly 9 months later I was finally able to get something I was really proud of out to the world.

That said, it certainly wasn’t all roses and chocolate.  Yeah, I just said that.

There were a wide variety of things that I did well, and many more that I totally sucked at – so in the fashion of Mr. Adam Baker I’d like to give you a little insight into the anatomy of my product launch.

Thing I did well #1: I chose a subject that I knew a lot about.

Part of the reason this thing didn’t get launched earlier in the year was due to the fact that I had yet to really overcome my fears.  Sure I was able to leave my job and move to Thailand, but I had no idea if I’d be able to find a way to make this lifestyle work.  I figured there was a very good possibility that I’d come back from my trip six months later and find another “real job”.  Once I realized that wasn’t the case, I was really able to be confident in my ability to put together a useful guide to help others do similar things in their lives. Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty

Thing I didn’t do well #1: I chose a subject that is somewhat difficult to market.

While I believe that everyone has a fear or an uncertainty of some sort that they could get over by reading the guide, I get the suspicion that a lot of people don’t want to pay for that.  This isn’t a “how to make a million dollars in a week” kind of guide.  This is a higher level guide about how to tackle emotional issues, and for whatever reason, people are more reluctant to pay for that kind of stuff.

That said, I’ve sold around 50 copies which I’m tremendously happy about.  Many members are already taking action and making major life changes which means that I’ve accomplished my goal.

Thing I did well #2: I had everything done on time and ready for launch (almost).

I don’t have any stories about being up until 5 in the morning writing sales letters and fixing problems.  I was able to hang out with some friends, have a few beers, and *try* to relax for the big day. The exception to this is the annual review sheet which I’ve had a really hard time putting together for some reason (and it still isn’t out) – so maybe I should chalk this one up to something I didn’t so well afterall…

Thing I didn’t do well #2: I didn’t launch with an affiliate program

The whole point of a launch day is to make it a BIG deal.  Mine was pretty big.  I had a lot of traffic, a lot of tweets, and a lot of support from my online community.  BUT, and this is a big but, I didn’t launch with an affiliate program/didn’t do anything for them.  Had I launched with an affiliate program from the beginning I probably could have easily doubled my sales, and made some money for a lot of friends in the process.  So this should be a lesson learned in the future. However I suppose it’s better late than never! (Check out the brand new affiliate program that launched Monday).

Thing I did well #3: I gave incentives to my biggest supporters.

When I launched, I sent a discount to everyone on my mailing list thanking them for their support.  The discount worked for the first 20 people, and I think my biggest fear was not selling those 20 copies.  Luckily, I sold out rather quickly and was able to get this into the hands of some of the people who were most passionate about it.

Thing I didn’t do well #3: I didn’t follow up.

Whether it making new updates available on the site, related posts on my blog, or guest posts on other blogs, I let the buzz of the launch die out too early.  Had I made more of an effort to discuss related topics on Location 180 or written guest posts at a number of places that have agreed to me doing so, I could have kept some of the momentum going.

Bonus thing I did well : I didn’t let my site crash on launch day.

Sorry Baker, I feel like I can say this because you’re the man and you know I love you – and you created a hell of a product that will do extremely well regardless of a faulty site :)

Note: Adam Baker launched his new product “Sell Your Crap” on the same day as me.  It was supposed to be the day before but his site crashed the morning of the launch.

While I may not have made my millions off this product, I’m pretty excited about the results and the potential for the future.  I’ll be able to take everything I learned and apply to projects moving forward, and hopefully continuing to build off the success I’ve already experienced.

So thats what happened this go around, but what’s in store for the future?  Well I’m continuing to update Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty with new interviews and updates as often as possible.  But I’ve got a new component to the site (or potentially a new site altogether) that I’m cooking up which I think you guys are really going to like.  I’ll be sending out a letter to the mailing list describing details and getting some feedback from you, so I definitely recommend checking that out.

