FS 257 Reuven’s Launch
On this episode of the Freelancers’ Show, Reuven Lerner discusses product launching. He is speaking on the topic just twelve hours before the launch of his newest product. Tune in to hear him speak on his history with products and hear his tips on getting ready to launch products.
Reuven has been trying to sell products online for years, meeting only medium success. The first product he tried to sell was an online course, which was a live Python course. A friend told him it would be tough to sell to people that he had never sold to before. This was an introduction to an idea called a product ladder. This is the idea that people who are happy with cheaper products will then move on to buy more expensive products: first need to build products up.
Reuven wrote an e-book titled Practice Makes Python because his students asked questions about what to do after his course was over. It sold a fair amount of copies. He then wrote another book called Practice Makes Regexp targeted towards helping people with regular expressions. He says that it’s “loathed” because people hate regular expressions. Offering a book based on a topic people hate was bad idea, so it sold badly. He also wrote Jewish Guide to Visiting China, which he calls a “labor of love.”
[00:05:56] What did I learn from all of these launches?
Reuven learned that you want to have a good product/market fit. You need to answer the question of whether people will find your product interesting enough to spend money on it. This requires that you do good market research, which can be referred to as a sales safari. Go online and see what problems people have that you can solve.
A personal problem he has had with launching products is that his value prospect was not high and he didn’t have a good idea of who he was marketing to. He was marketing to his email list, which were only a few hundred people at most. This is hard because only 10% of people at most will buy from you. The list was not targeted. He decided that if he was going to launch more projects, he needed to be more serious and change a few things.
[00:07:27] Things He Changed
He began emailing his list weekly. He said that people would only join a list if they see value in it. So he targeted his teaching for the weekly email to Python and came up with the idea to use the slogan “let’s become better developers.”
[00:10:00] Where do I get people for my list?
Reuven decided that he wanted to get people on his main list. It was suggested he should get an email course. He now has six to seven courses. At the end of them, he adds those people from class to his main list. He has a main drip campaign, which is called an evergreen campaign. Once you are signed up, you get issue number one, which is the first email he wrote. This is so if he fails a week behind, most people will get continue to get the email.
With product launches, you have to play a long game. In order to have a productive launch you need to plan it for six months to a year ahead of time so that you will have someone to sell to. His email list helps him in that way.
Reuven advertised his email courses on Facebook. It was expensive. He now has 2,000 more people. He considers it a worthy investment. His blog is linked to Planet Aggregators get up to an extra 8,000 people looking at blog posts. Using general Python world audience helped gain a bigger audience. He says that relying on one method doesn’t work well. Twitter cards and Buffer are two things he has not tried.
[00:15:28] After Growing His List
He wasn’t sure what to do next, so he surveyed his list via Survey Monkey. He asked what they would like to learn from him. He had an idea to have a weekly Python exercise where his followers would get emailed a question on one day and the answer later in the week. It surprised him when more than 80% of people wanted this option. He then set up a subscription through a website and drip campaign where Tuesday people got the question and Friday they got the answer. He finally decided to use easy digital downloads. He emailed his list and told them details, where he was shocked to find people replying and asking questions before he launched.
[00:28:15] How He Will Advertise His Launch
Reuven plans to email his list in order to inform them of coupons he is using. Ten people will get a meeting with him and 30% off. There is also another coupon that has a time limit on it. He explains that he can’t just pitch to his list; that is not enough. He plans to post to his blog, twitter, and Planet Python. He will use hash tags in order to make people aware. He will possibly post to Hacker News.
Then, he has to figure out how and who he will market his product to. Because he uses drip, he has people tagged as to what people have previously bought from him. This means he can customize what he sends to people by what they are more likely to buy from him.
Have to make sure there are more people coming in than going out. People decide they do not like Python anymore and are moving to another language, while some people just leave after a month or two. There will always be a constant flow in and out flow. Who do I market to and how is a question that he is still learning.
Easy Digital Downloads: https://easydigitaldownloads.com/