How We Totally Screwed Up A Product Launch

I have never been shy about telling you guys of my screw ups. As a Life Coach you can learn a lot from the mistakes I have made. Fortunately Karl has the exact same mindset of being totally transparent.

A lot of people want to tell you about their successes and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unless that is, they don’t tell you about how many failures lead to those successes.

It’s a cliche, but how many times have we heard famous people say something like, ‘it took me 15 years of hard work to become an overnight success’?

As we have polled people on our newsletter list and I have talked to potential attendees considering taking the Coach the Life Coach, the one thing that kept coming up again and again was:

‘Why don’t you offer a business course catering for people who have already taken training, but are struggling to attract clients or run their practice?’

I never really had a good answer other than not being a call for such a service. However, as the comments and conversations kept mounting we realized there was a demand.

One Last Check

We wanted to do one final thing before we committed and that was to ask our newsletter readers, what they preferred. A purely coaching course or a client acquisition course.

The sample size wasn’t massive, but the response was so heavily weighted in favor of the business course (4:1) that we decided to go through with it.

The launch crashed and burned quicker than the Hindenburg on speed.

Even though the course at $999 was about the value of one decent client, we only had 1 person sign up.

Seeing as every Coach the Life Coach course has sold out we were, quite frankly, stunned.

Karl went into his usual analytical mode as I freaked out and hid under my desk waiting for the sky to collapse.

Fortunately after a day or two I started to realize this was a great learning opportunity, especially as we are looking to totally redesign the site soon and change the business structure somewhat.

I went back to the sales page and looked at it.

Well That Hardly Screams Simple!

It included one session on heat mapping which is a sophisticated way of tracking what people who land on your site are paying attention to.

In other words what copy, images etc are people attracted to and what are they skipping past. It’s a very cool way of making adjustments to make your site more ‘sticky’.

Then there was a module on A/B testing, something that is absolutely crucial for advertising and testing out sales pages to see what works and what doesn’t.

Suddenly it dawned on me – we’d made the course seem really intimidating to anybody who isn’t a technophile.

Even I have no clue how to heat map or set up mirror pages to A/B test – that’s Karl’s role. And it’s his role because that kind of thing drives me nuts. You need an infinite amount of patience for the minutiae. Something I’m sadly lacking.

If I’m a partner on the course and I’m intimidated, then why on earth would we expect the average new coach who doesn’t have a background in technology or online marketing feel any differently?

Karl has talked to me many times about having a sales funnel (more on that at a later date) as he thought going from zero to $1,000 was a big ask for people on our list who don’t really know us.

It’s no good me saying ‘trust me guv’nor I know what I’m talking about’ because that is what every business coach says and many have no clue.

We have to prove it again and again and build trust.

Also, we rushed the launch because I wanted us to get up and running and build up a revenue stream as quickly as possible for Karl now he was officially on board.

That was a silly short-term decision with no eye on the big picture.

What Did We Learn?

So what are our takeaways that may be you can learn from if and when you do a product launch.

  1. Just because people are telling you they want something doesn’t necessarily mean they want it from you, are prepared to pay for it, or want it now. They have to REALLY want it and in a format that suits them – not you.
  2. Your sales offering has to be crystal clear and not scare the crap out of people and have them thinking they will never keep up
  3. You need a sales funnel to really grow your business
  4. You need time to warm people up to an idea
  5. You need to look at the big picture and understand how the offering fits into your business model
  6. You need to be prepared to fail and not hide under your desk when you do. The sky won’t fall on your head, I promise.

Would love your thoughts in the comments, especially if you have ever done a launch.

Next Steps for Us

As every business needs to try new things and measure feedback. We had to try launching a business course and see what would happen. Like I said, we learned a lot and now so have you.

We can’t, and won’t, hide under our desks. We are moving on to bigger and better things.

In the next few months we are going to start building a stronger community of coaches by improving our content.

We also know you like the idea of learning coaching skills that work with all types of clients as well as how to get your coaching practice started. That’s our bread and butter.

We want to improve the ingredients, but deliver what you really want. We want to help you improve.

We are also going to offer for the first time the opportunity for you to hire us both to help you one-on-one and you can check out more details on that here.*

You get business coaching from me, a seasoned Life Coach and Karl a seasoned business coach. Two coaches with different skills in one package. It’s a win-win.

We would love your thoughts in the comments, especially if you have ever done a launch, or are considering one.

.*A quick word of warning, we are going to be offering a special offer for the in-person coaching to people on the newsletter list, so sign up if you’re not already on it.


  1. Refreshing honesty Tim! Second time recently that I’ve seen a coach admit that their product launch failed. In case you’re interested, my “go-to” person for product launches is Bryan Harris. He write really long, detailed posts about his product launches, outlining every step he took, what worked, what didn’t etc. Here’s a recent post of his:

  2. Hey Tim,
    I did a Winter Diet Makeover Program launch and was really building up and funneling it to all get out. Blog posts with freebies, webinars, perfectly timed SM posts with sign up links, giveaway contests-all connected and carefully orchestrated. My list grew from all of this and I got a decent number of clients for the program. However, every single client that signed up came from an unrelated Facebook group I’m part of, filled with people that have either known me in person or through an acquaintance. They didn’t even get a taste of all my funneling. Just a simple invite to one webinar and then a last minute post like hey, I’m running this program, in case you are interested.

    I realized that even though I was giving what I considered to be great value and following a carefully laid plan, these people didn’t know me for very long before my launch. They had no reason to trust me. To this day, the person who won the Facebook giveaway is afraid to give me her address to receive her product! Lesson learned.

    • Tim Brownson

      Very interesting Rachel. Funneling takes time and is worthwhile. I’ve got away with doing everything wrong up until now and I knew there would come a time when I had to set things up properly hence me bringing Karl on board.

  3. An honest account of why a product launch failed…one can always learn from either other people or hiss/her own mistakes…a stepping stone to a successful future! Yes!