Everyday I hear of a new way someone is doing a launch online. Three-part video series launches, once the gold standard, are now merely one of the ways to launch a course or membership online.
Each type of membership has specific requirements when it comes to technology, but there are also many components of launch tech that every online launch will require:
All online launches require the following things in order to be run successfully:
- Email service: I love ActiveCampaign for launching but there are others that work as well. You can find a breakdown of some of the most popular email services for launching here.
- Landing page designer: Leadpages is the gold standard for beautiful landing page designs that convert, but there are other options available as well. While at its core, a landing page collects an email address from people interested in buying from you, good design and conversion is very important when setting up a landing page. After all, if your landing page doesn’t convert, you’ll never know if your offer is any good.
- Place to host content: During a launch, you’ll be offering some type of free training people as a way to gain interest in your paid product. Whether you’ll be using video, audio, pdfs or live training, you’ll need a place for that training to be hosted. It could be as easy as using your website for a series of pdfs, YouTube for free video content or Dropbox for audio files, but that content will need to “live” somewhere.
- Payment Processor: As crazy as it seems, the thing most people tend to forget when setting up their online launches is that people will need a way to pay them. Although PayPal can work, there are better options out there, and all of them will require bank verification and a set up procedure, so it’s best not to leave this to the last minute. Here’s an article on payment processors for more information.
Multi-part Video Launches:
A multi-part video series with pre-recorded video might be perfect for someone who likes making sure every detail is covered. Edited videos can be time consuming but there’s no doubt they look professional.
Some of the most popular launchers using video are Jeff Walker, of Product Launch Formula; and Stu McLaren of Tribe. If you sign up to be a part of their wait lists (they only launch a few times a year), you’ll get to see their free video trainings in action. And for many people, the quality of the training is enough to launch a product without even buying the paid program.
While Jeff and Stu are pros with videographers and editors on their teams, most people aren’t nearly as fancy. There are a few basic things that anyone doing a video launch will need:
Launch Tech Requirements for a Video Launch:
- Camera or phone: So many people think they need to have the biggest, baddest camera on the market to do a great video launch. It’s simply not true. The cameras on most phones today are more than enough to get the job done. Focus more on the content of your video and your offer and less on the bells & whistles of your camera to get the most bang for your buck.
- Video editor: Unless you have experience with video editing and are familiar with editing software, this is something best left to professionals. You can find someone who can get the job done quickly and effectively using a service like Fiverr or Upwork. There are plenty of ways for you to spend time and money, video editing isn’t a new skill to learn just so you can launch your offer.
- Teleprompter: A teleprompter and a script will go a long way to keeping you on track when recording your videos. Without at least an outline to follow, you’ll likely wander in your talk. It’s often said that videos can’t be too long, instead they’re more likely to be too boring. Try to record without a teleprompter to keep you on track and it’s almost certain your video will get too long and too boring.The good news is, you can make a teleprompter inexpensively with things you probably already have. I did this years ago and it is still the teleprompter I use today. There are lots of videos on how to do it on YouTube, here’s just one.
- Place to host video: For a variety of reasons, it isn’t a good idea to host video on your own website. You can host your free training on YouTube ( you do want people to find it after all, your free training is a great way to build your list). If you want a little more security, Vimeo is a great option. Once the video is hosted on such a service, you can use embed codes to put those videos on your own website without having to actually host it there. You can get more info on how to do that here.
Webinars are great for people who don’t necessarily want to be “on camera” but would rather share info via slide deck. If you’ve ever seen one of Amy Porterfield’s launches, this is a familiar type of training for you.
There are two very important parts to a webinar launch… a slide deck or script and a way to present.
Launch Tech Requirements for a Webinar Launch
- Zoom or similar: Many people are familiar with Zoom as a place to have a meeting, but it’s also a great way to host a webinar. Even better is the fact that Zoom will allow you to turn the webinar feature off and on by month, so if you’re in launch mode, you can turn it on, and then turn it off until you’re ready to launch again.
