You’re listening to The Sigrun Show, episode number 428. In this episode, I talk about my launch lessons from my first seven-figure launch.
My clients call me The Launch Queen. I love launching, and I love teaching my clients how to launch. In January, 2021, I finally achieved my launch goal of $1 million, and I want to share with you what I did, and specifically what I did differently from all the other launches that I’ve done in the past seven years and have made me over $8 million in revenue. Before we dive in, though, I want to ask you this, would you like to learn to launch? I have different programs depending on your launch experience. If you have never launched before or you haven’t had a successful launch, then I have a special launch program called SOMBA Accelerator. In that program, we take you step by step in 10 weeks through a launch experience where you actually launch during the program.
If you have launched successfully before, then you are ready for my group coaching program Momentum, where you get the support and accountability and launch again and again. That’s where you increase your launches and go to five-figure, multiple five-figure, and eventually to a six-figure launch. If you’re already at multiple six figure in your business and have extensive launch experience, then you are ready for my high-end Mastermind RED CIRCLE. It is currently closed, but we’ll open up for applications later this year for our 2022 round. So stay tuned for that. Currently, we have spots open in Momentum. And if you want to learn more about that program or SOMBA Accelerator or RED CIRCLE, then go and check the show notes at sigrun.com/428.
I love launching. I love the challenge and the excitement of it, but also how measurable it is. Launching to me is a mixture of art and science. It is also the reason I decided to study architecture at a young age of only 11 years old. What I loved about architecture was that even though you were designing a house you also had to make sure the house wouldn’t fall apart. Or, when you were designing a house, you had a lot of restrictions, you couldn’t make it endlessly higher and endlessly wide. Actually, when you have restrictions, you are much more creative. And that’s exactly what happens in a launch too.
Launching is a numbers game. You need to have enough people interested before you make an offer. We call this a launch list. This can be a free training or a paid training. But in any case, you need to deliver some value upfront before you make an offer. And that’s where it often breaks down for a lot of people, their launch lists is just not big enough. But even if your launch list is big enough, it needs to be aligned with your energy. If you are not 100% committed to your launch, if you’re not fully showing up, your launch can flop despite having big enough launch list.
I want to give you a bit of a backstory to my launches and, of course, all the lessons from my first seven-figure launch. My first real launch was in October, 2014. I had been trying to launch on my own. I was doing webinars. I’d been doing Facebook ads. My email list was growing, but I hadn’t been able to have a successful launch. I actually hadn’t really made an offer and then follow it up. So even though I thought I was doing some of the elements of launching, I wasn’t really doing it correctly, and there was something missing also in my mindset of how it all worked. So I bit the bullet and hired a coach.
If you are seeing yourself in that spot right now, get some help. Everyone needs help. I needed help too. So, the launch coach recommended that I would sell one of my coaching packages. I was like, “No.” I was determined to sell an online course because I thought online business is about online courses, and when you launch, you promote an online course. Well, I tried it, and it didn’t work. I had a webinar with 600 sign-ups. I’d created this amazing sales page. I hadn’t, of course, created the course yet. And one person bought. I refunded the person. And luckily, because we reacted so quickly and we did it in the open cart period, I was able to offer free online business strategy sessions. 90 people booked, and I was fully booked for the next months.
What looked like a complete failure turned out to be a successful launch where I made $27,000 in my very first real launch. After that, I could just follow up with a lot of interested people, so I didn’t have to launch for quite some time. It wasn’t until July, 2015 that I launched again. This time, I had been talking a lot about launching, and I had warmed up my audience. So that time, I could even skip the webinar and go straight to the point and saying, “Hey, do you want to join my first launch group program?” I was able to sell 12 spots quite easily without a webinar. Of course, a lot of follow-up and discovery calls and bonuses and who’s know-what, but it worked. And from there on, most of my launch experience came from selling group programs. I started to call them masterminds because they didn’t have a specific curriculum.
My launches grew and they went from making me $18,000 up to making 250 and even $400,000. When you have group programs though, they’re not endlessly scalable. I remember when I joined a new mastermind in 2017 and the coach asked us, “What do you want to celebrate with us?” I was like, “Yeah.” I raise my hand, I say, “I have something to celebrate. I just finished my launch of all my group programs and I make $230,000.” And the coach asked back, “And what are you selling now?” And I’m like, “I’ve sold everything I’ve got.” Then I knew it was time for a scalable program, a program where I can have 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people and it will still take me similar amount of time. And that I didn’t have yet in January, 2017.
