Empowering women to create 6-figure digital product businesses.
We officially had our first ever 6-figure live launch, so I am breaking down what happened during the launch in this episode!
I don’t usually share exact numbers, but I feel like it is important to do in this episode because I want to debunk a lot of bad advice out there about what it takes to have a 6-figure live launch.
I have been doing live launching since early 2018, so I have learned quite a bit over the years about nailing down the right program offering for my audience AND the right methods to make a profitable launch happen.
This episode will not only give you insight into what goes into a 6-figure live launch that ACTUALLY MAKES MONEY, but it will also inspire you to keep pushing in your own business.
I hope that sharing all of this with you inspires you to take action. Remember, at the end of the day, if you want it, YOU can have a 6-figure launch too.
If you have been considering creating your own digital products and you want to run a 6-figure digital product business, our upcoming Passion to Profit Experience would be a great place to start!
I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on today’s episode. I just opened a new Instagram account dedicated to providing you with the best tips on creating and selling digital products, and I’d love for you to DM me @monica.froese!
Speaker1: [00:01:46] It’s those people that are likely spending more in ads than they actually make off of those big launches. And they say that in air quotes today. I want to show you that taking a steady and stable approach to business can pay off huge in terms of actual money in your hands. And that’s what we care about right now. Before we dove into the nitty gritty, let’s define what live launching means. So in terms of online business, live launching refers to a short period of time where the sales cart for a program is open. It usually means there will be urgency and price savings or a special offer on that program. Typically, it’s also paired with a live event such as a series of trainings that happen live or what a lot of people refer to as a live challenge. For our April twenty twenty one launch, we hosted a three day live training called the Digital Product Dash. It was a free event that also had a pop up Facebook group so fellow attendees could network and have access to me and my team. The offer at the end of the third live training was a spot inside of our new signature program, The Empowered Business Lab.. Now, the Empowered Business Lab is our six month program that empowers you to create a profitable digital product sales machine. It’s a complete solution for creating, strategizing, building and selling your digital products. This was the second time we ran the digital product Dash Free Training Live.
Speaker1: [00:03:10] The first time was in January of twenty twenty one, which was the founding members launch for the lab live. Launching is a lot of work and in the past it has completely burned me out and even made me resent my business at times. For the first year and a half of live launching, I did all of it by myself and I’m a very detail oriented person and I managed to execute on launches that were pretty incredible considering I had zero support. However, doing it all alone was one reason why we never hit that elusive six figure mark during a live launch in the past. Another reason was because we weren’t selling a program that was set up to create those sort of results. Now, when I pivoted my business in twenty twenty away from Pinterest advertising to the empowered business brand to help women create six figure digital products, I knew that the only way to validate our new program, figure out the best way to sell it and to who we were selling it to was through live launching. So we entered twenty twenty one, committed to live, launching four times. And even saying that sort of makes me want to bang my head on my desk now. January twenty twenty one was the founding members launch and the first time we ran the digital product dash in April. Twenty twenty one. That was the second time we ran the digital product Dash and the lab had gone through major updates and changes during the founding members round to get it ready for what I call like the masses going out to everyone.
Speaker1: [00:04:43] We were so close to a six figure launch in January that I could taste it. We finished at ninety one thousand two hundred and seven dollars and gross income for the launch in January. That broke down to eighty three thousand four hundred and seventy eight dollars and net income after we paid affiliates. And those are people who recommended the program. And then also I always take out our processing fees, which it’s about three point five percent. You pay on every transaction to PayPal and straight. OK, so our gross revenue was ninety one thousand and some change and then our net just taking out affiliates and those processing fees was about eighty three thousand five hundred. OK, so I just want to set the stage. We do cash accounting in our business as most smaller businesses do, which means that in a given month you will only see the cash in and cash out reflected on our books. So send some of these sales were for payment plans. This means that the total cash in hand was fifty nine thousand four hundred and fifty three dollars. Now, in the January launch, we spent a total of eleven thousand nine hundred and twenty eight dollars on paid advertising. However, I do run my ads a little differently than most people for live events.
Speaker1: [00:06:01] So when someone signed up for the dash, they were offered a smaller product called the Digital Product Launch Pad. Now the launch pad made nine thousand nine hundred and twenty seven dollars, which means that our net ad spend that I attribute it to the launch of the lab in January was just over two thousand dollars is two thousand and one dollar. Now, the launch pad number is not reflected in our revenue for the launch. So this means I needed to deduct another two thousand and one down. An ad spend from our cash in hand for the lab, making the total cash in hand for our January twenty twenty one launch. Fifty seven thousand four hundred fifty two dollars. Now, in total, this means if all payment payment plans came through, we would have finished this launch in January with eighty one thousand four hundred and seventy seven dollars in cash. Now, when I say cash, I mean real profit from the launch. See, I’m not talking about spending one hundred thousand dollars in ads and only making eighty one thousand dollars. Definitely not. I am running a real business, which means we make real money. In fact, I’ve not had a single launch of my business that was not profitable. Now the January launch was executed solely by myself and my operations manager, Haley. I do not attribute our salaries to the launch profit because we get paid whether or not we are in a launch month or not.
