Why Your New Program Launch Could Fail (And How to Prevent It)

The importance of Personal Branding for Entrepreneurs

Thinking about doing a product or program launch to get some fast sales? Read this first!

Over the years I’ve worked with many entrepreneurs who are excited about getting going in their business. They’ve listened to many webinars and courses promising them riches with their next program launch and want to dive in to make money fast.

They are even being told they don’t need a website; all they need is a landing page and auto-responder sequence and watch the money flow in!

If only.

The problem these “gurus” are not sharing during these hyped-up presentations is that just because it worked for them, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.

Why?

One of the reasons is personal branding.

Those that have successful program launches have already established themselves in the marketplace and have built trust and credibility with their followers.

And this is all done through their prior efforts in personal branding. Brand new entrepreneurs haven’t had a chance to do that yet and this is where the disconnect lies.

A personal (or professional as the case may be) brand is very important for entrepreneurs to establish before diving into big-launch mode. This can be done in several ways but before I share that, here’s 6 reasons why developing a personal brand is so important:

1. It establishes your identity in your industry. A brand will help you get noticed and remembered in a crowded space. In order for people to pay attention to what you have to say and purchase from you, you need to be considered established in your industry.

2. It helps you stand out from the crowd. Through your personal branding efforts, your “Unique Selling Proposition” is showcased. By doing this, you are giving your ideal clients a reason to purchase from you as opposed to your competitor.

3. It helps your business grow. Every time your brand is “presented” in front of your ideal target market, you become more and more memorable. People will start to think of you when they, or someone they know, are in need of your offerings.

4. It builds your credibility. Whether factual or perceived, a personal brand will help establish your credibility as someone who knows what they’re talking about in your industry. When you get yourself in front of your ideal target market and showcase your knowledge, you will start to develop a “Know, Like and Trust” factor with that audience. People need to trust that you know your stuff in order to give you their money.

5. It saves you time. When running a business, time is money. So by establishing a good brand presence from the start, you will shorten the amount of time needed to be profitable. It will lessen your credibility-building time – all without you having to explain what you do and how you do it to everyone you meet!

6. It attracts your ideal clients. A good brand presence will eliminate you wading through all the people who are not your ideal client. An ideal client is someone who would be immediately attracted to you and your offerings because the branding has positioned you in a way that speaks to their needs and challenges and provides them with the confidence that you are the perfect solution they are seeking.

Let’s talk about your failed webinar

Why did you get so few people signing up for your program or purchase your product? Because you hadn’t established enough credibility yet with your followers.

You might be an incredible expert in your field, but if you didn’t do the preliminary personal branding steps required first to establish yourself as an expert in their minds, then it’s very hard to convince people you are worth investing in.

For brand new entrepreneurs, this is a challenge. It’s often the chicken and egg conundrum. In order to create a brand, they need money. In order to make money, they need to launch their product, program or services. In order to launch those offerings, they need to establish a brand.

I get it.

And my advice is: before you do your next program launch, be prepared to invest in your business and personal branding first in order to expect any kind of significant results.

So before you go into launch mode after getting excited about hearing “how easy it is” to make money, here’s a checklist of what you need to have in place first to establish your brand positioning. Here’s also some tips on what you can do to ensure a more successful program launch the next time:

Have a professionally designed logo

A logo establishes the foundation of your overall brand. It’s what your target market will grow to recognize over time and will become the symbol of your business. One that they can trust.

Ensure you establish brand continuity and consistency by using this logo in everything you do from your social media accounts to your business card and all your promotional materials in between.

Have a professionally designed and developed website

If your website is amateurish looking and/or doesn’t convey the right message to the right people, then it is not ideally positioned for your target market. You want to draw in your potential customers, not turn them away thinking you’re not the best solution for them. Worse yet is not having a website at all.

A website is a place for prospects to go and check you out before making a purchase decision. They need to determine your credibility, expertise and even your personality, especially if you provide a service. A landing page alone will have a hard time doing this.

Get active on social media by getting in front of your ideal target market

Participate in discussions where you can provide something of value to help you get better positioned as an expert.

