Whether your new website is about to be revealed, you’re about to open up 1:1 coaching slots or a brand new product is about to hit your (digital) shelves it’s important to generate a buzz around it and create a launch plan. We know it’s hard to know where to begin. So we have come up with 15 organic ways to generate buzz and 9 steps to build your launch plan. Take it one step at a time and you are bound to see results. It's just that easy.
15 Organic Ways to Generate Buzz
To get your mind swirling we're sharing 15 organic (meaning free!) ways to boost business awareness. Take these as a jumping off point and curate your own pathway to success.
- Write an article about a person, business or event you endorse. Make it unexpected and make it meaningful. A story that showcases their story with your own twist will not only delight them, but could potentially lead to them sharing it on their own social media outlets or website… Free press!
- Share your passion and purpose. Don’t be afraid to really be open about how or why you started your business. What makes you tick? What gets your creative juices flowing? That inside information is pretty juicy stuff.
- Showcase exclusivity. Limit your offering to a certain set of customers. This list should naturally align with your ideal clientele.
- Create a waiting list. Limit your bookings and schedule your services for advance dates. We personally think Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co. Design does it best. She chooses to work with 1 client exclusively at a time and commits to three solid weeks of undivided attention. This process has set her schedule and she is always booked well in advance.
- Launch a new product or service. Build anticipation around your launch with sneak peaks the weeks leading up to the big day. Share small tidbits to your email list. Post photographs to your social media sites and begin a countdown so people can follow along. Once your big day rolls around people will be itching to know more and participate.
- Begin a limited time promotion or deal. It sounds hokey, but it works. Simply taking a percentage or dollar figure off will bring people coming. Make it free and you might turn on the fence customers into lifelong enthusiasts.
- Network with influencers. Every industry is different and will have their own set of influencers, but find the ones relevant to your niche. Watch what they do. See where they hang out. Find a way to meet them in person or introduce yourself online. Many times these people are just as flattered that you want to meet them as you are that they will listen. Ask for a little advice. Come up with a way to work on a project together. Collaboration over competition.
- Be transparent and share your secrets. Now you are wondering how does transparency create buzz? Well truth of the matter is, few people give the inside perspective to how their business works. Share with people the inside scoop. Be open and honest. This will lead to trust. People do business with people they trust.
- Support a charitable cause. Get involved in a volunteer organization or give back with your time, talent and treasure. Your involvement is not only great for the community, but it opens doors to you meeting a diverse group of people from all over your city.
- Write guest blog posts. Find opportunities to write for other blogs. Many times blogs with larger audiences will allow you to contribute. And if you are lucky will give you the opportunity to link back to your own website.
- Host an event. Invite people to gather and ask them to bring a friend. Whether you host an open house, a launch party or even a webinar these sort of events allow you to get in front of a crowd of people who all support what you are doing. Use this audience to tap into their resources.
- Run a giveaway. Launch week is the perfect time to host a giveaway. But even established businesses can benefit from doing a giveaway. You can use a service like Rafflecopter to give people points for completing certain activities like following you on social media or signing up for your email list.
- Start a challenge. Dare people to be different. Ask people to document their experience in either photographs or words and share it with their social following.
- Teach a class. Host a webinar, hop on Periscope or start a Twitter chat! Use these platforms to educate your audience about your offering and why you’re the expert.
- Showcase your best work. It’s ok to show people what you are really made of. In fact if you don’t remind them how talented you are from time to time they might even forget what you do or why it should matter to them.
Now that you've generated buzz about your business it's probably time to actually launch something! By hyping up your launch it can mean a difference between a couple dollars and thousands. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into this! Let’s shout it from the rooftops.
9 Steps to Plan Your Next Launch
You have seen it done time and time again, whether it was Lily Pulitzer coming to Target or the Simplified Planner releasing an app. You were part of a launch in process whether you realized it or not. Didn’t they get you excited? Were you in line at the crack of dawn? If so, they did their job right. Here are the 9 steps you can take to capture that same buzz and excitement for your own business and brand!
- Ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. You likely know someone who has been through this before and they often have the most valuable information. As of now, we’ve launched dozens of new products, websites and brands and each time was a little bit different. Before every launch we asked our trusted circle of peers how their own launches went. What do they wish they had done differently? What worked best for them? These brainstorming sessions are how we’ve been able to come up with unique and new ways to launch.
- Build your email list. Having a bank of people you can market to is crucial. Giving them a valuable incentive to sign up is the best way to continue this momentum. Whether you are starting from scratch during the pre-launch stage or you have an active list, you need to give them reason to join and a reason to stay. Think of ways you could add value for your clients or customers, perhaps through a discount or an educational white-paper.
Pro tip: start collecting emails before you think you’re “ready”. You’ll figure out soon enough what to send them or how to communicate with them!
- Organize a giveaway. People love free stuff. And (almost) everyone loves the opportunity to win. By organizing a giveaway either prior to your launch or during your launch you can continue to gain additional followers on both social media, your email list and even generate additional web traffic from it.
Pro tip: ask and you shall receive! Shops, business and brands are generally more than happy to send a free item to you for a giveaway.
- Build a community of support. Don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. Utilize the people you asked advice from. Reach out to your favorite Facebook group and see if people would be willing to participate. It is totally appropriate to ask for ambassadors to post on their on social media, supply items for your giveaway and help get the buzz going. Make sure that you make it mutually beneficial for them as well. We are all about collaborating over competition.
- Plan. Plan. Plan. Don’t feel like you have to rush. Plan a launch for weeks, if not months down the road. Plan out every detail so when the day finally arrives you feel prepared and are ready to just fire away. Spending time on details like what you are going to post on social media, what your emails will look like or say and what content you will add to your website is crucial. Don’t be shy to plan a whole day to focus just on photography.
- Do a survey. This may seem totally lame, but you can learn a lot just by asking. Before your product or service rolls out ask for feedback so you can incorporate that input into the product. Or perhaps you did a soft launch and you are just looking to analyze what your current readers are like. Simply make a form inside Squarespace or using a tool like JotForm or Google Forms.
- Gain anticipation. A week or so prior to your launch, start giving hints of what is coming. Whether that is inside information for your email subscribers, a countdown on social media or just minor bits of information on your blog. By building the anticipation in advance, when the day comes you will have a line up ready and waiting!
- Do it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details it is easy to keep pushing our dates back. Focus less on it being perfect and more on just doing it. You can always re-launch the same product or service at a later date. Many of the foundation principles we have described we learned from Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. Although it seems so obvious, sometimes we just need someone to walk you through the process.
- Celebrate! No launch is complete without a party. Whether that is just with the dog and a bottle of champagne, a hip party out on the town or an ONLINE party you need to make it special.