I'd like to take you with me for a journey.
A journey I went through, on one of the most important days for me this year. The day where we've launched our new product - Prospero.
We believe in full transperancy, so I have no problem to tell you how it went, including the numbers, etc.
Spoiler: it went awesome. Especially since Trump was with us:
Just kidding. It's a pic my friend has created to raise our moral.
What is a Launch day anyway?
The day you launch a new product is one of the scariest and most exciting days. It's stressful, and tiring and full of adrenaline.
It's true not only for Startup people. Launching a product is exciting for any business owner, or an entrepreneur - no matter how small or big her audience is. It's exciting if it's your side project, and if it's a product you work on inside your company.
And this was my last Tuesday.
You probably know already that I'm a co-founder at The nuSchool. My Co-Founders and I, for the last 377 days, have worked on a new product. It's called Prospero - and it's a tool that is made to help creative freelancers.
Prospero helps you write a beautiful proposal, within minutes. It solves a problem we've seen again and again in the three years we're running the nuSchool:
Everyone hates writing a proposal
Most of us don't even know where to start. Or if we do - it's a headache. And we're not sure what to write in a proposal.
AND THAT IS TERRIBLE FOR US!
Why? Because a great proposal could get you a better deal. And a great proposal will help you avoid misalignment of expectations with your clients.
Anyhoo - I didn't want to speak about Prospero now, but on the Launch day.
See - working on launch starts a few weeks before the big day. You have to come up with graphics, and texts, and press-release, getting the Launch Event ready (in case you have one - and we had a great one), etc. Many days that turn into nights. Many bloggers and reports that ignore you. Influencers that could help you.
Prospero was in Beta for 6 months already - we had feedback from users - but we decided to officially launch it on Feb-7th.
How does a launch day look like?
Let's run this by the hour:
4 AM - I wake up with my head full of thoughts. Less than 4 hours of sleep - couldn't fall asleep before 1AM for the same reason - too many thoughts.
I go over the task list - what did I forget? What else can be done? Who else can I talk with? I try to get back to sleep - but I'm too excited.
7 AM - I get out of bed. After the shower I'm using my secret weapon - my Pirate socks. They worked for TEDx Bulgaria - speaking in front of 5,000 people, and in so many other big days. They're needed today:
8 AM - I'm out - looking for a super WebCam. We have a big Launch Event today. We're going to teach tons of lessons, give lectures, interview creative freelancers today - in a Live Youtube Event.
Why? Because giving free value to our customers has always been our main strategy. If we teach them, they'll both learn and love us. If they love us and feel connected to us, they might get more connected with Prospero.
If they understand what we believe in, what our values are - it will be easier for them to connect with us. This is what Honest Marketing is all about. Fortunately this is the age of honest marketing. People (me included) want to work with, and buy from people they trust and share the same values with.
Finally I find a good webcam. Logitech 930E - a bit expensive but is worth it.
9 AM - I then go for shopping. It's going to be a long day, and we'll have many hosts, so I need some fruits, munch, coffee capsules and of course - beers.
10 AM - Ran Segall - the co-founder, product manager, designer and many other things at The nuSchool - arrives. He's creating our little Launch studio. Two cameras, two microphones, remixed with a software named OBS. It's amazing what you can do with a small budget these days -
11 AM - I'm working on some last-minute graphics - like a screensaver with Prospero and the Live Event Schedule, and place it on the big screen:
12:00 - We gotta grab something before the mess begins. We're hopping to our favourite Indian place. I shoot a FB live - 2nd time in ever - because I want to get my buddies in Israel to help me when launch happens. Friends make the first circle you can use when launching anything.
It's in Hebrew, but you can see my excitement -
1 PM - We're launching Prospero on Product Hunt. It's a website where people who create new things can show their products to the world and get voted. A young and talented Israeli guy called Ben Lang, helps us putting our product there.
Being voted up on PH can track many people to try your product. So we need as many votes as possible. Thing is it's not even morning on New-York - but the nuSchool has audience all around the world, and our friends are from Israel - so - we decide we're ready.
The party is on!
In order for the product to bold on Product Hunt, Ran created amazing graphics and animations -
We believe in our product, but it's early and we need a first push. So shamelessly I shoot another FB live, asking (in Hebrew again, sorry) my friends to vote up for us.
One more thing we created for the launch, is an amazing video showing The Story behind Prospero. Ran is also a super video editor, and he runs a Vlog named Flux - where he show his life as a designer. So using the material from Flux, Ran created this amazing video (this time it's English) -
He shows all the mistakes we've had on the way, why it took us 337(!) days to get here, how we learned from real users what they really want, and the mental efforts we needed to live through this whole process:
We upload the video to Product Hunt, and also share it on our FB - again - asking people to vote for us.
3 PM - Our live event starts. It's on Youtube, it'll take 4(!) hours including lectures about how Ran designed Prospero, and how Ayal has built it, how you write Sexy proposals, how to deal with clients, how to get new clients, etc... Lots of value for Creative Freelancers - the people we've built Prospero for.
