I’m not going to lie: This is a self-serving blog post.
It started because a couple of weeks ago, I was ranting on our team slack channel about people who wait until the last minute to reach out to hire us for launch copy or website copy or whatever.
And honestly, at first, I was just ranting; but then my team started weighing in and we started realizing…
Waiting until the last minute to plan your launch, to create your copy, to reach out and hire a copywriter can actually cost you money.
First and foremost, a lot of good copywriters will have a rush fee (whether they tell you about it or not!!!) for last minute bookings, so you may end up paying more in real money right up front.
But more than that, in my experience, rushed copy — whether you write it or you hire a copywriter — and more importantly, a rushed strategy isn’t going to convert as well as a carefully planned and executed strategy. It’s just numbers.
Why does a rushed launch cost money?
According to my (totally unscientific) research, I think about 87% of the time, people don’t think about their launches with a lot of lead time anyway. They decide to launch something and they just pick a date on the calendar and go. But that sort of “planning” is leaving you open to not just losing money, but leaving money on the table.
Or, slightly more scientifically, I see all the time that people wait till the last minute because they don’t think through ALL the things they need for a launch and the strategy of how it fits together.
Let’s be real: A big launch requires a TON of content and collateral pieces. I wrote more than 6,000 words for a recent launch I worked on — and that was JUST the sales emails.
In fact, there are a ton of places where your launch can “leak” money when you’re rushed. For example:
- Waiting until the last minute can delay the launch if any little thing goes wrong — and that bleeds trust with your audience if you’ve already announced it and then they have to wait…
- Your first choice for a copywriter / designer / ads person isn’t available, so you end up working with a second-stringer who doesn’t get the same results…
- Rush fees… ’nuff said.
- You might forget or even skip certain important pieces of content or touch points in your launch sequence because you’re in a rush… which can diminish your conversion rates…
- And let’s be real: if you haven’t planned ahead, you likely haven’t budgeted for the help you need, either… Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients decide to cut back on how many emails they want me to write (or whatever) to fit their budget…
- Even if you hire a pro, there’s no time to do customer research, so the copy isn’t as strong as it could be…
Not to mention the costs when your launch, well, fails…
Or the post-launch burnout you spend months recovering from…
Only to wake up and do it all again in a huge rush? No thanks…
What is the ideal time frame to hire and work with a copywriter?
Whether you’re working with me or with any copywriter, I would say that the more time you can give them, the better in almost every case.
But for me, an ideal time frame depends on what kind of work we’re doing together. Let’s take a look at an ideal timeline for FULL launch support — that is, soup-to-nuts, we’re writing every little piece of copy you need for your launch. I went back and recreated my actual due dates and deadlines from a recent launch we worked on:
- 12 weeks before open cart — first client inquiry, set up a call, client chooses the copywriter, all admin stuff (contracts etc.) taken care of
- 11 weeks out — intake /strategy call with copywriter
- 10 weeks out — video series outlined for challenge
- 9 weeks out — landing page copy due
- 8 weeks out — affiliate emails due
- 7 weeks out — sales page due
- 3 weeks out — sales emails due
- 3 weeks out — webinar review due
Notice: she hired and engaged me three months before her launch date for her cart open. Part of the reason she was so on the ball was because she knew she wanted me to help outline the videos for her challenge leading up to the launch — and she knew she needed TIME for the videographer to shoot and edit them. She was (wisely) working backwards from her shoot date with the videographer and everything else fell into place around that.
But this timeline gave her time to:
- Shoot professional videos for her launch content
- Have her opt-in landing pages and sales page professionally designed (it looked AMAZE)
- Adjust and improve her webinar and slides based on our feedback
- Engage top level affiliates and give them enough time to plan a great campaign to help launch her work
- Have her team upload and program all her emails (all 22 of them!)
- Create Facebook and Instagram ads using clips from some of our copy
- Have her team pre-write social media updates using some of our copy
And so on.
With a timeline like this, nothing is rushed, nothing is overlooked, nothing is missed. There’s time for Murphy’s Law to wreck havoc with your launch — and still time to fix it.
And the result? The most profitable launch her business has ever had.
When your expert procrastination skills fail you…
Here’s the deal: procrastination only works when you know what you need to get done. If there are surprises you didn’t expect or things you didn’t know you needed to do, it all falls apart.
And it only works when you are the only one doing the work. If you’re ready to stop doing every damn thing yourself whenever you launch, you’ve got to get off the procrastination bandwagon.
I think there’s also something to unpack here about thinking small. In my experience, bigger businesses plan out their launches WAAAAAAY in advance, because they get it. If they plan/know/believe they’re going to bring in six figures with a launch, it takes on a greater degree of urgency, and planning becomes much higher on the list.
Maybe some people have to learn this by experience, but maybe just maybe if I can save you from getting burned by waiting too long by writing this blog post, well, I will feel like I have done you a good service.