Are You Ready For a Digital Product Launch?
Checklist time. Marketing and target audience identification: check Awesome content: check Tools and tech: check. Online Course: check. But before you launch your amazing online course, you need to take a second to ask yourself the hard questions: are you ready for your online course launch? We don’t want to freak you out in any […]

Checklist time.

Marketing and target audience identification: check

Awesome content: check

Tools and tech: check.

Online Course: check.

But before you launch your amazing online course, you need to take a second to ask yourself the hard questions: are you ready for your online course launch?

We don’t want to freak you out in any way. But the final moments before a product launch are the most important. Once you’ve created hype, launched, and released your online product, it’s incredibly tricky to amend or alter your course.

If there’s something wrong with one of the modules and students can’t watch a required video, you may find yourself losing students by the handful. Your audience will be merciless if a link doesn’t work, a pdf is missing, or something isn’t quite up to scratch.

Before you release your awesome course into the wild, take a minute to carefully consider these points. Ask yourself the hard questions now, and avoid the harder work later.

 

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

Are You Ready for a Product Launch?

It might be tempting to skip this step but trust us when we say that this first step is important.

Sure, there are many advantages to doing a launch, but many entrepreneurs overlook the huge investment needed to pull it off.

Startups will pour huge amounts of time, energy, and resources into a product launch that was doomed to fail from the start, for reasons ranging from lacking a defined market, to the company being unable to handle the sudden rapid growth.

The majority of these problems could be avoided before you even begin preparing for the launch, all by simply asking yourself, “am I ready/willing/able to do this?”

Even Jeff Walker, the man behind the product launch formula, advises startups to be patient and cautious. “I think a big part of it is the ability to delay gratification—being willing to put in the work now, knowing it’s not going to pay off for three months or six months or two years,” he says.

Let’s take it back to the basics to make sure you are ready to launch.

The Basics: Anatomy of a Product Launch

By definition, a product launch is when a company launches, or in our case re-launches, a product into the market. It sounds fairly simple, right?

Done correctly, however, there are many steps that go into creating a successful product launch.

In our experience, there are five distinct phases:

  1. Product development: This is when you make sure that you have a great product in the first place. When it comes to your online course, planning is vital. It won’t matter unless you have something worth launching.
  2. Planning: When you put together your product launch team and figure out the essentials and how it is you’re going to move forward. This includes working out details like what your story is going to look like and what the launch sequence is going to be. This can take months before everyone fully agrees on what the right steps are and how to proceed. We saved ourselves a lot of time in the planning process by using the Jeff Walker approach. This is possibly the most important phase of any product launch, since how well you prepare and plan greatly determines how your launch is going to go.
  3. Pre-Launch: The third phase of a launch is when you begin putting all your planning into action. This is when you need to start thinking about generating hype and as many warm leads as possible. That means everything from bolstering your email list and creating launch-related content to reaching out to influencers to work with. Your pre-launch period starts from when you first start putting it all together to your actual launch date, meaning that this phase can take anywhere from a month to well over a year depending on how big you want your launch to be.
  4. Launch: Crunch time. When everything finally comes together and all your months of planning and preparation finally come together. This is usually a period that doesn’t go on any longer than a week or so where you really push your live product as much as possible. This phase includes activities like Facebook campaigns and making sure that you have proper onboarding practices. Some startups skip straight to this phase when they do their first product launch, only to realize that there is a lot of work they should have done ahead of time. Don’t make that mistake.
  5. Review: The final phase is sometimes known as the post-mortem, depending on how morbid you’re feeling. When the dust has settled and everything is done, take stock of what went great and what could have gone better, so next time you can do an even more epic product launch!

Let’s begin by asking the tough questions. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to stop a potential disaster before it happens.

READ MORE: How to Create an Online Course Like Foundr

Do I Have a Validated Product?

Validating your product happens during the early days of crafting your online course,  usually during the product development stage.

One of the most common pitfalls of a product launch is releasing a product that nobody actually wanted in the first place. Before you launch any product, make sure that you have a good product, with a market that actually wants it, first and foremost.

Do you remember the Juicero?

