The Digital Launch Playbook (and Pre-Launch Team Special Access)

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***

You know what really sucked?

It wasn’t moving from making six-figures to averaging a $15 monthly income.

OK. I admit that one did hurt.

It wasn’t having to learn the hundreds of new skills that entrepreneurs need just to conduct their basic business.

OK. Those first few months of endless learning and flailing hurt too.

But you know what sucked the most?

When I wanted to conceptualize, initiate, create content, build up for a pre-launch, launch, and do a post-launch for my first product – Start Investing with $100 (SIW100) – there was no road map.

Oh sure, there were map fragments spread across the Internet. But I would have had better luck finding Blackbeard’s booty blindfolded than finding a comprehensive, logical sequence of tasks to launch an online project.

I needed much more than that though.

I needed something with a built-in checklist. Something in a flexible and friendly format. The kind of thing that could be accessed anywhere. And – most importantly – it needed to integrate best practices from people who had “been there, done that.”

Launching SIW100 felt like shooting moving targets on a runaway bike speeding down a hill with a BB gun (in complete darkness). Chaos, I tell ya!

How did it come to this? Where was the resource that broke down the steps to launching your online “thing” to the raving applause of the ravenous masses?

It had to be somewhere. Right?

Nope. It wasn’t. All my assumptions were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Necessity is a Mother

You gotta understand.

I came from the corporate world where projects had huge teams of specialists, just waiting for someone to hand them some work and pass it down the line. I remember an enormous technology conversion in 2008 with this giant spreadsheet of doom that had everything perfectly laid out.

It was officially called a “Sequence of Events” (SoE). The project team called it their Bible.

Our project SoE spreadsheet combined the shared wisdom of literally hundreds of people and thousands of years of collective experience. Even if this was your first rodeo, all you needed to do was follow the SoE.

Columns for each task name, task description, the person responsible, and who needed to know when the task was done? Check.

Columns for task start/end date and time (to the minute), notes from experts on each task, and all the inherent awesomeness that comes with spreadsheets? Check.

This baby was bulletproof.

After searching again for my solopreneur digital project SoE equivalent and coming up empty (and frustrated as hell), I remember thinking, “Screw this. I’m building my own damn launch blueprint!”

So I started creating my own project blueprint at the end of launching SIW100. No bells. No whistles. Just raw information.

Fast forward to launching SIW100 and not knowing what to do next. Ummm…customer service survey for buyers? Update the sales page to remove promotional references and pricing? I didn’t freakin’ know!

That gave me more motivation to really crank away on my future launch playbook. Here’s roughly how I attacked this enormous pain point:

  1. Aggregate a giant checklist of optional and required tasks from Chris Guillebeau, my man Tyler Tervooren’s The Bootstrapper Guild, the always awesome Scott Dinsmore’s launch plan, and other expert sources? Check.
  2. Break down each task into master categories (e.g. Marketing, Infrastructure, Content Creation), sub-categories, and mini-categories for sorting, filtering, and more slicing-and-dicing than an Iron Chef episode? Check.
  3. Prepopulate spreadsheet columns for primary and secondary people/teams involved, systems of processes used, number of days to start and end a task so each fits into the big project picture, and keyword rich tags to easily search for tasks? Check.
  4. Add the best best practices for most tasks from my corporate “been there, done that” days, my entrepreneur experience, launch experts, and precisely curated resources about steps in the launch process? Check.
  5. Create a “Quick Start Guide” and my own instruction manual for using the playbook when I felt brain-dead and to guarantee a repeatable process (and hopefully success)? Check.

I knew after doing all this that I would never have the launch agony of SIW100 again.

And I was saving myself from future nightmares in areas like:

  • Marketing and sales
  • Customer service and infrastructure
  • Testing and planning
  • Content creation and product distribution
  • Security and payments

My happiness in planning future products and confidently launching them skyrocketed with my playbook.

I then thought, “Hey. Maybe other people need something like this?”

It was the birth of The Digital Launch Playbook.

If you’re loving what you hear so far, join The Digital Launch Playbook pre-launch team now by dropping in your first name and email address to get special pricing, insider bonuses, early access, and a shot at winning a free copy of the playbook!

But that is not all.

How Does a Playbook Relate to Value of Simple?

Vikings Huddle

The Digital Launch Playbook (TDLP) really aligns with what we’re building here.

But I know lots of folks in this community don’t have an online business and, even if they did, they wouldn’t have a need for a digital project launch game plan. I totally get that.

