Episode # 74 - Behind the Scenes of My First Launch
If you are a long time listener, you know I have actively avoided launching for myself and my clients. And yet here we are, a few days since I closed the doors on my first launch ever for my new group coaching program Get Your Agency Together. How did it go? What did I learn? Will I ever do this again? Listen in today as I take you behind the scenes of all the craziness.
Welcome to the Get Your Agency Together podcast. I'm your host, Kelly Reynolds, ops strategist and agency coach at the Reynolds OBM agency. This podcast is all about building well run and profitable businesses, so that we can create the lives of dreamers.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to episode 74. So, if you're a longtime listener of this podcast, you will know that I have made a business out of not launching, not launching anything for myself not launching anything for my clients. I don't manage launches. I've had referrals and long term clients for years, I have avoided launching almost to a ridiculous level, mostly because I don't want to have to be up on a Saturday, or New Year's Eve or whenever trying to figure out why the link is broken and nothing's working. The finance system stuff that I've been handling over the years for other people and myself that it has, well, it's kind of it's not an emergency. You don't need to figure out an invoice on a Sunday afternoon, you can wait till Monday, most people that I'm handling those kinds of things are they have office hours as well. So there have never been great invoice emergencies on a Sunday. But launches are different. And I have been avoiding them. Mostly because I didn't want to have that business. We talk a lot about here about why we do things, why we build our businesses what we want them to look like. And when you have a little kid at home, you don't want to have to stop in the middle of having a little kid playing or doing things so you can fix a link to it something I launched. With that in mind. I launched a program this fall. So Get Your Agency Together. I've mentioned it a bunch on the podcast. And everywhere else. I feel like I've been talking about it for months now. The cart just closed a few days ago. And it was the first time I have launched anything for myself or anyone else. I'm a trained OBM I'm sort of OBM Certified too. I have been trained in these things, but I've actively avoided them. And I'm a little rusty. Putting together a project plan is one thing, but running a launch with marketing and building of assets. All that stuff that is a different animal. And I, I have been kind of in a blur for months now building this plane as I am flying it. So if you've been thinking about launching or just like to know the nitty gritty details of things, I wanted to share how it went, and what I've learned and all the things. So my overall impression of this is it was so much it was so much this program went from idea to cart close in under four months. That's insanity. I didn't have a ton of time to like, work out all the build out and the funnel and the marketing. I didn't have any of that. Everything was kind of we got to do this now. Because it needs to be done by tomorrow. There was no time to delegate things to my team. There was no time to schedule things, I was working very much on the fly. I was making decisions as they happened. And I was writing emails as they happened. If you got an email from me throughout this launch, it is because I wrote you an email, not because I hired someone to do my marketing. And they put all this stuff together. And we scheduled it six weeks ahead. That is not what happened at all. And that is extremely stressful. I am a warrior, I get really wound up and with anxiety and all that and I'm waking up in the middle of the night worrying about things working. And this whole process was totally not helpful for my anxiety. I'd like things to be planned and scheduled with lists and pretty things where you can check things off and check in to see what's going on. That's what I talk about all the time in my agency. And in my agency, that part of my business was great. My team had everything under control. My client work was great. My own business, though, that was the best. Because I have not been delegating my side of the business. I've had all of my team work almost always on client work. So now I have this huge project. And it's all in my head and I can't get it out of there. So there was no time for scheduling things ahead. Most people who want to do social media, they need you to send them stuff to improve it and then they can schedule it. Except I was like it's 10 am on a Tuesday and I need to put something on Instagram today. So at 10:10, I had something on Instagram today. There was no time I was not ahead and that was very stressful. Oh, and it is definitely one thing that will change in the future of anything I do. But this kind of had to happen this way. This was an exercise in trying to figure out how this was all going to work. I didn't know what I wanted until I was in the middle of it, I didn't know what the program really was going to look like, what the transformation was, what all of that stuff was, until I started working on the copy. Julie Stone says this a lot that she and Kathy Olson, her partner will try to figure out a program. And then Julie goes through the copy. And the program completely changes. Because once you get in there, and you start talking about it, and you start making decisions about the transformation, what's included all of that stuff. Once that all happens, you define and change things. So I couldn't let someone else do that. I had to do it. Because I wasn't clear on exactly how it's going to work. How many calls were there going to be what the topics were was I going to do a topic a month was I going to do mindset all through what like all the things, all the little things, and when you start having to write all those little things in boxes and make decisions, that becomes clear. So I had to go through and write my own copy, I had to go through and build my own funnel. And that made so many things clear. I was like, oh, yeah, we're