I have launch fatigue.

Maybe it is because I am part of at least a dozen online business and blogging groups, but… is it just me or does it seem like someone is launching a new online business coach program EVERY WEEK?

Sometimes, EVERY DAY.

And here’s a little secret…

As a freelance copywriter, I’ve helped some of these coaches fine-tune their copy and develop launch plans… only to see them not make a single sale. I have talked to other copywriters who have shared similar stories.

I’m 100% confident in my skills as a sales page writer and launch consultant, because I have also assisted coaches with six-figure launches – not that is what I call a successful online launch!

So why are most launches a complete and utter FLOP FLOP FLOP? (I call them “dead fish launches” because flop like a dying fish.)

Two reasons:

  1. The coach does not have an engaged fanbase.
  2. They are selling the same generic shit you can get from a million other people.

If you were thinking about using your blog as a jumping off point to start a coaching business, let me do a deep dive into these two reasons so you can avoid having a DEAD FISH LAUNCH of your own.

Building Your Fanbase

I have seen hundreds of blog posts, Facebook groups, and products that are all about building a community. The entire point of building a community for your blog or business is so you can launch and sell a successful product to members of that community. And I definitely agree with the advice that you will find it hard to succeed without a community.

But a community is only STEP 1 of the process.

You need to turn those community members into rabid fans who know, like, and trust you.

KNOW – LIKE – TRUST is the triple threat in business.

First, people have to know who you are and what your business is all about. That’s the easy part, as long as you know what you and your business are about. (A surprising number of business owners have no clue, and they fall into the failure bucket.) A blog is NOT a business… it is a tool for marketing your business! So, get clear about what you have to offer before you start offering yourself up to people.

Next, they have to like you. This means more than just a Facebook like, guys and gals; your readers have to actually identify with you and feel a connection to you, as though you were a friend.

Finally, they have to trust you. In other words, they have to trust that your advice will help them. They could really like you as a person and identify with your business, but also be wary that your online course, ebook, coaching program, etc. is not going to solve their problem for whatever reason. These reasons are called “barriers to entry.”

Okay, so know – like – trust… but isn’t that what you’ll get if you build a community?

Yes and no.

Right now, I want you to log into your Facebook account and count how many groups you’ve joined and how many pages you’ve liked. For most of us, the number is surprisingly high, probably dozens if not hundreds. And that’s okay… it’s a good to be a member of a lot of diverse communities so you can grow your blog and business.

But if your readers (and potential customers) are anything like you… they are a member of just as many communities. Maybe more.

Now think about which groups out of all of the groups you’ve joined are your all-time favorites. I bet you think of 3-5 groups right off the bat.

Those are groups where you are actually a FAN and heading down the know – like – trust tunnel. Everything else is just bonus, stuff you’ll check out if you get around to it.

In order to sell coaching programs, you have to have fans like this, who names your community as one of their top 3 favorites.

Other products, you can sell them to a wider community, but coaching programs are very specialized. You need a fanbase, not just community members. I cannot stress that enough. There is a difference!

The best way I know how to do this is to be extremely helpful, free of charge. Share tips that make a DIFFERENCE for people, and give your community members individual help with their problems. Don’t just direct them to your coaching program. Help, help, help. The sales will follow, because you’re building a massive about of trust with people when you give them specific tips that actually work.

Yes… this takes time! Some people think they can just create a Facebook group and BAM they have a business. There is no set-it-and-forget-it program. You need to put in the time to see results, especially when your community is new.

Standing Out from the Crowd

Once you have a fanbase, you need to set yourself apart from the same generic coaching programs that the entire blogging world seems to be launching.

To have a successful online launch for your coaching program, you need to stand out.

It doesn’t matter how much you tweak your sales page or ads or emails or price or any other part of your launch plan if you are selling the same old shit that most coaches sell.

Sorry for the hard truth here, but if nothing makes you unique, you’re going to have a very mediocre launch at best. AT BEST.

I know coaches who have launched generic programs… and didn’t make a single sale.

People sell coaching programs every single day. What makes you different? What makes you better?

I’ve found that the coaching programs that sell the very best all have one thing in common: they are attacking a very specific problem, rather than being a general “help you find business success” program.

More general information might be okay for a blog post or even a very low-priced ebook… but someone who spends hundreds of dollars on a coaching program doesn’t want “general.” They want specific solutions to their biggest problems.

Anything that you sell for more than $50 needs to be specialized if you want to find success.

Bad Example: Business Success Coaching Program
Better Example: Social Media Marketing Coaching Program

Bad Example: Allison’s “Earn More Money” Business Coaching Program
Better Example: Allison’s “Earn More Money with Facebook Ads” Business Coaching Program

Obviously, these titles would need to be better for an actual coaching program launch. 🙂 But I hope you get the point. People generally do not want coaching programs to teach them EVERYTHING. They want to learn a specific skill really well.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, and if you have a community of a million rabid fans, you can pretty much sell whatever you want. But if you’re new to the coaching game and have a relatively small community (less than 50K people), specialization is the way to go for a successful online launch.

What do YOU want to be known for?

So there you go, that’s my best advice to avoid a smelly, slimy dead fish launch that FLOPS around and needs to be put out of its misery.

One last tip… if you launch a coaching program and it flops… you are not alone. It happens to everyone on the road to success. Not every product or service you launch will be a success, even if you have a large community of fans and even if you take measures to specialize and stand out from the crowd.

Those are just the first two steps.

So, if you do have a dead fish launch, what’s most important is that you LEARN from your mistakes. Was it bad copywriting? Was it bad timing? Was it a tech failure? Send a survey to the people who didn’t buy and figure out what you can do to make your next launch successful.

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