Launching is stressful and it isn’t easy, but today I’m spilling the tea on how I prepared for a profitable launch! Listen in as I share how I got ready to launch my Showit Template Shop, how I projected my profit, and the channels I used for marketing!
Branded by Bernel Podcast is brought to you by Bernel Westbrook, lead designer and founder of Branded by Bernel, a design studio dedicated to building strong brands and Showit websites for creative entrepreneurs.
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Like many Showit designers, I toyed around with the idea of launching a template shop—and I even did so back in 2020. They lasted on my website for about a month, because I honestly didn’t feel like they fit my brand and I wasn’t in love with what I’d put out there. I simply swore them off.
Fast-foward to a few months ago, I began to realize that there was a market of business owners who wanted my style for their brand, yet had something limiting them. Whether it was a time-crunch, a budget, or even the ones who just weren’t at a place where my services fit their needs—I wasn’t serving them. That’s when I decided to take another look at a template shop, but this time, I’d be doing it differently, including the launch.
After successfully launching my template shop, I sat down and looked at all of the work that went into launching and marketing this shop—whew was it a lot. Let me walk you through the steps I took to prepare for a profitable launch!
In order to prepare for a profitable launch, you have to know what you want to make you successful in your launch. Your gross revenue is the total sales, it’s how much money you’re going to bring in. Your profit is how much money you’re going to take home after expenses. So it’s gross income minus expenses. That’s how you reach your profit.
The first step in identifying your profit is identifying your expenses. Consider the following:
To find that projected profit, reverse engineering this equation here. Instead of saying gross income minus expenses equals profit, we’re doing profit plus expenses equals the gross. So we’re doing it a little bit backwards.
Identify how much revenue you want to take home or how much money do you want to make at the end of the day. Start with that number, then add your expenses in there. That tells you how much you need to generate in order for this to be a profitable launch for you and hit that sales goal.
Your next step in building a successful launch is to create your sales page. As I sat down to build mine, there were three things I wanted it to achieve:
This bare bones formula will help potential buyers understand your offerings.
While there aren’t any payment processors inside Showit, you can use third party tools to sell your products. Here are the considerations I looked at when selecting:
I selected Thrivecart because it checked all of the boxes, was a one-time purchase, and uses stripe for payment processing. Then I simply connected Showit and Thrivecart.
If you’re selling physical products, Shopify is a good choice. If you’re selling a course, you could look at Thinkific or Kajabi. Make sure you use the one that works best for you and your shop!
Now that we’ve built the house, it’s time to advertise it! Marketing was one of the biggest steps I took in my profitable launch prep, so let’s walk through all of the channels I utilized.
I’m on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest; for this launch Pinterest was my priority for marketing this launch. While I used each platform, I used them in a different way based on the expected interaction.
Content Creation & Pillars – I knew I would need to build a lot of content around this, but I needed pillars to ensure I was able to market how my audience wanted to hear. That’s why I chose entertaining, informative, and how it works.
The campaign of content came pretty easily after the pillars were established.
Newsletters and email marketing are so so important because somebody has trusted you with their email address. They have invited you into their inbox, so you want to make sure that you are capitalizing on that content by giving them valuable information.
I had built my list by offering free opt-ins for my brand guidelines document or creating designer graphics. These subscribers were funneled into my website templates.
Affiliate marketing offers your industry friends and colleagues to share with their audience and earn compensation for any purchase from their links or codes. Affiliate marketing allows you to not spend any money on marketing UNLESS you make a sale.
Review the Transcript:
Hey, hi. Welcome to the Branded By Bernel podcast. I’m your host Bernel. You may know me as the branding and web designer who obsesses over the details, so you don’t have to, we all desire to be great at what we do. Although once we get there, no one seems to talk about the messy middle. This motivated me to set the table and invite industry peers over to share stories about living and working in the creative world. So grab the OJ and champagne, pull up a chair, join the creative community and be prepared to build a brand you fall in love with. This is the brand new by Bernel podcast.
