Live launching is quite prevalent in the online space today and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. For the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of supporting coaches and online entrepreneurs with all kinds of launches- that includes everything from launching blogs, podcasts, and websites.
So I know for sure that if, as a VA, you are looking to create a new positioning for yourself, becoming a launch manager is a great place to start. Managing a live launch is really fun. Yes, it is challenging but it comes with a lot of variety and excitement. More importantly, you would be positioning yourself in what is seen as a crucial role within online teams.
Having said that though, there are a few unique traits a launch manager needs to have:
1) Must be a strong communicator
As a launch manager, you will be communicating with the people behind the different roles involved in the launch. Your main task will be to ensure everyone works in harmony and in unison towards the particular goal- the launch.
Thus, having strong communication skills is key so you can handle difficult conversations and manage conflicts and challenges that arise as part of the team. You will be communicating important information among team members, whether that is the vision of the launch all the way down to the teeny, tiny details and moving pieces that happen as part of a launch.
2) Must be forward-thinking
Your role as a launch manager will involve being able to anticipate possibilities and navigate those possibilities. You can’t ever be stuck in the moment or in the thing right in front of you. You have to be thinking about the step beyond and then the step beyond that and so on. That way there are no breakdowns within the team or as part of the launch.
3) Must be flexible
Imagine that you’re in the middle of a launch and something isn’t working. You need to be able to manage changes quickly and shift priorities when needed. The fact is this, sometimes plans have to change during a launch. If something isn’t working, things need to shift quickly especially in launches with short run-way time. You may not have the time to dig into a lot of details and may need to make decisions on the fly. So it’s really important that you can be flexible and roll with the punches when things need to shift.
4) Strong leadership skills
As the person managing a launch, you are opting to take ownership of the success of that launch. Having strong leadership skills means that you can have -and gracefully lead – a strong team that runs efficiently, manage the challenges that come up as part of a launch and make the necessary decisions. You have to be solution-oriented and have a no-blame approach to handling crises.
For instance, if there’s a breakdown in process or communication, investigate the cause, find a solution and then organize a debrief later on how to close up that gap in the future.
Having strong leadership skills is key to being able to run a successful launch because things are never going to run perfectly. You will need to be able to take ownership, be a decision-maker and seek to provide solutions to the client and to the team as you navigate shifts and challenges within the launch.