A successful launch of your online course or coaching program must have a strategic launch plan including four key phases.
As a course creator, you have invested hours upon hours into creating and building a course that you are passionate about and excited to share with your community. You have literally put all your blood, sweat and tears into this course or program. You are passionate about creating a lasting impact in this world. You are ready to share the valuable knowledge and expertise you have, and to empower your community along a transformational journey.
But here’s the thing – it’s not as simple as building your course on a course platform like Kajabi, Teachable or Thinkific and adding the sales page to your website. Or sharing the link to the sales page with your online community. You need to have a strategic launch plan in place – a plan where the four phases of a successful launch come in.
In this article, we are going to delve into these four strategic phases that can transform your course or coaching program into an unforgettable experience. Each phase plays a crucial role in captivating your audience’s attention, building excitement, driving sales, and delivering a remarkable learner experience.
Let’s take a look at the Four Phases of a Strategic Launch Plan.
Phase 1: Spark Engagement
Before you start planning a launch for your course or coaching program, it’s essential to take the time to build the foundation of an engaged audience and online community who are invested in learning from you. This first phase is where you lay the groundwork for the rest of your launch.
Think of it as the warm-up before the main event, where you’re building a genuine, engaged community who eagerly awaits what’s next.
The Goal: The goal of this phase is to build and nurture an engaged email list and community.
The Timeline: It is recommended to focus at least 30 days, if not up to 90 days, for this first phase.
During this first phase, you become the storyteller, captivating your audience with compelling written content, and teaching your audience about the gap between what they “know” and what they need to learn from you through your course or program. You want to create authentic connections, build trust, and spark excitement and interest in what you have to offer.
You achieve this by providing valuable free content in the form of blog posts or podcast episodes, creating an active social media presence, offering an enticing free lead magnet, and sending out regular newsletters to your email list.
Phase 2: Amplify Excitement
In Phase 2, you are building on the foundations that you formed in Phase 1 and the community that you have engaged with. In this phase, you will continue to engage with your community and you will also begin to focus your content on the theme of your upcoming launch event.
The Goal: The goal of this phase is to continue to nurture your email list and online community, as well as to build excitement for your upcoming launch event by providing a sneak peek into what’s coming and encouraging people to sign up.
The Timeline: It is recommended to keep this second phase of your launch to 2-3 weeks (4 weeks at most) leading up to the launch event date.
During this phase, it’s all about keeping the excitement alive with your audience. Continue to use your storytelling skills to craft captivating content that gives a sneak peek or teaser of what’s coming for them to learn more about. You want to make your audience feel like they’re on the brink of something extraordinary that will be a huge help to their journey.
You achieve this by continuing to provide valuable free content on your blog or podcast, your social media channels, and in your newsletters, with the focus of the provided content connected to the information your audience is going to learn during the launch event. You want to let them know why they need to sign up for this event. What are they missing out on? What are they going to be able to achieve after coming to your launch event? Why is this training so important to their success?
And don’t forget to specifically promote your launch event and give them a way to sign up.
Phase 3: Unveil Transformation
Your long-awaited and anticipated launch event is here! This phase is all about showcasing your knowledge and expertise through your Launch Event and sharing the transformation of your online course or coaching program.
The Goal: The goal of this phase is to sell your online course or coaching program using a Launch Event that provides a sneak peek into what the course/program is about and the transformation people will receive.
The Timeline: This third phase is typically 5 – 14 days, depending on the type and duration of Launch Event you are using and how long you keep the course open to buy. It is recommended to keep your course cart open for no more than 5-10 days.
This phase is the heart of your whole launch – where the first two phases have been pointing your email list and community to. Your focus during this phase is to deliver an amazing experience filled with highly-valuable information to all of those who have registered for your launch event, and to showcase the transformation and benefits of your course/program.
You achieve this phase by educating and engaging with those attending your Launch Event, and celebrating the benefits and key transformation of your course/program to give people a reason to buy. Provide multiple options for your community to engage with you through Q&A time(s) during the Launch Event, offering 1-1 calls to discover if your course/program is the right fit, and personal follow-ups with those ‘hot leads’. Don’t forget to send out a couple promotional emails about your course/program directly to those who did not register for your Launch Event.
Phase 4: Celebrate Connection
Yes, the launch is over, but your work is not quite done. The journey is just beginning for the new learners in your course/program and it’s time to deliver an amazing onboarding experience, provide your learners with support, foster community and engagement and show them that their investment was a smart move.
The Goal: In this phase, your goal is to deliver an exceptional onboarding experience and ensure your new learners feel valued, empowered, and supported.
The Timeline: This phase begins immediately upon people purchasing your course/program. It is ongoing for the duration of the course/program but is especially important for the first week as your learners are onboarded.
In this last phase of the launch, your words become a source of guidance and encouragement as your learners become familiar with the course platform and how to get started on working their way through the course materials. It is important to ensure that your students are on a path to success and feel supported every step of the way. You don’t want them to start feeling buyer’s remorse but rather to truly believe that their investment into your course/program was a smart move.
This can be achieved by creating an informative and engaging onboarding experience, communicating the various ways that your learners can connect with you and receive additional support, as well as encouraging engagement within your community.
Ensure you have a strong email sequence set up with the necessary information to set your learners up for success throughout the duration of the course/program. An additional option is to send a quick “Why didn’t you buy?” follow-up email to those who expressed interest in the course/program but didn’t move forward in purchasing.
To recap, the four phases of a successful launch for your course or program are:
Phase 1: Spark Engagement by building and nurturing an engaged email list and online community.
Phase 2: Amplifiy Excitement by providing a sneak peek into what’s to come with your upcoming Launch Event and continuing to nurture your community.
Phase 3: Unveil Transformation by showcasing your expertise through the Launch Event and providing a sneak peek into your course/program and the transformation people will receive.
Phase 4: Celebrate Connection by creating an awesome onboarding experience and ensuring your learners feel valued, empowered, and supported throughout the duration of the course/program.
Through the power of storytelling and providing value-added content, you can guide your community through each phase, leaving them excited and eager to be a part of your transformative journey. Your story is waiting to be told and your community is ready to listen. Embrace each phase and launch with the intention of creating an impact on the lives of your community.