Yet, I don’t have the only Refuge of Simplicity you visit online. Maybe you dig Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist or Courtney Carver at Be More with Less. Perhaps you groove to Ethan Waldman at Cloud Coach or Shanna Mann’s tribe at Change Catalyst.

All these awesome people have created amazing websites, products, services, and toolkits…and they want to create more. They want to do it better and more efficiently each time.

Maybe, just maybe, these groovy guys and gals and other people doing cool things online could create higher quality and more frequent stuff with TDLP. You know, the stuff we all rely on for our enjoyment. For our personal and peer development. For our business needs.

Bottom line: The Digital Launch Playbook helps people simplify, organize, and be money wise. It empowers the friends of Value of Simple to liberate their time, money, and talent.

With TDLP, I’m giving people the fish, teaching them how to fish, and pointing out the best fishing holes to drop their line in.

(That’s a Shanna Mann line by the way, who also deserves credit for coming up with the  perfect word of “Playbook” to describe the nature of TDLP.)

You might be one of those people who need a fish. If you’re not, you probably know somebody who needs this.

Want to know more and join the pre-launch team? Read on.

Join the Pre-Launch Team

The Digital Launch Playbook isn’t just one thing and isn’t used for just one purpose. Think of the playbook as your project game plan – from abstract idea to post-launch – for most digital product, service, website, and eCommerce launches.

It’s a combination of tools – including a checklist, sequence of events, a set of best practices, and the “X”s and “O”s game plan – all rolled into a single spreadsheet. It has over 200 of the most common (and many uncommon) tasks for digital projects broken down in any way you’d want to slice and dice it.

Joining the TDLP pre-launch team is easy and rewarding as you’ll get:

  • Pioneer Playbook exclusive early access
  • An opportunity to buy TDLP at a nifty discount
  • Free bonuses
  • A shot at winning a free copy
  • The chance to provide direct insight and help shape the final product

I hope you’ll join the team by entering your first name and email address now.

Still reading this via email or RSS? Click here to see the form.

I know the pain and unnecessary loss when people can’t have an awesome launch for the project they’ve slaved over. I know what it feels like to not start a passion project because you simply don’t know how it’s done and where to begin.

We want to empower everyone online to have amazing launches from idea to shipping.

Don’t let anything stop you from showing off the super schweet digital project you’ve been sitting on.

The Digital Launch Playbook will help.

P.S. Do you have a cool tagline for TDLP? I’m still working on the perfect sub-title/tagline and would love your insight in the comments.

Photo Credit: rburtzel, nocklebeast, The 2-Belo, Stuck in Customs, ToniVC, Stuck in Customs,
Quick and Free Simplicity Tools Await ...
Unlock the Refuge of Simplicity to get the tools that I and countless others use to simplify, organize, and be money wise. You're one step away from access to The Personal User Guide, Experience Curating, Spreadsheet Spotlights, plus other free (and all-new) tools. Just enter your first name and primary email address below.

24 Responses to The Digital Launch Playbook (and Pre-Launch Team Special Access)

  1. Denise says:

    I don’t have a cool tagline for you, but I would aim for something CLEAR and simple rather than cool, so there’s no question what purpose it serves.

    Plus, the title is already cool – I like that’s it’s called a playbook- that’s different and fun :) So with the tagline, I wouldn’t over-think it and I’d aim for clarity.

    Sounds like a great product, best of luck with it :)

  2. Shanna Mann says:

    I am in awe of your mad spreadsheet skillz. The whole idea of putting this together is a testament to your commitment to good systems, and to curating them for others!

    • You, Shanna, have just hit the Value of Simple buzzword secret challenge! You wrote the words “spreadsheet” and “curating” in the same short comment, entitling you to the honorary “Value of Simple’s Weekly Wonderful Woman” designation. It won’t get you a discount at restaurants or street cred in most circles, but show off your designation in the right corners of the Internet and doors…will…fly…open. ;)

  3. Bobbi Emel says:

    Hey Joel,

    Sounds like a valuable resource! I’m not sure you need a tagline, though, since “playbook” is pretty descriptive.

    Great job on an interesting new product, Joel!

    • Hmmm. No tagline, eh? I hadn’t considered that. Everything I’ve ever created online has a tagline or sub-title. But does everything need a tagline or sub-title? I guess not. Maybe this is one of those times. Thanks for giving me something juicy to think about, Bobbi! This could be a time and brain saver since I always struggle so much with taglines.

