Today I’m talking about something I love: my low-key launch strategy. Keep reading to discover the five steps I use to connect with people when I’m not actively publicly selling. Later on, I’ll even give you a free downloadable worksheet with specific email and social media templates you can use and customize to get going on with your own process.
First, let me explain why you might need alternative launch strategies to the “traditional” launches we typically consider. You know, the big launch with marketing campaigns, in-your-face messaging, and social media posts galore. That strategy is excellent in many instances, but there are other times when you should use more of a low-tech launch to launch your offer.
Just like the seasons of a year, your business goes through different cycles.
If you’ve listened to my podcast, you may have already heard me talk about this concept. So much in life is cyclical. In my personal life, for example, there are times when I’m gathering information but not taking a lot of action, and others when I’m working hard putting what I’ve learned to use. Then there are stretches where I’m simply resting and nourishing myself so that my work is sustainable.
Your business is no different. As you grow, you’ll start to see patterns emerge. One of the periods you’ll go through is when visibility and engagement are essential, and your primary focus is to be seen by your audience. In these times, you’re like a peacock showing off your feathers. You’re trying to engage and to create messaging that resonates with your people.
If you’re trying to connect with your audience, it’s not a time for active selling.
During seasons of high visibility, you don’t want to actively sell to your audience. I don’t want to be launching my offer at the same time I’m trying to build trust, connect with people, or be in service to them. It’s hard for people to trust you and let their guard down with you if they feel like you’re just trying to get their business or work toward an end goal.
The low key launch is perfect when you want to launch your offer during a season of high visibility.
Even though you may be in a season when a traditional launch isn’t going to work, your business still needs to bring in income. The show must go on, right? That’s where the low key launch strategy comes in. I can confidently say I’ve successfully started many of my coaching and workshop offerings as a low key launch at first, and the steps can be used for your course launch strategy or any other offering or product you have.
With this type of launch, your audience won’t even know you’re in the middle of a launch. That’s because you’re going to plan it so well.
You can also use the low key launch when you’re building a side hustle.
Last time I checked, nearly half of Americans have a side hustle of some kind. That means so many of us have been in this place: Trying to build a new business or transition from our full-time jobs. There are many reasons you might rely on alternative launch strategies during this time: Maybe you want to keep things quiet as you’re growing during this phase and not broadcast your plans to leave your job. The low key launch works great because you’re going to grow on a more private, individual basis.
So what exactly is a low key launch?
A low key launch means you roll out your program, product, or service in a more personal, focused way. It’s all about 1:1 connections and thoughtful planning and networking. There are five distinct sections of the launch—and some prep work—I’ll walk you through.
Don’t worry about taking notes because you can use my downloadable free worksheet when it’s time to get started on your own low key launch.
Before you get started: How to prepare for the low key launch.
Now that you know the steps, here are a few things you want to do before you get going.
Get clear on your offer.
First, know exactly what you’re offering people, including the price. What is the problem you’re trying to solve, and what are you offering to solve it? What is included in your offer?
Identify your audience.
Next, think about the people you want to reach out to and why they’re included in this low key launch. You’ll want to include some of that info in your messages to them so they understand why you’re connecting with them. Good questions to ask yourself: Why are they a perfect fit for this offering? How can you tell them that?
Have any necessary documents ready.
This step could include:
- Onboarding content: How are you going to deliver the service? Is there a contract that needs to be signed?
- Sales-related info: This could be a landing page, brochure, or a detailed information sheet. People often have questions, and you want to be ready to answer them quickly.
- Any contracts/agreements you’ll need to send over
Set up any systems you’ll need.
Have your payment system or landing page set up and ready to go, if needed. You should also make a spreadsheet or a way for you to track the people you’ve reached out to and who’s responded or received information.
How to do a low key launch: Personalize, personalize, personalize.
Before we get into the steps, this is very important: Never, ever, send out a mass message. Personalization is key to effective marketing, and that still applies here. The whole goal is to make it personalized when you reach out to people on an individual basis. If possible, I recommend having the emails or messages come from you directly.
Okay, on to the steps!
Step 1: Make a list of people to connect with.
Make a list of the following people:
- Anyone you’ve worked with successfully in the past,
- People who have expressed interest in working with you,
- Colleagues or people in your network/community you’d like to work with, and that you’re familiar enough with to reach out to.
Make sure you only include people who know your work and who you are. You don’t want anyone to be caught off guard or confused by your message. You can also include good “connectors” on your list—people who have a big network and may be able to introduce you to others who are interested in your offering.
Step 2: Develop your offer and onboarding content.
