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    My product process: Open, Close, Refine, Relaunch

    By Kieran Drew
    💡
    This is an edition of my old newsletter Digital Freedom.

    It's lightly edited but otherwise untouched. I've kept them on the site to show how the journey has evolved.

    When most people launch a product, they think their work's done - leaving it open for more purchases.

    But I haven't made a sale in almost 3 months now.

    A bad move?

    Perhaps.

    But today I'll explain the 4 strategies behind the Open-Close-Refine-Relaunch model.

    I'll let you decide if it's worth your time.

    It's a 5-minute read.

    Product launch strategy

    We’ve had 6,000 new readers since May (ola).

    So here’s a quick catch up:

    3 months ago I released a digital product called High Impact Writing (for the sake of brevity, let’s call it HIW).

    And let me tell you…

    Shit. Went. Wild.

    Considering it took 18 months to make my first digital dollar (you can read more about the chocolate-flavoured cigar fiasco here), making over 6 figures in 4 days was bonkers.

    But unlike my first product, which I left open, HIW followed this process:

    open, close, refine, relaunch

    Sure, open-close launches are nothing new - particularly with communities and cohorts. But not many people do them for digital products.

    After all, why burn months of sales when you could make money while you sleep?

    Well young Padawan, let me give you 4 reasons.

    1. Find your fans

    When people give you money, they signal two things:

    1. They're serious about their success
    2. They trust you enough to provide the solution

    But the first customers to buy your product are worth paying close attention to.

    Why?

    Because you have less (or no) social proof to land the sale.

    Proof’s persuasion gold dust (more on that in point 4). The more you get, the easier selling your product becomes. When someone buys early, it’s often factors like how much they like you and how badly they want to win.

    That’s future fan material.

    You should track early adopters and treat them well to nurture a long-term relationship.

    But you might be wondering:

    Why does this mean you can’t keep the product evergreen?

    Well…

    2. The window of (over)delivery

    If someone invests in you, show you’re invested in them by rewarding them for taking action.

    For example, I hosted a live training and Q&A on building a creator business:

    live training

    Not only does this give an additional incentive to invest, which is great for sales, but it also helps frame your pitch without sounding like a desperate clown.

    … which is also great for sales.

    comparison

    But the webinar is just the start.

    Notice how I said future fans?

    Just because someone pays you doesn’t mean they love you (I learned this the hard way from my Onlyfans).

    Trust takes time and energy.

    By making your product unavailable you can redirect your efforts away from revenue and toward relationships for awhile.

    For example, over the past 6 weeks I’ve created a seperate weekly email series sharing writing demonstrations and exercises. I’m hosting another live call soon. And I built a Notion writing system that I gave away for free.

    I also sent 500 personalised videos to say thank you.

    Think about it.

    If your competition sends a thank you email with a course link and then ghosts their customers, and you do this, what happens long-term when you release more offers?

    Yep.

    Most creators are stuck chasing top of funnel sales. Everyone wants more customers.

    But the real magic happens on the back end - serving current customers. Those who buy once, buy twice (if you blow them away).

    But it ain’t just about the moolah.

    3. Get help

    Improving a product starts the day you release it. Even if you do beta-coaching pre-launch (which you should), the first iteration of anything is shit.

    And if you think otherwise, just sit tight for a year.

    Over the past month I’ve spoken with customers about how I could improve HIW. But note, I’m not asking for feedback.

    People suck at feedback.

    I’m asking where the product sucks using prompts like, 'can you point out what you think is missing' or, 'is there anything you would like clarifying'.

    And whilst the response was overwhelmingly positive (Daddy did good), there were obvious things I could do better.

    Stuff I’d never have picked up on.

    Trust me my friend:

    You have blindspots in your business. Customers are great at finding them. But they won’t tell you if they don’t like you - usually they just think:

    Well I ain’t buying from him again.

    HIW is now version 1.2, meaning the next wave of buyers will have an even better experience.

    What’s more, my current customers trust I’m committed to making HIW awesome. They feel like we’re building it together - and this sense of ownership goes far.

    Your customers will promote your product, support your launches, and tell their friends.

    And nothing is more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing.

    Leading us to the final and most important point:

    4. Collect proof

    People don’t pay attention (or money) until you’ve shown you’re worth investing in.

    This is overwhelming as an early writer. Particularly if you have no experience. Your best bet is to begin building authority by association by sharing what you learn. Then as you get results, document the journey.

    But nothing, I repeat, nothing, will accelerate your business more than sharing how you’ve helped your audience win.

    bar graph

    I made sure my customers had enough time to take the product.

    And those bonus weekly emails?

    All have a soft P.S. requesting testimonials - explaining I’d love to get the product out to more people and their testimonial would help massively.

    Two rules if you want to make an ask from your audience:

    1. Never come empty-handed
    2. Always provide a reason for your request

    So far I have 50 new testimonials and 5-10 case studies - which will give me more talking points in the next launch.

    The point of a product is excellence

    If this sounds like a lot of work, consider these words from Hormozi:

    But here’s the best part.

    For the relaunch most of these actions are automated.

    Sure I’ll do another live webinar on a different topic to incentive action takers (this one's on building a newsletter the right way if you're interested), but otherwise the efforts from the previous months haven’t gone to waste.

    You can automate a post-purchase email sequence sharing everything we’ve just discussed…

    And just because people can’t buy the product now, doesn’t mean you can’t sell it.

    Tension is key for sales anyway.

    You can write sexy emails to build curiosity for your audience (just like I’m doing now).

    This strategy is about going slow to go fast.

    Once you’ve relaunched, make your product evergreen and set up a welcome sequence for all new newsletter subscribers - automating sales.

    Now you’re free to take on the next project knowing you’ve taken care of this one.

    Open - close - refine - relaunch.

    You got this.

    do it right


    Kieran Drew

    About Kieran

    Ex dentist, current writer, future Onlyfans star · Sharing what I learn about writing well, thinking clearly, and building an online business