Springing into existence in 2013, Juicero was a company that sold a fancy device for juicing. The Juicero Press, designed by Swiss designer Yves Béhar, was a Wi-Fi-connected juicer that used single-serving packets of pre-juiced fruits and vegetables. These little juice packets were sold exclusively by the company by subscription. The price for a Juicero Press is $400, plus the cost of individual juice packs delivered weekly.

A year after launching, they received $US120 million in venture capital funding from several backers including Google’s parent company Alphabet, and the founder Doug Evans was loudly comparing himself to Steve Jobs, and that the Juicero wielded four tons of force—“enough to lift two Teslas!”

juicero pr rcf online product
Image Credit: PR Company Handout

The product launched, the world watched, and suddenly it became clear what the big glaring problem was.

You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands.

Not only was the $400 machine bulkier than initially thought, but Bloomberg also performed a well-publicized test pitting a “Juicero machine against a reporter’s grip”. Squeezing the bag by hand was much faster than using the machine.

Juicero fired back announcing that the machine was a safeguard to make sure customers didn’t drink expired packs, because the juicer’s Wi-Fi connection and QR code reader would scan each product for expiry dates. Again, this flopped when it was noted that the expiry date was listed on the juice bags in plain text.

The cherry on top of this product flop: the amount of waste created from the single-use juice packs.

The world laughed at the superfluous product, media outlets the world over had a field day mocking the product, and in 2017, Juicero shut its doors.

What Juicero failed to do properly, and what you’re going to avoid, is that they didn’t stop to ask themselves the all-important question: is this a validated product, and does the market want this?

Kurt Jetta, who runs retail and consumer data firm Tabs Analytics notes that “It’s very difficult to differentiate yourself in the food and beverage sector[…]entrepreneurs may be tempted to have a technology angle when it’s not really there.”

It marketed itself as a new-innovation in the food and beverage industry, despite the fact that outside of a few very niche areas, no one actually wanted it. The product wasn’t validated, at least not by the audience they were after.

We’re not saying that your online course is going to flop the same way Juicero flopped, but we want to drive home the importance of validating your product. Your course might be the greatest project you’ve ever worked on, showcasing your expert knowledge with amazing content and high-def video production, but if no one want’s your product then it’s a waste.

Before you launch, take a step back and ask yourself honestly if you really have a validated product. Without proper validation, you’re just launching to an empty room.

READ MORE: How to Build a Profitable Marketing Strategy

Is my Marketing up to Scratch?

One of the worst things that can happen to a product launch is getting everything right, only to stumble at the finish line. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your product may be, if no one even knows it exists you’re not going to be selling anything.

We call that a “build it and they will come” mindset, and it is bad news.

When we talk about marketing what I’m talking about is how well you’re able to generate interest and hype into your product before it even launches. Where product launches often stumble is the fact that they haven’t bothered to set up the proper channels to get their message out there. Or they simply rush through the planning phase fail to come up with the right story or marketing message.

A great example of this would be Google Glass. A truly revolutionary device with loads of applications and features but, in the end, their launch flopped hard. When you take a look at it, Google Glass did pretty much did everything right, they got their product into the hands of the right influencers, and they treated their launch as an event.

google glass rcf online digital product launch
Image Credit: PC Mag

But where they stumbled was that, while it was the device that sci-fi lovers had dreamed about for years, the general consumer had no idea what to do with it.

Sure there were loads of ads and tech reviews explaining the features and how revolutionary it was. But what they failed to do was to hone in on was one of the most basic lessons in marketing: solve a customer’s problem.

People just didn’t know what to do with the Google Glass even if they had it, for all of its features no one knew why they would need it in the first place. It didn’t solve any problems or issues that anyone had at the time so in the end, it was quietly shelved until the relaunch.

When you’re developing a product it’s easy can get caught up in how amazing or innovative it is, and it very well could be. After all, you’re the developer, you know exactly what it’s all about. But unless you can articulate that to your audience, they’re not going to understand what you think is inherently obvious.

So, take a step back and look at your product with fresh eyes. Now take a look at your marketing and ask yourself who you’re selling to. Are you selling to you? Or are you selling to your customer?

READ MORE: Psychographics 101: Everything You Need to Know; How It’s Used in Marketing

Can my Business Support Sudden Growth?