But, I quickly created a new program that I had been thinking about, but now I knew the timing was right. When you sell something out like a group coaching program or one-on-one coaching packages, it’s time for scalable program, if you didn’t have it already in place. So in January, 2017, I soft launched SOMBA Sigrun’s Online MBA. It wasn’t a real launch. I just had one webinar and followed up with a few emails and that was it. I called it an inaugural class. So I was still able to make 50,000. So overall, my launch ended up being 270,000, because you normally count what you just launched with your upsells and downsells. Upsells means you sell something more expensive and downsells you sell something cheaper. So in this case, I was doing a downsell to a scalable program, because all the spots of all my group programs were sold out.
With SOMBA in place, I was ready to have a launch of an scalable online course. So we geared up to our first real launch of SOMBA in June, 2017. The first real launch was a six-figure launch. To be honest, it was probably 97,000, but I was so determined to have it as a six-figure launch that we let a few people through the door the day after we close cart, and that’s why we achieved a six-figure launch. And it was 3% conversion, which is the average conversion of launches. After that, we launched every three to six months, typically in January and September, and sometimes in dune.
Initially. Our launch results grew. They grew from 100,000 to 180,000 to 450,000. And then, because we had so amazing launch results with 450,000 and a 5% conversion, I was convinced that our next launch would be a million dollar launch. I was so convinced about this that I did a daily Facebook Live and Instagram TV with a title Behind The Scenes of a Million Dollar Launch. And then it didn’t happen. Despite us having everything in place that we needed, or so I thought, we just couldn’t get enough leads. Our launch list wasn’t big enough. The main reason was that there was an invisible limit on our Facebook Ad account, and we just couldn’t spend the money we wanted to spend to increase our launch list.
The results were 470,000, which is, of course, a great result. But there was like an invisible limit at $500,000 for us. For the next two years, we struggled to get above this invisible glass ceiling. We had great launch results, and we had a lot of students join SOMBA, but our biggest launches were 570,000. And yes, I know it’s great results, but it wasn’t the million-dollar launch that I was hoping to achieve already in September, 2018. Finally, we crushed through the $570,000 goal in June, 2020 with a launch result of 660,000 and a 5.36% conversion. I knew we had finally cracked the code, because we only had 3,500 people sign up for a launch list, and we achieved this amazing launch results.
Now, again, it was just a numbers game, and that’s how we finally achieved a million-dollar launch in January, 2021. Actually it was 1.2 million and a 2.6% conversion. And now I want to share with you the lessons from my first seven-figure launch. The first lesson is having a long launch runway. When you think about it, a small plane needs a short runway, a long plane or a big plane needs a long runway. So, if you want your launches to grow and become bigger, you need to have a longer runway, which basically means having longer time, more time with your ideal client and creating multiple touch points with your ideal client. This can be free content, podcast episode, blog posts, also free training where you’re maybe not selling anything or you’re selling something completely different, or paid training.
Having people sign up again and again or click through to some content of value creates a bigger connection to you. It’s almost as you’re getting closer and closer until you open cart, and they are ready to buy. Throughout this experience, throughout the launch runway, you can be talking about your program, but you’re not selling it. You’re seeding it. You’re planting a seed and creating a desire, so that actually when you open up cart they’re completely and totally ready and want to buy your program. That’s exactly what happened in our launch. We had created so good desire for the program that we had a $540,000 open cart day.
Lesson number two, having a waitlist is something that I’ve always done in the past. But this time, we did something different. Instead of calling it a waitlist, which feels a little bit boring, to be honest, we called it VIP notification list. We made it sound and be exciting to sign up for the notification list. If you think about it, waitlist sounds like if you’re waiting for something and then you have to buy it. So people are not so eager to sign up for a waitlist. But if you call it a VIP list and tell them, “Well, by joining this list, you’re going to be the first one to know when we open up the program, and you’ll get a bonus,” then it’s more exciting. So throughout our launch runway, at least 30 days before we open cart, we start to talk about people joining the VIP list. By joining the VIP list, you’ll be the first one to know, and you will be able to take advantage of some amazing bonuses only available to the people on the VIP list. We were able to get over 900 people on our VIP notification list. And most of the people who eventually bought from us were on the VIP notification list.
Lesson number three, you can sell multiple offers during your launch runway, as long as you’re not selling the offer that you eventually want to sell. You can sell something more expensive and something less expensive. And the cool thing about it, when you make an offer for something, even if people are not interested in that particular program, it creates a desire for another program. I noticed this first when I start to sell SOMBA. I would launch SOMBA and suddenly I was getting all these requests to join my group coaching programs and masterminds and one-on-one coaching packages, which I still offer it at that time, but don’t offer anymore. So I’ve taken advantage of this during our launch runway. I’ve not shied away from selling our high-end mastermind RED CIRCLE, selling my 12-month group coaching program Momentum, or selling another program called SOMBA Accelerator when I’m actually gearing up for a SOMBA Kickstart launch. And, after the launch itself, you can do upsells and downsells of more expensive programs and cheaper program. Just be careful not to do big launches back-to-back. The key thing is about doing smaller and softer launches and creating offers, something that doesn’t kill off the launch runway.