- Powerpoint presentation: Powerpoint seems to still be the gold standard for putting together webinar presentations, but Canva also has some terrific templates you can use.
- Place to host replay: Like video launches, webinar launches will generate a video that can be used as a replay for those who were unable to attend the presentation live. Hosting options can include YouTube, Vimeo or even Dropbox.
Newer to the scene are Challenge launches. This type of launch uses a challenge (typically five days long) to introduce people to you and the way you do things while also giving them a quick win. Each day participants are asked to do one pre-defined task of 10-20 minutes that will move them towards the goal of the challenge. Topics can include things like setting up a Facebook page, creating an email funnel, creating a month’s worth of meal planning and grocery lists.
The key to a successful challenge is that it not take too long each day, and that it leads to a definite end goal. At the end of the challenge, participants can look back and say, “Wow! Look at what I did! I want more…” The last day of the challenge usually includes a webinar or live component in which you would then present your offer as a way for people to go deeper with you on your topic.
You also want your participants to be able to post that they’ve completed each day’s task, to ask questions and to interact with each other so motivation is high to keep doing the daily tasks. This launch requires participants to actually, well, participate, whereas other launches are more of a sit back and watch variety. Zack Spuckler of Heart, Soul & Hustle does many online launch challenges.
Launch Tech Requirements for a Challenge Launch
- A place to post your daily challenge task: (can be email, a FB post, or a video)
- A place for your participants to interact with each other: Facebook groups are very popular for this.
Email launches are great if you really want to offer a product or service and you just don’t want or need all of the bells and whistles. Maybe you want to launch right away, or maybe you just aren’t ready to put the work into all the tech – you just want to test the waters on your idea. An email launch could be perfect for you.
Launch Tech Requirements for an Email Launch
- Email service provider. And if you’re doing business online, you likely have that already.
The one, non-tech, thing you also will need is really fantastic copy and a great offer. If you don’t have video or a slide deck for people to watch, it’s even more important that your copy is spot on. People’s inboxes get full each day and you have to make yours stand out if you want it to be seen – and read.
Live workshops on social media are terrific for people who like to be spontaneous and know their audience likes interacting with them in real time. Even though they’re spontaneous, they do require a higher level of tech knowledge than some of the other launch methods. Different platforms have different tech requirements and it will be necessary to do a test run before you go live to launch.
If you plan to do a slide share presentation during the live event, be sure to practice sharing your slides so you know what your viewers will actually see.
Not only do you need to know how to go live, but you also will need to have some type of lead generation funnel set up so they get added to your email list.
Doing a launch only on social media without collecting email addresses doesn’t typically go well. Algorithms, along with your viewers’ own schedules, will affect who will see your live video. If you have their email addresses, you’ll be able to send them a replay or let them know your cart is open.
When doing a live launch, it’s also a good idea to have someone on the training who is supporting you. They can field questions in the comments or chat and let you know if your sound isn’t working or you lose connection.
Most big launchers have some type of live component whether they are launching via webinar, video or challenge. Less common is a launch that is done entirely live.
Launch Tech Requirements for a Live Launch:
- Platform: Somewhere to go live. This can be YouTube, Facebook, or many other social media channels.
- Ability to have a practice session: Figuring out which buttons to push to go live where you want to, when you want to, and while sharing the proper screen can definitely present challenges
Although these are the most common ways to launch, daily changes in technology means that people are expanding current launch techniques and mixing and matching what exists now with things they want to try in the future. Feel free to pick the style of launch that works best for you and your comfort level, as well as the abilities of your team if you have one. Keep in mind that big, flashy launches typically have big, highly paid teams. Don’t be intimidated by comparing your first time launch of a new product with someone who has been launching for years and has sold millions of dollars in courses.
No matter what style you try, just do it. Choose one, plan it out and then follow through. Because you can’t make a launch better until you’ve launched for the first time.