Another big pitfall is failing to prepare for the sudden surge in growth you’ll face if things go well. I know what you’re thinking, “How can growth be a bad thing?” You’ll actually force yourself to think about the problems your sudden growth will bring and the changes you’ll need to make to prepare for it.

Don’t get stuck playing catch-up.

Suddenly finding your emails littered with new student signups is usually a good thing. But only if you’re prepared for it.

Think of it like this. Could you run a full marathon right now without any training? With all due respect to the fitness of our readers, I’m going to assume that most of you said: no.

The growth of your product is the same thing. When your business grows, you will encounter problems that you may never have thought about before adding this whole new layer of stress onto yourself and your company.

Too many businesses make the mistake of thinking that everything will stay the same after a product launch. That they’ll be able to reap all the benefits and rewards without having to change how their business functions.

You have to take the time to do some strategic planning for your future.

READ MORE: How Foundr Created it’s First Product Launch

Do All My Links, Media, and Files Work?

Did you know that the average web user expects pages to load in two seconds or less, down from four seconds in 2006; and after three seconds, up to 40% will abandon your site. Tough crowd, huh?

If you want your product to be a success, you have to make sure with every fiber in your being that every single link, file, image, video, and document is in working order.

Links:

A broken or dead link is a link that you click but doesn’t work or doesn’t take you to the page you were meant to see.

Imagine you’re just jumping into the first lesson for a personal training program. You’re at the gym, you’re ready for day one, and you hit the link on your phone for “day 1 workout plan”. The link takes you to a dead page.

You close the window, head to Google, find a free article elsewhere, and wonder why you ever paid for the course in the first place if it doesn’t work.

404-error-page rcf online courseSo, what causes broken links? There’s a number of reasons why the link doesn’t work, but the most common are:

  • A typo when you created the link
  • Renaming or moving a page and not updating links accordingly
  • Deleted media or pages

A broken link is easy to fix, but do a lot of damage when left unaided. Not only does it affect the all-important SEO rankings, but it also ruins the user’s experience, hurts your reputation and credibility, and makes your product seem rushed.

As an added blow, usually, when visitors land on a broken page and then leave within seconds, search engine algorithms pick up on this and lower your rankings.

We suggest using Google Search Console (GSC) for detecting pages on your site that return errors. You can find any nasty dead links by searching 404 pages on your site in Crawl-> Crawl Errors -> Not Found.

Video and Photo

Imagine you’re just jumping into the first lesson on a yoga course. You have your yoga mat ready, your yoga pants on, and you’re in the mood to flow through a good Vinyasa session. You press begin on the first video and see that the link you’re looking for is not available.

You close the site, head to YouTube, and wonder why you bothered in the first place.

Missing media makes your product look scrappy and outdated. Most platforms have different requirements for media (different resolution, formats, size, etc.) and it’s up to you, the creator, to make sure your content works.

For images, we find that the image file extensions that work well for sites are .jpg, .png, or .gif files. Reduce your image size if pages are loading slowly, we recommend using TinyPNG for this (it’s free), and always check to see if the images have the correct tags, links, or other metadata.

When it comes to videos for your course, you need to make sure they are optimized for the web. It’s a delicate balance of maintaining the quality as well as providing the right file size for students that might not have a strong internet connection or don’t want to get a huge internet bill.

At Foundr, we have hundreds of hours of video content, so we have to make sure that everything is running smoothly. All our courses have an adjustable resolution to suit any, and all bandwidths.

RCF online course screengrab product

The rough rule of thumb is to keep videos under 1 GB for faster uploading/processing. You can reduce file size without compromising its quality by compressing your videos. For a free and easy compression tool, get something like Handbrake.

Try to make your uploads are:

  • mp4 file
  • h.264 codec
  • 5,000–8,000 kbps target bitrate
  • Individual file size around 1GB (for faster upload/processing)
  • Video resolution: 1280×720 (HD) or 1920×1080 (FULL HD)

READ MORE: How To Develop An Online Course

Have You Proofread Copy and Cross-Checked Translations?

Did you see in the news the recent debacle with Amazon.com launching in Sweden?

At the end of October 2020, Amazon launched its Swedish website and entered into the world of Nordic e-commerce. However, it was quickly discovered that the website was awash with translation issues, crass typos, and other embarrassing gaffs.

