Getting Started

What nobody ever tells you about a product launch: a diary

This is a post for all of the beginners out there, still honing in on your first product. I’m sure you have visions of your PayPal account filling up with orders as you sip cocktails by a pool somewhere.

But talk to any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you the reality is… much more complicated.

Product launches, like business, are messy roller coasters with moments of ecstasy and despair — despite what all of those Medium blog posts may tell you.

To show you the REAL behind-the-scenes, we decided to try a bit of an experiment: We asked Amanda Smith of Solace Lessons to walk us through her launch in real time with a daily diary. Amanda offers courses to simplify gardening for modern life, and this is her first ever launch for her course Garden Mastery Academy.

For context: Amanda is doing a two-week launch. The first week is a series of engagement emails to drive registration to a webinar. In week two, she plans on hosting the webinar and then making the direct offer to buy, with the cart closing at the end of the week.

My product launch map

Will she hit it out of the park? Or will this launch be more of a stepping stone to something else? We pick up her diary on Tuesday of Week 1, May 23rd. Entries lightly edited for clarity.

Me at the beginning of my product launch

Tuesday, May 23 — Day 1 of 11: I’m the guy in the front row on the left — All in, hands up, watching the whole way!

I sent the email that starts the funnel for my course launch about two hours ago. I’ve only checked on how many people have read that email and clicked on the embedded Google Form once. I was a bit nauseous before I sent it, but now I’m feeling good. I’m really proud of this moment.

My expectations for this email are that I get a 35% open rate, a 5% click rate, and a 40% form completion rate from the 5% that clicked. I suspect that my open rates will increase through this first week leading up to the webinar on Monday night. I’ll let you know if I’m right.

Me at the beginning of my product launch

Wednesday, May 24 — Day 2 of 11: I’m the person in the front row with the black shirt — We’re doing this…

Still tracking yesterday’s stats on the first email. In fact, I did that until 1:30am last night and then checked three more times today. Sigh. Then I went to yoga and I’ve chilled out a bit. Current open rate is 25%, clicks are 1.6%, and form replies are 42%.

Here’s the catch on the form: I incentivized them to fill it out each day to win a chance to get the course for free. They don’t really know what that means yet, but FREE.

The second email just went out. Still nauseous, but pushing forward.

Here’s what I’ve noticed about myself in launch mode (this is technically my second launch, but first online course launch): I don’t take great care of myself. I forget to eat. I get crabby. My husband becomes mom and dad. And I DON’T LIKE IT!

I’m forcing myself to go to a yoga studio instead of practice at home. Now I just need to force myself to stay there and meditate even though seven million thoughts of the things I need to do are swirling in my head.

Integration steps are almost complete. All copy is done for other pages on the site. I need to finish writing my notes for the webinar script. I need to sort through the 165 rebuttals to purchasing my product, put them in a logical order for when they will come up, and I need to create the bonuses I’m giving out at Monday’s webinar for fast-action purchasers. And maybe sleep.

Happy launching!

Oh, and a Day 2 realization: THIS is why I do what I do! This is a map of the people who have opened my Day 1 email. THIS! Every continent but Antarctica!

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Me at the beginning of my product launch

Thursday, May 25 — Day 3 of 11: Guy in the bright yellow shirt (can’t miss him) — Enjoying the ride.

Email went out early this morning. Instead of an engagement email, I gave everyone a heads up that the webinar is on Monday night on Memorial Day, right before they go back to work. This seemed like smart timing. I actually wasn’t planning to send it until Friday, but thought it better to change up the pace, give a shorter email, and get this in front of them before they head out on any weekend adventures. This felt really good.

Here are a few statistical things I haven’t shared yet: On my last launch, I had 228 purchases at a similar price point. I am hopeful to hit 300 purchases for my course. If I get 300 students, that will be about a 7% conversion rate.

I TOILED with the purchase price because I know what the value of this course is. I also know the data from my last launch, so I know if I want to create a lot of buzz around the product, I sell it around the same price because I know they can handle it. I also know that my price has nowhere to go but up and I will definitely be using that as a scarcity tactic because it’s VERY TRUE.

