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Marketing & Launching

February 1, 2024

Creating Momentum for Your Next Digital Product Launch

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher


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The other day I was taking the underground train to my studio to do some deep work, and I saw an ad in the station.

Usually, I would just ignore it. But this ad got me. It got my attention!

It was a straightforward advertisement about a concert for a male singer. Nothing special about that. What's fascinating is the line: "Sales went great! We'll have one more show on Feb 25, 2024! Get your tickets now."

The younger me would go - Ah! Good for him. Didn't know so many people would want to go to his concert.

The current me would go - This feels strange. Can they really book the venue for an extra day based on their ticket sales? Usually the venue is fully booked without empty days in between. And it has to be booked much in advance! Are sales really that great? I doubt it is even selling out.

"Ha! This is just a sales technique." That's what I thought.

They want to create a "popular and hot" feeling because people want what other people want!

I started thinking about how this is relevant to the framework I've been teaching on showing your work early, generating early interest, getting beta users, making pre-sales, collecting early testimonials, and such — all because these can help you build traction to have a buzzing launch!

It is a similar sales technique. The difference is that the concert is a finished product and they're just promoting it whereas you are building your new product with your audience and then launching it.

I often think that many people have the wrong plan for launching their info products. I took this screenshot from the bootcamp that I run every quarter:

They fantasize about the magical moment of launching, like people are going to flood into their door and wave their cash to buy what they have...

I know it! Because I was the one fantasizing! To be completely honest, it was also not that long ago, just 2018. I was building a software company and did my first Product Hunt launch. I stayed up all night thinking people would check out the product and ask loads of questions about how to use it.

No one. Absolutely no one turned up. Zero comment on the launch page.

I think that was the moment I realized there's more to launching.

The most hurtful thing is that when that happens, usually you think it is because your idea sucks. Then you have to find another idea and do it again. Until something just clicks.

I reflected a ton after that disaster and I knew what the problem was. No idea, no business, no product can just put something out and expect people to be excited.

People must be warmed up for that magical moment to happen.

The launch is really just a formality thing, kind of like a wedding. The wedding day is not the day you fall in love. It is just a day you tell everyone you two are committed.

It was really until I started Public Lab then I gradually learned the right way to approach a launch. Obviously, a lot goes into it, but overall I see it this way. You have different phases focusing on different things. Since there is no perfect & explosive idea, as in people never automatically flood into your world, you have to work for it to happen.

1. "Building The Product" phase

In this 1st phase, I like to focus on getting feedback to improve and shape my product. The product has to be useful so that people cannot ignore it. They are more likely to spread the word too.

This is why even though it is called "Building The Product", it actually includes ideation and market research. This is the part I love to do in public, so that I get a ton of data to work with.

Because we're talking about info products, as long as you know the questions people are asking, you can then teach them the right things. Your product would definitely be useful.

A lot more goes into this phase, but let's say you are developing the product almost to the point you're ready to launch it.

2. "Collecting Momentum" phase

In this phase, you're really doing everything you can to make that "launch" look amazing.

Okay so this is what I've learned. A lot of the work for the launch actually happened behind the scenes. Yes, privately. The goal here is to get early reviews so that you're not just putting out a product no one has heard of before.

This is why you see a lot of creators have pages long of testimonials on their sales page. Again, people want what other people want. Testimonials work.

The question is how you get them in the first place.

That's why you build in public to attract people into your world, then you show a handful of people the unfinished product in private. If what you have is good, people are very willing to give you a review and even support you on the big launch day.

That's why I call it "collecting momentum". You're strategically creating a buzzing launch.

3. "Expanding Momentum" phase

A lot of people launch something and take a vacation. I believe we all deserve a break, but I think there is a missing opportunity there.

When people are buying your product and using it, you have a lot of things that you can share at that moment to attract even more people. Sales numbers, new testimonials, new updates, and more. This is where you build in public some more and expand the momentum you've already built. Chances are you'll be able to get at least 50% more sales.

I personally really enjoy using these 3 phases to help me build and launch new products. I think it is because I need a ton of validation about my work when I'm a solopreneur. I rely on my customers and fans to tell me what they need. I also love having this mutual relationship to grow together.

While the concert organizer is purely trying to create a "sold out soon" psychological trigger, I'm here building my products in public to involve my audience and to collect momentum. I feel good and honest this way.