Also use social media to build excitement about your upcoming launch. Build anticipation before providing any details on the program itself.

Establish a blog on your website

A blog facilitates your opportunity to write articles that showcase your expertise. Article writing also helps with content marketing strategies that will expand your brand reach to those who would not know of you otherwise.

Make connections with industry leaders

Industry leaders who share the same target market as you (who aren’t competitors) can be a valuable resource if they are willing to become a JV partner. If you’re fortunate enough to know of someone who can do you this favour, jump at it!

By having others who have established brand credibility endorse you and your offering goes a long way in boosting your own credibility and authority in your industry.

Remember there has to be something in it for them with this approach – either they get a commission off of any sales they bring or they have an opportunity for list building included in the campaign.

Get yourself booked for speaking engagements

Go into your community and seek out opportunities for free talks in front of your target audience. Or find Podcast shows, webinars, and other interviews opportunities where you can share your message with your target audience.

Hold a free webinar or teleseminar

Offering something for free before you start selling provides an opportunity to showcase your expertise. Consider it a “try before you buy” concept.

If your webinar presentation is exciting and enticing enough, you could win over people to buy even if they didn’t know who you were previous.

And if a webinar is too much, you could do a free video series or even create a powerful, value-driven free giveaway. By the way, all of these possibilities can also be a list-building tool long after your initial launch.

Of course, aside from lacking personal branding, there are multiple other reasons why a product or program launch can fail but I’ll save that for another article.

If you are one of those that has established your personal brand and are ready for to do a program launch but need help with strategy and implementation, let us know – we can certainly help in all areas needed.

Medical Technology PR Strategies for a Successful Product Launch

You have produced a medical technology that is a breakthrough in the field of medicine, the next thing to do is to let the world know about it. The best medical technology will be of no use if it is not being noticed by the right people. Employing the aid of a professional medical technology PR service provider is the first step to reach the right people and be noticed by the public. This is crucial, especially for a successful product launch. Here are a few tips for an effective medical technology PR prior to a product launch.

Value your PR

For startups or businesses that offer new medical technology, the role of PR in a product launch should not be underestimated. In the current marketing scenario, the effectiveness of advertising decreases, the value of articles and quality content increases. Relevant and fresh PR enables your company not only to gain visibility but also credibility among important persons such as investors, industry peers, and customers.

Write a high-quality press release

PR experts know the importance of content creation and press release in medical technology PR strategies. A high-quality content and relevant press release offer a perception of an actively growing company. This also opens opportunities for acquiring investors and financers due to the increased local visibility of the brand. By producing share-worthy stories for social media, you can increase your brand awareness and gain followers. Consistently relevant press releases can also open an opportunity for your company to be an expert resource for journalists. However, despite the numerous benefits of press releases, not all companies are diligent enough to write them.

For you to maximize the benefits of PR prior to a launch, it helps to produce a high-quality press release to help you boost your brand reputation. If you are able to come up with a cutting-edge medical technology, you are certainly capable of producing a buzz-worthy press release. Expert PR companies can help you identify newsworthy topics from your expertise and share them with the public in the most informative and interesting way.

Look at different angles

If you are wondering what to include in your press release or if you want to write several press releases prior to your launch, there are several topics for you to explore aside from the launch itself. For instance, you can describe the process involved in the initial testing or the work being done with a prototype. You may also share the approval or quality certification you have acquired for the current technology side by side with the awards and recognition you have received. You can also discuss new or updated documentation about your product as well as emerging applications for your technology. You can write a customer case study or share the milestone of units sold and plans for expansion or investments. These are just some of the things you can write about in a press release so you don’t miss the opportunities that may come by simply writing one.

Keep up to date with the current events

One way to produce a relevant and timely content or press release is by tying it up with a current event. Some topics related to the medical field include flu season, soldier safety, returning veterans, healthcare reforms and costs, mobile tools for disease management, disaster relief, etc. Just remember that when mentioning a current event or a crisis, your content should include ways on how your company or product can help in addressing the situation. Avoid including trending stories that are unrelated to what you do since this will not be helpful to you and can possibly harm your reputation.