The mistranslations were blamed on a dodgy translation bot, but the whole fiasco clouded what was supposed to be a successful launch. In fact, Nicklas Storakers, CEO of the Swedish price comparison service PriceRunner, said the launch was the “most botched work I have ever seen”.

Typos and mistranslations are small mistakes that have big consequences. Before you launch, spend as much time as possible reviewing copy for any mistakes or typos that you may have missed. We insist that you also get other people to do the same for you: friends, family, co-workers, anyone!

When it comes to translations, as Amazon learned, you can’t trust bots completely. You may need to hire someone externally to make sure that the translation works. There are little nuances and language inflections that AI isn’t able to pick up on (yet).

If possible, head to job board websites like Fiverr or UpWork, and look for proof-readers, editors, or translators. Spend a little money now and avoid losing money later.

Do I Have The Right Price-Point?

By now, you have ideally done countless hours of research and testing to see what price-point suits your content and audience, but have you taken the time to check whether this still stands?

At Foundr, we spend a ridiculous amount of time researching and assessing the correct price point for our courses. These prices that we list are not just off-the-cuff, they are value-based assessments and we are so confident that the price matches the value that we offer a 365-day money-back guarantee.

rcf online course launch

At Foundr, we use the “10x rule”.

Is it worth 10, or even 100x what we charge the customer? For us, yes. It’s our intellectual property, and it works. In fact, with the cost of production, filming, editing, hosting, and all the other tech stuff behind the scenes, we usually spend between $20k-$50k+ bringing a course to life.

Don’t let those big numbers freak you out though. For our first course launch, production cost us a few thousand dollars, and it sold for millions. As with everything in life, the high-end stuff only comes years later after the hard work.

It’s easy to sell when you know you are only charging 10% of what it is worth! This allows you to sleep at night and feel good about the value you are bringing to your customer.

Before you launch, reassess your prices. Pricing high or low, you need to always price and value with intention.

If you are charging too little, and you are basically eroding the perceived value of your course, you might be limiting your revenue. A lower price point may not necessarily be a point of concern, perhaps your lower point is a way to get boosted awareness, in which case you need to reassess the long-term plan.

At the other end of the spectrum, price your product too high and you may see nothing but tumbleweeds. A high-price point can suggest luxury or high-quality content, but if you can’t deliver the goods then you’ll have a lot of negative reviews demanding a refund.

Consider your price-point carefully, it’s a make or break!

Have I Reached Out To The Right People?

By now you should probably have a nice bundle of leads, emails, and interested people waiting for your course launch.  Before launching, review your lists and contacts to make sure you’re hitting all your markets.

If you launch your product and you haven’t informed your intended audience, don’t be surprised if you don’t see sales rocketing through the roof on your launch day. Even overlooking strategic choices, such as offering launch discount codes or influencer collaborations can leave you feeling a little disheartened.

Have you contacted the right influencers? Do you want to offer these key people discount codes? Perhaps you forgot to send that follow-up email to an affiliate? By reviewing your contacts and your marketing strategy, you might pick up on gaps in your launch plan.

Have I Given Myself a Pat on The Back?

An essential one, don’t skip this one.

Before you launch, make sure to take time out to celebrate the fact that you’ve worked hard on something. Celebrating wins and acknowledging achievements is a crucial part of growth as an entrepreneur.

At Foundr, we do this by taking the team out for meals and drinks after a launch. At the very least, we try to stop and enjoy the moment.

FREE TRAINING: How to Create a 7-Figure Course From Scratch Using Foundr’s Never-Revealed “Rapid Course Formula”

What Are You Waiting For? Launch!

It’s time.  You’ve checked everything off the list, the time to launch is here. Press the launch button, and keep your fingers crossed.

Launching a digital product is terrifying, trust us when we say we know how scary it is. But the good news is that failure is an opportunity for growth.

For every course we launch at Foundr, we send out a post-launch survey to find out why people did or didn’t buy. We spend a long time analyzing these answers and take the lessons learned into consideration for our next launch. 

If you don’t make the millions of dollars you hoped you would, don’t despair. You have gathered actionable learnings for next time. If your survey shows that you’ve priced too high, then simply assess whether you can reduce the cost. If people report dead links, then you know what to do. 

