Two months ago, I launched my first membership site: The Get Noticed!™ Theme Unlocked. With a 9-day registration period, the launch generated $10,541.85 in total sales.
Before the launch, I set a $10,000 sales goal. It’s incredible to see how close we came to that mark.
But meeting that goal was definitely not by chance.
Adding a membership site revenue stream has been a business goal of mine for nearly a year, so it’s exciting to meet that goal with such initial success.
First off, I should note that this launch would not have been possible without all the support I received from Michael Hyatt—and Bryan Harris was instrumental in the success of my launch due to his coaching, encouragement, and example along the way.
Pulling off a successful launch, I’ve learned, is a formidable challenge (and it takes a team).
In my case, that process could be broken down into five consecutive steps:
Step 1: Establish Authority
In the theme support forums, I became one of the top commenters before I decided to offer a Get Noticed!™ Theme video course.
Every week, I blocked out time to answer questions within the forums; to help as well as I could.
Before long I was seen as an expert, despite the fact that I’m not a WordPress Developer at all.
When people started coming to me directly for help, or citing my name in the forums, I knew my expert status was set.
Over the next six months, I offered 1-on-1 coaching to dozens of users—further cementing my authority within that niche.
Step 2: Build Targeted List
Months before I started working on the video course, I created unlockyourtheme.com—at the time, nothing more than a landing page leading to a new waiting list.
I linked to the page in my forum signature, various blog posts, and referenced it whenever people asked me for more information about The Get Noticed!™ Theme.
The key here was that this list was super targeted—much more so than my subscriber list here on this blog.
For this list, my goal was to get subscribers who:
- Had purchased the Get Noticed!™ Theme,
- We’re currently using it, and
- Wanted help using the theme.
Over time, that list grew to about 50 subscribers. With a targeted giveaway, I was able to add just over 200 more.
Step 3: Build Suspense
Once I had a launch date on the calendar, I built suspense by turning that date into an event.
I added a countdown to the front page of unlockyourtheme.com, and set the call-to-action for the waiting list to “Be The First To Know”.
Between social media, the support forums, and an occasional blog post, I used every opportunity to name-drop the course and build excitement around the upcoming launch.
And guess what? It worked!
Once registration opened, everyone was excited. One subscriber told me,
Finally the course has been released – been counting down the days actually.
Step 4: Validate Demand
Once I outlined the content I would include in The Get Noticed!™ Theme Unlocked, I was pretty confident that the product was good.
But before I invested the time and money to produce over 70 videos I wanted to make sure the market was there.
So I opened beta registration before 1/3 of the course was complete.
Over three days, I generated $1,485 in beta membership sales.
Best of all, those beta members loved it and convinced me that my course fulfilled a real-life need.
That validation was all I needed to prepare the full launch, and that’s exactly what I did two months later.
Step 5: Launch Like You Mean It
Over the nine day registration period, I emailed the waiting list every single day except Sunday. Some days, I emailed as many as two or three times (Email Breakdown Here).
Each email built off the last to create trust by building a relationship through generosity, helpfulness, and a personal touch.
For customers to shell out real money, they need to know you’re someone they can trust.People trust people, not companies or brands.Click To Tweet
I used live chat to answer questions and get to know my subscribers, but I also used that space to get real.
— John Meese (@JohnRMeese) June 4, 2015
Get this: the main launch strategy I used for this course was exclusively to a list I’d built 80% of in the past 30 days.
The only promotion I did through my blog or existing subscribers was a single blog post, but within the targeted list I promoted deadlines or discounts nearly every single day.
Just over $10,000 later, I’d say focusing my efforts on a targeted list paid off well.
There’s no reason you can’t pull off a launch just like this. Click below to get access to every email and blog post that I used throughout the launch of my course for FREE:
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