Hey guys, I am so excited to share with you this journey that I’ve been on recently with relaunching my show it website template shop. If you are not new around here, you know that I have built a custom brand and web design business pretty much from the ground up. And the last six to seven years has been all about custom websites, all about making something unique to you from scratch, you know, just using creativity and imagination. And that’s something that has brought me so much joy and allowed me to serve countless business owners. But I realized about two years ago that it would not be able to serve everyone, the way that my current services was set up, you know, you had to pretty much know who your ideal client was, you need it to be at least in your first couple of years in business, to work with me and to really get the most out of that package. Because custom web design, you kind of have to know what you want, you know, in order to achieve it, it’s it really is starting from a blank slate. So a couple of years ago, I realized that that was not going to allow me to serve everybody that I want it to serve. Because I truly do believe that any business no matter the size, no matter the age of the business, no matter the annual revenue of the business, no matter how many followers you have on Instagram, you deserve an online home your own piece of the internet that you can be proud of, and that you can market your services and show what you’re good at. So enter the idea of creating show it website templates. I came up with that idea about two years ago, there’s lots of templates in the market. I went to show it united at the time, and they were like yeah, like we need more templates in the store. But I had this internal battle, I’m just gonna keep it 100 with you guys, I had this internal battle of can I still give people my full creativity and that wonderful customer service that I love so much about working with clients one on one is the Bernel touch going to get lost in the sauce, so to speak, if I make templates. And so I battled with this for a while. And I created my first couple of showen templates, and I put them on my website and they sold pretty well. But I just felt like they were missing a little razzle dazzle, right, like they were missing the ick factor. And so I pulled them off. Honestly, after about a month, I took them out of my shop. And I said I don’t think show it simpler. For me. I was like, I think that I am a custom designer. And it is just going to be that way. And that’s fine. Right? So this was early in the pandemic. So fast forward a little bit. And I realized that so many business owners were reaching out to me so many people wanted an online presence, whether they were a new business, whether they had just recently pivoted to a different service, whether they want a time crunch, and they didn’t have time for a custom website to be created in the four to six weeks that that takes I just realized there were so many business owners that I was honestly telling no like that. I know my services don’t fit your needs at this point. And that was sad, for lack of a better word. I really don’t like telling people that I can’t serve you. And I realized, obviously, that a brand will attract and repel certain clients, but I was having my ideal clients reaching out and meeting something quickly meeting something different. And I just did not have the capacity to take it on. So that really made me sit and go back to the drawing board and figure out how can I serve more people quickly, efficiently, beautifully, wonderful, creative Liberty still still being able to provide customer service but how can I get people launched faster, launched more efficiently, and it just came full circle back to the website templates. So anyway, that is kind of what led me back to creating website templates. The first template in The series is named Marjorie, which is named after my late grandmother. It’s also my middle name. Fun fact, my initials are BMW. But yeah, so I went back to the drawing board and I poured my heart into this template. I said, if I had to start my business over again, and I was a creative entrepreneur, whether that be a photographer, a web designer, a florist, what have you, if I had to start all over again, and I had less than $500, to get my website up? What would I want? Like, what would I want in a template. And so I poured my heart into that template. And it is now what I call my legacy piece in my business like it is going to be a evergreen product, so to speak, I will be cycling templates in and out of new designs every quarter. But the Margery template will be that cornerstone of the template library just because, you know, it’s it’s a legacy piece. All right. So I want to back up though, I want to take you guys all the way back to how I planned for this launch. Because the title of this episode is not how I made pretty website templates, the title of this episode is preparing for a profitable launch. And one of the things that you have to figure out at the very beginning of preparing for your profitable launch is a profit projection. And what that is, I’m not talking about spreadsheets and graphs and infographics, whether you’d like to make those or not, I mean, if you’d like to make those, go for it, but I’m talking about just good old pen and paper, and really projecting how much profit you want to make. So how do you come up with profit? Well, first of all, you have to realize that it’s different than generating revenue, right? What your gross revenue is versus what your profit is, are two different numbers. So your gross revenue is the total sales, it’s how much money you’re going to bring in your profit is how much money you’re going to take home after expenses. So it’s gross income minus expenses. That’s how you reach your profit. That’s the little formula for that. So the first step in identifying your profit is going to be identifying your expenses is really hard to know how much something is going to cost you without putting it on paper, we always underestimate how much it’s going to cost and overestimate how much we’re gonna make right? As business owners, but to have a profitable launch, we really need to have those realistic numbers. So I’m not gonna get into accounting with you guys here. But as we want you to list all of your expenses lists things like advertising, if it’s going to cost you anything to source your products. If you’re launching a new product, are you going to have to pay vendors? Are you going to have to keep an inventory? How much will it cost you to stop the inventory to get started, if you’re launching a digital product, like when I just launched templates, things that I had to keep in mind was software, what software was I going to need that I want to upgrade my subscription to Canva or to other things that I was going to need for advertising. I also put as one of my expenses that I did want to use some contractors, I wanted to use some contractors to help me to promote this. So