3 Tools for a Successful Online Product Launch

Product Launch SuccessI first met Melissa Dinwiddie on The Third Tribe and have since come to know and respect her know-how and drive to get things done. Below, she reveals the top 3 tools she used for bringing in traffic, and paying members, when she launched her new product online.

Let me get one thing straight: I’m an artist, not a techie.

Nevertheless, at the end of last year I launched my first online course, the Thriving Artists Project (TAP), and I made use of a lot of online tools not just to create the course, but also to drive traffic to my launch.

I’ve climbed a lot of technical learning curves this past year: wrangled with WordPress, installed membership site software, learned to create PayPal buttons and to record and post interviews and videos, just to name a few.

Once it was time to sell what I created, though, three “tools” in particular were key to bringing me traffic and paying members.

1. Guest blogging

The guest posts I’ve written have brought me quality traffic — ie, people who stick around and who went on to buy my course.

I’ve read more times than I can count that guest blogging is one of the best ways to grow traffic to your own site. Although my traffic’s not breaking any records, the guest posts I’ve written have brought me quality traffic — ie, people who stick around and who went on to buy my course. I know several of my TAP members first found me through a series of guest posts I wrote for the Abundant Artist blog.

If you can write, if you’re not putting yourself out there in guest blog posts, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

2. The Customer Love Challenge

I don’t know about you, but nothing in my life gets done without a deadline. I didn’t originally plan to launch in December, but then I joined LaVonne Ellis’s November Customer Love challenge (affiliate link) and found myself with a deadline, plus a supportive community to cheer me on and provide accountability.

If you could use a push to get your own thing launched, check out Customer Love for yourself.

Don’t underestimate the power of these two things! If you could use a push to get your own thing launched, check out Customer Love for yourself. LaVonne runs it every three months, and it was a huge help for me. (And for the February challenge LaVonne and Jonathan Wondrusch have created a paid course, the Customer Love Machine, for added assistance to get your thing launched.)

3. Twitter

I have to admit, I was resistant to Twitter for years.

What, I wondered, is the point of posting short messages into the ether? Why do I care if your cat just barfed on the rug, and why would you care that I just ate a pizza?

Of course Twitter, used wisely, is a lot more than that. I just had to wrap my head around the tool. Hint: interact with people on Twitter the way you would at a cocktail party. In other words, if all you do is try to get people to buy something, they’ll quickly take their drink and find someone else to hang with. But if you actually engage and converse, sharing interesting stuff and responding to other people’s interesting stuff, pretty soon you’ll find yourself growing a network of Tweeps.  (See Secrets of a Twitter Networking Guru for more great tips.)

Not only did I grow my network using Twitter, but I also used it as a way to drive traffic and grow my list of folks specifically interested in the TAP.

Not only did I grow my network using Twitter, but I also used it as a way to drive traffic and grow my list of folks specifically interested in the TAP.

How? By holding a contest.

I posted on my blog and emailed my list that anyone who tweeted about the TAP using the hashtag #wintap would be entered in a drawing to win membership in the course. Each tweet was worth one entry.

In the four days of running the contest, my list size nearly doubled. But of course, you have to have engaged followers to begin with to achieve these kinds of results, so if you haven’t started tweeting, get to it!

The Upshot

The upshot? At the end of my 72-hour launch I had 43 paid members and enough money to pay my mortgage twice over.

Thanks to the network I created using these three tools, I built a highly-interested list of prospects. The upshot? At the end of my 72-hour launch I had 43 paid members and enough money to pay my mortgage twice over.

Could I do better? You bet! I’m relaunching on February 8 and this time I’m doing more promo and making use of affiliates — members and selected others — to drive traffic and sales. But for a first launch I couldn’t be more pleased.

Take it from me: being an artist doesn’t have to hamper your ability to use online tools effectively.

Melissa DinwiddieAs an artist/designer, freelance writer, jazz singer/songwriter, and teacher/coach, Melissa Dinwiddie likes to call herself a Multi-Passionate Creative ARTrepreneur. She combines her varied passions on her blog, Living A Creative Life. Melissa’s current project, the Thriving Artists Project, is an online course for anyone who aspires to turn their art or creative thing into a full-time.

Comments

  1. Great idea about holding contests using twitter! Everyone likes to win stuff, and twitter is so easy so there is no barrier to enter the contest. Glad to hear you grew your list in the process too. Here’s to paying that mortgage several times over again!!!

  2. Epilogue: Interestingly, the first time I held the contest I got a lot more tweets and additions to my list than before my 2nd launch. I’m not sure why that is, but something to be aware of. I still think it can be a good way to promote and get the word out.

    Others have pointed out, though, that the people who get on your list specifically for a contest are often people who are only interested in free stuff. Something else to keep in mind, because of course when you’re building a list you want it to be of people who are likely to buy something! 🙂

    • You’ve hit it right on the head there Melissa!

      Before you run a contest, or undertake any marketing effort for that matter, determining your goal, list building or product awareness, is important.

      Not only does that provide you a way to measure the effectiveness of your efforts by telling you what to measure, but it will also help you determine the proper method to use. In this case, contests seems to be best if your goal is product awareness, but perhaps not best if your goal is to build your list.

      -Matt

  3. Melissa, I’ve been following your journey intermittently on your blog. Like you, I had a lot of initial resistance to Twitter. And, like you, I decided to persevere with it. It still annoys me in many ways, but I do get important benefits from it. I’ve recently started using Hootsuite to manage most of my Twitter activities.

    And Matt, I got here from your recent post in Third Tribe.

    • John,

      Glad to see you on the site!

      Also glad to hear that you are finding some value on Twitter. Yes, it certainly has its pros and cons, but I find that it is a very effective medium for making connection, keeping in touch and getting out your message (as long as it is not a sales pitch! :))

      I also use Hootsuite. I really like the fact that it is online so all my columns and tabs are waiting for me no matter which computer I am using. I also find it faster than the offline options, but experiences can certainly vary.

      -Matt

  4. What a great post. I truly support what you are saying and I would add on top of that having articles published and webinars with other colleagues. As someone who is going product launches, I know the power if a launch to create a great income. Thanks again for a wonderful post 🙂

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    3 Tools for a Successful Online Product Launch…

    Melissa Dinwiddie reveals the top 3 tools she used for bringing in traffic, and paying members, when she launched her new product online….

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