Lesson number four is social selling. Now, some people think that’s something brand new, but actually, social selling is just traditional selling. It is building a relationship one-on-one and being a valued partner when the doors open to your program. A lot of people have experienced the sleazy way, and that’s not what we’re talking about here. I’m sure you’ve gotten a friend request on Facebook or LinkedIn and immediately someone has sent you a message with a link to sign up for something or even buy something right away. That’s not what we’re doing here. In this case, we’re talking about asking the participants in your launch training to send you a message. And if they do that, they have essentially opened up the door, and you can start to have a conversation. If at some point the conversation dies out and people no longer respond to your messages, you just stop. It has to be a back and forth. Imagine like a ping pong, it’s back and forth, back and forth. You ask a question, they answer it. They ask a question, you answer it. If the conversation dies out, it dies out. That’s okay. It’s, again, a numbers game.
What we did in this first seven-figure launch is to use code words, because we get a lot of direct messages and we wanted to differentiate between the people in the launch and people who were randomly sending us direct messages. That turned out to be great, because if people used a particular code word, we knew they were in the launch training and we could ask them what was happening for them, how they liked the launch training that particular day. We could ask them about their business and generally about topics relating to the programs we were selling without actually talking about the program. Once the doors were open, we could start to ask more direct questions. But essentially, you want the conversation to start from your participant, from the ideal client, from the person in your launch training. And you are not starting a conversation, and that’s the key. It changes the whole dynamic and people feel more in control. They feel like they’re building this relationship with you. And when the doors are open, they’re going to go into the direct messages and ask any questions they have about the program.
Lesson number five, you want to mix free and paid offers. Something we’ve been doing for a while, and not just in this first seven-figure launch, is to offer free trainings sometimes, and sometimes paid training, and sometimes even combine both. What we did over the last three months before the launch was to actually do a paid training, a one-day training. Then there was 12 Days of Masterclasses over Christmas, which we’ve been doing for six years. And then there was the actual launch training, a five-day online course. So there were three opportunities to experience how it is to work with me. Plus, there was the VIP notification list. There were basically four opportunities for someone to raise their hand and say, “I’m interested.” 50% of those who bought had signed up for three of those four opportunities. Just think about it, 50%. So having a mixture of free and paid offers, you are getting closer and closer to your ideal client, and they are totally ready to buy once you opens up the door to your program.
Lesson number six, get your leads in earlier. I know I’ve talked about the launch runway but, typically, you grow your leads during a launch runway, and you’ll have most of your leads, most of your email addresses at the end, relatively close to your launch training or your open cart. And that’s what we’ve done. We have aimed for 10,000 leads for our five-day online course, which is our five-day free training before we open cart. And we’ve only aimed for a few thousand leads in our 12 Days of Masterclasses, which we do every year. This time, I decided to flip it around. I said to my Facebook Ads team, “Let’s get over 10,000 sign-ups for 12 Days of Masterclasses, even though that’s a whole month before we do our launch training and open cart.” And guess what? It worked out because of the launch runway. The more time you have with people, the higher the conversion, the bigger your launch. And, those who signed up for 12 Days of Masterclasses could sign up for something else two weeks, three weeks later. So giving them multiple touch points. So if you have been launching and you are getting your leads very late, consider flipping it around and getting your leads way ahead of time and giving yourself more time with your ideal client.
Lesson number seven, get people to sign up twice. I know I mentioned this a little bit in other lessons, but I want to make this as a separate lesson, because a lot of people focus on only getting people to sign up for their launch training. If you can, if you have the time, and I hope you have the time, because that’s how you’re going to have a bigger launch, have something else first. Create a freebie specifically for the launch, which is still a separate thing. It is connected to your launch training but still separate. This could be a PDF, could be like an ebook. This could be a checklist. This could be a webinar that you make available for free, probably not live, but preferably recorded so people consume at any time. Some people even do a three-part video series and then they have a live webinar for the actual open cart. Whatever you do, having people sign up twice makes them more likely to buy.
Lesson number eight, Facebook ads. Facebook ads are still the best way to get a lot of leads in little time. YouTube ads are a good contender but they’re not there yet. And most people are also on Facebook. I have a YouTube account, have a YouTube channel, but you are not going to be able to target me on YouTube if you want me to sign up for something, and that will apply to most people. So Facebook ads, whether we like it or not, Facebook ads are still the best. They are not easy. They’re getting more and more challenging. You need to understand them. And once you understand them, you can hire it out and you can have a Facebook ads team running your ads.
