I love challenges and they work incredibly well for list building and also for launching, when you want to sell something. If you would love to host your first challenge but you don’t really know how to set it up, this episode is for you my friend. I’m going to talk you through every step, from planning your challenge to ending with a pitch for your paid product. You get a step-by-step plan that you can use to create your own challenge – listen in!
What is a challenge?
I’m talking about challenges where you challenge your audience to do something every single day. You guide your participants with videos or emails through the different tasks and inspire them and motivate them to do something, to get a result.
To participate in your challenge, people need to sign up with their email address. The whole point of running this kind of challenge is to get your followers to subscribe.
Plan your challenge
Your first step is deciding on what you want to teach and choosing a name for your challenge.
I recommend 5 days for the length of your challenge. Longer and it’s going to be difficult to keep people engaged. Even with just 5 days I notice that the opening rates for the emails are a little bit lower each day.
So, what are you going to teach in the challenge?
You have to think about what separates your potential clients from where they are now to where they want to be. It’s something you have to create the need for during your challenge. Here’s an example:
I did a challenge called „5 Days to Plan Your First Online Course“. Yep, I wasn’t terribly creative with the name…
In 5 days, you can’t create an online course. But you can come up with an idea and plan, and that’s what I’m teaching in the challenge.
After the challenge, when people want to learn more, they can join me in my program where I teach them step-by-step how to actually create their online course and sell it successfully.
Participating in the challenge gives people the feeling that this is actually possible. That they are able to make this happen. Which is a huge mindset shift, and it’s what needs to happen before they would actually buy my program.
Here’s how I structured my challenge:
Day 1 was how to define your mission, your why, why you do what you do
Day 2 was to come up with an idea for your online course, something that would light you up
Day 3 was about validating your course idea, to make sure it’s something that sells.
Day 4 was about coming up with a name and price, so very practical, making it real
And Day 5 was about deciding on your launch date, here I shared a step-by-step roadmap how to create your online course.
My niche and market of course might be very different than yours. Your task is getting clear on where your audience has a problem that they perceive, where is the solution you have, and how can you build five days of content that moves them from their problem to your solution.
You want to solve a problem.
The easiest way to do that is to make sure your challenge is based on a measurable outcome. Once you figure out their problem and how you can bridge that gap then you need to create a challenge that very specifically solves that problem.
Promote your challenge
You need a sign-up page and a form that’s connected to your email marketing provider, for example to Mailchimp or ConvertKit. Then you need to tag your participants so you can email them a confirmation email that they are signed up to the challenge, and later your daily emails with the tasks.
Next you invite your existing subscribers and social media followers, send them an email and post about your challenge on Facebook, Instagram etc.
You could also collaborate with other yoga teachers or entrepreneurs in a similar field, so you can get yours and their followers to subscribe and then share the sign-ups and sell your products as a bundle. This could work really beautifully for a lot of topics, for example yoga and meditation or yoga and nutrition.
Start promoting your challenge seven days before it starts. If you leave too much time between your invitation and the start of the challenge, people will forget about it and they won’t be as excited to get started.
How I run my challenges
I send my participants an email every day. I include the task they need to do in that email, and I also have one workbook for the whole challenge that they can download and print out.
You could also send them a link to a video they need to watch, but for the content I teach the written format works quite well, it’s much easier for me to produce, and it’s also easier to digest for my participants. They don’t have to click and go somewhere else after they’ve opened the email, they see what they need to so right away.
My emails are to the point and contain a clear task, what they need to do. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to read.
Next I send people to a Facebook group that I set up specifically for the challenge. Here I also post the tasks for each day and I also share related content like podcast episodes or blog posts.
I go live in that Facebook group every day. In my live streams I talk in more detail about the task for the day and answered questions.
Make sure the whole process doesn’t take more than 45 to 60 minutes a day. Let’s say it takes your participants five minutes to read the email and about 15 to 20 minutes to watch the live stream and 15 to 30 minutes to do your task.That’s between 35 and 55 minutes.
Don’t overwhelm your participants. Good laser focused content that specifically moves them from their problem to your solution is dramatically more important than throwing incredible content at them that overwhelms them over the course of five days.
Let’s sum it up, here’s what you produce for your challenge:
- One email per day with a task
- One Facebook post in your group with the task
- One Facebook live where you talk about the task and answer questions
When you put that all together you have five days of strategic content that solves a problem in a way that makes your participants feel like they can get their own results and then introduces them to an opportunity to work with you further, which they have just gotten five days to experience what that’s like.
Sell your online course after the challenge
On day 5 your participants should be saying “Yay, I’m really happy with my results and what I’ve got out of this challenge. Now what?”
This is where I invited my participants into my paid product the Blissful Biz accelerator, which is the next logical step for them to actually finish creating their online course.
On this last day of the challenge I send out two emails. My first email is the task for the day, and I also tease at the end that I’m going to send them a special invitation later.
Then I sent out my second email with information about my paid program later, just before I go live in the Facebook group, and I also ask them to join me live right now.
In my live session I introduce my paid product and answer questions. This is where you pitch your product, but because you talk about it to people who’ve been with you for five days now and you answered their questions and helped them, it doesn’t feel like selling. It feels like offering a solution, which is what it’s all about.
They don’t have to buy of course. They can also decide to do it by themselves, and now they have a great foundation, having finished the challenge. But all the details, like how to build your audience and how to actually sell it, they can only learn in my paid program.
That’s what you want to do. You want to help your participants get first results, but for a deeper effect, or more, you want them to buy your paid product.
In the challenge, you show them what’s possible. You inspire, you show the opportunity.
You can do it just for list building, or you sell a product at the end. And it doesn’t have to be an online course, it could also be private yoga classes or a coaching package with a special discount.