Another fact about this launch: I decided not to use it as a list building opportunity and test everything with my existing list. It also simplifies the launch immensely. I was thinking of doing a FB challenge. Instead I’m doing a “mini-email course” during week one leading up to the webinar that opens my cart and a live Q&A the day before cart closes.

Tasks to do: Queue the emails for this weekend and Monday. 165 rebuttals in order of when they will show up during Q&A for Q&A webinar next Thursday. And create the bonus materials.

Me at the beginning of my product launch

Friday, May 26 — Day 4 of 11: I’m the woman in the 4th row on the right. She’s trying to hold her boyfriend’s hand while having a good time.

Today I finished writing an email, questionnaire form, and Soil Cheat Sheet (remember, this is all about gardening) and sent that out around 10am. I’m no longer nauseous when doing this. Improvement!

I went over my stats so far just to share with you. I think it’s still a little premature to call these “my numbers,” but it keeps things in perspective for me and I’m an enginerd that likes numbers. Email open rate is averaging 23%, click rate is averaging 3%, form completion is averaging 71%. A reminder from Day 1: I was expecting 35%-5%-40%.

The last number, 71% completion for the form, is a shocker to me. The links are at the bottom of these emails and they are not short emails. They average about 1,100 words. The people who are completing these forms are all in on learning.

Done today: A hike, the email, questionnaire, and Soil Cheat Sheet, and date night (back to the guy on front left for that one).

Tasks that still need my attention: Tomorrow’s email, webinar script clean up, rebuttals, and bonuses.

GL 5

Saturday, May 27 — Day 5 of 11: I’m the woman in the 5th row with one hand up because I’m tired.

Why did I decide to do a two-week launch? I’m worn out. I keep waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what I need to do, how my stats are doing, and trying to avoid looking at those things at the same time. I need more deep sleep. I am at least getting to bed at a decent time now. It’s just that I’m waking up at about 1:30 with my head reeling.

The webinar is on Monday, so the emails got a lot easier. Engage today, engage plus reminder tomorrow, reminder only on Monday.

Stats: I have 80 people signed up for the webinar so far. Open rates continue to go up. Seems a lot of people like to catch up with their email over the weekend. The data I’m getting back from the questionnaires I’ve sent out so far are priceless. It’s like cheating at immersion, which is a perfect prep for the webinar. I know exactly where their heads are at heading into it. I don’t have to guess.

Things I have left to do that I will focus on after Monday’s webinar: rebuttals, course bonuses.

Things I need to do this weekend: Use survey results to refine webinar script, automate emails for the course.

Me in the middle of my product launch

Sunday, May 28 — Day 6 of 11: I’m definitely the woman in the front row holding on.

Today was a day of a lot of accomplishments that apparently I’d forgotten in the list of stuff to do the previous days. The Welcome Package for the purchasers. Kind of essential…

It started with me writing the Welcome Email and realizing there’s a bunch of stuff they need like the Dreamer’s Path Quiz that I started but hadn’t finished. This quiz gives me key immersion information about them and their garden.

It also tells me if they are tech savvy, because we will be drawing maps in this course. And do they already have a garden started or do they have an established garden that we need to repair? Things like that will help me better prepare for the live group calls. It will also help me adjust what I need to share based on their feedback so they are blown away by the course.

The goal of this round of the course is to learn more about my students, adjust my course based on their feedback, and get some rocking testimonials.

I now have over 100 registered attendees for the webinar, which is tomorrow. This is why I’m shutting my eyes on this roller coaster ride right now. It’s getting very real.

Things to do still: put all new “stuff” from above in front of my assistant to make sure I didn’t forget anything, finish tally on who finished all the questionnaires during the mini-course to gather list of entries for the winner of the free course (my prize for their work in the mini-course), review script for webinar, review sales page and integration with my web designer, breathe, host webinar, post replay video, gather data on purchases during webinar to send out bonuses to them, celebrate cart open after webinar with a raspberry sour beer.

Me in the middle of my product launch

Monday, May 29 — Day 7 of 11: I’m still the woman in the front row holding on as we head down this drop.

It’s the day of the webinar and I have a pile of things to do to prepare. I’m feeling overwhelmed and not certain I’m going to be ready in time for the show.