definitely gonna include this. Oh, we definitely don't need that. Like, it made it so much clearer. And I did go through funnel gorgeous, this fall. She huge, huge, huge, huge help walking you through the copy with the funnel, all of the parts of Fg funnels, which is where my funnel lives, my CRM lives, my email marketing lives like it's a whole thing. So going through launch gorgeous is their kind of program funnel, gorgeous, launch gorgeous. Watch, gorgeous. It's a three-month program where they basically help you with all that stuff to build it out. So I did get that kind of help. It was great to be able to bounce ideas off of people and check in and have backup, that kind of thing. But it was still me walking through all of the copy. I am the one who built every single page of that website, the funnel everything. So as you can imagine, it's a lot, but I didn't have the answers to give it to anyone else to do. The other thing that made this a lot is that the fall and holidays are a crazy time. And I always think I can get done way more than I can. So September, October, November, somewhere like that last four months of the year. It is all the garden stuff. I'm like trying to have a fall garden, winter garden, like I have a whole full garden right now full of food. That doesn't happen without me doing stuff. And then my son's birthday is the beginning of November, we usually have some kind of barbecue or party or something like that very odd COVID. But there's all that planning, then there's Thanksgiving, then there's Christmas, then there's the shopping, then there's client work, like we work a lot in finance. So there's the end of the year stuff for this year 2021. Then there's the next year stuff 2022. All of that has to be taken care of. So what I was thinking of this in September, when it was warm and lovely, and I was calm. And I realized like oh yeah, I could totally do this. That was a silly thought, like I got through it. But it has been very stressful to do all the things on top of all of this other stuff in my life that I had to get done. And I always think I could do twice as much as I can. Because I get tired and I get cranky. And it's very hard to be creative when you're tired and cranky. So when I was telling people that I was going to do this, and I didn't want to tell very many people in the beginning because one, I was putting myself out there and two, I didn't really want to answer the questions they all had. Because one of the main questions was What kind of launch you're gonna have? I'm like, I don't know, like, you're gonna do a big launch? Is it a small launch? How long is the cart open? You're gonna have a waitlist? What are you gonna do? I had no idea. Because I had no experience here. I had no idea. Did I want a waitlist? Did I want an application? How long did I want it to have be open all these decisions. And the problem was, I have no idea. So going through with fg funnels and launch gorgeous, there was a process there. And I followed with that, because it was a process. And then of course my coach was a big help, too. We worked out a whole process too. And they didn't exactly match, but they weren't enough that I could at least go with it and then kind of change things on the fly if I needed them to. But it was very hard for me to wrap myself around that the changes that I was going through and the decisions I had to make, because I felt like I didn't know and I wanted to research everything and I didn't have time to and for me research is My favorite thing, I love being able to figure it out, make decisions really well informed decision. And I didn't have that kind of time. So I really just had to go with what the experts were saying, and then deal with it as it went, and then figure out, okay, well, if I do this again, then I'll maybe do something different. But it was a starting point. And it worked. And if I had tried to do this without my coach, and without going through launch, gorgeous, there's no way, there's literally no way I would have been able to pull this off, mostly from just fear of decisions, because I would have researched the hell out of this. And we would not even be starting to talk about this until like a year from now. Which is also why I signed up for lunch. Gorgeous, and why I have a coach because I would tend to say, Oh, well think about it. When they were like yeah, now let's go. The next big thing that I want to bring up here is the amount of stuff I had to build or create. It is astounding how much work one program can be. So just to recap some of the numbers here, when I decided to do a waitlist, that meant I had to build three web pages, I had to add it to other parts of my website, because there was like, it's not just the signup page, there's a thank you page, then there's the lead over to the website page for the waitlist page. So there's three there, then there are seven pages in my funnel. Because there was an application, there was a thank you for the application, there was a waitlist enroll, which was a different price than the the regular, not waitlist enrollment, there was a thank you for enrolling, there's all these pages, and you think like oh, just to put a sales page up. But then you have to realize all the other things like when you hit by, you need to go somewhere, and there's gotta be an order form. And then when you click the end, there has to be a thank you. It can't just nothing happen, because people are like, What the hell did it work, then you'll get a whole bunch of emails saying, Hey, I click the button and nothing happened. So there's all of this stuff, then there are the automations. So when you click the button, something happens when you buy, there's a welcome email or login information, something like that all that had to be built out. Now, being part of launch gorgeous, the funnel pages, some of the funnel pages, and some of the automations were at least templated for us so that I could follow along, which was a huge help, just knowing where to start. And then I could adapt it from there, I ended up changing a bunch of stuff toward the end of the carpeting open. But having that kind of templates, you know