Branding Conversion Social Media

5 Reasons Why Most Launches Fail


I’ve launched many online course, live events and coaching programs for both myself and my clients. A lot of them do really well and we usually sell out or meet the target. However, I’ve witnessed a lot of launches fail when certain speakers, trainers and coaches try to go at it on their own.

There could be a lot of reasons for a failed launch, usually it’s a collection of a lot of small reasons but below are the big 5 underlying problems that I’ve discovered why launches fail.

This is taken from both my own learning curves and simply watching what happens in the expert marketplace.

1) “What do you mean you didn’t test the idea”?

Test, test, test.

It’s a word that a lot of us creative people hate. We just want to create, teach, share and get paid for it. Unfortunately the marketplace doesn’t care what you want.

The marketplace only cares about themselves (no surprise there). This is the main reason why I see online course, live events or coaching programs fail, is lack of testing in the idea.

Do people have a need to learn that content and would their lives improve if they went through your program?

While it’s easy for us to say, “well, yes of course their lives would improve after going through my program” When need the marketplace to agree to that statement.

Also does the marketplace want your program in that context?

Your idea for a live event may be better suited as a coaching program as the marketplace may want more 1 on 1 attention. Or that online course idea may be missing an element of live interaction and networking which only a live event can provide.

You not only need to look at your content when testing your idea but also in how it is delivered. Do they want interactivity?

Do they want to go at it in their own pace?

What outcome do they actually want to achieve?

Is the outcome you’re promising too far from where they are now and is it scaring them off?

If these is scaring you, don’t worry – I’ve filmed a video on how to test your idea which you can watch below:

2) Poor market message fit

This is an odd problem. It usually happens after the coach, speaker or trainer has done their research and have validated their program idea.

Now, all marketing at its core is simply copy-writing.

The ability to craft a message that attracts the right prospect at the right time with the right offer that has them take a certain action. That is generally what marketing is at its basic form. We tend to over complicate it with funnels and advertising.

The poor market message fit comes in when the speaker, coach or trainer has got a great idea that the marketplace has validated but they’re unable to communicate it in a way that the marketplace can relate to or in a way that inspires action and commands attention.

Copywriting is one of the world’s most powerful skills that every expert should study, learn and keep learning.

The ability to craft a message that generates a response is the key to wealth, expanding your brand and changing the lives of your clients.

Having a fantastic, game changing proven idea is only half of the battle. You now need to communicate that effectivity in a way that generates a response from the marketplace.

3) No PRE-pre-launch or PRE-PRE-pre-launch

While Jeff Walker famously created the Product Launch Formula well before Facebook or social media even existed, I quickly discovered many flaws in this campaign and sequence to which I’ve sinced re-design my own sequence for launching and selling out programs which is called “Launch Season”.

What makes Launch Season different is that when we deploy it within a client we focus 3 to 4 steps ahead of the launch as well as 3 to 4 steps after the launch to maximise profit.

You can’t no rely on your pre-launch alone to do the heavy lifting for you, not in today’s social media marketplace. Just to clarify, a pre-launch is where you release a series of content videos that lead into your sales video.

Relying on this alone to build goodwill, grow your list and hype up the sale of your online course, live event of coaching program is setting yourself up for failure.

Whenever we launch a client’s online course, coaching program or live event we always begin 4 steps back.

We focus on growing the list for the launch well before the launch. We use the testing phase of the idea to grow the list. We create campaigns that are designed to generate interaction and build goodwill weeks before the pre-launch campaign is finished.

We use paid advertising to force the clients content into the marketplace so that their prospect begin to connect my clients name to their desired outcome.

All off this only requires a few extra weeks of work and some smart planning. You need to begin your launch well before you take enrolment for your program. Usually 3 to 4 weeks out is an ideal timing. There’s a reason we call it Launch Season, it’s a season, not a week.

4) You cant be half a sell-out

This one is HUGE.

I see it within the marketplace all the time. People only going half in with their launch. Not fully committing to it or “playing it safe”. You can’t half sell-out, either your all in to sell out your program or you don’t even try at all.

A mindset I try to force onto my clients is “What would you do for your launch if this was your last, ever launch into the marketplace”.

Approaching the launching of your online course, live event or coaching program with this mindset will ensure that you’ll go all in and burn it to the ground.

Hold nothing back and leave it all on the table. You can’t play it safe when launching, your marketplace and future clients need you to go all out.

The more invested you are with your energy and focus the better your results. Notice I didn’t say anything about your advertising budget?

While advertising is helpful, I find it is just a substitute for people who don’t want to go all in with their creativity, energy, and focus. You don’t need an advertising budget for a launch, we’ve proven it time and time again with my own launches and my clients.

You need energy, creativity and focus.

What extra content can you create?

How can you get it out into the marketplace?

How can you get more attention?

Who has your prospects that you can tap into?

You also need to focus during your launch.

That means no other client projects, no other meetings, no trips or events or holiday. Its launch season, lock yourself indoors and spend 18 hours a day on your launch.

You should always be doing something every hour to push your launch forward. More content, more videos, another article, drum up an interview, take a photo, find an online group, send another email and so on.

Whatever it is you need to get creative with your launch and leave it all on the table. You shouldn’t have any down time when it comes to your launches. Go all in and make it a sell-out program, burn it to the ground. Its launch season.

5) Launching for the wrong reasons.

This last reason why launches fail is an interesting one. I find its more of a mindset shift that the marketplace can almost “smell” from a mile away.

If you’re launching to fix your financial problems, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. I’ve always said that you should begin your marketing well before you need.

If you’ve put yourself into a bit of financial trouble, then using launch to drum up sales quickly is only going to leave you out of pocket.

You’ll find yourself doing certain things or making certain claims that are only going to burn your brand within the marketplace and drain too much goodwill from your prospects whereby you can’t make a sale.

On the other hand, if you’re congruent and authentic in your launch because you actually want to serve and sell-out, then you’ll begin naturally attracting the right prospects, people will come out of the woodwork to help you sell out your program during your launch.

Your conversion rates will be higher and you’ll face less resistance when launching your online course, live event or coaching program.

I have no static proof of this other than seeing friends, fellow experts and clients try to launch to simply “make money”.

They’ve done everything right from a strategy stand point but were left with little to NO sales.


And when they call me to look at the stats during the launch debrief (you should always have a launch debrief) I cannot find anything wrong or out of place until I ask them why they were launching

“To make money”
Wrong reason.

You can’t be in this game to make money alone. You need to care about your marketplace. You need to provide value and results to them for free because you care without a hidden agenda to take all of their money down the line.

You need to want to serve your prospects, your client and the marketplace.

If you can instil that single mindset into everything you do and get beyond the money when it comes to launching and selling out your live event, coaching program or online course.

Everything else tends to fall into place.

P.S: This article is part of an anticipation series my upcoming program Launch Season 2.0 which shows speakers, coaches and trainers how to launch and sell out their programs online.

To join the waiting list for this program and to receive more free content like the above article, go to and register right now.


Jamie Stenhouse
Jamie Stenhouse is an Entrepreneur and Marketer who specializes in assisting business owners and clients to generate customers online – in any industry. With a sharp mind and high value on creating profitable results in the online marketing arena
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