Launch Your Business and Sell Your Products On The Best E-Commerce Platform Today

Undoubtedly the best E-commerce platform today, Shopify is a Canadian E-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa and created by, like many other companies, people who sought out for something, didn’t get it and decided to make it and avail it to the public.

Shopify has had rapid growth through the years and their purchasing of resources, or better yet other small business brands to further build the company is impressive. What’s more impressive is their easy-to-remember slogan: “Whether you sell, on social media, in store or out of the trunk of your car, Shopify has you covered”. A better version is: “Shopify, the best place to sell online, in person, and anywhere in-between”.

Shopify doesn’t leave you hanging either. The platform hosts a Podcast and avails several resources to business owners in the form of blog posts. In fact, you could be an affiliate, investor or someone whom just follows the platform and they wouldn’t let you down.

You’re new to business and the platform in general? You get posts to help you get your first sale. You’re an affiliate? You get the resources you need to help you better understand and promote the platform. You’re a professional Entrepreneur with lots of experience? Believe it, Shopify has you covered.

But a platform as this does have its drawbacks, especially since the evident rise of drop shipping in 2015 where it became saturated with people thinking that outsourcing products from AliExpress was a good idea (even though drop shipping has been here since people thought of selling stuff to other people) and everyone who failed labeled it a “Get rich quick” scheme, even though Shopify has never publicly, or privately insinuated that using their platform assures/insures success.

WHY SHOPIFY?

There are a lot of attributes that make Shopify a sexy platform; particularly that it can be customized according to ones wishes. They are listed below;

• User friendly interface.

• Plans catering to your needs.

• World class customer support.

• Easy customization.

• A blog for your store.

• Access to Shopify experts that’ll help with your store at a negotiable cost.

• An app store with apps to help you manage your store and many more.

SHOPIFY PLANS

Shopify has plans with features that fits every criteria one may garner. There are generally five shopify plans with specific features available for them. The plans and respective features are discussed below;

THE LITE SHOPIFY PLAN

If you have a Facebook page about a particular activity or service and you have products you could sell on your page, then this is the plan for you. It is limited to only selling on Facebook and costs $9.

THE BASIC SHOPIFY PLAN

This plan costs $29 and has cards rates of: 2.9%+30¢ for Canadian cards, 3.5%+30¢ for Amex or international cards and an in- person card rate of 2.7%+0¢. There are no transaction fees for using Shopify payments as your payment gateway, but using external payment gateways has a transaction fee of 2.0% percent.

With this plan you get these features: two (2) staff accounts, ability to add an unlimited number of products, an unlimited amount of file storage space, a $49 retail package, a “good” Shopify shipping discount, shipping labels printed, 24/7 hour support, fraud analysis, the ability to create orders manually, discount codes, a website and a blog and finally a free SSL certificate. Features you do not get on this plan are: gift cards, professional reports, advanced cart recovery, advanced report builder nor third-party calculated rates.

THE SHOPIFY PLAN

This plan costs $79 and has cards rates of: 2.7%+30¢ for Canadian cards, 3.4%+30¢ for Amex or international cards and an in- person card rate of 2.6%+0¢. There are no transaction fees for using Shopify payments as your payment gateway, but using external payment gateways has a transaction fee of 1.0% percent.

With this plan you get these features: five (5) staff accounts, ability to add an unlimited number of products, an unlimited amount of file storage space, a $49 retail package, a “better” Shopify shipping discount (than the basic plan), shipping labels printed, 24/7 hour support, fraud analysis, the ability to create orders manually, discount codes, a website and a blog, a free SSL certificate, gift cards, professional reports and advanced cart recovery. Features you do not get on this plan are: advanced report builder and third-party calculated rates.

THE ADVANCED SHOPIFY PLAN

This plan costs $299 with cards rates of: 2.4%+30¢ for Canadian cards, 3.3%+30¢ for Amex or international cards and an in- person card rate of 2.4%+0¢. There are no transaction fees (, as usual) for using Shopify payments as your payment gateway, but using external payment gateways has a transaction fee of 0.5% percent.