My web designer and I started the day by going over the sales page and making some pretty drastic tweaks to the cart options. I was planning to do an application for the 1:1 consultation option because I’m only taking 10 people and I want them to be committed to going through the process. He convinced me it was too confusing and to not introduce confusion at the buy button. I listened. We changed it so there are just two options and no application. I will shut it down when all the spots fill.

I’m still putting together the slides right up to the time of the webinar. I still needed to gather data on all the people who completed the mini-course challenge so I had some names to pick from for the final winner. It came down to the wire.

The webinar went off with a few hiccups: My collaborator, Pete, was not viewable. I remembered how to fix that after the webinar. The chat was not allowing others to see each other’s comments. I still am not sure why that happened. I have to figure that one out before Thursday’s Q&A webinar.

During today’s webinar, I offered some bonuses that were exactly some of the things that several people wanted. These were to entice people to take fast action to get in the program and get these bonuses.

And then the webinar ended…

No sales.

I immediately went to check the numbers: 164 people signed up for the webinar. 32 showed up. 14 people went to the cart for the group coaching. 6 people went to the 1:1 cart.

I immediately went to the cart and tested to make sure all the integrations were working with the payment processors. Yep, they were working.

No sales…

I went to bed with one thought in my head: what do I need to do next?

Me in the middle of my product launch

Wednesday, May 31 — Day 8 of 11: I’m the guy in the 4th row on the left with the disgruntled look on his face but my hands are still up.

Still no sales.

Time to do outreach to the people who were on the webinar to see where they are at in the process of deciding. I sent out the next email, which included the replay of the webinar, the link to the sales page, and the link to the Q&A on Thursday. There are a lot of people clicking to watch the webinar.

I will wait to see if any convert.

I am adjusting my game plan on the fly to see how I can still knock this baby out of the park. Cart closes Friday night and I’m not done yet.

Thursday, June 1 — Day 9 of 11: I am this entire picture. I am the collective emotions of every single person on this roller coaster in this moment.

Thank God for my yogi mind. It reminds me that I can have all of these emotions and all of these feelings about not making a sale and ride this roller coaster but not get entrenched in the drama. I can bear witness to everything that I’m feeling and everything that I want to scream at the top of my lungs and just bear witness.

Yes I’m frustrated and annoyed and sad and disgruntled, but I’m reminded by people that the majority of the sales come in the last two days. So I have these glimmers of hope and potential for happiness that eke in when I remember this.

I have a Q&A webinar on Thursday, my final day, that I’m hoping will crush any doubts that buyers might have. So I’m focused on that.

I sent out an email today asking for guidance. What are they questioning? How can I get them off the fence? The information that they provided me from this email I will use during the Q&A. I’m still hopeful.

Me towards the end of my product launch

Friday, June 2 — Day 10 of 11: Blue shirt, second row — can’t tell if she’s excited, scared, or pissed that she committed to this roller coaster ride. We all know the likelihood that she survives the ride is high, but that doesn’t mean it was either enjoyable or terrifying or both.

I got my first sale today. It came with an email relative to the Q&A webinar later tonight. She had four questions for me to answer. I put most of them in my slides and will answer the ones that aren’t relevant to everyone else in a reply.

I had three replies to my email asking for their questions so I could answer them at the Q&A. Two of the replies were to provide constructive criticism on the mini-course, Monday’s webinar, and then inform me that they won’t be buying.

I had 10 people register for the Q&A webinar and four show up. Two of the people who showed up had purchased before I opened my cart.

One more day…

Me towards the end of my product launch

Saturday, June 3 — Day 11 of 11: I’m the guy on the left in the second-to-last row. Neither excited or scared. Just along for the ride now. 

The cart closed at 9:59 PM MST. I got my second sale from a friend right before the cart closed. Two sales during this cart open/close experiment.

I have seven students total, which becomes a fabulous amount of people for the first run of the course. We can make it exactly what we need it to be.

I will chalk this experience up to being a beta run and find out why my list didn’t buy tomorrow with a survey. Not what I was hoping for, but at this point everything is an experiment.

I’m looking forward to learning all I can from my students on how I can make this course even better. I am also excited for them to learn and grow and share their successes. That is what it’s all about!