If you’re looking to make a multiple six-figure or seven-figure launch, you definitely should have a Facebook ad expert on your side, unless you have a team member that can fully dedicate themselves to Facebook ads. Typically, I spend about 10%, or at least I’m willing to spend up to 10% of the revenue I want to make. Now, that doesn’t mean that I spent 120,000 to make 1.2 million. Our ad spend was more around 77,000. If you are really good at organic reach, that spend number can be a lot lower. Also, if you have very good affiliates, you can lower your ad spent. But overall, have it in your budget that you can spend up to 10% of the revenue that you want to make.
Lesson number nine, send a lot of emails. Emails are still the winner when it comes to selling in a launch. Yes, you can sell on a webinar, that’s great, you can sell over Messenger, but we sell the most over emails. And that’s why you need to be willing to send a lot of emails. With over 12,000 people on our launch list and sending lots and lots of emails and five emails on close cart day, we only had one complaint. People typically just unsubscribe. And if they unsubscribe, that’s great. I actually celebrate unsubscribes. These are people who didn’t want to buy anyway. And if they’re interested in something else, they’ll follow you on social media. It is no problem. The emails are for the people who are interested. And that’s why we have a launch list. We send most of the emails to the launch list. We send about three to five emails to the whole list, because every single launch there are still a few people who didn’t sign up for anything and still buy. So make sure you don’t exclude your whole list as well.
Lesson number 10, use a Facebook group for your launches. Most of the people who buy our programs have been in our launch Facebook group. We use the same free group, and it’s mostly active during launches, and in between launches, not so much. That’s why we need to warm it up well before a launch. We do that by offering something that they can sign up in the launch runway, about a month before the actual launch training. Then we invite them into the Facebook group, and we make sure there is something going on in the Facebook group. And during the launch, there are, of course, more activities. But what we did specifically in the last launch that was very helpful was when we offered 12 Days of Masterclasses, we encouraged them to watch a particular masterclass every day. And then we gave out prices if people commented on a post below the masterclass. So throughout 12 days, there were constantly some commenting going on below those posts. And at the end of the day, we could announce a price for each day. And after the 12 days, we had an overall price.
In that way, the group was warmed up and people were already used to looking into the group before the actual launch training. During the launch training itself, we did stream into the group, the launch training, to also wake up people what may be not signed up for a launch but were in the Facebook group from previous launches. And then throughout the open cart period, obviously, having lots of videos, lots of posts and something that is of interest for people to know what’s happening in the launch period. And then finally, welcoming people who bought our program. This creates excitement for others to join the program.
Lesson number 11, offer sales calls. Many years ago, I heard that one of the ways to achieve a million dollar goal in your launch is to offer sales calls, so we started to experiment with that in 2018. We had a pretty good sales team in place for this particular launch and a lot of experience getting people on a call. Still, we decided to offer it late in the open cart period. We had done the mistake in the past to offer sales calls too early. What happens when you offer it too early is that a lot of people who don’t need a call will book a call just to chat with you. They’ve decided to buy the program, but they thought, “Well, there’s a call offered, let me take it.” And then you chat a bit, but they’ve already decided to buy.
So we moved it back ,and we only offered sales call in the last two days of open cart. If for some reason people cannot have a call on the close cart day, we also maybe do a call the day after. But typically, we only offer it now towards the end of the open cart period. Basically, we’re offering a call to the fence sitters. Again, in this case, a lot of the people have kind of decided to join, but they think they have a specific situation and they want to ask you about it. And then we have to help them to decide if this is a good fit or not. And sometimes we say it’s not, and then we have helped our ideal client maybe decide for another program or wait until their circumstances change.
Lesson number 12, work with affiliate partners. We’ve had affiliate partners from the very first SOMBA launch in June, 2017. Typically, our affiliate partners are current or previous students. And it’s through their success stories that people are inclined to sign up for our launch training and eventually buy our program. But because we mainly work with students, they typically do not have big email lists and, therefore, we cannot expect too many leads or too many sales from each partner. That’s why it’s important to have more partners. But again, also not too many because running an affiliate program, it is a big task, and you need to have time for it.
What we did differently in this launch, we created competition. We use direct messaging a lot to each individual partner, especially those who were in the top five and had a chance to make more sales. And then the partner that made the most sales won a retreat with me. So you can create more excitement and get people to do more. And I know this from my own experience because I am an affiliate partner for another market here, prices actually make me excited about doing something. It’s not always about making more money. Having exciting prices for your partners can really make them do a lot more and have more sales than you would think was humanly possible.
So these were my 12 lessons for my first seven-figure launch. I’m curious, what was your key takeaway from this episode? Send me a direct message on Instagram, I would love to hear from you.
Would you like to learn how to launch, to have five-figure, six-figure and eventually a seven-figure launch, then check out my different launch programs. Go to the show notes at sigrun.com/428. Thank you for listening to The Sigrun Show. I’ll see you in the next episode.