You can watch the replay of the event here:
It was awesome. At some point, there were 150 people - from anywhere on the globe - watching it live at the same time.
We asked them to write in the comments where they're from - and it was really - from everywhere. North to south, east to west - the world is small these days!
3:30 PM - We see some traffic gets into Prospero from Spain. Then we found this -
So I killed two birds with one stone - and asked them to have it on our Launch day. You can re-watch the webinar here.
In the end of that webinar I explained that everything I know about writing Proposals - we made sure to include it WITHIN our new product.
So I had a chance to talk about Prospero - which I felt OK with - because the first use in our platform is for free. Again - honest marketing is the shit!
And then our traffic got tripled all at once!
How? Here's the answer:
Our friends from Muzli have decided that Prospero is worth sharing.
Muz.li is a Chrome Extension that is like an inspiration magic. You install it on your Chrome, and every time you open a new tab, you see the most beautiful things happening on the web right now.
I totally recommend it - I'm using it myself more than a year now.
And well, Muz.li is so popular, that if these guys decide your content is worth sharing... well... let's just say it's like a storm of strawberries on your website.
We get to see the number "200" on our real-time analytics. It means that at that very moment, 200 were trying Prospero at the same time. Since this morning, over 7,000 people have landed on our page. That's super.
But when Muz.li decided to share Prospero - something else has happened -
Drama Arrives in Town
Whilst I'm giving the lecture, I see Ayal - my genius co-founder who've developed the code for Prospero - turns white.
He's looking at Ran with a not-so-happy face. I want to stop and see what's up, but I can't - I'm live on both our live event, and broadcasted on that Jovoto Webinar to Germany.
Apparently whilst I was speaking, our servers have crashed. OMG?! Nope -
That's good news!
Every entrepreneur dreams that servers would crash on Launch Day :) It means too many are trying to sign up or use it at once. That's a celebration!
Well, especially if Ayal is your partner - because it took him only a few minutes to a) observe the problem and b) solve it.
Ayal saved the day! Yay!
5 PM - Live event is on - and now I'm interviewing other creative freelancers -
Meanwhile, our product goes high on Product Hunt. It keeps the second place - which is quite a good place to be in.
We're on 300 voted by now - and it gets us tons of traffic. People are signing up, try it, write us great comments - they like it! Yay :)
6 PM - I'm interviewing Roy Povarchik - a super Growth Hacker working with Startups. We're talking about getting new clients, and how providing lots of value for free get clients to approach you instead of you reaching out.
Somewhere in between we're doing some Jumping Jacks. If you want to know why - you'll have to check out the video yourself.
6:45PM - The Live Event is over. We already had a few beers. We're saying goodbye to the beloved people who've watched the event.
7:30PM Everyone is out. I'm half-dead. The day is over.
Or is it?!
We have less than 500 votes on Product Hunt. I decide my day has just started!
(This video is again in Hebrew, but you can see how tired I am here)
8:30 PM - I get home. The fourth beer gets opened. I sit in my porch and begin the last important part of the day -
Try to push us higher.
I find the Product Hunt launches of our competitors. I see one of them got 450 votes, the other one 600, and the third one less than 350.
I want to appear higher. Marketing is one of my main jobs at The nuSchool - and I can't let my co-founders down.
I sit on my email, FB, using every idea and person I could think of - to get more traffic and signups for Prospero.
Great friends - like Sagi and David from Hacking UI are helping us out.
I message a few high profiles. Some of them get back to me. They promise to share Prospero with their huge audience. Maybe not today - but that's good enough for me.
Midnight - my wife is already asleep. She tried to convince me to come to bed earlier - "you've done enough" she said. But I wanted to push it a little more further.
On 690 votes and 7 beers I go to sleep. It's 00:30 - I have nothing else to do now. And I'm dead. For real.
The Morning After
I wake up at 6AM - I want to check what's up. The analytics, the signups, the votes on PH - I'm excited like on a vote day for presidency.
Our KPIs for the launch month were:
10,000 New visitors on the site
50 Real proposals sent with Prospero
10 Paying users
From our experience - that's a lot for a new product.
Here's what happened on the Launch day:
11,000 new visitors to the site (completing the month goal within that first day)
Over 1,300 new signups
100 real proposals being sent
2 people bought the premium.
Here's the screenshot from our admin:
We can now say that the Launch was successful. It doesn't mean that the product is sticky or that it's going to be a success - but at least we launched it well.
And what happened with Product Hunt?
We got much much higher than other products who offer proposal creation.
[BTW - last time I checked we were over 1000 votes)
It's time to slow down
On the next two months I have more things that will help market Prospero. But for now? I need some rest.
I have many things and friends I've postponed until "after the launch". And now it's after the launch.
It's about time to get back to normal schedule.
I want to thank my amazing co-founders Ran and Ayal once again for creating this amazing tool. And a special thanks for Shayna Hodkin a great freelance copywriter - who helped us a lot with this launch.
And thank you - for reading this whole thing.
I hope it gave you some inspirations to go build your things and then launch them.