So was the product launch a success? We asked Smith. “It sucked only getting two people. I’m not going to lie,” she told me. The final count was seven people: Two during the launch and five who signed up before the launch sequence. Since closing the cart, eight people have reached out and wanted in.

“Having seven people in the course is a good thing because I get to experiment with how long it takes people to do the course and tweak from there.” Consider it a beta.

But despite the optimism, there were real consequences to not hitting the numbers.

“Business is a little tighter. I had to let go of the assistant I was using. Money has to be there for me to afford him,” she says.

Smith attributes the soft launch to two factors:

  1. She went too broad. Making an all-encompassing garden course may not have been appealing enough. “It turns out most people want something about soil. I should have done a course there that wasn’t as extensive.”
  2. Seasons matter (for gardening!). By mid-summer in the northern hemisphere, most people who live there have already planted their gardens in the spring. “It wasn’t a burning pain in the moment,” she said. “I’ll launch July/August again. When the southern hemisphere is just past middle of winter. Those people will want it then.”

So if she could do it all over what would she do? I asked and it’s worth displaying her answer in full:

Honestly I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

It’s all mindset. When it comes to how you react to how things are going with your product launch, when you’re in the moment, it’s always about your attitude in that moment. Staying in that mental mindset of “this is going to be a success” is one of the only ways to get through it. You can see it in my notes, I started to doubt. I had two launch days go to spam because so many people unsubscribed, I had to ask my email provider to take me off the naughty list. I had the same thing happen to me before so I knew what to do.

It’s all lessons. It’s GROWING.

In your niche, your people should be teaching you stuff too. When you do a launch, marketing, webinars, you should be learning at the same time. You should learn and grow. If you don’t grow you’re going to give up, and that’s the sad reality. When you stop learning, you die.

If I would have had a stagnant mindset I’d be looking for a job right now. That’s not my mindset. I quit my full time job and I’m not going back.


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There Are 49 Comments


So what was the pricing on the last course and this one? Curious about revenue/profit and price point. Thanks!

I LOVE THIS SOOO MUCH! OMG, Amanda! What an incredible mindset! I need some of that! Where to begin?

First off, thanks so much for writing down your thoughts during this 2-week launch period. This is such invaluable information! I think it so important to have had these goals you were trying to get out of this first round BEFORE day 1 of your launch, as I believe this contributed to your amazing attitude and energy to keep on push: (1) testimonials, (2) fine-tune the course material, and (3) learn more about your students.

I thought it absolutely brilliant to base your bonuses on things people expressed their needs in through your questionnaires. Paying attention to the season of the year and the realization that you might need to niche down even further are exceptional takeaways and will make your upcoming launch even more successful! I so appreciate this write-up of your launch, Amanda! Congratulations on giving it your all! Here’s to you – with a raspberry sour beer! Cheers! x

Yeah, the sales, profit and conversion informations is lacking.

But the other points of this post are awesome.


I love this SO much! I feel like it shows what a real launch is like. Thanks so this non-showy but real example of what this looks like. YES to learning and growing and not giving up! xo

Sean meyer

Really enjoyed this entire post, but your mention of mindset is what got me.

I couldn’t agree more and kudos to you for not only sharing your experience, but for also maintaining your optimism after a launch that most would consider disappointing…

For the Growthlab team, please keep bringing these. This post certainly has the creative juices running and I guarantee I’ve gained something today that I’ll use in my next launch.

Very nice to see that your launch was not amazingly successful as everybody is trying to communicate lately. How I earn 100K in 5 days with my course, how I got 200 people buying my ecourse in 1 week, etc… B.S…. But this post is just GREAT! Thanks for sharing 🙂

My first product was an All Access Pass to my virtual summit:, which had a sliding scale with specific deadlines. The majority of the purchases were at $87 and some were at $147.

The price of this product was $147 for just the course and $347 for the course plus 1:1 coaching. I had 2 of the 7 purchases at the 1:1 level.

Hello I have juste read the whole story and I really like the fact that you never gave up! Great attitude and mindset! I am considering launching services soon and this was helpful.

First, yes to the raspberry sour beer! Second, thank you.

