The #1 Way To Get Sales Before You Launch Your Business (Without Spending Any Money On Ads)
The months leading up to your business launch are a messy blur. It feels like there's a million tasks calling for your attention, and because you haven’t validated demand for your product or service yet (aka product/market fit) sales are still a theoretical pipe dream.
Despite all the pre-launch commotion, it's critical to stop and take a step back.
If you want to have a stellar launch that kickstarts you onto the path to becoming a 6-figure business owner, then you need to capitalize on psychology success secrets. The #1 secret to a successful launch? It's all about (wait for it...)...anticipation!
It's going to take some time for your new brand to be recognized, respected and referred. To help by-pass that inevitable delay and get you closer to generating sales revenue, you need to market your business before you officially launch, i.e. you need to 'pre-sell' to build interest and excitement - so prospective customers can't wait for launch day when it's finally available!
This is called a pre-launch marketing strategy or a pre-launch marketing campaign.
In our 10+ years of working with first time entrepreneurs, most do not have a pre-launch marketing plan to attract early buyers in advance of their go-to-market. In fact, most had no idea this was necessary or even 'a thing'. It’s easy to see why...
Spending time, money and effort on pre-launch marketing activities before your product, service or store is signed, sealed and delivered doesn't seem like a priority. You've got market research to complete, a website to optimize, budgets to plan, payroll to figure out, inventory to order or products to perfect. The list goes on and on...
But all that work is wasted if all you hear on launch day is crickets. 🦗🦗🦗
Moreover, you’ll be faster, focused and more productive in the long-run if you have a pre-launch strategy. Why? Because pre-launching gives you early insight - with a small, eager audience - of what’s working (or not) so you can adjust before 'going mainstream'. Early sales, useful feedback and a better end product or service for launch. Win-win-win!
Real-life example: Hollywood understands pre-marketing and pre-launch teaser campaigns better than anyone. Every major movie has an aggressive pre-release marketing campaign - movie trailers, actor interviews, social media fan and influencer outreach - to build buzz and anticipation prior to the upcoming film. Those breaking box office sales don’t happen by chance!
By strategically pre-launching their product (ie. movie) in advance of the general release date, Hollywood moguls help ensure maximum sales from Day 1. Early strong sales momentum translate into more positive results moving forward.
So how do you develop a pre-launch marketing plan, or create a pre-launch teaser campaign for your small business, when you don't have the big budgets of a Hollywood film studio? Here are five must do's that deliver maximum results with minimal input:
1. You’re going to need a landing page
A landing page is a 1-page website that serves one critical function: collecting emails. Think of it as a "Coming Soon" page for your pre-launched small business. Including a compelling offer or irresistible incentive - called a lead magnet - will enable you to collect email signups in advance.
Give people value and a good reason to opt-in. Examples could be early and exclusive access, a free trial or bonus features for your pre-launch supporters.
Get into your ideal customer's head. With a customer profile you can tailor your landing page to address their pain or fulfill their desires. Find out how to create a compelling customer profile here.
2. Tap into friends and family (and try to impress an influencer)
Your network is the #1 way to build early buzz and anticipation for your new small business.
When you introduce your business to people who already know, like and trust you, you’re essentially pre-selling your product or service as a lead up to launch day.
Tapping into an influencer takes it to the next level. If a respected industry influencer shares your brand info with their audience, you not only get validation from a trusted voice of authority, but you also get access to their many followers. More brand awareness, more potential customers - and you haven’t even launched yet!
Ask your personal and professional network to share your exciting news on their social feeds, to maximize awareness among trusted sources. It's often the fastest way to a sale!
Sometimes you need to 'sweeten the deal' to get an influencer to respond (i.e. paid brand review, pre-launch contest or a limited time offer for their audience). An influencer whose willing to work with you can kickstart your pre-launch and accelerate anticipation for your upcoming launch day.
3. Get busy on social media
Social media is vital to your pre-launch marketing strategy. This is where you build curiosity, anticipation and fascination on a mass scale. Not active on social media? Good news: you only need to focus on the social platform(s) that your customer already uses to amplify your brand message. Adopt a 'fewer, bigger, better' approach. Use less platforms, but use them well.
Apply scarcity to your pre-launch (e.g. only 12 spots, just 200 units). Fear of missing out (FOMO) is an incredibly powerful and psychological sales tool.
Include a call to action in social posts to motivate movement and encourage engagement from your followers
Always ensure a consistent and compelling brand voice, values and visuals (The 3 V’s of Branding)
4. Recruit early users (aka future Brand Ambassadors)
The best way to validate your product or service? Get it into the hands of early users! Not only will you collect valuable feedback (and identify how to tweak your product, offer or messaging) but you also secure user testimonials.
Testimonials and reviews are a sales game-changer: they build quick trust and instant credibility which helps you build a base of eager buyers leading up to your launch.
You only need a few, select users to test your brand offering pre-launch. Collect user feedback afterwards (1:1 calls or a short survey) to help identify your business strengths or opportunities for improvement.
Your pre-launch users have a vested interest in helping you succeed! They often become informal brand ambassadors and help promote your brand pre-launch and beyond.
5. Build your email campaign
Industry stats prove it: your email list is your #1 way to make money. It's the cornerstone of your pre-launch buzz campaign and your best tool for audience engagement and sales.
Depending on the duration of your pre-launch marketing campaign, consider creating a series of pre-launch emails (e.g. 3-5 emails that acknowledge the customer’s situation, prompt your solution and generate anticipation for its release).
An emotional and personal connection with readers is a must for email marketing.
Understand your profile consumer's mindset by learning what motivates them and getting them to engage with your brand - and ultimately, to purchase.
Everything clickable is trackable! Test different email offers to gauge response and effectiveness, e.g. value-adds, referral bonuses, extra content or exclusive insight.
Your pre-launch marketing campaign is your first point of contact with your prospective customer. A carefully planned out pre-launch campaign will help build anticipation in advance of launch. Your prospective buyers will know that something new and exciting is coming to [solve their pain, save them time or money or to bring joy and delight, etc].
When you finally go-to-market, you'll have pent-up demand and people eager and ready to buy on launch day. Which translates into faster, easier sales and gets you onto the path to becoming a 6-figure business owner.
So for the love of your soon-to-be-launched business, don't overlook the success strategy of using an anticipation-building, buzz-generating, pre-launch marketing campaign!
P.S. You can use these same exact tactics to promote a new product, course, or offer. Build anticipation and curiosity with your audience, then leverage that excitement for your next big release.
ZipLaunch helps solopreneurs and small business owners build a 6-figure business with hands-on, 1-day workshops that drive real results and get you fast, focused and productive. See whether ZipLaunch is right for you.