I hired a Pinterest manager, I worked with a set of junior designers who helped with more social media graphics, I bought some social media templates before this launch, just so that I could make sure I was positioning myself in the best way to get the most exposure and most reach. So those are some things that were expenses for me. Also expenses, maybe needing a new brand photoshoot, it may be needing a new sales page for that if you’re not a web designer, then you’re gonna probably have to pay somebody for a sales page, right where you can purchase a sales page. I actually have those in my library now. So go check those out. But I digress. So all these things could be expenses for you. So you want to make sure you outline those expenses. And then you want to identify how much revenue you want to take home. So we’re kind of reverse engineering this equation here. Instead of saying gross income minus expenses equals profit, we’re doing profit plus expenses equals the gross. So we’re doing it a little bit backwards. So identify how much revenue you want to take home, how much money do you want to make at the end of the day, so you need to start with that number, then add your expenses in there. And that tells you how much you need to generate in order for this to be a profitable launch for you. Right, so hit that sales goal. Once you’ve gotten those numbers on paper, it’s easier to see how to achieve those numbers because you know what you want to achieve? So moving past the profit projection, we get into the sales page creation, which is the next step that I took. These are all steps that I took in my framework in order to have a profitable pre launch of my show. Oh, wait website template libraries. So the sales page I designed didn’t show it. And I made sure my sales page outline to three big things. So number one, it outlined what this shop was at the top of my sales page, it says always simple, never basic, stylish, show it website templates. And so that lets people know right off the bat, what this page is about, and what you’re going to be shopping. And then we scroll down and I list all of the different offerings that I have, and make it very clear that they can click the button and learn more about those. So we want to have what you do, and then make it very clear for people to shop it. Number three, you want to outline in some way shape or form on your sales page, what makes this item beneficial for them? What makes it easy. So that could be you giving your process it could be sharing social proof those good testimonials on there. But you just want to identify what makes this product or this service or this offering good for the viewer. So those are the three things that you want to make sure that you have on your sales page, you want to explain what it is make it easy to shop it, and then how it’s going to benefit them. That’s how you create an effective sales page. Now granted, there are tons of other things that you can put on a sales page. And we will talk about that in a different episode. However, that is like the basic bare bones formula that you want to make sure you have. All right. So once I created that sales page, I also had to pick a payment processor for checkout. So with show it there is not a built in payment processor for E commerce. So I had to look through through different payment processors and figure out which one was going to be the best fit for my needs. Some of the things that I looked at when choosing a payment processor was how much were the fees going to cost me if it allowed me to have an affiliate program because I wanted to have affiliates that could share discount codes, I wanted to see if it was going to deliver my products automatically Did it have some sort of built in automation feature to deliver my digital products. So these are all the things that I kept in mind as I was shopping for a payment processor. So I ended up choosing Thrive cart. And one of the reasons why I love Thrive cart, there was a one time forever fee, they do use stripe to process the payment. So of course there is a fee on each transaction. However, there wasn’t like a monthly fee to using Thrive cart, it was a one time purchase. They also have an amazing affiliate program where it will be easy for other people to sign up and get custom coupon codes and be able to share about my products. So that is one of the reasons why I chose Thrive cart as my payment processor. So once I had my sales page designed, once I had my payment processor, I was able to connect those two things. If you are selling a physical product, a great payment processor for you to check out would be Shopify. Or if you are launching a course, then it may be good to use think terrific or Kajabi. And I’ll make sure that I have the links to all of this in the show notes and on the shownotes blog page because there’s tons of different payment processors. And you want to make sure that you are using one that is going to be the best fit for the product or service or offering that you’re launching. All right, so we’ve gotten the first two steps down it was profit projection and then creating my sales page. Alright, so step number three and my profitable launch process was the marketing. And step number three is honestly one of the biggest steps once we get that foundation we have to build the house and advertise the house. Right. So marketing, I started with planning out my social media graphics. Social media is a big component of my marketing strategy. I am on Instagram, I’m on tick tock. I’m on Pinterest. Pinterest was willing to be the big one for my website templates because I wanted to show something that was going to be visually dynamic. I wanted people to be able to save it, pin it share it, and it wasn’t necessarily something that needed a lot of conversation behind it on Pinterest whereas on Tik Tok, I market my templates by talking about the features and kind of doing behind the scenes content customizations, showing you guys how to use it on Instagram, I market my templates by telling you more about what the templates are and showing you pictures of them. So each platform you have to figure out how you’re going to leverage that audience in order to make sales and each audience is a little bit different. I feel like people on tick tock definitely love to see how the product actually works. Like they like to see me swapping out pictures and swapping out images and completely turning a bright light and airy template into something that’s dark and moody. Versus on Instagram and Pinterest. So it is more about explaining the actual product, how much it cost, and why this would be a good return on investment. Alright, so once I figured that out, I had to create the content. So I scheduled days to create content pillars. So what my content pillars were, were what are the categories in which I was going to market this. So I chose entertaining, I chose informative, and then I chose how it works. So for entertaining, that’s where we get all those funny