Speaker1: [00:07:24] Now, if we had hired someone specifically to support that launch, I would have taken that out of our launch profits. OK, so that was like a lot of numbers. But I needed to set the stage for the April launch by giving you a glimpse into how the January launch performed. It’s like the backdrop of how and why things happened in April. Now, we entered the April launch with a goal of a gross revenue being one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Now, based on our numbers in January, this seemed very attainable because the founding member launch was sold for nine ninety seven with a condensed timeline of three months. The benefit of the founding round for students is that you get to have a say in how the program rolls out and you get a lot of access to the program creator, which is me. Now, in April, we launched with the full price being one thousand nine hundred ninety seven dollars and the program length extended to six months. Now, that was the intention all along of what I wanted to sell the lab for, because, you know, founding members, basically, you’re dripping content out to them. You’re modifying content as you go along. So it’s a different experience. OK, now to set the stage for our first ever six figure live launch, I want to call out that we only had three months between each launch, which is not a lot of time.
Speaker1: [00:08:44] And during that time we were heavily involved with making the program the best it could be. I was finishing up loads of content, hosting live zoo meetings with the founding members and moving them through the process of creating and selling their first digital product on a condensed timeline. Therefore, entering the April launch, Haley and I were already pretty burned out, which is never a great way to enter a launch. Now, I wanted to call this out because when you’re launching, it’s easy to let your emotions dictate you instead of the cold, hard data in front of you, which you will see when I talk about what happened during this launch. Launching is a ton of work. It just is. I always say from the outside looking in, it seems deceptively easy. But the truth is there are a ton of moving parts that go into making a live launch happen. I consider us to be pretty nimble and efficient. Get Healy and I need it at least six weeks of concentrated work time to make this happen. We didn’t have that much time in April with the founding member round going on, so we were quite stretched. At the end of February, luckily, we did hire a part time operations assistant. Her name is Katie and she helps with Haley’s work and it helps alleviate a lot of the admin pressure. That was Previously on Haley. OK, so let’s jump into the April launch with a big spoiler alert.
Speaker1: [00:10:10] We did not hit our goal of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. We finished at one hundred and one thousand two hundred and thirty three dollars in gross income. It was closer to one hundred and six thousand, but we had not one but two scammer’s by during this round. And we also issued a full refund almost immediately. Now those are situations for a different time. But when I see scammers, I mean, there are. Businesses out there who buy programs, rip them off and then go and resell them, which is completely wrong. And I have I have a lot of opinions on that, but luckily I’m pretty. I notice a lot of things. I pay close attention and luckily we caught two of them up front. So we don’t count that as revenue because we you know, we cut off their payments pretty much. So I did remove those from our final numbers, but it still left us with gross income of one hundred one thousand two hundred and thirty three dollars. Now, first off, let’s pause to celebrate the fact that we finally hit the elusive six figure launch mark. Yes, it is a vanity metric, and what actually matters is how much cash in our bank account, but after years of trying to hit this number, I have to take the time to be proud of what we accomplished. That is something I don’t too often take the time to celebrate our successes.
Speaker1: [00:11:33] So let’s just do that now. Now, let me tell you that this launch was one of the hardest I’ve had from a mindset perspective. There are three reasons why I think this launch was so hard from an emotional standpoint. The first being I was starting the launch from a place of burnout. Second, I really thought the one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was going to be easy to reach. And the third reason is mid launch. I was focused on my emotions and not the financial facts in front of me. We do track our metrics in real time as the launch is happening, and that is what I should have been focused on. But instead I was focusing on the fact that it felt like less people were enrolling. It felt like we had less engagement. That is not a way to make smart business decisions. So let me say this. For anyone who is new to online business and thinks a six figure launch is completely out of reach, I enter every single launch saying no one is going to buy before every single pitch I freak out. My husband and Hayley have to keep a straight face as a freak out that I am an imposter and no one will ever pay us money ever again. Impostor syndrome never really goes away. Each new level you hit comes with new challenges, and I am telling you in my core, before every single pitch, I truly believe no one is going to buy.
