Constructing your first launch of an online course or membership requires a lot of organization and a variety of skills. Although it can be done by yourself, your launch is going to be much easier if you have a launch team – even if that team is just you and one other person.
Why You Need a Team to Launch Your Online Program
The process of a launching an online program involves a lot of moving pieces. There are social media posts to create and schedule, emails to write, landing pages to design and often either webinars to create or videos to edit. It’s unlikely that one person has all of those skills, especially if you are new to the process.
There are only so many hours in the day, and even though a solid launch plan can make sure you stay on track to accomplish everything, the reality is that most tasks on your first launch will take far longer than you’ve planned for. Add in the time to learn a new skill, such as powerpoint design or social media content creation and the amount of time it will take to complete your launch increases significantly.
The First Person to Hire for Your Launch Team
I’ve heard various answers when big digital marketers are asked who to hire first for their launch teams. The truth is, your first hire should really depend on your own skill set.
I am not good at video editing and wanted to do a video launch. I was, however, formerly a virtual assistant and am fairly tech savvy. So the first person I needed to hire was a video editor. Luckily, that was a project position I was easily able to fill by hiring a contractor on Upwork.
Maybe you’re not doing a video launch, but you’re not techie and have trouble staying organized. You would likely want to hire a VA that can cover the skill sets you lack.
Common Members of a Launch Team
Understanding that the first person you need to hire to support your launch might be different than a colleague’s first person, here are some of the most common launch team positions.
Most people start by hiring a virtual assistant who excels in the areas where they don’t. VAs are typically generalists and have experience in a variety of tasks that may be useful for launching. If you know and understand launching yourself, it isn’t necessary to find a VA who also understands that process. It’s far more important to find one that has skills you need in other areas. You want your VA to compliment your skills when you’re first starting out, not replicate them
Even though it’s likely you’ll hand off a lot of the parts of your business you don’t like to team members in the future, when you’re first starting out it’s more important to hire people who can do the tasks you can’t, not the ones you don’t like to do.
Often virtual assistants can cover multiple areas of your business that you need help with, like understanding your email service and how to create and schedule social media content. When you’re searching for a VA, look not only for the help you need now, but also consider other skills the VA might list as having that you could use in the future as your business grows.
If you want a VA who is going to become your right hand person as your business grows and to treat your business as your own, you’re going to want to look for an eagle VA. You can find out more about the different types of VAs in How to Hire a Virtual Assistant Who Treats Your Business as Her Own.
Social Media Content Creator
If social media isn’t your thing, you’re definitely going to want to hire someone to handle that for you. Love it or hate it, social media is where business gets done when it comes to online launches and if it’s not something you know how to leverage, you need to get help.
There is a difference between social media content creators and social media ad professionals. If you’re not planning to run paid advertising (and many people do not run paid ads for their first launch), you’re fine to hire someone specifically for your content creation and scheduling.
The person you hire should understand the platform where your avatar hangs out and how to best leverage that platform. They should know how to optimize your profile on the platform and create content that converts. They also need to be able to interpret analytics and adjust their content strategy accordingly.
While a copywriter isn’t often thought of as a luxury team member to be used only when you have the money coming in to support it, if you don’t have a clue how to write compelling copy that converts, you may want to invest in a copywriter who does.
Although this is a skill that can be learned, it shouldn’t be discounted. Copywriting that converts content consumers into buyers is necessary if you want to convince people they need whatever it is you’re selling. This isn’t the academic writing you were taught in high school or college. Writing for launches involves revealing the opportunity, transformation, ownership and enrollment opportunities you offer to your followers. If you’re not sure how to do that, you may want to look into getting help.
As I mentioned above, if you’re using video in your launches, one of the first people you’re likely going to want to hire is a video editor. Video editing, unlike some of the other skills listed on this page, requires special software and training to do it right.
While it is likely that you have some sort of free video editing software on your computer, the question you have to ask yourself is whether or not learning to use it is time well spent. I’ve seen multiple launches sidetracked when the person launching is struggling to get their video “just right.”
Keep in mind that a video editor is likely to be able to complete your project much faster and more professionally than you are. They’ll know how to eliminate problems with background noise, can zoom in on certain components of the video or add graphics.
If you do decide to hire a video editor, I suggest you do so BEFORE you shoot your first video so they can advise you on things like lighting, recording resolution, and microphone placement before you spend hours recording something they can’t use.
If you know the basic steps to launching but just aren’t getting it done. You may want to consider a launch coordinator or a launch manager. I explain the difference between the two in What is the Difference Between a Launch Manager and a Launch Coordinator.
Although neither launch coordinators nor launch managers are inexpensive, if they make the difference between getting your launch done and perpetually being in a state of planning to launch, the money could be well spent. If you’d like help coordinating your launch, let’s talk. You can schedule a call with me here.
Paid ads expert
Finally, if you plan to run paid advertising and aren’t experienced in such things, I highly recommend you hire someone to run your ads for you the first time out. Getting dialed in on your audience, where they hang out and what they will respond to in terms of copy and images is complicated and it’s very easy to quickly burn through money while you’re trying to figure it all out.
When you consider hiring someone to run your ads, keep in mind that you will need to pay the person both a fee for their work in addition to the amount you’ll need to spend on the ads themselves (also called ad spend). This money can add up quickly, which is why people often do their first launch without using paid advertising.
Having the right team to help you launch will make the process much easier. It can mean the difference between finishing your launch and getting stuck on one part of the process that is keeping you from the finish line.