On this plan, every feature is made available to you. Specifically, fifteen (15) staff accounts, ability to add an unlimited number of products, an unlimited amount of file storage space, a $49 retail package, the “best” Shopify shipping discount, printed shipping labels, 24/7 hour support, fraud analysis, the ability to create orders manually, discount codes, a website and a blog, free SSL certificate, gift cards, professional reports, advanced cart recovery, advanced report builder and third-party calculated rates.

THE SHOPIFY PLUS PLAN

Shopify plus plan is Shopify’s “custom” plan. There is barely any information of this plan except that you get what you agree on with Shopify. If a business gets intereste in the plan, they contact an affiliate or some affiliate brands of Shopify and they will submit/refer you to Shopify. After which Shopify will call you and create a store for you based on your agreed criteria.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH SHOPIFY

My personal journey with Shopify has been very interesting. In my first week of opening my first two stores, I’ve had several abandoned carts. Why so many abandoned carts? You ask! Because living in a third world country, Nigeria, I couldn’t get a payment processor. All good options required that a business be registered (Until recently but only for new accounts). It’s sad. So if you fail, it’s always easier to blame it on your country rather than the platform. It’s like back lashing at Google because they didn’t have results for a weird name/word you were searching for.

My first store sold geek merchandise and the second store that I still work on, sells Long Boards. I still can’t get a payment processor and so have a vast amount of abandoned carts while I simultaneously try to make it look appealing and trustworthy. I haven’t given up!

So, I saved the best for last. Shopify allows a 14 day free trial after which you’ll need to buy a plan to keep using the platform unless a development store is created for you. There is still no loophole because once a store is 14 days old; you’ll need to still buy a plan regardless of if it was created as a development store. The only other option is for you to be added as an employee and when the store makes 50 orders, you’ll need to buy a plan and the store gets handed to you. You also have the opportunity to employ Shopify Experts to help you with your store based on what you agreed on.

If you have a product, whether you made it or had it made for you and would like or are ready Launch, then there is no better platform to sell on than Shopify.

How to Motivate Your Client to Go For Good Design on the Onset of a Product Launch

Launching a new business or a new product is always tricky, especially with today’s more competitive landscape. As much as business people want to be profitable, there is no escaping the fact that it can only be achieved by being relevant and unique to their target market forever. Otherwise, why else would they continue purchasing the product, right?

As a designer, this where you come in and play a critical role in the success of that launch. Leading the way and guiding the client to choose to invest in design from the very beginning of the process guarantees its success outright.

And here are some ways to motivate your client to do so during the pitch:

1. Talk about research.

More often, designers fail not because of their design but because it’s not grounded in reality, with reality being charts and numbers that the client can appreciate. Instead of simply aesthetics, be a more proactive designer by coming up with market research to back your design. It can be as simple as a SWOT analysis of the design of the packaging or a market study of items which it may look like in the market. If the client’s product is food and their outside packaging resembles that of a detergent, share it; that would be much appreciated by the client as they know that you took the time to check the market than simply giving out designs from a computer.

With your design knowledge, the research phase of your pitch can also be a teachable moment for the client. You can explain why your design chooses the colors that it does and its psychological impact to the market that you are trying to penetrate.

2. Explain the joy of failing in testing

Although it may seem counterintuitive, encouraging testing even for something as simple as a focus group discussion can pay off well in the long run. Testing with the actual product through 3D rendering can also be smart as actual people can get to the item and give feedback even before it hits the shelves and the paying hands of the customers.

Tell your client this: would they rather produce the product and fail or fail now and iterate and then go into production? Would firing, shooting, before aiming a much more expensive activity to undergo?

3. Make the process fun and economical.

So okay, your client is 50 percent sold to the idea of great design. But be reminded that these are business people with real targets whose missed targets have a lot of effect on their work and that of their companies. Make it fun, a learning time, but have a solid strategy and timeline. Delaying the launch of the product is one thing, but not being able to launch due to your delays is another.

Be smart and objective, have a schedule, and win the case for great design.