It’s funny about the timing of the launch. I knew, going into it, that this would play a factor but I had hope it wouldn’t play a huge factor. The post launch survey to non-buyers, however, proved otherwise. Out of the 103 people that responded to my survey, 42% said they don’t have the time right now. What was more interesting are the reasons and the hope it gives me for a fall or winter launch.

Feel all those feelings and keep moving toward your goal with your “why” close to your heart. That is how I do it Eevi. So what’s your why and is it strong enough to keep you moving toward your goals? I’ll share mine if you share yours ?

Yes Krissy! The mental game is such a HUGE piece of the puzzle. Start cultivating it now. Recognize where you’ve mustered up the strength to get through a tough time and learned from it. Use that as a jumping off point for the next tough time because there will be another tough time!

Thank you for sharing this whole process, and I was especially surprised at how it turned out. Props for sharing the lessons when things don’t work out in the way we wanted them to — gives inspiration for us just starting out to always keep up that mindset.

“In your niche, your people should be teaching you stuff too.”
This is the biggest lesson I’m learning right now, it’s so easy to get too enamored with the value you can provide that you forget to shut up and listen, take in what people are actually feeling and trying so you can provide even better and more tailored value.

Thanks again!

I know many of my ZTL friends have had similar experiences. My first launch of online content (not my own course) was a huge success and I was excited to share that. It happens both ways. And I’m happy GrowthLab is sharing this side of the coin too!

Thank you! All the appreciation and responses from the readers makes my heart full. As I mentioned to another reader, go back to a time that you struggled or succeeded and note your response. Learn from them so when it happens again you have a knowledge bank to draw upon.

I agree and I’m glad to see how much people are excited about hearing a true and genuine pice of work about the realities of success.

Journaling is such an undervalued and underestimated approach with any endeavor. It’s a part of the meditation that goes into the careful decisions we make on a daily basis.

I have always kept a journal and need to keep consistent with it. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been at it for years and have 2 small companies while working full time with staying the course with Ramits advice. Stay humble, keep learning and the growth will take us to heights we’ve never seen. This post alone has helped me add a few more to-do’s. Thank you!!!!

Amanda, it’s so cool that you thought enough to write down your thoughts during your launch. Was that therapeutic for you during the process? Was it something you planned to do before you decided to launch?

I loved the article and the insights you gave about staring with a mini-course, using surveys and feedback to make adjustments and be sure you are using the language of your customers. I love that you set a goal for the course ” to learn more about your students, adjust your course based on feedback and get some rocking testimonials.”

I love the idea of reaching out to potential customers to find out what barriers they’re facing with buying your course.

There’s so much great information here. I’m going to read through this again a few times to try and parse out all the little gold nuggets.

Most of all I love this: “It’s all lessons. It’s GROWING. In your niche, your people should be teaching you stuff too. When you do a launch, marketing, webinars, you should be learning at the same time.”

This is my key takeaway to always be open to allowing my audience to teach me while I’m trying to help them.

Thank you for a great post.

Ramit Sethi

It’s our pleasure. Big thanks to Amanda for being so transparent.

Sean, keep us updated. We want to hear how your next launch goes.

Ramit Sethi

Outstanding! Claudia, thanks for reading and applying our material.

Jane Philipps

Thank you for sharing this detailed account of your launch! My biggest takeaways were:

1) There is a lot of work that needs to happen DURING a launch, so make sure to block out time for it, as well as time for self-care, taking breaks, going to the gym etc. Also, keep that in mind when you are planning how long you want your launch to be. It seems like now you’ve learned that 2 weeks feels like a really long time when you’re launching a product or a course, and you can use what you’ve learned about this launch to make future launches better.

2) Try to front-load as much of the launch work as possible, so you are less stressed during the actual launch process and can stay focused.

3) There will ALWAYS be technical issues, so make sure to prepare for those and have backup plans, but also be willing to roll with it when problems do arise.

4) Learning is a huge part of launching a product, so even if your numbers aren’t what you were expecting, you can still gain a ton of value and insights from launching. Also, keeping a positive mindset throughout is key.

