Category Archives: Ready, Set, Launch!

A New Look For Lisa Sasevich

A little over a year ago, the Solamar design team began working on a really exciting project that we’ve been keeping under wraps, and a few weeks ago we finally got to reveal it to the world — a redesign of Lisa Sasevich’s website!

If you don’t know who Lisa is, you really should. Often called “The Queen of Sales Conversion”, Lisa has helped over 15,000 clients from over 130 countries in the course of her amazing career, and was named one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing privately held companies for two years in a row.

It was a real honor for the peeps here at Solamar to undertake such an important design project for such an illustrious client, and we’re super-psyched for what a modern web presence is going to do for her, her biz and the many, many people she helps on a daily basis.

How did we approach this incredible project? Stick around, and we’ll walk you through it. Continue reading

Take WordPress Live Smoothly — A Launch-Day Checklist

You’re so close you can taste it. The design process went smashingly, the development team translated it beautifully into a working site and all the content is in place. It’s time to take your new WordPress site live!

When you’re so close to the finish line, it can be tempting to sprint the final distance, but in the web world, it’s critically important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row as you introduce your new site to the world.

The last thing you want is for your first impression to go sour because some little detail got overlooked. Instead, follow this launch day checklist to make sure that you have your bases covered, and you can debut your new online home with confidence. Continue reading

4 Tips for Producing Error-Free Work

errorsWhether you’re taking a new website live or just posting your latest blog post, chances are you’re under a deadline and in a hurry to get across the finish-line. You’re excited to show off your latest creation, and ready to move on to the next thing in your queue, so you finish up, give it all a quick glance, and then take it live!

High-fives all around! Everybody loves what you’ve done and they…wait a minute. Is that a typo? And why is that section completely broken?! Oh, no!! You’ve pushed the go button too soon, and your work is riddled with errors.

Alright, it’s usually not as dire as I’m making it out to be, but rushing to get your work out the door is often the root cause of it not being 100% free of mistakes. The good news is, you can solve this problem yourself by building a period of testing/proofing into your workflow. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through a few tips for hunting those pesky bugs. Continue reading

How to Plan a Successful First Online Launch

online launchIf you’re like many clients who come to us, you’ve got a great idea for a program, course or product and you want to launch it online. You’ve seen many other entrepreneurs launch their thing, you’ve heard countless success stories, and launching looks like your ticket to finally making big bucks online without trading hours for dollars around the clock.

The good news is, of course it is possible to have successful launches and create a successful online business. We’ve had the opportunity to support many clients with thriving online businesses at Solamar. But it isn’t as simple as it appears from the outside looking in and there are many misconceptions about what it takes to actually pull off a successful launch.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, so I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit to provide some helpful insights for planning your first online launch. Continue reading

7 Ways to Prepare for Next Year’s Launch Starting Now

Depositphotos_57486053_s-2015A successful launch of a new offering—whether it’s a product, service, program, or course—begins with perfecting your timing and strategy. According to an earlier Solamar post, “A launch period is an especially intense time when your goal is to generate heightened attention, buzz and a flurry of activity that results in a quick spike in sales.”

Launching too soon can spell disaster

While you might feel pressure to make your introduction too soon (when you’re not yet ready), rushing could spell disaster. In fact, if you’re planning on launching something new next year (or even in 6 to 9 months), you should start your preparation now.

I’ve found that entrepreneurs often jump the gun and launch too early to beat a competitor, be in time for a holiday or convention, or meet some artificial deadline. This could make the difference between utter failure and off-the-chart sales.

Consider that 72% of all new products are flops and fail to meet revenue targets, according to a global pricing study released in September 2014 by Simon-Kutcher & Partners and the Independent Professional Pricing Society. The study points out that, “They miss their profit targets because companies neglect or ignore key pricing and marketing activities until it’s too late.” In other words, they didn’t take the time to properly prepare. Continue reading

How to Have a Worry-Free Site Launch

rocket-launch-67643_640So, you’ve finally pulled the trigger on a spiffy new website, and now, after all of the brain-storming and collaborating with designers and developers, you’re ready to show off your shiny new portal to the world. I know it’s human nature to want to push through the site launch as quickly as possible, especially when you are really excited about it, but it is doubly important to take your time during the final launch, first impressions being what they are and all.

Just like when you leave the house before you go on vacation, it’s important to run through your site one last time for a final check, make sure all the doors are locked, garbage disposed of and items you want to take with you all gathered and safely packed away.

Here is a list of things it’s important to check before you throw the switch on your live site:

Is It Social Media Ready?

These days, its no longer sufficient to make sure your own site performs. You also need to make sure that it interacts properly with social media sites. If someone posts a link to your site on Facebook, Twitter or other site social media site, how does it display? Do images from a blog post come through properly? Is the description appropriate? If the social media service has multiple layouts for shared links, does your link create the version you desire?

Is It Optimized for Search Engines?