Speaker1: [00:12:56] But here’s the good news. This has never happened to me. Not once in my five years of selling digital products have I not sold at least one of the products I launched. I mean, honestly, I don’t even think I’ve only sold one of anything. I always sell more than that. My husband always reminds me of my number one business motto and really it’s my life motto, which is I don’t do failure when my back is against a wall. That is when I shine and perform the best. And that motto sure to pay off during this live launch. Midway through the launch, I was ready to throw in the towel. We opened the sales cart from Thursday to Monday and there is a five hundred dollar price incentive that we give for early birds who buy through Friday night. Now, Friday is usually our biggest sales day. So when we entered the weekend for this launch and I saw that numbers were not trending the way I wanted them to, I honestly felt so defeated that I just wanted to give up. Now, I have given up on a launch in the past and I always regretted it. That was like back in I think mid twenty eighteen. Because something else the numbers always show is that you can rebound before the car closes on Monday if you think outside the box. So after I had my mopey weekend and told everyone around me that I wanted to give up, Haley and I buckled down on Monday to make this six figure launch happen because remember, I don’t do failure.
Speaker1: [00:14:20] Now, before I tell you what hat tricks we pulled to make the six figures happen and why we think the launch didn’t go exactly as we wanted it to and what we are going to do to change it for our August twenty twenty one launch. Let’s just talk about some cold, hard numbers. As I already mentioned, our total gross revenue after we took out the refund and the scammer’s was one hundred and one thousand two hundred and thirty three dollars our net income after we paid affiliate commissions to people who recommended the course and our processing fees to pay pal and Stripe, it was ninety four thousand fifty three dollars. Now cash in hand in April, not including remaining payments and minus affiliate commissions and processing fees. So actual cash in hand was sixty seven thousand six hundred ninety eight dollars. Now there’s another thing we have to factor into this, which is our total ad spend. So what we gave to the Facebook ads, including upgrading our Zoome webinar plan at the last minute, that accounted for a total of sixteen thousand three hundred and twelve dollars. So just like we did in January, our total net ad spend after the money we made from the smaller product, our digital product launch pad that we use to offset our ad costs, that meant that we had eight thousand seven hundred and ninety eight dollars in total ad spend that we did not make back from the launch pad, which means we had to attribute it to the sales for the lab, which brought our cash in hand in April down to fifty eight thousand nine hundred dollars.
Speaker1: [00:15:54] Now, total cash in hand for the entire launch with payment plans, assuming that all the payment plans come through would be eighty five thousand two hundred and fifty five dollars. Now, that means that that’s the profit for this launch because we took out our processing fees, we took out our affiliate commissions, we took out our ad spend. This means the April launch only made for a thousand dollars more for cash in hand, so profit than the January launch, now entering the launch from a place of burn out and working hard to refine our efforts from the first launch. But this felt like a little bit of a blow. And here’s the thing. These numbers include some last minute hustle to make it happen. If we had not hustled the last day of Open Kaat, the launch would have fallen below January and that would have been even a bigger kick in the gut. So it is so important to do a launch debrief not only with your numbers and conversion rates, but also to reflect on what went well and what needed improvement so you can do it better the next time. So first, let’s talk about why we think this launch did not perform the way we had hoped it would.
Speaker1: [00:17:01] No. One time of the year at the time we launched, many people had already gotten their covid vaccine and the end of school was approaching. Our target audience is women, but we do attract a lot of moms. So in our business, we are used to a slowdown in summer as people are getting outdoors and kids are out of school. However, after being shut down for over a year, people were just itching to get off their computers and out of the house. And we continue to see that trend in the summer. You know, that was still spring, but it’s continuing into the summer. So that was definitely one of the number one reasons we believe this launch was not as good as it could have been. The second reason is program length. Now, I am confident in the program being six months to give my students the optimal amount of time to see success and also giving them a kick in the pants to show up and do the work and not to shelve this like every other program they bought. Right. We actually want people to show up and do the work. And the best way to do that is to give them a timeline. However, the majority of the six months was going to run over the summer months in the US, and we believe based on feedback from interested buyers, that this was a big reason people decided not to buy in April.
Speaker1: [00:18:09] Many of them said they would buy during our August launch, meaning that the most of the majority of their execution for the program would happen through the fall in winter. Now, the third reason that we talked a lot about was price. Now, the majority of people who bought did buy at the fourteen ninety seven EarlyBird. Right now we’ve gone back and forth about the price being the issue since the Founders round was nine ninety seven. But at this point I’m not willing to budge on the price. This program is so comprehensive and I know it is worth the price. I know it is. However, we can consider it a risk as to why the launch underperformed because covid did create a lot of financial instability in the economy. Now an alternative to changing the price is to offer a longer payment plan in the future. Now, that is something we are considering now. The fourth reason we think it may not have this launch may not have done as well as we originally planned, where our conversion rates, our conversion rates were down and there was less engagement in the pop up Facebook group and in emails. So for the first round of the digital product DASH, which is that free training that we hosted, we had it through the roof, participation in the pop up Facebook group. Now, while the engagement was still good in April, it was just not as active.