Also, I love that you are creating online products around gardening! This seems like a really interesting niche, and one that is very different than many ZTL businesses. Best of luck for your future launches!

Thank you so much – it is very helpful to read about the process you have been through in detail. (I am at the very beginning, just got my website up and trying to establish the niche I want to serve, so it is really useful to get a realistic sense of the work and the rollercoaster involved in preparing and completing a launch.)
What I particularly responded to is of course what I am struggling with:
– the importance of having a clear niche (a broad subject, like garden mastery, is a bit like health – so big, and can be hard to narrow down)
– the value of a process of enquiry, and being open to whatever happens, as a source of valuable information and progress – so helpful to manage the ups and downs, a way of maintaining resilience and developing the service
– a sense of humour helps
And kudos for your work on soil and gardening – really important topics/skills!
As they say in Japan – gambatte – keep on truckin’

This Is another wonderful post in the Growthlab. I have three favorite ones untill now, one was about how Primoz ( launched his course) then the wonderful article from Brennnan Dunn about his course launch and now this one.

Thank you Amanda!

I have one question for you Amanda, can you please share, how you validated the garden course idea agints the profitability ( that people willing to buy) before you actually started to creating it ?
Did you tried some 1on1 coaching before?

I haven’t took jet the zero to launch course, but I have made the decison, I will, soon.

I try to ( and will soon) launch my own first e-course first, based on the free things I learnt from Growthlab. Then after that I have my own practical experiment allready and then it’s great to have ZTL and learn in depth and look things in new perspective and develop further and fix the things I was not able to figure out myself independently.

Amanda, it is so refreshing to read about a launch that didn’t quite meet the hopes of it’s creator. And I applaud Growth Lab for being so transparent with the other side of the story too. We often hear these wild success stories which is also an incredible encouragement, but not always the reality. So to hear your story all real and raw is actually equally encouraging. Because regardless of if our launches meets our expectations or not, like you say, the why is still the same. You’ve shown us that our drive and determination has to stay the same. We need to learn from it. And keep recreating over and over as we adjust to those lessons. You have shown a huge amount of courage in this article babe! And the rollercoaster analogy is priceless!!! CONGRATULATIONS on a brilliant post!!!

I felt super vulnerable while sharing all the good and goury details. I’m planning to launch again in about a month. I’ll definitely keep Sean posted.


Saturday, June 3 — Day 11 of 11: I’m the guy on the left in the second-to-last row. Neither excited or scared. Just along for the ride now. or you the lady/guy in the green giving [email protected]#ck to the wind, lol. I just have to say Thank you and I have to keep the same mindset as I try out something out. I know the feeling when you expect a certain number but you don’t reach it. I failed the last time I did a gig and for me to learn was a little hard for I couldn’t get feedback. Again thank you for not giving up. Ramit this is for you Thank you for giving us the other side of making it, keep it up.

Antonio Trevino

It’s interesting how real this is. I’ve read a lot about this type of product launch and this really provides a good way to frame your mindset around the sum of all launch fears… crickets. I love this post and will re-read frequently as my own launch gets closer.

On day 2, you were jumping out of your skin over the fact that your email had been opened by people world wide. Awe inspiring! Then sadly, people who registered didn’t actually show up. I believe this has a lot to do with that very fact of so many time zones. Intentions are true but life gets in the way – especially if they aren’t quite so driven as yet. Will they regret that they slept through your Q&A? – most definitely! But with the electronic age we enjoy today, it’s a sure bet that you will do another webinar -and they will again promise to be there! Obviously, the people interest is there, and you can rest assured they will continue to check in – and check out. Then, when your worlds do align, you will be their ‘gardening expert’ of choice because you have been there for them for ‘forever’. You just keep on keeping on, and good luck for next time.

Radek Hecl

Hello, first of all, thank you very much Amanda for sharing this. Although it will take me at least another half a year to get into your stage this article helped me to get my mind set ready for what will be coming. You have done great job, definitelly better than 99% of people. I know here with IWT you are in a good hands and they can help you with your next step. The only thing I can see is the fact that you have fallen 2 times into spam list. I would personally focus on that and do something to prevent it happen again. Otherwise please keep going and wish you to have success soon!!!