The number of things you can do to optimize a website for search engines would fill a bunch of posts on their own, so suffice it to say that you need to make sure you at least have a start on getting some of it done. If you are using WordPress as the base for your site, like Solamar uses for all of the sites we build, than this one will be made significantly easier for you by using one of the many robust SEO plugins that are available. Feel free to check out some of our other posts related to SEO for more tips on this one.

Does it Look and Work Right in all Modern Browsers?

Individually, people tend to favor one browser or another, so unless you check your site in all modern browsers before launch, your first notice that something is broken will probably come to you in the form of confused or disgruntled site visitors. Best practices these days is to make sure your site works in the current version of Safari, Firefox, Chrome on the Mac and the PC, and versions of Internet Explorer 9 and up.  Version 8 of IE and below can now safely be ignored.

Is Your Site Mobile-Ready?

Every day, more and more people are browsing the internet on their mobile devices, and it is no longer acceptable to have a website that doesn’t look good on them. Pull your site up on as many mobile devices as you can, or make sure that your developer is using a comprehensive mobile-testing solution that looks at multiple screen sizes on both iOS and Android. This is especially true now that Google is dropping sites in the rankings on mobile devices that don’t look good on them.

Do You Have Backup and Security in Place?

You should have your site’s files and database backed up on a regular basis, and you’ll also want to make sure that you have hardened its security against intrusions. Both of these things are also made easier if you are on a WordPress install by using plugins to help you speed things up.

Want the launch of your new site to be as worry-free as possible? Give the design team at Solamar a shout, and we’ll make sure that you’re good to go.

How to Best Connect With Your Target Market in a Launch

rocket-launch-67646_1280When you are launching a new offering — a product, service, program, or course — your success depends on how well you connect with your target market and inspire them to buy. A launch period is an especially intense time when your goal is to generate heightened attention, buzz and a flurry of activity that results in a quick spike in sales.

During a launch you are often being introduced to a larger breadth of your target market — new audiences are meeting you for the first time. You are also getting in front of your established audience and asking them to pay even closer attention than usual and ultimately buy what you are offering.

Here are 6 ways to best connect with your target market during a launch:

Get in Front of Established Audiences

Your target market is already gathered online. They are consuming content and probably gathered as a community somewhere. Find those places and show up there often, but especially during a launch. Get featured as an expert, write guest blogs and articles, and get interviewed on podcasts and other media. Your market is already tuned in, seeking out more content from this source, so connect by providing the content they want, and use the opportunity to introduce yourself and your product or service.

Be Everywhere at Once

With careful advanced planning, coordinated effort and strategic established relationships, you can connect with your target audience by showing up “everywhere” at once. Every time someone in your target audience turns around, there you are again, as the author of a guest post, getting interviewed, or showing up in her inbox. It creates the impression that what you have to share must be important if “everyone” is talking about you. By showing up in this way, your target audience is more likely to pay attention, connect with what you are sharing, and trust your credibility.

Borrow Credibility and Trust

If you are introduced to your target market by someone they already know, like and trust, you can borrow that trust by association. Ask someone with an established reputation — perhaps a professional who offers complementary services, an established authority in your field, or even an organization, such as an association — to promote you, interview you, share your content or allow you to speak at their event or appear in their publication. By doing this, your target audience is primed to trust what you have to say and you are likely to connect more readily than you would if they came across you independently of a trusted source. A quick introduction and borrowed trust goes far in a successful launch.

Make an Emotional Appeal

When launching, you want to connect to your target audience member’s emotional pain points, needs or desires. You want them to truly feel that what you are offering is an answer to a problem they are having. You want to fulfill a void. The copy you use should speak their language passionately, leaving little room for indifference or doubt. They should be able to know right away, “Yes, this is something I need (or want) now, right now.”

Help Them Decide Quickly

Part of connecting with your audience during a launch is guiding your target customer to make a decision quickly. You may notice a sense of scarcity or urgency built into launch campaigns — get it before the price goes up, limited quantities, or limited time, for example. Encouraging your target customer to decide — “Yes, I want this,” or “No, it’s not that important to me.” — is part of connecting and serving your market’s needs. Without a sense of urgency or scarcity, the potential customer puts off the decision, not paying close enough attention and lets the opportunity pass by. And simultaneously, you have missed an opportunity to connect.

Pay to Play

Digital advertising lets you create a highly-targeted connection with your ideal customer. Targeted advertising, such as Facebook ads, allows you to get in front of people who have expressed interest in products and services similar to yours and connect with them quickly in a way that was not possible a few years ago. If you do not have an established online presence or list of prospects and you want to connect with your target market quickly, or you want to take your impact to the next level, investing even a small budget in advertising can create big returns.

Connecting with an audience during a launch is always a challenge. You have to cut through the marketing clutter and reach, create a connection quickly, and inspire them to take action. If you could use help connecting with your customers during your next launch, contact Solamar today.