Speaker1: [00:19:22] I would also attribute this to less people being online during this time, and we had less responses to our emails and even less people that wrote in through our sales chat, which at the bottom of our sales page, there’s always a way to communicate with us through chat. We even had less of those. So overall engagement was down. And the fifth reason we think it underperformed was drumroll, please, what everyone’s been talking about, increasing ad costs. So iOS 14 changes with Facebook hurt us in terms of how much we paid for our ads this time around. All right. So let’s talk about what we think went well and what we did to turn the launch around. So the first thing is we offered a paid upgrade path for founding members. So we offered founding members the ability to continue on with us for another six months for two ninety seven. Now, mind you, they had already paid nineteen ninety seven. So this was a nice meet in the middle. They were still being honored as our founding members and we respect that. So we weren’t asking them to pay as much as new students because they it’s the benefit of getting into a program early. We had thirty seven percent of founders take us up on this offer. So you know that that shows us that we did well in our first three months and that people wanted to continue on with us.
Speaker1: [00:20:40] Also, we offered a down sell, so offering a down sell post launch has always been something that I wanted to do, just never anything I had the bandwidth for. However, when your numbers are tracking, not where you want them to track, it’s a nice kick in the pants to make it happen. So by the end of Monday, which was open card, we were so close to the six figure mark that we decided to put together a down sell and that resulted in five thousand one hundred and thirteen dollars, which pushed us over that six figure mark. The third thing we think went well was program positioning. We started focusing less on new business owners and more on our sweet spot of helping bloggers and content creators get off the free content hamster wheel and get paid for their knowledge with digital products. So at the end of the launch in April, we debriefed about what we wanted to do differently for the next launch. And we identified four things that we think can make a huge difference in this upcoming launch in August of twenty twenty one. OK, so the first thing is more engaged in better leads. So our conversion rate in January was two point to six percent and in April it dropped to one point one six percent, which means that we didn’t do as good of a job attracting the right people to the digital product training, which tells me that we need to do something different.
Speaker1: [00:22:02] Which leads me to point number two. We are going to be hosting a paid live training experience. So one way we hope to increase engagement and get better qualified leads is by hosting the first ever passion to profit experience. This experience is open for enrollment right now over at Empowered Business dot com forward slash experience. We’ll link to that in the show notes, of course. But we know two things are true. When people pay money, they are more likely to show up, do the work and participate. And that shouldn’t just be for the paid program, like for the empowered business lab. Why not make that something that happens in the training as well? We want people who are serious about building their digital product business to join us for the training. We don’t want people are just like sort of interested. We want people who are interested. That is why we came up with the paid live training experience called passion to profit experience. Now, the third thing we plan on doing for this next launch is more content and exposure between launches. So this is something I’ve been working really hard on for the last several months. Building a new program from scratch makes it really hard to be present for my wider community and to attract new people to me. So we’ve really stepped up our game between April and August and a few ways. First, we opened a free Facebook group called Digital Product Insiders, which you can join if you go to Monaca for post.com for test group.
Speaker1: [00:23:27] And we’ll link to that as well. And I go live in that group every Tuesday. So people who may not have been familiar with me before are getting to not only hear my voice, but they get to see me and ask me questions. Now, the second thing we are doing is I got more active on Instagram and I’m networking a lot more in the DMS. So side note, if you ever want to talk to me, you can DM me over at Instagram. Our Instagram handle is at Monaca. Dot froze. And the third thing that we’ve done is this podcast is up and running. And we are now listening right now to Episode 30. And at the time of recording, which I’m recording this a few weeks before you’re listening, we are over twenty thousand downloads. So that is a lot of ears listening to me every week. OK, the fourth thing we plan on doing differently for this next launch is engaging affiliates having current or past students recommend your program is one of the best ways to reach new people. There is no better way to show the value of your program that someone yelling from the rooftop how it helped them. Katie, our ops assistant, will be leading the charge for our affiliate program moving forward. And I am confident that this is going to help us make a big difference in the next launch.
Speaker1: [00:24:45] OK, deep breath, that was a lot to digest, wasn’t it? Now, I hope this episode not only gave you insight into what goes into a six figure lunch that actually makes money, I also hope it inspires you to keep pushing in your own business. Just because the journey wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be didn’t make it bad. There is no linear path to success in online business. It’s all about failing fast and picking yourself up and trying new things. I am so excited to see where our August launch will take us. And if you have been considering creating your own digital products and you want to run a six figure digital product business, then our upcoming passion to profit experience would be a great place to start. The event kicks off on August twenty third and we’d love to have you there so you can learn more about it at Empowered Business dot com forward slash experience. And also I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on today’s episode. So go ahead and join me over on Instagram and send me a direct message and let me know your thoughts again. My handle is at Monaca Dot Fros. Thank you for hanging out with me today. And I hope that sharing all of this with you has inspired you to take action, because remember, at the end of the day, if you want it, you can have a six figure launch, too, until next week.