what's going on huge hotel, because I didn't know where to start. Then after that I had to set up payments and make sure all the the all of that worked. Because after she is I've had it for a while, but I haven't really been using it for this stuff. So you know, making sure that people can actually pay me was helpful. Then there is the membership site. Once you are in the program, there's a membership site where you go, and there's videos each month, and there's content, and there's resources and templates and all that kind of stuff, I build that out too. And then, you know, the actual content for the program. There's videos and templates and checklists and resources, like all of that had to be built. All of this stuff is in my head, I know what I want to say, I know what assets I want. But you have to build them. You have to build the template. So you can give out the template even though you know exactly what's in your head. When you start writing it you think, oh God Is this right. And then I want to research and then it never gets done. And this is the thing. If I had had twice as long, I'm not quite sure that it would have helped me because I would have just put it off. And then I still would have been completely crazy at the end of it anyway, now that I had to cram to make all this stuff. It's like being in college and writing the paper three hours for the class. That is the that's why I'm I love to plan everything out. And I will give myself deadlines that I have to meet. But I need deadlines. And this made me have to do things quickly, which was probably in fairness, a really good idea. It might have taken a lot longer otherwise. Then there is the whole other part that I had to build, which was marketing. Like I said before, I have been really referral based long term clients. I've gotten things from like the certifications and things like that. So going out and being like, Hi, I have a thing. You should buy it. It's incredible. You're going to learn how to build your agency. Who am I going to tell? I have to market now I just started a Facebook group which ended up being really great because it was a whole bunch of people right there that I knew wanted to talk agency that I could talk about with this, but I couldn't just rely on one Facebook group, right. So there's the whole machine. I have to be talking about this a ton because So I think I'm talking about it all the time. And then I have other people saying, I didn't even hear about this, what are you talking about? That machine trying to make sure that you have posts, and you have things to say that aren't boring. You're not just posting for no reason. I wanted to give value, I wanted to show why this was awesome. And not be yucky about it. That was a really big thing for me. So having this whole machine, I had to build this machine to market, which is hard. Me building funnels hard, but enjoyable, me building a marketing machine, not enjoyable at all. That's not my zone of genius. So there are a couple of things that I changed midstream, because I didn't think they were working, or they needed to be updated. Or I needed to add something that I hadn't originally thought of. So something like a payment plan. I had had it as full payment, or five months, because it was a five month program. And I had people coming to me and saying, you know, it's kind of tight, it's Christmas, I just can't swing that much right, then I can't do it. And I was like, Well, if I just made a longer payment plan, would that help you, I want you to be able to do this, if you can, like I don't, I don't want, I don't want people to not be able to afford things so that they can't grow. Like if you want to grow and scale your business, and you are a little tight on cash right now, because you got you know, a life, I didn't want that to be the thing that stopped them. So I ended up adding other payment plans in for a seven month payment plan an eight month, which I was a little unsure of, but a lot of my other friends had done the same and it had helped. So we did change the payment plan. We added longer payment plans, I did change some of the marketing ideas, I ended up bringing in a social media person toward the end, I was actually waiting for her I tried to get her a lot earlier. But she was I was on a waitlist for her because she's very busy. So that change that that helped in the end that I wasn't the only one helping with the marketing. But it was so hard because she was coming in at the end of a launch, which is insane to there were also changes to the funnel and the application process. The original plan was to do a waitlist, which we did. And then you would get notified that enrollment was open, except that the launch gorgeous process had been an application. So you went from waitlist, hear back from me, then you get an email and I say, hey, applications are open, then you submit an application, then I approve the application, then you go in and see the sales page, find out about the pricing. And if you want to enroll, there was a lot of back and forth. And I felt like it was starting to be a hindrance. So I ended up changing the application process at the end to make it more streamlined. And after the waitlist had already gone through anyway. So but these are the kind of things like I was like, Okay, I think those are problems, let's change the payment process. I think this is a problem, let's use the application process little. And that's scary to do when you're doing this in the middle of a launch. But I was the only one doing all the parts. So it was kind of like I could do whatever I wanted, I could go in and change it today because I knew how it all worked, which that was the scrap like the scrappy part of this was very helpful. The things that I didn't change this time, but I would definitely change next time would be one being able to build this out ahead of time. Like I said, I couldn't have done it this time, I couldn't have gotten a lot more help this time unless it took a lot longer. And I had worked through a lot of it beforehand. And I don't know that I could have. So now that I've worked through it, and we'll go through this round, seeing what