Consent Preferences

May 13, 2024

Your launch was a flop. What now?

I'm Vicky Shilling

A wellness business mentor, podcast host, author and I help you start and grow a successful wellness business.

My magic is in being able to break down the practical and strategic parts of business building, coupled with helping you cultivate a mindset that supports those actions to get the outcomes you desire.

Strategy + Beliefs =
Business Prosperity


What do you need help with?






Ooof. You’ve launched your offer into the world. Whether it was a group programme, a course or a 1:1 offer. You put it out there and it fell flat. Crickets.  You missed your goals. And it HURTS. 

You really feel you gave it your all. You followed all the advice and promoted it in all the ways recommended. 

But it didn’t work. And you’re left picking up the pieces, with a big gap in your finances and a hole in your schedule where you thought you’d have a nice hit of income and clients to keep you busy. 

If this is you, I feel you. I’ve been there. And I’ve got tips for you. 

As usual I’ll break this down into practical and mindset. 

Let’s start with mindset:

Remind yourself that a ‘failed’ launch is part of the process 

Launching and actively promoting what you do is part of running your own business. With that will always come the risk that you don’t get the results you want. That’s uncomfortable I know; most of us don’t want to open ourselves up to the risk of failure and rejection. But it’s a self-employment reality that inviting people to buy from us and getting a ‘no’ is something we have to learn to embrace and think differently about. 

The fact that you actually showed up, created something and talked about it in the world, is a massive deal.

I’m not saying that to belittle or patronise you. It’s the truth.

Most people are not doing what you’ve just done. Most people just dream about doing this stuff. You actually freaking did it. You’re lapping everyone on the sofa. 

Please do not assume that ‘successful’ business owners have launches that sell every single time. Yes of course their levels of ‘flop’ or ‘failure’ will vary depending on how long they’ve been in business and the size of their audience; I know I’d love to have an Amy Porterfield ‘flop’ launch because I bet even when she doesn’t hit her goals she makes a few thousand! So yours can feel particularly demoralising if you ‘only’ made one or two sales, or none at all. 

But this is part of the process. 

This is the real work and challenge of running your own business. The ability to get back up and go again after this has happened.

It absolutely sucks right now but you will learn more from assessing this failure and making changes than a successful launch which sometimes it’s hard to recreate exactly and teaches you little. 

Focus on what you did accomplish 

When you’re in a better headspace I would encourage you to focus on the bits of your launch that you can celebrate. That did get done. 

How many people signed up and how much money you made is actually not in your control. It’s good to set goals around these things. But ultimately we can’t make them happen.  

What we can control is how we show up. How much we marketed our offer. How our energy was. How many people we messaged to ask them to buy. How clear the sales page was. How many emails you sent. How much we believed in our message and the purpose of the product or service we were selling. 

That’s the stuff that’s worth assessing. And feeling proud of.

Because even though it didn’t give you the outcome you wanted, you took action. And that was more likely to get you an outcome than doing nothing at all (we’ll talk later about what happens if you do this assessment and find you didn’t actually promote it that much 😳)  

Look at what you’re making it mean

A good question to ask yourself, when you can emotionally remove yourself from the launch ‘flop’, is: what am I making this mean? 

I know it doesn’t feel it in your body, but your launch failing is actually a totally neutral event.

You put it out there. It didn’t sell. That’s just neutral facts. 

What you have done (or most likely that protective part of your brain has done) is attach a story to it. Something like:

  • No-one wants what I offer 
  • No-one is willing to invest in their health 
  • This will never work for me 
  • I priced it too high, no-one has any money 
  • I’m not cut out for this 
  • People hate me
  • I’m doing it wrong

All of these statements are beliefs you hold. That you may repeat to yourself consciously or subconsciously, that then impact how you feel and what you do (or don’t do). 

A great follow up question I often ask when we can see these ‘thin’ beliefs is: what else could be true? 

You’re right of course. Maybe your launch not working means that these statements are facts. Like “no-one wants what I offer.” Maybe that’s the truth. Maybe. 

But what else could be true? 

That you don’t have the right audience yet? 

That you didn’t talk about it enough? 

That you need to refine your messaging more? 

That you need to do some more market research? 

That you haven’t established yourself as a trusted expert yet? 

Are these areas you can work on instead? Are these theories you can test and see if they’re more true? 

Because these are much less black and white statements and offer space for exploration and adjustment. Rather than throwing in the towel and resigning (which your inner protector would happily allow you to do if you let it). 

Assess if you believe in your offer 

Something crucial that I think has more impact than any of the practical problems I’m going to come on to next is this:

Do you believe in your offer. 

Do you believe you can help people. 

Do you believe you are needed, that your way of teaching, sharing, coaching or educating is necessary. 

Do you believe there are people waking up every morning wishing they could find you and what you offer. 

Because if you don’t, then I’m afraid your launches will always be limited. 

Please be honest with yourself. If this is an area that needs work then you need to go deep on it.

