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    The big mistakes I made building High Impact Writing

    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.

    This is a special 6 part email series sharing lessons from the recent launch of High Impact Writing. Click here for part 1part 2, part 3 and part 4. Plus a video course breaking down the salespage copywriting.

    One thing I’ve learned about product launches is there’re so many moving parts - something’s gonna go wrong.

    Or, in my case, a few.

    So today we’ll discuss 5 mistakes and how you can avoid them.

    1. Don’t try to ‘wing it’ when you build the course

    I can talk about writing all day (much to my girlfriend’s delight). But my first mistake was thinking that passion is an excuse to not pursue perfection.

    When you build a course, every slide should be as clear and concise as possible.

    They shouldn’t be filled with text…

    You shouldn’t waffle…

    And you shouldn’t need notes either.

    I usually do my free courses in one take. I thought about doing the same for High Impact Writing. But I ended up re-writing it 6 times because every time I went to record, it wasn't smooth.

    Really, I should’ve just spent more time putting it together properly in the first place.

    Brain-dump your ideas. Put them in order. Edit ruthlessly. Practice repeatedly. Then film.

    2. Be good on camera

    This next mistake cost me 3-4 hours.

    I’m not suggesting you need to be Brad Pitt, but you do need to take recording seriously.

    After recording the first two modules, I sat to watch them.

    I was horrified.

    First, I didn’t sound anywhere near as excited as I do usually.

    Second, I kept looking away from the camera because I had the slide prompts on the other screen.

    Boring courses don’t get finished. And boring creators don’t have fans. So make sure you bring your A game - I deleted all my prompts, memorised every slide, and stuck this on my webcam:

    For those who can’t read my dentist handwriting - it says:

    1. Stare at me
    2. Energy
    3. Slow

    Pro tip: Only record for 45 minutes per day (thanks to Virgil for this one). If you’re tired when you teach, they’ll be tired when they learn.

    3. Prepare as much as possible

    Launch week is tough so it pays to prepare everything beforehand.

    For example, during launch 1, I knew I had to build a post-purchase email sequence to improve the customer experience.

    But I also burned out (there was a lot to do).

    I had no creative juice left in the tank, so I took a 2-week break and flew to Croatia post launch. In hindsight I wish I set up this automation because it’s a nice touch for building relationships.

    Launch 2, I had everything taken care of.

    Or so I thought.

    4. Buy your product the day before

    A tip I got from Jeff Walker’s Launch was to buy your product and make sure there’re no problems at every step.

    A tip I’ll give you:

    DON’T do this at 5 a.m., 3 hours before the launch.

    I had mistakes in my copy…

    Emails weren’t sending at the right time…

    Nearly all my Twitter autoplugs needed changing…

    Now, I thought I’d checked this stuff. But there’s nothing like a deadline to uncover what you missed before. 6 cups of tea and a few frantic voice notes to my girlfriend and we were good to go.

    But next time, this happens a day or two before.

    5. Slow down

    Here’re a few things to consider during your launch:

    • Marketing
    • Copywriting
    • Social media content
    • Email content
    • Course page
    • Purchasing links
    • Post-purchase interactions

    Faced with a list like this, it’s natural to want to fly through the work. But the cost of speed is often mistakes. For example, I mentioned that for launch 2, I had everything ready - including a 30-day post-purchase sequence.

    But then I started getting replies to these emails… 2 days before the launch!

    What the hell’s going on?

    Turns out, we accidentally added all 500 previous customers to the new version. So they started getting emails they’d already received. Thankfully they only got the first few - just check ins.

    But it goes to show - that was just one button I got wrong on Convertkit.

    Speaking of Convertkit, another mistake:

    It’s not good to send 4 sales emails a day to new subscribers. So my plan was to let them finish the welcome sequence and skip the launch.

    Unfortunately I only remembered this on the final day.

    It’s a shame to ruin relationships before they start - and this was easy to avoid if I just slowed down and thought through every step.

    I’m not one to make excuses, but the problem was I was piecing together launch advice, plus freestyling because I couldn’t find many (good) resources designed for creators launching their courses.

    It’s one reason I’ve offered to build a launch masterclass.

    Get this wrong, and you’ve potentially wasted months of effort (and it’s never fun to fail in public). Get it right, and you can make a year’s worth of progress in 4 days.

    I’ve been gauging interest for this offer. It’ll be paid, but I have no doubt it will pay for itself 100x over.


    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