If people report that they loved the 7th module lesson, then you can analyze what they loved about it and replicate it in the future.

You win some, you lose some, but the only way to fail is to not launch.

Summary

Launching a digital product isn’t as easy as people think, but taking time out to reflect, assess, and ask questions before launching will make sure you avoid making silly mistakes.

How did you go with your first launch? We love hearing about your wins, lessons learned, and all the fun stuff. Drop a comment below with any burning questions, and our expert team will do their best to help you out.


The biggest problem founders and small business owners have is that they’re experts in their field and novices in what it really takes to effectively run a business. That’s what usually trips them up, sooner or later.

Don’t let that happen to you. Admit that you don’t know what you don’t know about business, starting with these 15 tips guaranteed to help keep you and your company out of hot water. Some are straightforward, others are counterintuitive, but they’re all true. And some day they’ll save your butt.

Always make sure there is and will be enough cash in the bank. Period. The most common business-failure mode, hands down, is course out of cash. If you know you’ve got a cash flow or liquidity problem coming up, fix it now. You can’t fire bad employees fast enough. You just can’t. Just make sure you know they’re the problem, not you ( see next tip ).

The problem is probably you. When I was a young directeur, my company sent us all to a week of quality training where the most important concept we learned was that 90 percent of all problems are management problems. When things aren’t going well, the first place to look for answers is in the mirror.

Take care of your stars. This goes for every company, big and small. The cost of losing a vedette employee is enormous, yet business précurseurs rarely take the time to ensure their top performers are properly motivated, challenged, and compensated. Your people are not your kids, your personal assistants, or your shrink. If you use and abuse them that way, you will come to regret it. Capiche ?

Learn to say ' yes ' and ' no ' a lot. The two most important words business owners and founders have at their disposal are “yes” and “no. ” Learn to say them a lot. And that means being decisive. The most important reason to focus – to be clear on what your company does – is to be clear on all the things it doesn’t do.

It boggles my mind how little most créateurs d'entreprise value their customers when, not only are their feedback and input among the most critical information they will ever learn, but their repeat is the easiest business to get. Learn two words : meritocracy and nepotism. The first is how you run an organization – by recognizing, rewarding, and compensating based solely on ability and achievement. The deuxième is how you don’t run an organization – by playing préférés and being biased.

Know when and when not to be translucide. Transparency is as detrimental at some times as it is beneficial at others. There are times to share openly and times to zip it. You need to know when and with whom to do one versus the other. It comes with experience.

Trust your gut. This phrase is often repeated but rarely understood. It means that your own instincts are an extremely valuable decision-making tool. Too often we end up saying in retrospect and with regret, “Damn, I knew that was a bad idea. ” But the key is to know how to access your instincts. Just sit, be quiet, and listen to yourself.

Protect and defend your intellectual property. Most of you don’t know the difference between a copyright, trademark, trade secret, and patent. That’s not acceptable. If you don’t protect and defend your IP, you will lose your only competitive advantage.

Learn to read and write effective agreements. You know the expression “good fences make good neighbors ? ” It’s the same in business. The more effective your agreements are, the better your business relationships will be.

Far too many créateurs d'entreprise run their business like an extension of their personal finances. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Construct the right business entity and keep it separate from your personal life. Know your finances inside and out. If you don’t know your revenues, expenses, capital requirements, profits ( gross and net ), debt, cash flow, and effective tax rate – among other things – you’re asking for dysfonctionnement. Big dysfonctionnement.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Humility is a powerful trait for leaders, and that goes for new owners, veteran CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and everyone in between. More times than not, you will come to regret thinking you knew all the answers. Behind every failed company are dysfunctional, delusional, or incompetent leaders. The irony is, none of them had the slightest idea that was true at the time. Even sadder, most of them still don’t. Don’t end up like one of them.

For every success you have in growing your market share, another or other businesses will inevitably lose ground. Here are 11 quick and easy tips to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals and insulate yourself from the threat of new entrants in the market.

Of course, we all want to spark business growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans. Content digital, paired with optimized website forms and compréhensif email automation follow-up is critical to business success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money. Not an expert in creating optimized lead generation pages on a website ? No worries, use a trusted tool like Leadpages to make it happen.

Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product ( unless you run Starbucks or Adidas ! ) Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals. Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan : When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services. Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable ?