Personally this is my own biggest stumbling block. I know my own launches have never surpassed a certain threshold (and have frequently fallen totally flat with barely a sale) because I don’t believe what I do is good enough. That it’s helpful enough. That it’s going to get results for people. 

And if I don’t believe that, even at a subconscious level, then no-one else will. 

Finding evidence and building a new set of beliefs around how impactful and valued you are is crucial to change this, and the results of any launches you do in the future. 

Mindset is 80% of the problem with ‘failed’ launches, but of course there may well be some practical issues that got in the way of you hitting your goals. 

Here are the top practical reasons i see launches fail: 

Did your product/service answer a problem or offer a solution that people want? 

Are you super clear that the product or service you launched was something that people wanted: that it solves a problem they have or helps them move to an outcome they desire. 

Said from a deep place of love, many professionals particularly in the wellness sector will put out offers and services that ‘educate’ or ‘teach’ or come from an academic perspective of “I think everyone should know this.” 

That’s nice, but unless it’s related to what people want (or think they want), they won’t buy it. 

Sometimes this is a messaging issue. But mostly it comes back to not doing any market research and not listening to what people say they are looking for help and support on, but instead guessing or assuming and making no effort to connect it to what your ideal customer or client desires. 

Don’t know how to work out your niche and who you help? Listen to this podcast for help.

Did you trail it enough? 

Most commonly I see wellness professionals get very excited to create something like a course they’re going to launch and it goes like this: 

Get an idea. Get excited. Disappear from view for weeks or months while you create said offer. Reappear and spring the offer onto your audience – “ta da! Look what I made!” No-one buys. You wonder why when it’s all you’ve thought about and poured your energy into for so long and you think it’s awesome and helpful. 

In order to get the best possible outcome from your launch you have to warm people up. 

You have to tease them. You have to start talking about the topic or area your service covers well in advance. You have to get them curious and excited about something coming before it lands. So when it does, they’re ready. 

Otherwise your news is totally lost on them and even if it’s perfect for their needs, they haven’t been primed to take action or consider it in advance.

You might be afraid to do this in case you ‘bore’ people (hello fear of rejection and judgement!) but this is actually crucial to people buying. 

Listen to this episode of the Just Start Now podcast on how to have a £10k launch without a huge audience

Do you have a big enough ideal audience?

A very very simple cause of launches failing is that you don’t have enough ideal customers in your audience. 

General online wisdom is only 1-2% of your audience will buy from you. That can vary wildly and be much higher than that if you have a really engaged audience. But if that’s the benchmark and you just tried to sell 10 places on a group programme and you ‘only’ have 200 people in your audience then the maths doesn’t add up. 

In order to maximise your launch potential you need to have people who are the perfect fit for your offer in front of you on a regular basis. And ideally if you are selling a similar or the same product or service over and over again (absolutely recommended!) then you constantly need to be adding new people to your audience who are ready to buy. 

That means between launches really focusing on audience growth and being visible to more ideal customers so they follow or subscribe to you ready for the next thing you offer. 

Need help with this? Read this blog on how to grow your audience between launches

Did you ask for the sale enough times?

And the final practical reason many launches fail is because you didn’t ask for the sale enough times. 

‘Enough’ is such a difficult and loaded word. Because we could all invite people to buy from us so much more often. There’s always more we could do. But I tend to find when the analysis is done, the number of clear direct invitations to buy or sign up can sometimes be a little low for the outcomes we expected. 

People need reminding.

They appreciate being reminded of something that can genuinely help them. They need constant nudges and clear, specific direction on what to do to invest in you and get the best results with you. 

If you shied away from this, or just put up one post about your offer on your social media feed and then wondered why no-one bought, then this is probably a large culprit for your launch not hitting its target. 

I often announce my offer at the start of my launch and get silence. Or maybe a slow 1-2 sales and then nothing for a few days. It takes courage and consistency to keep talking about it and offering it to see sign ups, particularly on the last day if you have a ‘closed door’ date and time. 

You need to invite people to buy what you’re offering again and again and again. You need to find fun and interesting and diverse ways of repeatedly asking them to do this one thing – buy from you. That is your job, your obligation when it comes to launching. To make it as fun as possible for you to ask people in a multitude of ways to invest in your service. 

Don’t know how to ask for the sale? Listen to this podcast episode for ideas.

Should you launch your offer again if your last one flopped? 

This is entirely up to you. A few questions to consider: 

  1. Do I believe in this offer? 
  2. Am I excited to sell it again (if not right now, can I be excited again in future)? 
  3. Do I have capacity to make changes and try something different for the next launch? 
  4. What am I going to do between now and the next launch to grow my audience so it’s got more ideal customers in it? 
  5. What new beliefs do I need to have to give my launch the best chance of success, and what old stories do I need to leave behind? 

I’d love to know what you think. And ultimately you have my true solidarity on this.

A ‘failed’ launch doesn’t feel great. But if we can switch how we think and make some practical tweaks, you have many more successful launches in your future. I promise. 

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