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Business owners are never short of ideas…but they are often short of a strategy. They have plenty of big ideas they want to make happen, but taking the steps to make things happen? That’s usually where their zone of genius ends.
When this happens, I’ve seen business owners and CEOs either never launch their big ideas at all, or they launch it on a (messy) whim and don’t see the results they were hoping for.
This is what was happening for Suzanne Edwards of AlphaMamas. Prior to working with me, Suzanne knew what she wanted to do to pivot her business, but she was struggling to identify the step-by-step tasks she needed to get the projects done.
She decided to work with me to create a 6-month plan that would break down her current business plans and projects, identify her big ideas and top priorities, and create a plan to make her launches happen.
Want to see what this looked like in action? Here’s how we worked together.
As part of my deep-dive for any project I start on, I dig into what a business currently offers and what is actually bringing in the most traffic, revenue, and interest. That’s because, before you make a plan for anything new, you need to identify what’s working.
This means taking a deep dive into your offers to determine what is bringing in the most money. That’s usually the best way to identify what your audience is looking for and where you should continue to focus your efforts.
For Suzanne, her goal was to turn her funnel-heavy business into a multi-faceted digital business offering digital downloads on demand.
Getting honest with the calendar
The next step — for AlphaMamas and anyone planning a launch — is to really look at the calendar. Not just your work calendar, either. We need to see your project calendar, personal calendars, etc., to identify where you, realistically, will have time to execute new projects.
You may decide to run a launch in a few months, but it could be a time when the kids are home from school because of a break, and you know there will be many distractions at home as you try to work. A situation like that may not be the best time for a launch.
You need to be realistic about what you can accomplish with what you have going on and what your non-negotiable dates are. There are no wrong answers here, and it’s unique to every business. For example, Suzanne hosts a walking challenge in the early summer, so anything we wanted to launch needed to be ahead of the walking challenge or after it ended.
In any strategic plan, you want to also leave yourself room to brainstorm new ideas. With AlphaMamas, she had a challenge she was looking to overcome — adding new followers to her audience and email lists. She had some ideas for how to tackle the challenge but was feeling like it was a mountain she’d never summit when it came to making it all happen.
During our deep-dive, Suzanne shared that she wanted to offer her customers the potential to buy products from her any time they were ready to— so we added a digital download shop into her plan for the spring.
I knew we could fit this into her plan because, based on her availability and the types of products she already had, creating a digital storefront was a realistic goal to accomplish within two months. And, it would have an impact on her business with the ability to send past customers to new products, offer flash sales, and create content that leads directly to a must-have fitness bundle. If you know you only have the capacity for something smaller-scale like launching a blog (versus launching a course or membership), then it narrows down your options and makes it a little bit easier to brainstorm where to fit it into the schedule.
If the ideas include a new product or content channel — I like to use the P.O.P. method. P.O.P stands for purpose, outcome, and process.
When brainstorming with clients, I like to ask questions about each idea they have:
- What’s the purpose of this project? What will your customer get out of this? What do you want to get out of this?
- What are the outcomes you’re expecting? What are the exact deliverables you want to create? What container will you sell it in or how will you share it? And do you have goals for the actual sale/launch of this next big idea?
- What’s your process? What is involved in the entire project, from ideation to ongoing maintenance? Don’t just think about what’s required to create the thing — think about what happens after that.
Nailing down a launch period
Once we went through the brainstorming exercise and chose our top priorities for the next few months, it was time to get these ideas into a calendar. If you’re doing this yourself, ask yourself:
- When do you want to launch?
- What needs to happen before you can actually launch?
- What is the next step for your customers after the launch happens?
- Does it feel jarring for your customers to move out of one launch and into the next?
- Are there breaks from the constant promotions?
- Is this time of year right for your audience?
Keeping in mind some of the above points, you can get a feel for what would work best for you and your customers. If your audience is mainly moms or moms of school-aged children, then launching around back-to-school time or during the holiday breaks may not be the best idea.
For example, with AlphaMamas, we launched her digital shop on May 1st, so that it would be about a month before her 100 Miles of Summer Challenge. Her Making Space for Mom Summit happened in July and had both free and premium features with a focus on delivering value and increasing her audience. There was a balance of promotion, promotion, and value so her audience wouldn’t get fatigued.
Creating a plan to drive traffic
Now that we have an offer or project chosen, and we know when we’re starting it, it’s time to figure out how to drive more people to it once it’s live. If this is a new inquiry process, you want to have a more specific lead magnet, for example.
In AlphaMamas’ case, Suzanne needed to drive more traffic to her site, increase her email subscribers, and nurture the subscribers who were growing cold due to repeated launch cycle burnout. To do so, we planned to re-start Facebook ads with a simple freebie opt-in, send weekly newsletters with quick 5-minute exercises, and host a summit in the summer.
For your project, you might want to consider:
- Creating YouTube videos with CTAs pointing to your offer
- Adding dynamic, evergreen sales pages on your website
- Showing up on Instagram Reels or TikTok
- Engaging your subscribers through a more regular email newsletter
- Writing nurture emails to prime people for your launch
- And so on
The key is to find ways to build interest, build relationships with your ideal audience or leads, and make sure you’re showing up in ways that will make a launch or a new initiative easier for people to digest — and take action on.
Want to know what came of my work with Suzanne and AlphaMamas? We managed to plan and host a summit in 3 months! We also launched her shop, set up evergreen automations that send new subscribers into content they’re interested in while passively selling products, and launched an effective Facebook ad campaign. We also cleaned her email list, increasing her open rates to as high as 52% on a recent campaign while at the same time growing her active subscribers by 16%, with over a thousand new subscribers alone from the summit!
Want to know how to reach your business goals? Work with a strategic partner
Each of these steps is part of a process I recommend everyone goes through before a new product or service launches. Even if you have an evergreen product or a shop like AlphaMamas, repeat the process every 6 months. This can help you prioritize projects you have space for — and combat that Shiny Object Syndrome that can show up.
If you’ve never done a strategic plan for your business before, I know it can sound overwhelming. You may not have any clarity when it comes to your products and customer journey, or you may not have a segmented audience just yet. And that’s okay!
But a strategic plan can help you outline all of that, see what’s coming, and fill in the holes where needed. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of doing this yourself — or you’re worried you won’t be able to really dig into the logistics of your business — a strategic partner can help.
My Business Deep Dive Package includes:
- The Deep Dive Session: A ~2-4 hours deep-dive session where we’ll dig into things like streamlining your systems, perfecting your online presence, building a team, identifying opportunities for growth, tracking metrics, reducing waste, and—ultimately—thinking more strategically about your business.
- Strategic Road Map: After our session, I’ll take all of the ideas and feedback from our sessions together to create a Strategic Road Map for you outlining the future state of the business, the current status, and a high-level overview of the projects needed to close the gap between the two.
- Debrief Meeting: I’ll present the Strategic Road Map to you during our 60-Minute Debrief Meeting, roughly 10 days after our Deep Dive Session. This is where we’ll “lock” the projects into the calendar. Afterward, I’ll create tasks in your system of choice (e.g., Asana, Trello, ClickUp) for tracking and actioning on your strategic projects.
- Accountability Check-ins: You’ll also have access to me via Voxer for a month after the Debrief Meeting for any questions and thoughts!
During this month together, you get my complete attention to discuss strategy and your projects and get the tools you need to evaluate the current state of your business, as well as opportunities to pivot where needed.
After our deep dive, you’ll have an understanding of where you are now, where you’re going, and an actionable roadmap with projects and deadlines to get you there.
Only one of these sessions is available per quarter, so if you’re interested, join me here!