will happen and what will work and what won't, then I will be able to next time hand off a ton more, the marketing will be a big thing to hand off, the funnel will get a little bit cleaner. I just got emailed today that there's a typo major typo on the sales page that my brain had just not even registered anymore. Maybe there'll be less steps next time between waitlist application enrollment, like there's a lot there. And I felt like there was a lot of back and forth. There'll be a lot more automations. Because I'll be able to think ahead and say, Okay, well, this should be working this way, I understand how this all works. Now we can make this automated, like fg funnels doesn't have contracts, so I can have them pay. But I had to manually send out contracts, which went for a couple people in the beginning is not a big deal. But if you are going to scale this, you're going to need to have more automations in place. And then the timing is going to be a thing. I mean, doing this at a crazy time from scratch was insanity. And I highly recommend you never do this. That you never do what I did, maybe, well, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you should do the crazy things because it's worked out well. We have fantastic people in this program. It will be running from January to May, I'm going to be able to deliver some kickass program here. Because I've gone through all of this work. And I've really done this deep dive into what I think will really work and really help them and then I'm going to be there every week on calls, talking them through how to build their agency. So maybe I had to do it crazy. Maybe I had to do it messy and that's really Really the only way that this would have gotten done? And I think that might be true. So I will say you shouldn't do it. But maybe, maybe it's kind of the way you got to do it. I don't know, don't take advice from me on this. The Lastly, the big question I am getting is, well, I run this again, I got this question a lot from people who are not ready to sign up this time, either they are still finishing up a different program, or they just finished a program and they're tapped out on cash, like they can't swing it, or, Hey, it's Christmas, I can't really afford to sign up for a thing. Or I'm not going to have the time because I have a thing, all the things because it really wasn't the right time for them this round. And I've gotten asked this a lot. So the honest answer is haven't decided. If you had asked me about two, three weeks ago, I would have been very close to saying no, I am never doing this. Again, this is insanity. Now, cart closed programs, starting things coming down, I will say probably probably I will run this program again, I started thinking about what that would look like in my head yesterday, which means my brain has started to wrap itself around the idea of doing this again. Because I'm a glutton for punishment, and I don't know when to stop. I'm the person who's in the garden for an hour and thinks I'm tired and then stays out there to for two more hours, comes inside and can barely walk. That's me. So as I started thinking about like, what that would look like, when this would happen. If we're doing this first round from January to May, when would the next round be? How can I do it so that I'm not doing it during Christmas, I'm not killing myself next year, try to learn from this, which, frankly, is why I'm doing this podcast because as I was kind of outlining my thoughts and talking myself through it right now, I'm trying to remember all the things that I liked, and I didn't like so that I don't do this to myself again next year. So the last four months have been the four months of uncomfortable when I've talked about that before here. And I will I'm going to kind of do a wrap up on that and in a different podcast. But this whole idea of saying yes, and being uncomfortable and wanting to throw up. That was definitely part of why I did this. And now I'm here. And now I've got this great program. And I have these great students in this program, and I'm gonna go help them build their agencies, and I'm so excited about it. So the outcome, fantastic. The method may be a little insane. But I'm already thinking about doing it again. And I'm getting excited about the prospect of being able to organize it better, because that's what I love to do making it all look pretty and Runwell. That's that's what I love, and having people to help me this time and help the marketing and help with, you know, sending documents out or uploading something, and having it not all just be me. And to think about all that it means like, Okay, well, if it's a five month program, and I want to do it in this year, that probably means like July, what do I start launching? I don't know, June May. And then how do I prepare for that. And then all the sudden, I realized that I need to start all over again right now. And then I realized I need to take a break and deliver one hell of a program this round. And then give myself a couple of weeks to think about all the steps, all of the things that I want to do and the things that I'm doing now, and all the things but I need a break. Everyone else I felt like was off around the holidays. And I really didn't take any time at all. So I am going to defer that last question of whether I will run it again, a couple of weeks at least. And then we'll get started thinking about that. I hope you have enjoyed this little behind the scenes of my insanity launch. And I hope that you can learn something from it. Whether you want to be just as crazy as I am so that you can get things done, or that you never want to do anything like this because it sounds crazy. And I'll talk to you guys next week. Thank you so much for joining me this week. If you have an agency or want to create one, come join my Facebook community. Get Your Agency Together, where we talk all the things growing and scaling your agency for show notes and more info on all the things head over to Reynolds obm.com Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at Reynolds OBM. And finally, if you enjoy this podcast, I would love for you to give us a review on iTunes.