voiceovers or, you know, kind of witty little snappy sayings that talk to people about why you need this maybe what your old website isn’t doing what your new website could do, you know, a new website who this type of information. So I have that under entertainment, then informative, I have listed out all the different steps of customizing your template, what you need, what you need before you customize it, how to do it, tutorials, things like that kind of think in terms of hand holding. The third content pillar for me was how to how to use it. So just showing it how different people have used it clients, case studies, social proof, things of that. So those were the three content pillars that I chose, and then under each of those pillars, then I start writing out my social media posts. So this allowed me to create a whole campaign of content pretty quickly, because I knew that anything that I use to market these templates was going to fall in one of those three categories. All right, email newsletter was the next thing that I wanted to use for marketing. Newsletters are so so important. Email marketing is so so important because somebody has trusted you with their email address, or they have invited you into their inbox, you want to make sure that you are capitalizing on that content. If they invite you into their inbox, you want to make sure you are giving them valuable information in that. So I worked on building my newsletter by offering a freebie opt in offer to my brand guidelines document. I also have a Pinterest freebie that I run about creating designer graphics. And so when someone signs up, they get that and then they’re put into a funnel. And at the end of that email newsletter funnel, we talk about, you guessed it, website templates. So that was another way that I marketed my website templates was through email marketing. Alright, the final way that I did my marketing was through an affiliate program, I was able to set that up in Thrive cart, if you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, that basically means that you have some sort of tracking code, whether it’s gonna be a coupon code, or a tracking ID or some sort of like URL, and you give this to people who are in your program, and they are able to share about your product or your service you’re offering, they’re able to share about it to their audience, and then they get some sort of compensation. So they get some sort of percentage, or fee associated with each sale that they make. One of the reasons why I love affiliate marketing so much from the business owner standpoint, or from the marketing program director standpoint is that I’m not having to spend any money on marketing unless it’s bringing revenue in. So when an affiliate makes a sale, I’m receiving income and then I am paying them out. It’s one of those things, it’s that you can set up that you don’t need a lot of upfront money, like there’s not really an upfront cost to affiliate marketing so to speak. Um, one of the things I love about being part of an affiliate marketing program on the other end, like being the affiliate, is that it’s pretty passive income for me, I am an affiliate for float so I’m going affiliate for show it. And so I put that link there when people are interested in it or have questions they can ask me, but if they click the link, I’m making money, like I’m getting a, you know, some sort of kickback for that. And so I know how much I enjoy being an affiliate, so I wanted to make sure I was giving that other that opportunity to other business owners. Alright, so now that you’ve seen my four steps to prepare for profitable launch, generating revenue through profit projection, creating my sales, page marketing, and then creating an affiliate program now that you have those four steps, I want to give you my three biggest takeaways from my profitable pre launch. Are you ready? Grab your journal, grab your pen, because these are my big three takeaways from launching my new show it website template shop. Alright, number one, if you’re not talking about your product, no one else will be so stop hiding what you’ve worked so hard to create. This is something I personally had to get over. You have to put it out there.
I talked about tick tock. I talked about Instagram I talked about Pinterest, as I talked about sliding and people’s emails. I mean your DMS Like not in a sleazy salesy way, but you have to put it in front of people, if you’re not talking about it, they’re not going to be talking about it. And if nobody’s talking about it, they’re probably not buying it. All right, the second big takeaway was outline three things about your new product or service that you can post it out, and then post about it in three ways. So that creates a nine different pieces of content for you. Let me give you an example. The new product, the sales page template that I have through show it, three things, I can talk about what you need on your sales page, I can talk about the power of social proof, what kind of testimonials to ask for for your sales page. And number three, could be launching your sales page and what sort of marketing graphics you should create to support that or to make it cohesive. Now three ways I can do it, I can create a reel so I have visual video content, I could make a carousel so that people can see the words and slide it. And then I can make a Pinterest post that links to a blog post. So see the three ways that I repurposed the three pieces of content. All right, the last one is keep marketing expenses low for the first go round. I cannot stress this enough. One of the easiest ways to get that profit number higher is to keep that expense number lower. So figure out ways that you can launch a digital product, figure out ways that you can create a product based off of things you’re already doing in your business. But make sure that you are not spending more on advertising, vendor generating, all of these things are going to help you keep your expenses low and keep your profit high. If you have more questions about my show at template library, or about creating a profitable launch strategy, you know where to find me over at branded by bernel.com. And if you are listening to this episode, I have a special coupon code for you. If you are interested in redoing your website, save 10% by using the code profitable launch. All right, everything is in the show notes and I am super excited to see what you guys create this year. 2023 is gonna be the year of more businesses having more passive income. Happy Saturday. Wow, that went by really fast. As always, thank you so much for showing up in my little corner of the internet. I would love to hear your thoughts on the show. So please, please subscribe, leave a review and share what you learned with friends. Some of the best things in life are freebies. So don’t forget to head over to branded by bernel.com to check out our free branding goodies. This show notes and more educational resources
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