Wow! Congratulations on sharing this story. It is so refreshing to hear where people have struggled and how they handled it.

I’m planning to launch in the next 60 days and this gives me the confidence to go ahead and try, number of sales be dammed. It’s so nice to be reminded that you’re not a failure when products dont’ sell well.

Really impressed with what you’ve done and I know that you will become even more of a huge success in your life. Keep up the great work!

You know Jawaad, my expectations were much simpler than I ended up posting in the diary. The reason you didn’t see any initial projections until a few days in was because my whole goal was to launch and learn. For an engineer who loves numbers, they were really secondary to me. I hoped I would pull off the same numbers as my first product launch online, but I never thought that was realistic. Just a hope.

It’s great to hear that others are focused on the learning too. Ramit does say the first year is learning.

I tend to journal when I know there is a lot of knowledge about to be dropped on me. It’s still a practice instead of instinct to journal but I do sleep with my journal (currently my Forefront journal) on my nightstand. My subconscious likes to kick out knowledge bombs in the middle of the night these days.

I love your quote, “stay humble, keep learning, and the growth will take us to heights we’ve never seen.”

This diary was original on the GrowthLab FB page. It was therapeutic but on a very public level.

I journal during times when I know lots of learning is about to happen. My journal during my first product launch looks more like a spastic list of emotions and to-do.

This one was actually much clearer because I had a purpose to share with more than just myself how it was all going to turn out.

Sean and I had discussed making it public on the GL FB page before my launch. He was rooting me on in hopes that it would be a successful launch. Well, it seems it was a success in ways neither of us expected.

Excellent take-aways ! Thank you for the well wishes. As Ramit has said in ZTL, you have to pick something you can talk nonstop about, that you are passionate about. I’m deeply passionate about people understanding that the earth (soil) needs our respect in order for all of us to thrive.

Helen, entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride. Launching a product is just a heightened sense of that, IMHO.

The course was distilled down to garden design, but even that seemed fairly broad in scope for people based on their feedback.

I’m a firm believer that of you aren’t having fun, then you’re doing something wrong.

Validation for the course started in the previous product launch surveys. I asked who would be interested in a course on garden design. I had almost 50 responses. I emailed those 50 people my course table of contents to see what they thought. 21 of them replied back with feedback. To get the “real deal” answer, I gave those 21 people the opportunity to purchase my course before it was even created with the changes to content they had suggested. I had 4 purchases.

Before the attempt at selling the course online, I had developed the process and tested it on my own and others properties (1:1 consulting).

Good luck with your course launch. I look forward to seeing you in the ZTL community.

I was very happy to have the education from ZTL but more so the community and support of other entrepreneurs. That’s the icing on the cake when you’re in a paid program like ZTL.

Good luck on your launch. Hopefully no crickets. If you do hear them, hopefully this gave you a good mental framework to build on.

Excellent observation, and I completely agree. The unsubscribe issue is definitely the Accelerator coaches and I have been looking into.

A heart felt thank you, Lloyd. At a certain point you realize everything is an experiment. If it succeeds, awesome. If it fails, ok. Either way, what am I supposed to learn and how will I move forward.

martin kruusmaa

Thanks for your answer Amanda!
Yes, I will Join the community soon, very soon.

One more question, how big was your list at that time, when you sent them the table of contents for feedback?
Thanks advance!

Best Regards
Martin Kruusmaa

Amanda, how many unsubscribed now and on the previous launch? I guess the reason for people to unsubscribed is the payed product you stared to offer them?

BTW. Awesome post full of great insights! Thanks for sharing!


On the previous launch my list was fluctuating so much it was hard to keep track. I started with 132 subscribers and ended with 5124. Over the course of that 3 week launch and list building production, I believe I was gaining about 700 subscribers a day with about 100 unsubscribes per day on average.

Because I was hosting live webinars multiple times a day, I was actually paying little attention to what was happening on my list. I think I like that type of launch better because I am distracted by other work.

Martin, my list was at about 5000 subscribers. By the end of the launch I was down to 3700. It was staggering the number of people that left the list and something I’m focused on very intently now.

catherine lynch

I’m curious to know if you got any input on your course from any experienced gardeners before you launched it?

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