It’s been 30 days since I launched Piece of Mind Puzzles. I’ve learned a lot in this past month, and I want to share some of the thoughts, challenges, and emotions that came with the start of this journey.
As I continue to expand Piece of Mind, I hope these tidbits will help you navigate your own passion projects.
After working tirelessly on my passion project for 6 months I finally turned on the switch and made it live on November 21st, just six days after my 25th birthday. I managed to complete everything I wanted for the launch, including product photos, a marketing video, and a journal entry to share my story.
I launched it on Tuesday morning, right before Thanksgiving break in hopes of higher visibility before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The timing was great since engagement remained high throughout the week as more users spent time online at home vs. grinding all day at work.
I used my marketing video as my main shareable content and with the help of many supportive friends, I saw my view count increase from 100 to 3.7K views and 21 shares. I also used Instagram as my main social media page and curated product photos and inspirational quotes to make the page visually appealing for visitors.
As I received orders through my site, I wrote handwritten thank you notes to every customer and carefully packaged each puzzle box before sending it off. Every visit to the post office this past month was incredibly emotional as I pictured each package arriving to its destination and being pieced together by different individuals in their homes.
1. The launch is just the beginning
As Julie Zhuo described once, the product launch is like the transition point between the swim and bike legs of a triathlon race. You’re only 1 mile in and have 30 more miles to go. (This especially resonated with me because I ran my first triathlon race in September while working on this project. Don’t ask me how.)
After putting in so much time and effort into perfecting every sentence and pixel, the week before the launch date feels like the final sprint. You give it all you got and after it’s done, you dust off your hands, walk away, and go catch up on all the sleep you missed out on.
Sike. It’s just the beginning.
Post-launch, my focus has been on further strategizing different aspects of the business from marketing, analytics, copywriting, production, community, and most importantly, outreach. With so much content available on the web, and the ever-shortening attention span of today’s consumer it’s critical to continue marketing your product and making adjustments so it remains sticky and remarkable.
2. Stay hyper-organized
I’m not doing Piece of Mind full time, so between other freelancing engagements and my day job, things can get pretty hectic. To manage my time, I track everything (literally everything) I did/do/will do on Google docs and calendars. I joke to my friends that if I don’t write down when I’m supposed to eat dinner I will simply forget. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
With my Type A personality, I check my to-do list every hour to make sure I'm not falling behind. I take pride and joy in my google files, all color coordinated to organize my schedule, finances, content, and thoughts. When launching a product, you need to be on top of all aspects of the product and it’s critical your mind stays organized so you have room to breathe and enjoy the ride.
3. Don't skimp on sleep
Piece of Mind was launched on the back of 3AM nights, coffee, and early 2000’s R&B.
As a result, I was completely exhausted (and still am). Despite all the excitement that comes with working on a product launch, above all else make sure to prioritize your health and well-being. There’s no point in skipping sleep to rush a product release if you’re not fully present and awake to enjoy the final launch.
4. Use your network
"If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together"
The great thing about being solely responsible for my passion project was that I wasn't depending on others to meet my deadline or expectations. I had full control of everything , from the product to the packaging dimensions. This allowed me to go full speed during the product development stage and it was exhilarating.
With the launch out of the way, the bulk of the work today is much more collaborative. At this stage in the process, I’m relying on writers and editors to feature my product, consumers to provide feedback, and friends and family to share it through word of mouth.Having a strong, supportive network make a vast difference with how a launch plays out and being able to take advantage of those relationships is so important. You can only go so far if you're alone.
Launching a product is not a simple task. It takes a lot of time, thought, concentration, and work to turn an idea into a tangible reality. Despite all the stress and sleepless nights, I’m beyond ecstatic to know that my art and story has an opportunity to impact others. With the year coming to an end, I’m excited to announce that I still have big plans for Piece of Mind Puzzles and I can’t wait to continue sharing my process and journey with you.
Thanks for all your support!
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