Thanks again to everyone for making my launch day a day I’ll never forget!

If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out the RSS Feed, Facebook page, and newsletter over in the sidebar!

ChristiaanH - Mind the Beginner October 20, 2010 at 8:56 am

Great going Sean!

It’s always nice to read about other people who “did it” and see where things could go wrong, but went right. Lessons to be learned there.

It’s really starting to itch to create something of my own, to be at least as proud of as you are of this, your very first launch. How many hours would you say you have invested in this project?

Congratulations on your success!

David October 20, 2010 at 9:15 am

Great post, Sean!
I’m happy about your success. In the end, it’s all about taking action and learning by doing.

I was already wondering why you launched your Affiliate Program a few weeks after your launch. I thought that there might be a reason for that.

Joseph Rooks October 20, 2010 at 10:10 am

Hey Sean, thanks for sharing this. It’s really generous of both you and Baker to give this information out to your readers, and I’m sure it’ll help me dodge some of these problems in the near future. :)

Joseph Rooks October 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

(By the way – the image in your product’s banner absolutely horrifies me. In a good way.)

NomadicNeill October 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

I can somewhat identify with point 1.

I used to do hypnosis and NLP coaching and not everyone could see the value in examining and changing values and beliefs or practicing things like meditation.

Those same people would then ask me how I was confident enough to do things like travel around the world on my own or bungee-jump despite not being fond of heights

A lot of people are more motivated by more tangible things like money, sex, health and we can help open them up to the possibility that to get more of those type of things it often helps to change what’s going on in your mind first.

Fabian | The Friendly Anarchist October 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for this update, Sean. Baker’s post on his launch day is one of my all-time favorites, and while your day was a lot more relaxed, there are many great lessons to learn – especially for a person like me who hates overhyped launches.
Looking forward to things to come, and I hope the affiliate program will work out nicely. I believe this program can help a lot of people, although it might be difficult to comunicate all of its value. Working together with affiliates seems to be the way to go!

Andrew October 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Glad to hear the report! Based on the topic, it definitely sounded like a tricky one to market. Then again, I probably fear stagnation more than uncertainty so my bias kinda throws me out of your demographic.

Alan October 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Wow, 50 copies? A successful launch! Thanks for sharing this.

Mark Powers October 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Hey, Sean! Very cool to get to hear the good and the bad about your launch. As is also the case with Baker’s “How To Suck . . .” post, it’s huge of you to be transparent, pass along what you learned in the process, and make people aware that it’s NOT all roses and chocolate. Thanks a ton, man!

Baker October 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Haha, I love you more. ;-)

Lilian October 21, 2010 at 4:40 am

A little late but.. congrats! That makes you one more step ahead by taking action to launch your first product.Here’s wishing you more success going your way!

John DeVries October 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

In spite of the launch imperfections your product was awesome Sean.

And anyone who didn’t buy a hosting membership (as offered in the course) and then take advantage of having a conversation with you is nuts.

If you’re reading this and you’ve still got ANY sort of details to work out in terms of your travel, blogging, or lifestyle design plans, buy the hosting space and call Sean! Even if you don’t use the hosting service, an hour to pick Sean’s brain is more than worth it. Not to mention he’s just an all around nice guy that wants to help people.

Anyway, congrats man. I’ll definitely become an affiliate at some point and can’t wait to see where you take the rest of this site and your future projects.

Matt October 21, 2010 at 11:22 am

These kinds of real world posts regarding the good and the bad of product launches are so informative so thanks for putting this piece together Sean. To share all the aspects of your launch with others is a great way to give back. Having had first hand experience with this awesome product I know the hard work you put in and continue to put into it. So congratulations on your success! Looking forward to see what incredible things you do next.

Will October 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

Congratulations on your success.

Learning tons from all these launch case studies, good and bad.

Maybe one day I’ll get there. For now I’ll keep learning.

Great stuff Sean!

Comments on this entry are closed.

« »