Next, write a draft you will use to contact the people on your list, whether it’s email, social media, or text messages. This draft should describe why you’re reaching out and invite these people to connect with you if they want more information. If your offer is a pilot or low-cost program, ask for consent before you send them more information.
Step 3: Send over the information or book an enrollment call.
Once you hear back from them, go ahead and send over the information or book your call. This is when it really pays to have all of your prep work done, so everything is ready to be sent or discussed. The faster you can respond to them once you hear back, the better.
Step 4: Send links to purchase or conduct the enrollment calls.
It’s time to onboard your new clients. Tell them how the service or product will be delivered and any other information they need to know.
Step 5: Don’t be scared to follow up.
Finally, don’t be afraid to follow up or psych yourself out. People are busy, and there are many reasons they don’t respond. It’s perfectly fine to give them another chance to see your information and respond to you.
I think you have to do a check-in with yourself on how many times to follow up, but in general, twice is my limit. I recommend you follow up with anyone who:
- Said they were interested but didn’t book
- Did not respond but who are likely candidates for the offer.
Sample Email for Low Key Launch
Remember how I said I’m in the middle of my own low key coaching launch strategy?
I’m currently working on an equity-centered coaching collective (The Collective, for short). The Collective is all about being more inclusive and anti-racist in our entrepreneurship approach. I want to be sure I’m reaching out to the right people and that they know why they might be a good fit for the program.
Here’s an example of an email I might send:
It was great catching up with you at the last Women Entrepreneurs meeting. I hope you’ve been doing well since then and that your projects are humming along.
I wanted to let you know I’m piloting a new membership specifically for Women of Color business owners who want to be more inclusive. Because The Collective is in its early stages, I’m only reaching out to people I think would be a great fit right now—like you.
If you’re interested, click here to book a time to chat so we can talk more. I’d also love to know if you know anyone else who might be a good fit. If you do, feel free to introduce me via email.
Why this Sample Email Works for my Low Key Launch Strategy
Here’s why this email works:
- It starts off with a personalized note. Be yourself, always. This lets people know that you put thought into their message. I wanted Megan to know I’ve been paying attention to her work.
- It’s clear on the offer and why I’m letting Megan know about it now.
- There’s an urgency for Megan to act. My membership is new and small, and I’m only telling certain people about it right now. I want Megan to tell me if she’s interested ASAP or to let me know if she knows anyone who might be.
- I gave Megan the option to act right away. Also, I included a link to schedule time with me and created a clear next step by asking her to either do that or introduce me to people via email.
It truly is that simple. Now I just wait to hear back from Megan before I take the next steps—and if I don’t, I can consider following up with her to make sure she saw my message and give her another chance to respond.
Sample Social Media Direct Message for Low Key Launch Strategy
If I was sending this same message over social media, it would look a little different but still have the same basic pieces. Even though social media can be more casual than email, I still want to be sure Megan knows I’m not sending the same message to everyone and that I’m reaching out to her for a reason.
How’s it going? I love the family pics you’ve been sharing lately. I’m glad you’ve been able to carve out time to try new projects at home with your kids.
I’m reaching out because I think you might be interested in a new membership program I’m piloting for Women of Color entrepreneurs. I know we talked before about you wanting to operate an inclusive, anti-racist business, and that’s exactly what The Collective is all about.
Let me know if you’d be interested in jumping on a call to discuss or if you want me to email you more info (please send me your email address if you do).
Remember that sometimes you need to ask for consent before sending more information.
Notice that in the example above, I’m asking for her consent to send more information. I want to be sure I’m not crossing any boundaries with Megan because I don’t know her well enough to have her email address yet.
And there you have it: All of the pieces you need to successfully conduct your low key launch.
Be realistic about how successful your launch will be.
Finally, keep in mind that with any launch, the close rate is generally pretty low. Close rates vary across industries, but I’m usually happy with a 20% success rate myself. I find that I always do best when I’m really zeroed in on my audience and making sure I’m offering to the right people.
As with anything, the more people you ask, the better your odds are. Invite people—the right people—follow up with them, and nurture your connections with anyone they introduce you to, and you will go far.
Your Turn: Get Started with my Free Low Key Launch Worksheet
Now you know everything there is to know about the low key launch strategy. You’ve learned what it is when to use it, and all of the necessary steps to be successful. You’re officially ready to get started with your own strategy, using my free downloadable worksheet.
I’m confident that by following these steps and connecting with the right people, you’ll be able to grow your business in meaningful ways and meet your goals. I’d love to hear how the low-key launch strategy works for you, and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions at all.