Dropping prices doesn’t necessarily raise sales, for instance ( though it will definitely squeeze margins ). If you position yourself as a de haute gamme brand, then your customers aren’t necessarily value-driven in the first place, and cutting prices could even tarnish your brand. Consider this case study from Robert Cialdini’s seminal book ‘Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion’ : a jeweller sold out of turquoise jewelry after accidentally doubling, instead of halving, the price. The inflated price tag lent the product an unwarranted cachet ! If you are a premium brand, there are ways to optimize your pricing without lowering prices. For example, offer the quality-conscious customer an ‘exclusive’ benefit that your rivals do not or cannot provide. If you are at the value-driven end of the market, on the other hand, don’t assume slashing prices means incurring a loss. Low pricing can help you rapidly onboard a heap of new customers who may also buy other items in your shop and return again. Context also counts for a lot with pricing. The best way to sell a $5, 000 watch, for instance, could be by putting it next to a $10, 000 watch. Think strategically when it comes to deciding any price point.

Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s so very important ! Whether consciously or not, people are more likely to buy a product if they like the sales assistant who’s attending to them. While the employee’s personality obviously has no bearing on the price or your product’s ability to serve their needs is irrelevant. Friendly customer-facing staff will always attract more sales. Be rigorous in hiring people who are genuinely cheerful, friendly and outgoing. Make sure your training program teaches them to adopt a consistently friendly approach that puts customers at ease and feel like a priority.

Say you’re a bricks-and-mortar store and you’re getting a rush of customers as closing time approaches… why not close up an hour later ? While this may cause disgruntlement among équipe, solve this venant by getting creative with rosters. Monitor customer footfall throughout the day and week to identify your busiest periods, and équipe people accordingly. You can also reduce headcount during quieter periods to offset the higher costs and longer working hours created by your extended opening hours. It’s a win-win !

Even in the web age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than courier or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand. By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funnelling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage ( i. e., FAQs ). But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number. Put it front and center on your web page, particularly if you’re a retail offering. ‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.

Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services ? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this. It’s good for you because : It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies ! When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your business operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale. Oh, and guess what ? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.

Local businesses can arguably connect with their unique communities with much greater authority than any global chain. A local retailer, hair mobilier or gardening company can sponsor a kid’s sports team and offer deep discounts for OAPs at the same time. Some cinemas feature special ‘sensory’ screenings where parents can bring kids with autism ( who would normally be overwhelmed by busy, noisy environments ) to enjoy a movie in a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. This reflects well on them and also guarantees them a loyal customer niche. Whatever you choose to do to support your community, make sure it authentically fits with your brand offering and journey to date.

Social media is a great medium through which to build a solid relationship with customers – just don’t forget what ‘social’ actually means ! Soul-less corporate shop-talk won’t work on Twitter. Try to give your brand some ‘personality’ when you write updates or posts. This can bring its own risks, évidemment. But if you get it right, the benefits can be très grande. Develop a tone of voice that aligns well with your brand identity. Seek to inform, help, entertain or amuse. And most importantly – given the dire PR consequences – don’t patronize, try too to be funny, or tweet after a few alcoholic drinks !

Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk : if one falters, others can take up the slack. Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too : specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a single product or service. So what should you specialize in ? to state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel. You could also pick something with rising or recession-proof demand which is resilient to technological change in which you possess a competitive advantage over your rivals or where there’s an obvious gap in your local market. Own it, whatever you do.

Don’t ever get too satisfied with your business. You can always improve – and improve you must ! Don’t get me wrong : without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point ? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time ! Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless hitherto thriving brands : complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market précurseurs that just got lazy. You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired model. So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other fondateurs, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being usurped.

There are lots of ways in which you can improve your , and not all of them are complicated ! Try out the above tips or integrate them with your existing strategies, and let me know how you go in the comments below. Guest Author : Faye Ferris is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Dynamis APAC Pty Ltd offices in Sydney. She develops the DYNAMIS ne change pas of brands and their expansion into the Asia Pacific region as well as BusinessesForSale. com, FranchiseSales. com and PropertySales. com. If you have an interest in partnering up with Faye or advertising on any of these websites in the APAC territories, please do not hesitate to contact her on faye@businessesforsale. com.

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