  4. Erin says:

    How exciting, Joel! This product sounds so cool.

    I wish I had a tagline for you. I think it depends on the main problem you’re aiming to solve. “Never screw up another launch again” vs. “everything you could possibly need to know when planning a launch” vs. “mix-and-match pieces to create your perfect launch” (none of which are nicely worded…but you get the idea) all have different flavors, if you will. I’d start there and see where it takes you.

    • Now I know at least two people think The Digital Launch Playbook is super cool (me and you). Thanks for throwing some stuff out there about the tagline as well.

      P.S. Which tagline flavor is the closest to dark chocolate, Erin? That’s the one I’ll end up riffing on.

  5. Joel this sounds like an interesting and valuable project.

    Curating fragments from across the internet and from your own experience & skills can produce great work.

    Tagline idea: “with no step skipped”

    Good luck!

  6. Sarah says:

    Digital Launch Playbook: Make Sure Your Launches Connect… Every Time.

    Eh, that’s not great, but I’m thinking of quarterback throwing passes… football plays… yes? yes. You get me.

    Anyway, I think this is a great resource and I’m really excited to see it, Joel!

    • “Make sure your launches connect…” Hmmm. Then the person who’s reading that gets to determine what their launch should be connecting with? Interesting.

      I see what you did with the QB going back for a pass thing. If I go the sports analogy route, I’d probably use basketball or soccer though. Something with more worldwide appeal, you know? I might be leaning on no tagline actually based on Bobbi’s great comment. Thanks for offering up your brain power for this damn tricky tagline/sub-title task I always flail with! Regardless of what this is called and how it’s described, it’s going to rock. I’m excited for you to see it!

  7. Hey Joel, this sounds like a great resource. I’ve certainly tried a few projects that fell rather flat, so a step-by-step guide sounds like the way to go for me next time I try. Watching an idea fizzle is rather discouraging, and it’s a real challenge to work up the energy to go at it again.

    Thanks for helping others avoid that!

    • Without asking you to create a 2,000 word response, I’d love to know why you think your previous online projects fell flat. Lack of planning? Ran out of passion? Didn’t know what to do at certain stages of getting it out into the world?

      I’m only tackling some of the problems people have with launching their online projects, like the step-by-step sequence of events they should be working through. This isn’t so much a guide as it is a game plan. In other words, this is more about strategy and mindsets than tactics and the nitty-gritty.

      • I focused entirely on the production of content and very little on the actual launch. I spent a lot of time writing and had several people help me revise my work only to publish it without anyone noticing.

        That’s certainly a lesson learned that I won’t be repeating.

        • How about a relaunch with bells and whistles? If the content is already done and the infrastructure is already in place, then you could focus almost exclusively on the marketing. I’m planning to do that with Start Investing with $100 to see how different a (re)launch can be when most of the tasks are already done.

          • To be honest, I hadn’t thought of it. Are you changing your artwork or anything to signify something new, or are you just approaching the launch / marketing in a new way?

            • I’m just changing the approach and marketing. All the core digital assets are staying exactly the same, although the content for my course will be updated in a silent “1.5” version when it’s relaunched (a.k.a. better-written, more examples, and more concise).

  8. Priska says:

    Hi Joel,
    I love the sound of it being a’play+book’.
    I get very overwhelmed and stressed with technology
    ‘The Value of a Simple Digital Launch Playbook’ would to me, in it’s essence of organized simple play be something I’d be drawn to alleviate hours wasted lost, stressed and overwhelmed.

    • Overwhelmed is a word I hear a lot, Priska. And not just on Value of Simple. I’ll have to deal with that sense of overwhelm with TDLP itself since some of my beta testers have told me the spreadsheet is overwhelming when they first open it up. But after they read the instructions for a couple of minutes, the overwhelm fades and they understand how to maximize the value of the playbook. Some people won’t take that step though, so I need to make sure that there’s not even a whiff of overwhelm associated with this. It’s a tricky task with a giant spreadsheet of doom, but I’ll be working on it between now and the official launch.

  9. Ethan says:

    Well, I’m clearly not the first to say that this is really freaking exciting! I signed up for the list and can’t wait to hear more. As for your tag line… how about “Your paint-by-number guide to launching a digital product the right way, every time”.

  10. Amit Amin says:

    Great job finding and then satisfying an unfilled need.

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